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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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    Nuclear weapons states must honour the unequivocal promise they made 45 years ago to disarm, says Labour’s Disarmament Spokesperson Phil Goff. Mr Goff is attending the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference at the United Nations in New York. ...
    1 hour ago
  • Worker safety top of mind tomorrow and beyond
    Workers’ Memorial Day, commemorated tomorrow, is both a time to reflect and to encourage a better safety culture in all workplaces, says Labour’s spokesperson for Labour Issues Iain Lees-Galloway.“On Worker’s Memorial Day, working people across New Zealand will remember those… ...
    22 hours ago
  • Communities forced to stomach water woes
    Confirmation by Health Minister Jonathan Coleman that he is to wind up a water quality improvement scheme will leave thousands of Kiwis with no alternative but to continue boiling their drinking water, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. The Drinking… ...
    1 day ago
  • Labour calls for immediate humanitarian aid for Nepal
    The Government should act immediately to help with earthquake relief efforts in Nepal, Labour’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson David Shearer says. “The Nepalese Government is appealing for international assistance following yesterday’s massive quake. The full impact is only now being realised… ...
    1 day ago
  • New holiday reflects significance of Anzac Day
    Anzac Day now has the full recognition that other public holidays have long enjoyed, reflecting the growing significance it has to our sense of identity and pride as a nation, Labour MP David Clark says.“The importance of the 100th Gallipoli… ...
    1 day ago
  • Housing crisis hurting export growth
    If Steven Joyce wants to revive his failing export growth target he needs to make sure the Government gets to grips with the housing crisis, says David Parker, Labour’s Export Growth and Trade spokesperson. “Our exporters are struggling to compete… ...
    4 days ago
  • Gallipoli’s lesson: never forget, never repeat
     A special monument to one of our greatest war heroes should be a priority for the new Pukeahu National War Memorial Park, Labour Leader Andrew Little says.  “This will honour the spirit of Lieutenant Colonel William Malone, who led 760… ...
    4 days ago
  • Minister for who? Women, or Team Key?
    Louise Upston yesterday broke her silence on John Key’s repeated unwanted touching of a woman who works at his local café, to jump to the defence of her Boss. Upston repeated Key’s apology but, according to media reports “she refused… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    4 days ago
  • Taxpayer bucks backing US billionaire
    Kiwis will be horrified to know they are backing a Team Oracle subsidiary owned by a US billionaire, Labour’s Sports and Recreation spokesperson Trevor Mallard says. It has been revealed today that a Warkworth boat building company, which is wholly… ...
    5 days ago
  • English’s sins of omission: ‘Nothing left to be done’ on housing
    When Bill English said ‘there is nothing left to be done’ on the Auckland housing crisis he had overlooked a few things – a few things, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says.  “He’s right if you ignore: ...
    5 days ago
  • Climate change now hurts Kiwis
    Kiwis have twice been given timely and grave warnings on how climate change will hit them in their hip pockets this week, says Climate Change spokesperson Megan Woods.  “The first is the closure of the Sanford mussel plant and the… ...
    5 days ago
  • Clean, green and chocolate!
    Like many people I absolutely love chocolate! But until recently I hadn’t given much thought to how it was grown and produced. Fair trade and ethical food production are core Green Party principles, so yesterday Steffan Browning and I were… ...
    GreensBy Mojo Mathers MP
    5 days ago
  • National admits loan shark law not up to it
    National has admitted new laws to crack down on loan sharks, truck shops and dodgy credit merchants aren’t up to the task of protecting vulnerable consumers, Labour’s Commerce spokesperson Kris Faafoi says. “Paul Goldsmith has acknowledged the laws might just… ...
    5 days ago
  • Power and the Prime Minister
    I’d like to acknowledge the young woman* who has publically told her story. It was a very brave thing to do. She kept her story very simple and focussed on her experience of what happened. It told of unwanted attention… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    5 days ago
  • Extra holiday offers time to reflect
    The Mondayisation of Anzac Day provides New Zealanders with an opportunity to spend more time with their families and their communities, Dunedin North Labour MP David Clark says. “This is the first time legislation I introduced, to have Anzac and… ...
    5 days ago
  • More angst and anguish for red zone locals
    Local residents will be bitterly disappointed by the Government’s cherry picking of the Supreme Court’s decision regarding compensation for red zoned property owners, Labour Canterbury Earthquake Recovery spokesperson and Port Hills MP Ruth Dyson says. “Home owners have taken all… ...
    6 days ago
  • Australia shows why we need a sovereign wealth fund now
    Australia has not managed its great mining boom well, says HSBC’s chief economist for Australia and New Zealand, Paul Bloxham. When times are good, governments need to save for the bad times that will inevitably follow, and this can be… ...
    GreensBy Russel Norman MP
    6 days ago
  • Pure Water- pure rip off
    New Zealanders’ rights to fresh water must be protected before commercial allocations are given, but the Government is allowing resources to be taken, says Kelvin Davis MP for Te Tai Tokerau.  “The Government needs to resolve the issue of water… ...
    6 days ago
  • Cabinet paper reveals weak case for Iraq deployment
    A heavily redacted copy of a Cabinet paper on New Zealand’s military deployment to Iraq reveals how weak the case is for military involvement in that conflict, says Labour’s Defence spokesperson Phil Goff.  The paper warns that given the failure… ...
    6 days ago
  • Malaysia’s booty is Kiwis’ lost homeownership dream
    It’s unsurprising the Auckland property market is so overheated when Malaysians are being told they can live large on Kiwi’s hard-earned rent money, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “A Malaysian property website lists nearly 4000 New Zealand houses and… ...
    6 days ago
  • Ministry’s food safety resources slashed to the bone
    The Ministry for Primary Industries’ failure to monitor toxic and illegal chemicals in red meat is a dereliction of duty, Labour’s Primary Industries and Food Safety spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “MPI compliance officer Gary Orr today admitted National’s much-vaunted super… ...
    6 days ago
  • Ministry must protect organic food industry
    The Ministry for Primary Industries must take urgent action to protect New Zealand’s $150 million organic food and beverage industry by establishing a certification regime, Labour’s Primary Industries spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “Despite working with Organics Aotearoa on the issue… ...
    7 days ago
  • Tony Abbott, indigenous rights, and refugees
    This week, Tony Abbott has visited Aotearoa New Zealand, bringing with him his racist policies against indigenous Australians and his appalling record on refugee detention camps. Abbott has launched a policy “to close” remote aboriginal communities, which is about as… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    1 week ago
  • PM’s housing outburst bizarre
    Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford has described the Prime Minister’s latest comments on the Auckland housing crisis as bizarre. “John Key is deep in denial. He must be one of the only people left who are not concerned about the risk… ...
    1 week ago
  • Deflation: Another economic headache linked to housing crisis
    National’s housing crisis is causing even further damage with the second consecutive quarter of deflation a genuine concern the Reserve Bank can do little about, as it focusses on Auckland house prices, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “This is… ...
    1 week ago
  • Pot calling the kettle black over fossil fuel subsidies.
    Over the weekend alongside nine other countries the New Zealand Government has endorsed a statement that supports eliminating inefficient subsidies on fossil fuels. Fossil fuel subsidies are a big driver of increasing emissions. Good on the Government for working internationally… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes MP
    1 week ago
  • At last – a common sense plan for Christchurch
    The Common Sense Plan for Christchurch released by The People’s Choice today is a welcome relief from the shallow debate about rates rises versus asset sales, Labour’s Christchurch MPs say. "Local residents – who have spent weeks trawling through the… ...
    1 week ago
  • National must lead by example on climate change
    The National Government must meet its own climate change obligations before it preaches to the rest of the world, Labour's Climate Change spokesperson Megan Woods says. "Calls today by Climate Change Minister Tim Groser for an end to fossil fuel… ...
    1 week ago
  • Biosecurity rethink a long time
    The Government has opened New Zealand’s borders to biosecurity risks and its rethinking of bag screening at airports is an admission of failure, Labour’s Primary Industries spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. Nathan Guy today announced a review of biosecurity systems in… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Chinese rail workers must be paid minimum wage
    KiwiRail must immediately stop further Chinese engineers from working here until they can guarantee they are being paid the New Zealand minimum wage, Labour’s MP for Hutt South Trevor Mallard says. The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment today released… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Better consultation needed on Christchurch asset sales
    The Christchurch City Council (CCC) should be promoting wide and genuine public consultation on its draft ten year budget and plan given the serious implications for the city’s future of its proposed asset sales, outlined in the plan. Instead, it… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    2 weeks ago
  • ‘Healthy Families’ a good start but not enough to tackle obesity relate...
    Today the Government is making a the meal out of the launch of its ‘Healthy Families’ package to promote ‘healthier decisions’ and ‘changing mindsets’ over nutrition, physical activity and obesity. Great! The programme is based on a successful model from… ...
    GreensBy Kevin Hague MP
    2 weeks ago
  • ‘Healthy Families’ a good start but not enough to tackle obesity relate...
    Today the Government is making a the meal out of the launch of its ‘Healthy Families’ package to promote ‘healthier decisions’ and ‘changing mindsets’ over nutrition, physical activity and obesity. Great! The programme is based on a successful model from… ...
    GreensBy Kevin Hague MP
    2 weeks ago
  • No more sweet talk on obesity
    The Government should be looking at broader measures to combat obesity rather than re-hashing pre-announced initiatives, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says.  “While it is encouraging to see the Government finally waking from its slumber and restoring a focus on… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Government two-faced on zero-hour contracts
    The Government should look to ban zero-hour contracts in its own back yard before getting too high and mighty about other employers using them, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. “Information collated by Labour shows at least three district health… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Scrutiny of battlefield deaths should continue
    As New Zealand troops head to Iraq under a shroud of secrecy, the Government is pushing ahead with legislation to remove independent scrutiny of incidents where Kiwi soldiers are killed in hostile action overseas, Labour’s Defence spokesperson Phil Goff says.… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Damp-free homes a right for tenants
    Labour is urging tenants to use a little known rule which gives them the right to live in damp-free rental homes. Otago University researchers have today highlighted the Housing Improvement Regulations 1947 as a way tenants can force landlords to… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • National must take action on speculators
    The Government must take action on property speculators who are damaging the housing market and shutting families and young people out of the home ownership dream, Labour Leader Andrew Little says.  “There are a number of options the Government could… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Milk price halves: A $7b economic black hole
    Global milk prices have halved since the peak last year, creating an economic black hole of almost $7 billion that will suck in regions reliant on dairy, crucial industries and the Government’s books, says Labour’s Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson. “The… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Kitchen plan set to swallow up health boards’ funds
    The financial impacts of implementing a proposal to outsource hospital food, forced on them by a crown-owned company which is now facing an auditor-general’s inquiry, are being felt by district health boards across the country, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Reserve Bank scathing of Government
    The Reserve Bank’s most scathing critique to date of National’s inability to handle the housing crisis shows the Bank is sick of having to pick up the pieces, Labour Leader Andrew Little says.  “John Key continues to deny there is… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Time for McDonald’s to upsize work hours
    Labour is calling on McDonald’s to have more respect for their workers and offer them more guaranteed work hours. McDonald’s is proposing to guarantee its workers 80 per cent of their rostered hours, Labour’s spokesperson for Labour Issues Iain Lees-Galloway… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Brownlee misses the boat on asbestos
    Gerry Brownlee has once again missed an opportunity to improve the lives of Cantabrians post-earthquakes, Labour’s Canterbury Earthquake Recovery spokesperson Ruth Dyson says. A new report from the Royal Society of New Zealand and the Prime Minister’s Chief Science Adviser,… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Government must come clean on troop deployment and protections
    New Zealanders deserve more than to hear about their troops’ deployment overseas from Australian media, Opposition Leader Andrew Little says. “News from Australia that Kiwi troops are on their way to Iraq this week is another example of the culture… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Cancer prevention calls gain momentum
    Research showing bowel cancer treatment sucks up more public health dollars than other cancers once again highlights the need for a national screening programme, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. A study by Otago University, which found colon cancer is… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Burger King shows zero-hour contracts not needed
    The abandonment of zero-hour contracts by Burger King is further evidence good employers do not need to use them, Labour’s spokesperson on Labour Issues Iain Lees-Galloway says. "Congratulations to the Unite Union and Burger King for settling an employment agreement… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Kiwis deserve more than reheats
    The Government looks set to rely on regurgitated announcements for this year’s Budget if today’s speech is anything to go by, Labour Leader Andrew Little says. “National has been building up to this Budget for seven long years, promising a… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Landlords not cashing in on insulation schemes
    The fact so few landlords have taken up the generous taxpayer subsidy for retrofitting shows it is time to legislate minimum standards, says Labour’s Associate Housing spokesperson Poto Williams. “Many landlords aren’t using Government insulation schemes because they don’t want… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Zero excuses, end zero hour contracts now
    It’s time Workplace Relations Minister Michael Woodhouse cut the weasel words and banned zero hour contracts, Labour Leader Andrew Little says. “Michael Woodhouse today acknowledged zero hour contracts are unfair. ...
    2 weeks ago

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