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Rock star – “No depression”

Written By: - Date published: 11:46 am, February 21st, 2014 - 104 comments
Categories: activism, class war, david cunliffe, election 2014, equality, john key, Metiria Turei, news, poverty, Satire, spin - Tags:

Popular songs can often capture the heartbeat of communities, in ways the serious media fail to grasp. Today’s infotainment media can ignore the meanings, while drawing on the celebrity culture at the centre of much of the popular music industry. Many in our media are cheering on our (alleged) “Rock Star” economy. Meanwhile the inequality gap, and life damaging poverty are there for all who dare to see it, un-diverted by the beat-ups and politically motivated shenanigans of the neoliberal PR machine.

Some have drawn similarities between our current PM, John Key, and Robert Muldoon, Prime Minister in the 1975 to 1984.  This was the period leading up to the Rogernomic, “neoliberal” revolution that began in 1984.  Muldoon was a polarizing figure, much like John Key (though our media tends to talk up Key’s positive following).  Muldoon’s outlook on life was mocked in an iconic NZ song, “There is No Depression in New Zealand”

He was one of the most polarising figures in New Zealand history, failing to address the growing economic depression and consequent unemployment, the racial unrest and the threat of civil war World War Three when a racially repressive Springbok Rugby team toured New Zealand.

Muldoon divided New Zealanders into two camps. Some saw “Piggy” Muldoon as a dictatorial Prime Minister who came close to destroying both the economy and social fabric of New Zealand through his arrogance. Others, “Rob’s Mob”, revered him as a supporter of the “ordinary bloke” and an icon of the New Zealand national character.

The above linked web site, New Zealand Folk Song, outlines the history of the ‘No Depression” song.  It reveals a people’s slant on the country’s changing political landscape: one that links creativity, entertainment and youthful rebellions, while also revealing similarities and differences between then and now.

The sang by Blam Blam Blam was a protest against the Muldoonist mis-representations of the conflicts, struggle, insecurities and dangers in NZ society of the time.

Apparently,

The Hamilton-based “Swamp Stomp” Gumboot Dancers still use it regularly as part of their eclectic range of antics.

no depression swamp stomp gumboots1

The web page reports on the use of “No Depression in the McGillicuddies”:

The McGilliduddy Serious Party was formed as a political party to use satire as a way of highlighting the absurdity of other partys’ policies.

McGSP leader Graeme Cairns explains:
“In about 1990 Mark Servian of the McGillicuddies was doing a radio broadcast over the Waikato Students’ Union radio station. It purported to be the National Radio’s Saturday Night Show, 50 years in the future, and the final piece of music they played was Blam Blam Blam’s There is No Depression in New Zealand,” which Mark prefaced with; “And we’ll say goodnight with the National Anthem”.

There was a failed attempt to use the song as a stunt during the 1993 or 1996 elections.

mcgillicuddies

Green Party Co-leader, Metiria Turei, was part of the McGillicuddies.  In her maiden speech in Parliament in 2002, she performed a Te Reo version of “No Depression”.

In doing this, Turei brought together her radical beginnings in politics, where fun, humour, satire and street politics were part of her activism: an activism embracing a deep and serious commitment.  Her maiden speech outlines her journey from growing up in a poor, Maori, working class family. There are more details of Turei’s life story on the Green Party’s website. There are some similarities with John Key’s very politically-spun origins, but Turei has taken a different route.

Metiria’s life is peppered with challenges that have been successfully converted into opportunities. She remains resolutely unbound to any particular ideology (“the dusty tomes of old, dead guys”) and developed her political theories alongside the practical application of dissent and organisation.

Much of Metiria’s political action has centred on the rights of beneficiaries. She well remembers unemployed life as an 18-year old in Wellington

Unlike Key, and like David Cunliffe, she has not pulled the ladder up after herself.  As her response to the attempted smear of her choice of clothing shows, Turei remains down-to-earth, and focused on helping to make NZ a better place for all Kiwis.

Blam Blam Blam’s song still strikes to the heart of today’s political realities: as Tracey commented:

An economy that sees families struggling, which sees the gap between the bottom half of kiwis and the top half increasing by the decade is not a Rockstar. We should be saying it is an economy that has failed. No matter how well you handle THAT economy… families struggle, gap widens and child poverty grows.

The rockstar is a single person, at the top;, with the money and the fame. Of course he/she is happy and smiling and likeable.
The roadie is in the wing doing the grunt work for no credit and basic pay
The majority have to pay for the pleasure to line the Rockstar’s pocket

Chris Trotter identifies some similarities between 1975 and 2014.

History never repeats…. or does it?

104 comments on “Rock star – “No depression””

  1. captain hook 1

    rockstar huh.
    root all the sheilas and snarf as much coke as you can get till your septum blows up.
    more prosaically just wait for the next real estate boom, inflate the paper, con the dodos with high interst rates and then retire to the south of France.
    a sunny place for shady people.
    rockstar my arse.

  2. shorts 2

    A local hip hop crew addressed the similarities between then and now a couple of years back, stunningly –

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8AjgWyxJAGQ

    for those whom can’t make out the lyrics:

    (Verse 1 – Tom Scott)
    ‘Cause this ain’t no fucking joke, we fucking broke,
    far from cutting coke, all we got is luck and hope,
    dreams going up in smoke, one day, some way,
    yeah that’s what we used to say, now we black out, sniffin’ white
    sold the future’s grey, the youth that we threw away
    ain’t ever coming back, our criminal record
    haunting us forever like a tab.
    Where I come from, minimum wage is what we run on,
    no wonder why we spendin’ our pay getting drunk off some cheap shit,
    standing in line, waiting for some free shit to eat with,
    resorting to crime for some Weetbix, the same old story
    that you heard a million times before, I bet a party doesn’t even cross
    your mind no more, fucking Prime Minister ain’t even got the time to talk,
    cuttin’ off the dole, tryna justify why we’re poor,
    acting like we’re happy working underneath your iron claw,
    when you don’t even need to give a reason we’ve been fighting for.
    Trying to fight the law is like, tryna fight a fireball, ask my old man,
    they locked him up just for trying to score.
    Fuck working in a factory ’til you’re 94, course we resort to crime
    when all you get from crime is_________
    And that’s some fucked up system where justice is just some juxtaposition
    between the police and the judge’s decision and even if you scream,
    who the fuck is gonna listen to us?

    And what they know about missing the bus?
    Yeah, it’s just another prisoner’s dust
    They keep the bread and they give us the crust,
    ’cause the system is sussed; there ain’t no politician to trust
    who’s gonna listen to us

    (Verse 2 – Tourettes)
    John Key can suck my dick, hiding in his mansion.
    While half the population flies across the Tasman,
    the other half tryna act like it’s not happenin’.
    Thinkin’ that they’re rich with their hire purchase plasmas,
    asking what’s the matter? There’s no depression in New Zealand!
    Yeah, just a soul sinking feeling, had you staring at the
    All Blacks cheering, distracting you from the oil spills of poor tax.
    Dignity?
    Can’t afford that on minimum wage,
    shit is insane, the rent is half of my pay!
    Nobody laughing these days, though the economy’s a joke.
    Except for ___________ you know how how that goes,
    socialism for the rich, capitalism for the poor.
    Want us to live in shit, keep us struggling and bored,
    if you waited and thought for one second, that we deserve better,
    ain’t enough pigs to protect ‘em, keep everything expensive
    and the wages low, get them loses and wins out digging some holes,
    saying work’ll set you free, yeah it’s good for the soul, ____________
    while they come and ask for your vote. Cut the funding ________ by
    the National Party, blame every problem on solo mothers and dole bludgers,
    the working class and ___ gang getting fisted, until we say it different
    ain’t no one gonna listen to us

    Minimum wage just isn’t enough
    Tax cuts don’t make a difference to us
    Act like a poor, all we know is prison and drugs
    Gettin’ high is the only way we livin’ it up

    (Outro – Matt Crawley)
    I’ve been thinking ’bout who’s doing the talking, all I’ve been reading
    about how we’re sinking
    I’ve been drinking ’bout how we’re doing, all that we’re missing,
    and that nobody’s listening

    Nobody’s listening x2

    • Rosie 2.1

      Shorts, do you know what’s interesting? You posted that at 12.30. At 1.30 Radio Active, independent Wellington radio (and on line) played the above song. A quirky coincidence.

    • Tracey 2.2

      Thanks for this

    • Brett Dale 2.3

      and how much nzonair money did they get?

      • Mary 2.3.1

        Doesn’t matter because there is no depression in New Zealand Brett Dale.

      • One Anonymous Bloke 2.3.2

        Politics of envy Brett?

        • Brett Dale 2.3.2.1

          OAB:

          Nope, just find it crazy that band will sing about living on minimum wage, but have
          gotton maybe over 100K from nzonair.

          • One Anonymous Bloke 2.3.2.1.1

            Perhaps they remember what minimum wage is like and have a sense of gratitude, but surely that possibility would only be hidden from an idiot.

            Are you an idiot, Brett?

          • Hayden 2.3.2.1.2

            I think you’ve wildly overestimated how much NZ On Air pay for a music video.

      • Rosie 2.3.3

        Not a cent Brett:

        “Homebrew hail from the inner west Auckland suburb of Avondale. After building a solid profile for live shows and a well received debut EP, they hit up funding body NZ on Air for their $5k video grant and were knocked back repeatedly. Enlisting the help of Chris Graham (video clip director for Trinity Roots and Scribe, and feature director of Sione’s Wedding) they made a series of web promos’ taking a swipe at the funding bodies unwillingness to fund up and coming successful artists but more than happy to pour $50k into major label backed projects. The resulting videos and well aimed critique hit the mark and then some. Now well into the finishing process of their debut (double!) album, tracks are starting to appear on Soundcloud and new videos are on the way. New track ‘Listen To Us’, a collaboration with Tourettes, debuted just before the NZ general election in November and captured the sentiment felt across the nation; sadly not enough to help the underdogs pull through in the country’s most apathetic election in a century…Orange Press talks to head larrikin Tom Scott:…….”

        http://theorangepress.net/2011/12/qa-homebrew/

        Happy now?

        • Rosie 2.3.3.1

          Furthermore Brett, you’re going to get the “10 cent skank” treatment by the Upsetters, just to chill you out on a Friday evening. All that huffing and puffing about imagined tax payer dollar going to a band doesn’t do your health any good.

          I particularly like the piano on this track. Enjoy.

          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uVoJZq30148

          • Brett Dale 2.3.3.1.1

            well good on them for standing on their own two feet, but they did ask for funding. So 50/50 on that one.
            Not sure what the ten cent skank thing is?

            • Rosie 2.3.3.1.1.1

              “well good on them for standing on their own two feet, but they did ask for funding.”

              Yes, they asked for $5K, not $100K as you suggested above.

              10 cent skank. Like I said, it was just to chill you out – no other message than that. A little musical chill pill, that’s all. You don’t need to understand it.

              Quit being so mean.

            • weka 2.3.3.1.1.2

              Are you suggesting that NZ musicians shouldn’t ask NZonAir for funding?

            • felix 2.3.3.1.1.3

              “but they did ask for funding. So 50/50 on that one.”

              So first you were saying that it’s not ok to sing about minimum wage life if you’ve had a video grant ($5000 btw, and guess what: the money has to be used for a fucking music video. It doesn’t alter their income one cent).

              But now you’re saying it’s not ok to sing about life on minimum wage if you even applied for $5000 to make a music video.

              I can’t figure out which of those positions is the more ridiculous.

              • Brett Dale

                Felix:

                I cant it help it, if you cant work out what I mean.

                • felix

                  What makes you think I can’t work it out? It’s obvious what you’re saying.

                  It’s just very, very, very stupid.

              • Pascal's bookie

                The part where he claims he was half right.

                What a fucking know nothing douche.

                Dale, learn yourself about how and why these kids are making music these days:

                http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/nat-music/audio/2562806/young-gifted-and-broke

                http://younggiftedandbroke.com/

                http://younggiftedandbroke.com/home-brew/

                • Brett Dale

                  pascal:

                  dear oh dear, you belong right along with marion hobbes community class in the 1980s.

                  • shorts

                    Yes they’ve had funding – why shouldn’t they?

                    To date they’ve received two NZOA grants – one for Home Brew and another for an offshoot band @peace

                    2011-08 @PEACE Be Like Home Brew Crew Ltd $10,000 Making Tracks Funding
                    2011-03 HOME BREW Yellow Snot Funk Home Brew Crew $5,000 Music Videos

                    Please note the money is for recording and/or making videos – the band don’t get the money, they get to spend the money with film makers and/or recording studios

                    Homebrew’s debut album (self funded) went number one on our charts – they’ve received several awards from the industry for their work

                    Currently the band are pretty much on hiatus as they focus on Team Dynamite (album just released) and @peace (album due soon)

                    They have been talking about touring soon with an eye to sue the tour to encourage people to register to vote

                  • Pascal's bookie

                    Which half were you right about Brett?

                    And Garth Brooks fans don’t have any place criticising homebrew about authenticity, JFTR.

                    You just don’t like hiphop. And that’s ok, but you take that preference into places that are pretty much indistinguishable from racism when you bear in mind you like Garth Brooks.

                    If hiphop in NZ isn’t authentic, then hwo is Country music authentic?

                    And if homebrew can’t rap about minimum wage existence because they applied for a video grant from nzonair, then how the hell can Garth Brooks sing about any damn thing at all?

                    Hmmm, wonder why the difference, what it could be now, nah.

                    • Brett Dale

                      Pascal:

                      Uhm Garth was the first straight artist to get artist of the year from GLAAD. He has also won awards from the NCAAP. His songs are about racial harmony, gay rights, woman issues, he has written songs about down syndrome etc etc.

                      Your a typical Kiwi winger. You automatically think :Well every hiphop group must have intrigirty and every country artist must be racist”

                      Because you yourself are a bigot and use stereotypes. Im pretty sure President Obama wouldnt have invited to sing if his lyrics were racists. Im pretty sure he wouldnt have done a concert with George Michael and another concert with boys 2 men if his music was bigtoed or homophobic, do some research next time.

                      Oh by the way,. country album of the year, went to kacey mugraves an artist who did a song about bi sexual.transgender teens.

                    • Brett Dale

                      Pascal: Homebrew can sing about mininum wage if they want, but when there are lyrics about how they have struggled with no help with their music, but they have received funding, then i take that with a grain of salt.

                      Again, not every hiphop group has intrigrity, some do some dont.

                      And not every country artist is some george bush loving pro war guy, toby keith maybe, but the biggest country artists in history are all democrats.

                      Garth, Willie, Cash, the dixie chicks, Shania. and now kacey musgraves.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      Way to demonstrate how a point can sail right over someone’s head, Brett.

                      What are Garth Brooks’ credentials to sing about such things, given that (according to your silly ethics) Homebrew aren’t allowed to sing about poverty because they earned some money?

                    • Pascal's bookie

                      Oh Brett, you’re so easy.

                      Brooks sings all sorts of trite shite. Doesn’t mean he has integrity based on the metric you applied to homebrew though does it?

                      Have you ever said, on this blog even, that NZ hiphop is pretty much all bullshit because they are just copying a style fro the US? That the only authentic hiphop is urban african-american? Shit like that?

                      And JFTR I own far more country and Appalachian mountain derived music than I do hiphop. Even own a Garth Brooks album, though technically it’s my partner’s. It doesn’t get listened to much though, I have to say. He’s just boring.

      • Tim 2.3.4

        God you’re a miserable Cnut aren’t you Brett. The very first thing you think of when it comes to something people might derive some pleasure from is ‘how much does it cost’.
        You and Chris Finlayson should hook up! You’re the only people allowed you’re indulgences, after all – Gods Gift – the plebs just gotta pay!.
        I won’t forget to put roses on your grave – followed by a dose of urea.

        • Brett Dale 2.3.4.1

          TIm:

          Again there are good and bad artists of any music types, it would appear people here
          dont think this.

          Im pretty sure if this huphop group wrote a song ripping into labour or the greens, you would be criticizing them.

          • Tim 2.3.4.1.1

            No no no – you don’t get off that so easily. As I said – THE VERY FIRST THING you thought of, was the COST.
            Secondly: “I’m pretty sure if this huphop group wrote a song ripping into labour or the greens, you would be criticizing them.” …… WRONG! It’d receive a wry smile at best.

            It’s a shame the likes of you and Chris don’t ekshly realise the regard in which you’re held, by those that provide your pleasure. Most of them do it under duress (mortgages to pay and all that).

            BoQ.
            btw …. BM – you don’t happen to have a first name of Brendan do you? Never mind though – in any event, your first thought as to COST and NZoA funding pretty much says it all.
            You don’t claim to be a suppota of ‘the arts’ as well do you? Yea I bet – I’ll take yours and raise you.

            • Brett Dale 2.3.4.1.1.1

              TiM:

              I dont know who chris is, and yes i am well aware of the cost of living, and how hard it is, most my temp work i have had in my whole life have been mininum wage.

          • felix 2.3.4.1.2

            “Again there are good and bad artists of any music types, it would appear people here
            dont think this.”

            Hi Brett. Could you please point to the comment which indicates that “people here don’t think this”?

            Thanks in advance.

    • karol 2.4

      Thanks for this, shorts. Maybe it’s a video to feature again in the course of this election year. They don’t seem to have been prominent lately.

      Any other bands/performers with this kind of radical edge?

      • Brett Dale 2.4.1

        FFS

      • shorts 2.4.2

        other bands not mentioned – not really. Politics and commentaries on life are themes that pop up in several actives acts work there aren’t any bands I’d say are radical in the sense tat we’ve seen before (most notably in some of our lifetimes in the late 70’s/80s).

        Locally there have been some songs that attack john Key and the govt but on a subject matter level they are pretty much puerile “he’s a dick” sort of affairs

        Politics and political commentary is a topic that is sadly lacking in the global contemporary music world, there are plenty of artists commenting on their circumstances and the world in which they live but few that are actually advocating real or radical change

        I live and watch in the hope that somewhere someone with an audience will produce some great music with a message that resonates with (primarily) the young that will encourage them to be more active politically in their lives

        • One Anonymous Bloke 2.4.2.1

          Why? If music changed anything we’d all be floating in a tincan all you need is love holiday in cambodia teen spirited royals.

  3. Mr Interest 3

    Not Rock

    Porn Star

    Who is the main pimp?

    Who are his fluffers?

    Who are the ones that get ripped off and xxxxed?

  4. tricledrown 4

    Pimkey

  5. The Real Matthew 5

    The whole Muldoon – Key comparison was dispelled last time it was brought up.

    Why bring it up again? Your flogging a dead sheep.

  6. Sosoo 6

    Many in our media are cheering on our (alleged) “Rock Star” economy. Meanwhile the inequality gap, and life damaging poverty are there for all who dare to see it, un-diverted by the beat-ups and politically motivated shenanigans of the neoliberal PR machine.

    They can see it all right. They just don’t care because the people who vote National see themselves as doing well out of it. Pop songs have zero effect. The people who sing them inevitably end up as right wing fogeys if they make enough money.

    It’s been normality for 30 years and you still deny it. Neoliberalism is electorally popular enough that it is undefeatable for the foreseeable future. Of course it’s very bad for part of the population, but the rest, and in particular older people, are doing just fine out of it, and enough of them vote to make it the political norm. Like many, I thought that the financial crisis would make a difference, but it’s just gotten worse. Yes, it’s stupid, but stupidity is as curable as the common cold.

    You and the rest of the contributors to this site have no real answer to that, so you try to make it about something else. In the end, we get this crap simply because you can’t win an election in NZ (or the countries like it) without it. This really is what democracy looks like. John Key will be the Prime Minister until he is replaced by whichever right wing member of the Labour caucus replaces Cunliffe early next year.

    Just accept that bad ideas sometimes win and move on.

    • Rosie 6.1

      “Just accept that bad ideas sometimes win and move on”

      No. Might as well give up die.

      • Sosoo 6.1.1

        The only reason to give up and die is if your entire life is consumed by politics, and if that is the case, you have bigger problems than Labour’s failure to gain electoral traction.

        • Rosie 6.1.1.1

          Sosoo. I was referring to your attitude, which I find defeatist. There is more to “politics” than party politics – people do not have to tolerate what their governments dictate, no matter who is in power. Dissent is a part of a healthy democracy. There’s more to it than voting every three years.

          We do not have to accept that bad ideas sometimes win.

          • Sosoo 6.1.1.1.1

            But bad ideas sometimes do win. The last 30 years is ample evidence of that. You don’t have a choice of whether to tolerate it, because it is forced on you by your fellow citizens.

            If you’ve spent years screaming about it, and not enough people listen, you might want to re-evaluate.

          • Sosoo 6.1.1.1.2

            Not participating can have a greater effect than you think.

            The left is like a wife who stays with an abusive husband. What could he do if she wasn’t there to hit?

    • Colonial Viper 6.2

      I read your point differently Sosoo.

      Simply put: electoral politics are a waste of time, money and energy for the Left, until the Left has developed strong institutions and mass movements to back itself.

      • SHG (not Colonial Viper) 6.2.1

        Electoral politics are a waste of time, money, and energy for the Left until the Left works out how to not be shit at it.

      • Sosoo 6.2.2

        That’s a fair comment, CV. It’s the intermediate civic institutions such as unions that are needed. If it comes down to voting by individuals as individuals, the left loses.

        The problem is that nobody seems interested in those things any more.

        • Colonial Viper 6.2.2.1

          Without responsive “intermediate civic institutions” and mass movements pressuring the political parties to shift Left, we’re going to be stuck with regurgitated neoliberal capitalist policies to a sometimes greater, and to a sometimes lesser, extent from both Labour and National as the two parties keep cycling through.

  7. karol 7

    It’s been normality for 30 years and you still deny it. Neoliberalism is electorally popular enough that it is undefeatable for the foreseeable future.

    “Electorally popular” is not the same as being generally popular. Why are so many people not voting? Approximately 20% of people eligible to vote on NZ in 2008 and 2011.

    Young people, the unemployed, people on low incomes, and recent migrants were the groups least likely to vote.

    i’m not denying there’s an on-going problem. But why does the parliamentary left not make more effort to engage with the young, the unemployed, etc?

    There’s anger and potential rebellion seething at the grass roots…. among the young, among those continually overlooked….

    • Sosoo 7.1

      “Electorally popular” is not the same as being generally popular.

      Sure, but the former is what matters in politics.

      Why are so many people not voting?

      I’m a long term non-voter, so I can answer for myself, although I have no idea why most other non-voters refrain.

      I guess it’s because I don’t think of democracy as a transparent system in which the will of voters is translated into action. Instead it seems to me that the structure of the system largely determines the outcome. Back in the day there were more intermediate civic institutions (like unions and mass membership political parties) mediating between the average voter and the government, and this enabled a more deliberative rationality and made it easier for individual people to be part of organised voting blocs.

      Now that’s all gone, and political parties as a matter of brute fact are nothing more than corporate bodies “selling” policy to individuals in the same way that McDonalds sells hamburgers to teenagers. It’s not a particularly deliberative or rational process, and so the end result tends to be not as good for regular people and better for those who can afford to maintain interest groups (like organised business).

      This consumerist type politics doesn’t seem to favour left wing policies, and so the right benefit from an electoral system that gives them a massive advantage (along with the other advantages they’ve always had).

      I see no point in participating in such a system, since participating just lends it legitimacy. The kind of political system we now have is inherently right wing, or at least it seems so to me.

      I’m sure some political scientist pointed this out years ago, but it seems obvious to me. I can’t see any way out of it either, since hyper individualism seems to rule these days. Politics is fun to talk and argue about, but I can’t personally see anything changing for a long time. For example, it’s only a few months in and Cunliffe has already been neutered.

      But YMMV

      • flip 7.1.1

        @Sosooo
        I am sorry that you do not vote. Can I just say that I think abdicating that responsibility means you have given up and surrendered. If people like yourself continue to do so then democracy is really doomed. ‘Use it or lose it’ as the saying goes. Not participating lends their programme legitimacy as they go unopposed. ‘The only thing it takes for evil to win is for good to do nothing’ or words to that effect.

        I would encourage you to vote. It does not take much and is an important part of a democratic society. They win and think they are right if you do not turn up.

        There is a lot more you can do than just vote as well. Work to influence society to be better.

  8. He was one of the most polarising figures in New Zealand history, failing to address the growing economic depression and consequent unemployment, the racial unrest and the threat of civil war “World War Three“ when a racially repressive Springbok Rugby team toured New Zealand.

    Not relevant to your post, but perhaps of general interest: when this song came out, those of us around at the time took “everybody’s talkin’ ’bout World War Three” quite literally to mean an impending WW3, not as any kind of metaphor about NZ under Muldoon. The assumption that Thatcher and Reagan would deliver us WW3 was pretty widespread.

    • karol 8.1

      Now it’s climate change, resource depletion and…… guerilla, urbanised wars – on and offline.

      • Colonial Viper 8.1.1

        Kiev government forces have started to use live ammunition. That’s what governments do to their own people when they feel threatened enough.

  9. greywarbler 9

    Sosoo
    We can’t promise you a certain win for Labour. But we can promise you a certain loss for Labour if we spend time listening to you. It is no good you singing your dirge, you know that it achieves nothing useful and wastes your time and ours. Why not hang around and say nothing except when something good does happen and put in a short positive comment then. Otherwise I think you’re just another RWNJ gremlin making a snide attack.

    We are aware that it will be a dirty election. We waste precious time on the panty fillers who come here so if that is you too, shut up.

    • Sosoo 9.1

      Keep hoping. It’s only been 30 years now..

      If you have some practically effective means of opposing neoliberal politics (and “voting for the Labour Party” hardly counts in view of its record and its caucus), then please share it.

      I voted for most of my adult life and all I got was more right wing government. So I stopped.

      • greywarbler 9.1.1

        Sosoo
        Well we have the matter clear now. So you can stop telling us to do likewise and sapping the energy to change that we are trying to harnesss. Just watch eh, contain your tongue, and if we look as if a push in the right direction will get us over the line in winning form, come and give us your friendly hand. That’s your best option and you could be the tipping point that gets us over. Until then adieu.

  10. SHG (not Colonial Viper) 10

    For a significant chunk of the voting public, Rob Muldoon is about as relevant to NZ’s political landscape as Pitt the Younger or Cicero. He’s something that happened to other people in another place in another millennium.

    When I see references to Rob Muldoon and Blam Blam Blam i think “sweet zombie jesus, how OLD is the person who wrote this?”

    • And for a significant chunk of the voting public, it’s stuff they remember very well. For a smaller but still significant chunk, Jack Marshall, Norman Kirk and Blerta are things they remember very well, and for a still-smaller chunk Keith Holyoake is someone they remember. The voting population isn’t made up just of the young, and having a political frame of reference that doesn’t extend further back than the Clark government isn’t some kind of advantage.

    • karol 10.2

      See shorts’ comment above @ 12.30pm – check out the video link. Those who don’t know their history are doomed to repeat it.

      • SHG (not Colonial Viper) 10.2.1

        And what was Labour’s response to the Muldoon era? David Lange and Roger Douglas. Yay.

        • greywarbler 10.2.1.1

          SHG ……
          Why aren’t you at school?

        • karol 10.2.1.2

          Yes. Labour lost its way. Still waiting for them to move from that.

          Meanwhile, I vote Green and support grass roots actions. There are alternatives.

  11. dave 11

    I think there is No Depression should be the theme song this election year UK labour used things can only get better for there 1997 victory

  12. risildowgtn 12

    this bout sums it up “::::

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6LvidlGFiIc

  13. xtasy 13

    Quote from above:

    “Muldoon divided New Zealanders into two camps. Some saw “Piggy” Muldoon as a dictatorial Prime Minister who came close to destroying both the economy and social fabric of New Zealand through his arrogance. Others, “Rob’s Mob”, revered him as a supporter of the “ordinary bloke” and an icon of the New Zealand national character.”

    Well, is present New Zealand not in a somewhat similar situation, where half of the voting public seem be be more or less “charmed” by John Key and his way of talking casually, cunningly and slimly, and the other half of the voting population seem to more or less despise him and his government?

    But apart from such comparisons, the present day New Zealand is a rather different place to those past years, where ‘There is No Depression in New Zealand’ and other critical songs were popular. The media is much more commercially focused, ratings addicted, driven by profits and also certain business interests, so that they want to maintain the status quo, rather than challenge it.

    Even the many critics of the present government tend to be rather resigned and depressed, feeling powerless, so little active dissent is to be seen and heard, apart from us more informed.

    It is simply unbelievable how we have the MSM now go on about “The Rockstar Economy”, while statistics we get are questioning there is much of a “boom” going on.

    Just today we got some new tax earnings figures, and they surprised many, showing that the actual tax take for the last 6 months was well down on earlier estimates and expectations:

    http://www.nbr.co.nz/article/nz-govt-6-month-operating-deficit-bigger-expected-tax-take-trickles-bd-152265

    “NZ govt 6-month operating deficit bigger than expected as tax take trickles in”

    “The Crown’s operating balance before gains and losses (obegal) was a deficit of $1.79 billion in the six months ended Dec. 31, $380 million wider than forecast in its Dec. 17 half-year economic and fiscal update, and down from a shortfall of $3.19 billion a year earlier. Core tax revenue was $602 million below forecast at $29.18 billion.”

    “The smaller tax take was across the board, with GST 2.3 percent below forecast at $7.5 billion…”

    I think we should call it a BULLSHIT ECONOMY that we have, as it can only be BS what we get told by the government. If there was really significant economic growth, tax earnings would surely be higher.

    Maybe it is rather the tax free earnings from real estate sales that “boost” the economy, but which will only benefit very few, who make capital gains into their pockets, from inflated property values?

    If we had a media that was more open and listened to what many people are concerned about, then we may have them play some critical music, but apparently they have “no taste” for it, not wanting to upset our dear “glorious” “Leader in Shining Armour”.

  14. Lloyd 14

    We need a popular satirical song setting out the stupidity of the policies of the present government.

    • karol 14.1

      Agreed. There is a need for out there expressions of passion and conviction politics that a lot of people can relate to and feel energised by. A good song can do that.

      • One Anonymous Bloke 14.1.1

        Why? Did Margaret stand down? Nope. She won another two terms.

        What we need is the activists that defied the media narrative to realise that media retaliation was inevitable and not quaver.

  15. tricledrown 15

    We had Robs mob
    We can have Keys Cronies.

  16. Brett Dale 16

    One Anonymous Bloke:

    They can sing about poverty, all the like, I have no problem with that.

    If they singing about how they are still being kept down because of govt policies,
    I dont have a problem with that either.

    If they are making references to how they never have had help their music, then that
    is what i have a problem with.

    And I think you will find, most things go over my head.

    • felix 16.1

      “If they are making references to how they never have had help their music, then that
      is what i have a problem with.”

      Hi Brett. Which lyrics are you objecting to then?

      Be specific please, you can’t be this wound up about something you just imagined someone might have sung, surely.

      ps did you miss the bit where they didn’t get the grants they applied for and instead made their album and videos themselves?

      Answer: no you didn’t, because you commented on it above. You even said good on them for standing on their own feet or something similar to that.

      Which means either a) you have the memory of a fish, or b) everything you’ve written since then has been deliberately untrue.

      • Brett Dale 16.1.1

        Felix:

        But they applied for the grants? huh?

        • felix 16.1.1.1

          So what? Why shouldn’t people apply for grants?

          ps you seem to have opted for (b)

          pps you still haven’t said which lyrics you object to and I’m starting to think you’re angry about a song that doesn’t exist.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 16.2

      I’m sure I can think of some things I’d have a problem with if you ever did them.

      • felix 16.2.1

        Look, Brett can come here and join the discussion, no problem with that.

        He can even make comments so asinine, self-contradictory and backward that I question whether I’ve woken up yet – no problem with that at all.

        It’s when he goes on and on about biting the head off a live chicken and stropping himself with the bloody stump, that’s what really grinds my gears.

  17. Brett Dale 17

    One Anonymous Bloke

    Most of Garths political songs are not about him, but a third person
    looking at a situation and his point of view on it.

  18. Brett Dale 18

    Pascal: May I ask what country artists do you have in your collection?

    Yes Garth has some light hearted songs, but his best work touches on some
    pretty dark subjects.

    • Pascal's bookie 18.1

      Ask away, but I’m not sure I’ll be arsed aswering unless you can show relevance.

      meanwhile:

      Which half were you right about in your initial comments on Homebrew?

      Have you written before about hiphop only being authentic if it’s from urban African-americans?

      Does Garth Brooks have integrity by the standards you applied to Homebrew?

      Did Johnny cash really shoot a man in Reno, just to see him die?

      How long has Steve Earle spent on death row for murdering people?

      Does Robert Earl Keen’s family really buy boxes of tampons and marlboro lights four times a day at Christmas?

      When was the last time Dolly Parton worked 9 to 5?

      Are you shocked that hendrix never did chop down a mountain with the edge of his hand?

      What is music anyway, songs, how do they fucken work, what’s the fucking deal with ballads and poets and travelling goddamn minstrels. What is this shit? Art? This is worse than time I found about literature.

      Turns out that prick who wrote catch-22 wasn’t even. It’s lies man, what agoddmn hypocrit, and don’t even get me started on that lying Orwell prick, or the The Clockwork Orange.

  19. aerobubble 19

    NZ has huge private debt problems. Had NZ rolled after Greece, Ireland, then its likely the world would be a much more pleasant a place after fives years of political and economic chaos. But Key stumbled over the solution, tax cuts for businesses boosting the activity of fast food companies and accelrating both the income inequality gap and the health gap (growing obesity, diabetics, etc).
    NZ tripped up the collapse, and gave a chance for the GFC to get its patch into place. Massive growth of government debt to replace the losses of profits that where being used to pay off the massive debt in the western world. Had the central banks not stepped in, we’d all have declared bankruptcy and started again, expelling the rancid neo-liberal take over of our culture, economies, parliaments, media and businesses.

    • aerobubble 19.1

      Has Key and his minion of followers of stupid thinking learnt anything, no. Key’s a nutter.

      There’s no rock star economy, that’s the over use, tired worn out propaganda of calling victory at every turn to cover over from the chronic problems of their making.

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    Greens | 29-10
  • Greenpeace report highlights better path for NZ agriculture
    A Greenpeace International report highlights a better way forward for New Zealand agriculture than the GE and chemical mutation technologies supported by Federated Farmers, and the National Government through its research funding packages, the Green Party said today. "This report...
    Greens | 29-10
  • BNZ post record profits while leaving savers vulnerable
    A small part of the $850 million record profit posted by the Bank of New Zealand (BNZ) today needs to be set aside to protect savers' deposits in the future, said Green Party Co-leader Dr Russel Norman today.Dr Norman was...
    Greens | 29-10
  • RBNZ U-turn shows monetary settings were wrong
    The Reserve Bank's U-turn on interest rates today shows monetary policy settings were wrong and New Zealanders have suffered unnecessarily through the loss of jobs and having to pay higher interest rates, the Green Party said today.Reserve Bank Governor Graeme...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Ports must take responsibility for shameful death toll
    Port companies must step up and take responsibility for a shameful toll of seven deaths and 133 serious accidents in the past three years, Labour MP Iain Lees-Galloway says. The frightening figures – released by the Rail, Maritime and Transport...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Please help me get my Feed the Kids Bill to Select Committee
    Last week I took over the Feed the Kids Bill that Hone Harawira had introduced to Parliament. If passed, my Bill will provide government-funded breakfast and lunch in all decile 1 and 2 schools. Hungry kids can’t learn and are...
    Greens | 29-10
  • TVNZ Outsourcing Pasifika and Maori Programmes
    I’ve always been a big fan of our state broadcaster and I’ve particularly liked their range of current events programmes. But after Friday’s announcement that TVNZ will be sacking up to 40 staff by contracting out the Pacific and Maori...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Labour urges iwi leaders to meet with National
    Labour’s Māori Caucus has called on iwi leaders and national Māori organisations to seek urgent meetings with the National Government to directly express their concerns about employment law changes which will harm Māori workers. In an open letter sent today...
    Labour | 29-10
  • ACC’s reputation needs fix, not glitz
    Restoring public trust and confidence in ACC will take a lot more than a new communications strategy or social media blitz, says Labour’s ACC spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway. “Under National, ACC has come to be perceived as insensitive, difficult to deal...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Lessons to be learned from police investigation
    The outcome of the so-called Roast Busters case should not put victims off reporting sexual crimes, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “This case has been mishandled from the start. Within days of police initially saying no charges had...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Anti-worker legislation is anti-Pacifica
    The Minister for Pacific Peoples, Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga, will go down in history as being part of a Government that harmed his own people through anti-worker legislation, says Labour’s Pacific Island Affairs spokesperson Su’a William Sio.  “Pacific people are among...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Five-year tax holiday for overseas tax dodgers
    National has just gifted a five-year tax holiday for foreign companies dodging their tax payments, says Revenue spokesperson David Clark. “Todd McClay has pretended he is doing something about overseas companies dodging their tax duties by joining an international initiative...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Traffic Jam Tax must be given the red light
    Auckland Council’s proposed Traffic Jam Tax could cost some households thousands of dollars a year just to use roads they had already paid for with their taxes and must be rejected, says Labour’s transport and Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford....
    Labour | 29-10
  • National has chance to show leadership on limos
    The National Party has the opportunity to show leadership by transitioning our vehicle fleet towards renewable electricity when a new contract to supply Government limousines for VIPs goes to tender next month, the Green Party said today. "This is a...
    Greens | 29-10
  • The Māori Party can’t have it both ways over labour laws
    The Māori Party has to fess up over its voting record on the Employment Relations Amendment Bill, says Labour’s Māori Caucus.  “It’s simply not good enough to oppose the bill at the same time  as they helped speed up its progress through...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Equal pay and the aged care sector
    Today the High Court upheld the historic ruling by the Employment Court that our Equal Pay Act could be used to consider work of equal value cases; the government has been telling the UN and ILO that it could for...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Court case perfect opportunity for Government to improve gender pay gap
    If the Government wants to halt New Zealand’s slump in international rankings on the gender pay gap it should act on the court finding that women deserve equal wages, Labour’s Women’s Affairs spokesperson Sue Moroney says. “The World Economic Forum’s...
    Labour | 28-10
  • All Auckland transport options should be considered
    All options for meeting Auckland's transport needs should be considered, including reprioritising the transport budget away from wasteful spending on motorways, the Green Party said today.Auckland mayor Len Brown is today releasing a transport report by the Independent Advisory Board,...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Another report highlights Govt failure on child poverty
    An international report measuring the impact of the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) on child poverty rates, showing children in New Zealand have done worse than children in other countries, is further proof the Government needs to urgently take additional steps...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Address and Reply Debate Part 55: Inequality and Disability
    I rise on behalf of the Green Party to talk about inequality and disability.The recent census showed that nearly one in four New Zealanders lives with a disability—up from one in five in the previous census. These figures include some...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Address and Reply Debate Part 55: Inequality and Disability
    I rise on behalf of the Green Party to talk about inequality and disability.The recent census showed that nearly one in four New Zealanders lives with a disability—up from one in five in the previous census. These figures include some...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Child poverty: No more wake-up calls
    A new report which shows the National Government has made no inroads whatsoever into child poverty should do more than just set alarm bells ringing, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “UNICEF’s  latest Innocenti Report Card highlights the fact...
    Labour | 28-10
  • Eugenie Sage speaks in the 2014 Address in Reply Debate
    I congratulate you, Assistant Speaker Mallard, as Assistant Speaker and look forward to your knowledge, your fairness, and your light touch in being a referee of proceedings in this House. I congratulate also the other Assistant Speaker, Lindsay Tisch; the...
    Greens | 28-10
  • James Shaw’s Maiden Speech
    Tena Koe, Mr Speaker. I would like to take this opportunity to speak a little of the past, the present and the future. The privilege to serve in this Parliament was given to me by all those who gave their...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Govt airs real views on public broadcasting
    An admission by the Government that it is happy to experiment with Pacific and Maori audiences shows just how weak its vision for public broadcasting in New Zealand is, Labour’s Broadcasting spokesperson Kris Faafoi says. “National today admitted it doesn’t...
    Labour | 28-10
  • Does Judith Collins have a get out of jail card?
    Former justice minister Judith Collins appears to have been gifted a get out of jail free card based on the Prime Minister’s answers in Parliament today, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “Judith Collins claimed in an Official Information...
    Labour | 28-10
  • Solid Energy decision delay sensible
    Today’s announcement by the Board of Solid Energy that it will delay making a final decision on re-entering the Pike River mine is a sensible move, Labour’s MP for  West Coast-Tasman Damien O’Connor says. “It has been clear for some...
    Labour | 28-10
  • New York Green Bank off to a $1B start
    New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced late last week the New York Green Bank’s first NZD$1 billion tranche of green energy investments. The projects, which are difficult for the private sector to finance, are now possible by New York Green...
    Greens | 28-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Blockade the Budget
    The ‘Independent’ Police Conduct Authority’s report into the policing of student protests in 2012 is a whitewash The report released by the Independent Police Conduct Authority into the policing of student protests in 2012 is a whitewash riddled with inaccuracies....
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • When National claim new anti worker laws provide ‘flexibility’ they mea...
    And so it comes to pass. The first law National ram through as part of their victory march are new anti worker laws they pretend will generate ‘flexibility’. The new law denigrate the unions ability to protect workers and provide...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • City Transport: A Taxing Matter
    This week the prospect of paying tolls on Auckland motorways became a hot topic. (See Mathew Dearnaley:Motorway tolling could hit some hard, NZ Herald, 30 Oct 2014.) As we might expect, the kneejerk response has been quite negative. But, as with...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Open Letter to Amy Adams: Please Reopen The Review Into Sexual Violence Cou...
    Ms Amy Adams, Justice and Courts Minister, Right now in this country it seems that although rape is illegal, it is not being prevented by the agents who uphold the law. It almost feels like rape is only illegal on paper,...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: Does ‘No-Surprises’ Also Apply To TVNZ News?
    When you stand back and look at NZ media outlets, most of them have at least one or two people who attempt to hold the government to account: John Campbell on TV3, Guyon Espiner and others at Radio NZ, David...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Things That Make You Go Hmmmmmmm
    Every so often in politics, a public figure comes out with something so absurd and so outlandish … that it really does just make you go “Hmmmmmmmmmm”. We’re accustomed to this from certain quarters – by mid point through the...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Poverty & inequality don’t need protest marches – they need a riot:...
    The global level of inequality continues to skyrocket… Number of billionaires doubled since financial crisis The number of billionaires has doubled since the start of the financial crisis, according to a major new report from anti-poverty campaigners. According to Oxfam,...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • If Key knows who Rawshark is…
    I’m sorry, what? John Key ‘given Rawshark’s name’The Prime Minister believes he knows who hacked Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater’s computer and produced the source material for Nicky Hager’s Dirty Politics, according to a new edition of a recently published...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Child Poverty stats in NZ
    Child Poverty stats in NZ...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Crimes Act + Police Investigation = WTF
    Just to frame the farce that is the Roastbuster’s investigation and conclusion – here are the parts of the Crime Act http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/1961/0043/latest/whole.html#DLM329057  the Roastbusters are proven to have violated – that the police (and some suspects!) themselves acknowledge occurred: Crimes...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Publishing Journalists’ Home Addresses Is A Tactic Of The Right, Not The ...
    I think I’m starting to get rather annoyed with the conduct of some pro-MANA people over this ongoing Parliamentary Services crew complement issue. Yes, we get that there are legitimate issues to be raised with how some political reporters in...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Aucklanders caught between a tarseal-addicted government and a weak mayor
    Len Brown’s proposal for motorway tolls to reduce congestion and provide funding for better public transport is a weak response to a critical issue. The $12 billion dollar shortfall on transport funding he talks about is mainly for projected new...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • A Very Weird Story: Deconstructing Darren Aronofsky’s Noah.
    NOAH is a curious movie. Conceived as a biblical epic, it’s target audience was originally the millions of Americans who regard the Bible as God’s inerrant word. With the sin-filled works of Hollywood forbidden to these true-believers, Christian movie-makers have developed...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • You Can Get Away With Rape In New Zealand
    Jessie Hume with last years petition against rape     The police have sent a strong message today.  In fact they’ve been sending a strong message for a while; a message that our government supports. “You can literally get away...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Roast Buster case – no charges. In the immortal words of NWA…
    Roast Busters case: No prosecutions Police are to make an announcement this afternoon on Operation Clover, the investigation into the “Roast Busters” allegations. The Herald understands the victim has been told that the alleged offenders will not be prosecuted due...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Key’s flag change distraction to cost $26million!
    No. Way. Bid to change NZ flag to cost millions The cost of holding two referendums and consulting on a change of flag has been estimated to be just under $26 million. Look. We all appreciate that the sleepy hobbits...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Why NZ Herald’s Labour Party crocodile tears are so audacious
    The front page the NZ Herald would use if they thought they could get away with it No one can take the recent columns by NZ Herald seriously… John Armstrong: Shadow lingers on National John Roughan: Labour’s leadership vote matters...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • The beginning of the end of Cameron Slater?
    Slater postings on man bizarre, court told A businessman has changed his appearance and had to install extra security at his home after Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater posted his business and personal documents online, he says. Mr Slater has...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • We are a milk power republic and Fonterra our unelected senate
    Wow. Just wow… Deputy mayor says he’ll be sacked South Taranaki deputy mayor Alex Ballantyne says he expects to be sacked because he has spoken out about the impact gasses coming from dumped Fonterra dairy products have had on his...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: “…But *actually* this is about ethics in political-game jo...
    Yesterday, a piece of mine on the recent revelations about Hone Harawira employing several gentlemen either accused or convicted of sex offences was published on The Daily Blog. Predictably, given the fierce loyalty which Hone inspires in his party faithful and...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • Privilege cheque
    There was no race problem in my childhood. Living in central Wellington I was well-insulated from what was going on not so far away. This was the 60s and 70s, where the teachers enjoyed free love in the staff room...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • A brief word on Key’s claim that it will be raining carnage
    Isis will ‘rain carnage on the world’ – John Key Left unchecked Isis would “rain carnage on the world”, Prime Minister John Key says, but he has yet to make a decision on whether New Zealand troops will join a...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • Meanwhile…
    ...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • How does Andrew Little win Labour Leadership and unify the caucus?
    Audrey Young’s excellent column on how the Caucus vote  is shaping up shows how Andrew Little becomes the next leader of the Labour Party. She identifies the factions as the following… Andrew Little 6: Andrew Little, David Cunliffe, Iain Lees Galloway,...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Joe Trinder – Right of response to Curwen
    You have asked that Hone Harawira deserves to explain what happened, how would he explain when his next door neighbour is an alleged sex offender. What explanation can Hone offer he wasn’t involved, Hone had no idea this offending was...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: That Hella-Weird Feeling When You Defend Tova O’Brien
    Oh dear. Yesterday morning I blogged that Hone deserved a chance to explain what exactly had happened as applies his office’s Parliamentary Services crew complement – and, importantly, that we deserve to be able to judge him on the strength of...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • Canadian Green MP warns against harsh anti-terror measures
    Canada’s Green Party has provided a welcome counterpoint to Prime Minister Harper’s call for tougher anti-terrorism laws in the wake of a soldier outside the Canadian Parliament. On October 22, while she was still locked in her parliamentary office, Green...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • When is an asset sale not an asset sale? When it robs from the poor and ste...
    National have turned state housing on its head. At no time during the 2014 election did the Key Government even hint that they were going to privatise 30% of the Housing NZ stock of state homes. Not once. Key even...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part To...
    . . Continued from: Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part Rua) . Bill English comes clean on National’s intentions for HNZ privatisation . On 14 October, in a report on The Daily Blog, I wrote, In...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • The Questions Have Been Asked – They Deserve An Answer
    A few days ago, allegations that had been percolating for some time about Hone Harawira employing three either accused or convicted sex offenders on his Parliamentary pay-roll came to light. (one imprisoned before working for MANA; one who found himself convicted and...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • I have seen one future, and it is bleak
    . . Back in  March 2012, I wrote this story regarding a march to support striking workers at Ports of Auckland. It appears there was some prescience about some of my observations at the time… . | | 18 March...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • US air strike war Key wants us in has killed a civilian a day so far
      The US air strike war that John Key wants us to join has killed a civilian a day so far. From the Washington Post... The United States launched its first airstrikes on militants in Syria on Sept. 23, and has continued...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • The instant Jihad syndrome
    My favourite new term is ‘self-radicalised’ – it suggests the reasons for terrorism are totally divorced from the actions of the West. This need to suddenly ramp up terror laws because of lone wolf, self-radicalised Jihadists seems convenient and counter-productive....
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • We have nothing to fear from Ebola but fear itself
    I suspect most Americans perceive Ebola like this   I can’t work out if the fear being spread within the media about Ebola is deliberate or just ignorance. Yes Ebola is a terrible plague that kills a large percentage of...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Anjum Rahman – “Meritocracy? I wish.”
    I’d like to start by linking to a post I had published at another site in support of Nanaia Mahuta for the Labour Party leadership election.  She has a reasonable chance, given that she already has the endorsement of Te...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • Chocolate milk shortage and creepy Santa? Let’s talk about real news
    Child poverty is still a scarily serious problem in this country and house prices are soaring through the roof to the point where it is simply impossible for the average New Zealander to buy a home. There is also little...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • It’s time to celebrate Kiwi schools and teachers
    Some would have you believe that New Zealand’s schools are in a state of collapse, that your children are not being educated well and that things are going to hell in a hand basket.  That there is no innovation, no...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • Ideological Blitzkrieg – Privatization of state housing, more charter sch...
    Pundits in pundit land will tell you that this Government is boring, that Key is the great pragmatist and that it is his ability to create elegant solutions that keeps him the firm favourite in many Kiwi eyes. This ability...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • Hegemony rules but resistance is fertile
    The Prime Minister is a puppet. Not just our current Prime Minister, but given the forces of multinational globalisation, the role of any head of state, is less as independent actor, and more as a puppet of international trends and...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • An open Letter to Sir Bob Jones: demanding a ‘liveable wage’ is not “...
    How out of touch with reality is Sir Bob Jones? You know, that white dude who invested in privatised SOEs after the selling off of our assets in the eighties and made a ludicrous and disgusting amount of money and is...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • My insecurity about the Security Council
    As I write this (on 24 October) it is international UN Day. Of course, you all knew that already, right? Well, the day celebrates the entry into force of the UN Charter in 1945. With the ratification of this founding...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Catherine Delahunty – Back in That House
    Parliament opened this week and I still find it a very odd place. Most of the people are reasonably courteous and friendly, but the rituals are archaic and the rules around issues like the swearing in oath are oppressive and...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Marae Investigates No More
    TVNZ yesterday announced the closure of their Māori and Pacific programmes department. That means they’ve chosen to stop making Fresh, Tagata Pasifika, Waka Huia and Marae Investigates to let independent producers get their hands on these lucrative contracts. This is...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • BLOGWATCH: An Un-Civil War in Labour, eh?
    Earlier today, my attention was directed to an entry that’s just recently appeared on the Slightly Left of Centre blog. It purports to contain the ‘inside word’ from a highly placed NZF source – which is funny, because I’m pretty sure...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Santanomics 101
    Santanomics could mean a number of things. It could be the study and practice of giving. Or it could mean the study and practice of rampant end-of-year commercialism. However, for me today it is the economics of erectingAuckland’s giant Santa...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • SkyCity boss misleads public over workers lost shifts
    SkyCity CEO Nigel Morrison has defended the employment practices at his company in an “Opinion” piece entitled “Human Capital key to corporate success” in the NZ Herald on Thursday. A number of his claims are misleading, contain only partial truths...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Review: Perfect Place
    I went to a Perfect Place on Tuesday night, and what a delight it was. The marshmallows sweetly (and forcefully) handed out pre-show, set the tone for the next hour. Walking up the stairs at The Basement was a complete...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • 5AA Australia – NZ on UN Security Council + Dirty Politics Lingers On
    5AA Australia: Selwyn Manning and Peter Godfrey deliver their weekly bulletin Across The Ditch. General round up of over night talkback issues: Thongs, Jandals and flip-flops… ISSUE 1: New Zealand has been successful in its campaign to become a non...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • When I mean me, I mean my office & when I call whaleoil I mean not as m...
    This. Is. Ludicrous. Green Party co-leader Russel Norman put the first of what are likely to be many questions about Mr Key’s relationship with Slater, asking him how many times he had phoned or texted the blogger since 2008. “None...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • A brief word on describing the Government as ‘boring and bland’
    The narrative being sown is that this Government will be a boring and bland third term. Boring and bland. Since the election, Key has announced he is privatising 30% of state houses without reinvesting any of that money back into housing society’s most...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • Roast Busters: Turn Indignation into Action
    People raged about the Roast Buster case. The indignation was justified – it was horrible. “Where were their parents!?” Fair question. I am sure the Roast Busters’ parents and the victims’ parents all wish they had been more proactive in...
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Stats NZ only have themselves to blame for postponement
    The Public Service Association (PSA) says Statistics NZ only have themselves to blame for the indefinite postponement of the release of the Food Price Index: November 2014....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • NZ Diversity Survey – benchmarking workplace diversity
    AUT University’s New Zealand Work Research Institute (NZWRI) has released a report on diversity in New Zealand workplaces....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Māori Language (Te Reo Māori) Bill
    Tutehounuku Korako, Chair of the Māori Affairs Committee, is inviting further public submissions on this bill. The closing date for submissions is Friday, 5 December 2014....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • ERA amendments a mixed bag
    The Employment Relations Amendment Act has the potential to put vulnerable workers in a more precarious position, says Equal Opportunities Commissioner, Dr Jackie Blue. However, the commissioner says the right for all to request flexible work hours is...
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Sensible Sentencing calls for appeal of judicial activivism
    The Sensible Sentencing Trust is appalled that Justice Jill Mallon has today refused to apply the Life without Parole (LWOP) provisions of the Three Strikes law as enacted by Parliament....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Global Rally against ISIS – for Kobanê – for Humanity, Nov 1
    The New Zealand Kurdish Community will march in solidarity with Kurdistan as part of the “GLOBAL RALLY AGAINST ISIS – FOR KOBANÊ – FOR HUMANITY” on 1 November 2014, 2pm....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Does ‘No-Surprises’ Also Apply To TVNZ News?
    When you stand back and look at NZ media outlets, most of them have at least one or two people who attempt to hold the government to account: John Campbell on TV3, Guyon Espiner and others at Radio NZ, David...
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Safer roads are better for everyone
    Recent pedestrian versus vehicle incidents highlight the real issues being addressed by delegates as the 2Walk and Cycle conference concludes....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Law change creates more flexible labour market
    The Employment Relations Amendment Act, passed yesterday, will bring new flexibility to the labour market and will reduce the ability of unions to organise and to recruit....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Bumper ANZ profits mean no excuse for insecure hours
    A big rise in profits at New Zealand's largest bank needs to be reflected in a better pay offer and more security around hours of work, the bank workers’ union said today....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Count down to lowered alcohol limit
    With just a month to go until a new lower alcohol limit for adult drivers comes into effect, Police and road safety agencies are reminding drivers of the impending change....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • WorkSafe Supports Forestry Review Findings
    WorkSafe NZ says the Independent Forestry Safety Review has clearly identified the problems facing an industry in which ten workers were killed last year. “The Review’s analysis matches our own view and leaves no doubt about the need for comprehensive,...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • CTU welcomes forestry review recommendations
    The CTU is welcoming the today's release of the independent forestry safety review panel findings. "These recommendations must be implemented to ensure that everything possible is done to make forestry safer." CTU President, Helen Kelly said....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Activists will confront animal abusers
    Today animal rights activists will confront a group of wealth advisers who want to build the biggest egg factory-farm in New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Turia: Women’s Refuge Conference 2014
    This is a milestone moment in my life. This will be my last official address as Co-leader of the Maori Party. On Saturday night at our Hui-a-Tau, I will be standing down from that role and enabling a new co-leader,...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Rodeo Code of Welfare ‘Sick Joke’
    Animal advocacy organisation SAFE says the revised Code of Welfare for Rodeos just released is nothing but a sick joke. “Rodeo animals are goaded, tormented and forced to endure needless suffering and gross mistreatment, all for the sake of so-called...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Conservative Party applauds binding referenda on flag
    The Conservative Party are congratulating the Government on the decision to hold two binding referendums to decide the fate of New Zealand’s flag – and believes it will pave the way for binding referenda to form part of New Zealand...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Walk the Talk – Opposing violence against women
    Soroptimist International of Auckland have organised a walk on 22 November from Silo Park at the Wynyard Quarter through the Viaduct and back to Silo Park, to show their opposition to violence against women. This event hopes to raise awareness...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Recommendations on the Design of Pecuniary Penalties
    The Law Commission has reviewed the use of pecuniary penalties as a regulatory tool. Pecuniary penalties are financial penalties that policymakers are increasingly opting to use in place of criminal sanctions in order to punish and deter misconduct in...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Every worker will be affected by employment law changes
    Every worker will feel the effects of the government’s new employment laws and should join a union if they want to maintain and increase their wages and conditions, says New Zealand’s largest private sector union, the EPMU....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Shameful attack on all workers
    The Government has passed the Employment Relations Amendment Act slashing the rights of all Kiwi workers. “These changes are shameful. New Zealand now has some of the worst employment protections in the OECD. It is embarrassing that a country which...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Unnecessary law changes more to do with ideology
    The government’s employment law changes are simply ideological and are at odds with its approach in the related areas of health and safety and immigration law, FIRST Union said tonight....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • CTU Runanga calls on iwi leaders
    Maori workers are calling on iwi leaders to speak out against the employment law changes expected to go through today. “Iwi leaders have previously spoken out when workers in Aotearoa have been under attack, we believe they should do so...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Educating children not the best solution to alcohol harm
    Alcohol Healthwatch says we need to look beyond educating children and young people to address deeply embedded attitudes and behaviours concerning alcohol....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • New code of welfare for rodeos released
    New standards to strengthen the animal welfare requirements for rodeos have been issued today by the Minister for Primary Industries, Nathan Guy....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • IPCA report riddle with inaccuracies, say students
    A report by the Independent Police Conduct Authority into the policing of student protests in 2012 is riddled with inaccuracies, say students who laid the original complaint with the IPCA....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • CT v The Queen – indecency convictions quashed
    This summary is provided to assist in the understanding of the Court’s judgment. It does not comprise part of the reasons for that judgment. The full judgment with reasons is the only authoritative document. The full text of the judgment...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Rameka v The Queen – murder convictions quashed
    This summary is provided to assist in the understanding of the Court’s judgment. It does not comprise part of the reasons for that judgment. The full judgment with reasons is the only authoritative document. The full text of the judgment...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Auckland Council Out of Control
    Responding to the NZ Herald article that some Auckland households will face a rates rise of up to 9.6 per cent next year, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan Williams says: “Len Brown’s pledge to cap rates rises at 2.5 per...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Stats NZ staff escalate action with ‘no more meetings’ rule
    Statistics NZ staff have voted to escalate their ongoing industrial action in an effort to get Stats NZ back to the bargaining table with a reasonable offer. The staff, who are members of the Public Service Association (PSA), have been...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Rape Crisis calls for changes to criminal justice system
    Wellington Rape Crisis has added its voice to the public outcry following the announcement that there will be no charges in the teen rape gang case. Butterworth says the decision not to lay charges will not have been a surprise...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Police action justified in Blockade the Budget demonstration
    Police actions in dealing with a demonstration in Central Auckland known as Blockade the Budget on 1 June 2012 were justified and appropriate, an Independent Police Conduct Authority report released today found....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • NZDF Joins with Australia to Commemorate WWI Centenary
    A contingent of New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel will join their Australian counterparts at Australia’s first major commemoration of the First World War centenary in Albany, Western Australia this weekend....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Reserve Bank should reduce interest rate
    “The Reserve Bank should be reducing its policy interest rate, the OCR”, says CTU Economist Bill Rosenberg in response to the Bank’s announcement today that it is not increasing it....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • 2015 Stout Fellow will write about Māori & Criminal Justice
    Kim Workman, founder and advocate for the Robson Hanan Trust, which administers the Rethinking Crime and Punishment and Justspeak initiatives, has been awarded the 2015 John David Stout Fellowship at Victoria University....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • What John Key thought about ‘dirty politics’
    On September 20, John Key swept to victory to become one of New Zealand’s most successful and popular Prime Ministers. Rocked by scandal, the 2014 election campaign was one of the most brutal – and riveting – in recent history....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Trade Deal Threatens Farmers and Food Businesses
    The secret Trans Pacific Partnership negotiations are a direct threat to food businesses and farmers, and a moratorium on the release of GE crops must be enshrined in law before the TPP is signed....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • CTU announces election of new Secretary
    The contested election for the position of CTU Secretary has been won by Sam Huggard. Sam officially takes office on Monday 1 December 2014. Sam has worked in the union movement and brings a wealth of experience and a commitment...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Kim Workman awarded 2015 J.D. Stout Fellowship
    The Victoria University of Wellington 2015 J.D. Stout Fellowship, funded by the Stout Trust, has been awarded to justice reform advocate Kim Workman. Mr Workman (Ngati Kahungungu ki Wairarapa, Rangitaane) is well known for his work on criminal justice,...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • TPPA causing concern
    Concern over the secretive Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) negotiations is being expressed in two public meetings over the next week; one at a presentation on 5th November by former councillor Robin Gwynn to the Napier City Council, the...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Kiwis rally to demand justice for ‘Roast Buster’ survivors
    Over 1,500 kiwis have rallied to demand justice after the announcement of the NZ Police decision not to lay charges in the ‘Roast Busters’ saga....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • New employment law will hurt the most vulnerable NZers
    The Public Service Association (PSA) says changes to the Employment Relations Act, expected to be passed in Parliament tonight, will hurt vulnerable workers and their families more than anyone....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Consultation to close on proposed place names
    The New Zealand Geographic Board (NZGB) Ngā Pou Taunaha o Aotearoa today advised that only one month remains before public consultation closes for 18 name proposals for geographic features and places around Te Ika ā Māui (the North Island)....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Operation Clover – Statement from Police Commissioner
    I have taken a close interest in this investigation and I am confident police have conducted a thorough and professional enquiry in what has been a challenging and complex case. The Operation Clover team has ensured that victims have been...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Better policy would have protected children from recession
    Child Poverty Action Group says an international report released by UNICEF today shows good policy can protect and improve child well-being, even during a recession....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Outcome of Operation Clover investigation
    Police have completed a multi-agency investigation, Operation Clover, into the activities of a group calling themselves “The Roast Busters”. The 12 month enquiry focused on incidents involving allegations of sexual offending against a number of girls...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • False birth registration brings home detention
    A Whangarei woman who attempted to register the birth of a fictitious child to claim a sole parent benefit was sentenced to six months home detention in the Whangarei District Court today....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Family of Robert Ellis demand a proper investigation
    The family of a New Zealander killed in Indonesia are growing increasingly concerned at the lack of information they’ve received, and the handling of the investigation into his murder....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Minister of Health must account for aged care workers’ pay
    The New Zealand Federation of Business and Professional Women (BPW NZ) congratulates rest-home worker Kristine Bartlett on her landmark claim for equal pay from her employer and successfully pursuing this to the Court of Appeal....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
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