Scoop Feedback: Up, UP and Away
In This Edition: Up, UP and Away - "Reconstructing" Afghanistan ? - TB Bonanza - Where Helen’s leading Us
Up, UP and Away
There is something reminiscent of "Those wonderful men and their flying machines" about the fact the Defence Force has had to resort to using ageing civilian aircraft to exercise with the navy frigates Te Kaha and Canterbury in the Bay of Plenty this week.
Using these Warbirds aircraft and their enthusiastic pilots for this purpose may well epitomise the "can do, piece of No8 fencing wire" attitude of New Zealanders. But I wonder if the Defence Force and Government have seriously considered the possible ramifications of such actions particularly as the pilots gain experience and try to do things they or their aircraft are either too old to do or were never capable of doing.
In the event of one or more of these aircraft getting into difficulties while on "manoeuvres", crashing and possibly loosing a pilot, who will take responsibility and what insurance cover will there be for these aircraft and pilots and by whom.
"Reconstructing" Afghanistan ?
I have seen many self-important references to the need for wealthy nations to donate towards "the reconstruction of Afghanistan".
When I was there in 1974 - just after Daoud had overthrown his cousin Zahir Shah - I remember reading that it had /the lowest per-capita income in the world/ . This was followed by more than two decades of destruction, much of it financed by the West. If any meaningful figures exist today, they would hardly be much better.
Hospital professional has TB.
Cause for alarm.
Not according to Tony Faulkes, MidCentral Health general manager. It was important to remember that tuberculosis was treatable and did not have the same connotations as it did decades ago, he said.
Well, that is all very nice. But whatever happened to the old adage "Prevention is better than cure". And what went so wrong in the hospital that the basic sterilisation and control procedures failed to protect a health professional.
It seems to me the impact of years of low immunisation rates provided by the health department through schools for a variety of ills that were, once, well under control or almost non-existent in this country are coming home to roost.
The cost of cure always exceeds that of prevention and it can only be those who are in the pharmaceutical business that will be rubbing their hands with glee at Mr Faulkes reassuring message.
Perhaps the time has come to revise the adage to one of "Cure is more financially rewarding than prevention".
Where Helen’s leading Us
I can now see the direction in which Helen Clark is leading this country. There will soon be a new national anthem and a new flag. The new anthem will be drawn verbatim from the nostalgic days of Clark's youth and will be; "I'm sorry, so sorry, please accept my apology." The new flag might well be a picture of Clark on a red background with the motto: "I gladly lead all those who will SUP with me."