Another rogue poll?

September 18, 2008

The latest Roy Morgan poll shows the gap between National and Labour widening.

National registered 47.5% support, up 3, and Labour had 36.5% support, down 1.5.

However, defying gravity, expectations and logic New Zealand First was at 5%, up 2.5.

Other results were: Green Party 6.5%, down 1.5%; Maori party 1.5%, down 2; Act steady on 1.5%; United Future .5%, down .5 and other unchanged on 1%.

The poll was conducted by phone in the first fortnight of this month and questioned 823 people.

3 ply beats 2

September 18, 2008

Apropos of the previous post: Toilet paper researchers  in Winsconsin reckon that if 2 ply loo paper is good then 3 ply will be better.

It’s going to be sold to:  women 45 and older who view their bathroom as a “sanctuary for quality time”.

Any woman with young children will know that not even in the loo can she be assured of a few minutes of “quality time”.

And while the quality of toilet tissue is not unimportant, I’d like to think that any women without young children would have many more pleasurable places to provide a sanctury than the loo – be it stocked with 2 or 3 ply paper.

Pooh power

September 18, 2008

South Island researchers have developed a machine which could turn human waste  and whatever else goes in to sewage treatment ponds into crude oil.

Standards more important than price

September 18, 2008

Medsafe is considering banning a commonly used antibiotic.

The United States Food and Drug Administration yesterday banned imports of two formulations of amoxicillin syrup and several other drugs made at two plants in India, owned by the company Ranbaxy, because of unresolved concerns from an audit in March. It has not banned sales of existing stocks in the US.

The New Zealand Ministry of Health’s chief adviser on public health, Dr Ashley Bloomfield, said this afternoon that it had begun the process to ban imports of the drugs. But it would not make a decision on whether to proceed with a ban until considering further information, such as the results of any more recent audits done by other countries’ medicines regulators.

There was no evidence that the drugs had caused any harm or were ineffective.

Would you wait for evidence before you opted not to use it? Given what’s been happening with the poisoned milk in China I wouldn’t.

And there is a bigger issue here – how safe is other food or medicine from these places?

There are huge opportunities in these rapidly developing and populous countries which include the ability to manufacture at a much lower cost than is possible here.

But that’s false economy if quality and safety can’t be guaranteed; and any health risk is too high a price to pay for cheaper food or medicine.

Update: The New Zealand Food Safety Authority  says small amounts of Chinese milk products have been imported recently but the risk of poisoning is miniscule.

Cullen no confidence in SFO?

September 18, 2008

TV1 news has just reported that Michael Cullen refused to express confidence in the Serious Fraud Office after this afternoon’s privileges committee hearing into Winston Peters and the donation debacle.

Does that mean there’s a problem with the SFO performance or does it mean Cullen doesn’t like where their investigations into Peters and New Zealand First is taking them?

Update: Keeping Stock  explains the seriousness of this Cullen is Attorney General and one of the roles of that office is the responsibility for the SFO.

Matthew Hooton  is even blunter.

Bonding a good start

September 18, 2008

The National Party’s plan to offer voluntary bonds  to health professionals in areas which are difficult to staff is a good start.

The policy is to start with doctors, nurses and midwives and extend it to other health professional groups.

I’d like to see it expanded further to cover other professions where there are skills shortages for instance rural vets and engineers.

Helping graduates who are working in specialties or districts with staff shortages is a much better use of tax payers’ money than spending more on undergarduates in any discipline who might not complete their studies and might not stay in New Zealand.

We don’t need to get dirty

September 18, 2008

Dear John,

Colin Espiner suggests National might have to fight Labour’s fire with some of its own:

Labour is so much better at attack politics than National. Perhaps it’s time Key followed Clark’s advice to her own troops and told them to “put on your hard hats”.

Attack on issues and policy (or lack of it) is one thing. Dishing out the dirt as Labour has been doing is quite another. Please don’t go there.

You should have more than enough facts for which you can hold Labour to account without following their example of dredging the depths of their imaginations for muck to rake.

They think chucking mud will work because they judge people by their own low standards. Please show us you have a much higher regard for the intelligence and perception of voters.

You will need to fight hard but you don’t have to fight dirty.

Mud sticks to the hand that throws it and New Zealand needs a Prime Minister with clean hands.

Yours in hope,


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