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Key’s Plazatoro guts

Written By: - Date published: 7:30 pm, February 24th, 2015 - 81 comments

plazatoro

John Key’s frothing exhortation to Andrew Little in Parliament to “get some guts” reminds one of opera’s famous Duke of Plazatoro “who led his regiment from behind, he found it less exciting.” Key’s not going to Iraq – our soldiers are the ones in danger.

The Precariat Charter – Guy Standing – Wellington 19th Feb

Written By: - Date published: 9:35 pm, February 18th, 2015 - 5 comments

fabian logo

Professor Guy Standing will discuss the ideas in his new book ‘A Precariat Charter; from Denizens to Citizens” in Wellington on Thursday 19 February at St John’s Church Hall, Willis Street at 5:30pm. “Throughout history, class-based revolt has led to the creation of charters of demands, from the Magna Carta to South Africa’s Freedom Charter. It is now time for a Precariat Charter.” All welcome

Sky City’s playing us for suckers

Written By: - Date published: 8:14 pm, February 10th, 2015 - 86 comments

Casino-Key-Joyce1200

Sky City crying too poor to build a bigger casino – give us a break, please!  Casino expert Sudhir Kale estimated the extra pokies gained by Sky  to be worth $35million over figures used by government. That’s for year upon year to 2048. It could cover any casino upgrade in four years. Either Joyce and Key are being played for suckers, or they are playing the rest of us for suckers. The deal stinks.

The Enduring Legacy of Neo-Liberalism – Sir Edmund Thomas

Written By: - Date published: 4:25 pm, February 10th, 2015 - 6 comments

fabian logo

Sir Edmund Thomas will discuss this topic in Wellington at Connolly Hall, Guildford Terrace,  tomorrow Wednesday 11th at 5:30pm. All welcome – see synopsis – if you would like to come please register here.

Captain’s Call

Written By: - Date published: 7:32 pm, February 9th, 2015 - 53 comments

keyabwc

Leaving Mike Sabin in charge of the Law and Order Select Committee was certainly a captain’s call by John Key. Just like Tony Abbott’s award of  a knighthood to the Duke (as if he needed more fruit salad), this was a judgment call. And it does call Key’s judgment into question. It’s not about when he knew what he knew, it’s about what he did when he knew.

The War Club Family

Written By: - Date published: 7:35 pm, February 8th, 2015 - 73 comments

EnglihEmpire

There’s a fascinating article in the latest New Statesman titled “An Empire that speaks English: the right’s dream of a new world order.” Suddenly UK Foreign Minister Philip Hammond’s recent visit here makes sense. So does John Key’s references to sending troops to Iraq on behalf of the “club” or the “family” – he’s at the heart of the Empire.

Local Leadership

Written By: - Date published: 10:26 pm, February 4th, 2015 - 3 comments

llgcJan

The Labour Local Government Council ran a hui last Friday in Wellington. I went along and it was one of the better Labour events I have been to in a long time – community-based organisers sharing and discussing what works. Crosby/Textor is onto it too.

Queensland and Northland

Written By: - Date published: 5:30 pm, February 1st, 2015 - 49 comments

palaszczuk

The conventional wisdom re the Queensland election late last year was  ”that converting (Labor’s) current tally of nine seats into the 45 needed for a majority will be a bridge or more too far.”  Anastascia Palaszczuk was obviously not conventional but was wise enough to dare to win on community issues. A community-issue based campaign in Northland could also spring a surprise here.

Odgers in s**t

Written By: - Date published: 3:45 pm, January 22nd, 2015 - 30 comments

Odgers

That’s as in spat. Characteristic. Richard Smith of Naked Capitalism questioned her Samoan fiduciary company fronting for a company delisted from GXG Markets, a small European exchange. It’s an interesting story, and Smith promises more to come from GXG about New Zealand if not Odgers.

But which club?

Written By: - Date published: 3:41 pm, January 21st, 2015 - 7 comments

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I think when justifying sending troops to Iraq the club John Key is really talking about is the group of right-wing political parties known as the International Democratic Union. Today Key chairs its Executive in Sarajevo, his first meeting as President. This move by Key to the IDU is calculated; he sees himself as leader of the world right-wing club and this is the first step to his international political career post New Zealand politics.

Top 1% own 50% of world wealth: Oxfam

Written By: - Date published: 10:44 pm, January 19th, 2015 - 241 comments

cliff

Winnie Biyanyima of Oxfam is one of six co-chairs at the Davos World Economic Forum. She says her role  is to challenge the powerful elites, and she goes armed with a new report that shows that on current trends by next year the world’s richest !% will hold more wealth than the other 99%. She’s got some good ideas on what to do about it too.

The “pop-star” economy could go pop

Written By: - Date published: 4:36 pm, January 17th, 2015 - 38 comments

popped ballon

This the time of year when papers are thin and economic prognostications abound as the pop-star economists from banks and brokers look to raise their public profile. In 2013 the same Cameron Bagrie gave us the “rock-star” economy, this year apparently in Wellington we can all be  part of the “movie-star” economy. Such puffery is […]

Organising to win

Written By: - Date published: 7:31 pm, December 9th, 2014 - 13 comments

andrewsvic

Labor’s win in the recent Victorian state election was historic – the first time a one-term government had been turned out for more than 60 years. It was also a fantastic example of how organisation can win elections. Labor leader Daniel Andrews’  focus was on having  5500 active volunteers behind him.

Fred Dagg – User’s Guide to NZ

Written By: - Date published: 10:07 pm, December 4th, 2014 - 35 comments

FredDagg

I miss Fred Dagg – John Clarke’s latest is a purler. “New Zealand … is an egalitarian nation made up of well over four million rugged individualists and naturally gifted sportspeople and is run on alternate days by the government and whoever bought the national infrastructure.” Read, laugh and weep – he might be gone but we’re not forgotten, and thank God for that.

Blowing smoke

Written By: - Date published: 3:31 pm, December 2nd, 2014 - 31 comments

farrardirt

Is David Farrar being paid to attack plain packaging? His latest post quotes research described by the Melbourne Age  as “pushed by the smoking lobby.” He also  misrepresents New Zealand researchers’ views. The Age says “a co-ordinated assault just ahead of the review of plain packaging laws is emerging.” Looks to me like Farrar has  joined it.

Key in for the long term?

Written By: - Date published: 10:33 pm, November 22nd, 2014 - 38 comments

key-howard-2100

John Key’s election as chair of the International Democratic Union is significant. Key succeeds John Howard who has led the IDU for the past 12 years. Key’s acceptance signals that like  four-time winner Howard, Key plans a long career as Prime Minister of New Zealand. This news should be a wake-up call for the Labour Party’s review of its election organisation and party structure.

David Parker – my choice for Leader

Written By: - Date published: 7:12 am, October 15th, 2014 - 198 comments

David-Parker-1200

Heavyweight Cabinet experience, strong egalitarian values, a cool debater, with a passion for manufacturing and a high-value economy, a good deal of steel and with an open mind and a twinkle in his eye – these are the reasons why I support David Parker for Labour Party Leader.

Headbutting Bunnies

Written By: - Date published: 7:13 pm, October 10th, 2014 - 8 comments

graham headbutt.jpg-620x349

I watched the NRL Grand Final last Sunday night and pleased to see the Rabbitohs win. But I was sickened by what I saw from James Graham – two tackles led with his head fractured Sam Burgess’ cheekbone and saw David Tyrell stretchered off the field with concussion, not to return. Burgess should also have been taken from the field, and head tackles  outlawed as they are in American football.

Onya, Granny!

Written By: - Date published: 11:05 am, October 10th, 2014 - 44 comments

police poodles

Today’s Herald editorial raises important questions about the police search of Nicky Hager’s home. “Inconvenient and embarrassing disclosures do not justify police actions to uncover journalistic sources. The effect of such raids is to intimidate such people from approaching media to disclose uncomfortable truths.”

Check the polls – we’re off to war!

Written By: - Date published: 8:13 pm, October 9th, 2014 - 63 comments

keyplane

“It all depends on the question  you ask” – this was John Key’s resp0nse to a question as to whether he had concerns about the SAS identifying air-strike targets that might kill civilians. Farrar/Curia will no doubt be in the field now asking questions to find out how to make New Zealanders comfortable as off to war we go.

Aussie police raid – plastic sword discovered!

Written By: - Date published: 12:42 pm, October 8th, 2014 - 22 comments

plasticsword

Last month the Australian covered “the biggest anti-terrorism raid in Australia’s history” extensively, complete with picture of sword “that police claim they were planning to use” according to Channel 10. Yesterday it turned out that the sword was plastic. Oz Police had a lot to say about the raid, but are staying quiet on the sword.

Defend Nicky Hager

Written By: - Date published: 5:01 pm, October 7th, 2014 - 103 comments

dirty-politics-thumb

We can contribute to his defence fund here. It’s one way to help – this is going to be a long fight.

Cameron follows Key – channels Eminem

Written By: - Date published: 3:10 pm, October 2nd, 2014 - 7 comments

CameronConf

It’s the conference season in Britain. According to the Guardian, audio specialist Cassetteboy has rearranged cuts from David Cameron’s Conservative conference speeches to Eminem’s 2002 track Lose Yourself. Cameron can be heard rhyming “I’m hardcore and I know the score” with “I am disgusted by the poor” followed by “I’ve made sure we’re ready for class war.”

Point of Order

Written By: - Date published: 4:03 pm, September 29th, 2014 - 61 comments

mallard

Trevor Mallard is known for frequent intervention with points of order in Parliament at Question Time.  His latest intervention however notified to the Herald to refuse caucus discipline is out of order. The whip’s request to caucus members to refrain from expressing their personal views at this stage of the process is entirely reasonable. No doubt at some time they will all be let off the leash, but right now unity and solidarity is far more important.

No rush to judgment

Written By: - Date published: 10:31 pm, September 23rd, 2014 - 146 comments

debutart_morten-morland_20562

It would appear that the Labour caucus has decided to take its time to fully consider all implications of what was a massive defeat before proceeding to decide questions of leadership. I think that is wise – we have to get the Labour horse in proper shape for the next race before we worry about the jockey.

Time to say thanks

Written By: - Date published: 8:24 pm, September 23rd, 2014 - 14 comments

thanks

A word of thanks to our departing Members of Parliament – Hon Maryan Street, Moana Mackey, Raymond Huo and Carol Beaumont. All those who put themselves forward to serve our cause in Parliament deserve our sincerest and most heartfelt thanks. Their life  becomes an open book, their time is  no longer their own, and the verdict of the electorate can be cruel for those on the list. Thanks to all for your commitment and contribution to Labour.

VRWC rises from the grave

Written By: - Date published: 8:35 pm, September 14th, 2014 - 29 comments

fiveeyes

They’re at it again. David Farrar has a guest post from fellow VRWC member Charles Finny about FiveEyes, arguing that it’s kept us safe in foreign wars and Labour did it too. Which of course is not the point of the current debate about massive government surveillance of innocent citizens. Farrar then gets himself tangled in knots – if Dotcom is right Labour did it too – but he’s not of course says Farrar.

Panic in the ranks

Written By: - Date published: 11:15 am, September 12th, 2014 - 28 comments

2569290-tatler-10sep14_Amelia-Troubridge_b_600x400

No its not our politicians, media or PR and pundits trying to make sense of what is happening here  but according to the Tatler the Scottish aristocracy is nervous. Change is afoot.

Nicky Hager on Democracy – Wellington

Written By: - Date published: 10:30 am, September 2nd, 2014 - 5 comments

fabian logo
Nicky Hager will discuss his recent book “Dirty Politics”, and what needs to be done differently to protect and enhance our democracy. Tuesday 9 September, St Andrew’s Church, 30 The Terrace, Wellington, 5:30-7:30pm. All welcome – registration essential on Fabian Society website.

Black ops – blogger in the House

Written By: - Date published: 11:15 am, September 1st, 2014 - 11 comments

Cameron slater john key

John Key dropped Winston Peters’ visits to DotCom into an answer to a question in the Houseof Parliament on February 12 2014. Today when pressed by Guyon Espiner whether the information had come to him from Cameron Slater he ducked and dived all over the place but finally had to admit Slater was the source. This episode confirms that Key was part of the black ops campaign, not just his office.

“VRWC” exposes rift at top of National

Written By: - Date published: 11:48 am, August 30th, 2014 - 18 comments

vrwc1

There is a self-appointed “Vast Right Wing Conspiracy” in New Zealand. Odgers and Slater are key members. Search VRWC on Slater’s website and you’ll find their activities.  After Pansy Wong’s forced resignation from Cabinet for misuse of her travel perk the VRWC thought the National Cabinet needed “some serious steel going forward.” You can read the minutes of their virtual white-board session on post-it cards – the rifts at the top are deep and nasty.

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