web analytics
The Standard
Advertising

Sunday Reading

Written By: - Date published: 10:17 am, June 17th, 2012 - 2 comments
Categories: International, interweb, Media, uk politics - Tags: , ,

I’m going to try and put up a piece each Sunday of interesting, longer, deeper stories I found during the week. It’s also a chance for you to share what you found this week too. Those stimulating links you wanted to share, but just didn’t fit in anywhere (no linkwhoring). This week is quite an international edition: the situation in Tonga, China & the UK…

Firstly China. Bloomberg looks at how the 70 richest members of the Chinese legislature are worth $US89.8 billion – up $11.5 billion on a year earlier: that increase is more than the net worth of all members of the US legislatures, plus the top level of the executive and judiciary combined. As the party encourages the rich to join and the joined to get wealthy, there is increasing disconnect between those in power and the proletariat that they claim to represent.

None more so than the agrarian proletariat, Mao’s heroes. The BBC looks at the rural peasants left behind, including families of those who went on the Long March, some of whom are now worse off in education and opportunities than when they joined the revolution.

Also suffering disconnect between the political class and their public is the UK, as it wades through the Leveson enquiry, becoming ever more clear that the media and MPs are/were in a tryst that didn’t involve the public’s best interests. When Rebekah Brooks had to resign from her place at the top of the media pile because of hacking at her newspapers of – among many others – a murdered school girl’s phone, she received messages of sympathy from the PM and all other senior Conservatives in government… and many senior Labour figures, past and present.

The public risks losing heart in the system, if they hadn’t already after all the MP expenses scandals.

But it’s alright, as the ruling Conservatives have lost faith in the people as well. They seem to be launching a new campaign to vilify and demonise the poor.

Apparently they’re not poor due to a lack of money, but because of their sin. Their lifestyles of worklessness, family breakdown, bad parenting, drink and drug addiction, irresponsible debt, crime and lack of aspiration are the cause of their problems – not a result of them. The government have so far been winning the argument, using the same tactics we have seen and can expect to see increased here.

The only poor people shown are poor parents or criminals or drug addicts… the facts and statistics are manipulated to fit the caricatures. 120,000 families with multiple problems of joblessness, truanting and crime is “a factoid – something that takes the form of a fact, but is not. It is used to support policies that in no way follow from the research on which the figure is based.”

On a brighter note, Reading the Maps looks at the history of Tonga, and what we can learn from it. While Samoa hailed winning their independence 50 years ago – and was incorrectly portrayed as the first independent Pacific Island – Tonga was quietly celebrating the Emancipation Edict of their forward thinking king 150 years ago. Tupou I freed the serfs, and guaranteed every adult male a piece of land to work. He aimed for a way without the flaws of feudalism or capitalism.

It worked so well that Tonga managed to resist the pressures of all the colonial powers and retain their independence.

From the comments this week I’d like to highlight Draco T Bastard’s link to UnlearningEconomics’ free market double standards. UnlearningEconomics shows up some fabulous hypocrisy from right-wing think-tanks etc, demonstrating some great doublethink from the Right: “If anything bad happens under capitalism, it’s not true capitalism. But ‘true socialism hasn’t been tried’ is a silly argument.”

Perhaps if they read their heroes a bit better, they could avoid some of the pratfalls.

2 comments on “Sunday Reading”

  1. Treetop 1

    Three major historical anniversaries which fall on June 17.
    1. 1970 Crewe murders
    2. 1972 Watergate
    3. 1975 The Moyle incident

    Instead of posting links I want to make the comment on how transparent the USA are when it comes to releasing government/police information compared to NZ.

    Regarding 1 & 3 there are NZ police files which have not been released to the public to read. I have a particular interest in the Moyle incident as when I was age 16 for the first six months of 1976 I dated the cop who was involved in the Moyle incident. I first heard of the Moyle incident in March 1976 and this was life changing for me in February 1979. In December 1976 there was a ministerial inquiry regarding the alleged breach of information in Moyle’s file by the police to Muldoon.

Important links

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Taxpayers not suckers when it comes to casino lemon
    The Government should not be asking New Zealanders to stump up extra cash to bail out John Key and Steven Joyce’s dodgy SkyCity convention centre deal, Labour Leader Andrew Little says. "A deal is a deal is a deal. SkyCity… ...
    3 days ago
  • Supreme Court decision an early Christmas present
    Women on low pay in New Zealand have been given an early Christmas present with yesterday’s decision by  the Supreme Court not to intervene in a decision of the Court of Appeal, says Labour's Spokesperson for Women's Affairs, Sue Moroney. … ...
    3 days ago
  • Dunedin Hospital needs more than drip feed
    An ongoing and embarrassing pattern of major building leaks and equipment failures at Dunedin Public Hospital has been revealed in papers released under the Official Information Act, Dunedin North MP David Clark says. “Documents released under the Official Information Act… ...
    4 days ago
  • Dunedin Hospital needs more than drip feed
    An ongoing and embarrassing pattern of major building leaks and equipment failures at Dunedin Public Hospital has been revealed in papers released under the Official Information Act, Dunedin North MP David Clark says. “Documents released under the Official Information Act… ...
    4 days ago
  • 17 too young for teens to be shown the door
    Laws which see young people under the care of CYFS abandoned once they turn 17 will mean at least a dozen young Kiwis will be left to fend for themselves over the December festive season, Labour’s Children’s spokesperson Jacinda  Ardern… ...
    4 days ago
  • 17 too young for teens to be shown the door
    Laws which see young people under the care of CYFS abandoned once they turn 17 will mean at least a dozen young Kiwis will be left to fend for themselves over the December festive season, Labour’s Children’s spokesperson Jacinda  Ardern… ...
    4 days ago
  • National’s albatross, taxpayers’ curse
    Government consideration of further corporate welfare hand-outs to SkyCity for its convention centre shows just how weak the original contract was, Labour’s Economic Development spokesperson David Clark says. “Taxpayers will be appalled to hear that on top of the humiliating… ...
    4 days ago
  • Recognizing Palestine: The European Parliament Votes
    Last week I wrote a blog drawing attention to Sweden’s formal recognition of the state of Palestine (the second Western state to do so after Iceland).  That move has created ripples throughout the international community. In recent months the parliaments… ...
    GreensBy Kennedy Graham MP
    7 days ago
  • Recognizing Palestine: The European Parliament Votes
    Last week I wrote a blog drawing attention to Sweden’s formal recognition of the state of Palestine (the second Western state to do so after Iceland).  That move has created ripples throughout the international community. In recent months the parliaments… ...
    GreensBy Kennedy Graham MP
    7 days ago
  • Recognizing Palestine: The European Parliament Votes
    Last week I wrote a blog drawing attention to Sweden’s formal recognition of the state of Palestine (the second Western state to do so after Iceland).  That move has created ripples throughout the international community. In recent months the parliaments… ...
    GreensBy Kennedy Graham MP
    7 days ago
  • Minister has work to do over Xmas
    Red flags raised in a multi-agency review into how Phillip Smith was able to flee the country highlight the inadequacies of those very same agencies not having red flags in place that would have notified them of his plans, says… ...
    7 days ago
  • Minister has work to do over Xmas
    Red flags raised in a multi-agency review into how Phillip Smith was able to flee the country highlight the inadequacies of those very same agencies not having red flags in place that would have notified them of his plans, says… ...
    7 days ago
  • Minister has work to do over Xmas
    Red flags raised in a multi-agency review into how Phillip Smith was able to flee the country highlight the inadequacies of those very same agencies not having red flags in place that would have notified them of his plans, says… ...
    7 days ago
  • Gerry Brownlee’s revolving airport door story
    A new report shows Gerry Brownlee is the latest Cabinet Minister to have contracted the infectious tell-porkies-until-you-are-caught disease, Labour’s Chief Whip Chris Hipkins says. “A Civil Aviation Report out today shows that despite being an extremely recognisable figure, Gerry Brownlee… ...
    7 days ago
  • Govt spend on transport out of step with reality
    The National Government is planning to allocate ever increasing amounts of taxpayer funding to build expensive new motorways despite record numbers of New Zealanders flocking to buses and trains, said the Green Party. The Government released its Government Policy Statement… ...
    GreensBy Julie Anne Genter MP
    1 week ago
  • Govt spend on transport out of step with reality
    The National Government is planning to allocate ever increasing amounts of taxpayer funding to build expensive new motorways despite record numbers of New Zealanders flocking to buses and trains, said the Green Party. The Government released its Government Policy Statement… ...
    GreensBy Julie Anne Genter MP
    1 week ago
  • Solar homes stymied by Govt inaction
    Government inaction is allowing the big power companies to discourage the nascent solar power sector, the Green Party said today. Green Party MP Gareth Hughes launched a petition today calling on the Government to empower the Electricity Authority to act… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes MP
    1 week ago
  • Foreign buyers for iconic island must add value
    Labour will look very closely at any Overseas Investment Office application to purchase Pakatoa Island if it is not bought by a Kiwi, says Labour’s Land information Spokesperson Stuart Nash. “Pakatoa is an iconic island in the middle of Hauraki… ...
    1 week ago
  • Way opening for April Sun in Cuba
    The United States of America’s President’s historic announcement yesterday to restore diplomatic ties with Cuba should be applauded by the New Zealand Government. The announcement marks a turning point in more than five decades of hostility between the two countries… ...
    GreensBy Kennedy Graham MP
    1 week ago
  • Minister ducking for cover over ‘Diplomat Case’
    Apparently the Ministerial Inquiry into what now seems to be being referred to as ‘The Diplomat Case’ ( I have a few other names for it) has been completed and is in front of Foreign Affairs Minister McCully. Initial Reports seem to… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    1 week ago
  • Energy users need answers on Vector share plans
    Energy Minister Simon Bridges needs to stop ducking for cover about whether or not the Government will support plans to nationalise and then privatise $2.1 billion of shares in the Auckland Electricity Consumer Trust, Labour's Energy spokesperson Stuart Nash says. “It… ...
    1 week ago
  • Turning up the heat on working conditions
    A “Jobs That Count” campaign has the full support of Labour, the party’s Labour Relations spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway says. Organised by the Meat Workers Union, the campaign aims to put the spotlight on job insecurity in the meat processing industry. ...
    1 week ago
  • Biosecurity it’s everyone’s responsibility
    Biosecurity costs New Zealand millions of dollars in attempting pest eradication and much more in ongoing management of pests in farming, horticulture, beekeeping and conservation, as well as in our own backyards and recreation areas. More work must happen at… ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning MP
    1 week ago
  • Is the Health Minister accountable to the public? He doesn’t seem to thin...
    Lately I’ve been involved in a sort of farcical standoff with the Health Minister, who seems to be under the illusion that I have no right to ask questions about conflicts involving Health Promotion Agency Board member Katherine Rich, and… ...
    GreensBy Kevin Hague MP
    1 week ago
  • Irresponsible tax cuts lead to seventh successive deficit
    National's borrowing to pay for cutting the top tax rate was irresponsible and will likely lead to a seventh successive deficit, the Green Party said today. Treasury have forecast a $572 million deficit this year in its Half Year Economic… ...
    GreensBy Russel Norman MP
    1 week ago
  • Heartfelt sympathy for Sydneysiders
    The Labour Party has offered its heartfelt sympathy to the people of Sydney after the hostage situation in the city, says Labour’s Acting leader Grant Robertson.  “Our thoughts are with all those who went through this horrific and traumatic experience. ...
    1 week ago
  • A welfare system for the 21st Century
    Today Child Poverty Action Group released a background paper on ‘The complexities of ‘relationship’ in the welfare system and the consequences for children.‘ The report includes 16 recommendations to modernise our welfare system which is no longer fit for the… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    2 weeks ago
  • NZ should formally recognise Palestine
    New Zealand should follow the lead of Sweden, and now recognise Palestine as a separate state On 30 October, Sweden’s new government formally recognised the state of Palestine, only the second Western country to do so, after Iceland. Down here… ...
    GreensBy Kennedy Graham MP
    2 weeks ago
  • James Shaw’s adjournment speech on behalf of the Green Party
    It is a great honour for me to speak on behalf of the Green Party in this adjournment debate. I thank my colleagues for the privilege. I became a MP only 12 weeks ago, a period of time that seems… ...
    GreensBy James Shaw MP
    2 weeks ago
  • A Tale of Two Farms
    Pig farming has yet again been thrust into the public view with two programmes this week on Campbell Live highlighting the very different conditions for pigs on two very different farms. The first programme exposed the awful conditions on… ...
    GreensBy Mojo Mathers MP
    2 weeks ago

Public service advertisements by The Standard

Current CO2 level in the atmosphere