Wednesday, April 8, 2020


This morning on Hosking Breakfast during the scheduled 'Politics Wednesday' segment, Cabinet Minister Stuart Nash almost whined a response as to why the Government never attempted to institute a forced Quarantine for all inbound passengers many who just walked in to head off any where they chose while looking for a bin for the "Pamphlet".
Ten thousand souls,  apparently  it was just too hard.

I have no idea of the figures but it is entirely possible that the estimated ten thousand could have been taken to areas where the now Idle Mobile Homes,  supposedly all self contained could have provided shelter in isolation with the Military providing food for the 14 days and the many by then underutilised Hotel capacity.
The new Novatel at CHC airport opened last November,  today announced mothballing as when the few Isolating "Guests"  depart there are zero bookings!

Allowing say an average occupancy somewhere between one and two persons as "bubbles" would there be enough now idle Movans and empty Hotel capacity.  I think entirely likely and the opportunity to continue the commercial activity for those  industry sectors that some of the incoming would have welcomed would have been worthy of at least  consideration.

As the government created crisis enters its second week it is becoming clearer that uncontrolled entry with no questioning or assessment is growing as a causal factor for some of the infection clusters so far discovered attest.
Hell Swmbo and self were given a greater assessment when we presented to the practice nurse outside the Drs surgery for our Flu vaccinations last Monday week ago. The fully PPE'd Nurse in the drizzling weather completed a questioning, took our temps via a Tympanic  scanner then stabbed us all through the vehicle window.

The evidence that very ordinary border protections have exposed the country to greater risk than what a more proactive process may well have achieved.

The Clusters listed on the MOH site of those over ten confirmed cases total today over four hundred.
They include the Wedding in Invercargill, The Mamata St Patricks  day Bar, The Marist School, The Queenstown Hereford conference, Napier Cruise boat, and more that involved almost lax and casual  entry security into the country.

Too hard Nash, give me a break you didn't even try.

Unethical - But Not Unexpected

I have taken this from Kiwiblog because I believe the unethical actions of the Justice Minister and his Coalition colleagues needs maximum exposure. Most of the content comes from a facebook post by Nick Smith and I make no apologies for this `cut and paste'.

`Govt rushing through prisoner voting during the pandemic Nick Smith facebooked:

Today blowing whistle on Govt rushing law change to give prisoners vote while country in lockdown. I do not like being critical at a time when we need national unity to fight Covid-19 but this is wrong.

The Electoral ( Sentenced Prisoners) Amendment Bill got its first reading on 18th March and Justice Select Committee process of six months reduced by Govt to less than three months. Justice Minister Little last week insisted bill be progressed during lockdown and refused to support any extension. He has told committee that officials would not be able to provide normal quality of departmental report nor fully respond to committee questions, but still wants it done fast. Justice Committee Chair, Labour MP, Meka Whaitiri, has used powers to set closure date for submissions and advised committee she intends hearing submissions by video conference week of 13 April while nation still in lockdown and MPs confined to their homes. Committee is 4Lab/4Nat. She has overridden our objections at 3 video conf of Chair and Deputy(me).

How is this rushed law making while nation is in lockdown and Parliament adjourned, consistent with PMs assurance that only urgent matters would be progressed ? How is it consistent for Justice Select Committee to be continuing such work when all courts are suspended except for most urgent of cases ? Why is Justice Select Committee looking to defer other two bills on sexual voilence and protection of emergency responders, but rush prisoner voting ? Labour is saying ensuring fairer trials for rape victims and protecting emergency workers is not a priority but prisoners voting is ! If prisoner voting was such an urgent issue, why did govt not include it in its three other electoral amendment bills passed this term of parliament ?

When the rights of 4 million plus law abiding NZers are being curtailed by being confined to home, thousands of businesses banned from trading and community papers prohibited from publishing, why is the most important human rights issue prisoners’ voting rights rather than getting covid-19 under control so we can wind back lockdown ? How can NZers and interested organisations who object to this law change (84% opposed it in Newshub poll last August) express this in lockdown when they can’t meet and when protests are a prohibited activity ?

Why, when in an unprecedented crisis in which MPs are buried in serious constituency issues like: -ensuring people get Covid-19 tests when needed, -getting workers access to PPE, -finding specialist food for children, -getting shopping of essentials for seniors, -sorting out what are essential businesses, -getting access to public funding for families and businesses to survive, should we be focused on prisoners voting rights ? (I have never been as busy in 30 years of working as a constituency MP)

Labour is putting their narrow political interests of trying to get a few thousand more votes at next election ahead of the right priorities for NZ at this time. It follows a unfortunate pattern of partisan electoral law changes and rushed changes. Electoral Bills passed this term include giving party leaders power to dismiss MPs, shifting power to write ref qs at elections from parl to cab and 24 hr rushed foreign donations change that was full of holes.
,br /> I do not support this bill that gives vote to prisoners sentenced to less than 3 years – others would still not be allowed to vote. You have to do something pretty bad in NZ to be sent to prison. It is one of liberties you lose when you break society’s agreed rules. Prisoners do not vote in similar democracies like UK & Australia. In many US states you lose right to vote if sent to prison for ever, which I disagree with. Nats position is when you have done time, your rights should be fully restored. But issue here is rushing law through under emergency. The law in NZ has for most of our history not allowed prisoners to vote but has toed and froed over last few decades. Law has switched around most recently in 2010 from a members bill by Paul Quinn. This bill went through full process of six months select committee and no urgency/extended hours. Imagine the uproar if Nats had rushed law to remove prisoners voting, let alone doing so during a national emergency and lockdown.

My bigger worry is that if this is how Govt is going to play this relatively minor electoral issue in these extraordinary circumstances, how can we have confidence they will be fair over really big issues over timing, campaigning, public gatherings and free press of Election scheduled for Sept 17.

Minister Little needs to reconsider rush. They are desperate to push it through before the public notice.

The Fault In Our Stars

And now for something completely different.

Well perhaps not entirely different since it's a story about mass death.

Last year I wrote an OP about the two great competing theories of what killed the dinosaurs 66 million years ago, and the scientific wars this had sparked through the 1980's and right up to the present day: Dinosaur Wars and The Nine Foot Problem.

You can read the original piece but to recap: after decades of debate about what killed off the dinosaurs a theory was put forward in 1980 that the culprit was a giant asteroid that hit the earth near today's Yucatán Peninsula in the Gulf of Mexico. The geological signature of the event is a notebook thick line of rock found around the world called the KT boundary. The crater was finally located in 1990 and is named after a nearby Mexican town, Chixalub, as is the asteroid and sometimes the entire event.

The strongest alternative theory was the Deccan Traps, giant fissure volcanoes in India that spewed out 720,000 cubic miles of lava over hundreds of thousands of years before and after the KT boundary was laid down. No scientist fought for that theory and dismissed the asteroid theory harder than the great Gerta Keller:
... she escaped death three more times: from hepatitis contracted during an Algerian coup she got caught up in, getting shot and badly wounded by an escaping bank robber in Australia, and getting food poisoning in India. She ended up in San Francisco, started studying anthropology and ended up with a PhD in geology at Princeton,
The main point of argument by Keller and others was that there's no solid evidence of instant, mass death, but a steady decline in dinosaur and other lifeforms up to the KT boundary. 

Then, in just the last few years this long scientific war appeared to be drawing to an close with the discovery, in the Hell Creek formation in Montana, of a site that has preserved not only the day of the asteroid stike but even the hour. A graduate paleontologist, Robert DePalma, has found fossils of dinosaurs mixed in with tektites, small globs of molten rock blasted into the atmosphere by the asteroid that fell back to earth thousands of miles away.

Pretty darned convincing to me but then I've always been a fan of the Dinosaurs-Get-Nuked theory. And now there may be an equally solid case on favour of the Chixalub asteroid from a slightly different field of science.

Meet Pincelli Hull. Aside from having an awesome name, she has not quite got the same backstory as Keller, although her life has shown the same free spiritedness.

My name is Pincelli Hull. I'm a Biologist. And I'm here to kick ass
Her specific field is marine plankton fossils, and while she accepted the asteroid strike theory from when she first got into the field, she'd stayed clear of all the fighting.
That changed over time. First, a paleontologist friend who worked on other time periods argued that of course both the asteroid and volcanism were responsible. “I remember feeling so irritated,” Hull said. “This isn’t your topic of study; how do you have an opinion on this?”
Yeah! What is it with experts in one field who think they can poke their nose into other fields. You keep doing that and pretty soon you'll have nuclear physicists pushing paleontologists around and statisticians bullying epidemiologists. 😉
...there were two papers that were published in 2019. They used two different geological chronometers to date the Deccan Traps,
And I realized that this is my moment. We can use my seafloor data to actually test these two hypotheses.
Fossils of Marine Plankton, roughly salt grain sized.
What she found with her data was that the plankton had gradually moved towards the poles of the earth over a period of about 200,000 years because the planet was warming up, almost certainly due to the Deccan Traps volcanic eruptions. But then they move back towards the equator because the planet was cooling. And then everything changed at once:
The boring story is that you’re looking at the late Cretaceous for millions of years. Climate goes up, it gets a little warmer, or colder, warmer, colder. But effectively, there’s nothing much to talk about. And then right at the impact, all the records go haywire.
They do show a slight warming and a slight cooling. But it’s nothing to write home about. The only thing that really jumps out at you is: Look at the impact. Everything in the deep sea goes crazy.
We'll see what Ms. Keller does with this, since much of her evidence is based on another sea-based form of life: forum (technically Foraminifera):
Three hundred thousand years before Alvarez’s asteroid struck, some foram populations had already started to decline. Keller found that they had become less and less robust until, very rapidly, about a third of them vanished. “My takeaway was that you could not have a single instantaneous event causing this pattern,”
Forum fossils vs plankton fossils! Who will win? Much as admire Ms. Keller I think this is yet another nail in the coffin of her volcano theory.

Tuesday, April 7, 2020


It wasn't  the beautiful game but still a serious defeat for what is considered Justice in the most socialist governed State in the Australian Federation.

Cardinal George Pell is the highest ranked Catholic Clergyman from the Lucky country to serve at the Vatican where he was a leading figure in the economic management field.

That all came crashing down in 2018 when Pell returned to Victoria to face the courts. and after a first trial ended with jurors unable to agree a verdict, a second under the same Judge Kidd finally reached a guilty verdict on five counts of child sexual abuse alleged to have occurred nearly thirty years earlier. Those verdicts and much of the surrounding storm were heavily suppressed due to a second series of charges alleged to have occurred in a Ballarat Swimming pool but that process was abandoned due to a judge ruling serious deficiencies in the evidence to be offered.

Pell was then sentenced to six years imprisonment with a non-parole period of over three years,

His Lawyers appealed to the Victorian Supreme Court where the convictions and sentence were upheld on a split decision with the one dissenting judge, the only one of the three sitting had a history of involvement in criminal law, offering over 200 pages supporting his belief the convictions were unsound on the grounds of an apparent ignoring of "reasonable doubt"

It then progressed to a last chance for Pell at the Federal Supreme Court where Pell was today acquitted and the charges quashed by a seven to none majority.

Now as a layman who in the eyes of some has a morbid fascination with the law at higher levels being a casual spectator at some of The Barlow efforts and Scot Watson's eventual convictions for the Sounds Murders, amongst others, I always had a strong sense of the security of Pell's treatment, through the whole saga was a never to fly but it did not turn out that way.

Suggested time-lines around the allegations and established progress of the then Archbishop after celebrating Holy Mass at the Melbourne Cathedral, where the alleged incidents were supposed to have been perpetrated, was at almost every turn based on very dodgy evidence.

In the current frenzy where accusers have had many judicial operatives seeming to begin from a perpetrator needing to prove innocence in a complete abandonment of innocent till proved guilty' meme.

The media circus surrounding Trump's nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to a vacancy on the US Federal Supreme Court being one of the most striking when the hearings for his approval went before the Senate.

Evidence from a long ago time at university, with holes more numerous than a swiss cheese that Kavanaugh had performed a serious sexual assault, finally got the treatment they deserved. Much of the damning evidence was heavily tainted with significant anti-Trump agendas combined with the current POTUS wanting, as is his right as the elected President exercised by every president before him, to bring the Court to align to a philosophy strongly held.

IMHO George Pell was a victim of a lynch mob mentality, with the ABC and many socialist sympathisers having a heep of egg to be removed from their faces.

He is tonight a free man as not only are the 2018 convictions quashed he has been deemed Not Guilty of any crime.

Justice, in Premier Daniel Andrews State of Victoria, is not so innocent. Their orgy of the lynching, largely carried out with a baying media in support, has been declared deficient by a majority of seven to nil in the Federal Supreme Court and that leaves more worrying aspects than Pell's final victory over his being fitted up.


I was prompted to write this after reading an article in the Navy News which featured a naval chaplain meeting Torty the tortoise (the subject of an earlier post).  Naval chaplains, unlike their army and airforce counterparts, do not wear officer rank (although they are afforded officer status).   That seems a sensible compromise.    Better than the story regarding a newly commissioned army chaplain who tried to have a soldier disciplined for failing to salute him ... I digress.

Military chaplains come in all shapes, sizes and stripes.   Many served with distinction ... some were rubbish shifted sideways by their church into the military because they were unsuited to be let loose on a parish.    During my time in the military and for whatever reason RC chaplains appeared to be a cut above the others.   In the Poananga Battalion we had Father Jim McNeil, coach of the Battalion Rugby team and so well regarded that 'Uncle' Po made him President (PMC) of the Officer's Mess.   He was followed by Ray Stachurski and John Carde, both remembered with affection by many Vietnam veterans.     Batting for the Protestants was the well regarded Whakahuihui 'Hui' Vercoe, later Primate of New Zealand.

But this ain't about chaplains per se ... it's about another military 'man of God' ... Honorary Captain Arthur Gilham, Salvation Army, 4RAR/NZ (ANZAC) Battalion Welfare Officer.   Gilham was an ordained minister of his church but his function in the battalion was one of tending to the morale and well-being of soldiers by the provision of physical rather than spiritual comfort.   He had been with 4RAR since 1965 and had accompanied them during its tour in Borneo.   This was his second war.  

Put simply he was loved by all ... a small story to illustrate.    During Operation Toan Tung 11 my company helped secure FSB Concord before Battalion Headquarters moved in.    It was in the middle of the 'Dry' season ... hot and dusty.   One day who should appear but Captain Gilham in his landrover which, apart from the Salvation Army badge on the side, looked like any other military vehicle.   He vehicle was laden with tea and coffee and iced lolly water and biscuits.   He had driven out alone from Long Binh over roads that were continuously at risk of ambush by the VC without a thought to his personal safety.   What a man.   And that was the hallmark of his service in Vietnam.

A side-bar to all of this.   When 4RAR were due to presented with their 'Colours' ... a ceremony replete with much fanfare and presided over by a menagerie of military chaplains the troopies in the battalion staged a mini-mutiny ... if Arthur Gilham wasn't allowed to participate then they weren't parading either.    Wise heads prevailed ... Gilham joined the other chaplains.

Below is a photograph of 4RAR officers taken in Terendak in Malaysia in 1967.   Arthur Gilham is in the front row, second from the right. 


A Question For The Day

Question: What is the difference between David Clark and Shane Jones?

Answer: Winston Peters.

Sink the Naiguatá!

What is it with German ships and the difficulties in sinking them?

In the right corner we have the RCGS Resolute, a smallish, five-star luxury cruise-liner built by a Finnish shipyard to German specifications.

It's 124m long and 18m wide, weighing in at 8,500 tonnes. Capable of taking 184 passengers served by 125 crew.

And in the left Corner we have the OPV Naiguatá, a hot and sexy Venezuelan warship built by Spain.

It's 80m long, 12m wide and weighs in at 1,800 tonnes with a crew of 20.

Impressive. Most impressive.

So a few days ago the Resolute was performing some engine maintenance and testing a few miles off-shore from the Venezuelan island of La Tortuga. They had no passengers and only 35 crew on board while doing this and they were in international waters.

But apparently the Naiguatá's captain decided that this was illegal, or an affront to Venezuela, or maybe his GPS just failed. Whatever the reason he ordered Resolute to follow him to a Venezuelan port. In these times why anybody would want to bring a cruise liner into their port is mystifying.

The captain of the Resolute certainly thought it was bloody stupid, not to mention illegal, and ignored the warship while radioing head office for instructions.

This delay in complying apparently made the Venezuelan captain angry. So angry that he got alongside the liner and opened fire on it. Luckily, as the video below shows, this was only light sub-machine guns across the bow of Resolute.


But it gets worse. True to her name, Resolute just carries on. At which point the Venezuelan captain - undoubtedly inspired by the way his dead President Hugo Chavez handled his nation - decided to ram the Resolute's bow, apparently in an effort to make the cruise liner change course.

This turns to be a huge mistake! Like basically the biggest mistake any naval officer can make.

If you look back at the photo of the Resolute you'll see that it's cruising in Antarctic waters, for which it had a specially built and toughened hull designed to deal with icebergs. Turns out it's also great for dealing with pesky little warships that don't have the armour of a battleship.

The result was almost inevitable. With the front of its hull crushed from the collision the Naiguatá sinks beneath the waves and twenty humiliated Venezuelan sailors, and their even more humiliated captain, have to be rescued by other boats.

What a fucking shambles. No wonder these people elect Far Left governments that can't run their country.

It would pay you to read this link for the Twitter thread alone. Two comments stand out as the ships armaments are compared:

"Seen here posing moodily in the manner of a teenager that has just discovered My Chemical Romance, Naiguatá had a 76mm main gun, a air/missile defence gun, two smaller machine guns and presumably also some small arms."

Resolute, on the other hand, is armed with nothing more deadly than a well-stocked library, Finnish sauna, and "a superb international wine list".

Sometimes that's all you need!

I'm reminded of the famous quote from British Vice Admiral, Lord Beatty as he observed a succession of Royal Navy battlecruisers exploding during the WWI Battle of Jutland.
There seems to be something wrong with our bloody ships today
Nothing wrong with Resolute of course, beyond needing a paint job, shown here in the unofficial Wikipedia page for the Battle of Tortuga.


He has retained his "cloth  ears",  his remaining "face",  his Crown Cars, and most important for a socialist who finds himself in a make believe world almost every Lotto ticket buyer only dreams about as he enters the outlet with a fist of money, The Padre's  Three Hundred Thousand Dollars per annum for doing bugger all is still going into his bank account.

How many poor buggers would like a share, perhaps as little as a fifth, of that sum right now must be a valid question as the economy is breaking up on the rocks for so many.

Any Prime Minister in my lifetime would have had him gone a long time ago but while Clare Curran wonders, and Lees Galloway, Twyford, Shane Jones relax luxuriating in the bubble bath of arrogance with bath salts of ignorance, the Padre only loses the assistant Minister of Finance role that many thinking people might merely ask what he ever did to contribute there.

Oh for sure there are veiled threats for what will happen when the current economic imbroglio has been cast on a deserted beach gasping "I Need A Ventilator". Ardern exhibits another instance of her massive failing as a leader.

The Minister for Mountain Biking, Beach Walks, Holidays and Gardening Leave remains as a living breathing memorial  to ineptitude.

Muldoon, Helen Clark, John Key? it would have ended months ago, in fact that suggests with what is in reality a light workload, where her primary task seems to be the Publicity front person for the rabble would she have even considered taking overall control of Health and promoted say Dr Elizabeth Clark and the now home detented  and considerably reduced in work in Foreign Affairs Minister, the old man who appointed her to manage the portfolio that Dr Ashley Bloomfield seems to have mastered both politically and medically.

In yet another arrogant "I" laced incident that only displays weakness both personally and in a stark  admission the talent pool so assiduously garnered from the ranks of academics with zero exposure to the commercial world and Union hacks whose whole working experience revolves around damaging capitalism and the Market economy, combine to leave so few viable possibilities.

By golly that accident prone Ex Padre sure was handed a slapping wasn't he?


Last time I was in the United Kingdom I picked up a book 'Soundings from the Parish Pump' ... billed as a celebration of local difficulties from the weekend edition of The Daily Telegraph.    Two of their gems ...

From the Chard & Ilminster News the following family announcement ... 'Paul, Trev, Dave, Geoff, Gavin, Gerald, Andy, Adrian and Susie proudly announce the birth of their beautiful son Jake, 8lb 15ozs ... our first child after years of trying'.  Exactly what they were trying remains a mystery.

and this from the Midhurst & Petworth Observer ... A verdict of accidental death was recorded by Surrey coroner Michael Burgess following the demise in Haslemere of a 26 year-old maintenance worker who suffocated in his sleep,   The man, who had taken sleeping tablets, was found dead with two tampons in his nostrils.  His girlfriend had helped him put them there in 'a bizzaire attempt to stop him snoring'.    Snorers beware.       

Monday, April 6, 2020


In a sad but increasingly-employed diversionary tactic, some are making light of the current Minister of Health's apparent cowardice-under-fire response to the greatest disruptive turmoil in matters health in a century. He has absented himself to his home in Dunedin while his staff remain  in Wellington under significant stress and pressure to perform the Nations response.

Of course the terminally stupid Claytons Minister also found a pressing need to take his family on a holiday jaunt in a previous lesser crisis, when the nations nurses created a degree of chaos for the Public Health Services by striking in mid winter, so the current lapse is not a one-off or surprising.

On this occasion though the dopy idjit took time off while absent from his only job to hand. Home in Dunedin, he drove his well-emblazoned van two and a half kms to a prepared off-road track, an act that Joe and Josephine Peasant saw as seriously at odds with the exhortations of his senior managers, the Police and the Head of Government Pronouncements, for people to avoid all unnecessary travel.

I wonder how Ms Clare Curran is feeling the way things are unravelling in the Beehive?

A nonsensical deflection is being mounted against the Leader of the Opposition for driving himself to Wellington to chair the only check point for the government-by-decree we are effectively under - the Epidemic Response Committee of the NZ Parliament, with powers akin to the Privileges Committee in ability to call and examine witnesses on matters that the House would normally carry out.

I say nonsensical because of course he could do what many others are doing in working from home using digital communications, with one massive difference. That difference will come with meaningful  preparation for the three days of meetings a week, something that reason might suggest needs a certain flexibility to overcome natural obfuscation and avoidance by being denied answers - with ignored calls, emails and messages by those who need such scrutiny but have no desire to be questioned publicly.

Under the Westminster system we have - albeit somewhat disrupted by the MMP system that is supposed to enjoy a strengthened  Committee process - this Committee that Bridges chairs with a majority of Opposition members is the only chance for the working democracy in the hands of the executive to be held to account while Parliament is in all but name prorogued.

The office of Leader of Her Majesty's Loyal Opposition is, by definition of the pay system, equal to full Cabinet members. So it equals what Padre Clark enjoys while he rides his bike in suburban Dunedin while not running one of the biggest Ministries in the government during the greatest crisis since, well, forever.

What a crock to attempt to align the absence of an underperforming Health Minister with the only remaining constraint on a Government that seems to be enjoying its widened powers to too great an extent and which has no hesitation in creating favourable political content in almost every action it takes.

The latter being something that Bridges appears to be making serious attempts to avoid as he runs the Response committee, which is the last vestige of a handbrake on administration excesses. An administration that regularly gives evidence of being out of its depth, and it seems just cannot leave political advantage on a backshelf, all while decreeing increasing potential damage to NZ Inc. All this unfettered until the Bridges Committee was enabled to work without the biased interference running from Mr Speaker.


Scotland's chief medical officer, Dr Catherine Calderwood, has resigned after admitting she broke the stay-at-home rule to visit her second home at Earlsferry, more than one hours drive from her main family home in Edinburgh, and after initially saying that she was sorry but that she intended to stay on in the job

She said ... 'The first minister and I have had a further conversation this evening and we have agreed that the justifiable focus on my behavior risks becoming a distraction from the hugely important job that government and the medical profession has to do in getting the country through this coronavirus pandemic'.

So a resignation before it became a firing.

Meanwhile in New Zealand ................................


Now living in a surreal world that apologists for incompetence continue to claim as enjoying great management,  I seem to be in a to hell and back on a bike with flat tires world.

Remember when one fronted to checkout to watch (New World)  an assistant expertly sort and pack purchases into  new clean plastic bags adorned with the store logo, then place those very useful and user friendly bags  back in the trolly for transport to the Car.  What a clean, hygienic, tidy activity. Then at home the bags were unpacked, neatly refolded and stored in a snatch sack hanging in the pantry for any of several reuse options.  In our case those "recycling" (there is a word not heard recently)  moves normally coincided with the incoming  product and  all that plastic eventually  went to landfill.

Now in The Part Time Prime Minister's "Brave New World", some supermarkets, realising the extent of the true serious health risks from bags of indeterminate cleanliness being dragged across the checkout counters by vulnerable checkout persons might just be an unacceptable risk to both operators and clients, have placed notices at store entry "banning" ( now there is a word enjoying increasing use) shoppers bringing "reusable bags and containers into the store.

47d9e4e2859d78362132c4966c181442b295d854e968bf603df008eb5275ba6e.jpg (477×640)
Photo stolen from The BFD News.

So the Kneejerk reaction to publicity portraying accumulation of plastic waste in never revealed as to location oceans and Turtles again sans any location identifying,  choking on detritus that led to another "Ban" adopted with alacrity by supermarket CEOs as a significant saving in marketing costs allied to another profit generating option,  sales of the Reusable bags, is now revealed as the  "health risk" many suggested might eventuate.


There have been calls for 'value added' to be the driver for our export industry as long as I can remember.    Much of that directed at the timber industry.   All well in theory.   Reality trumps (bad word) theory most times.

So let's look at timber.   Some would argue the export of raw timber (logs) should be discouraged/banned in favor of the processed product.   That this would lead to an increased number of jobs in the industry particularly now with the economy predicted to contract.

Last year China took 80% of our log exports worth $2,909m.   Compare that with our export of sawntimber to all countries which last year raked in less than a quarter of that ($722m) with just 17% going to China.    The reality is that raw timber is in greater demand than processed product.    Not rocket science ... many countries prefer to process raw timber in-country as a means of generating employment for themselves.

Our timber industry has grappled with this for years.    The result is what it is.    Coming out of Covid-19 and one suspects international demand will be down (initially at least) while burgeoning unemployment in buyer countries will ensure that the demand will be weighted towards the raw product.

As I said, fine in theory, but we need to remember that we're sellers in a buyers market.

The cracks are beginning to show

People are beginning to notice that things are not going as well as claimed by our Beloved Leader and her worshippers.

Economist Michael Reddell follows up on his previous piece - Hopeless and Complacent, about the problems with our bureaucratic and politcal leadership - by looking at our choices and decisions which will be made by the same people.
As it is, the government has already failed us.  What other conclusion can we reach when much of the country is in lockdown, officials and ministers are deciding by the hour whose businesses will and won’t survive, with no apparent exit strategy?    There appear to have been alternatives (see Taiwan and South Korea).  It isn’t as if this virus became an issue in New Zealand with no notice –  Taiwan drew it to the attention of the WHO in December, Wuhan was locked down two months before our own lockdown, and so on. 
Far Left mouthpiece, The Daily Blog unloads on both Clark and Faafoi and in doing so reveals the terrible truth:
If the Left lose Jacinda, we are doomed because there is no one and nothing else who could lead within the Caucus or wider movement.
True, although it's good to see that Clark has obviously been sent home to Dunedin to do the gardening while his Ministry officials get on with the job of running the country. And in the case of Faafoi I'm glad he's another incompetent, given that Bradbury wants the government to take over Bauer's publications. To be fair you would likely notice little difference in the coverage of Adern and in any case Bradbury is talking only of elections when he speaks of Adern's value.

Even eternal Lefty squish Pete George takes notice with, Dominant Ministry of Health, weak Minister – and weak Government.
Is the Minister of Health, David Clark, too weak, letting his Ministry run the show? If so that would also implicate a weak Prime Minister and Government.
Well duh! But he still believes.
There are growing calls for a clear indication from Government as to the plans for the near future in dealing with Covid, and in particular how and when more business activity and work is phased back in before the already substantial negative impact on the economy is too great.
Then there's the testing stuffups,
Healthcare workers say coronavirus tests are being withheld because of limited supply, despite the prime minister’s insistence clinicians have both the resources and permission to test.
Which are ongoing:
GPs contacted by the Otago Daily Times yesterday said changing governmental criteria defining who could be tested had led to troubling confusion including test material being refused. This was because up to 50% of swabs were being rejected by laboratories for failing to meet the latest guidelines.
Amazingly even the NZ Herald and Stuff are beginning to think there might be problems escaping the clutches of the autistics at the Ministry of Health:
...across the ditch in Australia, the economy has not gone into full lockdown – it is more akin to New Zealand's so-called Level 3. People ought to socially distance, work from home if possible, and large gatherings are banned. Pubs, hotels and restaurants are closed, as is the border
the Government cannot – and should not – prioritise health considerations, even including deaths, above all else.
As Ele Ludemann puts it in her usual mild way, confusion and disconnection undermine confidence.

And then there's this from Grant Robertson:
“The New Zealand private sector was robust and strong and full of innovative people coming into covid19, and it will be on the other side.
I think what we have learned out of this is that having a robust public sector is vitally important when you have a crisis like this, and so that will be important.“
Robust? Any system that to survive requires you to lock down everything else is by definition far from being "robust". In fact that's the definition of being a weak link.

The same URL gives you a taste of the usual Great Leader worship that goes for most on the Left:
While I have utmost respect for the gentleman and the hellish job (matched only by our own Wonder Woman, Prime Minister Ardern),
Woah. I bet his testicles tightened when he wrote that. Wonder Woman FFS! As I have often said, these are the same people who will tell you earnestly to your face that there's no way a modern Lenin, Stalin or Mao could arise because the Left would never make that mistake again.


I confess that I don’t know why anybody – outside of the magic circle of the Jacindamaniacs – is surprised by these revelations of weakness and incompetence. The housing fuckup. The child poverty fuckup. The road-building company fuckup, partially corrected only just recently. And that's before we look at the Ministry most closely associated with this current crisis; several fuckups in a row on vaccines and the like. Clark should have been fired long before now, but let's face it, who would Jacinda replace him with?

And yet there are many, many New Zealanders who still trust these people after all these management ... mistakes. Or, like the Daily Blog clown above, are actually awed by them.

Looking at these CV's you would not hire any of these people of your own free will, and if the regulations around hiring "special people" were applied you'd reluctantly accept them - as long as you could put them under special supervision.

When you have people who have done nothing in their lives except politics - from teenage university political activist to being a minion in a political office to advisor to an MP or PM, and then finally progressing to the thing itself with votes and elections - it should be no surprise at all that they don’t know what to do and simply cling to the advice of bureaucrats.

The namesake of this blog, the 1980's British TV comedy Yes Minister, was brilliant in showing all this.

Real work-life experience outside of the political bubble is what teaches people about the limits of “experts”, systems, processes, models, plans and all the people behind them. It teaches you how to manage people and those systems, including asking the right questions and trusting your own management judgement, especially during SHTF moments which hopefully start small before getting larger as one moves along in life.

Those of us who do have that experience saw right through Jacindamania from day one – and especially through the shallow shower that is most of the rest of the Green-Labour-NZ First MP’s from whom Cabinet has been selected.

I’d be willing to bet that few, if any of them, asked any real hard questions of their “experts”; they likely just let the various bureaucrats fight it out in front of them and then went with the consensus result. More likely they just shat themselves when the MOH showed them those models and tens of thousands of deaths.

How else to explain the casual attitude towards so much of this, right up until the last moment when we found ourselves moving from Level 3 to 4 in just 48 hours.

Shallow. Lightweight. Incompetent.

But it's to be expected. It's evolution: the natural result that arises from living creatures and natural selection happening inside the artificial environment of politics and bureaucracy. Just in case anybody makes the mistake of thinking I'm being partisan here let me make it clear that National is only a little further back down the path.

Sunday, April 5, 2020

A Response to Wayne Mapp

Guest post by Rossco

Thoughtful stuff Wayne and good to see someone here at No Minister making a start on the big question.

As for death rates they are concentrated in the over 70’s. Under the age of 50 94 people out of 100 will survive it and I suspect most of the morbidity in this age group is like in the over 70’s, other co-mobordities.

With regards to unemployment I suspect you are right because not are there not only no jobs but the old “Aggregate Demand” argument will raise its head. Keynes built his reputation on this observation:;that is that the existing remaining employed population’s income and wealth is going to take a big hit too. Demand will fall from this group, adding to the unemployed queue.

As for the work visa people  if we are in international lockdown then we may not be able to send them home. The question would also arise do we want to send people home who have shown a clear preference to work for thei living?

Under this scenario there would have to be a massive rethink on unemployment benefits, definition of this, and how to encourage people to work for a living rather than the current situation of encouraging people to be on a whole range of benefits.

Regarding the public service I  agree with your view. At present being  in the private sector employing people it is quite obvious that the main impact has been on us, not the so called “public” service. Clearly a 20% pay cut, annual leave at all levels of the public service cut to 3 weeks, all other wage and salary benefits slashed as well is a quick and dirty way to achieve this. A follow up review would be imperative but you would need a Govt with a clear idea of what it wants to achieve in this area. Salaries of a lot of so called managers and CEO’s in the public service would need to be adjusted to more sensible levels, a 20% cut in their rates would less than adequate.
The other area to be addressed would be local government and would  require a thoughtful  Govt with the time, resources and competencies to bring in a whole raft of legislation to redress the glaring defects in this sector, spending limits, salary limits, borrowing limits, definition of core activities, etc etc.
But coming back to Keynes again and Aggregate Demand you could run a strong argument that doing the above will contribute to the fall in personal expenditure which will lead to a fall in demand and further unemployment.

On the other hand being a member of the burdened private sector and seeing my “Public” Service members frolicking in their gardens in Wellington without a care in the world is totally galling, while my workers take a 50% wage cut!
Having “survived” my business’s from the GFC where turnover dropped by 50% I would expect at least a 10 year recovery process.

One thing that needs to be addressed also is the question of certainty. We can’t go for 14 weeks in lock down, that is clear as there will be nothing to come back to. We cant take epidemiologists projections as the final word, they have to be tempered with economic and statistical reality, and facts.
Also if we come out we have to come out and stay out. If the Govt introduces any uncertainty into this process then we are doomed because the consumer will put his hands in his pockets and keep them there.

The “come out” plan has to recognise where this virus impacts, its clearly the over 70’s and the plan has to get the under 60’s back to work while putting in place measures to protect these people.

Personally I don’t think the current Govt has the horsepower to achieve a coherent plan. Whether we have time  for a talk fest is debatable but any response needs the input of the private sector and with modern technology this could be achieved in a short time period if the current Govt is prepared to listen.

In my view they don’t have the capability to do anything in a measured, thoughtful and intelligent manner. Their track record speaks volumes.

I only hope that the current opposition has the where-with- all to be talking to experts and their previous senior ministers to be developing a plan that can be implemented in November quickly and with assurance.


We are now two weeks into the Level 4 lockdown. The government’s actions have been pretty much the same as those of Australia and the UK. Not too many are seriously questioning their actions to date. Sure, they could have been stricter on the border two weeks ago, but overall, the government is widely seen to have done a pretty good job.

The big question now is how do get out of the lockdown, and what will it be like when we do so?

It can’t surely be the case that we have to wait for no new cases before we come out of Level 4, or for that matter Level 3. As long as the new cases are isolated, and clusters are kept under tight control, it should be possible to come out when the rate of new cases is around half the current rate. In fact, with one death to date, it would seem Covid-19, at least in New Zealand, is no worse than seasonal flu. We don’t destroy the economy over seasonal flu. But maybe we have just been lucky, since in most other countries the death rate is much higher, hitting 10% of tested cases in Italy and the UK.

Coming out of Level 4 and 3 means we have to think about what the economy will look like this time next year.

One thing that is pretty certain is that international tourism and international travel will almost have completely dried up. That is not coming back to current levels for several years. So that is over 100,000 jobs, 5% of all employment, gone. We can be pretty certain that retail will take a huge hit. Who is going to be buying new furniture, new clothes, a new stereo or TV, or that big ticket item, a new car? Let’s say another 100,000 jobs gone. That adds up to 15% unemployment, taking into account the current unemployment rate. Add in real estate agents, all sorts of financiers, and a whole host of service jobs that have grown up in the last thirty years, such as sports fitness, garden maintenance just to name the more obvious. Probably another 50,000 jobs. It is pretty easy to see 20% unemployment this time next year.

But it is not all doom and gloom. New Zealand currently relies on over 100,000 people on work visas to do jobs that New Zealander’s don’t want to do. That is all going to stop. Those jobs can now be done by New Zealanders, especially in the primary sector.

As a food producing nation, we should be able to sell all of our produce, even if at reduced prices.  We can also do a lot more onshore processing. We should see the end of all our timber going out as logs. Sure, that might upset some free trade purists, but this is an emergency like no other in our lifetimes.

One thing that shouldn’t happen is Simon Wilson’s crazy idea that New Zealand should start building electric cars. Modern cars are not like the Trekkas that were built here in the 1960’s with Skoda engines. A modern car has literally tens of thousands of components that require a global supply chain. Way beyond what New Zealand can do.

The government will have a big and extremely challenging role in the next few months. It is going to be paying a huge number of unemployment benefits, and supporting key businesses, right at a time when its own revenue will have collapsed. I predict the government will have to seriously consider cutting the pay of all state employees by 10%. At the very least, there will be no pay increases for some years. The government will need to cut expenditure on anything that is obviously “nice to have” as opposed to being essential.  However, some parts of the state may expand. Expect to see a big increase in local student numbers next year as newly unemployed young people flock to the universities and polytechnics.

The government has a key strategic role to think of the big infrastructure projects that both soak up unemployment and which will add to the nation’s infrastructure, that can drive growth in the decades ahead.

Although the Greenies will scream, how about a 4 lane highway from Whangarei to Christchurch, with electric charging stations along the whole route? There are way more people employed in trucking than ever will be employed in rail. And trucking suits the way New Zealand shifts goods around the country. We could be pioneers of electric trucking on this new high tech road.

The new economy can’t be just driven by the government. Ideas will need to come from all directions, from entrepreneurs, from newly unemployed, from economic theorists across the spectrum and from political leaders from both sides of the House.

There is a strong case for an economic summit of the sort organized by Lange and Douglas in 1984.  That drove New Zealand out of the economic doldrums that we had languished in for decades. This time to break out of the greatest health and economic emergency that most of us have seen in our lifetimes.

Ho Ho Ho

Police called to brothel breaching distancing laws

Study: COVID-19 Impacts Men, Women More Than All Other Genders Combined.

stilton’s place, stilton, political, humor, conservative, cartoons, jokes, hope n’ change, coronavirus, tic-tacs

Circa 1942
View image on Twitter


The new Health Notice sets out:

• Everyone in New Zealand is to be isolated or quarantined at their current place of residence except as permitted for essential personal movement;

• Exercise is to be done in an outdoor place that can be readily accessed from home and two-metre physical distancing must be maintained;

• Recreation and exercise does not involve swimming, water-based activities (for example, surfing or boating), hunting, tramping, or other activities of a kind that expose participants to danger or may require search and rescue services;

• A child can leave the residence of one joint care-giver to visit or stay at the residence of another joint care-giver (and visit or stay at that residence) if there is a shared bubble arrangement;

• A person can leave their residence to visit or stay at another residence (and visit or stay at that residence) under a shared bubble arrangement if:

• One person lives alone in one, or both, of those residences; or

• Everyone in one of those residences is a vulnerable person.


Winston Peters can do anything he likes because, listen, Sunshine, none of this was part of the Coalition Agreement we signed up to after the last election

Shane Janes can do anything he likes because he is doing it as a member of New Zealand First and not as a Cabinet Minister

David Clark can drive himself to the nearest totally-safe recreational site of his choice because, although he’s the Minister of Health, nothing his Department mandates really applies to him and besides, being a Doctor of Divinity, he’s got God on his side…

Trevor Mallard can…

‘Captain’s Call’ further exemptions will be considered as and when they are required

Californian Curtain-Twitching Fascists

It was noted here the other day that a NZ Twitter account had commented that:
The big problem is you've all become curtain-twitching fascists in the space of a week, 
Although notably this observation was made only after some member of the public spotted the deputy Minister of Health breaking his own government's rules for how their subjects should get out and about, for which he's now apologised to the PM and kept his job.

But that's the problem with this level of State control; it doesn't work unless you have curtain-twitching fascists supplying the state with information about their fellow citizens - although the more precise term is Informeller Mitarbeiter.

Eric Garcetti, LA Mayor
And so it is in California, where the Mayor of Los Angeles, Eric Garcetti
“You know the old expression about snitches,” Garcetti said this week. “Well, in this case, snitches get rewards.” 
He added: “We want to thank you for turning folks in and making sure we are all safe,” he said.
Obviously it's tough to square this circle of goodies and baddies, but all you have to remember is that curtain-twitching fascists are bad, while curtain-twitching leftists are good.

Saturday, April 4, 2020


The Part Time Prime Minister sure as hell dont.  Her Deputy is in glorious Isolation not officially acknowledged, and the hapless "Health Minister"  sems MIA

A tsunami of GPs,  anecdotally admittedly, are relating stories of up to 50 per cent of test swabs being rejected by Laboratories for Covid testing because they do not meet "the central committee"  guidelines.

Finally through the curtain of obfuscation, some less charitable might say avalanche and calling them Lies, the silly Girl finally appeared to  heed  the call by the WHO echoed by Chair of the Covid emergency Committee of the Parliament a day later, back  in mid March,  for "test test test", sadly it was nearly three weeks later the communicator agreed and then it might in truth be just another dissembling affair.

Today Gps are a growing chorus claiming that big lie from the appointed one is anything but what they experience as the reality.

Really useful having a graduate in  communications occupying the NZ Inc CEO chair but if the intellectual grunt is only matched by the ability to deliver a barrage of meaningless and often conflicting output she might just as well quote from an old phone book.

ps  For those who graduate with a degree in Communications, can it be inferred the Communications have any connection to facts and widely agreed  truth.
I consider there may be no such connections what so ever.


Clearly local government is going to be in for a very difficult few years.    I would conservatively estimate that their rate take will, in the short term and maybe medium term, be down by something between a quarter and a third (and perhaps more) with many businesses going to the wall and out-of-work property owners unable to pay.  

One also has to query the ability of Councils to access the loan market especially with central government actively in there soaking up available funds. 

Perhaps a pointer might be to look at what Government defines as 'essential services' for local government.   They are ...

  • Drinking water and wastewater services
  • Solid waste (rubbish and recycling) services
  • Cemeteries and crematoria
  • Responses to stormwater events
  • Maintenance of public toilets
  • Animal management services (including caring for impounded dogs)
  • Urgent repairs to road surfaces, bridges and traffic management, including traffic lights
  • Public transport
  • Social housing
  • Building consents where there is an urgent need for construction work associated with COVID-19 response work
Looking at that list and you might cogently argue that the provision of social housing is a central government responsibility.  

That aside, the list surely represents the bottom-line start point.     Just how you manage and expand the list to include libraries, museums, swimming pools, parks, camping grounds, parking facilities and the like will be a test for the duly elected because I can't see local government being in a position to pick up where they left off.    The dynamic has changed and local government will have to change to reflect that.


The Great Pandemics

A couple of interesting pieces on the greatest disease pandemics in recorded history, starting with this article, Top Ten Pandemics in History.

The furthest it goes back to is the so-called "Antonine" Plague around 165 AD which is thought to have been either smallpox or measles, but ultimately unknowable at this remove.

I was surprised to see how many cholera pandemics there had been, with numbers 1,2, 4 and 5 not even getting a look in the top ten. Even in a world where we worry about bio-weapons and Ebola, the fact is that cholera, despite being a disease easy to cure with clean water, has been a big killer throughout history and continues to take many lives throughout the developing world to this day.

As does malaria, which does not even feature in this list despite harvesting many tens of millions of lives over the last two centuries. But it's a steady killer, without the "glamour" of being a pandemic.

Naturally the various types of flu make their appearence. But their death tolls are not particularly great aside from the Spanish Flu of 1918-20, whose virulence in striking down seemingly healthy, young and middle-aged people in 10-12 hours, remains a mystery.

The biggie of course remains the Black Death of the Middle Ages:
Death Toll: 75 – 200 million
Cause: Bubonic Plague
From 1346 to 1353 an outbreak of the Plague ravaged Europe, Africa, and Asia, with an estimated death toll between 75 and 200 million people. Thought to have originated in Asia, the Plague most likely jumped continents via the fleas living on the rats that so frequently lived aboard merchant ships. Ports being major urban centers at the time, were the perfect breeding ground for the rats and fleas, and thus the insidious bacterium flourished, devastating three continents in its wake.
There's also this visual look at the great plagues:

And the non-timeline view.


Evidence that his recovery from the Neurological set back Cameron Slater suffered, comes today in a post at his new 'digs' The BFD News in a post drawing attention to the misuse of wartime allusions from "Earlynhard" in the tripe being spouted over the CoL response to the Covid Pandemic.

"The Unfortunate War Analogy Being Used" is the header with a very accurate and topical  sub header;

"If We Are In A War  We Need To Be Talking About Acceptable Losses".

As the NZ Inc economy goes over the clifftop, along with the Lemmings,  the focus on the so far single death "with", note, not "because" of  Covid 19, this Nation needs to review the total shut down of the economy.
Shutting down every worker not deemed 'Essential' however prone to inaccuracy that is being proved when so many actually operate in a semi isolation status while many deemed "Essential" work,  cheek by jowl with fellow workers for the only reason that such delivery has 100% political risks is problematical.
Such drastic responses only seemed necessary to the morons in charge because they ignored the risks from a steep Graph curve of infections that was fed daily by the thousands who walked across our borders as returning citizens and tourists from Late January and apparently still do with bugger all attempt to make any moves to manage the risks involved.

As one clearly in the path of the Pandemic I think the total shut down is daily being proved as a looming disaster on so many fronts.

Yes a 'stay at home and isolation'  protocol  for those at risk is sensible and responsible otherwise all the CoL have achieved is the trashing of much of the economy, massive advancement of their socialist wet dreams and a debt burden that will be placed on the future generations that will cripple the nation for decades.
Sure the destruction of the Tourism part of the economy is total and outside of anything the government could have done, but imho that sector  was well overdue for a massive reset and review as some of the downsides were destructive to the product NZ was selling.

Any way it is a good opinion summary, Thankyou Cameron.

Больше юмора с Родины

Between endless cries about Russian Troll Armies and their fearsome bots being present on No Minister it's obvious that we've got some real conspiracy theorist commentators who had too much time on their hands even before now.

So in the spirit of having fun with them - and other people - here is a YouTube video that's been floating around for a while now about a Russian prankster who installed in an elevator a huge portrait of Vlad The Impaler on the back wall, plus a camera in an upper corner to record people's reactions.

Judging from the results I think its obvious that despite claims made about the hero worship of Vlad in Russia and how super popular he is, the Russian people - at least some of them - retain their good sense of skepticism towards their great leader.

It's also bloody funny

Somebody should try this here in New Zealand with Jacinda's portrait.

Friday, April 3, 2020


One of Mrs Vets close friends rang her this afternoon in some distress.    She works in an aged care facility,.    She had just finished sitting with a dying resident holding their hand.    The person was calling out for her family who live close by.   She just couldn't understand why they weren't there ... thought they had abandoned her.

The facility is in lock-down as per instructions ... no visitors allowed.

Reminds me of the saying attributed to the Americans in the Vietnam war ... 'burning the village to save the village'.

Is this what we've really come down to?    Sad, sad, sad.

Shades of Harry Truman

President Truman was known to send  razor-sharp barbs in letters to his detractors, the most famous of which was to a music critic who panned a performance by Truman's daughter.

Mr Hume:
          I've just read your lousy review of Margaret's concert. I've come to the conclusion that you are an "eight ulcer man on four ulcer pay."
          It seems to me that you are a frustrated old man who wishes he could have been successful. When you write such poppy-cock as was in the back section of the paper you work for it shows conclusively that you're off the beam and at least four of your ulcers are at work.
          Some day I hope to meet you. When that happens you'll need a new nose, a lot of beefsteak for black eyes, and perhaps a supporter below!
          Pegler, a gutter snipe, is a gentleman alongside you. I hope you'll accept that statement as a worse insult than a reflection on your ancestry.



Truman later withdrew the letter and apologised.  Those were more genteel days than we have.

I was reminded of this letter when I read the following letter to Democrat senator Schumer from his president.   Those who deride Trump and worship Truman will need to admit Truman's language was salty by comparison.

Laughter will get us through!

I know that we all need to keep our spirits up, even those who are quite happy to be sitting at home, which fortunately my tribe is: as long as the Interwebby is running, if that fails we're talking Lord Of The Flies in 24 hours or less.

So in that spirit...

Too true.

The following might start a discussion, considering we already had a bit of a tiff about Animal Farm this morning on another post.

This last is only for those who appreciate deep irony or, if you're a little meaner, schadenfreude.

Caroline Cox

This is an actress named Caroline Cox, who is a Chilean actress, star of A Chilean Christmas, Chipe Libre and other movies you've never heard of.

Now like most actors Ms. Cox is quite the Leftist back in her home country of Chile - plaything of the dreaded Chicago School of Economics.

Predictably enough she's been quite the activist in her country over the last few months, promoting the protests against the government of Sebastian Piñera and naturally has declared herself a supporter of leftist regimes throughout Latin American, holding them up as the standard societal model to which Chile should turn after decades of horrific treatment at the hands of the evil Friedmanites.

Places like Cuba, which she was thrilled to be able to visit and ply her trade just recently.

Until the Chinese Coronavirus hit with her still in-country and all the flights canned.

Well no matter. Given the outstanding health care system of Cuba that Leftists are constantly boasting about, especially in relation that cesspit of profit-making horrors in nearby America, being in Cuba with the virus should be a doddle.

Alas no.

"This is a center for infections, foreigners are constantly coming and going, there’s a plague of rats, this is a closed-down hotel,” 
Foreigners constantly coming and going? Bloody useless Cuban security forces! Maybe they're all self-isolating?
It’s super distressing being in a country where there’s shortages of soap, toilet paper, our accounts are blocked because of the blocks on Cuba, connecting to the internet is very difficult, our credit cards don’t work [,,,] There’s people who need medicine, among us are kids, elderly, families,” 
NO! You don't say! Given how things have been going in Chile recently, with the "right-wing" government yielding to many of the protestor's demands, perhaps Ms Cox won't want to return there soon. Frying pan -> Fire comes to mind.


Yes, I think that's the word I'll choose for this comedy of errors and idiots. Schadenfreude is the perfect word.