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Towards an inclusive, democratic left

Written By: - Date published: 10:53 am, November 16th, 2012 - 46 comments
Categories: activism, democratic participation, feminism, gay rights, greens, labour, Left, mana, national, Social issues, vision - Tags:

The political Left needs a new direction with a break to the future, to prevent the on-going rightwards drift. If progressive political parties merely react to the ruling neoliberal discourses and policies, they will continue to inadvertently absorbed right wing values. A re-vitalised Left would be strengthened by working towards a more inclusive, diverse participatory democracy.

The neoliberal policies and anti-democratic approach of our current government has led the country backwards.  It has re-masculinised the political landscape and undermined gender equality, with high status given to male leaders and  the traditionally masculine finance and economic portfolios.  It can be seen in the WEF gender gap survey. This shows that, with respect to Political empowermentNZ’s ranking has slipped from 8th in 2011 to 9th in  2012: for Economic participation and opportunity NZ has slipped from 11th to 15th.

Unfortunately opposition parties have absorbed these changes by trying to oppose the government on its own terms.  There is no one person or organisation at fault in this.  It is the result of the interplay of the NAct values spun through their PR machinery and viral foot-soldiers; the MSM editors and journalists who often unquestioningly repeat neoliberal and masculinist discourses; and opposition politicians and strategists, who try to beat the right wing strategists at their own game.

One of the consequences is the under-reporting of the solid and committed work by opposition women MPs on various crucial issues to do with community well-being, poverty, and social justice; on the way the NAct government sacrifices women at the forefront of enacting controversial social policies.  There needs to be more acknowledgment and prominence given to some of the great work being done by and/or for women. For instance Julie Anne Genter taking it to Bully Boy Brownlee in the House; the low income women, struggling along side Mana for affordable rentals and against the cuts to state housing; Sue Moroney with her private members bills on PPL and redundancy;  Annette King on housing (even though her approach maybe falls short of Mana’s policies); Metira Turei on the streets for anti-poverty campaigns and working in the house for children in poverty; Darien Fenton for workers rights and free public library services …. and more….

A new way forward would value such struggles, while not supporting the “reheated Blairism”, that Chris Trotter rightly associates with the current NZ Labour Party and Josie Pagani.  It is necessary for Labour to reconnect with low income people, working to improve their increasingly difficult circumstances.  But this should not be done by demonising the “undeserving poor” and  supporting John Tamihere as expressed by Josie Pagani in an NZ Herald article this week. This is a patronising and conservative middle-class approach, that reinforces stereotypes and divisions.

We can learn from some of the positive developments during the 20th century. The Left was progressing towards a more inclusive politics and society when it was brutally halted by neoliberalism. When I was living in London in the late 70s and early 80, it was a productive time of intense debates, tensions and collaboration.  Diverse left wing groups interacted through feminist, gay, lesbian, anti-racist and working class networks. The beginnings of a diverse and united Left could be seen during the miners’ strike 80s.

Lesbian, gays support miners

Feminist and gay groups joined together to protest the pit closures.  This collaboration began uneasily, but was gaining ground.

 

Something similar happened in NZ during the 1981 protests against the Springbok rugby tour. The accompanying images, are very much of their time, indicating that such strategies need to be revised, revised with hindsight, and re-worked to fit current circumstance.

Masked protesters 1981

(Side note to those who smear anonymous pseudonymous left-wing bloggers: powerless people often feel a need to mask their identity when challenging the dominant discourses and ruling groups – some in the 1981 demonstrations wore masks, and surely not a sign of being similar to hooded racists violently persecuting oppressed people.)

An inclusive and democratic left is a goal to work towards, with on-going analysis of the dangers and pitfalls of being dragged back into divisive in-fighting, or the assimilation of the destructive discourses of the right wing elite that we are struggling against. I don’t expect such an integration to be completed over night, or in a weekend.

What can we do to move in a new direction?

46 comments on “Towards an inclusive, democratic left”

  1. Well said Karol, the likening of Anonymous bloggers the KKK is nothing short of an attempt to re-intoduce the race card yet again.

    That woman has no idea what the KKK means, and she should apologise for the inference, she’s never been close to that kind of HELL obviously.

    Bloggers that use pseudonyms are not anonymous, there is a person behind every comment regardless of that persons identity, it’s our thought that counts not our bloody names.

    Something else those morons should realise is some/a lot of bloggers are teenagers and likely to be quite emotional at times ……

    • just saying 1.1

      Something else those morons should realise is some/a lot of bloggers are teenagers and likely to be quite emotional at times ……

      You’ve got me really intrigued. The only teenaged blogger I’ve ever even heard of is the precociously brilliant, Morgan Godfrey from “Maui Street” blog.

      • PlanetOrphan 1.1.1

        Yeah, well like I’ve said to others, it’s about the level of understanding,
        Most people make up their minds when they are teenagers and stick with the conclusions religously, never opening their eyes to the truth that things change and policies must change with them.

        I know many “teenaged” 60 year olds for instance.

      • Draco T Bastard 1.1.2

        Morgan Godfery, not Godfrey

    • karol 1.2

      Thanks, PO.

      PO: Bloggers that use pseudonyms are not anonymous,

      Agreed, PO.  I had intended to strikethrough “anonyomous” to make just that point.  I had a dodgy fixed line broadband connection all morning.  Managed to connect to update the last edit and publish the post – then the connection went down completely and won’t be fixed for a day or two.

      After much hassle, I added the strikethrough and am now operating on a glitchy dial-up connection on an alternative phone line.

      This is my 3rd attempt to make this comment – each time the connection gives out and the comment doesn’t take. grrr… 

  2. Dr Terry 2

    I cannot answer your question Karol, other than try a change in government (particularly Greens/Mana). Nevertheless this article is excellent in its entirety. Allow me to repeat a couple a salient passages:

    “opposition parties have abandoned these changes by trying to oppose the government on its own terms” (virtually endorsed by Shearer this morning).

    “It is necessary for Labour to reconnect with low income people . . .” (Social policies, Mr Shearer?)

    I did not wear a mask in the 1981 demonstrations. But today I need the pseudonym.

  3. Colonial Viper 3

    An inclusive democratic left has to take the country towards an inclusive democratic participatory economy. Self sustaining and viable worker owned co-operatives, mutual organisations, and not for profits.

    Time to put the power of the markets, economic infrastructure and productive capital into the hands of ordinary people.

  4. Rogue Trooper 4

    I believe that you are an excellent political writer karol, demonstrably able to cover a variety of salient issues in a comparitively small space; inspirational.
    (i relaxed my anonymity and no rabid, right-winger has burnt a cross in front of my caravan, yet, although, the rentier class might be in a position to help me put a more permanent, not leaky, roof over my head) ;)

  5. Loved your article and quelled this labour heart.
    Labour should look to the past, in so far as how the depression was handled and how Savage
    worked his government and align it to today’s woes.
    If people are expected to pay $400-$800 pw for a rental to line the pockets of property
    investors,then those people would be better off paying off their own mortgage,
    Auckland is the ‘it’ city,but does it need to be ? NZ has plenty of land in provincial centres
    and small towns that would be more affordable for those wishing to build or buy,if labour can
    bring in a viable home ownership scheme,that war could be won, housing nz has one but it is still a mountain to climb for many,the need to earn a high income applies to the housing nz scheme.
    Capitalisation of the family benefit was bought in by Goff and that helped so many people into
    their own homes, including myself,so thanks Phil.
    There would be no housing bubble if housing was for families and individuals to buy or build,
    a housing bubble is caused by speculators and those who have millions and billions to spend,so property is their best bet,a capital gains tax on speculators would take the heat out of that, from memory labours capital gains tax policy is that the family home is exempt from capital gains tax.
    Inclusiveness is what so many labour supporters,voters are wanting,also a path back to the basics.

  6. Mary 6

    Well said Karol. Currently Labour is certainly no more than “Blairism reheated”. Perfect description. This is one reason why the right love Shearer because they know Labour can never make an impact going down this road. I was sickened yesterday listening to Kathryn Ryan interviewing Gavin Ellis who applauded Fran O’Sullivan and Richard Long for showing so much “respect” and “support” for David Shearer’s ability as leader. It was at the same time the most biased, naive, sanctimonious and disingenuous views heard on RNZ for a long time. Managing to be all four must surely be difficult but Ellis did it. Of course, the only way was to ignore the fact that both O’Sullivan and Long are themselves biased, naive, sanctimonious and disingenuous gits. It was overpoweringly cringeworthy to listen to. Gavin Ellis is no commentator. He is, though, a complete and utter fool:

    http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/ninetonoon/audio/2538666/media-commentator-gavin-ellis.asx

    • rosy 6.1

      ” It was overpoweringly cringeworthy to listen to. Gavin Ellis is no commentator. He is, though, a complete and utter fool:”

      Yep… the thoughts of Richard Long should carry more weight than the opinions of two ‘anonymous’ bloggers (ignoring the hundreds of comments that he’d mentioned earlier supporting these blogs)? Who has more chance of voting Labour – commenters on the Standard or Richard Long, Fran O’Sullivan et al?

      On second thought, the way things stand it appears that the commentariat on the right is sick of Key and can’t see a replacement in National …

      • lprent 6.1.1

        Ummm thanks for reminding me of that. I’d meant to write the defence post earlier. But things got in the way. Took longer to write it grumpier.

  7. Bill 7

    What can we do to move in a new direction?

    Well, that’s the question, isn’t it? What I do know is a little on how not to move in a new direction. If we cast a glance back to the socio/political movements of the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s, one glaringly obvious feature of those times (broadly speaking) was the inabilty to wrench away from the organisational habits of heirarchy.

    That resulted in (as an example) women being subordinated in class orientated organisations. And most people (predominantly men) saw no problem with that.

    And there was the friction, that remains today, between people who would elevate either of gender, race or class issues to be a principle focus.

    I mean, from my perspective none of the issues of class or gender or race politics stand in isolation. None is more or less important than the other. Just because I might be better versed in class issues and another person better versed in gender issues doesn’t, or shouldn’t mean we vie to have our respective perspective elevated. Each in some way informs the other. But unless that’s acknowledged (and I mean beyond paying mere lipservice to the idea), and unless heirarchical orgainisational structures are dumped – then the negative dynamics inherent to whichever focus is ‘ignored’ will reassert and ‘infect’ the organisations and mindsets of those who’se focus is exclusive.

    And so we will endlessly cycle back to a situation of dominance and subservience…or should that be, we will be endlessly backpeddling, stuck in a situation of dominance and subservience?

    I’d say, on a positive note, democratise. At any and every opportunity insist on democracy and simply walk away from any political activism that refuses to budge.. or that tries to convince itself or others that it really is democratic because it has constructed some shambolic approximation of truly democratic procedures or organisational structures.

    • Mary 7.1

      “What can we do to move in a new direction?”

      The 1980s and especially the 1990s saw the destruction of what some call a caring society. We just don’t have that anymore. For example, today’s debate isn’t so much about income levels of the poor so much as whether the poorest in society should receive an income at all. The challenge for the Left, therefore, isn’t just about policies but about basic values around how we see and how we treat others. There was a time in New Zealand when social policy for the Right still meant the poor were entitled to participate in the community on the same basis as others. The Right no longer believe this to be the case. Fixing things means fixing basic values.

      http://www.academia.edu/821547/Social_empathy_A_tool_to_address_the_contradiction_of_working_but_still_poor

      • Draco T Bastard 7.1.1

        For example, today’s debate isn’t so much about income levels of the poor so much as whether the poorest in society should receive an income at all.

        And all based around the BD idea that we can’t afford anything despite the fact that a few people have million dollar incomes from doing SFA.

        • KJT 7.1.1.1

          I fail to understand how the RW can accept that people have tens or even hundred of million dollars in wealth and or income, which is, mostly, totally unearned *, and complain about the bottom 5% having enough to live on of their inheritance from all the working people before them.

          * http://kjt-kt.blogspot.co.nz/2011/03/myth-of-wealth-creation.html
          The proportion of rich people who actually invest their money in real wealth creation, jobs or entrepreneurship is vanishingly small.

          http://kjt-kt.blogspot.co.nz/2012/11/livable-income.html
          “We can produce enough for everyone to live in comfort in NZ with fraction of our present activity/employment.

          I do not have the figures for New Zealand, but, rather than a more equal distribution of income making everyone poorer, if the USA’s current production was shared equally, every family in the States would have an income of around 180k annually.

          The right wing idea that a more equal distribution of income means equality in misery, is an obvious fallacy.

          Whereas higher incomes at the lower end is good for NZ business, and ultimately everyone’s incomes”..

          • fatty 7.1.1.1.1

            I do not have the figures for New Zealand, but, rather than a more equal distribution of income making everyone poorer, if the USA’s current production was shared equally, every family in the States would have an income of around 180k annually…higher incomes at the lower end is good for NZ business, and ultimately everyone’s incomes

            The NZ figures would be interesting…as for 180K per family in the USA – most of that would be spent, and as you say, their economy would not be flat-lining the way it has been. Instead they vote, as we do, to have our money sitting in a few people’s bank accounts.

      • seeker 7.1.2

        +1

  8. handle 8

    Julie Anne Genter is using her professional background to do brilliant work in the Transport portfolio. Labelling some domains as women’s and others as men’s does not help an intelligent conversation about the many forms of diversity that need to be better reflected in our politics as you say. I thought feminism moved past that decades ago.

    • karol 8.1

      Identifying the inequalities and power differences is not labeling things as if that’s the way things should be.  It’s identifying that women tend to be given certain kinds of portfolios.  The main issue I have is that such ministries and opposition roles (related to some crucial social policies) are given too little power and status.

      It’s identifying something that needs changing – especially more power and status to crucial policies. 

      • handle 8.1.1

        By all means identify and discuss the issues but getting more people involved means letting go of old assumptions. Arguing that some portfolios need more focus and power is not helped by adding gender stereotypes. It is no more inclusive than stereotyping by ethnicity or class is. Play the ball, not the woman.

        • karol 8.1.1.1

          Sorry.  I don’t understand you.  Are we not meant to note when we see gender stereotyping operating. I didn’t create it.  And it’s evident in the gender gap survey I referred to. Where am I playing the woman. I acknowledged great work being done by several women MPs, which I think has been under-acknowledged – especially by the MSM.  

          What assumptions am I not letting go of?  I don’t understand your reasoning. 

          I really do want to see more status given to social policy portfolios.  Currently there’s too much focus on economic policy driving everything else.  I would like to see social policy being more front and central, and and economic policy being developed to serve those policies.

          I didn’t create the gender differences that are attached to the above – they have been there for a long, long time.  In more recent years they have been breaking down.  But under NAct they have been re-instated.  That is what I am arguing against. 

      • Populuxe1 8.1.2

        It’s identifying that women tend to be given certain kinds of portfolios.

        Hang on, how is Minister of Police a “certain kind of portfolio”?

        Also, I would note in the spirit of fairness that National does seem to have more women on their front bench than Labour does, though I may have miscounted.

        • Populuxe1 8.1.2.1

          Wait, my mistake – Labour has one whole female frontbencher more

          • karol 8.1.2.1.1

            Pop, it wouldn’t surprise me if Labour had shifted to having fewer front benchers than National now, the way they have shifted towards male dominance.  But Labour being light on MPs generally, it needs to be done as a proportion not by total numbers.

            According to Claire Trevett, Labour has 3 women in it’s (top 10) front benchers.  I would have also included a couple on page 2 here e.g. Annette King.   

            But I’m pleased to see that the Labour Conference had  a speaker on gender and Political Representation last night.  I would love to get access to a transcript or video of that speech, and this.

            @suemoroney: we’re building on what generations of Labour women have done.@Megan_Woods speaking about changing the culture of Parliament @ #Labour2012

             

  9. just saying 9

    I’m glad you’ve reraised the issue of pseudononymity Carol.

    With the state holding (like a loaded gun) voluminous, often sensitive and extremely personal information on its citizens, a disproprtionate amount about dispossessed, marginalised, and politically active persons, and with large numbers of people substantially or entirely dependant on that same state, and with the state and its agents given virtual carte blanche to surveil citizens in the privacy of their own homes, and with the with the progressive stripping bare of many other democratic freedoms, and with the increasing impunity accorded to big business in their actions protecting their bottom lines……

    A lot of people are vulnerable. At risk. Some considerably more than others. If not right now, potentially in the future.

    The last time I participated in a public meeting attended by representatives of the political parties, I was not required to give any personal details in order to contribute to the discussion, and neither was anyone else other than the MC and those standing for political office. I was there as a citizen. I’m here as a citizen. I’m consistently “just saying’ and I answer for my actions online as this entity.

  10. Uturn 10

    My interpretation of what you’re saying, in rebuilding links between groups without the motivation of resistance is that you’ll need some sort of common ground, for no reason.

    Long time ago village markets and fairs were free. People brought their food and products to spend time with each other and generally touch base, since they spent all their time growing food and herding animals.

    If people these days spend all their time isolated by work and electronic media, separated by suburbs and soci-economic status, maybe we just need a get together for no particular reason. People can supply free food if they choose (to include those with no disposable income), or sell it at cost if that is prohibitive. Others can provide entertainment, music, activities or whatever and generally people can mix with people they don’t ever see, other than through negetive representations in the media. You’ll need people to bring in those who can’t geet there under their own steam. Trim out political messages (other than, say, a banner that identifies the group) and exchange for introductions to the language and style of the subculture. Let people know what it’s like to be someone else, without over emphasising a poor me attitude or a you’re to blame stance and present what people are doing that’s important to us all – despite the labels. Do whatever has to be done to make things the least scary for everyone, without blanding everyone down to a formless blob.

    Quite a logistical undertaking for some group and I’m not sure where you will find these purely public minded people, but at least driven by something common to us all. This sort of thing happend during OWS, but there was an us and them element, divisions based around who was worthy and who was not. It also sounds a bit “summer of love”, but maybe just try a “day of introduction”, instead. From there, people may be more inclined to communicate between groups on a political level once the fear of attack and suspicion has been lessened by the familiarity of real-life experience.

    • Draco T Bastard 10.1

      Glimpse of the future

      Preparations had been going on for months.

      Early signs to uninvolved visitors were donated clothes, toys, tools, cds, kitchen implements, books, dubious junk and all the other stuff of modern living piled in foyers in plastic bags.

      As the mounds of offerings grew, bright hand drawn posters heralded their coming across town:

      MIRAMAR NORTH SCHOOL FAIR , SUNDAY 11 NOVEMBER.

      The administration that is described is why I tend to be enthusiastic about digital networks.

    • karol 10.2

      Some very good ideas, UTurn.

      In London in the early 80s, there were such festivals.   Thatcher did her best to demolish them because she saw the power they had for the  left,

      There were the Rock Against Racism gigs with high profile bands and other entertainers. And there were “People’s Festivals” on the South Bank organised by the Greater London Council (under Red Ken Livingston). Thatcher dismantled the GLC to put an end to its progressive initiatives.

      I recall a young Morissey standing on a ledge quite high up on the outside of the ILEA/GLC building, singing with flowers hanging out his back pocket.  Such a great spirit among the crowd.

      Yes, social gatherings have an important role.  Of course, today, people expect a lot of expensive slick and flashing lights. How do we get back to people enjoying more inexpensive social gatherings?

      “Drinking Liberally” is one such initiative. 
       

      • Uturn 10.2.1

        “How do we get back to people enjoying more inexpensive social gatherings?”

        I’m pretty sure they never stopped enjoying them, or maybe enjoy isn’t an accurate enough description of what I mean. When people laugh, when they eat together, when they dance (as puddlegum says below), when they share ideas, participate in group activities, there’s always the chance of the group becoming more than the sum of its parts. It seems to me that humans are prone to searching exclusive pursuits for the kind of magic that has the potential to exist anywhere. For some reason, the more exclusivity we experience, our ideas on where to look for “it” narrow and we get to thinking it’s running out or scarce. But expose people to the “it” in any source and they’ll respond in their own way.

        Coke was once called “it” – but it was just a sugar rush giving a fragmented, lifeless, imitation.
        Free Love was once “it”, but it was just sensation offering half the experience.
        Then there was E as “it”, but as Jarvis said, in the morning no one wants to know you.
        Money, aquisition, control – all tried, some come close, but all fail.

        Push the imitations aside, start smallish, know why we’re bothering but not too ernest about it and let it run.

    • Puddleglum 10.3

      Good point about collective festivity.

      The clamping down on ‘Dancing in the Streets’ has been going on for centuries and seems correlated with an increase in public discussion of ‘melancholia’, and the rise of the concepts of the ‘self’ and ‘society’ (as in, the public/private split).

      Here’s Barbara Ehrenreich’s interesting take on those linkages. 

  11. Rogue Trooper 11

    what a wonderful word glimpse is; hence the interest in “utopian” thought.
    we had a fair recently; community
    school galas, punnets of fudge, rolls of comics, shiney stones, White Elephant, but there goes nostalgia again; abandon romanticism

    • Rhinocrates 11.1

      I’m thinking of Don McGlashan’s “Marvellous Year”

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VeqUf82TgJ4

      “We did a lot of things, and some of them were good. We did a lot of things; we did the best that we could. We had democracy, dentistry Waistband elastic, rhythmic gymnastics The rule of law, the rule of thumb Fire, the wheel, Rugby Union The petrol engine, the old-age pension The fires of Hades, the Briscoes Lady Dental floss, Motorcross the Koran, the Torah, Interflora”

  12. geoff 12

    You won’t get any change from the current political system.

  13. Reagan Cline 13

    What can we do to move in a new direction ? Slow down, perhaps stop for a while, find the new direction and press “GO”.

  14. RedBaron 14

    Yes I’ve noticed those who have been working hard on social policy. However, I still think there has to be greater interlinking between the economic portfolios and social portfolios and for this be made much more explict. i.e noting the effects of any economic policy on the various social groups.

    Looked around work, and at educated guess, around 60% of the males are living in a household with another potential income earner (children all at school say) while the reverse was true for the women. Some 60% of the women lived in a “single adult” household. This can’t be true over the whole economy but economic policy needs to be far more aware of winners and losers.

    I believe female headed households make up a large portion of low income households. A whole range of factors must be operating for this outcome not just social policy ones. Obviously these people are “losing” over a whole range of policy initiatives.

  15. QoT 15

    Kickass post, karol! (I should stop complimenting you though, eventually someone’s going to accuse us of being each other’s sockpuppets.)

    • karol 15.1

      Thanks QOT.  But of course felix, you and I  (and maybe more) are all probably the same person…. what with us all being “anonymous”!

      Even though I couldn’t write in your very witty style if I tried. 

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    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
  • I quite like beer, the rugby no so much
    Phil Quin put a post up yesterday chiding Grant Robertson for what he sees as an overly cautious approach to political messaging and urging him to be more warlike in his phraseology because New Zealanders clearly have a deep, deep...
    Pundit | 20-10
  • Speech from the Throne: State Opening of Parliament, 21 Oct
    Speech – Governor General Following the General Election, a National-led Government has been formed with a majority in the House on confidence and supply. Confidence and supply agreements have been signed between the National Party and, respectively, the ACT Party...
    Its our future | 20-10
  • Gordon Campbell on the latest TPP leaks
    Column – Gordon Campbell 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 whats still on the table.Gordon Campbell on the latest...
    Its our future | 20-10
  • United Nations: friend or foe?
    Many well-intentioned people still see the United Nations as some kind of alternative to imperialism. Below we’re reprinting an article that first appeared in issue #2 of MidEast Solidarity (Autumn 2002), the Middle East bulletin of revolution magazine. The anti-imperialist...
    Redline | 20-10
  • United Nations: friend or foe?
    Many well-intentioned people still see the United Nations as some kind of alternative to imperialism. Below we’re reprinting an article that first appeared in issue #2 of MidEast Solidarity (Autumn 2002), the Middle East bulletin of revolution magazine. The anti-imperialist...
    Redline | 20-10
  • Every day’s a rainy day
    Sarah’s cat, Carina *nb* This is a repost from Sarah’s site writehanded.org. This week, my best friend – otherwise known as a slightly rotund adopted moggy called Carina – decided that she would enjoy no less than three visits to...
    On the Left | 20-10
  • 10 Key Facts about Labour’s Leadership Election
    Plans are proceeding for the Leadership Election, and at this stage I thought it might be useful to have a heads-up on some of the key aspects from the perspective of members:...
    Labour campaign | 20-10
  • SellShed shedding money?
    This is not how you are meant to do it: Online seller SellShed starts up The seven-person firm has invested hundreds of thousands of dollars building a website and free iPhone app and was now on the hunt for “smart...
    Lance Wiggs | 20-10
  • John Key on Iraq: A timeline
    No New Zealand forces to Iraq, says Key. Stuff, 18 June 2014: Prime Minister John Key has ruled out sending special forces soldiers to Iraq as the United States mulls options in response to the unfolding crisis there. Speaking in...
    No Right Turn | 20-10
  • New Fisk
    With US-led strikes on Isis intensifying, it’s a good time to be a shareholder in the merchants of death...
    No Right Turn | 20-10
  • Carbon News 20/10/14: Chile’s carbon tax, soil SOS and more pressure on d...
    Chile’s new tax could open carbon doors for NZ Chile’s new carbon tax potentially offers New Zealand an opportunity to offset some of its own agricultural greenhouse gas emissions, says economist Dr Suzi Kerr. The $US5-a-tonne carbon tax slipped into...
    Hot Topic | 20-10
  • National doesn’t care about crime by the rich
    National likes to make a lot of noise about benefit fraud. Meanwhile, they've buried a report into the social costs of economic crime:At the beginning of last year the then Minister for the SFO, Anne Tolley, was reported as saying...
    No Right Turn | 20-10
  • New kiwi blog
    On The Left - a collective of lefties....
    No Right Turn | 20-10
  • Habemus Parliament
    So, a month after the election, we finally have a Parliament. Good. meanwhile, people seem to be noticing that the associated ceremony - white wigs, fancy dress, oaths of allegiance to a foreign monarch - isn't very kiwi (and tomorrow,...
    No Right Turn | 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...
    frogblog | 20-10
  • NZ elite win seat at UN Security Council – don’t celebrate, organise!
    Among its past services at the top table of the UN, New Zealand chaired the sanctions committee on Iraq; their sanctions killed at least a million Iraqis, half of them children by Philip Ferguson The New Zealand elite is slapping...
    Redline | 20-10
  • NZ elite win seat at UN Security Council – don’t celebrate, organise!
    Among its past services at the top table of the UN, New Zealand chaired the sanctions committee on Iraq; their sanctions killed at least a million Iraqis, half of them children by Philip Ferguson The New Zealand elite is slapping...
    Redline | 20-10
  • The case for free-market urbanism
    In the National Review, a conservative American magazine, Reihan Salam takes a look at the confused state of the American debate over intensification. His article, entitled “The Great Suburbia Debate” criticises the position taken by Joel Kotkin, a long-time campaigner...
    Transport Blog | 19-10
  • Why the SPCA’s position on 1080 threatens thousands of native animals
    By Gareth Morgan and Geoff Simmons Once again the SPCA has shown it has no empathy with conservation in NZ – they just don’t get it. We already know about the environmental vandalism caused by their trap neuter return policy....
    Gareth’s World | 19-10
  • The challenge for NZ’s political youth
    (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.) In my experience as a politically engaged young...
    On the Left | 19-10
  • The Privatisation of Solid Energy
    by Jeanette Fitzsimons When Solid Energy went belly up with huge debts and failed businesses like its briquetting plant in Southland, the Government was forced to drop it off the list for privatisation because it was no longer fit for...
    Coal Action | 19-10
  • 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
  • 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
  • Fran O’Sullivan’s extraordinary column
    Note how the carefully constructed flow chart above ignores the mainstream media’s complicity with Slater and Dirty Politics    I am no fan of Fran O’Sullivan’s politics and would argue long into the day against her on many of the...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • Final salute to Cunliffe
    Final salute to Cunliffe...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • David Cunliffe’s statement
    I am today announcing that I have decided not to nominate for the 2014 Labour Party leadership contest. It has been a hard decision to make but it is one that I believe is in the best interests of the...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • Cunliffe to quit leadership race – the losers are the Labour Party member...
    That’s all folks   And so ends the first ever Labour Party member/affiliates choice for leadership. David Cunliffe is standing down at 2pm and is supporting Andrew Little instead. What a perverse turn of events. Cunliffe was punished by an angry Labour leadership forced...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • Want to see new Nu Zilind? Read the comments section of Andrea Vance’s co...
    Andrea Vance is no stooge. She is one of the few mainstream media voices who has challenged power and authority, her latest column on the outrageous attempts by Key to use fear mongering to  spook the sleepy hobbits into war...
    The Daily Blog | 12-10
  • Humanity calling Government – anyone with empathy home?
    On Friday night groups of Invercargill activists and plain ole people who care took part in the 14 Hours Homeless event – sleeping out in the balmy southern climate on cardboard and couches at our Salvation Army Citadel. It’s a...
    The Daily Blog | 12-10
  • Labour, leadership and White blokes
    David Shearer said on TV3’s The Nation this weekend that he appreciated the support Labour’s received from Maori and Pacific communities over the last few elections, but that it was important to again, secure the votes of ordinary white blokes...
    The Daily Blog | 12-10
  • Wrong priorities in media coverage of Ebola crisis
    The experts have told us that there is very little likelihood of a serious Ebola outbreak in any Western nation – unless the virus changes so that it can be spread through the air rather than just via bodily fluids....
    The Daily Blog | 12-10
  • John Key uses the same old warmongering recipe
    Less than three weeks after the election Prime Minister John Key wants New Zealand to join a war in the Middle East and extend the powers of our US-focused spy agencies the SIS (Security Intelligence Service) and the GCSB (Government...
    The Daily Blog | 12-10
  • 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
  • National Slips, Labour Hits Lows
    National fail to get post-election bounce but leaderless Labour Party crash to lowest ever support...
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • NZ parents hope for more than just happy and healthy babies
    Auckland, 16 October 2014 – What do expectant mums and dads hope for their children? According to new research from Growing Up in New Zealand , a baby’s health and happiness may be high up on the list, but today’s...
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • NZPI backs Minister’s affordable housing stance
    NZPI backs Minister’s affordable housing stance NZPI is supportive of Hon. Dr Nick Smith’s, efforts to use the RMA as a mechanism for taking the heat out of the housing affordability challenge in New Zealand. “As Minister for Environment...
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • Prime Minister’s OIA Admision Disturbing
    The Taxpayers’ Union is calling for answers after it was revealed on Radio New Zealand’s Morning Report that the Prime Minister’s office routinely flouts its obligations under the Official Information Act. Taxpayers’ Union spokesman, Ben...
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • NZDIA forum press release
    NZDIA forum press release Wellington - The New Zealand Defence Industry Association, with the support of the NZ Defence Force and the Ministry of Defence, will be holding a two-day international forum on October 21-22 at the Michael Fowler Centre...
    Scoop politics | 15-10
  • BPW NZ calls fashion industry to account
    The New Zealand Federation of Business and Professional Women (BPW NZ) joins the call for action on the use of skinny models and mannequins as it is directly affecting the self-esteem and health of many of our young people....
    Scoop politics | 15-10
  • Electoral Commission introduces Extra Touch for Blind NZers
    The Electoral Commission was presented with the Extra Touch Award by the Association of Blind Citizens of New Zealand (Blind Citizens NZ), in recognition of its successful implementation of Telephone Dictation Voting ahead of its commitment to do so by...
    Scoop politics | 15-10
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