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Medsafe: Benefit Risk Balance of Covid-19 “Vaccine” is Unclear

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I recommend everyone read Cranmer’s Substack article summarising a number of OIA requests on the vaccine approval process of the Covid19 shot in New Zealand. “Safe and Effective” – the mantra we were sold – was a lie. It was not known to be safe or effective.

The Pfizer vaccine was approved for use by New Zealand’s regulator, Medsafe on 3 February 2021. The development was immediately welcomed by then Prime Minister Ardern who stated, “Medsafe’s decision is the culmination of a rigorous assessment process over many months to ensure the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine is safe and effective to use here. It is informed by the most up-to-date medical and scientific data. We can have confidence in their decision.”

However, in reality, the government’s representation of Medsafe’s assessment was overstated. Specifically, Medsafe’s clinical assessment found:

  • “The duration of the vaccine protection has not been established beyond two months.”
  • “At this stage, there is limited evidence of protection against severe disease.”
  • “There is no long term safety follow-up information.”
  • “Vaccine prevention of asymptomatic infection and disease transmission has not been established.”

Therefore when it made its benefit risk assessment, Medsafe concluded:

The benefit risk balance of Comirnaty (COVID-19 mRNA Vaccine) for active immunisation to prevent coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) caused by SARS-CoV-2 in individuals 16 years of age and older, is not clear. At this stage, there is evidence only for short-term protection, and longer-term safety data are lacking. However, experience with the vaccine is accumulating rapidly.

Pfizer Vaccine Approval in NZ Under Scrutiny: A Retrospective Analysis | Cranmer’s Substack

Meanwhile, in the UK, a brave MP continues to speak out on the tragedy of the shots. The video below shows an almost empty chamber, where as the speech started, the various politicians scarpered out, presumably so they would not have to hear anything that might hurt their pitiful minds. YouTube initially censored the speech soon after it was posted, but due to the outcry (and probably competition from other streaming services) has allowed it back. If it vanishes once more, here is the Rumble version.

To prevent just one healthy adult aged between 50 and 59 from being hospitalised due to covid the Government’s own data states that 43,600 people have to be given an autumn booster jab. With a serious adverse event rate of 1 in 800 that means that in the healthy 50 to 59 year old group, as a result of using the mRNA boosters, 55 people would die or be put into hospital with side-effects to prevent one single case of covid presenting in hospital.

The same data shows that for the healthy younger people the number needed to be boosted to prevent a single hospital admission with Covid-19 is far higher. 92,500 boosted jabs were required to be administered to prevent one hospitalisation in the healthy 40 to 49 year old group, which would simultaneously put 116 people at probability of death or serious adverse reaction into hospital from the jab.

The healthy 30 to 39 year old group required age group required 210,400 booster jabs to prevent a single, covid hopitalisation; so 263 of this group will have been into hospital or sadly, died as a result of the booster side effects, just to keep one covid case out of hospital.

But the data gets worse because hospitalisation does not necessarily mean a serious medical intervention such as intubation or oxygen. To prevent severe hospitalisation from covid-19, the numbers needed to be boosted become astronomical … [10:17]

Andrew Bridgen MP

Back to Medsafe in New Zealand. How on earth was the Pfizer shot approved for use here? The answer is that despite Medsafe’s concerns about lack of safety and efficacy data, a number of individuals making up the Medicines Assessment Advisory Committee (MAAC), a group whose members remain a state secret to this day, recommend going full steam ahead, regardless.

Somewhat strangely, although MAAC is a statutory committee under the Medicines Act, it has, since the outbreak of Covid, kept the identity of its members confidential. Requests for details of MAAC’s membership has been refused by the Ministry of Health when requested via the Official Information Act on the basis that they might be harassed. It seems an odd position to take given that the membership of various other advisory groups are known, and that MAAC has played a pivotal role in the approval of the vaccine.

Pfizer Vaccine Approval in NZ Under Scrutiny: A Retrospective Analysis | Cranmer’s Substack

MACC told Medsafe to approve the shots, and Chris James on behalf of Medsafe complied. The MACC members presumably thought that the missing safety and efficacy data would be gathered as people were injected and managed to convince others of this view. In other words, they saw nothing wrong with using the population of New Zealand as their guinea pigs, either believing or hoping the shots would be safe and effective. They took a gamble that did not pay off and now they are too afraid to reveal themselves.

Now that billions of doses have been injected into people worldwide, data from various nations around the world is showing neither safety or nor efficacy. The response of political leadership is denial and silence. As various individuals try and show the data to those that have the power to stop the shots, the powerful ignore and deny. The mainstream media and online platforms run interference. The whole situation is deadly serious and outrageous, yet those tasked with the safety of NZ’ers from medical malfeasance are missing in action.

Written by Lucia Maria

March 21, 2023 at 2:00 pm

Two quotes of the day – which may be connected

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We are forever changed. The British people, along with the populations of many American states such as New York and California, have henceforth to live with the fact that civil liberties we Yanks call ‘inalienable’ can be cancelled at a moment’s notice for years on end. Our ‘rights’ are alienable as can be. We’re often warned that democracy is fragile. Lo, that turns out to be horribly true.

From Despotic social controls cost lives, by Lionel Shriver in the Spectator

I predict in 5-10 years corporations will scrub any reference to Net Zero from their corporate website and LinkedIn archives following widespread recognition of the damage this aim has wrought on the poorest in society. Everyone of them promoting it now will deny they ever did.

From a Tweet by Tim Newman

I say connected because the stunts pulled during Covid-19 are already being discussed in Green circles online as possible solutions to the seeming inability of the world to reduce GHG emissions, or at least reduce them at the extreme rates needed to avoid the Climate Catastrophe or Crisis, or whatever hysterical label is now being attached.

That last tactic has been around long before Chinese Bat Soup Flu arrived, since fear is the starting point of controlling a population.

I can only hope that second quote turns out to be an accurate prediction. The first is most terrible because it is a reinforcement of a long-held belief of the Far Left, which is that rights do not spring from you (whether by Nature or God) but from their beloved State, which gives all your rights to you – and which can therefore take them away.

This makes them privileges not rights, but then I think the Far Left is entirely comfortable with that conclusion.

The real kicker is that so many “Right-wing” parties merrily agreed with all this; several State GOP administrations in the US, the entire bloody Tory Party in Britain, Scott Morrison’s “Liberal” mob in Australia and of course, in “Opposition” here in NZ, National and ACT.

It’s getting bad when I have to put so many terms in quotes because in this context they meant the opposite of what they are.

UK Ministers Discuss Deploying the New Variant for Proper Behaviour Change

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If you haven’t heard of the UK’s Lockdown Files, a release of thousands of What’s App messages between Matt Hancock and various Ministers, I recommend a read of this UK Telegraph article:

The Telegraph has published revelations based on more than 100,000 leaked WhatsApp messages from Matt Hancock, the former health secretary, and other ministers and officials.

The Lockdown Files show the nature of government during the Covid pandemic and how, despite public claims to always “follow the science”, key decisions were made on the fly for political reasons.

They call into question much of the reasoning for months of national lockdowns and other restrictions on daily life in Britain, including social distancing, face masks and the closure of schools.

The Lockdown Files: 10 things we have learned so far by The Lockdown Files Team

However, what inspired this post, was the following tweet by Jordan Peterson, where he retweets Rita Panahi of Sky News about some of the UK Government Ministers wondering if it was time “to deploy the new variant” that would “frighten the pants of people”, thus triggering “proper behaviour change”.

Twitter link

‘Project Fear’ authors discussed when to ‘deploy’ new Covid variant | The Lockdown Files Team, Daily Telegraph

Also, if you didn’t know that the UK Government used a military psy-op teams to manage and direct behaviour by using fear, then this tweet will be extremely confusing for you. Feel free to ask questions in the comments.

A shadowy Army unit secretly spied on British citizens who criticised the Government’s Covid lockdown policies, The Mail on Sunday can reveal.

Military operatives in the UK’s ‘information warfare’ brigade were part of a sinister operation that targeted politicians and high-profile journalists who raised doubts about the official pandemic response.

They compiled dossiers on public figures such as ex-Minister David Davis, who questioned the modelling behind alarming death toll predictions, as well as journalists such as Peter Hitchens and Toby Young. Their dissenting views were then reported back to No 10.

Army spied on lockdown critics: Sceptics, including our own Peter Hitchens, long suspected they were under surveillance. Now we’ve obtained official records that prove they were right all along | Daily Mail

The most interesting part of this leaked “admission” is the weaponisation of the “new variants”. Are there actually “new variants”? Or are they just a way of expedient explanations on how “the virus” acts differently once everyone is jabbed? Just to calm down any plebs who might notice the more injected everyone was, the sicker and the more deaths? Oh, that’s the “new variant” doing that!

Behold my screenshot of the impact of “Omicron” last year in NZ after the shots were rolled out to children and shot 3 was given to the general 12+ population, and just before shot 4.

One of the last graphs published by RNZ before MOH changed the way the statistics were calculated. Notice how being vaccinated by any number of shots is not protective. The graph has never returned.

Written by Lucia Maria

March 5, 2023 at 2:40 pm

Posted in Britain

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Switching Political Party Partners

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An interesting piece from the WSJ:

In not much more than a generation, virtually all the protagonists, values and identities of ideological competition have swapped places.

Not very long ago, college-educated professionals voted for Republicans in vast numbers, while blue-collar workers picked Democrats. Now a college degree is the most reliable indicator of Democratic preference; the proletariat is dependably Republican.

Liberals used to be passionate defenders of free speech; now progressives seek to shut down dissent wherever they find it.

The left once regarded domestic intelligence agencies as a threat to democracy and individual freedom; now they embrace them as essential weapons against their domestic adversaries, whom they accuse of “misinformation” and “sedition.”

Democrats were traditionally suspicious of and hostile to big business. Now, on issue after issue—climate alarmism, “diversity,” the virtues of a borderless world—they are tightly aligned

I would not say that “the proletariat is dependably Republican”, especially after the GOP failed to make headway in traditional working class states like Michigan and Pennsylvania, although they have in others. But there’s no question that the movement – much accelerated by Trump starting in 2015 – is gathering steam.

There’s quite a chunk of Republican politicians and advisors who don’t get that.

Judging by this Tweet from former Clinton Cabinet member, Robert Reich, there a lot of Democrats that don’t get this either, as the person responding explains bluntly. Trouble is that people like Reich and Bernie Sanders are old-school lefties who have not yet realised that the rest of their party may not actually want the working class back in their ranks – except as voter fodder of course.

In Britain the last general election saw a near landslide win for the Tories resulting from them breaking through the so-called Red Wall of long-held Labour seats, and that effect was understood to be due to Brexit, which those same voters supported. It’s now being argued that Labour will win them back since Brexit is a settled issue and such voters can return to core left-wing issues – but that could just be a result of the Tories polling so low across the board.

In the last Australian election there some consternation as the Liberal Party lost long-held seats in wealthy areas to so-called “Teal” candidates who pushed a stronger line in measures to tackle Global Warming. However, they were also well-financed by a billionaire believer and whether that will continue, or whether they’ll have any policy effect, even inside the Liberal Party, remains to be seen. I reckon that increasing “rolling blackouts” will see those wealthy seats return to the Liberals at the next election. Aside from that the traditional groups supporting Labour or the Liberals seem to be as they always were.

Same here in NZ. The groups that traditionally supported Labour and National still do, with only some minor hiving off into smaller parties like the Greens and ACT.

So as always with the USA the question is whether this is a harbinger of change for other Western nations or whether this will remain confined to America. I would argue we’ve seen something similar in Europe with the so-called Working Class backing conservative, right-wing parties and the Left picking up the new “laptop” class, plus being poor on free speech, although Europe has never been strong on that.

However, after the rise of Giorgia Meloni in Italy we’ve now got another in Spain:

Fresh from freeing Madrid from lockdown, Isabel Díaz Ayuso is waging a war on woke and seeking to turn Madrid into the “Florida of Europe” in a campaign that could ultimately lead to her becoming Spain’s first female prime minister.

The Right-wing firebrand is running for re-election in May in a vote seen as crucial before the battle for Spain’s future is fought in December’s general elections. Her supporters praise her as “Saint Isabel”, but the regional leader is a hate figure for the Left, which brands her a “Trumpista” or “fascist”.

It would seem that Trump lives rent-free in the heads of Leftists around the world. You can also chuckle at the usual scream of “fascist”, which fits entirely with the propaganda that has run from Stalin’s time to now:

With two crunch elections on the horizon, Madrid’s president is ready for the political fight of her life: to topple the socialist-communist coalition government of Pedro Sánchez, leader of the Spanish Socialist Workers Party.

A Socialist Workers Party in charge of a nation? In this day and age? Well of course they’ll call their opponents “fascists”.

Written by Tom Hunter

March 1, 2023 at 7:18 am

Radicalised by Civilisation

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I’m a radical now?

Holy hell, and here was me comfortably settled into the notion of being one of those aging, reactionary, conservatives I’m always been lectured about.

In one respect this is just a followup to the Nineteen Eighty Four type censoring crap I wrote about in Memorizing books to keep them from the firemen, where Dahl’s children’s books are being re-written, or where the BBC is doing a CCP-style editing “naughty” stuff from old episodes of Monty Python, the really funny aspect being that it’s things that the Pythons were teasing as “naughty” in the context of 1960’s British conservatives, religious and otherwise:

Meanwhile, a 1970 episode of I’m Sorry, I’ll Read That Again had an entire sketch cut that involved a gag about scantily dressed women seen on Top of the Pops.

“We have noticed that it is possible to see right up to the girls’ knickers, owing to the shortness of their miniskirts, so we’ve asked the girls to drop them,” legendary actor John Cleese said while parodying a spokesman for the BBC during the bit.

What 1960’s Leftie who laughed at that skit could ever have imagined that they’d be turning into Patricia Bartlett (or her British companion, Mary Whitehead). It’s actually quite cool that irony has now been added to that skit, because like much of Python it was written to annoy the conservative establishment of 1960’s Britain.

But things always get more serious when the State gets involved, in this case by cracking down on sources of “right-wing extremism”:

When I first saw these documents I felt a sort of white-hot anger. But then I read on and saw that these same taxpayer-funded fools provide lists of other books shared by people who have sympathies with the ‘far-right and Brexit’. Key signs that people have fallen into this abyss include watching the Kenneth Clark TV series Civilisation, The Thick of It and Great British Railway Journeys. I need to stress again that I am not making this up. This has all been done on your dime and mine in order to stop ‘extremism’ in these islands.

There is also a reading list of historical texts which produce red flags to RICU [Research Information and Communications Unit]. These include Leviathan by Thomas Hobbes, John Locke’s Two Treatises of Government and Edmund Burke’s Reflections on the Revolution in France, as well as works by Thomas Carlyle and Adam Smith. Elsewhere RICU warns that radicalisation could occur from books by authors including C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, Aldous Huxley and Joseph Conrad. I kid you not, though it seems that all satire is dead, but the list of suspect books also includes 1984 by George Orwell.

That last one cracks me up, since in my previous post on the butchering of Dahl’s books I’d commented that they might re-write Orwell’s masterpiece to make Big Brother the hero. In a way, having the book instead classed as “suspect” is somewhat of a relief.

Lewis, Tolkien, Huxley, Conrad I’ve read, as well as watching the Civilisation TV series a couple of times and The Thick of It. I’ve never watched Great British Railway Journeys, but given how dangerous and right-wing extremist it is perhaps I should give it a shot?

But do read the whole Spectator article – though not with any burning torches or pitchforks nearby. You don’t want to be tempted.

A big part of the reason for this nonsense was that the RICU was advised by a number of left-wing groups, playing the same role that the hate group SPLC (Southern Poverty Law Center) does in the USA. These people are, like their communist forebears, intent on actually destroying their right-wing opposition – with the definition of “right-wing” simply morphing into opposition, as this writer does in discussing the actor Will Smith’s face slap of comedian Chris Rock at last year’s Oscars:

Not only did people overwhelmingly sympathize with Rock, but they also painted Smith as a dangerously violent Black man with an anger problem.

However, looking at the infamous moment a year later, many have come to understand why Smith hit Rock.

It’s not about condoning violence, but words—especially ones that make Black women the punchline—should have consequences.

That last has become a common theme; sure you can have your little free speech – but that means consequences, and increasingly that means not speech thrown back at you or people walking away, but consequences without limits. The quote above cannot be read as anything else than a full-on endorsement of violence against those whose comedy might offend your senses – even as it tries to weasel out of the logical path by specifically saying that it’s not condoning violence. Bullshit, the writer is, as can be seen by what comes next:

The Root has examined the most notorious moment in the history of the Oscars quite extensively, but ultimately talk shit, get hit is a very real thing—and Rock deserved to find that out the hard way.

You can make fun of all the old White guys you want, but joke about females of color…. No wonder the likes of Dave Chappelle are getting attacked on stage – although in that case it was the attacker who got his ass kicked. And who is this writer so blythly advocating violence against those whose speech offends her?

Candace McDuffie is the Senior Writer at The Root who focuses on the intersection of race, gender and entertainment. Her written work has been featured on digital platforms such as: Rolling Stone, MTV, Forbes,, Spotify, PAPER, SPIN, Newsweek, Entertainment Weekly, Glamour, Vibe, Tidal, Marie Claire, Paste, Essence and The Boston Globe.

Of course. She’s worked for just about every race-baiting, “liberal” outfit there is (yes, Forbes is a very liberal business paper nowadays), so naturally her “intersection of race, gender and entertainment” background gets her the free pass it never would were she a Right-winger. In this she’s merely following in the footsteps of Lenin:

When Mensheviks objected to Lenin’s personal attacks, he replied frankly that his purpose was not to convince but to destroy his opponent

Written by Tom Hunter

February 27, 2023 at 6:00 am

Those skeptics who were furiously mocked as cranks…

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… and occasionally censored as “misinformers” for opposing mandates were right. The mainstream experts and pundits who supported mandates were wrong. In a better world, it would behoove the latter group to acknowledge their error, along with its considerable physical, psychological, pedagogical and political costs.

So says none other than the US Establishment’s own sorority newsletter, the New York Times, reporting on the recent study of masks and mask mandates, the Cochrane Study. I’d been going to post on this anyway, but having the NYT cover it just makes it more delicious:

The most rigorous and comprehensive analysis of scientific studies conducted on the efficacy of masks for reducing the spread of respiratory illnesses — including Covid-19 — was published late last month. Its conclusions, said Tom Jefferson, the Oxford epidemiologist who is its lead author, were unambiguous.

“There is just no evidence that they” — masks — “make any difference,” he told the journalist Maryanne Demasi. “Full stop.”

But, wait, hold on. What about N-95 masks, as opposed to lower-quality surgical or cloth masks?

“Makes no difference — none of it,” said Jefferson.

What about the studies that initially persuaded policymakers to impose mask mandates?

“They were convinced by non-randomized studies, flawed observational studies.”

A point that I and many other opponents of mask mandates made from the start.

So, when do all the assholes – from politicians to bureaucrats to MSM figures, as well the ordinary people who acted as Stasi enforcers – actually also start apologising for this totalitarian insanity, in public around the world, including here in New Zealand?

The interview Stephens quotes is from February 5th. Quite a long time ago in the news business. And that interview, of course, was not conducted by a New York Times reported. He had to go outside the “Paper of Record” to find reportage about the Cochrane Study because, once again, the New York Times has refused to cover it.

And why won’t they cover it? Because the Cochrane Study is an impeccable meta-study of 78 other studies which has proven, once and for all, that masks did nothing to slow the spread of covid.

I’m sure you’ve noticed all the media and technocratic non-elite rushing to confess their errors? Remember, confessing errors is what they themselves say distinguish them from Disinformation Spreaders. If they don’t confess their errors, they are Disinformation Spreaders and Conspiracy Theorists.

My guess is they never will, as that article’s author points out. Given the NYT article I suppose our MSM might be forced to cover this story.

But I wouldn’t bet on it.

Written by Tom Hunter

February 25, 2023 at 7:12 am

Posted in Britain, Healthcare, New Zealand, USA

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Memorizing books to keep them from the firemen

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More news from Airstrip One.

It may literally come to that. Certainly if you have old copies of Roald Dahl’s books or know where to find them you should get them now.

Also make sure they’re printed on paper: forget e-books, which can be changed with a keystroke.

And the old books are being changed:

Language related to weight, mental health, violence, gender and race has been cut and rewritten. Remember the Cloud-Men in James and the Giant Peach? They are now the Cloud-People. The Small Foxes in Fantastic Mr Fox are now female. In Matilda, a mention of Rudyard Kipling has been cut and Jane Austen added.

The Dahl estate owned the rights to the books until 2021, when Netflix bought them outright for a reported $686 million, building on an earlier rights deal. The American streaming service now has overall control over the book publishing, as well as various adaptation projects that are in the works. These are the first new editions since the deal, but the review began before the sale.

Heh. Corporate censorship to boot, as is increasingly the case nowadays. To the feminists of the 1970’s-1980’s Jane Austen was “problematic”, but in the last two decades they’ve learned to love her again. But even those people did not suggest re-writing her works, possibly because old-style Communist societies were still present with all their control, censorship and propaganda and the words of Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty Four still carried some weight of warning:

“Every record has been destroyed or falsified, every book rewritten, every picture has been repainted, every statue and street building has been renamed, every date has been altered. And the process is continuing day by day and minute by minute. History has stopped. Nothing exists except an endless present in which the Party is always right.”

Perhaps we are seeing the emergence of new academic discipline, Critical Literature Theory? The drive to not offend or “hurt” oppressed people, self-identifying victim groups – one of the main weapons of Woke ideology – is in full swing. So Augustus Gloop, Charlie’s huge, gluttonous antagonist in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (1964), is no longer “enormously fat”, just “enormous”. In fact the word or even the concept of “fat” seems to have been excised completely (check the list of changes in the most famous of his books at the link). I realise that woman have played Shakespearean characters for some time now but they always seem to be the skinny ones (has any woman ever attempted Falstaff)? Meanwhile in the new edition of Witches, a supernatural female posing as an ordinary woman may be working as a “top scientist or running a business” instead of as a “cashier in a supermarket or typing letters for a businessman.”

It’s Roald Dahl, but different. Dahl was sort of an asshole and didn’t really try to hide it, but it’s what makes his books so interesting, especially to kids because they get it – they know that there are lots of assholes out there, adult and child. Seeing Gloop, and Veruka Salt get their comeuppance is a lot of fun.

It’s nice to see that some literary giants are speaking up about this censorious crap as well. Renowned author Salman Rushdie, whose novel The Satanic Verses led Iran’s Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini to issue a fatwa in 1989 calling on all Muslims to kill him, denounced the changes to Dahl’s works:

“Roald Dahl was no angel but this is absurd censorship. Puffin Books and the Dahl estate should be ashamed.”

Or how about Joyce Carol Oates, who tackles it with her customary wit:

She went further:

Prose so radically revised by “sensitivity readers” should be noted as collaborations. it is unfair to readers to be deceived into thinking that they are reading the original work. If Dahl is so egregious as to require such wholesale whitewashing (sic) why republish him at all?

“Lord of the Flies” re-written by sensitivity readers: a delightful adventure tale of plucky shipwrecked boys camping out in a challenging environment until a rescue ship comes to their island & returns them to their mommies.

I would expect that J K Rowling and the Peruvian literary icon, Mario Vargas Llosa – both quite Left-wing – will also speak out about this at some stage since they have often attacked such censorship, whether traditional State control or this corporate Woke crap.

How long before they rewrite Nineteen Eighty Four to make Big Brother the hero? The Chinese already did that with the ending of Fight Club.

Written by Tom Hunter

February 24, 2023 at 8:02 am

I suppose we were spied on by all these…

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The SIS (Secret Intelligence Services)
The GCSB (Government Communications Security Bureau)
The NSG (National Security Group)
The Police Intelligence Unit
The CNSN (Cabinet National Security Committee)
The ODESC (Officials’ Committee for Domestic and External Security Coordination)
The SIB (Security and Intelligence Board)
The CTCC (Counter-Terrorism Coordinating Committee)
The NICC ( National Intelligence Coordination Committee)
The IAD (Intelligence and Assessments Directorate)
The NRU (National Risk Unit)
The NSPD (National Security Policy Directorate)

My assumption being driven by news out of Britain about their Biosecurity State:

A shadowy Army unit secretly spied on British citizens who criticised the Government’s Covid lockdown policies, The Mail on Sunday can reveal.

Military operatives in the UK’s ‘information warfare’ brigade were part of a sinister operation that targeted politicians and high-profile journalists who raised doubts about the official pandemic response.

They compiled dossiers on public figures such as ex-Minister David Davis, who questioned the modelling behind alarming death toll predictions, as well as journalists such as Peter Hitchens and Toby Young. Their dissenting views were then reported back to No 10 [Downing Street, the office of the British Prime Minister].

Documents obtained by the civil liberties group Big Brother Watch, and shared exclusively with this newspaper, exposed the work of Government cells such as the Counter Disinformation Unit, based in the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, and the Rapid Response Unit in the Cabinet Office.

But the most secretive is the MoD’s 77th Brigade, which deploys ‘non-lethal engagement and legitimate non-military levers as a means to adapt behaviours of adversaries’.

This has only emerged because of a whistleblower from inside the unit:

The Army whistleblower said: ‘It is quite obvious that our activities resulted in the monitoring of the UK population… monitoring the social media posts of ordinary, scared people. These posts did not contain information that was untrue or co-ordinated – it was simply fear.’

Last night, former Cabinet Minister Mr Davis, a member of the Privy Council, said: ‘It’s outrageous that people questioning the Government’s policies were subject to covert surveillance’ – and questioned the waste of public money.

But as that article points out – and do read the whole thing – the Israelis, Canadians and Americans were also doing this to their subjects, so it’s a good bet that little ole’ New Zealand was too.

Yet somehow I don’t feel safer.

Written by Tom Hunter

February 5, 2023 at 6:49 pm

Frights and fun

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A terrific article here written by the man, Wg Cdr Taffy Holden, who was at a the centre of a famous incident with the RAF back in the 1960’s.

A Memorable Fright

Taffy was a flight engineer and a pilot – though not of jet fighters like the famous English Electric Lightning (photo above), a twin jet, supersonic beast designed to intercept Soviet bombers. He was testing electrical faults in a Lightning on the ground when he suddenly found himself rolling down the runway at rapidly increasing speed and was forced to choose between crashing and flying.

Before my thoughts could again return to getting myself out of reheat, I was gathering speed and about to cross the main duty runway, where a Comet had just passed on its take off run. I then had no time to look for reheat gate keys, my eyes were on what next lay ahead. Two things, the end of the short runway 07 and just beyond was the small village of Bradenstoke, which I just had to miss. There was no chance of stopping, none whatsoever. I had gained flying speed (that is what reheat is for, short sharp take offs) and I had no runway left.

He chose the latter and lived to tell the tale, which you can read about at the link and/or click on this YouTube version. Two sections that I think worth of excerpting concern not the flight itself but the aftermath. First with the MSM:

I steadfastly refused offers, although for a two-page article in the Sunday Express I requested the editors to make a contribution to the R.A.F. Benevolent Fund. Despite prompts, no monies were ever handed over and I became very disillusioned with all publicity media. Some friends thought I had gained reward for an article in ‘Mayfair’; it was written without my knowledge and authority but, because it was factually correct, I had no redress from the Press Complaints Board. Nonetheless, I was extremely annoyed.

Second with his internal world, despite his being calm after the incident:

Some years after the incident, my hidden fears of high speed flight came to the surface and I had to spend two periods in hospital. I had not come to terms with the emotional side of the event. To return to my wife and family, after five close encounters with death, was indeed a miraculous experience, but I had not been honest with myself, to accept it as such, so I needed psychiatric help.

Then there’s this type of danger.

NO. HELL NO. To say that the “Developing World” has different attitudes towards life and death than the West is often an understatement.

After two views of heart-stopping danger here’s some fun that’s almost like flying.

Written by Tom Hunter

January 28, 2023 at 4:19 pm

Posted in Aerospace, Britain, Military

Tagged with

UK-Australia-New Zealand FTA – and Nature as a Patriot

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That explains why my usual counter-point to non-economists’ negative views of international trade, which is to note that perhaps Hamilton should close its’ borders to trade from the rest of New Zealand, often fails to hit the mark. – Mark Cameron

No this is not an analysis of the agreement, which I will never get into because it contains mind-numbing details such as those quoted above in the British political blog, Guido Fawkes, with his usual witty take on the matter.

Given such details it’s hard to imagine that the thing actually will promote free trade between the three nations, but then just about any legal contract is like this.

And it seems that it is making progress and was talked up the other day in The House of Lords by Baron Hannan of Kingsclere – better known as Daniel Hannan, who has had a fairly extensive career in politics and is one of the most eloquent and intelligent speakers I’ve observed over the years.

He’s also a mixture of libertarian and conservative and his various stands on issues have annoyed those who like pigeonholing people. Hannan was a member of the EU Parliament but then got involved early in the Brexit campaign. With that behind him he’s now back to working on things like Free Trade. This speech got my attention because it mentions New Zealand frequently (I regret to say that, try as I do to avoid it, like many Kiwis I suffer from the “Oooo – we’re being talked about” disease).

Hannan specifically addresses (from 2:05 in the clip) the strange “Polar switch” that has developed since Brexit among people who think of themselves as supporting the liberal order, including free trade, but who are now concerned about Britain “being swamped by cheap food” and so forth (“Associating Global Britain with people they didn’t like and arguments they didn’t like”) and thus becoming more protectionist. Meanwhile the UKIP voters who a decade ago were concerned about the French owning British energy companies, are now more in favour of free trade and “Global Britain.”

Hannan also makes good points about the economic impact of Free Trade on ordinary people, helping their income go further by enabling lower prices. He specifically addresses the “Food Miles” argument (at 9:30) – that the CO2 emissions footprint of NZ lamb sold in Britain must be larger than lamb from Wales because of shipping across a vastly greater distance. Actually it’s not – because the CO2 emissions footprint is almost entirely in the farming, and our farmers just happen to be more efficient than those in Wales.

He talks also to how FTA’s nowadays are about far more than agricultural and manufactured goods, covering shipping, architecture, digital services and so forth, the simple result of our economies being more complex. All good arguments.

However, there are points of disagreement here. Hannan seems surprised by the “Polar switch”, but he really should not be. Margaret Thatcher once said that many arguments in a democracy are never permanently won or lost. Meaning that they surge back and forth over time. Since the great fights over free trade and free enterprise were won in the 1980s by the likes of her and Reagan, people have been able to see the downsides in the form of destroyed industries in their homelands – and more importantly the resulting destruction of the communities around them.

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Written by Tom Hunter

January 14, 2023 at 2:09 pm