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From out of the Shadows

Written By: - Date published: 9:58 am, September 28th, 2015 - 20 comments


Goff has attempted to throw a fire-cracker into the notion of the National Party leadership and caucus being one big happy family. Is this the Labour Party’s way of sowing seeds of discontent without tainting the image of their leader? It is NOT Dirty Politics by any normal understanding of that term as captured in the book of the same name. Is this Goff’s role now? To box from the shadows?

Earth overshoot day

Written By: - Date published: 11:20 am, August 17th, 2015 - 22 comments

earth overshoot day 2015

August 13th was Earth Overshoot Day. We have already consumed what the Earth can sustainably produce in a year, for the rest of this year we are consuming “ecological capital”. This can’t go on. But it is a problem that our current political and economic systems cannot solve.

Amazing Grace

Written By: - Date published: 8:57 am, June 27th, 2015 - 99 comments


Barack Obama sings the spiritual Amazing Grace during the eulogy for Clementa Pinckney, one of those killed by a racist gunman in Charleston. Not completely in tune, but he hits the right note. As his Presidency winds down, Obama has one last opportunity to move the American mindset. The rule of the gun must end.

An open letter to Andrew Little

Written By: - Date published: 6:08 pm, June 26th, 2015 - 432 comments

Andrew Little

A respectful open letter to Andrew Little with suggestions for how to win the next election!

The Best of British; The NHS, the Welfare State and David Bowie

Written By: - Date published: 12:39 pm, June 21st, 2015 - 24 comments


Massive anti-austerity marches have just ended all over Britain. Tens of thousands of protesters have turned out to let the Tory government know that the fight against the right has not ended with the general election. Welsh singer Charlotte Church told the crowd in London that she is proudly British, but for all the right reasons.


Dear NZ Labour. Listen up.

Written By: - Date published: 12:06 pm, May 12th, 2015 - 48 comments


For the sake of reference – Nye Bevan was a Labour mp and the architect of the British NHS. Michael Sheen’s  speech was a defense of that institution, but the underpinning message is, well…

Heroes and Villains

Written By: - Date published: 10:41 am, March 15th, 2015 - 9 comments


Thinking authorities in the west have yet discover the difference between their arse and their elbow…

The Second Climate Change Problem

Written By: - Date published: 12:09 pm, March 12th, 2015 - 23 comments


Creativity expert Sir Ken Robinson challenges the way we’re educating our children. He champions a radical rethink of our school systems, to cultivate creativity and acknowledge multiple types of intelligence

A Bright Spark Burning…

Written By: - Date published: 1:39 pm, March 11th, 2015 - 40 comments


A further piece on the peoples’ revolution within Northern Syria.

Stand by Your Man

Written By: - Date published: 8:48 am, February 19th, 2015 - 106 comments

Winston_Peters smiling

Sometime in the next few days, Winston Peters will announce whether or not he will stand in the Northland by-election. He should run unchallenged by the left and Labour and the Greens should endorse him for the greater good.

Revolutionary Spain, Revolutionary Syria, and the Bastards We Vote For.

Written By: - Date published: 3:36 pm, February 11th, 2015 - 63 comments


It seems that just as the 30’s offered the chance to turn dreams into reality, Syria is offering that chance up to ‘the left’ today. Suddenly, for me, the recent travel bans and the passport confiscation laws etc make sense since we are potentially looking at an international influx of non-nutters and non- psychopaths as happened during the Spanish Revolution of the 30s.

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.

Where have all the houses gone?

Written By: - Date published: 7:10 am, January 20th, 2015 - 131 comments


Yesterday it was announced that Auckland is the ninth least affordable city in the world requiring 8.3 times their average wage to buy a home. Reducing regulation hasn’t worked, otherwise more than 20 homes would have been built under the 2013 fast track accord. The problem is a shortage of affordable housing.

Gough 1916-2014

Written By: - Date published: 11:49 am, October 21st, 2014 - 46 comments

Gough Whitlam

When Gough Whitlam was PM of Austrialia, it was a time when people were looking forward to a more inclusive, caring, and egalitarian society: a time of hope.  His PM-ship ended in controversy.

National’s promises to you. #1.

Written By: - Date published: 1:57 pm, September 22nd, 2014 - 31 comments

Stuff Vanguard Military school feb 20 2014

Nationals promises to you. #1.

State of the left in Aotearoa/NZ

Written By: - Date published: 1:21 pm, July 26th, 2014 - 112 comments

Bradford NZ Herald thesis review

Sue Bradford’s PhD thesis on the Left & Think Tanks, went online this week. It outlines the state of the Left in NZ. Bradford concludes that the Left is strong but fragmented, and identifies some ways forward.

September 18th

Written By: - Date published: 7:36 pm, April 8th, 2014 - 46 comments

Britain's fut

The 18th of September 2014 is a big day.

On that day, people living in Scotland will decide if they want to become citizens in a nation that will have reclaimed its sovereignty.

Positive Things

Written By: - Date published: 2:27 pm, February 16th, 2014 - 21 comments


Change becomes embedded when it emanates from and across many quarters and traditions.

Polity: Kim Dotcom’s 5% gambit

Written By: - Date published: 8:39 am, February 12th, 2014 - 91 comments


Rob Salmond looks at the implications of the Internet party failing to poll 5% and DotCom throws his support behind another party. A bidding war from competing parties? For the left this would be being both hypocritical and a bit icky. One of the reasons they worked hard to make election funding fairer in the late 2000s was to limit the ability of individuals seeking to buy government policy for cash. The right disagreed but is now caught by their own logic that it couldn’t happen.

Role of Government

Written By: - Date published: 10:56 am, February 11th, 2014 - 45 comments


Governments are holding on to their traditional roles and functions, but the world has changed. We need something else.

Opposing the PM’s statement

Written By: - Date published: 8:49 pm, January 28th, 2014 - 18 comments

people b4 profit

The PMs’ statement todaywas a bit of a fizzer: lacking ideas, a lot of waffle.  Some opposition speeches were more inspiring, & laid out some real alternatives: like the speeches from Cunliffe (on fire), Norman (inspiring), Ardern (animated) & Harawira (real people; real struggles).

‘Reclaiming Our Children’s Birthright’- Metiria’s speech

Written By: - Date published: 9:55 am, January 27th, 2014 - 53 comments


Metiria Turei delivered a very strong, inspiring, and well-targeted speech yesterday. She reclaimed fractured values of inclusive, collaborative communities. She framed inequality as the issue for the coming election; the Greens’ education hub policy central.  Labour, NZEI responded favourably.

Down among the women: limits of ‘growth’

Written By: - Date published: 11:22 am, January 14th, 2014 - 97 comments

sustainable living

The GDP measure fails to account for life sustaining activities outside paid employment.  Women do the majority of such unpaid work.  A gender blind approach to financial crises is socially and economically destructive.   An alternative, cooperative social and economic model would attend to gender and other diversities.


Written By: - Date published: 8:47 pm, January 7th, 2014 - 359 comments

New Zealand was once considered one of the best places on earth to live. It could be again …

The Left Ulterior and other tendencies

Written By: - Date published: 7:20 am, January 2nd, 2014 - 89 comments


Readers of this site are probably aware that I like reading science fiction. They’d also be aware that we run this site targeted at the general left labour movement of New Zealand. Of course many other people confuse this with the Labour party. In truth it can be distinguished as being more like the late great Iain M Bank’s view of his fictional Culture which he divided up into various Mind/ship behavioural segments. It kind of fits…

Where is this Democracy they Speak of?

Written By: - Date published: 11:21 am, December 30th, 2013 - 165 comments


There’s a rumour going around that we live in a democracy.

Shop til we all drop

Written By: - Date published: 9:46 am, December 27th, 2013 - 90 comments


The cult of the super rich, cheer led by the uncritical echo chamber in the MSM. Those struggling in poverty receive a few crumbs of charity, promoting superficial “good will” by those indulging in the orgy of consumerist excess. Underlying causes & solutions are ignored.

The Carbon or the Swag?

Written By: - Date published: 2:32 pm, December 12th, 2013 - 42 comments


So many choices! What’s a body to do?

Poverty, women & rape culture

Written By: - Date published: 12:32 pm, November 19th, 2013 - 130 comments


In our highly gendered socio-economic system that has institutionalised poverty, gendered violence, sexual violence and rape culture, low income women are multiply disadvantaged.  Trigger warning: This post addresses some difficult and sensitive issues about poverty, women and rape culture. Subsequent comments will be tightly moderated.

National Day of Action Against Rape – today (16 Nov)

Written By: - Date published: 8:25 am, November 16th, 2013 - 13 comments

rape-culture-is fight back

Today there are actions planned around the country in protest about the rape culture that is part of our mainstream culture.  This post and comments are in support of the day of action.  Have a good day everyone. [Update: impact on/silencing of survivors]

Sir Edmund Thomas: “Reducing Inequality” – new ‘Values’

Written By: - Date published: 5:48 pm, November 6th, 2013 - 29 comments


Sir Edmund Thomas’s recent Bruce Jesson Lecture is now online.  He argues for a need to reduce inequalities, via a change in values away from those directed by “neoliberal” economics, & for a struggle from “below”.  Is this intended to soften capitalism & not replace it?

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