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“Hope for the best and plan for the worst”

This week Mornings host Gary McIlroy and The Town Prier, Big Bill Demeter, engaged in a wide-ranging discussion, with Bill sounding for all the world like he’s still channelling Karloff the Uncanny.

With councillors presently rowing mostly in the same direction and no new alarming developments in City Hall, this week’s show delved into several topics that have been generating heated debate at home and internationally as well as some with a very local flavour.

First up was the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA). Bill was particularly concerned about Washington’s efforts to secure foreign markets for US-owned Big Pharma in the 11 other jurisdictions involved in the negotiations, viewing this move as a specific threat to our drug-buying agency, Pharmac, and to affordable healthcare in New Zealand.

Bill pointed out that the proposed depth of the well off the Kaikoura coast is 2.2 times deeper than the Deepwater Horizon well that so dramatically and fatally blew out in April 2010, pumping more than 200 million gallons of crude oil into the Gulf of Mexico for a total of 87 days and affecting 25,750 kilometres of coastline.

Citing a New Zealand Herald article which reported that New Zealand did not have any of the high-tech vessels required to contain and clean up significant deep ocean oil drilling disasters, Bill observed wryly that even if Prime Minister John Key was convinced that there now existed deep well drilling technology that was “flawless”, common sense suggested maintaining a positive attitude while ensuring you are ready for disaster. “My theory,” said Bill, “ is that you always hope for the best and plan for the worst.”

The conversation was steered back to the legal challenges facing EQC and the legislation introduced to lower drink driving limits. The Land Transport Amendment Bill 2013 will lower the legal limit from 80 to 50 milligrams of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood. Advocates have celebrated the move, saying it would save lives and prevent serious injury.

Gary and Bill also spoke about businesses operating from structurally damaged buildings that might present a risk to staff and customers before ending the show with a bouquet for Christchurch lawyer and Buddle Findlay partner Rachel Dunningham.

On Tuesday 26 November Attorney-General Christopher Finlayson announced that Dunningham had been appointed a Judge of the High Court. Bill thanked Rachel for having appeared on Plains FM on numerous occasions to clarify complex points of law relating to the earthquakes.

Quote of the Day: “The voters don’t fully understand what we’re (National) doing.” – John Key regarding the public’s understanding of asset sales.

Agree or disagree? Call Big Bill direct (03) 379-3873.

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