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NZ independence? back to the future

Written By: - Date published: 10:50 am, March 4th, 2014 - 150 comments
Categories: colonialism, economy, energy, john key, news, slippery, spin, us politics - Tags:

Looking back at the 1980s from the second decade of the 21st century, NZ’s bold nuclear free stance seems like a bit of an illusion, or at best, a temporary bright spot.

Two news items this week have NZ looking like a client state of both US imperialism, and the UK monarchy.

John Key’s rush to support the US-EU positions on the Ukraine “crisis” seems a little like a repeat of NZ’s rush to support Britain in the first and second world wars.  In those days New Zealand was still considered to be a Dominion of Britain. Yesterday, One News reported a statement from Key that condemns Russia’s actions in the Ukraine.  For him the connection seems to have a lot to do with trade.

These days, most Kiwis tend to see our country as an independent state.  So what has the Ukraine to do with us, and why is our government so quick to take sides?

Today’s NZ Herald editorial provides an explanation in support of John Key’s stance.  However, it is somewhat confusing because it does endeavour to provide something of a historical perspective.  The editorial begins:

All that can be done within reasonable bounds must be done to condemn Russia’s seizure of the Crimean peninsula. The West should get behind John Kerry, the United States Secretary of State, who has talked of boycotting the June G8 summit in Sochi, visa bans, asset freezes and trade and investment penalties against Russia.

The article points partly to the ethnic make-up of people in the Crimea, but only scratches the surface of the significance of changing state boundaries that have cut across ethnic communities.  The editorial goes on:

That outcome will reflect the fact that 60 per cent of the residents identify themselves as ethnic Russians. Crimea was a part of Russia until 1954 when it was presented as a gift to the Ukrainian people by the Soviet leader, Nikita Khrushchev. That backfired when the Soviet system collapsed and Ukraine became independent. But the people of Crimea continued to look to Russia, while Moscow became more concerned about its important naval base at Sevastopol, the home of the Black Sea fleet, which it leased from Ukraine.

The situation is indeed complicated by the fact that the Crimea is a significant location where Russia is concerned to protect its borders.  The Crimean bases act as a kind of buffer to foreign intrusions. On this the Herald argument becomes particularly slanted towards the perspective of western powers.  Even while acknowledging the ethnic alignment with Russia by many in the Ukraine, it continues to characterise the Russian response as that of using the situation to expand its boundaries.

The editorial fails to take into consideration that the US and EU have interfered in the Ukraine rebellion to further their own economic and political aims in the area.  As Bill pointed out in his post, ‘Voices and Power‘, the mainstream media has largely provided coverage that is slanted towards western powers being the good guys.

In one piece, “Ukraine, Revolution or Coup”, we find Richard Greeman offering quite thought provoking and in-depth analyses/arguments and elevating ‘street level’ perspectives and concerns.

This article in Counter Punch points to some of the US and EU maneuvering in relation to the Ukraine rebellion, with the media being sucked into masking the imperialistic ambitions of western nation-states.

By openly supporting insurrection by a militant faction in order to subject the Ukranian government to a level of stress that it, and particularly its apparently incapable pres[s], Yanukovich, were incapable of handling, I think the US crossed something of a Rubicon.  It openly and enthusiastically backed a violent putsch against a democratically-elected government it didn’t happen to like.  Neo-liberal enthusiasts, it should be noted, splashed across this boundary without even getting their feet wet…

Ultimately, it’s largely about money, gas, oil, and having a powerful presence in the region.  The NZ Herald editorial ends by referring to Russia’s failing economy, and the need to draw a Berlin wall-type line across the map:

The Western response must, therefore, include a financial rescue package that will set the scene for an increasingly prosperous Ukraine.

Its eventual wellbeing would surely contrast markedly with that of Crimea, which will experience the full extent of Russia’s economic woes over the next few years.

The Herald editorial fails to clearly identify how the Russian presence in the Crimea threatens the economic well being of Europe and its oil and gas supplies.  That is covered in this Daily Telegraph article. In the Herald editorial, there is no mention of how this is of so much concern to NZ that Key has been quick to align NZ with the US and EU.  It is most likely to be related to the dependence of NZ’s economic interests on that of the US and UK.

The second issue being given a load of media coverage, which seems like another throwback to NZ days as a British Dominion, is the upcoming visit of some royals.  The New Zealand authorities involved with organising the visit say that they don’t know how much NZ taxpayer money will be spent on it.

I’m looking forward to the Taxpayers’ Union doing some in in-depth research on just how much it is costing us. Part of such research should also compare the cost with how much is not being spent to improve the lot of struggling Kiwis.

150 comments on “NZ independence? back to the future”

  1. Ennui 1

    Karol, your article is exactly what I was driving at on Open Mike today. NZ has reverted to a bit part player, a pawn in someone else’s game, regardless of the ethics and impacts. The heady days of Lange’s anti nuclear stance are well and truly passed.

    The danger of our position is that as a vassal state we are only as strong as our imperial overseers, and have by association no real credibility for independent position or sovereignty. Conversely we also have only the vast and inhospitable waters of the Pacific as a buffer against hostile powers should we defect from our imperial allegiances. Catch 22.

    It would appear that Keys regime lives very much in the present, they have no longer term historic perspective. With Key it is blind faith in the system he knows best, international banking. As head of our state security services he has no independent outlook beyond what the CIA dictate. His regimes stance on the Ukraine scenario blithely ignores recent history such as the “gifting” of Crimea to the Ukraine, plus the EU backing of Ukrainian neo-N*zi “revolutionaries”. Longer term Keys government ignore the geopolitics of that area, as Russian “heartland”.

    Which begs a lot of questions: Keys advisors, are they from the diplomatic corps? If so is their advise of any worth? Has Key or anybody here done the sums with regard to long term consequences? From a professional stance both Key and all involved are setting a very low standard. From an New Zealand perspective I feel we are being sold very short.

    • Lanthanide 1.1

      “NZ has reverted to a bit part player, a pawn in someone else’s game, regardless of the ethics and impacts. The heady days of Lange’s anti nuclear stance are well and truly passed.”

      The question is why anyone ever thought that was anything but an aberration. We’re a small country on the ass on the world. We’re never going to have a big impact on the world stage.

      • Colonial Viper 1.1.1

        Time to practice being obsequiesce and timid once more, as the NZ normal then?

        • Lanthanide 1.1.1.1

          More to the point of: there are very few issues of which we can make any practicable stand that the rest of the world would care about.

          No one cares about our position on Ukraine and Russia because we’re irrelevant to that.

          Despite the Green’s hoopla over it, I don’t think NZ getting 100% of it’s electrical energy from renewable sources will really ignite the passions of the rest of the world: we’re already starting from a benchmark of 70% renewables thanks to our low population and good rainfall and rivers, and furthermore electricity makes up less than half of our total energy use anyway. If we could somehow break the laws of physics and invent a cheap, efficient electric car, then maybe the world might care, but that simply won’t happen.

          Nuclear Free New Zealand was a one-off issue, and only important in as much as it pissed off the US. No one’s likely to try and bring conventional nuclear energy to NZ in the next 50 years, and the impasse on US ships docking didn’t do squat to their military preparedness.

          • Sosoo 1.1.1.1.1

            If we’re a small country that doesn’t matter, then nobody should really mind if we go our own way.

            We have no real enemies, and a massive continent in between us and potential “enemies” in South East Asia. We certainly don’t need to grovel and scrape like the lickspittles across the Tasman.

            Any country powerful enough to be able to use significant force against New Zealand would find it cheaper and easier to bribe us, so there’s no real point in being a lap dog.

      • Ennui 1.1.2

        Studied neutrality and good deeds might be our best defense and guarantee of friendship with all.

      • Ennui 1.1.3

        No Lanth, the nuclear free stance was not an aberration. Like children growing up we tested the limits, and stretched them a little. Eventually we might mature, become adults as a country, fly the nest and set out on our own course. I think the issue is that we need to be brave (as was Lange at the time) and true to ourselves. Its either that or remain naughty children forever whipped into shape by the likes of Key for somebody elses benefit..

    • karol 1.2

      Well said, Ennui. I am also concerned that David Shearer has also come out in support of the EU/US (and John Key’s) positions. Where does Cunliffe stand on this?

      • Ennui 1.2.1

        Shearers stance betrays the lack of unity in the Labour Caucus, and their lack of discipline. Cunliffe should sack him, and the Party should demote him from the seat and put him down the list. Harsh? Reminds me of Candide witnessing the shooting of a British Admiral (Bing), “to set an example to the others”.

      • Wayne 1.2.2

        Karol,

        Seriously, are you supporting Russia’s Crimean intervention, because that is what your post seems to be saying. Does this mean you were an old style Soviet apologist? No NZ govt (even Lange) got themselves quite into that space.

        Now, it is obviously inevitable that Russia is going to take over Crimea, and in truth nothing can be done about. But we don’t need to meekly accept that might is right.

        The issue now is what to do. Russia can be “punished”, ie no G8 in Sochi, but these are passing pinpricks. But probably does not justify much more than that. Actually the sooner Crimea votes to be part of Russia (or at least independent of Ukraine) the better. It will give everyone the opportunity to back off. But that is not the same as welcoming what Russia has done

        But any action beyond Crimea will be bloody and dangerous. Putin needs to be persuaded not to do that, and threats of serious economic sanctions, as well as dialogue, will be part of such dissausion.

        • Colonial Viper 1.2.2.1

          Come now Wayne, the Soviet Union has been gone for a long time.

          Would you support a more democratic approach by the Russians instead of the “might is right” paradigm you speak of?

          Surely the Crimeans could hold elections to see if they wished to stay with Kiev, or to go with Moscow. What say you to this democratic approach, letting the people choose instead of letting world powers replay the Great Game?

          • Bill 1.2.2.1.1

            Surely the Crimeans could hold elections to see if they wished…

            Erm…no. Have you seen the threats being thrown around by external actors in the lead up to the independence vote in Scotland due this September? Imagine that, but on steroids, in the case of an independence vote in Crimea.

            The only way to ‘cut the crap’ is to get rid of all these structures and the people who would assume to use them to rule over others. Not much of an appetite for that in a world of wall to wall propaganda subtly and unsubtly telling us we need to be governed by something greater and external to us and our every day lives because, you know, we need to be saved and guarded from ourselves. Lucky for us, as ever, ‘great leaders’ are just around the next corner or just beyond the next election.

        • karol 1.2.2.2

          The main point of my article is, “What has the Crimea/Ukraine got to do with NZ, that has warranted such a quick response from Key?” I argued that the western media and governments have presented a very skewed version of what is happening and that the US and EU as as guilty of self-interested ambitions and actions within the area as Russia. So why has the NZ government been so quick to take sides?

          This does not look like the position of an independent state.

          • Populuxe1 1.2.2.2.1

            Oooh, I know! I know this one! waves hand frantically. Please Ms, is it because we are members of the UN and therefore signatories to a number of charters and agreements regarding the illegality of the unprovoked military invasion and occupation of sovereign states?

            Of course that would lead us to ponder why the last Labour Government wasn’t vocal in condemnation of the US invasion of Iraq…

            • Sosoo 1.2.2.2.1.1

              How can Ukraine be a sovereign state when it doesn’t appear to have a functioning government and the last “legitimate” government was ousted by force?

              The “government” in Kiev would appear legitimate to those in the east of the country, but not to most of those living in the west, who voted for the parties that actually won.

              I honestly don’t see why we have to care. The UN is a joke and geopolitics seems to have reverted to the state it was in before WW1. I don’t particularly care whose “empire” gets Ukraine. Ukrainians care, but they are divided on the issue, so someone’s going to take a loss no matter what.

              • Populuxe1

                It can be a sovereign state by virtue of self determination and international recognisation. No one gives a rat’s arse if you don’t care, but some of us do – not least of all because we have friends over there, or simply because we are not solipsistic navel-gazers

        • Bill 1.2.2.3

          But we don’t need to meekly accept that might is right.

          I quite agree with that statement Wayne. Just wondering though, what was your position on the invasions of Iraq, or the invasion of Afghanistan (which also flouted international law) or Grenada or Panama or even the non-military might being applied to the Ukraine by the EU/US? Are you consistent, or does moral high ground only come into being when ‘official’ enemies are getting up to bad shit?

          • Wayne 1.2.2.3.1

            Afghanistan did not flout international law. In fact it was specifically authorised by several UN resolutions.

            And are you seriously suggesting that the world completely ignore the use of military force in Crimea. And more specifically the risk of wider military action. A strong stance by the EU/US and indeed by Ukraine that dissuades Putin from going further is a good thing. And I do agree that NZ has a role to play here. If Russia has a sense of total condemnation if they go further, and that helps dissuade them, then that is a desirable outcome.

            Incidentially I was surprised that some commenters were attacking David Shearers stance. They will be really furious with Josie Pagani, although I imagine they already are.

            • Bill 1.2.2.3.1.1

              Well no, the US, UK and Australian invasion of Afghanistan was most certainly not authorised by UN resolutions.

              That aside – I haven’t suggested that the world completely ignore the use of military force in Crimea. (You missed the comment where I’ve quite clearly condemn all the ‘institutional’ protagonists?) Rather, I’m seriously suggesting people like you might want to reflect and then display a level of consistency in your utterances instead of routinely cheer-leading the ‘good guys’ when they put on their marching boots and condemning the ‘bad guys’ when they do.

              The hypocrisy only leads to excuse and aid ‘your’ good guy bad fuckers in creating mayhem and causing many, many deaths.

              • lprent

                Well no, the US, UK and Australian invasion of Afghanistan was most certainly not authorised by UN resolutions.

                Correct. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/War_in_Afghanistan_(2001%E2%80%93present)

                United Nations Security Council Resolution 1378 of 14 November 2001, included “Condemning the Taliban for allowing Afghanistan to be used as a base for the export of terrorism by the al-Qaeda network and other terrorist groups and for providing safe haven to Osama bin Laden, al-Qaeda and others associated with them, and in this context supporting the efforts of the Afghan people to replace the Taliban regime”.[149]

                But significantly it did NOT authorize military options by the UN against Afghanistan. That left the UN in the position of supporting only trade sanctions against Afghanistan.

                The UN general assembly chose to recognize the defacto toppling of the Taliban regime a few months after the attacks in October 2001 by the US and other forces and after the Taliban government wasn’t functional as a government (if it ever really was). That was towards the end of December 2001 when it set up the ISAF (which is what (from memory) NZ acted on).

                In international law, it is damn hard to view the attack of the US and its allies as being anything apart from a war of aggression.

                Bearing in mind

                1. The degree of operations that the Taliban had allowed various terrorist groups including al-Qaeda to operate inside Afghanistan unde rthe direct control of the Taliban government, As far as I’m concerned that was clear evidence of the collusion of the Taliban government in terrorist attacks against civilians.
                2. Some pretty significiant intelligence both then and later that Afghanistan was the command and control centre for the September 11 2001 and earlier attacks,

                3. The deadlock in the security council that prevented any useful response to the imminent threat of further terrorist action from that command and control centre.

                Then I personally think it was probably a justified attack. But it certainly wasn’t authorised by UN resolutions.

                • Bill

                  You’re aware that a whole tranche of leaked diplomatic cables demonstrate that the Taliban was trying – rather desperately – to get rid of Bin Laden prior to 2001? They, quite reasonably, pointed out to the US that as he was seen as a hero by many, so they couldn’t exactly just bundle him into a car and drive him over the border. They both alerted the US as to when he was ‘not under their wing’ (to facilitate kidnapping) and also offered to surrender him to Saudi Arabia in the absence of the US recognising the Taliban as the legitimate government of Afghanistan?

                  The Taliban even had him under arrest at one point (something to do with promoting anti-Islamic views or some such) and asked the US to forward any evidence for his involvement in bombings of USS Cole and Kenyan embassies. They forwarded a video tape of a CNN ’60 Minutes’ interview. The Taliban (given the paucity of evidence) had no option but to free him.

                  From the cables, it’s absolutely clear that both the US and Saudi Arabia (who did recognise the Taliban as the legitimate government) were as desperate for Bin Laden to stay in Afghanistan as the Taliban were to be rid of him.

                  • lprent

                    I’m aware of all of that. Bit bloody late is my attitude to it. The problem is that the evidence of a Taliban government sanctioned command and control centre in Afghanistan was pretty damn clear from (at the latest) the US african embassy bombings of 1998.

                    They, quite reasonably, pointed out to the US that as he was seen as a hero by many, so they couldn’t exactly just bundle him into a car and drive him over the border.

                    They could have done exactly that, and kicked his entire organisation out of their country. They didn’t. Few of them were citizens by any stretch of the imagination, and governments are responsible to the acts of their residents.

                    I’m afraid that in my book giving sympathy to them for getting caught between their population and an implacable enemy after spending years pumping the terrorist support is completely unwarranted. It was rather too late.

                    They were quite responsible for the consequences of their support. Their actions in 200 and 2001 had the distinct attitude of wasting time and showed absolutely no signs about doing ANYTHING about the network of terrorism in their country. It needed cleaning out. I suspect that the US moved somewhat earlier than what would have happened if the UN had a few more months.

                    Iraq of course was a completely different matter. That war had no justification.

                    I also have little sympathy with the murders that the US is currently waging with drones.

                    • Bill

                      Lynn, there wasn’t any ‘hook-up’ between the Taliban and Al Qaeda in terms of logistical support or finances. (The Taliban were considered as backward hicks by Al Qaeda in Afghanistan and Al Qaeda seen as ‘up themselves arses’ by the Taliban) If I’m getting your reasoning, then Eire should have been carpet bombed because IRA operatives lived there and executed operations from there. And Boston should have been bombed because the IRA raised a lot of funds from there.

                      Bottom line is that Bin Laden was from Saudi Arabia, the religious underpinnings of Al Qaeda is (was) Wahhabism – again pointing to Saudi Arabia. And funds probably came from there, through sympathetic Wahhabists, after Bin Laden’s finances were frozen.

                      It’s also very unclear as to whether Bin Laden actually knew about the Twin Towers plan in advance (Robert Fisk’s interview with him from some years back suggested he was isolated in terms of access to modern communications tech and so, kinda, ‘out of the loop’) Anyway, bugger all money and almost no external resources were required to buy some plane tickets, some stanley knives and a hand full of flight lessons.

                      Finally, Al Qaeda was a name given to a conglomeration of people and groups bound by certain ideas or a certain idea – Bin Laden was more a notional figurehead for people to identify with, and yes, gain inspiration from, as opposed to a traditional leader in some type of command and control structure.

            • Bill 1.2.2.3.1.2

              Just to be absolutely clear on the question of the invasion of Afghanistan – the UK and US informed the UN on 7th Oct that they had invoked Article 51, which allows for necessary and proportionate action in the name of self defense.

              There were no UN resolutions authorising any military action by anyone in Afghanistan prior to the US and UK’s pre-emptive and very questionable invocation of Article 51.

              • lprent

                Agreed.

                On the other hand you could easily say that the previous sanctions imposed by the UN on Afghanistan after the african bombings were completely ineffectual. All it did was to allow the terrorists controlled and trained from Taliban controlled Afghanistan move on to larger targets without ANY apparent attempt to constrain them.

                That ineffectual posture by the UN kind of lost its attraction for me and obviously the US after deaths of nearly 3000 mostly civilians.

                I guess that is why they have rapidly been bringing their legalities to organised international terrorism up to scratch. I rather suspect that future events of mass attack against civilians will receive a much faster response from the UN next time.

        • Murray Olsen 1.2.2.4

          Wayne, can you link me to your condemnations of the practice of “might is right” on the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq, and the no fly zone imposed on Libya that saw tanks and troops bombed, maybe to stop them sprouting wings?

          We have no business supporting attacks on Russia via Ukrainian proxy, as some sort of chickenhawk hangover of the Cold War. We should not get involved. Not because Russia is good, but because we can be honourable. It’s quite possible that no one but ourselves would notice. Maybe we can’t change the world, but we can stop letting other nations dictate what happens in our little corner of it.

      • Populuxe1 1.2.3

        I’m not sure condemning Russia’s violation of international law and Ukrainian sovereignty is really coming out in “support of the EU/US (and John Key’s) positions”. I condemn Israeli expansion into Palestinian territory, but that doesn’t mean I want to get into bed with Hezbollah. That sort of binary thinking is niave and plays into the propagandists’ hands.

        • karol 1.2.3.1

          Hmmm…. I’m am being critical of Key and others for slipping into supporting that binary by only condemning Russia and ignoring all the interference from the US and EU.

          Kennedy Graham had a more nuanced and principled response in the debate today.
          * No use of force
          *Territorial integrity – today re-Russia, and illegal attacks on, occupation of Iraq by US led forces.
          *Requires dialogue through UN peace envoy – between Russia and Ukraine, without the EU or US involvement
          *West should butt out.

          • Populuxe1 1.2.3.1.1

            Except that any military destabilisation of Ukraine will impact on Poland and Slovakia, both EU and NATO states, which justifies US involvement. Given that there will be a massive influx of refugees in a westerly direction should things get nasty, the EU has every right to involve itself.
            It’s pointless to argue “no use of force” when their are Russian troops currently occupying civilian positions in sovereign Ukraine territory. The Russians have already used force.
            “Territorial integrity” – Not recognised by the UN as an argument.
            Graham’s diplomacy seems to amount to shutting an impoverished country that hasn’t actually done anything wrong alone in a UN room with a permanent member of the UN Security Council and nuclear superpower in the hopes they come to a fair and equitable agreement. Good luck with that.
            West can’t “butt out” coz NATO, EU member states being next door, and the 1994 Budapest Memorandum.

  2. clifford wright 2

    Karol deserves an “F” for history!!!
    Just look at the residue of the old Soviet Union. From the Tsars to Stalin there was a deliberate policy to spread “ethnic Russians” throughout the Empire.
    Now Tsar Putin wants them all back. Just like Hitler started with the Sudetenland there will be no end if Putin gets away with it. First Ukraine, then Kazakstan, Moldavia , Latvia and all the Baltic republics can be invaded and reabsorbed with the same old excuse “I’m protecting the downtrodden Russian minority”.
    This same “persecuted minority” were those on top doing Moscow’s bidding before the USSR fell.

    Georgia was lucky to get away with all the damage it got and effective loss of territory.
    Russia remains a sort of Libertarian/ Fascist/ neo Marxist state with a single dictator just as it always has been. It whole sad history (at east since the 16th century) has been rule by gangsters.
    As far as I can see it has had about 2 or 3 years of anything approaching democracy in its whole history.
    Pan Slavism was a major factor in starting WW1 and now, just maybe it might trigger WW3.

    • karol 2.1

      I agree that Putin’s aim to hold on to the Crimea (and maybe also Ukraine) is strategic. In my posts I put the ethnic considerations as one part of a complex situation.

      However, clifford, you have totally ignored the interference by the EU and US, and their imperialistic and economic reasons for that – strategic and economic.

      By the way, the whole panslavic move that you talk of, in moving Russians into outlying areas…..

      …how does that differ from the British period of colonisation when the Brit authorities encouraged large sections of the British population to settle in colonised territories?

      And now you have ignored Key’s (and Shearer’s) quickness in supporting the EU and US positions. What significance does the Ukraine have for NZ?

      • Poission 2.1.1

        The Russian response was to the interference in Ukrainian politics during the protests in Kiev.During the protests we saw the insertion of a deputy secretary of state.and representatives of the uk govt,discussing future proposals with right wing protestors.

        What would the UK response to say Lavrov discussing NI independence with the IRA on the Falls road,or during the youth riots, Or indeed a Russian parliamentarian discussing independence with a right wing Militia in Montana? .

      • Populuxe1 2.1.2

        “…how does that differ from the British period of colonisation when the Brit authorities encouraged large sections of the British population to settle in colonised territories?”

        Possibly because two world wars disabused us of the notion it was a good idea. Hence the British Empire is notable by it’s absence and we bothered to set up the flawed UN. Surely you are not suggesting that it would be ok for Britain to invade us just because the population is largely descended from British people? Perhaps you should give up your British citizenship just in case the UK gets ideas.

        • karol 2.1.2.1

          That’s off target, pop.

          My point was about how the NZ government continues to follow the UK line because of the historical history of colonisation.

          And I am not suggesting anything like what you are suggesting.

          • Populuxe1 2.1.2.1.1

            Or more likely that because we are a western-style liberal democracy that values human rights and individual freedoms we tend to side with other states that resemble our own way of thinking. As opposed to Tsar Vlad over in Russia. Just a thought.

    • greywarbler 2.2

      This is not just a Russian ploy. The big countries are always jostling for position, and resources. Little countries have to try to think because they don’t have much money. At the present time we are borrowing to stay afloat and have a government which follows from the lie today, and fudge tomorrow approach to politics and the people’s economy.

      As a vassal state we might not be allowed our sovereignty by either our ally or the supposed opposing side. We used to be afraid of the Russians, the Bolsheviks, the Chinese, the yellow hordes, we went to Europe to fight for the Allies and left our own country exposed to the Axis side. We are compromised. We have to be knowledgable about the world even if we are a pimple on its bottom. We haven’t many options, but we need to utilise all we have so we don’t get dragged into beggaring ourselves by supporting and further other people’s wars.

      But we traded with the Russians with our butter for their Lada cars when NZ people were being presented with ideas that linked Labour to dancing cossacks. We couldn’t trade directly for money or official credits, as we didn’t have common international financial agreements. We were the first to sign a free trade agreement with China’s corporate communists. And are dependent on them, although they are difficult trading partners. We have looked to Australia as an ally and find that our small Economic Union has a varying commodity price in their eyes.

      Understanding the Russian position and the Ukraine one is essential not just sneering at them and adopting hostile, Cold-War memes on them as the mendacious Russkies. They are looking to their economy and future, and so the rules change and are fluid. The USA is the same, two mammoths with large footprints. All countries can be mendacious in these days. We have to look lively and think not just react according to private school Boys Own stories.

      • Populuxe1 2.2.1

        Pretty sure it’s bad irrespective of whether Russia or the US is doing it

    • Ennui 2.3

      Bollocks Clifford, Ks grasp of Russian history vis a vis the Ukraine is much better than a pass mark. Your historic knowledge appears somewhat lacking in context and perspective. For a starter you might wish to trace the origins of the Russian state, in the Ukraine, capital Kiev until the Mongol invasions swept it into “exile” in Muscovy, which is very illustrative of the ebbs and flows of people and power across the steppes. And whilst it is true Russians spread across the “empire” so did every other ethnicity, the whole region has been in a state of movement with overlays of settlers and invaders from east and west for a millenium.

      It would appear to me that you fear a resurgent Russia, maybe the “Cold War” ended but the fall out is yet to be resolved in the manner you would have wished. Maybe what you are watching is the traditionally authoritarian people of the East rebuilding their state their way, facing off the imperial gangsters and banksters of the West. Have a little think about the list of countries that the EU and US have invaded and or undermined (all for the best reasons of course) ….Iraq, Libya, Egypt, Afghanistan Yugoslavia, Venezuela, Grenada, pretty much all of Latin America…drones flying murder missions in Pakistan..the list goes on.

      Oh, and the people you refer to as F@scists and Neo Marxists…they may wish to come to the help of their own “persecuted minority”…I heard that the first thing the revolutionary government in Kiev (installed by neo N@zi thugs bankrolled by the EU and US) did was to ban the speaking of Russian. Thats “democracy”.

      • Populuxe1 2.3.1

        That was more or less H1tler’s justification for invading the Sudetenland wasn’t it? Coming to the help of ethnic Germans? Why is it odious Putin fanboys seem to be stuck with the impression that the murderous bastard is somehow a hero of the left because he annoys the US? Germany and Japan annoyed the US too. I’m not even going to dredge up the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact.
        Meanwhile while you get all misty-eyed about Pootie, he is supressing the Russian media, enabling monstrous acts against LGBT people, bombing Chechens, invading his sovereign neighbours and holding Europe to ransome theough their dependence on Russian gas.

        • Ennui 2.3.1.1

          Who is a Putin fanboy Pop? Certainly not me, he is pretty much the authoritarian KGB man he always was. Having said that he is not the transparently dishonest creature that Obama is and Bush was. I would certainly trust him more than the loathsome Cameron (or Key for that matter).

          PS Hitler might have justified the Sudeten event with the ethnic argument after he fomented trouble in the area, Putin saw the trouble fomented by the US and EU. In reality all he has to do with the Ukraine and Belorus is await their economic collapse and fragmentation and they will come back of their own accord. Cant see a bankrupt EU bailing them out when Italy, Spain and Greece are basket cases they cant help. And the US is in no position to bail themselves out, let alone “some far off European country”.

          • Populuxe1 2.3.1.1.1

            Which doesn’t reall explain Abkhazia and South Ossetia

            • Ennui 2.3.1.1.1.1

              Lets just say the fall out from the collapse of the Soviet Empire was always going to be messy, but it was always going to be “local”. And fraught with cloudy issues and injustices. I dont see it ending short term, Belorus is also a basket case that has always been “Russian”. Conversely how does one regard the storm of indignation from the USA who have a far superior record of invasion, undermining and crippling foreign countries?

              • Populuxe1

                Using euphemistic language still sounds like apologism for naked imperialism to me

  3. Bill 3

    I know that I can’t be the only person who reflects on US military in actions Grenada and Panama when viewing the Russian actions in the Crimea.

    Aside from that (and the obvious difference in msm reporting on those three occasions) I really would like to know more about the people behind this interim government in Kiev. From the little I can glean, there are basically opposing teams of oligarchs vying for power and control. I suspect many unsavoury bastards are wheeling and dealing and not giving a shit for fuck all beyond their own investments and assets.

    I’d like to see a plague descend on all their houses – the powerbrokers in the US, EU, Russia, Kiev and anyone who seeks to ride on the coat tails of any of them.

    As an aside, I got a ‘notifcation’ on my face book yesterday that claimed to be penned by a Russian speaking Ukrainian. (A woman by the name of Maia Kiev) As I read it, I couldn’t help but think how neatly it dovetailed with lines you’d expect to hear coming from ‘official’ western sources, and half my mind reflected on the NSA files and their ‘seeding’ of social networks with phony info…that and the odd case of CNN suddenly giving voice to an allegedly ordinary person when, well, that just doesn’t happen in these situations. Here’s the link. I’m not saying she’s definitely not genuine, just that her take is rather convenient and quietly reflecting on the fact that she only ‘joined’ the iCNN network (whatever that is) on Feb 19. http://ireport.cnn.com/docs/DOC-1099314

    • karol 3.1

      Yes, there’s very little reported of ordinary people in the Ukraine. It’s all about the big power games.

      Given that there are diverse positions that have been reported to some extent within the Ukraine, it is very manipulative to present just one voice – one that supports the official western lines. I truly independent media would have presented a slection of different voices.

  4. Rich 4

    Countries shouldn’t invade other countries. Kinda simple.

    • karol 4.1

      These days there are more ways to invade a country than with boots on the ground. Borders are beign transgressed all over the place. It’s not really that simple. Did Russia invade? Or did the US start invading earlier in their own, non-transparent ways.

      • tamati 4.1.1

        The last thing the US and the EU wanted was to destabilise Ukraine. Stop swallowing RT Kremlin propaganda and claiming that this was some sort of Western coup in support of fascists.

        The reality is those who brought down the government were sick of living in an impoverished society under the boot of Russia, whilst other former Soviet satellites have prospered in the E.U.

        Obama is crippled at home and congress in as isolationist as it has been in 70 years. The EU couldn’t orchestrate a birthday party, let alone a foreign coup.

        Now the E.U. faces the possibility of a hundreds or thousands of refugees, another bankrupt state to bail out, a gas shortage this winter and a flare up of cold war tensions. If they really did orchestrate the downfall of the Ukrainian government, it was a pretty dumb idea.

        • karol 4.1.1.1

          The reality is those who brought down the government were sick of living in an impoverished society under the boot of Russia, whilst other former Soviet satellites have prospered in the E.U.

          Citations needed – plus some comparison between those that support Russia and those who support the new Ukraine government. There’s also evidence that the EU and US intereferred in the rebellion to get an outcome that is favourable to them.

          • tamam 4.1.1.1.1

            Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Czech Republic and Poland versus Ukraine, Belarus and Kazakhstan. Pretty much any comparison you can think of the former rank higher than the latter.

            As I said before, why would the E.U want to destabilize Ukraine? Is it wrong for them to condemn their neighbors for shooting protesting students?

            • Mike S 4.1.1.1.1.1

              “why would the E.U want to destabilize Ukraine?”

              Really?? You mean it’s too much of a leap for you to figure that one out?

              • tamati

                Enlighten me….

                -The E.U are broke why would they want to adopt another bankrupt state.
                -It’s nothing to do with gas, the Europeans bought Russian gas throughout the Cold War, they aren’t going to stop now.

                • Mike S

                  Maybe to expand NATO’s sphere of influence. Put US and NATO military bases in the Ukraine, including Crimea. Expansion of the US Empire. Ultimately I guess the goal would be to break up Russia further down the track.

                  • tamati

                    The Cold War’s over. It’s 2014 not 1984.

                    • Mike S

                      You really think that because the cold war is over, NATO doesn’t want to expand, the EU doesn’t want to expand and the US doesn’t want to rule the world?

                      On a different tack and this is not in relation to your comments Tamati, how about this for quote of the year from John Kerry-

                      ““You just don’t in the 21st century behave in 19th century fashion by invading another country on completely trumped up pretext.”

                      !!!

          • tamati 4.1.1.1.2

            Compare the Baltic States and Poland, with Ukraine and Belarus and you can see a pretty clear picture.

          • Populuxe1 4.1.1.1.3

            They were upset at Russian puppet kleptocrats spending what money the country had left on crap like this
            http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-26307745

      • Populuxe1 4.1.2

        …or ALIENS…
        Do you not consider all that Russian money going into the pockets of Yanukovych (private zoo, classic) and his cronies to constitute “non-transparent” ways? The actions of the perfidious US in no way detract from Russia’s blindingly obvious military occupation in violation of international law.

    • Colonial Viper 4.2

      Countries shouldn’t invade other countries. Kinda simple.

      It’s happened about 500 times in the last 3 centuries. NZ has even helped out on occasion. Stop living in a fantasy land.

      • tamati 4.2.1

        That doesn’t make it right does it?

        • Colonial Viper 4.2.1.1

          Depends if you want to live in political reality, or in political fantasy. The US invades more countries than any other nation. Do you approve of invasions when they are carried out by the US?

          • tamati 4.2.1.1.1

            So because George W. Bush invaded Iraq it’s fine Putin to invade Ukraine?

            I see your logic, but surely we’ve moved on from that!

    • greywarbler 4.3

      Rich
      Simple. Yes you are.

    • Paul 4.4

      Or subvert them

  5. Tracey 5

    if key’s prepared to lose money it MUST be important.

  6. Glenn50 6

    Investors fled Russian assets, with stocks in Moscow falling by 10.8 per cent, their biggest daily fall since the 2008 financial crisis.
    The rouble fell nearly 3 per cent to a record low of Rbs36.90 against the dollar
    Russian central bank announced a surprise interest rate hike and spent at least £7bn supporting the rouble

    The near 12 per cent slide in the rouble so far this year has raised fears of inflation in Russia, where people have painful memories of devaluations in 1997-98 and 2008-09.

    It looks like the Russians may pay for their invasion. Unfortunately it won’t be the oligarchs or politicians who suffer just the poor without overseas bank accounts.

    Putin isn’t doing Russia any favours.

    I’m not going to worry too much about the Crimea however when Putin takes the rest of the East of the country I will start to worry. Theres a lot of smaller countries bordering Russia that will be extremely nervous.

    It is beginning to sound like history repeating.

    The German occupation of Czechoslovakia (1938–1945) began with the Nazi annexation of Czechoslovakia’s northern and western border regions, known collectively as the Sudetenland, under terms outlined by the Munich Agreement. Nazi leader Adolf Hitler’s pretext for this effort was the alleged privations suffered by the ethnic German population living in those regions.

    Following the Anschluss of Nazi Germany and Austria, in March 1938, the conquest of Czechoslovakia became Hitler’s next ambition. The incorporation of the Sudetenland into Nazi Germany left the rest of Czechoslovakia weak and it became powerless to resist subsequent occupation.

    • Colonial Viper 6.1

      Western encroachment into Russia’s historic backyard is being resisted by Putin. The fact that this surprises you, and the fact that you think that Russia is emulating Nazi Germany in any way, marks you as someone who sounds educated, but is yet woefully ignorant of otherwise very predictable Russian attitudes.

    • Paul 6.2

      Not an accurate analogy.

      • Colonial Viper 6.2.1

        Russia resisted encroachment on its western boarders in ww2, it is simply doing so again.

        • tamati 6.2.1.1

          By Russia’s backyard I assume you mean, Poland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Ukraine, Czech Repulic, Slovakia and Hungary?

        • Populuxe1 6.2.1.2

          Hmmm. Israel and Nazi Germany both said something very similar.

    • Ennui 6.3

      Glenn, I have not noticed Putin writing a book about his struggle, predetermining an evil course of action. Do you know something I dont? I did however notice US and EU money and training heading towards neo Nazi “revolutionaries” in the Ukraine….do you think that when the Czechs and Austrians were invaded by Nazis neighbouring countries might have gone quickly to their aid? I think the French and British should have at that moment, don’t you? Should Putin allow neo Nazis free rein next door?

      Also, Russian economic issues…..they may be buffeted by this but it would be very refreshing to see a country tell international finance to stick it, and to display that the cost of sovereignty is understood. The corollary is that should Moscow decide to return sanctions, and cut the gas and oil German industry might go bust. Oil prices might peak highly which would suit oil exporters such as Russia as they would benefit. We would suffer too. Be careful what you wish for.

  7. captain hook 7

    Karol I love your leftism and devotion to the task but in reality no country is independent and the politics of bashing the British Monarchy reeks of unbridled envy. Give thanks for what they have done and just accept them as the cost of creating institutions that however imperfect they may be set the standard for any democracy.
    The devil is in the detail and go after the banal poltroons who want to spy on everyone and not the symbols of democracy.

    • karol 7.1

      ch, I have no envy of UK royals. I worry about the promotion of their visit, on taxpayer money, in an election year, and when our country could better spend the money to benefit Kiwis.

      Monarchies are an inherited institutions and have nothing to do with democracy. It does just the opposite – it legitimises inherited wealth and privilege. It is a British institution that is not relevant to 21st century NZ.

      • Colonial Viper 7.1.1

        Thats your call karol, but a solid majority of NZ and UK citizens disagrees with you and find that the Royals give them a sense of symbolism and history that the institutions and concepts of the Left do not.

        Or are you willing to ignore a democratic majority in the name of democracy?

        • Bill 7.1.1.1

          Just as many people get a sense of identity from a godhead or a commercial bastardisation of a godhead or whatever, CV. And, like Royalty, all myths that are irrelevant to 21C political configurations…except for those people who vote for pollies according to their religious bent.

        • karol 7.1.1.2

          Most UK citizens I know (and I am one myself, holding dual nationality), don’t support the monarchy on democracy and egalitarian grounds. Yes the majority of the electorate tend to be influenced by the propaganda and spin about the monarchy in the media. I can see how many Brits would see the royals as symbols of the national identity.

          The situation in NZ is more confused and marginal. During the last Labour government a small majority favoured ditching the monarchy. More recent polls (by Curia and following some good pro royals spin in the media) support the royals.

          But the polls are also influenced by the fact that most Kiwis are uncertain about the kind of republic that would replace the royals, and the role of the Treat of Waitangi.

          Democracy is more than just voting in a poll. And it is also possible for people to vote for something that ultimately undermines the foundation of democracy.

    • greywarbler 7.2

      captain hook
      You make good points.

      And poltroons are people that royalty have had long awareness of.
      Wikipedia – An ignoble or total coward; a dastard; a mean-spirited wretch.  
      1842, Nicholas Michell, The Traduced: An Historical Romance‎, page 266-267
      “To gain life by means of a breach of faith and honour, were indeed to render myself the poltroon, and the villain my accusers believe me.”

      I think George is likely to be a better influence on society than Thatcher, Blair, Cameron, Muldoon, Sir Roger Douglas, Hayek, Rand, Friedman, Lehman, Goldsachs, Shipley, Richardson, Key etc. And he won’t wear the Ring to Rule them All, but be someone to whom we can put high in the hierarchy but not in the milling, grabbing meanstream of wannabes. And someone will always seek that place. So better him than the spawn of the others listed.

      • Populuxe1 7.2.1

        “Conventionality is not morality. Self-righteousness is not religion. To attack the first is not to assail the last. To pluck the mask from the face of the Pharisee, is not to lift an impious hand to the Crown of Thorns.”

        Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre

  8. Draco T Bastard 8

    Washington’s Arrogance, Hubris, and Evil Have Set the Stage for War

    Russia has been slow to react to the many years of Washington’s provocations, hoping for some sign of good sense and good will to emerge in the West. Instead, Russia has experienced rising demonization from Washington and European capitals and foaming at the mouth vicious denunciations by the West’s media whores. The bulk of the American and European populations are being brainwashed to see the problem that Washington’s meddling has caused in Ukraine to be Russia’s fault.

    Make no mistake, John Key is just another part of that propaganda.

    • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill) 8.1

      +1 Draco T Bastard

    • Populuxe1 8.2

      Yes dammit, those Ukranian students who got murdered for protesting weren’t at all responding to a kleptocratic Russian puppet government wantonly stealing the nation’s wealth to squander on private zoos and palaces while the rest of the population lived in relative poverty. Oh no. Russia was forced to invade Crimea because… because… um…

      • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill) 8.2.1

        What part do you think this investment (infestment) has played in the issue, Populuxe1?

        ” According to the Wall Street Journal’s former Associate Editor, Paul Craig Roberts, Assistant Secretary of State Nuland:

        “In an eight minute, 46 second speech at the National Press Club sponsored by the US-Ukraine Foundation, Chevron, and Ukraine-in-Washington Lobby Group, Nuland boasted that Washington has spent $5 billion to foment agitation to bring Ukraine into the EU. Once captured by the EU, Ukraine will be ‘helped’ by the West acting through the IMF. Nuland, of course, presented the IMF as Ukraine’s rescuer, not as the iron hand of the West that will squeeze all life out of Ukraine’s struggling economy.”

        From Chris Trotter’s article on the Daily Blog

        [emphasis added]

        • Populuxe1 8.2.1.1

          Did I at any point say I approved of economic imperialism? No I did not.
          Then again why should I completely ignore elements in Ukraine who are pro-western and do want to be part of the EU? But I would rather such things should be decided by the Ukrainian people in a free referendum

          • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill) 8.2.1.1.1

            I didn’t accuse you of anything, Populuxe1, – because your comment didn’t appear to acknowledge other factors of this issue arising in the Ukraine – I asked you a straight question.

            How about you answer the question?

            Having billions of dollars infested into a country to create dissent destroys any chance of ‘Ukrainian people choosing for themselves in a free referendum’ – until those interests are revealed to each and every Ukrainian person who has been on the receiving end of the propaganda that such money buys.

            [Same goes for Nz and the utter bullshit we are being fed in the guise of 'information'.]

            • Populuxe1 8.2.1.1.1.1

              What the US did was very bad – no contest. A military invasion is IMHO worse

              • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill)

                Depends if the ‘military invasion’ is invited or not — and whether action – killing people – actually occurs or whether it is a timely preventative show of strength that ends up motivating real diplomacy to occur.

                Mostly ‘battles’ are being conducted in the minds of people these days – invading peoples’ minds, especially by stealth and via the subconscious i.e uninvited – giving people no freedom of choice – it is very hard to consider this is in any way better* than a show of military strength especially in these particular circumstances when said military action may have been invited by the country concerned and which may end up being a preventative measure of something worse occurring.

                Seems to me that if America has been conducting a psych-ops in Ukraine that the damage has already been well and truly done.

                *Perhaps on a par – uninvited invasion not good – yet psych-ops are causing terrible civil wars through out the world currently and historically – diplomacy is the best way – yet psych-ops destroys true diplomacy.

            • Populuxe1 8.2.1.1.1.2

              “Same goes for Nz and the utter bullshit we are being fed in the guise of ‘information’.”
              RT isn’t much better

              • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill)

                ‘Isn’t much better’

                Lol but clearly better just the same!

                Someone has shown me ‘Worlds Apart’ and ‘Max Keiser’ from RT – these both seem far more informative and supply far more fodder for critical thinking than any of the bubblegum I have viewed on NZ TV recently…

          • Pascal's bookie 8.2.1.1.2

            I think plebiscites will be the best thing to happen. Some are scheduled, and both sides have so far shown discipline in not actually shooting.

            I think the worst thing that could happen would be for the west to bait ptuin to the point that allowing plebiscites would look like weakness, or to insist that Crimea not be allowed it’s own say on whether it wishes to stay in an EU focused Ukraine.

            Nations have interests, and the priorotise them differently. Crimea is very important to both Russia and Ukraine, but whether it important enough to the EU to be worth bloodshed is what the west needs to bear in mind, IMO.

            To that end bear baiting isn’t helpful, and nor is indicating to Ukraine that we would have their backs in a Russian conflict, when in fact we wouldn’t. Such indications lead to the sort of misunderstandings that can get a lot of people killed who otherwise wouldn’t.

      • greywarbler 8.2.2

        Populuxe
        When disagreements get hot people can attack each other and they might die. We have had someone knife someone else in NZ over a fence being graffitied.

        But understanding the reasons behind the disagreements and trying by both parties to come to terms with each other’s needs, that might eventually lead to an outcome that can be lived with. Wallowing in past history and rights and wrongs is great for actors gesturing on a stage. People who want to live together in a peaceable manner haven’t your licence to orate Pop.

        • Populuxe1 8.2.2.1

          No. I will not. I condemned the Iraq War and I condemn this invasion. Putin is not some poor little misjudged man of peace, he is a product of the political system that crushed the Czechs in ’68, invaded Afghanistan in ’71 and squashed solidarity in Poland in ’80-’81. He has demonstrated willingness to continue in this vein by his invasion of Georgia in 2008 and persistant efforts to create a second empire under the rubric of a Eurasian Union. He is up to his armpits in Egypt and Syria. For fuck’s sake, Russians can’t even live together in a peaceable manner in Russia.

  9. xtasy 9

    New Zealand has NEVER been truly independent, and the anti-nuclear movement was actually quite a revolutionary change in foreign and local policy, which to some degree came about by accident, rather than firm intention of the government then in power. It was also more “superficial”, or “trendy”, than robust and deep seated, I fear.

    The economic realities are telling us that New Zealand is NOT at all independent, it is largely still very much part of the global financial and economic “network” that makes up the still rather “Anglo Saxon” economic sphere, dominated by the USA, the UK, Canada and Australia. New Zealand is the smaller “child” in that “family”, and it is largely banks, corporations and other interests from those “allied” economies (also making up the “Five Eyes” spy network), that are the big players and investors here.

    Of course there is cross investment by NZ corporations and companies in those other countries, and it is all intertwined very much, but the traditionally similar legal, social, economic and cultural realities in all these countries put NZ firmly on the map to depend very much on what the bigger players in this group of countries will ever do.

    New Zealand has stuff all defence force, would barely be able to defend its shores for a few days, and is highly reliant on Australian banks (which are again partly owned by US, UK and some Asian banks), for financing much of the local livelihood and lifestyles, including highly mortgaged housing.

    The increased trade with China and other Asian, and some Middle Eastern countries has diversified trade, but that does not necessarily allow for much independence, as it rather has created more diverse dependencies on that front.

    And when looking at the local information and media landscape, hey, how “independent” is NZ culture, which is only marginal, when looking at what is offered. Most music, films, games and information like news comes from the US, Australia and the UK.

    So what Key has been doing is just tow the line again, clinging to the coat tail of one power, that has been setting the tone for decades. It was also only a bit superficial, how the “independence” of NZ was perceived by the public from 1984 on until the Clark government times. Behind the scenes, not all that much had changed, apart from occasional diplomatic, hiccups or “tensions” and the US not sending ships here. But Clark cosied up again, after 9/11, sailing a carefully balanced course, to keep the traditional allies happy, yet deliver the public the impression, we are not tied in too heavily.

    Key is now just bluntly telling the public, this is where we stand, as nothing really has changed. He can do it now, as the public are not as emotional and determined anymore, to insist on certain principles, or rather perceptions of such. People fear economic and other insecurities, and they are these days yet more conditioned by consumerism, commercialism, are thus more divided. So too many just accept, shrug things off, roll over and let things go as where the “leader” takes them. Sad, but that is more like the reality as I see it.

  10. Bill 11

    Key’s response is all the more pathetic when you consider that the EU (rightly or wrongly) is ruling out economic sanctions. But when you’re a White House lap dog, do as your master commands…even all the more enthusiastically when you’re such an insignificant pooch in the pack desperate for a pat.

    I mean, seriously, the desirability or otherwise of free trade agreements aside, what damage will be done to Russia’s economy by NZ not signing an FTA? I don’t think it will register up to the level of a hoarse distant and somewhat squeaky yap from somewhere deep beneath the butt cheeks and soft cushions of a US President…might draw a passing look of slight puzzlement and amusement. But that would be about it.

    • Pascal's bookie 11.1

      It’s a Kabuki play though Bill.

      Everyone is signalling that there are lines, and which side they are on, so far no one is crossing them.

      You’re right that NZ’s response of ‘this is off for the moment’ is weak tea, but weak tea is what our positions is. We don’t approve, and we won’t be do anything about it. We have sided with NATO as afr as that goes, but note that NATO doesn’t have position yet. When and if they need to formulate one, we will reconsider what we’ll do, taking into account the full range of (ahem, China) factors (probably nothing). When it all dies down, we’ll sign the deal.

    • xtasy 11.2

      Maybe the negotiations for the FTA with Russia got so seriously stuck, that there was no real prospect for NZ to achieve much at all, so this is a great opportunity for Key and his “Grosser” servant, to pull the plug now, more as a “face saver”, than anything what they claim it is done for.

      At the same time it is brownie points with Cameron and Co, and Obama and Co as well. Key is a master in doing such “strikes”.

  11. Glenn50 12

    “The biggest danger to Putin comes from himself. He may overreach himself by trying to turn effective control over Crimea into the partition of Ukraine. Occupying the eastern part of the country could turn into Russia’s Iraq. In western Ukraine there are long nationalist traditions nurtured by memories of the bloody independence struggles during both world wars. These could be reactivated now.

    Socialists in the West must of course oppose any military intervention by the US or NATO in Ukraine. But the crisis reminds us that imperialism can’t be reduced to American domination. It is a system of economic and geopolitical competition among the leading capitalist powers.

    Rather than tail any of these powers, we must fight this entire system. This means opposing Russian intervention in Ukraine. Never has the slogan “Neither Washington nor Moscow but international socialism” been more relevant.”

    http://www.socialistworker.co.uk/art/37577/Putin+raises+the+stakes+in+imperialist+Crimea+crisis

  12. we are also ‘back to the future’ in other ways..

    ..i googled ‘child poverty in new zealand in 1914′..

    ..and it was/is quite illuminating..

    ..guess what…?..much the same as now..

    ..high numbers of children in poverty..

    ..esp sole-mothers/maori..

    ..uncaring tory govt..

    ..we have advanced s.f.a. in one hundred years..

    ..phillip ure..

    • i find this so fucken depressing..

      ..it really deserves a thread/story of its’ own..

      ..how little we have advanced as a society..

      ..in 100 fucken years..

      ..phillip ure..

  13. joe90 14

    A message from Mustafa Cemilev.:

    Mustafa Cemilev, Leader of Crimean Tatars, member of the Ukrainian National Parliament and human rights activist; is calling on all the democratic forces in the world.

    We the most ancient residents of Crimea, the Crimean Tatars, aim for our future to live in a country based on:

    -Democracy

    -Rule of law

    -Individual freedoms

    -And a clear perspective of membership to the European Union

    This is why we the Crimean Tatars urge the international community to support the Ukraine’s territorial integrity, democracy and to stop the Russian attempts to invade Crimea.

    http://qha.com.ua/message-from-mustafa-cemilev-130688en.html

  14. tricledrown 15

    cry me a river wayne .
    Afganistan is not UN sanctioned what utter BS its Mainly Nato action.

  15. Mike S 16

    The situation in Ukraine has all the hallmarks of a Washington-led regime-change operation. This is very similar to what the US / NATO attempted in Georgia in 2008 and what the US / Israel have been trying to do in Syria.

    John Key is again aligning himself with the most aggressive, war mongering nation on the planet. The US has been at war somewhere on the planet every single year since World War 2.

    • Populuxe1 16.1

      Wasn’t US troups on the borders of Abkhazia and South Ossetia. Isn’t US troups currently occupying Crimea.

      • Colonial Viper 16.1.1

        What a simplistic 2 dimensional view of the world you have.

        Salvador Allende and his government weren’t taken out by US troops pulling the trigger, but the US were responsible nonetheless.

        • Populuxe1 16.1.1.1

          The simplistic 2 dimensional view is that everything evil in the world is the fault of the US and butter wouldn’t melt in Pootie’s mouth. Dick.

    • miravox 16.2

      “John Key is again aligning himself with the most aggressive, war mongering nation on the planet.”

      John Key siding with the US and suspending trade talks an recalling negotiators is on par with NZ declaring war on Germany before Britain did.

      The UK is squirming right now about how to exclude the City of London from EU sanctions. The EU hasn’t even decided what it will do yet, and here’s Key diving on faster than his bestie. Fool.

      • karol 16.2.1

        On Al Jazeera this morning a guest interviewed said that the Western banking and investment system has so much involvement with Russia’s gangsta [my term] economic activities they can’t afford to do sanctions against Russia without self destructing. Western bankstas are basically helping to support the Russian ones.

        • miravox 16.2.1.1

          yes, and Putin knows that in the west money trumps everything. The tough talk is just for local consumption.

          • Populuxe1 16.2.1.1.1

            Probably true but not very useful without knowing who the guest is.
            Um, no – “gangsta” is not appropriate in this case. Russian banking oligarchs are “gangsters” (figuratively and sometimes litterally) – “gangstas” are young African-American men who listen to hiphop and rap and probably have unfortunate attitudes about women.

          • Populuxe1 16.2.1.1.2

            So nothing to do with his large, well trained, well equipped military and nuclear arsenal then

            • miravox 16.2.1.1.2.1

              Putin can send in the troops without the talk, if he wants. The EU/US can only talk.

              The West isn’t going to interfere if it affects doing business. All very cynical, all very impotent.

              I don’t know who I’m more disappointed in – NATO/EU/US for involving themselves way back in December (not forgetting the earlier orange revolution), the Ukranian president whose corruption make toppling a democratically-elected government seem justified (it rarely is), Putin – because he operates as if the cold war hasn’t ended, or the West’s negotiators for money ahead of anything else. I guess I should be grateful to David Cameron for making it so clear that business in the City of London cannot be interrupted for anything.

  16. SPC 17

    karol, it’s because Russian troops have moved into another country on the pretext that wherever Russians live Russia has a right to protect them.

    Ukraine is member state of the UN and our position as a founding member is to promote collective security of member states. Anything less than withdrawing from the trade talks would have left us no credibility as a candidate for the UNSC. We do like to see ourselves as a champion of the smaller states under threat from the interests of the larger states – we call it our advocacy for multilateralism.

  17. Populuxe1 18

    That would refer to the young woman who took a risk to criticise the actions of a regime known to put polonium in your tea for such things – not the shitty propaganda chanel (although given that RT is about is based in reality as Fox, it could be fake too)

    • Bill 18.1

      I take it this is the response to your own senseless mutterings above at comment 8.2.1.1.1.2? You know, where you slag off RT then link to RT as an example of courageous journalism?

      Here’s some additional info for you to digest from the Glen Greenwald piece that Karol originally provided…the one you obliviously didn’t read before commenting… https://firstlook.org/theintercept/2014/03/04/rt-host-abby-martin-condemns-russian-incursion-crimea-rt/

      “UPDATE: The official RT account on Twitter seems perfectly proud of Martin’s statements, as they re-tweeted my commentary about her monologue condemning Russia’s actions”

      And

      UPDATE II: In response to my question about whether any U.S. television hosts issued denunciations of the attack on Iraq similar to what Martin just did on RT, Washington lawyer Bradley Moss replied: “Phil Donahue (MSNBC) and Peter Arnett (NBC).”

      Leaving aside that Arnett wasn’t a host, this perfectly proves the point I made, since both Donahue and Arnett were fired because of their opposition to the U.S. war. Arnett was fired instantly by NBC after he made critical comments about the war effort on Iraqi television, while a memo from MSNBC executives made clear they were firing Donahue despite his show being the network’s highest-rated program because he would be “a difficult public face for NBC in a time of war”.

      During that same time, MSNBC’s rising star Ashleigh Banfield was demoted and then fired after she delivered a stinging rebuke of misleading pro-war TV coverage by U.S. outlets, while Jessica Yellin, at MSNBC during the time of the war, admitted in 2008 that “the press corps was under enormous pressure from corporate executives, frankly, to make sure that this was a war that was presented in a way that was consistent with the patriotic fever in the nation and the president’s high approval ratings” and that executives would change stories to make them more pro-war.

      All of that stands in rather stark contrast to the clear denunciation of the Russian intervention by Martin which RT broadcast and this morning is promoting. We’ll see if she suffers any recriminations, but if she does, U.S. media behavior during the attack on Iraq was hardly any better.

      • Populuxe1 18.1.1

        You’re really not good at this “critical reading” thing, are you? And rather than continuing to whine about the perfidities of the US (this being the Standard, that’s been done to death and therefore not really adding to anything), could we instead focus on the current crisis? I mean, I know that’s hard for some people who can’t focus on more than one thing at once and probably would have kept defending Stalin well past the whole show trials and gulag archipelago thing because they labour under the illusion that Russia at some point might have offered a better option (hint: it didn’t). I know you’re desperate to use this as a stick to beat the US with, but at the moment the people of Ukraine have slightly more pressing concerns.

        And, you know, Putin is just an icon of human rights…

        And yes, the US media is shit, but Fox says sucrrilous lies about Obama all the time and no one shuts them down, stabs them in the leg with a poison umbrella, or puts radioactive isotopes in their tea – so I think that may be a point in favour of the US.

        • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill) 18.1.1.1

          Populuxe,

          You really are missing the point – people are talking about the current crisis – you appear to be omitting to see that one of the points being made by some of the people on this thread are that the ‘perfidities of the US’ are part of the equation of this current issue.

          Just because you don’t appear to be capable of acknowledging and then addressing that point – doesn’t mean that people aren’t talking about this current issue – it means that you are not talking to people about the things that they see as relevant to this current issue.

          The only argument you appear to be offering in response to this issue of American influence on this current crisis is ‘it doesn’t exist’ – this is a very tenuous point you appear to be attempting to make and I suggest to you that you find something substantial to back that argument up, if that is what you are attempting to assert, because there is substantial evidence that the American power elite meddles in other countries politics – enhance internal divisions in order to gain their own interests (divide and rule) and perform psychological operations (psych-ops) such as capturing the countries media to sway public opinion.

          These and other such activities have been proven historically – there really isn’t any debate on this.

          I suggest you take a look at the list of chapters on this page
          http://williamblum.org/books/killing-hope

          and after viewing such a list, if you still continue to believe that American big money interests no longer play such disgraceful games – please do provide decent evidence of when they ‘saw the light’ and changed their game plan and proclaimed that for all to know because I haven’t seen any evidence that these types’ strategy have changed, yet see plenty of war-hawk types [on informative TV channels such as RT]promoting their unenlightened, paranoid and aggressive views for all who care to observe – they really are that righteous and unashamed of their attitudes they don’t hide them when interviewed by proper journalists.

            • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill) 18.1.1.1.1.1

              Your article doesn’t exactly prove much at all except that the RT channel may have similar work conditions to NZ media sites and that one Russian citizen doesn’t agree with the invasion – interesting yet hardly overwhelming evidence on the issues being discussed -lol go back to sleep Populuxe

                • Bill

                  Here’s the thing Pop. One journalist spoke, what she believes to be the truth (the one you initially linked to) and, so far, and as far as we know, she still has her job – unlike both Donahue and Arnott who had the temerity to criticise the invasion of Iraq.

                  Another journalist resigned on air and her comments weren’t edited and she wasn’t cut off. She did and said what she did and said.

                  Wanna give me a list of western ‘liberal’ journalists who voluntarily resigned their positions, and who were given space on air to state their case, because of the US invasion of Grenada, Iraq (twice), Panama, Afghanistan…. I can’t think of a single instance.

                  Now. You going to argue (stupidly) that people working for mainstream western financed media outlets aren’t subject to pressures? (Hint: read the fucking comment I left at 18.1 with reference to Jessica Yellin.)

                  And then just fuck off while you work out how to extract your head from your arse. Thanks.

                  • Populuxe1

                    Confirmation bias must be a terrible curse, Bill.

                    Read the second post – she resigned. We have no idea whether she was forced to or not – no doubt she will be bound by a non-disclosure agreement and the threat of a six figure lawsuit. I hope you are not so naive as to assume they threw her a leaving party with cake. In that second post, an interview with her, she explains the conditions she had to work under and the pressures brought to bare on her, the editorial line she was forced to toe and the stories that were cut. I suggest you re-read it before you tell me she was lying.

                    Indeed, I doubt RT, or Al Jazeera for that matter, would be permitted to broadcast in the US at all if that were the case.

                    I don’t think I have ever suggested that the western media was some perfect bastion of freedom, but it does get to offer views contrary to the party line (hence Faux News exists) and Donahue and Arnott didn’t feel that an immediate removal to a foreign country might be advisable for their health (because they didn’t break the law). The editorial preferences of media owners is another issue, and indeed a grave problem for the freedom and independence of western media. Woodward and Bernstein, as far as I’m aware, are still alive and well in the US of A. American journalists are more afraid of being sued than they are of being murdered. (I wonder what would have happened if she had allowed RT to send her to Crimea…)

                    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_journalists_killed_in_Russia

                    • Bill

                      There is surely no way someone of your inestimable talent and intelligence figured how to remove their head from their arse in that time! Yup. Reading of your comment verifies that. Maybe, come the day when you can engage in debate rather than scatter shooting the horizon with extraneous bullshit, I’ll engage with you. Meantime, you still have a head and arse problem to be getting on with, yes?

                    • Populuxe1

                      Well RT did announce they were going to send her to Crimea so that she would be less ignorant of the task of glorious Mother Russia. She says contrary, which is interesting – but I sure as shit wouldn’t want to be anywhere near that part of the world if I had just very publically embarrassed Pootie. No need for ad hominem ;)

              • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill)

                @ Populuxe1

                Bloody hell the woman who quit isn’t even Russian – she’s American FFS what the hell were you trying to prove by linking to that article???

                • Bill

                  Shhh. Pop’s busy.

                • Populuxe1

                  Merely to draw a direct connection to the difference between working as a journalist in the west and working as a journalist in Russia. I’m not seriously suggesting someone would kill her – obviously she’s not in Russia and therefore relatively safe from persecution and violence. Duh.

                  In any case, why do you suppose it is that a Kremlin propaganda mill can do business in the capital of the Great White Satan, whereas something as innocuous as the British Council in Moscow get’s shut down when the British Government so much as raises an eyebrow at Putin?

                  • Bill

                    Because Putin’s Russia is an out and out dictatorship whereas the manufacturing of consent in ‘the west’ is a far more subtle (and in many ways, effective) affair.

                    You figured out your elbow yet and gotten any further forward on the extraction process due to that latest revelation?

                    • Populuxe1

                      Ah, the Chomskyist twaddle, “the manufacturing of consent”. Chomsky knows so little about the media that he barely even registers that the internet exists. Let’s just ignore that journalists win awards for exposing govenrment and corporate misconduct and scandals. Lets just ignore that the editorials of the two big US conservative reactionary papers, the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times have almost NEVER agreed. Let’s ignore that the big media companies may be owned by thousands of shareholders. Let’s just pretend that everybody is really stupid and media led which is why things are the way they are.

        • Bill 18.1.1.2

          Oh Pop, I almost feel sorry for you…almost. You really don’t have a clue, do you? I mean, you call me, of all people, a Stalinist!? You not been reading my comments over time? I basically detest statism in all of its forms and just ain’t very backwards in coming forwards to slam Trots, Leninists, Stalinists or any other authoritarian motherless fucks.

          Can I remind you how you (complete fucking idiot that you are!) posted, as an example of good shit, a link to the very same vid you were so anxious to slag off as bad shit?

          • Populuxe1 18.1.1.2.1

            No, Bill, I did not call you a Stalinist – I merely compared your dogged determination to cling to a fantasy to that of Left Bank intellectuals’ absolute child-like faith in the People’s Revolution despite the evidence that Father Christmas was too busy signing death warrants to deliver.

            Can I remind you how you (complete fucking idiot that you are!) posted, as an example of good shit, a link to the very same vid you were so anxious to slag off as bad shit?

            Um no – I called RT a bunch of Kremlin propaganda and posted a video of one of their reporters at breaking point over the pro-Putin bullshit she had to spin. And even then I noted it could be a set up. Sigh Given that RT is live and based in Washington DC, they were hardly going to shoot her.

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    Mana | 15-09
  • Bigger than the Foreshore and Seabed – Sykes
    “Over the past week I have received some disturbing information that has led myself and a number of Maori lawyers to conclude that this National - Maori Party - ACT and United Future Government are going to put an end to both...
    Mana | 14-09
  • MANA wants Te Reo Māori petition fulfilled
    Hone Harawira, MANA Leader and MP for Te Tai Tokerau Annette Sykes, MANA candidate for Waiariki Te Hāmua Nikora, MANA candidate for Ikaroa Rāwhiti  “More than four decades have passed and the petition calling for Te Reo Māori in schools...
    Mana | 14-09
  • Primary focus on the critical issues
    A Labour Government will prioritise New Zealand’s agricultural sectors by recreating a Rural Affairs Minister and appointing a Primary Industry Council and a Chief Agricultural Adviser. Releasing Labour’s Primary Sector and Rural Affairs policies today, spokesperson Damien O’Connor says the...
    Labour | 12-09
  • Maori Television fears confirmed – Harawira
    ...
    Mana | 12-09
  • More ghost houses from National
    The Government’s desperate pre-election announcement of more ghost houses won’t fool Aucklanders wanting action on the housing crisis, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “These are ghost houses, to go with National’s ghost tax cut. Families cannot live in ghost...
    Labour | 12-09
  • National bows to union pressure over travel time
    National has reluctantly bowed to pressure from unions and adopted Labour’s fair and sensible policy to pay home support workers for the time they spend traveling between clients, Labour’s Associate Health spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway says. “This decision is long overdue...
    Labour | 12-09
  • I feel sorry for Labour Party members and supporters
    I feel really sorry for the members and supporters of the Labour Party as they watch their caucus tear itself to shreds. And no matter what the outcome of the coming leadership race Labour members and supporters will be the...
    The Daily Blog | 01-10
  • Ummmm, why is Auckland Transport spying on Aucklanders?
    Ummm. What? Sophisticated surveillance coming to Auckland Surveillance technology that uses high definition cameras and software that can put names to faces and owners to cars is coming to Auckland. The surveillance has the capability to also scan social media...
    The Daily Blog | 01-10
  • It. Is. About. The. Economy. Stupid.
    Liam Dann does a good job of explaining the positive and negative issues looming for the NZ economy and as dairy prices plunge again overnight alongside a large Wall st sell off  and China Bank rumours begin, his case for the negative...
    The Daily Blog | 01-10
  • Don’t think of it as reinvading Iraq, think of it as redecorating Iraq
    I think some NZers view Iraq like an episode of The Block. Yes Iraq is the worst country on the street, but with a bit of elbow grease by our SAS and some great deals down at Bunnings, hey presto we...
    The Daily Blog | 01-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Joe Trinder – Mana Maori alliance
    Most Maori you speak to on the street can’t understand why Mana movement and  Maori Party don’t combine it confuses them why Maori are divided cross benches in Parliament instead of a unified political power that represents 15% of the...
    The Daily Blog | 01-10
  • Party members and affiliates – the real losers in Labour’s leadership f...
    Hey, wanna do a back room deal that cuts the members and affiliates out? Cunliffe must be reeling. He has lost failed Ilam candidate James Dann. It must cut as deep as the loss of Steve Gibson. Apart from providing Claire...
    The Daily Blog | 30-09
  • Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking rant on Radio Hauraki: Today, the election res...
    Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking rant on Radio Hauraki: Today, the election result...
    The Daily Blog | 30-09
  • The rich get richer
    Nobel prize winner Paul Krugman highlights the growing inequality in this article in the New York Times. The left wing slogan that the “the rich get richer” is a fact of almost perverse power. The most recent period of expansion in the...
    The Daily Blog | 30-09
  • A brief word on reinvading Iraq
    So after telling the country before the election that NZ would not send forces to Iraq, lo and behold now he’s won the election with a full spectrum dominance political majority, Key is suddenly now looking to join the re-invasion of...
    The Daily Blog | 29-09
  • A brief word on the importance of ACT, Maori Party and United Future to Nat...
    I’m a far right wing clown who attacks tax money going on anything collective, gimmie some cash and privilege.  One of the great successes of National has been to implement hard right policy but have it sold as moderate. For some NZers,...
    The Daily Blog | 29-09
  • Labour’s Angst
    Was Labour’s predictably low vote David Cunliffe’s fault? Was it policy? Was it something else that has aroused perceptions of electoral carnage? My analysis of the numbers suggests that, as uncertain voters made up their minds, there was a late...
    The Daily Blog | 29-09
  • Information wars: Gaza as “the last taboo”, the threat of mass surveill...
    “When the truth is replaced with silence” wrote the soviet dissident Yevgeni Yevtushenko, “the silence is a lie.” There has been a silence these past months full of noise, static and sound bites of those in power justifying their violence,...
    The Daily Blog | 29-09
  • When the media say they covered Dirty Politics – did they?
    I was watching The Nation in the weekend, and watched the defenders of NZ media up against Minto telling him he was wrong in his claims of media bias and that the media covered Dirty Politics. I laughed. When the...
    The Daily Blog | 29-09
  • GUEST BLOG – P Campbell – To the Left with love
    A week after the general election results I feel wrung out emotionally, having been through the disappointment, depression and anger of seeing  another right wing government elected overwhelmingly by winning support from the parts of NZ that will never benefit...
    The Daily Blog | 29-09
  • GUEST BLOG: Kate Davis – I will be the new Labour Leader!
    One week after the election, while I was still waiting to be consulted about contributing to the review on what went wrong, what do you know? There is a leadership challenge. So instead of opting for a united, thoughtful and...
    The Daily Blog | 29-09
  • GUEST BLOG: Pat O’Dea – A Prescient Post
    A very prescient pre-election post by Martyn Bradbury tells us why the Labour Party are at war now. “The NZ First-Labour Party attack strategy against Internet MANA better work” Despite Martyn Bradbury warning them this Right Wing strategy “Better Work”...
    The Daily Blog | 29-09
  • GUEST BLOG: Curwen Rolinson – W(h)ither Labour (!/?)
    There’s an old saying that success has many fathers, but failure is an orphan. Not so in the Labour Party, wherein soul-crushing defeat on a scale unseen since 1925 definitely has many fathers (and more than a few mothers and...
    The Daily Blog | 29-09
  • At the end of the day…
    At the end of the day…...
    The Daily Blog | 29-09
  • Cynicism towards Key’s sudden desire to help children in poverty
    Cynicism towards Key’s sudden desire to help children in poverty...
    The Daily Blog | 28-09
  • Internet MANA the election and the media
    I’ve been very critical of media reporting of Internet MANA during the election campaign and not surprised at the predictable response from representatives of the corporate media establishment. I wasn’t going to carry this further but was asked at the...
    The Daily Blog | 28-09
  • GUEST BLOG: Rachel Jones – A superficial discourse analysis of a superfic...
    On Sunday there was a story about Paddy Gower and his detached retina in the Herald on Sunday. Really? I hear you ask. Really? Yes, really. Pam Corkery will have sprayed toast crumbs over her dressing gown. The reporter has become...
    The Daily Blog | 28-09
  • Terrorising Australia’s Muslim population
    We should be suspicious when 800 police conduct “terror” raids across Australia, but only one person is charged with a relevant terrorism offence (of which we know few details). We should be suspicious of the lurid tales of terrorists planning...
    The Daily Blog | 28-09
  • Another Labour leader has resigned and as per usual, the media lost its min...
    Another Labour leader has resigned and as per usual, the media lost its mind. I know the Labour party has its problems and I’m not even going to try to prescribe what should be done about it. But what I...
    The Daily Blog | 28-09
  • GUEST BLOG: Anjum Rahman – Loyalty, Leadership and the Labour Party
    My first after the election and I can only say I’m feeling pretty sad.  It was a terrible result, and feels even more so knowing the number of volunteers hours, hard work & sacrifice made by so many people who...
    The Daily Blog | 27-09
  • A Study in Party Stability
    . In terms of long-term stability, one party above stands above all others, with the exception of personality-driven groups such as NZ First and United Future. That party is the Greens. If the Labour Party wants to look elsewhere for...
    The Daily Blog | 27-09
  • Cunliffe vs Robertson – Round 2
    Much to the disappointment of the NZ Herald and other right wing pundits who have decided they would like to appoint the next Labour leader, Cunliffe has surprised by deciding to damn the Caucus and appeal directly to the members...
    The Daily Blog | 27-09
  • The tasks before the left and labour movement
    Anyone on the left would have been disappointed at the result of the election. There was an opportunity to win, but that got lost through a combination of factors. There were tactical decisions made by Labour, the Greens and Internet-Mana...
    The Daily Blog | 27-09
  • From Fiji’s dictatorship to ‘democracy’ – the AUT student team on t...
    Mads Anneberg’s profile on Ricardo Morris and Repúblika. David Robie also blogs at Café Pacific. THREE STUDENTS from AUT University covered Fiji’s historic “from dictatorship to democracy” general election this month. While the election arguably legitimised Voreqe Bainimarama’s so-called 2006...
    The Daily Blog | 27-09
  • David Cunliffe Resigns As Labour Leader – Forces Robertson Out of the Bel...
    David Cunliffe has made a smart move, resigning as the leader of the Labour Party so as to force a leadership primary campaign. The move draws rival Grant Robertson out of the beltway to parts of the country where he...
    The Daily Blog | 27-09
  • Deep thought vs Deep prejudice
    . . This letter to the editor appeared in The Listener, on 27 September, and caught my attention; . . Mr Dawson wrote in response to one of those typically unthinking comments which  condemned the poor for their “unbridled, reckless...
    The Daily Blog | 27-09
  • The NZ National voters elected
    The NZ National voters elected...
    The Daily Blog | 26-09
  • GUEST BLOG: Kate Davis – The post election postmortem is giving me post p...
    I feel the need to contribute to the discourse. This is a new experience for me. Not having an opinion, but expressing it on a popular forum in a public sphere. That’s why I have waited till now and put...
    The Daily Blog | 26-09
  • A dictionary of education terms and definitions, brought to you by the let...
    Free to all TDB readers, please enjoy your very own cut-out-and-keep handy primer of terms that I predict you will need to know over the next three years… Achievement Gap (noun) Synonym for wealth gap. ACT (abstract noun) Intangible. Reported to exist in...
    The Daily Blog | 26-09
  • A Mines Rescue brigadesman’s perspective on the Pike River Mine
    My husband and I lived in Greymouth in 2010, we were a coal mining family.  The day Pike River Mine blew up and the days following changed us profoundly, as it did for so many.  This is a Mines Rescue...
    The Daily Blog | 26-09
  • The Left Triumphant! A Counterfactual History of the Last Twelve Months.
    DID IT REALLY HAVE TO END LIKE THIS? Reading through the commentary threads of the left-wing blogs it is impossible to not feel the anger; the sense of betrayal; the impression of having had something vital ripped from their grasp;...
    The Daily Blog | 26-09
  • GUEST BLOG – Myles Thomas: The media won it!
    Make no mistake, John Key is a clever communicator – reasonable, authoritative and relaxed – but without the media he wouldn’t be PM. Depending on your viewpoint, New Zealand’s news media are either a bunch of Grey Lynn lefties or...
    The Daily Blog | 25-09
  • Not Learning Lessons Past: the West’s Response to IS
    In an earlier posting Ukraine, United Kingdom, Ireland, Scotland, I noted that the first lesson of conflict learned by Robert McNamara was “understand your adversary”. If we have honourable objectives, our first and most important weapon is empathy. In the Vietnam War,...
    The Daily Blog | 25-09
  • GUEST BLOG: Dr Jarrod Gilbert – Proof of David Farrar’s deception: my ...
    In the lead up to the election the Minister of Corrections Anne Tolley launched a gang policy. In order to justify the government’s approach she used gang figures that overstated the gang problem. Not by a little bit, but a...
    The Daily Blog | 25-09
  • SPECIAL FEATURE: Stuart Nash – Red To The Rescue?
    SPECIAL FEATURE by Selwyn Manning. IF THE ELECTION RESULT which was dished out to Labour was not enough to incite an immediate leadership primary, then the caucus’ refusal to recognise David Cunliffe as the leader should cement it. Now is...
    The Daily Blog | 25-09
  • Has the one party state crackdown begun already? Left wing NZ activist grou...
    Well known left wing activist social media group, ‘John Key Has Left Down NZ’ has been shut down on Facebook. At 11.40pm last night, Facebook, without any warning shut the group down siting a breach of terms of service as...
    The Daily Blog | 24-09
  • Why Cunliffe should probably just let Nash & Robertson win
    We have to face some very unpalatable home truths. If you are a left wing political person, best you put your vote now to the Green Party, although you’ll have to do that all the while the Greens frantically tell you...
    The Daily Blog | 24-09
  • The graceless win of Kelvin Davis
    The graceless win of Cameron Slater’s mate in the North, Kelvin Davis is difficult to swallow. Here Cameron Slater’s mate in the North is shitting on Hone Harawira by calling Hone all steam, no hangi as Kelvin rubs his ganged up win into...
    The Daily Blog | 24-09
  • So Labour shifted too far to the left?
    So Labour shifted too far to the left?   Here’s the ill-judged view of Josie Pagani in the Pundit “Labour must change”: “At the last election I made myself a heretic when I wrote a column mentioning how unpopular the...
    The Daily Blog | 24-09
  • Uncomplicated Loyalties: Why Cunliffe and the Labour Left Cannot Win
    THE STORY of David Cunliffe’s leadership of the Labour Party has been one of missed opportunities and unforced errors. That he was the only choice available to those who wanted to rid the Labour Party of its neoliberal cuckoos is...
    The Daily Blog | 24-09
  • So we can expect this now?
    So we can expect this now?...
    The Daily Blog | 23-09
  • Can Labour be saved? Why Whaleoil & National won and why we need a new ...
    As the shock of my optimism that NZers would recoil from the real John Key as exposed by Dirty Politics and mass surveillance duplicities wears off, I am surprised to find that the right in NZ are not content with...
    The Daily Blog | 23-09
  • Three more years (up shit creek and paddling hard)
    “If the future is not green, there is no future. If the future is not you, there is no future”. Emma Thompson’s stirring words to the climate marchers in London last Sunday are worth considering in the aftermath of the...
    The Daily Blog | 23-09
  • One Party State
    In years to come this election will be seen as a historic turning point towards one party rule. I don`t mean this literally, absolute single party dictatorship is not in prospect. In the New Zealand context though, one party has...
    The Daily Blog | 23-09
  • No More. The Left Falls.
    . We cannot be beaten down Because we are down already. We can only rise up and if you should beat us down, We will rise again. And again. And again… And when you tire of beating us down, We...
    The Daily Blog | 23-09
  • Hang tight everyone – Marama Davidson campaign reflection
    To the many people who had expressed their overwhelming support for me to enter Parliament this election – thank you. That the Greens held steady in a big loss for progressive politics is an achievement. We are hopeful that after...
    The Daily Blog | 22-09
  • How You Can Help the Homeless
    At any one time, there are an estimated 357 homeless people in Central Auckland alone, many enduring hardships beyond the rain, wind and cold of sleeping rough. October 10 is World Homeless Day when the public are invited to learn...
    Scoop politics | 02-10
  • Over 20% of Gold Production Now Pledged to Kiwifruit Claim
    Kiwifruit growers representing over 20% of New Zealand gold kiwifruit production have already pledged to join The Kiwifruit Claim, the chairman of the claim’s grower committee, John Cameron, said today....
    Scoop politics | 02-10
  • ‘Creepy’ Decision on Up-Skirt Filming Slammed
    Family First NZ says that a discharge without conviction given to a man who filmed up a woman's dress in a Wellington department store is a ‘creepy’ decision that should concern all people who value their privacy. “This decision by...
    Scoop politics | 02-10
  • Speaker leads delegation to CPA Conference
    Strengthening New Zealand’s ties with parliaments from across the world will be the focus of the upcoming delegation to the 60th Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) Conference in Yaoundé, Cameroon from 4-10 October and the 131st Inter-Parliamentary...
    Scoop politics | 02-10
  • Response to Russell Brown and Tertiary Education Union
    The allegation that I have worked with others to discredit public health efforts is wrong. My public comments in relation to public health researchers have been where academics have mislead the public about official support or endorsement, and where...
    Scoop politics | 02-10
  • 17 jobs lost as Bridon/Cookes reaches the end of its rope
    Seventeen workers at the iconic Bridon/Cookes wire rope company in Auckland are to be made redundant as the company ceases production in New Zealand. The company has blamed the high New Zealand dollar for making it uncompetitive to keep the...
    Scoop politics | 02-10
  • Slip in University Rankings – Funding Not the Problem
    Responding to the slippage of New Zealand universities' rankings , Jordan Williams, Executive Director of the Taxpayers’ Union says:...
    Scoop politics | 02-10
  • Time to rethink police chases, says safety campaigner
    Police chases are dangerous and generally unnecessary, says the American Federal Bureau of Investigation....
    Scoop politics | 02-10
  • Robertson now expected to be Labour leader by Xmas
    Grant Robertson is now overwhelmingly picked to become the next leader of the Labour Party by the end of the year, according to the combined wisdom of the 8000+ registered traders on New Zealand’s predictions market, iPredict. Another potential Labour...
    Scoop politics | 01-10
  • Documenting historic Māori land law cases for the first time
    A new book from Victoria University of Wellington’s Faculty of Law will continue to put the spotlight on Māori Land Law judgments which have never before been published....
    Scoop politics | 01-10
  • ‘Oily’ people greet Petroleum Summit diners
    Greenpeace activists smeared in fake oil have greeted guests arriving at the part-Statoil sponsored Petroleum Summit dinner this evening....
    Scoop politics | 01-10
  • Key Decisions Made About Labour’s Leadership Election
    Labour’s New Zealand Council has made the key decisions about the timetable and process around the election of Labour’s Party Leader. The result will be announced on Tuesday 18th November, following a comprehensive and extensive process unique...
    Scoop politics | 01-10
  • Suspected $6 Million Dollar Wananga Fraud Alarming
    The Taxpayers’ Union is calling on on the Te Whare Wananga o Awanuiarangi to front up over claims the Wananga has pocketed government overpayments amounting to $6 million of taxpayers' money. Jordan Williams, Executive Director of the Taxpayers’ Union...
    Scoop politics | 01-10
  • Submissions sought on herbicide for weed control in maize
    The Environmental Protection Authority is calling for submissions on a herbicide to improve broadleaf weed control in maize. The substance CADET contains 100g fluthiacet-methyl in the form of an emulsifiable concentrate and would contain a new active ingredient...
    Scoop politics | 01-10
  • Jesse Mulligan Lives Below Poverty Line
    Jesse Mulligan Lives Below Poverty Line TV personality Jesse Mulligan will live on the equivalent of the extreme poverty line this October in order to raise awareness of sex trafficking. Mulligan will survive on $2.25 for his food from October...
    Scoop politics | 01-10
  • Narratives from the 2014 Election: What do we learn?
    Narratives from the 2014 Election: What do we learn? - Sue Bradford, Russell Brown & Kirk Serpes discuss....
    Scoop politics | 01-10
  • Voices from Oceania to speak out on climate change
    Voices from Oceania to speak out on climate change at launch of Pacific environment report...
    Scoop politics | 01-10
  • Changes to Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre messages
    The Ministry of Civil Defence & Emergency Management advises that while changes to Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre messages come into effect from today (Wednesday 1 October), the Ministry has been, and remains, the authoritative voice for tsunami...
    Scoop politics | 01-10
  • Police remove banner at Statoil Offices in Wellington
    Oil Free Wellington hung a banner at 9:30 this morning at the Statoil office headquarters in Wellington as the Petroleum Summit opened in Auckland. The banner, which read 'Statoil out of Northland: Stop Deep Sea Oil', has now been removed...
    Scoop politics | 01-10
  • Mixed massages raise concerns
    Mixed massages raise concerns for Te Taumata Kaumatua Ngapuhi nui tonu, and Te Wakaminenga O nga Hapu Ngapuhi....
    Scoop politics | 01-10
  • Union Slams Port Boss’s Pay Rise
    The Rail and Maritime Transport Union (RMTU) says Lyttelton Port CEO Peter Davie’s 18% wage rise, taking his pay packet to $1.24m, is unjustified and inflammatory. ‘Lyttelton port has an appalling health and safety record, with three deaths on...
    Scoop politics | 30-09
  • Prisons expert Ron Nikkel to speak in Auckland October 15
    Prison Fellowship NZ and JustSpeak have the privilege of hosting the former president of Prison Fellowship International, Ron Nikkel....
    Scoop politics | 30-09
  • Hundreds of educators protest IES in Rotorua
    Four hundred educators from around the country took their opposition to the Government's controversial Investing in Educational Success policy to the public today....
    Scoop politics | 30-09
  • Crime drops by 3.2 % in the 2013 / 2014 financial year
    Criminal offences dropped by 3.2 % in the last financial year according to figures released today through Statistics New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 30-09
  • Narratives from the 2014 Election: what do we learn?
    I would like to invite you to a Fabians Reflection on "Dirty Politics, Dotcom and Labour’s worst result" with Colin James, Keith Ng, Stephanie Rodgers and Richard Harman. They will provide a debrief of analysis and lessons from the 2014...
    Scoop politics | 30-09
  • Oil Free Wellington drops banner from Statoil headquarters
    Today members of Oil Free Wellington have targeted the offices of Statoil, by attaching a banner reading 'Statoil out of Northland: Stop Deep Sea Oil' to the entrance of Vodafone on the Quay Midland Park, where Statoil's New Zealand office...
    Scoop politics | 30-09
  • Media Statement from Karen Price
    “After a period of intense media attention and scrutiny of our family, I set up and used an anonymous Twitter account over the weekend and made a number of comments that I deeply regret....
    Scoop politics | 30-09
  • Greenpeace disrupts Simon Bridges’ speech to oil industry
    Greenpeace activists have disrupted the opening speech by Energy and Resources Minister Simon Bridges at the Petroleum Summit in Auckland this morning....
    Scoop politics | 30-09
  • New Zealand Red Cross Responds to Drought in Tonga
    New Zealand Red Cross has sent an aid worker and two desalination units, to turn seawater into safe drinking water in the drought-hit Ha’apai islands of Tonga....
    Scoop politics | 30-09
  • Can you ever tell if an email is real or forged?
    Computer industry veteran Brian Eardley-Wilmot warns that we should never take claims about stolen emails at face value....
    Scoop politics | 30-09
  • NZ MPs to attend the ASPG Annual Conference in Sydney
    New Zealand MPs to attend the Australasian Study of Parliament Group Annual Conference in Sydney...
    Scoop politics | 30-09
  • Independent Maori seats still needed in Parliament
    “He’s got to be joking!” is the reaction of the president of the Maori Party, Rangimarie Naida Glavish to a call by a former Labour Minister of Maori Affairs, Dover Samuels, for debate by Maori on whether the Maori electorates...
    Scoop politics | 30-09
  • Support for Democratic Rights in Hong Kong
    Rallies supporting the rights for universal suffrage will take place all over New Zealand today and tomorrow...
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Trout Mass-Poisoned in New Zealand
    Trout Mass-Poisoned in New Zealand The Graf Boys New Zealand has some of the best trout fishing in the world! Every year thousands of international visitors wade pristine rivers in search of the freshwater game fish....
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • New Zealand’s 2014 Hottest Vegetarians Crowned
    With winter gone things are heating up, and things just got even hotter with the crowning of New Zealand’s hottest vegetarians, says animal advocacy group SAFE. Marking World Vegetarian Day, 1st October, director James Napier Robertson and actor...
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • A day to remember our duty to look after our senior citizens
    Human Rights Commissioner Dr Jackie Blue says International Day of the Older Person (1 October) is a United Nations day to celebrate our senior citizens, but also acknowledge the need to protect our kaumatua, or older people from abuse and...
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Clear data needed on impact of benefit sanctions on children
    A lack of data on benefit sanctions means there is no way of knowing whether welfare reform is helping or harming children, says Child Poverty Action Group....
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • The socialist alternative to austerity and war
    Public meeting: After the New Zealand election—the socialist alternative to austerity and war By Tom Peters 29 September 2014...
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • New recruits to boost border protection
    Twenty six new recruits began an intensive nine-week training course in Auckland today that will see them graduate as Customs officers in time for the busy summer season....
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Dwindling Mallard population shows up ‘pest’ myth
    The pro hunting organisation Fish & Game is researching the causes of the decline of the mallard duck population, upset at the prospect of fewer ducks to kill....
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Support for Democratic Rights in Hong Kong
    New Zealanders in Auckland will gather on Wednesday to support the rights for universal suffrage in Hong Kong....
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Campbell Live Exclusive Interview with David Cunliffe
    David Cunliffe resigned as leader of the Labour party on Saturday; but he still wants the top job....
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Action needed on cycling safety
    “Clearly we aren't doing enough to protect the 1.5 million New Zealanders who ride bikes,” said Mr Morgan....
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • World Rivers Day Passes Without A Whimper
    Sunday 28 September was World Rivers Day to celebrate clean, flowing rivers and caring about them. But a recreation-conservation advocacy the Council of Outdoor Recreation Associations of NZ (CORANZ) says the day seems to have slipped by without...
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • The Kiwifruit Claim: Q&A
    1. Who is running The Kiwifruit Claim? The Kiwifruit Claim was founded by kiwifruit growers representing well in excess of 10% of the industry. 2. Why are you running this claim? The introduction of Psa into New Zealand had devastating...
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Fed Farmers Need to Be Weaned
    The Taxpayers’ Union is calling on Federated Farmers to make a firm commitment to reject any future Government funding, after it was revealed that the lobby group had received over $200,000 of payments in recent years....
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Children paying the price for charter school stitch up
    New Zealand children will be paying a high price for a one-seat deal between ACT and National, with an expansion of the beleaguered charter school system says education union NZEI Te Riu Roa....
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Hikoi From North Reaches Oil Conference Tomorrow
    Today: The Hikoi opposing Statoil plans for seismic testing and deep sea oil drilling has marched through Dargaville and later be welcomed to Piringatahi Marae, West Harbour,Tamaki Makaurau/Auckland....
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Communities Still Count
    The efforts of many organisations to influence the electorate and the political parties they voted for in the lead up to the 2014 Election is over. The voting public has spoken and provided a strong endorsement to the centre-right National...
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Eleven social enterprises get ready to take off
    Eleven teams from across the country will take part in the Launchpad, Ākina’s programme to get social enterprise ideas off the ground....
    Scoop politics | 29-09
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lprent: At the request of Tim Barnett, Labour's returning officer, the Karen Price/Clayton Cosgrove post has been withdrawn during the primary.