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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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    A long overdue review of family violence laws is a major step forward in addressing New Zealand's disgraceful record of domestic abuse, but fails to address funding issues, Labour’s Associate Justice spokesperson Kelvin Davis says. “New Zealand has one of… ...
    11 hours ago
  • Reckless complacency in face of disastrous dairy result
    Another dramatic drop in global dairy auction prices highlights how reckless National has been in failing to properly diversify the economy, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Overall prices dropped by 9.3% in the auction, including a 10.3% drop for… ...
    15 hours ago
  • $4 million was to advance trade not settle legal claim
    It is now even more apparent that the $4 million payment to the Al Khalaf group was to advance trade with Saudi Arabia, not to settle a legal claim, says Export Growth and Trade spokesperson David Parker. “Documents released today… ...
    1 day ago
  • Predictable result of unfair law changes
    National’s destructive labour laws have forced 1000 workers at Talley's-owned freezing works AFFCO into taking strike action just to keep their employer at the bargaining table, Labour’s spokesperson on Labour Issues Iain Lees-Galloway says. “The Government only has itself to… ...
    1 day ago
  • Changes dilute Coroners’ role
    A planned change to the Coroners Act which means an inquest won’t be required when a death occurs in official care or custody is a backward step and weakens the important role coroners play, Labour’s Justice spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says.… ...
    1 day ago
  • Obama acts – Key sits on his hands
    President Obama’s plan to tackle climate change proves that leading nations are mustering the courage to do what is necessary, says Labour’s Climate Change spokesperson Megan Woods.  “His plan to cut emissions from United States power stations by a third… ...
    1 day ago
  • Forestry death guilty plea proves case for reform
    A logging company’s guilty plea over the death of one of their workers proves the need to strengthen health and safety laws, Labour’s spokesperson for Labour Issues Iain Lees-Galloway says. Charles Finlay was killed in July 2013 when he was… ...
    2 days ago
  • Daughter for the Return Home
    Christchurch East MP Poto Williams who hails from the Cook Islands, will be returning this week as part of the Cook’s celebrations on becoming self-governing 50 years ago.  Her family background is connected to the northern Cooks, the islands of… ...
    2 days ago
  • Tiwai Point welcomed but strategy needed
    The  news that Tiwai Point Aluminium smelter will remain open is good news for the 800 workers at the plant and the people of Southland, but points to a need for a comprehensive regional development strategy, Opposition leader Andrew Little… ...
    2 days ago
  • Stalled TPP chance for wider discussion
    Failure to get the TPP agreement across the line gives New Zealanders an opportunity to put more pressure on the Government not to sign away our sovereignty, Opposition leader Andrew Little says.“New Zealand land, dairy and medicines are up for… ...
    4 days ago
  • Will poor TPP dairy outcome stop National selling out our homes?
    After failing to protect the right to stop foreign speculators buying our houses it’s clear the Government is not going to get wins on dairy in their TPP negotiations either, Labour’s Trade and Export spokesperson David Parker says. “Labour has… ...
    5 days ago
  • Feeling aspirational
    Yesterday the Rich List showed the number of people who have over 50 million of wealth had increased by another 15 people since last year. Collectively this group are now worth 55 billion, an increase of over 7% since last… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    5 days ago
  • Feeling aspirational
    Yesterday the Rich List showed the number of people who have over 50 million of wealth had increased by another 15 people since last year. Collectively this group are now worth 55 billion, an increase of over 7% since last… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    5 days ago
  • Feeling aspirational
    Yesterday the Rich List showed the number of people who have over 50 million of wealth had increased by another 15 people since last year. Collectively this group are now worth 55 billion, an increase of over 7% since last… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    5 days ago
  • Bennett’s legacy a test for Tolley
    Former Social Development Minister Paula Bennett has been thrown under the bus by her successor after its been suggested that Ms Bennett gave the green light to an ‘unethical’ observational study of high-risk children, Labour Children’s spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says.… ...
    5 days ago
  • Submission to Greater Christchurch Earthquake Recovery: Transition to Rege...
    Thank you for the opportunity to contribute to the Draft Transition Recovery Plan on behalf of the New Zealand Labour Party.  It is important that the citizens of Canterbury have a voice in the governance of the next step of… ...
    6 days ago
  • Troubled school wanted $25,000 dollars to fence farm
    The troubled Whangaruru charter school asked Hekia Parata for $25,000 to fence the school farm at the expense of spending on teaching, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “This unbelievable revelation comes hard on the heels of Hekia Parata’s decision to… ...
    6 days ago
  • Troubled school wanted $25,000 dollars to fence farm
    The troubled Whangaruru charter school asked Hekia Parata for $25,000 to fence the school farm at the expense of spending on teaching, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “This unbelievable revelation comes hard on the heels of Hekia Parata’s decision to… ...
    6 days ago
  • Government report on sexual & family violence a good first step
    Yesterday the Government released the cabinet paper on progress on the work programme of the Ministerial Group on Family Violence and Sexual Violence. Along with the Human Rights Commissioner and Women’s Refuge, I really welcome the report. I’m relieved that… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    6 days ago
  • Government report on sexual & family violence a good first step
    Yesterday the Government released the cabinet paper on progress on the work programme of the Ministerial Group on Family Violence and Sexual Violence. Along with the Human Rights Commissioner and Women’s Refuge, I really welcome the report. I’m relieved that… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    6 days ago
  • Prisoner voting disqualification and the Bill of Rights Act
    In 2010, National rammed the Electoral (Disqualification of Sentenced Prisoners) Amendment Bill through Parliament. Paul Quinn’s Member’s Bill existed because Paul Quinn thought anyone who’d been imprisoned was a serious offender, and serious offenders had ‘forfeited’ their right to vote.… ...
    GreensBy David Clendon MP
    6 days ago
  • Mainfreight ‘appalled’ by Government’s rail madness
    The Government has been given a serve by New Zealand-based international trucking and logistics firm Mainfreight which says it lacks a national transport strategy, and has treated rail badly, Labour's Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford says. The company has told shareholders it… ...
    1 week ago
  • National’s Health and Safety Reform Bill: less safety and fewer rights at...
    The New Zealand Council of Trade Unions is embarking on a campaign to fight the changes that weaken the Health and Safety Reform bill. As part of the campaign the CTU has organised vigils with the display of 291 crosses… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche MP
    1 week ago
  • All options need to be put on meat sector table
    Farmers must be given every assurance that all potential risks have been considered before Silver Fern Farms opens its door to foreign equity, Labour’s Primary Industries spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “The ongoing saga involving the meat sector and amalgamation has… ...
    1 week ago
  • Flag the referendum if 50% or more don’t vote
    Labour has moved to have the second flag referendum canned if the first attracts fewer than half the eligible number of voters, Opposition Leader Andrew Little says. “John Key has already wasted more than $8 million on his vanity project… ...
    1 week ago
  • 90,000 cars reclassified in botched ACC ratings
    New figures obtained by Labour show the ACC Minister’s botched motor vehicle levy system has resulted in 90,000 vehicles having to be reclassified so far – at a cost of $6 million, Labour’s ACC spokesperson Sue Moroney says. “Nikki Kaye’s… ...
    1 week ago
  • Brutal health cuts confirmed, crucial services suffer
    Chronic under-funding by National has seen the health budget slashed by $1.7 billion in just five years, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. A report by Infometrics, commissioned by Labour, shows health funding has been cut in four of the… ...
    1 week ago
  • Meth ring under Serco’s nose
    The news that two Serco inmates have been arrested for helping to run a methamphetamine ring from prison should be the final straw and see their contract cancelled, says Labour’s Corrections Spokesperson Kelvin Davis. “National has stood by Serco despite… ...
    1 week ago
  • Ministers failing women and their own targets
    New figures showing just five Ministers have met the Government’s own reduced targets for appointing women to state sector boards is evidence National is failing Kiwi women, Labour’s Women’s Affairs spokesperson Sue Moroney says. “The Ministry for Women’s 2015 Gender… ...
    1 week ago
  • Charges up for some as funding up for grabs
    A proposal being considered by the Government would see some people having to pay more for health care and district health boards forced to fight amongst themselves to fund regional health services, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says “Information leaked… ...
    1 week ago
  • Stop experimenting on kids
    The trouble with the Charter school model is that it is a publicly funded experiment on children. The National Government has consistently put its desire to open charter schools ahead of the safety of the children in them, ignoring repeated… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    1 week ago
  • Bank puts the squeeze on mid Canterbury farmers
    News that an unnamed bank in Ashburton has put a receiver on notice over financially vulnerable farmers will send a chill through rural New Zealand, says Labour’s Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson. “The Government needs to work with  New Zealand’s banks… ...
    1 week ago
  • Key is trading away New Zealand land and homes
    John Key yesterday admitted what National dishonestly refused to confirm in Parliament last week – he is trading away New Zealand’s right to control who buys our homes and land, says Opposition leader Andrew Little. “The Prime Minister must now… ...
    1 week ago
  • Razor gang takes scalpel to health
    Plans by the Government to take a scalpel to democratically elected health boards are deceitful and underhand, coming just months after an election during which they were never signalled, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says “Leaked documents reveals a radical… ...
    1 week ago
  • Spin lines show a department in chaos
    Corrections Spin Doctors sending their place holder lines to journalists instead of responding to serious allegations shows the scale of chaos at the department over the Serco scandal, says Labour’s Corrections Spokesperson Kelvin Davis. “As more and more serious allegations… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Court ruling shows law should never have been passed
    A High Court ruling that a law banning prisoners from voting is inconsistent with a properly functioning democracy should be a wake-up call for the Government, Labour’s Justice spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says. In an unprecedented ruling Justice Paul Heath has… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Judicial Review Gamble Pays Off for Problem Gambling Foundation
    Congratulations are due to the Problem Gambling Foundation (PGFNZ) who have won their legal case around how the Ministry of Health decided to award their contracts for problem gambling services to another service provider. Congratulations are due not just for… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Environmental Protection Agency appoints GE advocate as new CEO
    This week, the Environmental Protection Authority Amendment Bill passed its first reading in Parliament. The Bill puts protection of the environment into the core purpose of the Environmental Protection Authority. This month, Dr Allan Freeth, the former Chief Executive of… ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Charanpreet Dhaliwal death demands genuine health and safety reform
    The killing of a security guard on his first night on the job is exactly the kind of incident that National’s watered-down health and safety bill won’t prevent, says Te Atatu MP Phil Twyford. The coronial inquest into 22-year-old Charanpreet… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Arbitrary sanctions hit children hardest
    Increasing numbers of single parents are being penalised under a regime that is overly focussed on sanctions rather than getting more people into work, Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni says. “Figures, obtained through Parliamentary questions show 3000 more sanctions,… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Hekia just won’t face the facts
    Hekia Parata’s decision to keep troubled Whangaruru Charter school open despite being presented with a catalogue of failure defies belief, goes against official advice and breaks a Government promise to close these schools if they were failing, says Labour’s Education… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • No more silent witnesses
    Yesterday I attended the launch of a new initiative developed by and for Asian, Middle eastern and African youth to support young people to name and get support if there is domestic violence at home. The impact on children of… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Single Use Plastic Bags campaign – Some wins and some green-washing
    As we near the end of Plastic Free July I’m nearing the conclusion of my Say No To Plastic Bag tour when I will have completed all 30 of my public meetings. The campaign was designed to work with community… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Single Use Plastic Bags campaign – Some wins and some green-washing
    As we near the end of Plastic Free July I’m nearing the conclusion of my Say No To Plastic Bag tour when I will have completed all 30 of my public meetings. The campaign was designed to work with community… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Minister must take responsibility for problem gambling debacle
    The Government’s handling of the Problem Gambling Foundation’s axing in a cost-cutting exercise has been ham-fisted and harmful to some of the most vulnerable people in society, Associate Health Labour spokesperson David Clark says.“Today’s court ruling overturning the axing of… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour will not support TPP if it undermines NZ sovereignty
    The Labour Party will not support the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement unless key protections for New Zealanders are met, Opposition leader Andrew Little says.“Labour supports free trade. However, we will not support a TPP agreement that undermines New Zealand’s sovereignty. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Coleman can’t ignore latest warnings
    Resident doctors have advised that a severe staffing shortage at North Shore Hospital is putting patients’ lives at risk, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. “They say a mismatch between staffing levels and patient workloads at North Shore has… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • ACC must remove barriers to appeals
    The Government must prioritise removing barriers to justice for ACC claimants following a damning report by Acclaim Otago, Labour’s ACC spokesperson Sue Moroney says. “ACC Minister Nikki Kaye must urgently scrap her flawed plan to remove claimant’s right to redress… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Six months’ paid parental leave back on the agenda
    Six months’ paid parental leave is back on the agenda and a step closer to reality for Kiwi parents after Labour’s new Member’s Bill was pulled from today’s ballot, the Bill’s sponsor and Labour MP Sue Moroney says. “My Bill… ...
    2 weeks ago

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