web analytics
The Standard
Advertising

Marianne Ny: Making an arse of Swedish law.

Written By: - Date published: 4:28 pm, December 4th, 2010 - 114 comments
Categories: activism, International, us politics - Tags: , , ,

With all of the drama surrounding the Wikileaks release of US government diplomatic wires which I and others do not find surprising. What has been intriguing me more is the behavior of the Sweden’s director of public prosecutions, Marianne Ny. The available information on her charges and actions against Julian Assange, the founder and head of Wikileaks, indicates that she is driven more by the politics than any respect for the law. Assange’s current lawyer compares her to role of the infamous Beria in Stalins 1930’s show trials – and from what I can see I’d have to agree. Similarly I fail to see why Interpol is involved for such a minor charge

Apparently the charge is question is something pretty weird called “sex by surprise”

Assange’s London attorney, Mark Stephens, told AOL News today that Swedish prosecutors told him that Assange is wanted not for allegations of rape, as previously reported, but for something called “sex by surprise,” which he said involves a fine of 5,000 kronor or about $715.

This would not be regarded as being rape here or apparently anywhere else apart from Sweden. Specifically in this case it appears to revolve around the use of condoms. I’d have to point out here (probably with too much information) that I was conceived because of a condom failure. Over the years I have had a few failures of condoms and failed to use condoms when I should have. It happens in the passion to the best of us. Fortunately I haven’t had the consequence of either issue or STD’s.

The facts of the case do not appear to be in any dispute by either side.

Assange arrived in Sweden on Aug. 11 to speak at a weekend seminar sponsored by the Social Democratic Party and arranged to stay at a Stockholm apartment belonging to the event organizer, a member of the branch of the party who would become one of Assange’s two accusers.

According to a police report obtained by the Daily Mail in August, she and Assange had sex, and at some point the condom broke. While she was apparently not happy about the condom breaking, the two were seen the next day at the seminar, and nothing appeared amiss.

While in Sweden Assange had sex with another woman a few days after meeting her at a function hosted by the first woman.

The woman and Assange also reportedly had sex. According to the Daily Mail account, Assange did not use a condom at least one time during their sexual activity. The New York Times today quoted accounts given by the women to police and friends as saying Assange “did not comply with her appeals to stop when (the condom) was no longer in use.”

The woman discovered that Assange had sex with both of them, and a few days later went to the police. This is where the legal system in Sweden gets somewhat strange and muddled.

Based on what was said to police, the on-call prosecutor, Marie Kjellstrand, decided to issue an arrest warrant on charges of rape and molestation, and the next day the story hit the Swedish paper Expressen and newspapers all over the world.

Kjellstrand’s decision was overruled the following day by a higher-level prosecutor, Eva Finne, who withdrew the arrest warrant and said she did not see any evidence for rape allegations.

Then, on Sept. 1, a third prosecutor, Ny, re-opened the rape investigation, implying that she had new information in the case.

The best information about what was going on comes from Melbourne barrister James D. Catlin, who acted for Julian Assange in London in October. Of course this is one-sided. However there appears to be nothing to contradict this in the media storm raging in Sweden with statements from the prosecutors or the woman or their lawyer.

The women here are near to and over 30 and have international experience, some of it working in Swedish government embassies. There is no suggestion of drugs nor identity concealment. Far from it. Both women boasted of their celebrity connection to Assange after the events that they would now see him destroyed for.

That further evidence hasn’t been confected to make the charges less absurd does Sweden no credit because it has no choice in the matter. The phenomena of social networking through the internet and mobile phones constrains Swedish authorities from augmenting the evidence against Assange because it would look even less credible in the face of tweets by Anna Ardin and SMS texts by Sofia Wilén boasting of their respective conquests after the “crimes”.

In the case of Ardin it is clear that she has thrown a party in Assange’s honour at her flat after the “crime” and tweeted to her followers that she is with the “the world’s coolest smartest people, it’s amazing!”. Go on the internet and see for yourself. That Ardin has sought unsuccessfully to delete these exculpatory tweets from the public record should be a matter of grave concern. That she has published on the internet a guide on how to get revenge on cheating boyfriends ever graver. The exact content of Wilén’s mobile phone texts is not yet known but their bragging and exculpatory character has been confirmed by Swedish prosecutors. Niether Wilén’s nor Ardin’s texts complain of rape.

But then neither Arden nor Wilén complained to the police but rather “sought advice”, a technique in Sweden enabling citizens to avoid just punishment for making false complaints. They sought advice together, having collaborated and irrevocably tainted each other’s evidence beforehand. Their SMS texts to each other show a plan to contact the Swedish newspaper Expressen beforehand in order to maximise the damage to Assange. They belong to the same political group and attended a public lecture given by Assange and organised by them. You can see Wilén on the YouTube video of the event even now.

Of course, their celebrity lawyer Claes Borgström was questioned as to how the women themselves could be essentially contradicting the legal characterisation of Swedish prosecutors; a crime of non-consent by consent. Borgström’s answer is emblematic of how divorced from reality this matter is. “They (the women) are not jurists”. You need a law degree to know whether you have been r-ped or not in Sweden. In the context of such double think, the question of how the Swedish authorities propose to deal with victims who neither saw themselves as such nor acted as such is easily answered: You’re not a Swedish lawyer so you wouldn’t understand anyway. The consent of both women to sex with Assange has been confirmed by prosecutors.

So why exactly is there a red notice lodged with Interpol over this? In the 188 countries that are part of Interpol, there are a bit over five thousand notices given each year for murderers, fraudsters, actual rapists, and other serious crimes. A crime that has a maximum penalty of USD715 and no potential jail time is a minor offense, and appears to be more a case of social ineptitude on both sides than anything else.

Why did Interpol accept it? There isn’t even an arrest warrant against Assange in Sweden. Apparently because Sweden’s director of public prosecutions, Marianne Ny claimed that Julian Assange had ‘fled’ to avoid answering questions. However  the facts that have not been disputed by the Swedish prosecutor or her staff is that Julian Assange has made statements to both the police and the prosecutors after staying in Sweden to do so, was given permission to leave the country by the prosecutors, and has offered to answer questions in Britian including at the Swedish embassy.

Of even more concern is the conditions attached to the red notice. When it was issued on November 18th it requested that Assange would be

…held incommunicado without access to lawyers, visitors or other prisoners..

Quite simply this looks like a politically motivated legal move to grab Julian Assange on a legal pretext, to shut him up, and to get moved to a country with a sympathetic prosecutor for extradition. I’d be extremely interested in finding out what communication has been going on between the conservative government in Sweden  before and after the election on September 19th with the government in the US.

But it is pretty clear that Marianne Ny is not acting for the law in Sweden – she is using the law and the Interpol process on the flimsiest pretext. It is clear that you can’t call this rape despite what the prosecutors in Sweden say and has been blasted all over the US media.

Sure, Assange should probably answer more questions – if only to get this on again, off again, on again accusation settled. But there is no reason that cannot be done in the relative safety of the embassy in London. Since the charges do not carry a custodial sentence then there should be no reason to put Assange in prison to answer questions. That just makes him an easy to get at target for the various groups that are proposing to kill or imprison him on trumped up charges from countries like the US to which he owes no duty.

Bearing in mind the US policies of grabbing suspects from friendly states with poor legal systems and throwing them into concentration camps like Guantanamo Bay for interrogation, I can see why Assange would not want to put in the control of a show trial prosecutor like Ny.

Marianne Ny is just making an arse of Swedish law and holding it up as a laughing stock to the rest of the world.

BTW: If anyone is having problems accessing Wikileaks, then try this link

114 comments on “Marianne Ny: Making an arse of Swedish law.”

  1. MrSmith 1

    ‘Hillary is pissed’ Thats why he is wanted. Assange is carrying on like her husband, plus making the U S of ass look bad, women can be bloody nasty at times I can tell you or is that just the hundreds I have met.

  2. Draco T Bastard 2

    But there is no reason that cannot be done in the relative safety of the embassy in London… That just makes him an easy to get at target for the various groups that are proposing to kill or imprison him on trumped up charges from countries like the US to which he owes no duty.

    Especially considering that the Tories in the UK have sworn to bow down and kiss the USAs arse.

    • lprent 2.1

      Yeah, but from the looks of it the courts in Britain are less likely to be as pliant. That is probably why the police in Britain requested a better definition of the charges. They know that they’re going to have to dot their i’s and cross their t’s to get this past the courts.

  3. swimmer 3

    So what all the Swedish have to travel abroad to get pregnant? :-)

    • lprent 3.1

      You’re asking me? From my reading today I’d have to say that Catlin gave the most cogent description…

      In the context of such double think, the question of how the Swedish authorities propose to deal with victims who neither saw themselves as such nor acted as such is easily answered: You’re not a Swedish lawyer so you wouldn’t understand anyway.

      But I gather that the issue is about ‘surprise’ like a busted or defective condom. I’d imagine that sex whilst asleep would be defined as a surprise (which has happened once to me – someone took advantage of my pre-waking hard-on). I’d hate to think what some of the few mutual horniness and bugger thinking moments would be classified as – they’re usually a surprise to me.

      In fact I have some real difficulties imagining how you could put this whole concept into law bearing in mind the surprises that seem to crop up in my sex life.

      I’d imagine that the whole thing revolves around consent. But I’d hate to have to figure out how you’d even try to put this particular charge into the courts. Usually the surprise happens to me after the event and I’m usually surprised at myself for letting it happen (for some quite understandable reason my mother was seriously into family planning and made sure her kids were as well) – which seems to have been what happened in these cases.

  4. ianmac 4

    A very interesting illumination LPrent. It does seem incredible that the explanation above is at such huge discrepancy from the other “experts”. The two women skiting about their liasons then later turning it apparently into very serious charges is very hard to fathom. Wonder if there will be any Wikileaks showing influence between some countries and Sweden? The plot thickens.

    • lprent 4.1

      Yeah, I was kind of surprised myself when I started to read through the material available on the net. It felt like the usual conspiracy theories and I expected to find the gaping hole somewhere.

      What intrigued me was that the charge for the red notice was apparently just the sex by surprise with some others of a lesser nature. The lesser ones were not given to the British police, which is why they requested the full list. They have to put this in front of a British judge and I suspect that the sex by surprise one is more likely to cause amusement than action in front of them.

      Apparently there was a very early charge of ‘rape’, which got kicked out the following day. It was attempted to be brought up again later and looks like it got kicked out by a Swedish court as lacking any evidence.

      But if you look closely at “experts” accounts you will find that they are quite unspecific on what the actual charges are. Which is why most of the material for this post comes from the Assange side. They’re the only ones releasing any detail.

      However there is absolutely nothing detailed that I found from the other side on the net to refute what I’ve written.

      The amount of disinformation and sheer lack of information floating around over this latest WikiLeaks is pretty frightening. For instance I get the impression that there are a number of grand juries running in the US to mount charges against Assange and others on various charges. But there is no detail about what they are apart from some rather strange speculation on the Espionage act of 1917, which the visible legal opinion I’ve read says won’t apply due to the decision on the Pentagon papers.

      So I just concentrated on the Swedish connection because I figure that one is the only one that is likely to happen in the short-term.

      • Pete 4.1.1

        To call for Assange’s execution (by former and future US president hopeful Huckabee) or assassination (Tom Flanagan, a former adviser to Canada’s Harper) just illustrates beyond reasonable doubt what kind of retarded schmocks end up in government. And I thought we had seen it all with the Grizzly Mom, aka Sarah Palin. Anna Ardin and Sofia Wilen are not trying to frame Assange for the CIA, they are simply jealous and pissed at him because neither of them can claim exclusiveness of screwing with him. They are just two pathetic pussies who should be ashamed of themselves and certainly not be protected by Swedish law.

  5. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E76qQUD-QP8
    sorry for the past

    Everyone deserves justice, including Julian Assange.
    Julian Assange, the founder of and spokesperson for Wikileaks has done what so few have been able to accomplish. He has courageously taken on the superpowers of the world with Wikileaks, an organisation that has exposed major human rights abuses, that could have never been accomplished under the veil of secrecy.
    Because of that, he is subject to reprisal from various governments through a variety of means. What is clear is that the Swedish district court has issued an interpol warrant for the arrest of Mr Assange. The charges are in their terms for “Rape and molestation”.
    The facts are:
    The other party has stated even after the episode that it was with consent.

    The charges were dropped and then raised again after a political figure with a personal interest in the coercion laws involved herself in the matter.

    A 16 year old girl was also charged with the same thing around the time the prosecutor was making a decision for engaging in consential intercourse with boys that were a year younger than her.

    http://www.thelocal.se/29880/20101028/

    A 32 year old was freed under these laws for having violent “sex” with a 16 year old also around the time of the decision.
    http://www.thelocal.se/29302/20100928/

    The case was widely publicized resulting in ambiguous search terms combining “Rape” and Julian Assange.

    Clearly justice is absent from these courts and Julian Assange needs our support.

    You can write directly to the Director of Prosecutions at:

    Director of Public Prosecution
    Åklagarmyndigheten/Utveckling­scentrum i Göteborg
    PO Box 2565 SE-40317 Gothenburg
    Tel: +46 31 739 41 04 / 41 00
    Fax: +46 31 739 42 50
    marianne.ny@aklagare.se

    There is also a petition that you can sign here;
    http://readersupportednews.org/julian-assange-petition

  6. ghostwhowalksnz 6

    Remember too that Wikileaks offered to ‘redact’ any names in cables the US State department considered at highest risk that their lives would be in danger.

    The US refused of course, as the ‘endanger lives’ is just a political manoeuvre.

    Eventually Assange himself will be eliminated. Possibly as a contra by criminal groups ( mafia?, drug lords?)- Mossad would normally oblige but the Israelis are quite chuffed by it all.

    • Colonial Viper 6.1

      Nah mate you’re being paranoid. I’m sure Assange will simply and co-incidentally suffer a tragic and premature vehicle accident, heart attack, or be the victim of a senseless burglary gone wrong.

      Possibly all at the same time if they aren’t properly organised.

    • Vicky32 6.2

      I seriously hope you’re wrong, ghostwhowalksnz, about Assange being ‘eliminated’..
      (I have to say as a woman, that I think he is well fit! He could put his shoes under my bed any time, but that’s irrelevant…)
      Deb

  7. Bill 7

    Please get real.

    Assangne isn’t wanted per se for the simple fact that there isn’t anything to charge him with …neither dubious sexual illegalities or anything else for that matter. If there was, he’d be banged up already. But since the majority of the population are being subjected to nothing more than tittle – tattle from the leaks (view Jon Stewart’s stupid belittlement of the leaks for an example of this), character assassination will suffice. The aim is to produce a narrative that questions whether you are going to look favourably on the actions of a person accused of rape. In other words, a distraction from the substantive matters at hand. It’s a tried and tested technique for nullifying the potential for support of people voicing dissent.. If he hadn’t been accused of rape, it would have been sheep shagging or any other number of accusations designed to diminish the character’s of those doing or saying things authorities don’t like.

    Sadly, Assangne will wind up dead ( unfortunate accident, undiagnosable disease or whatever) if moves to discredit him are unsuccessful.

  8. Barry 8

    This is uncomfortably like the sort of anti-woman rant that is common on the RWNJ sites. Assange may or may not have done something wrong according to Swedish law, but we should be careful not to smear the complainants. If it comes to court you can see the evidence, and then accuse the court of political bias or not depending on what happens.

    I agree that there is nothing in the charges to warrant extradition or recourse to interpol. This is clearly politically motivated. A little bit of paranoia as to what might happen if he goes into custody is perhaps warranted, but I suspect that it only amounts to harrassment, not physical harm.

    • prism 8.1

      Barry – Every Saturday night there is a lot of hetero sexual activity going on in NZ. I don’t think the blokes would take kindly to even gentle harrassment by police or some moral authority afterwards despite there being no physical harm to them. The Swedish legal ‘protection’ appears to be overdone.

    • lprent 8.2

      Yeah I know, unusually for me, I got Lyn to check over the post and the related links before finalizing it – which is why the spelling and grammar is better than usual. She tolerates such rants even less than I do. The complainants in this case appear to be as surprised at the response of the prosecutors as Assange is from the comments in the media.

      The point about the charges is that they seem to be designed to pin Assange down to one place using a mini charge. To me that looks like a denial of freedom attack completely unrelated to the complainants. That makes him easier to monitor and easier to pick up for extradition.

      My suspicion is that the type of prosecution system in Sweden makes that easier to do – they are not kidding about how arcane and siloed the Swedish legal system appears to be. Provided the US doesn’t try to use a charge that carries the death penalty, I think that they are more likely to get him from Sweden than Britain because of the style of the legal system.

      That was what the post was about, the material about the complainants was only there to show exactly why I thought that the complaint did not warrant Interpol red notice.

      It was pretty clear.. Did you read the post?

  9. prism 9

    This was riveting and surprising stuff lprent. Thanks for giving us the chance of getting behind this story. Wondered about it. Who would have thought Sweden would get its panties in a twist in this sort of way. I thought they were pretty sorted about sex matters and had a quality legal system with checks that would prevent this sort of damnable harrassment.

    There probably aren’t any countries in the world with well-functioning legal and government systems that don’t revert to barbarism in times of stress. Can any country be shown to live up to the hype fed out out to we hopeful and gullible people?

    • lprent 9.1

      I can see the logic behind the law. I do have a hard time figuring out how it would work in practice.

      But it does make a short enough statement of ‘rape’ that even Fox news cannot screw up the intended message – even when it doesn’t look anything like what I’d consider to be anything like rape.

  10. Bored 10

    The message is very clear: regardless of how minor any charge that can be upheld against a dissenter like Assange it will be. The power elites of the world can be seen colluding to silence and discredit somebody who has revealed their dirty washing in all its grubby nastiness. The message for any other person considering similar dissent is again, “Dont mess with us, the international elite, we will get you where ever you are and what ever you stand for”.

  11. Olwyn 11

    An interesting reply from Assange in the Guardian, to the question, “Do Western governments have any moral authority?”
    “The west has fiscalised its basic power relationships through a web of contracts, loans, shareholdings, bank holdings and so on. In such an environment it is easy for speech to be “free” because a change in political will rarely leads to any change in these basic instruments. Western speech, as something that rarely has any effect on power, is, like badgers and birds, free. In states like China, there is pervasive censorship, because speech still has power and power is scared of it. We should always look at censorship as an economic signal that reveals the potential power of speech in that jurisdiction. The attacks against us by the US point to a great hope, speech powerful enough to break the fiscal blockade.”

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/blog/2010/dec/03/julian-assange-wikileaks

    • Colonial Viper 11.1

      He’s a smart guy.

      What he’s saying is exactly what we see happening in Ireland and in Iceland.

      It doesn’t matter what is said now or who is in power. The debts, the contracts, the holders of vast capital all stay exactly the same. No matter which political party takes control in Ireland, the creditors of that country will all still want their pound of flesh, with interest thank you very much. Any new politician no matter how idealistic, has to buckle straight away or there will be no more money left to pay to keep the lights on. (Or at least that’s the threat).

      See Obama as another case in point.

      In such a system, the public can vent to their hearts content, vote one crowd in or one crowd out, it makes no difference. The US electorate has changed the balance of power in Congress three elections in a row now.

      Its made no difference to the plight of ordianry working Americans.

      Now if you want to see how powerful these financial interests are, just make a move which tries to loosen their grip on the underlying levers of influence.

  12. Pascal's bookie 12

    Christian science monitor

    In the latest blow, the online payment service PayPal has cut off WikiLeaks. On its blog, PayPal says that WikiLeaks has violated a policy “which states that our payment service cannot be used for any activities that encourage, promote, facilitate or instruct others to engage in illegal activity.”

    Trying to donate money to WikiLeaks via PayPal now generates an error message saying “this recipient is currently unable to receive money.”

    I assume paypal would not work with any other outlet that publishes any of the leaked material then? No? Right you are then.

    The Age on relations with the motherland. Mood: estranged.

    The Vancouver Sun has a good reader friendly piece about what Assange says wikileaks is all about. Ooh look, journalism!

    • ianmac 12.1

      It will be interesting to see if “they” manage to silence Julian Asange, will they also silence the exposures? Either the Pandora’s Box will keep its lid open or the crack-down will silence/intimidate other exposures.

      • Pascal's bookie 12.1.1

        I can’t see how you can put it back in the box. Wikileaks is basically a concept that emerges from the availability of tools. Those tools aren’t gong away, the establishment needs them. Ergo, leaks using those tools this will always be possible.

        ‘nother link

        Reporters Without Borders weighs in unequivocally supportting wikileaks and denouncing western governments actions and statements:

        http://en.rsf.org/wikileaks-hounded-04-12-2010,38958.html

        This is the first time we have seen an attempt at the international community level to censor a website dedicated to the principle of transparency. We are shocked to find countries such as France and the United States suddenly bringing their policies on freedom of expression into line with those of China. We point out that in France and the United States, it is up to the courts, not politicians, to decide whether or not a website should be closed.

  13. Pascal's bookie 13

    A couple more:

    http://www.rollingstone.com/culture/news/17389/238944?RS_show_page=0

    A reprint of a long backgrounder on one of the other wikileaks people.

    And Jay Rosen (journalism prof at NYU) giving his thoughts in progress on what wikileaks means for journalism

    http://vimeo.com/17393373

    • ianmac 13.1

      Jay Rosen raise the issue that Wikileaks is Stateless and therefore not answerable to any particular Governments laws. This is an issue that troubles our Court system especially in relation to name suppression. He is also suggesting that the watchdog Press in the USA failed during the Bush years and thus have lost the initiative to guard the truth of major issues like the Iraqi war.
      Some would say that the MSM in NZ is in the same boat.
      Mr Appelbaum is an indication that Mr Asange is not the sole enemy of freedom of information.
      Perhaps when the “Law” has dealt to Wikileaks one way or another, the security of international information will just get greater, and international penalties will be agreed to quicker than any global warming treaties!
      The issues that you have pointed to Pascal’s bookie, through your links suggest that the issues around Wikileaks have very profound implications for democracy and for governments everywhere.

      • Pascal's bookie 13.1.1

        the security of international information will just get greater

        From what I gather this is kind of the point. Think of it like the guerrilla tactic of deliberately provoking a clampdown from the state in order to ‘raise the consciousness’ of the population. That’s still far from a perfect analogy in many ways, as the guerrilla doesn’t mind if the state actually gets stronger short term, their point is to ‘heighten the contradictions’ and by making things worse for the population at the hands of the state make support for the guerrilla grow by default.

        Assange views the security state in terms of an info processor. If you destroy the capability for nodes within the network to freely communicate, you limit it’s ability to ‘think’. The less it is able to think, the less it is useful for, the less it can do. An increase in security and tighter secret keeping within the security state degrades it’s ability to act, it degrades the trust within the system.

        The content of the leaks and the effects that content has on the political fortunes of individuals is almost beside the point.

        But yeah, it’s revolutionary shit.

  14. handle 14

    Wikileaks is threatening to publish information about big corporates next. You can imagine the extra pressure coming from them to shut this down immediately.

    • ianmac 14.1

      Handle. Be interesting to see the connections between Pharmac ( Was world famous for its competence.) and certain Pharmacueticals (Which are famous for the opposite ethical behaviours).

    • Pascal's bookie 14.2

      Wikileaks is threatening to publish information about big corporates next.

      I’ve heard: Bank of America, BP, and a video from Afghanistan of civilians getting blown up.

  15. RobertM 15

    I assumed the swedes were just helping the americans -but we can now see the accounts of the Swedish decline into right wing political imbecility is not exaggerated- if only Muriel and councillor Stewart and failed NAct councillor Quax would migrate there. Generally most people including courtersans only insist on condoms when its in the mouth or vagina.
    On the wiki leaks I think they simply help the Americans get support for striking Iran- that is the effect and I don’t see Assange as left or anti American.

  16. Colonial Viper 16

    Bright Side for Clinton to leaked Cables

    Maybe US journalists can’t write worth a damn nowadays, but apparently diplomatic field staff can.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/05/world/05diplo.html?ref=global-home

  17. Simon C 17

    What the fuck?

    If you are having sex with someone, and then they tell you to stop, and you don\’t, that\’s rape. I don\’t see anything ambiguous or confusing about that.

    I also don\’t see how the defence\’s characterisation of the victims\’ actions changes any of that.

    I know the Standard isn\’t a feminist blog, but shit, I expected a little better than this rape apologia here.

    • Andy 17.1

      Who told who to stop?

      How do you know this?

      • Simon C 17.1.1

        From the OP:

        The facts of the case do not appear to be in any dispute by either side.

        Assange arrived in Sweden on Aug. 11 to speak at a weekend seminar sponsored by the Social Democratic Party and arranged to stay at a Stockholm apartment belonging to the event organizer, a member of the branch of the party who would become one of Assange’s two accusers.

        According to a police report obtained by the Daily Mail in August, she and Assange had sex, and at some point the condom broke. While she was apparently not happy about the condom breaking, the two were seen the next day at the seminar, and nothing appeared amiss.

        While in Sweden Assange had sex with another woman a few days after meeting her at a function hosted by the first woman.

        The woman and Assange also reportedly had sex. According to the Daily Mail account, Assange did not use a condom at least one time during their sexual activity. The New York Times today quoted accounts given by the women to police and friends as saying Assange “did not comply with her appeals to stop when (the condom) was no longer in use.”

        • lprent 17.1.1.1

          Read the last paragraph again. The statement was specifically attributed as being from the complainant. The fact that a condom was not used at least once isn’t in dispute.

          That not using a condom was not consented to is in dispute. You’ll find it if you hunt around the net (there are some limits to how much I can put in one post).

          I suspect that you didn’t read past the section you quoted because you appear to have completely missed the point of the post.

          The charge is not rape. It is an offense that has a maximum penalty of a relatively small fine. For this Interpol has issued a red notice, something that is usually reserved for the most heinous of crimes, and typically carrying penalties of decades in prison.

          If you can shift your mind past your simplistic programming and use the brain that you were issued with, I’m sure you’d find this rather suspicious.

          • Simon C 17.1.1.1.1

            Seriously? My “programming”? What agenda do you think I’m advancing?

            I’ll repeat my point:

            The accusation against Assange is that he “did not comply with her appeals to stop when (the condom) was no longer in use.”

            That is rape.

            Your attempt to downplay the seriousness of the accusation and to cast doubt upon the alleged victims’ stories because of their actions after the event are classic examples of rape apologia, as seen in countless other cases where famous men are accused of rape. Ask yourself what you’d be saying if this was not a hero of a cause you support.

            Regardless of what is eventually determined to be the case, I expected a more nuanced and balanced treatment of this story from the Standard (which I usually enjoy). Maybe that was my mistake?

            • Colonial Viper 17.1.1.1.1.1

              The accusation against Assange is that he “did not comply with her appeals to stop when (the condom) was no longer in use.”

              That is rape.

              No mate its the accusation of rape, you’ve made that primary mistake from the outset.

              Further the OP says that so far, no arrest warrant for rape has been issued in Sweden. But according to you that seems immaterial?

              You ask for more nuance and more balance let you show none yourself. Further you consistently ignore the very context of Assange’s existence at the moment – that powerful governmental forces want to shut him up and shut him down, by fair means or foul.

              Also please answer my question from 4:36pm:

              Please explain to me how exactly LPRENT presenting views from both legal teams acts as “rape apologia”?

              • Simon C

                Look, I’m making no claims about Assange’s guilt or innocence. I hope he’s innocent!

                What I’m disputing is this:

                The allegation is that he “did not comply with her appeals to stop when (the condom) was no longer in use.”

                But according to lprent “It is clear that you can’t call this rape despite what the prosecutors in Sweden say and has been blasted all over the US media.”

                Lprent comes to this conclusion on the basis of Assange’s lawyer’s statement, which claims that because of actions the alleged victims took after the event, they can’t “really” be rape victims.

                So here are my questions:

                Is it rape to “not comply with her appeals to stop”?

                Does how a victim acts afterwards determine whether they were raped or not?

                Does the political situation surround the events (which I agree are highly suspicious) change your answers to either of the above questions?

                • lprent

                  No I base this on the fact a actual rape charge was made, and withdrawn in a day after it was placed when a more senior prosecutor looked at it.

                  The charge that is in circulation is “sex by surprise” put in months afterwards by a politician. Presumably because she was told that there was no evidence to support rape and that such a charge wiould be impossible to bring to court. bearing in mind that that politcian has been spinning it as ‘rape’ in her media statements I would assume that she attempted to bring that. The charge carries a maximum penalty less than that of driving while drunk.

                  Both the police and prosecutors have all ofthe available information from both the womaens statements AND Assange. Having a politician waiting to lay rape charges after the investigation was closed and not being able to do so says that there was zero evidence that ‘rape’ occurred..

                  I see that you still haven’t read the post or the background links. So I guess that you’re just a little ‘confused’ on a basis into bumping up the charges into the realms of ideological fantasy.

                  • Simon C

                    We seem to be misunderstanding each other. I’d like to think I’m reading you pretty carefully, and I assume you’re doing the same.

                    I think that it’s a valid avenue to explore the international context surrounding these allegations, and it is understandable to be suspicious of their timing and their motivations.

                    I think you can do that without arguing that what was alleged to have occurred was not actually rape, and without calling into question the women’s accusations based on how rape victims are “supposed to act”.

                    I want to make it really clear that I’m not making an argument for Assange’s guilt or innocence. I’m arguing that the charges, as described (though not apparently as defined by Swedish law) are rape.

                    I’d like some acknowledgement from you that if Assange “did not comply with her appeals to stop when (the condom) was no longer in use.”, he is guilty of rape, whether that’s what he’s charged with or not.

                    I’d also appreciate some analysis of the defence’s use of the alleged victims’ actions after the event, and how that mirrors the defence in many other celebrity rape cases, but this may be the wrong blog for that.

                    • lprent

                      I put up both the accusation and the defense opinions to give context to the red notice. However I really don’t care if you think this was ‘rape’ on a basis of not seeing the actual statements. Personally I never assume anything like this is as simple as the soundbites in news media by the protagonists.

                      You appear to be making an unsupported assertion based on news reports. The single statement you’re referring to as being significiant is not even from the complainants statement. It is hearsay based on other people making a statement to a reporter. In other words a 4th hand statement that is of no evidential interest. At least Catlins article is merely 3rd hand. That is one reason why I keep saying that you do not appear to be reading the post – you appear to be imagining the scenario rather than thinking about it.

                      There simply isn’t enough information to make the assertion you are making. What I said was that if these are defined as rape (having a condom fail, and not using one when I should have – and I’m ignoring the 4th hand assertions), then to the surprise of my partners over the years then I appear to be a rapist. I also appear to be a child of rape – which will surprise the hell out of my parents.

                      Since I know bloody well neither of these is the case, then I think that you are a total fool.

                      The post is about the political use of a Interpol red notice for minor charge based on the maximum penalty.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      We are being cleverly deflected from the reason of Assange’s work – to bring the inner workings of governments to light, inner workings that those same governments feel that their citizens should never understand or see.

                      And of course, this is the point – to create a sideshow to distract and denigrate from the Wikileaks.

                    • lprent []

                      Yeah that is why I think that this case is being brought. It has nothing to do with the events. It is a useful smear and helpful to pin Assange and wikileaks down. It also diverts attention away from the leaks.

                  • Bill

                    There’s an interesting piece Making a Mockery of the Real Crime of Rape:
                    Assange Beseiged
                    on CounterPunch that includes some background info on Anna Ardin.

                    Her politics are apparently really quite far from being ‘left’ and according to the author’s sources she has a kind of strange attitude towards men…

                    …as she was lecturing, a male student in the audience looked at his notes instead of staring at her. Anna Ardin reported him for sexual harassment because he discriminated against her for being a woman and because she claimed he made use of the male “master suppression technique” in trying to make her feel invisible. As soon as the student learned about her complaint, he contacted her to apologize and explain himself. Anna Ardin’s response was to once again report him for sexual harassment, again because he was using the “master suppression technique”, this time to belittle her feelings.

                    Maybe worth a read.

                    • Simon C

                      This argument is getting pretty boring, and I’m getting sick of being called names for disagreeing with the post.

                      First off: FOR FUCK’S SAKE. Quit insinuating that I’m some kind of operative for some global conspiracy. Maybe I just have principles? I think it’s possible to be both supportive of wikileaks as an organisation, while taking the charges seriously and not diminishing the crimes or smearing the alleged victims.

                      Now, a final go at my argument:

                      Lprent. Neither of us know what happened. We don’t even fully know what is alleged, since the police report obtained by the Daily Mail, which you use for the basis of your dismissal of the allegations, is described as “heavily redacted, with details of the sex allegations blacked out”. We have reported accounts by the women that describe a rape.

                      If these accounts describe the actual allegations, it’s important that you realise that in New Zealand or the States or most other countries, failing to stop when the condom breaks, even though your parter asks you to, while constituting rape, would never result in a successful prosecution. It’s hard enough to get a prosecution in even the most egregious cases. No jury in New Zealand or the States would convict.

                      In Sweden, they have to option to bring charges on a lesser offence, this (unfortunately named) “Sex by Surprise”. This is what they’ve done in Assange’s case.

                      We can’t draw any conclusions about the actual events from what charges are laid. That creates the bizarre situation where you’re only raped if your rapist is successfully prosecuted on rape charges.

                      You say: “It is clear that you can’t call this rape.” But you don’t have any evidence for that. Clearly, the women involved called it rape. The prosecuters were, at least for a time, willing to call it rape. The most detailed account we have of the occurrence (while 4th hand) describes a rape. The details that remain in the police report certainly don’t rule out rape. The reduced charges are still for a crime I would describe as rape.

                    • Vicky32

                      Oh. Good grief! Women like that give we feminists a bad name..
                      Deb

                    • Elizabet Mulkerrins

                      Interesting discussion.

                      I have read the eldest accuser’s blog and the entry written on Jan 19th 2010 describes a ‘seven step model for getting legal revenge’ that exactly mirrors what happened in this case, and it is recommened to be used against a man who ‘cheats or dumps you’. You have to ‘tell a series’ ‘of lies’ to ‘get a lunatic after them’. She sets great store by the punishment fitting the crime too. If a man abandons you for instance, accusing him of theft would not be the way to go.

                      Then she gets dumped, the younger girl fears she is pregnant.

                      I should imagine the conversation went something like this..

                      “I know, lets see if we can get the cheating toe-rag forced to take an STD test, then we’ll go and blab it to the papers!”

                      “Heeheehee!”

                      And so off they went, full of girly mischief and not realising they had a tiger by the tail. To be honest, I’m a female. I don’t get that upset about unfaithfulness, but if I did, its exactly the sort of mischief I might plan. Minus telling it to a newspaper. I think thats excessive.

                      Then every jobsworth with no actual *useful* talent decides they can make their career on this. It all gets a bit out of hand for our two heroines – who honestly didn’t know what danger they were placing their hero in, and they go to ground.

                      Incidentally the best headline went ‘Ardin grabs Assange by the Junk’. Which was precisely what she did.

                      Now it seems to me that he is pinned like a butterfly awaiting US pleasure. The only legal defence to extradition I can find is proving this prosecution was ‘politically motivated’ and if possible I’d like to be able to prove it by Tuesday.

                      Does anyone have the dirt on that, including names? I’m finding it a bit complicated when I try to look into that aspect.

      • Colonial Viper 17.1.2

        Also from the OP:

        The phenomena of social networking through the internet and mobile phones constrains Swedish authorities from augmenting the evidence against Assange because it would look even less credible in the face of tweets by Anna Ardin and SMS texts by Sofia Wilén boasting of their respective conquests after the “crimes”.

        In the case of Ardin it is clear that she has thrown a party in Assange’s honour at her flat after the “crime” and tweeted to her followers that she is with the “the world’s coolest smartest people, it’s amazing!”. Go on the internet and see for yourself. That Ardin has sought unsuccessfully to delete these exculpatory tweets from the public record should be a matter of grave concern…Niether Wilén’s nor Ardin’s texts complain of rape.

    • The Voice of Reason 17.2

      Innocent until proven guilty, Simon. There is an accusation and a denial. I don’t see any ‘rape apologia’ here at all, just some cynicism about the reasons for the complaint. On the facts as we know them from the links in the post, unless Assange admits something, nothing can be proved and the case will either be dropped by the prosecutors or he will be aquitted at trial.

      If the British bobbies felt there was any substance to the matter, they could easily arrest him. They know where he is staying in England. But they choose not to, perhaps because he hasn’t actually been charged with anything nor has an arrest warrent been issued.

      • Simon C 17.2.1

        I don’t have an opinion on whether Assange is guilty of what he’s been accused of. I hope he’s not, frankly.

        What I’m saying is that arguing that what he’s accused of isn’t “really” rape, or questioning the motives of the alleged victims because they don’t “act like rape victims” is classic rape apologia, and I didn’t expect that from the Standard.

        • Andy 17.2.1.1

          “did not comply with her appeals to stop when (the condom) was no longer in use.”

          ^^You know what that means right?

          It means Assange pulled of the condom just when he was about to… you know. Maybe Wilen/Ardin shouted “NO! STOP IT!” But Assange did what he did anyway.

          Is that rape?

          Come on!

          • Simon C 17.2.1.1.1

            Yeah, um, actually that is rape.

            • Andy 17.2.1.1.1.1

              No it’s not. Stop acting like a child.

              It might be “bad taste” or “stupid behaviour”. But its not an auto-rape whenever you dont do exactly what your partner wishes.

              If so, that would mean that tens of thousands of women will be charged with rape for lying about being on the pill. Many women could also be charged with rape if they release any liquid without the consent of their partner.

              This is silly!

              Grow up!

              • felix

                Actually Andy, if “exactly what your partner wishes” is for you to stop fucking them and you don’t then yes it is rape.

                • Andy

                  How many seconds do you have to comply before it becomes a rape?

                  Why not act like an adult and realise that sometimes you have bad sex?

                  Both women have stated that they have never been afraid of Assange and that he never threatened them.

                  You must also realise that in Sweden your “feelings” can never be wrong or false. You can also change those feelings whenever you want. Thats why the women didnt immidealty went to the police. They even hung out with Assange after the “rape”. They even praised him infront of their friends.

                  But then their feelings changed and the bad sex turned into rape.

                  • felix

                    I couldn’t give a shit whether you think you’re bad at sex or not, I’m explaining a matter of law to you. Consent can be revoked.

                    If you think it’s wrong then campaign to change it.

            • Jack P 17.2.1.1.1.2

              I believe i saw the word ‘ molestation ‘ at some point in the accusations.
              ‘ To subject to unwanted or improper sexual activity. ‘ (in this case during consensual sex.)
              This involves coercion without serious injury. A reprehensible and punishable act.
              I have been coerced (bullied) lots of times. Tough on pride, but i survived without sequel. Had i resisted and been beaten to a pulp and still coerced, then you enter the realm of hard criminal behavior.
              You cannot expect to send a man to jail for 10-20 years without bodily harm to yourself or any significant psychological damage (even if it not sexual in nature). Moral anguish is usually paid with money. As sorry a situation as it may be, rape victims must endure graver suffering.
              Well, two days later she was partying with him, he met her friend, had sex with her also. Neither were happy puppies after that… This does nothing to explain Ms. Ny behavior however.

            • Elizabet Mulkerrins 17.2.1.1.1.3

              Actually dude, thats is rape.

              And rape is exactly what I’d say a woman did if she claimed she was on the pill and wasn’t. Plus theft, when the authorities nail his ass for child support.

              Put it this way – would the other party have consented, knowing what the first party knew?

              If you really wanted to prosecute though, in the UK, where I am, you would have your best chance with the civil offence of ‘Deception’.

        • Colonial Viper 17.2.1.2

          The possibility is that Assange is being set up by major powers who also happen to control the flow and shading of the ‘facts’ to the public.

          Please explain to me how exactly LPRENT presenting views from both legal teams acts as “rape apologia”?

          Are you simply wanting to see the discussion on how Assange is being targetted shut down?

        • The Voice of Reason 17.2.1.3

          Ok, gotcha. I think there are some comments on how unusual the Swedish law is in their definition of what constitutes a sexual crime that might actually border on belittling the alleged victims, but I don’t see that as ‘rape apologia’, especially as he is not accused of rape anyway.

          If it’s true that the punishment is a fine of a few hundred dollars, then this is clearly not regarded in Sweden as rape, but apparently more like a socially unnaceptable behaviour that society would prefer you didn’t do. That is, based on the fine, more serious than littering, less serious than drunken driving.

          All in all, I think Assange is being accused of being a selfish lover, not a rapist. And, as I said above, unless he dobs himself in, it will, (ahem) come to nothing.

    • balgarnie 17.3

      Nothing whatsoever confusing or ambiguous about the Assange “sex by surprise” case …?

      Not if you don’t think about it, no.

  18. Andy 18

    Guess who Anna Ardins cousin is?

    ■Lieutenant Colonel Mattias Ardin, (former) Deputy Head of Operations, Swedish Joint Forces Land Component Command (Afghanistan)

    Pretty interesting huh?

  19. Vicky32 19

    Wow, thanks for the clarification! I had wondered why it all kept cropping up again and again…
    Deb

  20. Arnou 20

    compare what happened with Roman Polanski’s case and Julian Assange these people really have double face.Democracy My A**.

  21. Freedom Fighter 21

    To get some perspective. In another Swedish criminal case, two people from Ireland (another EU country) conducted violent assault and were caught on a video tape kicking a helpless victim on a floor in the head. The two perps were arrested and confessed but were able to leave the country before the trial due to the normal incompetency of the Swedish judicial system.

    Here comes the catch: Their identities are known, they reside in a known place in Ireland, but the Swedish prosecutor’s office did NOT bother to issue an international arrest warrant. When asked why, their response was that international arrest warrants are usually only issued for very serious crimes such as murder.

    The source is: http://www.aftonbladet.se/nyheter/article8031457.ab
    (sorry only in Swedish, copy the text and make an auto-translation)

  22. Chris Joyce 22

    No no no, women in general are not bitches. They are just born to be pragmatic. Genetic selections have made it so. Her lot in life is to make her husband proud of giving birth to his child. To be successful in this respect, generation after generation, you must be 100% pragmatic and 100% free of priciples.

    • Vicky32 22.1

      “you must be 100% pragmatic and 100% free of priciples.”
      That comment is just creepy, Chris Joyce. I, as a woman, object very strenuously. The trouble with evolutionary psychology is that it’s total bollices..
      Deb

      • lprent 22.1.1

        I as a male would disagree as well. It has not been something that I’ve ever observed.

        However I have frequently observed that many people only see what they expect to see and ignore any evidence to that gainsays their viewpoint. So perhaps CJ is a victim of that behaviour.

        I’m not sure, but it seems to be a evolutionary thing…. :twisted:

  23. Hugin 23

    I’m personally an exile Swede and the reason for that is not only but to a large extent the legal system of Sweden, or rather the lack of respect for it. The total lack of respect for democratic values among the politicians, media houses, and even courts makes me feel sick. I simply could not stand living in a country like that, paying the world’s highest taxes to a group of people that have no intention what so ever to act for the people. Their only concern is to treasure up as much as they can, aroused by power they take the liberty to do whatever they feel like.

    Trust me, foreigners don’t get to know the first of it because media is so in line with the power that hardly anything leaves the country. Swedes are being abused, robbed and discriminated in their own country by the very people that are elected to lead it. After 80 years of socialistic rule, Swedes are so suppressed that a great majority just bends over.

    It is disgusting.

  24. Rubadubadoobag 24

    OK, weighing in on the ‘is it rape’ issue: sure, consent can be withdrawn and if the guy doesnt stop then it can become rape. But (in Australia at least) the man is innocent if he truly believed that consent was still operative/not withdrawn (as others have said, people may not like this, but it is the law, so campaign to change it).

    Now Simon is right in saying how the alleged victim reacts afterwards cannot logically affect whether the offence was committed or not. But for the purposes of proof, her behaviour can certainly be evidence of whether elements of the offence can be made out where they are in dispute (ie whether consent was in fact withdrawn, and whether Assange knew it). Being ‘not happy’ that a condom broke (damn it!) differs from expressed doubts (I shouldnt being doing this) to a firm protest (no, stop, get the hell off me). The fact that both victims seem to have been extremely happy after the alleged rape (to the point of boasting about throwing parties for the rapist no less) suggest that consent was not really withdrawn (at least not firmly and unambiguously) and that these events can only be called rape in a very technical sense. Clearly the alleged victims know that their behaviour is not consistent with their claims themselves which is why they are trying to remove the celebratory remarks from their Facebook page or SMS records.

    Prosecutors are well aware that courtship ritia;s and sexual behaviour is not usually well-defined and clear cut – people dont sign contracts before having sex – and so use their discretion to prosecute only those cases which are sexual assault according to the spirit as well as the letter of the law. That the Swedish prosecutor seems to have done the exact reverse in this case, along with the complicit behaviour of other Western authorities (e.g. Interpol, the British judge who denied bail), can only be explained by the political pressure brought to bear by the US. People who are objecting to this behaviour are no more apologists for rape than those who criticised the Chinese Government for charging Stern Hu are apologists for bribery.

    • Simon C 24.1

      This post at Feministe describes my position well. There’s an update at the end of that post that goes into greater detail on the specific allegations against Assange.

      From the UKPA:

      “The court heard Assange is accused of using his body weight to hold her down in a sexual manner.

      The second charge alleged Assange “sexually molested” Miss A by having sex with her without a condom when it was her “express wish” one should be used.

      The third charge claimed Assange “deliberately molested” Miss A on August 18 “in a way designed to violate her sexual integrity”. The fourth charge accused Assange of having sex with a second woman, Miss W, on August 17 without a condom while she was asleep at her Stockholm home.”

      Comments, Lprent?

      • lprent 24.1.1

        I think that I’ve said it before. This post was about Marianne Ny’s actions in issuing a red notice for charges that carry minor maximum penalties. I’ve also said before that you have a habit of reading whatever you want into a single statement (in the media) without considering it. To me that appears to be a very bad habit of mindless ideological stupidity.

        Perhaps you’d care to comment on that?

        These issues are something for a court to decide and there isn’t enough information to make much of an opinion. The last court to look at this question (appeals court in Sweden in mid-november) specifically removed rape charges from the list of charges in the warrant. Since they had arguments from both sides I’d have to say that you appear to be at odds with the informed decision of a court.

        Just as an aside, how would you could equally describe the missionary position under those terms. I’m a svelte 92 kgs these days (down from 109 earlier this year) and my partner is about 66 kgs. If I’m on top does my weight constitute ‘rape’ because I ‘hold her down’ ? Probably not to me (and anyone moderately rational) but to you as far as I can see it appears that it does.

        It all depends on what had gone on before and we don’t have information about that. Quite simply you’re running an argument in the absence of any facts that you could form a judgement on. That is the action of a fool.

        Yet again I’d suggest that you read the post to see what I said and quit trying to say or infer that I’m saying something that I’m not. I’m starting to get annoyed about it.

        What I am saying is that the penalties on the actual charges brought by Ny (ie not the fantasy charges that you seem to have in your head) do not warrant using an Interpol red notice against Assange. The reasons for this unusual action and the even more unusual conditions that they have attached to it (like not being able to talk to his lawyer) smack more of a political persecution designed to remove someone from their freedom than respect for the law.

        • Simon C 24.1.1.1

          Did you read the Feministe article I linked? That’s my argument, stated by someone smarter than me.

          I feel like you’re becoming increasingly defensive here. I want to make it clear that I’m not attacking the main point of your post, nor am I accusing you of promoting or supporting rape. I’m saying that some of the things that you said in your post can be read as part of a wider narrative around this case and rape accusations in general which diminish the crime and smear the victims. As someone who (I assume) attempts to be a feminist ally, I’d have thought that would be concerning for you.

          I’m sorry if I’m not communicating this clearly.

          You’re right to say that neither of us have enough evidence to make claims about what really happened. Yet you seem to feel confident saying “It is clear you can’t call this rape”.

          As more evidence of what is alleged emerges, it seems increasingly clear to me that what is alleged is clearly rape, especially if one assumes a “consent” model of sexual relationships (as described in the Feministe post I linked). That makes it increasingly concerning to me that you do not appear to take these charges seriously.

          I share your concern about the way these charges are being prosecuted. It would be unfortunate if Assange were being targeted beyond the normal scope of the law because of his position. I hope that’s not the case, but there is some disturbing evidence suggesting that it is. However, I think it’s possible to voice those concerns without contributing to narratives around rape and rape victims which harm women.

          I think that the strongest position for the progressive movement is one of principle, rather than tribal afilliation. Is it so hard to support what Wikileaks has done, while also supporting the rights of the alleged victims to have their charges taken seriously?

          Do you stand by your statement that you “can’t call these charges rape”? I’d appreciate clarification.

          • Vicky32 24.1.1.1.1

            As a woman, Simon, I have to say that I agree not with you, but with LPrent. These women have acted, to say the least, oddly.
            The time for issues of consent to arise is before the act, not in the middle of it! Both women seem to have been pretty ‘free with their favours’ to put it in old-fashioned terms, and I have to say that such behaviour is pretty foreign to me, therefore I wonder why and how they can possibly object to anything that happened, especially since their objections were made so long after the fact. (What may have happened at the time, comes down to he said/she said, and unless either party recorded the encounters, there’s absolutely no proof of anything. What we know, reflects badly on all parties – by my standards, these women are at least, ‘slappers’… )
            Rape? Don’t be ridiculous!
            Deb

            • Simon C 24.1.1.1.1.1

              Fortunately, failing to have a penis does not automatically qualify you to pass judgement on what constitutes rape, and who gets to have their charges taken seriously.

              Out of curiosity, how many people are you allowed to sleep with before you’re not allowed to accuse someone of rape?

              • lprent

                Now you’re just getting silly.

                A court should pass judgement on what constitutes rape according to the legal definition. A swedish appeals court has already have judged that Assange did not commit rape by their legal definition because they removed that charge from those brought against him in sweden last month.

                I’m sure that won’t stop fools Fox news from claiming that the charge is rape at every opportunity. I’m also sure that it won’t stop you.

                But from where I’m sitting it is hard to see the difference between an apparent inabilities to simply read the available facts. You’d get a lot more traction if you stop interpreting shades of gray into ideological slogans

                • Simon C

                  Good point.

                  Someone nicked a bunch of CDs from my house a few years ago. The police never charged the guy, so I guess they were never stolen eh?

                  • lprent

                    Did they know who it was? Did they have sufficient evidence to sustain a charge? Or was it simply your opinion on who took them unsupported by any significant corroboration evidence?

                    Taking people to court is not done based on the act of a crime. It is done on the basis of being able to provide evidence that ties someone to committing a crime. An accusation or a suspicion is simply not enough. Otherwise I could (for instance) accuse you of being systematically incapable of logical thought and see about getting you put into some kind of care because I suspect your apparent inability to operate inside a real society.

                    I would not like to live in a society that made the principle that such accusation was sufficient to lay charges (or to get a commitment order) without corroborating evidence. This is obviously an issue with rape cases where the evidence is often not easy to find. But the same principle applies.

                    The police here will usually charge if they have enough to go to court with. And they will charge if they subsequently find additional evidence sufficient to go to court with. They will usually go to court if they have any reasonable chance of winning. Having helped a few activists who have beaten quite blatantly bogus charges, I can testify that they will take activists to court if they have any chance at all of winning a case or if they think that they can make some weird charge fit the facts (my favourite was a charge of “intimidation by loitering” for a protest outside a store selling factory farmed fur).

                    The whole point of this post is the strange way that the prosecutors (who have the charging authority in Sweden) did not have sufficient evidence to sustain charges earlier in the year and dropped the charges at that time. They already had evidence from the only three people who could have offered evidence.

                    Yet somehow in September, coincidentally just before a tight election that the center right was in danger of losing and after the US was was getting worried about these leaked documents, they suddenly manufactured ‘found’ new evidence to sustain a charge.

                    From where did they (or for that matter could have they) obtained this new ‘evidence’ and why did it take months to appear? Either the need to extract retribution got more intense or it took time to be manufactured. Either way I suspect that the Swedish justice and political systems are going to be more on trial than Assange is.

                    • Simon C

                      My point with the CDs is that, regardless of what happens in the courts, my CDs are still gone, yeah? They don’t magically return to me if I don’t get a conviction against the dude. Even if I made the whole thing up, and I just lost the CDs, what I described happening, some dude running off with my CDs, is theft. Right?

                      You don’t have to be convicted of theft to have stolen something, surely?

                      Just like, regardless of what the charges against Assange are, or how he’s being prosecuted, what the women describe being done to them is rape. Sure, it might not have happened the way they say it did, but what they’re describing, the events that they allege happen, can only be described as rape.

                      But let’s make it simple. I’ve asked you some questions, and you haven’t answered them. Here they are again:

                      Is it rape to “not comply with her appeals to stop”?

                      Does how a victim acts afterwards determine whether they were raped or not?

                      Does the political situation surrounding the events (which I agree are highly suspicious) change your answers to either of the above questions?

                  • Colonial Viper

                    Simon C, glad that this legalistic sideshow being used to extradite Assange to the US is proving entertaining to you.

                    Personally, I believe that this is a huge and contrived distraction for the benefit of the cameras (it appears as if Assange owns the most important sexual crime in front of Sweden’s criminal justice system this month), and will leave it to the civilian courts (if it ever makes it that far) to decide on his sexual guilt or innocence.

                    In the mean time its quite sporting watching you expound upon your movable fixations.

                    • Simon C

                      I guess I have the peculiar belief that rape is an important issue. Bizarre!

                    • Colonial Viper

                      100% deflection, you prefer a legalistic international sideshow like the one Assange is embroiled in, one where there are few publicly known facts only hearsay.

                      If you want to talk sexual violence seriously then lets go with how a similar case would be interpreted and managed in the NZ criminal justice system. You know, something relevant and close to home.

                      For starters, have there been any rape trials in NZ where the woman withdrew consent from her male partner part way through consensual sex. And what were the verdicts in those trials.

                    • LizR

                      Simon C, I have to agree with you – as described, those charges do indeed sound like rape. Everyone seems to be reading more into your posts than what you are actually saying, and then attacking what they say you’ve said. (This is what I believe is called a “straw man” argument…)

                      As far as I can see, Simon C’s point is simply that one particular sentence from the original article is wrong: “It is clear that you can’t call this rape despite what the prosecutors in Sweden say and has been blasted all over the US media.”

                      What is being described – the thing “you can’t call rape” – is the following:

                      Gemma Lindfield, for the Swedish authorities, told the court Assange was wanted in connection with four allegations. She said the first complainant, Miss A, said she was victim of “unlawful coercion” on the night of August 14 in Stockholm.

                      The court heard Assange is accused of using his body weight to hold her down in a sexual manner.

                      The second charge alleged Assange “sexually molested” Miss A by having sex with her without a condom when it was her “express wish” one should be used.

                      The third charge claimed Assange “deliberately molested” Miss A on August 18 “in a way designed to violate her sexual integrity”. The fourth charge accused Assange of having sex with a second woman, Miss W, on August 17 without a condom while she was asleep at her Stockholm home.

                      I’d say that the above does indeed describe rape, or rapes. Irrespective of whether the charges are pure invention or not, or of whether the involvement of Interpol is justified or not, or of anything else, the charges as described do sound like rape.

                      As far as I can see, that’s all Simon C has been saying – the reaction he’s got, I find rather interesting, not to mention a little disturbing.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      LizR when were those charges made public and the accompanying information made available? After LPRENT wrote the OP (which was based on what info was available at the time), I thought.

                    • felix

                      Thanks LizR, I’ve been trying to find words to express exactly that reading of the thread and you sum it up well.

  25. LizR 25

    “I’d be extremely interested in finding out what communication has been going on between the conservative government in Sweden before and after the election on September 19th with the government in the US.”

    So would the rest of the world – and you know where to send it (whoever you are) – so get leaking!

    It’s about time someone leaked some information on the dirty tricks campaign that is clearly being conducted against Assange by the same boring bullies who have been “running” the world for far too long, keeping their shabby little secrets while spouting about “free speech” and “democracy”.

  26. Simon C 26

    I can’t seem to reply to your post itself, Liz, so I’ll post here.

    Thanks! Yes, that is the main body of my issue with the post – that one sentence.

    I mean, I think that the entire line of argument which suggests that the charges are frivolous is unneccesary and unfortunate, given the surrounding narratives around rape. I also think it was unfortunate to repost unchallenged the defence’s use of the alleged victims’ behaviour as a mitigating factor, since it’s such a classic example of victim-blaming. Perhaps I shouldn’t expect that from the Standard though.

    But yes, the only part of the post I see as strictly inaccurate is that one sentence.

  27. flax 27

    put some activists outside her home and office asking questions about, why she wanna be in the headlight? shes just a media hungry old women with dodgy background , her aftername maens nwe? wheres her family from who is her,, pls somebody check her out, she not a NORMAL swede!

    i guess she is a jew with family ties to america or something…….

    anyway if iam wrong correct me, this dont smell well….

  28. Nibbler 28

    - I would like to clarify that there have by no means been any political pressure on my decision making. I act as a prosecutor due to suspicions of sexual crimes in Sweden in August. Swedish prosecutors are completely independent in their decision making, says Ms. Ny.

    Överåklagare Marianne Ny
    +46 31 739 41 04
    registrator.uc-goteborg@aklagare.se

  29. Thank you for a fine article debunking the Swedish charges. Another interesting thing is the USA will have trouble prosecuting Assange for his site because it’s actually been down for several days (that’s why they never moved the dns of wikileaks.org). The publisher of the Wikileaks site is now the Pirate Party of Switzerland who owns the wikileaks.ch domain name. They own the domain and they are subscribing to the servers. Plus Assange now has an alibi, he was in prison! So why does everyone keep saying Assange is the criminal.

  30. Jess 30

    I thought it was widely held, common knowledge (not just ‘obscure’ Swedish law) that to force someone to continue to have sex after they withdraw consent is sexual assault. You can’t just hold someone down and keep going when they say no or change their mind or don’t like what you’re doing and ask you to stop. Surely it’s not just the Swedes who know sexual assault when they see it?

    • Andy 30.1

      The older woman, AA, is somewhat of an expert when it comes to sexual harassment situations and sexcrimes. She was the top gender equality person on her University and have written extensivly about rape on her blogs. Among other things she wrote a piece a few years ago where she argued if sex that was started willingly by both parties could be considered rape even if the woman change her mind during the act and if – THIS IS IMPORTANT – she never told him to stop.

      Julian is not charged with rape of AA, only for exposing himself, sabotaging a condom and one more sexual molestation.

      Julian is charged with a milder form of rape of SW though. He is accused of putting his penis inside her when she were asleep early one morning, after a night of several intercourses.

      • Colonial Viper 30.1.1

        Frankly, Assange should have just kept it in his pants for a couple of months while all the action was going down, ahem, internationally, it would have been a sensible precautionary measure.

      • Elizabet Mulkerrins 30.1.2

        You know you need pretty sharp fingernails to sabotage a condom. Even with two hands it difficult.

        However, if you put it on and leave too much ar in the end, it bursts easily. So I’d be more likely to put the first incident down to accident.

        The second one, sex by surprise – (I’ve personally no objection to, although it might well be a crime in Sweden. And assuming I’d consented to sex the night before) but the real issue there is ‘did she previously consent to sex without a condom’. If she did, the accussed can reasonably have assumed she would still consent to it next morning.

        Now does anyone have any proof the prosecution was politically motivated? There is evidence for it in that a Red Notice is unheard of under these circumstances, but I’m looking for a smoking gun :/

        Its the only legal argument that will get him off the extradition.

    • prism 30.2

      Sex doesn’t tend to be a prissy shall I go first or shall you, no I’ll wait for you etc.
      The relationship should be based on an honest. straightforward emotional decision with agreement about expectations before starting, not mindless game-playing and changeability. Rationality means you don’t start something at all not start then cry rape. That’s not a healthy, adult, fair or reasonable approach and it brings disrespect to women.

      I thought that was widely held, common knowledge

  31. Alice 31

    If I would be a (Chinese) Nobel-prize winner, I would think twice before entering Sweden. A hotbed of strange avengers looking for a scalp and a skull. Among other things, the judicial system sucks and authorities are behaving badly. Fortunately, consensual sex is not (yet) a crime in the U.K. Legally (still) a precondition for extradition. Will the English court(s) bent over?
    If so, Assanges’ case will be more living prove that certain bodies within state-institutions act accordingly to what Wikileaks shows. Morally corrupt to the bone.
    The Chinese dissident and prisoner can safer stay in his cell and eat his noodles there. At least without being harassed by two Swedisch cunts. As a precaution I don’t buy Ikea Billies, because I prefer my books not in alphabetical order, but on subject and content. Crime fiction.

    • Swedish Bitch 31.1

      The Norwegian Nobel Committee in Oslo and the king of Norway presents the peace prize and it has not much to do with Sweden and the other nobel prizes so the chinese you think of could be really safe from Swedish laws.

      • Alice 31.1.1

        Britain is not Norway. Sweden is not the US. All three are in Afghanistan.
        [deleted]

        [lprent: This is a moderated site. Read the policy. Don't leave completely inane comments. ]

        • Alice 31.1.1.1

          Back to the question: Is Marianne Ny: Making an arse of Swedish law? If so, why is she making an arse of Swedish law?
          If Julian Assange was not a famous whistleblower / dissident, he would never have a ‘red notice’.
          The case is obviously political. Sweden has an interesting reputation for sex scandals and politics. Assange was warned for it and fell into the trap. Just like Mordegai Vanunu, who was kidnapped in London. Remember, U.S. State Department knows already from spring 2010 that wikileaks had the 250.000+ documents. Don’t be too surprised if the two Swedes are used (with the riduculous Law in the hand) to catch Assange on purpose. It took the U.S. a week to reach Haiti after the earthquake, but were directly on ‘red alert’ when the wikicables were presented.

  32. Amir 32

    The best and most comprehensive article I have read on the subject so far.

  33. Gabby 33

    Why hasn’t it been more widely reported that Anna Ardin is a lesbian? Her website is filled with pics of her and her girlfriend “Petra.” I also found tons of pics of her with women at a club in Sweden called the Keber Queer Club. What is a lesbian woman doing returning “early” from her out of town trip to have sex with Julian Assange? The more important point is why is this NOT being reported by ANYBODY????

    People have gotten overly politically correct. This is an important fact. It indicates this Anna Ardin person had no interest in Assange other than for setting him up for a false rape accusation. How suspicious is it to have all this material about “revenge” with her name on it. This is a scary anti-social person who should be exposed before she does more damage.

    • Carol 33.1

      There’s quite a bit on the Internet about it. There may be something in what you report, Gabby. OTOH, she could be bisexual. I’ve known women who mostly identify as lesbians, who have occasional sexual flings with men. I’ve also seen at least one woman swing from being heterosexual, to in-your-face, radical lesbian feminist, to being heterosexual again within a year or two.

      So, it seems to me Ardin’s sexuality on its own, is not proof of anything much. And there’s an element of negative stereotyping of lesbian feminists in some of the reports, too.

      • lprent 33.1.1

        Yeah, I didn’t see it as being relevant either. Sexual orientation seems more of a tendency with most people rather than an absolute from what I’ve seen of friends with varying orientations. It depends on who you’re with (and how happy you are with them) rather than anything else.

Links to post

Important links

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Food, Fossil Fuels and Filthy Finance
    It is depressingly apparent that powerful forces in the global economy are set to carry on with the exploration for and use of fossil fuels ass a primary source of energy for decades to come. Oxfam has produced a report...
    Hot Topic | 23-10
  • How low can you go? Mining the depths
    Today I made my oral submission to the Environmental Protection Authority on Chatham Rock Phosphate’s application to mine phosphate from the seabed approximately halfway between the mainland and the Chatham Island. In a nutshell this application is for the deepest...
    frogblog | 23-10
  • Surrounded sex offender still won’t come down from roof
    While they would still appreciate him coming down, police say they’re confident the man has “nowhere to hide.” After an agonising 54-year wait, it is beginning to appear as though a notorious sex offender dressed as Santa may not, in...
    The Civilian | 23-10
  • Stuart’s 100 #46 On the Way or Already There?
    46: On the Way or Already There? What if we dropped the pseudo-word “roading” from Auckland’s vernacular? Roads are on the way somewhere; streets are already somewhere. This simple difference in understanding and perspective between movement and place often results...
    Transport Blog | 23-10
  • Fed Farmers defend GE Agriculture
    Federated Farmers, which represents a minority of farmers, appears to be captured by a pro-GE clique hell bent on increasing unsustainable technologies for the benefit of the herbicide and patent controlling seed companies. That there are better more sustainable farming...
    frogblog | 23-10
  • More police misconduct
    Another day, another IPCA report - this one into a police officer who unjustifiably set a police dog to savage a surrendering suspect:A police dog was set on a man who had his hands in the air in what is...
    No Right Turn | 23-10
  • Media Link: The revolution will not be televised.
    I had the opportunity to do a long interview with Olivier Jutel, host of the Dunedin Radio One show “The revolution will not be televised.” It is a rare occasion when one gets to converse at length about a variety...
    Kiwipolitico | 23-10
  • Key spoke to Cameron Slater ‘not as Prime Minister’, but as a sponge
    Cameron Slater (left), and John Key (right), presumably in his capacity as a kitchen sponge. Facing fresh criticism about the details of his relationship with Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater, Prime Minister John Key today claimed that, on the occasions...
    The Civilian | 23-10
  • No freedom of speech in Turkey
    Musa Kart is a Turkish cartoonist. In February he published a cartoon criticising Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's cover-up of a corruption probe. Now, he's being prosecuted for it:Turkish prosecutors have filed an indictment against a famous cartoonist working for...
    No Right Turn | 23-10
  • Workers’ rights under attack
    Now that 51st Parliament has been officially opened and sworn in, the government’s first order of business is to ram through an amendment to the Employment Relations Act. These legislative changes represent a massive assault on the rights of everyday...
    On the Left | 23-10
  • Assaulted for protecting olive trees
    Villagers and activists were assaulted, handcuffed and hospitalized today while protecting olive trees at the site of a proposed coal plant in Turkey.The Kolin Group wants the olive trees cut down to make way for a new coal power plant....
    Greenpeace NZ blog | 23-10
  • Shell Oil Cowboys Caught Drilling Illegally in New Zealand
    “There be trouble in town sheriff, some cowboys is coming into town”. It could be a line from a grainy old western from our childhood (well, mine anyway) when the good, clean living people of a well to do town...
    Greenpeace NZ blog | 23-10
  • Freedom of information: How it works in Norway
    While we're all wailing and gnashing our teeth about the corruption of our Official Information Act, the Open Government Partnership has a great piece on how Norway does it better. Key to their approach is proactive publication of the metadata...
    No Right Turn | 22-10
  • Low inflation – time for meaningful wage increases
    With inflation low, now is a good time for workers to negotiate for pay increases that outstrip price rises and deliver real increases in wages and salaries. “For too many people, real pay increases have been missing for several years...
    CTU | 22-10
  • There appears to be an off button
    John Key’s ability to turn his Prime Ministership on or off as he pleases raises a number of troubling issues for the general public....
    Imperator Fish | 22-10
  • The 500 hats of Bartholomew Cubbins – the John Key edition
    It’s standard practice for Ministers and Prime Ministers to wear different “hats” in the course of their work. Work done as a Minister can obviously be separate and distinct from an MP’s ordinary functions on behalf of the constituents in their electorates....
    Occasionally erudite | 22-10
  • The many hats of John Key
    ...
    On the Left | 22-10
  • Want lower rates? Cut back on urban sprawl
    Suburban sprawl is a radical, government-led re-engineering of society, one that artificially inverted millennia of accumulated wisdom and practice in building human habitats. Charles Marohn In the recent article The Conservative Case Against the Suburbs Charles Marohn (@StrongTowns) takes on the awkward relationship...
    Transport Blog | 22-10
  • Ebola Fear outstrips risk
    It's not just that Ebola sounds like a modern day black plague and probably originated from blood sucking bats living in dark caves - reason enough for people here in the United States to react like there's a Zombie-Vampire apocalypse...
    Pundit | 22-10
  • National lets Shell drill illegally
    Back in 2012, National passed the Exclusive Economic Zone and Continental Shelf (Environmental Effects) Act. At the time, they made a lot of noise about how this was the first legislation to properly protect the EEZ, and that it would...
    No Right Turn | 22-10
  • The crime is not being rich, the crime is we don’t tax all the income tha...
    In our last blog we looked at whether the claims of ‘rock star’ economist Thomas Piketty held any water or not. Short answer is that some did, some didn’t. In this blog we turn to what we should do about...
    Gareth’s World | 22-10
  • Justice for Nisour Square
    On September 16, 2007, Blackwater mercenaries ran amok in Nisour Square, Baghdad, indiscriminately firing at civilians. 17 people were killed and 20 injured. Today, a US jury has convicted them of that crime:Three security guards working for the private US...
    No Right Turn | 22-10
  • The gentle art of believing nothing
    I remember, quite a few years ago now, Jenny Shipley addressing a room and asking the question, “What is the purpose of the National Party?” The answer was: To defeat the Labour Party. National was there to be the party...
    Occasionally erudite | 22-10
  • Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 – what really happened?
    Three months after the loss of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 over Ukraine the world is no wiser about what, and who, caused this crash. Well, we have the preliminary report but this only confirmed the bleeding obvious (“the aircraft was penetrated by a...
    Open Parachute | 22-10
  • It’s about history… & votes & elephants
    I think I'll start at the end. Andrew ended his recent post like this:...
    Pundit | 22-10
  • More than 20 jobs saved at Auckland faculty of education
    The union and TEU members at the University of Auckland have managed to reduce proposed compulsory job cuts at the faculty of education from 35 down to just two. Local TEU organiser Enzo Giordani said feisty staff with a staunch...
    Tertiary Education Union | 22-10
  • Gordon Campbell on the tokenism of New Zealand‘s role against Islamic Sta...
    Was John Key born lucky or what? Political performance tends to be judged on three things – the unemployment rate, the petrol price at the pump, and the market value of your house. This year, Key was lucky enough to...
    Gordon Campbell | 22-10
  • MIT chaos following job cut announcement
    Chaos reigns at MIT following last week’s announcement that the polytechnic will cut 68 full time equivalent jobs, according to local TEU organiser Chan Dixon. Over a thousand people have signed a petition opposing job cuts at the polytechnic. Staff are...
    Tertiary Education Union | 22-10
  • Auckland staff call for Living Wage
    The Living Wage Network held a rally and barbecue this week calling on the University of Auckland to become first New Zealand’s Living Wage university, by paying all staff, both directly employed and contracted staff, a living wage of $18.80...
    Tertiary Education Union | 22-10
  • Otago debates one off lump sum
    The University of Otago has not offered its staff a pay rise on their rates at collective agreement negotiations, opting instead to offer a one-off lump sum of $1000, which will not go ‘on the rates’. TEU members at the...
    Tertiary Education Union | 22-10
  • Speaker: David Fisher: The OIA arms race
    Good afternoon everyone. I am David Fisher, a reporter with the New Zealand Herald. I have worked as a journalist for 25 years, mainly in New Zealand but across a number of other countries.I think there's some value before I...
    Public Address | 22-10
  • Employment law first act of new government
    As the prime minister promised, his government has rushed to push through its Employment Relations Amendment Bill as one of its very first actions this week. The bill, which union members and workers have actively opposed for the last year,...
    Tertiary Education Union | 22-10
  • 7 inspiring stories of communities taking action for climate
    Stories of communities taking action for the climate and refusing to accept the plans of polluting fossil fuel companies are happening more and more. Here are just a few inspiring climate acts of courage taken by doctors, villagers, students, farmers,...
    Greenpeace NZ blog | 22-10
  • Blowin’ in the wind
    Wind power has a pivotal role to play in the world's energy supply over the next few years. By providing huge amounts of clean, affordable power, it can buy us time in the fight against global warming while revolutions in...
    Greenpeace NZ blog | 22-10
  • Wanted: more fertiliser and horse manure
    Equality enriches the soil, just like manure, but a lot less stinky (For our opening week, we asked all our contributors to think about why they’re On The Left, and what the next three years holds for the left, the...
    On the Left | 22-10
  • PM gets it right about Auckland, mostly
    Prime Minister John Key is dead right when he said: First home buyers in Auckland might have to consider an apartment in order to get onto the property ladder, Prime Minister John Key says. After all, the locational efficiencies of...
    Transport Blog | 22-10
  • John Key’s Multiple Identities
    Question to the Prime MinisterRussel Norman: How many times since November 2008 has he spoken with Cameron Slater on the phone and how many times, if any, has he txted him?Prime Minister: None in my capacity as Prime Minister.John Key...
    Local Bodies | 22-10
  • Where is the Middle?
    When Labour decides who will be the next leader, it is of interest to all of us involved in politics. After all the person chosen could be New Zealand's next Prime Minister. So the debate on the nature of the...
    Pundit | 22-10
  • Labour Needs A Civil Union With The Greens
    Much has been written about where Labour needs to go from here. One issue which doesn’t seem to have generated much interest is what do they do with the Greens?...
    Pundit | 22-10
  • More Latté Than Lager: Reflections on Grant Robertson’s Campaign Lau...
    The People's Flag Is ... Mint Green? Grant Robertson and Jacinda Ardern (whom Twitter immediately dubbed Gracinda) pose in Mint Green for one of the glossy women's magazines. In a non-revolutionary era, superficial is about as deep as it gets. BIKERS?...
    Bowalley Road | 22-10
  • Auckland’s disturbing panopticon
    Earlier in the month, we learned that Auckland was planning to install a creepy panopticon, complete with ANPR and facial recognition, for vague and undefinied purposes. This produced a flurry of OIA requests via FYI, and one of them (for...
    No Right Turn | 22-10
  • How to Sell a House: Free Advice from a couple of experts. (Self-Described!...
      In the 32 years that Judy and I have been together we have bought and sold quite a few houses. Six years is the longest we  lived in any one of those houses.  Our friends regard us as gypsies. The...
    Brian Edwards | 22-10
  • Judith Collins’ two-tier OIA service
    Back in August, we learned that sewerblogger Cameron Slater was receiving extraordinary OIA service from then-Minister of Justice Judith Collins, in one case receiving a response to a request within 37 minutes. But it wasn't just extraordinary for its speed;...
    No Right Turn | 22-10
  • Fluoridation – a racist conspiracy?
    Political activists campaigning on health issues often resort to scaremongering. This can be dangerous – especially when their stories have no real basis but rely on selective and distorted information. Paul Connett’s Fluoride Action Network (FAN) often resorts to this sort of scaremongering. Now...
    Open Parachute | 22-10
  • What have people in Africa been doing since the Ebola outbreak started?
    by Andy Warren In a word – dying.  But not from Ebola. According to WHO data it looks like this: However, fear and anxiety are the sexiest ingredients of any story today – rather than boring facts. Ebola fits perfectly...
    Redline | 22-10
  • What have people in Africa been doing since the Ebola outbreak started?
    by Andy Warren In a word – dying.  But not from Ebola. According to WHO data it looks like this: However, fear and anxiety are the sexiest ingredients of any story today – rather than boring facts. Ebola fits perfectly...
    Redline | 22-10
  • Unbelieveable
    This week we've seen the Prime Minister desperately trying to cover up his war plans by pretending that Obama's war-planning meeting was just a "regular" meeting of defence partners which we just happened to be attending. Over on Kiwipolitico Pablo...
    No Right Turn | 22-10
  • Are the police using ANPR to target the disabled?
    The media this morning is full of stories of the paralysed man caught driving using a walking stick to reach the pedals. Its good that he's off the road, but there's one point in the story which raises questions:The driver...
    No Right Turn | 22-10
  • Like a cult…
    When a party loses badly, the public expects a bit of sorrowful wailing and beating of breasts. To say “This is what we did wrong, and this is how we’ll fix it” is an important part of restoring trust with...
    Occasionally erudite | 21-10
  • Does Money make Money?
    ‘Rock star economist’ or ‘inequality messiah’ French economist Thomas Piketty’s book Capital in the Twenty First Century has outsold every other book on the planet this year. The book is so popular because it floats the idea that money makes...
    Gareth’s World | 21-10
  • How low can you go? Mining the depths
    The company says there will be economic benefits, which the EEZ Act says the EPA must consider, but even these benefits are in doubt. The royalties while not set will be tiny, the profits will flow offshore, and whatever phosphate...
    Greens | 23-10
  • Fed Farmers defend GE Agriculture
    Federated Farmers, which represents a minority of farmers, appears to be captured by a pro-GE clique hell bent on increasing unsustainable technologies for the benefit of the herbicide and patent controlling seed companies. That there are better more sustainable farming...
    Greens | 23-10
  • Government loses the affordable housing race
    Nick Smith is dreaming if he thinks he can deliver affordable housing to Cantabrians on his current figures, says Labour’s Associate Housing spokesperson Poto Williams. “The Minister’s announcement that the Government will build 237 new homes, most of which will...
    Labour | 23-10
  • Labour’s thoughts with Canadians
    Labour has offered its sympathies to the family and friends of the Canadian soldier who died in what appears to be a premeditated and unprovoked attack while standing at guard at the Ottawa National War Memorial. “Our thoughts are also...
    Labour | 23-10
  • What next for TVNZ? Outsourcing the news?
    Television New Zealand’s decision to outsource Māori and Pacific programming is a real blow to the notion that our state broadcaster is a public broadcaster, says Labour. “CEO Kevin Kenrick has said today that TVNZ has ‘a very long and...
    Labour | 22-10
  • Green Party expresses sympathy for Canadian shooting victims
    The Green Party expressed its solidarity with Canadians and the Canadian Parliament today, offering its sympathy for family and friends of the soldier killed in the attack. "Our thoughts are with all those caught up in the shooting in Canada...
    Greens | 22-10
  • Prime Minister must honour his promise
    It’s time for John Key to honour his promise to the Pike River families, says Labour MP Damien O’Connor.  “International mine experts have confirmed the view of WorkSafe New Zealand and many miners on the West Coast that it is...
    Labour | 22-10
  • EPA finds Shell Oil illegally drilled two wells
    The Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) has concluded that Shell Todd Oil Services (STOS) broke the law by drilling two wells without a marine consent off the coast of Taranaki, the Green Party said today. The EPA conducted an inspection of...
    Greens | 22-10
  • Soaring rail use in Auckland shows need for rail link now
    News that Aucklanders overtook Wellingtonians as the biggest train users is further evidence the Government needs to start work on the Auckland City Rail Link now, the Green Party said today.Auckland Transport said today that in the year to September,...
    Greens | 22-10
  • Tea breaks gone by lunch time
    Labour is calling for an eleventh hour reprieve to employment law changes which could see thousands of Kiwi workers not covered by collective agreements lose their smoko breaks, its spokesperson on Labour Issues Andrew Little says.“How cynical that on the...
    Labour | 21-10
  • Metiria Turei to lead fight on feeding hungry children
    Green Party Co-leader Metiria Turei is urging all political parties to support the Feed the Kids Bill which she inherited today from Mana leader Hone Harawira.Mrs Turei, who leads the Green Party's work on child poverty, will pick up Mr...
    Greens | 21-10
  • Otago dairy farms fail basics
    I’m really privileged to take on the responsibility of the water portfolio. Eugenie Sage has done excellent work in this area in the last term of parliament and provided a great platform for further work. Last Parliament my bill to...
    Greens | 21-10
  • A mighty totara has fallen across the Tasman
    The New Zealand Labour Party expresses deep sadness at the death of former Australian prime minister Gough Whitlam, aged 98. “Today a great totara has fallen across the Tasman,” Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says....
    Labour | 21-10
  • Note to National: Must deliver on child poverty
    John Key and his Government will be held to its promise to make child poverty a priority, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “In its priority-setting speech today the Government stated child poverty would be a major focus for...
    Labour | 21-10
  • New Analysis show Government cut tertiary education funding
    New analysis done by the Green Party today shows the Government has made cuts to funding of tertiary education since 2008.Figures compiled by the Parliamentary Library show that between 2009 and 2015 Government funding to Tertiary Institutions dropped by 4...
    Greens | 21-10
  • Students doing it tough as fees rise again
    The Government is making it increasingly difficult for Kiwis to gain tertiary education as fees continue to rise and access to student support becomes even more restricted, Labour’s Tertiary Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Steven Joyce is shutting a generation...
    Labour | 20-10
  • Key misled New Zealand on Iraq deployment
      John Key was misleading New Zealanders prior to the election when he ruled out New Zealand special forces being deployed to Iraq, says Labour Defence Spokesperson Phil Goff.  “Post-election he has cynically disregarded that by saying that deployment of...
    Labour | 20-10
  • Swearing about swearing the oath
    Yesterday, I was swearing. Swearing the Parliamentary oath, that is. But, under my breath, I was also quietly swearing about the archaic, colonial form of that oath and its inappropriateness for today’s Aotearoa New Zealand. To be permitted to speak...
    Greens | 20-10
  • Damning report on Ruataniwha dam numbers
    When I presented my submission to the Board of Inquiry on the Tukituki Catchment Proposal I compared the proposed 83 metre high Ruataniwha dam with the Clyde Dam and noted the risk of cost blowouts in the construction process.  The...
    Greens | 20-10
  • Church congratulated on child poverty stand
    The efforts by the bishops of the Anglican Church to ensure that the issue of child poverty is not forgotten is a call to all New Zealanders to take action, says Labour’s Interfaith-Dialogue Spokesperson, Su’a William Sio.   “I think...
    Labour | 19-10
  • Labour names Review Team
    Labour’s New Zealand Council has appointed Bryan Gould as Convenor of its post-General Election Review.  He will be joined on the Review Team by Hon Margaret Wilson, Stacey Morrison and Brian Corban (see further biographical details here). The Review Team...
    Labour | 19-10
  • Labour backs urban development plans
    Auckland Council’s plan to set up an urban development agency is to be applauded and central government should get behind it to make it a success, Labour’s Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford says. Auckland Council CEO Stephen Town has indicated plans...
    Labour | 18-10
  • New Zealand can be rightly proud of seat on Security Council
    Gaining a seat on the United Nation’s Security Council shows the sort of standing that New Zealand has in the world and the quality of the long campaign that we ran over nearly a decade, says Foreign Affairs spokesperson David...
    Labour | 16-10
  • NZ has opportunity on UN Security Council
    New Zealand has an opportunity to make a major contribution to the strengthening of international law and institutional capacity through its upcoming two-year tenure on the United Nations Security Council, Green Party spokesperson on global affairs, Dr Kennedy Graham said...
    Greens | 16-10
  • MPI still dragging the chain over causes of food bug
    The Ministry of Primary Industries’ release of Environmental Science and Research’s initial reports regarding the sources of a nasty stomach bug will be little comfort to the 127 people affected by it, Labour’s Food Safety spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “This...
    Labour | 16-10
  • Treasury officials should try working without food
    The Green Party is challenging Treasury officials to work for a week without eating properly, in light of their advice to Government that a food in schools programme is not needed."Treasury's advice was that providing food for children in schools...
    Greens | 15-10
  • Councils need to better protect our drinking water
    Environment Canterbury (ECan) is proposing several variations to its regional land and water plan that will allow for increased nutrient and other pollution from irrigation and intensive agriculture on the Canterbury Plains. Commissioners are hearing submissions on Variation 1 to...
    Greens | 15-10
  • National needs to commit to making NZ workers safe
    The National Government must do more to help make New Zealand workplaces a safer place to work in, Green Party industrial relations spokesperson Denise Roche said today.Data released by Statistics New Zealand today showed that workers in the fishing and...
    Greens | 15-10
  • Key commits to deployment before consultation or analysis
    John Key’s offer to consult Opposition parties on whether to deploy New Zealand forces against ISIS looks increasingly like a PR exercise only, says Labour’s Defence spokesperson, Phil Goff. “The presence of New Zealand’s Chief of Defence Force at a...
    Labour | 15-10
  • National must end ideological opposition to raising income
    If John Key is serious about tackling child poverty he must approach it with an open mind, and overcome his ideological block to raising incomes as a solution, the Green Party said today.Papers released to Radio New Zealand today show...
    Greens | 14-10
  • Pentagon links climate change and terrorism
    Yesterday the Pentagon launched a plan to deal with a threat that “poses immediate risks to national security”; one that “will affect the Department of Defense’s ability to defend the nation”. It wasn’t referring to Ebola or ISIS. It was...
    Greens | 14-10
  • Four Nominees for Labour’s Leadership
    As at 5pm today four valid nominations had been received for the position of Labour Leader, as follows: Andrew Little(nominated by Poto Williams and Iain Lees-Galloway) Nanaia Mahuta(nominated by Louisa Wall and Su’a William Sio) David Parker(nominated by Damien O’Connor...
    Labour | 14-10
  • Green Party calls for consultation over terrorism law changes
    The Green Party has today written to the Prime Minister asking him to engage in wider consultation prior to changing any laws as a result of the recently announced terrorism law reviews, said the Green Party today. In a letter...
    Greens | 14-10
  • MPI must name product and supermarket chain
    The Ministry of Primary Industries must name the product responsible for severe gastroenteritis affecting people around the country, and the supermarket chain distributing it, Labour’s Food Safety spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “The Ministry seems to be more concerned about protecting...
    Labour | 13-10
  • John Key dishonest about reasons for wanting to change terrorism law
    John Key is misleading the public to push through terrorism law changes under urgency, the Green Party said today. On Sunday, John Key stated that it is not illegal for someone to fight overseas for a terrorist group, such as...
    Greens | 12-10
  • Law changes shaping up to be worse than first thought
    The Prime Minister needs to be up front about exactly what changes he is planning to make to the Employment Relations  Amendment Bill, Labour's spokesperson on Labour Issues Andrew Little says.Interviewed on Q&A yesterday John Key said he did not...
    Labour | 12-10
  • Rapists, not Tinder, the threat to women
    Blame for rape and sexual assault should only ever be laid at the door of the perpetrator, not dating services or the actions of women themselves, Labour’s Associate Police spokesperson Kelvin Davis says. “Tinder is not the problem and women...
    Labour | 09-10
  • Safer Journeys For People Who Cycle
    You have a rare opportunity to tell the people who are making the decisions on cycling how to make it better. The Cycling Safety Panel is seeking feedback on their draft recommendations for improving the safety of cycling in New...
    Greens | 08-10
  • Subsidising more pollution will undermine water clean-up plan at Te Waihora...
    In 2010, NIWA found Canterbury’s Te Waihora/Lake Ellesmere had the worst nutrient status of 140 lakes around New Zealand that it measured. In 2011, the National Government committed to spending $15 million across the country through the Fresh Start for...
    Greens | 08-10
  • Adding value not herbicides
    The HT swedes, and other brassicas, might seem like a good idea to farmers struggling against weeds but like the GE road, is this the path we want our agriculture to be treading? The Federated Farmers President, Dr William Rolleston...
    Greens | 07-10
  • ‘Blame the Planner’ bizarre approach to child poverty
    The National Government is stooping to a bizarre new low in blaming "planning processes" for poverty and inequality, after spending six years doing nothing about either the housing market or child poverty, the Green Party said today. Finance Minister Bill...
    Greens | 07-10
  • Media Advisory
    MANA Leader, Hone Harawira will not be available to speak with media today regarding his release “Recount Just One Step To restoring Credibility”. He is however available for media comment tomorrow, Tuesday the 8th of October, all media arrangements are...
    Mana | 07-10
  • RECOUNT JUST ONE STEP TO RESTORING CREDIBILITY
    “I have applied for a judicial recount of the votes in the Tai Tokerau election because it is one step in trying to restore credibility to the electoral process in the north, and, I suspect, in all other Maori electorates...
    Mana | 07-10
  • MANA SEEKS TAI TOKERAU RECOUNT
    The MANA Movement is supporting Leader Hone Harawira’s application for a judicial re-count in the Te Tai Tokerau electorate for the 2014 general election. President Lisa McNab says there are a number of serious issues of concern regarding the ability...
    Mana | 07-10
  • MANA to fight mass privatisation of state housing
    Announcements over the past 12 hours from the Minister responsible for Housing New Zealand, Bill English, and Minister for Social Housing, Paula Bennett, make clear the government’s intention for the mass privatisation of state housing. This comes during the middle...
    Mana | 07-10
  • Journalists have right to protect sources
    Legal authorities must respect the right of journalist Nicky Hager to protect the source of his material for his Dirty Politics book under Section 68 of the Evidence Act, Acting Labour Leader David Parker says. “It is crucial in an...
    Labour | 06-10
  • It shouldn’t take the Army to house the homeless
    National’s move to speed up its state house sell-off shows it is bankrupt of new ideas, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “National has been in office for six years, yet the housing crisis has got worse every month and...
    Labour | 06-10
  • Government must lift social housing supply, not shuffle the deck chairs
    National's decision to shift the state provision of housing to third parties is a smokescreen for the Government decreasing the provision of affordable housing, the Green Party said today."What National should be doing is increasing the supply of both social...
    Greens | 06-10
  • Election 2014 – the final count
    While we have to wait for the final booth level counts we can now see how well we did in the specials and look at electorate level data. First off special votes (and disallowed/recounted votes etc). There was a change...
    Greens | 06-10
  • We need more houses, not Ministers
    The Government’s decision to have three housing Ministers will create a dog’s breakfast of the portfolio and doesn’t bode well for fixing the country’s housing crisis, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “New Zealanders need more houses, not more Ministers....
    Labour | 05-10
  • 5AA Australia – NZ on UN Security Council + Dirty Politics Lingers On
    5AA Australia: Selwyn Manning and Peter Godfrey deliver their weekly bulletin Across The Ditch. General round up of over night talkback issues: Thongs, Jandals and flip-flops… ISSUE 1: New Zealand has been successful in its campaign to become a non...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • When I mean me, I mean my office & when I call whaleoil I mean not as m...
    This. Is. Ludicrous. Green Party co-leader Russel Norman put the first of what are likely to be many questions about Mr Key’s relationship with Slater, asking him how many times he had phoned or texted the blogger since 2008. “None...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • A brief word on describing the Government as ‘boring and bland’
    The narrative being sown is that this Government will be a boring and bland third term. Boring and bland. Since the election, Key has announced he is privatising 30% of state houses without reinvesting any of that money back into housing society’s most...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • More Latté Than Lager: Reflections on Grant Robertson’s Campaign Launch.
    BIKERS? SERIOUSLY! Had Grant Robertson’s campaign launch been organised by Phil Goff? Was this a pitch for the votes of what few Waitakere Men remain in the Labour Party? Was I even at the right place? Well, yes, I was....
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • About Curwen Ares Rolinson
    Curwen Ares Rolinson – Curwen Ares Rolinson is a firebrand young nationalist presently engaged in acts of political resistance deep behind enemy lines amidst the leafy boughs of Epsom. He is affiliated with the New Zealand First Party; although his...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • About Kelly Ellis
    Kelly Ellis.Kelly Ellis – As a child, Kelly Ellis didn’t so much fall into the cracks, but willfully wriggled her way into them. Ejected from Onslow College – a big job in the 70s – Kelly worked in car factories,...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • About Kate Davis
    Kate Davis.Kate Davis – Having completed her BA in English and Politics, Kate is now starting her MA. Kate works as a volunteer advocate at Auckland Action Against Poverty and previously worked for the New Zealand Prostitutes Collective. Kate writes...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • Parker does a Shearer – oh for a Labour Leader who can challenge msm fals...
    Sigh. It seems David Parker has done a Shearer… Like a cult and too red – Parker on LabourLabour leadership contender David Parker says Labour borders on feeling like “a cult” and must look at its branding – including its...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • A brief word on the hundreds of millions NZ is spending on the secret intel...
    The enormity of the mass surveillance state NZ Government’s have built carries a huge price tag… Kiwis pay $103m ‘membership fee’ for spyingThe $103 million taxpayer funding of New Zealand’s intelligence agencies is effectively a membership fee for joining the...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • Where. Is. Jason. Ede?
    Where. Is. Jason. Ede?...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • Labour’s Din of Inequity
    Watching Labour’s leadership candidates on Q+A on Sunday, I noticed the ongoing use of terms like “opportunity” and “aspiration”, and “party of the workers”. What do these mean? We glean much from Labour, and from the media about Labour, but not...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • “Blue-Greenwash” fails the test when it comes to endangered dolphins
    National’s pre-election promises saw some wins for the environment – perhaps as the party sought to appease its “Blue-Green” voters and broaden its popular appeal. Some of the ecological gains were a long time in the making, overdue even– such...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • Reasons not to be cheerful, Part #272b
    Why don’t you get back into bed? The next few years — the rest of this century — are not going to be pretty. There is an obvious disconnect between any remaining political ambition to fix climate change and the...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • OIA protocols and official advice ignored to hide Child Poverty
    It might not seem so now, but child poverty was a major election issue. What a pity we did not have the full debate. In that debate it would have been very helpful to have seen the Ministry of Social...
    The Daily Blog | 20-10
  • Previewing the 4 candidates for Leader of the Labour Party
    The extraordinary outbursts by Shearer last week highlights just how toxic that Caucus is. Shearer was on every major media platform as the ABC attack dog tearing into Cunliffe in the hope of diminishing Cunliffe’s support of Little by tearing...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Kate Davis – the sudden explosion of ‘left’ blogs
    Time to Teach or more people will suffer from P.A.I.D. Political And Intellectual Dysmorphia.I was on the Twitter and a guy followed me so of course I did the polite thing and followed him back. He wrote a blog so...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • Ego vs Eco
    Ego vs Eco...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • We can’t let the Roastbuster case slip away
    Those of us (like me) left with hope that the police would aggressively follow through on the large amount of evidence on offer to them (let’s not forget they forgot they even had some at one point) in the Roastbusters...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • Food, shelter and medicine instead of bombs and bullets
    The on-going conflict across the Middle East – due in large part to the US-led invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq – has created another humanitarian crisis of biblical proportion. The essentials of life are desperately needed in Iraq and Syria...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • The politics of electorate accommodations
    National’s electorate accommodations with ACT and United Future were a big factor in it winning re-election. Interestingly, there is another electorate accommodation scenario whereby the centre-left could have come out on top, even with the same distribution of party votes....
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • Why you should join the TPPA Action on 8 November
    On 8 November 2014, thousands of Kiwis will take part in the International Day of Action to protest the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA). The rally cry for us is TPPA – Corporate Trap, Kiwis Fight Back. Why should you join...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • GUEST BLOG – Patrick O’Dea: no new coal mines
    Green Party and Mana Party policy is “NO NEW COAL MINES!” Auckland Coal Action is trying to put this policy into action on the ground. ACA after a hard fought two year campaign waged alongside local residents and Iwi, in...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • Comparing Police action – Hager raid vs Roast Buster case
    This satire had the NZ Police contact TDB and threaten us with 6months in prison for using their logo.   The plight of Nicky Hager and the draconian Police actions against him has generated over  $53 000 in donations so...
    The Daily Blog | 18-10
  • Malala Yousafzai, White Saviour Complexes and Local Resistance
    Last week, Malala Yousafzai was the co-recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize. Since her exposure to the worldwide spotlight, her spirit, wisdom and strength have touched the hearts of people everywhere. However, there have been cynics who have argued that...
    The Daily Blog | 18-10
  • Jason Ede is back – but no media can interview him?
    Well, well, well. Jason Ede, the main figure connected to John Key’s office and the Dirty Politics black ops is back with a company with deep ties to the National Party. One thing you can say about the right –...
    The Daily Blog | 18-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Curwen Rolinson – Leadership Transitions In Other Parties: A ...
    As cannot have escaped anyone’s attention by now, the country is presently in the grips of an election and campaign that will help determine the fate of the nation for years to come. It’s gripping stuff – with clear divides...
    The Daily Blog | 17-10
  • SkyCity worker says she faces losing her house
    SkyCity worker Carolyn Alpine told the company annual shareholder’s meeting today that she faced the prospect of losing her house because the company had cut her shifts from two a week to one without consultation. The solo mother, has worked...
    The Daily Blog | 17-10
  • Greg O’Connor’s latest push to arm cops & 5 reasons not to
    I was wondering at what point within a 3rd term of National that Police Cheerleader Greg O’Connor would start trying to demand cops be armed. O’Connor must have thought to himself, ‘if bloody Key can get us and the GCSB vast new...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • You can’t have crisis without ISIS
    So the new scary bogeyman ISIS might have chemical weapons that the US secretly found in Iraq, but America didn’t want to expose this find because the WMDs were actually built and made by the US and Europe, the two powers...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • NZ WINS UN SPIN THE BOTTLE! Privately sucking up to America for a decade me...
    Oh, we are loved! Little old NZ, the 53rd state of America after Israel and Australia, gets to sit at the adults table for the special dinner party that is the UN Security Council. How delightful, a decade of privately...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • MEDIA BLOG – Myles Thomas – A World Without Advertising
    Non-commercial broadcasting and media. It’s a solution for all manner of problems ailing our tender nation… voter engagement, unaccountable governance, apathy, stupefaction, public education, science in schools, arts appreciation, cultural cringe… But no-one could’ve guessed that non-commercial media might solve...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • March against war – 2pm Saturday 25th October
    March against war – 2pm Saturday 25th October...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • Whack a mole as US govt foreign policy
    Whack-A-Mole was a popular arcade game from my youth.  It consisted of a waist high cabinet with holes in the top. Plastic moles seemingly randomly pop out of these holes. The purpose of the game was to hit as many...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • In Paean of Debt
    This week is ‘Money Week’. It’s an opportunity to promote to the middle classes, and anyone else who will listen, the virtues of wise ‘investment’. The aims are to promote the mystical (and indeed mythical) virtues of saving for the...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • The last 48 hours – Poverty denial, war denial and unapologetic abuse of ...
    The bewildering speed of events that simply end in Key shrugging and proclaiming he doesn’t really give a shit is coming think and fast as the Government suddenly appreciate the full spectrum dominance they now enjoy. Here is Radio NZ...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Pat O’Dea – Mana 2.0 Rebooted
    Internationally the news is that Evo Morales of Bolivia won big with Left Wing policies But what are the chances that the Left will make a resurgence in this country? As the internecine struggles between the Left and the Right...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • The Blomfield IPCA letter – Has Dirty Politics leaked into the NZ Police ...
    It’s difficult to know what to make of the IPCA letter to Matthew Blomfield over Slater’s continued insistence that the hard drive taken from Matthew wasn’t stolen.  Slater has selectively cherry picked the Police referring back to his claim that Blomfeild perjured...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • ​Media release: Rail and Maritime Transport Union – Auckland move for K...
    The Rail and Maritime Transport Union is questioning a KiwiRail proposal to progressively relocate its Zero Harm personnel from Wellington to Auckland. “The purpose of the Zero Harm team is to drive KiwiRail’s performance in health and safety.  Rail is a...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • Amnesty International – Friend request from an IS militant
    There’s always that one person, that one Facebook friend, usually a musician or event promoter, who, when you so foolishly accept their friend request, will completely inundate your news feed with copious event invitations and promotions. The person who, despite...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • NZ should follow the UK and recognize the Palestinian state
    Over the past two weeks, the United Kingdom and Sweden have made headlines through their decisions to recognize the state of Palestine. They are hardly the first nations to do so. Indeed, 134 countries have, in various ways, given formal...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • The Discordant Chimes of Freedom: Why Labour has yet to be forgiven.
    WHY DOES THE ELECTORATE routinely punish Labour and the Greens for their alleged “political correctness” but not National? It just doesn’t seem fair. Consider, for example, the Crimes (Substituted Section 59) Amendment Act 2007 – the so-called “anti-smacking legislation” –...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • Hosking or Henry – Which right wing crypto fascist clown do you want to w...
    So Mediaworks are finally going to make some actual money from their eye watering contract with Paul Henry by launching a new multi-platform Breakfast show over TV, Radio and internet. This is great news for Campbell Live who have dodged...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • Families need more money to reduce child poverty
    Prime Minister John Key is mistaken to rule out extending the In Work Tax Credit to all poor children (The Nation 11th Oct) and Child Poverty Action Group challenges government advisors to come up with a more cost effective way...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Kelly Ellis – Don’t shit on my dream
    Once were dreamers. A large man, walks down the road and, even from 200 yards there’s light showing between his big arms and bigger body. It’s as if he’s put tennis balls under his arms. Two parking wardens walk out...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • Labour and ‘special interests’
    The media narrative of Labour is that it is unpopular because it’s controlled by ‘special interests’. This ‘special interests’ garbage is code for gays, Maoris, wimin and unionists. We should show that argument the contempt it deserves. The next Labour...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part Ru...
    . . Continued from: Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part Tahi) . National’s housing development project: ‘Gateway’ to confusion . Perhaps nothing better illustrates National’s lack of a coherent housing programme than the ‘circus’ that is...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • Here’s what WINZ are patronisingly saying to people on welfare when they ...
    Yesterday, a case manager from WINZ called to tell me that I needed to “imagine what I would do if I did not have welfare”. I replied “Well, I guess if I couldn’t live at home, I would be homeless.”...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • David Shearer’s ‘no feminist chicks’ mentality highlights all that is...
    Mr Nasty pays a visit Shearer’s extraordinary outburst last night on NZs favourite redneck TV, The Paul Henry Show, is a reminder of all that is wrong within the Labour Caucus right now… He said the current calls for a female or...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • Greenpeace 1 – Shell 0
    Greenpeace 1 – Shell 0...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Kate Davis – A Tale Of Two Cities
    Sunday was surreal. I went for a drive and ended up in a different country. It wasn’t intentional but those days of too many literally intertextual references seldom are. There is no doubt that the Sunday drive this week had...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • Unanimously Call for Commissioner to Arm Police Full Time
    In the wake of a series of recent armed offender incidents, delegates to the Police Association Annual Conference today called unanimously on the Commissioner to arm Police full time....
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • Bank gets behind NZ wildlife icon with sizable donation
    It will be easier than ever this summer for holiday-markers to dip into their pockets to support the yellow-eyed penguin....
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • WorkSafe report raises concerns about asbestos
    The union representing construction workers in the Canterbury rebuild is surprised at WorkSafe’s conclusion that no action needs to be taken against EQC and Fletcher EQR over asbestos exposure in Canterbury homes. “This report was an opportunity...
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • Union accuses SkyCity CEO of misleading public
    Unite Union has accused SkyCity CEO Nigel Morrison of misleading the public over the cut in hours for a staff member who raised the issue at the company's AGM....
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • Last Hurrah on the Taxpayer
    Responding to the NZ Herald report that Hone Harawira spent up $54,000 on the taxpayer in his last three months as an MP, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan Williams says: “It is absolutely disgraceful that an MP managed to rack...
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • Press statement in relation to search of Nicky Hager’s home
    On 2 October 2014, Nicky Hager's home in Wellington was searched by police. Mr Hager asserted that documents kept at his house were protected by privilege, including because they contained information that might identify confidential sources....
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • The Sam Simon arrives into Auckland for new campaign
    This morning Sea Shepherd ship, the Sam Simon, arrived into Auckland harbour after its journey from Melbourne. The ship and its 25 crew from around the globe have come to New Zealand to source supplies and prepare for the upcoming...
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Low inflation – time for meaningful wage increases
    With inflation low, now is a good time for workers to negotiate for pay increases that outstrip price rises and deliver real increases in wages and salaries. “For too many people, real pay increases have been missing for several years...
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Auckland Rates Rises Out of Control
    Responding to the NZ Herald report that Auckland ratepayers will face an average of a 29 percent rates increase, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan Williams says: “These rate rises show that Len Brown's spending is out of control.”...
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Protest at New Plymouth Oil and Gas Expo
    About 30 protesters from Climate Justice Taranaki, Frack-free Kapiti, Te Uru Pounamu Action Group, Oil Free Wellington, Frack-free Manawatu and the east coast protested yesterday outside New Plymouth's biennial Oil and Gas Expo at the TSB Stadium....
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • FMA warns consumers about cold-calling investment offers
    The Financial Markets Authority (FMA) is warning New Zealand consumers and investors to be wary of cold-calls asking them to buy shares or put their money into offshore firms....
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Comprehensive plan needed to end child poverty
    Child Poverty Action Group says it is vital the newly re-elected National government takes a planned and comprehensive approach to reducing child poverty in New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Metiria Gets Feed the Kids
    Yesterday the Speaker of the House advised that he had accepted my request to transfer my Feed the Kids (Education (Breakfast and Lunch Programmes in Schools) Amendment) Bill to Metiria Turei of the Green Party....
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • DIA undercover investigation leads to jailing
    An undercover Internal Affairs investigation has led to a Hastings man being jailed for three and half years....
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Call on Minister McCully to pursue the case of Balibo Five
    Media Information: Call on Minister McCully to pursue the case of journalist Gary Cunningham and the Balibo Five...
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Australia and NZ actions on press freedoms alarming
    Global support for investigative journalism in Australia and New Zealand is a welcome response to law changes and a police raid, says the Pacific Freedom Forum...
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Call for release of French journalists in West Papua
    West Papua Action Auckland, the EPMU Print and Media Council and the NZ Media Freedom Network call on the Minister of Foreign Affairs to speak out in support of the two French TV journalists whose trial has just begun in...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Court of Appeal: Dotcom v 20th Century Fox Film Corporation
    A The appeal is dismissed. B The 20 August 2014 order of the High Court dealing with confidentiality and the 29 August 2014 order of this Court dealing with confidentiality are set aside. C The confidentiality orders set out in...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Glassons Blasted For Glamourising Animal Cruelty
    Clothing brand Glassons have found themselves embroiled in another controversy after launching a new advert featuring a girl riding a bull. Animal advocacy organisation SAFE have asked them to remove the ad immediately as it glamourises animal cruelty....
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Smuggling honey into New Zealand isn’t sweet
    Smuggling honey into New Zealand isn’t sweet Federated Farmers Bee Industry Group applauds the tough line taken by Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) Border Staff at Auckland Airport. In deporting the couple found trying to smuggle bee products...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Taxpayers’ Union Responds to Joyce on Corporate Welfare
    Responding to Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce’s defence of corporate welfare , Jim Rose, the author of Monopoly Money , a Taxpayers Union report on corporate welfare since 2008, says:...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Speech from the Throne brings welcome focus on children
    Today’s speech from the Throne confirms the Government’s focus on children, youth and their families in the areas of health, education, youth employment, poverty alleviation and Whānau Ora; now the challenge is to ensure every child in New Zealand...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • John’s Job Fairs no fix for unemployment and poverty
    “John Key has clearly been looking to the US for his latest bright idea on dealing with employment issues,” says Auckland Action Against Poverty coordinator Sue Bradford. “Job fairs where the desperately unemployed queue in their corporate best to compete...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Speech From the Throne Foreshadows More Corporate Welfare
    Responding to the Governor General’s Speech from the Throne, which outlined that the Government’s intentions for the next Parliamentary term would include further Business Growth Agenda initiatives, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Green MP to speak at panel on Rainbow Mental Health
    Hamilton, New Zealand: Recently re-elected Green Party MP Jan Logie will be a guest speaker at a panel on the mental health of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Trangender, Takataapui and Intersex people taking place on November 1st as part of the...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Evidence Supports GE Moratorium
    Federated Farmers spokesman Graham Smith's call for a 'rethink' on release of GeneticallyEngineered organisms is misguided, and instead it is time for a formal moratorium on GMOs in the environment.(1)...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Chatham Rise mining could have impact on whales and dolphins
    Wellington, 21 October 2014--Mining phosphate on the Chatham Rise, off the east coast of New Zealand’s south island, could potentially have many impacts on marine mammals like whales and dolphins, the Environmental Protection Agency was told today....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Council endorses Nanaia Mahuta as the next Labour leader
    Te Kaunihera Māori, the Māori Council of the New Zealand Labour Party, have passed a resolution to endorse the Hon Nanaia Mahuta as the next leader of the Labour Party...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Kaumatua to organise petition to end Maori seats
    Ngapuhi kaumatua David Rankin has announced that he will be organising a nationwide petition to seek support from Maori voters to end the Maori seats. “These seats are patronising”, he says. “They imply we need a special status, and that...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Announcing a New Voice for The Left
    Josh Forman is pleased to announce the creation of a new force on the Left of politics in New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Public services held back by poor workplace culture
    A new report by Victoria University’s Centre for Labour, Employment and Work shows that public servants are working significant unpaid overtime to ensure the public services New Zealanders value are able to continue....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • iPredict New Zealand Weekly Economic & Political Update
    Andrew Little’s probability of being the next leader of the Labour Party has reached 70% and Jacinda Ardern is favourite to become his deputy, according to the combined wisdom of the 8000+ registered traders on New Zealand’s predictions market, iPredict....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Prison Drug Treatment Unit marks a milestone
    Christchurch Men’s Prison’s Drug Treatment Unit (DTU) celebrated the completion of its 50th six month Drug and Alcohol Programme today, with the graduation of a further twelve offenders....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Security Council seat a chance for NZ to empower women
    The UN Women National Committee Aotearoa New Zealand (UN Women NCANZ) welcomes New Zealand winning a seat on the United Nations Security Council and is calling on New Zealand to use its position to proactively promote effective implementation of the...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Waipareira and ACC sign Partnership
    Waipareira and The Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding at Whanau Centre, Henderson – marking a special day for the West Auckland Urban Maori organisation....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Humanitarian aid desperately needed in Iraq and Syria
    Global Peace and Justice Auckland is calling on the government to provide humanitarian funding for non-aligned NGOs (non-governmental organisations) in the Middle East rather than give any support whatever for the US-led military campaign in the area....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Court Judicial Decision: Dotcom v The USA: 17 October 2014
    The United States of America is seeking the extradition of Messrs Dotcom, Batato, Ortmann and Van Der Kolk. The matter has been before the Courts on numerous occasions, and no further recitation of the facts is needed....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Marshall Island poet speaks at UN climate summit
    “The fossil fuel industry is the biggest threat to our very existence as Pacific Islanders. We stand to lose our homes, our communities and our culture. But we are fighting back. This coming Friday thirty Pacific Climate Warriors, joined by...
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Many tourist car accidents preventable
    Simple steps could dramatically reduce the number of accidents involving tourists, says the car review website dogandlemon.com ....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • RainbowYOUTH: 25 Years, 25 More
    In 1989, a group of young people in Auckland got together to form a support group for LGBTIQ youth. They called it Auckland Lesbian And Gay Youth (ALGY). After 25 years, several location changes, a name change, a brand reboot...
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Outdated Oath shows need for Kiwi Head of State
    MPs are sworn in today and New Zealand Republic has written to MPs asking them to talk about why 121 New Zealanders elected by the people of New Zealand and standing in the New Zealand Parliament swear allegiance to another...
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Council shouldn’t revenue grab from windfall valuations
    Auckland Council should state clearly they will not try and capture revenue as a result of the latest valuations and needs reminding that the City’s skyrocketing property values doesn’t change the level or cost of Council’s services, says...
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • EPMU endorses Andrew Little for Labour leadership
    The National Executive of the Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union unanimously endorsed Andrew Little for the role of Labour leader, at a meeting held yesterday. “I have been speaking to our workplace delegates at forums across the country over...
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • World Food Day promotes Agroecology not GE technology
    The UN has stated that agroecology is a major solution to feeding the world and caring for the earth....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Labour Names Review Team
    Labour’s New Zealand Council has appointed Bryan Gould as Convenor of its post-General Election Review. He will be joined on the Review Team by Hon Margaret Wilson, Stacey Morrison and Brian Corban....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Contenders for Labour leadership debate for first time
    The contenders for the leadership of the Labour Party debated for the first time on TV One’s Q+A programme today....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • UN Ambassador Jim McLay on TV One’s Q+A programme
    New Zealand's United Nations Ambassador Jim McLay on TV One’s Q+A programme....
    Scoop politics | 18-10
  • The Nation: RSA President BJ Clark & Ian Taylor, New NZ Flag
    Lisa Owen interviews RSA President BJ Clark and tech innovator Ian Taylor about changing the NZ flag...
    Scoop politics | 18-10
  • The Nation: RSA President BJ Clark & Ian Taylor, New NZ Flag
    Lisa Owen interviews RSA President BJ Clark and tech innovator Ian Taylor about changing the NZ flag...
    Scoop politics | 18-10
  • Lisa Owen interviews Foreign Minister Murray McCully
    Murray McCully says New Zealanders can expect a 5-10 year engagement against Islamic State if we join military action in Iraq and the government will take that “very carefully into account”...
    Scoop politics | 18-10
Public service advertisements by The Standard

Current CO2 level in the atmosphere