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Just how wrong can you get it?

Written By: - Date published: 9:03 pm, December 6th, 2012 - 160 comments
Categories: community democracy, labour - Tags:

Word is that a senior Labour MP (who will go unnamed) has been lobbying National Council to put rules in place for party members who participate in the blogosphere. It appears they don’t like the idea that members might voice their concerns about the way their party is run. I can only assume that there would have to be some kind of a process whereby members who broke these rules would face a loss of membership or some other form of censure.

A cynic might feel compelled to point out the hypocrisy of such a policy. Especially when John Tamihere has compared the party to the head-hunters on national TV and then had the party leader intervene to get his membership approved. Double especially when Shane Jones gets to attack the Green Party on matters he holds no portfolio for and yet faces no censure. And that’s not even talking about the way caucus members themselves have brought the party into disrepute with their online antics.

But rather than be that cynical, I’ll just stick to pointing out the fact that the Labour Party membership is the lowest it has been in the history of the party and that to try to introduce such a proscriptive and draconian policy would only encourage that number to sink even lower.

It’s also antithetical to every theory of organising in the modern age that I can think of. Almost without exception member and volunteer based organisations are opening up their discourse and flattening their hierarchy as they realise that in the age of social media people need to feel connected and that they have a voice if you want them to join your organisation and help build your cause. In this light, telling people that joining the party means shutting the f*ck up on the internet isn’t really a winner.

160 comments on “Just how wrong can you get it?”

  1. Sanctuary 1

    “… (who will go unnamed) …”

    Why?

    • IrishBill 1.1

      Because I’m hoping they see the error of their ways and I don’t want to paint them into a corner.

      • Lanthanide 1.1.1

        Nah, just name ‘em.

        • mickysavage 1.1.1.1

          Yep. The members are wondering who should be persuaded/cajoled/forced into early retirement.

        • felix 1.1.1.2

          Yeah fuck ‘em. And what micky said.

        • Rich 1.1.1.3

          I’d “duck” that one…

        • paul andersen 1.1.1.4

          Ive had a gutsful of allegations against un-named people on this website. if you have proper proof and want to be taken seriously, for phucks sake name names, if not shut up!!!

          • One Tāne Huna 1.1.1.4.1

            Oh noes! Will you have a really big tanty?

            Anonymous public allegations have been a feature of politics since, um, I dunno, politics was invented. cf: Roman graffiti, etc.

            Get used to it.

            • lurgee 1.1.1.4.1.1

              As are secret meetings and decisions in camera. But everyone was crying foul about them the other day.

              I suspect a bit of murk in this. Someone may have said something in passing to someone, and it is now being blown up into a full paranoid wankfest. Actually naming someone would destroy the story. Even if it isn’t true, if it runs for a few days it will add to the sense of persecution that some here seem to thrive on.

      • dancerwaitakere 1.1.2

        They wont feel painted in a corner, after all, we just sit in rooms behind dark curtains. 

        What is threatening about us?

        Oh wait…

        You mean…

        That was all bullshit? Perhaps bloggers are real people.  

      • burt 1.1.3

        IrishBill

        Name em, for goodness sake – who the hell wants a party where the only way to silence some fool is to make them so scared of being humiliated that they shut up.

        You make a great point about the folly of their position, I agree entirely with what you have posted in this thread. If they are agitating to shut up party members so party members only talk the party line then lets know who these buffoons are. They are out of touch with the way of the world today and we deserve to know who they are so they don’t fool us into thinking they have the capability to represent us.

        • David H 1.1.3.1

          I don’t believe it I’m going to quote Burt

          “Name em, for goodness sake – who the hell wants a party where the only way to silence some fool is to make them so scared of being humiliated that they shut up. ”

          Burt’s got a point, the only way to shut a fool up is to expose them to even more ridicule, not only that, the speculation as to who will start. As soon as I read the post a name had already popped unbidden into my mind.

          Buckle up Burt, cos National’s going bye bye.

  2. Crimson Nile 2

    But rather than be that cynical, I’ll just stick to pointing out the fact that the Labour Party membership is the lowest it has been in the history of the party

    Surely it is more useful to have party followers who will passively take instructions, rather than active party members who may cause issues and express dissent.

    By the way, have you noticed how the Labour party machinery has been declining all over the country? This makes getting favoured candidates centrally selected a very easy process.

    • IrishBill 2.1

      By the way, have you noticed how the Labour party machinery has been declining all over the country? 

      Yes. And the party vote and the number of electorates the party holds.

  3. PlanetOrphan 3

    Blinded by the “Ideological Brilliance” coming out their own arse M8!

    Some DunnoKeyo phrases come to mind …

    “We have a Mandate”
    “The Party Line”
    “Off the Record”
    “Plausible Deniability”
    “Back Room Boys”
    “Old Boys Club”

    That’s it, no one’s gonna vote for a Gnat clone party , c yas :-)

  4. hush minx 4

    But if they don’t read blogs why would they worry about what people say on them? Or is it that they are concerned that members might do some independent thinking, oh a bit like they did at conference….?

    • fender 4.1

      Yes Little says the blogs don’t vote although he may need to rethink that one because folks interested in politics always vote. (people who talk about Little being a future leader think again)

      If these blog denier fools were interested in democracy they would take notice of what the people they claim to represent actually have to say. If having some home truths voiced upsets them they are in the wrong job or the wrong Party.

      • burt 4.1.1

        fender

        The whole basic mentality of solidarity must actually be challenged by blogs. Basically ‘we all talk as one’ is a founding principle for the Labour movement. Tough times for Labour…

        IMHO it’s a good time for Labour to return to it’s root’s – if that means party vote share of 30% then so be it. It’s a workers rights party not a everything to everyone party like it’s got away with being in a controlled media environment….

  5. just saying 5

    What sort of rules Irish Bill?

    On a possibly unrelated note, my membership has not yet been ratified though I paid my dues a couple of weeks ago.

    • lprent 5.1

      You will find that it takes a while. Head office is severely under staffed. Last I heard, the sudden rush of members put them literally weeks behind.

  6. Ron 6

    Maybe David will put a good word in for you. Seems to be the way to get membership

  7. rosy 7

    Attempting to censor the everyday conversation (apparently by non-voters that nobody pays any attention to) on the internet. Really, that’s just too funny…

    As for controlling it – imagine what it would take to work out the pseudonyms… and on the pseudonym point the reason for having them has just been established beyond doubt.

    No chance that this will be taken seriously.

    • weka 7.1

      Not to mention what might happen if they kicked Lynn Prentice out of the party. Honestly, you can tell this hasn’t been thought through.
       
      On the other hand, should all conversations held by members, esp higher up members, be fair game to be discussed on the internet? There is some kind of irony here, and I do feel somewhat uncomfortable with speculating about something that someone might have said – sorry IB, that’s not a dig at you, I’m just imagining hypothetical scenarios where this might be a problem.
       
      On the other other hand, if the Labour party hadn’t been so dismissive of its members, esp those members that spend time in the blogosphere, it might now be getting treated with more respect.
       
      The other issue is would the new rules apply only to blogging? What about other media? No letters to the editor? No commenting in discussions online? No talking out loud at public meetings?

      • rosy 7.1.1

        “The other issue is would the new rules apply only to blogging? What about other media? No letters to the editor? No commenting in discussions online? No talking out loud at public meetings?

        Yep, I can’t see why there would be different rules for different media.

        There is a valid issue of bringing the party that you are a member of into disrepute, but that’s a quite different to some people talking on a blog. There are, I guess, already rules around that, and John Tamihere’s membership shows that bar is set very high. I can’t see any reason for different rules for blogging and commenting on blogs.

      • lprent 7.1.2

        Got raised in NZ Council when the Tamihere membership went through from what I have heard. But I have literally been too busy to follow up.

  8. Lanthanide 8

    How to prove your political party is stuck in the past:

    Step 1: Try to censor people on the internet.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if whatever politician this was didn’t understand the difference between “the internet” or “the web” anyway.

    • QoT 8.1

      Step 2: Assume you can really identify who a person is on the internet, especially on sites you have no control over.

      I’d dearly love to see the logistical planning involved. Sourcing the naughty comments, doxing the commenters’ handles, comparing to the membership list … but let’s be honest, the whole point of any policy change would clearly be to punish members whose identities are already well-documented (and who have been saying things said senior MP doesn’t like.)

      • mickysavage 8.1.1

        You would be surprised QoT at the angst the Standard has caused some Labour MPs. 

      • GregJ 8.1.2

        They just need to set up a special team to coordinate and carry out a thorough “investigation” of these heretics…they could even dress in nice Party colours…perhaps something like this one

        Sorry – I’ll get my coat.

      • IrishBill 8.1.3

        I’d dearly love to see the logistical planning involved. Sourcing the naughty comments, doxing the commenters’ handles, comparing to the membership list …

        There’s already a bit of that kind of thing going on. It’s why I won’t comment on Red Alert.

        • the sprout 8.1.3.1

          same

        • dancerwaitakere 8.1.3.2

          There really must be a point where we decide that we don’t give a shit. 

          Who cares if Scary Clare, Mumbles or the rest of the gang put us on a naughty list?

          Lets see them try and win an election without foot soldiers, should they try to censor the internet. 

  9. QoT 9

    … I’m kind of tickled by the notion (taking the scenario of the post to the extreme) that Labour could theoretically ban its own members from commenting on its own blog.

  10. jaymam 10

    So, who’s a senior Labour MP who has been criticised a lot lately on blogs? I can think of only one. I bet it’s him.

    • Te Reo Putake 10.1

      Dya mean David Shearer?

      • QoT 10.1.1

        Ah, the joys of semantics … does IB mean senior as in power level, or senior as in tenure? Wheels within wheels …

        • fender 10.1.1.1

          Yes theres a few to choose from, despite being told to pull their socks up they would rather make barefoot anyone with constructive criticism.

        • KhandallaMan 10.1.1.2

          Queen Darling

          “Senior” in Labour parlance means you are inside the clique supporting/using Shearer.
          “Not Senior”, “Junior” etc means you are about to be purged.

          Examples of “Senior” are people wrecking safe seats like Clare Curran and Chris Hipkins or List only orphans like Fenton, Cosgrove and Ardern.

          Examples of “Junior” (about to be purged) are strong seat winners like Cunliffe, Manhuta and Wall.  

          Simple, when you get the hang of it.

          The person to whom IB is referring is Clare Curran.
          Her immediate target is Colonial Viper. 
          You and I are next.

           

          • Colonial Viper 10.1.1.2.1

            Her immediate target is Colonial Viper.

            She’d wreck the reputation of Red Alert’s confidentiality and security if she was actually behind anything like that, or behind any move to gag ordinary party members; RA is after all a blog site set up for the Labour Party. Nothing makes people run from a blog faster than sysops you can’t have confidence in.

          • burt 10.1.1.2.2

            When they came for the Colonial Vipers I didn’t protest because I wasn’t a Colonial Viper…

          • QoT 10.1.1.2.3

            Ha. Good luck censuring someone who isn’t a party member. Though I am now going to change all my passwords out of sheer online paranoia.

      • jaymam 10.1.2

        No I don’t know who it is. However if there is someone important in the Labour Party who wants to stop members expressing their views, that person and his/her mates should resign right now.
        Look what happened in the 1980s when Labour let Roger Douglas and Richard Prebble and others have free reign.

    • millsy 10.2

      That’s a big clue — I think I might know who it is now…

      Doesnt really suprise me, mind you.

  11. Skinny 11

    That’s laughable big brother stuff ‘censorship is good’ ‘freedom of speech is bad.’ 

    This from an ‘inclusive’  Labour party or should that be the new excommunicated    Labour party. 

    Hmm good luck putting that one to the affiliates.

  12. Anne 12

    telling people that joining the party means shutting the f*ck up on the internet isn’t really a winner.

    What about their own blogsite “Red Alert”? Party members won’t be allowed to participate unless they have prior approval? I thought we fought a World War to prevent fascism and authoritarian regimes taking over our lands.

    Would someone like to kindly tell this parliamentary Labour miscreant that a bit of honest reflection on certain very recent internal Labour events may assist him/her to comprehend why some in the Party have felt duty bound to be critical.

  13. Sam 13

    So let me get this straight, you’re launching an attack on the entire Labour party because somebody told you something that you can’t prove, and even if you did prove it it’s actually just one person’s action/opinion, that is, trying to convince a bunch of other people of something they believe with no ability to say for sure whether said opinion is actually going anywhere?

    How fucking desperate.

    • QoT 13.1

      I guess that’s what IB’s post looks like after you’ve filtered it through Derail-O-Vision.

    • felix 13.2

      What makes you think he can’t prove it?

    • RedLogix 13.3

      I guess the problem Sam is:

      1. The person is not some ordinary member. It’s someone with considerable experience and organisational power. That anyone else in the Labour Party has treated this risible idea with anything other than a polite snigger suggests that either this person has a lot of clout, or the idea has fallen on fertile ground.

      Either way a bad look for the Labour Party as a whole.

      2. Sure it’s one ‘persons’ opinion. But then again Irish Bill has been an author here at The Standard least as long as I can remember and I joined up within a few weeks of when this blog began. Over that time IB has written many dozens of posts on numerous Labour Party topics and has earned his own reputation and credibility with many regulars. You can’t fake that.

      3. But you are right in this sense that until IB chooses for his own reasons to name the person he’s got in mind then it is more in the nature of a ‘warning shot over the bow’ rather than a direct hit. Fair enough.

      Doesn’t stop the rest of us expressing our astonishment at the stupidity of the idea all the same.

    • Colonial Viper 13.4

      I have personally witnessed some of the backstory to this post. And it is a damn nasty and personal business behind the scenes. If anything, IB has sugarcoated the facts of the situation with his restraint (that’s not a criticism btw).

  14. the pigman 14

    You won’t name them because you want them to see the error of their ways? Well, that’ll be effective.

    I’m not Labour caucus apologist, but your refusal to name this MP gives this whole article the smack of smear.

    Prove me wrong.

      • the pigman 14.1.1

        Sadly your link didn’t work QoT. Clearly the presence of both the word “man” and “pig” in my nickname has tickled your interest, since you’re still trying to paint everything I say in sexist, gendered terms. Keep it up!

        • galeandra 14.1.1.1

          Gendered as in prickly, hoggy? While semantic slippage evokes the thought of a prick, I have to say that your point is small enough to be missed.

          • the pigman 14.1.1.1.1

            This behaviour on The Standard reminds me of a great passage from Lord of the Flies:

            “There were no words, and no movements but the tearing of teeth and claws.”

            • Galeandra 14.1.1.1.1.1

              This behaviour on The Standard reminds me of a great passage from Lord of the Flies:

              “There were no words, and no movements but the tearing of teeth and claws.”

              Yeah, you’re right. The ‘Beast’ emerged from their caucus , it was the ugly expression the cabal of power-hungry black-gowned hunters, the suits, who resisted the attempts of Simon the meek and mild to unpick the real nature of their society’s ills.

              Now remind me again what this post’s supposedly about? Who are the victims in this? CV and a few others seem to be in the sights of the Thinkcrime investigators, and it’s a bit rich for the pigman to start blaming the littluns.

              btw with the moniker you’ve chosen, better watch out. The inquisition’ll be coming for you next.

        • QoT 14.1.1.2

          Nah, I was being snarky about your pointlessly aggressive tone. Try this link to get the point.

          • the pigman 14.1.1.2.1

            Well sometimes one lady’s “pointlessly aggressive tone” is another pigman’s probing sarcasm, but I enjoyed your pic so let’s leave it at that.

    • weka 14.2

      How do you smear someone without naming them?

      • the pigman 14.2.1

        You smear the Party, and even better the ABC club/Shearer (again, who I am no apologist for).

        You need only read the thread to see all the assumptions people are leaping to without a shred of evidence.

        • felix 14.2.1.1

          “You smear the Party, and even better the ABC club/Shearer”

          Where’s that, pigman? I don’t see anything in the post that points to, or even hints at the ABC club or Shearer. Of course if hearing that someone in Labour is being a fuckwit makes you immediately think of those people, then they’ve got bigger problems than this,

          “You need only read the thread to see all the assumptions people are leaping to without a shred of evidence.”

          Really? I see one person (Kandallah Man) leaping to one assumption, twice. Which is still only one assumption. What fucking thread are you reading?

          • the pigman 14.2.1.1.1

            One clearly needs a thick hide to survive on the standard against what quickly becomes a lynch mob of abuse… ergh.

            The obvious drawing of assumptions by people is not necessarily translated into public accusations/people naming names. But since you’re not going to read through the thread, I’ll pick out the people naming/publicly drawing assumptions:

            “Rich 1.1.1.3
            7 December 2012 at 11:34 am
            I’d “duck” that one…”

            “fender 8.1.1.2
            6 December 2012 at 10:47 pm
            That will explain their weird behaviour as they must taking tranquilisers for the anxiety.

            Is it the feathered one I wonder.”

            “@dancerwaitakere 8.1.3.2
            7 December 2012 at 12:09 pm
            There really must be a point where we decide that we don’t give a shit.

            Who cares if Scary Clare, Mumbles or the rest of the gang put us on a naughty list?”

            “jaymam 10
            6 December 2012 at 10:19 pm
            So, who’s a senior Labour MP who has been criticised a lot lately on blogs? I can think of only one. I bet it’s him.”
            Olwyn 10.1.2.1
            7 December 2012 at 1:01 pm
            +1

            Reply
            jaymam 10.1.2.1.1
            7 December 2012 at 1:17 pm
            Does anyone know who voted to resurrect Roger Douglas after he was sacked by Lange, and are they still in the Labour Party?

            Reply
            millsy 10.2
            7 December 2012 at 7:51 am
            That’s a big clue — I think I might know who it is now…

            Doesnt really suprise me, mind you.”

            “KhandallaMan 20
            6 December 2012 at 11:47 pm
            Only a PR professional from Dunedin South with a degree in anthropology would try to censor the Internet. ”

            “Jane 20.3
            7 December 2012 at 6:52 am
            It can’t be Claire, surely she would know better than to suggest something like this, maybe someone like Annette King trying to find a way to shutdown this annoying interweb thingy.”

            And fuck it,m I am not reading past post 20, because this is taking too much time and I don’t want to re-read this thread.

            Answer me straight Felix, do you really consider that this post not naming the culprit doesn’t have the effect of causing people to draw assumptions/speculate about the identity of the person? I wouldn’t have thought that’s exactly a controversial statement.

            • Pascal's bookie 14.2.1.1.1.1

              Those time stamps are funny. What are they all about?

            • Olwyn 14.2.1.1.1.2

              You put my +1 next to the wrong quote, which was this one by Jayman:

              “No I don’t know who it is. However if there is someone important in the Labour Party who wants to stop members expressing their views, that person and his/her mates should resign right now. Look what happened in the 1980s when Labour let Roger Douglas and Richard Prebble and others have free reign.”

              I am not an insider and have no idea as to who said what and to whom, but I agree with Jayman that someone important in the LP ought not to be stopping members from expressing their views, and also that members should be vigilant in trying ensure that we do not get another round like the 80s.

            • felix 14.2.1.1.1.3

              Nice one piggy, as Pb says those are almost all dated after my comment, except for one that I already noted from Kandallah Man and two that don’t do what you said they would.

              For an example of what “leaping to assumptions” looks like for future reference, try this.

  15. gobsmacked 15

    Irish Bill’s second paragraph is the clincher here.

    Personally I don’t mind a bit of ruthless party discipline when there are elections to be won. Sure, round up all who show insufficient loyalty to the Cause, stick them in a dungeon, do whatever it takes. But start at the bloody top. Even the most rabid ranter on a blog can’t have the public impact of a Shane Jones or Trevor Mallard or John Tamihere. I’m still waiting for my invite from Q & A.

    We aren’t shutting up because they aren’t. They could change that any time they like. Or be made to, by the leader. If he was one.

    • One Tāne Huna 15.1

      “We aren’t shutting up because they aren’t. They could change that any time they like.”

      I suspect it would take something more than that to get us lot to shut up :)

  16. DexterX 16

    They need to go to the source and ban free and contrary thinking or views – once the ban has been adhered and enforced blog posts won’t matter.

  17. Pete 17

    That is completely the wrong way to go. Given that caucus seemed so surprised by the vote at conference, it’s clear that they are out of touch with the mood of the wider party. Perhaps a forum for party members would be the way to go. Lock it off from public view and give members their own login when they apply or re-up their party membership. But sure as anything, it would be folly to attempt to cow people who are politically motivated enough to join a party in the first place from exercising their freedom of speech.

    • burt 17.1

      Pete

      The problem that would occur in such a walled garden of party members only is that it would become quite inbreed and would serve little function in terms of robust debate. Any potential for flying a kite and seeing how it lifts would be lost also. However idea in terms of creating jerk circles for ‘yes here here’ debates about how perfect party policy is and how it will work so well.

      But sure, good for dissemination of party political broadcasts.

      The debate that occurs in the blogsphere has completely changed the political landscape, it has been doing so for years. Any jumped up ‘senior MP’ who hankers for the good old days of releasing carefully crafted press releases as the ‘last word’ on something has had their day….. Hopefully IrishBill will name this muppet so we get to know who the has been is.

      • weka 17.1.1

        The Green Party did, and I assume still does, run email lists for its members to discuss things on. It can be done in a good way.
         
        Pete, a membership-only forum might be useful but it isn’t going to stop criticism of the Labour Party on blogs by Labour members. The problem is within the party, not within the blogosphere. Ever wonder why the Green Party members aren’t airing their dirty laundry in public?

        • burt 17.1.1.1

          weka

          I don’t dispute blogs create sound members only forums. There is no dispute from me about this. My point was more that robust debate requires opposition to not just the party ideas but the party principles – the party is never “always right” on any level.

          My opinion is that political blogs where folk speak freely is healthy for a party – but I’m not surprised it’s repugnant to the old school mentality of controlled press releases with no public debate.

        • Saarbo 17.1.1.2

          “Ever wonder why the Green Party members aren’t airing their dirty laundry in public?”

          Because they have good strong leadership with integrity. The Leadership in the Labour Party hasnt got those qualities so leaves a VOID which is being filled up by…well…everybody!

          For a start, good leadership in the Labour Party would have dealt with the massive faction that has been generated in the Labour Party over the demotion of David Cunliffe (and his Team), instead it has chosen to ignore it….well, this is what you f#$%en well get.

          Good Leadership would have dealt with this in the initial decision.

    • lprent 17.2

      I have always thought that should happen. It’d leak like a sieve of course. But so do the LEC’s and members meetings.

      Of even more use and a lot easier to set up would be a campaign organizers forum for cross country campaigning. Don’t bother with the PR campaign. Just the old boring sharing of ideas on electorate level campaigning.

    • Neoleftie 17.3

      So a elite forum for a small elite cadre….from one black kettle to , IMHO open connective ness campaign for three years, clinics , walk umongst the people and hear their voices not walled off in a circular room looking at yourselves in a mirror reflecting across the room.
      Bang the drums, raise the flag, sing the song and raise the cry, united we stand and stand we must or too late for the people.

    • QoT 17.4

      re-up their party membership

      I’ve been re-watching The Wire recently, hence this phrasing is fucking hilarious to me.

  18. BillODrees 18

    ” telling people that joining the party means shutting the f*ck up on the internet isn’t really a winner.”

  19. Alethios 19

    They’re complete morons. It makes me sick.

  20. KhandallaMan 20

    Only a PR professional from Dunedin South with a degree in anthropology would try to censor the Internet. 

    FYI,  Clare Curran is screwing up the once great Labour seat that was Dunedin South.

    In 2011 Labour got 35% of the party vote, whereas we got 47% in 2008 and 57% in 2005.
    In 2011 Clare got 49% agains 52% in 2005. Good old Benson-Pope got 57% in 2005.

    She is performing very poorly. A Terrible Shocker, indeed.  It is time for the Labour members in Dunedin South to question this crazy Luddite. She should be hauled up on front of the NZ Council and put on probation.   

    • Arkonaut 20.1

      If it is Clare behind this then I would put money on her calling her amendment the “Promoting Internet Freedom and Engagement” rule.

    • burt 20.2

      The bigger picture is perhaps that people don’t like militant old school lefties who think they have all the answers.

    • Jane 20.3

      It can’t be Claire, surely she would know better than to suggest something like this, maybe someone like Annette King trying to find a way to shutdown this annoying interweb thingy.

    • Neoleftie 20.4

      I crunched the numbers after the election and pointed this out to Clare in response to an article from Bryce Edwards on the blueing of Dunedin south. Her response was “I won didnt I” my point that the party vote contribution from labour south was dismal and is decreasing even allowing for the swing.
      Dunedin south had a split and Helen Clark had to intervene as peace maker as the rebel branch controlled all the assets and cash.
      My whole stance for last ten years has been that labour must reorganise, reengergise, reconnect and provide a bold direction and policy plan focused on the economy at macro level from the local and central level party.
      Irony that Clare actively promotes OPEN government and the red alert interactive blog.
      Power to the people…even if we had to resort to having our voice heard only on our own blog.

      • QoT 20.4.1

        So on top of everything else, according to your anecdote Curran also doesn’t understand how MMP works. Wish I was surprised.

    • Ant 20.5

      LOL, as soon as I read this post I thought of Clare Curran straight away.

  21. mikey77 21

    So what they are saying is “let’s be like the Standard and ban anyone who has a different opinion to us?”

    [lprent: We ban for particular behaviours. Just avoid the types of behaviour in our policy especially the self-martyrdom offenses and you shouldn't have an issue. Of course the most common reason for getting permanent bans from here is to persistently express an opinion on how we should run our site. But I figure that people can best express their back seat driving skills from the back seat - kiwiblog for instance. ]

    • IrishBill 21.1

      But if we ban people who don’t agree with us and you clearly don’t agree with us you must be banned which means you couldn’t make that comment which means I can’t be replying to it which means… OMG is this a blogosphere/space-time singularity?!

  22. The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 22

    But controlling everyone in everything they do to benefit the greater good is at the very heart of being left wing. That’s all they’re doing.

    • IrishBill 22.1

      You’re confusing the libertarian/authoritarian axis with the left/right axis.

      • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 22.1.1

        And where do you sit on that axis, IB?

        • IrishBill 22.1.1.1

          Left. Clearly.

          • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 22.1.1.1.1

            I meant the libertarian/authoritarian axis.

            • IrishBill 22.1.1.1.1.1

              Funny thing is, over the years I’ve been involved in the Standard I’ve shifted more and more to the libertarian end of the spectrum.

              • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell

                …but from where you started, that’s quite a journey.

              • Ron

                Oh you’ve joined the ACT party then?

                • karol

                  Ron, you clearly need some political education.  The libertarian right have laid claim to “libertarian” in recent times.  But the libertarian left-libertarian socialism has been around for a long time.

                  • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell

                    Except, if I recall correctly, IB has claimed as something of a virtue his status as a member of the authoritarian left.

                    ‘Cause he knows best.

                  • Ron

                    I am aware of the self proclaimed libertarian left and the L-Right for that matter, To be honest I would prefer they call themselves Libetarian Selfish. It seem to describe them more accurately.
                    but hey whatever floats your boat./

                    • Pascal's bookie

                      ‘Glibertarians’

                    • karol

                      libertarian socialists, aim for organisation in a network of small groups, nut without control from above by a state authority.  It involves community co-operation – far from “selfish”.  It’s not individualistic like the libertarianz right.

              • Lefty

                I’ve always thought that the only type of left worth being meant being on the libertarian end of the libertarian/authoritarian axis.

                Its one of the lessons of failed socialist experiments in the likes of the old USSR.

                Being libertarian doesn’t mean being sloppy, disorganised, unfocussed or undisciplined as a party.

                It just means accepting some of your supporters will be a bit like that from your point of view, respecting their right to be that way, and trying to find positive ways of working with them so they became a source of strength rather than weakness.

                This often leads to the joy of discovering somebody you thought was a dickhead sometimes actually knows better than you do yourself.

                When you give people the space to raise a dissenting voice and present a case for doing or seeing something differently it is surprising with what they can come up with.

                Doing this means sacrificing a bit of ego of course.

                But it opens up the opportunity to learn and to grow, it encourages better quality thinking and ultimately it is the only way anything can change.

                Authoritarianism can keep organisations focussed and on track for a while but ultimately leads to dumb organisations that need to become ever more authoritarian in order to cover up exactly how dumb they have become. Such organisations need leaders who aren’t too smart and surrond themselves with syncophants.

    • Tracey 22.2

      as opposed to the right agenda which is to pretend to not be trying to control everyone for the benefit of less than 10%.

  23. Peter 23

    Does National have an equivalent to the “Standard”?

    • Tracey 23.1

      They call them their “pollsters”

    • lprent 23.2

      Kiwiblog is probably the closest. Somewhat more sycophantic probably due to DPF deriving a lot of income from polling for the Nats. Whaleoil is less reverential, but I believe that he takes money from PR firms instead.

      Personally I tend to rate No Minister as being a better mix, if only because they are multi-author with a range of opinions.

      • Peter 23.2.1

        Thanks. I’ve just had a quick look at the comments on Kiwiblog and they don’t appear to allow so called bad language.

        I make this point because I suspect that the style of comment on The Standard may well put off many people who might otherwise support Labour. Like it or not The Standard is seen as Labour so maybe members of the Labour Party heirachy have good reasons to be concerned. In the end perceptions are reality, and votes caste in 2014 will be based on perceptions as always.

        National owe a lot of its electoral success to a slick PR machine that is in the business of managing perceptions, I just hope that the flavour of The Standard is not hindering the cause it so strongly supports.

        • bad12 23.2.1.1

          National owes ALL of it’s electoral success to ‘tax cut bribery’ and the promise to sell to those so enriched by the former the most profitable assets of the state,

          Just thought a small correction to your comment was in order…

        • felix 23.2.1.2

          “Thanks. I’ve just had a quick look at the comments on Kiwiblog and they don’t appear to allow so called bad language.”

          Then you didn’t look very hard.

          You also obviously weren’t scanning for overt racism, open support of n@zism and white supremacy, misogyny and homophobia, religious extremism, or threats of violence against political opponents.

          Seriously dude, holding up the comments section of Kiwiblog as an example to follow?

          For realz?

          • Pascal's bookie 23.2.1.2.1

            Be fair. Someone once pointed out to him that a commenter was saying that Brievik style action was inevitable, and he steped right up and gave them some ‘demerit points’.

            he has no problem whatsoever with people saying that ‘mulitculturalism’ (wink wink) is an existential threat to our way of life, but if someone suggests that we do anything about it, he’ll be writing them out some demerit points and recording them on a spreadsheet don’t you worry. If someone points it out him that is. He’s a busy guy.

        • fisiani 23.2.1.3

          Red Alert is a blog run by and for some Caucus members of the Labour Party. (The old guard)
          The Standard postings clearly have the impression of being far more radical.
          The old guard do not want policies as oft advocated on the Standard by some posters as they fear these will frighten the voters.
          The posters however genuinely believe that the voters will welcome and support the new (actually recycled) policies.
          When the caucus feels threatened by a blog – they will respond as they deem fit.
          In other words they perceive that the Standard has morphed from being a blog that generally supports the Labour Party to a blog that generally supports a revolutionary Labour Party.
          A fomenter of mischief.
          This tension will only abate if the caucus and this blog align more. Pigs may be airborne sooner!!!

  24. Tracey 24

    National avoids all of this and any suggestion of being undemocratic by not having blogs and being, well, undemocratic, while say they are for democracy and freedom./ It’s quite clever the way they deceive right out in the open like that.

  25. Saarbo 25

    Yes, this is an extension on the criticism of blogs by Shearer, Little and Cosgrove. The (older/dumber/backward) MP’s are annoyed at the transparency and openness of opinion that blogs create. The older Journo’s have the same issue. 

    MP’s have traditionally been able to use their powerful positions to bully members, the Blogs have clearly given members an avenue to disagree with the direction that their MP’s are moving, so the MP’s are looking for ways to stem this.

    I am sure that we will never hear anymore about this initiative. More progressive members in the council would have told this particular MP to zip it. But the worry is that Labour has such a dinosaurs like this in its ranks, if Labour is ever to succeed with a good strong 3 term stint in power it needs to clean out lightweights like this, people who are so out of touch with the direction of media and how many of us are getting our information these days.

    As a member I still feel embarrassed rather than proud of my representative MP’s…what a hopeless and self serving bunch. Unbelievingly their values seem so out of touch with the traditional values of Labour.

    • Neoleftie 25.1

      Power elite within labour are running scared that members both have power now, change is being forced upon them, and that via blogs etc we have a voice, are connected and are in some way, influencing event within labour and the MSM.

      Take the cunliffe saga for example. Most commenters on TS promote cunliffe as a real leader, a man of change and having a direction and plan that we the members support and this thread was picked p by the MSM which ran with the vague notion that power to the membership was smoke and mirrors for a coup from within or actually from the outer rim of labour as its us the member driving and demanding change not the scared and power hungry elites.

      Word of caution – words have power, a smokey mirror amplifies words, now we just need the deeds to reflect the words.

  26. bad12 26

    Damn, does this mean my chances of becoming a Labour Party member have been seriously diminished, the thought of that simply makes me want to giggle,

    What the latest sounds like is someone in the Labour caucus trying to score a few brownie points with the Leader, Bwana Dave,

    It’s a follow on from Bwana Dave’s wee moan about those who comment on The Standard, according to the word of the Bwana we should instead of openly commenting on-line, contact Bwana Dave personally with our concerns,

    Simply turns the giggles into laughter….

  27. higherstandard 27

    Dickheads

  28. My mum and dad, uncle’s and aunty’s, would be turning in their graves if they knew
    what the labour party has become, a party of dictatorship,a party where members are
    ignored, a party of division,a party of political self interest by mp’s/caucus, most mp’s are
    elected by the people who make comments on the ‘interweby’ thing,i say that with tongue
    in cheek,because obviously, those mp’s and leadership team dont really understand that
    computers are not automatic open ended comment makers, there is ‘real’ people behind
    the words that appear on blogs,message boards,twitter,etc,once mp’s etc understand
    that,then they may accept that there is a high interest in how their favoured political
    party is run and how it works for the people, who vote for it, also an interest for the people
    who they vote for in electoral seats around the country, the thing is that it’s those interweby
    people’s opinions that mp’s/caucus should be taking notice of and act in a manner that is
    inclusive instead of dismissing and requesting some sort of sensorship.
    The labour party,mp’s/caucus should get with the programme, this is 2012 , wise up.

    • Ron 28.1

      It’s not likely to change until we get new dynamic people elected as MP’s which in the MMP era means that we need to have better people high up on the party list.
      The question is how do we get good people on the list. Maybe the party needs to get rid of the deadwood in parliament and when in opposition is the only time to do this. Maybe we could hire Michelle Boag to come in and do a clean out. She certainly re-invigortaed National. But its not only the parlimentary wing that needs cleaning out we also need to look at the party itself. Part of the reason our Leader says he doesnt read blogs is becuase the whole technology thing is beyond him. We need a leader that understands the modern social media and knows how to use it.
      So better people in the party and way better people on the party list.

  29. ak 29

    Dear oh dear. The expression “trying to herd agitated cats” comes to mind, this time with the addendum “…by a sclerotic collie”.

    Hope your Word is wrong Bill (on the other hand, wee burt and hiyastan agreeing….mmmmm….)

    Dopiest bit is, the Stan’s influence is growing all the time: and the dreaded “infighting curse” is showing signs of losing effect, NB the last two polls. While the msm Tory scribes and the Farrarskis leapt on the Shearer/Cunners raruraru and whipped it up with glee, the result has been a shocker for them. Lab/grrr ahead leading into the hols.

    Looks like any publicity is good publicity for Labradour at the mo'; I take it all back Standardistas, redouble your efforts and put the hot poker up the old mutt. It needs it: http://www.stuff.co.nz/taranaki-daily-news/news/8047797/Cold-Creek-water-bill-at-final-hurdle

  30. One Tāne Huna 30

    I can understand the sentiment behind this brain-fart. Trevor Mallard’s Facebook springs to mind.

    My eyes glaze over and I imagine the pitiful Mallard dragged to the guillotine in the public square, but no, I must resist this tempting prospect.

    It would be a breach of his human rights.

  31. prism 31

    Wasn’t Putin trying to limit dissent in Russia, the Chinese, USA setting up (supposedly) spoilers who would distract threads on blogs? Why shouldn’t Labour join the anti democratic, dumb-down-the -proles classic reaction to criticism and uncomfortable new ideas? They don’t show any signs of being able to grow a flourishing sport on this tired old tree.

  32. Craig Glen Eden 32

    “Just How Wrong Can You Get It?”

    Well Shearer is the leader of the Labour Party he has no experience of the Party, Parliament, Public speaking, media presentations or management,he bumbles mumbles and he and his Caucus supporters have demoted and silenced Labours best performer.

    So I would call it “Shearer Wrong” thats how wrong!

  33. SPC 33

    This is about how the Labour Party caucus still includes people of the 1980’s era.

    They took action in the 1980’s that did not have party membership support and the party broke up – New Labour/Alliance.

    Now Labour members have a part in electing Labour leaders – but not the one supported by the majority of the current caucus. And also a role in formulating policy.

    How a future Labour caucus led government adapts to this will be interesting – that some in it want a strong central command over members is unsurprising – this gives the leader and his majority caucus faction the chance to use party discipline to bend the party to its will (silence those who might say that the Labour led government is not following party policy).

    It reflects that some (1980’s era) MP’s feel subjugated by the greater party democracy (like a tyrant by the growing power of a parliament in the old era) then they want the same discipline on the party member as themselves. A sort of revenge. Some in caucus already leak stuff to the media against their own caucus rules – but possibly with their leaders knowledge and consent. I suppose they are asking party members to be bound in the same way – not to leak stuff openly under their own name, but to do so indirectly via third parties. To have to act as they do.

  34. Professor Longhair 34

    “…a senior Labour MP (who will go unnamed) has been lobbying National Council…”

    Why exactly is he or she going unnamed?

  35. SHG 35

    Is Clare Curran going to impose a ban on saying “LOL” on the Internet?

  36. chris73 36

    Seriously though, how cool is the internet? Look at the power its given to the plebs (sorry population)

  37. lurgee 37

    Note the first words of the article – ‘Word is’ that a nameless someone has said something pretty vague and unspecified to persons unknown.

    This is rumour-mongering.

    Dismiss it.

    • the pigman 37.1

      Sure is, but at least we can see from the trackbacks that its giving the right wing blogosphere plenty of oxygen (that is sarcasm, before anyone sticks me, guts me and skewers me on a spit roast).

      Of course it would be rubbish for the LP to try and censor its members online. It’s terribly unnecessary and counterproductive because those who are actually members (and are not just serial politics junkies) would probably think twice about the kind of information they put out there about the Party.

    • IrishBill 37.2

      Nope. That was a turn of phrase that perhaps made it sound more like gossip than fact but it is fact.

      I can also assure you that I don’t air the party’s laundry like this without good reason. 

  38. “I’ll just stick to pointing out the fact that the Labour Party membership is the lowest it has been in the history of the party and that to try to introduce such a proscriptive and draconian policy would only encourage that number to sink even lower.”
    Or just push more of the left over to the Green Party (even Labour party members might vote Green with the party vote and Labour for their local electorate), mainly due to the fears over Labour being weak towards National come 2014. Either way will still be voting Green, as their environment and education policy is more promising that Labours at the moment.

    • Rhinoviper 38.1

      Considering that my electorate MP is Grant Fucking Robertson, I’ll vote for the Green candidate with my electorate vote even if they stand a stale Christmas pudding, the embalmed corpse of Leonid Brezhnev, the second law of thermodynamics or a greyish shade of brown. They’re all less dreary and toxic and show less bad faith.

      • Chris 38.1.1

        I’ll certainly be voting Mana or Green or in some other strategic way to keep Labour’s vote low. It’s worth the risk to hope a Left coalition can still be formed but with the minimum of power needed for that coalition going to Labour. A powerful Labour coalition partner would be in many ways worse than a National government. At least another term of National may create just the tiniest flicker of hope that it just may be possible for the Left to begin thinking that maybe, just maybe, they need to start talking about whether it could be time, perhaps soon, for them to look at the viability of whether or not they should get their fucking act together.

        • Tim 38.1.1.1

          As a life-long Labour supporter……..me too. No way can I support a party of betrayers, insipid little whip-masters with over-inflated egos, and a number of others who’ve come to hold some sort of sense of entitlement. There’s an entire extended family and group of friends that comes with the same committment.
          Shearer is no Clarke, and even IF Clarke were still around, she’d have to have ditched the 3rd Way/4th Reich bullshit. And for all those that harp on about how we should get in behind and effect change from within – how long do you propose that should take? How long before those that have hijacked a party’s principles and who live out-of-touch and with a sense of entitlement come to realise?  Too long so far I reckon – especially when there are alternatives.
          I gave them till the end of year to get real and wake up – hasn’t happened and it isn’t going to.
          The thing I object to most I spose is that the Labour Party has no moral right to the label.
          They’re obviously going to have to learn the hard way.

  39. Rhinoviper 39

    All of this makes me think of an oldie but a goodie:

    “Your majesty, the peasants are revolting!”

    “Yes, I know.”

    Except that there’s a real element of panic obvious.

  40. Tanz 40

    I’m thinking of going with another party. If one cannot participate as a party member on social media websites, then what is the point? The members are the backbone, are they not, or should be. Sometimes wanted, sometimes not?

  41. lenore 41

    I know a few people including myself that think – should join the labour party and up the support. But then I think of all the times I have been involved in environmental, political, feminist groups over the last 30 years and think oh god – there will be the GDA’s (grim dour activists with no sense of humour) present, there will be boring meetings where it is run in a way that the GDAs put you off saying anything because :they “know everything” and there will be also very little fun in it because how can we possibly have fun when the issues are so serious

    If the labour party wants more support, there has to be change in the approach and people who have been involved for ages need to look at themselves and think ” how inclusive am I” .

    I know not everyone is like that, but it only takes a couple of GDAs who are, to put people off and it puts me off.

    Also I try and read Red Alert but find it really patronising and they are trying to be so “clever” with their words that I think WTF are they talking about and why would I want to go to meetings when it is all pontification blah blah blah.

    At least here I can read the stuff, understand it and there are always further posts to clarify what I don’t get or links.

    • Tanz 41.1

      Yeah, Red Alert is quite patronising, agree with that. I notice some MPs never post on it, yet others often do.

    • Just viping 41.2

      Damn, forgot to press ‘reply’ earlier.
      Anyway, testing this to see if it works:

      http://thestandard.org.nz/open-mike-08122012/comment-page-1/#comment-560097

      • lenore 41.2.1

        Yes that pretty much sums up some of my experiences. In regard to your:

        “… don’t see activism as a social outlet, or expect “fun”, and I think I understand that the left is diversity by definition, and solidarity in diversity is much harder work than I imagine a National Party fundraising dinner would be. Fighting oppression will never be a smooth ride, and so in that respect I do understand and share your trepidation at rejoining the fray”

        This reminds me of a parent who withdrew their child from a teacher friend of mine’s class because they were having too much fun – and how can you learn when you are having fun?

        Imagine having fun and being an activist at the same time – they are around – musicians, clowns, artists, etc

        I think you mis interpret my meaning of fun and humour – and just had such a good laugh at the thought of me attending national dinner parties and will have a great time telling my friends so thanks for that. I also think that while being involved in groups is not solely as a social outlet, I have made plenty of life long friends who share the same values and connect, so I think for some people it is their “social outlet” and why not?

        Anyway I actually do quite a lot of work and still have elements of fun and humour while I am doing it, even when the work is serious.There are alot of community initiatives out there where people are gathering together with music, kai etc and having some fun while also workshoping ideas that are important to them. No endless boring speakers, no people coming to the meeting saying these are our ideas and then feeling threatened if you have other ideas.

        I think we do need to have some creative ideas around how to get people involved and I am sure there are plenty out there and plenty of people who have great ideas, they are just not going to go along to “meetings” and share them. Sure still have meetings for those who love them but lets get some other ideas, that’s all.

        • Just viping 41.2.1.1

          …. I have made plenty of life long friends who share the same values and connect, so I think for some people it is their “social outlet” and why not?

          Quite true. I do hope it will be different this time, I’d really like to enjoy myself, I shouldn’t be pessimistically preparing for the worst. It would be great if the established groups did some soul-searching about being inclusive, and open and welcoming.

          Imagine having fun and being an activist at the same time – they are around – musicians, clowns, artists, etc

          I remember all that, and the helium balloons, when the Green Party used to visit the university, and feeling jealous that our lot was so boring by comparison. But frankly, we couldn’t have pulled off a carnival atmosphere if we’d tried.

  42. Just viping 42

    Hi, I’m going to reply to this in ‘open mike’ because I can’t really see the relevance of your comment to this thread.
    (I wish I could put a link to ‘open mike’ to make things smoother but I haven’t figured out how to do that yet).

    • weka 42.1

      If you click on the date/time link of any post (I like to open it as a new tab or window) then then you can cut and paste teh URL of whatever you have opened.

  43. Neoleftie friend in arms of CV 43

    Perhaps in solidaratory we all keep the CV thing going as a minor part of your nic….and hide within our ranks the real CV and if one falls bleeding from the knives then as ROB states rise the army of CVers. Beware the circling radish wolves….red on the outside but white streaked with blue on the inside.

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    Polity | 30-10
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    Our forests are a very dangerous place to work. Between 2008 and 2013 there have been 32 fatalities and more than a thousand serious harm incidents in this industry. The Council of Trade Unions and First union have been doing...
    frogblog | 30-10
  • Ghost Dancing?
    Ghost Dancing circa 1890: With the buffalo effectively exterminated, the material basis for the Native American cultures of the Great Plains was destroyed. The Ghost Dance, it was believed, would reconstitute the basis for an independent indigenous existence. Has the...
    Bowalley Road | 30-10
  • I have seen one future, and it is bleak
    . . Way back in March, 2012,  I wrote this story regarding a march to support striking workers at Ports of Auckland. It appears there was some prescience about some of my observations at the time… . | | 18...
    Frankly Speaking | 30-10
  • WINZ: Bureaucratic Befuddlement and Confustication
    Yeah, I know. Confusticate isn’t a word, unless you’re quoting Urban Dictionary. Definition: This word is the coalescing of the English words “confuse” and “complicate”. It refers to anything of, or relating to the process of being both confused and...
    On the Left | 30-10
  • The idiot
    Here’s why this Steffan Browning/Ebola/Homeopathy thing is a really big deal for the Green Party. (a) Historically they’ve been stereotyped by their opponents as a bunch of nutters (b) The main focus of the party for the past five years –...
    DimPost | 30-10
  • The idiot
    Here’s why this Steffan Browning/Ebola/Homeopathy thing is a really big deal for the Green Party. (a) Historically they’ve been stereotyped by their opponents as a bunch of nutters (b) The main focus of the party for the past five years –...
    DimPost | 30-10
  • Climate change and New Zealand cities
    Environmentalists sometimes have an uneasy relationship with cities. Because they concentrate a lot of people and economic activity in relatively small places, they also concentrate a lot of negative environmental effects. All that concrete, all that energy being consumed, the...
    Transport Blog | 30-10
  • Got a mystery? Just ask John!
    Tuesday, November 24, 2009John Key has learned the identity of the entertainer guilty of an indecency charge through the grapevine of people circumventing the suppression order....
    Pundit | 30-10
  • Shameful attack on all workers
    The Government has passed the Employment Relations Amendment Act slashing the rights of all Kiwi workers. “These changes are shameful. New Zealand now has some of the worst employment protections in the OECD....
    CTU | 30-10
  • Blocked
    It is safe to say before the election last month I was fairly prolific in the blogosphere as we headed to an election. Was it because there was a glimmer of hope for we on this side of the coin?...
    My Thinks | 30-10
  • Blend with the Bruntletts Group Ride
    While Vancourerites Chris and Melissa Bruntlett are here for their Auckland Conversation talk, Generation Zero, Frocks on Bikes and TransportBlog have organised a slow, family friendly ride around the city centre. The map is below. The ride is designed to be self-directed so...
    Transport Blog | 30-10
  • Rawshark – Is she Maori or Pakeha?
    Cameron Slater blamed someone for being behind the hacking of his emails and passing them on to Nicky Hager. And then he named someone he thought was Rawshark. John Key says someone told him who Rawshark is but he ain’t telling. @B3nRaching3r is...
    Te Putatara | 30-10
  • Employment law: it’s toasted
    In an early episode of Mad Men, when the company’s going for the Lucky Strike account, sleazebag antihero Don Draper asks the client exactly how cigarettes are made. They talk through the process, mentioning the tobacco is toasted – and...
    On the Left | 30-10
  • Owners of the wind
    Thirty-odd years ago in the Kingdom of Denmark lived some brave people who disliked nuclear power and loved renewable energy. Determined to keep their country clean and safe, they began building their own wind turbines. Today, thanks to these passionate...
    Greenpeace NZ blog | 30-10
  • Te Wakaputanga – What we did not learn at school
    This week saw the 179th anniversary of the signing of Te Wakaputanga, the Declaration of Independence of the United Tribes of Niu Tireni. Most of us did not learn about this fundamentally critical document at school, we barely learned about...
    frogblog | 30-10
  • NZ goes backwards on gender equality
    It is no coincidence that in the same week New Zealand is singled out for going backwards on child poverty under National,  we’ve also dropped in global rankings for gender equality. In one year New Zealand has dropped from 7th...
    frogblog | 30-10
  • TPPA Bulletin #58
    NATIONAL DAY OF ACTION 8 NOVEMBER 2014 Auckland, Hamilton, Raglan, Tauranga, Rotorua, Gisborne, New Plymouth, Napier, Palmerston North, Levin,Wellington, Nelson, Christchurch, Timaru, Dunedin,Invercargill. REGIONAL UPDATES Auckland (1:00 pm at Aotea Square): speakers include Robyn Malcolm (Actors Equity), Bunny McDiarmid (Greenpeace), Dayle Takitimu...
    NZ – Not for sale | 30-10
  • Seabed mining: drums in the deep
    Out on the Chatham Rise, the ridge jutting into the waters off Christchurch and extending out beyond the Chathams, Chatham Rock Phosphate has a mining permit and is now seeking EPA approval for its project to mine phosphate for fertiliser,...
    Pundit | 30-10
  • CTU Runanga calls on iwi leaders
    Maori workers are calling on iwi leaders to speak out against the employment law changes expected to go through today.“Iwi leaders have previously spoken out when workers in Aotearoa have been under attack, we believe they should do so again...
    CTU | 30-10
  • An unmanaged conflict
    Katherine Rich is a member of the government-appointed Health Promotion Agency, responsible for (as it says on its website) "inspiring all New Zealanders to lead healthier lives". Katherine Rich is also Chief Executive of the New Zealand Food and Grocery...
    No Right Turn | 30-10
  • Robert Fisk
    Isis in Syria: A general reveals the lack of communication with the US - and his country's awkward relationship with their allies-by-default...
    No Right Turn | 30-10
  • A stretch
    This morning the Herald revealed that Kim Dotcom had been convicted and fined for dangerous driving in 2009, but had not declared it on his application for residency. Immigration is now talking about deporting him. So, this is what we...
    No Right Turn | 30-10
  • Tauranga port happy to take the money – but not happy to accept responsib...
    Comments from a Port of Tauranga manager about deaths and injuries in their port during a Radio New Zealand interview are unacceptable....
    MUNZ | 30-10
  • New Ebola Toys for Xmas. Yay?
    From the "too soon?" file, here are two oddly successful exercises in niche marketing. First, the molecularly-sort-of-correct ebola plush toy. Apparently it has sold out: And, of course, the sexy ebola nurse outfit: Ebola, as everyone knows, ignores cleavage. And...
    Polity | 30-10
  • James Shaw speaks on the four Bills formerly known as the Accounting Infras...
    The assurance industry is a critical component of our economic framework. The idea that there is a trusted independent watchdog of the public interest underpins investor confidence and ensures financial probity on behalf of our country's leading institutions. New Zealand...
    Greens | 31-10
  • ANZ needs to look after its workers after another super profit
    The ANZ bank needs to acknowledge the super profits it makes are coming at the expense of its workers, the Green Party said today.Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Limited (ANZ) 2014 full year results show a lift in performance...
    Greens | 31-10
  • James Shaw’s maiden speech
    Tena Koe, Mr Speaker. I would like to take this opportunity to speak a little of the past, the present and the future. The privilege to serve in this Parliament was given to me by all those who gave their...
    Greens | 31-10
  • Feed the kids members bill
    Education is the best route out of poverty. But hungry kids can't learn and are left trapped in the poverty cycle. Let's break that cycle lunchbox by lunchbox. We can feed the country's hungry kids, if we work together.I have...
    Greens | 31-10
  • Feed the kids members bill
    Education is the best route out of poverty. But hungry kids can't learn and are left trapped in the poverty cycle. Let's break that cycle lunchbox by lunchbox. We can feed the country's hungry kids, if we work together.I have...
    Greens | 31-10
  • National’s “Auckland housing boom” a fizzer
    Falling Auckland consent numbers show the Government’s housing policy is going backwards contrary to wild claims by Building and Housing Minister Nick Smith that we are on the cusp of a massive construction boom, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. ...
    Labour | 31-10
  • Job losses major blow to Bay community
    Job losses at Wattie’s Hastings plant will hit families and the community hard, Hawke’s Bay-based Labour MP Stuart Nash and MP for Ikaroa-Rawhiti Meka Whaitiri say. “I know a number of the Wattie’s staff and these job losses will be...
    Labour | 31-10
  • Local job losses major blow to Bay community
    Job losses at Wattie’s Hastings plant will hit families and the community hard, Hawke’s Bay-based Labour MP Stuart Nash and MP for Ikaroa-Rawhiti Meka Whaitiri say. “I know a number of the Wattie’s staff and these job losses will be...
    Labour | 31-10
  • Zero tolerance for forestry accidents a must
    The Government must adopt a zero tolerance approach to workplace accidents in the forestry sector to stop people being killed, Labour’s Forestry spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “It is time for the Government and the forestry sector to put an end...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Return to less holidays on the cards?
    John Key needs to lay his cards on the table regarding the Government’s intentions around holiday pay and annual leave entitlements, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “A day after National pushed through laws that take away the legal...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Forest Safety report first step in making our forests safe to work in
    Our forests are a very dangerous place to work. Between 2008 and 2013 there have been 32 fatalities and more than a thousand serious harm incidents in this industry. The Council of Trade Unions and First union have been doing...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Catherine Delahunty Speaks on the Employment Relations Amendment Bill
    Kia ora, Mr Assistant Speaker. He mihi nui ki te Whare Paremata. Welcome to the glorious 19th century, dressed up in the not-so-new flexibility-speak. At the final moment of this bill, let us drop the charade. The Government has a...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Ruataniwha Feds refuse to present a balanced view
    A bid to sell the Ruataniwha water project to Hawkes Bay farmers has turned in to an incredibly one sided affair, says Labours spokesperson on Water Meka Whaitiri.  “It’s being promoted as ‘Ruataniwha it’s now or never’ and it promises...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Worker’s rights dealt severe blow with Bill’s passing
    The passing of the Employment Relations Amendment Bill is another blow to workers' rights in New Zealand, the Green Party said today.This afternoon, National's Employment Relations Amendment Bill passed with the support of Act and United Future."This bill will force...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Barriers to reporting sex crimes must go
    Both the Government and police need to take action to ensure that, in future, sexual abuse victims know they will be taken seriously, Labour’s Associate Police spokesperson Kelvin Davis says. “The young women involved in the Roast Busters case, and...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Te Wakaputanga – What we did not learn at school
    This week saw the 179th anniversary of the signing of Te Wakaputanga, the Declaration of Independence of the United Tribes of Niu Tireni. Most of us did not learn about this fundamentally critical document at school, we barely learned about...
    Greens | 30-10
  • NZ goes backwards on gender equality
    It is no coincidence that in the same week New Zealand is singled out for going backwards on child poverty under National,  we’ve also dropped in global rankings for gender equality. In one year New Zealand has dropped from 7th...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Kevin Hague questions the Minister of Health on management of Katherine Ric...
    Is he satisfied that all conflicts of interest that arose by the head of Food and Grocery Council Katherine Rich being a member of the Health Promotion Agency were managed in accordance with the provisions of the Crown Entities Act...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Bennett parks numbers on social housing
    Social Housing Minister Paula Bennett admitted today that well over 1000 families have been subsidised through the accommodation supplement to stay in the Ranui campground, somewhere she has previously described as not the right place for children to be growing...
    Labour | 30-10
  • 50,000 sign petition against anti-worker law
    More than 50,000 Kiwis have signed Labour’s petition against the Government’s scrapping of tea break entitlements, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “That’s the equivalent of five people signing our petition every minute for a week. It shows the...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Address in Reply Debate – Dr Kennedy Graham on UN Security Council- 2...
    In the Speech from the Throne last week the Prime Minister identified the usual domestic goals for his Government. I counted 17. They are not my subject today. I wish instead to focus on matters beyond our shores. In the...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Climate change harming ocean health
    New Zealand is responsible for one of the largest areas of sea in the world – an area 14 times the size of our land area. The National Government is promising new marine protected areas legislation with a discussion document...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Key misled public over Jason Ede
    Information contained in a new chapter of the book Key: Portrait of a Prime Minister, that Jason Ede stopped working for the National Party on the night the book Dirty Politics was released, shows Mr Key and senior ministers hid...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Greenpeace report highlights better path for NZ agriculture
    A Greenpeace International report highlights a better way forward for New Zealand agriculture than the GE and chemical mutation technologies supported by Federated Farmers, and the National Government through its research funding packages, the Green Party said today. "This report...
    Greens | 29-10
  • BNZ post record profits while leaving savers vulnerable
    A small part of the $850 million record profit posted by the Bank of New Zealand (BNZ) today needs to be set aside to protect savers' deposits in the future, said Green Party Co-leader Dr Russel Norman today.Dr Norman was...
    Greens | 29-10
  • RBNZ U-turn shows monetary settings were wrong
    The Reserve Bank's U-turn on interest rates today shows monetary policy settings were wrong and New Zealanders have suffered unnecessarily through the loss of jobs and having to pay higher interest rates, the Green Party said today.Reserve Bank Governor Graeme...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Ports must take responsibility for shameful death toll
    Port companies must step up and take responsibility for a shameful toll of seven deaths and 133 serious accidents in the past three years, Labour MP Iain Lees-Galloway says. The frightening figures – released by the Rail, Maritime and Transport...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Please help me get my Feed the Kids Bill to Select Committee
    Last week I took over the Feed the Kids Bill that Hone Harawira had introduced to Parliament. If passed, my Bill will provide government-funded breakfast and lunch in all decile 1 and 2 schools. Hungry kids can’t learn and are...
    Greens | 29-10
  • TVNZ Outsourcing Pasifika and Maori Programmes
    I’ve always been a big fan of our state broadcaster and I’ve particularly liked their range of current events programmes. But after Friday’s announcement that TVNZ will be sacking up to 40 staff by contracting out the Pacific and Maori...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Labour urges iwi leaders to meet with National
    Labour’s Māori Caucus has called on iwi leaders and national Māori organisations to seek urgent meetings with the National Government to directly express their concerns about employment law changes which will harm Māori workers. In an open letter sent today...
    Labour | 29-10
  • ACC’s reputation needs fix, not glitz
    Restoring public trust and confidence in ACC will take a lot more than a new communications strategy or social media blitz, says Labour’s ACC spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway. “Under National, ACC has come to be perceived as insensitive, difficult to deal...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Lessons to be learned from police investigation
    The outcome of the so-called Roast Busters case should not put victims off reporting sexual crimes, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “This case has been mishandled from the start. Within days of police initially saying no charges had...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Anti-worker legislation is anti-Pacifica
    The Minister for Pacific Peoples, Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga, will go down in history as being part of a Government that harmed his own people through anti-worker legislation, says Labour’s Pacific Island Affairs spokesperson Su’a William Sio.  “Pacific people are among...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Five-year tax holiday for overseas tax dodgers
    National has just gifted a five-year tax holiday for foreign companies dodging their tax payments, says Revenue spokesperson David Clark. “Todd McClay has pretended he is doing something about overseas companies dodging their tax duties by joining an international initiative...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Traffic Jam Tax must be given the red light
    Auckland Council’s proposed Traffic Jam Tax could cost some households thousands of dollars a year just to use roads they had already paid for with their taxes and must be rejected, says Labour’s transport and Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford....
    Labour | 29-10
  • National has chance to show leadership on limos
    The National Party has the opportunity to show leadership by transitioning our vehicle fleet towards renewable electricity when a new contract to supply Government limousines for VIPs goes to tender next month, the Green Party said today. "This is a...
    Greens | 29-10
  • The Māori Party can’t have it both ways over labour laws
    The Māori Party has to fess up over its voting record on the Employment Relations Amendment Bill, says Labour’s Māori Caucus.  “It’s simply not good enough to oppose the bill at the same time  as they helped speed up its progress through...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Equal pay and the aged care sector
    Today the High Court upheld the historic ruling by the Employment Court that our Equal Pay Act could be used to consider work of equal value cases; the government has been telling the UN and ILO that it could for...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Court case perfect opportunity for Government to improve gender pay gap
    If the Government wants to halt New Zealand’s slump in international rankings on the gender pay gap it should act on the court finding that women deserve equal wages, Labour’s Women’s Affairs spokesperson Sue Moroney says. “The World Economic Forum’s...
    Labour | 28-10
  • All Auckland transport options should be considered
    All options for meeting Auckland's transport needs should be considered, including reprioritising the transport budget away from wasteful spending on motorways, the Green Party said today.Auckland mayor Len Brown is today releasing a transport report by the Independent Advisory Board,...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Another report highlights Govt failure on child poverty
    An international report measuring the impact of the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) on child poverty rates, showing children in New Zealand have done worse than children in other countries, is further proof the Government needs to urgently take additional steps...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Address and Reply Debate Part 55: Inequality and Disability
    I rise on behalf of the Green Party to talk about inequality and disability.The recent census showed that nearly one in four New Zealanders lives with a disability—up from one in five in the previous census. These figures include some...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Address and Reply Debate Part 55: Inequality and Disability
    I rise on behalf of the Green Party to talk about inequality and disability.The recent census showed that nearly one in four New Zealanders lives with a disability—up from one in five in the previous census. These figures include some...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Child poverty: No more wake-up calls
    A new report which shows the National Government has made no inroads whatsoever into child poverty should do more than just set alarm bells ringing, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “UNICEF’s  latest Innocenti Report Card highlights the fact...
    Labour | 28-10
  • Eugenie Sage speaks in the 2014 Address in Reply Debate
    I congratulate you, Assistant Speaker Mallard, as Assistant Speaker and look forward to your knowledge, your fairness, and your light touch in being a referee of proceedings in this House. I congratulate also the other Assistant Speaker, Lindsay Tisch; the...
    Greens | 28-10
  • James Shaw’s Maiden Speech
    Tena Koe, Mr Speaker. I would like to take this opportunity to speak a little of the past, the present and the future. The privilege to serve in this Parliament was given to me by all those who gave their...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Govt airs real views on public broadcasting
    An admission by the Government that it is happy to experiment with Pacific and Maori audiences shows just how weak its vision for public broadcasting in New Zealand is, Labour’s Broadcasting spokesperson Kris Faafoi says. “National today admitted it doesn’t...
    Labour | 28-10
  • Does Judith Collins have a get out of jail card?
    Former justice minister Judith Collins appears to have been gifted a get out of jail free card based on the Prime Minister’s answers in Parliament today, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “Judith Collins claimed in an Official Information...
    Labour | 28-10
  • Solid Energy decision delay sensible
    Today’s announcement by the Board of Solid Energy that it will delay making a final decision on re-entering the Pike River mine is a sensible move, Labour’s MP for  West Coast-Tasman Damien O’Connor says. “It has been clear for some...
    Labour | 28-10
  • New York Green Bank off to a $1B start
    New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced late last week the New York Green Bank’s first NZD$1 billion tranche of green energy investments. The projects, which are difficult for the private sector to finance, are now possible by New York Green...
    Greens | 28-10
  • The Final Fifth: The Last Great Task for Progressive New Zealand.
    MOST OF NEW ZEALAND’S social problems are concentrated among those living at the margins of what is otherwise a relatively wealthy society. Recently released international data on child poverty has exposed an acutely stressed social strata encompassing roughly 20 percent...
    The Daily Blog | 31-10
  • Myth Busting Rape Boasters
    In just one week a case that galvanised a nation into discussing rape culture is now being reframed as mischievous teen hi-jinx. One year ago the Roast Busters case came to the attention of the media and the public. This...
    The Daily Blog | 31-10
  • Workers rights weakened by new laws – fightback needed
    The government’s changes to the employment laws are designed to weaken workers bargaining power – at both the individual and collective level.   30-day rule The old law required an employer with a collective agreement in place to employ new...
    The Daily Blog | 31-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Simon Buckingham – Where are Labour Candidates on disability?
    For the few people who know me (hello Mum), I am proudly New Zealand’s first Autistic Spectrum Lawyer, as well as being the very bottom Candidate on the Labour Party List. (64 out of 64). Being honoured like this is...
    The Daily Blog | 31-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Blockade the Budget
    The ‘Independent’ Police Conduct Authority’s report into the policing of student protests in 2012 is a whitewash The report released by the Independent Police Conduct Authority into the policing of student protests in 2012 is a whitewash riddled with inaccuracies....
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • When National claim new anti worker laws provide ‘flexibility’ they mea...
    And so it comes to pass. The first law National ram through as part of their victory march are new anti worker laws they pretend will generate ‘flexibility’. The new law denigrate the unions ability to protect workers and provide...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • City Transport: A Taxing Matter
    This week the prospect of paying tolls on Auckland motorways became a hot topic. (See Mathew Dearnaley:Motorway tolling could hit some hard, NZ Herald, 30 Oct 2014.) As we might expect, the kneejerk response has been quite negative. But, as with...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Open Letter to Amy Adams: Please Reopen The Review Into Sexual Violence Cou...
    Ms Amy Adams, Justice and Courts Minister, Right now in this country it seems that although rape is illegal, it is not being prevented by the agents who uphold the law. It almost feels like rape is only illegal on paper,...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: Does ‘No-Surprises’ Also Apply To TVNZ News?
    When you stand back and look at NZ media outlets, most of them have at least one or two people who attempt to hold the government to account: John Campbell on TV3, Guyon Espiner and others at Radio NZ, David...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Things That Make You Go Hmmmmmmm
    Every so often in politics, a public figure comes out with something so absurd and so outlandish … that it really does just make you go “Hmmmmmmmmmm”. We’re accustomed to this from certain quarters – by mid point through the...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Poverty & inequality don’t need protest marches – they need a riot:...
    The global level of inequality continues to skyrocket… Number of billionaires doubled since financial crisis The number of billionaires has doubled since the start of the financial crisis, according to a major new report from anti-poverty campaigners. According to Oxfam,...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • If Key knows who Rawshark is…
    I’m sorry, what? John Key ‘given Rawshark’s name’The Prime Minister believes he knows who hacked Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater’s computer and produced the source material for Nicky Hager’s Dirty Politics, according to a new edition of a recently published...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Child Poverty stats in NZ
    Child Poverty stats in NZ...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Crimes Act + Police Investigation = WTF
    Just to frame the farce that is the Roastbuster’s investigation and conclusion – here are the parts of the Crime Act http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/1961/0043/latest/whole.html#DLM329057  the Roastbusters are proven to have violated – that the police (and some suspects!) themselves acknowledge occurred: Crimes...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Publishing Journalists’ Home Addresses Is A Tactic Of The Right, Not The ...
    I think I’m starting to get rather annoyed with the conduct of some pro-MANA people over this ongoing Parliamentary Services crew complement issue. Yes, we get that there are legitimate issues to be raised with how some political reporters in...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Aucklanders caught between a tarseal-addicted government and a weak mayor
    Len Brown’s proposal for motorway tolls to reduce congestion and provide funding for better public transport is a weak response to a critical issue. The $12 billion dollar shortfall on transport funding he talks about is mainly for projected new...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • A Very Weird Story: Deconstructing Darren Aronofsky’s Noah.
    NOAH is a curious movie. Conceived as a biblical epic, it’s target audience was originally the millions of Americans who regard the Bible as God’s inerrant word. With the sin-filled works of Hollywood forbidden to these true-believers, Christian movie-makers have developed...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • You Can Get Away With Rape In New Zealand
    Jessie Hume with last years petition against rape     The police have sent a strong message today.  In fact they’ve been sending a strong message for a while; a message that our government supports. “You can literally get away...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Roast Buster case – no charges. In the immortal words of NWA…
    Roast Busters case: No prosecutions Police are to make an announcement this afternoon on Operation Clover, the investigation into the “Roast Busters” allegations. The Herald understands the victim has been told that the alleged offenders will not be prosecuted due...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Key’s flag change distraction to cost $26million!
    No. Way. Bid to change NZ flag to cost millions The cost of holding two referendums and consulting on a change of flag has been estimated to be just under $26 million. Look. We all appreciate that the sleepy hobbits...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Why NZ Herald’s Labour Party crocodile tears are so audacious
    The front page the NZ Herald would use if they thought they could get away with it No one can take the recent columns by NZ Herald seriously… John Armstrong: Shadow lingers on National John Roughan: Labour’s leadership vote matters...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • The beginning of the end of Cameron Slater?
    Slater postings on man bizarre, court told A businessman has changed his appearance and had to install extra security at his home after Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater posted his business and personal documents online, he says. Mr Slater has...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • We are a milk power republic and Fonterra our unelected senate
    Wow. Just wow… Deputy mayor says he’ll be sacked South Taranaki deputy mayor Alex Ballantyne says he expects to be sacked because he has spoken out about the impact gasses coming from dumped Fonterra dairy products have had on his...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: “…But *actually* this is about ethics in political-game jo...
    Yesterday, a piece of mine on the recent revelations about Hone Harawira employing several gentlemen either accused or convicted of sex offences was published on The Daily Blog. Predictably, given the fierce loyalty which Hone inspires in his party faithful and...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • Privilege cheque
    There was no race problem in my childhood. Living in central Wellington I was well-insulated from what was going on not so far away. This was the 60s and 70s, where the teachers enjoyed free love in the staff room...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • A brief word on Key’s claim that it will be raining carnage
    Isis will ‘rain carnage on the world’ – John Key Left unchecked Isis would “rain carnage on the world”, Prime Minister John Key says, but he has yet to make a decision on whether New Zealand troops will join a...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • Meanwhile…
    ...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • How does Andrew Little win Labour Leadership and unify the caucus?
    Audrey Young’s excellent column on how the Caucus vote  is shaping up shows how Andrew Little becomes the next leader of the Labour Party. She identifies the factions as the following… Andrew Little 6: Andrew Little, David Cunliffe, Iain Lees Galloway,...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Joe Trinder – Right of response to Curwen
    You have asked that Hone Harawira deserves to explain what happened, how would he explain when his next door neighbour is an alleged sex offender. What explanation can Hone offer he wasn’t involved, Hone had no idea this offending was...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: That Hella-Weird Feeling When You Defend Tova O’Brien
    Oh dear. Yesterday morning I blogged that Hone deserved a chance to explain what exactly had happened as applies his office’s Parliamentary Services crew complement – and, importantly, that we deserve to be able to judge him on the strength of...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • Canadian Green MP warns against harsh anti-terror measures
    Canada’s Green Party has provided a welcome counterpoint to Prime Minister Harper’s call for tougher anti-terrorism laws in the wake of a soldier outside the Canadian Parliament. On October 22, while she was still locked in her parliamentary office, Green...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • When is an asset sale not an asset sale? When it robs from the poor and ste...
    National have turned state housing on its head. At no time during the 2014 election did the Key Government even hint that they were going to privatise 30% of the Housing NZ stock of state homes. Not once. Key even...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part To...
    . . Continued from: Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part Rua) . Bill English comes clean on National’s intentions for HNZ privatisation . On 14 October, in a report on The Daily Blog, I wrote, In...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • The Questions Have Been Asked – They Deserve An Answer
    A few days ago, allegations that had been percolating for some time about Hone Harawira employing three either accused or convicted sex offenders on his Parliamentary pay-roll came to light. (one imprisoned before working for MANA; one who found himself convicted and...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • I have seen one future, and it is bleak
    . . Back in  March 2012, I wrote this story regarding a march to support striking workers at Ports of Auckland. It appears there was some prescience about some of my observations at the time… . | | 18 March...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • US air strike war Key wants us in has killed a civilian a day so far
      The US air strike war that John Key wants us to join has killed a civilian a day so far. From the Washington Post... The United States launched its first airstrikes on militants in Syria on Sept. 23, and has continued...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • The instant Jihad syndrome
    My favourite new term is ‘self-radicalised’ – it suggests the reasons for terrorism are totally divorced from the actions of the West. This need to suddenly ramp up terror laws because of lone wolf, self-radicalised Jihadists seems convenient and counter-productive....
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • We have nothing to fear from Ebola but fear itself
    I suspect most Americans perceive Ebola like this   I can’t work out if the fear being spread within the media about Ebola is deliberate or just ignorance. Yes Ebola is a terrible plague that kills a large percentage of...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Anjum Rahman – “Meritocracy? I wish.”
    I’d like to start by linking to a post I had published at another site in support of Nanaia Mahuta for the Labour Party leadership election.  She has a reasonable chance, given that she already has the endorsement of Te...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • Chocolate milk shortage and creepy Santa? Let’s talk about real news
    Child poverty is still a scarily serious problem in this country and house prices are soaring through the roof to the point where it is simply impossible for the average New Zealander to buy a home. There is also little...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • It’s time to celebrate Kiwi schools and teachers
    Some would have you believe that New Zealand’s schools are in a state of collapse, that your children are not being educated well and that things are going to hell in a hand basket.  That there is no innovation, no...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • Ideological Blitzkrieg – Privatization of state housing, more charter sch...
    Pundits in pundit land will tell you that this Government is boring, that Key is the great pragmatist and that it is his ability to create elegant solutions that keeps him the firm favourite in many Kiwi eyes. This ability...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • Hegemony rules but resistance is fertile
    The Prime Minister is a puppet. Not just our current Prime Minister, but given the forces of multinational globalisation, the role of any head of state, is less as independent actor, and more as a puppet of international trends and...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • An open Letter to Sir Bob Jones: demanding a ‘liveable wage’ is not “...
    How out of touch with reality is Sir Bob Jones? You know, that white dude who invested in privatised SOEs after the selling off of our assets in the eighties and made a ludicrous and disgusting amount of money and is...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • My insecurity about the Security Council
    As I write this (on 24 October) it is international UN Day. Of course, you all knew that already, right? Well, the day celebrates the entry into force of the UN Charter in 1945. With the ratification of this founding...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Catherine Delahunty – Back in That House
    Parliament opened this week and I still find it a very odd place. Most of the people are reasonably courteous and friendly, but the rituals are archaic and the rules around issues like the swearing in oath are oppressive and...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Marae Investigates No More
    TVNZ yesterday announced the closure of their Māori and Pacific programmes department. That means they’ve chosen to stop making Fresh, Tagata Pasifika, Waka Huia and Marae Investigates to let independent producers get their hands on these lucrative contracts. This is...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • BLOGWATCH: An Un-Civil War in Labour, eh?
    Earlier today, my attention was directed to an entry that’s just recently appeared on the Slightly Left of Centre blog. It purports to contain the ‘inside word’ from a highly placed NZF source – which is funny, because I’m pretty sure...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Santanomics 101
    Santanomics could mean a number of things. It could be the study and practice of giving. Or it could mean the study and practice of rampant end-of-year commercialism. However, for me today it is the economics of erectingAuckland’s giant Santa...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • SkyCity boss misleads public over workers lost shifts
    SkyCity CEO Nigel Morrison has defended the employment practices at his company in an “Opinion” piece entitled “Human Capital key to corporate success” in the NZ Herald on Thursday. A number of his claims are misleading, contain only partial truths...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • David Parker event – the future of work, Sun 2 Nov
    Labour leadership candidate David Parker, an experienced lawyer and businessman as well as a former senior government cabinet minister in the Helen Clark Government, will join three prominent New Zealanders in a panel discussion on Sunday to address...
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Roast Busters: Turn Indignation into Action
    People raged about the Roast Buster case. The indignation was justified – it was horrible. “Where were their parents!?” Fair question. I am sure the Roast Busters’ parents and the victims’ parents all wish they had been more proactive in...
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Stats NZ only have themselves to blame for postponement
    The Public Service Association (PSA) says Statistics NZ only have themselves to blame for the indefinite postponement of the release of the Food Price Index: November 2014....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • NZ Diversity Survey – benchmarking workplace diversity
    AUT University’s New Zealand Work Research Institute (NZWRI) has released a report on diversity in New Zealand workplaces....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Māori Language (Te Reo Māori) Bill
    Tutehounuku Korako, Chair of the Māori Affairs Committee, is inviting further public submissions on this bill. The closing date for submissions is Friday, 5 December 2014....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • ERA amendments a mixed bag
    The Employment Relations Amendment Act has the potential to put vulnerable workers in a more precarious position, says Equal Opportunities Commissioner, Dr Jackie Blue. However, the commissioner says the right for all to request flexible work hours is...
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Sensible Sentencing calls for appeal of judicial activivism
    The Sensible Sentencing Trust is appalled that Justice Jill Mallon has today refused to apply the Life without Parole (LWOP) provisions of the Three Strikes law as enacted by Parliament....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Global Rally against ISIS – for Kobanê – for Humanity, Nov 1
    The New Zealand Kurdish Community will march in solidarity with Kurdistan as part of the “GLOBAL RALLY AGAINST ISIS – FOR KOBANÊ – FOR HUMANITY” on 1 November 2014, 2pm....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Does ‘No-Surprises’ Also Apply To TVNZ News?
    When you stand back and look at NZ media outlets, most of them have at least one or two people who attempt to hold the government to account: John Campbell on TV3, Guyon Espiner and others at Radio NZ, David...
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Safer roads are better for everyone
    Recent pedestrian versus vehicle incidents highlight the real issues being addressed by delegates as the 2Walk and Cycle conference concludes....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Law change creates more flexible labour market
    The Employment Relations Amendment Act, passed yesterday, will bring new flexibility to the labour market and will reduce the ability of unions to organise and to recruit....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Bumper ANZ profits mean no excuse for insecure hours
    A big rise in profits at New Zealand's largest bank needs to be reflected in a better pay offer and more security around hours of work, the bank workers’ union said today....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Count down to lowered alcohol limit
    With just a month to go until a new lower alcohol limit for adult drivers comes into effect, Police and road safety agencies are reminding drivers of the impending change....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • WorkSafe Supports Forestry Review Findings
    WorkSafe NZ says the Independent Forestry Safety Review has clearly identified the problems facing an industry in which ten workers were killed last year. “The Review’s analysis matches our own view and leaves no doubt about the need for comprehensive,...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • CTU welcomes forestry review recommendations
    The CTU is welcoming the today's release of the independent forestry safety review panel findings. "These recommendations must be implemented to ensure that everything possible is done to make forestry safer." CTU President, Helen Kelly said....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Activists will confront animal abusers
    Today animal rights activists will confront a group of wealth advisers who want to build the biggest egg factory-farm in New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Turia: Women’s Refuge Conference 2014
    This is a milestone moment in my life. This will be my last official address as Co-leader of the Maori Party. On Saturday night at our Hui-a-Tau, I will be standing down from that role and enabling a new co-leader,...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Rodeo Code of Welfare ‘Sick Joke’
    Animal advocacy organisation SAFE says the revised Code of Welfare for Rodeos just released is nothing but a sick joke. “Rodeo animals are goaded, tormented and forced to endure needless suffering and gross mistreatment, all for the sake of so-called...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Conservative Party applauds binding referenda on flag
    The Conservative Party are congratulating the Government on the decision to hold two binding referendums to decide the fate of New Zealand’s flag – and believes it will pave the way for binding referenda to form part of New Zealand...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Walk the Talk – Opposing violence against women
    Soroptimist International of Auckland have organised a walk on 22 November from Silo Park at the Wynyard Quarter through the Viaduct and back to Silo Park, to show their opposition to violence against women. This event hopes to raise awareness...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Recommendations on the Design of Pecuniary Penalties
    The Law Commission has reviewed the use of pecuniary penalties as a regulatory tool. Pecuniary penalties are financial penalties that policymakers are increasingly opting to use in place of criminal sanctions in order to punish and deter misconduct in...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Every worker will be affected by employment law changes
    Every worker will feel the effects of the government’s new employment laws and should join a union if they want to maintain and increase their wages and conditions, says New Zealand’s largest private sector union, the EPMU....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Shameful attack on all workers
    The Government has passed the Employment Relations Amendment Act slashing the rights of all Kiwi workers. “These changes are shameful. New Zealand now has some of the worst employment protections in the OECD. It is embarrassing that a country which...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Unnecessary law changes more to do with ideology
    The government’s employment law changes are simply ideological and are at odds with its approach in the related areas of health and safety and immigration law, FIRST Union said tonight....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • CTU Runanga calls on iwi leaders
    Maori workers are calling on iwi leaders to speak out against the employment law changes expected to go through today. “Iwi leaders have previously spoken out when workers in Aotearoa have been under attack, we believe they should do so...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Educating children not the best solution to alcohol harm
    Alcohol Healthwatch says we need to look beyond educating children and young people to address deeply embedded attitudes and behaviours concerning alcohol....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • New code of welfare for rodeos released
    New standards to strengthen the animal welfare requirements for rodeos have been issued today by the Minister for Primary Industries, Nathan Guy....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • IPCA report riddle with inaccuracies, say students
    A report by the Independent Police Conduct Authority into the policing of student protests in 2012 is riddled with inaccuracies, say students who laid the original complaint with the IPCA....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • CT v The Queen – indecency convictions quashed
    This summary is provided to assist in the understanding of the Court’s judgment. It does not comprise part of the reasons for that judgment. The full judgment with reasons is the only authoritative document. The full text of the judgment...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Rameka v The Queen – murder convictions quashed
    This summary is provided to assist in the understanding of the Court’s judgment. It does not comprise part of the reasons for that judgment. The full judgment with reasons is the only authoritative document. The full text of the judgment...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Auckland Council Out of Control
    Responding to the NZ Herald article that some Auckland households will face a rates rise of up to 9.6 per cent next year, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan Williams says: “Len Brown’s pledge to cap rates rises at 2.5 per...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Stats NZ staff escalate action with ‘no more meetings’ rule
    Statistics NZ staff have voted to escalate their ongoing industrial action in an effort to get Stats NZ back to the bargaining table with a reasonable offer. The staff, who are members of the Public Service Association (PSA), have been...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Rape Crisis calls for changes to criminal justice system
    Wellington Rape Crisis has added its voice to the public outcry following the announcement that there will be no charges in the teen rape gang case. Butterworth says the decision not to lay charges will not have been a surprise...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Police action justified in Blockade the Budget demonstration
    Police actions in dealing with a demonstration in Central Auckland known as Blockade the Budget on 1 June 2012 were justified and appropriate, an Independent Police Conduct Authority report released today found....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • NZDF Joins with Australia to Commemorate WWI Centenary
    A contingent of New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel will join their Australian counterparts at Australia’s first major commemoration of the First World War centenary in Albany, Western Australia this weekend....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Reserve Bank should reduce interest rate
    “The Reserve Bank should be reducing its policy interest rate, the OCR”, says CTU Economist Bill Rosenberg in response to the Bank’s announcement today that it is not increasing it....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • 2015 Stout Fellow will write about Māori & Criminal Justice
    Kim Workman, founder and advocate for the Robson Hanan Trust, which administers the Rethinking Crime and Punishment and Justspeak initiatives, has been awarded the 2015 John David Stout Fellowship at Victoria University....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • What John Key thought about ‘dirty politics’
    On September 20, John Key swept to victory to become one of New Zealand’s most successful and popular Prime Ministers. Rocked by scandal, the 2014 election campaign was one of the most brutal – and riveting – in recent history....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Trade Deal Threatens Farmers and Food Businesses
    The secret Trans Pacific Partnership negotiations are a direct threat to food businesses and farmers, and a moratorium on the release of GE crops must be enshrined in law before the TPP is signed....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • CTU announces election of new Secretary
    The contested election for the position of CTU Secretary has been won by Sam Huggard. Sam officially takes office on Monday 1 December 2014. Sam has worked in the union movement and brings a wealth of experience and a commitment...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Kim Workman awarded 2015 J.D. Stout Fellowship
    The Victoria University of Wellington 2015 J.D. Stout Fellowship, funded by the Stout Trust, has been awarded to justice reform advocate Kim Workman. Mr Workman (Ngati Kahungungu ki Wairarapa, Rangitaane) is well known for his work on criminal justice,...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • TPPA causing concern
    Concern over the secretive Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) negotiations is being expressed in two public meetings over the next week; one at a presentation on 5th November by former councillor Robin Gwynn to the Napier City Council, the...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Kiwis rally to demand justice for ‘Roast Buster’ survivors
    Over 1,500 kiwis have rallied to demand justice after the announcement of the NZ Police decision not to lay charges in the ‘Roast Busters’ saga....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • New employment law will hurt the most vulnerable NZers
    The Public Service Association (PSA) says changes to the Employment Relations Act, expected to be passed in Parliament tonight, will hurt vulnerable workers and their families more than anyone....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Consultation to close on proposed place names
    The New Zealand Geographic Board (NZGB) Ngā Pou Taunaha o Aotearoa today advised that only one month remains before public consultation closes for 18 name proposals for geographic features and places around Te Ika ā Māui (the North Island)....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Operation Clover – Statement from Police Commissioner
    I have taken a close interest in this investigation and I am confident police have conducted a thorough and professional enquiry in what has been a challenging and complex case. The Operation Clover team has ensured that victims have been...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Better policy would have protected children from recession
    Child Poverty Action Group says an international report released by UNICEF today shows good policy can protect and improve child well-being, even during a recession....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Outcome of Operation Clover investigation
    Police have completed a multi-agency investigation, Operation Clover, into the activities of a group calling themselves “The Roast Busters”. The 12 month enquiry focused on incidents involving allegations of sexual offending against a number of girls...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • False birth registration brings home detention
    A Whangarei woman who attempted to register the birth of a fictitious child to claim a sole parent benefit was sentenced to six months home detention in the Whangarei District Court today....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Family of Robert Ellis demand a proper investigation
    The family of a New Zealander killed in Indonesia are growing increasingly concerned at the lack of information they’ve received, and the handling of the investigation into his murder....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
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