web analytics
The Standard
Advertising

Jackson threatens capital flight

Written By: - Date published: 12:26 pm, September 29th, 2010 - 33 comments
Categories: capitalism, wages - Tags: ,

I’ve had an illusion shattered this week. I always thought of Peter Jackson as an ordinary guy made good who hadn’t let success make him an elitist prick. It looks like I was wrong.

New Zealand taxpayers contributed hundreds of millions to his Lord of the Rings trilogy and what thanks do we get? The threat of capital flight if wage costs don’t stay down.

Jackson says that, if the alliance of actors’ unions insist on better wages for The Hobbit, he will take the production out of New Zealand to Eastern Europe.

Funny that a couple of days ago he was framing this as a nationalistic issue of a Australian ‘bully boy’ jealous of our film industry. Now, Jackson’s threatening to pull the cord on that industry if he doesn’t get his way.

It shows that, in reality, this has always been about cutting costs. Jackson doesn’t want to pay actors their fair share so he can pocket more in his cut of the profits.

Ultimately, the threat to go to Eastern Europe strikes me as hollow. Are Eastern European actors really un-unionised? And wouldn’t the international blacklisting of The Hobbit by the major stars apply there as well as here? I reckon the threat is really meant to scare us and the government.

It seems to me this is more of the same stand-over tactics that we get from all shades of capitalists: just replace The Hobbit with, say, Tiwai Point and cheap actors with cheap power.

Don’t be surprised if we see Jackson with his hand out wanting taxpayers to help ‘keep The Hobbit Kiwi’ in coming days.

33 comments on “Jackson threatens capital flight”

  1. Lanthanide 1

    National radio interviewed some guy from Hollywood, not exactly sure what role he had but seemed to be in the know for these sorts of things.

    He said that the threat is most likely just a ploy, because Jackson isn’t just up against the NZ (non) union, but also SAG and the other international unions that are backing the NZ union. If SAG and the other unions instruct their members not to join the Hobbit, that means you don’t get your big-name stars like Hugo Weaving and Ian Mackellen. If you have every acting union on the planet saying they won’t work on your film, you have to hire non-actors to act in your movie, which obviously will never happen on a big blockbuster like this.

    The Hobbit will be cancelled if the current union problem can’t be sorted, not moved to EE. Given how much money LotR made and how much the Hobbit is likely to bring in, I suspect that they will bend to the unions will, eventually.

  2. Joe Bloggs 2

    Answer me these two questions:

    How many jobs has Peter Jackson created in New Zealand during his lifetime?
    What’s the size of the industry that the MEAA endangers in New Zealand through their actions?

    • Maynard J 2.1

      “How many jobs has Peter Jackson created in New Zealand during his lifetime?”

      How many has the government enabled through its wholehearted support of the NZ film industry – i.e. how many would have existed without the government’s actinos?

      “What’s the size of the industry that the MEAA endangers in New Zealand through their actions?”

      The industry that is trying to get decent wages you mean?

      Ask for a decent living and have some two-bit RWNJ infer you’re threatening an industry. You are a contemptible lot.

      • Joe Bloggs 2.1.1

        answering questions with questions? – my 8 year old would run rings around you maynard

        Bad Taste, Meet The Feebles, Braindead, Heavenly Creatures, Forgotten Silver, The Frighteners … all Jackson movies produced in NZ before the government stepped in with its ‘wholehearted support’

        As for the MEAA – meh! This is a premeditated, cynical exploitation of NZS workers by a bunch of Australians shoring up their power at the expense of the industry.

        Seeing the two-bit LWNJs clearly have no idea of the value of the industry to NZ, here’s what the MEAA are putting at risk.

        A PricewaterhouseCoopers study into the contribution of the film and television industry to the New Zealand economy in 2008 found it:
        - Added $2.54 billion.
        - Created 22,000 fulltime equivalent positions.
        - Created $6.1b in total gross output.
        - Generated $1.2b in labour income.
        - Created average salaries of $63,000, or $91,000 in the production and post-production areas. The national average salary in 2008 was $39,000.

  3. You know, I don’t think it’s that simple. The MEAA is controversial in its own industry — it’s being blamed, rightly or wrongly, for driving international production away from Australia, and the way it bullied a Creative Commons film project against the wishes of its own cast was extremely unpleasant.

    Producers in our screen industry who work happily enough with other guilds and unions really dislike the MEAA, and the late Robert Bruce, who worked for years with Equity to improve actors’ pay and conditions, was strongly against it.

    The conduct of the local union, now a subsidiary of the MEAA, in allowing itself to be struck off as a legal entity is also unfathomable. At best, it’s wildly negligent.

    And I don’t think it’s unreasonable to question the motives of the Screen Actors Guild, given that it says “one of the Guild’s highest national priorities” is stopping US-financed films being made in places like New Zealand.

    Frankly, I don’t think anything any party to this dispute says can safely be taken at face value.

  4. prism 4

    RB – Terrific to read a cautionary view about the union and the hobbits. Jackson’s looks make one think of a cuddly, woolly teddy bear but he must have bolts of steel to achieve what he did, so easily overviewed by us sitting tapping keys. That said, can pay and conditions be improved or is it always goimg to be the film makers being the simple hobbits to the lords of production, direction and finance?

  5. Salsy 5

    Finally at last – some research and a far more balanced discussion on this issue. Thanks Gordon Campbell.

    • prism 5.1

      Wow thanks salsy for pointing us to the link – Gordon Campbell has got his head around all the facets of a complicated story it seems. I noticed an anecdote about James Cameron who has been one of the many with an oar in to this project.
      A bit of light relief -
      The same battle was famously played out on the set of Aliens, when director James Cameron ran head-on into the work habits of the British unions at Pinewood – and discovered to his horror that everyone on set would down tools the moment that the lady with the tea trolley appeared in the afternoon.

    • BLiP 5.2

      From Salsy’s link:

      So, while the unions would cop the blame if the production did up sticks and move to eastern Europe, a more deserving target would be a Key government religiously opposed to the level of tax concessions for film now available elsewhere in the sinful world. If The Hobbit goes elsewhere and since it is a two film project, pressure would certainly come on the Key government to raise the LBSPGS to 20%, to try and re-capture at least some of the shoot – much as the Czechs have scored some of the Mission Impossible 4 shoot now taking place in Prague, while the rest of it is being shot in Vancouver, to leverage the incentives on offer there. Film productions are mobile these days. They tend to follow the money.

  6. BLiP 6

    I’m resisting the urge to lash out at Peter – he’s an artist and his passion is his current project. I suspect, without evidence, I admit, that he is feeling frustrated that his project is being hampered by what probably seems to him as a lack of willing commitment from his fellow Kiwis. Its not so long ago he and his merry band of oddball characters were striding the rain-soaked, muddy hills of Makara with borrowed and bodgey gear working weekends and days off for free to realise their dream. Peter is a film director, not a mercantile money changer. I’m sure he’ll come round.

    • Carol 6.1

      Since the filming of LOTR, Jackson has seemed to me to be both an artist and a pretty savvy businessman, as well as being very good at self-promotion. I doubt that he would have got US corporates to agree to filming his projects, and to film them in NZ without that business-savvy.

      Since then I’ve had mixed feelings about Jackson. He has been very successful in providing work for Kiwis, as well as international visibility for the workers & the country. But how much has this detracted from the NZ industry? I suspect the answer to this would also be a mixed one of pros & cons.

      I’ve never entirely believed Jackson’s persona (helped along with his own PR) as an ordinary down-to-earth Kiwi bloke. His international projects seem to point in another direction. His LOTR looks to me like a re-working of a Brit colonialist text, within US neo-colonial parameters.

      If Jackson is such a big promoter of NZ work, why hasn’t he put more effort into producing films with a more explicit NZ content since LOTR, now that he has the money and clout to do that?

      • Clint Heine 6.1.1

        Jackson has already cut his cloth some some great Kiwi films that are cemented into Kiwi film legacy. He is also working on many projects at the same time.

        I won’t mind if he brings The Hobbit over here, we quite like watching films and I’d even volunteer to be a runner or something.

  7. ron 7

    The thing with many directors like Jackson is they ,made their name making short, no budget films with people working for pretty much nothing. New Zealand abounds with stories of actors who have worked for nought on early projects for various directors. What happens, of course, (because film is essentially an industrial process) is the behind camera people = DP, Ad and many of the crew end up working on future projects for that director – reaping the benefits of their early freebies and the current success.
    Actors on the other hand are an expendable product in film, often the smallest part of the budget and certainly struggling to parlay that early work into a career in the way the director does.
    That’s the culture

  8. burt 8

    Don’t be surprised if we see Jackson with his hand out wanting taxpayers to help ‘keep The Hobbit Kiwi’ in coming days.

    Why wouldn’t he want the same special treatment the Labour govt gave him with LOTR?

    But let me guess, giving him special tax treatment was different when Labour were doing it…..

    • Colonial Viper 8.1

      Perhaps Jackson getting special tax treatment was different not because Labour was doing it, but because at the time people thought he was a fair boss willing to employ and go to bat for ordinary NZ workers in an up and coming industry.

      Looks now like Jackson can’t even be assed to employ (as in use an employment contract) NZ workers.

      • burt 8.1.1

        Right, so it’s OK to give tax payers money creating special privilege to union supporting bosses but if they don’t play the game according to the unions then it’s wrong to give them special privilege.

        Just stop being an apologist for self serving govt and come clean about this. The ticket clipping unions have really shown their true colours on this one – It’s OK to give business tax payers money when unions benefit.

        I do understand that a reduction in union member numbers reduces the amount of donations the unions can make to Labour and that reduces the influence unions have in shaping employment law in their own best interests. However I don’t think that justifies letting the ticket clippers set the rules and dictate when it is OK to give tax payers money to private business.

        • IrishBill 8.1.1.1

          Right, so it’s OK to give tax payers money creating special privilege to union supporting bosses but if they don’t play the game according to the unions then it’s wrong to give them special privilege.

          Nope. But it is okay to use taxpayers funds to kickstart industries if it creates decent sustainable jobs. Personally I’m not sure if film is one of those industries, although the numbers might stack up if flow on benefits such as increased tourism jobs are taken into account.

          The rest of your comment is ridiculous conspiracy theory.

  9. Bed Rater 9

    “I’m resisting the urge to lash out at Peter”

    Yes, can you imagine the headlines; “Blip Slams Sir Peter Jackson, Hurts Feelings”

  10. the sprout 10

    Jackson is a prick.
    Good on the NZ actors standing up for their rights. It’s not like they’re making outrageous demands FFS, they just want a fair deal, to be treated and paid the same as others doing the same work.

  11. felix 11

    Meh. He might be a technically clever filmmaker but it’s not exactly high art, is it?

    Boring, overblown, pompous, hollywood blockbuster slop, that’s all he’s made for years. Predictable and safe. Glitzy and vacuous. Money in the bank. Big whoop. Why is everyone so fucking proud of it?

    p.s. Tolkien’s books are rubbish too. Just saying.

    • LOL. I had to read them for my English literature test in Holland way back and never good get past the first book and I had the same with the films.

  12. the sprout 12

    agreed, technically clever but artistically pedestrian.
    like the filmic equivalent of Phil Collins

    • felix 12.1

      Ha, I was trying to think of a musical equivalent too; that one’s perfect.

    • Supermaorifella 12.3

      “like the filmic equivalent of Phil Collins” – nice, love it!

      • luva 12.3.1

        fucking amazing how nasty you lefties can get.

        The nasty side of politics clearly on display here in your desciption of a kiwi hero

        • felix 12.3.1.1

          Fuck off luva, you’re proud of him ‘cos he’s made a lot of dosh.

          I don’t factor that into my critique, sorry.

          p.s. You remind me of the titles of all 3 of my favourite Jackson films. And no, you’re not a Heavenly Creature.

        • Supermaorifella 12.3.1.2

          I’m not a leftie mate, more of a centrist, but credit where credit’s due, that was a nice line by The Sprout!

        • lprent 12.3.1.3

          1. You obviously lack a sense of humour.
          2. You haven’t established why PJ is a hero.
          3. Your contribution to the debate consists of a single nasty comment.
          4. Having observed smf’s (who you were responding to) comments for a while, I’d put him as bouncing around the centre.

          Personally I’d class you as a bad critic; good at making snide remarks and useless at being creative or contributing. Plus of course being unobservant.

  13. bobo 13

    “In the massive Mt. Doom battle scene at the beginning of Fellowship of the Ring, a DVD pause reveals at least half a dozen of the 50,000 Orc Warrior extras are wearing modern tennis shoes.”

    Even the orcs must have had a better union contract deal with Peter than kiwi actors..

Links to post

Important links

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Photo Of the Day: What Affordable Housing Looks Like
    This is the just completed Merchant Quarter in New Lynn, designed by Jasmax, it offers one bedroom freehold apartments from around 250k, as well as larger ones. I believe the new owners are about to move in. Merchant Quarter is step along the...
    Transport Blog | 02-08
  • UN/US cease-fire deal designed to fail
    Of all the appalling things caused by the Jewish state's latest Gaza incursion it is easy to overlook the compromised role of the UN and how they have been used by US/Israel to promote a cease-fire agreement that was impossible...
    Tumeke | 02-08
  • Winston Peters’ line in the sand… or farmland
    This is why John Key has been saying to anyone who'll listen that you can take nothing for granted when it comes to this year's election. Out of left field... or at least a field near Taupo... can some an...
    Pundit | 02-08
  • Obviously the start of a ‘We [fill-in-the-space]ed some folks’ meme
    During an otherwise sleepy news conference about immigration and the economy, the president answered a question about the impending release of a Senate report that criticizes the CIA’s treatment of detainees after 9/11. “We did some things that were wrong,”...
    The Paepae | 01-08
  • A brief statement from John Archibald Banks
    Greetings and salutations to you all. I am John Archibald Banks and I’m here to clear the air following my sentencing yesterday on trumped-up and, quite frankly, ludicrous charges of electoral fraud. Let me categorically state here and now, for...
    My Thinks | 01-08
  • The inflationary impact of road spend-ups
    It’s time for a quick round of everyone’s favourite game, Ask An Economist. Today’s question is: What happens when the government decides to spend up large in a growing economy? If you guessed that the answer is that it will...
    Transport Blog | 01-08
  • Wellingtonians say ‘No!’ to Israeli aggression
    .   . Wellington, NZ, 26 July – About 600 Wellingtonians, and from further afield, met at the Cuba Mall Bucket fountain under a wintery sunny sky, to protest Israel’s continuing aggression in the Gaza strip, which – at the...
    Frankly Speaking | 01-08
  • Wellingtonians say ‘No!’ to Israeli aggression
    .   . Wellington, NZ, 26 July – About 600 Wellingtonians, and from further afield, met at the Cuba Mall Bucket fountain under a wintery sunny sky, to protest Israel’s continuing aggression in the Gaza strip, which – at the...
    Frankly Speaking | 01-08
  • The FBI, Kim Dotcom, John Key, and John Banks ‘Coincidence’
    July 16th:  Kim Dotcom announces he has a “political bombshell” about John Key (NZ Prime Minister) which he will release information about five days before the general election   July 31st:  Deputy Director of the FBI attends a secret meeting...
    An average kiwi | 01-08
  • John Banks – all over bar the appeal
    John Banks appeared for sentence this morning at the Auckland High Court and received two months’ Community Detention and 100 hours Community Work. A copy of the judgment is attached here). I’d been waiting for the news that his application...
    Occasionally erudite | 01-08
  • Stuart’s 100 #5: A Traffic Free Queen St for Christmas
    Stuart’s 100 continues: 5: A Traffic-Free Queen Street for Christmas What if Queen Street stayed closed to traffic after the Christmas Parade? Every year for one Saturday in November Queen Street is closed to traffic for one of Auckland’s greatest...
    Transport Blog | 01-08
  • A thousand deaths
    Why was John Banks treated so leniently? Why didn't the judge pass sentence of death? The sentence imposed on John Banks for breaching electoral law raises a number of serious questions....
    Imperator Fish | 01-08
  • Herald on regional roads fiasco
    Here is Adam Bennet in the Herald today: Shaky case for $212m fast-tracked road plan The National Government's $212 million plan to fast-track regional road projects using asset sales cash is not backed by a strong economic case, documents released...
    Polity | 01-08
  • Killing civilians
    Emergency workers carry the body of one of the people killed when Flight MH17 was shot down A Gallup poll, of Americans by religious affiliation, about whether it’s ever justified for “the military” to target and kill civilians The same poll, posing the same...
    Cut your hair | 01-08
  • Is the GCSB tapping all our cables?
    So, at the same time the GCSB was planning to inflict their new spy-law on us, they were being visited by an NSA technician to discuss installing undersea cable taps:The most instrusive and powerful tools in the United States' electronic...
    No Right Turn | 01-08
  • July ’14 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
     Image Credit: Learn Blog Tips There are now over 300 blogs on the list, although I am weeding out those which are no longer active or have removed public access to sitemeters. (Let me know if I weed out yours by mistake,...
    Open Parachute | 01-08
  • July ’14 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
     Image Credit: Learn Blog Tips There are now over 300 blogs on the list, although I am weeding out those which are no longer active or have removed public access to sitemeters. (Let me know if I weed out yours by mistake,...
    Open Parachute | 01-08
  • Sign up to increase cycling funding
    In June the Draft Government Policy Statement (GPS) on transport was released by the Ministry of Transport. The GPS outlines where transport funding will go over the next 3 years. Sadly it considered the business as usual of focussing on...
    Transport Blog | 01-08
  • Arrest of forest rights activists symbolic of what’s wrong in India
    It was just past midnight when Indian police hauled two Greenpeace India activists out of their sleep and arrested them this week as a crackdown on protests against a planned coal mine in the Mahan forest intensified.The arrests are the...
    Greenpeace NZ blog | 01-08
  • Breach of contract
    When National set up charter schools, they promised that they would be more accountable, and that contracts were a better means of enforcing standards than the usual school system.Only if they're enforced:“The Whangaruru contract online shows that the school must...
    No Right Turn | 01-08
  • Tamati’s Big Red Fundraiser
    Wow. I’d never organised a fundraiser before. Some people have got that organising gene and some people don’t. I don’t really, but I’m a hard worker and I love a good challenge. Picture this. Saturday night, venue all set, drinks...
    Labour campaign | 01-08
  • Labour Posters are going up!
    We've got massive posters up all around the country. They're about Labour's plan for a positive future for New Zealand that puts people first. The posters in the photos here are in Auckland, but there's lots more going up around...
    Labour campaign | 01-08
  • Spying on their masters
    After being caught red-handed the CIA has finally admitted spying on the US Senate Committee which is investigating them for torture:The director of the Central Intelligence Agency, John Brennan, issued an extraordinary apology to leaders of the US Senate intelligence...
    No Right Turn | 01-08
  • Lifestyles of the rich & famous – hangin’ with Groser, McCu...
    The quarterly release of the ministerial and MP expense returns paints an interesting picture of some of our MPs. Most of our ministers, it must be said, seem to have heeded the harsh lesson of Shane Jones. The bright, shining...
    Occasionally erudite | 01-08
  • Hard News: Friday Music: Curatin’ for Your Love
    I'm pleased and intrigued that Lorde has been commissioned to curate the soundtrack for the next Hunger Games movie -- and I'd like to claim credit. Well, I can't really, but it was obvious to me after Ella picked Lorde's...
    Public Address | 01-08
  • Roads of Significance to National
    The Minister of Transport released a statement on Wednesday which boasted that traffic volumes were up, and that this was a sure sign of economic recovery: “Total travel [measured in kilometres travelled] was flat between 2005 and 2012, but growth returned in...
    Rebuilding Christchurch | 01-08
  • The problem with reporters…
    The problem with reporters, as Usain Bolt has discovered, is that they tend to record things when they want a quote. So when Mr Bolt, sprinter extraordinaire, was quoted as saying the Glasgow Commonwealth Games were “a bit shit”, and...
    Occasionally erudite | 01-08
  • World News Brief, Friday August 1
    Top of the AgendaIsrael Vows to Destroy Gaza Tunnels...
    Pundit | 01-08
  • Helen Kelly Speaks at Otago Uni AGM
    Helen Kelly NZCTU President TEU Annual General Meeting 1pm, Wednesday 13 August Moot Court, Otago University...
    Tertiary Education Union | 31-07
  • New Fisk
    Dress the Gaza situation up all you like, but the truth hurts...
    No Right Turn | 31-07
  • The judiciary doesn’t take electoral crime seriously either
    That's the only conclusion which can be drawn from John Banks' laughable sentence for filing a false electoral return. A hundred hours of community service and an evening curfew for deliberately attempting to undermine our democracy? Well, that will encourager...
    No Right Turn | 31-07
  • Feed: Food Show 2014: Not Bad
    There are a number of things you can count on at The Food Show in Auckland. Among them: the stall immediately to the left of the entry to the hall is always a busy one. It's most people's first stop,...
    Public Address | 31-07
  • And justice has been seen to be done
    So the first line of John Banks' future obituary has now been written: "John Banks, former mayor of Auckland and a long serving MP and Minister for the National and Act Parties who was convicted of falsely reporting contributions to...
    Pundit | 31-07
  • People talking’ #17
    It being the weekend that truffle growers from all over New Zealand meet to discuss their trade and to eat the fruits of their endeavours, I will be absent from the Hot Topic helm for the next few days. Please...
    Hot Topic | 31-07
  • Gordon Campbell on the rise of ISIS, and Labour
    While global attention got distracted by the fate of MH17 and the atrocities in Gaza, the world’s other mega ‘bad news’ story – the rise of ISIS-led fundamentalism in Iraq – has reached a tipping point. Reportedly, the ISIS fighters...
    Gordon Campbell | 31-07
  • Wet bus ticket
    So John Archibald Banks has been convicted and sentenced for electoral fraud. Good. But the sentence is a complete joke. Here's what he got: 100 hours of community service. That's about 12 days of community work. A bit light, but...
    Polity | 31-07
  • Banks follows fathers footsteps
    For over three years after it became common knowledge that John Banks had intentionally filed a false electoral return, the National led government has relied on the disgraced MP's support to pass numerous controversial policies.Unfortunately National was allowed to continue...
    The Jackal | 31-07
  • Ministerial eating competition
    What if National wins a third term? The prospect, while unlikely, is worth considering. I think one thing we could do to lighten the mood if National wins is to run an eating competition between McCully and Groser. Whoever orders...
    Polity | 31-07
  • Surviving the restructure – Exiting with the pay out
    So casting your mind back… you’ve discovered that the company needs to shed some people. […] The post Surviving the restructure – Exiting with the pay out appeared first on Connected....
    Potentia | 31-07
  • Closed Processes Don’t Make For Open Government
    New Zealand has long enjoyed an enviable reputation as an international citizen. We are regularly rated as one of the most effective democracies in the world, and we recently topped a survey as the world’s most socially advanced country. No...
    Bryan Gould | 31-07
  • EBS Newsletter Winter 2014
    Welcome to our Winter newsletter, we hope that you are well and managing to dodge the bugs in the classroom! Have a read through your newsletter below to make sure you know what you can access through your union and...
    Tertiary Education Union | 31-07
  • Stern Criticism of Westpac – From A Surprising Quarter
    A recently published article contains a stern critique of Westpac over their continuing financial support of coal miners Bathurst Resources, who have now begun removing “overburden” (i.e. the ecosystem) from the Denniston Plateau in preparation for larger-scale coal mining when...
    Coal Action | 31-07
  • AT drops Newton Station for cheaper CRL
    Auckland Transport have announced they are cutting the Newton Station from the City Rail link in favour of an upgraded station at Mt Eden. A significant design change to the City Rail Link (CRL), will save over $150 million, improve...
    Transport Blog | 31-07
  • Sen Whitehouse Schools Sen Inhofe about Global Warming on the Senate Floor
    Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) throws down an epic schooling of Senator James Inhofe (R-OK) on global warming after Inhofe blocked a resolution from Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) simply acknowledging that global warming exists and poses a threat to the interests...
    Skeptical Science | 31-07
  • Have they got to 2000 yet?
    The last time Israel invaded Gaza (it isn't a "war" in any traditional sense - it is a ghetto liquidation with consequent resistance) was between the American presidencies of Bush and Obama.  The Israelis wiped out over a thousand Palestinians...
    Tumeke | 31-07
  • Who do you believe?
    On the back of numerous controversies that have plagued the National led government over the last few weeks, the left wing block of Labour and the Greens have managed to increase their support from 38.5% to 42% in the latest...
    The Jackal | 31-07
  • Labour can’t keep rewarding failure
    A recent column I wrote in the NZ Herald earned a ...
    Pundit | 31-07
  • Lack of media interest in election policies
    It is hard not to feel that there is a major problem with mainstream media bias when the main opposition party announces that it plans to raise the minimum wage by $2 to $16.25 an hour by early 2015 (14%...
    Closing the Gap | 31-07
  • The agony of Gaza – What price the right of self-defence?
    As I write, the conflict in Gaza has seen yet another ceasefire deal squandered, with more death and destruction. Israel has repeatedly claimed its right to self-defence as justification for ‘Operation Protective Edge’. That claim is supported by leading Western...
    frogblog | 31-07
  • Murray McCully’s taxpayer-funded pissups
    Today was the last day of Parliament before the election, so naturally the government used it as cover to dump the quarterly Ministerial expenses reports. The media picked up pretty quickly on Tim Groser's $300 dinner of foie gras, (endangered)...
    No Right Turn | 31-07