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Don’t expect Bronwyn Pullar’s name to be in the New Years honours list, but there is a view she has done us all a service by forcing ACC to front up on its shortcomings.
John Armstrong agrees with that assessment which was expressed yesterday by Michael Crompton, a former Australian Privacy Commissioner who helped author one of the ACC reviews – see Armstrong’s Pullar has done us a huge favour.
- Like the record numbers of Kiwis leaving for Australia (see Claire Trevett’s Tables are turned on Key), the MSD report showing income inequality is at its highest ever level, is very hard for the Government to spin – see: TVNZ’s Gap between rich and poor highest ever, report shows and Michelle Cooke’s Poor get poorer, inequality reigns – survey. But one academic blogger asks: Where’s the opposition?.
- ‘Doomed to fail’ is probably the best way to describe Kiwirail’s legal attempt to block Radio New Zealand from reporting a leaked internal report that says the company faces tough times in coming years – see RNZ’s Injunction eased on RNZ over KiwiRail report. We shouldn’t blame the judge who granted the interim injunction says Steven Price, but he is concerned that it may drag out for weeks – see: Railing against illegal disclosure. Kiwirail’s injunction will just increase public awareness of the report, which will likely end up on the internet in spite of any court orders says David Farrar – see: Kiwirail.
- The west simply cannot defeat the Taleban argues Chris Trotter in Dangerous battle against Taleban 'ghosts', but Robert Patman of the University of Otago says the aim for some time has been to lessen their influence in a post-war Afghanistan, and that is one of the Moral, diplomatic and strategic reasons to stay.
- Upsetting the Hungarians will not help us with another international campaign – see Newswire’s Insults won't help get UN seat – Goff, while another John Key comment has come under sustained attack from a significant sector of our health system – see Claire Trevett’s PM's 'misguided' euthanasia views anger palliative care specialists.
- Never mind ‘cutting and running’ from the Taleban – what about waving the white flag to the Booze Barons? The Herald Editorial is very critical of what it says is a clear backdown in the face of lobbyists – see: Govt's cave-in on alcopops is shameful. Ex-MP Sue Kedgley writes that the industry reps were not afraid of making threats to a select committee considering the issue last year – see: Booze industry win, means youths suffer.
- We should always be wary when the word ‘crisis’ is used to justify a policy change, and Eric Crampton questions the level of harm alcohol is claimed to cause, including the refusal to acknowledge that alcohol actually has some positive health benefits – see: Our drinking culture - is it really a crisis?.
- Even if tobacco companies win the fight over plain packaging they will still lose argues today’s Press editorial – see: 'Spooked' by plain packaging for tobacco.
- The MMP review could result in National’s popularity with women voters falling even further says Gordon Campbell – see: Mind the widening gender voting gap. And on the issue of the review process, Andrew Geddis asks: Is someone trying to game the MMP review?.
- Although we all may be wincing as we fill up at the petrol pumps, we are actually paying less than we did thirty years ago, particularly when increased fuel efficiency is taken into account – see: Matthew Theunissen’s Petrol today still cheaper than in 1980s.
- For a review of the week in parliamentary politics, see Jane Clifton’s What you already know won’t hurt “us”, and also her take on what’s happening in Labour: Will there be a Labour leadership coup?.
- Finally, TV3’s Cambell Live is skewered by John Drinnan for their ongoing promotion of Griffin's Choco-ade campaign – see: Bloggers want PR to pay.