Red Alert

Archive for July, 2011

Tell it to the Hillside workers

Posted by on July 31st, 2011

A extraordinary story in today’s Sunday Star Times said that despite the ongoing job losses being faced by so many New Zealanders;

the nation remains positive and laid-off Kiwis don’t blame government, with National seen as coping in tough times.

Rising unemployment has not hurt Prime Minister John Key in the polls, and even those sent to the dole queue are unwilling to blame the National government for their woes.

I think if the SST had made it as far as Dunedin, they would have found a different set of views.

The 44 Hillside workers made redundant 10 days ago know whose policies have left them on the dole. Left Dunedin without skilled labour. Is destroying a valuable industry.

And I reckon if the SST had dug a bit deeper they’d find plenty of people throughout New Zealand who are pretty clear that it’s the National Government’s policies that have left them without jobs, without the ability to put food on the table.

Without a future.

Labour wouldn’t let that happen.


Dear Deborah Coddington

Posted by on July 31st, 2011

Last week, along with Young Labour, I helped to organise a commemoration for the people killed in the horrific, senseless attacks in Norway. These attacks were especially poignant for Young Labour and the Labour Party as a whole because the majority of those killed were attending a Young Labour Summer Camp. Beyond our grief and sadness for Norway and for a fraternal social democratic party, with whom a number of us have personal contacts, it was hard to escape the thought of what a similar attack would mean here, where Young Labour also organise a Summer School on an annual basis.

As the Labour Caucus was gathering in Wellington on Tuesday this was chosen as the day for the event. Red balloons were suggested as an appropriate motif for the occasion. Young Labour wanted to speak, and Phil Goff was scheduled to say something on behalf of Caucus. Phil had lost his voice that day, and as a result Jacinda Ardern was asked to say something. As I am sure you know, Jacinda was President of the youth wing of the international social democratic parties organisation (IUSY) before becoming an MP. She knew many of the people on the island that day. She spoke movingly.

All of the above is why I find the statement you made in your column today about Jacinda using the Norweigan tragedy for political purposes, utterly offensive. If anyone is using it politically it is you, in the middle of a column designed to promote Jacinda’s opponent in Auckland Central, and denigrate Jacinda.

On what basis would you say Jacinda is “known to exploit anything for political gain“? That is a horrible accusation, and one which you should be ashamed of making. Moreover, describing Jacinda as a “catwalk revolutionary” is just the kind of personal, dare I say sexist, mudslinging I am sure you told us in the past had no place in politics, and was one of the reasons you left.

I could go on to critique the rest of your column as well, but I will leave that to others, except to say, that I can kind of see why someone might question Nikki Kaye advocating for increased spending on public transport given the neglect shown towards public transport by this government. A goverment that she is actually a member of, despite what she might want Auckland Central voters to think much of the time!

As you might tell I am angry Deborah. Jacinda is my friend and I stick up for my friends. Though she will probably be furious with me for writing this when she is perfectly capable of responding herself if she wanted to. But more than being a friend she is an intelligent, compassionate, hard-working MP, who deserves far better than your pathetic diatribe.

Yours sincerely

Grant Robertson


TVNZ stupid to close Avalon

Posted by on July 31st, 2011

Yesterday the Dom Post picked up some of the concerns that I’ve been raising about TVNZ’s planned closure of the Avalon TV studios. I use the term ‘closure’ deliberately, because at the moment that seems like the most likely outcome of their decision to relocate the last of their shows to Auckland and place the complex on the open market.

TVNZ claims that there are about 60 permanent staff working at Avalon, but closure will have a flow-on effect on a far greater number of people than that. Most of the people who make a living from Avalon these days are contractors. The camera men, lighting technicians, and so forth. Then there are the many local suppliers, from the florist who decorates the Good Morning set through to taxi companies, local caterers and so on.

Closing Avalon is a stupid decision that lacks vision and shows TVNZ’s lack of commitment to quality local programming. Avalon is widely recognised as the best TV production facility in the southern hemisphere, but our state broadcaster would rather screen yet more low-budget reality TV shows than put it to good use. In a few years time if Avalon is closed and they decide to produce another Dancing with the Stars type series, they’ll have nowhere to film it. Instead they’d end up converting an unused warehouse somewhere in south Auckland, with all of the cost and expense that goes with that.

The decision to relocate Good Morning to Auckland also needs to be questioned. I’m told by those that work on the show that many of the segments currently screened, including Astar’s cooking segment and the live local music performances, won’t be able to be filmed in the Auckland studios because they’re too small. Don’t forget that TVNZ relocated Good Morning to Auckland once before and it didn’t work so they moved it back to Avalon. This time, if they’ve closed Avalon down, they won’t have that option.

As I’ve said before, we don’t have a public service TV broadcaster in New Zealand. TVNZ is no different to the privately-owned commercial stations like TV3 and Four. And it’s a dinosaur. TVNZ’s heavy reliance on cheap, imported shows will be its downfall. With the proliferation of TV channels and with new technology opening up all sorts of new ways for us to access content, TVNZ’s competitive advantage should be it’s local content. The closure of Avalon demonstrates once again how they’ve failed to grasp that.


Tweet of the Week

Posted by on July 31st, 2011

Tweet of the Week: Hopefully it’s not too soon….

Screen shot 2011-07-31 at 2.21.58 PM

Press Tweet of the Week: The gall of Paula Bennett to actually talk about an evidence-based approach to policy given her track record. I think if she walked into a University she’d be struck down by lightning.

Screen shot 2011-07-31 at 2.08.17 PM

Can’t say I ever heard this one in Gisborne either.. Could it be an urban (or in this case rural) myth?

Screen shot 2011-07-31 at 1.45.17 PM

And thanks to Clare for stepping in last week when technology failed me!


The Poor List

Posted by on July 29th, 2011

The wealth of New Zealand’s 150 richest people have grown by almost 20% in one year with the combined wealth of New Zealand’s richest burgeoning from $38.2 billion to $45.2 billion – the highest total ever.

But it seems enough is never enough. Having made their fortune, some of the Rich Listers are still demanding the  ”freedom” to make even more money.  They want reduction in costs for business and excessive regulation addressed. I take that to mean the usual : cut workers’ rights, privatise ACC, reduce taxes. This is despite New Zealand consistently ranking as having the highest levels of business “freedoms” in the world.

They talk about “wealth creation” as if they have done it all on their own, without the help of governments, taxpayers, workers and the generations gone before.

The NBR editor-in-chief Nevil Gibson even called the Rich Listers “national treasures” in the headline of his editorial about the Rich List.

For goodness sake. What have we come to?

I want to know where the poor list is.

Yes, we talk about the poor, (occasionally) but they are faceless individuals.  If their stories are told, they are often blamed by the likes of John Key for having a “poor attitude”.

Being poor is nothing to celebrate, but we have to talk about it and face facts.

The question is how we better share wealth in New Zealand today.

Could the Rich Listers tell us their ideas for that – just for a change, rather than the continuing demand for more of the same that has led us to being one of the most unequal societies in the world.

Please?


Moderation

Posted by on July 28th, 2011

I thought it might be time to have a chat about our moderation policy on Red Alert.

It’s been a while since we told you all what it is, and it’s important that we remember that new people view Red Alert all the time; there are new commenters. And some of the existing ones can forget.

I thought it might also be useful to say a few words to anyone who has transgressed the policy and found themself  “in moderation” (where their comments get held up until they have been vetted and approved. Or worse, have been banned.

The Red Alert moderators (myself, Trevor, Grant and Chris) will review your status if you ask us to.

Here’s the moderation policy:

  1. Keep it relevant to the post.
  2. Keep it clean. Don’t use offensive language. We’re tolerant, but we use the test of wanting to have intermediate age school kids using this site for research.
  3. Don’t make it personal. Stick to the issues rather than the person. By all means criticise what people have said or done, but do it in a way that is not personal. Leave families out of it. And we moderate attacks on National and ACT MPs on the same basis as Labour.
  4. Don’t tell lies

If you’re commenting for the first time, your comment will go into moderation, and is generally approved. After that your comments should automatically appear.

But if you step outside the guidelines, you’ll be placed “in moderation” which means your comments will sit in a box and be looked at by one of us before being approved.

(more…)


It doesn’t stack up

Posted by on July 28th, 2011

Steven Joyce was reported in this morning’s DomPost as saying he “overlooked” a letter sent to him by Telecom chief Paul Reynolds when telling me that he had not got any correspondence on Telecom’s structural separation.

The letter from Reynolds was sent to Joyce on 6 August 2009. In October 2009 I requested an answer from Joyce on whether he had received or been sent any correspondence on structural separation. His answer was NO.

Joyce then spent a year and a half trying to suppress the release of this letter amongst other things to the DomPost.

The DomPost first discovered there was a letter in around November 2009. Joyce went to great lengths to suppress it. It was referred to the Ombudsman and it’s my understanding that there were dozens of contacts between the Ombudsman’s office, the DomPost and Joyce’s office that went on until the Minister decided to release the letter early this week.

It’s also my understanding that Telecom knew the letter’s significance at the time. I would imagine that Joyce knew the letter’s significance too. He got his officials (allegedly) to contact Reynolds after he received the letter and inform him that he was “incorrect”.

It therefore doesn’t stack up that he “overlooked” this letter when I subsequently wrote to him.

Since the letter has emerged, Joyce has done two things. He’s told the DomPost that Paul Reynolds was “incorrect” in his claim that he understood officials had suggested the Government had a preference for Telecom to voluntarily offer to structurally separate, and called for a meeting to discuss the matter.

And then he’s said he “overlooked” the existence of the letter when I asked him whether he’d received any correspondence on this important issue.

This is despite fighting to keep it secret for a year and a half.

It doesn’t stack up.

I’d like to know what other material has been with-held on discussions between Steven Joyce, John Key and Telecom over structural separation in the last two years and when those meetings were held.

I, and others, have questioned whether the government had a pre-determined position on Telecom undertaking the ultrafast broadband scheme and that structural separation was the price. This was before the contracting process had even begun.

There are other parties to the contracting process who can rightfully be aggrieved should it be revealed this is the case.


Labour Candidate making an impression in Botany

Posted by on July 28th, 2011

Labour candidate for Botany Chao-Fu Wu is an impressive young man who is making a splash in the electorate.

I had the pleasure of accompanying Chao-Fu around Botany last week and the feedback was positive. We met with a number of local groups, organisations and residents who were all enthused by Labour’s economic package, understanding that the vast majority of New Zealanders will be better off under Labour’s plan.

One Chinese community leader told me that Labour’s economic package is a “watershed moment” to define the future of New Zealand. Other constituents told me that when encountered with a natural disaster “Key is talking about how to save lives while Goff is going there to save lives”.

Capital Gains Tax will no doubt upset a small proportion of the voting public but for the future of New Zealand we have to implement bold policies such as this one. I congratulate Phil for leading a party not driven by the polls, but committed to a prosperous and bright future for our country.

To have a young candidate from a professional background like Chao-Fu Wu making such a positive impact in such a short space of time is a good thing for the Labour Party and the people of Botany.

Please find links to two stories about Chao-Fu from local papers below.

The first is titled Kiwi Chinese to stand from Howick and Pakuranga Times.

The second is titled Health expert to stand from Howick and Pakuranga Times.

http://www.times.co.nz/cms/news/2011/07/kiwi_chinese_to_stand.php

http://www.times.co.nz/cms/news/2011/07/health_expert_to_stand.php


Abuse of women in NZ -highest in OECD

Posted by on July 28th, 2011

A recently released UN Women report shows that NZ has the highest rates of physical and sexual violence in the OECD with 30% of women having ever experienced physical violence and 14% having ever experienced sexual violence by an intimate partner from 2000 – 2010.  This is something we should be very worried about.  Physical and sexual abuse by intimate partners is generally about power and control.  It is often about men having a very negative view of women.  There is no doubt that stress and alcohol play a role.

The consequences of this violence are huge.  I have previously worked in the women’s health movement and I have seen first hand the depression, the loss of confidence and the other consequences that remain long after the physical injuries have healed.  Children are also hurt by this violence in so many ways including fear and trauama from seeing their mother hurt.  They can often learn and become caught up in similar patterns of abuse.  I have also seen the guts and determination women muster to leave violent relationships and to rebuild lives that have been shattered.

We must do something real to change the violence that pervades our culture. Just to give a sense of scale – in 2008 the Police responded to 82,692 incidents involving some form of domestic violence.  I find it appalling that at a time when reported violence is increasing  that successful programmes like Child Advocates and Te Rito have been cut as has funding for residential services. 

In contrast, earlier this year the Gillard Government in Australia announced a 12 year multi-million dollar framework for action to reduce violence.   This unified strategy across agencies has cross party support.  The strategy includes a major focus on prevention. 

I don’t for one minute claim this is a new problem or indeed one that is unique to NZ.   Last week I attended two meetings focussed on women on consecutive nights .  In the first Marilyn Waring was speaking about the Solomon Islands and the second was a presentation by Ratna Osman from an organisation called Sisters in Islam.  Both presentations referred to the significant problem of violence against women. 

Violence against women occurs in all societies but I do worry about the scale of the problem in NZ.  I think we need to do more to address this problem and reach some sort of consensus on what is needed.   In my maiden speech I committed to working to on the issue of family violence.  I want to acknowledge those who work in paid and unpaid capacities to try to prevent such violence and to deal with the consequences of such violence.  Yours is an important and difficult job. 

Women’s Refuge is one such group and last week Jacinda, Carmel and I made a small contribution by collecting for Women’s Refuge in Auckland.

IMG_1748


education leaders speak

Posted by on July 27th, 2011

Sir John Graham and John Taylor have a great column in the Herald today.

It is about creating far more respect and dignity among our teaching profession so that it can once again become the desirable and satisfying career which attracted us into it many years ago. It is about reinforcing the importance of inspiring students through their teachers’ passions for the subjects they teach, as well as the thrill of seeing another side of difficult students through their extracurricular talents.

Most importantly, it is about promoting a sea change from excessively boring, mechanistic and assessment-driven teaching, to the celebration of whole subject expertise, the inculcation of good values, and the importance of all round student involvement beyond the classroom.

I’ve worked closely with these guys in the past. They are seen as being at the conservative end of the principal spectrum but both ran very good schools. Respected by staff and students. While there are a few matters of emphasis that we would differ on this is a damn fine column.

I especially agree with their view that subject fragmentation and over assessment together lead to a major problem that we must address.

And yes I’m prepared to take responsibility for more than half of what has happened in education in the past twelve years.


Paddy on dirty deals

Posted by on July 27th, 2011

Patrick Gower has blogged on what he describes as a series of dirty deals. In a transparent attempt to show balance he has a bit of a go at Labour and the Greens but the thrust exposes Key and Brash.

Interesting that while Brash has described most of the deals and Joyce has leaked another Key is trying to distance himself and is almost in denial mode.


Steven Joyce has lied

Posted by on July 27th, 2011

Steven Joyce has lied.

Will it get brushed under the carpet this time and ignored?

I put in a set of written questions to Steven Joyce in late 2009 about his, and his govt’s intentions, re the structural separation of Telecom regarding the ultrafast broadband scheme. In October 2009 he responded.

The questions and answers are here.

This answer is particularly interesting:

15840 (2009). Clare Curran to the Minister for Communications and Information Technology (23 Oct 2009): What correspondence, if any, has he recieved or sent, listed by correspondent and date, about possible structural separation of Telecom

Hon Steven Joyce (Minister for Communications and Information Technology) replied: I have not received or sent any correspondence about possible structural separation of Telecom.

Yet two months earlier, in August 2009, Joyce received a letter from Telecom CEO Paul Reynolds referring to previous meetings with the Minister between himself and Telecom regarding the UFB, referring to Telecom’s potential involvement in the project, referring to constructive discussions and his “understanding that the government has a preference for Telecom to voluntarily offer to structurally separate”

The letter is here

Dr Reynolds sought a further discussion with Steven Joyce on this issue which he described as “extremely significant for us”.

So in August 2009, well before the tender was announced for the UFB, Telecom was raising structural separation with the government, which it understood was the government’s preference.

Meanwhile, Steven Joyce maintained there were no such discussions. He maintained that pretence for two years, right throughout the legislative changes which will preside over the structural separation. He got his spokesperson yesterday to say that Paul Reynolds was incorrect.

Joyce only released the letter this week after consistent pressure from the Dompost. Good on them.

But for how long will he get away with lying? Why are there not more questions being asked?

What else did he cover up? What other discussions were there with telecom about structural separation and how it would work?

The UFB tender process is a fraud and should be investigated.

Lying is not okay by government ministers.

Or is it?


CYF frontline cuts widen

Posted by on July 27th, 2011
 
Dr David Clark is the Labour candidate for Dunedin North
 
 I have received further detail of significant cuts to Child, Youth and Family services across Otago and Southland.

The information corroborates my original sources and confirms that cuts are occurring to child care and protection services in more South Island communities than previously thought.

New sources tell me that in Dunedin one frontline supervisor position has been halved and two social worker positions have been cut, plus one family group conference co-ordinator, one administrator and one social work resource assistant position.

That is a total of five and half positions in Dunedin alone delivering or supporting frontline services in our region.

In Otago, two social worker positions and one supervisor position have been cut affecting services in Oamaru, Alexandra, Gore and Balclutha. In Invercargill, at least two social workers and one supervisor position have been cut.

These are reductions in essential services. Services that provide the opportunity for a young person to turn their life around, for a family in distress to get the support they need, for a child in harm’s way to get the care and protection they deserve.

These cuts clearly indicate that frontline social work in Otago and Southland is being hollowed out while National repeatedly claims to be improving public services and moving resources to the frontline.

Is the Minister for Social Development aware that, contrary to the Government’s stated commitment to putting more workers on the frontline, the reverse is happening, that frontline staff are being cut at Child, Youth and Family?

Is the Minister aware that Child, Youth and Family’s head office is claiming: ‘There are no staffing cuts to the organisation. No cuts are being made. No staff member is losing their job’*?

In light of the new detail on reductions in Otago and Southland services, I have lodged a further Official Information Request to get past the smokescreen from head office to the truth of the situation – that deep cuts are being made to already stretched services in the South.

I would be the first to congratulate the Minister if the staffing cuts reflected a significant reduction in the number of children and families needing protection and support. Regrettably, that would be a naive assumption.

Child, Youth and Family is that vital line between hope and despair, between giving a child refuge from neglect and abuse and turning our back on the plight of the defenceless. 

 * Source: CYF manager of public affairs Bernadine MacKenzie, quoted in Otago Daily Times on 21 July 2011.


I should’ve looked after me teeth

Posted by on July 27th, 2011

In the strange old world of television, its funny what generates a story. Kevin Milne makes an aside in his consumer advice column in Womens Weekly about bunking off your dentist bill (an option he does not recommend) and both our major current affairs shows climb into the cost of dentistry, off the back of an NZ Herald story. A month or so back Jim Anderton launches a fully researched and costed plan for universal access to dentistry, and while it gets some modest coverage, its ignored by TV.

Ah well, at least this is getting the issue debated. There is no doubt that the cost of visiting the dentist is a major issue for many people along with the other increasing costs of daily life, and the low cost options (such as hospital clinics) are unable to cope with demand.

One thing that is interesting to note in the Campbell Live story is that there are DHBs out there that are putting more resources in to make dentist visits more affordable. But the National led government has clearly signalled that they do not see oral/dental health as a priority. They got rid of dental health from the list of targets for DHBs, and the majority of DHBs have responded to that by putting resources into the other target areas. This is a big mistake from the current government in my view.

Labour did make significant advances in the last term of government with getting the mobile school dental clinics into our communities. Access for primary school children (which is still free) has improved. It is harder with teenagers, who are still free until 18. Many dentists do not think that the subsidy they get for treating teenagers under the Combined Dental Agreement is sufficient to meet the costs they face. Anecdotally we hear of practices turning away teenagers, and of course by this stage avoidance behaviour with the dentist is beginning.

It was no surprise in both the TV stories to hear dentists say they were concerned about so-called “socialised dentistry”. They are business people and the government wading into their sector scares them. But the truth is that our current model is not working as it should. 44% of Kiwis are not seeing a dentist annually. Dental problems are a gateway to other health issues, and the long term costs of dealing with those are huge, let alone the personal health impacts.

As ever in health, many of the answers in terms of good oral health lie with actually helping to keep teeth healthy in the first place. Supporting children and teenagers to stay in the habit of good dental care, which includes regular check-ups, oral health education for parents and children, an increased role for dental therapists to provide early intervention and,dare I say it, a wider take-up of fluoridation in our water supply.

But we can not get away from the need to make dental care more accessible, and that means more affordable. Jim’s plan, which he has handed over to Labour, is costly. Up to $1 billion per year when fully implemented. We are looking closely at what we can afford to do, and over how long a period of time. But it is an issue that we have to face up to.


Julian Dean – several for the team

Posted by on July 27th, 2011

podium

Great to see Julian Dean perform so well at the Tour de France. Second Kiwi ever to win a stage and on the podium in Paris as part of the winning team.

Sky had early morning coverage repeating the last two hours every day. I only missed two days. Diverts me a bit. Friends understand.

Cycling is weird. Cadel Evans is special. His individual work got him the win at the end. Felt vaguely proud of an Aussie, which for me is tough.

But without his team he would not have been close. Don’t think there are other sports where the winner is an individual but he or she can only win consistently on the basis of a great team. Winning road racers are essentially parasitic in nature. Minimum possible work until absolutely necessary – and then all the glory.

Julian Dean is the workhorse who delivers his team’s sprinters to the point just before the finish where they can win. And he did it brilliantly.

Tags:
Filed under: sport

too little too late to get at the causes of crime

Posted by on July 26th, 2011

Ministers Simon Power and Pita Sharples announced in late 2009 that “addressing the Drivers of Crime would be a whole-of-government priority to proactively address the underlying causes of crime.”

They’ve spoken about this Drivers of Crime Strategy recently and how its’ supposedly “made significant progress” and “producing some early results”.

Unfortunately, it is quite clear that too little is being done too late.

If the government were serious about addressing crime rates in this country and making communities safer they would have made a priority of programs that seek specifically to do that.

For example, not nearly enough is being done to deal with the problems with young Maori and the number of offenders with drug and alcohol treatment as a condition of sentence soaring. This has doubled since 2006.

Another unacceptable and saddening example is that restorative justice services are reaching less that 5% of people eligible.

These are just two examples of areas in the justice sector that should have been prioritised.

I’m all for focusing on the causes of crime. I know that when tackling these issues the best approach is to focus on the roots of the problems and start from there. This is what reduces crime and making our communities safer.

We reduced crime when we were in Government. Since 1999, according to 2007 police statistics, the crime rate per 10,000 reduced by 11%. Our strategy worked.
 
How did we do it? We focused on the causes of crime. We focused on the programs that matter. We know that cutting legal aid and curtailing rights to a jury trail doesn’t reduce crime and make our communities safer. It’s about prioritising what works. It’s about focusing our resources on what is going to make a difference.


Dunedin cuts – CYF spindoctors stretch truth

Posted by on July 26th, 2011

Dr David Clark is the Labour candidate for Dunedin North

My previous posts about the cuts to frontline child protection services in Dunedin have attracted a response.  Unfortunately the response is clearly the work of CYF’s spindoctors.

I am saddened to see CYF dodge questions regarding front line job-cuts in Dunedin.  The CYF spokesperson describes Otago and Southland as having “more social workers per caseload” than other areas, and talks about deciding whether vacated positions will be filled – according to workload in the region.

This is classic doublespeak.  As positions are vacated in Otago and Southland, they are not being replaced; a straight shooter would call this job-cuts.  Frontline positions are being axed. Vulnerable children are at risk.

Tragically, need for CYF services is in high demand.  Our stagnant economy has put increased pressure on Dunedin families.  Can CYF confirm they have as many front line staff in Dunedin now as they had a year ago?  Or better still, provide credible evidence that our most vulnerable children are no longer at risk?  Of course they can’t.  This makes me angry.  Under National’s direction, CYF are spending money on spindoctors.  That money should be spent on staff at the coal-face.


iPredict this week

Posted by on July 26th, 2011

* OCR expected to be increased as early as September and reach 3.50% in April

* Mortgage rates strongly expected to reach 6% in 2011

* Banks, Dunne, Sharples, Turia and Harawira all expected to win seats

* New Zealand First still above MMP’s 5% threshold

* John Key’s National Party to govern with Act and either the Maori Party or UnitedFuture (more…)

Filed under: ipredict

Signs

Posted by on July 25th, 2011

I thought we lived in a free democracy. Since when did a sign become illegal when expressing an opinion or encouraging people to act? Does this ban all signs at marches that may in any way be linked to a movement or political party. The EC needs to pull their heads in. This is not the 1930s in Europe.


Tweet of the Week

Posted by on July 24th, 2011

Moana is unable to post this week. I am the ring in. So I shall start with a King and end with a Queen (yes I will)

PS: I don’t think my layout is as good as hers

These words give us all strength and courage

NorwayUN NorwayUN

King Harald of #Norway: “when the nation is tested, the strength, cohesion and courage of the Norwegian people becomes evident.” #Utøya

15 hours ago Favorite Retweet Reply

and these

@andy_williamson Andy Williamson

RT Norwegian PM Jens Stoltenberg: “The answer to violence is even more democracy. Even more humanity” Hope our world leaders are listening

23 hours ago via TweetDeck Favorite Retweet Reply

Retweeted by Roselady64 and 100+ others

and these

olavkjorven Olav Kjorven

Deeply saddened by senseless attacks in Norway. Thanks for outpouring of support from around the world to a hurt but sturdy people.

17 hours ago Favorite Undo Retweet Reply

then there was this. Not so good

homebrewcrew Home Brew

‘Key uses Norway massacre to justify NZs military involvement in Afghanistan’. Can we please do something bout this guy in November people?

9 hours ago Favorite Retweet Reply

and the clash of stories

mingyeow Ming Yeow Ng

Via @dcurtis: Norway was attacked, Amy Winehouse is dead, Greece has defaulted, the US is about to, and New York melted. What a week :(

7 hours ago Favorite Retweet Reply

Billy Bragg had this to say about the 27 club

billybragg Billy Bragg

It’s not age that Hendrix, Jones, Joplin, Morrison, Cobain & Amy have in common – it’s drug abuse, sadly #27club

14 hours ago Favorite Undo Retweet Reply

and the final word goes to Her Majesty about “that other story” which, am pretty sure, won’t go away easily

@Queen_UK Elizabeth Windsor

No, Mr Murdoch, you cannot “pop round” after you’ve finished at the Commons.

19 Jul via TweetDeck Favorite Retweet Reply