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ImperatorFish: A special thank-you to Richard Prosser

Written By: - Date published: 4:32 pm, February 15th, 2013 - 78 comments
Categories: racism, religion - Tags:

Scott at Imperator Fish has kindly given us permission to syndicate posts from his blog – the original of this post is here.

We’ve all been giving Richard Prosser such a hard time this week, but he’s actually done us a favour.

Thanks to Prosser’s intemperate language and offensive views on race and religion, bigots have been flushed out from all sorts of hiding places.  He has made a fool of his publisher, Ian Wishart, and left various knuckleheads who usually agree wholeheartedly with his views scrambling to defend themselves on blogs and other forms of social media.

He has also revealed New Zealand First’s leader to be entirely without principles. Winston Peters’ previous utterances on race are reasonably consistent with many of the comments made by Prosser, even if Peters was never foolish enough to call for flying-bans to be imposed on people who have that “Muslim” look about them. This history of race-baiting helps to explains why Peters’ criticism of his own MP has been relatively mild. But criticise he must, because the political situation requires it of him. Prosser’s only crime, as far as Peters is concerned, is that he was unsubtle.

I am delighted that Prosser’s intolerance and bigotry is out in the open at last. It wasn’t exactly hidden previously, but most people would not have even heard of the man before this week. Now they know what he stands for and which party harbours him.

So thank you, Mr Prosser, for all your efforts. The backlash against you has demonstrated that we are a nation of diversity and tolerance. If we are intolerant of one thing, it is ignorant lackwits who achieve political office.

78 comments on “ImperatorFish: A special thank-you to Richard Prosser”

  1. The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 1

    He has also revealed New Zealand First’s leader to be entirely without principles.

    Are you sure we didn’t already know this?

  2. Northshoreguynz 2

    Lackwits? Surely you meant fuckwits?

  3. Anne 3

    Definition of lackwit – a dull and witless person.

    Definition of Richard Prosser – a dull and witless person.

  4. mac1 4

    “The backlash against you has demonstrated that we are a nation of diversity and tolerance.”

    I believe, and hope so; and that we continue to be so. I say this as a Pakeha Scots/Irishman who speaks some Maori, who is proud to have a Japanese son-in-law and another child recently returned from living in China, for whom tolerance and respect for who people are is paramount.

    I have a mother-in-law who is old enough to have been a nurse during WWII. Having the son-in-law that we have has altered and changed her opinion from those war-time attitudes. She also learned Maori in the 70s and has worked in the Islands.

    I am sure that most families have similar stories of growth and change as we develop as a nation. It’s part of our psyche as a people who believe in fairness and equality.

    It’s just a pity that this belief does not permeate into other social, political and economic areas for all our citizens.

    I hope that the backlash against Prosser’s bigotry, intolerance and basic unfairness can see more equality develop in the way we distribute our wealth, our culture and our goodwill.

  5. NoseViper (The Nose knows) 5

    Don’t want to be a f…wit but I was disappointed that David Shearer sounded ambivalent when asked by a reporter getting hypothetical – “Would you sack one of your MPs who said the same.” The answer was a bit um and ah. But it would be necessary I think, to retain the idea that Labour has values.

    • Colonial Viper 5.1

      Outlandish. Almost as outlandish as a revolving door of Labour Party has-been’s reappearing in the Leaders Office.

      New times, fresh ideas.

    • Anne 5.2

      The reason for that Nose Viper is both National and Labour are hedging their bets because come the day after the 2014 election they might be wanting to do business with NZ First. Cynical I know but that’s the downside of MMP.

  6. Vinscreen Viper 6

    Some will be aware of my lonely battle in other threads on this site in defence of Prosser. Not of what he said but of his right, guaranteed by the Bill of Rights Act, to say anything not actually illegal.

    Now its official. The bullies have won and Prosser has been proved partially justified,

    I’ve just heard David Shearer say twice, on National Radio’s politics programme, that Prosser was wrong to say what he did because (roughly) in some parts of the world such a statement might provoke a violent reaction. He didn’t want that happening in New Zealand.

    So there you are. Don’t complain about the bully in the school-yard. It might provoke a violent reaction. Don’t complain about police brutality. It might provoke a violent reaction. Don’t compain about the new extreme-Right political party’s bully-boys. It might provoke a violent reaction. Don’t complain about your bosses’ crooked book-keeping. It might cost you your job. Don’t complain about International companies screwing us out of tax on their profits. They might take their business somewhere else.

    So the bullies Prosser referred to as threatening to take away my (daughter’s) rights have won. My rights to complain about their murderous and brutal regime have gone because, according to Mr. Shearer, if I speak up against it I might provoke a violent reaction.

    This, people, is how the Nazis came to power in 1930′s Germany. This is how dictators all over the world get and retain their power. If you think it couldn’t happen here, think again.

    Once you start picking and choosing when Civil Rights apply and when they shouldn’t, you’ve lost them all.

    • Scott 6.1

      Don’t be ridiculous. Who is proposing that Prosser’s rights be taken away?

      • handle 6.1.1

        Right-wing whingers like VV seem to think rights are absolute. That there may be consequences from speech is a tricky concept for their tiny brains.

        • Vinscreen Viper 6.1.1.1

          “Right-wing whingers like VV seem to think rights are absolute.”

          I can’t imagine why you think I’m Right-wing. Or is it just that anyone who doesn’t agree with you must be a Right-winger?

          But yes, I do think rights should be absolute. Otherwise they’re arbitrary which is fine as long as you’re the guy who’s deciding when they apply, but if you’re not that guy you have no rights at all.

          My tiny brain tells me that I thought I was free in New Zealand to do anything not actually forbidden by law and my personal morality and ethics. However it seems that despite anything the law of the land might say I am liable to lose my job, be spat on in the street, have my windows broken and/or house set on fire by anyone who doesn’t like something I said.

          I thought that kind of thing only happened in… better not go there.

          • McFlock 6.1.1.1.1

            Defending racialists is generally the purview of the right wing.

            However it seems that despite anything the law of the land might say I am liable to lose my job, be spat on in the street, have my windows broken and/or house set on fire by anyone who doesn’t like something I said.

            More bollocks. Assault, willful damage and arson are still illegal. Losing your job has to go in accordance with employment law (bit of a bugger about the nat reforms then, I guess).

      • Vinscreen Viper 6.1.2

        The people who are saying he should not have written what he did. Such as David Shearer.

        Disagreeing with what he said is one thing. Disagreeing strongly and verhemently if you feel strongly and verhemently. Democracy allows that. But the people who have demanded his resignation, abused him personally, refused him the right to explain himself or apologise if he chooses to are simply acting like bullies and seek to deny his right – incidentally intimidating others.

        • McFlock 6.1.2.1

          But the people who have demanded his resignation,
          people have had the decency to resign or at least stand down for less.

          abused him personally,
          Because he revealed himself to be a horrible person. Or does his right to free speech trump everyone else’s?

          refused him the right to explain himself or apologise if he chooses to
          In parliament.
          Nobody has the right to make personal statements in parliament – that’s why he needed leave of the house. Hone seemed to think prosser should personally apologise to the people he maligned, rather than a trite apol-excuse in the house.

          are simply acting like bullies and seek to deny his right – incidentally intimidating others.
          Bullshit. If he has the right to demand that an entire ethno-religious group be barred from air travel, then everyone else has the right to call him on his bigotry, call him a dick, and question whether he is an appropriate person to have labelled as “New Zealand representative”.

          And you know what? Discriminating against bigots is not the same thing as bigots discriminating against people with less power or privilege in that society. Prosser is not an oppressed mass, he’s part of the problem.

    • Pascal's bookie 6.2

      “This, people, is how the Nazis came to power in 1930′s Germany.”

      Go read a book about that.

      Focus on the parts where a Party demonises a subset of a society and denies it rights, based on the idea that they are ‘other’ to the true, inherent, nature of the society. That ‘those’ people are a danger to the society and that their rights need to be curtailed on mass.

      In the mean time explain how Prosser’s rights have been curtailed. Has he been arrested? Has anything happened other than other people saying that what he said was indecent and dangerous? Has anyone suggested what he said should be illegal, that he should have his rights curtailed? No they haven’t.

      • Vinscreen Viper 6.2.1

        Read a book. “Moreover, some deputies of the Social Democratic Party (the only party that would vote against the Enabling Act) were prevented from taking their seats in the Reichstag, due to arrests and intimidation by the Nazi SA. As a result, the Social Democratic Party would be under-represented in the final vote tally. The Enabling Act, which gave Hitler the right to rule by decree, passed easily on March 23, 1933″.

        “In the mean time explain how Prosser’s rights have been curtailed.”

        Amonst the personal abuse and vilification there has been a great deal of pressure for him to be fired as an MP. Now while that might not be an attack on Prosser’s rights I suggest it most certainly is an attack on the rights of anyone who might wish to express views and opinions of a similar nature but who now fears to do so for fear of very real repercussions. If, for example, Prosser worked for a company running High Street stores throughout New Zealand do you think he will still have that job?

        As you pointed out, no-one has accused him of anything illegal yet exercising his rights might have cost him his job. Happy with that?

        How many authors were prevented from exercising their freedom to create works of literature after the Salman Rushdie affair?

        • handle 6.2.1.1

          Speech has consequences, especially if you are an official public representative. There is no blanket ‘right’ to an absence of those. If other people now fear them as you suggest, maybe a useful lesson about civic boundaries has been learned.

        • McFlock 6.2.1.2

          And to be technical, I don’t think Prosser can be fired as an MP. He can be kicked from his party like horan, but he’d still be in parliament. The point is that NZ1 obviously feels that it needn’t distance itself from racist pigs.

          If prosser wants to remain in parliament as a sitting advertisement for the underlying bigotry of our nation, that’s his right.

          • handle 6.2.1.2.1

            Most organisations have “not bringing into disrepute” clauses in employment contracts, so Prosser is lucky he is not running some High Street store. All we have over him as an MP is a bit of public “pressure”, the poor dear.

  7. Vinscreen Viper 7

    “The backlash against you has demonstrated that we are a nation of diversity and tolerance.”

    Am I the only one to find this statement breathtakingly dissonant?

    May I suggest instead:

    1. The backlash against you has demonstrated we are a generally white, middle-class, liberal, Western nation intolerant of any view we don’t believe white, middle-class, tolerant, Westen-orientated liberals should display, or

    2. The backlash against you has demonstrated we are a small practically defenceless nation in the South Pacific with a great living standards and we’re scared shitless by anything that might attract the attention of anything that might threaten the aforesaid, or

    3. The backlash against you has demonstrated that the laws we have guaranteeing the right to express any opinion which does not actually break any other law is only applicable to views we agree with or are views that don’t stray too far from what we consider acceptable and so make us uncomfortable.

    5. The fact that we allow you to write these things has demonstrated that we are a nation of diversity and tolerance.

  8. mac1 8

    VV, if being intolerant of bigotry is intolerance, then I have no problem with that. Just like “free speech”- no-one has the right to shout “Fire!” in a crowded theatre.
    Considering your suggestions:
    1. Those are values for some but some values, such as respect, are intrinsic to any society, yes?
    2. Other nations which see our standing against intolerance might respect that for itself.
    3. There is a difference between discomfort and feeling moved to speak out, usually to do with degree of intolerance expressed.
    4. Not there to reply to.
    5. In my personal lexicon, I may choose to react or not to bigotry. If someone, though, asks me to give support or agreement as well then they will get a reaction.
    If an MP does this, as Prosser did, then he needs to be replied to because of his position as a people’s representative. When he is patently unrepresentative, then he should be rebuked. Otherwise, he and his listeners/readers/followers may then take this as approval. Not everybody gets “tacere non consentire’.
    People also need support for their own unexpressed tolerant views and sometimes people need to be given a lead. That is in the nature of leadership. Example is a great teacher.

  9. Vinscreen Viper 9

    mac1, the definition of bigotry is “stubborn and complete intolerance of any creed, belief, or opinion that differs from one’s own”. So I’m afraid being intolerant of bigotry is bigotry. As I have already said, I might not agree with what Prosser said, but I find myself having to defend his right to say it against bigots who would deny him that right.

    “Just like “free speech”- no-one has the right to shout “Fire!” in a crowded theatre.” Not even if there is a fire? Or if he genuinely thinks there might be a fire? The problem with limiting “free speech” to things we only want to hear is that we might be closing our ears to things we might need to hear.

    I would agree no-one has the right to shout “Fire!” in a crowded theatre maliciously and with intent to cause panic. The elements of malice and intent would make it illegal. Is that the case here?

    “Those are values for some but some values, such as respect, are intrinsic to any society, yes?”

    Intrinsic? I disagree. Unless you believe in such concepts as “God-given” or an that nature has objective moral and ethical standards societies must set their own values. In this case we have conflict between two values we have set ourselves- the right to free expression and an obligation not to offend the sensibilities of others. Clearly they can be incompatible, but as we have enshrined them in law I go to the law and have decided that however objectionable Prossers comments might be he had the right to say them. I suspect the ‘others’ in this case – anyone looking like a Moslem, whatever that means – is more likely to have been amused by the sheer stupidity of the comment rather than offended by it.

    “Other nations which see our standing against intolerance might respect that for itself.” And we stand against intolerance by being intolerant? Personally I have a damn sight more respect for the Danes over the Mohammed Cartoons business than I have for David Shearer’s lily-livered capitulation to intimidation.

    “There is a difference between discomfort and feeling moved to speak out, usually to do with degree of intolerance expressed.” Indeed, speaking out is in my view the correct response to intolerance. But when that ‘speaking out’ itself becomes intolerance what has been gained?

    “In my personal lexicon, I may choose to react or not to bigotry.” It is the same in mine. The correct response to Prosser’s comments is to demonstrate the errors and/or foolishness of the comments, not attack the man for making them.

    I do agree that as a list MP for NZ First his views should be taken as those of the Party even when not expressed in the House, or even as an MP. That, however, is a matter for the Party itself and if it chooses to allow him to retain his seat it can be taken as endorsing his comments. However this view is complicated for me by the fact that the House itself refused to allow him to explain himself, repudiate his comments or apologise as he sees fit. By refusing him that opportunity the House certainly unfairly and perhaps falsly nailed these views to NZ First’s mast. Personally I think Parliament diminished itself be refusing to hear him and feel that refusal was motivated by petty party politicking, popularism and point-scoring at a time when Parliament should have risen above it.

    • McFlock 9.1

      Oh, so you’ve gone to angle B. The old “but he’s right, they’re awful” line you took failed dismally, so now you’re clinging to the Paradox of Tolerance.

      Try this on for size:

      The so-called paradox of freedom is the argument that freedom in the sense of absence of any constraining control must lead to very great restraint, since it makes the bully free to enslave the meek. The idea is, in a slightly different form, and with very different tendency, clearly expressed in Plato. Less well known is the paradox of tolerance: Unlimited tolerance must lead to the disappearance of tolerance. If we extend unlimited tolerance even to those who are intolerant, if we are not prepared to defend a tolerant society against the onslaught of the intolerant, then the tolerant will be destroyed, and tolerance with them. — In this formulation, I do not imply, for instance, that we should always suppress the utterance of intolerant philosophies; as long as we can counter them by rational argument and keep them in check by public opinion, suppression would certainly be unwise. But we should claim the right to suppress them if necessary even by force; for it may easily turn out that they are not prepared to meet us on the level of rational argument, but begin by denouncing all argument; they may forbid their followers to listen to rational argument, because it is deceptive, and teach them to answer arguments by the use of their fists or pistols. We should therefore claim, in the name of tolerance, the right not to tolerate the intolerant. We should claim that any movement preaching intolerance places itself outside the law, and we should consider incitement to intolerance and persecution as criminal, in the same way as we should consider incitement to murder, or to kidnapping, or to the revival of the slave trade, as criminal.

      • Colonial Viper 9.1.1

        :)

      • Vinscreen Viper 9.1.2

        Thank you. I found it very difficult to try on but gave it a go.

        “The so-called paradox of freedom is the argument that freedom in the sense of absence of any constraining control must lead to very great restraint, since it makes the bully free to enslave the meek. The idea is, in a slightly different form, and with very different tendency, clearly expressed in Plato. Less well known is the paradox of tolerance: Unlimited tolerance must lead to the disappearance of tolerance. If we extend unlimited tolerance even to those who are intolerant, if we are not prepared to defend a tolerant society against the onslaught of the intolerant, then the tolerant will be destroyed, and tolerance with them. — In this formulation, I do not imply, for instance, that we should always suppress the utterance of intolerant philosophies; as long as we can counter them by rational argument and keep them in check by public opinion, suppression would certainly be unwise.”

        Yup, agree with every word. The last sentence in particular.

        ” But we should claim the right to suppress them if necessary even by force; for it may easily turn out that they are not prepared to meet us on the level of rational argument, but begin by denouncing all argument; they may forbid their followers to listen to rational argument, because it is deceptive, and teach them to answer arguments by the use of their fists or pistols.”

        Yup, agree with that too – when it has been established that they are not prepared to meet us on the level of rational argument, begin corrupting followers and prove willing to meet our arguments with violence. But we should not use force before those last two qualifications are met. And by force I include economic consequences such as demanding a man’s job.

        “We should therefore claim, in the name of tolerance, the right not to tolerate the intolerant.”

        Too dangerously wide for me. I say we only have a right not to tolerate the intolerant when that intolerance manifests itself with intimidation, the threat of violence or the actual infringement of the rights of others . If someone is intolerant of a religious belief or group he is entitled to that intolerance, and even to express it. What he may not do is seek to impose or express his intolerance on others through intimidation or violence. If people choose to adopt his intolerant preaching they are free to do so, subject to the same limitations.

        “We should claim that any movement preaching intolerance places itself outside the law”,

        Hence I disagree. And anti-Islamic rant, for example, might offend many people. It might even hurt the feelings of some. But we as a nation have not decided that people have a right not to be offended or have their feelings hurt. You might feel that we ought to have such a right and be willing to give up the right of free expression in exchange, but ‘we’ in the sense used in this piece have not done so.

        “and we should consider incitement to intolerance and persecution as criminal”

        I agree, as this clearly amounts to an attempted or even actual infringement on the rights of others.

        • McFlock 9.1.2.1

          Too dangerously wide for me. I say we only have a right not to tolerate the intolerant when that intolerance manifests itself with intimidation, the threat of violence or the actual infringement of the rights of others

          Examine again popper’s line : ” as long as we can counter them by rational argument and keep them in check by public opinion, suppression would certainly be unwise. ”
          What exactly has been demanded of Prosser that is not firmly in the bounds of
          keep them in check by public opinion”, rather than actual infringement of rights? The bit you especially agreed with?

        • handle 9.1.2.2

          “And by force I include economic consequences such as demanding a man’s job.”

          That’s mighty convenient for your argument, such as it is.

      • mac1 9.1.3

        Jeepers, McFlock, you’ve just justified the whole study of the classics and philosophical thought. There I was stumbling along trying to articulate what I felt was wrong with VV’s argument about intolerance of tolerance as a dissonance, and good old Plato had already been there.

        Do any Thinkers pronounce on intrinsic values, as I call them, which belong in any society? Any pointers as to where to go? Nicely! ;-)

        • Vinscreen Viper 9.1.3.1

          Why not start here?

          “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

          • Colonial Viper 9.1.3.1.1

            Just look at where that’s taking the USA.

            Also note that it says that you are allowed the pursuit of happiness, not that you are allowed to actually gain happiness and enjoy it.

            • Vinscreen Viper 9.1.3.1.1.1

              I agree wholeheartedly that the Declaration seems to be more honoured in the breach than the observance. It didn’t even apply to the framers at the time it was signed, as ‘all men’ did not include those of an, ah, ‘African extraction’.

              In fact it confirms my argument that there are no such things as ‘intrinsic values’ which belong in any society, but I don’t mind helping mac1 look for them.

              • Colonial Viper

                How is a document which is only a few hundred years old and sourced from just one particular culture supposed to confirm to you that human civilisation holds no intrinsic values?

                • Vinscreen Viper

                  Are you asking me? I don’t think it does, but Mac1 asked “Do any Thinkers pronounce on intrinsic values, as I call them, which belong in any society?” and this seemed to me to be just such a pronouncement on intrinsic values.

              • mac1

                Thanks, VV. I have just wikipedia’d ‘intrinsic values (ethics)’ and discovered that I am humanist in that I believe there are certain intrinsic values.

                I’ve also discovered that there is a whole heap of reading of various positions on this topic, some of which I’ve never even heard of, (let alone tried).

                So, I’ve taken my own advice by doing my own googling. Now I have to decide whether I have enough years left to do this reading, and to learn the banjo.

                Hmmm, “Zen and the Art of Banjo Playing” aka “Frailing in the Darkness” or even “Claw Hammer Techniques in the Extraction of Logic.”

          • mac1 9.1.3.1.2

            VV, in your reply to me, @9, you argued that values are not intrinsic, but created by societies. In 9.1.3 I asked for guidance upon this point from philosophical thinkers.

            You return with an example from the American Constitution’s Preamble which states that truths (values) are Creator (God) created, backing up my belief that certain values seem to be intrinsic to humanity. You gave the dichotomy between god/religious based values and society created ones, decrying the former and supporting the latter.

            So starting there does not seem to give your views support, no?

            Anyway, there may be no dissonance there at all. I am not schooled in philosophical thinking, as I stated above.

            • Vinscreen Viper 9.1.3.1.2.1

              Hi Mac1.

              “So starting there does not seem to give your views support, no?”

              Well no, it doesn’t support my views. However both it and the use of the words ‘human rights and fundamental freedoms’ in the NZ Bill of Rights seem to me to support the view you are espousing which is that there are intrinsic values which belong in any society.

              I would argue that both the Founding Fathers and the New Zealand Parliament are wrong to assume the existence of ‘rights’ independent of any society’s acceptance or recognition of them, but if you want to argue otherwise you have support in those documents.

              • McFlock

                If there are no intrinsic values or universal rights, prosser has no “rights” that have been violated.

                Unless you have some other source of rights.

        • Vinscreen Viper 9.1.3.2

          Or here?

          An Act—

          (a) to affirm, protect, and promote human rights and fundamental freedoms in New Zealand; and
          (b) to affirm New Zealand’s commitment to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights

          - New Zealand Bill of Rights Act 1990.

          • mac1 9.1.3.2.1

            Now you give me an example of society’s setting out of what values are important and to be protected by law.

            I did ask for some Thinkers- i.e philosophical reading, though.

            • Vinscreen Viper 9.1.3.2.1.1

              “I did ask for some Thinkers- i.e philosophical reading, though.”

              Lord! You can probably find some philosopher who supports any view you’re comfortable with. Nietzsche? Voltaire?

              In my personal opinion one of the greatest books ever is “Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance” by Robert Pirsig.

              • Colonial Viper

                I like that book too and it really is a great classic read. But you haven’t successfully picked up the lessons of human compassion from it, just those of mindful sharpness and perception.

                • Vinscreen Viper

                  “But you haven’t successfully picked up the lessons of human compassion from it”

                  I coud find that a hurtful statement were I less thick-skinned. In what way have I demonstrated a lack of human compassion?

                  • Colonial Viper

                    As I’m not your priest nor your rabbi, VV, I suggest you go talk to them.

                    • Vinscreen Viper

                      As I don’t agree with your diagnosis, CV, I’ll pass on that one.

                      Or I could be snarky and say Matthew 7:3.

                      But I’d be wrong to do so.

              • McFlock

                The idea of philosophy is not to find a leader or authority whom you can quote verbatim, but with no understanding – like a lot of folks with bible passages (or dare I say “who cut and paste from the Quran”?).
                The idea is to knock about several perspectives so you can think for yourself, come to your own conclusions, and justify them.

                • mac1

                  Thanks, too, McFlock. Sounds like a what’s left of my life’s work as I sets on the porch a-playin’ on the banjer. (see above)

                  The first tune I write for the banjo will be titled “Dualism Banjos.”

                • Vinscreen Viper

                  “The idea is to knock about several perspectives so you can think for yourself, come to your own conclusions, and justify them.”

                  Jesus wept. I thought I’d given a lot more time that I should have spared over the last couple of days trying to justify my apparently unique synthesis of several perspectives resulting in very unpopular conclusions to you lot. In the face, I must say, of some pretty hostile tackles on the man rather than the ball.

                  Where I can I copy and paste quotes because usually someone has said what I want to say more elegantly and in a lot fewer words than I can.

                  • McFlock

                    You did well in the C&P department.

                    But the thing is, you missed the relevance of the quotes, which was zero. The issue is prosser’s comments, not that (shock, horror) some folks from any religion are extremist nutbars.

                    His rights haven’t been violated – he even gets to keep his job as long as this parliament goes on, if he feels. But other people have the right to call him a dick for being a bigot, and demand he apologise to the people he maligned, and generally use as much free speech as he did.

        • McFlock 9.1.3.3

          Most of them considered the issue.
          I quite liked Rousseau.
          More modern thinkers on justice and rights are Popper (above), and Rawls .
          I’d also recommend Jim Flynn’s “How to Defend Humane Ideals”, which kicks around some similar issues.

          • mac1 9.1.3.3.1

            Thanks, again. I value Jim Flynn whom I met in the sixties as a student, and with whom playing “The Banks are Made of Marble” was a signal moment for me. I just like the man.

        • Rogue Trooper 9.1.3.4

          “After Virtue”- Alisdair MacIntyre

  10. xtasy 10

    Prosser is a tosser, of ill thoughts, dumb ideas and poor judgment, full stop.

    Yes, he has done NZ a favour, by showing how so many on talk back, in work environments, clubs and in backrooms are still the mean, little minded back stabbers and nationalistic haters that are still around in too great numbers.

    It is a disgrace that there are a number of MPs in the Parliament, and that is NOT JUST Prosser, who sit there with no good purpose and justification.

    Well, he has ensured, that at some stage a “natural selection” may soon see him look for another job. Unlike some others, I cannot see Winston being happy or even dismissive of this, this is major damage to NZ First and he will see that something will get sorted.

    Nobody defends islamists and especially terrorists, but he made a total idiot of himself with his bigoted rant well beyond anything else I have heard or read about in NZ for many years.

  11. gnomic 11

    Prosser is a clown and an ignoramus. He follows in the footsteps of the great Chris Carter and even the late ‘Sir’ Paul.

    Ian Wishart was a fool long before Prosser gave vent to his most recent ravings. Not to mention a rabid bore. Along with just about all of his agonisingly boring contributors. Of late there seems to be a shift in his organ away from turgid theological discursions to lightweight advertorial, perhaps even the eyes of the faithful were glazing over.

    NZ First always has been an oddly heterogeneous collection of twattlepates, but then you have to be a bit odd to follow the Great Pretender. After all, Winston First does really sum it up. However it is an opportunity to get the nose in the trough, even if just for a little while. And to employ a rather unfortunate expression, is Winnie really going to be able to get into bed with the Greens?

    Now what Prosser did say that was perhaps correct was that the terrorists had won, referring to millions of travellers removing their shoes and grannies being groped because of their artificial knees. Strangely that point in his rant seems to have escaped attention.

    But who are the real terrorists? Could it be that they do not live in Wogistan, and are not being targeted by drones?

    • Vinscreen Viper 11.1

      “Strangely that point in his rant seems to have escaped attention.”

      Not by me.

      Listen to Shearer:

      http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/focusonpolitics/audio/2546593/focus-on-politics-for-15-february-2013.asx

      At 02:17. “If those sorts of comments were made in the Middle East it could incite violence. We don’t want that here.”

      So we don’t speak up about the treatment of women as little better than animals – even worse than animals sometimes as donkeys are too valuable to stone to death – in case it “incites violence”. At least Prosser said he was not prepared to stand by and say nothing. Shearer would not only stand by and watch a women being given 100 lashes for talking to a man not a relative, he clearly wouldn’t say a word about it as it might incite violence.

      I have been prepared to give Shearer a great deal of rope in remaking the Labour Party but for this moral cowardice he has lost me for ever.

      • Colonial Viper 11.1.1

        The ultimate Prosser defender turns a new leaf :roll:

        • handle 11.1.1.1

          Prosser is just defending the honour of Muslim women, that’s all. What a gent.

          • Vinscreen Viper 11.1.1.1.1

            I’d rather defend them from characters who are happy to deny them an education, whip them for talking to them wrong man or being out after curfew, and order them to be stoned to death.

            But, to be honest, I’m just like Shearer and scared to actually put my head above the parapet for them. So the whippings and the stonings will go on. Heartless bastard, aren’t I.

  12. UreKismet 12

    Yeah if Prosser had concentrated on the ridiculous anti-terror ‘security’ measures travellers are forced to endure to get from a to b and left out the bits of ignorant whitefella-ism he may have made a relevant point. Of course it is unlikely that the column would have been picked up by the rest of the press release reprinters who pass for a NZ media -altho presented correctly such an argument could gain traction.
    E.G. Everytime some blows up themselves and/or anyone else anywhere in the world it makes headlines. Why is that? The odds of being killed or maimed by terrorism are infintesimal, that is unless one is unfortunate enough to live somewhere that FukUSi has selected as being a hot bed of terrorism but NZ isn’t one of the places so why do we get subjected to so much sensationalist bullshit about it?
    In NZ one is far more likely to be killed or maimed by a medical misadventure than by a plane hi-jacker. Several orders of magnitude more likely in fact. Here are some disturbing figures about this.
    In 2010 US research stated that 134,000 medicare beneficiaries were suffering adverse events as a result of medical error each month and a 2008 report tells us that the rate of fatalities from medication errors has risen by more than 500% in the last 20 years.
    Instead of harassing travellers perhaps the guards need to be placed at the staff entrances of hospitals and nurssing homes where knowledge, skills & cognitive ‘screening’ can be run on doctors and nurses as they arrive for work.

    But seriously if all that silly money being wasted on the airport security, arms & soldiers was divirted to aotearoa’s helth budget, more lives would be saved in a month than the total number of kiwis killed by so called terrorists in a century.
    So Prosser is right to be pissed off at losing his swiss army knife but he has targeted the wrong citizens to blame for it.

    • Colonial Viper 12.1

      Good points. 300 people die in road accidents every year, 90 drown, more than those two figures added together take their own lives annually (IIRC). No doubt several hundred people die a year from hospital acquired infections too. But we pretty much normalise all those as week to week events not worth that much attention.

    • Vinscreen Viper 12.2

      “if Prosser had concentrated on the ridiculous anti-terror ‘security’ measures travellers are forced to endure to get from a to b and left out the bits of ignorant whitefella-ism he may have made a relevant point.”

      Alleluja.

      If the press, politicians and some of the good folk here hadn’t spent so much time rushing around squarking like headless chickens (OK, I know), or swooning like Victorian maidens exposed to a naked table leg and all because he said ‘wog’ in polite company, but had actually tried to work out what Prosser was saying I suspect the reaction here would have been exactly the same as it has been from the entire Islamic world. One big yawn.

      • Colonial Viper 12.2.1

        Don’t know what you’re on about. I thought that what Prosser said was very, very informative and meaningful.

        • Vinscreen Viper 12.2.1.1

          So tell me what he said.

          • Colonial Viper 12.2.1.1.1

            What he said is a matter of public record, VV.

            • Vinscreen Viper 12.2.1.1.1.1

              Yes, but I’d like to know what you think he said. Or at least what you think he said that so offends you. Maybe I have it wrong.

              • Colonial Viper

                Personally, I’ve spent enough time on Prosser and on you. He’s political history now and I’m pleased to see that, while he’s managed to significantly damage both Winston and NZF’s brand on the way.

                • Vinscreen Viper

                  “Myself when young did eagerly frequent
                  Doctor and Saint, and heard great argument
                  About it, and about. But evermore came out
                  By that same door as in I went.”

                  Well I’m a’wearied of being the witch in this particular trial, too. And of TheStandard’s windowless echo-chamber. Here, like the skunk’s, is my parting shot.

                  I was flipping through some back-copies of the Riyadh Chicken-Fancier’s Gazette and in an article discussing the proper proportions of grit to protein in chook feed I saw the author had written this:

                  “On a flight home the other day I found a copy of “The Hitch-Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” in the pocket of my seat , a blasphemous text that attributes the creation of the World to an entity named Slartibartfast. Obviously an infidel had previously used the seat I was occupying.

                  This realisation immediatly made me aware that his or her alcohol and pork-tainted body fluids might at that very moment be soaking into my clothing and about to make contact with my skin. So appalling was this prospect of pollution by an unbeliever that I had to rise and spend the rest of the flight walking up and down the aircraft’s aisle and had to undergo the landing sitting in the hostess’s lap.

                  I think our Middle-Eastern airlines should recognise our sensibilities and refrain from offering passage to any female not wearing the burqa for the duration of the flight and refuse passage to any uncircumcised male.”

                  Now gentle readers I was shocked, shocked I tell you, at this implication that we beer-guzzling, pork-scratching addicted infidels don’t know how to shower and are neglectful of our personal hygene. I am horrified that such ignorant bigotry and intolerance can exist in the Arab world. My sensibilities are so bruised that I intend to relieve the pain by marching on the Saudi’s New Zealand Embassy (if they have one) to pelt it with afghan buns and date slices. I demand our Government immediately stop the import of oil and oil-based products from any Arab country and that we stop selling them… well, anything we sell them. Let’s show our disgust at such racial stereotyping by abandoning the use of the zero and stop throwing our Afhgan rugs. We must all burn our copies of ‘The Perfumed Garden’ and return to the missionary position so beloved of our forefathers. For me the flavour of coffee will be forever tainted by the taste of racial hatred. Who’s with me?

                  Wait, who’s that banging at the door. Ohmygod, it’s the thought police.

              • McFlock

                Are you asking for a cut and paste of an Investigate article? Might be copyright issues there.

  13. mac1 13

    Listening to Nat radio this morning on the Prosser topic, two points came through very strongly.

    Firstly, Wisheart admitted that he had only skimmed the article written by Prosser. That’s either an admission of editorial/publishing negligence which could lead to legal difficulties with defamation etc; or, it’s an avoidance of being seen to agree with these views having printed them.

    Secondly, Wisheart tried to defend the use of “wogistan” by saying the ‘wog’ part only meant ‘western oriental gentleman.” Be that as it may, (I am personally doubtful as the justification I had heard years ago referred to ‘worthy’ rather than ‘western’ and I suspect is a justification after its coinage), the word is racist in usage, as one of the West Indian cricketers on the mid seventies tour of England knew and discussed when the team were disparaged by being called ‘wogs.’

    Wisheart did not do himself any favours by his obfuscations.

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  • Board of Inquiry conditions will save rivers in New Zealand
    The Ruataniwha dam decision released today has protected the Tukituki River and dashed the Government’s hope of the “one nutrient model” (TRIM) being adopted nationwide, says Labour’s Conservation spokesperson Ruth Dyson. “It is a massive victory for those in the...
    Labour | 15-04
  • Labour turns wheels for cycling safety
    With more than a million New Zealanders now using cycling as an attractive alternative means of transport it is past time their safety was taken seriously, Labour’s Transport spokesperson Darien Fenton says. Due to speak to a cycling rally at...
    Labour | 15-04
  • SPEECH: Institute of Directors
    LEADING AND MANAGING OUR ECONOMIC FUTURE David Cunliffe MP, Labour Leader Speech to the Institute of Directors 15 April 2014, Auckland It's a privilege to be speaking here. The Institute of Directors has a proud history of developing New Zealand's...
    Labour | 15-04
  • More Oravida endorsements from John Key
    The use of a picture of John Key in an advertisement for Oravida’s scampi products in a Chinese airline magazine is further evidence of an unhealthily cosy relationship between the National Party and this company, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says....
    Labour | 15-04
  • Workers at Canterbury Yarns need redundancy support
    Workers faced with redundancy at Canterbury Yarns need a redundancy support co-ordinator, Green Party industrial relations spokesperson Denise Roche said today.Last week, Canterbury Yarns was placed in receivership. Canterbury Yarns joins a long list of New Zealand manufacturers who have...
    Greens | 14-04
  • Making the holidays easier for Kiwi drivers
    The next Labour Government will make the holidays easier and journeys quicker for Kiwi families driving on the roads, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe. “There’s nothing Kiwis like more than getting on the road and going on holiday. But on...
    Labour | 14-04
  • Ae Marika! 15 April 2014
    Our MANA AGM down in Rotorua on the weekend was a sold-out affair – even the media were struggling to get in! Political conferences can be very dull, but not this one. We had a great line-up of speakers including...
    Mana | 14-04
  • Green light from Labour for cancer screening programme
    Labour Leader David Cunliffe has today committed to a national bowel screening programme, starting with extending the current service to the Southern and Waikato districts. “Around 3000 New Zealanders develop bowel cancer each year and about 1200, or 100 a month,...
    Labour | 14-04
  • Adequate resourcing needed for victims’ advocate
    The establishment of a victims’ commissioner role will only be meaningful if it is properly resourced to do the job of advocating for victims’ interests, Labour Justice spokesperson Andrew Little says. Justice Minister Judith Collins has just recently indicated her...
    Labour | 13-04
  • IPCC report shows Government ignoring climate experts
    The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's (IPCC) report into climate mitigation, just released in Berlin, shows the National Government is ignoring the pleas of the world's best climate scientists.The report says deep and fast emission cuts are vital from all...
    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
  • Tribute for Maungaharuru- Tangitu settlement
    Labour Member of Parliament for Ikaroa-Rāwhiti, Meka Whaitiri paid tribute to Maungaharuru-Tangitu today as their Treaty of Waitangi settlement became law. “The Bill acknowledges Treaty breaches that left Maungaharuru-Tangitu virtually landless. Today we were reminded of the history, mamae, loss...
    Labour | 10-04
  • 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
  • A case study of racism by Police at Auckland Airport
    A couple of days ago I returned from Samoa after attending a family matter and some contract work. Spending a few days in the warmth of our homeland was welcome relief from the cold weather starting to make its presence...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • An acute shortage of emergency youth housing
    The housing crisis is effecting everyone in Christchurch but some are more vulnerable than others. Recently I attended a workshop on emergency youth housing hosted by the 298 Youth Health Centre, who I worked for from 2001-2003. Over fifty people...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • 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
  • Public lose interest in this council, 2016 to be a watershed
    The second term Auckland Council is proving to be an interesting one and very different to the inaugural 2010 – 2013 Governing Body. We are currently going through a budget round to lock in where council’s $3b expenditure is directed...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Labour and National join forces in new Maori confiscations
    Chris McKenzie, former-treaty negotiator and Te Tai Hauauru Maori party candidate, says that the Minister of Primary Industries’ plans to remove temporary exemptions for vessel operators derived from settlement negotiations is akin to confiscation...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • The FCV Bill – Flagging 30 years of failures?
    Paying seafarers at least a minimum wage under the Minimum Wage Act 1983 has applied to the New Zealand fishing industry for more than 30 years. It was, and is, a basic protection which had two universals – it was...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Oxfam’s Morning Tea 2014
    Oxfam’s Morning Tea 2014 Kiwis across the country are getting together over a cuppa to make a difference in the lives of people living in poverty in the developing world. They’re getting involved in Oxfam’s Morning Tea, a fun and...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • 1 in 4 Want to Improve Financial Literacy But Don’t Know How
    1 in 4 Want to Improve Financial Literacy But Don’t Know Where to Go...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Rio Tinto Wins 2013 Roger Award
    Sky City Casino Second, Chorus Third - The criteria for judging are by assessing the transnational (a corporation with 25% or more foreign ownership) that has the most negative impact in each or all of the following categories: economic dominance...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • ACC’s Strategy to stop compensation using ACC 167 Form
    On Radio NZ national’s morning report on 15 April 2014, ACC’s spokesperson Sid Miller denied the non-compliance was just a way for ACC to refuse people....
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Workers support plain packaging of tobacco
    The CTU have today presented to the health select committee in support of plain packaging of tobacco. “Any steps that can be taken to lower smoking rates will result in New Zealand workers and their families having healthier and better...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
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