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Labour will have a new focus on "bread & butter issues" like cost of living, Hipkins said when he replaced Ardern as PM. Let's take him at his word and look at how, literally, the cost of bread has been changing. The figure below shows "bread & cereals" have increased the most ever since Hipkins' became PM in January 2023 (compared to any other time over the past decade since statisticians began compiling this time series). Its an earth-shattering double digit rise in both of the first two quarters of 2023. The "bread and butter" PM has made bread and butter unaffordable.

Hipkins also likes people referring to him by his nickname, "Chippy", which conjures up ordinary folks buying potato chips & fries in The Hutt where he was brought up. So how has the price of potatoes fared? Gosh, they're up nearly 70% since Labour took office. Looks like Chippy has made chips unaffordable as well.

Truth is, "Chippy", the "bread and butter" PM, doesn't know how to reduce the cost of bread and butter and chips, or pretty much anything, for that matter. Redistributing wealth from one bank account to another, which is how he says he is making things more "affordable" to those with less, doesn't actually change the cost of anything.


The hugely respected (for his legal mind) prominent former Harvard Law Professor Alan Dershowitz writes that the just-announced felony charges against Donald Trump are a mistake and will "nudge the country ever closer to tribalism, chaos and collapse". This particular part of the argument that he makes is worth reading:

"If the Attorney General appointed by the incumbent president authorizes prosecution of the president's chief election rival, the evidence of a serious crime should be overwhelming .. His guilt should be clear beyond doubt, so as to avoid any reasonable suspicion that the prosecution was motivated, even in part, by partisan consideration .. That admittedly daunting but entirely appropriate standard has not been met by any of the 3 indictments currently pending against Trump, who stands tied in recent polls against President Joe Biden .. Evidence related to Trump's alleged illegal retention of classified materials at Mar-a-Lago are strong, but the supposed crime itself is rather technical & relatively minor. Hillary Clinton, who stored highly sensitive government documents on her 'home brew' server, never faced federal charges, neither did President Biden, Vice President Pence or Bill Clinton's former National Security Advisor, Sandy Berger. Why, then, charge the candidate who is in a virtual tie with the incumbent against whom he is running?"

Should Trump's prosecution go ahead, Dershowitz's view is that it will push the US toward "collapse" since around half the population will accuse the other half of trying to take out the election rival to the incumbent President using "trumped up" charges. Weaponizing the courts along partisan lines will become an accusation difficult to defend.


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Robert MacCulloch

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