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A king is born: Long Live Inequality!

Written By: - Date published: 10:54 am, July 25th, 2013 - 87 comments
Categories: accountability, class war, climate change, democracy under attack, john key, poverty, same old national, slippery, spin, Spying, uk politics, unemployment, welfare, workers' rights - Tags:

The majority of New Zealanders are facing a very uncertain future:

in a world of peak everything, where there is:

an ongoing decline in easy access to energy resources

exponential growth in population to unsustainable proportions

climate change and instability

an on-going crisis in the capitalist system based on unsustainable bubbles and addiction to “growth”

and so much more ….

And to make matters worse, at such a time New Zealand has,

a government that cares more for the haves than the have-nots

a government that is consistently dismantling democracy (state surveillance, GCSB legislation, abuse of parliamentary urgency)

a government that is removing workers rights and turns its back on workers health and safety (eg continuing deaths of forestry workers)

a government that cuts taxes for the well-off and demonises those already struggling to live on benefits in a world of diminishing job opportunities

a government that is making life harder for the disabled, those for long term injuries and health problems

a government that favours big oil and big tobacco, while gutting the RMA
…. the list goes on….

And at a time when so many controversial political issues are playing out, the NZ MSM has dutifully followed the lead of Britain’s MSM, fueled by the long death of its aristocratic privilege and class divisions.

inequality-is-great-britain1

I’ve mostly dodged the MSM coverage of this royal circus, but an article came to my notice this morning about the useless pennies thrown to the peasants as the royal party continues, filtered through today’s diversionary celebrity culture that foregrounds images of the “youth” and (culturally-defined) “beauty”.

This article by Emily Harle on Left Foot Forward, refers to the sop thrown to babies born on the same day as the (potentially) future king (4.24pm on 22 July 2013 in the UK and, I estimate, 11 hours later in NZ – 3.24am 23 July 2013 – correct me if I am wrong), Harle writes:

Though their names, weights and times of birth were not announced to the world’s media, just over 2,000 other children in the UK have one thing in common with the new Prince: their date of birth. These children will each be given a silver penny by the Royal Mail, recognising their historical link to the baby that will one day be king.

For most of these children, this is where the similarities end.

Harle then goes on to lay out the vast differences between the have and have-not circumstances of these children’s birth, and how, based on evidence of social research, these children’s lives will differ:

Of the 2,000 children who share the Prince’s birthday, 130 will go to private schools, 438will attend schools that ‘require improvement’ and 102 will go to schools that are failing. Of these 102 children at least 66 will not achieve the five A*-C GCSEs seen as increasingly necessary for proceeding in education or finding a job that pays enough.

For most of these children the barriers will not be their lack of ambition, hard work or interest. It will be the external factors that work against them from an early age such as having nowhere safe to do their homework: 226 children of the 2,000 will live in overcrowded, temporary or run down housing and eleven will be homeless.

A shocking 540 children will live in poverty, with 290 of this group experiencing poverty despite having one parent that works. 5 of the 8 children who die before their first birthdays will most likely come from this group. Poor housing and low quality healthcare will play a significant role in this.

Thirteen of the children sharing the Prince’s birthday will be taken into care during their childhood. They will be looked after by around five different sets of carers and nine of them will leave school with no qualifications. These thirteen children will be more likely to receive a criminal record than go to university.

Of the royal baby’s 2,000 buddies, 120 will have a disability and 40 of them will have difficulty accessing the services, support and activities that their able-bodied friends will take for granted. At least 25 of the 2,000 children will be young carers who look after ill or disabled family members. Two of these children will provide more than 50 hours of care each week.

And Harle continues, spelling out the vast inequalities of the UK: a society far from the meritocracy that “neoliberal” propaganda implies.

New Zealand is not that much different, either in its growing inequalities or in having a current that works for the haves at the expense of the have-nots.

Occupy-auckland-poverty

And in NZ, while our power and wealth worshiping PM gushes about the new prince being a future king of NZ, the New Zealand children born within the same 48 hours of the royal baby won’t even get a patronising silver penny.  In fact, NZ’s PM and MSM is more focused on NZ giving the wealthy prince an unnecessary gift, as reported on Stuff:

Prime Minister John Key has offered his congratulations to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge on the arrival of their baby.

”I think New Zealanders will be celebrating with the happy couple and it’s great to see the birth of a future king of New Zealand so we wish them all the very best. It will be an exciting time for them.”

Key my work here is done

Meanwhile, many in the NZ MSM attempt to sideline, distort and divert from the evidence of the impact of inequalities and related government policies in NZ, as explained by Anthony Robins here. The evidence of inequalities and their impact in NZ are in Max Rushbrooke’s book, Inequality: A New Zealand Crisis.

87 comments on “A king is born: Long Live Inequality!”

  1. tracey 1

    But karol. Ceos have crowned english the king. Anyone dare to do a demographic breakdown of those ceos… you know as an example of how far women and non white men have come?

    • King Kong 1.1

      I am sick of this vilification of rich white men. When are you going to work out that we are just better than you.

  2. Colonial Viper 2

    The British Monarchy is an important institution which will play an increasingly important role in the future as influential opinion leaders. This will be during a time that both corporate and political leaders are failing our civilisation.

    The Left has no equivalent influence, answer or replacement for the monarchy. The Left has built nothing which is as robust, resilient or widely popular as the British Monarchy.

    If you asked the British people if they wanted to disband the Monarchy and become a republic, you’d get roughly as many votes as the Lib Dems.

    • karol 2.1

      The current “popularity” of the Brit monarchy is being maintained via the MSM and the related celebrity culture. That is where the power of the elites lie, not with the monarchy per se.

      That is why the monarchy’s PR machine promotes the soap opera of the younger generation of the royal family.

      • Colonial Viper 2.1.1

        Or, you could simply be wrong about the MSM/PR stuff being the root of the monarchy’s popularity, and admit that the British people have a high degree of cross-partisan personal fondness for the royals and for the institution, a fondness which stretches back way before “celebrity culture”.

        • karol 2.1.1.1

          Well, it’s a mix of both.

          Hmmm… the “British people” are not of like mind. There are monarchists and anti-monarchists.

          But the Monarchy has been very adept at adapting to cultural change under Elizabeth’s reign. She used the media of her time of coronation to transition their public image from monarchy to “Royal Family” – images of the nuclear royal family on the lawn with dogs.

          This has now been updated to tap into the celebrity culture dominated media.

          Without this successful use of the media, the monarchy could well have lost public support over the last 50 years.

          • Peter 2.1.1.1.1

            I think that’s C/V’s point, within the monarchy we have both a flexible, adaptable system that does (largely) unify people, and make them happy, as well as something connected to a lot of human tradition (both good and bad, as with anything human).

            • karol 2.1.1.1.1.1

              LOL. Did you read the stats on the inequalities in the UK as quoted in my post, Peter? Unify people? Actually all the Royal Family Soap Opera and Road Show does is present a public face of unity and happiness, while masking lives damaged by poverty and inequality.

              • Peter

                Where does the existence of the royal family stop people from fighting poverty issues? Get rid of it, replace it with a president, and you’ll still have people arguing that this person/this institution is standing in the way of the fight, when really these are just excuses for either a failure to fight the issue, or a failure of tactics in fighting the issue.

                If you want to fight poverty, fight poverty. But it’s got very little to do with the monarchy.

                • wtl

                  Yes, but karol is hardly using this post to say that the monarchy is “the worst thing ever” but simple taking the opportunity to use the royal birth to highlight the inequality in society. What’s so wrong with that?

                  • karol

                    Thanks, wtl.

                    Though my main view is that the “Royal Family” is part of the (Brit and NZ) propaganda machine that legitimises inequality, and masks the destructive impacts of those inequalities.

                    Of course, today’s “Royal Family” is s not solely responsible for it, and there are also places where inequality exists without a monarchy.

                    • wtl

                      Yes, I appreciate your point and I agree that just as the “Royal Family” is used part of the propaganda machine, it can and should be used to highlight inequality, just as you have done.

                      This, of course, doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t fight poverty and inequality in other ways.

                  • Peter

                    Nothing wrong with that, except I still think it’s a straw man, and a real deviation from the things we should be fighting.

                    For instance, if she’d left the royal family out of it, and focused on the core issues of poverty (none of which the monarchy have much power to do anything about!), I’d have been supporting her idea 100%.

                    Instead, I’m debating it!

                    • karol

                      And what would happen if a member (or more) of the royal family decided not to play along? Maybe to give their income to the poor and campaigned for a fairer society?

                  • The Monarchy is the corner stone of the ghastly British class system. In the 1930’s /Britain was only a ring away from having a Fascist King.Many of the Royalty
                    and their aristocratic friends were friendly with Mussolini and close to Hitler .It is well documented and it shows what can happen when one a head of state by birth right..

  3. johnm 3

    Hi Karol
    An impressive summing up of our inequality issue which Key’s government is actively worsening. The U$K is returning to the Dickensian era having rejected the Post WW11 social (Socialist)contract since that woman Thatcher came to power. It has and is disasterously following the US neoliberal model of privatisation of the public’s commonwealth into private hands and in effect has abdicated democracy in favour of a corporate state (The government doesn’t govern for the people or respect their needs but abdicates economic and eventual political power to corporations and business). The same process is happening here with Key contemptuously ignoring the fact that 80% of kiwis reject privatisation of our energy sector and reject the fascist need to spy on our own people. The origin of the neoliberal rubbish dogma in terms of actual implementation the US is on the point of collapse socially and economically and represents extreme inequality. Detroit is now bankrupt. Yet the fools of the English speaking world continue to implement this trashed for the rich dogma to the bitter end NZ in particular with those overpaid monkeys in Treasury.
    The victims must be blamed and made to pay the disabled and unemployed are to be harassed because the richer sector of society does not want to share with perceived useless people and does not believe that investment in them will pay. At the same time the 1% continue to award themselves bigger and bigger salaries and tax cuts. Tax evasion is now a major industry.

    I was born in England the same day as Prince Charles and my parents received a hamper of food and sweets plus a commemorative card. We lived in a council flat which had been built just a few years previously and was in tip top condition rent was controlled according to income. The Thatcher regime sold these off and now people can’t get housing instead there is a get rich by capital gain bubble in the housing sector (As in NZ) as speculators make huge unearned gains from a self inflated bubble. Back in the 50s 60s people were happy even though the UK was a poor country then but there was almost full employment and there weren’t any problems if you were unemployed.
    Then the Greed Machine Tories got in and their destruction was covered by the North Sea Oil bonanza now almost gone. Now the easy money is gone the Tories want to make the poor pay as in the 19c. The Right Wing has never believed in the people’s commonwealth and they inevitably breed deprivation and inequality and call it just the natural order. key is of the same ilk. Does he look like a man who actually worked for his millions? Of course not he represents a corrupt financial system that robs the poor to enrich the haves!
    The British Monarchy is the symbol of a class society. No worries about Stephanie Botterill who committed suicide because of the bedroom tax she doesn’t count, a nobody, just fix your eyes on the pampered elite! :-(

    • karol 3.1

      Wow, johnm.

      This:
      I was born in England the same day as Prince Charles and my parents received a hamper of food and sweets plus a commemorative card.

      And with your family story, you so aptly expose the myth of unity and happiness some claim as the result of the monarchy.

      • muzza 3.1.1

        And with your family story, you so aptly expose the myth of unity and happiness some claim as the result of the monarchy

        Hi Karol,

        Do large numbers of people actually claim it, or do you think they perhaps are simply unaware of the damage, and have been programmed by the media to such a degree, they are incapable of seeing the obvious?

        Obvious being, the monarchs are a huge contibuter (willing or not) to global suffering, experienced by so many.

        • karol 3.1.1.1

          I said “some” not necessarily the majority. And some commenters on this thread have claimed just that – i.e. they claim monarchy contributes to unity.

          I don’t know what goes on in the majority of people’s heads, only what some people say.

          • muzza 3.1.1.1.1

            I’d be interested to hear the views of those who claim any such, unifying contribution!

            Perhaps they have not though it through!

      • At least you had ‘free fed ” Karol as a kid I lived inna row of houses owned by the then Kings brother .It was a slum and if one did not pay their rent when at home people were thrown out/

        Later in life I indirectly worked for the then Princess Royal (looking after one of her racehorses.
        She was a mean tight fisted old bird who in the two years I “did her horse never once gave me the obligatory tip.

        • karol 3.1.2.1

          Yes, at least johnm’s family got a free feed. I’m not sure what this weeks new borns can do with a silver penny except display it on the mantlepiece.

          Difficult times then TPP, for people who grew up in your neighbourhood. And your experience of the Princess Royal suggests many of that family are keen on holding on to their privilege. There’s generations of extended family hangers on around the Monarch’s nuclear family.

  4. Rich the other 4

    Just more warped logic on this site, nearly as bad as sky city thinking and look what just happened there.
    A K city council has just introduced a policy to restrict pokies in A K .
    The real effect will be to channel more business towards sky city who contributes 2.5% of profit to the community from the operators who they have just penalised who contribute 37.1% ., great green logic.
    Any way let’s face it young George will be treated equally ,no different as the rest of the family .

    • karol 4.1

      Just more warped logic on this site….

      While you have begun your comment by aptly labeling the quality of the rest of your comment – why do you persist with such warped logic in the face of logical arguments by others, supported by relevant and substantial evidence?

      • Rich the other 4.1.1

        Karol ,Logical arguments , what logical arguments ???

        easy energy resources declining, don’t be silly , take a look at California , hundreds of years of oil just sitting there , even our own maui gas resource is about to be reignited with new technology , population, another laugh , the planet could easily sustain another couple of billion, that’s more about than money than overcrowding and climate change , don’t you mean global warming ,yea rite.

        Any way happy birthday George, welcome to the world , it’s not a bad place.l

  5. Peter 5

    What consistently annoys me about anti-monarchy rants is how the monarchy is used as a straw man for the writer’s pet political hates, whether they be inequality, poverty, class, etc. These things will all exist, with or without the monarchy. We need to solve them, but that’s about as far removed from the monarchy as I can imagine.

    I try and think for instance, of the amount of cash that royals raise for charity each year. Yeah, it’d be nice not to rely on that at all, but we live in the real world.

    I’d argue, quite strongly, that the unifying value of constitutional monarchies across diverse cultures is highly useful, and if we are going to worship and venerate something (people like having things to worship, if not the monarchy, then it’ll be a bunch of even less accountable celebrities), it might as well be the British royal family.

    • unicus 5.1

      Its no straw man turd that sits atop the festering classist sewer that is Brittish society – how dare Key pronounce this little maggot king of New Zealand – our forebears escaped from the ghastly debilitating classicism of Europe and the UK two hundred years ago – let the poms slaver over their ridiculous fantasy if they wish – but leave us out of it

      • Tinfoilhat 5.1.1

        Your comment does little to recommend your point of view.

        • Peter 5.1.1.1

          +1

        • unicus 5.1.1.2

          Really ? Are you saying the UK isn’t a classist cesspit

          • Arfamo 5.1.1.2.1

            I don’t care one way or the other. I’m just disappointed they named the blighter George. Common as muck for a name. I was hoping they’d break with tradition and go for something a bit different like Mohammed, or Jacko, or Trevor.

          • Tinfoilhat 5.1.1.2.2

            No I’m saying your bitter and spiteful attack on a baby leaves any point you were trying to make lost in the vitriol.

            • unicus 5.1.1.2.2.1

              Oh dear the poor liitle over pampered pom prat – I couldn’t give a toss what happens in the UK as long as their latest brick in the class wall doesntt show up here expecting to be anyones “king”

              • Tinfoilhat

                By the time he’s King, NZ will likely be a republic or a state of Australia and you’ll likely be long dead so you don’t need to worry your little head about it.

                • Arfamo

                  I’ve gone right off the Royal Family since Thatcher’s funeral. I could tolerate Liz and her spawn till then.

                  • tinfoilhat

                    Why’s that ?

                    • Arfamo

                      They provided a reasonable level of entertainment and Harry even gave the Taliban a sporting chance at a high value target. But Liz never seemed to indicate she had agreed with or supported the policies of that Wrecker Thatcher. Now I reckon it’s time to nationalise the Royal Family, cut their benefit payments, & flog off their assets to overseas corporates.

                    • tinfoilhat

                      Yes I think they should pay their own way when visiting our shores as well.

                      In relation to thatchers funeral I think it’s probably incumbent on the Queen to attend the funeral of a past PM.

                      In relation to nationalising the royals that would be up to the UK citizens and I very much doubt that would be passed at a referendum. in relation to their benefit payments I was under the misunderstanding that they were a cost to the british taxpayer for many years until a friend showed me that they are very significant contributors to the UK tax take, not including the monies that could be argued that they bring in via tourism.

                • unicus

                  I don’t suffer the delusion that I will live forever – or that I need a surrogate or external nobility to preserve my self esteem – I certainly wouldn’t stoop to use the birth of anything to justify a personal fantasy of superiority .

                  Many British people live unfulfilled and demeaning lives – because they accept their own inferiority within a social and psycological class paradime created by the monarchist presence in their society

                  If you dislike like the fact that most New Zealanders don’t believe in that dross or think themselves inferior then its probably time you found somewhere else to live – to put it politely .

                  • tinfoilhat

                    Sorry but I’ve got no idea what either of you are on about if you don’t like the british royal family fine but I can see no reason to let it cause you such angst.

                    • Arfamo

                      They don’t cause me angst. I just don’t like the idea of us paying for the buggers when they tour here. They can afford it themselves. They can flog off some of the embarrassing presents they’ll have put out the back.

                  • karol

                    Having lived in London a long time, I have Brit friends from diverse backgrounds. Most, if not all, of them do not support the monarchy.

                    There are also plenty of Kiwis who do support the monarchy. so I don’t think your generalisations match reality, unicus.

                    I do agree that the class system is firmly entrenched in the social and political structure in the UK. Some of that was also exported here with colonisation and continues today.

                  • One Anonymous Knucklehead

                    If you’re going to criticise psychological paradigms, don’t you think it would be wise to learn to spell them?

                    If I have to choose between agreeing with you and exile, can’t I choose the third option and defend myself against authoritarian bullshit instead?

      • Tracey 5.1.2

        couldn’t you have said that with more feeling, more vitriol?

  6. Peter 6

    There’s also another problem with your argument Karol. If you look back at human history, to a time, arguably, when the world ran on entirely renewable energy (i.e. before fossil fuels). The systems of government we employed then just happened to be monarchies :)

    There’s every reason to assume, that as things slow down, we’ll return to past historical practice, for simplicities’ sake.

    Peter

    • karol 6.1

      Talk about warped/shonkey logic.

      And shonkey history. Monarchies have come in various forms, and in different parts of the world at different times. When was there a time before “fossil fuels”? That would before the use of campfires, the bronze age? Iron age?

      Or are you talking about the rise of fossil fuel industry, which arose with the industrial revolution, and around the time European monarchies were consolidating their power.

      Sheesh, at least try to learn something about history before making such nonsensical statements.

      • Peter 6.1.1

        There certainly was a time before the mass use of fossil fuels. That was, for Europe, all history prior to AD1600, and for China, history before about AD1400 (China started using coal a little earlier). You might have had a little coal used on the odd campfire here and there before that, where a natural seam existed, but it was completely insignificant, compared with what we have done for the past 600 years or so.

        • karol 6.1.1.1

          Peter, you said:

          If you look back at human history, to a time, arguably, when the world ran on entirely renewable energy (i.e. before fossil fuels).

          You seemed to be opposing fossil fuel to renewable energy. Wood, peat etc were not renewables and existed a long time before the coal industry.

          Coal was used around Tyneside from at least the 13th Century

          The mined coal was pretty much near to the surface and didn’t need a lot of mining.

          Forms of coal/carbon (variations of that form of fossil fuel) was used well before the medieval period as an energy/heat source.

          Coal was used by the Chinese long before it was used in Europe; coal from the Fushun mine in northeastern China was used to smelt copper as early as 1000 BCE.[16]
          […]
          detected as forming part of the composition of funeral pyres.[20][21] In Roman Britain, with the exception of two modern fields, “the Romans were exploiting coals in all the major coalfields in England and Wales by the end of the second century AD”.[22] Evidence of trade in coal (dated to about AD 200) has been found at the Roman settlement at Heronbridge, near Chester, and in the Fenlands of East Anglia, where coal from the Midlands was transported via the Car Dyke for use in drying grain.[23] Coal cinders have been found in the hearths of villas and Roman forts, particularly in Northumberland, dated to around AD 400. In the west of England, contemporary writers described the wonder of a permanent brazier of coal on the altar of Minerva at Aquae Sulis (modern day Bath), although in fact easily accessible surface coal from what became the Somerset coalfield was in common use in quite lowly dwellings locally.[24] Evidence of coal’s use for iron-working in the city during the Roman period has been found.[25] In Eschweiler, Rhineland, deposits of bituminous coal were used by the Romans for the smelting of iron ore.[22]

          So really, there’s little correlation between fossil fuels, (or non-renewable fuels) and monarchies.

          The “mass use” of fossil fuel is inextricably tied to the rise of industrialisation and capitalism.

    • Draco T Bastard 6.2

      The systems of government we employed then just happened to be monarchies :)

      Who do you mean when you say “we”?

      I ask because the most societies throughout history haven’t been monarchies.

  7. Tracey 7

    There’s every reason to assume we will return to a monarchy because previously we had a monarch so stop criticising the monarchy? Interesting construction of ideas.

    Defend don’t defend I just don’t want this country to spend a single further dollar on hosting them, providing security, diverting traffic and police, time off important work to attend dinners for other paid employees such as MPs.

  8. joe90 8

    Grandma had an especially venomous dislike of the Windsor clan and during the 1954 tour refused to join the Stratford town council party to greet the queen, reputedly remarking – that woman’s family have already had two of my sons so I’ll be buggered if I’ll curtsey to the bitch.

    Apparently town counsellor Granddad wasn’t too impressed.

  9. infused 9

    Life isn’t fair…

    • One Anonymous Knucklehead 9.1

      …and the degree to which it is unfair is a policy decision.

    • dumrse 9.2

      Nor is it an egalitarian society.

      • One Anonymous Knucklehead 9.2.1

        Nor is it a sado-culinary commune, and your point is?

        According to The Lancet, New Zealand’s increasing economic inequality and New Zealand’s increasing rate of infectious disease related hospital admissions are linked.

        What is the ideal rate of infectious disease?

  10. moreben 10

    I see the glass is half empty at the Standard.

    Losers.

    • One Anonymous Knucklehead 10.1

      We need better wingnuts. Do you know any?

    • Arfamo 10.2

      You’re signing off on behalf of “Losers”? We don’t get many posters dumb enough to do that.

  11. One Anonymous Knucklehead 11

    Hereditary hierarchy is a “bad thing” – this seems self evident – but it is churlish to celebrate cultural diversity and then denigrate the royal family.

    To put it another way, if the Windsors are symbols of inequality based on the UK’s GINI coefficient, are the Yamatos a symbol of equality based on Japan’s?

    • karol 11.1

      Hereditary hierarchy is a “bad thing” – this seems self evident – but it is churlish to celebrate cultural diversity and then denigrate the royal family.

      Eh?

      That just seems muddled to me.

      Should we be celebrating the monarchy as part of cultural diversity?

      Most of my post is about the coverage the royal birth has had in the MSM. It is part of the diversionary presentation of “circuses”, run through celebrity culture. It works to sideline or mask inequality and legitimise privilege.

      I haven’t particularly denigrated individual royal personages but the monarchist system – the main criticism I made of the monarchy is the sop of the silver coin to other children born in the UK on the same day, in contrast to the way too many Brits are struggling in an increasingly unequal society.

      • One Anonymous Knucklehead 11.1.1

        Yeah, when you leave all the economic arguments – which I think are separate anyway – aside, the monarchy is a fundamental part of British culture – which includes the relentless lampooning they are subject to – not a modern phenomenon.

        • karol 11.1.1.1

          Good heavens. Culture is dynamic and changes.

          I met many many Brits – English, Scots, Wrelsh, irish, who don’t see it as a part of their culture that is worth keeping.

          • Colonial Viper 11.1.1.1.1

            Well if you’re going to ask the Scottish and the Irish about the British Monarchy, yes you will get some widely varying responses :)

            • karol 11.1.1.1.1.1

              Well. Indeed. But there’s also quite a few anti-monarchy English – I see you put it at 3:1 below. One third of about 60 million people – still a sizable number of people (around 20 million).

              • One Anonymous Knucklehead

                Where would the Cavaliers be without some Roundheads?

                PS: 3:1 makes them 25% of the population.

                • karol

                  25% – ha! so 15 million, then.

                  • One Anonymous Knucklehead

                    Leaving 75% determined to preserve their particular cultural idiosyncrasy.

                    Not to mention that the Roundheads have been running the place for quite a while now but haven’t seen fit to get rid of the Windsors.

    • dumrse 11.2

      Time to put the glass down now you have it half empty.

      • One Anonymous Knucklehead 11.2.1

        Time you stopped trying to make witty remarks in a conversation you don’t understand.

  12. Steve 12

    Right at the top of the original post by Karol:
    “UK children born on the same day as the new prince will get a silver penny: but there lives will be vastly different.”
    Royalty and Queens English, it is their – their -their not there.
    Penny for your thoughts

  13. TEA 13

    Never fair, we have our own King !
    King Winston the king maker ……

    AIEEEEE !

  14. Binders full of women 14

    I have a vague feeling that Will & Kate prob want to be a bit more low key like the royals in Belg/Spain/Holland/Sweden/Denmark/Norway famous for their cycling- to- work egalitarian streak. I love the royals and would like to see them more in the Euro vein than in the Kardashian style. I don’t think there is a Finnish royal family.

    • Arfamo 14.1

      It’d be great if they’d cycle their way over The Tasman for their next tour here.

  15. Colonial Viper 15

    Monarchy or Republic?

    Brits say 3:1 for the Monarchy. And the tougher times get, the more Brits seem to favour the Monarchy.

    Next.

    • Arfamo 15.1

      They’re probably just thinking if things get any worse as long as they’ve got the monarchy they could always eat the rich.

  16. Murray Olsen 16

    I’ve only ever known one Pom who liked royalty and he was a nasty, slimy prick who got a knighthood on the back of other peoples’ work. On the other hand, they’re bound to be Shearer’s favourite beneficiary family – no one will ever catch them painting their own roofs.

  17. Rodel 17

    I got this strange liking for democracy. Probably from my parents.
    Monarchy seems to be the antithesis of democracy.

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    It’s the first day of spring, and many people will be thinking about getting stuck into the weeds in the garden ready for planting. This year September is also Bee Aware Month. While there is a lack of movement from… ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning MP
    23 hours ago
  • Government must do more to help global refugee crisis
    John Key must urgently increase our refugee quota and let New Zealand play its part in helping address the tragic humanitarian crisis unfolding around the world, Opposition Leader Andrew Little says. “The refugee crisis in countries like Lebanon and Austria… ...
    23 hours ago
  • The latest equal pay case – Go the Midwives
    ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    1 day ago
  • Key’s threat to veto premature
    John Key’s threat that he might use a financial veto against the Bill that will introduce 26 weeks Paid Parental Leave is premature and based on inflated costings, says the bill’s sponsor, Labour ‘s Sue Moroney.  “The Government keeps saying… ...
    2 days ago
  • Reflections on the plastic bag tour
    After a marathon public tour around New Zealand that took me to 29 different places around New Zealand from the far north of Kaitaia to the deep south of Invercargill to talk about phasing out plastic bag use, I wanted… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche MP
    2 days ago
  • Labour celebrates Tongan language and diversity
    Tongan Language Week is a timely reminder of the importance and beauty of our Pacific culture, identity and language in New Zealand, says our first Tongan born, Tongan speaking MP Jenny Salesa.  The theme for Tongan Language Week in 2015… ...
    2 days ago
  • Privatising CYF about ideology not care
    John Key’s suggestions today that Child Youth and Family could be privatized will be a terrifying thought for New Zealanders already dealing with the mess created in private prisons and plans to sell our state houses to Australians, Opposition Leader… ...
    2 days ago
  • Govt must make most of Jetstar competition
    Government agencies should pledge to always buy “the best fare of the day” to maximise competition between Jetstar and Air New Zealand and ensure savings for taxpayers while boosting services to regional New Zealand, Labour’s Transport Spokesperson Phil Twyford says.… ...
    2 days ago
  • Time for inquiry into petrol margins
    It’s time for an inquiry into petrol companies as margins are once again at the high levels that prompted concerns late last year, says Labour's Energy Spokesperson Stuart Nash. "Over the December January holiday period, petrol importer margins jumped to… ...
    5 days ago
  • More talk as Auckland congestion worsens
    The main impact of the Government’s agreement with Auckland Council today will be simply to delay still further decisions needed to relieve the city’s traffic congestion, says Labour’s Auckland Issues Spokesperson, Phil Goff. “Government has been aware for more than… ...
    6 days ago
  • Serco inquiry extended
    A two month delay to the Government investigation into prison fight clubs shows the extent of problems within the Serco circus, says Labour’s Corrections spokesperson Kelvin Davis. “My office received a tsunami of complaints so I’m not surprised the terms… ...
    6 days ago
  • Truck Shops ignore consumer laws
    A damning Commerce Commission report out today highlights the failure of the Government to protect poor and vulnerable families from unscrupulous truck shops, says Labour’s Consumer Affairs Spokesperson David Shearer. “The report found that 31 out of 32 firms it… ...
    6 days ago
  • Taihoa at Ihumatao says Labour
    Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford has called on the Government to rethink its controversial Special Housing Area in Māngere. Auckland Council is today meeting to discuss the development which borders the Otuataua Stonefield Historic Reserve. This project is to get… ...
    6 days ago
  • Figures suggest National deliberately excluded farming
    Figures showing the dairy industry would be categorised as high risk if there were a further five severe injuries within a year, strongly suggests National designed its flawed system to deliberately exclude farming, Labour’s spokesperson for Labour Issues Iain Lees-Galloway… ...
    6 days ago
  • Bleak report on the state of our children
    A damning conclusion by the Children’s Commissioner today that ‘we don’t know if children are better off as a result of state intervention, but the indications are not good’ should make fixing CYFs a top priority for this Government, says… ...
    6 days ago
  • Dodgy data used to justify axing KiwiSaver kickstart
    National’s agenda to run down KiwiSaver has become even clearer from a scathing critique of the Government’s justification for axing the $1000 kickstart, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Since National came to power they have not only continually undermined… ...
    6 days ago
  • Unsecure website risks Ashley MoBIEson hack
    Experts have raised security concerns that vulnerabilities in MoBIE’s half million-dollar website could lead to a possible Ashley Maddison-style hack, says Labour’s Economic Development spokesperson David Clark. “The real issue here is not what data is immediately available, but what… ...
    7 days ago
  • Democracy still the loser in Canterbury
    The Government has demonstrated once again how arrogant and out of touch it is in denying Cantabrians the same democratic rights as the rest of the country, says Labour’s Environment spokesperson Megan Woods.  “The Environment Canterbury Bill which has been… ...
    7 days ago
  • Waiver cost still a mystery
    The Government still has no idea what it’s going to cost community and voluntary groups to get a waiver from the fees police will charge to carry out checks on their staff and volunteers, says Labour’s Community and Voluntary spokesperson… ...
    7 days ago
  • China exports fall 27 per cent in a year
    Exports to China have fallen by 27 per cent over the last 12 months - showing that the looming economic slowdown should have been expected by the Government, says Labour’s Economic Development Spokesperson David Clark. “The Chinese economic slowdown should… ...
    7 days ago
  • National should support all families for 26 weeks
    Families with multiple babies, and those born prematurely or with disabilities, are the winners from moves to extend paid parental leave to 26 weeks but the Government must give all babies the same head start in life, Labour’s spokesperson for… ...
    7 days ago
  • National’s health and safety shambles puts school camps at risk
    Reports that schools are considering scrapping student camps and tearing out playgrounds highlights just how badly National has managed its health and safety reforms, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Schools have been left completely in the dark about the… ...
    1 week ago
  • National’s asset stripping agenda hits schools
    National’s fire-sale of school houses and land is short-sighted, mean-spirited, and will have huge unintended consequences that we will pay for in years to come, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. Documents obtained by Labour show the Ministry of Education… ...
    1 week ago
  • Takahe massacre supposed to get all New Zealanders involved in conservation
    The Minister’s claim that a  botched cull of one of New Zealand’s rarest birds was a way of getting all New Zealanders involved in conservation is offensive and ludicrous, Labour’s conservation spokesperson Ruth Dyson says.  “An email from Minister Maggie… ...
    1 week ago
  • Serco circus rolls on with revelations of fight club practice
    Further revelations that a Serco prison guard was coaching inmates on fight club techniques confirms a fully independent inquiry needs to take place, says Labour’s Corrections spokesperson Kelvin Davis. “The Minister’s statement today that a guard was coaching sparring techniques… ...
    1 week ago
  • Government targets put ahead of students’ education
    The Government must urgently reassess the way it sets NCEA targets after a new report found they are forcing schools to “credit farm” and are undermining the qualification, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “A PPTA report released today says… ...
    1 week ago
  • ER patients in corridors as health cuts bite
    Patients are being forced to wait for hours on beds in corridors as cash strapped hospitals struggle to keep up with budget cuts, says Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King. “People coming to the emergency room and being forced to wait… ...
    1 week ago
  • Not too late to fix Health and Safety for New Zealand’s workers
    The Government and its minor party supporters are showing an arrogant disregard for workers’ lives by not agreeing to a cross-party solution to the botched Health and Safety bill, Opposition leader Andrew Little says. “Yesterday I wrote to the Prime… ...
    1 week ago
  • Speech to the New Zealand Council of Infrastructure Development
    Tēnā Kotou Katoa. Thank you so much for having me along to speak today. Can I begin by acknowledging John Rae, the President, and Stephen Selwood, the chief executive of the Council for Infrastructure Development. ...
    1 week ago
  • Reserve Bank points finger at Govt inaction
    In scathing criticism of the Government’s inaction, the Reserve Bank says Auckland housing supply is growing nowhere near fast enough to make a dent the housing shortage, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. Reserve Bank deputy governor Grant Spencer today… ...
    1 week ago
  • Chickens come home to roost on climate change
    The Government’s gutting of the Emissions Trading Scheme has caused foresters to leave and emissions to rise, says Labour’s Climate Change spokesperson Megan Woods. “The release of the Environmental Protection Agency’s Facts and Figures Report for 2014 on the ETS… ...
    1 week ago
  • Website adds to long list of big spends at MBIE
    The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment’s $560,000 outlay on its new website is further evidence of excessive spending by Steven Joyce on his pet project super ministry, Labour’s Economic Development spokesperson David Clark says.  “Hot on the heels of… ...
    1 week ago
  • Brownlee warned over EQC repairs but ignored them
    Gerry Brownlee was warned that EQC’s underfloor repairs weren’t being done properly by industry experts, the cross party working group and in public but he arrogantly ignored them all, says Labour’s Earthquake Commission spokesperson Clayton Cosgrove.  “Today’s apology and commitment… ...
    1 week ago
  • Serco wants in on state house sell off
    The Government must keep scandal plagued outsourcing company Serco away from our state housing after their disastrous record running Mt Eden prison, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. "Today it has emerged that at the same time Serco was under… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Come clean on Pasifika education centre
    Minister Peseta Sam Lotu-Iinga needs to come clean and tell the Pasifika communities if he’s working to save the Pasifika Education Centre or shut it down, Labour’s Pasifika spokesperson Su’a William Sio says.  “I’m gutted the Pasifika Education Centre funding… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Time for NZTA to work on alternatives to flyover
    The High Court decision rejecting the New Zealand Transport Agency’s attempts to build the Basin Reserve flyover must now mean that NZTA finally works with the community on other options for transport solutions in Wellington, Grant Robertson and Annette King… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Shiny new system leads to record truancy
    Record high truancy rates shows the Government’s much-vaunted new attendance system is an abysmal failure, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Data released today shows truancy rates have spiked more than 15 per cent in 2014 and are now at… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Woodhouse wrong about quarries
      The Minister for Workplace Relations and Safety Michael Woodhouse was wrong yesterday when he said limestone quarries were covered by the farcical Health and Safety legislation, says Labour’s Associate Labour spokesperson Sue Moroney.  “He said he ‘understood’ limestone quarries… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Taxpayers money spent on culling one of our rarest birds
    It beggars belief that four endangered takahe were killed by incompetent cullers contracted to the Department of Conservation and the Minister must explain this wanton destruction, says Conservation spokesperson Ruth Dyson. “It must not be forgotten that there are only… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Housing NZ must immediately move family
    Housing New Zealand must immediately move a Glen Innes family whose son contracted serious and potentially fatal health problems from the appalling condition of their state house, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “Te Ao Marama Wensor and community workers… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • No understanding of the value of overseas investment
     The Government has now admitted it has absolutely no idea of the actual value of foreign investment in New Zealand, says Labour’s Land Information spokesperson Stuart Nash.  “It is crucial that the Government starts to understand just what this overseas… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Another bridges bribe from Simon Bridges
    Simon Bridges is embroiled in another bridges-for-votes controversy after admitting funding for a replacement bridge in Queenstown is “very much about… the 2017 election”, Labour’s Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “The Transport Minister is today reported as telling Queenstown locals… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Saudi tender process reeks of SkyCity approach
    The tender process for the $6m investment in a Saudi sheep farm reeks like the SkyCity convention centre deal and once again contravenes the government’s own procurement rules, says Labour’s Export Growth and Trade spokesperson David Parker. “The $6m contract… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Maori Party should stand up for workers
    The Government’s proposed Health and Safety Reform Bill does not go far enough to protect those in specific industries with the highest rates of workplace deaths, says Maori Development Spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta. “We are told that Maori workers are more… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Minister must explain budget blowout
    Māori Development Minister Te Ururoa Flavell must explain a budget blow out at Te Puni Kokiri, after the organisation spent more than 2.5 million dollars over their budget for contractors, says Labour’s Associate Māori Development spokesperson Peeni Henare.  “For the… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Successful effort to raise the issue of GE trees in proposed standard
    Many thousands of people submitted on the proposed National Environmental Standard –  Plantation Forestry (NES-PF).  A vast majority of the public submissions were particularly focussed on the NES having included GE trees in its mandate. People want these provisions removed,… ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Fair Share Friday – Thoughts and Reflections
    As part of our Fair Share  campaign, Green MPs have been doing a series of visits to community groups across the country to have conversations about inequality in New Zealand and what communities are experiencing on the ground. I visited… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Crucial Auditor General investigation welcomed
    The Auditor General’s decision to investigate the Saudi sheep scandal is important, necessary and welcome, Labour’s Trade and Export Growth spokesperson David Parker says. “The independent functions of the Auditor General are a cornerstone of the New Zealand system of… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • KiwiSaver sign-ups continue to fall
    New KiwiSaver sign-ups in July were 45 per cent below the monthly average, despite John Key saying axing the kickstart “will not make a blind bit of difference to the number of people who join KiwiSaver”, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson… ...
    2 weeks ago

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