Courage is everything…Check out the outstanding Kapiti Independent News

The excellent Kapiti Independent News puts most other newspapers to shame. No wonder that most media are now so despised.

Without courage, what is left? And what has happened to us as a country that, as formerly happened in the USSR,  much-needed debate is now suppressed, and to speak the truth on important issues now takes an act of courage?

The Kapiti Independent News deserves to be acclaimed by all of us. It stands head and shoulders above our mainstream newspapers right across the country  – earning respect by its support of debate on the now damaging issues of racial preference and discrimination.This Kapiti newspaper’s support of the fine article by courageous Bud Codger brings to mind the phrase  – redeeming the times.  Congratulations to all involved. And don’t miss the below.

http://kapitiindependentnews.net.nz/racism-in-the-universities/#more-63053

Judging from my own experiences in relation to my local newspaper, I’d agree it’s no wonder that, in the public mind, it’s been established that the least-trusted group of individuals in any occupation are  journalists, “ranked below MPs, even, the second least trusted, and behind local council members, lawyers and civil servants, who are all below the half-way mark in a survey of public trust and confidence. ”

That’s no surprise to so many New Zealanders concerned about the directions in which this country is heading, but finding it almost impossible to be able to take part in that underpinning of democracy, public debate, using the forum of letters to the editor. I’m not alone in the long campaign I’ve been waging to challenge the Nelson Mail  in relation to its disgraceful practice of suppressing letters to the editor from well-respected commentators – if the opinions, even the facts that they express, obviously irritate the letters editor – or/and even the actual editor.

My persistent objection to the letters of one highly qualified commentator on treaty issues being ignored has at last seen his letters begin to appear – possibly because I included, in my recent complaint to the Press Council, the constant suppression of his excellent letters, and,  even of a well substantiated article pointing out that so-called facts invoked by two local activists  in relation to  Maori-related historical issues could indeed be challenged. Naturally, he was denied publication. Moreover, invited to give an address  to the Nelson Institute,  he found this recently cancelled, when the Institute, the Nelson City Council and the public library were asked to cancel his address – with the implied threat that there would be public disruption – possibly violence –  “a health and safety issue” – if he was allowed to speak. And I’m referring here to an excellent historian, respected in his field.

Tiring of the constant  suppression of my own letters, challenging left-wing, quite wrong or troubling “facts” presented in the Nelson Mail  (I would write no more than about four a year – given so  much already to juggle – and in particular where others had not highlighted an important issue) I finally submitted a complaint to the Press Council  about the Mail’s suppression of these.

My expectation of support from this body is pretty minimal. Our institutions all over the country are now largely dominated by the Politically Correct, and I recognize from my own time as an independent columnist and commentator on current affairs for the Dominion, and elsewhere, two or three familiar names on the Press Council.

However, one of the facts we need to take on board as individuals in this country, concerned about its very worrying directions, is that it is not good enough to fold up under pressure – or to simply be a pushover (in a friend’s words) – when confronted  by any form of bullying. On the contrary, it is important to make things as difficult as possible for those misusing positions of power.  And this is exactly what too many of today’s journalists are doing – pushing their markedly ” liberal” or radicalized points of view on the public – and then denying the opportunity for public debate.

It wasn’t always the case.  C. P. Scott, the long-standing editor of the Manchester Guardian, summed up the professional duty of a journalist, arguing that the “primary office” of a newspaper is accurate news reporting, saying “comment is free, but facts are sacred“.

Once, when journalism had a code of ethics, reporters would be pulled up short when their personal opinions took precedence over the facts. I recall some fine editors or features editors whom it was a pleasure to know. However, training journalists on an actual paper under the eye of experienced editors gave way to an utterly unnecessary three-year (and more) journalism courses where today’s often highly opinionated and self-regarding editors and reporters learned that their inculcated left-wing and  PC views were to be inflicted on the readers – and that they are free to push their too often half baked opinions – at the expense of the facts.

As usual the Nelson Mail is now holding back my letter in support of historian Bruce Moon.  I very much doubt if the editor has any intention of publishing it, and if this is the case, I will let readers judge for themselves by producing in this journal the letters which obviously offended the tender sense of susceptibilities of editorial staff.

Once more into the breach, dear friends …
©  Amy Brooke, Convener. See my book “100 Days – Claiming Back New Zealand …what has gone wrong, and how we can control our politicians.” Available through my  BOOK Page at www.amybrooke.co.nz, or at Amazons Kindle.

 

Susan Devoy, this won’t do. High time she resigned?

Susan Devoy – this won’t do. High time she resigned?

Sociopolitical commentator Lindsay Perigo has recently made some very timely points about the attack on free speech in New Zealand. And it’s getting worse.

Many now regard Susan Devoy as contributing to this, seemingly very much out of her depth with regard to comprehending what her constant stirring of the supposed  “hate speech” pot is leading to.

Devoy’s  credentials for ever being appointed to her position as Race Relations Conciliator in the first place are a mystery,  and she is now understandably regarded by many as very much unsuitable for the position she holds.

Far from being  seen as an objective, properly neutral government employee, she is perceived by concerned New Zealanders as very much lacking judgment. Her school-marmish, disapproving attitude towards those concerned at the divisiveness now caused by the promotion of what is  increasingly seen as a radicalised, Maori supremacy movement in this country – which many, far from extreme part-Maori individuals also object to – is unreasonable.

For example, her statement below is completely unacceptable to all concerned with fair and balanced debate – and is basically quite shocking! *

She also seems  ignorant of the fact that the ongoing attempt to actually replace New Zealand as the name of our country with “Aotearoa” – never even historically justified – is  very much part of the power push by the radicalized Left.

* “Anyone  who complains about te reo Māori being used and celebrated in this country needs to get one thing straight: this is New Zealand. Aotearoa New Zealand – so get used to it,” Devoy said.

Susan – this sort of intemperate, even bullying statement will not do. Time indeed to step down…

As Lindsay Perigo has pointed out, Devoy, “—who dismisses anything she disapproves of as “stale, male and white” (hate speech?!)—is campaigning to make existing legislation more draconian. Not for her, “I disagree with what you say but will defend to the death your right to say it”.

Are we coming closer to, rather, “I disagree with what you say and will have you thrown in jail for it”? In her own words:

“I believe online hatred is something we can get better at calling out. I believe we need better restrictions when it comes to the online forums, comments sections on some media outlet websites as well as their social media accounts. I am keen to see our Police begin to gather hate crime statistics – at the present time this is not something they collate when responding to call outs.”

So much for the Universal Declaration of Human Rights legislation stating:

Article 19. “Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.”

For Susan Devoy to be in essence seeking to undermine this right under the umbrella excuse of the recently invented “hate crimes” is totally unacceptable.

Is it high time to remind ourselves that our forebears fought against this sort of creeping, virtual totalitarianism that  eventuates when any government, through its representatives and officials, starts on the path of laying down what we can or cannot say…

And what about the famous reminder that “Eternal vigilance is the price of freedom…”

What freedom?

Amy Brooke

Is Air New Zealand’s cost-cutting compromising its safety record?

One thing passengers don’t want to hear is that their flight has been delayed because of engineering problems.

It seems to be happening more frequently. Why? And is Air New Zealand massaging its safety record? Incidents which cause alarm to passengers are not being reported in the media.

Why so many engineering problems? Could the reason be partly due to the fact that, according to one long-time New Zealand engineer, the shifts were changed? Whereas three engineers worked eight-hour shifts each, now two engineers are rostered to work 12 hour shifts instead. As an engineer involved comments, the last three hours are when the mistakes happen. Understandably, given the extraordinary concentration needed by maintenance staff to keep these planes safe in the air.

It is almost incredible that Air New Zealand’s aeronautical engineers are being required to work 12 hour shifts when public safety is an issue – let alone the health and stress consequences for individuals.  An article in The CAA September/October 2002 journal points out there is probably no way to avoid the need for maintenance to be done at night. While arguing that this does not mean that fatigue levels can’t be managed, it concedes that almost all night-shift workers suffer from a lack of quality sleep.

Moreover “Australian research has shown that moderate sleep deprivation of the kind experienced by shift workers can produce effects very similar to those produced by alcohol.” Noting that “a relatively limited number of unsafe acts such as work-arounds, memory lapses and situational awareness errors typically occur in the context of problems such as unclear or poor procedures, lack of equipment or spares, communication breakdowns, time pressure and fatigue, the article concludes: “Unfortunately, advances in aviation technology have not necessarily matched by improvements in the way we organise the work of the people who maintain aircraft.”

Plus ça change? How much credibility should we give to the claim a twelve hour shift roster was given the support of 84% of hangar staff after a 12 month trial? What about the high degree of probability that qualified staff, anxious not to lose their jobs, would feel the necessity to agree to a situation which is overly-taxing, and clearly not optimum?

Feedback from readers in this area would be interesting. Some are reporting that on one particular busy route, a trouble-free flight is now an exception. Even allowing for possible exaggeration, these incidents are certainly regularly occurring.   And being required to remain penned on a plane sitting on the hot tarmac of Auckland airport for an extra hour and more in these high summer temperatures (a recent reported occurrence) is not only a worry for passengers who have no idea what the problem is – but adds to the stress of all who are suffering the effects of the heat while the plane is stationary.

When asked some time back why Air New Zealand causes alarm to passengers by telling them that their plane has an engineering problem, the answer came that the airline was required to do so, in the interests of freedom of information. However, when then asked why the passengers weren’t told exactly what the problem was  – the answer was that Air New Zealand isn’t required to do so.

Why not – in the interests of keeping passengers fully informed? And why aren’t passengers given the choice of leaving a plane which they have been told has engineering problems – to choose another plane? Not to allow passengers the choice of disembarking, if there are problems with the plane, seems entirely unreasonable.

Moreover, a number of incidents which should cause concern are not being reported in the media… such as a plane required to turn back to Auckland some little while ago – at the slowest possible speed manageable without stalling…

We need better answers from Air New Zealand – whose prices have also headed back up to about what they were before Jetstar came on the scene. As frequently noted,  it is usually more affordable for New Zealanders to fly to Australia than within our own country.  Grab-A-Seat offers have limited value only.  And we can rely on Air New Zealand’s prices shooting up around the times of special public holidays like the Christmas period, when families hope to visit one anther again. For many it is simply unaffordable.

Our pilots may be among the best in the world, our engineers, too. But isn’t it time we required more accountability from the usual suspects… from management, whose  first concern – as with so many of today’s corporations  – seems to be to increase returns to shareholders  – and to  CEOs?

 

© Amy Brooke  © Amy Brooke, Convener. See my book “100 Days – Claiming Back New Zealand …what has gone wrong, and how we can control our politicians.” Available through www.amybrooke.co.nz, Kindle, or HATM Publishers.

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© Amy Brooke, Convener. See my book “100 Days – Claiming Back New Zealand …what has gone wrong, and how we can control our politicians.” Available through www.amybrooke.co.nz, Kindle, or HATM Publishers.

It helps a lot to SHARE or LIKE us through the social media network! https://www.facebook.com/100daystodemocracy?ref=br_tf

Help us fight for the 100 Days – Claiming Back New Zealand movement!

We need you to help get our message further out by donating. See www.100days.co.nz-  Thank you!