web analytics
The Standard

Author Archive

Just what do the Conservatives & National agree on?

Written By: - Date published: 7:12 am, November 28th, 2013 - 108 comments

colin craig and john key

Everybody is talking up the Conservatives as a partner for National after 2014 to save Key from being the least successful National PM ever. But there’s one problem: they don’t agree on anything. The Conservatives are reactionaries, the Nats are neo-libs. Here’s a list of things that Colin ‘Crazy’ Craig believes in and his policies compared to the Nats’.

Troubling double-standards from police

Written By: - Date published: 9:30 am, November 26th, 2013 - 40 comments

police_officer_cartman

The Police investigations into both the teapot tapes and the GCSB’s unlawful spying on Kim Dotcom came down to the same section of the Crimes Act, 216B. That makes it a crime to intentional intercept a private communication without lawful excuse. In both cases, the issue hinged on that word ‘intentional’ but the Police used very different definitions, and investigative tools.

Shedding the deadwood

Written By: - Date published: 9:50 am, November 1st, 2013 - 48 comments

sinking ship

The resignation announcements of National MPs are coming thick and fast. It shows that National knows that it’s going to have fewer MPs are the next election. If it doesn’t want all its seats clogged with MPs that are going nowhere, they need to retire at the election. For the Left, it’s good confirmation that National knows its losing. It’s smart politics from National, though, and something Labour could emulate.

The only response needed

Written By: - Date published: 10:31 am, October 28th, 2013 - 162 comments

blindfolded-thumb

The final Fairfax poll before the last election had National on 54%.

Update: the Colmar-Brunton poll today directly contradicts the Fairfax poll despite being taken on the same days.

Asset sales: Key’s scorched earth tactics will backfire

Written By: - Date published: 9:14 am, October 25th, 2013 - 60 comments

joker-debt-burning-fire

Granny supported little Johnny’s plan to go off to market and sell the family’s cash cow. But even she’s furious that what he’s come back with amounts to nothing more than a hill of beans. As Granny Herald notes, the Nats’ determination to push ahead with the remaining sales regardless is all about ideology, and the knowledge that they’re going to lose the next election.

The two legs of Banks’ defence trip each other

Written By: - Date published: 8:17 am, October 17th, 2013 - 28 comments

john key john banks spit or swallow epsom

John Banks is to stand trial for knowingly submitting a false electoral expenses return. He’s charged, thanks to the private prosecution after the Police failed to act, with breaching s134(1) of the Local Electoral Act. Let’s take a look at the two lines of defence Banks has argued, and how they contradict each other.

At the Rubicon

Written By: - Date published: 8:11 am, October 8th, 2013 - 91 comments

toe in the water

As the US federal government shutdown drags on, an even more crucial point is approaching. The US government will hit its debt ceiling in ten days. If that happens, the results will be cataclysmic. But the Republicans who control congress hardly seem to care. Having gone nuclear already over Obamacare by shutting down the government, they can’t back down over the debt ceiling.

Dom protecting its favoured mayoral candidate

Written By: - Date published: 7:27 am, September 19th, 2013 - 58 comments

journalist stock image

Did you know that Wellington mayoral candidate John Morrison told an audience at an arts awards ceremony that he would see a body-painted model in the shower later? Did you know he’s engaged in voter suppression of young voters? Did you know at a recent debate he told Celia Wade-Brown to be quiet, saying ‘the men are talking’? If you do, it’s not from reading the Dompost.

Labour leadership contest a fantastic innovation

Written By: - Date published: 7:32 am, September 16th, 2013 - 132 comments

david-cunliffe-labour-mp

Well, didn’t that work well? For the past three weeks, Labour has dominated the political news with three contenders show-casing its values. There was remarkably little aggro – witness Tracy Watkins’ desperate scratching for any time conflict story. David Cunliffe has emerged with the legitimacy of a democratic victory, and a much stronger-than-expected mandate.

Reviewing the media coverage of the leadership race

Written By: - Date published: 9:20 am, September 11th, 2013 - 67 comments

gonzo

The Labour leadership race has been remarkably well-behaved and it has led to a larger party that is pledged to unite behind its first democratically-elected leader… much to the chagrin of many in the press gallery. Where’s the bloodbath that they promised themselves? Where’s the deepening disunity? They’ve tried to talk it up, they’ve tried to gonzo it. It hasn’t happened.

Enough for us all, but they want it all for themselves

Written By: - Date published: 7:37 am, September 2nd, 2013 - 180 comments

class-Pyramid

The howls of outrage from the Right elite were predictable. Robertson and Cunliffe promising a living wage for all government workers, are they crazy? Decent pay for cleaners? That’s not what their granddaddies fought for. It was predictable but it still makes you angry. These are the same people who cheered when the elite got billions in tax cuts. These are the people we have to throw out of power.

Is high-fiving schoolgirls a parliamentary purpose?

Written By: - Date published: 7:21 pm, August 27th, 2013 - 72 comments

John Key high fives school girls

It’s all drama today as Patrick Gower discovers that Labour’s leadership candidates are using their parliamentary flight allowance for the debates. As if selecting the leader of a parliamentary party isn’t  a parliamentary purpose. If you’re going to play crusader, Mr Gower, how about looking at how much of John Key’s $650,000 travel budget goes on trips to high-five schoolgirls or play in toy boats?

The rule of law

Written By: - Date published: 6:58 am, May 23rd, 2013 - 111 comments

i am the law

In the 50s and 60s, two eminent jurists,Hart and Fuller, debated what makes a legal system. Hart said a legal system is a legal system if people call it one and act like it. Fuller said you need the rule of law to have a legal system. Otherwise, you’ve just got a bunch of bullies doing what they want and saying its OK. Do we have the rule of law in New Zealand?

Frozen meat

Written By: - Date published: 10:33 am, May 20th, 2013 - 92 comments

communist key

The Right’s fairytale machine makes a lot of Key’s supposed ability to charm foreign leaders and open doors for Kiwi trade. Well, the door slammed shut for meat exports to China at the end of April. National managed to keep that secret until after the budget. No wonder, it exposes the failure of Key’s international relations style.

Diplomacy, you’re doing it old school

Written By: - Date published: 11:53 am, April 13th, 2013 - 34 comments

communist key

Have you noticed that we have very few visits from leaders of major countries to NZ these days? I was thinking about that watching Key give himself ’10 out of 10′ for his trip to China and reading Audrey Young’s piece, which basically asks ‘what was all that in aid of?’ Key’s junkets always seem to be ‘goodwill’ visits with no real goals or diplomatic outcomes.

Climb the mountain of conflict

Written By: - Date published: 6:57 pm, April 8th, 2013 - 54 comments

communist key

North Korea is playing nuclear brinksmanship at the moment. Its leadership probably doesn’t want war but the constant threat of war is how it get concessions from the West, gains mana, and keeps its people in line. The West is trying to defuse this situation by talking down the prospects of war, while showing its readiness. Into this delicate, high stakes game stumbled John Key.

Against the tide

Written By: - Date published: 7:45 am, March 27th, 2013 - 30 comments

journalist stock image

I’ve been reading the Law Commission report that proposes a News Media Standards Authority to, voluntarily, cover all news agencies, including blogs. They want to make you pay to join a ‘voluntary’ privately-owned organisation, which will be the gatekeeper for who gets the news media’s legal rights. Bringing a complaints process to the blogs would be an unworkable farce.

Who was then the gentleman?

Written By: - Date published: 12:24 pm, March 21st, 2013 - 36 comments

capitalist class structure

When Adam delved and Eve span, Who was then the gentleman? From the beginning all men by nature were created alike, and our bondage or servitude came in by the unjust oppression of naughty men. And therefore I exhort you to consider that now the time is come in which ye may (if ye will) cast off the yoke of bondage, and recover liberty.

Assessing Labour’s frontbench

Written By: - Date published: 11:29 am, November 4th, 2012 - 166 comments

Labour logo square

The failure of Labour to fire isn’t limited to the leadership team. A big part of Labour’s front bench simply aren’t doing their job. Comparing them to the winning Labour team in 1999 really hammers home how awful our guys today are.

End game in Syria?

Written By: - Date published: 10:44 am, July 20th, 2012 - 190 comments

syria protest

In the dictatorship game, you know that you’re in trouble when you’re shelling your own capital. That’s what Syria’s Assad has been reduced to as the rebellion rolls on. Initially, it appeared the fighting in Damascus could have been a repeat of Homs – drawing the rebels into a head to head fight and giving them a pasting. But, now, it looks different.

Protest in the smartphone age

Written By: - Date published: 1:34 pm, June 2nd, 2012 - 31 comments

blockade the budget smartphones 3

There’s a lot of analogy between how a guerrilla movement succeeds against a superpower or a state in the era of mass communication and how protest movements can do the same. Unable to win head-on, losing becomes winning as long as the cameras are rolling. It’s about being seen as having a legitimate cause and just as importantly being seen as the victims of disproportionate force and abuse of power.

China

Written By: - Date published: 9:40 am, March 13th, 2012 - 19 comments

china credit card

There’s been much wailing and gnashing of teeth over Pengxin Shanghai’s attempt to buy the Crafar farms. Justified too. I want to take a step back and look at the strategy that China is executing and the imperatives behind it. Like any successful organisation, China is seeking to perpetuate its power. That requires securing access to resources. And China’s sitting on the low-cost cash to do it.

After Homs

Written By: - Date published: 11:04 am, March 5th, 2012 - 39 comments

syria protest

In my previous post I laid out the reasons why a NATO/US intervention in Syria is unlikely, even though the alternative will almost certainly be defeat of the freedom fighters and even more mass murder by the regime. There’s no strategic gain from the Right’s perspective and many on the Left would rather see a massacre than US military action. Homs has fallen. So, what next for the rebels?

Iran

Written By: - Date published: 9:20 am, March 4th, 2012 - 106 comments

strait of hormuz

Israel and the US have both been ratcheting up their rhetoric against Iran in the past few months and an attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities looks highly likely. Just the other day, Obama told Iran to stop its nuclear programme or else adding, “I don’t bluff”. I really, really hope he’s bluffing. Because Iran’s ready to make an attack on it cost the world big time.

Syria

Written By: - Date published: 9:00 am, February 24th, 2012 - 144 comments

syria protest

In a perfect world, we would all live free, in some kind of ideal democracy. We’re not there. But what we and the rest of the developed world have is a hell of a lot better than what the people of Syria have: despotic rule by the murderous son of their former murderous despot. The Syrians are trying to overthrow their tyrant, should the world help?

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Tolley must assure safety of vulnerable clients
    Social Development Minister Anne Tolley must guarantee the safety of Relationships Aotearoa’s thousands of Māori clients – some of whom are very vulnerable – following the closure of the nationwide counselling service, Labour’s Māori Development spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta says. Relationships… ...
    47 mins ago
  • ANZ has moral obligation to fully compensate farmers
      The ANZ Bank has a moral obligation to fully compensate farmers after the High Court today declared it breached the Fair Trading Act by misleadingly representing interest rate swap loans, Labour’s Primary Industries spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. The Commerce… ...
    21 hours ago
  • Fairfax can’t use restructure to cut terms and conditions
    The restructure and upheavals at Fairfax should not be used as an opportunity to cut journalists’ terms and conditions, Labour spokesperson for Labour Issues Iain Lees-Galloway says. “Businesses have to adapt to new technologies and consumer demands and there is… ...
    21 hours ago
  • McCully excuses unravel in Saudi sheep scandal
    Murray McCully has misled New Zealanders, Parliament and his Cabinet colleagues on the real reasons for paying millions of dollars in the Saudi sheep scandal – it’s time for him to clean, says Labour’s Export Growth and Trade spokesperson David… ...
    23 hours ago
  • Nats break health and education spending promises
    National has outstanding promises of almost $1 billion to be spent on health, education and agriculture from the Future Investment Fund but has only $536 million left in the fund, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “John Key and Bill… ...
    23 hours ago
  • Manurewa youth leaders acknowledged
    The depth and breadth of leadership of youth throughout Manurewa, which has been recognized at the Youth Week Award ceremony held at Parliament this week, should make the community extremely proud, Manurewa Labour MP Louisa Wall says. “The 'Limitless Youth… ...
    1 day ago
  • Oi Auckland Transport: fare’s fair
    Auckland Transport should go back to the drawing board on its proposal to charge commuters for its park-and-rides, Labour’s Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “When we need to be getting people out of their cars and onto public transport, it’s… ...
    1 day ago
  • Is Nick Smith making it up as he goes along?
      Housing Minister Nick Smith must release the list of Crown land parcels which formed the basis of the Government’s Budget announcement, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “If the public is to have any faith the Government is not just… ...
    1 day ago
  • Norway moves first to dump coal investments
    The Green Party today called on the Government to secure cross-party support to sell its investments in coal mining companies.The Norwegian Parliament's finance committee agreed in a bipartisan motion yesterday to instruct the $1.2 trillion Government Pension Fund to sell… ...
    GreensBy Russel Norman MP
    1 day ago
  • Fonterra payout $13b black hole over 2 years
    Fonterra’s dramatic cut to its forecast farmgate payout over this season and next will lead to a $13 billion black hole over two years, and shows the need for a plan to diversify the economy, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant… ...
    1 day ago
  • Labour calls for select ctte inquiry into Rural Broadband Initiative
    Labour is calling for an immediate inquiry into the flailing $300 million rural broadband initiative, before companies and consumers are forced to pick up the tab for the new $150 million broadband tax, says Labour’s ICT spokesperson Clare Curran. “Rural… ...
    1 day ago
  • Public broadcasting takes big hit under National Government
    Public broadcasting funding has been cut by 25 per cent in real terms since the National Government took office in 2009, leading to the erosion of our once world-class news and current affairs culture, says Labour Broadcasting Spokesperson Clare Curran. … ...
    1 day ago
  • Hospital food plan hits another snag
    The Government has been left with egg on its face with Hawke’s Bay District Health Board today giving a plan to outsource hospital food services the thumbs down, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. “Doing away with local kitchens by… ...
    2 days ago
  • Hospital food plan hits another sang
    The Government has been left with egg on its face with Hawke’s Bay District Health Board today giving a plan to outsource hospital food services the thumbs down, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. “Doing away with local kitchens by… ...
    2 days ago
  • Wilkinson appointment wrong in principle
    The appointment of former Conservation Minister Hon Kate Wilkinson as an Environment Commissioner is wrong in principle, says Labour’s Shadow Attorney-General David Parker. “The doctrine of separation of powers requires judicial processes to remain separate and independent from the legislature… ...
    2 days ago
  • McCully doesn’t deny bribe in Saudi sheep scandal
    “In Parliament today I asked Murray McCully directly: Why is he the first Minister in history to back a multi-million dollar facilitation arrangement which in other jurisdictions is called a bribe? says Labour’s Export Growth and Trade spokesperson David Parker.… ...
    2 days ago
  • National must back our future doctors
    National must support our future doctors and agree to the calls from the Medical Students’ Association and the Young Nats to lift the arbitrary 7 year cap on student loans for medical and dental students, Labour’s Tertiary Education Spokesperson David… ...
    2 days ago
  • Taxpayer the loser after Government folds
    Steven Joyce today admitted the main exhibition hall at the New Zealand International Convention Centre is 19 per cent smaller than what was described at the time other bidders were edged out of the process, Labour’s Economic Development spokesperson David… ...
    2 days ago
  • Govt’s lack of ambition for women
    Yesterday, the Government put out a media release entitled “Number of women leaders continues to grow”. It was to inform us that the percentage of women on state-appointed boards has increased to 41.7%, up from 41.1% in 2013. Well, woo-hoo… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    2 days ago
  • Auditor-General exposes Key’s scapegoating of Council
    The National Government's blaming of Auckland Council for the city’s housing crisis has been exposed as scapegoating in the Office of the Auditor-General’s latest report, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “The Auditor-General says Auckland Council’s part in fixing the… ...
    2 days ago
  • Reform – not money – needed for meat sector
    The National Government continues to throw good money after bad at the meat industry instead of addressing the fundamental problem of its dysfunctional structure, Labour’s Primary Industries spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “The latest Primary Growth Partnership grant to the venison… ...
    2 days ago
  • Government cuts corners on school bus funding
    The safety of children – not cost cutting – should be the main objective behind the Government’s funding of school buses, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Buried in the detail of this year’s Budget are $19 million of funding… ...
    2 days ago
  • Women the losers under National’s cuts
    National’s poor performance in appointing women to state sector boards is set to get worse with funding cuts to the nomination service provided by the Ministry for Women, Labour’s Woman’s Affairs spokesperson Sue Moroney says. “Minister for Women Louise Upston… ...
    2 days ago
  • Help sought by agencies now asked to help
    The organisation Social Development Minister Anne Tolley has tasked with setting up an emergency hotline for stranded Relationships Aotearoa clients has just lost a bid for a government contract to launch a new national helpline, Labour’s Acting Social Development spokesperson… ...
    2 days ago
  • Wellington got loud again on climate
    On Monday night, in Wellington, I attended the last of the Government’s climate target consultation meetings. It was quite well attended with maybe 150 people, not bad for a second meeting with very little notice and, as far as I… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    2 days ago
  • Final nail in coffin for Solid Energy workers
    Today’s confirmation of job losses at Solid Energy’s Stockton and Spring Creek mines shows the urgent need for new economic opportunities on the West Coast, Labour’s MP for West Coast-Tasman Damien O’Connor says. “Our economy can no longer rely on… ...
    3 days ago
  • Ramadi proves Iraq deployment high risk, low benefit
    The fall of Ramadi and the collapse of the Iraqi Army proves Labour was right to be concerned about the deployment of our troops to Iraq, Labour’s Defence spokesperson Phil Goff says. “The fall of Ramadi brings IS fighters within… ...
    3 days ago
  • English admits new taxes on the cards
    Eight months after pledging “no new taxes” at the election Bill English today admitted he would bring in more sneaky taxes along the lines of the border tax, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Not only did National bring in… ...
    3 days ago
  • What the Dickens is going on at SDHB?
    Problems at the financially-strapped Southern District Health Board appear to stretch to its HR department with information obtained by Labour showing it still records staff leave entitlements using manual book-keeping methods. “The Board’s draft 10-year plan document forecasts a cumulative… ...
    3 days ago
  • Teachers turn backs on new professional body
      The fact that just 56 per cent of nominations for the Education Council came from registered teachers shows the profession has turned its back on Hekia Parata’s new professional body, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Answers to written… ...
    3 days ago
  • No spade work done on big building plan
      Only a quarter of the 500 hectares of Crown land the Government wants to use for new homes is understood to be suitable for building on, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “This was National’s bold new idea to… ...
    3 days ago
  • National: Seven KiwiSaver cuts in seven years
    National’s campaign of KiwiSaver cuts has reached seven in seven years as it dismantles KiwiSaver block by block, Labour Leader Andrew Little says. “KiwiSaver is critical to establishing a savings culture in New Zealand but National has taken a jenga-style… ...
    3 days ago
  • Tolley’s actions contradict reassurances
    Social Development Minister Anne Tolley has serious questions to answer following the forced closure of Relationships Aotearoa just days after her reassurances she was looking at ways to keep the service operating, Labour’s Acting Social Development spokesperson Annette King says.… ...
    3 days ago
  • SkyCity downsize another broken promise
    The downsized SkyCity Convention Centre does not deliver on the promised iconic world-class centre and shows the true extent of Steven Joyce’s incompetence, Labour Leader Andrew Little said today. “New Zealanders were promised an iconic world-class convention centre that would… ...
    3 days ago
  • Te Arawa partnership model a step closer
    Councils around New Zealand have an opportunity to improve their consultation with Iwi Māori by following Rotorua District Council’s Te Arawa Partnership Model, Labour’s Māori Development spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta says. “The Rotorua District Council will today decide whether to adopt… ...
    3 days ago
  • Labour mourns Dame Dorothy Fraser
    Labour Leader Andrew Little said the party is today mourning the loss of the youngest person to join the Labour Party, Dame Dorothy Fraser, who went on to be a stalwart of the Dunedin community and tireless worker for others.… ...
    4 days ago
  • The ultimate scapegoat: PM blames fruit fly for new tax
    The Prime Minister has found the ultimate scapegoat for breaking his promise not to introduce a new tax – the Queensland fruit fly, Labour’s Biosecurity spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “John Key’s first policy upon taking office and assigning himself the… ...
    4 days ago
  • How many victims missing out on protection?
    Hundreds of domestic abuse victims could be missing out on getting protection orders because they are unable to get legal aid, Labour’s Justice spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says.“In the last two years some 351 people who applied for legal aid for… ...
    6 days ago
  • Government kicks hardworking whanau
    A major incentive to help young Kiwis and people on low incomes to start saving has been kicked out from under them with the National-led Government ramming through short-sighted legislation under Urgency today, Labour’s Maori Development Spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta says.… ...
    6 days ago
  • Speculator tax political stunt gone wrong
    Bill English’s admission he doesn’t know whether National’s new speculator tax will have any effect shows last weekend’s announcement by the Prime Minister was a desperate political stunt, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “This Government is so desperate to… ...
    6 days ago
  • The value of parenting
    This week, as part of the Budget, the government introduced a bill to address child poverty. This bill will require parents receiving income support to look for part-time work once their youngest child is three years of age rather than… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    6 days ago
  • Another new tax, another broken promise
    National has unveiled yet another new tax in this budget – a rural broadband levy that will almost certainly result in an immediate price hike for internet and telephone connections across New Zealand, Labour’s ICT spokesperson Clare Curran said “The… ...
    7 days ago
  • Anniversary of Sri Lankan Tamil Massacre
    This is not going to be a happy story but if the Green Party of Aotearoa doesn’t want to know who else will? May 18th marks the anniversary of what is known as the ‘Mullivaikal massacre’ of Tamils in 2009 at… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    7 days ago
  • Labour MPs join youth to take part in 40 hour famine
    A team of Labour MPs took part in the 2015 World Vision 40 hour famine and we were told by World Vision and the young people, that it was the first time MPs had joined them and how appreciative they… ...
    7 days ago
  • Rodeo: ‘Family entertainment’ or animal abuse?
    Recently  TVNZ ran a story with confronting footage showing rodeo animals being punched, repeatedly shocked with electronic prods and having their tails violently twisted over their backs. It was clear that significant force was being used behind the scenes to make… ...
    GreensBy Mojo Mathers MP
    7 days ago
  • Budget puts the squeeze on police
    The Government has cut funding to the New Zealand police force in the latest Budget, says Labour’s Police spokesperson Kelvin Davis. “The reduction is a whopping $15.3 million that could put front line officers at risk. ...
    7 days ago
  • Crucial social services take another hit
    The Government looks set to slash half a million dollars of funding for critical social services, including Women’s Refuge and Barnados, says Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni “Taking $500,000 from organisations aimed at improving the lives of vulnerable families… ...
    7 days ago
  • Saying it Loud on Climate in Christchurch
    The Government’s Christchurch consultation meeting on New Zealand’s emission targets was inspiring – not for what was in the Ministry for the Environment’s (MFE’s) defeatist video about the obstacles to changing to a low carbon future, but for what the… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    1 week ago
  • Budget silent on small business
    The Government has completely ignored one of the most important sectors of the economy – small and medium-sized enterprises – in Budget 2015, Labour’s Small Business spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says. "A stunning 41 per cent of jobs were created by… ...
    1 week ago
  • Thank you John, it’s been bloody marvellous
    The departure of John Campbell is a blow to current affairs investigative journalism, Labour’s Broadcasting Spokesperson Clare Curran says. “Campbell Live stood out in its field. Its axing comes as local broadcasting in New Zealand remains in a state of… ...
    1 week ago

Public service advertisements by The Standard

Current CO2 level in the atmosphere