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Forty Christmases

Written By: - Date published: 11:20 pm, December 25th, 2013 - 49 comments
Categories: Economy, Left, quality of life, Social issues - Tags: ,

Exactly 40 years ago to the day I was having a white Christmas – on the summit of Mr Fyfe overlooking Kaikoura. Today I celebrate another Christmas, high on another mountain, in another part of the world – with a light dusting of very dry, very icy snow drifting on the wind. The decades in between represent the prime of my adult life and I beg your indulgence to reflect a little on what has happened.

I’ll refrain from a dull recitation of all that has changed – some for the better, some for the worse. Those of you who are old enough will know anyway, and those too young don’t believe us oldies anyhow. But the 70′s were indeed a remarkable period of pregnant possibilities. If we recall Norman Kirk’s  ohu initiative – and then consider how utterly impossible such an experiment would be today –  then we have one small measure of what was lost.

Perhaps more than anything else I’m struck by the insane inversion of reality that as a mass society we have been sold. Christmas itself has become a parody of what Jesus stood for. Celebrating the birth of a man who who said “It is easier for a a thick rope to pass through the eye of a needle, than it is for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of Heaven ” – with an orgy of materialistic over-consumption is but one symptom of this inversion. As I look out the window I can often see the clouds in the valleys trapped under an inversion layer – so maybe I’ll use that as my metaphor-  clouds of rampant possibility smoothly captured by the invisible.

Another symptom is how we have subverted the word freedom. In his excellent book The Predator State James Galbraith coins the pithy phrase ‘the freedom to shop’ arguing that:

The free market reactionaries promised that some combination of monetarism, supply side economics, balanced budgets, and free trade was the solution to America’s woes. The mantra “free markets” provided an easy antidote to “planning” that was said to constrain recovery and growth. As each conservative policy was tried, however, it resulted in obvious and even spectacular failure. In truth, all economies are always and everywhere planned—for the simple reason that planning is the use of today’s resources to meet tomorrow’s needs, something that all societies must do if they are going to survive—so the only question is who is going to do the planning, and to whom are the benefits going to flow? There are still a few true believers (principled conservatives that Jamie compares to noble savages in the political wilderness), but most conservatives realized that there is no conflict between “big government” and “the market” as they abandoned the myth but usurped the “free market” label. All we are left with is the liberal who embraces the myth out of fear of being exposed as a heretic, a socialist, or a fool. Thus, the liberal pines to “make the market work better”, never challenging the view (abandoned by all but the most foolish conservatives) that government is the problem.

Economic freedom is reduced to the freedom to shop, including the freedom to buy elections, and anything that interferes is a threat. “Market” means nothing more than “nonstate”, a negation of use of policy in the public interest. Jamie provides a careful analysis of the frontline battles on many of the most important issues–Social Security, health care, inequality, immigration, security after 9-11, trade and outsourcing, and global warming—showing how “market solutions” are designed to enrich a favored oligarchy through a spoils system administered through the state’s structure. The policy “mistakes” in Iraq or New Orleans or at Bear-Stearns do not result from incompetence—indeed they only appear to be failures because we apply inappropriate measures of success. There is no common good, no public purpose, no shareholder’s interest; we are the prey and governments as well as corporations are run by and for predators. The “failures” enrich the proper beneficiaries even as they “prove” government is no solution.

The Economist

But the inversion runs deeper than this. Each of us has two primary domains in our lives; the private, personal part of our life and the collective, public persona. By its very nature freedom is personal; it is the freedom to move, freedom to associate, freedom to express, freedom of ideas and faith,  the opportunity to be creative, excellent and to be of service to those around us. It is the freedom to love, to be compassionate and to direct our own feet along the path of our inner lives. It is the freedom to make choices, take responsibility for their consequences and to both give and receive forgiveness. Freedom is essentially the power to give unique meaning to each and everyone of our lives.

While at the same time whenever we engage in our work, businesses or any kind of political or collective life we are immediately confronted with the need to fit in. There are always policies, rules and laws to abide by, standards and procedures to follow, customs and conventions to observe. We willingly sacrifice our individual freedom of action in this domain because in return we receive the immensely greater benefits of civilised society.

These distinctions are important because they mirror a constant and largely ignored dichotomy underpinning political life – the divide between the authoritarian and the libertarian. Easily entranced as we are by surface appearances we’ve been comfortable debating the old left-right economic argument, but rarely addressed ourselves to this hidden, emotive power. For here is the underlying inversion – that the natural domain for the libertarian impulse lies in defending personal freedom ; while the authoritarian finds a legitimate outlet in planning, ordering and improving our collective economic life. At some point around 1980 this natural arrangement was thoroughly turned on it’s head.

The idea of choice was sold to us as the ‘freedom to shop’, and as Galbraith describes, that markets became the sole and legitimate expression of human need to be ‘free’. While a bit of competition is a good and necessary thing,  this a terribly limited thing compared to political freedom and democratic process on the one hand, and personal human needs on the other. Galbraith “argues how amazing it is that the real meaning of freedom in every normal sense was replaced by this narrow view of ‘market freedom’.  Amazing as it is that this nonsense could last so long and run so deep” . Furthermore I argue this bogus libertarian usurpation of our collective life has been paralleled by an insidious invasion of the authoritarian impulse into the realm of the personal where it does not belong.

In one sense there is nothing terribly new about this, we have always tended to judge ourselves by our intentions and others by their actions. But as the brouhaha over Len Brown recently demonstrates; we’ve no longer much scruples about collectively invading individuals personal and family lives, commenting, evaluating and judging, trampling our own metaphorically muddy boots over inner sanctums. First radio, then television  and even more potently the net has seen us gradually blur, and now erase the boundaries between personal and public. It is as if a sort of ‘neo-Victorian’ prudishness is wrapping it’s tentacles around our minds. (Of course was  all hypocritical cant – the Victorians were always as robust and earthy as any generation. They just raised denial about it to a particular art form.)

But the inversion is even more layered than this. How rarely for instance do we actually talk to each other anymore except when sheltered behind psuedonomynous masks on the net?  Politics, religion, art or simply expressing how you really feel is no longer tolerated in the modern workplace. TV, sport, the weather or an insipid recitation of ‘what I did in the weekend’ are the permitted topics. Even in less regimented social settings,  loose talk that might disturb the flow of vacuous drivel which usually passes for conversation these days is quickly subdued with a dose of collective disdain.  Asking awkward questions is verboten.

You cannot see this cage. As with the cloud you cannot see what holds it in place; yet it is real. Only in the hindsight of forty neo-liberal Christmases do I get sense what has changed, that the legitimate drive to order, regulate and control was decoupled from our collective life and has seeped instead into our personal lives –  all the while we were being told that our personal freedom  was to be satisfyingly re-defined as the freedom to shop in ‘free markets’. But they were of course no such thing; when the left abdicated from the collective, democratic right to order our economic affairs, it was happily snapped up by large corporates and big finance to be rigorously re-ordered for their advantage and the manifest disadvantage of the rest of us.

We’ve seen a long running debate on the left pivoting on the distinction between identity politics and economic politics. In part I think that it’s largely one of those silly unhelpful false dichotomies, or the usual weird old binary thinking. But also the evidence of the last forty years is clear, the left has been permitted to argue and win it’s reforms around various identity factions, just as long as we never threatened the economic order.

My underlying question is this; why should anyone care about anyone else’s gender, colour, sex-life, disability or culture? Poking our nose into other people’s private lives, and making judgments is authoritarianism in it’s worst guise. If instead of arguing for specific identity rights, we had argued for the fundamental, pure freedom to be who we were – whatever identity we claimed- that argument alone would have won the battle on all fronts simultaneously.  The 1945 Declaration of Rights was crucially a Universal declaration, yet he left was persuaded to take it’s eye off this big universal ball and focus instead on a collection of worthy yet ultimately smaller ones instead – but in doing so exposed itself to that most ancient of tactics employed by elites of all time – divide and conquer.

While at the same time under the guise of giving us ‘choice and freedom’ these same elites subverted our collective rights as a society and bent it entirely to their own ends.

As for that Jesus bloke. It is worth bearing in mind that 2000 years ago he was just another inspiring crank with a bunch of crankier followers. One of many in that turbulent era. The reason why he is remembered all these years later is because he understood precisely where the locus of this inversion lay. He was tolerated, popular even – until the day he entered the Temple and overturned the money-changers tables. That single action sealed his fate, and inexorably led to the events which make today Christmas.

49 comments on “Forty Christmases”

  1. lprent 1

    Good post. And there is data at the top of the mountain?

    If your data is limited, then release the post, and I will tidy up the text.

  2. Colonial Viper 2

    The culture and attitudes of society and of our civilisation as a whole has been gradually and insidiously replaced with a corporate consumerist culture. And even that is waning now as credit worthiness disappears and access to even cheap goods becomes unaffordable for many. So the soma of consumerism and distracting entertainment is being subtly replaced with a culture which accepts permanent austerity for the 95%, indefinite ongoing war against some “other”, and a security and surveillance state intermingled seamlessly with anonymous corporate power.

    We are Oceania.

    King Herod attempted to have young Jesus killed by ordering the deaths of every young male in Bethlehem. So Jesus wasn’t all that popular with everyone from the start.

    As you noted the vast political power of the money men spans millenia, does it not.

    Finally, we’ve largely forgotten the radical and revolutionary symbol that Jesus and his gospel represented, born into a land ruled by a harsh and unforgiving imperial power.

    • Ron 2.1

      As far as I was aware there was no evidence anywhere that Herod (presumably you mean Herod the Great) ordered the death of male children as you state. In fact there is no evidence outside of biblical text that this ever happened.

  3. karol 3

    Great post, RL. And much food for thought.

    It’s good to see your argument laid out so well.

    I’m totally with you on the economic angle, but I diverge when you get into the realm of “identity politics”. It’d probably take a whole other post for me to explain – and maybe I will – but for now:

    Yes, I agree that the “neoliberal” (myth and) revolution has delivered us the “freedom to shop”

    I also agree on the pressing need to challenge the “neoliberal” orthodoxy, myth and the undemocratic practices enacted in it’s name.

    But economic divisions and oppression are not the only ones. Along side them, and overlapping and, at times conflicting with them is the patriarchal order and imperialism: the latter are both cultural and economic. At times the cultural elements are mapped on to the economic order: e.g. the way 19th and 20th century capitalism were mapped on to the patriarchal and imperialist orders.

    And the patriarchal and imperialist orders still exists, albeit often in fairly diluted forms. Unfortunately aspects of them were embedded in the development of left wing, anti-capitalist discourse and practices at least as far back as the late 19th and early 20th century. For instance, working class-focused parliamentary politics were initially built on the notion of a family wage for the (largely white) working class male. Women’s place was largely relegated to the home, servicing the life of the male worker, and raising the next generation. Here is part of the reason for the 2nd wave feminist line: “The personal is political” – women had long been socialised into servicing the economic, capitalis, imperialist and patriarchal orders through their roles in the domestic sphere.

    And unfortunately its legacy is still with us, even within the 21st century left. So good to see some improvements – such us seen with a woman like Helen Kelly leading the struggle for workers.

    On the problems of blurring the public-private divide. I partially agree. But in earlier, pre-capitalist times, there never was a divide between the public, private and community life. A more clear division between public and private arose around the same time as the rise of capitalism. See Carole Pateman:

    Pateman argues that the [public-private] dichotomy serves specific patriarchal purposes. First, it fails to accurately describe the everyday experiences of women; the activities that women do are not easily divided into ‘public’ and ‘private’. Second, public/private is a false dichotomy because the success of the (capitalist) public sphere is dependent on the labour done in the private sphere (household). Third, the dichotomy devalues women’s work; a hierarchy inherent in the dichotomy places greater value on ‘public’ and often hides the value of the ‘private’.

    RL: I’m partially with you on this:

    But also the evidence of the last forty years is clear, the left has been permitted to argue and win it’s reforms around various identity factions, just as long as we never threatened the economic order.

    To some extent the “neoliberals” have appropriated the aspects of feminism and anti-racism that fit within their “freedom” discourse. But the politics of gender/feminism and/or anti-racism, are also only acceptable to many as long as they don’t threaten the patriarchal or imperialist order.

    And the very term “identity politics” is used to undermine feminism and anti-racism, while also masking the continuing presence of 21st century forms of patriarchy and imperialism – the sites of these struggles are intertwined with the economic order – sometimes overlapping, sometimes intersecting and sometimes in conflict.

    And now I have written a post length comment.

    Class, racial, sexual and gender oppressions are at once economic, cultural and structural: and they are very often enacted at sites where the personal is political: in personal relations, in eugenic theories/practices, in the marketing of consumer-focused gender roles, etc.

    • RedLogix 3.1

      What a fabulous response karol ! I’m hard pressed to find a quibble with it at all.

      Especially on this: but in earlier, pre-capitalist times, there never was a divide between the public, private and community life.. That’s quite true, a point I suspect I’ve made myself in the past. In close intimate pre-agricultural, pre-industrial societies the notion of privacy in the modern sense scarcely existed at all.

      Yet it is the case that while there is a mutual interdependence between the individual and the state, viewed from the libertarian (not of course to be confused with the ridiculous political ideology spelt with a capital L)/authoritarian spectrum they nonetheless remain quite different things. Freedom only has meaning for the individual, while authority has a legitimate repose within the democratic state.

      And from this perspective it could be argued that community is the means by which we mediate and triangulate between the two.

      As Bill and others have identified, much of this inversion I’m discussing was achieved by the destruction of community over the last forty years. That has to be one of the most glaring change symptoms – the virtual eradication of whole swaths of community, clubs, associations, lodges and the like from our social landscape. Replaced by a media which has the peculiar property of rendering us passive, switching off our critical faculties and then imposing on us it’s own pre-formed, pre-approved, pre-digested values.

      But otherwise yes. I think we’re both busy patting down the elephant only at different ends of it. I especially like your last para.

      • One Anonymous Knucklehead 3.1.1

        Great post, great debate. Boxing Day gifts :)

        Thanks.

      • karol 3.1.2

        Thanks, RL. excellent reply.

        This:

        And from this perspective it could be argued that community is the means by which we mediate and triangulate between the two.
        [...]
        destruction of community over the last forty years.

        Yes, community is the often ignored part.

        I’m not totally convinced that “freedom” is only applicable to the individual. Remembering my stage one philosophy/education classes. “Freedom” was never understandable in isolation, but always as either “freedom from” or “Freedom to”. As such, it could mean freedom (for the subject classes) from state oppression. Freedom for a group to protest, etc.

        I am reminded of the French use of 3 terms, not just one, to degfine the democratic state:

        Liberte,egalite, fraternite

        That particular triad is not without it’s problems. However, the 3rd term (while it has patriarchal overtones) points to the element of community.

        However, your triad, RL seems like: individual, (democratic) state, community.

        • RedLogix 3.1.2.1

          your triad, RL seems like: individual, (democratic) state, community.

          Yes. Going in one step deeper, I’d observe that community is the domain where the hedonic mode of human behavior can be expressed in our drive to be creative, to excel and to be of service to others.

          The briefest of acquaintances with most of these old-time clubs and societies (and there was an astonishing myriad of them) reveals just how much these organisations were oriented around these ideals.

          The destruction of these groups may well have been collateral damage of the neoliberal revolution – but it’s no accident that it’s so much easier for those in authority to airily dismiss an impassioned appeal to save a heritage back-country hut when made by ‘Joe Bloggs” of Masterton, compared to the same ‘Joe Bloggs, President Masterton Tramping Club”.

  4. Jenny Kirk 4

    Thank you , RedLogix, you put the underlying malaise in our world so clearly ……

    (>) “But also the evidence of the last forty years is clear, the left has been permitted to argue and win it’s reforms around various identity factions, just as long as we never threatened the economic order.” (>)

    This brings back to me, the day (almost 20 years ago) when a professional planner/engineer said to local councillors that the main recreation for people now was to “go shopping” . And you see this now with the endless media stories about the “tills ringing” right up to Christmas Eve, and then again about the Boxing Day sales.

    Mindless consumerism, and trivia, have overtaken the collective freedoms we once had.

    • karol 4.1

      Jenny Kirk:

      This brings back to me, the day (almost 20 years ago) when a professional planner/engineer said to local councillors that the main recreation for people now was to “go shopping” .

      Ah. That’s interesting. because when I consider the recent developments in New Lynn, it looks like shopping/retail is a central focus. Communtiy activities take second place – MacDonalds has prime place at the square opposite the mall entrance, while the community centre is tucked away away from the central focal points, beside the railway line.

      The new buildings incorporate spaces for retail, but little space for organsied community activities. Why is a cinema/theatre way down the list of plans for the development of the area?

      • Colonial Viper 4.1.1

        A town centre for corporate interests, and elected officials with no budget or inclination to buy inflated commercial real estate for public space.

  5. Macro 5

    Well said Red. And an excellent discussion.

    In our rush to buy cheap and flashy we have in the process tossed aside the very foundation of our community, sold our jobs overseas,and forgotten that mankind needs to recreate as well as work.

  6. tracey 6

    fabulous redlogix

    we live in a frightened society. fear can be the onky reason otherwise rational people will cling to irrationality as though their life depends on it. take away the accimulation of stuff as the point of life and what are you left with. admit you believed a lie and what are you left with.

    it takes courage to change a belief. a form of bravery largely missing in nz.

    wayne mapp asked me if i deny the recent economic news is good? i say good for whom? for nearly 40 years i intermittently read this news… the benefirs just never trickle down. we will continue down the path for a long time because in my time the only party that has dared cry

    the emperor has no clothes

    is the greens.

    no wonder they are villified by the right and others. fortunately we dont have crucifixtions anymore.

    but lets take the time to ask this question. why are so many so fearful of the greens that they use alot of tome belittling them?the greens challenge us to invert our world and economic view. .. its too much for most to contemplate.

    indeed why dont we turn over the moneychangers tables more often when they screw us so majorly every 12 years and with stealth in between.

    • Naturesong 6.1

      It is a constant wonder to me that any christian person would vote for National, or Labour in recent years for that matter.

      • Foreign Waka 6.1.1

        Perhaps they were the ones believing in the fat man that comes through the chimney instead of Christ being borne?

      • Tim 6.1.2

        It is used to be a constant wonder to me why any ‘minority’ (includind, but not limited to race/ethnicity, sexuality) would vote National. I put it down to that ‘inversion’ and all it encompasses RL and Galbraith identify and of marketisation. (The power of the 80′s emergent ‘Pink Dollars’ et al). One even sees it today amongst some in the precariat/underclass.

        What a bloody EXCELLENT post RL! (and Karol)

  7. ak 7

    Beautiful post and discussion, thanks so much Red and everyone.

    And so timely. At the celebration of the birth of our most enduring values ever, amid signs of a long-awaited resurgence. As the money-changers’ tables collapse under their own excess, the world’s most powerful man embraces the clarity of his task with unprecedented courage.

    Well-spotted the massacre of our most vital life-blood, as shown graphically in the provincial population census maps. The commodification of everything now includes community: the very basis, fundamental, and essential ingredient of every single thing that has made us what we are, and given birth to everything we hold dear.

    “Friends” are now wooed, counted and dissolved with the tiniest movement of a finger; the dissemination of arcane and empty information substituted for rich life-giving intercourse. Pink, insipid lolly-water where our rich red heritage once pumped. Producing cheap manufactured persona and realities cheek by jowl with instant gratification and commercialism. Our very source now an empty desert of green factories and filth.

    And so a chairman’s son posts saint Helen’s head on pornography with utter impunity; power is won for the oppressors, and the roastbusters brag openly.

    Beneficiaries the last scapegoat group available; and even there, open bullying no longer acceptable. Orewa One, the bedrock and founder of latter-day National, the last kiwi frankenstein.

    And beware the careful Bennett-Borrows passive-aggression progrom lest it be employed elsewhere. Death by a million cuts, bruises and hurdles, is as miserable – or moreso – and effective as any Parihaka. And note the descent to the personal, the shameless and blatant use of the innocent for political gain: much more difficult to detect, Chuang and Len’s daughters possibly the tips of a giant iceberg at work as we speak.

    Yet despite the repugnant consequences, blossoms emerge. Despite deliberately-fomented and accidental stumbles, the Maori, Woman and Gay will never ever again be beaten down. The beneficial lessons of perseverance and truth writ large on every kiwi street and screen every day; Mandela and Francis too big, too true, to be ignored – even by the omnipresent moneychanger propagandists.

    Come down safely Red, and take a bow all of you.

    Write it large and shout it to yourself every day: KIA KAHA!

    • RedLogix 7.1

      And note the descent to the personal, the shameless and blatant use of the innocent for political gain: much more difficult to detect, Chuang and Len’s daughters possibly the tips of a giant iceberg at work as we speak.

      Nicely expressed ak. It’s not even a case of who is ‘innocent’ or not here – it’s the blatant exploitation of what should be private that constantly angers me. It’s the same prurient, emotional, grief porn formula used in the media to sell it’s advertising.

      You only have to be unlucky enough to be in the wrong place at the wrong time and the authoritarian machine will descend on your personal tragedy and use you for it’s own purposes. And you will have little or no say in how it is presented and what is said. And in a manner our grandparents would have been mostly shocked to see. Although on the other hand it’s a form of emotional violence the Romans would have recognised; personal agony as entertainment for the masses.

      The beneficial lessons of perseverance and truth writ large on every kiwi street and screen every day; Mandela and Francis too big, too true, to be ignored – even by the omnipresent moneychanger propagandists.

      More than this. While the existing order is tottering and rotting from the inside; a simultaneous rebirth is underway. The form of it cannot be seen yet, but the components are being assembled. I’ve no idea when it’s meant to come to life.

      And I only wish you would post more often ak – then I’d be less inclined to inflict my own waffle and clumsy grammar on the world.

      I’m very safe where I am thank you. This is more of a project than an adventure.

      • karol 7.1.1

        Nicely expressed ak. It’s not even a case of who is ‘innocent’ or not here – it’s the blatant exploitation of what should be private that constantly angers me.

        hmmm… it depends on what actually happened. The resort to the “private” is a mixed bag, in my view. Yes, politicians, like the rest of us, are entitled to privacy for our sexual relationships.

        However, the intertwining of sexuality and power is everywhere – in politics and the workplace, as well as in the home. Abuse of a position of political or social power for selfish sexual satisfaction is a political issue.

        However, in Brown’s case, there is no clear evidence that he used his position for things like: coercing someone into sex via promises of political favours.

        There is a traditional pattern that older men use, or play on, their political power as part of their seduction line. (Kissinger talked of power being an aphrodisiac.) Some women may do that sort of thing, too, but not nearly as often as older men with younger women.

        According to Chuang, she wasn’t so much attracted to Brown as to the aura of his political position. So it’s in dodgy territory.

        However, I’m sure Brown isn’t the only political personage in NZ to have had such affairs.

        This from ak:

        And note the descent to the personal, the shameless and blatant use of the innocent for political gain: much more difficult to detect, Chuang and Len’s daughters possibly the tips of a giant iceberg at work as we speak.

        I notice you didn’t identify Brown as one of the “innocents”. And I do agree that WO and other Brown opponents have shamelessly been using this relationship in a very exploitative and sensationalised way for their own gain.

        RL: It’s the same prurient, emotional, grief porn formula used in the media to sell it’s advertising.

        Yes, I agree with that. Brown may not be “innocent” but his opposition are pretty shameless in milking the sensational for political gain, regardless of who gets hurt by it.

        Brown has lost my support – first Ports of Auckland, then voting for Sky City. His personal failings put him in ambiguous territory for me. The latter not a sacking offence, and something that is redeemable. People are capable of change. I will wait and see.

        Nevertheless, Brown surely must have known that such dalliances are likely to fuel opposition attacks. Reckless.

        But, more important are his political sell outs, and the fact that for me, he was always the not-John-Banks candidate … I’m hoping for a new left mayoral candidate come the next election.

  8. Ad 8

    Not sure I agree Jesus had one fixed view on money, assets, or human potential. You reminded me more of Gutierrez than Jesus per se.

    The seventies has inflated the balloon of utopia in your mind and the shape still remains. That space cannot be accurately described to those beyond that generation. It it a u-topos.

    I agree completely with you however on the aridity of economic language as a glossary of human being and becoming. Just nuts.

    Also not sure Greens have a lock on naming other ways of running a country. See Karol’s post on Michael Joseph Savage.

    It’s noteworthy that only on holidays can most get the mental space to imagine alternative lives. Like those French in 1968 who – when even tv and radio were on strike – finally caught up with neighbours across the street.

    I hope writers like you turn into Green Party policy writers and speech writers. They need idealists with historical reach – nostalgia of the Ernst Bloch kind is as you describe a way to freedom: through recovery.

    • Tracey 8.1

      Michael Joseph savage is dead. I named the Greens because they are currently publicly pushing a different view. I dont know any main party pushing mickey savage’s view, most of all not labour.

  9. chris73 9

    Just out of interest, what mountain are you on?

    • Tracey 9.1

      the mountain is not the topic of the thread, perhaps you could ask your social question in Open Mike?

      • chris73 9.1.1

        Just thought it was easier to ask the author in the thread they started as they’re more likely to see the question rather then post it in open mike where they might not see the question

        • RedLogix 9.1.1.1

          Oh — personally I’d be happy to enlarge on this at a later time.

          • chris73 9.1.1.1.1

            Thats cool, I’m just curious about things like that…posting from a mountain is certainly different from where most people post (I’m guessing)

        • Tracey 9.1.1.2

          yea but it’s not about whats easier for you is it chris, it’s about where it’s appropriate. The topic, which you have chosen not to comment on, which is your right, is nothing to do with the mountain he’s up.

  10. rhinocrates 10

    Thanks almost everyone for an interesting post and discussion

    Hi X73, how about the GPS co-ordinates of your mountain please just so that we can at last find the centre of the world, the Omphalos, as it were, at last. We’ve got to be consistent about references and citations per your perennial demand when you’re not playing the victim card… or are you just blowing raspberries as usual? (My favourite mountain is Olympus Mons, BTW).

    • chris73 10.1

      Are you Redlogix?

      • RedLogix 10.1.1

        No rhino is a far tougher character than me….

        • chris73 10.1.1.1

          Well my question was aimed towards you not him so I was a little confused as to why he replied

        • rhinocrates 10.1.1.2

          “Tougher” maybe, but a lot flakier, I’ll be the first to admit.

          And, uh, sorry X73 “a little confused” might be understating it a wee small infinitesimally tiny bit.

          Testosterone poisoning can be treated, I’ve heard.

      • rhinocrates 10.1.2

        Nope. I’d say that if I were a liar of course, but you’ll never know for sure, will you?

        That’s one of the reasons why we have the never-question-anyone’s-handle rule – not only is it rude, it’s pointless.

        I might be Redlogix, but I think that they might dispute that. I might be your postie, your dog, one of the voices in your head, someone you passed in a crowd last week… the man in the trenchcoat with the ginger hair… the short woman in the leather jacket… who.. who?

        Since my avatar is inspired by HAL 9000, maybe I’m a bot?

        X73, such a chewtoy…

        Tracey: the mountain is not the topic of the thread

        And there is no spoon.

        OK, mockery of one kind, jollity of another is followed by yet another kind:

        Well, my Christmas has been wonderful – some family rifts healed, contra tradition.

        The Labour Party in its root form – certainly not after the Rogernomic cancer – has been described as Applied Christianity. Let’s hope that that continues and grows anew.

        http://weknowmemes.com/2012/05/did-i-fucking-stutter/

        • chris73 10.1.2.1

          “Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar” and sometimes a question is just a question but why you bothered answering a question that wasn’t directed at you is beyond me

          • rhinocrates 10.1.2.1.1

            Fun.

            (“Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar” – now now, you’re finicky about attributions – you should add “Sigmund Freud, Attr.”)

            • chris73 10.1.2.1.1.1

              Because maybe he didn’t say it

              http://quoteinvestigator.com/2011/08/12/just-a-cigar/

              • rhinocrates

                Hence “Attr.”

                Do try to pay attention, dear boy.

                (People with no sense of irony standing on their dignity – they never fail to be funny)

                • Polish Pride

                  You guys should be politicians. You could argue for days just for the sake of arguing and get nothing done. Chris73 asked what mountain he was on out of interests sake nothing more. Rather than take the simple route and simply answer his question which would have taken all of 5 seconds. You instead scold and belittle him.
                  Is this Whaleoil or The Standard. You either genuinely think you are reaching hearts and minds with that behavior or your on a fast track to less and less people taking your views seriously.

                  Either way its a real shame because it was a good article and the left could have all of the most important things they want once they start thinking outside of the box, or put quite simply look at solutions that don’t involve the redistribution of wealth.

                  Left and Right is not about The caring Left and the Greedy Rightwing Capitalist Bastards.. Nor is it about the Sensible Right versus a bunch of Commie pricks and a bunch of tree hugging hippies.

                  See Left and the Right are just ways of thinking. They are two ends of a spectrum upon which everybody in the world falls somewhere depending on how exactly they see the world
                  Neither are right or wrong, they simply just are.

                  Someone on the Left views the world very externally. Sees things they want to change, see inadequacies within the system and want to change the system to address those inadequacies.
                  example: They see families not having enough money and from their position in the system they would like to help those families but cannot (the system does not give them the resources to do this) in understanding this they then want the system to provide. This is currently actioned through various types of welfare.
                  Someone on the Right views the world with much less of an external view. They understand the system, They understand the rules of the game. Their focus is on them and their family within the system, and doing what they need to do to be successful.

                  They see taxes as being something that, although necessary, takes away from them and makes it just that little more difficult for them to achieve what they need to or want to in the system.
                  They see these taxes spent on welfare and unnecessary political activities, govt departments.
                  Both focuses are noble in their own right
                  The person on the left just wants to look after others who they think need help.
                  The person on the right simply wants to look after their family.

                  Unfortunately because we currently have a system based on limited resources and money, neither group will ever get exactly what it is that they want.

                  Both can achieve the outcomes they are after but only in a system based on an abundance of resources. It cannot and never will be achieved through a system of scarcity. At least not without oppression.
                  It can only be achieved through politics of the individual whilst eliminating the need to redistribute wealth.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    We’re well into the transition from free market capitalism to neofeudal rule by the global 0.1%.

                    Further, we’ve already burnt through all of the Earth’s cheapest and easiest resources. Only the expensive hard to extract low quality stuff is left.

                    Your PR spin is already 10 years out of date, PP.

                    • Polish Pride

                      Then you misunderstood my point CV. I know exactly where we are currently headed.
                      It is as I have stated above whether you like it or not.
                      The solution you seek will not come from forcing the policies of the left upon others. The reason for this is that there is and always has been and always will be an equal and opposing force from the right. A force that will (under the current system) ALWAYS at some point have the numbers to have their side in power and implementing policy designed to give them and their voters what they want.

                      “Further, we’ve already burnt through all of the Earth’s cheapest and easiest resources. Only the expensive hard to extract low quality stuff is left.”

                      Yes we have, and whilst we continue to adhere to a system where the ‘economy’ which comes with the profit motive and planned obsolescence is of utmost importance, then we will continue to churn through our remaining resources at an even faster pace than we are now.

                      Whilst people need to sell goods to others and turn a profit then we will continue to not only strip this planet of its resources but the very need for profit and the ‘health’ of the economy will continue to be used to do so just as it is now.

                      Like it or not CV a path to the solution is in the post above.
                      A solution that provides what should be the ultimate and most noble goal of the Left. A world where everyone can live a happy and fulfilling life lived with dignity and freedom. A solution that also gives the right what they want a system where they and their family can live a happy and fulfilling life lived with success and freedom.
                      The Resource Based Economy solves not only the problems of the Left but also the problems of the Right, furthermore it solves the problem of the 1%

                      You only need to look at the bottom level Maslows Hierarchy to see how poorly the current system is performing for many around the world.

                      I like where your headed CV, I like the thinking laid out in your ‘coming out’ (so to speak) post. I realise you can’t commit political suicide right now by telling the masses when you run that- Hey we should switch to an RBE. I get that But that’s my job. Its my job to change the narrative.

                      “Never underestimate the power of a few committed people to change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. – Margaret Meade”

    • halfcrown 10.2

      Well said rhinocrates
      But my favorite mountain is Venus Mons

  11. RL,

    I’m not worthy.

  12. North 12

    A brilliant read RL. Thank you.

  13. Ad 13

    Would be good to see cv do a post on ‘neo feudalism’ in New Zealand. Show us the depth of the darkness. With some predictions that are more convincing than impossible nostalgia. A good dark dystopian debate, cv.

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    Greens | 13-04
  • Japan’s quick turnaround on whaling disappointing
    News that Japan plans to recommence some form of “scientific” whaling programme so quickly after the International Court of Justice’s ruling against it is very disappointing, says David Shearer, Labour’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson. “New Zealanders expected the ICJ ruling -...
    Labour | 13-04
  • Reviewable tenancies will increase risks for vulnerable children
    Instead of kicking families out of their homes if they can pay their rent, parents with young children should have the opportunity to purchase equity in a state-built home over time, the Green Party said todayFrom July, Housing New Zealand...
    Greens | 13-04
  • 48,000 New Zealanders drinking faecally contaminated water
    Some 48,000 people were provided with water that had issues with faecal contamination, 18,000 of whom were from Canterbury, the Green Party said today. The Ministry of Health's Annual Report on Drinking-Water in New Zealand for 2012/13 shows that 48,000...
    Greens | 12-04
  • Labour will move to save the Kauri
    Labour will spend $20 million over the next 10 years to stop the spread of Kauri dieback disease, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe. “We are facing an ecological disaster with over 11 per cent of the Kauri trees in the...
    Labour | 12-04
  • SPEECH: Saving our Kauri
    Seech notes Good morning. Thank you for joining us here today. As a West Auckland MP I am very aware the kauri is an important part of this place. The Waitakere Ranges with their thousands of kauri, are a taonga....
    Labour | 12-04
  • MANA to continue negotiations with the Internet Party
    The MANA AGM has decided unanimously tonight to continue negotiaitions with the Internet Party. Within a month further negotiations, further consultation with MANA branches and a final decision on whether to proceed with a relationship is expected....
    Mana | 12-04
  • National’s tax dodge
      National’s insistence that it is cracking down on tax dodgers is little more than a bit of election year chest beating, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says. “Revenue Minister Todd McClay surely doesn’t believe collecting $100 million of an estimated...
    Labour | 12-04
  • Housing prices go up – Gens X & Y give up
    Today’s REINZ report shows house prices continue skyward while first home buyers are dropping out of the market, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “According to the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand the national median house price has risen...
    Labour | 11-04
  • Do Key and Adams support Chorus appeal?
    John Key and Amy Adams must tell New Zealanders whether they support Chorus’ appeal of the High Court’s ruling in favour of the Commerce Commission, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe. “Chorus’ appeal is a waste of time. The company is...
    Labour | 11-04
  • Is Judith Collins unapologising
    Judith Collins appears to have retracted her apology for failing to disclose her meeting with her husband’s fellow company directors and a senior Chinese border control official just weeks after being ticked off by John Key for not doing so, Labour...
    Labour | 11-04
  • Media Advisory
    There have been a few minor changes to the MANA AGM agenda. Moana Jackson is unable to attend due to family commitments. Speaking in his place on Saturday morning MANA is pleased to welcome Georgina Beyer and Willie Jackson. MANA...
    Mana | 10-04
  • Green Party requests inquiry into Peter Dunne and Trust
    Green Party MP Denise Roche today wrote to the Parliamentary Registrar of Pecuniary Interests requesting an inquiry into whether Peter Dunne should have included his involvement as chair of the Northern Wellington Festival Trust on the Register of Pecuniary Interests...
    Greens | 10-04
  • Veterans short-changed
    The Veterans’ Support Bill reported back to Parliament today rejects a key recommendation of the Law Commission Review on which it is based and ignores the submissions of veterans and the RNZRSA, says Labour’s Veterans’ Affairs Spokesperson, Phil Goff. “A...
    Labour | 10-04
  • Why Easter holidays should always be mandatory and retail free
    The moaning from retailers that they can’t open the cash registers and worship the consumer culture of consumption over Easter bores me immensely because I’ve always believed that public holidays should be mandatory. It’s not that I really care about...
    The Daily Blog | 19-04
  • Why punish the parents of the disabled?
    Parents who have adult children with disabilities saw a glimmer of hope when the promise for payment for caring for their children was given. But like most things, the complicated and relentless bureaucracy of the whole process shows a completely...
    The Daily Blog | 19-04
  • Our government: still no idea
    Happy Easter everyone, bad weather aside. A previous post of mine was called “The Government with no ideas”.  Unsurprisingly, the theme of the piece was of a current government thoroughly absent of any creative ideas or solutions to assist more...
    The Daily Blog | 18-04
  • 12 things Forbes has to say about NZs about to burst economic bubble
    Forbes is not known for their socialist or left wing activism, so when they predict a grim economic failure, we should should collectively poo ourselves a little. National often get given this perception that somehow they are better economic mangers....
    The Daily Blog | 18-04
  • That Sinking Feeling: Labour’s urgent need for persuasive words and coura...
    THE LATEST ROY MORGAN POLL has Labour on 28.5 percent (down 3.5 percent) and the Greens on 11.5 percent (down 1.5 percent). At 40 percent, the combined vote of the two main centre-left parties has fallen 5 percentage points since...
    The Daily Blog | 18-04
  • Why the Labour movement should support a Universal Basic Income
    The Mana movement’s support of the idea of a universal basic income is a welcome development. It could become one of the litmus issues that define the party and prove extremely popular. If Mana are in a position to do...
    The Daily Blog | 18-04
  • Legal high and cannabis regulation
    I marched through Henderson last month with my fellow Westies to express our concern about the impact of so called “legal highs” on our community. Some people chanted loudly calling for banning, some expressing anger at the parliamentarians who voted...
    The Daily Blog | 18-04
  • Know your Tory fellow travellers and ideologues: John Bishop, Taxpayers Uni...
    . . On 19 March, I reported on the Board members of the so-called “Taxpayers Union”. With one exception, every single member of the Taxpayers Union Board was a current (or recent) card-carrying member or supporter of the National and/or...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • GUEST BLOG: Daniel Bruce – Internet Party: What Seems Ridiculous To The O...
    Imagine you’re a 18-21 year old, from a working class family. You’ve never had a landline phone at home, because your parents can’t afford the fixed monthly bills, so everyone in your familiy has a pre-pay mobile phone. Because of the same tight...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Greens to push for housing standards in MOU with Government
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Greens to push for housing standards in MOU with Government Tuesday, 28 Aug 2012 | Press Release We don’t need any more official reports. We know the problem and we have the plans....
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Mighty River squanders $3.8m preparing for sale
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Mighty River squanders $3.8m preparing for sale Tuesday, 28 Aug 2012 | Press Release New Zealanders do not want asset sales and they do not want the Government wasting millions of dollars on...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Government’s economic agenda on shaky ground
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Government’s economic agenda on shaky ground Monday, 27 Aug 2012 | Press Release Instead of betting on a boom and bust industry and selling off assets the government needs to invest in a...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • National’s tax cuts haven’t cut tax avoidance
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: National’s tax cuts haven’t cut tax avoidance Sunday, 26 Aug 2012 | Press Release It is not fair that many rich New Zealanders are cheating on their tax. National’s 2010 tax cuts, that...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Waitangi Tribunal report adds to crisis in asset sales agenda
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Waitangi Tribunal report adds to crisis in asset sales agenda Friday, 24 Aug 2012 | Press Release In its rush to sell our assets, National has found itself in a crisis of its...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Privacy across all departments needs checking
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Privacy across all departments needs checking Friday, 24 Aug 2012 | Press Release “People don’t have a choice about giving their information to the state so the Government has an absolute duty to...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Reports show Government role in driving ACC dysfunction
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Reports show Government role in driving ACC dysfunction Thursday, 23 Aug 2012 | Press Release Restoring public trust and confidence is an essential goal and will require very major change starting from the...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Government must front up on full costs of asset sales
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Government must front up on full costs of asset sales Thursday, 23 Aug 2012 | Press Release It’s time for the Government to front up over just how much these asset sales are...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • New report: middle NZ worse off, inequality grows
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: New report: middle NZ worse off, inequality grows Thursday, 23 Aug 2012 | Press Release Our society has never been as unequal as it is today. New research from the Ministry of Social...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Government to delay addressing climate change indefinitely
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Government to delay addressing climate change indefinitely Thursday, 23 Aug 2012 | Press Release “It would be a shock for any other Government to introduce such a self-defeatist piece of legislation but unfortunately...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Time to deliver on 26 weeks Paid Parental Leave
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Time to deliver on 26 weeks Paid Parental Leave Today marks two years since Labour MP Sue Moroney’s Bill extending paid parental leave to 26 weeks was drawn from the members’ ballot. “It’s...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Taxpayers robbed of $130m in Genesis sale
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Taxpayers robbed of $130m in Genesis sale Kiwi taxpayers have been robbed of $130 million by the Government in its final failed asset sale, says Labour’s SOEs spokesperson Clayton Cosgrove. “National set the...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Service for victims of sexual violence pushed out in cold
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Service for victims of sexual violence pushed out in cold Thursday, 17 Apr 2014 | Press Release Christchurch cannot afford to lose this agency The Green Party is calling on Housing New Zealand...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Resignation rates among cops soar
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Resignation rates among cops soar The number of frontline officers quitting the police force is at a four-year high, with more than 350 walking off the job in the past year, Labour’s Police...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Work visa problems need monitoring
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Work visa problems need monitoring The Government is handing out temporary work visas to migrants to work in jobs that could easily be filled by unemployed Kiwi workers in the Christchurch rebuild, says...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Legal high ban worthy of wider pick-up
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Legal high ban worthy of wider pick-up Auckland Council’s ban on using legal highs in a public place is an excellent idea that should be replicated around New Zealand, says Labour’s Associate Health...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Smith sells state P-houses to first home buyers
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Smith sells state P-houses to first home buyers Nick Smith must reassure worried first home buyers that any Housing NZ houses sold under his First Home policy will be tested for P contamination...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Brazil: Human rights under threat ahead of the World Cup
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Brazil: Human rights under threat ahead of the World Cup     Protests in Brazil:Brazil Franciscan friar kneels in front of Brazilian riot police officers asking for calm during confrontation with Landless...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Brazil: Human rights under threat ahead of the World Cup
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Brazil: Human rights under threat ahead of the World Cup     Protests in Brazil:Brazil Franciscan friar kneels in front of Brazilian riot police officers asking for calm during confrontation with Landless...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Libya: Trial of former al-Gaddafi officials by video link a farce
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Libya: Trial of former al-Gaddafi officials by video link a farce     Saif al-Islam al-Gaddafi will face the courts on 14 April. © IMED LAMLOUM/AFP/Getty Images         Read...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Libya: Trial of former al-Gaddafi officials by video link a farce
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Libya: Trial of former al-Gaddafi officials by video link a farce     Saif al-Islam al-Gaddafi will face the courts on 14 April. © IMED LAMLOUM/AFP/Getty Images         Read...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Algeria: Pre-election clampdown exposes ‘gaping holes’ in human rights ...
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Algeria: Pre-election clampdown exposes ‘gaping holes’ in human rights record     Freedom of expression, association and assembly are under threat ahead of elections in Algeria. © FAROUK BATICHE/AFP/Getty Images    ...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Algeria: Pre-election clampdown exposes ‘gaping holes’ in human rights ...
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Algeria: Pre-election clampdown exposes ‘gaping holes’ in human rights record     Freedom of expression, association and assembly are under threat ahead of elections in Algeria. © FAROUK BATICHE/AFP/Getty Images    ...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Viet Nam: Prisoners of conscience released but dozens remain jailed
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Viet Nam: Prisoners of conscience released but dozens remain jailed     Vietnamese activist Nguyen Tien Trung was one of the prisoners of conscience released this week. © Private      ...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Viet Nam: Prisoners of conscience released but dozens remain jailed
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Viet Nam: Prisoners of conscience released but dozens remain jailed     Vietnamese activist Nguyen Tien Trung was one of the prisoners of conscience released this week. © Private      ...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • PM’s China visit assisted Oravida, not Fonterra
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: PM’s China visit assisted Oravida, not Fonterra Questions must now be asked whether it was Fonterra or Oravida who really benefited from the Prime Minister’s recent visit to China, Labour’s Primary Industries spokesperson...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • New Zealand’s use of ozone depleting gases increases
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: New Zealand’s use of ozone depleting gases increases A new Government report highlights that the amount of ozone depleting gases New Zealand is using is increasing, the Green Party said today. The report...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • The issues behind the possible MANA-Internet Party Alliance
      Last weekend Kim Dotcom spoke at MANAs AGM to discuss the possibility of the Internet Party and MANA Party working together to defeat John Key this election. As someone who knows both Hone and Kim, I have a unique...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Manufacturing Upgrade
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Manufacturing Upgrade   Labour is determined to support and grow our manufacturing sector. These policies grew out of the findings of the 2013 Parliamentary Inquiry into Manufacturing.   – The claims and opinions...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Get work on 29th and the ANZAC spirit deserts the TPPA
      Groser and co would have been spitting tacks last week as the ANZAC spirit deserted the TPPA negotiations. Australia has done a deal directly with Japan which undercuts the demand for Japan to opening all agriculture in the TPPA....
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • No fracking solution to climate change
    Some British tabloids and oil lobbyists have jumped on comments made by an Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change author that fracking could play a role in addressing climate change as an argument for it here in Aotearoa, so is fracking...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • At Last: A Manufacturing Policy
    Source: First Union – Press Release/Statement: Headline: At Last: A Manufacturing Policy Date of Release:  Thursday, April 17, 2014 Body:  FIRST Union congratulates Labour on the release of its Manufacturing policy today. The union represents workers in the wood, food and...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Drone murder of New Zealander “justified” by Prime Minister
    Yesterday Prime Minister John Key justified the extrajudicial killing of a New Zealander in a US drone strike in Yemen with a few cynical, callous words at a stand-up press conference. Key said he’d been briefed by our spy agencies...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Secret Policeman’s Ball
      Amnesty International’s Secret Policeman’s Ball is back in New Zealand for one night of some of the best stand-up comedy from both national and international comics The freedom to provoke and in some cases offend is essential to the...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • So the US has assassinated a NZ citizen – what did Key know?
    A non judicial assassination by the US on a NZ citizen raises questions. Key made the idea that NZers were training with terrorists part of his farcical defence for the GCSB mass surveillance legislation. I say farcical because even if...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Something Better Than Something Worse: Why John Key could become our longes...
    IN HIS MEMORABLE holiday-home encounter with the host of Campbell Live, the Prime Minister, John Key, did not rule out running for a fourth term. Were he to be successful, the long-standing record of Sir Keith Holyoake (11 years and 2...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • GUEST BLOG: RIO TINTO WINS 2013 ROGER AWARD
      Sky City Casino Second, Chorus Third  The seven finalists for the 2013 Roger Award for the Worst Transnational Corporation Operating in Aotearoa/New Zealand were: ANZ, Chorus, IAG Insurance Group, Imperial Tobacco, Rio Tinto, Sky City Casino and Talent 2. The criteria for judging are...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • National drowning in an ocean of poisoned milk
    It is becoming difficult to keep up with which National Party MP is bleeding the most at the moment. Simon Bridges is being crucified by Whaleoil almost as much as Greenpeace are attacking him, suggesting Cam is seizing the moment...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Want to get rid of synthetic cannabis? Legalize real cannabis
    Have we managed to appreciate the madness that synthetic cannabis is legal yet more harmful than organic cannabis which is illegal? I find the current moral panic over synthetic cannabis difficult to become concerned with when alcohol is FAR more...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Save our homes – stop the evictions!
    “We will keep on fighting because it frightens me to think my grandchildren could become homeless,” Tere Campbell told me. Tere is a member of Tamaki Housing Group. In September 2011, tenants in 156 state homes in Glen Innes received...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • The daily humiliation of women and the constant policing and shaming of our...
    The last few months have been particularly bad for the shaming and policing of women’s bodies in the media, both in New Zealand and globally. First we had NZ Newstalk ZB presenter Rachel Smalley referring to women weighing over 70kgs...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • Tariana Turia: Labour doesn’t deserve our vote
    Maori Party Co-leader Tariana Turia told TVNZ’s Q+A programme that Labour doesn’t deserve the Maori vote. ‘I don’t believe they deserve our vote any more....
    Scoop politics | 20-04
  • Family Court Consumers Group appalled at legal rort
    Family Court Consumers Group appalled at Lawyer for Child's "1 meeting in 10 years" taxpayer funded legal rort...
    Scoop politics | 19-04
  • Manufacturing Matters to New Zealand – 17 April
    The Labour Party announcement today recognises the simple truth that the manufacturing sector really matters to New Zealand’s economy as a whole, based on the part manufacturing plays in the growth of the added value element in the tradable sector,...
    Scoop politics | 19-04
  • Young Kiwi to Represent New Zealand at Premier Youth Forum
    Young Kiwi to Represent New Zealand at Premier Youth Forum FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Commonwealth Youth New Zealand Executive Director, Aaron Hape, has been selected to represent New Zealand at 33Fifty, the Commonwealth Youth Leadership Programme,...
    Scoop politics | 19-04
  • Lisa Owen interviews Green Party co-leader Metiria Turei
    Greens propose new ministerial disclosure regime based on British rules, requiring quarterly declarations of ministers' meetings, travel and hospitality....
    Scoop politics | 19-04
  • Politicians Should Maintain Workers’ Easter Break
    Family First NZ is rejecting calls for any liberalisation of Easter trading laws and says that workers deserve a break to spend time with their families. “This is not an issue about choice as has been argued. For many workers,...
    Scoop politics | 19-04
  • Lisa Owen interviews experts on Antacrtica
    Lisa Owen interviews Chuck Kennicutt and Gary Wilson on Antarctica Headlines: Top Antarctic scientists warns New Zealand "not ready" for worst as ice shelves and sea ice in Antarctica retreat and the climate changes Gary Wilson: "Can...
    Scoop politics | 19-04
  • Beyond the State – NZ State Houses from Modest to Modern
    As part of the our 'Active Hand of Government' series for 2014, we present Bill McKay, Senior Lecturer, School of Architecture and Planning, speaking to his new publication....
    Scoop politics | 19-04
  • Global unions applaud NZ ‘slave ships’ progress
    Global unions the ITF (International Transport Workers' Federation) and IUF (International Union of Food, Agricultural and Hospitality Workers) today applauded the steps forward made in preventing often shocking abuse of crews on fishing vessels in New Zealand...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Families before commerce at Easter
    Families before commerce at Easter The retail workers’ union has hit back at critics of New Zealand's modest Easter trading restrictions. "Some things are more important than going to the mall, and for just three and a half days each...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Easter trading laws archaic, in need of overhaul
    Press release: ACT New Zealand Easter trading laws are outdated and in need of a major overhaul, said ACT leader Jamie Whyte today....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • ALCP welcomes Campbell Live poll result
    The Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party welcomes last night's Campbell Live poll, saying it is an overdue reality check for public opinion on personal cannabis use....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Q+A This Week 20/4/14
    Q+A This Week SUNDAY 20 APRIL, 9AM ON TV ONE The latest on the US-NZ relationship from the US military’s top man in the Pacific, Admiral Samuel J. Locklear . Deputy Political Editor Michael Parkin asks him whether we’re allies,...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Community detention for pokie theft
    A 67-year-old former company director, convicted of stealing pokie machine profits, was today sentenced to six months community detention, 160 hours of community work and ordered to make reparation of $6,000....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Waitangi National Trust Board Amendment Bill
    The Māori Affairs Committee is inviting public submissions on this bill. The closing date for submissions is Wednesday, 14 May 2014....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Collaboration stops drugs from crossing borders
    Collaboration between Hong Kong and New Zealand Customs has stopped millions of dollars worth of drugs coming into New Zealand this year, with a number of seizures and arrests in both countries....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Call for public enquiry into the future of farming
    Fish & Game NZ is calling for a public enquiry “to examine the future of agriculture in New Zealand”....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Comment on Labour Policy Announcement by NZMEA President
    “This policy release from the Labour Party is so important that if it becomes government policy it would define a shift in New Zealand’s culture,” says Brian Willoughby President of the NZMEA and Managing Director of Plinius Audio and Contex...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Manufacturing policy makes sense but….
    On the surface much of Labour's prescription for manufacturing is sound though questions remain over some of the detail not yet announced, the Employers and Manufacturers Association says....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Where Are The 15,000 Jobs?
    “Paula Bennett is today proudly telling New Zealand that beneficiary numbers have decreased by 15,000 in the past year. There is no proud declaration that 15,000 jobs have been created in the same period,” says Auckland Action Against Poverty spokesperson,...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Change of approach to government procurement needed
    The rail engineering industry has been totally let down by National’s lack of manufacturing policy, and Labour’s measures outlined today represent a marked shift in approach to supporting domestic industries, the RMTU said today....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Depreciation Policy Shouldn’t Be Just for Pet Industries
    The Taxpayers’ Union is welcoming Labour’s announcement to beef up rates of depreciation in the manufacturing sector, but is questioning why David Cunliffe is picking winners rather than applying the policy across all sectors. Jordan Williams,...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • FIFA U-20 World Cup NZ 2015 Kick Off Times Announced
    An array of kick-off times to suit football fans of all ages has been confirmed for the FIFA U-20 World Cup New Zealand 2015. With 52 matches spread across the nation, the public will be able to enjoy a collection...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • “Legitimate purpose” provides no protection under 167 form
    On Radio New Zealand today, the Privacy Commissioner indicated that ACC could only request information that was "relevant" for a "legitimate purpose". His view was therefore that the ACC167 form is not a "blank cheque" or...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • State: still keeping you safe on the road this Easter
    The long-awaited Easter/ Anzac break is nearly upon us while the weather may have taken a turn for the worse in several parts of the country, many Kiwis will still be packing up their cars to take a road trip....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Govt plan for community input into residential red zone
    Christchurch Mayor Lianne Dalziel has welcomed Prime Minister John Key’s announcement today of a community participation process for the public to have a say on the future use of the residential red zone....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Governor-General to visit Turkey
    The Governor-General, Lt Gen The Rt Hon Sir Jerry Mateparae, is to visit Turkey next week to lead New Zealand’s representation at the annual Gallipoli commemorations....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Actions of Police prior to death in custody were justified
    A report by the Independent Police Conduct Authority on the death of Adam Palmer while in Police custody found the actions of Police were justified during the arrest. The report also found that Police took all possible steps to try...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • New Electorate Boundaries Finalised
    New boundaries for the country’s 64 General and seven Māori electorates have been finalised – with an additional electorate created in Auckland. The 2014 Representation Commission has completed its statutory role of reviewing and redrawing electorate...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Save The Children Welcomes Strengthening Children’s Rights
    Save the Children New Zealand welcomes a new treaty which allows children to complain directly to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child about alleged violations of their rights....
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Labour takes manufacturing seriously
    Labour takes manufacturing seriously Manufacturing workers and employers will all benefit from economic policies announced today by the Labour Party leader, David Cunliffe. The Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union has welcomed the announcement...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Manufacturing policy welcomed
    “Today’s announcement of Labour’s manufacturing policy is very welcome,” says CTU Economist Bill Rosenberg. “Just as many other developed countries are realising, having a strong manufacturing sector pays off in good jobs, retaining...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Operation Unite – a Blitz on Drunken Violence
    New Zealand Police are hoping to reduce the number of victims from alcohol related crime by asking the public to say ‘Yeah, Nah’ more often this holiday weekend....
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Dunne Speaks
    Dunne Speaks 17 April 2014 There have been a number of harrowing cases presented this week about the impact of psychoactive substances on vulnerable young people. At one level, the tales are deeply disturbing. It is awful to see anyone...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Research announcement welcomed
    A leading Māori researcher has welcomed the announcement of the 2014 Te Pūnaha Hihiko - Vision Mātauranga Capability Fund by Science and Innovation Minister Steven Joyce and Māori Affairs Minister Dr Pita Sharples....
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • At Last: A Manufacturing Policy
    At Last: A Manufacturing Policy FIRST Union congratulates Labour on the release of its Manufacturing policy today. The union represents workers in the wood, food and textile manufacturing sectors. “In a week that has seen another manufacturing company,...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Republic campaigners still positive after royal visit
    "Campaigners for a New Zealand Head of State are still feeling positive after ten days of royal events" says NZ Republic Chair, Savage. "Our polling before the visit showed increased support for a kiwi head of state. We have a...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Selling homes to foreigners benefits New Zealanders
    Winston Peters has apparently convinced David Cunliffe that when foreigners buy New Zealand property they make New Zealanders worse off. Mr Cunliffe has announced his intention to adopt Winston Peters’ policy of banning foreigners from buying...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Taxpayers’ Union Welcomes Key’s Rejection of ‘Fat Tax’
    The Taxpayers’ Union is welcoming Prime Minister John Key’s rejection of fat and sugar taxes ahead of this year's election. Jordan Williams, Executive Director of the Union, says:...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Law Commission Paper on a New Crown Civil Proceedings Act
    The Law Commission has released A New Crown Civil Proceedings Act for New Zealand , its Issues Paper on reforming the Crown Proceedings Act 1950. The Issues Paper proposes a new statute to replace the Crown Proceedings Act 1950....
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Focus must now go on fishing industry jobs for NZ workers
    Maritime Union says focus must now go on fishing industry jobs for New Zealand workers...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Make the choice to stay safe on the road
    With Easter and Anzac Day giving us two successive long weekends this year there will be a lot of happy families preparing for trips....
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Students Welcome Engagement with StudyLink
    The New Zealand Union of Students’ Associations (NZUSA) has welcomed the improved performance from StudyLink in 2014. There is no doubt that getting their loans and allowances processed on time makes it easier for students to concentrate on being...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Deaf And Hard of Hearing New Zealanders Marginalised
    Deaf And Hard of Hearing New Zealanders Marginalised Imagine if you could not access vital news and information. What would you do?...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
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