web analytics
The Standard
Advertising

Deja vu all over again: Labour in 2014 edition

Written By: - Date published: 2:00 pm, January 13th, 2013 - 104 comments
Categories: election 2014, greens, labour, MMP, national - Tags:

From Dimpost on Trotter on Shearer (I feel like we’re in the beginning stages of some terrible blogging chain letter here):

My concern about a Shearer-led government is less dramatic than Trotters’. It’s that many of the senior Labour Ministers will be the usual gang of loyalist idiots, that Shearer would be unable to manage Winston Peters (assuming New Zealand First is a part of the coalition), that Labour will wage an unrelenting covert campaign against any Green Ministers, and that the whole thing will see National sail back into office three years later.

Yep.  I said it about the last election, and I’ll say it about 2014 as well:  it is not a universal truth that any-and-all configurations of Labour-led government are better for NZ than any-and-all configurations of National-led government.  Labour is not automatically the lesser of two evils in this situation, especially with ACT goneburger, the Conservatives not showing a lot of fight (just a lot of cash), and the Greens positioning themselves as a party with an actual clue, a purpose, a strong viewpoint and a soul.

The Labour government which follows this National government (whether in 2014 or 2017 or gods forbid 2020) faces one big challenge from the electorate:  show us you have an alternative, successful solution to our woes.

A Labour government which muddles around with no clear idea of what it’s doing or where it’s going, which buys into National’s rhetoric, which does pretty much a watered-down version of what National would have done themselves only while telling us that “we’re the ones who really care” … that government is just going to send one big message:  we don’t have a plan, and we can’t make things better.

And then a lot of voters will stay at home [again] or jump back to National because hey, at least they act like they know what they’re doing, and I guess they were right about leftwing ideas not being practical in the real world after all, and if I’m going to be stuck in an economic downturn at least I can have more of my money in my pocket, right?

And then we’re basically fucked until things get so bad for “middle New Zealand” that a revolutionary leader can take charge of Labour/the Greens/Mana and sweep into power on a massive wave of popular support.

But that would probably take a while.

I don’t want National to win the next election.  But I’m not convinced that the current Labour Party would do a good enough job at the head of a coalition to remind voters – that big group of people who don’t really engage in politics and certainly don’t read blogs like The Standard – that there are alternatives to coldhearted neoliberal bullshit.  That collectivist approaches work better than individualist approaches.  That all-pulling-together does actually get better results.  That a strong social safety net is something to be seriously proud of.

If voters aren’t convinced of this, they’re going to stay home.  They’re going to vote for the $10 tax cut bribe.  And the Labour Party will have no grounds to whine about it.

104 comments on “Deja vu all over again: Labour in 2014 edition”

  1. I think the future is ridding on minor parties as well as the Greens and NZ First, Labour is tolerable but no party is perfect.

  2. the sprout 2

    Agreed entirely.
    The installation of a rightwing Labour Government will be as disasterous for New Zealand as was the 4th because without any leftward counter-swing during a Labour cycle, the ideological pendulum will shift even further to the right – just as it did in the hijacked 80s.
    I’m inclined to think that would be worse than another term of National followed by 3 terms of an actually leftwing government.
    Also inclined to agree with Trotter – I said as much just before Shearer was ‘elected’.

    http://thestandard.org.nz/the-lesson-of-lange/

    …and here’s the original image for the post, the background is telling i think

    http://thestandard.org.nz/the-lesson-of-lange/david-lange-trevor-mallard/

  3. hush minx 3

    In a strange way, this is yet another reason why I want caucus to send the February vote to the members and affiliates. If the party choose a leader who follows the right wing doctrine then we, the voter, can choose to put our vote for whichever party of the left we believe will make the stronger difference. Under shearer my vote will go green. Not necessarily under a different Labour leader though. Will depend on what they represent.

  4. McFlock 4

    I think a labour coalition with significant representation of Mana and the Greens will still give voters an opportunity to see that there are alternatives, though. And I also think that smaller parties (especially the greens) now know how to differentiate themselves from the larger party even while in government.

    That rests on either smaller party being prepared to vote “nay” on a confidence issue, though. Wouldn’t necessarily lead to a snap election.

  5. AmaKiwi 5

    The financial world is in meltdown.

    QoT, read about the 1930’s Great Depression. We are on the cusp of revolutionary times, which is why the country will need someone with brains and Captain Mumblefuck ain’t him.

    • QoT 5.1

      I honestly wouldn’t put money on any current Labour MP to do well in a really revolutionary period – as other commenters here are regularly pointing out, they’ve all bought into the current economic model to some extent.

  6. GeoffC 6

    Nicely put QOT.
    From what I see hear and get info on from overseas ESP Fabian society uk and European political think tanks we are in a transition phase.
    A phase where the centre left is transiting away from the dogmatic failed ideology of pax globea the mega wealthy patrician class, aWay from the third way to another Way.a broad pathway but it will take time and for the wide wide middle and below to understand the new framed language terminology and accept it as correct or at least the masses trust the message, the delivery and deliviers of the new way.
    Our LP need to reconnect and awake up sleepy old kiwis to establish an acceptance and understanding of the transition phase and it’s policy platform so we can bring about change and the new direction in itse fullest.
    Plans underway so I hear…

    • karol 6.1

      Geoff, that Fabian UK and European think tank stuff sounds interesting. Do you have any recommended links?

      Totally agree with your post QOT. Well said!

        • karol 6.1.1.1

          Thanks, Geoff. Will read it in the next few days.

          • GeoffC 6.1.1.1.1

            Another link Karol.
            http://www.feps-europe.eu/en/

            • karol 6.1.1.1.1.1

              Thanks, again, Geoff.

              Is the “new way” that you are talking of, actually more of a return to social democracy, rather than an entirely new way? A social democracy that it internationalist and takes into account the realities of pressures on resources and the environment?

              • GeoffC

                Hi Karol
                transition phase via social democracy ( modern framed language ) to another new way that realises people over corporate, an entirely new system that can deal with the coming trinity of energy, growth, climate.
                Time to erode the embedded neo lib machine, the Hybrid third way by following the globalised movement of social demo then onto something else…a red green construct.
                The uk policy platform inspired by the Fabians etc is eye opening.
                This is real meaningful inspirational change, a new direction that will tame and control the devil loose within our system.

                • GeoffC

                  From our brothers in arms.
                  This is what real leader speaks of…in modern framed language of course.
                  Bold inspired with solid policy about a new direction.

                  http://www.labour.org.uk/ed-miliband-speech-fabian-one-nation-labour-change

                  • karol

                    Thanks, Geoff. There is a lot of positive stuff in that speech: it attacks the division between the deserving and undeserving poor; talks about security of tenure and fair rents for renters and many other things.

                    I like the focus on collective effort, but am not keen on the “One Nation” meme – it reminds me too much of the BNP for some reason. While Milliband does mention diversity, the One Nation meme seems to smother it.

                    Also, it’s mostly about working for the economy and everyone “doing their bit”, and nothing about the vitality of social life with community spirit and activities that aren’t focused on the mainstream of the economy.

                    And he talks about working for “long term wealth creation”, which just sounds like the old growth idea, rather than restructuring the economy as a sustainable one. And the environment and resource depletion doesn’t get a mention.

                    The speech does take a step away from some of the neoliberal and third way stuff, and has a welcome focus on the collective spirit. But I’ll need more than one speech to convince me Ed is leading in the right direction.

                    • GeoffC

                      Yes agree karol but a speech signalling community collectivism effort of the ordinary worker about the 99 percent, direct intervention in the system for betterment of the masses. The common person, worker etc. from the middle out.

                      Now put it in context with the policy platform Fabian inspired and you have a bold new direction.
                      Tobin tax, stamp tax
                      A small step in the right direction I say. A small step in the revolution.

                    • karol

                      Geoff, I think Ed is streaks better in his content and delivery than Shearer. however, I think we need some bolder steps than gently and softly stepping in a new direction. The MSM works to ensure that such a government won’t be able to step much beyond that.

                      I was a bit puzzled by the working “from the middle out” idea. And need to reflect a bit more on what it means. But my initial feeling is that it needs to be from the bottom up – Ed sounds like he’s making yet another pitch to the interests of the middle classes.

                  • just saying

                    Bit of tweaking and window-dressing then?

                    No taking responsibility, or seriously renouncing New Labour’s part in the social-darwinism that Milliband claims to want to modify. A bit.

                    More third-way, lots of fluffy language, and warm fuzzies no radical change. But it’s nice that party volunteers will be out on the street helping households to change power-companies. Not to gain popularity and votes you understand. Just because they care so deeply.

                    • QoT

                      “third-way” is one of my most hated political terms. There’s nothing wrong with owning the label “left-wing”, people. Unless of course you’re secretly not.

                    • karol

                      Yes, I agree, js, that his ((albeit limited) praise of Blairism, was a bit disturbing. A full renunciation of the whole “third way” stuff is needed.

                      QOT@8.42pm: yes “third way” is a euphemism for the lesser evil of a slightly softer neoliberalism,

                      Also, I had a nagging feeling about Milliband’s terminology. I associate the deliberate catch phrases, like “One Nation”, with the marketing style that became dominant in politics in the neoliberal era. This speech seemed to have that sort of slickness, with one eye on how well it’ll go down with the focus groups.

                      We need to get back to some rough edged, non-managerialist, non-media-groomed politicians, who speak directly to the many and from the heart.

                    • GeoffC

                      Go read the policy then the speech.
                      What would you want a rise of socialism again.
                      Socialism is dead in modern language…reframe it.
                      Be realistic or you die with nothing but a dream.

                    • geoff

                      Socialism is dead in modern language…reframe it.
                      Be realistic or you die with nothing but a dream.

                      …reframe it

                      Fuck off with your focus group politics. May all the marketers eat shit and die.

                  • just saying

                    It flat-out doesn’t ring true. it’s not a new direction – it’s a new marketing campaign.

                    I think we can expect to see some of these new weasel phrases peppered throughout Shearer’s speeches in time to come. As the leadership cabal slowly sees the old crap isn’t working they’ll have a go at some of this fresh, new repackaging (of the same rotting pile of crap).

                    What is unsaid, in whatever “framing” you prefer, is also chillingly telling.

  7. Dr Terry 7

    Just as I have been hearing interminably that “given time” Shearer (and Labour) will “come right” and work the magic, it seems now that the new and fashionable phrase is “Plans are underway so I hear” (without any specifics on offer, least of all “exciting” prospects). Anticipation is fine, but an ongoing and unfulfilled sense of anticipation is counter-productive. People of the true Left are becoming very frustrated and weary I imagine. If it is the Shearer gang making the “plans” then I want not a bar of them thank you. QoT is saying, at last, what has needed to be enunciated for long. One year back I would never have admitted in my wildest and most crazy dreams that Key might just as well stay where he is, continuing to commit carnage in this country. I think I fear Shearer more even than Key (though that is barely conceivable!) Greens/Mana I like – but would they lower their respective visions to unite with this half-dead current Labour leadership? Take nothing fore-granted!

  8. Afewknowthetruth 8

    It makes no difference which party is in power: everything that matters, i.e. the local environment and the global environment, social cohesion, the general health of the populace, educational achievement etc., just get worse and worse.

    The main reason seems to be that all politicians are scientifically illiterate and financially illiterate, or are simply opportunistic lackeys of global corporations and money-lenders. I have yet to encounter even one that actually knows what he/she is talking about. They all churn out meaningless drivel while they orchestrate the looting and pollution of the planet. It seems that parliament attracts psychotic sociopaths. Or it’s that only psychotic sociopaths can stand what goes on in parliament, i.e. debate at marginally above kindergarten level.

    • Bill 8.1

      Hmm. Thinking that our political system is a bit like a large ocean going liner – not very maneuverable and very slow to react. Erm, but this iceberg we’re heading for…really bad analogy for AGW I know…but anyway, we can’t ram into it, throw everything into reverse and have any chance of staying afloat. (apparently ye olde captain of the Titanic should have done just that instead of trying to turn aside).

      Anyway, I’m almost of the mind that if a leader from one of the traditional two parties (ie, not the Greens) stood up and told it like it is, then people would actually take notice and act accordingly. I could be wrong. But if nothing is said and done we are so assuredly fcked…

    • Don't worry be happy 8.2

      What’s with the whole Parliament is like kindergarten stuff? Seems like if you want to insult politicians you liken them to children…little kids with soft expressions and shining eyes and gap toothed smiles. Beautiful little children….Why diss children so easily?!

  9. Rich 9

    things get so bad for “middle New Zealand” that a revolutionary leader can take charge of Labour/the Greens/Mana and sweep into power on a massive wave of popular support.

    If we get a China crash at the serious end of the scale (Greece/Syria rather then UK/Ireland) then this might happen sooner than people expect. A big crash in China would wreck primary industries here and in Australia which would be highly likely to cause a bank crash and currency collapse. Maybe a combination of not getting paid, a currency-driven fuel crisis and a property crash would wake the middle classes up.

  10. Rogue Trooper 10

    The strangest of warriors are these two, Time and Patience
    -Tolstoy
    or
    ” I am extraordinarily patient, provided I get my own way in the end”
    -Margaret Thatcher, in Observer, April 4, 1989

    I have never yet seen any plan which has not been mended by the observations of those who were much inferior in understanding to the person who had the lead in the business.
    -Burke

    You can’t plow a field simply by turning it over in your mind.
    -Hinckley

    and

    It does not do to leave a dragon out of your calculations, if you live near him (or have his ear)
    -Tolkien

  11. karol 11

    GeoffC @8.54pm: Go read the policy then the speech.
    What would you want a rise of socialism again.
    Socialism is dead in modern language…reframe it.
    Be realistic or you die with nothing but a dream.

    I suspect that a mainstream left wing party in NZ or the UK would go no further left than social democracy, at this stage. I was partly asking if it would be a new form of social democracy.

    I think Cunliffe’s speeches in the last year have been pretty much social democratic, and that both he and Ed Miliband are more left wing than Team Shearer.

    I am concerned that the MSM will work to contain any sort of shift to a slightly more leftish social democracy. I think it will be necessary for there to be a growth in pressure from the flax roots for something more solidly left wing and new – that’s why IrishBill’s policy development posts are a great idea. We need to speak more directly with the politicians rather than continuing to let it be through the MSM middle-people.

    I think the mainstream left MPs have go stuck in the role of controlling the direction of their politics and then trying to sell it to the party members and masses. That is part of the damage of “neoliberalism”. So I think the flax roots, the blogs etc, need to be proactive and propose the more radical, and/or more creative policies.

    I prefer to be doing that, rather than just waiting to accept or reject whatever the politicians put out there.

    • GeoffC 11.1

      Speak to the pollies and policy makers yourself…they are both easily accessible and actively listen.
      Stand up together and our representatives have the power to change things.
      Bring about the awakened masses an aware and focused masses and we will get change quickly.

  12. Wayne 12

    Karoo, please keep pushing this line. It will help National in 2014, by enabling them to ague that the alternative (Labour/Greens) are unrealistic and a danger to most (more than 50%) voters. I know you are a true believer in socialism, but even 23 years after the fall of the Berlin Wall it is simply not seen as a realistic alternative. Even in Greece it was not seen as an option, and there is no way you could argue that NZ is in the dire situation of Greece

    • Colonial Viper 12.1

      Democratic socialism is the way ahead mate, I’m afraid that it’s capitalism which is totally unsustainable. As your example of Greece demonstrates.

      • GeoffC 12.1.1

        Maybe true but we are not at the stage to get any socialist type ideal policy etc coming through into the political scene in any meaningful manner.
        Hence my next way
        At moment we are at transitional phase…uncoupling neo lib policies and imbedded structures.
        Meanwhile while the echo chamber on here of rump socialists squeeze out any other discourse people in the streets are starving..
        My whole point was that in mainstream labour around the world there is significant policy that is focusing on investment capitalism and the top one percent, higher taxes, Tobin tax, stamp transaction duties, direct confrontation with the embedded power of the elites.
        Setting the scene for more and more corrective policy then at Sam downstream stage we can progress to something else…
        Meantime it’s about feeding the people…

        • just saying 12.1.1.1

          Meanwhile while the echo chamber on here of rump socialists squeeze out any other discourse people in the streets are starving.

          After thirty years many people see through the slick marketing techniques of third-way-speak. Instead of salivating like Pavlov’s dogs we’ve heard it all before: what’s said, the way it’s said, and what’s not said. The marketeers now dictate the substance of policy, discourse, and actions, rather than the reverse. The brand has taken over the animal. The dog-whistles are directed left and right simultaneously, and cancel each other out leaving no greater “discourse” than ‘nice is nice and not-nice isn’t’ .

          The fact is third-way Labour parties are as much of a cause of people being in need as their designated opponents. The idea of one of its proponents accusing sites like this of squeezing “out other discourse” really is ironic. If anything has sucked the oxygen out of left wing discourse it is the craven, focus-grouped, mealy-mouthed, corporate mission statement, empty platitudes exemplified by the Miliband speech that you linked to further up the thread.

        • karol 12.1.1.2

          I can see the logic of that, GeoffC. And I do agree there urgently needs to be some provisions to help those struggling, as soon as possible.

          My main concern is the step-by-step approach will stall after the first step due to our current corporate-controlled MSM.

          Therefore, I think the flax roots needs to be actively working to lead the conversation in a more truly democratic, left wing direction. Aim to cut out the MSM mediators between the people and politicians.

          Critical mass from the ground up: it’s not democratic collective action if it’s organised and controlled by the politicians. It needs to be politics, collective actions and policies that are of, by, and for the people: organisation and working within communities, talking to people on and offline, growing the movement – producing and discussing new ideas and policies.

        • geoff 12.1.1.3

          GeoffC, transition is fine, and frequently gets talked about on the standard, but it’s only relevant if you have an end goal in mind.

          What are you implying by the vague ‘ feeding the people‘ line?

          • GeoffC 12.1.1.3.1

            End plan called the next way. What..deep red and deep green all trussed up in modern language that has resonance with the electorate or masses at that point on the continuum.
            Me personally I am off to le mes for a reason but I have a plan as an activist.

            Reconnect various organisation individual and other grouping.in a continuous manner from the middle out to the harder margins of the intra connected matrix.
            Provide platform opportunity to disseminate information bypassing msm.
            Continual campaigning starting this month by local party and mp.
            Step by step long term plan to change society for the masses. The people.
            Provide policy, direction and community support and voice so th front person can actively promote a new direction.

            • karol 12.1.1.3.1.1

              Provide platform opportunity to disseminate information bypassing msm.

              I agree with this part, and think it is pretty essential.

              • GeoffC

                We are actively implementing it as we speak.
                Open govt, inventing or adopting comms channel, networking, coordinating organising reconnecting to counter the embedded neo lib pos capitalist construct.
                The standard has a part to play but direct local structures are forming that will have power…um nothing new kinda old really something borrowed not blue.

        • quartz 12.1.1.4

          I don’t know what you mean by “rump socialists”. When people here put up their policy wishlist the other day it was mostly mainstream social democrat stuff.

  13. To me, in my simplistic way, Labour isn’t the key to the door in 2014.
    They can chase the middle ground ’til their hearts content, but they’ll win nothing without the stay away voters of 2011.
    Who encourages them to return to the booth is king, queen, knave and joker maker.
    With the current line ups on offer, who would you put your rent/mortgage money on?

    Still plenty room for a new left party, and enough time for a leader to come forth and inspire us and mop up the votes the Green’s, for what ever reason, won’t attract.

  14. Jenny 14

    QOT I notice that nowhere in your post did you mention the words “climate change”.

    This is a little like a left wing commentator of the late ’30s not mentioning the words “Nazi menace”.

    This is particularly strange as it is the one policy that the Nats are most weakest on.

    It is the one policy that if taken up by the opposition parties would really show the Nats up as completely lacking in answers.

    It is the one policy that could clearly differentiate between the two, (arguably) similiar political streams.

    Climate Change is the one policy that if it is not raised as a matter of principle as an election issue in 2014 will help reinforce the cynical view held my many of the politically disengaged and as expressed by Afewknowthetruth “that parliament attracts psychotic sociopaths. Or it’s that only psychotic sociopaths can stand what goes on in parliament, i.e. debate at marginally above kindergarten level.”

    • karol 14.1

      Jenny, the post doesn’t mention any policies on anything. That’s not what the post was about. It means the general direction of political positions.

      • Jenny 14.1.1

        Jenny, the post doesn’t mention any policies on anything

        karol

        That is arguable. QOT mentioned neoliberal bullshit as opposed to a collectivist approach. And policy has certainly been raised in following comments.

        Maybe like CV and weka you think I am a Climate Change Obsessive. But how hard would it have been for QOT to drop in one sentence about the danger we all face, but which is not being addressed. And most blatantly not being addressed by the Nats? (and less obviously blatantly by the opposition parties).

        • Jenny 14.1.1.1

          QOT and all sincere politicos (left or right), need to heed the words of Naomi Kleine

          ….Climate change has the ability to undo your historic victories and crush your present struggles. So it’s time to come together, for real, and fight to preserve and extend what you care most about — which means engaging in the climate fight, really engaging, as if your life and your life’s work, even life itself, depended on it. Because they do.

          Naomi Kleine “I’d Rather Fight Like Hell”

          • karol 14.1.1.1.1

            Good on Klein. And she is focused particularly on climate change right now as she has a book on it coming out. That is to be welcomed because it incorporates this issue with other parts of a left wing perspective.

            And yet, Klein still finds time to speak out on other significant issues. I can’t see any reports on Klein speaking and acting in solidarity with First Nation people in Canada, by returning her medal, that includes her making a statement on climate change.

            And in Klein’s December article on this issue, she doesn’t mention climate change either.

            The closest Klein gets to mentioning it is the reference to the current Canadian government’s planet trashing plans.

            Sometimes there’s a need to focus solely on other aspects of the total left wing approach.

    • KJT 14.2

      It is not “climate change”. Call it what it is, AGW.

      “Climate change” is a term introduced by those who do not want to do anything about it.

      • Jenny 14.2.1

        Personally I have an aversion to acronyms, and Anthropogenic Global Warming is a bit of a mouthful. (Not to mention a keyboard full.)

    • QoT 14.3

      Jenny, all I have to say is that it speaks volumes for the narrowness of your worldview (not that we didn’t already get daily proof) that you apparently sincerely believe climate change is “the one policy that the Nats are most weakest on”.

      And don’t fucking tell me what I should write about.

      • GeoffC 14.3.1

        Gosh soooo abusive. Cannot we have civility and open discourse without personally attacks…save it for the rabid right.

      • Jenny 14.3.2

        And don’t fucking tell me what I should write about.

        QOT

        Did I tell you what to write?

        I just made the observation that you didn’t mention climate change. And said that; This is a little like a left wing commentator of the late ’30s not mentioning the words “Nazi menace”. This is not telling you what to write. It is just as I said, “an observation”. I wasn’t telling you to do anything.

        • QoT 14.3.2.1

          Suuuuuuure you weren’t. And if you make “an observation” like that again, your comments will be deleted.

        • karol 14.3.2.2

          Meanwhile there’s now been 138 comments under Bill’s Burdigalian post. And not a denier in sight.

          Just saying.

  15. Jenny 15

    Jenny, the post doesn’t mention any policies on anything

    karol

    That is arguable. QOT mentioned neoliberal bullshit as opposed to a collectivist approach. And policy has certainly been raised in following comments.

    Maybe like CV and weka you think I am a Climate Change Obsessive. But how hard would it have been for QOT to drop in one sentence about the danger we all face, but which is not being addressed. And most blatantly not being addressed by the Nats? (and less obviously blatantly by the opposition parties).

    • karol 15.1

      Jenny, I do think you’re obsessive, and, often, counter-productive. Your MO comes across to me as bullying. But, you just don’t listen to criticism, and label it as CC, CD,CA, or whatever. Are you now demanding every TS post has a mention of climate change in it?

      You harangue people, rather than participating in debate in good faith. As far as I can see, you have no respect for people having different views from you – usually the differences here are on strategy and approach. Most of the people you strongly criticise, are those who agree climate change is a problem, and that there needs to be measures to counter it.

      I am a strong believer in the importance of open discussion. Your approach seems to be to try to shut down discussion.

      • Jenny 15.1.1

        You are right. I am provocative. But it is not to shut down discussion. It is to try and bust open this tightly shut can of worms.

        This vitally needed discussion has not been shut down by me, but by the left and the Greens.

        Naomi Kleine explains (some of) the motives:

        “This economic model is failing us spectacularly, on multiple levels,” she added, “but we’re still acting as if our goal is to save it,” rather than transform it into something that won’t destroy us.

        Indeed, I suggested, that appears to be the case even among progressives who still prioritize economic growth at the expense of the climate.

        “The levels of denial are so complicated,” she said. “We are all in denial. All of us. People are holding back a tremendous amount of anxiety. You don’t let yourself care about something that you have no idea how to fix. Because it’s just too terrifying. And it would derail your whole life, as Yotam was saying.

        “That’s why there has to be a narrative, a plan, for how we integrate so much of what we’re already doing into a common project. Because so long as people feel like nothing that they know now applies, then they will work really hard to keep this information at bay.

        “This is our meta-issue. We’ve all gotta get inside it. Because this is our home. We are already inside it, like it or not, and it’s inside us. So the idea that we can somehow divorce from it is a fantasy that we have to let go of.”

        I asked about her decision to have a baby, in spite of everything she knows.

        She got quiet. “For a long time,” she told me, “I just couldn’t see a future for a child that wasn’t some, like, Mad Max climate-warrior thing.”

        Somehow, though, her engagement in the climate movement seems to have changed that. Another future seemed possible. She and Lewis decided to have a child, but struggled with infertility. Then, having given up, surprise: along came Toma.

        If anything, the experience has made Klein all the more a fighter. She now believes that denying her desire to have a child, because of the mess being made by those willing to destroy the planet for profit, would be a form of surrender.

        “I guess what I want to say is, I don’t want to give them that power,” she told me. “I’d rather fight like hell than give these evil motherfuckers the power to extinguish the desire to create life.”

        (emphasis my own)

        • karol 15.1.1.1

          It is to try and bust open this tightly shut can of worms.

          Well, I don’t think you’re being very successful, and your targets seem wrong to me. Concern about climate change/ AGW is hardly an issue that is not discussed here. You seem to misjudge your audience, and people start to switch off.

          Bullying is how you come across. You attack the people instead of arguing the issues. And you come across as if there can be no discussion – no differing with you. You are the one who knows, everyone else with different strategies or concerns about other pressing issues, is wrong.

          Bill’s threads get plenty of discussion. That’s the way to encourage understanding and action rather than haranguing people.

          But there are also other important discussions that need to be had, without every issue being hi-jacked. That’s not going to help the cause.

          BTW: obsessive is a term usually applied when an excess of activity or focus is counter-productive, getting in the way of achieving the desired aims.

      • Jenny 15.1.2

        Jenny, I do think you’re obsessive

        karol

        Though the term Climate Change Obsessive may be a term of abuse inside the Green Party and other left parties. Personally regard it as a badge of honour. How is it possible not to be “obsessive” about an “existential threat”? If your existence is at stake you should be obsessed.

        On the individual level if your existence is threatened and you don’t give this threat your full attention you will die. Simple as that.

        If you are a politician or leader of a society that’s existence is at stake and you disinterested, regarding climate change as just one more problem, equal or even lesser than all others, that society will not survive. It is simple as that.

        Existential threats concentrate the mind that is why they are called existential.

        The question is, is climate change an existential threat?

        Can any other modern issue be called existential?

        In the ’30s fascism was termed an “existential threat”.

        If we accept that climate change is an “existential threat” then we need to take the measures that the generation before ours took against that “existential threat”. However, the threat of climate change may even be worse. Because if it gets a hold it is likely to be permanent with no hope of redemption.

        To my mind it is doubly strange that the left, (even the Greens) are trying to down play the existential threat posed by climate change. The fact that they are, gives some credence to Afewknowthetruth’s bitter, (and hopeless), viewpoint.

        Afewknowthetruth 13 January 2013 at 5:13 pm

        PS. Welcome back Few. (I hope you don’t think I am a bully)

        • KJT 15.1.2.1

          If the Greens are trying to play it down then how come I have never seen any signs of anything of the sort, being a member of the Greens, and all.

          • Jenny 15.1.2.1.1

            It was never one of the Green Party electoral planks at the last election and looks to be a missing Green Party electoral plank in the upcoming election.

            • KJT 15.1.2.1.1.1

              Environmental sustainability was an underlying focus in EVERY Green policy last election. Looks like it will be this time also.

              I think you are getting confused because it is pervasive in all policy, rather than a single policy labelled AGW.

    • KJT 15.2

      Do you really think anything will be done about AGW unless we first address the issues of an economic system and iniquity which, at present put the burden of preventing AGW disproportionately on the poorest.

      I don’t see us getting votes for AGW mitigation measures that expect those on 40k or less to reduce their standard of living, while those at the top continue to get 17% or more annual increases in wealth.

      • Jenny 15.2.1

        Do you really think anything will be done about AGW unless we first address the issues of an economic system and iniquity which, at present put the burden of preventing AGW disproportionately on the poorest.

        KJT

        The Labour party has been trying for over 70 years to address the issues of an economic system and inequity. We have run out of time. We cannot wait until all social issues are addressed before we begin our fight-back.

        However, what I do believe. Is that when we begin this fightback, (which we haven’t yet), issues of social inequity will by necessity be addressed in the struggle. This will be an inevitable side effect.

        • KJT 15.2.1.1

          The Labour party addressed it, rather successfully actually, nearly all NZ workers were middle class for a long time, from the 30’s.

          They gave up in 1984, going much further to the neo-liberal right than National would have dared.

          You are never going to succeed in addressing AGW without changing the economic and social factors that make expanding use of resources inevitable.

          You are annoying, me, and I basically agree with you about the pressing need to address AGW.

          • Jenny 15.2.1.1.1

            I agree, I meant to add “quite successfully” .

            • Jenny 15.2.1.1.1.1

              To which I might add that I think that the Green Party are suffering from a huge amount of hubris in thinking that they can do this better.

              • KJT

                It is necessity, not hubris.

                We have to. If we want a future for our children.

                Personally I have no problem if Labour adopts Green policies, which once would have been Labours, and Greens never get into power.

                Hell, I may even start voting for Labour again.

                To many in Labour, just want “their turn” for three years. They have been a large part of “the problem” since 1984.

                Labour has given up trying to lead.

                To change the paradigm needed to make NZ a social and environmental success.

                Instead they want to be some wishy washy National light to attract 6 o-oclock news watchers.

                The fact that influential figures from Labour consider the rather moderate socialist democratic leanings of most Standard contributors, radical, says volumes.

                People will give up an awful lot if their leaders make sure we are “all in it together” and show valid reasons why.

                AGW has to be approached in the same way we approached things in 1939-45.

  16. handle 16

    “It is the one policy that could clearly differentiate between the two, (arguably) similiar political streams.”

    To a woman with only a hammer, everything looks like a nail.

    • Jenny 16.1

      Hi handle, would you like to expand on your hammer analogy?

      Specifically where I am going wrong in thinking that if the Left took up AGW in an uncompromising way, that that this would mark a clear differentiation between the opposition and the current incumbents. That would be clear to the whole electorate, including the disinterested and uninvolved.

      • geoff 16.1.1

        Jenny, I assume you are trying to convince people to agree with you. The only thing you have convinced me of is that the uncompromising approach you are taking is probably not helping your cause.

        • Jenny 16.1.1.1

          Jenny, I assume you are trying to convince people to agree with you. The only thing you have convinced me of is that the uncompromising approach you are taking is probably not helping your cause.

          geoff

          Possibly.

          Just know, that I am sincerely trying to do my best. I accept that I may be failing. If I can be convinced that I am, I will change my approach.

          All constructive engagement and advice and criticism is appreciated.

  17. Gosman 17

    One thing I have noticed about the left is that many of the activists don’t seem to learn much from failures in the past. The perception I get is that it isn’t the policies or ideas that need to change much, just that the circumstances aren’t right for them.

    I also note that many of the solutions tend to involve quite radical reorientation of society and seem to require some sort of societal collapse to come about. Do people actually think this is a viable option to push in a modern western style democratic country like NZ?

    • geoff 17.1

      One thing I have noticed about the right is their complete lack of irony.

      • KJT 17.1.1

        Some of the “right” harbour the delusion that if people were told the truth, instead of right wing propaganda, they would still vote for them.

        Research shows that, even in the USA, most people, if given a choice of policies without attribution, prefer the “radical” socialist democratic ones.

        In the same way that most vote for peace.

        Note that, neo-liberalism has had a very hard time getting a foothold, in the most democratic countries.

        • Gosman 17.1.1.1

          I presume you are meaning countries like those in Scandanavia or perhaps you mean the more ‘democratic’ countries like Cuba?

          • KJT 17.1.1.1.1

            Yes, I do mean countries like Norway, Switzerland etc. Note Sweden’s dropping in the rankings for almost everything since they swung to the right.

            Depends what you mean by success, though. Even an authoritarian dictatorship run on socialist lines, Cuba, are a lot more successful in providing food, housing and medical care for their population than those run on mean spirited “free market” theft, like Indonesia.

            Socialist democracies have been the most successful societies, ever.

            • Gosman 17.1.1.1.1.1

              Scandanavian countries are less Socialist than you think. Charter Schools for example are big in Sweden. The Social Democrats aren’t exactly busting a gut to oppose them either.

              • KJT

                Didn’t I just say that Sweden is heading downhill in many measures, even RW favorites such as GDP increase, since they became more right wing. The deterioration in their education system, for example, is obvious.

      • Gosman 17.1.2

        Mainstream right policies haven’t failed in terms of electoral success. You might like to think they have failed economically, however that is open to debate. The point I am raising is that radical left wing ideas have been on the back foot politically since the 1960’s. It was this that caused people like Bill Clinton and New Labour in the UK to conjure up the mystical ‘third way’ as an attempt to regain the initiative. It is your choice if you wish to ignore this trend.

        • KJT 17.1.2.1

          Why do the right wing have to keep telling lies to get elected, then, Gosman.

          National pretending to be more socialist than they really are to win the last election, for example.

          Like. If they were so successful, the evidence would be there, wouldn’t it.

          • Gosman 17.1.2.1.1

            What left wing policy did they promote that got them elected in your book? I thought your issue with them is that they are keeping many of their election promises.

            • KJT 17.1.2.1.1.1

              Sacking front line social services, sacking state servants and replacing them with more expensive contractors, cutting mental health funding, cutting funding for trades and tech training in schools, charter schools are some of the many policies which they did not put to the electorate because it would show them up for the mean spirited bunch of arseholes they really are.

    • lprent 17.2

      Funny I always see the same things from the right. The only thing is that I don’t see them expressed as opinions on a blog apart from the economic cretins in Act – instead I see them expressed by stupid repetition of past mistakes by the tory governments.

      Just at present I get this awesome sense of dejavu watching Bill English repeating the same foolish mistakes in economic policy that caused a generation of our young getting permanently scarred by being unable to find jobs or even decent training. Somehow the stupidity of doing that and the immense long-term drops in productivity just seems to waft past his eyesight blinded by illusionary short-term statistical gains in efficiency.

      The silliness of WINZ and ACC acting like complete arseholes simply because it fits the bigotry of the small minded idiots that vote for National (because it sure as hell doesn’t actually cut costs). All it actually does is to cause unproductive make-work for over-burdened staff which costs more than having less silly policies.

      I could go on. But it is all shades of the 90’s and the 70’s…

      That is the reality of the right in government. Long on complete bullshit, and totally useless at the job.. In fact it rather reminds me of your comments.

      • Gosman 17.2.1

        Couldn’t help yourself there could you lprent, just had to slip in the trademark snipe and personal insult. Still wouldn’t be the same without it. It is kind of like your signature. ;-)

        The thing you miss is that the mainstream right’s policies are normally quite consistent. It is essentially to not rock the boat too much and to attempt to put in place policies which they think will encourage private sector development of the economy.

        On the whole most right wing people seem to be quite happy with the economic structures in place, if not the policy mix. More of a steady as she goes view of the world.

        Many left wing activists tend to take a more ‘we’re all doomed’ approach it seems to me. The solutions involve chucking out not just the baby with the bathwater but the entire bath and plumbing as well. All valid viewpoints but electorally difficult to sell.

        • lprent 17.2.1.1

          I really don’t have time to write comments. So for me to exert myself to write a comment usually takes something to do with the operation of the site or something that I find annoying. If it is the latter, then why shouldn’t I make my opinion of the person I’m responding to known? I have no great love for fools…

          In any case you didn’t deal with anything that was actually in my comment. Instead you mindlessly repeated what you’d already said. And did a diversion into the usual silly carping about the politeness argument – which I am sure plays out well amongst the polite idiots you prefer, but I just find to be timewasting.

          Anyway I guess you just made my point for me – stupid repetition is the essential characteristic of the right….

          But I suspect that you may find seeing what I said in that last sentence rather hard to understand. In fact I wouldn’t be surprised if you just repeat that same rote mantra yet again like the good little student you were/are..

          Lord – please preserve me from the drones who never learnt how to think….

          • Gosman 17.2.1.1.1

            I’m sorry, did you actually make a point in your original comment? I just thought it was some rant about your views on the vapidity of right wing policies. If it wasn’t you letting off steam then I must apologise as it read much like your other rants against right wing policies.

        • Rogue Trooper 17.2.1.2

          interesting moderation G.

        • KJT 17.2.1.3

          You are describing conservatives.Not the right wing.

          Old style conservatives are simply cautious. A view I can relate to.

          It was the right wing who snuck into Labour in the 80’s and ever since we have been throwing out the baby, the bathwater, the bath and the plug.

          The neo-liberal changes over the last 30 years have been way more radical than anything the left wing advocate.

          The right were NOT happy with the economic structure in place because it gave something to those who work instead of only to those who already have money.

          So. They set out to change the paradigm.

          Decades of fake academic voodoo economics, lies and “think tanks” were needed to persuade the majority to go along with the theft of all our wealth by a few.

  18. xtasy 18

    This thread is depressing!

    It exposes again the distress many of the alert, more conscious, idealistic, indeed democracy hungry, social justice demanding, sensible economic reforms expcecting, environmentally concerned, and more direct social-democracy desiring commenters here suffer under the present status quo.

    I do not quite agree with Trotter’s last piece on Shearer and his true ambitions. He now seems to over-rate the capabilities and intellect of Shearer. I also do not quite agree with the Dimpost article.

    Yet both – and others have at least a lot of elements of truth in what they are writing about.

    Shearer to me is rather an opportunistic “go with the flow” man, who was happy with accepting private fighting forces to do security and enforcement tasks for the UN, and certain states backing UN operations. That was at a time when a fair number of “experts” and politicians considered this to be the way for the future.

    But times have changed, the world has changed, there has been the global financial crisis, leading to public debt crisis and economic crisis in many affected countries. Shearer no longer works for the UN and has been “assisted” by some in the party and caucus to end up where he is now – as MP for Mt Albert AND “leader” with mumbling and stumbling issues.

    One good speech announcing a new housing policy won’t make him a competent leader. Media training will have its limits. Yet Shearer is trying to go with the flow of the wider NZ public, like it or not. He is trying to please too many, and he wants to ring votes of National, to get back into government. It is a fight for that vague “middle ground”, consisting of largely somewhat conservative to moderate people, saving for ever more expensive homes, anxious to keep jobs and lifestyles. They are enslaved to a system of debt to keep things as they are (mortgages and other liabilities around their necks). They have not the courage to “break free” and radically “change society”. They are too afraid.

    I cannot see Shearer lead Labour to victory in 2014. Even if he would, it would just be a one term government, likely a quite fragile one, and he may in the best case scenario be ousted and replaced during that term. My impression is he needs to go before, but we know the stumbling blocks.

    Cunliffe or any other leader also needs caucus behind him/her. But that caucus is full of hangers ons, keeping “left” and “right” in present NZ party politics a bit of a “farcical debate”.

    As for NZ and the global situation, the corporate and leading business sectors and their elite owners, managers and operators, they have a solid foothold in virtually every developed and newly developing country. Even Mainland China is discussing more privatisation and reduction of SOEs. We know the rest, employers and banks dictating to people what they can and cannot do.

    I fear that there is NO realistic potential, certainly NOT in New Zealand, for this to be changed within the coming years. It will not go without a huge fight between workers, downtrodden, poor and unemployed in many countries, before anything will change. In the meantime the environment will pay a price, but few are that concerned, as increased urbanisation has led the bulk of societies to be rather out of touch with nature and the hands-on environment.

    That is my observation, coming originally from a rural farming background.

    I am daily losing faith in human reason, courage, common sense and willingness to fight for change. I see almost NONE of it! It is more like, what is in it for me, what would it cost me, than anything about “we” or “us”. That is also where Labour’s caucus, leader and admittedly still too many members are stuck.

    There is a gaping cravice between them and many commenters here.

    Sorry, this is not uplifting, I know.

  19. Fortran 19

    In reading the above blogs one thing which stands out to me is the negativism being portrayed.
    In 2014 the positive party manifesto will succeed.
    The Labour policy makers needs to think differently from the total negativity of the Greens in wanting to change the world and continually ban things.
    The public will not support negative sniping – there are 800,000 votes to get to in a positive way.

    • kiwicommie 19.1

      I would hardly call the Greens negative, they have a right to be pissed at National’s plan to reduce NZ to a over polluted, third world shit hole. Because they want a clean environment, have a plan, and eventually want free education, decent healthcare and high paid jobs for New Zealanders, they are negative? By your standards, we should shut up and let the national parks be bulldozed, let oil companies spill oil everywhere, accept third world working conditions, while giving praise to Ayn Rand for our daily bread (that is if you can afford a $15 loaf of bread).

  20. SHG (not Colonial Viper) 20

    If you’re posting to the Internet, you’re not doing everything you can to fight climate change.

Important links

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • October 14 Patronage
    October’s patronage results show Aucklanders are continuing to flock to buses and trains. It’s especially true for the rapid transit network which is seeing staggering growth, up over 20% compared to the same month last year. It’s showing that the public...
    Transport Blog | 21-11
  • Hurray for “Hurray For The Riff Raff”!
     FIRST RATE AMERICANA came to Auckland's Tuning Fork venue last night in the form of the Alt-Country, Indie-Folk roots band Hurray For The Riff Raff. Led by Alynda Lee Segarra, the 27-year-old Peurto Rican singer-songwriter out of New Orleans via New...
    Bowalley Road | 21-11
  • Capture: Movement
    It felt like we were overdue for a post, and when I took the time to look back at what had come before, I realised yesterday we turned three. So before we get into it, thanks once again for another...
    Public Address | 21-11
  • Saturday playlist: new Labour leader
    It was difficult, but we managed to restrain ourselves from only posting songs with “Little” in the title … Add your (nice) suggestions below!...
    On the Left | 21-11
  • Stuart’s 100 #57: Grow your own
    57: Grow your own What if supermarkets could grow their own? Supermarkets, like service stations, are in that category of activities that are of such necessity and ubiquity to our daily life that they cumulatively have a very large footprint...
    Transport Blog | 21-11
  • The best of Neetflux (so far)
    A selection of our favourite Neetflux posters to date. Here’s to more awesome political satire to come! (Click through for full-size on Neetflux’s Tumblr)...
    On the Left | 21-11
  • Chipping away at police unaccountability
    Traditionally, our police have enjoyed a wide discretion over who to prosecute and how. Sometimes, this is a good thing - it means that the time of the courts is not wasted on minor crimes. In other cases, its use...
    No Right Turn | 21-11
  • Plan for mega factory farm ruffles feathers
    Not long ago I wrote about the proposal to build a mega factory farm in the small township of Patumahoe that would confine over 300, 000 hens to colony cages. This week the resource consent hearing for the proposed factory...
    frogblog | 21-11
  • CTU disappointed by poor government advice to workers on petrol station dri...
    The New Zealand Council of Trade Unions has raised concerns with the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (‘MBIE’) regarding their reported advice to workers about the petrol station drive away issue. Photo:  ...
    CTU | 21-11
  • Charging petrol station workers for drive-offs
    So workers at Masterton’s Night ‘n Day store have had their pay docked when criminals drive off without paying. From the flood of complaints coming from around the country, it’s not a practice that is confined only to Masterton, nor is it...
    Occasionally erudite | 21-11
  • Tearing up Westminster
    The central bargain of Westminster democracy is that the monarch stays out of politics, and in exchange they get to stay in the role, both legally and literally. Prince Charles - already famous for his undemocratic interventions in politics -...
    No Right Turn | 21-11
  • Journalism is not terrorism
    What happens if you're a UK journalist and you campaign for press freedom or report on police misconduct? The police database you as a terrorist:A group of journalists has launched a legal action against Scotland Yard after discovering that the...
    No Right Turn | 20-11
  • A century of changing transport spending
    Via Donal Curtin, I got wind of a fantastic Statistics NZ visualisation of changes to the Consumer Price Index over the last century. The Consumer Price Index, or CPI, is a tool that statistics agencies use to track inflation over...
    Transport Blog | 20-11
  • Boycott thieving employers
    In the past few days, we've learned of a new employer horror: petrol-station workers, often on th eminimum wage, being forced to pay for the crimes of their customers. Its unfair, immoral, and possibly illegal. So what can we do...
    No Right Turn | 20-11
  • Whiteboard Friday. How NZ’s welfare system traps people in poverty
    This Whiteboard Friday looks at how our current benefit system traps people in poverty, which is another reason we need to replace it with an Unconditional Basic Income. This week has been a big week for the Unconditional Basic Income....
    Gareth’s World | 20-11
  • Income mobility
    Recently Treasury has published a paper showing that most people do not stay at the same point on the income scale for an extended period. That is assuredly true, and is also a good thing in as far as it...
    Polity | 20-11
  • Read out, Xi in, as Hansen makes late change to All Blacks team
    All Blacks coach Steve Hansen has sprung a surprise by picking Chinese President Xi Jinping to start in this weekend’s test against Wales at the Millennium Stadium....
    Imperator Fish | 20-11
  • National restarts logging in West Coast forests
    The chainsaws stopped in native forest on public land in 1999 after a strong campaign by non-governmental organisations such as Forest and Bird and Native Forest Action (NFA), supported by the Green Party. Immediately after the 1999 election, the incoming...
    frogblog | 20-11
  • Persuasion experiment
    Michael LaCour, a PhD student at the excellent UCLA Political Science Department, along with Yale's Don Green, have a fascinating new paper on what causes people to change their mind on gay marriage. Many people know that a doorstep conversation...
    Polity | 20-11
  • $4.8 billion gone
    As readers know, the NZ Super Fund now contributes around $27 billion to our net position as a country, It will help us pay for the wave of baby boom retirements. Sadly, it is now clear that National's decision to...
    Polity | 20-11
  • Secondary teachers vote IES into collective
    21 November 2014 PPTA members have voted to include two teaching roles central to Investing in Educational Success (IES) in their collective agreement.At paid union meetings held throughout the country over the past two weeks 80.3% voted to include the...
    PPTA | 20-11
  • Labour’s Hercules?
    Hero? Saint? Both? Neither? In making Labour an electable proposition by 2017, Andrew Little faces a challenge of Herculean proportions. Then again, Hercules was presented with twelve impossible tasks. Little can succeed by successfully completing a more modest (but equally...
    Bowalley Road | 20-11
  • Roger Sutton and deja vu all over again
    What to say about the Roger Sutton story? Well, Andrea Vance has done some amazing work setting out the basic facts behind the carefully stage-managed whitewashing of Roger Sutton’s pseudo-departure. And stargazer at The Hand Mirror has responded to the...
    On the Left | 20-11
  • MoT acknowledge changing trends and future funding issues
    Last week the Briefings to government ministers (BIM) were published. I’ve already looked at what the Ministry of Transport (MoT) and NZTA have said about transport in Auckland and so in this post I’m going to look at some of the other points...
    Transport Blog | 20-11
  • Why we need to talk about the scientific consensus on climate change
    An interesting sequence of events followed the publication of a scientific paper the Skeptical Science team published in May last year. The paper found a 97% consensus that humans were causing global warming in relevant scientific papers. Finding an overwhelming...
    Skeptical Science | 20-11
  • 2014 – Ongoing jobless tally
    . . Continued from: 2013 – Ongoing jobless tally So by the numbers, for this year, January OceanaGold/Macraes Mine: 146 redundancies Fitzroy Yachts: 100 redundancies OceanaGold: 76 redundancies Tenix: 15 redundancies February Goodman Fielder: 125 redundancies Pacific Steel Group: 70-90 redundancies...
    Frankly Speaking | 20-11
  • 2014 – Ongoing jobless tally
    . . Continued from: 2013 – Ongoing jobless tally So by the numbers, for this year, January OceanaGold/Macraes Mine: 146 redundancies Fitzroy Yachts: 100 redundancies OceanaGold: 76 redundancies Tenix: 15 redundancies February Goodman Fielder: 125 redundancies Pacific Steel Group: 70-90 redundancies...
    Frankly Speaking | 20-11
  • Stuart’s 100 #56: More Dignity for Daily Users
    56 More Dignity for Daily Users What if there was a moment of civic dignity outside the Auckland District Court? The Auckland District Court on the corner of Albert and Kingston Streets is I think at last count the busiest...
    Transport Blog | 20-11
  • Prime Minister’s warped view of history
    Students who sat NCEA level 3 history exams last week might be very worried to hear the Prime Minister tell a Radio Station that New Zealand was one of the few countries that was settled peacefully by Europeans. Those students who wrote...
    frogblog | 20-11
  • The greatest tragedy of our time
    This is going to ruffle a few feathers. We are parasites. Yes you read that correctly – humanity is a giant collective parasite sucking the life juices from dear Mother Earth. I’m not a nihilist. I still believe there’s plenty...
    On the Left | 20-11
  • Proving anecdotes are reliable
    Here’s one to go with Let’s rely on anecdotes instead! Something I picked up on Facebook Similar articles  ...
    Open Parachute | 20-11
  • Proving anecdotes are reliable
    Here’s one to go with Let’s rely on anecdotes instead! Something I picked up on Facebook Similar articles  ...
    Open Parachute | 20-11
  • Class warfare in the UK
    Surprise, surprise! An independent study has shown that the UK's conservative government has been driving a massive transfer of wealth from the poor to the rich:A landmark study of the coalition’s tax and welfare policies six months before the general...
    No Right Turn | 20-11
  • That didn’t take long
    National's new teabreak law isn't even in force and employers are already abusing it:Yesterday a union member, who prefers to remain anonymous for fear of retribution, emailed Hotel Organiser Shanna Reeder. “This morning in the briefing our manager declared that...
    No Right Turn | 20-11
  • Justice is more important than international relations
    Yunus Rahmatullah is a Pakistani citizen. In 2004 he was disappeared by British forces in Iraq. The British then gave him to the Americans who rendered him to Afghanistan and kept him there without charge or trial for ten years,...
    No Right Turn | 20-11
  • The Sutton debacle
    Sexual Harassment in the Workplace: it’s not a good thing, except when you’re playing Frank Zappa’s 1988 instrumental album Guitar, in which case ‘Sexual Harassment in the Workplace’ is the opening track, and it’s a stonker. However, setting aside the...
    Occasionally erudite | 20-11
  • The dangers of ignoring context
    Here’s a 22 point plan for peace in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.Entrench Israel’s illegal occupation of Palestinian lands.Never let a chance go by to duplicitously conflate Hamas and some in Fatah with the Islamic State/ISIS/ISIL so as to gild the imperiled-Israeli...
    Pundit | 19-11
  • Rapid transit has passed the acid test
    I recently ran across a New Zealand Herald article from 2000 on the region’s plans to start building good rapid transit infrastructure. (Which, as Patrick highlighted in a recent post, is exactly what is holding Auckland back relative to its...
    Transport Blog | 19-11
  • The week in politics vs. Gilmore Girls
    This week in politics: Andrew Little became leader of the Labour Party. Julia Gillard spoke at the University of Auckland about gender and politics. Gerry Brownlee was fined for breaching airport security. Tony Abbott threw down with Vladimir Putin at APEC....
    On the Left | 19-11
  • Whither the class line?
    In 1995 I published a book that explored the interaction between the state, organised labor and capital in the transitions to democracy in Argentina, Brazil, and Uruguay. The book was theoretically rooted in neo-or post-Gramscian thought as well as the...
    Kiwipolitico | 19-11
  • This video shows the pain caused by NZ’s current benefit system
    Darryn bravely talks about the stigma that comes with being on the benefit, and how that has affected his life. This stigma is just one of the many problems our current benefit system creates. These problems would be removed if...
    Gareth’s World | 19-11
  • Climate change: The cost of past inaction
    For the past 20 years, New Zealand's climate change policy has been one of inaction and delay. While we've seen no less than four failed attempts at putting a price on carbon (including the current ETS), we've never really tried...
    No Right Turn | 19-11
  • Policy of fear
    Community groups have a vital role in New Zealand. In addition to speaking out on social problems such as poverty, mental illness and addiction, they also often have a direct role in fixing them via government funding. Unfortunately there's an...
    No Right Turn | 19-11
  • 2014 SkS Weekly News Roundup #47A
    A carbon tax could bolster wobbly progress in renewable energy A dam revival, despite risks Congress is about to sabotage Obama’s historic climate deal David Cameron urges Tony Abbott to do more on climate change G20 pledges lift Green Climate...
    Skeptical Science | 19-11
  • ‘Consult on promotions policy’: TEU to Auckland VC
    TEU is asking the vice-chancellor of the University of Auckland to engage in a process of consultation on the university’s Academic Grades, Standards and Criteria policy and other policies so the two sides can avoid further litigation. Earlier this month the...
    Tertiary Education Union | 19-11
  • Asia-Pacific plans for gender equality
    New Zealand is one of the few countries who have not sent a government minister to an Asian and Pacific conference on gender equality and women’s empowerment in Thailand, but it has sent TEU women’s officer Suzanne McNabb.  The conference...
    Tertiary Education Union | 19-11
  • TEC, Ministry and Treasury want new funding model
    The government should consider a radical shift in tertiary education funding policy according to advice from the Tertiary Education Commission, the Ministry of Education and the Treasury. All three agencies advise the government to shift tertiary education funding away from...
    Tertiary Education Union | 19-11
  • The awkward question of New Plymouth
    It’s rather common knowledge that Andrew Little wasn’t exactly a star in New Plymouth. He stood in the former Labour Party seat in 2011 and 2014, losing ground in both the electorate and party vote on each occasion. Overall, the...
    Occasionally erudite | 19-11
  • Academics say academic freedom getting worse
    Nearly two-fifths of academic staff say that their level of academic freedom is worse than when they started work, according to a survey on the state of the tertiary education workforce. AUT’s Work Research Institute undertook a State of the...
    Tertiary Education Union | 19-11
  • Academics say academic freedom getting worse
    Nearly two-fifths of academic staff say that their level of academic freedom is worse than when they started work, according to a survey on the state of the tertiary education workforce. AUT’s Work Research Institute undertook a State of the...
    Tertiary Education Union | 19-11
  • Plan for mega factory farm ruffles feathers
    Not long ago I wrote about the proposal to build a mega factory farm in the small township of Patumahoe that would confine over 300, 000 hens to colony cages. This week the resource consent hearing for the proposed factory...
    Greens | 21-11
  • National opens door further to Chinese property speculators
    National has further opened the door to Chinese property speculators with the registration of a third Chinese bank here that will make it easier for Chinese investors to invest in New Zealand properties, the Green Party said today."As well, former...
    Greens | 20-11
  • National restarts logging in West Coast forests
    “Dead wood also contributes by providing nutrients to soils, supporting the agents of wood decay such as fungi and invertebrates and it is a key habitat for the regeneration of some trees.” Annual Report 2013/14, page 29. The National Government has...
    Greens | 20-11
  • Lab plan the beginning of slippery slope?
    It’s time for new Health Minister Jonathan Coleman to show his hand on plans to privatise lab services which doctors are warning could put patients’ lives at risk, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. “Clinicians have sent the Government some...
    Labour | 20-11
  • A-G called on to look into flagship ‘cost-saving’ programme
    New health Minister Jonathan Coleman has some serious questions to answer following a decision to wind up the Government’s flagship health savings provider HBL just a fortnight after giving it the green light to implement its plans, Labour’s Health spokesperson...
    Labour | 20-11
  • Prime Minister’s warped view of history
    Students who sat NCEA level 3 history exams last week might be very worried to hear the Prime Minister tell a Radio Station that New Zealand was one of the few countries that was settled peacefully by Europeans. Those students who wrote...
    Greens | 20-11
  • Climate of fear needs addressing
    It is hugely concerning that community and volunteer groups feel they are being gagged from speaking out against the Government, Labour’s Community and Voluntary Sector Spokesperson Louisa Wall says.  A Victoria University survey of 93 sector groups has found 50...
    Labour | 20-11
  • Mandatory code of conduct needed for supermarkets
    Labour has drafted legislation to establish a mandatory code of conduct for supermarkets to ensure New Zealand suppliers are not affected by anti-competitive behaviour. “Even though the Commerce Commission found no technical breaches of the law through some of Countdown’s...
    Labour | 19-11
  • National softening public up for 7th successive deficit
    Finance Minister Bill English is softening the public up for an announcement that National is going to fail in even its very limited goal of achieving a budget surplus, the Green Party said today."No finance minister in a generation has...
    Greens | 19-11
  • National caught out on state house porkies
    Housing NZ’s annual report out today directly contradicts the Government’s claim that one-third of its houses are in the wrong place and are the wrong size, said Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “The annual report states 96 per cent of...
    Labour | 18-11
  • Damning report on Department of Conservation restructure
    The restructuring of the Department of Conservation (DOC) following National's severe funding cuts has been revealed as failure, the Green Party said today.The Taribon report has reviewed the new structure of DOC after 12 months. The restructuring, one of the...
    Greens | 18-11
  • Greens welcome Xi, but human rights need to be on agenda
    The Green Party welcomes the visit to New Zealand of Chinese President Xi Jinping and wishes to congratulate him on his recent announcement regarding China capping emissions for the first time.The United States and China recently unveiled a deal to...
    Greens | 18-11
  • Backing New Zealanders to get ahead
    New Labour Leader Andrew Little says it is an immense privilege to have been chosen to lead the party and to be given the task of ensuring it once again becomes a powerful force that backs New Zealanders in getting...
    Labour | 18-11
  • Andrew Little Elected Leader of Labour Party
    “The Labour Party congratulates Andrew Little, who has been elected as party leader in a robust and highly democratic process,” says Labour Party President Moira Coatsworth. “Andrew’s leadership will have the full support of the whole Labour Party.”...
    Labour | 18-11
  • Report into Brownlee security breach should be released
    The Government and Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) should release the report into former Minister of Transport Gerry Brownlee's airport security breach, the Green Party said today."The actions of a Minister of Transport breaching security at an airport are a matter...
    Greens | 17-11
  • Brownlee must ask CAA to release the report
    Gerry Brownlee must ask the Civil Aviation Authority to release the report that finds he broke the law in breaching airport security, says Labour's Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford. “It is inexcusable for any minister, let alone the then-Transport Minister, to...
    Labour | 17-11
  • G20 climate comment increases pressure on NZ
    The G20 decision to include climate change in its communiqué despite Australia's attempt to ignore it, increases pressure on New Zealand to come up with a credible plan to cut emissions, the Green Party said today.The G20 Leaders Communiqué from...
    Greens | 17-11
  • NZ joins G20 climate problem
    Confirmation this morning by John Key that his Government plans to do nothing to turn around NZ's rapidly rising greenhouse emissions means that New Zealand joins Australia as one of the problem children at the G20 meeting in Brisbane, the...
    Greens | 16-11
  • IRD joins Corrections in Phillip Smith failure
    It is incomprehensible that IRD and Corrections were not able to stop Phillip Smith from rorting the tax system out of $50,000 until it was too late, given that he was a notoriously manipulative prisoner stuck in jail, says Labour’s...
    Labour | 13-11
  • The Government has to listen to Olly
    When even hard boiled property investors like Olly Newland  say first home buyers have been shafted by Loan to Value Ratio lending restrictions, surely it is time for the Government to listen, says Labour's housing spokesperson Phil Twyford.  "Auckland landlord...
    Labour | 13-11
  • Key used GCSB for political ends prior to 2014 election
    New documents released to the Green Party show that Prime Minister John Key used New Zealand's intelligence services for the National Party's political ends a few days out from the 2014 election, the Green Party said today.Documents released to the...
    Greens | 13-11
  • Government not meeting its climate target
    The Government must front up to the fact that its own advisors are now saying that New Zealand is off target in any transition to a low carbon future, says Labour’s spokesperson on Climate Change Nanaia Mahuta.  “A briefing to...
    Labour | 12-11
  • Briefing reveals Defence facilities ‘increasingly unfit for purpose’
    The Defence Briefing to the Incoming Minister reveals a deteriorating state in Defence facilities that are no longer fit for purpose, says Labour’s Defence spokesperson Phil Goff.  “The briefing is heavily censored but still reveals that Defence camps, bases and...
    Labour | 12-11
  • New projections show New Zealand missing climate target
    Briefings to Incoming Ministers released today reveal the Government's climate policy is failing with projected emission more than double what is needed to meet National's 2050 target, the Green Party saidProjections released by the Ministry for the Environment, as part...
    Greens | 12-11
  • National’s highways far less efficient
    National’s new state highways have a far lower cost-benefit ratio than motorways built under the last Labour Government, making a mockery of the Government’s bluster that its road building will boost the economy, says Labour's Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford. “New...
    Labour | 12-11
  • Governor points finger at National on supply
    The Reserve Bank Governor has admitted he had to keep loan to value mortgage restrictions in place because the Government’s attempts to increase housing has fallen ‘a long way short’, says Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “The thousands of first...
    Labour | 12-11
  • Did Collins cover up Slater’s OIA requests?
    Disgraced former Cabinet Minister Judith Collins must explain why she appears to have tried to hide Official Information Act requests she fulfilled for Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater, Labour MP Megan Woods says. “New documents obtained by Labour show Judith...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Reserve Bank’s dairy warning must be heard
    The Reserve Bank’s warning that falling dairy prices are creating greater risks for the New Zealand economy must be taken seriously by Bill English and John Key, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker. “Dairy prices have nearly halved since February...
    Labour | 11-11
  • National’s housing failure keeps LVRs in place
    The Reserve Bank’s decision to leave loan-to-value ratio mortgage restrictions in place is further confirmation of National’s housing policy fiasco, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “The Reserve Bank would have lifted LVRs if they had seen any increase in...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Let’s see if it is plane sailing Mr Bridges
    Comments by Transport Minister Simon Bridges that Far North residents' anger over cutbacks to regional flights will be allayed by larger planes and cheaper fares out of Kerikeri, are just pure arrogance, says Labour’s Te Tai Tokerau MP Kelvin Davis....
    Labour | 11-11
  • Commerce Commission inquiry needed into building supplies monopoly
    The Commerce Commission must stop dragging the chain and urgently investigate the anti-competitive practices in the building industry that are driving up the cost of building materials, says Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Competition in the building materials market is...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Air New Zealand grounds Far North
    The announcement by Air New Zealand to close services from Kaitaia to Auckland will be an absolute disaster for the Far North, Labour MP for Te Tai Tokerau Kelvin Davis says.  “Air New Zealand is sending a signal to the...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Pulling West Coast flights a savage blow
    Air New Zealand’s decision to withdraw its Westport service is another kick in the guts for an already struggling community, West Coast-Tasman MP, Damien O’Connor says.   “Having been involved in the West Coast’s efforts to get Air Nelson to return...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Air NZ cuts economic lifelines to neglected regions
    Air New Zealand’s plans to cut its Eagle Air regional services to already struggling regions is a hammer blow to Westport, Whakatane and Kaitaia, says Labour's Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford. “The regions of New Zealand are being abandoned by this...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Christchurch on the rent rack
    A jump of 20 per cent in weekly rents in the past year is a disaster for Christchurch, says Associate Housing spokesperson Poto Williams. “The Trade Me Property Rental Price index has rightly described the city as being a ‘...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Past time to act on warnings about palliative care
    Health officials have been warning the Government about a critical shortage of palliative care specialists for years, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader and Health spokesperson Annette King says. A stocktake carried out for the Ministry of Health shows New Zealand’s end...
    Labour | 10-11
  • Report must spur Government into action
    The soaring cost of domestic violence and child abuse highlight the need for the Government to prioritise and act on the issue, says Labour's spokesperson for Social Development, Sue Moroney.“Findings from the Glenn Inquiry that show the problem is estimated...
    Labour | 10-11
  • Family safety paramount, then urgent review
    Corrections Minister Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga has some serious questions to answer over why a dangerous prison escapee, convicted of further crimes while in jail, managed to abscond while he was on approved temporary release, Labour’s Corrections spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says.“Phillip...
    Labour | 09-11
  • LVRs a failed experiment from Bill English
    Loan to value mortgage restrictions are a failed experiment from Bill English to tame Auckland house prices, that have caused collateral damage to first home buyers and other regions, says Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “The possible end of LVR...
    Labour | 09-11
  • Govt books getting worse as economy slows
    National’s economic credibility is under serious scrutiny with its search for surplus becoming harder due to an economy far too reliant on the dairy industry, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker. “National promised New Zealanders would get into surplus by...
    Labour | 06-11
  • Kiwis in pain because of Government underfunding
    New research showing one in three people needing elective surgery are being denied publicly-funded operations shows the Government must properly fund the health sector, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. “For almost two years Labour has been warning about the...
    Labour | 06-11
  • National’s promised surplus looking doubtful
    Budget figures for the first quarter of the financial year released today by Treasury show the Government's goal of achieving a budget surplus is looking doubtful, the Green Party said today."National has staked its credibility on achieving a budget surplus...
    Greens | 06-11
  • Kevin Hague speaks on the Gambling Amendment Bill (No 3)
    I rise to give this speech on behalf of Denise Roche, who handles the gambling portfolio for the Green Party. This bill deals with class 4 gambling—pokies in pubs and clubs—and it is the result of changes that were suggested...
    Greens | 06-11
  • Kevin Hague speaks on the Health (Protection) Amendment Bill
    I would like to start off where the previous speaker left off, on the issue of balancing rights or balancing harms. All law is in some way a restriction of personal liberty. That is the point of law. When we...
    Greens | 06-11
  • Joyce backs away from yet another target
    Steven Joyce has backed away from two targets in two days, refusing to acknowledge that his Government has an unambitious aim to get unemployment down to 4 per cent in 11 years’ time, says Labour Associate Finance spokesperson David Clark....
    Labour | 06-11
  • Pacific peoples incomes and jobs falling under National
    The Minister of Pacific Peoples is attempting to bury the ugly facts of Pacific unemployment and income levels worsening since National took office in 2008, said Labour’s Pacific Affairs spokesperson, Su’a William Sio. “If the Minister doesn’t acknowledge how bad...
    Labour | 06-11
  • The Block NZ doing a better job than Nick Smith
    Nick Smith should consider calling in producers of The Block NZ with participants in the TV series completing more houses in two seasons than the Government’s failed Special Housing Area policy, says Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “The Block NZ...
    Labour | 06-11
  • Meridian moves to kill competition from solar homes
    Big electricity companies are using their power to make it harder for families and businesses wanting to go solar and the National Government is doing nothing to help them, the Green Party said today. Meridian Energy announced today a 60-72...
    Greens | 06-11
  • Has John Key done all he could for Pike families?
    It will be forever on the conscience of John Key whether he did all he could to recover the remains of the 29 miners who died in Pike River, Labour’s MP for West Coast-Tasman Damien O’Connor says.  “The Prime Minister...
    Labour | 05-11
  • National further dashes hopes of new parents
    The National Government has once again shown its disdain for working parents by voting down proposals to extend paid parental leave, Labour MP Sue Moroney says.  “The Government vetoed an amended proposal that substantially reduced the cost of extending PPL...
    Labour | 05-11
  • EXCLUSIVE: Campaign reflection, Laila Harré reaching out for radical minds
    Today I’ve announced that I will be stepping down from the Internet Party leadership in December. This will happen once options for the future have been developed for discussion and decision among members. My absolute focus in this election was...
    The Daily Blog | 21-11
  • The Ebola crisis, capitalism and the Cuban medical revolution
    “Ebola emerged nearly 40 years ago. Why are clinicians still empty-handed, with no vaccines and no cure? Because Ebola has been, historically, geographically confined to poor African nations. The R&D incentive is virtually non-existent. A profit-driven industry does not invest...
    The Daily Blog | 21-11
  • MEDIA WATCH: TVNZ Reveals Insane Deadlines For Māori and Pacific Island Pr...
    Last Tuesday, November 18th, TVNZ requested proposals from producers for the four Māori and Pacific Island programmes they will no longer be making in-house. Marae, Waka Huia, Fresh and Tagata Pasifika will keep their existing names, existing formats and existing...
    The Daily Blog | 21-11
  • The Daily Blog Breakfast Club Ep. 1
    TDB Video, Live from Verona Cafe on K-Rd, Auckland – a weekly current affairs show with TDB Editor Martyn Bradbury. This week’s panel: Chris Trotter & Selwyn Manning.The issues: 1 – What now for the New Labour leader? 2 –...
    The Daily Blog | 21-11
  • Performance-demonstration at Auckland’s High Court to demand justice for ...
    People outraged at the lack of justice in the so-called ‘Roast Busters’ case and 99% of other rape cases in this country are holding a visually powerful mass action at the Auckland High Court at 1 o’clock on Saturday. They...
    The Daily Blog | 21-11
  • IES vote may weaken defense of public education
    PPTA announced today that secondary teachers have voted to include the IES (Investing in Education Success) as a variation to their collective employment agreement with the government. At one level it’s an understandable decision by PPTA members because through engaging in a consultation...
    The Daily Blog | 21-11
  • NZ History lesson on Planet Key – the lies white people tell themselves
    John Key’s bizarre claims about our ‘peaceful history’ comes across like the apartheid history of South Africa where white people discovered Africa first… New Zealand ‘settled peacefully’ – PM New Zealand was “settled peacefully” by the British, the prime minister...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • Universal Basic Income and Labour Policy
    On Radio New Zealand’s None-to-Noon on Wednesday (19 November), new Labour leader Andrew Little intimated that he would like to put Universal Basic Income (UBI) on his policy agenda (What policy changes will Andrew Little usher in?) Predictably Kathryn Ryan, despite being...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • The New Notes : They Ain’t Mint
    Hulk Queen Angry. Hulk Queen smash.   Yesterday, the Reserve Bank announced its new designs for our banknotes. Now, I’ve historically been pretty sketch about this entire process; variously feeling affronted that the government could find eighty million dollars to fund a...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • MSM under-mining of new Labour Leader already begun?
    . . It did not take long. In fact, on the same day that Andrew Little won the Labour leadership*, the first media reporter was already asking if he would be stepping down  if Labour failed to lift in the...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • GUEST BLOG: Simon Buckingham – invisible disability voices
    Today I am ranting. The Disability Advisory Group has been announced by Auckland Council. This is the body that represents the interests and views of people with disabilities in Auckland. Whilst I would not have applied this time as I...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking rant on Radio Hauraki: Today, Andrew Little
    Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking rant on Radio Hauraki: Today, Andrew Little...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • Why labelling Little as a ‘Unionist’ is a joke and how he beats Key in ...
    The line being used to attack Andrew Little as a ‘Unionist’ is just an absurd joke, and it comes from people who clearly don’t understand the modern NZ Union movement. Andrew ran the EPM Bloody U, they are easily one...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • 5AA Australia – Labour’s New Leader + China’s President In New Zealan...
    Recorded on 20/11/14 – Captured Live on Ustream.tv. 5AA’s Peter Godfrey and Selwyn Manning.ISSUE ONE: The New Zealand Labour Party has elected its new leader, the vote going to a third round after no clear outright winner was found in...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • Did Roger Sutton think he was running the Rock Radio Station?
    Visible G-String Fridays? Full body hugs? Jokes about who you would and wouldn’t have sex with? Honey? Sweety? It’s like Roger thought he was running the Rock Radio Station, not a Government Public Service department set up to rebuild a...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • US Politics
      US Politics...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • Amnesty International – The conversation that needs to be had with China
    Caption: Police officer watching Hong Kong pro-democracy march, 01 July 2014 © Amnesty International    Yesterday’s edition of The New Zealand Herald features an open letter to all New Zealander’s from Xi Jinping, President of the People’s Republic of China. Along...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • GUEST BLOG: Patrick O’Dea – “Liar”
    LIAR! ‘Privatised social housing to benefit tenants’ English “Housing Corp was a poor performer and about a third of its housing stock was the wrong size, in poor condition and in the wrong place. That stock was worth about $5...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • Too Close For Comfort: Reflections on Andrew Little’s narrow victory over...
    THE TRAGIC SCREENSHOT of “Gracinda” in defeat bears eloquent testimony to the bitter disappointment of the Grant Robertson-led faction of the Labour Party. And, yes, ‘Party’ is the right word. The Robertson machine has now extended its influence well beyond...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • How to defeat child poverty
      How to defeat child poverty...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • Little’s Shadow Cabinet
    Now the horror of trying to pacify the factions begins. The only thing Little’s new shadow cabinet must do is create the pretence of unity. The reason voters didn’t flock to Labour wasn’t the bloody CGT or Superannuation, it was...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • A pilgrimage with my sister – Rethink the System
    We’ve both wanted to do a pilgrimage for many years. But, unlike many modern pilgrims, we wanted to be pilgirms in our own country and get closer to our communities, rather than seek greater distance from them. We are both...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • Lack of policy ambition is Andrew Little’s main problem
    I’ve met Andrew Little a few times and he’s a pleasant man who will make a reasonable job leading what the Labour Party has become in recent decades. He will preside over a much less divided caucus and will be...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • Journos, film makers, media freedom advocates join Asia-Pacific political j...
    A candlelight vigil for the 58 victims of the 2009 Maguindanao massacre – 32 of them media people. Still no justice for them today. Renowned investigative journalists, film makers, academics and media freedom campaigners from across the Asia-Pacific region will...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • And the new Labour Leader is ZZZZZZZZZZ
    The victory lap by Caucus over the members choice of Cunliffe has ended and the new leader of the Labour Party is Andrew Little. Yawn. The dullness and caution of the latest Leadership race will be served well by Andrew,...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • Allow the Facts to Get in the Way of the Neolib Stories
    One of the weaknesses of the political left in New Zealand over the last 30 years has been to allow the neoliberal storytellers to get away with lots of fibs and half-fibs. On TVNZ’s Q+A on 16 November, in a...
    The Daily Blog | 17-11
  • Defending The Boomers: A Response to Chloe King
    THE BABY-BOOM GENERATION (49-68 year-olds) currently numbers just under a quarter of New Zealand’s population. Even so, there is a pervasive notion that the generation of New Zealanders born between the end of World War II and the mid-1960s exercises...
    The Daily Blog | 17-11
  • This weeks Waatea news column – Waitangi Tribunal ruling enshrines Treaty...
      This weeks Waatea news column – Waitangi Tribunal ruling enshrines Treaty as a living document...
    The Daily Blog | 16-11
  • Key now says SAS will be needed to protect ‘trainers’ behind the wire
    Well, well, well. What do we have here? Government could send SAS to Iraq New Zealand’s elite Special Air Service (SAS) could be deployed to Iraq to protect Kiwi troops sent to train local forces. Prime Minister John Key confirmed...
    The Daily Blog | 16-11
  • Do You Want to Build a Meth Lab? (Frozen x Breaking Bad Parody)
    Do You Want to Build a Meth Lab? (Frozen x Breaking Bad Parody)...
    The Daily Blog | 16-11
  • Soft soap for the rich – harsh taxes for the poor
    It’s no surprise to see New Zealand has one of the world’s lowest tax rates for the rich and the superrich. A survey by the global accounting network UHY shows New Zealand’s highest tax rates are lower than even Australia,...
    The Daily Blog | 16-11
  • Phillip Smith and the rehabilitation process
    The dominant media narrative in horrible murder cases is that the perpetrator is unlikely ever to be rehabilitated. When it appears the offender may get parole the media turns first to family members of the victim who commonly (and understandably)...
    The Daily Blog | 16-11
  • The Nation review: Finlayson’s terrifying definition of who is on terror ...
    Terrifying Nation today on TV3. Chris Finlayson is on justifying the Government’s Muslim fear mongering and extension of even more surveillance powers. It was jaw dropping. Finlayson says ‘alienated people with a chip on their shoulder’ is the threshold to get...
    The Daily Blog | 14-11
  • A brief word on The Block NZ
    Is it just me or did The Block manage to sum up everything that is wrong about our culture and economy? Fetishised property speculation as mass entertainment in a country of homelessness & poverty. I wonder if State House tenants...
    The Daily Blog | 14-11
  • Waitangi Tribunal ruling
    That spluttering choking sound of a thousand rednecks being informed Maori still have sovereignty is a hilarious cacophony of stupid… Crown still in charge: Minister Chris Finlayson on Waitangi Treaty ruling The Waitangi Tribunal’s finding that Maori chiefs who signed...
    The Daily Blog | 14-11
  • A brief word on Phillip Smith
    We can arrest student loan & fine defaulters at the airport – but not convicted child molesting killers? Before we ban manufactured ISIS ‘terrorists’ from having passports, how about we just manage to stop child molesting killers from fleeing first?...
    The Daily Blog | 14-11
  • Free Me From Religion
          The meeting begins – or at least it’s supposed to begin – but someone interrupts proceedings. She wants everyone to pray with their heads bowed while she can “thank our Father who art in Heaven.” I close...
    The Daily Blog | 14-11
  • Key capitulates on TPPA while big money NZ set up propaganda fund
    So Key has capitulated on the ‘gold standard’ of free trade deals… The primary objective for New Zealand at Apec was to see some urgency injected into the TPP talks and to keep leaders aiming for a high quality deal....
    The Daily Blog | 13-11
  • Why Phillip Smith is the least of our worries
    Well, it turns out Phillip Smith wasn’t half as clever as he thought he was, and he’s been arrested within a week. If the Prime Minister is through with making tasteless jokes, perhaps we can ramp down the media hysteria...
    The Daily Blog | 13-11
  • Constraining Credibility
      Most economists and members of the public – on both the right and the left – believe that economies are constrained by resource scarcity most of the time. In this view, economies are supply-constrained, and that the economic problem...
    The Daily Blog | 13-11
  • Migrant Labour, exploitation and free markets
    Once more we read about a horror story of virtual slavery for a migrant worker in a restaurant in Christchurch. The silver lining that in this case compensation should be paid is not assured. Often in situations like this the employer winds up...
    The Daily Blog | 13-11
  • On baby boomers who give my generation unhelpful advice: JUST DON’T
    One of my mum’s colleagues recently told her that there is no money in what her daughter was doing; volunteering at a women’s refuge and writing on politics. This guy, dispensing all his pearls of wisdom, told my mother that...
    The Daily Blog | 13-11
  • Morbid Symptoms: Can Labour Be Born Anew?
    THE CHAIRS in the final meeting venue have been stacked away. All that expensive signage, commissioned for the benefit of the television cameras, no longer has a purpose. For the second time in just 14 months, Labour’s Leadership Contest is...
    The Daily Blog | 12-11
  • What’s Small, White, and Having Trouble Attracting New People?
    If your answer was something intimately connected to the person of Peter Dunne … then you’d be right. Last night, P-Dunney decided to bring his comedy and/or hair stylings to the twitterverse; penning a potentially somewhat ill-advised tweet in which he compared...
    The Daily Blog | 12-11
  • LATE at the Auckland Museum review – Slacktivisim: Its not just for Slack...
    Monday night is my yoga night. I’m not really very good it, I don’t really have the bendy, but I made a New Years resolution. This Monday however, I decided to put the yoga on prone and attend a gig...
    The Daily Blog | 12-11
  • This weeks Waatea news column – Nanaia Mahuta – the Princess who roared
      This weeks Waatea news column – Nanaia Mahuta – the Princess who roared...
    The Daily Blog | 11-11
  • Real reasons to fear Government’s new approach to child poverty
    Now  I really am worried.  Selling state houses is bad enough but a taking a ‘social investment focus’ to deal with child poverty? “The Treasury will issue a Request for Information inviting submissions from people who work with vulnerable New...
    The Daily Blog | 11-11
  • Power to the people!
    With all the huffing and puffing of the election out of the way and the right-wing still in ascendancy after 30 years of community-sapping neoliberalism it was a pleasure to attend a strike by workers at Carl’s Jr in Lincoln...
    The Daily Blog | 11-11
  • EXCLUSIVE: OIA reveals WINZ trespassing 400 people a year
    W.I.N.Z is broken and it’s breaking my heart. Every year WINZ issues trespass notices to just under 400 people. 2008 / 418 2009 /  382 2010 /  347 2011 /  411 2012 /  373 2013 /  384 And this year...
    The Daily Blog | 11-11
  • So David Farrar and the Government were wrong on gangs after all?
    Oh the predictability of this… Ministers acted on inaccurate gang data Cabinet signed off tough new measures to tackle gangs on the basis of inaccurate information which over-estimated the scale of the crime problem. The briefing paper told ministers 4000...
    The Daily Blog | 10-11
  • Green’s ‘not speaking out about human rights abuses in China
    Right to Life challenges Russell Norman the co-leader of the Green Party to explain why, he was prepared to ask Prime Minister John Key to talk to Chinese President Xi Jinping about human rights abuses in countries bordering China but...
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • Goodfellow congratulates Key on IDU election
    Goodfellow congratulates Key on IDU election National Party President Peter Goodfellow has congratulated Prime Minister John Key on his election today as Chairman of the International Democrat Union (IDU)....
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • Taxpayers’ Union Congratulates PM on IDU Appointment
    The Taxpayers’ Union is today congratulating Rt. Hon. John Key on becoming the Chair of the International Democrat Union , as former Australian Prime Minister John Howard retires from the role after 12 years. Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director...
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • High demand for Consumer NZ’s “Do Not Knock” stickers
    Consumer NZ has distributed nearly 100,000 “Do Not Knock” stickers since the launch of its campaign to fight back against dodgy door-to-door sellers.The “Do Not Knock” campaign was launched on 3 November 2014. Free “Do Not Knock” stickers...
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • Phillip Smith decision still pending
    Detective Superintendent Mike Pannett is returning to Washington DC where he will continue to closely monitor a pending decision from the Brazilian authorities on the process to return Phillip Smith to New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • High Court demonstration to demand justice
    People outraged at the lack of justice in the so-called ‘Roast Busters’ case and 99% of other rape cases in this country are holding a visually powerful mass action at the Auckland High Court at 1 o’clock on Saturday. They...
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • NZ Society Wins Global Award For Fighting Animal Testing
    New Zealand banning animal testing of legal highs has been acknowledged with an award given in London. The New Zealand Anti-Vivisection Society (NZAVS) was awarded the 2014 LUSH Prize for lobbying against animal testing. The prize was given at the...
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • Poor govt advice to workers on petrol station drive-offs
    The New Zealand Council of Trade Unions has raised concerns with the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment ('MBIE') regarding their reported advice to workers about the petrol station drive away issue....
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • New Ombudsman opinion
    The Ombudsman has published his opinion on a complaint concerning the Police refusal to release information about a charging decision....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • Kindergarten support staff achieve pay rise in tough climate
    The valuable contribution of kindergarten support staff has been recognised with a pay increase, despite the significant funding cuts that the kindergarten associations are experiencing....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • Democracy and Conservative Religion: The Case of Islam
    “Is Islam compatible with democracy?” is a frequently-asked question. Recent rethinking of secularism and democracy have opened up new possibilities to think about religion and democracy. This question is important particularly in the case...
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • NZ fiscal watchdog needed to guard the public purse
    New Zealand needs tighter fiscal rules and an independent watchdog to improve the quality of government spending and reduce the risk of a return to deficit spending as the country’s population ages, if not before....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • NZSMI disappointed ANZTPA proposal shelved
    November 20, 2014: Consumer healthcare products industry body, the New Zealand Self-Medication Industry Association (SMI) says it is disappointed Government has once again shelved plans to create one medicines regulatory agency for both New Zealand and Australia....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • Democracy Action Welcomes Tauranga Vote
    Responding to Tauranga Council’s unanimous vote not to establish separate Council seats on the basis of ethnicity, Lee Short, Democracy Action founder says: “The establishment of a Maori ward would have damaged the relationship between Maori and...
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • Employer caught abusing new ‘teabreaks law’
    Employer caught abusing new ‘teabreaks law’ to exploit workers The government passed the controversial ‘teabreaks’ legislation only a few weeks ago and already Unite Union has caught an employer using this law as an excuse for ill-treating their...
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • FGC response to Commerce Commission report
    The New Zealand Food & Grocery Council is not surprised by the Commerce Commission’s findings, given New Zealand’s current legal framework....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • Bascand: Brighter Money
    Seeing people’s initial reactions to the new banknote designs is a heartening reminder of what an important role currency plays in our lives, and what a sense of pride and heritage our notes evoke....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • RBNZ releases Brighter Money designs
    New Zealand’s banknotes are getting brighter and better, with the Reserve Bank today unveiling more vibrant and secure banknote designs which will progressively enter circulation later next year....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • 25 years of children’s rights
    UNICEF and OFC celebrate 25 years of children’s rights with Just Play Sports Days On Universal Children’s Day (20 November) and as part of the Oceania Football Confederation’s (OFC) inaugural President’s Cup, UNICEF will celebrate 25 years of children’s...
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • Xiamen delegation to Wellington has business focus
    Stronger business, education and cultural ties with our Chinese partners will be the focus when a 20-strong government and business delegation led by Xiamen Mayor Mr Liu Keqing which visits Wellington tomorrow (Friday) and Saturday as part of the...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Warriors promote White Ribbon Day message
    Warriors promote White Ribbon Day message Shine and Orakei Health Services On Tuesday, the Vodafone Warriors will promote the White Ribbon Day message to the community at Eastridge Shopping Centre, Mission Bay. The Warriors are supporting their charity...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Superannuitants to protest unethical investments
    A delegation of Auckland superannuitants will deliver a protest-card petition and protest letter to the New Zealand Super Fund this Thursday afternoon to call on the fund to divest from companies which support the Israeli occupation of Palestinian...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Manukau job cuts ‘running the place into the ground’
    Manukau Institute of Technology (MIT) confirmed to its staff yesterday that 54 jobs will go before Christmas....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Newcore Looks Pretty Rotten for Ratepayers
    Responding to the NZ Herald report that the IT system commissioned by Auckland Council to consolidate the eight systems the Super City inherited from its precursor councils could be facing a budget blowout of $100 million, Taxpayers’ Union Spokesman Ben...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Accountability following quake response inquiry not achieved
    Lessons still need to be learned from the search and rescue efforts following the February 2011 earthquake in Christchurch, a leading New Zealand lawyer, Nigel Hampton QC, says....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Our kids say: We are failing in our duty to protect them
    Our kids say: We are failing in our duty to protect them More than a quarter of Kiwi kids say children’s right to be safe and protected isn’t being upheld in New Zealand, identifying protection from violence, abuse and murder...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • PARS & Turuki Health Care collaborate on health and services
    Auckland-based PARS (People at Risk Solutions) have partnered with the Turuki Health Care Trust, to offer improved healthcare services to those in need. PARS works closely with former prisoners, providing mentoring, housing, and social services to ensure...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Children’s Plea
    A plea has been sent to all Members of Parliament, regardless of party affiliation, to accord urgency and priority to children's issues. These issues include vulnerability, safety and childhood poverty....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Treasury off track in search for sound policies
    Treasury is unlikely to find the ideas it is looking for to improve outcomes for children while its primary driver is cost-cutting, says Child Poverty Action Group....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Commission calls for answers on handling of CERA harassment
    EEO Commissioner Dr Jackie Blue is deeply concerned about the way in which the State Services Commission has handled sexual allegations made against CERA chief executive Roger Sutton this week and is calling for answers....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Ashley Dwayne Guy v The Queen: Appeal Upheld
    The appellant, Mr Guy, was found guilty by a jury of a charge of sexual violation by unlawful sexual connection. After the verdict it was discovered that, by error, the jury had been provided in the jury room with two...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Zonta Club to Take a Stand Against Gender-Based Violence
    During the 16 Days of Activism against Gender Violence (25 November – 10 December), the Zonta Club of Wellington, along with members of the local community, will join nearly 1,200 Zonta clubs in 67 countries for the Zonta Says NO...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • New UNFPA report links progress and power to young people
    A UN report launched today calls for investment in young people as they are essential to social and economic progress....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • The Resignation with the Golden Handshake?
    Commenting on the settlement the State Services Commission has reached with former CERA CEO Roger Sutton, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director, Jordan Williams, says: "Only in the public sector do you receive a payout for ‘resigning’....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • NZ must not turn a blind eye to China’s human rights record
    Amnesty International is calling on New Zealand’s Prime Minister John Key to raise China’s shameful human rights record during President Xi Jinping’s visit to New Zealand this week....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • The Resignation with the Golden Handshake?
    Commenting on the settlement the State Services Commission has reached with former CERA CEO Roger Sutton, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director, Jordan Williams, says:...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Treasury’s covert & extremely odd welfare consultation
    A report this morning that Treasury is ‘crowd sourcing’ ideas on welfare policy is news to Auckland Action Against Poverty, even though we are currently one of the most active groups in the area....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • NZ invites Pacific peers to review development cooperation
    New Zealand has volunteered to be the first development partner in the Pacific region to undergo a review of its aid programme by Pacific island peers. The review will focus on New Zealand’s development cooperation and will give greater insight...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • EPMU joins Pike River families to mark fourth anniversary
    Representatives of the Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union are proud to stand with the Pike River families to mark four years since 29 men lost their lives. “This is a particularly solemn day given the recent announcements of Solid Energy...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • 2013 Assessment of New Zealand’s National Integrity Systems
    SPEAKER TUILOMA NERONI SLADE: Former Judge, International Criminal Court in the Hague, former legal counsel at the Commonwealth Secretariat, Secretary-General of the Pacific Islands Forum 2008-2014. Introduced by Helen Sutch, Victoria University Council,...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Green Party ignoring Waimea’s environmental benefits
    Green Party MP Catherine Delahunty has overlooked the environmental benefits the proposed Waimea Community Dam will bring the Tasman community, says IrrigationNZ Chairperson Nicky Hyslop....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Women’s use of violence in violent relationships
    More than 80 percent of women who live with a physically violent partner will not initiate violence when they are not being hit, according to new research....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Poor credit rating linked to poor cardiovascular health
    Poor credit rating linked to poor cardiovascular health A credit score doesn’t only boil down a person’s entire financial history to a single number and somehow predict their credit-worthiness, it might also be saying something about a person’s...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • State Services Commissioner on Roger Sutton Investigation
    State Services Commissioner Iain Rennie today said the investigation into Roger Sutton’s conduct was robust. Roger Sutton chose to resign as Chief Executive of the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority (CERA) yesterday....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Predator Free NZ project welcomed
    Federated Farmers and the conservation organisation Forest & Bird are welcoming the Predator Free New Zealand initiative as an ambitious but achievable project that will have real benefits for conservation and the economy....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Stock rustling set to continue under lax laws
    The theft and illegal slaughter of farm stock can only be expected to continue if tougher laws are not introduced, said ACT Leader David Seymour today....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Visit of President Xi Jinping to New Zealand
    As president Xi Jinping of China pays short visit to New Zealand, of Friends of Tibet (NZ) has called upon Foreign Minister Hon Murray McCully and the Prime Minister Rt Hon John Key to raise the issue of Human Rights...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Right to Life Congratulates the new Labour Leader
    Right to Life congratulates Andrew Little MP, on being elected as the new leader of the Labour Party. This is a very important election as Andrew Little is now a Prime Minister in waiting His election follows a line of...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Reply to open letter on earthquake repair in Christchurch
    You raise many points and I acknowledge the frustration some people are experiencing when their homes are still not repaired or rebuilt. We have consistently said that the scale and complexity of events has always meant that it will not...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Andrew Little New Labour Party Leader
    In a press conference held on Tuesday in the Labour Party Caucus room at Parliament, it was announced Andrew Little had been voted in as Leader of the Labour party....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
Public service advertisements by The Standard

Current CO2 level in the atmosphere