An ambo writes

Further to our post yesterday, a serving ambo officer writes:

By way of clarification:

St John employs both events staff and front line ambulance staff. The majority of events staff are volunteers with basic first aid skills, while front-line staff are full time professionals. Most are degree qualified and paid around $50,000 – $60,000pa, some have post grad qualifications and paid around $70,000pa.

Sadly there are a shortage of both. St John salary budgets prohibit employing more full time staff (St John are currently in negotiations with the government for additional funding to employ more staff, primarily so there will no longer be any single crewed vehicles), and the volunteer workforce in general is shrinking.

The field of paramedicine is highly specialized. Nurses cannot do our job. In fact most doctors, with the exception of emergency department doctors, cannot do our job, and require an additional year of post grad study in paramedicine if they want to work as front line ambulance officers. So solving the low staffing numbers isn’t as easy as just getting someone else to do it. Read more »

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Mad Gasser of Mattoon

There is no greater phantom attacker in the history of the unexplained in America than the legendary “Mad Gasser of Mattoon,” a bizarre figure who wreaked havoc in a small Illinois town in 1944. This creature turned out to be so elusive that law enforcement officials eventually declared him nonexistent, despite dozens and dozens of eyewitness reports and actual physical evidence that was left behind at the scene of some attacks.

Towards the end of World War II, the sleepy town of Mattoon came under attack by a madman. Or perhaps it came under attack by many madmen and women, who believed that they were under attack by a madman. Who was the “mad gasser” of Mattoon?

By the end of August the town of Mattoon, Illinois was baking in the heat and people kept their windows open at night to let in the cool night air. In 1944 they kept those windows open only a crack, because many of the men were away, fighting in World War II, and even civilians were instructed to be on the alert. People were told to keep their eyes open for suspicious activity. The entire country was on edge.

And so, on August 31st, when a couple woke up smelling something sweet and feeling strange, they were understandably freaked out. The two people had wildly different symptoms. The husband was up on his feet, vomiting. The wife thought perhaps she’d left the gas on, but when she tried to get up to check, found she couldn’t move. Later the same night, in a nearby house, a child got sick in bed while its mother was too incapacitated to get up and comfort it. A few nights later, another woman smelled a sweet substance and felt herself being slowly paralyzed from the legs upward. She screamed enough that her neighbours heard her and came running.

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Are ‘progressives’ really on the side of history, or just a bunch of moaning and whinging losers?

Rob Hosking at NBR writes:

It has long been a self-conceit among “progressives” that they are “on the side of history.”

History’s response to this claim, in recent years, has tended to be a swift punch up the bracket.

The most wounding punch this year has the election of Donald Trump as US president, the ramifications of which are still settling in.

Trump is probably not good news for anyone much. His election and his policy priorities certainly run counter to the policy priorities not only of the New Zealand government but of every New Zealand government since the UK joined Europe.

But the commentary from conservative politicians and commentators has not been anything like the utter despairing gloom that seems to have enveloped the global political Left, including the New Zealand variety.

It is, as always, being dressed up in fancy political jargon.

“Post-truth politics” was something this column discussed a few months ago. The more recent piece of jargon adopted from media studies, “fake news,” takes this one stage further.

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Whaleoil Music Quiz

Hooton on Labour’s crisis

Matthew Hooton wrote his NBR column before Micahel Wood won Mt Roskill. Hooton did expect that and so his column about the crisis still facing Andrew Little and Labour is valid.

Fortunately, Andrew Little will and has claimed this as the beginning of the end of John Key, so nothing will change inside Labour.

Labour is close to revealing the maximum life expectancy for a major political party in New Zealand.

By legend born of working men in the West Coast mines in 1916, Labour has governed the country five times, including introducing the welfare state under Michael Joseph Savage, leading New Zealand through World War II under Peter Fraser, saving the economy under David Lange and restoring confidence in the political system under the first-term Helen Clark.  There is now no prospect of another name joining the list of Labour’s greats.

Eight years into John Key’s National-led regime, every poll now has Labour under 30%: UMR on 29%, Colmar Brunton on 28%, Roy Morgan on 23% and Curia also within that range. Labour is now as many as 10 points behind where it was three years ago, 10 months before its 2014 debacle, the worst since 1922.  In the long history of both the Labour and National parties, neither has ever been doing so badly eight years into its opponent’s term in government.

The future looks worse.

In working class Porirua, former Labour mayor Nick Leggett has announced plans to run for National. Across the Cook Strait in Nelson, Labour members have resigned en masse in protest against plans by the party’s Wellington bigwigs to abandon the seat to the Greens.

It is a mark of Andrew Little’s desperation that he will try to present this weekend’s win by a deeply unimpressive party apparatchik in the safe Labour seat of Mt Roskill as some kind of victory for his leadership and platform for renewal. In fact, no opposition has ever lost a seat to a government in a byelection in New Zealand’s history. More pathetically, if the Roy Morgan poll corrects next month and has Labour back up to the mid-to-high 20s, Mr Little will claim some kind of prescience.

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New Media are taking on the big boys and are growing

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screenshot-whaleoil.co.nz

I love Breitbart.com which is mainly written news and I am also a big fan of the Canadian,The Rebel Media which is mainly video news. The Rebel Media has crowdsourced most of its equipment in the past and as it expands it is continuing to do so.

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The fact that its readers are supporting them by donating to each project shows that the video news service they are providing is what their audience wants and that they are covering the topics of interest that their audience wants to be covered. Like Breitbart.com, The  Rebel Media’s point  of difference is that they cover the stories that the Mainstream media refuse to. Imagine if a New Zealand mainstream media company tried to get its readership to pay for a studio camera. They wouldn’t be able to raise a cent because they are not producing content that their readership values. New Media cannot grow if it doesn’t give its audience what it wants which is why Mainstream media is failing and Rebel Media like Breitbart has its audience numbers exploding.

Below is an abridged version of an e-mail I received from Ezra Levant explaining the Rebel Media’s plans.

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Reader calls Whaleoil out over Colin Craig’s 2000 postal ballots

Yesterday we covered the Conservative party’s drama with respect to picking a leader.  I suggested that the party may not at all have given up on Colin Craig yet.  As reported in the NZ Herald, Colin claims he sent out a postal ballot to all Conservative party members, and the response was about 75% in favour.  My point was that Colin Craig is clearly still an option for the party to consider.

Whaleoil reader ‘dab’ thinks I draw a long bow

…the original article in which Mr Craig disclosed that 75% of 2,000 responses were supportive of him, was dated July 2015 – so is hopelessly out of date. I struggle to believe such levels of support remain, even among the perpetually faithful.

That’s a fair point.  And in the absence of another postal ballot of the membership, or a resolution by the party board, it is getting stale.  But it’s the best quality information that the Conservative party is operating under.

In fact, if it wasn’t for the fact that the 2000 ballots have turned up somewhere else, I would have agreed with ‘dab’.  Just a few days ago, the Judicial Decisions Online web site published a decision in the High Court between Craig v Stringer.

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Who am I?

Guess who the mystery person using the 3 clues. Include in your comments how the clues relate to the mystery person

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Bullshit claim about MP debunked

Some merry band of idiots have decided that they don’t like Todd Barclay, Bill English’s replacement in Clutha-Southland. This includes Glenda Hughes, National party board member who has been meddling in a number of selections rather than observing the strict neutrality a board member with integrity would observe.

One of the stories that has been seeded is that Todd Barclay did something dodgy that required a police investigation. Unfortunately for Glenda the complaint went nowhere.

Clutha-Southland MP Todd Barclay will not face charges in relation to an allegation that he recorded private communications.

The allegation came after the resignation of his Gore-based senior electorate agent Glenys Dickson in February, with a party official citing an “employment problem” between the pair.   Read more »

Joyce and de Joux deliver another win…for the opposition

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LOSERS: Parmjeet Parmar, Steve Joyce and Paula Bennett

The dynamic campaigning duo of Steve Joyce and Jo de Joux have delivered yet another loss in a byelection, and the thumping was huge.

National was never going to win the by-election despite silly people making all sorts of claims about the party vote.

I’m glad Andrew Little is claiming this as some sort of endorsement for him, it means he will stay as leader despite his appalling ratings.

Labour leader Andrew Little tells crowd that National threw everything at the campaign and lost badly.

“For a seat where National won the party vote in the last election, this is a real wake up call to them.”

He said next year would be tough and dirt would be thrown at Labour, and took a swipe at some in the media “who just don’t get it”.

Little told a fired up crowd that National would try and spin the result but there was not getting away from its significance – or the effort they put in to try and wrest it from Labour.

“They thought they were going to win. We had the trash talk…but the Prime Minister doesn’t come here for seven days of the campaign, and three days this week without thinking he is going to win.

“They had one thing going for them, and it was the Prime Minister. And they have lost…the result tonight is absolutely outstanding.”

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