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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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    The Court of Appeal victory for Lower Hutt caregiver, Kristine Bartlett demonstrates that both the Government and employers have been ignoring and not fully implementing equal pay law, the Green Party said today.The Court of Appeal today upheld earlier rulings...
    Greens | 27-10
  • Rotorua shift for Maori TV a bizarre move
    The bizarre idea to move Maori TV to Rotorua is either poor planning or possible political interference that adds to the perception of a service in crisis, says Labour MP for Tamaki Makaurau Peeni Henare. “Moving Maori TV to Rotorua...
    Labour | 27-10
  • Second rate deal a no go – Goff
    A second rate deal on dairy in the TPP would totally contradict the agreed purpose of the Pacific trade agreement, Labour’s Trade spokesperson, Phil Goff says. “Both the origin of the trade negotiations and leaders’ statements on its objectives emphasise...
    Labour | 27-10
  • Legal victory a boost for all working women
    Today’s legal victory for equal pay is a much-needed boost for working women at a time when the Government is pushing through reforms which will make it harder for them to get pay rises, Labour’s Women’s Affairs spokesperson Sue Moroney...
    Labour | 27-10
  • National’s failed commodities export strategy exposed
    National's strategy to rely on commodities such as milk powder and logs has been exposed in the September trade figures released today, the Green Party said."National's strategy to hang all economic hope on exporting ever-increasing volumes of milk powder and...
    Greens | 23-10
  • Caution needed on calls to arm police
    There is no justification for routinely arming our police and doing so would change forever the way officers interact with their communities, Labour’s Associate Police spokesperson Kelvin Davis says. “As one of the few organisations distinguished by its unarmed status,...
    Labour | 23-10
  • Govt strains to get tea break law through
    The Government has been left with egg on its face - failing to get its much-vaunted, but hugely unpopular, meal break law passed in the first week of its new term, Labour spokesperson on Labour Issues Andrew Little says.“National desperately...
    Labour | 23-10
  • How low can you go? Mining the depths
    The company says there will be economic benefits, which the EEZ Act says the EPA must consider, but even these benefits are in doubt. The royalties while not set will be tiny, the profits will flow offshore, and whatever phosphate...
    Greens | 23-10
  • Fed Farmers defend GE Agriculture
    Federated Farmers, which represents a minority of farmers, appears to be captured by a pro-GE clique hell bent on increasing unsustainable technologies for the benefit of the herbicide and patent controlling seed companies. That there are better more sustainable farming...
    Greens | 23-10
  • Government loses the affordable housing race
    Nick Smith is dreaming if he thinks he can deliver affordable housing to Cantabrians on his current figures, says Labour’s Associate Housing spokesperson Poto Williams. “The Minister’s announcement that the Government will build 237 new homes, most of which will...
    Labour | 23-10
  • Labour’s thoughts with Canadians
    Labour has offered its sympathies to the family and friends of the Canadian soldier who died in what appears to be a premeditated and unprovoked attack while standing at guard at the Ottawa National War Memorial. “Our thoughts are also...
    Labour | 23-10
  • What next for TVNZ? Outsourcing the news?
    Television New Zealand’s decision to outsource Māori and Pacific programming is a real blow to the notion that our state broadcaster is a public broadcaster, says Labour. “CEO Kevin Kenrick has said today that TVNZ has ‘a very long and...
    Labour | 22-10
  • Green Party expresses sympathy for Canadian shooting victims
    The Green Party expressed its solidarity with Canadians and the Canadian Parliament today, offering its sympathy for family and friends of the soldier killed in the attack. "Our thoughts are with all those caught up in the shooting in Canada...
    Greens | 22-10
  • City Transport: A Taxing Matter
    This week the prospect of paying tolls on Auckland motorways became a hot topic. (See Mathew Dearnaley:Motorway tolling could hit some hard, NZ Herald, 30 Oct 2014.) As we might expect, the kneejerk response has been quite negative. But, as with...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Open Letter to Amy Adams: Please Reopen The Review Into Sexual Violence Cou...
    Ms Amy Adams, Justice and Courts Minister, Right now in this country it seems that although rape is illegal, it is not being prevented by the agents who uphold the law. It almost feels like rape is only illegal on paper,...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: Does ‘No-Surprises’ Also Apply To TVNZ News?
    When you stand back and look at NZ media outlets, most of them have at least one or two people who attempt to hold the government to account: John Campbell on TV3, Guyon Espiner and others at Radio NZ, David...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Things That Make You Go Hmmmmmmm
    Every so often in politics, a public figure comes out with something so absurd and so outlandish … that it really does just make you go “Hmmmmmmmmmm”. We’re accustomed to this from certain quarters – by mid point through the...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Poverty & inequality don’t need protest marches – they need a riot:...
    The global level of inequality continues to skyrocket… Number of billionaires doubled since financial crisis The number of billionaires has doubled since the start of the financial crisis, according to a major new report from anti-poverty campaigners. According to Oxfam,...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • If Key knows who Rawshark is…
    I’m sorry, what? John Key ‘given Rawshark’s name’The Prime Minister believes he knows who hacked Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater’s computer and produced the source material for Nicky Hager’s Dirty Politics, according to a new edition of a recently published...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Child Poverty stats in NZ
    Child Poverty stats in NZ...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Crimes Act + Police Investigation = WTF
    Just to frame the farce that is the Roastbuster’s investigation and conclusion – here are the parts of the Crime Act http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/1961/0043/latest/whole.html#DLM329057  the Roastbusters are proven to have violated – that the police (and some suspects!) themselves acknowledge occurred: Crimes...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Publishing Journalists’ Home Addresses Is A Tactic Of The Right, Not The ...
    I think I’m starting to get rather annoyed with the conduct of some pro-MANA people over this ongoing Parliamentary Services crew complement issue. Yes, we get that there are legitimate issues to be raised with how some political reporters in...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Aucklanders caught between a tarseal-addicted government and a weak mayor
    Len Brown’s proposal for motorway tolls to reduce congestion and provide funding for better public transport is a weak response to a critical issue. The $12 billion dollar shortfall on transport funding he talks about is mainly for projected new...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • A Very Weird Story: Deconstructing Darren Aronofsky’s Noah.
    NOAH is a curious movie. Conceived as a biblical epic, it’s target audience was originally the millions of Americans who regard the Bible as God’s inerrant word. With the sin-filled works of Hollywood forbidden to these true-believers, Christian movie-makers have developed...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • You Can Get Away With Rape In New Zealand
    Jessie Hume with last years petition against rape     The police have sent a strong message today.  In fact they’ve been sending a strong message for a while; a message that our government supports. “You can literally get away...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Roast Buster case – no charges. In the immortal words of NWA…
    Roast Busters case: No prosecutions Police are to make an announcement this afternoon on Operation Clover, the investigation into the “Roast Busters” allegations. The Herald understands the victim has been told that the alleged offenders will not be prosecuted due...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Key’s flag change distraction to cost $26million!
    No. Way. Bid to change NZ flag to cost millions The cost of holding two referendums and consulting on a change of flag has been estimated to be just under $26 million. Look. We all appreciate that the sleepy hobbits...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Why NZ Herald’s Labour Party crocodile tears are so audacious
    The front page the NZ Herald would use if they thought they could get away with it No one can take the recent columns by NZ Herald seriously… John Armstrong: Shadow lingers on National John Roughan: Labour’s leadership vote matters...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • The beginning of the end of Cameron Slater?
    Slater postings on man bizarre, court told A businessman has changed his appearance and had to install extra security at his home after Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater posted his business and personal documents online, he says. Mr Slater has...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • We are a milk power republic and Fonterra our unelected senate
    Wow. Just wow… Deputy mayor says he’ll be sacked South Taranaki deputy mayor Alex Ballantyne says he expects to be sacked because he has spoken out about the impact gasses coming from dumped Fonterra dairy products have had on his...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: “…But *actually* this is about ethics in political-game jo...
    Yesterday, a piece of mine on the recent revelations about Hone Harawira employing several gentlemen either accused or convicted of sex offences was published on The Daily Blog. Predictably, given the fierce loyalty which Hone inspires in his party faithful and...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • Privilege cheque
    There was no race problem in my childhood. Living in central Wellington I was well-insulated from what was going on not so far away. This was the 60s and 70s, where the teachers enjoyed free love in the staff room...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • A brief word on Key’s claim that it will be raining carnage
    Isis will ‘rain carnage on the world’ – John Key Left unchecked Isis would “rain carnage on the world”, Prime Minister John Key says, but he has yet to make a decision on whether New Zealand troops will join a...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • Meanwhile…
    ...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • How does Andrew Little win Labour Leadership and unify the caucus?
    Audrey Young’s excellent column on how the Caucus vote  is shaping up shows how Andrew Little becomes the next leader of the Labour Party. She identifies the factions as the following… Andrew Little 6: Andrew Little, David Cunliffe, Iain Lees Galloway,...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Joe Trinder – Right of response to Curwen
    You have asked that Hone Harawira deserves to explain what happened, how would he explain when his next door neighbour is an alleged sex offender. What explanation can Hone offer he wasn’t involved, Hone had no idea this offending was...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: That Hella-Weird Feeling When You Defend Tova O’Brien
    Oh dear. Yesterday morning I blogged that Hone deserved a chance to explain what exactly had happened as applies his office’s Parliamentary Services crew complement – and, importantly, that we deserve to be able to judge him on the strength of...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • Canadian Green MP warns against harsh anti-terror measures
    Canada’s Green Party has provided a welcome counterpoint to Prime Minister Harper’s call for tougher anti-terrorism laws in the wake of a soldier outside the Canadian Parliament. On October 22, while she was still locked in her parliamentary office, Green...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • When is an asset sale not an asset sale? When it robs from the poor and ste...
    National have turned state housing on its head. At no time during the 2014 election did the Key Government even hint that they were going to privatise 30% of the Housing NZ stock of state homes. Not once. Key even...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part To...
    . . Continued from: Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part Rua) . Bill English comes clean on National’s intentions for HNZ privatisation . On 14 October, in a report on The Daily Blog, I wrote, In...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • The Questions Have Been Asked – They Deserve An Answer
    A few days ago, allegations that had been percolating for some time about Hone Harawira employing three either accused or convicted sex offenders on his Parliamentary pay-roll came to light. (one imprisoned before working for MANA; one who found himself convicted and...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • I have seen one future, and it is bleak
    . . Back in  March 2012, I wrote this story regarding a march to support striking workers at Ports of Auckland. It appears there was some prescience about some of my observations at the time… . | | 18 March...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • US air strike war Key wants us in has killed a civilian a day so far
      The US air strike war that John Key wants us to join has killed a civilian a day so far. From the Washington Post... The United States launched its first airstrikes on militants in Syria on Sept. 23, and has continued...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • The instant Jihad syndrome
    My favourite new term is ‘self-radicalised’ – it suggests the reasons for terrorism are totally divorced from the actions of the West. This need to suddenly ramp up terror laws because of lone wolf, self-radicalised Jihadists seems convenient and counter-productive....
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • We have nothing to fear from Ebola but fear itself
    I suspect most Americans perceive Ebola like this   I can’t work out if the fear being spread within the media about Ebola is deliberate or just ignorance. Yes Ebola is a terrible plague that kills a large percentage of...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Anjum Rahman – “Meritocracy? I wish.”
    I’d like to start by linking to a post I had published at another site in support of Nanaia Mahuta for the Labour Party leadership election.  She has a reasonable chance, given that she already has the endorsement of Te...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • Chocolate milk shortage and creepy Santa? Let’s talk about real news
    Child poverty is still a scarily serious problem in this country and house prices are soaring through the roof to the point where it is simply impossible for the average New Zealander to buy a home. There is also little...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • It’s time to celebrate Kiwi schools and teachers
    Some would have you believe that New Zealand’s schools are in a state of collapse, that your children are not being educated well and that things are going to hell in a hand basket.  That there is no innovation, no...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • 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
  • CTU Runanga calls on iwi leaders
    Maori workers are calling on iwi leaders to speak out against the employment law changes expected to go through today. “Iwi leaders have previously spoken out when workers in Aotearoa have been under attack, we believe they should do so...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Educating children not the best solution to alcohol harm
    Alcohol Healthwatch says we need to look beyond educating children and young people to address deeply embedded attitudes and behaviours concerning alcohol....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • New code of welfare for rodeos released
    New standards to strengthen the animal welfare requirements for rodeos have been issued today by the Minister for Primary Industries, Nathan Guy....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • IPCA report riddle with inaccuracies, say students
    A report by the Independent Police Conduct Authority into the policing of student protests in 2012 is riddled with inaccuracies, say students who laid the original complaint with the IPCA....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • CT v The Queen – indecency convictions quashed
    This summary is provided to assist in the understanding of the Court’s judgment. It does not comprise part of the reasons for that judgment. The full judgment with reasons is the only authoritative document. The full text of the judgment...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Rameka v The Queen – murder convictions quashed
    This summary is provided to assist in the understanding of the Court’s judgment. It does not comprise part of the reasons for that judgment. The full judgment with reasons is the only authoritative document. The full text of the judgment...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Auckland Council Out of Control
    Responding to the NZ Herald article that some Auckland households will face a rates rise of up to 9.6 per cent next year, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan Williams says: “Len Brown’s pledge to cap rates rises at 2.5 per...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Stats NZ staff escalate action with ‘no more meetings’ rule
    Statistics NZ staff have voted to escalate their ongoing industrial action in an effort to get Stats NZ back to the bargaining table with a reasonable offer. The staff, who are members of the Public Service Association (PSA), have been...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Rape Crisis calls for changes to criminal justice system
    Wellington Rape Crisis has added its voice to the public outcry following the announcement that there will be no charges in the teen rape gang case. Butterworth says the decision not to lay charges will not have been a surprise...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Police action justified in Blockade the Budget demonstration
    Police actions in dealing with a demonstration in Central Auckland known as Blockade the Budget on 1 June 2012 were justified and appropriate, an Independent Police Conduct Authority report released today found....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • NZDF Joins with Australia to Commemorate WWI Centenary
    A contingent of New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel will join their Australian counterparts at Australia’s first major commemoration of the First World War centenary in Albany, Western Australia this weekend....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Reserve Bank should reduce interest rate
    “The Reserve Bank should be reducing its policy interest rate, the OCR”, says CTU Economist Bill Rosenberg in response to the Bank’s announcement today that it is not increasing it....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • 2015 Stout Fellow will write about Māori & Criminal Justice
    Kim Workman, founder and advocate for the Robson Hanan Trust, which administers the Rethinking Crime and Punishment and Justspeak initiatives, has been awarded the 2015 John David Stout Fellowship at Victoria University....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • What John Key thought about ‘dirty politics’
    On September 20, John Key swept to victory to become one of New Zealand’s most successful and popular Prime Ministers. Rocked by scandal, the 2014 election campaign was one of the most brutal – and riveting – in recent history....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Trade Deal Threatens Farmers and Food Businesses
    The secret Trans Pacific Partnership negotiations are a direct threat to food businesses and farmers, and a moratorium on the release of GE crops must be enshrined in law before the TPP is signed....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • CTU announces election of new Secretary
    The contested election for the position of CTU Secretary has been won by Sam Huggard. Sam officially takes office on Monday 1 December 2014. Sam has worked in the union movement and brings a wealth of experience and a commitment...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Kim Workman awarded 2015 J.D. Stout Fellowship
    The Victoria University of Wellington 2015 J.D. Stout Fellowship, funded by the Stout Trust, has been awarded to justice reform advocate Kim Workman. Mr Workman (Ngati Kahungungu ki Wairarapa, Rangitaane) is well known for his work on criminal justice,...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • TPPA causing concern
    Concern over the secretive Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) negotiations is being expressed in two public meetings over the next week; one at a presentation on 5th November by former councillor Robin Gwynn to the Napier City Council, the...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Kiwis rally to demand justice for ‘Roast Buster’ survivors
    Over 1,500 kiwis have rallied to demand justice after the announcement of the NZ Police decision not to lay charges in the ‘Roast Busters’ saga....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • New employment law will hurt the most vulnerable NZers
    The Public Service Association (PSA) says changes to the Employment Relations Act, expected to be passed in Parliament tonight, will hurt vulnerable workers and their families more than anyone....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Consultation to close on proposed place names
    The New Zealand Geographic Board (NZGB) Ngā Pou Taunaha o Aotearoa today advised that only one month remains before public consultation closes for 18 name proposals for geographic features and places around Te Ika ā Māui (the North Island)....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Operation Clover – Statement from Police Commissioner
    I have taken a close interest in this investigation and I am confident police have conducted a thorough and professional enquiry in what has been a challenging and complex case. The Operation Clover team has ensured that victims have been...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Better policy would have protected children from recession
    Child Poverty Action Group says an international report released by UNICEF today shows good policy can protect and improve child well-being, even during a recession....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Outcome of Operation Clover investigation
    Police have completed a multi-agency investigation, Operation Clover, into the activities of a group calling themselves “The Roast Busters”. The 12 month enquiry focused on incidents involving allegations of sexual offending against a number of girls...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • False birth registration brings home detention
    A Whangarei woman who attempted to register the birth of a fictitious child to claim a sole parent benefit was sentenced to six months home detention in the Whangarei District Court today....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Family of Robert Ellis demand a proper investigation
    The family of a New Zealander killed in Indonesia are growing increasingly concerned at the lack of information they’ve received, and the handling of the investigation into his murder....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Minister of Health must account for aged care workers’ pay
    The New Zealand Federation of Business and Professional Women (BPW NZ) congratulates rest-home worker Kristine Bartlett on her landmark claim for equal pay from her employer and successfully pursuing this to the Court of Appeal....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Labour leadership candidates in Invercargill
    The four candidates for Labour Leader – Andrew Little, Nanaia Mahuta, David Parker and Grant Robertson - will be in Invercargill on Friday evening for a Husting meeting with members, as part of fourteen Husting Meetings being held nationwide as...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Public now needs to have its say over new tolls
    “I welcome the likes of new tolls and fuel taxes going out for public consultation after these matters have been talked about for 20 years. However the timing is not ideal as it comes on top of the likes of...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Kiwis to fight back against TPPA ‘corporate trap’
    New Zealanders in at least sixteen different locations around the country are organising for an International Day of Action against the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) on 8 November, co-ordinated by It's Our Future NZ. This is part of an international...
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • Taxpayers’ Union Welcomes NZ First MP’s Resignation
    The Taxpayers’ Union is welcoming NZ First MP, Clayton Mitchell’s resignation from the Tauranga City Council, despite Party Leader Winston Peters' public comments in July that Mr Mitchell would do both jobs if elected to Parliament. The Union's...
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • Stopping unnecessary roading projects solution to transport
    Today Auckland Council released the Funding Auckland’s Transport Future report which claims Aucklanders need to choose higher rates, petrol taxes or tolls to pay for future transport projects, when the real issue is the prioritisation of unnecessary...
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • Fixing Auckland’s transport
    Today marks a critical step in the most important funding debate Auckland has ever had: whether or not Aucklanders are willing to pay for the transport system this city desperately needs to keep it moving, says Mayor Len Brown....
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • The New Zealand Gazette Moves into the Digital Age
    On Monday 20 October, the New Zealand Gazette was published completely online bringing to a close 173 years as a purely printed publication. First published in 1841 as the official government newspaper, the Gazette website gazette.govt.nz , replaces...
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • International report shows NZ struggling with child poverty
    A report by UNICEF International shows that child poverty rates in New Zealand have scarcely changed since 2008 – this stands in contrast to a number of other countries that managed to significantly reduce child poverty in this time, including...
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • Labour leadership candidates in Dunedin
    The four candidates for Labour Leader – Andrew Little, Nanaia Mahuta, David Parker and Grant Robertson - will be in Dunedin on Thursday evening for a Husting meeting with members, as part of fourteen Husting Meetings being held nationwide as...
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • UNICEF Report a Waste of Paper
    In response to the hysteria coming from the far left, Josh Forman of slightlyleftofcentre.co.nz writes the following:...
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • Press Council opens doors to digital media
    The New Zealand Press Council, the body which handles complaints against newspapers and magazines and their websites, is offering associate membership status to news and commentary-oriented digital media including bloggers....
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • Tolls Should Be for New Roads, Not Old Ones
    The Taxpayers’ Union is slamming Auckland Council for wanting to introduce a motorist tax under the guise of ‘tolls’. Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director, Jordan Williams, says:...
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • Media freedom in West Papua: Protest at Indonesian embassy
    Today, Wednesday 29 October, there will be a peaceful protest at the Indonesian Embassy in Wellington to call on new Indonesian President Joko Widodo to honour his election promise to ensure greater media freedom in West Papua....
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • Lack of leadership blamed for decline in Gender Equity
    BPW NZ challenges NZ’s lack of leadership with the decline in Gender Equity Ranking...
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • Richard Falk visit to NZ
    Professor Richard Falk, who recently completed a six-year term as United Nations Special Rapporteur on Palestinian human rights, will deliver a public lecture in Dunedin on Monday 10 November....
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • Apprehension for meat workers as employment law bill passes
    The passing of the Employment Relations Amendment Bill today will send a wave of apprehension through the workers in the NZ meat industry says the Meat Workers Union....
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • “Yes to Children, No to Poverty” Says Commissioner
    Children’s Commissioner, Dr Russell Wills will describe impacts of poverty on children, with a focus on local solutions at the Tū Kaha biennial conference for Māori health for the central region DHBs at the Hawke’s Bay Racing Centre in Hastings...
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • UNICEF report card highlights need for action
    Unicef’s child poverty report released today shows that New Zealand needs to be more proactive in pursuing policies to protect our most vulnerable members of society....
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • Children of the Recession: NZ’s shame
    Children of the Recession : NZ’s shame Media release Wednesday 29 October 2014 “It is to New Zealand’s deepest shame that the latest Unicef report on children living in poverty ranks us 16th out of 41 developed countries. “Every day...
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • UNICEF cautions NZ child poverty rates are “stagnating”
    An international report by UNICEF has found that child poverty rates in New Zealand have barely changed since 2008, despite similar sized countries significantly reducing child poverty during the recent recession....
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • TPP Too Important for Compromised Finish
    The New Zealand dairy industry is urging Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) partners not to compromise on the quality of the deal to get it done quickly....
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • Labour leadership candidates in Nelson
    Labour leadership candidates in Nelson The four candidates for Labour Leader – Andrew Little, Nanaia Mahuta, David Parker and Grant Robertson - will be in Nelson on Tuesday evening for a Husting meeting with members, as part of fourteen Husting...
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • History is made. Equal pay not just legal but possible!
    The New Zealand Nurses Organisation (NZNO) congratulates Kristine Bartlett and the Service and Food Workers Union: Ngā Ringa Tota on their historic win. Today the Court of Appeal dismissed an appeal from Kristine’s employer; opening the way for...
    Scoop politics | 28-10
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