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Who benefits?

Written By: - Date published: 9:19 am, June 21st, 2013 - 41 comments
Categories: activism, capitalism, democratic participation, Economy, education, Gerry Brownlee, health, housing, john key, local government, peak oil, poverty, privatisation, same old national, slippery, spin, sustainability - Tags:

Over the last week, Brazil and Turkey have seen the spontaneous uprisings of masses of people against their governments’ divisive and destabilising economic policies.  At the forefront of the protests in Brazil is the complaint that too much has been spent on expensive stadiums for international sports events, while not enough has been spent of public services such as those of education and health.

As we embark on The Long Descent of the post-peak-oil world, it was only a matter of time until the tide began to turn against the increasingly extravagant pissing-contests that international sports and other events have become.  Many on the left in NZ and other countries are watching Brazil’s current protests in order to see if it is part of an emerging international rebellion against the lords of the “neoliberal” age.

The reports indicate that the middle-classes are at the centre of the Brazil uprising, motivated by rising inflation with costs outstripping, what had seemed like, rising middle-class salaries.  An Associated Press report in yesterday’s  NZ Herald says:

A poll of protesters attending this week’s rallies in Sao Paulo shows they are solidly middle class. Three-quarters have a university degree, half are younger than 25 and more than 80 per cent say they don’t belong to any political party, according to the survey by the respected Datafolha group.

This article claims that there is a disconnect between the protests and reality with the current Workers Party government working more for the poorest sections of Brazil society, and having raised their incomes.  The article paints a picture of middle-classes that just make new demands as their insatiable desires are never satisfied by on-going improvements.

An article in France2 4 paints a different picture; one of a dysfunctional economy:

The absence of a quick fix can partly be explained by the nature of the protesters’ demands. The anger over the rise in the cost of bus tickets and the spending on preparations before the 2014 World Cup, which Brazil is set to host, has indeed shed light on the dysfunction of the country’s current economic model.

Underlying the apparent improvements in incomes for the poor and middle-classes, lies a high level of inequality and a dysfunctional economic model aiming to achieve growth in a post-growth world:

The rise in public transportation costs is part of a larger increase in the cost of living in Brazil. Prices of basic goods like tomatoes rose by as much as 90% in a year, for example. Rent has also been on the rise over the past several years, increasing by an average of 120% since 2008. “This inflation is essentially due to the increase in salaries,” Rifflart pointed out.

Consequently, the poorest Brazilians – those whose salaries have not risen – are getting poorer.

“Brazil remains one of the countries with the highest level of inequality when it comes to salary and access to social services,” noted Jérémie Gignoux, an economist at the Paris School of Economics.

If the Brazilian government succeeded in significantly lowering the poverty rate in the country, which went from 34% of the population in 2004 to 22% in 2009, authorities today are having a difficult time stopping the spiralling inflation.

The government is indeed stuck between two, somewhat conflicting priorities: the need to fight inflation and the need to stimulate the economy so that it is healthy again. Brazil’s economy, the seventh largest, grew “by only 0.9% in 2012, essentially because of low export levels,” Rifflart said – compared to an average annual growth rate of 3.6% over the past decade.

The focus on extravagant international sports events, highlights this dysfunctional economic model.  Simon Jenkins in Thursday’s Guardian provides the background to the over-expensive staging of many international events, and the growing discontent among people in the UK and elsewhere.

The World Cup is an ongoing scandal run by Fifa’s unsackable boss, Sepp Blatter, on the back of ticket and television sales and soccer hysteria. [...]

The Olympics are likewise sold by the IOC to star-struck national leaders as offering glory for political gain. Their purpose-built stadiums, luxurious facilities, lunatic security and lavish hospitality are senseless, yet are backed by construction and security lobbies and a chorus of chauvinist public relations. If the cost is bankruptcy, as in Montreal and Athens, too bad. The golden caravan can move on to trap some new victim.

The World Cup and the Olympics are television events that could be held at much less expense and ballyhoo in one place. As it is, host nations are deluged with promises of “legacy return” that everyone knows are rubbish. Costs escalate to an extent that would see most managers in handcuffs, but gain bonuses and knighthoods for Olympic organisers.

Sport is not alone in this addiction to the jamboree. The London Olympics last year morphed into politics, as diplomacy, culture and trade were conflated in an outpouring of nonsensical rhetoric about £13bn in contracts. A summit used to be a meeting ad hoc to resolve a crisis in world affairs. It is now a Field of Cloth of Gold, a continuous round of hospitality, rest and recuperation, flattering the vanity of world leaders.

This week’s G8 shindig in Northern Ireland was pointless – a night and two days on a bleak Irish lough at a cost to taxpayer of £60m and a deployment of 1,000 policemen per delegate.

In New Zealand, we have seen Gerry Brownlee and John Key foregrounding the building of a new sports stadium, resulting in conflict between them and the city council over funding.  Key and Brownlee favour selling public assets to pay for it. Meanwhile, the urgent need to deal with inadequate housing, and the much needed rebuilding of homes, gets lower priority.

John Key’s government is one of weetbix and circuses: a way of diverting from inequalities an poverty, and a dysfunctional economic model.  And many in the MSM play along with inhumane circuses and distractions, as Queen of Thorns shows in her review of the Vote‘s poverty & parenting debate.

41 comments on “Who benefits?”

  1. Rich the other 1

    Aren’t the Nat’s just wanting to swap one lot of assets for another, that’s effectively what’s being proposed.

    Perhaps a better approach would be to sell assets to pay for housing repairs.
    Do you really think the locals would go for that, I doubt it.

    • AmaKiwi 1.1

      To paraphrase, “not all assets are created equal.”

      Most assets depreciate. A few appreciate.

      Assuming they are managed properly, manufacturing industries, farms, forests, and power stations steadily increase in value. They produce profits. Profits can be paid as dividends and/or used to increase efficiency and improve the asset’s value.

      Sports stadiums, roads, homes, public buildings, and your car steadily decrease in value. They are worth more on the day they are new than they will ever be worth again.

      Selling appreciating assets to buy depreciating assets is Nact economics. It’s logic: “f*ck the future.”

    • vto 1.2

      Rich, stadiums and convention centres are not assets they are liabilities.

      user-pays
      – its what they say

      so where is the user-pays? Now they want elderly ratepayer pays. Funny that. No cred.

    • millsy 1.3

      Power networks, airports, seaports, works and services companies, fibre networks and bus operators seem to me to be core council assets/functions as they relate to transport and infrastructure.

      Convention centres and stadia are not in the same category as the below and private investors should have no trouble in building them.

      • Colonial Viper 1.3.1

        Exactly. A sports stadium falls over, who gives a shit. Huntly goes down, the entire nation is going to know about it.

  2. Mr Interest 2

    Is it not interesting that in Brazil they will protest against fare increases and overpriced stadiums yet in NZ the kiwi is incrementally boiled into submission (assets sales to pay for stadiums/traders, accountants, fund manager’s free lunch).

    Here maybe is why?

    The Scarcity principle

    http://www.louischauvel.org/DAVIES2089714.pdf

    Toward a theory of Revolution by James C Davies
    Revolutions are most likely to occur when a prolonged period of objective economic and social development is followed by a short period of sharp reversal. People then subjectively fear that ground gained with great effort will be quite lost; their mood becomes revolutionary. The evidence from Dorr’s Rebellion, the Russian Revolution, and the Egyptian Revolution supports this notion; tentatively, so do data on other civil disturbances.

    Here is also an interesting study on the Pedagogy of the Oppressed (by a Brazilian Paulo Freire Published: 1968

    http://www.users.humboldt.edu/jwpowell/edreformFriere_pedagogy.pdf

    In this landmark account, first published over twenty years ago, Paulo Freire argues that the ignorance and lethargy of the poor are the direct result of the whole situation of economic, social and political domination. By being kept in a situation in which critical awareness and response are practically impossible the disadvantaged are kept ‘submerged’. In some countries the oppressors use the system of education to maintain this ‘culture of silence’ while in others the advance of technology has condemned many people, particularly the less well off, to a rigid conformity. Through the right kind of education, avoiding authoritarian teacher-pupil models and based on the actual experiences of students and on continual shared investigation, every human being, no matter how impoverished or illiterate, can develop a new awareness of self which will free them to be more than passive objects responding to uncontrollable change. As Freire presents it, each individual wins back the right to say his or her own word, to name the world.

    The question to ask then is what has caused this uprising, is it a combination of the scarcity principle and improved awareness/education? Note that a high number of the protestors were students.

    How patronising was Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff ‘proud’ of protests speech.
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-latin-america-22961874

    Sounds like another mum and dad investors quote to me……. a John (or more aptly put… let them eat cake). Its all about hearts and minds ehhhh.

    • Draco T Bastard 2.1

      Through the right kind of education, avoiding authoritarian teacher-pupil models…

      And this government is putting in place authoritarian schooling. There is no doubt really, this government is out to increase the oppression of the poor.

  3. What has caused this uprising is capitalism in crisis trying to solve its falling profits by making the working class pay for the crisis.

    It is a mistake to call those who are standing up from Tahrir to Taksim to Rio and Sao Paulo, “middle class”. They are part of the precariat, the mainly youthful, relatively educated working class.

    These mobilisations are kicked off by the relatively young, workers or self-employed workers (like Mohamed Boussaid) trapped in poverty and/or the authoritarian institutions of capitalism which includes parliament and social democratic parties like the PT. When capitalism no longer delivers what it promises they rise up.

    There is nothing strange about this. Capitalism has created a massive rise in living standards over a couple of centuries. Increasing labour productivity has raised education levels in each generation.

    But not only the youthful precariate is on the move. Highly productive and organised workers are also rising up against increased exploitation. Where the impoverished masses are left behind this is only because capitalists actively deny them the wealth they produce by expropriating it as their private wealth. Witness Marikana.

    Capitalism in its terminal decline, destroying the huge wealth fund and democratic culture it has created. It is also destroying the ecological basis of human existence.

    We should be debating how these uprisings can be united globally and turned into a revolutionary force that does away with the capitalist ruling classes and puts in its place the democratic rule of the working people on every continent.

    • AmaKiwi 3.1

      Starting an uprising is the easy bit. Replacing it with something significantly better is extremely difficult, particularly when everyone is furious.

      That’s why I keep harping on the need for democratic reforms now. Democracy requires trust, a commodity in short supply after a popular uprising.

      • Colonial Viper 3.1.1

        Yep. To paraphrase Eliot Spitzer: expressing popular anger feels good, but is not a form of governance.

  4. Nicolas 4

    Karol,

    The key source of discontent in Brazil, as indicated by the majority of people protesting, is not simply how much the World Cup is costing, or the fact that Brazil is guided by a flawed “economic system”. The real issue the protesters highlight is corruption, which lies at the root of all others.

    The reason why the World Cup has cost so much is because these official “costs” are fake. Much of the public money that should have gone towards building these new stadiums (which would have been outrageous even if no corruption existed, considering the living conditions of so many people in the country) has gone directly to individual pockets. The reason why things are not working in Brazil is not related to any one party’s “misguided economic policy”; it’s almost solely a result of the corruption that is widespread across ALL main political parties in the country.

    The NZ notion of “Right and Left” does not really exist in Brazil. Politicians wear their ideological masks to get into power, and be granted access to the money that belongs to the people of Brazil. Red Rattler’s idea that this is a result of “capitalism” is way too simplistic.

    That could be said to be the ultimate reason why these protests are happening. One thing that should be noticed is that the majority of protesters are not taking party flags out into the streets. They’re sick of them and I really hope radical change occurs. This isn’t simply a matter of getting rid of the corrupt “Worker’s” Party, and the protesters know that.

    • emergency mike 4.1

      I agree Nicolas, until we stop giving power to charismatic psychopaths, narcissists, career con-men and gravy train riders no protest, revolution, nor alternative system of government is going to fix our societal failings.

      Until the voting population understands and accepts that, as John Lennon said, “our society is run by insane people for insane objectives,” it will be meet the new boss, same as the old boss.

      “Our society is run by insane people for insane objectives. I think we’re being run by maniacs for maniacal ends and I think I’m liable to be put away as insane for expressing that. That’s what’s insane about it.” – John Lennon

    • Draco T Bastard 4.2

      The reason why things are not working in Brazil is not related to any one party’s “misguided economic policy”; it’s almost solely a result of the corruption that is widespread across ALL main political parties in the country.

      The corruption is part of the misguided economic policy. The people putting in place the policies and the participating in the corruption are the same people and so they must think that corruption is fine. Hell, they probably don’t even see it as that but just how business is done and I’ve seen (yes, anecdote) a lot of that in NZ.

    • Murray Olsen 4.3

      Ba, tchê. Militants of left parties and organisations such as PSTU, PCO, PSOL, and even MPL (the original organisers) have been bashed and expelled from marches, by people who have never been seen in any actions previously, under the reasoning that it’s a movement of the people, not parties. Buildings have been vandalised by people who are not known to the other protestors, giving the Police an excuse to attack. A city building in São Paulo was vandalised by a guy whose father owns one of the bus companies. Morons in designer jeans and R$300 haircuts are proudly burning PT flags in the street. They don’t even catch the bus. Pffft.
      Red Rattler’s analysis is spot on, and I’ll add to it. There is a semi-organised movement in Brazil that longs for the days of the military government. These are the ones trying to take over the marches, and they remind me of the far right militants of Tradição, Família e Propriedade who marched against Jango Goulart just before the military coup, although I suspect you might prefer to call that a revolution. That you agree with these neofascists is hardly a surprise after seeing your views on Chavez.

      • Nicolas 4.3.1

        When did I say I agree with neofascists? Of course I don’t agree with the extreme “Right” (or “Left”, for that matter) who have used these protests as an excuse to promote violence. You, yet again, show you know nothing of Brazil’s history or what the country’s situation is today…

        You fail to mention these assholes are a fucking MINORITY amongst the protesters.

        You, Murray, are such an idiot… I do consider myself part of the “Left” (I’m a Green Party member, hardly what a neofascist would be, huh?) but you still don’t get that PT is NOT part of the Left. Brazil’s problems are not down to “capitalism” or “socialism”. When corruption takes over, it almost becomes an economic system itself.

        Only idiots like you continue to advocate for “defenders of the poor” like Lula, who is a FUCKING MILLIONAIRE thanks to the money he stole from the people of Brazil.

        Not only that but I’ve spoken to many, who are taking part in these protests, who are starting to suspect the assholes destroying public property were put in place by the GOVERNMENT to discredit the movement.

        I’ll really emphasize this: these kids are a minority.
        It’s great that assholes like you are also a minority, Murray…

        • Murray Olsen 4.3.1.1

          I know you read Veja and think it gives a worthwhile view of Brazil. That’s enough for me.
          It’s easy for you to say Lula stole from the people of Brazil. Have you got any evidence, apart from Editora Abril or Rede Globo? You’re sounding a lot like Collor, pointing at Lula’s portable stereo and calling him bourgeois.

          Here’s one of my sources that you may or may not like to look at:

          http://racismoambiental.net.br/2013/06/grupos-de-periferia-se-articulam-em-sao-paulo-para-defender-democracia-e-dilma/

          For those of you who can’t read Portuguese, the article linked to is about community groups on the outskirts of São Paulo who are organising to make sure the neofascists don’t manage to derail the movement. These are the real poor, and they don’t expect to be met by rubber bullets.

          It’s easy for you to call me an idiot and an asshole. Have I hit a nerve, bonitão?

    • karol 4.4

      How to make sense of the eruption of discontent on the streets of Brazil?

      Is the ruling Worker’s Party a friend to the low paid, the exploited and the workers, or a corrupt or Stalinist regime?

      Is it a middle-class revolution against a truly socialist government, as Christ Trotter seems to be arguing?

      An article on the World Socialist website explains it as a complex mix of all of the above. It refers to the ruling Workers Party as Stalinist:

      The Partido dos Trabalhadores (PT) government which has run the country for the past ten years, first under Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva and now with Dilma Rousseff, who took office as president in January 2011, has sought to cover over Brazil’s sharp social tensions with minimal social assistance for the country’s poorest and the promise that the rise of Brazilian capitalism on the world stage would bring general prosperity to the population.
      [...]

      Initially the protests were called by the Movement for Free Fares, which advocates providing public transportation as a free public service and had organized demonstrations over the past several years with little public turnout. This year, however, intersecting with fare hikes and mounting discontent, it erupted into a massive spontaneous movement.

      It is noteworthy that Brazil’s unions, which work to subordinate the working class to the PT government, have played no significant role in the mass protests.

      There are already those who are seeking to make a virtue of the initial political confusion, calling for a movement “without a party.”

      As Brazilian workers and youth come increasingly into struggle, it is inevitable that they turn with hostility against the corrupt ruling PT, which has falsely claimed to represent the working class, as well as the other right-wing parties in state and local governments, such as the Brazilian Social Democracy Party (Partido da Social Democracia Brasileira) and Brazilian Democratic Movement Party (Partido do Movimento Democrático Brasileiro), and the various pseudo-left forces that orbit around the PT.

      However, a mass movement with no revolutionary political perspective and program will ultimately face only dispersion, co-option and defeat.

      Another WSWS article reports that right wing opportunist groups are now getting in on the action, attacking any left wing groups involved in the protests. Violent military police have been reported to have attacked protesters and journalists.

      The lack of any worked-out program or revolutionary leadership and the predominance of middle class layers has left this movement open to various influences, including those of the political right. Slogans opposing all political parties and denouncing corruption and high taxes have become increasingly common, and organized groups of thugs have attacked those carrying signs and banners of left-wing parties.
      [...]
      In Sao Paulo, elements referred to by the media as “nationalists” attacked members of left-wing parties, seizing their flags and banners and burning them in the streets.
      The political confusion and the ability of right-wing elements to exploit it is the byproduct of a decade of rule by the Workers Party, a corrupt political machine that falsely claimed to represent the working class, and of the unions’ integration into the state apparatus and betrayal of the struggles of the working class. The unions have played no significant role in the mass protests.

      • Rogue Trooper 4.4.1

        thanx for the reportage karol; the chattering classes of the BRIICS.

      • Jenny 4.4.2

        Yes, thanks for this mention karol. Could you see to it, if the Fare Free New Zealand website could be included on The Standard blogroll?

  5. Wayne 5

    I know some here would like to see protests against the Key Govt on the scale of those occurring in Brazil. But the situation is vastly different, which is why (in my view) you wont see such protests here.

    Brazil used to be a military dictatorship, with levels of inequality that were simply breathtaking. And they still are. Basic services in Brazil in education and health are woefully inadequate, which means some people simply cannot go to school. The major cities have flavellas where people have virtually no property rights.

    So a World Cup and the Olympics (especially both together) might seem to many people to be a fundamentally wrong allocation of priorities, especially given the scale of the other problems that Brazil faces.

    In contrast people loved having the Rugby World Cup here.

    So I guess it is a question of balance and proportion. Obviously for many of the people in Brazil the balance is wrong to the point that these protests are taking place. But in New Zealand, I guess the balance is not seen as too bad, certainly not enough to generate days and days of general protest.

    • AmaKiwi 5.1

      I have a very different view of social history. I believe the social mood changes and AFTERWARDS people come up with explanations.

      During the first week of Brazilian rioting the public officials were baffled. The rioters did NOT have a set of demands nor any organizational structure or leadership. It was spontaneous.

      My explanation: the mood of society has been shifting from trust and happiness to distrust and anger. We have seen it in the Arab Spring and now demonstrations in virtually every developed country.

      The Springboks tour was before my time. I have always wondered if all those anti-tour demonstrators were genuinely infuriated about racism halfway around the world or angry in general and the tour gave them a focus for their anger. I will never know. But if my view is correct, don’t be surprised if we have a spontaneous outburst of anger without any single obvious igniting event to precipitate it.

      • karol 5.1.1

        I was in England during the Springbok protests. I did think that the diverse range of groups that protested was an indication of underlying dissatisfactions that had been around for a long time – probably decades. As much as anything, it looked to me as if it was a protest against the dominant rugby culture, which also was aligned to the dominant culture in NZ society at that time: white, heterosexual male and generally socially conservative.

        That’s also what Rob Muldoon meant to me. I recall walking past the Mt Eden War Memorial Hall in Dominion Road when Muldoon was speaking, not long before I fled the country in anger & despair. I could hear what Muldoon was saying from outside the hall. He started his speech talking about the hall being close to Eden Park, and aligned everything (he claimed was) good in society with rugby. This was how he framed his politics.

        As I recall, then, and on other occasions he said something like, “The average New Zealander is a decent bloke/person, who knows what’s right etc, like on the rugby field. That did a lot to nudge me towards the feminist movement, and towards supporting working class and anti-racist politics. To me Muldoon was totally aligning “decent” average Kiwis with the white male, heterosexual middle-classes, while I could see, everyone else was suffering in one way or another.

        Yep, I agree. Significant and spontaneously erupting protests aren’t just the result of one trigger, but a long term build up of resentments.

        I do still quite like watching rugby. But he NZ RWC, did a lot to lessen my enthusiasm for the game – t’was all the extravagance and diversions, and associations with a very public kind of booze culture. i recall the emergency services were over-loaded with accidents as a result.

      • Martin 5.1.2

        “I have always wondered if all those anti-tour demonstrators were genuinely infuriated about racism halfway around the world”

        I was.

    • Draco T Bastard 5.2

      Brazil used to be a military dictatorship, with levels of inequality that were simply breathtaking.

      The levels of inequality in NZ are probably about the same then.

      In contrast people loved having the Rugby World Cup here.

      Well, some people did.

      But in New Zealand, I guess the balance is not seen as too bad, certainly not enough to generate days and days of general protest.

      Either that or the people who should be protesting are so wound down by poverty that they just don’t have the energy to do so. I’m picking it’s the latter combined with the broken society that neo-liberalism has bequeathed us.

      • Gosman 5.2.1

        “The levels of inequality in NZ are probably about the same then.”

        If by same you mean not the same at all you would be right.

        Gini comparison

        Brazil – 54.7
        N.Z. – 36.2

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

        • Draco T Bastard 5.2.1.1

          NZ happens to be in the 10 Worst category for income inequality.

        • Wayne 5.2.1.2

          I looked at the comparison between Australia (30.5 measured in 2006) and New Zealand (36.2 measured in 1997). This is quite a difference, but is it correct. Is New Zealand actually significantly less equal than Australia?

          I tend to accept GDP measures as being reasonably correct since I know they are robustly measured and on an annual basis. But I suspect that GINI measures are much looser and taken less frequently, in the NZ case apparently 16 years ago.

          As a general proposition I note that Western Europe has the lowest disparity between rich and poor, and the less developed countries the largest, but no surprise there. NZ is at the higher end of OECD, with Singapore, Portugal, Japan and the US having a higher rating. Quite a few OECD countries clustered around 32 to 34.

    • Mike S 5.3

      “In contrast people loved having the Rugby World Cup here. ”

      Really? I don’t know anyone who loved having the rugby world cup here, especially those I know who are Auckland ratepayers.

      The reason there are no protests, etc here I think are more due to people here having been slowly pacified over the years. As a population we seem to be pretty apathetic towards what our supposed leaders are doing to us and our country. Whereas in Brazil they are far more passionate about things (other than rugby, we don’t seem to be passionate about anything on the whole anymore.)

      For a small example, the anti worker legislation just going through that took away workers rights to two short tea breaks during the day. In the past there would have been massive union action over this sort of thing and it would have been dropped. Sadly, our unions have been legislated against and lazily have allowed themselves to become weak.

      History shows us that when unions are strong and union membership high, wages and productivity are high, whilst unemployment and inequality are lower..

      • Wayne 5.3.1

        Actually Auckland (at least as far as I could see) was really enthusiastic. The crowd problems occurred precisely because people, the Council especially, underestimated the level of enthusiasm.

        • Colonial Viper 5.3.1.1

          lol

          it’s like they didn’t know in advance how many tickets they had sold to the opening ceremony?

          Or maybe it was just shoddy planning and leadership, subcontracting critical elements out to private contractors who didn’t give a damn about cutting costs and corners on staffing and logistics.

        • karol 5.3.1.2

          Yes there was enthusiasm for the RWC in Auckland. Some of my family from both in and out of Auckland were there for the celebrations. But it still was only a small proportion of Aucklanders there.

          How many of us stayed well clear of the Auckland CBD & Eden Park area during the RWC?

          • Rogue Trooper 5.3.1.2.1

            a subset of those (possibly in the majority) who stay away from the mob behaviour, on-field cheating and brawling, side-line aggression, coach and ref baiting, booze culture, over-inflated drink prices , hype etc of the stadium game in general; There was a suggestion that with the ‘televising’ of the game going from pay tv to pay online next, Clubs will make watching the game at the grounds free. :-D

    • millsy 5.4

      “In contrast people loved having the Rugby World Cup here.”

      When RWC 2011 came round, most of the grounds had already existed and were up to an acceptable standard. They were also owned and funded (historically) by the rugby fishheads (with the exception of a few council owned facilites).

      We didnt see the government bowl hundreds of state houses to build flash stadiums that will take years to pay off.

  6. xtasy 6

    Brazil set out to join the Asian Tigers, but did so without having built the industrial power base to grow manufacturing. It has expanded largely in agricultural areas, in mining and resource exploitation, also in some manufacturing, but the latter is on an international level not as competitive and productive as the Asian Tiger economies.

    So there are a lot of structural issues, besides of the still immense social divisions.

    It was sheer Brazilian over indulgence and arrogance to compete for and get the Football World Cup and only 2 years later the Olympics to stage there. Such evens require huge investments, and in almost all cases, these investments never pay off. A soccer mad nation though felt it was time to be up there, and celebrate their most favorite and passionate past time.

    With the global economic situation having weakened after the GFC, and Brazil having lost growth the last year, it is now all proving too much for the economy to handle. A grown middle class expects things to get better, but suddenly they have to pay more for goods and services and incomes and job security get weaker.

    The poor are the biggest losers, but the government put up programs to invest in housing improvements and social programs to assist here and there. That has even enraged some in the middle class, feeling the poor get “social” assistance for their paid taxes, virtually for doing nothing. Of course that is absurd, but one must be aware of status of belonging to social groups there, of entitlement thinking and so forth.

    I see major social tensions get worse there, and it pay even end in states of emergency declared here and there. It seems unlikely to end in that, but one can never rule out some strongmen cooperating with the military and police to seize controls.

    The protests seem to be organised only in part, and by various groups. Dissatisfaction is great, but there is insufficient cohesion and unity for anything substantial to come out of it, similar to the Occupy movement, which has almost vanished.

    • Murray Olsen 6.1

      Good post, xtasy. One thing important to note about Brazilian economic “success” is that it’s tended to result in increased consumption, rather than investment. Once the minerals or the buyers run out, they’re back to where they were.

      You’re spot on with what you say about the middle class (in general) becoming enraged. We’ve even seen it in this thread. In some cases this is because they have to rub shoulders with poorer people at airports, instead of just having their toilets cleaned by them. It’s easier for them to blame the PT for their problems, stirred up by the big media, than to look at anything structural. Some of the older ones long for the days of the generals, when there was seeming order and a sense of progress. Some of the younger ones have swallowed this nationalist rat under some silly idea that they are all Brazilians and shouldn’t involve political parties, despite the fact that the people pushing this line are heavily involved in various parties.

      I don’t know how this movement will end up, but I note that it’s becoming something of more than just the enraged middle class, and the workers from the periphery of São Paulo and the hills of Rio are becoming involved. They are not the ones calling for no participation from parties. They have their community organisations, some of which are linked to the PT. I’ll also note that, whatever anyone may think about the PT in government, many of the people on the ground are members of the base of that party, as well as smaller left groupings. To some extent, writing the whole PT off for not running a revolutionary socialist government (it doesn’t), would be the same as discounting all members of the Labour Party because Shearer’s an idiot.

      • xtasy 6.1.1

        I appreciate your deeper insight in affairs Brazilian and Latin American, Murray!

  7. xtasy 7

    The world is mad, economic growth is tried to be achieved by creating ever more output in whatever. Brazil produces more palm oil, beef, fruit, logs, oil, gas, iron ore and more. There is some manufacturing and other activity, naturally horticulture, fishing, services of various kinds.

    But looking at the growth of mega cities, endless favelas around the better parts of those urban jungles, the cultivation of former forests, jungles, the formerly unused plains in Mato Grosso, Parana and elsewhere, endless monoculture, all to produce more of the same, it is going to head for a disaster sooner or later.

    Asian countries do similar things, look at the smoke pollution all over Singapore, Southern Malaysia and much of Indonesia. Forest is burnt down, to make way for palmoil plantations and other use.

    The plundering goes on, as if there is an endless resource to grab.

    Cities grow into anonymous, giant concrete and tin hut jungles. Social cohesion suffers. If economic troubles hit, people cannot cope, and they either protest or go out on rampages, or simply rob and steal to survive.

    It would be smarter to develop more balanced societies and economies, without mega cities, without obsessive growth for growth’s sake.

    A functioning society with stability would have smaller cities and more towns and villages spread across areas, would have space for collective and individual garden plots, for less environmentally damaging agriculture, that is sustainable and maintains soil and water conditions.

    Also social justice must be ensured, by involving all in economic and social activities, in sharing jobs, responsibilities, in having services to cover for breakdowns and avoiding social suffering.

    Brazil has not done this, so have many other countries failed. Partly it is the corrupt elites, not bothering to plan and govern smarter, fairer and sounder, partly it is the indifference and ignorance, even sometimes complacency of people to allow things to drift and move into the wrong directions, perhaps also being seduced into short term thinking and acting.

    Perhaps what happens in Brazil at present can teach us and others something, to avoid the same mistakes.

    A mega Auckland of 2 and a half million population comes to mind, just one thing!

  8. Jenny 8

    The dying fossil fuel civilisation is getting violent with protesters who seek a better way of doing things.

    Fare Free struggle on the streets of Brazil

    SÃO PAULO was a war zone the night of June 13 as riot police viciously attacked a peaceful demonstration of the Free Fare movement, which is protesting hikes in bus and subway fares.
    Despite massive police repression and the intransigence of the city and state governments, there are have been four large demonstrations in the last two weeks by the Free Fare movement in São Paulo, South America’s largest city.

    Sean Purdy São Paulo Free Fare Movement

    It is interesting to me that these protests were organised by the movement for free public transport.

    Internationally and here popular movements for free public transport have risen up in most countries.

    Demands by such groups for a comprehensive free public transport service, has been a common sense approach to traffic congestion and pollution identified by people primarily concerned about finding practical solutions to global warming caused by fossil fuel use.

    However such movement’s for free public transport also tap into the feelings of sticker shock felt by hard hit commuters at the petrol pumps by the more expensive gasoline and diesel sourced through extreme and environmentally risky extraction methods. As well as tapping into the groundswell of frustration and anger daily felt by commuters stuck in chronic road and motorway congestion for up to two hours a day.

    The fact that the gutless main stream political parties around the world in fear of offending the powerful roading and fossil fuel lobbies, have been deaf to such common sense solutions to grid lock and pollution, even in countries more hard hit by these problems than us. Has led to a loss in legitimacy for these mainstream parties in the densely populated cities where congestion and pollution are strangling the life out of their citizens.

    Here the New Zealand Green Party in its campaign to appear more “mainstream” has also opposed free public transport as a solution to what the proponents of free public transport call carmageddon.

    Instead the Green Party along with Labour have supported narrow punitive taxes on fuel as a solution to climate change. These added costs punish commuters, who no fault of their own have no alternative to private cars. This punitive autocratic approach has engendered resentment towards those genuinely concerned about doing something positive for the environment.

    In the few examples where it has been tried in cities overseas. The overwhelming success in the free social provision of public transport in getting people out of their private cars has been a runaway success. Commuters who when offered free buses and train rides to work left the cars at home by the tens of thousands causing cities that have trialed such systems to abandon their plans for new motorways resulting in savings greater than the cost of the fareless rides.

    The cost of a completely free public transport system for Auckland for twenty years is less than the $4 billion set aside for more motorway construction for the next four years.

    The $billions already wasted on motorway construction in Auckland have only succeeded in getting us to the traffic jam sooner.
    Ask anyone who commutes on the newly opened Wiri Station Road motorway extension, estimated cost $1billion.

    The Fare Free New Zealand movement in this country was founded by Roger Fowler an ex-bus driver and Queen Service Medal winner. farefreenz@clear.net.nz

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    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
  • Ideological Blitzkrieg – Privatization of state housing, more charter sch...
    Pundits in pundit land will tell you that this Government is boring, that Key is the great pragmatist and that it is his ability to create elegant solutions that keeps him the firm favourite in many Kiwi eyes. This ability...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • Hegemony rules but resistance is fertile
    The Prime Minister is a puppet. Not just our current Prime Minister, but given the forces of multinational globalisation, the role of any head of state, is less as independent actor, and more as a puppet of international trends and...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • An open Letter to Sir Bob Jones: demanding a ‘liveable wage’ is not “...
    How out of touch with reality is Sir Bob Jones? You know, that white dude who invested in privatised SOEs after the selling off of our assets in the eighties and made a ludicrous and disgusting amount of money and is...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • My insecurity about the Security Council
    As I write this (on 24 October) it is international UN Day. Of course, you all knew that already, right? Well, the day celebrates the entry into force of the UN Charter in 1945. With the ratification of this founding...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Catherine Delahunty – Back in That House
    Parliament opened this week and I still find it a very odd place. Most of the people are reasonably courteous and friendly, but the rituals are archaic and the rules around issues like the swearing in oath are oppressive and...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Marae Investigates No More
    TVNZ yesterday announced the closure of their Māori and Pacific programmes department. That means they’ve chosen to stop making Fresh, Tagata Pasifika, Waka Huia and Marae Investigates to let independent producers get their hands on these lucrative contracts. This is...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • BLOGWATCH: An Un-Civil War in Labour, eh?
    Earlier today, my attention was directed to an entry that’s just recently appeared on the Slightly Left of Centre blog. It purports to contain the ‘inside word’ from a highly placed NZF source – which is funny, because I’m pretty sure...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Santanomics 101
    Santanomics could mean a number of things. It could be the study and practice of giving. Or it could mean the study and practice of rampant end-of-year commercialism. However, for me today it is the economics of erectingAuckland’s giant Santa...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • SkyCity boss misleads public over workers lost shifts
    SkyCity CEO Nigel Morrison has defended the employment practices at his company in an “Opinion” piece entitled “Human Capital key to corporate success” in the NZ Herald on Thursday. A number of his claims are misleading, contain only partial truths...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Review: Perfect Place
    I went to a Perfect Place on Tuesday night, and what a delight it was. The marshmallows sweetly (and forcefully) handed out pre-show, set the tone for the next hour. Walking up the stairs at The Basement was a complete...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • 5AA Australia – NZ on UN Security Council + Dirty Politics Lingers On
    5AA Australia: Selwyn Manning and Peter Godfrey deliver their weekly bulletin Across The Ditch. General round up of over night talkback issues: Thongs, Jandals and flip-flops… ISSUE 1: New Zealand has been successful in its campaign to become a non...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • When I mean me, I mean my office & when I call whaleoil I mean not as m...
    This. Is. Ludicrous. Green Party co-leader Russel Norman put the first of what are likely to be many questions about Mr Key’s relationship with Slater, asking him how many times he had phoned or texted the blogger since 2008. “None...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • A brief word on describing the Government as ‘boring and bland’
    The narrative being sown is that this Government will be a boring and bland third term. Boring and bland. Since the election, Key has announced he is privatising 30% of state houses without reinvesting any of that money back into housing society’s most...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • More Latté Than Lager: Reflections on Grant Robertson’s Campaign Launch.
    BIKERS? SERIOUSLY! Had Grant Robertson’s campaign launch been organised by Phil Goff? Was this a pitch for the votes of what few Waitakere Men remain in the Labour Party? Was I even at the right place? Well, yes, I was....
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • About Curwen Ares Rolinson
    Curwen Ares Rolinson – Curwen Ares Rolinson is a firebrand young nationalist presently engaged in acts of political resistance deep behind enemy lines amidst the leafy boughs of Epsom. He is affiliated with the New Zealand First Party; although his...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • About Kelly Ellis
    Kelly Ellis.Kelly Ellis – As a child, Kelly Ellis didn’t so much fall into the cracks, but willfully wriggled her way into them. Ejected from Onslow College – a big job in the 70s – Kelly worked in car factories,...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • About Kate Davis
    Kate Davis.Kate Davis – Having completed her BA in English and Politics, Kate is now starting her MA. Kate works as a volunteer advocate at Auckland Action Against Poverty and previously worked for the New Zealand Prostitutes Collective. Kate writes...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • Parker does a Shearer – oh for a Labour Leader who can challenge msm fals...
    Sigh. It seems David Parker has done a Shearer… Like a cult and too red – Parker on LabourLabour leadership contender David Parker says Labour borders on feeling like “a cult” and must look at its branding – including its...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • A brief word on the hundreds of millions NZ is spending on the secret intel...
    The enormity of the mass surveillance state NZ Government’s have built carries a huge price tag… Kiwis pay $103m ‘membership fee’ for spyingThe $103 million taxpayer funding of New Zealand’s intelligence agencies is effectively a membership fee for joining the...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • Where. Is. Jason. Ede?
    Where. Is. Jason. Ede?...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • Labour’s Din of Inequity
    Watching Labour’s leadership candidates on Q+A on Sunday, I noticed the ongoing use of terms like “opportunity” and “aspiration”, and “party of the workers”. What do these mean? We glean much from Labour, and from the media about Labour, but not...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • “Blue-Greenwash” fails the test when it comes to endangered dolphins
    National’s pre-election promises saw some wins for the environment – perhaps as the party sought to appease its “Blue-Green” voters and broaden its popular appeal. Some of the ecological gains were a long time in the making, overdue even– such...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • Reasons not to be cheerful, Part #272b
    Why don’t you get back into bed? The next few years — the rest of this century — are not going to be pretty. There is an obvious disconnect between any remaining political ambition to fix climate change and the...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • OIA protocols and official advice ignored to hide Child Poverty
    It might not seem so now, but child poverty was a major election issue. What a pity we did not have the full debate. In that debate it would have been very helpful to have seen the Ministry of Social...
    The Daily Blog | 20-10
  • Previewing the 4 candidates for Leader of the Labour Party
    The extraordinary outbursts by Shearer last week highlights just how toxic that Caucus is. Shearer was on every major media platform as the ABC attack dog tearing into Cunliffe in the hope of diminishing Cunliffe’s support of Little by tearing...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Kate Davis – the sudden explosion of ‘left’ blogs
    Time to Teach or more people will suffer from P.A.I.D. Political And Intellectual Dysmorphia.I was on the Twitter and a guy followed me so of course I did the polite thing and followed him back. He wrote a blog so...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • Ego vs Eco
    Ego vs Eco...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • We can’t let the Roastbuster case slip away
    Those of us (like me) left with hope that the police would aggressively follow through on the large amount of evidence on offer to them (let’s not forget they forgot they even had some at one point) in the Roastbusters...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • Food, shelter and medicine instead of bombs and bullets
    The on-going conflict across the Middle East – due in large part to the US-led invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq – has created another humanitarian crisis of biblical proportion. The essentials of life are desperately needed in Iraq and Syria...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • The politics of electorate accommodations
    National’s electorate accommodations with ACT and United Future were a big factor in it winning re-election. Interestingly, there is another electorate accommodation scenario whereby the centre-left could have come out on top, even with the same distribution of party votes....
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • Why you should join the TPPA Action on 8 November
    On 8 November 2014, thousands of Kiwis will take part in the International Day of Action to protest the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA). The rally cry for us is TPPA – Corporate Trap, Kiwis Fight Back. Why should you join...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • GUEST BLOG – Patrick O’Dea: no new coal mines
    Green Party and Mana Party policy is “NO NEW COAL MINES!” Auckland Coal Action is trying to put this policy into action on the ground. ACA after a hard fought two year campaign waged alongside local residents and Iwi, in...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • Comparing Police action – Hager raid vs Roast Buster case
    This satire had the NZ Police contact TDB and threaten us with 6months in prison for using their logo.   The plight of Nicky Hager and the draconian Police actions against him has generated over  $53 000 in donations so...
    The Daily Blog | 18-10
  • Malala Yousafzai, White Saviour Complexes and Local Resistance
    Last week, Malala Yousafzai was the co-recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize. Since her exposure to the worldwide spotlight, her spirit, wisdom and strength have touched the hearts of people everywhere. However, there have been cynics who have argued that...
    The Daily Blog | 18-10
  • Jason Ede is back – but no media can interview him?
    Well, well, well. Jason Ede, the main figure connected to John Key’s office and the Dirty Politics black ops is back with a company with deep ties to the National Party. One thing you can say about the right –...
    The Daily Blog | 18-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Curwen Rolinson – Leadership Transitions In Other Parties: A ...
    As cannot have escaped anyone’s attention by now, the country is presently in the grips of an election and campaign that will help determine the fate of the nation for years to come. It’s gripping stuff – with clear divides...
    The Daily Blog | 17-10
  • SkyCity worker says she faces losing her house
    SkyCity worker Carolyn Alpine told the company annual shareholder’s meeting today that she faced the prospect of losing her house because the company had cut her shifts from two a week to one without consultation. The solo mother, has worked...
    The Daily Blog | 17-10
  • Greg O’Connor’s latest push to arm cops & 5 reasons not to
    I was wondering at what point within a 3rd term of National that Police Cheerleader Greg O’Connor would start trying to demand cops be armed. O’Connor must have thought to himself, ‘if bloody Key can get us and the GCSB vast new...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • You can’t have crisis without ISIS
    So the new scary bogeyman ISIS might have chemical weapons that the US secretly found in Iraq, but America didn’t want to expose this find because the WMDs were actually built and made by the US and Europe, the two powers...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • NZ WINS UN SPIN THE BOTTLE! Privately sucking up to America for a decade me...
    Oh, we are loved! Little old NZ, the 53rd state of America after Israel and Australia, gets to sit at the adults table for the special dinner party that is the UN Security Council. How delightful, a decade of privately...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • MEDIA BLOG – Myles Thomas – A World Without Advertising
    Non-commercial broadcasting and media. It’s a solution for all manner of problems ailing our tender nation… voter engagement, unaccountable governance, apathy, stupefaction, public education, science in schools, arts appreciation, cultural cringe… But no-one could’ve guessed that non-commercial media might solve...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • March against war – 2pm Saturday 25th October
    March against war – 2pm Saturday 25th October...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • Whack a mole as US govt foreign policy
    Whack-A-Mole was a popular arcade game from my youth.  It consisted of a waist high cabinet with holes in the top. Plastic moles seemingly randomly pop out of these holes. The purpose of the game was to hit as many...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • In Paean of Debt
    This week is ‘Money Week’. It’s an opportunity to promote to the middle classes, and anyone else who will listen, the virtues of wise ‘investment’. The aims are to promote the mystical (and indeed mythical) virtues of saving for the...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • The last 48 hours – Poverty denial, war denial and unapologetic abuse of ...
    The bewildering speed of events that simply end in Key shrugging and proclaiming he doesn’t really give a shit is coming think and fast as the Government suddenly appreciate the full spectrum dominance they now enjoy. Here is Radio NZ...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Pat O’Dea – Mana 2.0 Rebooted
    Internationally the news is that Evo Morales of Bolivia won big with Left Wing policies But what are the chances that the Left will make a resurgence in this country? As the internecine struggles between the Left and the Right...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • The Blomfield IPCA letter – Has Dirty Politics leaked into the NZ Police ...
    It’s difficult to know what to make of the IPCA letter to Matthew Blomfield over Slater’s continued insistence that the hard drive taken from Matthew wasn’t stolen.  Slater has selectively cherry picked the Police referring back to his claim that Blomfeild perjured...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • ​Media release: Rail and Maritime Transport Union – Auckland move for K...
    The Rail and Maritime Transport Union is questioning a KiwiRail proposal to progressively relocate its Zero Harm personnel from Wellington to Auckland. “The purpose of the Zero Harm team is to drive KiwiRail’s performance in health and safety.  Rail is a...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • Amnesty International – Friend request from an IS militant
    There’s always that one person, that one Facebook friend, usually a musician or event promoter, who, when you so foolishly accept their friend request, will completely inundate your news feed with copious event invitations and promotions. The person who, despite...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • NZ should follow the UK and recognize the Palestinian state
    Over the past two weeks, the United Kingdom and Sweden have made headlines through their decisions to recognize the state of Palestine. They are hardly the first nations to do so. Indeed, 134 countries have, in various ways, given formal...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • Pike River Families Group Press Release
    The Families can now but hope that Solid Energy will consider closely the response of the Families’ expert mining advisers, Bob Stevenson and Dave Creedy, and the independent legal advice by Hugh Rennie QC as to why re-entry to the...
    Scoop politics | 24-10
  • On The Nation this weekend
    This weekend on The Nation… with dairy prices falling, China growing its agriculture sector, and the environmental costs piling up, we ask the Fonterra chief executive Theo Spierings if New Zealand is too dependent on milk powder and if we’ve...
    Scoop politics | 24-10
  • NZ Government Urged to Do More to Fight Ebola
    As Ebola continues to tear through West Africa, Save the Children NZ is urging the government to do more in the fight against the deadly virus....
    Scoop politics | 24-10
  • Korero Mai Ki Ahau – Saturday 25 & Sunday 26 October 2014
    Broadcast on Waatea 603AM Saturday 12.00 - 12.30pm Sunday 12.00 - 12.30pm Both shows repeated 5.00pm – 6.00pm On Sunday...
    Scoop politics | 24-10
  • Putting whānau foremost in Family Dispute Resolution
    Dispute resolution company, FairWay Resolution, has developed a uniquely New Zealand approach to family dispute resolution (FDR) that is underpinned by the cultural needs and values of the parties to a family dispute. In support of its role as a...
    Scoop politics | 24-10
  • Anglican Family Care staff to rally industrial action rises
    Public Service Association (PSA) members working at Anglican Family Care (AFC) in Dunedin will hold two rallies in Dunedin next week as they seek a fair pay offer, following a week of low-key industrial action....
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • Flying Visit for Adventuring Kiwi Socialpreneur
    12 Months on, this former Alexandra barista is changing lives in Buenos Aires Slums with free lunches, music, art, drama and toothbrushes...
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • March in Solidarity with Kurdistan Against ISIS Attacks
    The New Zealand Kurdish Community will march in solidarity with Kurdistan in light of the heinous genocidal attacks in Kobanê by ISIS. We will begin with silent demonstrations then commence marching. We will start from Britomart, Queen Street (outside Dick...
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • No Problem for Henare & Jones, But “No Way” for Harawira
    “Just before the election I broke the story about the gutting of Maori Television’s News and Current Affairs department by MTS’ new CEO Paora Maxwell. I pointed out that Carol Hirschfeld and Julian Wilcox, two of the country’s most experienced...
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • Corruption: Positive developments for NZ but more to be done
    Global anti-corruption group Transparency International today released a report on OECD Anti-Bribery Convention enforcement and called for New Zealand to implement draft legislation to ratify the United Nations Convention against Corruption....
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • Government to Blame as Much as Council for Marryatt Payout
    The Taxpayers' Union is calling on the Government to fix the employment law regime that has forced Christchurch ratepayers to fork out $800,000 to former Council boss Tony Marryatt....
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • Unanimously Call for Commissioner to Arm Police Full Time
    In the wake of a series of recent armed offender incidents, delegates to the Police Association Annual Conference today called unanimously on the Commissioner to arm Police full time....
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • Bank gets behind NZ wildlife icon with sizable donation
    It will be easier than ever this summer for holiday-markers to dip into their pockets to support the yellow-eyed penguin....
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • WorkSafe report raises concerns about asbestos
    The union representing construction workers in the Canterbury rebuild is surprised at WorkSafe’s conclusion that no action needs to be taken against EQC and Fletcher EQR over asbestos exposure in Canterbury homes. “This report was an opportunity...
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • Union accuses SkyCity CEO of misleading public
    Unite Union has accused SkyCity CEO Nigel Morrison of misleading the public over the cut in hours for a staff member who raised the issue at the company's AGM....
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • Last Hurrah on the Taxpayer
    Responding to the NZ Herald report that Hone Harawira spent up $54,000 on the taxpayer in his last three months as an MP, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan Williams says: “It is absolutely disgraceful that an MP managed to rack...
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • Press statement in relation to search of Nicky Hager’s home
    On 2 October 2014, Nicky Hager's home in Wellington was searched by police. Mr Hager asserted that documents kept at his house were protected by privilege, including because they contained information that might identify confidential sources....
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • The Sam Simon arrives into Auckland for new campaign
    This morning Sea Shepherd ship, the Sam Simon, arrived into Auckland harbour after its journey from Melbourne. The ship and its 25 crew from around the globe have come to New Zealand to source supplies and prepare for the upcoming...
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Low inflation – time for meaningful wage increases
    With inflation low, now is a good time for workers to negotiate for pay increases that outstrip price rises and deliver real increases in wages and salaries. “For too many people, real pay increases have been missing for several years...
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Auckland Rates Rises Out of Control
    Responding to the NZ Herald report that Auckland ratepayers will face an average of a 29 percent rates increase, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan Williams says: “These rate rises show that Len Brown's spending is out of control.”...
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Protest at New Plymouth Oil and Gas Expo
    About 30 protesters from Climate Justice Taranaki, Frack-free Kapiti, Te Uru Pounamu Action Group, Oil Free Wellington, Frack-free Manawatu and the east coast protested yesterday outside New Plymouth's biennial Oil and Gas Expo at the TSB Stadium....
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • FMA warns consumers about cold-calling investment offers
    The Financial Markets Authority (FMA) is warning New Zealand consumers and investors to be wary of cold-calls asking them to buy shares or put their money into offshore firms....
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Comprehensive plan needed to end child poverty
    Child Poverty Action Group says it is vital the newly re-elected National government takes a planned and comprehensive approach to reducing child poverty in New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Metiria Gets Feed the Kids
    Yesterday the Speaker of the House advised that he had accepted my request to transfer my Feed the Kids (Education (Breakfast and Lunch Programmes in Schools) Amendment) Bill to Metiria Turei of the Green Party....
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • DIA undercover investigation leads to jailing
    An undercover Internal Affairs investigation has led to a Hastings man being jailed for three and half years....
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Call on Minister McCully to pursue the case of Balibo Five
    Media Information: Call on Minister McCully to pursue the case of journalist Gary Cunningham and the Balibo Five...
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Australia and NZ actions on press freedoms alarming
    Global support for investigative journalism in Australia and New Zealand is a welcome response to law changes and a police raid, says the Pacific Freedom Forum...
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Call for release of French journalists in West Papua
    West Papua Action Auckland, the EPMU Print and Media Council and the NZ Media Freedom Network call on the Minister of Foreign Affairs to speak out in support of the two French TV journalists whose trial has just begun in...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Court of Appeal: Dotcom v 20th Century Fox Film Corporation
    A The appeal is dismissed. B The 20 August 2014 order of the High Court dealing with confidentiality and the 29 August 2014 order of this Court dealing with confidentiality are set aside. C The confidentiality orders set out in...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Glassons Blasted For Glamourising Animal Cruelty
    Clothing brand Glassons have found themselves embroiled in another controversy after launching a new advert featuring a girl riding a bull. Animal advocacy organisation SAFE have asked them to remove the ad immediately as it glamourises animal cruelty....
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Smuggling honey into New Zealand isn’t sweet
    Smuggling honey into New Zealand isn’t sweet Federated Farmers Bee Industry Group applauds the tough line taken by Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) Border Staff at Auckland Airport. In deporting the couple found trying to smuggle bee products...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Taxpayers’ Union Responds to Joyce on Corporate Welfare
    Responding to Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce’s defence of corporate welfare , Jim Rose, the author of Monopoly Money , a Taxpayers Union report on corporate welfare since 2008, says:...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Speech from the Throne brings welcome focus on children
    Today’s speech from the Throne confirms the Government’s focus on children, youth and their families in the areas of health, education, youth employment, poverty alleviation and Whānau Ora; now the challenge is to ensure every child in New Zealand...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • John’s Job Fairs no fix for unemployment and poverty
    “John Key has clearly been looking to the US for his latest bright idea on dealing with employment issues,” says Auckland Action Against Poverty coordinator Sue Bradford. “Job fairs where the desperately unemployed queue in their corporate best to compete...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Speech From the Throne Foreshadows More Corporate Welfare
    Responding to the Governor General’s Speech from the Throne, which outlined that the Government’s intentions for the next Parliamentary term would include further Business Growth Agenda initiatives, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Green MP to speak at panel on Rainbow Mental Health
    Hamilton, New Zealand: Recently re-elected Green Party MP Jan Logie will be a guest speaker at a panel on the mental health of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Trangender, Takataapui and Intersex people taking place on November 1st as part of the...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Evidence Supports GE Moratorium
    Federated Farmers spokesman Graham Smith's call for a 'rethink' on release of GeneticallyEngineered organisms is misguided, and instead it is time for a formal moratorium on GMOs in the environment.(1)...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Chatham Rise mining could have impact on whales and dolphins
    Wellington, 21 October 2014--Mining phosphate on the Chatham Rise, off the east coast of New Zealand’s south island, could potentially have many impacts on marine mammals like whales and dolphins, the Environmental Protection Agency was told today....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Council endorses Nanaia Mahuta as the next Labour leader
    Te Kaunihera Māori, the Māori Council of the New Zealand Labour Party, have passed a resolution to endorse the Hon Nanaia Mahuta as the next leader of the Labour Party...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Kaumatua to organise petition to end Maori seats
    Ngapuhi kaumatua David Rankin has announced that he will be organising a nationwide petition to seek support from Maori voters to end the Maori seats. “These seats are patronising”, he says. “They imply we need a special status, and that...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Announcing a New Voice for The Left
    Josh Forman is pleased to announce the creation of a new force on the Left of politics in New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Public services held back by poor workplace culture
    A new report by Victoria University’s Centre for Labour, Employment and Work shows that public servants are working significant unpaid overtime to ensure the public services New Zealanders value are able to continue....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • iPredict New Zealand Weekly Economic & Political Update
    Andrew Little’s probability of being the next leader of the Labour Party has reached 70% and Jacinda Ardern is favourite to become his deputy, according to the combined wisdom of the 8000+ registered traders on New Zealand’s predictions market, iPredict....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Prison Drug Treatment Unit marks a milestone
    Christchurch Men’s Prison’s Drug Treatment Unit (DTU) celebrated the completion of its 50th six month Drug and Alcohol Programme today, with the graduation of a further twelve offenders....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Security Council seat a chance for NZ to empower women
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    Scoop politics | 20-10
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    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Humanitarian aid desperately needed in Iraq and Syria
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    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
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