Mixed News

So, it’s good news, bad news, and mixed news.

Good news: LLU unbundling. Maurice Williamson is against it of course, but Williamson is effectively the MP for Telecom ever since he lost the 90s portfolio of Minister for Telecom. His hysterical loyalty to failed extremist free market policies, long after they’ve been shown to fail completely in the real world show how far key members of the National Party still have to go before they can get to grips with the realities mainstream New Zealand care about.

The degree of monopoly profits telecom have been tearing out of the New Zealand economy are indicated by how panicked its shareholders are.

David Farrar, normally reluctant to praise Labour or disagree with his party’s message, has afew very positive things to say about it all. He’s upset some of his audience, though, who are foaming at the mouth on the topic. It’s interesting to see a clear split emerge on the political right on this issue: pragmatists acknowledging that regulation can be valuable when done right, and a bunch of spittle-flecked fundamentalists suggesting David Cunliffe is New Zealand’s answer to Robert Mugabe.

(Could these proponents of the totally unregulated society kindly move to an existing libertarian prardise like Somalia and leave me alone?)

Less good news: the leak to Telecom of this information suggests someone, possibly very highly-placed in the civil service, has a very improper relationship with New Zealand’s richest privately owned entity.

Good news again: The sky is not falling. Or rather, the sea is not going to wipe out Gisborne as some of the less temperate news services apparently suggested overnight. Small earthquake, small waves, apparently no-one particularly hurt.

Less good: NatRad reckons that people in the coastal areas around Gisborne fled their homes on the strength of the warning being overhyped on CNN and the BBC World Service. It would be unfortunate if this creates a boy who cries wolf reaction when we have a real tsunami.

Final news, which is a bit mixed: I’m sorry for the family, but not unhappy to see this lawsuit fail. Look, it’s one thing to get stuck in to the baccy companies if you took up smoking when there was no well-publicised information to the effect it was bad for you. I don’t remember back to 1968 when the woman in question took it up, but my parents kicked the flithy habit by 1973, because they knew it was bad for a baby to have smoking parents. There’s a point where, if you take up a habit that is well-known as likely to contribute to your death, you can’t complain if it’s the thing that gets you.