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Whaleoil Backchat

Welcome to the daily Whaleoil Backchat – posted at 6:30 pm every day.

This post is like an end-of-day General Debate post.

Happy sea dogs



Did we really need scientific research to prove that homeopathic products have no greater efficacy than what can be achieved via the placebo effect?

New Zealand doctors are said to be backing the findings of an Australian study that says homeopathic remedies do not work – but Kiwis practising the alternative treatment say the study is flawed.

A draft paper released by Australia’s National Health and Medical Research Council this week stated homeopathic remedies were no more effective than a placebo when used to treat 68 health conditions.

Conducted by a working committee of medical experts, the paper assessed 57 clinical studies that tested homeopathic remedies on a range of ailments including asthma, arthritis, sleep disturbances, cold and flu, eczema, burns and even heroin addiction. It concluded there was no reliable evidence that homeopathy is effective.

You might as well drink water and think positive thoughts.  Oh, wait…   Read more »

Welfare changes slowly taking effect

Simon Collins has taken a break from pimping the poor to write about the mindset changes occurring in welfare as a result of the changes made by Paula Bennett.

A single parents’ group says “a complete change of mindset” has helped reduce the number of people on the sole parent benefit to the lowest level in more than 20 years.

Numbers on sole parent support have plunged by 8600, or 10 per cent, in the year to March.

It is the biggest drop in a single year since the benefit – previously known as the domestic purposes benefit, or DPB – was created in 1974.

Sole parent support is now being paid to 75,844 sole parents, fewer than in any year in the DPB’s history since 1988.

About 22,000 people with no children under 14 were moved to other benefits when the DPB was abolished last July, but even if they were added back in, the total number of sole parents on any kind of benefit is the lowest since 1993.

Auckland Single Parents Trust founder Julie Whitehouse said tighter rules, which require sole parents to look for part-time work when their youngest child turns 5 and fulltime work when that child turns 14, had completely changed attitudes.

“It’s amazing,” she said. “It’s so good that I can’t even get them to volunteer time. The whole mindset has changed.”

Asked how many of her 580 members now had jobs, she said: “The shift is incredible, I’m almost tempted to say 100 per cent – it really is big. All the attitudes changed. Everybody knew that when your child is 5 you have to go to work.”

Read more »

At least he wasn’t wearing budgie smugglers

David Cameron has been stung by jellyfish, but the most interesting revelation is he felt the need to clarify he wasn’t wearing budgie smugglers.

David Cameron suffered a painful sting from a jellyfish as he enjoyed a dip in the sea during his family holiday.

The Prime Minister’s painful encounter came as he went for a swim off the popular Arrieta beach in Lanzarote.

Other tourists described how he came running from the water rubbing his arm and shouting: “Ouch! Ouch! Ouch!”

One local said Mr Cameron got his children out of the waves after someone shouted a warning, but then he immediately went back in.

A source close to the Prime Minister said: “It was pretty minor sting and did not require treatment.”

Mr Cameron, a keen swimmer and patron of the Chipping Norton lido outdoor pool in his Oxfordshire constituency, has been staying with his wife Samantha and children at a £200-a-night spa resort. They are due back this weekend.

Read more »

The Warehouse chief executive Mark Powell is an idiot

via Stuff

via Stuff

I’m sorry, but this is just absurd:

Executive salaries are a contentious subject but The Warehouse Group boss Mark Powell wasn’t afraid to speak candidly about his pay packet with business journalists in Auckland last week.

During a discussion about the company’s “career retailer wage” programme, one reporter asked Powell — who received $1.7 million in base and performance pay in the firm’s last financial year — if shop floor staff ever asked about his salary when he visited stores.

“I would have no problem if they asked me,” Powell said. “It’s embarrassing how much I earn but it is what it is.” Read more »

Babies having babies, but grandad is so proud

via Daily Mail

via Daily Mail

Not sure if you caught up with the story yesterday about a 12 year old girl and a 13 year old boy becoming parents and taking out the dubious honour of the UK’s youngest mum and dad award, but here is another thing to set your mind spinning

The father of a girl dubbed ‘Britain’s Youngest Mum’ has apparently broken his silence and told a radio station he is proud of the 12-year-old schoolgirl.

A man claiming to be the father of the girl who gave birth last week, after having conceived while still in Primary School, phoned into the Nick Ferrari show on LBC, to say he was proud of his daughter. Read more »

Mental Health Break