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Where have all the houses gone?

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

Trailerpark-Stack

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

change1

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

polity_square_for_lynn

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

thordon_bubble

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

green_party_leaders_russel_norman_and_metiria_ture_4dec906e26

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.

UBI

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

gcu

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…
:twisted:

Where is this Democracy they Speak of?

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

debating-chamber

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

john-key-snake-oil

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

itsinthebag

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

poverty-and-women

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

inequality_cover_final_for_website

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?

Populists v Plutocrats

Written By: - Date published: 8:15 pm, November 4th, 2013 - 12 comments

rich don't win

Democrat Bill de Blasio is almost 40 points clear of his Republican rival in the race for Mayor of New York City. His parents were investigated for communist sympathies. An anti-apartheid poster hangs on his kitchen wall. He loves Europe’s social democrats, admires Latin American liberation theology and is poised to confound the conservative trend in US politics by sweeping to an improbable triumph as the next Mayor of New York in this week’s elections. There are some lessons from our local elections too.

Avoiding the silly wars of the republic

Written By: - Date published: 8:27 am, October 30th, 2013 - 60 comments

NZ as a doormat

So the US military/diplomats has decided that we should be friends again after nearly 30 years. Whooptee do! Who really gives a pigs arse? Well I do. The republic in the USA gives all republics a bad name because of their habit of using military force for poorly thought-out ideological and even odd personal reasons. Someone to be wary of following blindly into one of their silly wars.

On the waterfront: art & politics

Written By: - Date published: 12:01 pm, October 29th, 2013 - 81 comments

Dunedin Labour Day Parade 1894

Auckland authorities disrespected past worker struggles in allowing an art work on the waterfront, that commemorates the ruthless suppression of the 1913 strike. After protests, it has now been covered.  Time for the many to unite for fairness at work & in daily living!

Beyond the MSM? You Bet!

Written By: - Date published: 10:18 am, September 20th, 2013 - 220 comments

David-Cunliffe-launch3 pasifika

David Cunliffe spoke to the Left base in the Daily Blog Live interview last night: economy, tax, employment, GCSB, TPPA & more.  He raises hopes for a new, post GFC social democratic vision. But he spoke to those with economic & policy knowledge. His nods towards better social security, away from bennie bashing, need fleshing out.

Tales from the precariat: AAAP

Written By: - Date published: 1:18 pm, September 13th, 2013 - 69 comments

AAAP street

Auckland Action Against Poverty did 3 days of advocacy action in New Lynn.  Their press releases & videos show the struggles of low income Kiwis to survive in John Key’s corporate-loving NZ.  The tales tell of a need for real social security legislation & a more client-friendly WINZ.

Housing: the options, the new left narrative?

Written By: - Date published: 11:07 am, September 13th, 2013 - 75 comments

vision_real_democracy

The response to Metiria Turei’s sttements about affordable housing on The Vote, raises questions about political narratives are told to the general electorate? The Greens, Mana and Cunliffe have stressed their “vision“.  How to tell it so it reaches the hearts of New Zealanders?

The momentum of expectation….

Written By: - Date published: 12:20 pm, August 26th, 2013 - 115 comments

Cunliffe delivers speech

[Update] Surrounded by women, especially Pasifika women, Cunliffe announced he is standing for Labour leader. Iain Lees Galloway and Nanaia Mahuta signed the nomination forms.  Report from New Lynn:  photos added – Cunliffe answers some questions.

‘The Pursuit of Loneliness': death of a dream

Written By: - Date published: 11:10 am, July 4th, 2013 - 33 comments

people power will prevail

US social critic, Phillip E Slater (1927-2013), lived anti-materialistic, anti-individualistic, community-based ideals: 60s-70s, middle-class, US-based counter-culture values, with limited political activism and focus. Admirable cultural values, lacking the politics to challenge global “neoliberal” elites. What can the NZ left learn from this today?

Slogan politics

Written By: - Date published: 10:32 am, June 20th, 2013 - 81 comments

not-listening-chimp

We have an unfortunate tendency in New Zealand to reduce politics to dumb slogans. The “fart tax” was a classic example. The current case in point is “printing money”.

Advocacy is the core of any charity

Written By: - Date published: 5:26 am, May 10th, 2013 - 35 comments

scan0030 Millbank workhouse

Yesterday’s NZ Herald editorial gave a hard-line conservative view of what a charity should be. Charities should and must deal with ills of society on a person by person basis without attempting to fix the causation. That sounds more like a parasitical “charity” like the workhouses of the 19th century or the adoption factories of the 20th than anything that a person of goodwill would choose to support.

Political vision?

Written By: - Date published: 9:27 am, May 3rd, 2013 - 61 comments

vision_real_democracy

Today’s NZ Herald editorial on Auckland’s up-coming mayoral election campaign, says Brown has vision, but Minto and Williamson lack it. What sort of vision should the left provide in the up-coming local authority elections around NZ, and in NZ’s parliamentary elections in 2014?

The NZ Herald – advancing Auckland backwards

Written By: - Date published: 10:52 am, May 1st, 2013 - 31 comments

Cycling Auckland

To the Herald the Fourth Estate must be a greenfield development on the outer margins of Auckland: a Dickensian space, hiding the poor from the upper middle-classes. The Herald lacks critical balance & equal weighting for diverse views: it scaremongers about the Akl Unitary Plan & undermines public transport.

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