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Shop til we all drop

Written By: - Date published: 9:46 am, December 27th, 2013 - 90 comments
Categories: benefits, brand key, class war, democracy under attack, election 2014, news, political alternatives, poverty, spin - Tags:

First came the consumerist perversion of an (allegedly) Christian festival, leading up to the 25th December.  During this period, the original *Christian message related to the birth of Jesus (“peace and good will to all men”) was marginalised.

As Wednesday approached, the MSM kept tally of how well the retail sector of society was doing – such meaningless stats based on turn over of resources, whether or not that contributes to the well being of our society.

The MSM, as usual, focused on the very good work of those administering foodbanks and City Mission Christmas meals, in order to ease any sense of guilt some may have at the excess of consumerism during the (alleged) season of “good will”. A window on charity during a few days of the year, while the underlying causes and solutions to soul-destroying poverty barely get a look in.

Then, once that day was over, we had all the news reports on how well the Boxing Day sales were going, with triumphant reports of record sales – except for in Lower Hutt, where the failings of another branch of the corporate wealth-extractors resulted in the day of sales being (unintentionally) sabotaged.

Retailers were fuming after a Vodafone glitch shut down eftpos for hours on the busiest shopping day of the year.

A broadband server problem with Vodafone crashed eftpos at some Lower Hutt shops from about 10.30am yesterday, with some experiencing problems through till late afternoon.

Many shops, including a number in the packed Westfield Queensgate Shopping Centre, were unable to process transactions because of the outage.

Oh, the outrage!

How can so many dance to the tune of the wealthy corporates, with the uncritical echo chambers in the MSM acting as cheerleaders?! Queue for some quotes from a very pertinent Guardian article, as linked to on open mike yesterday by Paul: ‘Brainwashed by the cult of the super rich” by Priyamvada Gopal.

Last week, Tory MP Esther McVey, Iain Duncan Smith’s deputy, insisted it was “right” that half a million Britons be dependent on food banks in “tough times”. Around the same time, the motor racing heiress Tamara Ecclestone totted up a champagne bill of £30,000 in one evening. A rich teenager in Texas has just got away with probation for drunkenly running over and killing four people because his lawyers argued successfully that he suffered from “affluenza”, which rendered him unable to handle a car responsibly. What we’ve been realising for some time now is that, for all the team sport rhetoric, only two sides are really at play in Britain and beyond: Team Super-Rich and Team Everyone Else.

The rich are not merely different: they’ve become a cult which drafts us as members. We are invited to deceive ourselves into believing we are playing for the same stakes while worshipping the same ideals, a process labelled “aspiration”. Reaching its zenith at this time of year, our participation in cult rituals – buy, consume, accumulate beyond need – helps mute our criticism and diffuse anger at systemic exploitation.

cult of super rich

And this cult of the rich is being actively promoted by such shows as Downton Abbey and, while damaging inequalities, and socially-destructive poverty are dismissed through a nasty, Dickensian meanness of spirit.  This meanness of spirit is personified by NZ’s bennie-bashing, poverty-policing minister, Paula Bennett. And she is enabled in doing this by the smile-and-wave front John Key presents to the MSM, while performing his nasty, sneering stand-up routine to the minority of Kiwis who watch Question Time in the House.

Bennett and Key – the two faces of the cult of the rich: one who went from social security state house to wealth extracting millionaire, the other from state supported single motherhood to minister of austere poverty. (Or is it more than two faces of the cult, given Key shows at least two faces at various times?)

Gopal ends her article:

Cultish thinking means that the stupendously rich who throw small slivers of their fortunes at charity, or merely grace lavish fundraisers – like Prince William’s Winter Whites gala for the homeless at his taxpayer-funded Kensington Palace home – with their presence, become instant saints. The poor and the less well-off, subject to austerity and exploitation, their “excesses” constantly policed and criminalised, are turned into objects of patronage, grateful canvasses against which the generosity of wealth can be stirringly displayed. The cult of the rich propounds the idea that vast economic inequalities are both natural and just: the winner who takes most is, like any cult hero, just more intelligent and deserving, even when inherited affluence gives them a head start.

We are mildly baffled rather than galvanised into righteous indignation when told that the rich are being persecuted – bullied for taxes and lynched for bonuses. The demonising of the poor is the flip side of the cult of the rich or, as a friend puts it, together they comprise the yin and yang of maintaining a dismal status quo. It is time to change it through reality checks, not reality shows.

Several important months coming up folks, as we get closer to the election date.  These are the realities that need to be understood, discussed and circulated.

*[I'm not a Christian, though was brought up in that religion].

90 comments on “Shop til we all drop”

  1. Paul 1

    Thanks Carol for picking up on this story. I tend to note stories at the end of the day and put them on Open Mike too late for most of the discussion.

    Connected to my comment yesterday, I have just noted the Herald’s obsession with the wealthy in this online article. It really is a tawdry sad little rag if this grovelling load of garbage is all it can muster.
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11178384

    • Paul 1.1

      And this ….
      http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11178396

      Just imagine the Guardian reporting on a sports player landing at Heathrow Airport for Wimbledon as their 3rd headline!

      • Paul 1.1.1

        And this!
        http://www.nzherald.co.nz/entertainment/news/article.cfm?c_id=1501119&objectid=11177831

        Celebrity historians???
        What on earth are they talking about?!

        • mac1 1.1.1.1

          Celebrity refers to the subject of historical research, (I hope), and describes their field rather than their status. Historians can of course have a focus on recent events. Such commentary as is happening here would be the stuff of research into the place of the celebrity in culture.

          Celebrity status/stardom/famous people is not new. Used correctly it provides us with models of behaviour and examples for living properly. In today’s Press is an article on the top students of ChCh schools- partly there to celebrate their achievement and also to encourage the rest of us.

          And it’s here that I part company with the reasons above. The media-driven, celebrity status stuff is there as a distraction from the meanness of life for many people; and the offering of an American style dream where each of us can, with the proper application of Randian individualism, attain the stars, is a cynical, condescending and cancerous corruption.

          It fits alongside “the freedom to shop” or, for historians, the Roman manipulation of the masses in the concept of “bread and circuses.”

          I do sometimes despair.

      • alwyn 1.1.2

        I just had a quick look at what the Guardian is reporting today. It is difficult to tell what the real sequence of their stories would be but at the very beginning of the web-site we have a story
        “Breaking News: President Obama’s Hawaii vacation Day 6″
        I’m not really sure which of them really is the least important. At least the Herald story is something happening in the home country of the paper, and isn’t labelled with the portentious description of “Breaking News”

        • karol 1.1.2.1

          Yes, the Guardian website front page is all about international news. But it is actually focused on news of import, especially political news.

          The top of NZ Herald online’s front page is dominated by local stories, it’s true – stories largely about crime

          PS: one of the main top of the page Guardian articles is this one:

          The research, which explores the reasons behind the precipitous drop in voter turnout – particularly among under-30s – finds that it is anger with the political class and broken promises made by high-profile figures that most rile voters, rather than boredom with Westminster.

          Asked for the single word best describing “how or what you instinctively feel” about politics and politicians in general, 47% of respondents answered “angry”, against 25% who said they were chiefly “bored”.

          • Zorr 1.1.2.1.1

            I think I fall in to that 47% category too easily and it makes communicating the anger I feel towards the ruling class difficult because such sentiment, almost by necessity, devolves towards the violent and irrational all too easily. I almost brought this up on the post regarding the Sex Pistols in response to MrSmith because it feels like the time for senseless anger has passed.

            That was then, this is now.

            The modern counter-culture, from my perspective, is a growing sense of disconnection with the traditional media narrative combined with the desire to take direct responsibility for our own outcomes. We want to own the beginning, middle and end of our initiatives because when we leave them up to those that traditionally hold the power, they become perverted by conflicting interests. Principles of democracy, inclusiveness and progressiveness are often very central to these initiatives BUT they remove themselves from the current implementations maintained by society at large.

            Anyway, ramble over. It is a long December 27th at work with nobody else around… >_<

        • phillip ure 1.1.2.2

          alwyn sneers @ the guardian…in a comparison to the herald..?.?..!..!..

          ..wow..!

          ..where to start..?

          phillip ure..

          • alwyn 1.1.2.2.1

            But Phil, you really should read the whole of the comment stream.
            Paul sneered at the Herald and claimed that the Guardian would never cover a story like a tennis player arriving for the country’s most important tournament. It only covered important stories.
            I merely proposed that he may be being a bit optimistic in his views of the type of story the Guardian does cover, given that they regarded as “breaking news” a description of the sixth day of Obama’s holiday. For crying out loud Phil. How much less significant can a story be?
            Incidentally I suggest you get as much out of the Guardian as you can in the next few years. The paper is losing money and the trust that finances it doesn’t have that much left. There is only money for about five years if my memory is correct.

  2. Tracey 2

    Hear hear!

    The myth that if some people are spending shitloads everyones life will get better is tiresome.

    are there any journalists or editors who think they reflect and dont shape society?

    • rich the other 2.1

      Spot on Tracey,
      we should all spend less , it only creates employment and provides a reasonable standard of living for most of us, we don’t need that when the govt provides so generously for us.

      • karol 2.1.1

        Way to misunderstand, rto.

        It’s about spending less on the things that are not necessary. It’s about the mis-direction of focusing on spending of any kind, rather than on what is produced and how. It is about the lack of focus on production that will be the basis of a sustainable economy, and a living income for all. It’s about the focus on celebrating the lifestyle of the wealth extraction by a few, via consumerist excess: the wealth of the few that contributes little to a sustainable economy and misleadingly claims that the excessive wealth of the few is beneficial to the many.

        • weka 2.1.1.1

          “we should all spend less , it only creates employment and provides a reasonable standard of living for most of us, we don’t need that when the govt provides so generously for us.”

          rich also lies. Before the consumer boom in NZ post-neoliberal revolution, we had full employment for many decades, a reasonable standard of living for many of us, and a smaller gap between rich and poor. It wasn’t paradise by any means, esp for those directly affected by colonisation, but to imply that the only way we can have national wellbeing is by buying into the consumerist ethic is disingenuous, selfish crap.

          • BM 2.1.1.1.1

            NZ was a mono cultural back water who relied on Mummy Britain to survive.

            It’s only the old fogeys that pine for those days, every one else has embraced modern NZ and all it has to offer.

            New New Zealand is a great place to live.

            • Macro 2.1.1.1.1.1

              New New Zealand is a great place to live for the uber rich

              FIFY

            • Tim 2.1.1.1.1.2

              “NZ was a mono cultural back water who relied on Mummy Britain to survive”

              – that is, for those that identified and engaged with mono-culturalism and Mummy Britain with a media – even then – that was constructed to service just that cohort (predominantly Aunty NZBC, a few residents of Burnell Ave in Wellington and others elsewhere) propped up with a bit of ‘old money': those whose offspring today probably couldn’t establish anything of use without thinking about their inheritance and what mummy and daddy might leave them should things go tits up. (Many are still around today – others dead and buried, AND very quickly forgotten – even by their own)

              Meanwhile …. there were always those who considered all that entirely irrelevant – usually progressives, protesters, celebrants of diversity, challengers of the status quo who invested their time and efforts engaging in alternative cultures sans what we now think of “MSM”.
              But …
              -Some of them today battle on with those with the closed minds: the ideologically-driven, often the mono-cultural and stereo-cultural nasties (people such as yourself BM, and your idol – the Phil Stein, a Pulla Bent or two, the Krus (I saw the light) Finlayson, a fair few Uncle Thomases and Clutch Cargo’s, an (Oim so Broit – SPECTACULARLY handsome, eligible, mandated – with a tick in a box qualification from a highly respected ‘djacassional stute’ – but in reality thick as PIGSHIT) member fer tRANga called Soimon) – all legitimised by the daily Mora noicest man on Earth media pump and its enterage (Can I offer my condolences to that nicest man’s wife in advance of the inevitable, though she probably ‘wears the pants’ anyway).

              -Some at least have the decency to admit they’re self serving egotistical new age Masters and Mistresses of the Universe, and comfortable with the supposedly ONLY alternative ideology (as in those TINA adherents – in NZ’s case driven by a failed pig farmer and an RRL who had the gaul to attempt spreading her ego around South America not so long ago – her butch arrogance STILL astounds me to the extent I’d also LERV her to ekshly go live there without the aid of any sort of bodyguard or welfare of ANY description). All comfortable with their greed, propped up with bought lerv, the short term treats and trinkets bestowed on their offspring at Xmas time and, more often daily. Amongst those I know, and know of – generally their kids (kuds if their really really kinektid) have offspring that are now TOTAL fuckups.

              -Others are still pretending (perhaps also a bit like yourself BM). In this connected world, dropping your ideological spin, troll feeding, squeeling, spin meistering, (meedja) training and prop up artistry seems to be your intent.

              You do seem to overestimate the value of your intelligence and ego, and underestimate that of those you oppose. Indeed – you even reduce what you seek to achieve as an ideological battle.

              I fear I’m beginning to rave, and I’m loathe to get into a pointless battle with you with uphill shit-pushing – which in your case is an inevitable outcome of any sort of discussion (I mean I saw a thread yesterday where your obfuscation and attempts at diversion were spectacular to the extent that I was even beginning to feel embarrassed for you).

              And lest you think this is left/right or party politically based – there are still a number of ABCers that fit into the above crapolla.
              Stick a hat on them and label them “troughers” if you like.
              They ALL still ARE, or are going to become utterly irrelevant for a vast majority – whether its 2014, or whether their aspirations, or masochism mean it’s 2017.
              Sooner the better though really.

              • Tim

                Oops @ Macro – that comment/rave was in response to the gorgeous, the spectacular, the sage known in here as BM – not you.
                The size of his dick got in the way of my seeing the numbering scheme and I think I replied to you rather than him.

                [No problem. If you look closely you're in the right spot. RL]

                • Will@Welly

                  Don’t get suckered in by the likes of B.M., rich the little, Naki Man or the other time wasters, their “job” is to drain the left of the moral superiority and to distract from what is actually happening in society. Getting caught up in their crap will only see the initiative handed over to the morally corrupt right.

              • BM

                Good bit of old Man ranting there, you truly are a master.

                You do seem to overestimate the value of your intelligence and ego, and underestimate that of those you oppose.

                Not at all, the majority of posters here are very intelligent and well read, I consider myself an absolute thickey in matters political when compared to many who post here.

                Doesn’t stop me throwing in my 5 cents worth though, just don’t expect me to write pages and pages of waffle to back up my position, that’s not how I roll.

                • RedLogix

                  just don’t expect me to write pages and pages of waffle to back up my position, that’s not how I roll.

                  As felix would say … that’s not how you spell troll.

                • Will@Welly

                  Thus spoke the intellectual pygmy we all know as B.M.

                • Draco T Bastard

                  just don’t expect me to write pages and pages of waffle to back up my position

                  We don’t as we know you can’t back up your position at all.

              • Beryl Streep

                Tim, I realise you said “Uncle Thomas” instead of “Uncle Tom” so you could claim it as a Thomas the Tank Engine reference or something else if you were called on it.

                “Uncle Tom” is one of the most vile, condescending and racist terms in leftist politics. Can I ask why you chose to use it? I stopped reading your rant after that, so apologies if you’ve already explained it.

                • Colonial Viper

                  Don’t be so sensitive. And dont be such a PC language police.

                  [lprent: It always is in any of its handles. ]

                  • Beryl Streep

                    I don’t think I am being sensitive. The definition of an “Uncle Tom” is a black person who is regarded as being humiliatingly subservient or deferential to white people.

                    In a New Zealand context it’s used flippantly to describe Maori, Pacific Islander and other non-white citizens who don’t vote for parties on the left. This attitude dehumanises people and is a form of racism that seems to be prevalent and excusable in leftist politics.

                    • One Anonymous Knucklehead

                      “prevalent and excusable” [citations needed]

                      On the other hand, it seems that the problem may be between Beryl’s ears.

                • Tim

                  @Beryl
                  I’m sorry for you that you feel offended.
                  I use it in the context of the Wiki definition – i.e.:
                  “The phrase “Uncle Tom” has also become an epithet for a person who is slavish and excessively subservient to perceived authority figures, particularly a black person who behaves in a subservient manner to white people”.

                  It’s in common use by members of my extended family who, after giving support and campaigning for politicians they felt were going to represent them felt both surprised and utterly betrayed by decisions made post 2008 election. Betrayed because those politicians misrepresented their positions, were party to worsening of housing, education and financial situations and who seem unconcerned over issues of sovereignty, self-determination and sustainable use of natural resources – especially when they had the ‘deal breaker’ power to actually make a difference.
                  I also hear it in use by policy analysts and others in regional offices of the Ministry of Maori Development and given their recent predicament, I’m surprised their language is as mild as it is.
                  As I said, I feel sorry for you if you are offended – that was not my intention however I am also aware of how offended many of my family and friends are by the dog-whistling, bene-bashing, ‘ladder pulling’, othering and punitive policies that are characteristic of this government and its support partners.

          • rich the other 2.1.1.1.2

            Weka,
            in those days we had at least a couple of million less people to provide for and still plenty of poverty.
            Perhaps you’re correct , in the good old days , no D P B , women in the kitchen etc etc, sounds ok , let’s go back to the ”good old days”.

            • Macro 2.1.1.1.2.1

              “in those days we had at least a couple of million less people to provide for and still plenty of poverty.”

              Bullshit!!

            • RedLogix 2.1.1.1.2.2

              rto:

              That’s nothing more than a particularly stupid false dichotomy – that the only choices are ‘the current state of NZ’ or the ‘previous state of NZ 40 years ago’.

              It’s reveals a desperate lack of imagination that you cannot think of any other alternatives.

              • rich the other

                Plenty of NZers are very happy with the current state and can see a good future ahead with National , I am happy with the current state and have no desire to turn back the clock, that’s what green/labour policy.

                • weka

                  That’s fine, just stop inventing untruthful arguments to support your selfishness. Try honesty and see how that works.

                • RedLogix

                  rto,

                  Again you reveal a complete lack of imagination when you make the leap from “plenty of New Zealanders are happy” to an implication that this should be good enough for all of us.

                  Presumably your “plenty of New Zealanders” does not include the 260,000 odd children growing up in poverty, or the 2,000,000 adults trying to live on a median income around $25k or less.

                • Draco T Bastard

                  Plenty of NZers are very happy with the current state and can see a good future ahead with National

                  I’m sure there are but I’m also sure that there’s a lot more who are unhappy with it and only see more hard grind while going backwards.

                • Mel

                  Extrapolating from your own personal viewpoint does not counter the facts of child poverty in New Zealand, our current unemployment nor our low wage economy, which results in many families struggling to survive. The logical fallacy of this sort of thinking from groups of people can lead to some very inequitable outcomes for others. I call it the – ‘ Let them eat Cake’ type of thinking.

                  Its time to acknowledge the level of inequity in New Zealand and work as a community to ensure all of us have adequate housing, food and education if we want a healthier democracy.

            • weka 2.1.1.1.2.3

              “in those days we had at least a couple of million less people to provide for and still plenty of poverty.
              Perhaps you’re correct , in the good old days , no D P B , women in the kitchen etc etc, sounds ok , let’s go back to the ”good old days”.”

              You either didn’t read my comment properly, or are incapable of easy comprehension. See the bit where I said it wasn’t paradise? That was my shorthand for let’s not put up faux ‘good ole days’ arguments. Address the issues dude. You say a high consumption society provides jobs and a good standard of living for most people. I pointed out that prior to our shift to high consumption we had full employment and less disparity between rich and poor. Someone with better stats can argue if there is more or less poverty overall now than then, but my money is on there being more poverty now than prior to the 80s (allowing for the different kinds of poverty that exist in different times).

              • Polish Pride

                Speaking of addressing the issues.. The Left can have the things they want as can the Right but unfortunately not under the current system. The current system has two completely opposing views on how to bring about the well being of society. Both L&R do this through the redistribution of wealth.
                Whilst this remains the basis of L wing policy there will always be those to the right of centre that will always vote against it. (and vice versa for R wing policy)
                Thus neither the left or the right will ever get their desired outcomes under the current system.
                Change the focus to having a system designed to fulfill peoples needs and wants and doing so without the need to redistribute wealth and not only will you solve the problems of the Left but also the problems of the Right a the same time.

                • One Anonymous Knucklehead

                  …and Tinky Winky and all the little elves lived happily ever after.

                • karol

                  And what sort of system would that be, PP? Be more specific.

                  Because any system that fulfills needs and wants of all as the priority, would seem to be a left wing system.

                  The right largely want a system that enriches and benefits the few.

                  • Polish Pride

                    “The right largely want a system that enriches and benefits the few.”

                    It is in fact vitally important that people understand what it is the R and the L want and why they think the way they do? in order to come to a solution for both

                    Left and Right is not about The caring Left and the Greedy Rightwing Capitalist Bastards.. Nor is it about the Sensible Right versus a bunch of Commie pricks and a bunch of tree hugging hippies.

                    Left and the Right are just ways of thinking. They are two ends of a spectrum upon which everybody in the world falls somewhere depending on how exactly they see the world
                    Neither are right or wrong, they simply just are.

                    Someone on the Left views the world very externally. Sees things they want to change, they see people suffering, they see inadequacies within the system and want to change the system to address those problems for people.
                    example: They see families not having enough money and from their position in the system they would like to help those families but cannot (the system does not give them the resources to do this) in understanding this they then want the system to provide. This is currently actioned through various types of welfare.

                    Someone on the Right views the world with an internal view of their world. They understand the system, They understand the supposed rules of the game. Their focus is on them and their family within the system, and doing what they need to do to be successful….within the system.
                    They see taxes as being something that, although necessary, takes away from them and makes it just that little more difficult for them to achieve what they need to or want to in the system.
                    They see these taxes spent on welfare and unnecessary political activities, govt departments.
                    Both focuses are noble in their own right
                    The person on the left just wants to look after others who they think need help.
                    The person on the right simply wants to look after their family.

                    It is only through a solution that meets the needs and desires of both sides will you solve the problems we face today and have always faced as a society.

                    The system is the Resource Based Economy with a system designed to meet the needs and wants of the people. Where the goal of society is not maximum employment. Instead it has a goal of freeing as many people as possible through the use of technology and automation.

                    Clearly if I say Capitalism isn’t the way forward here I am preaching to the converted but neither is democratic Socialism as it still deals with money and limited resources. Neither system is designed to meet the true needs and wants of man.
                    A system for man should be designed to work for man. Man working for the system is like Henry Ford inventing the Model T but then having to push it everywhere he wants to go. Its ridiculous. Yet this is exactly what we do with our system now.

                    If a system were to be designed for Man what should that system look like, What does everyone want……?

                    To be happy?

                    Everyone is different so how can we determine what is required to make every one happy?

                    Maslows Hierarchy of needs is fairly widely accepted in Economics as benchmark for what a person needs to be happy.
                    How does Capitalism stack up on Maslows?
                    How does the Resource Based Economy stack up?
                    Can a Resource Based Economy be structured to meet the needs and wants of mankind and still have an abundance of resources?

                    Through removal of the profit motive and planned obsolescence and through active management and technological and scientific solutions to problems untainted by profit but for Man – arguably Yes

                    • karol

                      All very theoretical, PP. But you have a very generalised and reductive view of the difference between left and right – like someone sitting on a cloud, trying to be an eye of god, but without any strong commitment to a set of values – other than perhaps some enlightenment ideal of being “objective” and “balanced”.

                      Your view of the left is that of welfare capitalism – itself a compromise with capitalism or the right.

                      It is rather common place to say that left and right have a different view – more importantly, underlying any political position are some core values. And you articulate some as if they were opposite sides of the same “noble” and “correct” coin, which can be somehow resolved by dropping underlying values….I think, although it is not totally clear how you think that can happen, other than maybe expecting people to be “balanced” and “objective” like yourself.

                      The person on the left just wants to look after others who they think need help.
                      The person on the right simply wants to look after their family.

                      Well describes a quite paternalistic left – actually, the left is more about an inclusive, fair and just society for all, especially when it involves grass roots participatory democracy.

                      And righties may or may not care about their families – some see no responsibilities to anyone bu themselves. Nevertheless, what do you call it when people are so focus on themselves and those nearest to them that the rest don’t matter? I’d call it lack of compassion, empathy and understanding of, or concern for how we all operate within society. Ultimately it’s a pretty narrow self-interested view of life from where I’m sitting.

                      This – I don’t know where to start with this muddle:

                      Clearly if I say Capitalism isn’t the way forward here I am preaching to the converted but neither is democratic Socialism as it still deals with money and limited resources. Neither system is designed to meet the true needs and wants of man.
                      A system for man should be designed to work for man. Man working for the system is like Henry Ford inventing the Model T but then having to push it everywhere he wants to go. Its ridiculous. Yet this is exactly what we do with our system now.

                      Goodness me – that’s a pretty skewed characterisation of democratic socialism. And I would say socialism IS about meeting the true needs and wants of humanity/society within the context of the environment, resources, etc.

                      Through removal of the profit motive and planned obsolescence and through active management and technological and scientific solutions to problems untainted by profit but for Man – arguably Yes

                      Sounds like socialism to me. And I can’t see how you will get any rightie to agree – one of their underlying values IS the belief in the profit motive as a way to incentivise human endeavour within a competitive system.

                    • RedLogix

                      Where the goal of society is not maximum employment. Instead it has a goal of freeing as many people as possible through the use of technology and automation.

                      I strongly recommend you look at this graph:

                      http://www.alternet.org/files/styles/large/public/screen_shot_2013-12-20_at_3.12.44_pm.png

                      Look at the date of the break-point. 1973. Forty Christmases ago.

                      It’s also the date when industrial automation became mainstream. I know this personally – I’ve met the two key people involved Dick Morely and Odo Struger both of whom are credited with the invention of the PLC (Programmable Logic Controller) between 1969 and 1972.

                      However what is also plain from the rest of the article is that technology was used to capture and concentrate wealth. And that I would argue is a political question that actually has relatively little to do with the traditional demarcations between left and right.

                      http://www.alternet.org/economy/how-fix-economy-13-easy-charts?paging=off&current_page=1#bookmark

                    • Polish Pride

                      RedLogix

                      Under a Resource Based Economy money is taken from the equation. Money was originally used as a simpler and more portable method of exchange. It has become a barrier to getting the things done we need to. Remove it and the barrier is no more.
                      Think of the things use in your everyday life. Think of the things you want. Those things are things you still either need or want if money is removed from the equation.
                      Goods are produced to excess in the current system because of the need to make a profit continuously in order to pay people be they investors or workers. Everyone needs to obtain money somehow through System in order to fulfill wants and needs

                      Remove the money and without the drive for profit a system can be transitioned too that is designed to meet the needs and wants of everyone in a sustainable manner.

                      Auckland has a transport problem. It can be resolved a number of ways, more motorways, rail and so on.
                      Why isn’t it being built?
                      We have the knowledge of how to do it..
                      we have the resources..
                      We have the manpower so why isn’t it being done…
                      Money – not enough of it. This mechanism for exchange has come to the point where it has become a barrier for many.
                      Remove money and you could build maglev trains or monorails or whatever the best solution was. Why? because your not constrained by lack of it

                      Removing money and changing the design of the system to work for man, to meet our needs and wants and ensures that what happened with the industrial revolution can’t happen again.
                      The goal of society also becomes to design technological solutions to free people from having to work where possible.
                      Just by removing money and all of the jobs that come with it. Banking, Accountancy, Share trading, Insurance, you free a large number of people from having to work. A redistribution of jobs resulting in job sharing and ongoing automation could result in people needing to work half the time to the system going.
                      Would you switch to a system where the goal of the system is happiness through meeting peoples needs and wants?
                      you only need to work half the time you do now and meets your needs and wants are met as the goal of society.

                    • Polish Pride

                      No Carol instead of merely holding your values up as right and theirs as wrong, you should instead be focusing on trying to find a solution that meets and enables both sets of values to be upheld.

                      “Your view of the left is that of welfare capitalism.”
                      Nope but my view of Left does not matter one little bit. What matters is that what the Left want cannot be achieved through the current system. This is because of the role of money and everything that comes with it. Nor can the Right for that matter.

                      No-one actually needs money.. they need the things that money can buy.

                      it comes down to one question: What should goal of the system should be to do.
                      To enable Man to be happy.
                      Designing the system to work for Man, not having Man enslaved by it.

                      “the left is more about an inclusive, fair and just society for all, especially when it involves grass roots participatory democracy.”

                      Great a Resource Based Economy has all of that.

                      “And righties may or may not care about their families – some see no responsibilities to anyone bu themselves. Nevertheless, what do you call it when people are so focus on themselves and those nearest to them that the rest don’t matter? I’d call it lack of compassion, empathy and understanding of, or concern for how we all operate within society. Ultimately it’s a pretty narrow self-interested view of life from where I’m sitting.”

                      What you’d call it unfortunately doesn’t matter.. the fact that people do value and focus on those nearest to them to the point where the rest don’t matter does matter. Provide a way for both sets of values to be met and both are happy.
                      The Resource Based Economy enables the primary values of both L and R to be met at the same time.

                      Unfortunately the current system will always fail both sets of ideals as they continue to vote against one another.

                      “Sounds like socialism to me. And I can’t see how you will get any rightie to agree – one of their underlying values IS the belief in the profit motive as a way to incentivise human endeavour within a competitive system.”

                      Call it what you like but unless Socialism is a Gift Economy with no money then we are talking different systems.
                      The only question is does a Resource Based Economy uphold your ideals and provide what you want in a system for everyone.

                      As for those righties. Show them a way that they can have their needs and wants met, be able to work less that does not require continuously taking from them (their view) in the form of taxation and they will agree as well.
                      Again show them that it is not actually money that they need the the things and experiences that money can buy. Those things still exist with or without money.

                    • karol

                      PP, I have no problem with a system where money is taken out of the equation, nor, i think, would quite a few people who lean left, once that is fully explained to them.

                      However, I think you are being naive to think that a lot of righties can just be talked into excepting such a system – too many live for money and what they hope it can do….. it’s quite basic to their value system. And I also think you are naive that the powerful elite will willingly give up their power and advantages by explaining a n alternative system nicely – just not going to happen.

                    • infused

                      Polish Pride actually makes a lot of sense.

                    • Polish Pride

                      Karol no offense but I think I have a better grasp of what the right want. I have been cleaning the floor with Right wing Capitalists with this stuff for a few years now. Not all but many are quite interested in this way of thinking and want to know more.

                      “However, I think you are being naive to think that a lot of righties can just be talked into excepting such a system – too many live for money and what they hope it can do….. it’s quite basic to their value system.”

                      Don’t be lulled into thinking that a Right winger is your stereotypical loves money above all else. They are not and just like those on the Left they come in all shapes and forms. I’m sure the stereotype exists but it would only be as a very small minority in the bigger scheme of things. Most are just trying to do the best they can within the system for themselves and their family.
                      It isn’t quite basic to their value system at all. It is however the most key component in the current system and as such it can be argued that they are simply behaving accordingly. It is also easy to misconstrue their value system to being exactly what you think it is. I can assure you that for the vast majority it is not. It (money) is simply the mechanism under the current system that they need in order to obtain their goals. Provide them an alternative that enables them to obtain their goals without money and without taking from them and their family to give to others and they will look at it. Many have and many actually want to know more and start to ask a lot of questions.
                      There is skepticism sure, but there is genuine interest and that’s what matters most.

                      The thing is that the goals of the left and the right will never be fully met under the current system. Under the one I am talking about both sides would have their goals met due to the very nature of the system.

                      As for the global elite well you have two choices as I see it. Continue to play their game as you are now and see how far that continues to get you. Or change the rules of the game right out from under them….. and a system that meets the needs and values of both sides has the ability to do just that.
                      All you have to do is start changing the narrative.
                      Capitalism as an ideal is easy to destroy but only if you can replace it with something better for both Left and Right.

                    • Polish Pride

                      “too many live for money and what they hope it can do”

                      Sorry Karol I reread your post again. For many this on some level is true. But this is the nature of the current system. (Human behaviour is often determined by the system they are placed into. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2011_San_Fernando_massacre)
                      It is the last part that is key though – what they hope it can do.
                      Give them an alternative that enables them to achieve this and eliminates the need to tax them and redistribute their wealth to others and they will be open to change.

                      The Global Elite use “problem, reaction solution” to get what they want. The same mechanism can be used to change the system.
                      I’m not saying it will be different tomorrow but its either doing something designed to meet the needs and wants of man …..or continuing with the same system we have now and expecting a different result which is just simply never going to materialize….

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      Left and the Right are just ways of thinking. They are two ends of a spectrum upon which everybody in the world falls somewhere depending on how exactly they see the world
                      Neither are right or wrong, they simply just are.

                      That’s a load of baloney. The political right are, more often than not, provably wrong. The left can also be wrong but they tend to make an effort to correct while the political right will deny the physical evidence of them being wrong.

                      It is only through a solution that meets the needs and desires of both sides will you solve the problems we face today and have always faced as a society.

                      And yet, according to what you wrote, those needs and desires directly contradict each other.

                    • Polish Pride

                      No DTB at the most fundamental level those needs and wants don’t contradict each other at all. They only contradict so far as the way they would be provided for within the structure of the current system. This is because in the current system, regardless of whether you are on the Left or the Right you need money to be able to do what you want. Remove the money and the needs and wants start to align quite nicely.
                      The reasons remain different but both can be satisfied under a different system. One not focused on money. One instead focused on meeting the true needs and wants of those in society.

                      You and many on here have a perception of those on the right which is stereotypical yet largely inaccurate.
                      If you want to win a war it helps to understand your enemy…. Reading what I have here you guys have unfortunately failed to do that

                      “”Left and the Right are just ways of thinking. They are two ends of a spectrum upon which everybody in the world falls somewhere depending on how exactly they see the world
                      Neither are right or wrong, they simply just are.””

                      “That’s a load of baloney. The political right are, more often than not, provably wrong. The left can also be wrong but they tend to make an effort to correct while the political right will deny the physical evidence of them being wrong.”

                      What is a load of baloney? Left and Right and the spectrum that exists in politics? No that exists. The only thing I can understand you saying is a load of baloney is me saying that neither are right or wrong, they simply just are. This would be because it simply differs from your opinion and your view.
                      If there is something that you think is baloney state what it is and why?
                      Even if they are provably wrong the exact same is being said about the Left by the Right. But you know what who’s right and who’s wrong in the bigger scheme of things doesn’t matter, not one little bit.
                      What matters is being able to deliver what each side wants.
                      That’s unfortunately not possible under the current system by its very nature.
                      A system designed for Mankind the the goal of enabling Man to be happy does this. It by its very design is set up to meet the needs and wants of Man. It’s goal is to free man from the system or to have the system work for Man rather than Man working for it.
                      Its at this point you have a choice. You can continue to argue over who’s right and who’s wrong. Whether that’s you or me or the right vs the Left. Or you can start looking at solutions that will work for both sets of ideals and will at the same time fix the problems that we face in society today and in many cases have always faced. The choice is yours.

                      But I’ll tell you what go and spend a couple of years posting on Whaleoil and hanging out with Right wingers rather than spending your time on here preaching to the converted. Do that and you will quickly come to the realisation that The system cannot deliver what either side wants. (I am pretty sure you already know that part though). Determine what each side wants and see if there is a system that can provide it.
                      There is. It is called a Resource Based Economy.

                      In fact you don’t even have to worry about the Right. All you need to be concerned about is if the system could or would meet or surpass your values and the values on the left. If it doesn’t what changes would be required to enable it too.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      The only thing I can understand you saying is a load of baloney is me saying that neither are right or wrong, they simply just are. This would be because it simply differs from your opinion and your view.

                      Nope. I said it because being wrong really is actually being wrong. It’s not just an opinion but a physical fact. Same applies to being right.

                      But you know what who’s right and who’s wrong in the bigger scheme of things doesn’t matter, not one little bit.

                      Actually, it does matter quite a lot because if we keep doing things wrong then we will never be able to correct those things.

                      What matters is being able to deliver what each side wants.

                      Which is impossible as one side wants lots of personal riches and the poverty that goes with it (Yes, they actually want the poverty to improve their own status) while the other side wants to eliminate the poverty which must get rid of the vast personal wealth that the other side wants.

                      That’s unfortunately not possible under the current system by its very nature.

                      Correct and so the system needs to be changed. Problem: The RWNJs don’t want to change the system because they’re quite happy with it.

                      So, how do we change the system? My solution there is democracy and bypassing the so called leaders. I really, really, really don’t like representative democracy especially as I know it was put in place to prevent democracy.

          • Draco T Bastard 2.1.1.1.3

            +1

      • Draco T Bastard 2.1.2

        Yes, we should spend less because our actual economy is severely limited and using up all those resources as fast as we can will end up with a) everyone being poor and b) the collapse of society. All the RWNJs advocate irrational economic policies that result in us being worse off in the long run for short term monetary gain of the rich.

  3. Tiny Tom 3

    For an article along similar lines I recommend “Was Scrooge a neoliberal?”:

    http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2013/12/scrooge-neoliberal.html

    While one can rant that consumerism has perverted the original Christian message, it should not be forgotten that Christianity itself stole and perverted the original Pagan midwinter festival marking the turn of the solar calendar with its promise of the return of Spring and Summer.

    Personally, growing up and living half my life so far in the UK I very much enjoyed the Pagan aspects of Christmas – the lights in the longest nights, the warmth and cheer in midwinter, the recogniton that the days were getting longer again – while doing my best to ignore the mawkish religious nonsense clinging to its coat-tails. Here in the southern hemisphere celebrating Christmas in mid-summer strips away even the legitimate Pagan elements making the whole event ridiculous so I treat it the way I do the idiots selling religion on my door-step – ignore it in the hope it will go away.

      • weka 3.1.1

        “Here in the southern hemisphere celebrating Christmas in mid-summer strips away even the legitimate Pagan elements making the whole event ridiculous…”

        lolz. Kiwis on a beach in summer, or getting uber-pissed at NY strikes me as relatively pagan ;-)

        Pre-Christian Pagans celebrated the year in a wheel – the two solstices and the two equinoxes. No reason why we can’t keep Christmas, and have Matariki, plus Easter (needs to change to an Autumn fesival though). That just leaves the Spring Equinox.

        Then there are the cross-quarter dates/festivals which lie at the midpoint between the solstices and equinoxes. Matariki is interesting because it spans the cross-quarter before winter solstice and the winter solstice.

        I feel way more annoyed by Northern hemisphere expressions of Halloween (cross-quarter date) in NZ than I do with Christmas (and Halloween is following the same crass consumerist path). I think NZ is making a fair transition away from winter themes at Christmas. Would love to see Halloween transformed in the more appropriate Beltane bone fire festival.

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

  4. Sacha 4

    “the original *Christian message”

    the original Pagan festival

  5. Steve Wrathall 5

    Oh no, the Labour/Green/Mana decision to go into election year as a bunch of sour Sadies claiming there is a manufacturing crisis and no jobs is collapsing before their eyes. What now? Go after John Key? It’s worked so wonderfully before eh?
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eOGQ-4fR0YQ

    • karol 5.1

      is that the best you can do Steve? the post is about so much more than John Key: it’s about the whole big, international neo-liberal scam and the way it is expressed in relation to “Christmas”, as promoted by the MSM.

      It is about a whole discourse that creates a myth of the benevolence of the super wealthy celebrities, on behalf of the corporate elites.

      Of course, I know righties just want the debate to be only about John Key – he’s all they’ve got going for them in maintaining this slowly collapsing house of cards.

  6. Tracey 6

    Rich the other

    whoooooooooooooosh

  7. Philj 7

    Xox
    And people pay money to purchase this ‘newspaper’? Is this tragedy or comedy, or just modem day life? Haha.

  8. aerobubble 8

    Non-religious now make up majority in census, could this have anything to do with Christmas themes of winter being so out of place in summer NZ? When it doesn’t make sense to dress up in winter clothes, eat too much in swelting heat, and sing about song, then it follows quite naturally that the whole Jesus thing is fake too.

  9. Will@Welly 9

    Since the economic crisis of 2008/09, the dominance of the banking/financial sector now take seems to precedence over everything else. The only way people seem to want to reward themselves is with a bit of blanket commercial retail therapy -i.e. overspending at Xmas/the Boxing Day sales.
    My “retail therapy” consisted of buying some milk.
    As a nation we appear to have lost the ability to enjoy life without it costing a fortune. Everyone either appears to want to “clip the ticket” thereby inflating the actual cost, or others are out to prove, regardless how cheap or expensive things are, they have pockets deep enough to pay whatever, just to let everyone know that they are important. Bulls**t.
    If you’ve ever watched little children open presents, sometimes its the most incongruous present that holds a child spell-bound the most. This rampant commercialism that we’ve fostered on the world is just so out of place.

    • aerobubble 9.1

      I think a lot of people have heard that interest rates will rise, and have been saving, they realize that now’s a good time to buy, have a party after a few years of belt tightening.

      Key has delayed the ChCh rebuild to peak next year, the question is will voter notice that instead of having built up the economy Key has stymied it. Key consistently oppose endeavors to deepen the economy, inject long term plans into the fabric of the economy, (commuter trains lines in the plans for ChCh!!! etc, etc). Key’s willing to interfere but not in any positive way that supports long term NZ growth.

      • Paul 9.1.1

        I imagine there’s quite a few people maxed to the hilt who will be in real trouble if rates increase.

  10. Good thing about consumption as fetish is that it is the height of alienation and in direct contradiction with the collapse of capitalist production.

    We go from commodities that we need to consume to work, to commodities as the embodiment of value to be accumulated, only because we don’t see that the only commodity that produces value is the commodity labour-power.

    But as capitalism destroys the natural base of its productive system and makes living labour-power more and more redundant, the inability to consume to work will explode the fetish to buy to live.

    The image of zombie consumers will be replaced by mass uprisings.

    http://redrave.blogspot.co.nz/2012/04/marx-is-right-again.html

    • “To be sure, Marx did not himself follow out the full ramifications of this distortion of use value (and of labor’s own usefulness). Although he raised the question of the qualitative, use-value structure of the commodity economy he was to leave it largely unexamined in his critique of political economy.55 It was generally assumed in the context of mid-nineteenth-century capitalism that those use values that were produced—outside of the relatively insignificant realm of luxury production—conformed to genuine human needs. Under monopoly capitalism, beginning in the last quarter of the nineteenth century, and with the emergence more recently of the phase of globalized monopoly-finance capital, this all changed. The system increasingly demands, simply to keep going under conditions of chronic overaccumulation, the production of negative use values and the non-fulfillment of human needs.56 This entails the absolute alienation of the labor process, i.e., of the metabolic relation between human beings and nature, turning it predominantly into a form of waste.”
      http://monthlyreview.org/2013/12/01/marx-rift-universal-metabolism-nature:

  11. captain hook 11

    why dont you try a little kindness
    and take away the blindness
    of the narrow minded people
    in their narrow minded streets.

  12. chrissy 12

    Saw a bright young thing being interviewed on telly last night at one of the malls having sale. She was so excited because she had bought al of this STUFF for $10.00 each and was off to another mall to carry on buying more STUFF. Loaded down with bags and I bet she didn’t have a clue what was in them. Thing is if these are all bought on credit cards doesn’t the interest on the cards cancel out a lot of this so called saving on purchases. Pretty sure most of them will be maxed out and if you have the money to pay it off in next month or so why are they buying cheap crap that can be sold at $10.00 each with the shops still making a profit.
    Also, I was going to go to Briscoe’s to buy a cake mixer but was put off with their over the top advertising. So, won’t be going there. My own silent little protest.

    • rich the other 12.1

      A sign of the times,
      Shame on you chrissy ,even thinking about buying a cake mixer at Briscoe’s ,you’re obviously the idle rich , what’s wrong with the ware house , a wooden spoon and a bowl for less than $5.

      • Paul 12.1.1

        You have nothing constructive to add.

        • rich the other 12.1.1.1

          Yes , here’s something constructive,
          repent ,beg for forgiveness , recognise the error of your ways and then vote NATIONAL.

          • Will@Welly 12.1.1.1.1

            Well we all know where the wooden spoon dangles from at your place rto, and certainly, no one other than you would ever be lining up to lick it, that’s for sure.

          • Tracey 12.1.1.1.2

            kind of like the mafia, kill opponents, sleep with women, kill anyone who sleeps with your women, then go to church and confess and do it all again next week.

          • Draco T Bastard 12.1.1.1.3

            That’s not constructive but destructive as National works to destroy our economy for the benefit of the rich.

            • rich the other 12.1.1.1.3.1

              Mixed message there draco,

              ”National works to destroy economy” according to the left it’s already destroyed.
              And the logic of destroying the economy ??
              No one will ever make money from people who have no money, benificiary’s are a cost , not an opportunity to make money.

              I suppose if you are prepared to vote green/labour then you are obviously not logical..

              • Draco T Bastard

                No one will ever make money from people who have no money, benificiary’s are a cost , not an opportunity to make money.

                According to the right, so are employees.

                The real cost is profit.

                I suppose if you are prepared to vote National/Act/CP then you are obviously not rational.

                FTFY

      • chrissy 12.1.2

        rto. Do you have a cake mixer, or any other appliances that make life easier? Do you have a stove or do you cook over a campfire? Do you have a washing machine or do you wash in the local stream? Do you have a camera, or do you do rapid sketching? Of course I’m one of the idle rich, that’s why my husband needs a cake mixer because he has a shoulder injury and can no longer use the wooden spoon and bowl. I’m far too rich to do my own baking.!

    • Macro 12.2

      There are other places… but their advertising is just as invasive. (sometimes you just have to hold your nose and go ahead and do it) -and I understand the need for these devices too having had a shoulder injury as well.- I just wonder if those produced these days last as long as the ones 40 xmas’s ago?

  13. karol 13

    A pertinent press release from the Uni of Canterbury: “Inequality keeps rising, says UC social research expert”

    Inequality continues to rise in New Zealand and many families will struggle to cope over the holidays, a University of Canterbury (UC) social research expert says.

    Dr Annabel Taylor says research shows that reliance on voluntary help is not nearly enough to help families that are struggling.
    [...]
    “This means that every dollar counts when given to food banks and the like. At the same time, we need to pause and ponder on what needs to be done to reduce inequalities in our communities.”

    “The problem with relying on well-meaning voluntary support is that it cannot possibly replace the population-based health, education and social support necessary to ensure healthy New Zealanders.

    Violence continues to be the driving challenge for New Zealand communities with nearly half of all homicides in New Zealand resulting from family violence, Dr Taylor says.

  14. weka 14

    There are currently 1509 listings in Trademe’s post-Christmas ‘regifting’ promotion. Funny use of the word ‘regifting’.

    http://www.trademe.co.nz/unwanted-christmas-gifts?utm_source=TradeMe&utm_medium=Email&utm_campaign=TM_Regifting

    • Will@Welly 14.1

      First heard this back on Seinfield. “Regifting” was a no-no, then. It’s what you did with presents you couldn’t return/didn’t want. Now thanks to Trade Me and E-Bay, people just flog them off.
      Talk about commercialism gone wrong.

      • Well quite a lot finish up in the local Op shop .
        My wife accurately forecasts to me just what will be among the latest “must haves” that will,turn up each week at the one she works at. Top of the list at the moment is exercise machines and teddy bears ,

  15. infused 15

    Someone buy Karol a present.

  16. BEATINGTHEBOKS 16

    The reality is people like a bargain and if they have good fortune to have the money then go to it. Now if you compared NZ with communist Russia at boxing day you would see some interesting things, the lack of anything useful to buy would be one of them, and very high prices. Boxing day sales are and hopefully will always be a fun day out for some. If Labour want to win the next election the middle class working person needs to be wooed, nonsensical ideas that normal people wont buy bargains if they are educated about the suffering of poor people will not impress anyone. People want to be rewarded for their hard work. People don’t want to have to work an extra 10 hours a week to feed someone else’s children. Just talking about the average swing voter here not the uber rich, whose vote will be blue no matter what measures are taken.

    • Murray Olsen 16.1

      “If Labour want to win the next election the middle class working person needs to be wooed, nonsensical ideas that normal people wont buy bargains if they are educated about the suffering of poor people will not impress anyone.”

      I don’t see anyone putting that idea forward except yourself.

      “People don’t want to have to work an extra 10 hours a week to feed someone else’s children.”

      Did you read that one on WhaleSpew? Where does the 10 hour figure come from?

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    Its our future | 19-10
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    Press Release – iPredict Andrew Littles probability of being the next leader of the Labour Party has reached 70% and Jacinda Ardern is favourite to become his deputy, according to the combined wisdom of the 8000+ registered traders on New...
    Its our future | 19-10
  • Secrets, Lies and Revelations
    There is a lot this National Government doesn't want us to know. They have made it clear that we shouldn't measure child poverty, that we don't need independent environmental reporting and any official information requests are delayed indefinitely, especially if...
    Local Bodies | 19-10
  • 2014 SkS Weekly Digest #42
    SkS Highlights Another "lightening rod" article by Dana, Dinner with global warming contrarians, disaster for dessert, drew the highest number of comments of the articles posted on SkS during the past week. If you have not already done so, be...
    Skeptical Science | 19-10
  • Putting people at the centre of policy
    (For our opening week, we asked all our contributors to think about why they’re On The Left, and what the next three years holds for the left, the government, and New Zealand.) Leftist politics puts people at the centre of...
    On the Left | 19-10
  • Alpaca Metropolitan – Episode 67
    For the rest of Alpaca Metropolitan, check out the tumblr comic....
    On the Left | 19-10
  • Meaningful compassion
    (For our opening week, we asked all our contributors to think about why they’re On The Left, and what the next three years holds for the left, the government, and New Zealand.) My mum sometimes tells the story of when...
    On the Left | 19-10
  • If you didn’t vote, please complain!
    This image from youth voter turnout group RockEnrol (who did some great work), while humourous, is an excellent example of the problem. There’s a particular refrain commonly heard around election time – both in the buildup, as an exhortation towards...
    On the Left | 19-10
  • We have lift-off!
    Welcome to On The Left! We’re happy to be here. OTL was born when a couple of lefty comms people got together for coffee and decided that the NZ blogosphere was lacking an accessible, well-written, interesting and above all fun group...
    On the Left | 19-10
  • DEALING WITH FOREIGN INVESTORS
    How can foreign investors in New Zealand be sure that we will treat them fairly? If they are not sure perhaps they will not invest here, even though their investment may be valuable to us. (I do not believe all...
    Pundit | 19-10
  • Robertson’s ‘safety-first’ leadership pitch fraught with ...
    When Grant Robertson tweets that he wants the government to "get alongside communities", I am not at all sure what he means....
    Pundit | 19-10
  • Robertson’s ‘safety-first’ leadership pitch fraught with ...
    When Grant Robertson tweets that he wants the government to "get alongside communities", I am not at all sure what he means....
    Pundit | 19-10
  • Cunliffe and Labour
    I didn't cover the election, long story short; the country is still being run by a banker and someone who was in charge of the National Party got its lowest percentage in recent history. Although if Cunliffe gets finance we...
    Topical | 19-10
  • When science deniers turn to science
    Cartoon by Joe Heller, www.hellertoon.com Readers no doubt recognise this situation. It’s a pretty blatant form of science denial. Division of science and into pro and anti forms –  such as pro-fluoridation and anti-fluoridation science –  is just another form of...
    Open Parachute | 19-10
  • When science deniers turn to science
    Cartoon by Joe Heller, www.hellertoon.com Readers no doubt recognise this situation. It’s a pretty blatant form of science denial. Division of science and into pro and anti forms –  such as pro-fluoridation and anti-fluoridation science –  is just another form of...
    Open Parachute | 19-10
  • AT’s Get on Board with Jerome Campaign
    Auckland Transport recently launched a new campaign featuring Jerome Kaino encouraging people to use PT and HOP. It seems to be primarily an online campaign focused on the videos below however I’ve also seen a few ads on the backs of buses...
    Transport Blog | 18-10
  • Letter to the editor – when a Terror Alert really was needed!
    . . from: Frank Macskasy <fmacskasy@gmail.com> to: Sunday Star Times <letters@star-times.co.nz> date: Tue, Oct 14, 2014 subject: Letter to the editor . The editor Sunday Star Times . Our esteemed Prime Minister announces that our Terror Alert has “risen” from...
    Frankly Speaking | 18-10
  • Letter to the editor – when a Terror Alert really was needed!
    . . from: Frank Macskasy <fmacskasy@gmail.com> to: Sunday Star Times <letters@star-times.co.nz> date: Tue, Oct 14, 2014 subject: Letter to the editor . The editor Sunday Star Times . Our esteemed Prime Minister announces that our Terror Alert has “risen” from...
    Frankly Speaking | 18-10
  • 2014 SkS Weekly News Roundup #42B
    As deaths mount in Nepal disasters, questions about climate change raised Churches go Green by shedding fossil fuel holdings Climate change: it’s only human to exaggerate, but science itself does not Cutting global warming pollution just business as usual at some...
    Skeptical Science | 18-10
  • Dunno what to say about this, really
    Donald Trump and Russell Brand are having a spat on twitter.  It puts me in mind of Oscar Wilde's quip about fox hunting - "The unspeakable in pursuit of the uneatable."  Though in this case, more a matter of the...
    Left hand palm | 18-10
  • We must join the fight against Islamic State
    We are being confronted with an evil of a kind we have not seen before. An evil we can barely even name. Islamic State? ISIS? IS? ISIL? What the hell do we even call these people?...
    Imperator Fish | 18-10
  • The Splits: Epsom / Ohariu Split Vote
    Epsom voteAct 2011 Party-Vote 3% (939 votes),   Candidate-Vote 44% (15,835)       2014 Party-Vote 3% (1,023),         Candidate-Vote 43% (15,966)Nat 2011 Party-Vote 65% (23,725),     Candidate-Vote 38% (13,574)       2014 Party-Vote 64% (23,904),      Candidate-Vote 32% (11,716)Lab 2011 Party-Vote 16% (5,716),      ...
    Sub zero politics | 17-10
  • Blinding Flash of the Obvious re composing encrypted emails – Avoid auto-...
    I recently reviewed Edward Snowden’s instructions for setting up and using PGP/encrypted email available on Vimeo: GPG for Journalists – Windows edition | Encryption for Journalists | Anonymous 2013. It’s a good tutorial. One of the points it makes about...
    The Paepae | 17-10
  • An Auckland Urban Redevelopment Agency?
    Details are starting to emerge from the Council’s review of its Council Controlled Organisations (CCOs) to see if any changes need to be made to them. The CCOs were set up in 2010 by the government as part of the super city...
    Transport Blog | 17-10
  • Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part Ru...
    . . Continued from: Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part Tahi) . National’s housing development project: ‘Gateway’ to confusion . Perhaps nothing better illustrates National’s lack of a coherent housing programme than the ‘circus’ that is...
    Frankly Speaking | 17-10
  • Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part Ru...
    . . Continued from: Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part Tahi) . National’s housing development project: ‘Gateway’ to confusion . Perhaps nothing better illustrates National’s lack of a coherent housing programme than the ‘circus’ that is...
    Frankly Speaking | 17-10
  • What A Real Labour Party Member Sounds Like.
     HARRY SMITH, 92 years old, describes the world in which he was raised. A world of poverty in which the ravages of ill health simply could not be resisted by ordinary working-class families. Harry lost his sister to tuberculosis and...
    Bowalley Road | 17-10
  • Why ice sheets will keep melting for centuries to come
    This article was originally published on The Conversation [UK] on Sep 26, 2014. Why ice sheets will keep melting for centuries to come By Eelco Rohling, University of Southampton It may already be too late to stop Antarctic ice sliding into the ocean....
    Skeptical Science | 17-10
  • Stuart’s 100 #45: What if Renters….
    #45: What if Renters had the choice to have Rights and Responsibilities like Commercial Tenants? Home ownership is of course a daily debate in this city of Auckland. In the absence of anything else, the New Zealand Herald will always...
    Transport Blog | 17-10
  • Enjoying the unexpected – Jenny Salesa
    Jenny Salesa is looking forward to bringing her wide-ranging experience, including in education and public healthcare, to her new role as an MP. That’s coupled with her determination to achieve better outcomes for the people of Manukau East....
    Labour campaign | 17-10
  • Walking in the footsteps of the greats
    Introducing Peeni Henare Peeni Henare, new MP for Tāmaki Makaurau, grew up surrounded by inspirational leaders. From his grandfather, soldier and kōhanga reo pioneer Sir James Henare, to David Lange, who was “like a quirky uncle who popped by every...
    Labour campaign | 17-10
  • Treasury cherry-picks its data
    Yesterday we learned that Treasury didn't like food-in-schools. And now we know why: because they cherry-picked their data to support their preferred conclusion of leaving the poor to starve:A report behind Treasury advice that said school breakfast programmes did not...
    No Right Turn | 17-10
  • Read Nicky Hager’s search warrant
    How we want it to be: How it sometimes is (click to read documents): Documents from New Zealand cops raided home of reporter working on Snowden documents by Glenn Greenwald and Ryan Gallagher (The Intercept). Worth reading to see how...
    The Paepae | 17-10
  • Church congratulated on child poverty stand
    The efforts by the bishops of the Anglican Church to ensure that the issue of child poverty is not forgotten is a call to all New Zealanders to take action, says Labour’s Interfaith-Dialogue Spokesperson, Su’a William Sio.   “I think...
    Labour | 19-10
  • Labour names Review Team
    Labour’s New Zealand Council has appointed Bryan Gould as Convenor of its post-General Election Review.  He will be joined on the Review Team by Hon Margaret Wilson, Stacey Morrison and Brian Corban (see further biographical details here). The Review Team...
    Labour | 19-10
  • Labour backs urban development plans
    Auckland Council’s plan to set up an urban development agency is to be applauded and central government should get behind it to make it a success, Labour’s Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford says. Auckland Council CEO Stephen Town has indicated plans...
    Labour | 18-10
  • New Zealand can be rightly proud of seat on Security Council
    Gaining a seat on the United Nation’s Security Council shows the sort of standing that New Zealand has in the world and the quality of the long campaign that we ran over nearly a decade, says Foreign Affairs spokesperson David...
    Labour | 16-10
  • MPI still dragging the chain over causes of food bug
    The Ministry of Primary Industries’ release of Environmental Science and Research’s initial reports regarding the sources of a nasty stomach bug will be little comfort to the 127 people affected by it, Labour’s Food Safety spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “This...
    Labour | 16-10
  • Key commits to deployment before consultation or analysis
    John Key’s offer to consult Opposition parties on whether to deploy New Zealand forces against ISIS looks increasingly like a PR exercise only, says Labour’s Defence spokesperson, Phil Goff. “The presence of New Zealand’s Chief of Defence Force at a...
    Labour | 15-10
  • Four Nominees for Labour’s Leadership
    As at 5pm today four valid nominations had been received for the position of Labour Leader, as follows: Andrew Little(nominated by Poto Williams and Iain Lees-Galloway) Nanaia Mahuta(nominated by Louisa Wall and Su’a William Sio) David Parker(nominated by Damien O’Connor...
    Labour | 14-10
  • MPI must name product and supermarket chain
    The Ministry of Primary Industries must name the product responsible for severe gastroenteritis affecting people around the country, and the supermarket chain distributing it, Labour’s Food Safety spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “The Ministry seems to be more concerned about protecting...
    Labour | 13-10
  • Law changes shaping up to be worse than first thought
    The Prime Minister needs to be up front about exactly what changes he is planning to make to the Employment Relations  Amendment Bill, Labour's spokesperson on Labour Issues Andrew Little says.Interviewed on Q&A yesterday John Key said he did not...
    Labour | 12-10
  • Rapists, not Tinder, the threat to women
    Blame for rape and sexual assault should only ever be laid at the door of the perpetrator, not dating services or the actions of women themselves, Labour’s Associate Police spokesperson Kelvin Davis says. “Tinder is not the problem and women...
    Labour | 09-10
  • Media Advisory
    MANA Leader, Hone Harawira will not be available to speak with media today regarding his release “Recount Just One Step To restoring Credibility”. He is however available for media comment tomorrow, Tuesday the 8th of October, all media arrangements are...
    Mana | 07-10
  • RECOUNT JUST ONE STEP TO RESTORING CREDIBILITY
    “I have applied for a judicial recount of the votes in the Tai Tokerau election because it is one step in trying to restore credibility to the electoral process in the north, and, I suspect, in all other Maori electorates...
    Mana | 07-10
  • MANA SEEKS TAI TOKERAU RECOUNT
    The MANA Movement is supporting Leader Hone Harawira’s application for a judicial re-count in the Te Tai Tokerau electorate for the 2014 general election. President Lisa McNab says there are a number of serious issues of concern regarding the ability...
    Mana | 07-10
  • MANA to fight mass privatisation of state housing
    Announcements over the past 12 hours from the Minister responsible for Housing New Zealand, Bill English, and Minister for Social Housing, Paula Bennett, make clear the government’s intention for the mass privatisation of state housing. This comes during the middle...
    Mana | 07-10
  • Journalists have right to protect sources
    Legal authorities must respect the right of journalist Nicky Hager to protect the source of his material for his Dirty Politics book under Section 68 of the Evidence Act, Acting Labour Leader David Parker says. “It is crucial in an...
    Labour | 06-10
  • It shouldn’t take the Army to house the homeless
    National’s move to speed up its state house sell-off shows it is bankrupt of new ideas, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “National has been in office for six years, yet the housing crisis has got worse every month and...
    Labour | 06-10
  • We need more houses, not Ministers
    The Government’s decision to have three housing Ministers will create a dog’s breakfast of the portfolio and doesn’t bode well for fixing the country’s housing crisis, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “New Zealanders need more houses, not more Ministers....
    Labour | 05-10
  • MANA’S CHALLENGE TO THE 51st PARLIAMENT
    Ten years ago I led 50,000 Maori on the historic FORESHORE AND SEABED MARCH from Te Rerenga Wairua to the very steps of this parliament, in a march against the greatest land grab in the history of this country –...
    Mana | 03-10
  • Is this really necessary?
    No one denies chief executives should be well paid for their skills and experience, but it is the efforts of all employees which contribute to company profits, Labour’s Acting Leader David Parker says. “Salaries paid to chief executives come at...
    Labour | 02-10
  • Lyttelton Port workers also deserve pay rises
    Hard slog by Lyttelton Port workers contributed to strong financial growth for the company and they deserve to be rewarded for their work as much as its chief executive, says Labour’s Acting Leader David Parker. “Lyttelton Port chief executive Peter...
    Labour | 02-10
  • Māori Party must seek guarantees on Māori seats
    Labour is calling on the Māori Party to ensure protection of the Māori seats is part of its coalition deal with National which is being considering this weekend, Labour’s Māori Affairs spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta says. “For the third consecutive term,...
    Labour | 02-10
  • Donaghys job losses another blow to Dunedin
    The loss of 30 jobs from Donaghys rope and twine factory is yet another blow to the people and economy of Dunedin, says Dunedin South Labour MP Clare Curran. “Donaghys was founded in 1876; the company has survived two world...
    Labour | 02-10
  • Dairy price fall shows urgent need to diversify
    The overnight drop in milk prices shows New Zealand’s overreliance on the dairy industry puts our economy in a vulnerable position, says Acting Labour Leader David Parker. “Dairy prices fell 7.3 per cent overnight and have almost halved since February....
    Labour | 02-10
  • Tasks aplenty for new Health Minister
    One of the first jobs for the new Minister of Health must be to provide an honest and transparent report into surgery waiting times and exactly how many Kiwis are not having their health needs met, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette...
    Labour | 02-10
  • Previewing the 4 candidates for Leader of the Labour Party
    The extraordinary outbursts by Shearer last week highlights just how toxic that Caucus is. Shearer was on every major media platform as the ABC attack dog tearing into Cunliffe in the hope of diminishing Cunliffe’s support of Little by tearing...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Kate Davis – the sudden explosion of ‘left’ blogs
    Time to Teach or more people will suffer from P.A.I.D. Political And Intellectual Dysmorphia.I was on the Twitter and a guy followed me so of course I did the polite thing and followed him back. He wrote a blog so...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • Ego vs Eco
    Ego vs Eco...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • We can’t let the Roastbuster case slip away
    Those of us (like me) left with hope that the police would aggressively follow through on the large amount of evidence on offer to them (let’s not forget they forgot they even had some at one point) in the Roastbusters...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • Food, shelter and medicine instead of bombs and bullets
    The on-going conflict across the Middle East – due in large part to the US-led invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq – has created another humanitarian crisis of biblical proportion. The essentials of life are desperately needed in Iraq and Syria...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • The politics of electorate accommodations
    National’s electorate accommodations with ACT and United Future were a big factor in it winning re-election. Interestingly, there is another electorate accommodation scenario whereby the centre-left could have come out on top, even with the same distribution of party votes....
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • Why you should join the TPPA Action on 8 November
    On 8 November 2014, thousands of Kiwis will take part in the International Day of Action to protest the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA). The rally cry for us is TPPA – Corporate Trap, Kiwis Fight Back. Why should you join...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • GUEST BLOG – Patrick O’Dea: no new coal mines
    Green Party and Mana Party policy is “NO NEW COAL MINES!” Auckland Coal Action is trying to put this policy into action on the ground. ACA after a hard fought two year campaign waged alongside local residents and Iwi, in...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • Comparing Police action – Hager raid vs Roast Buster case
    This satire had the NZ Police contact TDB and threaten us with 6months in prison for using their logo.   The plight of Nicky Hager and the draconian Police actions against him has generated over  $53 000 in donations so...
    The Daily Blog | 18-10
  • Malala Yousafzai, White Saviour Complexes and Local Resistance
    Last week, Malala Yousafzai was the co-recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize. Since her exposure to the worldwide spotlight, her spirit, wisdom and strength have touched the hearts of people everywhere. However, there have been cynics who have argued that...
    The Daily Blog | 18-10
  • Jason Ede is back – but no media can interview him?
    Well, well, well. Jason Ede, the main figure connected to John Key’s office and the Dirty Politics black ops is back with a company with deep ties to the National Party. One thing you can say about the right –...
    The Daily Blog | 18-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Curwen Rolinson – Leadership Transitions In Other Parties: A ...
    As cannot have escaped anyone’s attention by now, the country is presently in the grips of an election and campaign that will help determine the fate of the nation for years to come. It’s gripping stuff – with clear divides...
    The Daily Blog | 17-10
  • SkyCity worker says she faces losing her house
    SkyCity worker Carolyn Alpine told the company annual shareholder’s meeting today that she faced the prospect of losing her house because the company had cut her shifts from two a week to one without consultation. The solo mother, has worked...
    The Daily Blog | 17-10
  • Greg O’Connor’s latest push to arm cops & 5 reasons not to
    I was wondering at what point within a 3rd term of National that Police Cheerleader Greg O’Connor would start trying to demand cops be armed. O’Connor must have thought to himself, ‘if bloody Key can get us and the GCSB vast new...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • You can’t have crisis without ISIS
    So the new scary bogeyman ISIS might have chemical weapons that the US secretly found in Iraq, but America didn’t want to expose this find because the WMDs were actually built and made by the US and Europe, the two powers...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • NZ WINS UN SPIN THE BOTTLE! Privately sucking up to America for a decade me...
    Oh, we are loved! Little old NZ, the 53rd state of America after Israel and Australia, gets to sit at the adults table for the special dinner party that is the UN Security Council. How delightful, a decade of privately...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • MEDIA BLOG – Myles Thomas – A World Without Advertising
    Non-commercial broadcasting and media. It’s a solution for all manner of problems ailing our tender nation… voter engagement, unaccountable governance, apathy, stupefaction, public education, science in schools, arts appreciation, cultural cringe… But no-one could’ve guessed that non-commercial media might solve...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • March against war – 2pm Saturday 25th October
    March against war – 2pm Saturday 25th October...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • Whack a mole as US govt foreign policy
    Whack-A-Mole was a popular arcade game from my youth.  It consisted of a waist high cabinet with holes in the top. Plastic moles seemingly randomly pop out of these holes. The purpose of the game was to hit as many...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • In Paean of Debt
    This week is ‘Money Week’. It’s an opportunity to promote to the middle classes, and anyone else who will listen, the virtues of wise ‘investment’. The aims are to promote the mystical (and indeed mythical) virtues of saving for the...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • The last 48 hours – Poverty denial, war denial and unapologetic abuse of ...
    The bewildering speed of events that simply end in Key shrugging and proclaiming he doesn’t really give a shit is coming think and fast as the Government suddenly appreciate the full spectrum dominance they now enjoy. Here is Radio NZ...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Pat O’Dea – Mana 2.0 Rebooted
    Internationally the news is that Evo Morales of Bolivia won big with Left Wing policies But what are the chances that the Left will make a resurgence in this country? As the internecine struggles between the Left and the Right...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • The Blomfield IPCA letter – Has Dirty Politics leaked into the NZ Police ...
    It’s difficult to know what to make of the IPCA letter to Matthew Blomfield over Slater’s continued insistence that the hard drive taken from Matthew wasn’t stolen.  Slater has selectively cherry picked the Police referring back to his claim that Blomfeild perjured...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • ​Media release: Rail and Maritime Transport Union – Auckland move for K...
    The Rail and Maritime Transport Union is questioning a KiwiRail proposal to progressively relocate its Zero Harm personnel from Wellington to Auckland. “The purpose of the Zero Harm team is to drive KiwiRail’s performance in health and safety.  Rail is a...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • Amnesty International – Friend request from an IS militant
    There’s always that one person, that one Facebook friend, usually a musician or event promoter, who, when you so foolishly accept their friend request, will completely inundate your news feed with copious event invitations and promotions. The person who, despite...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • NZ should follow the UK and recognize the Palestinian state
    Over the past two weeks, the United Kingdom and Sweden have made headlines through their decisions to recognize the state of Palestine. They are hardly the first nations to do so. Indeed, 134 countries have, in various ways, given formal...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • The Discordant Chimes of Freedom: Why Labour has yet to be forgiven.
    WHY DOES THE ELECTORATE routinely punish Labour and the Greens for their alleged “political correctness” but not National? It just doesn’t seem fair. Consider, for example, the Crimes (Substituted Section 59) Amendment Act 2007 – the so-called “anti-smacking legislation” –...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • Hosking or Henry – Which right wing crypto fascist clown do you want to w...
    So Mediaworks are finally going to make some actual money from their eye watering contract with Paul Henry by launching a new multi-platform Breakfast show over TV, Radio and internet. This is great news for Campbell Live who have dodged...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • Families need more money to reduce child poverty
    Prime Minister John Key is mistaken to rule out extending the In Work Tax Credit to all poor children (The Nation 11th Oct) and Child Poverty Action Group challenges government advisors to come up with a more cost effective way...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Kelly Ellis – Don’t shit on my dream
    Once were dreamers. A large man, walks down the road and, even from 200 yards there’s light showing between his big arms and bigger body. It’s as if he’s put tennis balls under his arms. Two parking wardens walk out...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • Labour and ‘special interests’
    The media narrative of Labour is that it is unpopular because it’s controlled by ‘special interests’. This ‘special interests’ garbage is code for gays, Maoris, wimin and unionists. We should show that argument the contempt it deserves. The next Labour...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part Ru...
    . . Continued from: Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part Tahi) . National’s housing development project: ‘Gateway’ to confusion . Perhaps nothing better illustrates National’s lack of a coherent housing programme than the ‘circus’ that is...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • Here’s what WINZ are patronisingly saying to people on welfare when they ...
    Yesterday, a case manager from WINZ called to tell me that I needed to “imagine what I would do if I did not have welfare”. I replied “Well, I guess if I couldn’t live at home, I would be homeless.”...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • David Shearer’s ‘no feminist chicks’ mentality highlights all that is...
    Mr Nasty pays a visit Shearer’s extraordinary outburst last night on NZs favourite redneck TV, The Paul Henry Show, is a reminder of all that is wrong within the Labour Caucus right now… He said the current calls for a female or...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • Greenpeace 1 – Shell 0
    Greenpeace 1 – Shell 0...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Kate Davis – A Tale Of Two Cities
    Sunday was surreal. I went for a drive and ended up in a different country. It wasn’t intentional but those days of too many literally intertextual references seldom are. There is no doubt that the Sunday drive this week had...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • Key raises terror threat level to justify war in Iraq and now the SIS need ...
    Have we learned nothing from rushing into war? It’s embarrassing Key has raised our terror threat from ‘very low’ to ‘low’ so he can justify military action in Iraq. Watching him pimp for an American war is as sick as...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • Socialism? in France; Austerity in Europe
    On Sunday I stumbled upon this recent New York Times column The Fall of France by Paul Krugman. Then I caught BBC’s Newsnight interview with France’s ‘Socialist’ Prime Minister Manuel Valls. Krugman notes that the Socialists came to power on an anti-austerity mandate, but completely squandered their opportunity...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • So Snowden and Greenwald were right – again – NZ Embassies spying for A...
    Well, well, well. What do we have here… NZ embassies involved in covert intelligence work for US – reportsNew Zealand’s embassies have been involved in covert intelligence gathering work on behalf of the United States, a fresh batch of classified...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Curwen Rolinson – Why David Parker *isn’t* a credible choic...
    The one electoral contest this year that a Labour leader is sure to win heated up over the weekend with the late entry of Finance Spokesman (and interim caretaker leader) David Parker into Labour’s leadership race. I’d blogged late last...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • Fran O’Sullivan’s extraordinary column
    Note how the carefully constructed flow chart above ignores the mainstream media’s complicity with Slater and Dirty Politics    I am no fan of Fran O’Sullivan’s politics and would argue long into the day against her on many of the...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • Final salute to Cunliffe
    Final salute to Cunliffe...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • David Cunliffe’s statement
    I am today announcing that I have decided not to nominate for the 2014 Labour Party leadership contest. It has been a hard decision to make but it is one that I believe is in the best interests of the...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • Cunliffe to quit leadership race – the losers are the Labour Party member...
    That’s all folks   And so ends the first ever Labour Party member/affiliates choice for leadership. David Cunliffe is standing down at 2pm and is supporting Andrew Little instead. What a perverse turn of events. Cunliffe was punished by an angry Labour leadership forced...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • Want to see new Nu Zilind? Read the comments section of Andrea Vance’s co...
    Andrea Vance is no stooge. She is one of the few mainstream media voices who has challenged power and authority, her latest column on the outrageous attempts by Key to use fear mongering to  spook the sleepy hobbits into war...
    The Daily Blog | 12-10
  • Humanity calling Government – anyone with empathy home?
    On Friday night groups of Invercargill activists and plain ole people who care took part in the 14 Hours Homeless event – sleeping out in the balmy southern climate on cardboard and couches at our Salvation Army Citadel. It’s a...
    The Daily Blog | 12-10
  • Labour, leadership and White blokes
    David Shearer said on TV3’s The Nation this weekend that he appreciated the support Labour’s received from Maori and Pacific communities over the last few elections, but that it was important to again, secure the votes of ordinary white blokes...
    The Daily Blog | 12-10
  • Wrong priorities in media coverage of Ebola crisis
    The experts have told us that there is very little likelihood of a serious Ebola outbreak in any Western nation – unless the virus changes so that it can be spread through the air rather than just via bodily fluids....
    The Daily Blog | 12-10
  • John Key uses the same old warmongering recipe
    Less than three weeks after the election Prime Minister John Key wants New Zealand to join a war in the Middle East and extend the powers of our US-focused spy agencies the SIS (Security Intelligence Service) and the GCSB (Government...
    The Daily Blog | 12-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Anjum Rahman – shifting focus: towards building an effective ...
    It has now been three weeks since the election, and we on the left are still in the phase of trying to figure out what went wrong.  That can be a useful exercise depending on how it’s done, especially if...
    The Daily Blog | 11-10
  • iPredict New Zealand Weekly Economic & Political Update
    Andrew Little’s probability of being the next leader of the Labour Party has reached 70% and Jacinda Ardern is favourite to become his deputy, according to the combined wisdom of the 8000+ registered traders on New Zealand’s predictions market, iPredict....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Prison Drug Treatment Unit marks a milestone
    Christchurch Men’s Prison’s Drug Treatment Unit (DTU) celebrated the completion of its 50th six month Drug and Alcohol Programme today, with the graduation of a further twelve offenders....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Security Council seat a chance for NZ to empower women
    The UN Women National Committee Aotearoa New Zealand (UN Women NCANZ) welcomes New Zealand winning a seat on the United Nations Security Council and is calling on New Zealand to use its position to proactively promote effective implementation of the...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Waipareira and ACC sign Partnership
    Waipareira and The Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding at Whanau Centre, Henderson – marking a special day for the West Auckland Urban Maori organisation....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Humanitarian aid desperately needed in Iraq and Syria
    Global Peace and Justice Auckland is calling on the government to provide humanitarian funding for non-aligned NGOs (non-governmental organisations) in the Middle East rather than give any support whatever for the US-led military campaign in the area....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Court Judicial Decision: Dotcom v The USA: 17 October 2014
    The United States of America is seeking the extradition of Messrs Dotcom, Batato, Ortmann and Van Der Kolk. The matter has been before the Courts on numerous occasions, and no further recitation of the facts is needed....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Marshall Island poet speaks at UN climate summit
    “The fossil fuel industry is the biggest threat to our very existence as Pacific Islanders. We stand to lose our homes, our communities and our culture. But we are fighting back. This coming Friday thirty Pacific Climate Warriors, joined by...
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Many tourist car accidents preventable
    Simple steps could dramatically reduce the number of accidents involving tourists, says the car review website dogandlemon.com ....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • RainbowYOUTH: 25 Years, 25 More
    In 1989, a group of young people in Auckland got together to form a support group for LGBTIQ youth. They called it Auckland Lesbian And Gay Youth (ALGY). After 25 years, several location changes, a name change, a brand reboot...
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Outdated Oath shows need for Kiwi Head of State
    MPs are sworn in today and New Zealand Republic has written to MPs asking them to talk about why 121 New Zealanders elected by the people of New Zealand and standing in the New Zealand Parliament swear allegiance to another...
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Council shouldn’t revenue grab from windfall valuations
    Auckland Council should state clearly they will not try and capture revenue as a result of the latest valuations and needs reminding that the City’s skyrocketing property values doesn’t change the level or cost of Council’s services, says...
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • EPMU endorses Andrew Little for Labour leadership
    The National Executive of the Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union unanimously endorsed Andrew Little for the role of Labour leader, at a meeting held yesterday. “I have been speaking to our workplace delegates at forums across the country over...
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • World Food Day promotes Agroecology not GE technology
    The UN has stated that agroecology is a major solution to feeding the world and caring for the earth....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Labour Names Review Team
    Labour’s New Zealand Council has appointed Bryan Gould as Convenor of its post-General Election Review. He will be joined on the Review Team by Hon Margaret Wilson, Stacey Morrison and Brian Corban....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Contenders for Labour leadership debate for first time
    The contenders for the leadership of the Labour Party debated for the first time on TV One’s Q+A programme today....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • UN Ambassador Jim McLay on TV One’s Q+A programme
    New Zealand's United Nations Ambassador Jim McLay on TV One’s Q+A programme....
    Scoop politics | 18-10
  • The Nation: RSA President BJ Clark & Ian Taylor, New NZ Flag
    Lisa Owen interviews RSA President BJ Clark and tech innovator Ian Taylor about changing the NZ flag...
    Scoop politics | 18-10
  • The Nation: RSA President BJ Clark & Ian Taylor, New NZ Flag
    Lisa Owen interviews RSA President BJ Clark and tech innovator Ian Taylor about changing the NZ flag...
    Scoop politics | 18-10
  • Lisa Owen interviews Foreign Minister Murray McCully
    Murray McCully says New Zealanders can expect a 5-10 year engagement against Islamic State if we join military action in Iraq and the government will take that “very carefully into account”...
    Scoop politics | 18-10
  • Lisa Owen interviews Julia Gillard
    Julia Gillard says there is “sufficient evidence” to fight Islamic State and does not think it will increase the risk of a domestic attack...
    Scoop politics | 18-10
  • NZ businesses to make child abuse a priority conversation
    Many leading New Zealand businesses have partnered with national child advocacy organisation Child Matters to participate in the fourth annual ‘Buddy Day’ - New Zealand’s only child abuse prevention awareness day....
    Scoop politics | 17-10
  • Tribunal decision significant for SMEs
    The Human Rights Review Tribunal decided this week in favour of an employee’s right not to work on Saturdays for religious reasons. The decision may still be appealed but the Director of the Office of Human Rights Proceedings, Robert Kee,...
    Scoop politics | 17-10
  • On The Nation this weekend
    This weekend on The Nation… New Zealand has been elected to the United Nations Security Council, but what happens next? Lisa Owen interviews Foreign Minister Murray McCully from New York about our goals for reform, what America wants from us...
    Scoop politics | 17-10
  • 1000+ supported by Te Arawa Whanau Ora
    Over 1000 individual whānau members are leading happier, healthier, more successful lives as a result of eight passionate and committed Māori organisations working at the coalface to help whānau find success....
    Scoop politics | 17-10
  • Nomination for Board Members Now Open
    CRF’s objective is to create opportunities for people from refugee backgrounds to lead fulfilling lives and contribute to every area of New Zealand society. It is an organisation that undertakes advocacy work using the strengths-based approach,...
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • Anglican Family Care Otago staff to take industrial action
    Social workers, family workers and support staff working for Anglican Family Care in Dunedin and South Otago will take industrial action after their employer refused a pay increase that would keep up with the rising cost of living....
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • Use UN Security Council role to overcome inaction and injust
    Amnesty International welcomes New Zealand winning a seat on the UN Security Council and is calling on New Zealand to use the role to ensure the body lives up to its role of safeguarding global peace and security....
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • Grisham’s ‘child porn’ comments ignorant
    World-renowned author John Grisham has come under fire by advocacy group Stop Demand Foundation, for comments it says trivialises the global child sex abuse trade....
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • Latest leak of TPPA intellectual property text confirms risk
    On the eve of the latest (non)round of negotiations on the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) yet another version of the intellectual property has found its way to Wikileaks ....
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • New Zealand awarded UN Security Council seat
    International aid agency Oxfam New Zealand welcomes New Zealand’s election to the United Nations Security Council, saying it gives an extraordinary opportunity to make a lasting contribution to international peace and security and improve the lives...
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • 40 more jobs lost to cheap imports
    40 more jobs lost to cheap imports Another New Zealand manufacturer is closing its doors, giving the lie to the idea that we have a “rock star” economy or any strategy for jobs growth. Wellpack is a paper bag manufacturer...
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • Pink Batts manufacturer to cut Christchurch jobs
    Pink Batts manufacturer to cut Christchurch jobs 29 roles are to be cut at the Christchurch manufacturing facility of Tasman Insulation, the company which manufacturers the iconic Pink Batts brand of products. The company is proposing to consolidate its...
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • Kellogg cereal donations help the Sallies feed those in need
    Kellogg New Zealand commits 64,000 serves of breakfast cereal during World Food Day Coinciding with World Food Day this year, Kellogg New Zealand and The Salvation Army are reaching out to less fortunate Kiwis with the donation of 64,000 serves...
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • National Slips, Labour Hits Lows
    National fail to get post-election bounce but leaderless Labour Party crash to lowest ever support...
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • NZ parents hope for more than just happy and healthy babies
    Auckland, 16 October 2014 – What do expectant mums and dads hope for their children? According to new research from Growing Up in New Zealand , a baby’s health and happiness may be high up on the list, but today’s...
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • NZPI backs Minister’s affordable housing stance
    NZPI backs Minister’s affordable housing stance NZPI is supportive of Hon. Dr Nick Smith’s, efforts to use the RMA as a mechanism for taking the heat out of the housing affordability challenge in New Zealand. “As Minister for Environment...
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • Prime Minister’s OIA Admision Disturbing
    The Taxpayers’ Union is calling for answers after it was revealed on Radio New Zealand’s Morning Report that the Prime Minister’s office routinely flouts its obligations under the Official Information Act. Taxpayers’ Union spokesman, Ben...
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • NZDIA forum press release
    NZDIA forum press release Wellington - The New Zealand Defence Industry Association, with the support of the NZ Defence Force and the Ministry of Defence, will be holding a two-day international forum on October 21-22 at the Michael Fowler Centre...
    Scoop politics | 15-10
  • BPW NZ calls fashion industry to account
    The New Zealand Federation of Business and Professional Women (BPW NZ) joins the call for action on the use of skinny models and mannequins as it is directly affecting the self-esteem and health of many of our young people....
    Scoop politics | 15-10
  • Electoral Commission introduces Extra Touch for Blind NZers
    The Electoral Commission was presented with the Extra Touch Award by the Association of Blind Citizens of New Zealand (Blind Citizens NZ), in recognition of its successful implementation of Telephone Dictation Voting ahead of its commitment to do so by...
    Scoop politics | 15-10
  • Auckland move for KiwiRail health and safety team questioned
    The Rail and Maritime Transport Union is questioning a KiwiRail proposal to progressively relocate its Zero Harm personnel from Wellington to Auckland....
    Scoop politics | 15-10
  • Redundancies a result of putting profit over good business
    Heinz Watties redundancies a result of putting profit over good business Heinz Watties workers are shocked by the announcement made late last night that up to 100 jobs are being cut from the company’s New Zealand operations. No information was...
    Scoop politics | 15-10
  • Injuries at work show many sectors are too dangerous
    Workers are deeply concerned about the research Statistics New Zealand have released today showing that almost one-quarter of agriculture, forestry, and fishery workers had a work-related injury claim accepted by the Accident Compensation Corporation...
    Scoop politics | 15-10
  • Chatham Rise seabed hearing: the absence of evidence
    The phosphate on the seabed, 450m down on the Chatham Rise, has a particular quality that other phosphate doesn’t have: uranium....
    Scoop politics | 15-10
  • Office of Ombudsman making sure people treated fairly in NZ
    The Office of Ombudsman has told Parliament that it has made significant progress in effectively managing its work to make sure people are treated fairly in New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 14-10
  • Food Matters Aotearoa Conference Press release
    This year the UN World food day theme is “Sustainable Food Systems for Food Security and Nutrition”, chosen to highlight and raise awareness of the problems worldwide and the solutions to food security and ridding the world of hunger. The...
    Scoop politics | 14-10
  • Support from Production, Recreation and Environment.
    When it comes to water quality not many organisations can claim to have the support of major bodies representing production, recreation and the environment, yet this is exactly what NZ Landcare Trust has achieved. The Trust's upcoming 'Communities...
    Scoop politics | 14-10
  • Law Society supports Malaysian Bar Peace and Freedom Walk
    The New Zealand Law Society has expressed its support for a planned Walk for Peace and Freedom by Malaysian lawyers protesting against continued use of the Sedition Act 1948 by the Malaysian government....
    Scoop politics | 14-10
  • Bunnies Offered Protection With New Technology
    SAFE is announcing the spring launch of its “bunny protector” – a new mobile phone app that will help shoppers on the go avoid animal-tested cosmetics products. Suitable for both iPhone and android, the ‘SAFEshopper Cruelty-free NZ’ app will...
    Scoop politics | 14-10
  • Maori Wellbeing – Defying the Oxymoron
    When Mother Teresa was asked how do you achieve world peace, she said, go home and love your family....
    Scoop politics | 14-10
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