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Aussies & US mount opposition to TPPA – but in NZ we just keep nodding

Written By: - Date published: 2:56 pm, February 14th, 2015 - 47 comments

tppa

So much to sell, so little time… When this Government is finished selling, we will have sold our right to make laws for ourselves too. Be under no doubt, if the effect of bringing in a law for the health and well being of Kiwis will cost a corporate millions of dollars, part of their lobbying after the TPP, will be threatening to  sue the taxpayers of NZ and watch such a Bill slip into obscurity. And those corporates wielding that power? Most will never pay a cent of tax into the coffers of NZ taxpayers.

 

 

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.

The state of freedom of the press in the world in a series of tweets

Written By: - Date published: 10:16 am, January 12th, 2015 - 31 comments

Charlie Hebdo world leaders

An English student, Daniel Wickham has in a series of tweets questioned the commitment of various world leaders who marched in support of freedom of the press to that concept.

The Hypocrisy of Hate

Written By: - Date published: 4:07 pm, January 11th, 2015 - 223 comments

pie graph

You’d think that with all the WW1 commemorations going on at the moment it would make us more vigilant about our freedom and security, not sleep-walking towards another Holy Crusade (in the name of the God of Money and Father of Fossil Fuels), seduced by slick liars and the gods of commercialism and greed.

On Freedom of Speech and Tolerance and Powers of Surveillance

Written By: - Date published: 11:46 am, January 8th, 2015 - 101 comments

Charlie Hebdo

The slaying of staff at Charlie Hebdo and the killing of two police officers will no doubt cause further debate on the extent of freedom of speech, on our relations with Muslims and on the state’s powers of surveillance and if they should be increased.

Europe & the anti-austerity left

Written By: - Date published: 9:42 am, December 24th, 2014 - 28 comments

Syriza flag

The UK Green Party is gaining in popularity as many people turn away from the 3 established parties.  The radical left Syriza party in Greece could possibly gain power in their election – what powerful international right wing forces would then be unleashed?

So what is happening with the price of oil?

Written By: - Date published: 10:00 am, December 18th, 2014 - 137 comments

oil drums large thumb

The price of crude oil has nearly halved in the past six months and is causing massive repercussions throughout the world with both the Russian economy and the American Shale Oil industry under threat.  The geopolitical implications are complex.

Environment on the edge

Written By: - Date published: 9:01 am, April 20th, 2014 - 41 comments

environment closing-down-sale

On Al Jazeera NewsHour this morning, there were two reports on environmental issues in different parts of the planet: stories of the tension between pursuit of economic “growth” and the destruction of the environment. In both countries, there are attempts to develop renewables, without changing the whole system.

Tim Watkin is wrong

Written By: - Date published: 10:22 am, April 8th, 2014 - 21 comments

pundit logo -square

Tim Watkin recently had a post over at Pundit, saying about why a 15% gap between Labour and National matters. His crux point is that in no MMP election has a party led by 15% and not formed the government. Unfortunately for Tim, this is demonstrably wrong.

NRT: Did the NSA write John Key’s spy bill?

Written By: - Date published: 1:20 pm, March 11th, 2014 - 16 comments

no-right-turn-256

NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden gave evidence to the European Parliament last week about the NSA and mass-surveillance. The most interesting revelation? The NSA’s use of lawyers to subvert other countries limits on surveillance – including our own. So what did GCSB receive “legal guidance” on? What about the careful loopholes in the new Act

Polity: Data on moral mandates in Europe

Written By: - Date published: 4:04 pm, February 14th, 2014 - 3 comments

polity_square_for_lynn

Rob Salmond continues looking at the absolute silliness of the argument about the largest party having a “moral mandate” to form a government. It appears to be a self-serving wet dream made up by fossils who still haven’t grasped that we are nearly in our second decade of MMP.  All our governments have been coalitions where the largest parties have usually received a mandate of less that a third of those on the roll. But look at the long-standing proportional governments of Europe for examples…

The Cyprus solution

Written By: - Date published: 9:48 am, March 26th, 2013 - 48 comments

euro

The financial crisis in Cyprus has taken an unusual turn, and for a change it is the rich who will be left with the bill.

Kiss and makeup

Written By: - Date published: 7:32 pm, July 26th, 2012 - 4 comments

Samantha Cameron and Tony Blair, July 2012

In honour of Tony Blair and Sam Cam’s attempt at an affectionate greeting at Tuesday’s lunch at No 10, The Guardian amassed a small but disgusting collection of political leaders essaying similar tasks. Warning: not for the squeamish or fainthearted.

Know when to fold ‘em

Written By: - Date published: 7:29 am, June 19th, 2012 - 8 comments

keydealer

Key’s ditched  the surplus target that was so important a month ago –  yet another casualty on the way to the brighter future. The Queen may have asked him why he didn’t see European contagion coming. Shearer is right – Europe is an excuse for a government that has run out of ideas. Labour does have a fresh approach – we need to hear more.

How the Greek Right screwed the scrum

Written By: - Date published: 8:21 am, June 18th, 2012 - 89 comments

greek democracy

You know how the Greek’s have this weird ‘winner’s bonus’ – 250 seats are proportionally allocated but the largest, and even by one vote gets another 50 seats. The rightwing got the bonus by a couple of percent over SYRIZA by screwing the scrum. How? By merging New Democracy and a small rightwing party – the Democratic Alliance. Only this allowed ND/DISY to beat SYRIZA. That trick, and PASOK going over to the right will allow a 40% coalition to govern with a majority.

ImperatorFish: Coach Hails Greek Football Bailout

Written By: - Date published: 2:50 pm, June 14th, 2012 - Comments Off

imperator fish logo

Intense negotiations between Greece and UEFA officials over the last two days have resulted in an announcement that Greece will be the recipient of a bailout package.

At least Parker’s onto it

Written By: - Date published: 5:33 pm, June 5th, 2012 - 80 comments

waterfall

The news out of Europe, China and Australia is looking worse by the day. What’s coming at us doesn’t look pretty. I was about to do a post saying I hoped someone in Labour was doing some scenario planning and was very pleased to see today that Parker’s  eyes are open.

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