Trougher thinks we need more taxes


Over the weekend The Nation ran a story by Torben Akel about whether we needed more taxes to live longer.

While most would say ‘Yeah Right’, sadly there’s one person out there who seems to spend all day arguing the need for more taxes to save us from ourselves.

To regular readers the name of Nick Wilson will be familiar. He’s an old trougher from Otago University’s Department of Troughers in Wellington. The last time he was in the media he was banging on about his ‘new’ research looking at google street view images of smokefree signs on hospital doors.

Nick Wilson was also slammed by the Taxpayers’ Union for claiming a salt tax would reap $450 million. Wilson didn’t seem fazed by the research that showed a salt tax would result in a 2,500% increase in the price of salt for Kiwi consumers.    Read more »


Accept that risk is part of grown-up life – have that bacon buttie


The other week MSM scared the bejesus out of Kiwis with the title ‘Avoid bacon and sausages…they’re as bad as cigarettes’.

Readers will know I’m no fan of troughers, especially those who try to tell us how we should live, and what’s good for us and what isn’t.

Here’s an article from the Guardian that the PM’s Chief Science Advisor Sir Peter Gluckman should take a gander at – ‘Enough of modern health scares – we should be trusting our instincts’.

It talks about risks and putting perspective on so-called experts’ claims particularly around health issues.

‘On booze, sugar, bacon butties, salt, fat and tobacco, percentages are tossed about, fear stoked and guilt heightened by headline after headline that, too often, misread research findings and fail to correctly interpret levels of risk.’

Read more »


The duplicity of Labour and Annette King

Annette King has made a big song and dance, along with her Media party pals, about pain threshold for patients needing surgery.

She has claimed it has increased, but the DHBs have busted her by revealing her researchers asked separate questions which they then conflated to allegedly mislead the house.

Shots have been fired over surgical figures, with the Health Minister accusing Labour’s Annette King of misleading Parliament by claiming Auckland DHB had raised its pain threshold for patients needing surgery.

Auckland DHB has hit back saying it has not, and Health Minister Jonathan Coleman has accused King of deliberately “fudging the facts’.

Misleading the house is a serious offence, which in some situations is dealt with by the privileges committee and the House has the ability to punish someone for contempt if that person is found to have deliberately misled it.

Read more »

Will New Zealand parents with fat kids be charged with child abuse?


Feeding your kids up so much they are junior fat bastards is child abuse.

Perhaps a Fat Bastard Tax should be levied against the parents.

The Government aims to have nearly all obese children referred to a doctor by the end of 2017.

The target is central to a new plan to reduce childhood obesity, announced today by Health Minister Jonathan Coleman.

Alongside it are public information and physical activity programmes, but there are no plans to put a tax on fatty foods.

The Government isn’t going to try to regulate the amount of sugar in food and Dr Coleman says evidence that taxing fizzy drinks reduces obesity is inconclusive.   Read more »

$11 million researcher pimps tax increases

Both the Herald and Stuff are pimping the lines of Cliona Ni Mhurchu calling for 20% taxes on fat, salt, essentially all foods including dairy, meat and poultry.

Let’s take a look at this, particularly as Cliona Ni Mhurchu has tucked into more than $11 million dollars of funding for her research projects.

First there’s the usual academic charade of the study’s authors to make it sound more authoritative.

“A flat tax of 20 per cent on major dietary sources of saturated fat alone could prevent up to 1500 early deaths, the research – resulting from a joint study between Auckland, Otago and Oxford Universities – finds.

Here’s what happens. One academic comes up with an idea and drafts a report presenting their work. To make it more credible among fellow academics, they need to get more academic names attached to it. So the lead author pimps out the paper to known associates within the academic world who, in turn, are more than happy to put their names to it (and the universities they’re working at) thereby giving the effect that the research looks as though it’s backed by lots of academics/universities.

In turn these other academics then pimp out the paper as one of their own and as being ‘published’ and add it to their bios to puff themselves up even more full of self importance.

But back to this “new research”.    Read more »

Of course it is turning kids into sissies

When I was a kid there was a massive slide at a nearby park, complete with concrete under it. If you fell off you were really stupid, and got hurt to teach you about that stupidity. The school adventure playground has concrete pipes, and really high towers.

We climbed trees, built bridges over creeks, dammed rivers and had a bloody good time, occasionally breaking arms or legs in the process.

These days there is rubber matting and cotton wool, plus supervisors and real sooky equipment.

We are breeding sooks.

Scottish playground consultant Juliet Robertson has been in New Zealand shaking up the playground scene.

And here I was, thinking the announcement of how much the Margaret Mahy Family Playground was actually going to cost would be the big playground story of the year.

Robertson had some sensible suggestions about how to let children play. She even managed to evoke the spirit of Political Correctness Gone Mad – a sure way to get social media buzzing.

It got me thinking about just how unsafe playgrounds used to be. In the 1980s, when I was young, playgrounds were like the Wild West. Men with women’s haircuts pushed children on dangerous swings and everybody smoked – everywhere. If the playground equipment didn’t kill you, the second-hand smoke probably would.    Read more »


Face of the day

Sqn Ldr Charlotte 'Charlie' Thomson-Edgar (left) previously Staff Officer 1 of the Medical Emergency Response Team in Afghanistan, with a colleague. She has criticised MOD failings in the conduct of the war  Read more: Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook

Sqn Ldr Charlotte ‘Charlie’ Thomson-Edgar (left) previously Staff Officer 1 of the Medical Emergency Response Team in Afghanistan, with a colleague. She has criticised MOD failings in the conduct of the war 

If we are going to send our soldiers into battle it is the very least we can do to provide them with the very best medical support. Squadron Leader Charlotte Thompson-Edgar has highlighted the totally unacceptable way that the British Government under resourced and under prepared the medical teams. I can’t help but compare this shocking situation with the millions of pounds being put into building Mosques in Britain. They build places where Muslims can spread their ideology that is anti democracy, freedom of speech and Infidels while British citizens fighting to protect others rights overseas did not even have blood and plasma available to them on board British helicopters when they were injured.

A senior RAF nurse awarded one of Britain’s highest medals for nursing on the front line has hit out at military leaders, saying they were woefully unprepared for the consequences of fighting in Afghanistan.

Squadron Leader Charlotte Thompson-Edgar spoke movingly about the bravery of the 600 soldiers she brought back from the brink of death after fierce battles against the Taliban.

But at a ceremony last week to mark the latest Operational Honours and Awards for Britain’s Armed Forces, Sqn Ldr Thompson-Edgar – who was awarded the Royal Red Cross 2nd Class – said she believed the Ministry of Defence failed to plan or prepare for the fighting, during which 453 troops lost their lives.
In an interview with the Mail on Sunday the 40-year-old revealed:

  • Senior officers failed to anticipate the scale and severity of casualties the Taliban could inflict;
  • She received no job training;
  • For two years, British helicopters flew without any blood or plasma on board to give to wounded soldiers – a policy that cost them their lives;
  • Overworked medics suffered ‘burnout’ and quit their jobs after working 24-hour shifts for ten days without any rest.
  • From 2007 to 2013, Sqn Ldr Thompson-Edgar, from Peterborough, commanded a medical response unit that flew by helicopter to the battlefield, braving Taliban gunfire, to rescue injured soldiers.

Speaking about her ‘horrific’ experiences in the war zone, she said: ‘There was no training for the job whatsoever and I’d never done any pre-hospital care.


+6 Sqn Ldr Thomson-Edgar (left) working onboard a Chinook helicopter with a colleague on Operation Herrick: the codename under which all British operations in Afghanistan have been conducted. She said she was a ‘complete mess’ on returning to Britain after her first tour

‘I was used to working in a nice emergency room in a safe environment with kit and with everyone on standby.

‘Suddenly I was in a Chinook helicopter, unable to hear myself think, treating guys with horrific injuries and being shot at. I was not prepared to see these injuries but then the military was not expecting to see them either.

‘I pulled 600 patients from the battlefield – about 80 per cent of them had limbs missing or gunshot wounds. Quite a lot died, especially those with gunshot wounds to the head and chest.

‘We also saw guys were dying because they were losing too much blood.’


…However, leading so many missions commanding the Medical Emergency Response Team (MERT) soon took its toll.

Sqn Ldr Thompson-Edgar said: ‘Every time the red phone rang to signal another MERT mission I would think, “Is today going to be the day?”

‘And when I came back to Britain after that first tour, I’ll be honest, I was a complete mess.

‘So I said right, we’ve got to prepare our people better because I hadn’t been prepared and didn’t want somebody else to go through it.’
Once home, she played a key role in setting up a MERT training programme, which used amputees in Britain to act as injured soldiers to help medics train before they were deployed to Afghanistan.

As a result of recommendations from senior medical staff, blood and plasma started to be carried aboard MERT helicopters in 2008.

But as the campaign continued, the Taliban changed their tactics – leading to injuries becoming even more horrific and the experiences of UK medics more traumatic.

She said: ‘Originally they just wanted to hurt as many soldiers as possible in order to dent morale and get the public up in arms.

‘Then they decided that if they maimed somebody really, really badly that’s going to affect people more and affect the minds of the soldiers on the ground.

‘So the blasts got bigger and the amputations started getting higher up the soldiers’ legs. This made our jobs a lot harder, especially when someone was bleeding from the groin because it is very difficult to stop that sort of bleeding.

…She added: ‘The past seven years have been very difficult and I know my family have been concerned.

‘I got through it for a reason – because of the guys on the ground, the soldiers, who deserved the best. 

‘Their bravery was my reason for going back to the war zone so many times.’

To read the article in full

Photo Of The Day

Photo by Gene Arias/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

Photo by Gene Arias/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

The Strange Story of Henry Heimlich

 Dr. Henry Heimlich demonstrates the Heimlich manoeuvre on host Johnny Carson while appearing on “The Tonight Show” on April 4, 1979.

You may not know Henry Heimlich, but you probably know the life-saving manoeuvre that bears his name. Without a doubt, the man has saved thousands of lives around the world. However, Henry Heimlich’s story is incredibly complex, and future generations might remember him as a nut that did more harm than good.

Read more »

Photo Of The Day


The Poison Squad

Meet Harvey Washington Wiley, and some members of the Poison Squad sitting around the table eating dinner.

Read more »

Photo Of The Day

Photo: © The New England Journal of Medicine

Photo: © The New England Journal of Medicine

No Wonder She Was In Agony

Read more »