Month: November 2012

Murray McCully on Gaza

Dear Murray McCully, 
You are an arse. Here is the statement you made:

“In our explanation of vote to the UN our Permanent Representative Hon Jim McLay will make clear our absolute commitment to Israel’s right to safety and security, and condemn the actions of Hamas extremists in recent weeks”

http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/8018501/NZ-to-vote-to-recognise-Palestinian-state


Thanks for propagating the Israeli/US lies. Thanks for making a commitment on behalf of NZ to support Israeli apartheid. Thanks for denouncing a democratically elected government, you know, one voted in by the people of Gaza. But most of all, thanks for the expression of your absolute commitment to the rights of Israel to defend itself by targeting and killing civilians including many many women and children. Thanks for that Murray. What a c**t. 

How about considering that it was Gaza who had a right to defend themselves from the Israeli attacks. How about acknowledging the war crimes committed by the Israeli government in targeting civilians and journalists with ‘surgical precision’ and using weapons banned under international law.  

Naming of the dead by Harry Fear –  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_1o9Jv4Lg90

An article outlining why McCully is an arse for condemning Hamas’s right to defend Gaza:
http://sabbah.biz/mt/archives/2012/11/27/brayer-the-absolute-right-of-palestinian-resistance/

Re-introduce interest on student loans? No.

Grrr. I was just reading the TVHE blog on student loans. The basic argument is that the government should reintroduce interest on student loans and that the government shouldn’t  provide support for students while they study, because tertiary education is a choice.

This is the myth. Tertiary study is not a choice any more than receiving chemotherapy for cancer is. The author even points to the benefits of tertiary study, indicating that a student that completes an undergraduate degree will after 3 years of that degree be earning 51% more than those who did not obtain tertiary qualifications.

Lets unravel this. The market is demanding higher qualifications. This is part of the markets labour competitive strategy. In order for people to earn living wages, tertiary education is paramount. Sure, there are people earning decent salaries based on years experience in an industry, but they are also noting that they cannot get higher than middle management roles unless they have a tertiary qualification.

It is not correct to say that on the basis of the market conditions that people are choosing to benefit themselves through higher education. They are compelled to do so because the alternative is low waged, unskilled labour.

So what of interest on student loans? This is the biggest grind of the whole article.

Money is created as debt. If you don’t believe me go search the RBNZ website and you will see reports that indicate that private banks create money out of loans. Loans are debts. The money created by private banks is not paper money or coins. Only the RBNZ is allowed to create that kind of money. Over 80% of money in NZ is created by private banks. Less than 20% is the ‘real’ money.

When you take out a student loan, you create new money in society. The money didn’t exist until it was deposited into the bank accounts of those whom you were required to pay. And interest, well, that is the biggest deception ever. Interest is not money. It is an arbitrary figured applied to a loan amount that makes it difficult to pay the loan back. Not just because it increases the amount you owe, but because it represents an amount of money that does not actually exist. I’m not lying. The world is in a perpetual state of debt because money is created out of nothing by private banks or financial institutions and interest is a means to ensure that all the debt can never be repaid. You simply cannot pay back all the debt in the world because there is not enough money in circulation to do so. Printing more money will not solve this issue, because private banks will create more loans and therefore more interest to continually feed the cycle.

So when someone says re-introduce interest to student loans to make borrowing cheaper for the government, I say screw you dude. Students are compelled to take on substantial debt just so that they can survive in the system created to enslave them,they shouldn’t be made to borrow more. To insist that students also be compelled to pay back interest on that debt, interest that is not even money borrowed and therefore not even money created, is to insist that students are easy exploitative targets and ought to therefore pay for the privilege of being screwed over by the money creating beasts known as banks.Oh, and that the government should be in on it.

Yes, TVHE are qualified economists and I am simply opinionated, but there is no conspiracy in exposing the way money is created and what interest actually is. The conspiracy is in why we were deceived for so long.

Facebook censorship

WARNING: This post contains graphic content.

What a joke.This morning when my alarm went off I noticed a random notification asking me to go to the settings on my phone and enter my Facebook password. I was confused. I did as requested, only to receive the following message: 

Again, I did as requested. And received the following message:

Facebook asked me to refer to its ‘Community Standards’ page to ensure my account stayed in good standing. And to remove further content that may be in breach. 
So curious as I was, I decided to read why my account might have been blocked and what content might cause it to be blocked again. I suspect the  justification for the restriction was the graphic content of the image posted. However, I know for a fact that the particular story with the image attached was shared 4 times from the Gaza TV News page and once from my page, yet it was only my content that was removed. Of course, it would cause too much controversy if Facebook blocked a media company reporting out of Gaza. But me? a little old nobody in NZ, insignificant. My guess, is that it has nothing to do with the image although this was the excuse used to restrict access to my account. I have been particularly vocal on my account and have expressed my condemnation of the Israeli attack on Gaza. I have not attacked Israeli’s nor have I made any racist remarks. I am not anti-Jewish, anti-Israeli or anti-Semitic. I am against the tactics employed by the Israeli government and the propaganda used to justify the murder of innocent civilians in Gaza. I am against the Israeli occupation of Palestinian land and the oppression of the Palestinian people at the hands of the Israeli government. 

Admittedly, the image is extremely graphic, but if this was the reason for removing the content from my account then surely every account that posted the image should have had the content removed? Right? Wrong. I can still access the story on Gaza TV News and other pages.

Here is what Facebook Community standards say about graphic content:

It appears that while a media organisation may share graphic imagery, the privilege does not extend to individuals. If an image is considered not to balance the needs of a diverse community on one Facebook page, then it does not make much sense that it should be allowed to remain accessible on Facebook via other pages. Selective balance. Additionally, perhaps Facebook thought I derived some sadistic pleasure out of sharing the graphic content? F* off Facebook. I made it clear that I shared the image because down here in little old naive NZ our government is turning a blind eye to the atrocities suffered by the Palestinian people of Gaza. I included a message to that extent when sharing the objectionable content. 
So what’s really going on Facebook?  I’m hearing from various sources that Facebook has restricted access to many Gazan’s or those expressing support for Gaza or Palestinian’s in general, I even note that Harry Fear (Documentary Maker, Activist, Journalist) was blocked from his Facebook account when he first started reporting live in Gaza. Facebook claiming it was administrative error. 
I was pure and simple censored for expressing views that were not complicit with the US position on Gaza. Facebook is as crony as any other massive corporation and will continue to suppress information sharing where it disagrees with what you have to say. 

I also want to briefly mention that in order to prove that I was the owner of my account, I was asked to identify people tagged in particular photo’s. I’m not sure about the rest of you, but I don’t systematically trawl through all my friends photo’s so this seemed like a complete farce when I was asked to identify the person tagged in the following photo:

I have never seen this photo. There were also photos of babies I’d never seen, and photos that friends had been tagged in by people that aren’t my friends, but your actual friend wasn’t even in the photo? Stupidity.

Disappointed by the Greens on Gaza

The NZ Greens have posted a press release on Gaza. Disappointed. Kennedy Graham insinuated that the Palestinian Resistance were senselessly provoking the Israeli Military, thereby implying that they are responsible for the deaths of the many Palestinians. Echoing the bias western media.

New Zealand should call upon Hamas to refrain from rocket attacks on Israel. Such actions comprise a senseless provocation, which Israel uses to devastate Gaza’s infrastructure, and for which Palestinians pay dearly through their lives. See: http://www.greens.org.nz/press-releases/nz-must-make-position-clear-israel-gaza-conflict

Kennedy Graham that is shameful. Not only did you imply that the conflict is the fault of Palestinian Resistance but you failed to make your statement with proper assessment of all the facts available. As stated by Noam Chomsky (et al) who recently returned from Gaza: 

“…the chronology of events of the recent flare-up began on November 5, when an innocent, apparently mentally unfit, 20-year old man, Ahmad al-Nabaheen, was shot when he wandered close to the border. Medics had to wait for six hours to be permitted to pick him up and they suspect that he may have died because of that delay…then, on November 8, a 13-year-old boy playing football in front of his house was killed by fire from the IOF that had moved into Gazan territory with tanks as well as helicopters. The wounding of four Israeli soldiers at the border on November 10 was therefore already part of a chain of events where Gazan civilians had been killed, and not the triggering event”.  See: http://www.campaigniran.org/casmii/index.php?q=node/13031

What about the Palestinians right to self-defence? Did you even mention that Israel don’t have that right under international law? Again, from (*a previous statement made) Professor Noam Chomsky:

When Israel, in the occupied territories now, claim that they have to defend themselves, they are defending themselves in the sense that any military occupier has to defend itself against the population that they’re crushing…You can’t defend yourself when you’re militarily occupying somebody else’s land. It’s not defense. Call it what you like, it’s not defense. See: http://www.mediaed.org/assets/products/117/transcript_117.pdf

(*Important note: It has been brought to my attention that I had previously misquoted Prof. Noam Chomsky by failing to verify the credibility of the source from which I quoted. For that, I sincerely apologise. Lesson learnt. I have now amended the above quote and provided a credible source. It must also be pointed out that the statement made by the Professor is not in relation to the current attack on Gaza but this particular quote comes from 2004 documentary Peace, Propaganda and the Promised Land. See: http://ceasefiremagazine.co.uk/it-misquoting-noam-chomsky-gaza/)

For the Party whom many New Zealander’s turn to for support for human rights, this is a massive fail.  Your neutrality here is what Bishop Desmond Tutu refers to as support for the oppressor.

And what is this?

It is time for Fatah and Hamas to make a renewed effort at a consensus over the future of Palestine…their continuing divisions are blocking progress towards full statehood and an official role for Palestine in the Middle East. See: http://www.greens.org.nz/press-releases/nz-must-make-position-clear-israel-gaza-conflict

Are you f*ing kidding? Lets not point the finger at Israel who breached the cease fire while Hamas were working on a long term peace agreement, instead we’ll condemn the internal conflict? An account from Israeli Peace Activist Gershon Baskin: 

 Just hours before he was assassinated, the Hamas commander had received the draft of a long-term peace agreement with Israel, Baskin claimed. Having kept communication channels with Gaza open since the Gilad Shalit prisoner exchange, the activist was well informed about the state of the negotiations.

The powerful Hamas leader played a vital part in those talks, Baskin said, adding that Jabari even prevented a number of recent flare-ups, having realized that the fighting was not “beneficial” to Gaza. But the Israeli side did not want to form a lasting peace agreement with Hamas, Defense Minister Ehud Barak shelved the draft truce after a committee that was reviewing the proposal “decided not to decide”, the peace activist claimed.” See: http://www.campaigniran.org/casmii/index.php?q=node/13029

The only political party to make a stand for Gaza so far is members of the Mana Party. I had the NZ Greens earmarked for my vote at the next election. This is a deal breaker. 
For updates see: Harry Fear.TV at  (or follow him on Twitter @harryfear); Gaza TV News https://www.facebook.com/GazaTVNews?fref=ts (Palestinian); Haaretz News http://www.haaretz.com (Israeli); RT http://rt.com/news/today/ ; Al Jazeera English http://www.aljazeera.com/ 
To show support in NZ visit: 

More tears for Gaza

The Israeli military have reignited their attack on Gaza. This is not just an attack on a geographical area. It is an attack on people. It is a strategic war aimed at Israeli control and occupation of Gaza.  

Recently I posted on the issue regarding the AUSA’s President accepting travel to Israel. I also criticised the attack on the AUSA president by the SJP in response to her travel choice. I do not fully recant what I said, because the issue criticised was not the SJP cause, but their actions in censuring the AUSA President for travelling to Israel.

My criticism was that the SJP had used the situation as a platform for their own agenda. Following from that post, I watched a film recommended and shown by the SJP at the University of Auckland Politics Week – Tears of Gaza.

Suffice to say, I empathised with the strong emotion felt by those who spoke at the censure meeting and the passion behind their actions. I had felt that the SJP chose an inappropriate time to advocate their message. That was just my opinion. On reflection, had they not, then I, like many others, would be impervious to the Palestinian struggle given the way it is reported in mainstream media and the lack of objective views.

I will point out that I do not support any form of violence. I don’t really want to discuss Hamas here because I have very little understanding of their organisation except that they are the military wing of Gaza and advocate for Sunni Islamism and have been denounced by the UN for human rights breaches against fellow Palestinians. I also understand that the West consider Hamas a terrorist organisation while, Arab nations, Russia and Turkey do not (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hamas). What I will say, is that I can see why such political groups are established even if I disagree with the tactics employed. And I will mention here that deaths of Israeli’s and Palestinian’s at the hand of Hamas are just as much victims as the Palestinian deaths caused by the Israeli Military.  But there is also a difference in power balances. The Israeli Military are a high powered military force supported by their government with funding for continual improvement and expansion of the military. Palestine does not have an army. It does not have a navy. It has small factions that at the behest of Israel, the west coin terrorist organisations, as their only form of defence against these attacks. 

Additionally, the Israeli Military are indiscriminate in their ‘targets’. Those targets are people irrespective of age and gender. Irrespective of participation in the hostilities. Tears of Gaza shows images of babies or toddlers shot at point blank range in the head or in the chest. Buildings are bombed including schools full of children.  Don’t forget the apparently ‘accidental bombing of the UN Schools in Palestine in 2009. The Palestinian people are subjected to some of the worst conditions for survival. They are imprisoned in their land. They are taxed for services that are not provided – waste, water, sewerage. They are starved through limited supplies.  They are tortured by the persistent war on their people.

And this is happening right now. People are dying.  Children are dying.  Grandfathers, Grandmothers, Mothers, Fathers, Brothers, Sisters, Aunts, Uncles, Cousins, often all from the same families are dying. They are not just dying. They are killed by the mercilessness of the Israeli Military. This is not a war. This is genocide.

Do not rely on your mainstream media to depict the reality. Listen to the people. Understand their plight. There is no future for Palestinian’s if the West continue to ignore the atrocities perpetuated by the Israeli government. This is apartheid. Palestinians are systematically being exterminated for the benefit of Israel.

What is New Zealand’s role in this? Nothing. We do nothing. Can we expect our Prime Minister to at least censure the Israeli government for the grave violations of human rights and the despicable acts of genocide in action? Probably not. Our current government is hell bent on establishing strong diplomatic ties with the US. The US who provide substantial support to the Israeli Government.

I have tears for Gaza. We all should. 

Note: I will be moderating comments (if any) on this post. I will not tolerate hate speech and racism. 

UPDATE: I was referred to this link http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/israel-killed-its-subcontractor-in-gaza.premium-1.477886# 

“Ahmed Jabari was a subcontractor, in charge of maintaining Israel’s security in Gaza…In return for enforcing the quiet, which was never perfect, Israel funded the Hamas regime through the flow of shekels in armored trucks to banks in Gaza, and continued to supply infrastructure and medical services to the inhabitants of the Gaza Strip…Israel is saying that its subcontractor did not do his part and did not maintain the promised quiet on the southern border…The message was simple and clear: You failed – you’re dead.”


Unemployment benefits the wealthy

I almost relented on submitting this blog post because of the in depth analysis to be found elsewhere, and being a layperson on the subject I had my reservations about making certain claims, so what I’ve done is included references for anyone wondering where I got my information from and am unapologetically stating my opinion. 

The question I wanted to ask is why are we (apparently) all surprised at the high unemployment rates disclosed late last week? Maybe because the government proposed to create around 170, 000 new jobs. But did we really believe it? I was doubtful, as were many commentators at the time the government made the claim. In short, if you didn’t already know, NZ’s monetary policy relies on certain levels of unemployment. Any government that is unwilling to change our monetary policy, then is lying through their teeth when they assert that their objective is full employment or high employment. Bold claim, I know, but instead of looking at why we have this spike in unemployment I was more interested in the role of unemployment in our economy so this post is a brief and probably over-simplistic look at monetary policy in NZ.

Inflation. As defined by the Reserve Bank of New Zealand (RBNZ) is ‘the term used to describe the average rise in prices through the economy, and it means that money is losing its value’. It is usually caused by high employment and subsequently high demand for goods and services, which enables businesses to ‘charge more (inflate prices) for the same goods or services’. Its also caused by higher prices for imports. In short, if there is too much money circulating and ‘too few goods and services’ then money loses value.

If high employment causes inflation, then the logical step is to reduce employment or alternatively, to increase unemployment to reduce inflation levels. When there are not enough jobs, workers compete for those positions, putting employers in advantageous positions such that they can drive down wages. This drags inflation down because there is less money circulating in the economy when unemployment is high and people are competing for jobs.

Another benefit is that low wages create an economy where workers have less so they spend less which helps control inflation, while business owners have more so they demand for the more luxury items are for the privilege of those in positions that pay higher wages because there is less competition for those more specialised roles. Say Hello to the wealth gap. The assumption was that the benefits would trickle down. Yet to happen. Its been almost 30 years and we still have a massive gap between the rich and the poor.

So what happens when people are working considerable hours for wages that provide little more than welfare benefits? Welfare looks more attractive and disrupts the labour competition required for this neoliberal monetary policy to work. The answer then, was firstly to create an arbitrary poverty line then cut that by 20% and make that the welfare entitlement, care of the good old economists at Treasury (In a Land of Plenty link at bottom of page). The next step was to create campaigns demonise beneficiaries as welfare dependents. Pause here. Remember, people are forced into unemployment through redundancies or non-renewal of contracts (to name a few methods) and then made to compete for jobs at lower wages in order to control inflation so that those in positions of privilege could retain the value of their assets, that high employment and subsequently high inflation adversely affects. Another tactic to demonise those who required state assistance, was to introduce penalty programs where those who refused to take on low wage work risked their benefit being cut. 

Why would someone refuse to take on low wage work? For multiple reasons.

Low wages do not provide enough to support individuals let alone families. Working brings with it additional costs if you have children, that is, child care costs for those under 5 and before and after school care costs for those with school aged children. Extra petrol costs if the parent/s work far away from home, parking costs if there is no parking at the work site. There may be moving costs associated with new employment so rent may go up, change of school zones can result in extra school uniform costs. The list is endless for additional costs, especially for those with children. I accept that welfare is not the answer but neither is forcing struggling families and individuals into low wage work. The answer, in my view,  is a change in monetary policy.

I need to quickly address interest rates here and the effect on inflation. In short, the RBNZ raises interest rates when inflation is high. It does this for the follow on effects. Firstly, people borrow less. Secondly, companies make cutbacks so that they can repay the debt. This results in less money circulation and helps control inflation. Cutbacks are usually in the form of staff reductions. Or restructuring. Interest rates are lowered when the RBNZ want to stimulate the economy.

When interest rates are lowered, then employment levels will rise again and economic growth occurs, that is, more spending. 

In summary, the unemployed are forced onto benefits to survive when monetary policy drives up interest rates that cause employers to make cuts to repay debt. They are then forced to look for work in conditions designed to put the unemployed at a disadvantage. If they refuse to take work that pays less than what is livable, they are penalised by the State for conditions created by State monetary policy. Sounds fair enough, for merciless right wingers.

I just want to mention the minimum wage, because it is important. The National Party have refused to increase the minimum wage citing its bad for business. Yet, contrary arguments suggest that the more money people have the more they spend, thereby making at least small to medium business profitable (see Frankly Speaking blog at http://fmacskasy.wordpress.com/ for a more in depth analysis on the unemployment strategies of neoliberalism). However, what does that do to inflation? It drives that sh* up. See the circularity? If people are spending more, then businesses are making more money and can afford to employ more people but as demonstrated above, higher employment leads to higher inflation rates.

So what is the real problem? It is money and the policy used to convince the public that the conditions within which we live are fixed and that there is no alternative. The value of money is determined by the market, and therefore so too is the value of an asset. A good or service is worth as much as you are willing to pay for it. The mistake is in thinking that money has an intrinsic value. It doesn’t. It’s a piece of paper with a number on it and what you can trade it for depends on what the market thinks it’s worth. I mean we can quantify money in terms such that $1 equals 100 cents and so on, but what it is worth is qualitative. As long as society believe that money has value based on a qualitative assessment of its worth, then the only logical outcome is to accept this neoliberal model that creates poverty to enrich and sustain those already privileged members of society. Corporate’s. The best example I’ve read about understanding the value of a bank note is that it is simply an IOU from the bank (In Ian Wishart’s ‘Daylight Robbery’). Fake credit. So the unemployed are pawns in a game designed to protect the value of capital that doesn’t exist? Society, this is messed up.
A good documentary on monetary policy and unemployment is “In a Land of Plenty” and is available to watch free via the NZ On Screen website at http://www.nzonscreen.com/title/in-a-land-of-plenty-2002 .

When to cross the floor

The issue here is whether Tau Henare should have crossed the floor in support of Te Ururoa Flavell’s bill that would have allowed Members of Parliament to choose to swear allegiance to Te Tiriti o Waitangi.

In my view, the answer is yes. Why? Because he delivered a very strong speech in favour of the bill.

Although the bill was unlikely to obtain majority support from the house, in principle, Tau should have crossed. He should have done so because of his whakapapa and for his mana and the mana of the people. Such a move might have restored his reputation among the wider Maori community by signalling to them that he was willing to place the needs of not just Maori but any person who values Te Tiriti o Waitangi, ahead of the Party’s position.

Recently, I had the privilege of listening to Tau Henare speak at the World Indigenous Lawyers Conference. I call it a privilege, because prior to his address I had him pinned as self-interested,arrogant and authoritarian. I was pleasantly surprised.While I disagreed with some of what he said, he was honest and he was passionate about Maori achievement.

So I was shocked when he was challenged to cross the floor on the issues set out above and he gracefully declined on the basis that such actions lead to unstable government.

Tau Henare is a seasoned politician, and it is unlikely that his position on the issue would be challenged by the National caucus. John Key made a statement today acknowledging that he knew of Tau’s opposition to the party position, and that Key does not prevent his MP’s from crossing the floor. While such a move might put the spotlight on the National Party in light of all the recent events including privacy breaches and bad taste comments, John Key and his political spin team would’ve surely been able to limit any negative publicity, and might have even been able to spin it in terms favourable to the National Party.

Additionally, this would have shown that the issue is important not just to a few ‘radical Maori’ but to any person who values Te Tiriti o Waitangi as the founding document of Aotearoa New Zealand. Instead, he has done a disservice to the issue by backing down and voting against his own strongly held preferences.

I question whether his desire to be Speaker of the House clouded his judgement on the issue. I hope not.

The Heart Foundation Tick

Sugar. After demolishing my 6 inch sub and 2 ridiculously good cookies from Subway, I’m going to start this post by contradicting the meal I just ate.

Today, the Green Party posted on their Facebook page that the Heart Foundation refused to withhold support for a children’s lunchbox snack on the basis that there is no evidence or studies to show that sugar causes heart disease. The snack comprised of 44% sugar, yet was endorsed with a Heart foundation tick.

Admittedly, I can see the point of the Heart Foundation, if the foundation is premised on the view that it endorses any foods that are not proven to contribute to heart disease. But is that the role of the heart foundation?

In my view, this is questionable. Presumably, food product companies have their products endorsed by the Heart Foundation because consumers purchase such products on the assumption that the heart foundation tick indicates the product is healthy. For the more informed consumer, they know this is bogus. But where did the assumption come from? Probably,the way in which food companies promote their products as having the healthy heart tick and unclear objectives of the Heart Foundation. So herein lies the issue. Should the heart foundation endorse all food products that are known to be good for your heart,that is, products that promote heart health and products that are known not to be harmful to either heart or general health; or should it endorse any foods in which there is no evidence that those products are bad for your heart even if there are proven health implications elsewhere.

In my opinion, the Heart Foundation should endorse foods that promote a healthy heart and foods that do not contribute to other serious health implications that may indirectly cause heart problems. It is indisputable that sugar plays a role in both diabetes and obesity. These health conditions are on the increase in NZ and are both known to correlate to heart disease.I think it is irresponsible of the Heart Foundation to apply its market reputation to products (which is does so for a fee)that contribute to serious health issues, especially for children.

In fact, I would go further to say, that food products ought to have health warnings on the packaging. Is this to punish those companies? No. Its to better inform the consumer about the choices they make in respect of the food they purchase for themselves and or their children. If tobacco companies are to be held accountable for the harm they cause consumers,then surely food companies ought to be held to the same standard.

I’m not suggesting that food companies be subjected to ‘plain packaging laws’ only that they provide more information for consumers to make informed choices.

Media vs the Coroner

Section 71 of the Coroners Act 2006 is proving somewhat of an impediment to media who are anxious to report on the sudden death of high profile lawyer Greg King.

No person may, without a coroner’s authority, make public any particular relating to the manner in which a death occurred if the death occurred in New Zealand after the commencement of this section; and there is reasonable cause to believe the death was self-inflicted; and no inquiry into the death has been completed.

The resulting speculation from comments posted in the NBR article regarding a highly placed legal source suggesting that Greg King took his own life, is arguably in breach of this section, depending on how widely this section is interpreted. And my own reproduction of this statement might well be too. But I want to discuss some reasons that s71 of the Coroners Act 2006 exists. 
 
Depending on the type of post mortem directed, it can take a Pathologist up to 8 weeks to collate the final post mortem report for the Coroner. This is because often bodily samples and fluids are taken for further testing to determine any underlying or antecedent causes contributing to the death of the deceased person. There is an assumption that directly after a post mortem examination has been conducted that a cause of death is available. This is misleading. The only report available directly after the post mortem examination is a provisional post mortem result. It is provisional because bodily fluids and samples are often sent to ESR laboratories for toxicology and histology tests, which can take around 6 weeks before those tests, are complete.
 
So why is this important for the highly speculated Greg King case? Because, these are some of the reasons that Coroner’s are wary about making particulars of a death publicly available, there is not enough evidence to determine the cause of death at these early stages in the Coronial process.  
 
There is also some confusion about self-inflicted deaths and suicides. Note, not all self-inflicted deaths will be determined as suicides. There are many instances in which a self-inflicted death may be accidental.
 
I am going to list some examples but I wish to make clear that I am in no way suggesting that these examples are speculative in regards to the Greg King case. They are not exhaustive examples either but are for the purpose only of distinguishing where a death may be self-inflicted but not a suicide.
 
  • Aspiration of vomit – occurs when highly intoxicated persons choke on their vomit in their sleep.
  • Some recreational activities such as bridge jumping resulting in death
  • Self-administered illicit drug overdoses (or substance abuse in general) or medicinal overdoses
Suicides have a very high threshold. This means that there must be substantial evidence to show that the deceased person intended that their actions would result in their death. Some deaths that appear to have intended suicide are found to be accidental deaths; this is because there may be evidence suggesting that while the initial intention may have been suicide, at some point after the action but prior to death the person’s intention changed. An example of this might be when a person overdoses on medication intending to end their life, but then calls for medical assistance.
 
Again, because cause of death relies not just on physical evidence of the body but also the surrounding circumstances, it is premature and therefore irresponsible reporting to speculate on matters regarding an apparent self-inflicted death when someone is not privy to all the evidence available. This is part of the importance of s71. 
 
Of course, the restrictions made by the Coroner may be inconvenient for an anxious media, however, the family and friends of a deceased person are entitled to accurate reporting as anything else is likely to be highly distressing during such a sensitive and tragic time. Accurate reporting does not occur when all the facts and evidence are not available, it is an injustice to the family and to the process. 
 
 
***RIP Greg King “injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere” (Martin Luther King).