web analytics
The Standard
Advertising

Skinheads in Suits

Written By: - Date published: 2:03 pm, April 14th, 2011 - 53 comments
Categories: economy, making shit up, Media, Politics, radio - Tags: , , ,

They do not know what guilt, responsibility, or consideration are, these born organizers: they exemplify that terrible artists’ egoism that has the look of bronze and knows itself justified to all eternity in its “work,” like a mother in her child. - Friedrich Nietzsche

I’ve been goaded to write this post by a couple of Jim Mora panels last week, which created a stronger than usual temptation to throw the radio out the window.

On Tuesday 5 April a collection of middle-class white liberals (as it seems) end up in apparent agreement that the problem of crime in New Zealand will likely result in a physical isolation of the “underclass,” along with criminal sentences, jailing rates and generally stepped-up policing on a par with the USA.

Even if crime statistics were fluctuating, nonetheless it was an inevitability that we would go down this path for society was becoming harsher and more Darwinistic.

And that’s all there was too it, sorry folks: as a parting shot from one of the participants had it, “if you look at the United States, you see New Zealand in twenty years’ time.”

Of course in Auckland, “underclass” is dog-whistle for Maori. So what the Panel were really talking about was a form of Apartheid and the return of the Armed Constabulary to fight the Maori all the way up and down the Great South Road.

How could such atavistic nonsense pass for informed discussion these days, even in dog-whistle terms?

The answer is that we’ve been conditioned to it by a generation in which hardly anybody on the right has employed the slightest restraint in discussing economic matters. A certain ruthlessness in this area is catching, and metastasises to other areas of politics.

April 5 Panel part 1

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.


April 5 Panel part 2

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

As if to confirm this point about economics, I was forced to listen on Friday 8 April to a ‘fair and balanced’ panel pitting Michelle Boag and the arch-Rogernome Roderick Deane, against token lefty Brian Edwards.

Edwards disarmingly confessed in his delightful brogue to being an “really financially illiterate.” In fact Edwards had really been wheeled on for a debate on broadcasting in the second half of the hour.

Which cleared the field, in the first half, for Deane to claim that record economic growth from 1987 or thereabouts through to the year 2000 set New Zealand up for prosperity, to scapegoat the domestically-funded public sector as a constraint on foreign lenders’ willingness to lend into NZ (technically true, but what are all the borrowings for?), to suggest that it all turned to custard after Helen Clark got in, and to peddle a few other choice lines, which Edwards and Mora actually bought into.

A transcript of part of the 8 April interview follows (any mistakes in transcription are, of course, mine). Some of the more interesting claims are highlighted in bold. There’s more, but I can’t be bothered transcribing the whole thing:

April 8 Panel part 1

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.


April 5 Panel part 2

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

MORA: “So you’d prune the public service just as was done in the 1980s, you’d do that again?”

DEANE: “Um, unquestionably, I would do that again, yes, because that, at the end of the day that’s the only option if we’re going to bail ourselves out, other than that we’re going to end up with somebody else forcing solutions upon us, I’m afraid. I mean, our overseas debt as a proportion of our national income is now at the same sort of level as experienced by Portugal, Greece, Spain and Ireland just before they became cot cases, so we’re right, we’re the next cab off the rank in that respect. And, you know, we’ve got our destiny in our own hands. We should slow the growth of the government sector and allow more space for the private sector, reduce the regulatory burden, let people get on with the job, that’s what’s gonna produce the productivity growth. That’s what, we were one of the fastest-growing economies in the Western World from the late 80s through to, erm, the early 2000s, and that was off the back of really good monetary and economic, monetary and fiscal policies, we had a big fiscal surplus, ah, by the end of that period, ah, we’d got our overseas debt down, the government overseas debt was, ah, paid off completely, and that allowed space for the, um, private sector to really grow.”

MORA: “And yet someone like Brian Gould, of course, will say, ah, that that’s all very well, but since then we’ve had a gradual decline, we’ve gone rung by rung down the ladder of prosperity, and real incomes have declined, and people are actually not that much better off for all the reforms we’ve been through.

DEANE: “They’re not, they’re not better off in the last few years, but they were a few years ago, I mean if you go back to the mid-2000s they’re immeasurably better off than they had been twenty years ago, or even ten years before that….

. . . . .

DEANE: “… I mean I was Chairman for many years of Fletchers. To construct a building it would take us invariably longer to get the regulatory approvals than it would to build the building. So that was just completely out of hand. And that, everything just operates more slowly, and less effectively.”

EDWARDS: “But to come back to…”

DEANE: “To overcome that, from the, through the late 1980s, late 1980s through to 2000, the amount of deregulation, it really allowed people to get on with the job much more rapidly.”

EDWARDS: “To come back to Jim’s question, if there are too many of those people [in the public service] and they’re all talking to one another all the time and not producing very much, you’ve got to get rid of them, haven’t you?

DEANE: “Yes, yes, and then, um, you have to do that in a sort of sensible and reasonable way, such that as, as the private sector grows more rapidly they get absorbed into the private sector. “

MORA: “OK so that’s the theory…”

DEANE: “That’s what, what in fact we’ve been through that period in the past and proven that it can be done.”

MORA: “Getting rid of the 10,000 people, to a layperson, doesn’t sound enough to do the job, even if you did that.”

DEANE: “Of course not. No, it’s not about, it’s not about getting rid of the people, it’s about just doing things more effectively and more quickly. And that’s, the Government says that that is its wish, but, ah, most people in the private sector would argue that they’re just not doing that rapidly enough.”

EDWARDS: “There’s an issue here, isn’t there, also of what’s got to be acceptable to people. Rightly or wrongly, the most unpopular period, probably, in our history recently would have been the Rogernomics period, 1987 on. People didn’t like it. And they didn’t think it worked.”

DEANE: “Well, we got, we got huge benefits from it right through the 1990s and into the mid-2000s.

MORA: “Do you think…?”

DEANE: “That, that was the basis on which we had, we had the fastest rate of economic growth through that period that we’d had for very many decades.”

EDWARDS: “And did those huge benefits as was, as they were meant to do in fact, trickle down to other people?”

DEANE: “Well, it did in the sense that, ah, unemployment fell dramatically throughout that period.”

MORA: “Time magazine said that…”

DEANE: “We deny that now, but we don’t look at the facts of the matter.”

What’s wrong with this?

Lots.

  • How many times does it have to be reiterated that a significant wage gap with Australia didn’t appear until after 1984?
  • Or that the Rogernomic era was an era of high unemployment and recession?
  • Or that prior to the 1990s our houses, on the whole, did not leak?

Perhaps if another Brian—surname Easton—had been on the panel instead of Edwards, Rod might not have been able to get away with what amounted, basically, to making shit up.

Boag savaged Len Brown’s rail schemes as “totally cloud cuckoo land,” an obvious financial impossibility peddled by an unprincipled demagogue to an even easily-led electorate.

Well, ah, again, I’m afraid not. If Aucklanders have voted for the considerable mass of taxes raised in that city—including their petrol taxes—to be spent on rail, rather than on Roads of National Significance, then maybe their will should be respected.

You know, democracy and all that? No taxation without representation? That was a cry which really meant local tax powers, because representation gets watered down with distance, especially on local matters.

(Sorry if this sounds like men-in-tights Enlightenment stuff, Michelle. But it meant something in those days at least.)

Maybe Edwards gave a better account of himself when the topic shifted to broadcasting. But by then I had switched off, lest I throw the radio out the window.

Part of the problem is the format of Mora’s panel, in which three pundits discuss three topics. Mora tries to match one pundit to each topic. But the same format means that It’s rare to get a real expert discussion. Usually the discussion on any topic is dominated by whoever seems to know most about the topic.

But these two Panels also pointed to the worrying connections between right wing economic extremism and right wing extremism—indeed, all extremism—of every other kind.

A Savage Few

For there is a connection between the offensive messages of the two Panels, even though one was about economics and the other about crime.

As Karl Polanyi suggested in his Great Transformation, the problem is that the language of laissez-faire liberalism seethes with a hidden, Malthusian violence. Language like:

Language like:

  • There is No Alternative
  • Politics as War
  • Producers versus Parasites / Too many Useless Mouths

These three bullet points can, with only the slightest twist, be adapted to the cause of a Bolshevik or a Nazi, or any other kind of violent radical or terrorist.

It can be similarly adapted to the cause of ethnic cleansing, Apartheid and military-style policing against indigenous minorities by a settler state. The extreme insecurity and dispossession bred by laissez-faire, in turn, intensifies the problem.

Often both sides in an escalating conflict will use the same language, each against the other. For the radicalised right the useless mouths are the unemployed, for the radicalised left the bankers.

Ultimately, this spiral is an expression of what the American jurist Learned Hand called ”the ruthless and unbridled will,”which is actually the enemy of freedom; it is really the ‘liberty of the strong’:

“And what is this liberty which must lie in the hearts of men and women? It is not the ruthless, the unbridled will… A society in which men recognize no check upon their freedom soon becomes a society where freedom is the possession of only a savage few…”

The skinheads on the street acquire their mental habits, their idea of what constitutes the acceptable limits of rhetoric, from laissez-faire liberals; who are skinheads in suits.

The Congenital Bloodstain

The roots of all this violence lie in the fact that the issue is, fundamentally, about land, the possession of which is, as Marx said, born with a “congenital bloodstain.” Maori and Pakaha alike know all about this, or should do.

As we all know, laissez-faire liberalism as a political crusade is something quite dark and aggressive. It did not really begin with the sunny, humane optimism of Adam Smith, even though the claim is often made.

It actually began with the writings of the Reverend Malthus and his friend David Ricardo in the late 1790s and the Napoleonic era; authors who were writing in reaction to the French Revolution, as the full title of Malthus’s essay reveals: An Essay On the Principle of Population, As It Affects the Future Improvement of Society with remarks on the Speculations of Mr. Godwin, M. Concordet, and other writers.

Malthus and Ricardo argued that improvement of the conditions of the working class, generally at the expense of the landowner, would cause the workers to breed to the point where once more the landowner faced a seller’s market for the fruits of the land. Malthus focused on population, Ricardo on its economic implications.

As a corollary, the industrial capitalist would also be bankrupted by rising food prices, striking workers and land speculation. For a while the Malthus/Ricardo thesis led economics to become known as the ‘dismal science’.

But then some radicals, and radical liberals like James Mill and his son John Stuart, began to suggest taxing these landowners who made capital gains, “as it were, in their sleep” (JSM, Principles of Political Economy), so as to relieve the burden on workers and industrialists.

Ironically, these critics made use of the analysis of Ricardo, and so they came to be known as the ‘Ricardians’ even though they were by now on the opposite political side. Sure it’s the landowners vs. the workers; we just happen to side with the workers!

And in practice also—since we are talking about a fairly broad radical church rather than a strictly Marxist one—the critics would side with the industrial capitalists, at least when it was industrialist versus landowner.

More technically, the Ricardian critique zeroed in on a fatal flaw in the case for laissez-faire, the issue of ‘economic rent’.

The origins of economic rent lie in the landowner’s rent, though economic rent is more general in its significance. Rent in the economists’ sense is the component of private income that can be taxed away without affecting private productive output.

Land is the first and best case of economic rent; obviously, 100% of a speculator’s capital gains could be taxed away without affecting nature’s bounty and the distribution of continents. But the same could also be said for most forms of mortgage interest, especially if it is raised against land.

With other forms of income it’s a sliding scale of rent versus reward for useful effort, depending on how monopolistic they are. Most of the practical controversies of capitalism, such as controversies around intellectual property and copyright, all revolve around this issue. Does a given proposal lock in reward for the efforts of struggling creative types? Or just more rent for fat-cat corporations and their gravy-train lawyers?

From the 1830s, a second wave of reactionaries began to challenge the rent critique. But this time it was not so much in fully reasoned terms, because the idea of rent actually dated back to Ricardo himself!

Instead it was done by means of a less fully reasoned and more polemical approach, which tried to make property rights, above all those invested in land, absolute and beyond criticism on various hand-waving grounds, of which a hardy perennial was that land reformers were really Communists in disguise.

By the 1840s, so radical were the laissez-faire liberals in their opposition to giving an inch on the land question (lest reformers take a mile) that they notoriously opposed doing anything about the Irish potato famine, on the grounds of interference with the rights of private property and the self-levelling market.

Eventually the government relented and did something, but it was too late for those who had starved in the interim. The laissez-faire liberals should have been drummed out of respectable politics at this point like the Nazis a hundred years later. But they weren’t.

Indeed, the advent of Darwin a couple of generations later would give their cause another shot in the arm as ‘social Darwinism’, the law of the jungle applied to civil society. But even here we find self-subverting tendencies in the rationalisation of laissez-faire.

For as Darwin observed, in nature all kinds of symbiosis and cooperation can be found. Selection can favour groups as much as individuals, and groups can reshape their environments. Every organism big enough to be seen by the naked eye is, itself, a collection of smaller individual cells that at some point in the past somehow came to cooperate, as opposed to the deregulation that leads to cancer.

The social insects show that cooperation doesn’t stop there. For the Nazis, this cooperative message was warped into a predatory hive mentality. Other social Darwinists simply weren’t interested in that kind of Gaian hippyshit at all.

What’s the alternative? The answer is that in theory and in practice, a radical (or Millian) liberal will tolerate a fairly large dose of ‘social market’ policy where rents are concerned. The social market refers to an economy in which the state is the main provider of land, mortgages, electric power, and so on.

The state may charge a fair price for all of these in order to ration the resource, but the object is not to gouge the citizen and ship the money to a private bank account!

Instead, the pure rent component of all of these government charges becomes a form of taxation, enabling taxes on productive effort to be lowered: tax reform centre-left style.

Obfuscation of the rent issue is the whole basis of laissez-faire liberalism, from the time of the Potato Famine to the present day. Later developments such as the denial of climate change and peak oil (lest they lead to planning) are only variations on the obfuscation of rent.

As an aspect of this general obfuscation, the laissez-faire liberal also invariably equates market forces with privatisation, as if the choice lay between privatisation and the relative impracticality of doing without markets altogether. The social market is simply not mentioned.

Most people figure out sooner or later that laissez-faire liberalism is about the rent question and that all its ‘you-must-be-a-Commie’ polemics, and omissions of real alternatives, are directed to that end.

As Situations Vacant puts it very pithily and correctly, “privatisation is not about economic efficiency, it’s about the extraction of monopoly rent.” In short, the liberty of the strong, a savage few, to exploit the weak on the grounds that it’s the law of the jungle.

For anyone with a good knowledge of the history of ideas, the cause of laissez-faire is steeped in general intellectual disreputability, in the black dye of Malthusian reaction, through-and-through. Even F. A. Hayek said he wasn’t alaissez-faire liberal; though it goes without saying that most of his followers are.

Repressive Tolerance

We are under a duty to put this understanding into practice. Laissez-faire liberalism today must not be confused with the well-meaning doctrines of Adam Smith two hundred-plus years ago, before Malthus.

It must outed as a violent reactionary doctrine, that leads in an unbroken line from Malthus through the Potato Famine and social Darwinism to the horrors of the twentieth century.

It must be opposed by all people of conscience lest it lead to worse horrors in the 21st, which is potentially shaping up to be a very Malthusian century indeed.

Failure to do so is to practice what Herbert Marcuse called ‘repressive tolerance’; to tolerate the forces that will eventually lead to repression. It’s just another way of saying that for evil to triumph the good need only do nothing. The bayonet is always thrust in further and further, till it strikes steel.

It is exactly wrong to imagine that the true spirit of liberty is passive in the sense implied by the laissez-faire ‘nightwatchman state’. It is active and engaged. Yet at the same time it is a spirit “which is not too sure it is right.”

Active engagement in peddling their own ideas, with dogmatic effect, has never been a problem for LFLs. But it seems to be harder for moderates to sustain opposition to dogma.

Against fanatics, against ‘hired prize fighters’ who treat politics as war, the genuine liberal so often goes “ooh ah um well maybe you’re right.” It’s the same with poor old Brian Edwards and Jim Mora trying to inject a note of balance against Deane and Boag’s look of bronze.

The duty to oppose (more effectively) exists even now, because when the present belongs to laissez-faire, bad enough as it is, tomorrow may belong to revived Nazis and Bolsheviks who adapt the rhetoric of the unbridled will to their own ends.

Or it may belong to a theocracy with its roots in the sustained denial of reality. For all such habits of mind are catching.

If you go back far enough or dig deep enough, the attempt of a savage few to crudely dispossess a weaker group of the fruits of the land by actual or institutional violence is the common leitmotiv of all such atavisms.

Why is it so difficult for modern social democrats to oppose the savage few, whose arguments are often so uneasily unmasked as resting on a firm foundation of making shit up, or peddling stuff that someone else has made up? Do they no longer believe in progress?

ChrisH

53 comments on “Skinheads in Suits”

  1. Samuel Hill 1

    Argentina’s Economic Collapse

    I would advise anyone who hasn’t seen it to watch this documentary.

    There are obvious similarities between the Argentinean Collapse and what is going on in New Zealand. The fact of the matter is that we will have to face our debt at some point. We are not a military or economic powerhouse. The only way we will not see poverty and chaos in New Zealand is for the citizens to band together.

    • vto 1.1

      “The fact of the matter is that we will have to face our debt at some point”

      Bullshit we will. We will simply tell the money printers to get fucked and that we will pay it back, at near zip interest, when we can fit it in. Which will certainly be after everything else is put right.

      And then we will never use debt again.

      • vto 1.1.1

        And also Samuel Hill it aint “our debt” anyway. It is the national government’s debt. And the labour govt’s before that.
        It aint mine. I completely and utterly resent that both the national party and the labour party can put the government into debt and the government can then, by force of its jackboots, pull the hairs from my arse.

        • Samuel Hill 1.1.1.1

          I agree with your sentiments, vto. The debt is indeed very odious. But the fact remains that most people will not rebel against the system. I hope they do rebel. But I dare say that our little country is nothing but a pawn in the international system, and nothing has changed my mind to stop believing that on our current path, a great majority of New Zealanders will simply sit back and listen to the lies and rhetoric of National while we see our nation become a holiday playground for the rich, with zero middle class and dominated by a rich land owning minority and corporate shareholders.

          Our government is pushing through legislation which gives more rights to foreign corporations and less to workers and citizens. We are now seeing the beginning of a process where private debt is being put in ‘public’ hands. All this SCF, MediaWorks, Petrobras, Fonterra, AMI stuff is connected. Our taxes are going to pay for private interests to be served.

          • vto 1.1.1.1.1

            Yes, well it would be good to see someone in a government somewhere in the world who will stand up to these goons and simply say “No, we will repay when we can. You will just have to wait. It is a loan after all with a risk of repayment difficulties – and that is just what you got.”

            I imagine it would lead to a domino effect as the people across the western world cottoned on a-la middle east style protest.

            • Samuel Hill 1.1.1.1.1.1

              Unfortunately, someone has to remove the politicians and bankers from power. They won’t just leave their desks. Whilst they have the armed forces in their control, we are subject to democratic rule. Unless..

        • Dan 1.1.1.2

          It is your debt, you voted for them (presumably one of them), and if you didn’t vote then you’re just as culpable for not taking a stand.  It doesn’t matter who wins, ‘we’ the people voted and choose them to run the country, and we have to own our shit and take responsibility for it.  We don’t have to like it, but lets not deny we are the arbiters of our own destiny in this regard.

          • Samuel Hill 1.1.1.2.1

            I wasn’t even born when neo-liberalism swept our shores. I cast disdain at the short-sighted generation that lied down and allowed it to happen. Now they sit in comfort, expecting future generations to pay off their debt while we are struggling to afford to live. Fuck that for a joke. Its not my debt. Even my student loan, stick that up your arse. I’ll start owning my shit when somebody gives me some land.

            • Dan 1.1.1.2.1.1

              Yes, but assuming that you do vote you’re still voting to keep the inheritors of that economic legacy in power.
              As for a generation living in comfort, that’s painting with a pretty broad brush.  Sure, some came out on top but there are plenty who have had their savings wipped out and who will be looking at a bleak retirement.
              As for your personal attitude, good luck with that.  Maybe you will get lucky and have everything handed to you on a plate, but I doubt it.

  2. This is an excellent post and I’m almost sorry to seize on the one part I take the most issue on, though I’m sure others will be along in due course to discuss other bits.

    Of course in Auckland, “underclass” is dog-whistle for Maori. So what the Panel were really talking about was a form of Apartheid and the return of the Armed Constabulary to fight the Maori all the way up and down the Great South Road.

    The undoubted disparity in Maori representation in any number of indicators – especially arrest and incarceration – must not blind us to the fact that there are other groups who find themselves pitted against the might of the State, usually personified by the police and the courts.

    I think you’ll find Pasifika people who feel they don’t exactly get a fair deal, especially from the “justice” system, for instance.

    But it’s not particularly racial. Some are even middle class, middle aged white males who happen to hold views differing from the prevailing paradigm, and who are given to expressing those views.
    Portraying this as a racial issue rather than one of class (and even that is a clumsy delineator, which is why I speak of elites v non-elites) occludes the real picture, which is that those who don’t “fit” are silenced, by whatever means necessary.

    Similarly, the fix isn’t some sort of racial sensitivity training for coppers. It’s a fundamental shift, starting with getting through to talkbackland that the streets are not teeming with violent criminals, and that therefore one political party or another do not hold the key (the key, inevitably, to an overcrowded prison cell).

    • ChrisH 2.1

      Quite right Rex, appreciate it. I could at least as easily have said “Maori & PI” though I think the real seething redneck sub-hatred that I’m starting to detect is aimed at Maori first off. Middle class Honest-to-God white liberals like you and me I guess are alienated too of course (as opposed to pseudo-liberals who seem to have taken some pill that makes them uncritical of the USA and the finance markets). And in a wider sense the 1% are pitted against the other 99%, if the latter would just realise it. So it’s an onion, just some of us are focusing on different layers.

  3. deemac 3

    I have complained frequently about the makeup of Mora’s panels. Boag and Steven Fanks are regulars along with assorted old fogeys. He responded that the panels are balanced, which is bollocks. Too often they sound like the old men down the pub whining about society today.
    Maybe if more people emailed him, something would be done; it’s afternoons@radionz.co.nz

    • Carol 3.1

      Linda Clark has just made a good point about Flat Earth News, which she has recently read for a (uni?) research project.  She & the other panelist talked about the commercial pressures on getting a story out before the competition, these days, which emans facts are not verified before a story goes out, especially online.  Clark is wondering about how to give the press a requirement for some”:duty of care” with their stories.

      • ianmac 3.1.1

        Yes Carol. Many know that the  credibility of news items is dodgy. Its what to do about it that is hard. Too few journalists. The fronting journalists seem to be infected with delivering the spectacular but really the devil is in the detail.
        Re the Aussie gap, I remember Brian Easton demonstrating that the gap suddenly emerged with Douglas’s help and with the assurance that the pain would pay off, in due course. Brian showed using a variety of measures that the gap just kept growing through the 90′. I believe that there was a flattening during the 2000s but now the gap is increasing.
        Wonder if Brian E could be persuaded to write here? (Waste of time with Mora.)

  4. ianmac 4

    Bullying. On Mora today the guest speaker was Christine O’Brian Principal of St Thomas’s a 500 boys school. She is credited with a non-bully school. She does call for a distinction between bullying and assault. The whole school runs on Restorative Justice.

    Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

  5. David 5

    Thanks for listening and reposting on our behalf once again, Chris. 

    Not to disagree with Part 2 of this post, I tend to think that overall you had two columns here not 1. Part 1 on its own to me is exactly the kind of ‘REALLY???’ critique these critters need: and that, it seems, they are particularly susceptible to.

    So, we need to line up the actual comparators just one more time: unemployment 1984-2010, public debt levels 84-2010, real growth vis population in the public service, real incomes by decile 1984-2010, listing the deregulatory and privatisation and supply side market solutions and failures one more time, and showing how and why they happened…  

    Its the layered smugness of Deane and Boag- along with the laziness, unexamined ideological response and complacent lying in what they clearly imagine is the public good that goes with it, selective, self indulgent memory of former glories———-  that demands this sort of response, even if it doesnt deserve it.  

    It’s especially dangerous right now. Recounters of neoliberal history in this crisis aftermath are clearly cashing in on public shock: a kiwi public vulnerable yet again to pop misrepresentation arguing for more neolib radicalism, slashing and austerity. But you have got to hope, dont you, that maybe that increases some folks appetite for some sober truth about what past razors really did and didnt achieve.

    • lprent 5.1

      That was what I thought as well. But I couldn’t find a place to suggest a split, and decided that it was a unitary piece

    • ChrisH 5.2

      Ta, yes, Lprent & I discussed whether to split or not. As for “reposting on our behalf” I did joke that I’d probably saved quite a few others the effort !

  6. great piece Chris
    the panel has become an absolute disgrace to RNZ as a Public Broadcaster
    most days the panel is really just redneck Talkback and National Party apologists

  7. Andrew R 7

    Yeah the level of ignorance is very very high on that programme. Save it is not such an insult to intelligence when that Irish woman (forgotten her name for the moment) is running it.

  8. gnomic 8

    Jim’s an airhead. He should stick with his infomercial stuff on TV. And I’m afraid Noelle McCarthy is also an airhead, though somewhat more pleasing to the ear provided she doesn’t start gabbling at ninety miles an hour. Jim I find unlistenable with that weird combination of obsequiety and bafflement and that tinny timbre. Part of the problem is having semi-celebrities in positions where some gravitas would be desirable. Jim of course got the job as part of the process of the dumbification of NatRad (aka the quest for market share). Anyone for a ‘Bring Back Wayne Mowat’ campaign? Now there was a radio voice.
    I mean, Twitter? Somebody please tell me this is a transitory epiphenomenon with no bearing on reality. Get it off my airwaves. Right now please.
    The great Rod Deane. Is this the man who given his head at a major corporation achieved a huge loss by boldly thrusting into Australia? And whose protege Gattung became famous for confessing that Telecom’s marketing schemes were devised to confuse the punters? Nice tight buns though apparently, biographer Bassett thinks he’s hot.
    “Telecom NZ has made a massive strategic mistake trying to merge an incumbent in New Zealand with a challenger in Australia. AAPT in 2000 was extremely successful but all the top people left and since then there has been reorganisation after reorganisation.”
    Agh Boag. What can one say? Perhaps Cactus Kate has said it already.

    ‘In summary I am a firm and erect believer that a National Party leader needs gonorrhea more than he needs a new or old Michelle Boag. Gonorrhea, as horrible as it looks on the internet, at least seems to have a cure. There is simply no cure for Michelle Boag.
    Boag’s history in politics is legendary and she has had one of the most colourful PR and political careers known in both “professions”. Unfortunately it is possibly not best practice in the PR profession to be in the paper more than your clients. And it is definitely not best practice in politics unless you are David P. Farrar to have a higher profile than the leader of the Party that you work for or belong to.’

     
     

    • ChrisH 8.1

      Jim Mora first came to my attention a few years ago when he was hosting “Jim’s music” in the afternoons. I used to listen to it when out on the road as part of my job. This was mostly stuff he’d been keen on when he was a Young Fogey as I recall, generally syrupy crooners from the 1950s even though he’s not that old. I came to dread going out on the road in the afternoons as a result. It’s personal !

      • Jim Nald 8.1.1

        I find that a CD player in the car provides a better option than RNZ in the afternoons when I’m driving. Jim Mora has recently been trying very hard to put it beyond doubt that he has been promoted beyond his abilities.

    • prism 8.2

      gnomic    You probably know that the nice sound of Wayne Mowat voice and music, can be heard late at night when he plays  past years music.   And Noelle McCarthy sounds like an actress putting on an Irish accent, over the top.   Is she actually Irish?  Jim Mora has been in radio from early days apparently.  I heard him mentioned recently – could have been on Jim Henderson’s past years show on Sunday night.

    • ross 8.3

      Yes! Jim Mora is awful. I remember when he was the moralising narrator for an NZ cop-style TV show which mostly focussed on busting unemployed rural north island maori families that were growing a bit of dope, probably just to put food on the table.
      He’s ruined RNZ afternoons for me and many others. He’s smug, boring and surreptitiously right-wing. Having Wayne Mowatt back would be terrific.
       
       

  9. Key selling off NZ 9

    National can go to hell. Key needs to leave.

  10. prism 10

    Yeah, at the end of the day, it’s inefficient to rearrange or even question one’s long-held beliefs which serve one well.  Rod Deane and Michelle Boag (who makes firm statements in a ringing voice – along the above lines), are not very interested in others and whether the status quo of society fits all of them.  Brian Edwards is another person like John Key with a high profile who had a ‘rather ordinary’ childhood.  I think he too was brought up by his Mum.  Brian seems politically ambivalent, leftish but with a right wing bias, so he can’t seem to drive straight.  I think of them as The Smug. The result of all this disdain from The Smug is that if ‘other’ people can’t fit, or be content with just existing in their niche in society, too bad, no change will be made except for criticism and tighter control.  Problem solving and creative thinking to advance others are required but we won’t get it from The Smug.

    Listening for the usual short time I allocate to Jim Mora recently,  I was amazed at Linda Clark’s supporting  the right of women in France to wear burqas.  (These are full body tents with a grill at the face.)   (Other coverings not extreme are the hijab, a headscarf and neck covering, also shayla or Al-amira which are two-piece head covering with the face showing.  There are others more enveloping, up to the burqa full body and head.) See link –  http://www.apologeticsindex.org/505-muslim-veils-hijab-burqa

    I couldn’t believe this view from a woman who has had a prominent well-paid position which she achieved using determination and ability in a New Zealand that was once heavily male-dominated.  She blithely over-rode the achievements of feminists who have sacrificed their time, money and relationships to gain better opportunities for women, and to be treated as equals.  She ought to understand the amount of energy and disharmony at least, that is caused when women try to raise themselves from dependence and an inferior standing in a male society.
    Wearing such an obliterating garment as a burqa by women has been done as a mark of real fear and resignation. I think that now there is a sort of spurious glamour and mystique about it found amongst some women.  It indicates how pure and holy they are and makes them feel special.  But these attitudes reveal ignorance of the real sufferings of older women and the burqa is an outward mark of those.  For an understanding of the punitive and capricious male attitudes to women and their right to be free people can read Souad’s story – Burned Alive, by Souad. Probably at your near library.
    Burned Alive is the horrific true story of one womans escape from a honour killing inflicted upon her by members of her own family. My name is Sou…, Go to google search – burned alive souad book review

    • Carol 10.1

      Actually, I think you will find that many feminists support a woman’s right to wear a burqa if she so chooses.

    • ChrisH 10.2

      The Smug. I like it. A serious point, but also sounds like a grey Smog smothering everything.

  11. prism 11

    Well such feminists are confused about the contrast between freedom and rights and the carrying on of backward cultural practices.  I suppose you will tell me that feminists support genital mutilation for girls if their mothers want it and it is an accepted cultural practice in their society.   There has to be a philosophy of life and respect for others that is greater than what one group of feminists would  allow. God may be feminine but she isn’t necessarily going to annoint feminists as her peerless priests on earth.

    • Carol 11.1

      I think there’s a big difference between genital mutilation & wearing a burqa.  Recently I saw a debate between a Muslim woman and man (on “Frost Over the World”, I think?) in which the British woman, wearing a headscarf, supported the rights of women who choose to wear a burqa and not to be told by the state whether to wear it or not.  The guy (an Imman, I think) argued that there was nothing in the Koran saying women should wear a full face covering, and that such practices pre-dated Islam.  However, it was interesting the way the guy talked over the woman and kept trying to dictate to her what she should believe.
       
      Also, I have heard many Muslim women who defend the burqa, say that it allows a woman to feel free of male stares & feel more comfortable in public.
       
      But anyway, see the debates on the handmirror on the issue, here,
       
      where stargazer says:

      for some women, the burqa is about not being on show, not being available for public consumption as a sex object. i know most people disagree with the burqa as a solution to that particular problem, which is fine, but that’s how burqa-wearing women want to deal with it.

      and here, in which Julie says:

      Personally I don’t see how controlling the way women dress, even if it is apparently intended to liberate them, is a Good Thing. And I saw a comment somewhere (I think on Boganette’s twitter feed but not from her?) pointing out that stopping women from covering their faces in public is going to further restrict those affected, by requiring them to stay out of public spaces. Which will in turn severely undermine their ability to participate in society. To give just one example, how will they get to a polling booth to vote?

      I have seen other comments in a similar vein on feminist web sites.
       

      • Whiskers 11.1.1

        Woman would mainly wear the burqa because their husbands expect them too, because their husband’s mother had and grandmother had and same goes for the wife, her mother had and grandmother etc….
        So basically it is a part of their culture and is ingrained in their psyche.
        To keep the full face ‘burqa’ men and woman would claim that it is for religious purposes, even though this ‘rule’ apparently is not in the Koran, but being a “good” faithful wife would probably play an important role in the Koran! So therefore wearing a burqa can be passed off as “religious” because being a “good” faithful wife and promising faithfulness and obedience to the husband would be a very important part in the Koran.
        So if the husband expects his wife to wear a burqa then it could be passed off as a religious tradition (being a “good” wife etc.).

        What bothers me about the french government is they have no right to tell people what to wear, whether it is for religious purposes or not, if it has been traditional for a long time to where a “burqa’ then some “understanding” should be in place.
        Is it okay for the white man to tell a Muslim woman what to wear when the white man is subjectively viewing this dilemma from his perspective only?

        Yeah I know they (the French Government) would say it “suppresses” woman and they are helping them, as the ‘white folk’ may be a little more evolved with their understanding of equal rights and are doing a good thing helping these woman.
        But that doesn’t mean the ‘white folk’ should be allowed to butt their noses in to other cultures and implement new laws that they believe to be right, to a completely different ethnicity!

        It’s like the Muslims telling the French people to stop wearing certain items of clothing that are traditional wear- like a suit.
        You can’t just go around telling people what they can and can’t wear. Even if Muslim woman are being suppressed let them sort that out for themselves.
        Let the Muslim woman make their own decisions, white woman may have evolved quickly in the past 100 years. The Muslim woman may take a little longer, but they will get there, they will, it may take a little longer but they will- fight for equal rights eventually, and they don’t need ‘pokey white folk’ telling them what to do in this supposedly ‘free’ world.
        And as a strong opinionated white woman myself I actually like veils, not the full-face veils, but I like how Muslim woman where scarfs over their heads, I think it looks gorgeous and feminine.

        • prism 11.1.1.1

          Whiskers – It’s like the Muslims telling the French people to stop wearing certain items of clothing that are traditional wear- like a suit.
          It isn’t.   And governments do have a right to set standards of dress on behalf of all of us.  It stops mad streakers from rushing out and frightening the horses for one!  And the comment is about burqas which are full body tents and niqabs which cover the face, not headgear like scarves and others which leave the face open.
          From Wikipedia – .. “Act prohibiting concealment of the face in public space”) is an act of parliament passed by the Senate of France on 14 September 2010, resulting in the ban on the wearing of face-covering headgear, including masks, helmets, balaclava, niqābs and other veils covering the face in public places, except under specified circumstances.[1] The ban also applies to the burqa, a full-body covering, if it covers the face.
          Another link with illustrations – http://www.france24.com/en/20110411-france-bans-muslim-full-face-veil-0

          • Whiskers 11.1.1.1.1

            Just read your Wikipedia reference.
             
            In ‘reality’ the French government wanted to get rid of the ‘burqa’ that is what it comes down too. All the other nonsense added on is ridiculous. So you cannot conceal your face in a public place, what about sunglasses are they banned too? Floppy hats? A woolly scarf covering the nose and mouth in winter? What about pollution, aren’t people allowed to protect their health with a protection mask?
            Helmets- we all know helmets are for motorcycles and not for the pavement, we all know types of masks are for handymen, doctors, scientists or skiers- not the pavement. Who walks down the street in a balaclava? Oh so your saying that the next guy who robs a bank WON’T wear a balaclava, yeah right?
             
            Wake up- it’s about the burqa!

            • Whiskers 11.1.1.1.1.1

               
              What about Halloween is that banned too? What about kids getting their face painted or wearing batman masks running around the streets. What about street parties, masquerades and parades (fancy dress)??? All in the public arena- are they banned too?
               
              This is about the ‘burqa’ for sure.

    • the sprout 11.2

      ‘genital mutilation’

      you mean like when boys are circumcised?

      • prism 11.2.1

        the sprout – Is that genuine enquiry or an attempt at semi-facetious comment?  If you really don’t know the difference between female genital mutilation and circumcision I suggest you look it up on google.

        • the sprout 11.2.1.1

          oh i know the difference alright, it’s just i can never understand why one cultural practice that’s still surprisingly common in western cultures isn’t also recognized as the genital mutilation it is.

  12. randal 12

    a spoonful of sugar makes the medicine go down.
    Jim Mora is the problem.
    he is hired to make it all nice for middle new zealanders who fancy themselves as liberals or maybe even gasp intellectuals who need their prjudices topped up.
    ne never stop susing dishonest and disrespectful interrogatves either.
    pretty smarmy really.
    RNZ needs a good shake up.

  13. prism 13

    It’s amazingly easy to get right off topic.   I already did so from ChrisH’s focus when I referred to surprise at Linda Clark and her agreement of burqa wearing as coming from someone who has profited from feminist effort to raise women’s position and opportunities in society.  Then I unfortunately mentioned genital mutiliation (which is a very serious interference with a female’s body).  Now that has mutated into an argument about whether circumcision for males is the same.   This will teach me to keep to my point with no extra diversions in future.

  14. Thanks for this ChrisH. Very educative on the ‘rent’/land issue. That explains a lot about the virulence – as you point out – over protecting private property (especially land) rights.

    It’s always seemed strange to me at a gut level that we allow private ownership of land. A more ‘natural’ and less absolutist approach would be rights to land ‘use’. A market that rewarded use rather than just ownership of land would be one way but there are others too.

    Now I see where the Georgists fit into the picture and the argument over how increasing land values is a function of the presence of others. This is why and how the ‘old’ families in colonial societies come to dominate over time. They gain the full benefit of the value that accrues to land through no effort of their own – simply by being ‘first’ to stake their claim on a large hunk of land taken – often by force or prior to the establishment of a market in land – from the indigenous population.

    As I said, at a gut level it has always seemed grotesque that, given private ownership of land, people therefore do not have a right to occupy any space on this privately owned planet earth when they are born.

    It just seems weird – and, I know, economists argue that without security of property rights the land won’t be productively used. Yet look at how much land is simply bought, no improvements made during ownership, and then sold.

  15. ChrisH 15

    Ta. It’s always seemed to me after I twigged to this round 1996 or so (after reading Henry George, a key step in the education of all good radicals once upon a time) that a proper understanding of rent is the aqua regia that dissolves all right wing chains. To which we might only add that the descendents of those who were first to diddle the Maori so often turn into the “Smug” (Prism comment 10):
    “Her daughter, reading in her room
    “A catalogue of dresses,
    “Can drive a tractor, goes to Training College,
    “Will vote on the side of the Bosses” (Baxter, Pig Island Letters)
    Prism includes Brian Edwards among the Smug but he had a hard early life, there are plenty more smug than Brian, even if he seems to have lost his critical edge lately.

    • ChrisH 15.1

      Or it might have been the Ragged Trousered Philanthropists. Once upon a time you couldn’t have stood for Labour without having read all this stuff and taken a test administered by Peter Fraser ;)

  16. gnomic 16

    Suppose I should I have included a “what would I know?” disclaimer. Somehow I feel sure RNZ must have some survey results showing that Jim M and the new format are the best thing since the pop-up toaster. And indeed the apparent flood of emails and texts (no doubt alas even tweets), and adulatory comments from the callers seems to show that many living among us are getting with the programme while a naysayer is likely an elitist grouch. Oh well. It’s interactivity innit, it’s new and modern so it must be good, am I right?
    For me the downgrading of the music content was one of the worst aspects of the new order. About the only redeeming feature is the occasional bit of live content, the rest is pretty dire. Not that I’m listening much. Still Wayne’s music lives late at night, but maybe it’s not quite the same as that hour of quality after lunch.
    The Smug. Not bad, something I meant to touch on. She’s a small country and it’s a small club of the commentariat, and by gosh, they are all pretty happy to be in the club, in the loop, on the circuit. Feel the love, it’s close to nauseating. Even that Bomber Bradbury doesn’t quite get it, he claims The Panel is the best hour on public broadcasting. Nah. Not really. Not even close. If I want meaningless opinionated topical babble I can listen to 1ZB, or heaven help us, 1ZM and the like. There is still a 1ZM somewhere out there? Could we have a who de smuggest contest? That Chris Trotter must be a front runner. Richard Griffin also a contender but I expect we won’t be hearing from him on The Panel in future. Or maybe we will in a brave new world of broadcasting? For me at any rate, the best of Radio NZ National is with Kim Hill, or Laidlaw, or with Bryan Crump in the evenings. Not forgetting the news of course, the best in the country.
    Perhaps get Hone Harawira or Sue Bradford on The Panel? What about Nandor, now the dreads are gone. Or is it necessary to live in Auckland, Wellington, or perhaps Christchurch to qualify for admission?
    I don’t think Mora is really the fundamental problem, he’s more of a symptom, after all he is just a creature of his producers, and beyond them the powers that be. But speaking of Jim, smarmy, that was the one word I was looking for, yes, smarmy.
    It’s all over the place this thread, a bit like the header article. Perhaps encourage more from this writer? There could be a thesis in it, or maybe there has been?
     
     
     
     
     

  17. prism 17

    Gnomic You seem to have been pondering late into the night/early morning 1.49 a.m.
    Your stream of consciousness, almost, post makes good points.  But Sue Bradford is already on the morning politics from the right and left with Kathryn Ryan Monday or Tuesday?  Sue is good. Knows her stuff, almost as good as Leila Harre who I really enjoyed.  And together Matthew Hooten and Sue seem to be able to make cogent intelligent points.  Where is Nandor by the way?
    Jim’s choice of panel seem the sort that he would invite to share a meal and an interesting political discussion with.  But deep thinking and passion argument for new  vistas of the polity would upset the digestive juices.  You will notice that when he announces his schedule in the morning, he never gives any information about the provenance of his panel.   It obviously doesn’t matter in these generic days where their expertise lies.   But adulation from the public is no doubt them reacting to the good old boy approach, a smile and wave effect coming over the radio waves.  People like Bomber Bradbury seem to have minds like a steel trap, they make quick decisions and then rigidly hold them still without any pesky pondering.
     

Important links

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • What have people in Africa been doing since the Ebola outbreak started?
    by Andy Warren In a word – dying.  But not from Ebola. According to WHO data it looks like this: However, fear and anxiety are the sexiest ingredients of any story today – rather than boring facts. Ebola fits perfectly...
    Redline | 22-10
  • Unbelieveable
    This week we've seen the Prime Minister desperately trying to cover up his war plans by pretending that Obama's war-planning meeting was just a "regular" meeting of defence partners which we just happened to be attending. Over on Kiwipolitico Pablo...
    No Right Turn | 22-10
  • Are the police using ANPR to target the disabled?
    The media this morning is full of stories of the paralysed man caught driving using a walking stick to reach the pedals. Its good that he's off the road, but there's one point in the story which raises questions:The driver...
    No Right Turn | 22-10
  • Like a cult…
    When a party loses badly, the public expects a bit of sorrowful wailing and beating of breasts. To say “This is what we did wrong, and this is how we’ll fix it” is an important part of restoring trust with...
    Occasionally erudite | 21-10
  • Does Money make Money?
    ‘Rock star economist’ or ‘inequality messiah’ French economist Thomas Piketty’s book Capital in the Twenty First Century has outsold every other book on the planet this year. The book is so popular because it floats the idea that money makes...
    Gareth’s World | 21-10
  • Cycling: the benefits of complete networks
    A group of New Zealand researchers recently published an excellent paper on the costs and benefits of investing in a complete cycle network and safe street design. Their paper, which is available online, found that: the benefits of all the...
    Transport Blog | 21-10
  • Life isn’t fair. But it should be.
    (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.) I was not an angelic child. My mother...
    On the Left | 21-10
  • Up here on Planet Key
    ...
    On the Left | 21-10
  • TDB Today: Reasons not to be cheerful, Part #272b
    In my post at The Daily Blog this week I take inspiration from the great Ian Dury, and reflect on the disconnect between political ambition and the state of the climate system as it continues to warm. It will be...
    Hot Topic | 21-10
  • Otago dairy farms fail basics
    I’m really privileged to take on the responsibility of the water portfolio. Eugenie Sage has done excellent work in this area in the last term of parliament and provided a great platform for further work. Last Parliament my bill to...
    frogblog | 21-10
  • Tracking the performance of the 1 hour Xero model
    DISCLOSURE: I hold Xero shares.  Last year I built a very quick and dirty spreadsheet to analyse Xero, and wrote Valuing Xero – in one hour. The article was cross-posted to the NBR, where it attracted far more comments. More on those...
    Lance Wiggs | 21-10
  • Hard News: Media Take: The creeping politicisation of the OIA
    Brent Edwards' story last week on official advice to ministers on child poverty was interesting not only for its substance, but its circumstance.Edwards explained on Morning Report that he originally requested the first of the documents (some of them now nearly...
    Public Address | 21-10
  • Emails from the candidates
    As part of the NZ Labour leadership election, the candidates are able to email the party membership and sell themselves. Knowing how messy Labour’s membership list can be, I thought I’d reproduce the emails in case anyone wants to use...
    Progress report | 21-10
  • Gordon Campbell on Pharmac, Gough Whitlam and Sleater-Kinney
    Ridiculous reported comments on RNZ this morning by Trade Minister Tim Groser, as he sought to dampen down concerns about yesterday’s leaked draft of the IP chapter of ther Trans Pacific Partnership negotiations. According to Groser, ‘extreme’ positions are common...
    Gordon Campbell | 21-10
  • @akltransport – Please fill in a form
    Social media has become an important tool for many organisations in how they engage with their customers. It’s become a tool for both marketing and customer service, and there are a number of examples organisations who do it right. Some...
    Transport Blog | 21-10
  • Alpaca Metropolitan – On The Left Special!
    ...
    On the Left | 21-10
  • Video Against Poverty
    Schoolgirls in Kalimpong, West Bengal, India.  Photo / Julie Zhu This is week two of my givealittle.co.nz campaign Video Against Poverty and I'm more than 2/3 of the way to my goal of $2600.00.  This has been totally unexpected and is a really...
    Notes from the edge | 21-10
  • Why I’m Left
    I’m Left all the way down to my bones. My bone marrow is made up of lots of microscopic Karl Marx mustaches. It’s partly why I’m so curmudgeonly. When I was born I was brought home from the hospital to...
    Tangerina | 21-10
  • Gordon Campbell on Pharmac, Gough Whitlam and Sleater-Kinney
    Column – Gordon Campbell Ridiculous reported comments on RNZ this morning by Trade Minister Tim Groser, as he sought to dampen down concerns about yesterdays leaked draft of the IP chapter of ther Trans Pacific Partnership negotiations.Gordon Campbell on Pharmac,...
    Its our future | 21-10
  • Don’t cough on me
    It used to be acceptable to go to work or travel with a cough or the flu. That’s been changing over the last 10-20 years, and people who cough and sniffle in public are increasingly treated like people who smoke in the...
    Lance Wiggs | 21-10
  • Some might just come by train.
        As a Waikato girl by birth, Aucklander by nature, and living in Hamilton by choice, I’ve long being a supporter a regular train gig chugging the willing and the weary between the hustle and pace of Auckland and...
    Politically Corrected | 21-10
  • Why I’m Left: happiness, solidarity and community
    (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.) I’m Left all the way down to my...
    On the Left | 21-10
  • Curiosity’s historic comet photo
    Photo Credit: Curiosity on Mars – NASA Rover Opportunity Views Comet Near Mars. According to NASA: NASA’s Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity captured images of a comet passing much closer to Mars than any previous known comet flyby of Earth or Mars....
    Open Parachute | 21-10
  • Ireland in the 21st century – Christchurch WEA course, Sat, Nov 1, 1-4.30...
    One of Ireland’s many ‘ghost estates’, built during the ‘Celtic Tiger’ fake-boom; these buildings are a haunting symbol of early 21st century Ireland Saturday 1 November, 1 – 4.30 pm The twenty-first century began with, officially at least, a great...
    Redline | 21-10
  • Ireland in the 21st century – Christchurch WEA course, Sat, Nov 1, 1-4.30...
    One of Ireland’s many ‘ghost estates’, built during the ‘Celtic Tiger’ fake-boom; these buildings are a haunting symbol of early 21st century Ireland Saturday 1 November, 1 – 4.30 pm The twenty-first century began with, officially at least, a great...
    Redline | 21-10
  • Gough Whitlam: 1916 – 2014
    A Mighty Totara has Fallen: Australian Prime Minister Gough Whitlam paying his respects to the late NZ PM, Rt. Hon. Norman Kirk, during his Lying-in-State at Parliament Buildings, Wellington. Wednesday, 4th September, 1974. (Photo by John Miller.) A BIG MAN IN EVERY...
    Bowalley Road | 21-10
  • DAY OF ACTION 8 NOVEMBER 2014
    Auckland, Hamilton, Raglan, Tauranga, Rotorua, Gisborne, New Plymouth, Napier, Palmerston North, Levin,Wellington, Nelson, Christchurch, Timaru, Dunedin, Invercargill. Need a reason to march on 8 November? Check out Professor Jane Kelsey’s latest blog. Updates on what is on where: Auckland – speakers include...
    NZ – Not for sale | 21-10
  • The Security Council and free trade
    Last week, New Zealand won a seat on the United Nations Security Council. And over the weekend the New Zealand business community made it clear what they wanted from the position:A business director says New Zealand's new seat on the...
    No Right Turn | 21-10
  • World News Brief, Tuesday October 21
    Top of the AgendaU.S. Army Drops Weapons to Kurdish Forces...
    Pundit | 20-10
  • National’s failure on housing
    A year ago National passed the Housing Accords and Special Housing Areas Act 2013. In his speech introducing the bill, then-Housing Minister Nick Smith laid down some clear targets: It is an ambitious agreement, and sets out a plan to...
    No Right Turn | 20-10
  • Life isn’t fair. But it should be.
    (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.) I was not an angelic child. My mother...
    On the Left | 20-10
  • ECAN, Fed Farmers and Dairy NZ – Plotting to reduce water quality
    What does National’s resounding election win mean for our rivers? As we found in our review of the Government’s water quality framework, we have serious reasons to doubt their commitment to ‘maintain or improve our waterways’. Our concerns are growing...
    Gareth’s World | 20-10
  • A new left-leaning blog
    I am pleased to announce the launch of a new blogsite catering for those who want something more than the fare currently being offered by left-leaning sites like The Daily Blog and The Standard....
    Imperator Fish | 20-10
  • Ebola and the criminal passivity of the Great Powers
    The presidents of Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea, three Ebola-stricken West African nations, made urgent pleas for money, doctors and hospital beds.  The UN Ebola envoy said 20 times more was needed to counter the epidemic.  The U.S. director of...
    Redline | 20-10
  • New Zealand, ISIL, and suspicious behaviour
    The government has announced a review of how New Zealand might deal with foreign fighters in the future in response to what is happening currently in Iraq and Syria. There are some interesting titbits in the press release in terms...
    On the Left | 20-10
  • Out of Zionism: interview with Israeli anti-Zionist historian Ilan Pappé
    One of our links is to the excellent Le Mur des Oreilles site, which contains interviews with Palestinian figures, Israeli anti-Zionists and a range of cultural and political figures talking about the Palestinian cause and the importance of actions such...
    Redline | 20-10
  • Out of Zionism: interview with Israeli anti-Zionist historian Ilan Pappé
    One of our links is to the excellent Le Mur des Oreilles site, which contains interviews with Palestinian figures, Israeli anti-Zionists and a range of cultural and political figures talking about the Palestinian cause and the importance of actions such...
    Redline | 20-10
  • Swearing about swearing the oath
    Yesterday, I was swearing. Swearing the Parliamentary oath, that is. But, under my breath, I was also quietly swearing about the archaic, colonial form of that oath and its inappropriateness for today’s Aotearoa New Zealand. To be permitted to speak...
    frogblog | 20-10
  • Gordon Campbell on the latest TPP leaks
    The release by Julian Assange on Wikileaks of the draft Trands Pacific Partnership chapter on intellectual property – including drug patents – contains some pretty disturbing evidence about what’s still on the table. The leaked drafts pertain to the May...
    Gordon Campbell | 20-10
  • Access: Art and disability: a festival
    The three-day InterACT 2014 Disability Arts Festival kicks off tomorrow at Auckland's Corban Estate and, in its fourth year, provides an intriguing mix of established artists and joyous, unbridled inclusion.One one hand, there are the gala nights on Thursday and...
    Public Address | 20-10
  • Prison abolition – part of creating a just, equal, peaceful society
    Protest at Paremoremo in 2012 over what lawyer Peter Williams described as ‘inhumane’ conditions by Val Morse I want to acknowledge all the people who have done time inside, been arrested or assaulted by the police, whether here or elsewhere....
    Redline | 20-10
  • Prison abolition – part of creating a just, equal, peaceful society
    Protest at Paremoremo in 2012 over what lawyer Peter Williams described as ‘inhumane’ conditions by Val Morse I want to acknowledge all the people who have done time inside, been arrested or assaulted by the police, whether here or elsewhere....
    Redline | 20-10
  • Members of the public stop donating to the SPCA over position on 1080
    Steve Atwood that posted this letter to the SPCA on Facebook the other day. Steve is a great guy and takes some brilliant wildlife photos. We have republished Steve’s letter to the SPCA with his permission. Dear SPCA, I write...
    Gareth’s World | 20-10
  • The struggles of everyday life
    A photo of Asher (right) face-to-face with a cop, taken at a protest outside the Labour Party Conference in 2007, following the so-called “terror raids”, taken by Simon Oosterman. (For our opening week, we asked all our contributors to think...
    On the Left | 20-10
  • West Auckland new network consultation
    Consultation for the West Auckland portion of the new network is now underway. This follows the consultations for Pukekohe/Waiuku, Warkworth, Hibiscus Coast and South Auckland. The consultation runs from today till Monday 1st December. It’s a consultation I’ll be following...
    Transport Blog | 20-10
  • The gerrymanders and National’s 2017 constraints
    Parliament is back in business with National in charge to a degree not seen since first-past-the-post “parliamentary dictatorship” days — thanks to three successful gerrymanders and one failed one. Two of the successful gerrymanders were National’s contrivances to get its...
    Colin James | 20-10
  • Ocean heat storage: a particularly lousy policy target
    The New York Times, 12 December 2027: After 12 years of debate and negotiation, kicked off in Paris in 2015, world leaders have finally agreed to ditch the goal of limiting global warming to below 2 °C. Instead, they have...
    Real Climate | 20-10
  • Sanctions and bombs: how the UN and western powers committed mass murder in...
    This article first appeared in revolution magazine’s Middle East bulletin MidEast Solidarity, issue #1, Spring 2001. It looks at the division of labour between the United Nations and western imperialist powers in committing mass murder in Iraq in the 1990s;...
    Redline | 20-10
  • Sanctions and bombs: how the UN and western powers committed mass murder in...
    This article first appeared in revolution magazine’s Middle East bulletin MidEast Solidarity, issue #1, Spring 2001. It looks at the division of labour between the United Nations and western imperialist powers in committing mass murder in Iraq in the 1990s;...
    Redline | 20-10
  • Luke Harding and the spy as editor
    Originally published at Overland I was writing a chapter on the NSA’s close, and largely hidden, relationship with Silicon Valley. I wrote that Snowden’s revelations had damaged US tech companies and their bottom line. Something odd happened. The paragraph I...
    Bat bean beam | 20-10
  • Soaring rail use in Auckland shows need for rail link now
    News that Aucklanders overtook Wellingtonians as the biggest train users is further evidence the Government needs to start work on the Auckland City Rail Link now, the Green Party said today.Auckland Transport said today that in the year to September,...
    Greens | 22-10
  • Tea breaks gone by lunch time
    Labour is calling for an eleventh hour reprieve to employment law changes which could see thousands of Kiwi workers not covered by collective agreements lose their smoko breaks, its spokesperson on Labour Issues Andrew Little says.“How cynical that on the...
    Labour | 21-10
  • Metiria Turei to lead fight on feeding hungry children
    Green Party Co-leader Metiria Turei is urging all political parties to support the Feed the Kids Bill which she inherited today from Mana leader Hone Harawira.Mrs Turei, who leads the Green Party's work on child poverty, will pick up Mr...
    Greens | 21-10
  • Otago dairy farms fail basics
    I’m really privileged to take on the responsibility of the water portfolio. Eugenie Sage has done excellent work in this area in the last term of parliament and provided a great platform for further work. Last Parliament my bill to...
    Greens | 21-10
  • A mighty totara has fallen across the Tasman
    The New Zealand Labour Party expresses deep sadness at the death of former Australian prime minister Gough Whitlam, aged 98. “Today a great totara has fallen across the Tasman,” Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says....
    Labour | 21-10
  • Note to National: Must deliver on child poverty
    John Key and his Government will be held to its promise to make child poverty a priority, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “In its priority-setting speech today the Government stated child poverty would be a major focus for...
    Labour | 21-10
  • New Analysis show Government cut tertiary education funding
    New analysis done by the Green Party today shows the Government has made cuts to funding of tertiary education since 2008.Figures compiled by the Parliamentary Library show that between 2009 and 2015 Government funding to Tertiary Institutions dropped by 4...
    Greens | 21-10
  • Students doing it tough as fees rise again
    The Government is making it increasingly difficult for Kiwis to gain tertiary education as fees continue to rise and access to student support becomes even more restricted, Labour’s Tertiary Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Steven Joyce is shutting a generation...
    Labour | 20-10
  • Key misled New Zealand on Iraq deployment
      John Key was misleading New Zealanders prior to the election when he ruled out New Zealand special forces being deployed to Iraq, says Labour Defence Spokesperson Phil Goff.  “Post-election he has cynically disregarded that by saying that deployment of...
    Labour | 20-10
  • Swearing about swearing the oath
    Yesterday, I was swearing. Swearing the Parliamentary oath, that is. But, under my breath, I was also quietly swearing about the archaic, colonial form of that oath and its inappropriateness for today’s Aotearoa New Zealand. To be permitted to speak...
    Greens | 20-10
  • Damning report on Ruataniwha dam numbers
    When I presented my submission to the Board of Inquiry on the Tukituki Catchment Proposal I compared the proposed 83 metre high Ruataniwha dam with the Clyde Dam and noted the risk of cost blowouts in the construction process.  The...
    Greens | 20-10
  • Church congratulated on child poverty stand
    The efforts by the bishops of the Anglican Church to ensure that the issue of child poverty is not forgotten is a call to all New Zealanders to take action, says Labour’s Interfaith-Dialogue Spokesperson, Su’a William Sio.   “I think...
    Labour | 19-10
  • Labour names Review Team
    Labour’s New Zealand Council has appointed Bryan Gould as Convenor of its post-General Election Review.  He will be joined on the Review Team by Hon Margaret Wilson, Stacey Morrison and Brian Corban (see further biographical details here). The Review Team...
    Labour | 19-10
  • Labour backs urban development plans
    Auckland Council’s plan to set up an urban development agency is to be applauded and central government should get behind it to make it a success, Labour’s Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford says. Auckland Council CEO Stephen Town has indicated plans...
    Labour | 18-10
  • New Zealand can be rightly proud of seat on Security Council
    Gaining a seat on the United Nation’s Security Council shows the sort of standing that New Zealand has in the world and the quality of the long campaign that we ran over nearly a decade, says Foreign Affairs spokesperson David...
    Labour | 16-10
  • NZ has opportunity on UN Security Council
    New Zealand has an opportunity to make a major contribution to the strengthening of international law and institutional capacity through its upcoming two-year tenure on the United Nations Security Council, Green Party spokesperson on global affairs, Dr Kennedy Graham said...
    Greens | 16-10
  • MPI still dragging the chain over causes of food bug
    The Ministry of Primary Industries’ release of Environmental Science and Research’s initial reports regarding the sources of a nasty stomach bug will be little comfort to the 127 people affected by it, Labour’s Food Safety spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “This...
    Labour | 16-10
  • Treasury officials should try working without food
    The Green Party is challenging Treasury officials to work for a week without eating properly, in light of their advice to Government that a food in schools programme is not needed."Treasury's advice was that providing food for children in schools...
    Greens | 15-10
  • Councils need to better protect our drinking water
    Environment Canterbury (ECan) is proposing several variations to its regional land and water plan that will allow for increased nutrient and other pollution from irrigation and intensive agriculture on the Canterbury Plains. Commissioners are hearing submissions on Variation 1 to...
    Greens | 15-10
  • National needs to commit to making NZ workers safe
    The National Government must do more to help make New Zealand workplaces a safer place to work in, Green Party industrial relations spokesperson Denise Roche said today.Data released by Statistics New Zealand today showed that workers in the fishing and...
    Greens | 15-10
  • Key commits to deployment before consultation or analysis
    John Key’s offer to consult Opposition parties on whether to deploy New Zealand forces against ISIS looks increasingly like a PR exercise only, says Labour’s Defence spokesperson, Phil Goff. “The presence of New Zealand’s Chief of Defence Force at a...
    Labour | 15-10
  • National must end ideological opposition to raising income
    If John Key is serious about tackling child poverty he must approach it with an open mind, and overcome his ideological block to raising incomes as a solution, the Green Party said today.Papers released to Radio New Zealand today show...
    Greens | 14-10
  • Pentagon links climate change and terrorism
    Yesterday the Pentagon launched a plan to deal with a threat that “poses immediate risks to national security”; one that “will affect the Department of Defense’s ability to defend the nation”. It wasn’t referring to Ebola or ISIS. It was...
    Greens | 14-10
  • Four Nominees for Labour’s Leadership
    As at 5pm today four valid nominations had been received for the position of Labour Leader, as follows: Andrew Little(nominated by Poto Williams and Iain Lees-Galloway) Nanaia Mahuta(nominated by Louisa Wall and Su’a William Sio) David Parker(nominated by Damien O’Connor...
    Labour | 14-10
  • Green Party calls for consultation over terrorism law changes
    The Green Party has today written to the Prime Minister asking him to engage in wider consultation prior to changing any laws as a result of the recently announced terrorism law reviews, said the Green Party today. In a letter...
    Greens | 14-10
  • MPI must name product and supermarket chain
    The Ministry of Primary Industries must name the product responsible for severe gastroenteritis affecting people around the country, and the supermarket chain distributing it, Labour’s Food Safety spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “The Ministry seems to be more concerned about protecting...
    Labour | 13-10
  • John Key dishonest about reasons for wanting to change terrorism law
    John Key is misleading the public to push through terrorism law changes under urgency, the Green Party said today. On Sunday, John Key stated that it is not illegal for someone to fight overseas for a terrorist group, such as...
    Greens | 12-10
  • Law changes shaping up to be worse than first thought
    The Prime Minister needs to be up front about exactly what changes he is planning to make to the Employment Relations  Amendment Bill, Labour's spokesperson on Labour Issues Andrew Little says.Interviewed on Q&A yesterday John Key said he did not...
    Labour | 12-10
  • Rapists, not Tinder, the threat to women
    Blame for rape and sexual assault should only ever be laid at the door of the perpetrator, not dating services or the actions of women themselves, Labour’s Associate Police spokesperson Kelvin Davis says. “Tinder is not the problem and women...
    Labour | 09-10
  • Safer Journeys For People Who Cycle
    You have a rare opportunity to tell the people who are making the decisions on cycling how to make it better. The Cycling Safety Panel is seeking feedback on their draft recommendations for improving the safety of cycling in New...
    Greens | 08-10
  • Subsidising more pollution will undermine water clean-up plan at Te Waihora...
    In 2010, NIWA found Canterbury’s Te Waihora/Lake Ellesmere had the worst nutrient status of 140 lakes around New Zealand that it measured. In 2011, the National Government committed to spending $15 million across the country through the Fresh Start for...
    Greens | 08-10
  • Adding value not herbicides
    The HT swedes, and other brassicas, might seem like a good idea to farmers struggling against weeds but like the GE road, is this the path we want our agriculture to be treading? The Federated Farmers President, Dr William Rolleston...
    Greens | 07-10
  • ‘Blame the Planner’ bizarre approach to child poverty
    The National Government is stooping to a bizarre new low in blaming "planning processes" for poverty and inequality, after spending six years doing nothing about either the housing market or child poverty, the Green Party said today. Finance Minister Bill...
    Greens | 07-10
  • Media Advisory
    MANA Leader, Hone Harawira will not be available to speak with media today regarding his release “Recount Just One Step To restoring Credibility”. He is however available for media comment tomorrow, Tuesday the 8th of October, all media arrangements are...
    Mana | 07-10
  • RECOUNT JUST ONE STEP TO RESTORING CREDIBILITY
    “I have applied for a judicial recount of the votes in the Tai Tokerau election because it is one step in trying to restore credibility to the electoral process in the north, and, I suspect, in all other Maori electorates...
    Mana | 07-10
  • MANA SEEKS TAI TOKERAU RECOUNT
    The MANA Movement is supporting Leader Hone Harawira’s application for a judicial re-count in the Te Tai Tokerau electorate for the 2014 general election. President Lisa McNab says there are a number of serious issues of concern regarding the ability...
    Mana | 07-10
  • MANA to fight mass privatisation of state housing
    Announcements over the past 12 hours from the Minister responsible for Housing New Zealand, Bill English, and Minister for Social Housing, Paula Bennett, make clear the government’s intention for the mass privatisation of state housing. This comes during the middle...
    Mana | 07-10
  • Journalists have right to protect sources
    Legal authorities must respect the right of journalist Nicky Hager to protect the source of his material for his Dirty Politics book under Section 68 of the Evidence Act, Acting Labour Leader David Parker says. “It is crucial in an...
    Labour | 06-10
  • It shouldn’t take the Army to house the homeless
    National’s move to speed up its state house sell-off shows it is bankrupt of new ideas, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “National has been in office for six years, yet the housing crisis has got worse every month and...
    Labour | 06-10
  • Government must lift social housing supply, not shuffle the deck chairs
    National's decision to shift the state provision of housing to third parties is a smokescreen for the Government decreasing the provision of affordable housing, the Green Party said today."What National should be doing is increasing the supply of both social...
    Greens | 06-10
  • Election 2014 – the final count
    While we have to wait for the final booth level counts we can now see how well we did in the specials and look at electorate level data. First off special votes (and disallowed/recounted votes etc). There was a change...
    Greens | 06-10
  • We need more houses, not Ministers
    The Government’s decision to have three housing Ministers will create a dog’s breakfast of the portfolio and doesn’t bode well for fixing the country’s housing crisis, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “New Zealanders need more houses, not more Ministers....
    Labour | 05-10
  • 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
  • About Curwen Ares Rolinson
    Curwen Ares Rolinson – Curwen Ares Rolinson is a firebrand young nationalist presently engaged in acts of political resistance deep behind enemy lines amidst the leafy boughs of Epsom. He is affiliated with the New Zealand First Party; although his...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • About Kelly Ellis
    Kelly Ellis.Kelly Ellis – As a child, Kelly Ellis didn’t so much fall into the cracks, but willfully wriggled her way into them. Ejected from Onslow College – a big job in the 70s – Kelly worked in car factories,...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • About Kate Davis
    Kate Davis.Kate Davis – Having completed her BA in English and Politics, Kate is now starting her MA. Kate works as a volunteer advocate at Auckland Action Against Poverty and previously worked for the New Zealand Prostitutes Collective. Kate writes...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • Parker does a Shearer – oh for a Labour Leader who can challenge msm fals...
    Sigh. It seems David Parker has done a Shearer… Like a cult and too red – Parker on LabourLabour leadership contender David Parker says Labour borders on feeling like “a cult” and must look at its branding – including its...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • A brief word on the hundreds of millions NZ is spending on the secret intel...
    The enormity of the mass surveillance state NZ Government’s have built carries a huge price tag… Kiwis pay $103m ‘membership fee’ for spyingThe $103 million taxpayer funding of New Zealand’s intelligence agencies is effectively a membership fee for joining the...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • Where. Is. Jason. Ede?
    Where. Is. Jason. Ede?...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • Labour’s Din of Inequity
    Watching Labour’s leadership candidates on Q+A on Sunday, I noticed the ongoing use of terms like “opportunity” and “aspiration”, and “party of the workers”. What do these mean? We glean much from Labour, and from the media about Labour, but not...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • “Blue-Greenwash” fails the test when it comes to endangered dolphins
    National’s pre-election promises saw some wins for the environment – perhaps as the party sought to appease its “Blue-Green” voters and broaden its popular appeal. Some of the ecological gains were a long time in the making, overdue even– such...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • Reasons not to be cheerful, Part #272b
    Why don’t you get back into bed? The next few years — the rest of this century — are not going to be pretty. There is an obvious disconnect between any remaining political ambition to fix climate change and the...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • OIA protocols and official advice ignored to hide Child Poverty
    It might not seem so now, but child poverty was a major election issue. What a pity we did not have the full debate. In that debate it would have been very helpful to have seen the Ministry of Social...
    The Daily Blog | 20-10
  • Previewing the 4 candidates for Leader of the Labour Party
    The extraordinary outbursts by Shearer last week highlights just how toxic that Caucus is. Shearer was on every major media platform as the ABC attack dog tearing into Cunliffe in the hope of diminishing Cunliffe’s support of Little by tearing...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Kate Davis – the sudden explosion of ‘left’ blogs
    Time to Teach or more people will suffer from P.A.I.D. Political And Intellectual Dysmorphia.I was on the Twitter and a guy followed me so of course I did the polite thing and followed him back. He wrote a blog so...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • Ego vs Eco
    Ego vs Eco...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • We can’t let the Roastbuster case slip away
    Those of us (like me) left with hope that the police would aggressively follow through on the large amount of evidence on offer to them (let’s not forget they forgot they even had some at one point) in the Roastbusters...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • Food, shelter and medicine instead of bombs and bullets
    The on-going conflict across the Middle East – due in large part to the US-led invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq – has created another humanitarian crisis of biblical proportion. The essentials of life are desperately needed in Iraq and Syria...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • The politics of electorate accommodations
    National’s electorate accommodations with ACT and United Future were a big factor in it winning re-election. Interestingly, there is another electorate accommodation scenario whereby the centre-left could have come out on top, even with the same distribution of party votes....
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • Why you should join the TPPA Action on 8 November
    On 8 November 2014, thousands of Kiwis will take part in the International Day of Action to protest the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA). The rally cry for us is TPPA – Corporate Trap, Kiwis Fight Back. Why should you join...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • GUEST BLOG – Patrick O’Dea: no new coal mines
    Green Party and Mana Party policy is “NO NEW COAL MINES!” Auckland Coal Action is trying to put this policy into action on the ground. ACA after a hard fought two year campaign waged alongside local residents and Iwi, in...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • Comparing Police action – Hager raid vs Roast Buster case
    This satire had the NZ Police contact TDB and threaten us with 6months in prison for using their logo.   The plight of Nicky Hager and the draconian Police actions against him has generated over  $53 000 in donations so...
    The Daily Blog | 18-10
  • Malala Yousafzai, White Saviour Complexes and Local Resistance
    Last week, Malala Yousafzai was the co-recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize. Since her exposure to the worldwide spotlight, her spirit, wisdom and strength have touched the hearts of people everywhere. However, there have been cynics who have argued that...
    The Daily Blog | 18-10
  • Jason Ede is back – but no media can interview him?
    Well, well, well. Jason Ede, the main figure connected to John Key’s office and the Dirty Politics black ops is back with a company with deep ties to the National Party. One thing you can say about the right –...
    The Daily Blog | 18-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Curwen Rolinson – Leadership Transitions In Other Parties: A ...
    As cannot have escaped anyone’s attention by now, the country is presently in the grips of an election and campaign that will help determine the fate of the nation for years to come. It’s gripping stuff – with clear divides...
    The Daily Blog | 17-10
  • SkyCity worker says she faces losing her house
    SkyCity worker Carolyn Alpine told the company annual shareholder’s meeting today that she faced the prospect of losing her house because the company had cut her shifts from two a week to one without consultation. The solo mother, has worked...
    The Daily Blog | 17-10
  • Greg O’Connor’s latest push to arm cops & 5 reasons not to
    I was wondering at what point within a 3rd term of National that Police Cheerleader Greg O’Connor would start trying to demand cops be armed. O’Connor must have thought to himself, ‘if bloody Key can get us and the GCSB vast new...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • You can’t have crisis without ISIS
    So the new scary bogeyman ISIS might have chemical weapons that the US secretly found in Iraq, but America didn’t want to expose this find because the WMDs were actually built and made by the US and Europe, the two powers...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • NZ WINS UN SPIN THE BOTTLE! Privately sucking up to America for a decade me...
    Oh, we are loved! Little old NZ, the 53rd state of America after Israel and Australia, gets to sit at the adults table for the special dinner party that is the UN Security Council. How delightful, a decade of privately...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • MEDIA BLOG – Myles Thomas – A World Without Advertising
    Non-commercial broadcasting and media. It’s a solution for all manner of problems ailing our tender nation… voter engagement, unaccountable governance, apathy, stupefaction, public education, science in schools, arts appreciation, cultural cringe… But no-one could’ve guessed that non-commercial media might solve...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • March against war – 2pm Saturday 25th October
    March against war – 2pm Saturday 25th October...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • Whack a mole as US govt foreign policy
    Whack-A-Mole was a popular arcade game from my youth.  It consisted of a waist high cabinet with holes in the top. Plastic moles seemingly randomly pop out of these holes. The purpose of the game was to hit as many...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • In Paean of Debt
    This week is ‘Money Week’. It’s an opportunity to promote to the middle classes, and anyone else who will listen, the virtues of wise ‘investment’. The aims are to promote the mystical (and indeed mythical) virtues of saving for the...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • The last 48 hours – Poverty denial, war denial and unapologetic abuse of ...
    The bewildering speed of events that simply end in Key shrugging and proclaiming he doesn’t really give a shit is coming think and fast as the Government suddenly appreciate the full spectrum dominance they now enjoy. Here is Radio NZ...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Pat O’Dea – Mana 2.0 Rebooted
    Internationally the news is that Evo Morales of Bolivia won big with Left Wing policies But what are the chances that the Left will make a resurgence in this country? As the internecine struggles between the Left and the Right...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • The Blomfield IPCA letter – Has Dirty Politics leaked into the NZ Police ...
    It’s difficult to know what to make of the IPCA letter to Matthew Blomfield over Slater’s continued insistence that the hard drive taken from Matthew wasn’t stolen.  Slater has selectively cherry picked the Police referring back to his claim that Blomfeild perjured...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • ​Media release: Rail and Maritime Transport Union – Auckland move for K...
    The Rail and Maritime Transport Union is questioning a KiwiRail proposal to progressively relocate its Zero Harm personnel from Wellington to Auckland. “The purpose of the Zero Harm team is to drive KiwiRail’s performance in health and safety.  Rail is a...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • Amnesty International – Friend request from an IS militant
    There’s always that one person, that one Facebook friend, usually a musician or event promoter, who, when you so foolishly accept their friend request, will completely inundate your news feed with copious event invitations and promotions. The person who, despite...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • NZ should follow the UK and recognize the Palestinian state
    Over the past two weeks, the United Kingdom and Sweden have made headlines through their decisions to recognize the state of Palestine. They are hardly the first nations to do so. Indeed, 134 countries have, in various ways, given formal...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • The Discordant Chimes of Freedom: Why Labour has yet to be forgiven.
    WHY DOES THE ELECTORATE routinely punish Labour and the Greens for their alleged “political correctness” but not National? It just doesn’t seem fair. Consider, for example, the Crimes (Substituted Section 59) Amendment Act 2007 – the so-called “anti-smacking legislation” –...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • Hosking or Henry – Which right wing crypto fascist clown do you want to w...
    So Mediaworks are finally going to make some actual money from their eye watering contract with Paul Henry by launching a new multi-platform Breakfast show over TV, Radio and internet. This is great news for Campbell Live who have dodged...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • Families need more money to reduce child poverty
    Prime Minister John Key is mistaken to rule out extending the In Work Tax Credit to all poor children (The Nation 11th Oct) and Child Poverty Action Group challenges government advisors to come up with a more cost effective way...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Kelly Ellis – Don’t shit on my dream
    Once were dreamers. A large man, walks down the road and, even from 200 yards there’s light showing between his big arms and bigger body. It’s as if he’s put tennis balls under his arms. Two parking wardens walk out...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • Labour and ‘special interests’
    The media narrative of Labour is that it is unpopular because it’s controlled by ‘special interests’. This ‘special interests’ garbage is code for gays, Maoris, wimin and unionists. We should show that argument the contempt it deserves. The next Labour...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part Ru...
    . . Continued from: Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part Tahi) . National’s housing development project: ‘Gateway’ to confusion . Perhaps nothing better illustrates National’s lack of a coherent housing programme than the ‘circus’ that is...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • Here’s what WINZ are patronisingly saying to people on welfare when they ...
    Yesterday, a case manager from WINZ called to tell me that I needed to “imagine what I would do if I did not have welfare”. I replied “Well, I guess if I couldn’t live at home, I would be homeless.”...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • David Shearer’s ‘no feminist chicks’ mentality highlights all that is...
    Mr Nasty pays a visit Shearer’s extraordinary outburst last night on NZs favourite redneck TV, The Paul Henry Show, is a reminder of all that is wrong within the Labour Caucus right now… He said the current calls for a female or...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • Greenpeace 1 – Shell 0
    Greenpeace 1 – Shell 0...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Kate Davis – A Tale Of Two Cities
    Sunday was surreal. I went for a drive and ended up in a different country. It wasn’t intentional but those days of too many literally intertextual references seldom are. There is no doubt that the Sunday drive this week had...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • 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
  • Call on Minister McCully to pursue the case of Balibo Five
    Media Information: Call on Minister McCully to pursue the case of journalist Gary Cunningham and the Balibo Five...
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Australia and NZ actions on press freedoms alarming
    Global support for investigative journalism in Australia and New Zealand is a welcome response to law changes and a police raid, says the Pacific Freedom Forum...
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Call for release of French journalists in West Papua
    West Papua Action Auckland, the EPMU Print and Media Council and the NZ Media Freedom Network call on the Minister of Foreign Affairs to speak out in support of the two French TV journalists whose trial has just begun in...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Court of Appeal: Dotcom v 20th Century Fox Film Corporation
    A The appeal is dismissed. B The 20 August 2014 order of the High Court dealing with confidentiality and the 29 August 2014 order of this Court dealing with confidentiality are set aside. C The confidentiality orders set out in...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Glassons Blasted For Glamourising Animal Cruelty
    Clothing brand Glassons have found themselves embroiled in another controversy after launching a new advert featuring a girl riding a bull. Animal advocacy organisation SAFE have asked them to remove the ad immediately as it glamourises animal cruelty....
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Smuggling honey into New Zealand isn’t sweet
    Smuggling honey into New Zealand isn’t sweet Federated Farmers Bee Industry Group applauds the tough line taken by Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) Border Staff at Auckland Airport. In deporting the couple found trying to smuggle bee products...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Taxpayers’ Union Responds to Joyce on Corporate Welfare
    Responding to Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce’s defence of corporate welfare , Jim Rose, the author of Monopoly Money , a Taxpayers Union report on corporate welfare since 2008, says:...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Speech from the Throne brings welcome focus on children
    Today’s speech from the Throne confirms the Government’s focus on children, youth and their families in the areas of health, education, youth employment, poverty alleviation and Whānau Ora; now the challenge is to ensure every child in New Zealand...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • John’s Job Fairs no fix for unemployment and poverty
    “John Key has clearly been looking to the US for his latest bright idea on dealing with employment issues,” says Auckland Action Against Poverty coordinator Sue Bradford. “Job fairs where the desperately unemployed queue in their corporate best to compete...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Speech From the Throne Foreshadows More Corporate Welfare
    Responding to the Governor General’s Speech from the Throne, which outlined that the Government’s intentions for the next Parliamentary term would include further Business Growth Agenda initiatives, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Green MP to speak at panel on Rainbow Mental Health
    Hamilton, New Zealand: Recently re-elected Green Party MP Jan Logie will be a guest speaker at a panel on the mental health of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Trangender, Takataapui and Intersex people taking place on November 1st as part of the...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Evidence Supports GE Moratorium
    Federated Farmers spokesman Graham Smith's call for a 'rethink' on release of GeneticallyEngineered organisms is misguided, and instead it is time for a formal moratorium on GMOs in the environment.(1)...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Chatham Rise mining could have impact on whales and dolphins
    Wellington, 21 October 2014--Mining phosphate on the Chatham Rise, off the east coast of New Zealand’s south island, could potentially have many impacts on marine mammals like whales and dolphins, the Environmental Protection Agency was told today....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Council endorses Nanaia Mahuta as the next Labour leader
    Te Kaunihera Māori, the Māori Council of the New Zealand Labour Party, have passed a resolution to endorse the Hon Nanaia Mahuta as the next leader of the Labour Party...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Kaumatua to organise petition to end Maori seats
    Ngapuhi kaumatua David Rankin has announced that he will be organising a nationwide petition to seek support from Maori voters to end the Maori seats. “These seats are patronising”, he says. “They imply we need a special status, and that...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Announcing a New Voice for The Left
    Josh Forman is pleased to announce the creation of a new force on the Left of politics in New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Public services held back by poor workplace culture
    A new report by Victoria University’s Centre for Labour, Employment and Work shows that public servants are working significant unpaid overtime to ensure the public services New Zealanders value are able to continue....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • iPredict New Zealand Weekly Economic & Political Update
    Andrew Little’s probability of being the next leader of the Labour Party has reached 70% and Jacinda Ardern is favourite to become his deputy, according to the combined wisdom of the 8000+ registered traders on New Zealand’s predictions market, iPredict....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Prison Drug Treatment Unit marks a milestone
    Christchurch Men’s Prison’s Drug Treatment Unit (DTU) celebrated the completion of its 50th six month Drug and Alcohol Programme today, with the graduation of a further twelve offenders....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Security Council seat a chance for NZ to empower women
    The UN Women National Committee Aotearoa New Zealand (UN Women NCANZ) welcomes New Zealand winning a seat on the United Nations Security Council and is calling on New Zealand to use its position to proactively promote effective implementation of the...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Waipareira and ACC sign Partnership
    Waipareira and The Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding at Whanau Centre, Henderson – marking a special day for the West Auckland Urban Maori organisation....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Humanitarian aid desperately needed in Iraq and Syria
    Global Peace and Justice Auckland is calling on the government to provide humanitarian funding for non-aligned NGOs (non-governmental organisations) in the Middle East rather than give any support whatever for the US-led military campaign in the area....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Court Judicial Decision: Dotcom v The USA: 17 October 2014
    The United States of America is seeking the extradition of Messrs Dotcom, Batato, Ortmann and Van Der Kolk. The matter has been before the Courts on numerous occasions, and no further recitation of the facts is needed....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Marshall Island poet speaks at UN climate summit
    “The fossil fuel industry is the biggest threat to our very existence as Pacific Islanders. We stand to lose our homes, our communities and our culture. But we are fighting back. This coming Friday thirty Pacific Climate Warriors, joined by...
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Many tourist car accidents preventable
    Simple steps could dramatically reduce the number of accidents involving tourists, says the car review website dogandlemon.com ....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • RainbowYOUTH: 25 Years, 25 More
    In 1989, a group of young people in Auckland got together to form a support group for LGBTIQ youth. They called it Auckland Lesbian And Gay Youth (ALGY). After 25 years, several location changes, a name change, a brand reboot...
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Outdated Oath shows need for Kiwi Head of State
    MPs are sworn in today and New Zealand Republic has written to MPs asking them to talk about why 121 New Zealanders elected by the people of New Zealand and standing in the New Zealand Parliament swear allegiance to another...
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Council shouldn’t revenue grab from windfall valuations
    Auckland Council should state clearly they will not try and capture revenue as a result of the latest valuations and needs reminding that the City’s skyrocketing property values doesn’t change the level or cost of Council’s services, says...
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • EPMU endorses Andrew Little for Labour leadership
    The National Executive of the Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union unanimously endorsed Andrew Little for the role of Labour leader, at a meeting held yesterday. “I have been speaking to our workplace delegates at forums across the country over...
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • World Food Day promotes Agroecology not GE technology
    The UN has stated that agroecology is a major solution to feeding the world and caring for the earth....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Labour Names Review Team
    Labour’s New Zealand Council has appointed Bryan Gould as Convenor of its post-General Election Review. He will be joined on the Review Team by Hon Margaret Wilson, Stacey Morrison and Brian Corban....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Contenders for Labour leadership debate for first time
    The contenders for the leadership of the Labour Party debated for the first time on TV One’s Q+A programme today....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • UN Ambassador Jim McLay on TV One’s Q+A programme
    New Zealand's United Nations Ambassador Jim McLay on TV One’s Q+A programme....
    Scoop politics | 18-10
  • The Nation: RSA President BJ Clark & Ian Taylor, New NZ Flag
    Lisa Owen interviews RSA President BJ Clark and tech innovator Ian Taylor about changing the NZ flag...
    Scoop politics | 18-10
  • The Nation: RSA President BJ Clark & Ian Taylor, New NZ Flag
    Lisa Owen interviews RSA President BJ Clark and tech innovator Ian Taylor about changing the NZ flag...
    Scoop politics | 18-10
  • Lisa Owen interviews Foreign Minister Murray McCully
    Murray McCully says New Zealanders can expect a 5-10 year engagement against Islamic State if we join military action in Iraq and the government will take that “very carefully into account”...
    Scoop politics | 18-10
  • 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
Public service advertisements by The Standard

Current CO2 level in the atmosphere