2040? The robots will have taken over

Written By: - Date published: 8:59 am, March 8th, 2017 - 53 comments
Categories: superannuation, unemployment - Tags:

Bill English’s new super plan falls between 2 stools.  The super cost crisis that he’s trying to summon up, is before 2040 if it exists.

The solution was most probably continuing to pay into the Cullen Fund, which English suspended paying into in 2009 to pay for top-rate tax cuts.  That extra cash invested would have got us over the baby-boomer hump until 2040.  But instead, we’re billions out of pocket from some very nice returns that the NZ Super Fund could have received over that time.

By 2040, the large demographic lump that is the baby-boomers are dying off.  It’s GenX & the millenials who pay for it, as they paid for tertiary education, unaffordable housing, lower benefits when between jobs, climate change etc.  It’s intergenerational war.

Also by 2040 – a lot of jobs are disappearing to robots.

Secretaries are already gone, retail jobs are being lost to internet shopping, US manufacturing has lost 5 million jobs since 2000 of which 88% is to robots – this will continue, as IBM’s Watson is better than your GP, Xero is better than your accountant and most law tasks are automatable.  The largest sector of employment, in the US at least, is transport – and self-driving trucks & trains, buses & taxis are all just around the corner.

So by 2040 we’re not going to need more people aged 65 & 66 to add to our dole queues.  We’re going to need something like a Universal Basic Income – so why would we be reducing the number of people who qualify for the one we already have: NZ Super?

53 comments on “2040? The robots will have taken over”

  1. Antoine 1

    Personally I think we’ll need a lot more people working in 2040 than we have now. What with environmental degradation, resource depletion and climate change, having people sitting around not working will likely be a luxury we cant afford.

    But hey, we could both be wrong. Closer to the time, NZ can adapt as needed. Including introducing a UBI if we find ourselves in a robotic post-scarcity utopia…

    • Draco T Bastard 1.1

      Closer to the time, NZ can adapt as needed.

      No you fucken moron, we won’t be able to adapt at the time as it requires a massive investment in infrastructure and that investment needs to start now and it needs to be done by the government.

      If we don’t do that investment then we’ll find our productivity doesn’t keep up with what we need, doesn’t keep up with the other countries of the world and we end up becoming a basket-case economy with massive poverty and inequality.

      • RJL 1.1.1

        @Draco T Bastard: “No you fucken moron, we won’t be able to adapt at the time as it requires a massive investment in infrastructure…”

        Exactly.

      • Antoine 1.1.2

        > we won’t be able to adapt at the time as it requires a massive investment in infrastructure and that investment needs to start now and it needs to be done by the government.

        For once I totally agree! We are going to need new infrastructure and it should already be happening. (Unfortunately I don’t think we know what infrastructure – I’m sure you’ll disagree with that – and there’s no political will.)

        But the post is about UBI and _that_ should be able to be brought in in a matter of weeks if necessary.

        A.

        • Draco T Bastard 1.1.2.1

          But the post is about UBI and _that_ should be able to be brought in in a matter of weeks if necessary.

          Arguably, it’s necessary now.

          And it’s always better to do the research and planning for such an implementation and thus getting it right rather than doing a botch up job as an emergency reaction to a bad situation.

          • Antoine 1.1.2.1.1

            Bit of research would do no harm, but (arguably) there’s no great rush

            A.

            P.S. If and when robots run everything, we can ask _them_ to plan it :p

      • coffeeconnoiseur 1.1.3

        What infrastructure investment are you thinking will be needed?
        Arguably we won’t need much so long as we make the necessary changes to the financial systems and Labour systems.

        • Draco T Bastard 1.1.3.1

          Also by 2040 – a lot of jobs are disappearing to robots.

          This infrastructure.

          Also by 2040 – a lot of jobs are disappearing to robots.

          NZ is way behind on development and implementation of the factories (yes, that's infrastructure) and supply lines to feed them. We've become reliant upon the idea that we'll just grow more food to export but we're already at the limit there and arguably need to decrease the amount of farming that we do already.

    • Carolyn_nth 1.2

      Actually, it’s not true that most retirees sit around “not working”. They do lots of unpaid community work. Especially recently retired people in their late 60s, with many skills and a lot to offer the community.

      The neoliberal approach has been to pay fewer and fewer people doing community and home caring work, and to try to rely more on unpaid work by charities and community groups..

      • Antoine 1.2.1

        RIght, I appreciate that. But with a UBI (as per the subject of the post), “not working” would be an option for able-bodied people under retirement age.

        (Assuming the UBI was sufficient to live on)

        A.

        • Carolyn_nth 1.2.1.1

          Yes. But younger people also could be doing caring and community work. There’s many things robots can’t do – humans respond to caring from other humans. A robot would be no substitute.

          And people not in paid work need to be engaged with their local communities. that takes some organising and participation by people – basically, the state has to enable people to undertake these activities, and they require funding and support.

          • Antoine 1.2.1.1.1

            > There’s many things robots can’t do – humans respond to caring from other humans. A robot would be no substitute.

            I agree!

            One of the reasons why I don’t think there’ll ever be mass unemployment. There will always be plenty of ‘service’ (a dry word I know) jobs for humans.

            But hey, I can’t see the future so I could be wrong.

            A.

            • coffeeconnoiseur 1.2.1.1.1.1

              I can see the future and service jobs are where much of the automation is going to come in replace people.
              Yes they can’t replace all jobs but they can and will replace far more jobs than we need under the current economic model where you need to work to earn a living.
              If we are stupid enough to stick to the paradigm the current economic model sits in then we will need to make a couple of changes.
              We will need a UBI that will decouple the need to work from wages.
              At the same time we need to give the function of creating money to everyone rather than just the Elites who have it now through banking.
              If we do this we will be ok.

              • Antoine

                > I can see the future

                Really, you can’t.

                A.

                • coffeeconnoiseur

                  Time isn’t linear
                  and the future, it isn’t that hard to see when you are one of the ones building it.

                • Draco T Bastard

                  In 1972 a book was published that made no predictions but did foresee what was going to happen now quite accurately.

                  So, yes, it’s possible to see the future. And we do it all the time at a subconscious level. It’s part and parcel of the algorithms that high speed trading machines use to make money without producing any value (Could actually say that they’re destroying value as they’re using resources that produce no social return).

                  So, you’re talking out your arse again to try and support your failed ideology.

    • RJL 1.3

      @Antoine: “… having people sitting around not working will likely be a luxury we cant afford.”

      You don’t understand the problem. The problem of automation is that there is nothing to do. It’s uneconomic to employ people.

      • Antoine 1.3.1

        Of course I understand that automation replaces people.

        In my scenario however, the productivity improvement from automation is overshadowed by the productivity loss from environmental damage. Thus, it ends up taking more people to do the same amount of work.

        One way this could happen would be if we weren’t able to make the capital investment in automated technologies. Or if the world economy as a whole had simply gone to crap.

        A.

        • Draco T Bastard 1.3.1.1

          In my scenario however, the productivity improvement from automation is overshadowed by the productivity loss from environmental damage.

          Which sounds like you’re Making Shit Up to suit your agenda of not doing anything.

          • Antoine 1.3.1.1.1

            Of course I’m making stuff up! I defy anyone to talk at length about what’s going to happen in 2040 without making stuff up!!!

            A.

            • Draco T Bastard 1.3.1.1.1.1

              We can see quite clearly a lot of what’s going to happen as the future is shaped by the past.

        • RJL 1.3.1.2

          @Antonine: “Thus, it ends up taking more people to do the same amount of work.”

          I’m not sure that the real world works like that.

          But nonetheless, you seem to mean productivity loss in the real world (i.e. food production) rather than simple productivity changes in the office.

          Sure, if there is a massive contraction of food production, there will be a problem. But the solution won’t be for everyone to work a bit harder. The solution will be a massive contraction of population. See, for example, “The Death of Grass” by John Christopher.

          • Antoine 1.3.1.2.1

            As we are talking about a future decades away I can’t be certain you’re wrong, but I would have thought that if we were going through a massive contraction of population, paying a UBI would be the last thing on anyone’s mind.

            A.

      • Phil 1.3.2

        You don’t understand the problem. The problem of automation is that there is nothing to do. It’s uneconomic to employ people.

        … and you don’t understand the opportunity!

        Through history people have feared that every step of automation and technology would be the death knell of some part of civilization or culture. The invention of the radio would destroy piano makers. The introduction of cars would render huge swathes of horsemen unemployed and destitute. The internet will force us to close down libraries. People even feared that letting women learn to read and write would lead them to want careers (shock! horror!) and not just blast out more and more babies.

        In every single case, those fears were completely unfounded. New ideas and technology do, absolutely, lead to some pain and disruption in the short term. But they also become the platform for the next thing that occupies the time and energy of humans.

        I, for one, am incredibly excited for our robotic future. Specifically because we’ve got no idea what might come after it.

        • Antoine 1.3.2.1

          Well said!

          > Specifically because we’ve got no idea what might come after it.

          Agreed

          But I highly doubt it’s going to involve lots of able young people sitting round with no jobs to do.

          A.

          • SpaceMonkey 1.3.2.1.1

            I would change your last statement to say “I highly doubt it’s going to involve lots of able people sitting round with NOTHING to do”.

            All “jobs”, across every aspect of our society, could very well become a thing of the past. It’s what we do with our time and energy after that that matters.

        • coffeeconnoiseur 1.3.2.2

          If we are smart what comes next is more freedom than we have ever had for ourselves and for future generations. We will no longer need to work in order to survive but we will need to change the system to enable this.

    • saveNZ 1.4

      We should also ask ourselves why our government is deliberately sabotaging our future by bring in 100,000’s people per year for low skill jobs that are going to be automated or at minimum wages, such as petrol attendants…

      • coffeeconnoiseur 1.4.1

        in an attempt to lower the cost of living through lower prices in much the same way that they have made it illegal to discriminate against the elderly with jobs because the pension is no longer enough to live on.
        Or
        legalized prostitution so that with all of this automation your daughters and wives can still earn a living. (sorry but it is the reality)
        Or
        legalized Freedom Camping to hide the growing homelessness problem.
        Or
        blamed parents for child poverty so they could vote to keep the problem rather than fix it.

        Welcome to what the slow and painful collapse of Capitalism looks like.

  2. mickysavage 2

    Good post.

    The more I think about it the weirder the announcement is. It is like they were provided with advice that something had to be done but then weakened it and drew it out to the point that its effect is very muted. The baby boom bulge will be well and truly over by then.

    And taxing robots is the thing that our leaders should be grappling with now, not in the medium to long term.

    About the only benefit the Government’s announcement has is they can say they are doing something.

    • Draco T Bastard 2.1

      Sounds like typical National then – an announcement about doing something that, in reality, achieves nothing but kicking the can down the road and leaving it to someone else to clean up the mess.

    • Carolyn_nth 2.2

      I have wondered if Bling;s super announcement was just another variety of dead cat.

      Dead before it was thrown into the ring. A do nothing policy, just a lot of smoke and mirrors.

    • Bill 2.3

      Kind of connected to what you’re saying…

      What if airbnb type apps and ubertype apps were given away for free so there was no ‘owner’ of the app taking a cut and then people got taxed on their income just as happens now? What would the effect of that be?

      I understand that airbrb is the largest hospitality company in the world. And it owns nothing at all bar the proprietorial rights attached to an app. Is uber the largest personal transport network?

      There’s nothing to stop a government department or an individual developing similar apps and just giving them away.

      • AB 2.3.1

        Governments should feel obliged, on behalf of their citizens, to destroy or prevent parasitic business models.
        So yes.

      • coffeeconnoiseur 2.3.2

        There is nothing to stop this. There is also nothing to stop from automating the services that hang off those apps and delivering those for free also.
        A free on demand system if you will.

        If your worried about overconsumption and the effect on resources from such a move, fine retain a monetary system and give debt creation back to everyone or move to a non debt based monetary system.

    • Siobhan 2.4

      “And taxing robots is the thing that our leaders should be grappling with now, not in the medium to long term.”..that’s the best thing I’ve heard all year.
      And I’m assuming by that you are including all the companies that just function as the ‘interface’, basically giant robot driven computers hoarding all the wealth..

      http://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/comment/hamish-mcrae/facebook-airbnb-uber-and-the-unstoppable-rise-of-the-content-non-generators-10227207.html

  3. Bill 3

    So by 2040 we’re not going to need more people aged 65 & 66 to add to our dole queues. We’re going to need something like a Universal Basic Income – so why would we be reducing the number of people who qualify for the one we already have: NZ Super?

    If a proper UBI is put in place, then bosses, businesses and corporates lose power…and most of everything’s about power – establishing it and maintaining it.

    Better to have a population that’s scared and a precariat that’s worked to death returning lower overall profits from production within an environment of unassailed power than a world that’s pleasant for most.

    Oh. And 2040. CC. Big elephant. Ignore the elephant…Robots and finances.

    • Ben Clark 3.1

      Climate change will affect the robots less – they’ll be able to work underwater 😈

      but seriously, more floods / famine / storms / higher seas… I’m not sure it’ll result in more paid employment like Antoine suggests.
      but then more jobs being automated probably doesn’t equate to the post-scarcity utopia that he suggests either.

      But you’re right – if you’re trying to solve 2040 problems, there is a much bigger one to be working on than Super costs. (actually, probably more than 1 ‘n’ all…)

      • Antoine 3.1.1

        I’m not sure either, that’s pretty much my point. The future is uncertain. We shouldn’t plan for a single future that we envisage, rather for robustness over a range of futures.

        A.

    • AB 3.2

      “most of everything’s about power”
      And there has been a huge persuasive effort to make that insight disappear from our minds

      • SpaceMonkey 3.2.1

        To me, in a nutshell, this is the issue – power. Where the technology is being applied is being determined by the people who have it. Are they aware that the technology has the capability to even replace them?

    • coffeeconnoiseur 3.3

      Yes they do lose power. It returns to the people where it should be and the push then becomes for greater efficiency, better products and better service.
      leading to better usage of resources.

  4. fisiani 4

    National assumes that it will be in government in 2037 and beyond. Is that a reasonable and realistic assumption?

    • Poission 4.1

      After the target of selling of everything in NZ by the national government in 2037 ,the new owners (Guangdong tractor and real estate company #5) decided they did not require a government in NZ and made them all redundant.

  5. Skeptic 5

    Those of you who are old enough will remember a documentary called the Ascent of Man, written & narrated by Jacob Bronowski. In the final episode of the 13 part series, which aired in NZ in 1974, he issued a dire warning predicated on the rise of computers and robotics/androids. The precis of his warning was that eventually AI would displace manual and clerical/managerial work to the extent that all of Western Society will have one of two choices; a) share the work and generated income/wealth equitably through a guaranteed livable income with extra benefits – but not extensively so – for those who contribute more, plus much reduced working hours so the work gets shared evenly, or b) run society at bayonet point!!
    It is well worth revisiting this to see how everyday jobs we take for granted could and probably will within the next two decades, be taken over by remote viewed robotics, nanobots, artificial self-aware decision-making androids. Medical, Police, Fire, Law, Public Infrastructure Maintenance, Cleaning, Building & Construction, Design are all on the list of “replaceable” jobs. What the program was light on, was how humanity was going to occupy itself – if I remember rightly, there was a lot of airy-fairy stuff about arts and inventions.
    The main point being, extending super to 67 – even with a 20 lead-in – is not the answer to future proofing. It’s merely passing the buck onto the next generation to confront the reality of AI impact on Human Society.

    • Craig H 5.1

      I watched this doco at some point the past 5-10 years, and it was excellent – I highly recommend it.

  6. SpaceMonkey 6

    Great post!

    From my perspective, and in the stuff I do, automation has the potential to replace “judgement” roles (as Mai Chen referred to them on Radio NZ recently) as well.

    Cognitive reasoning technology (such as IBM’s Watson) has the capability to learn, and it is getting more powerful and better. In time, it has the potential to impact on EVERY part of our society. Not even the executive layers of an organisation will be immune to this new paradigm. (Actually… in my experience the machines would probably do a better job in many cases)

    As for banks… they are going to head the same way as the creative industries in time. Cognitive reasoning tech combined with nextgen blockchain, for example, can enable intelligent management of any peer-to-peer transactions, making any intermediary function redundant.

  7. BM 7

    For anyone who may be interested

    https://flipboard.com/topic/robots

  8. One Two 8

    Who will these robots be working for, is it imagined?

    Currently humans are ‘obliged’ to work to function inside of a paradigm which has been designed and maintained by the ‘very few’…Ergo the human energy resources are expended largely for the benefit of ‘very few’…

    When the human resources are no longer necessary for the ‘very few’ to maintain their position at the top of the triangle, then what?

    Politicians who are ‘selected’ as gatekeepers will not be addressing this or any other serious issue. It’s not the function they are ‘selected’ to perform

    Turn away from politics, and turn towards family, friends and those who are not yet part of your life…

    It’s going to be necessary, if not life saving!

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    In times of hysteria about the “World coming to an end” and “rising sea levels” so-called ‘Journalists’ who can barely spell words longer than four letters are having a ball! Though the majority of the Public have worked out that manmade climate change is nothing short of pseudo-science, and the ...
    An average kiwiBy admin@averagekiwi.com
    5 days ago
  • Chris Trotter on the BFD
    I don't want to give pblicity to certain parts of the internet that are better left to fester in their own irrelevance (I know, a bit like this place) but the listing of Chris Trotter as a 'author' on Cameron Slater's spinoff website, the BFD requires some explanation.Now, I don't ...
    5 days ago
  • Sex is not a spectrum
    The text below is a Twitter thread by Heather Heying that explains the essence of sexual reproduction and it long evolutionary history. She is an evolutionary biologist and a “professor-in-exile” after she and her husband, Bret Weinstein, stood up to supporters of an enforced “Day of Absence” for white staff and teachers ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    5 days ago
  • Climate Change: Trees, aviation, and offsets
    With crunch time for new Zealand climate policy approaching, most of the New Zealand media have got on board with a global reporting effort to cover the issue. There's one strand of stories today about polling and what it shows about changing public attitudes to the crisis, but the strand ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Pissing-Off The Israelis Is A High-Risk Strategy.
    Dangerous Foes: For those readers of Bowalley Road who feel disposed to dismiss any prospect of an Israeli destabilisation of New Zealand politics, the example of the United Kingdom repays close attention. Ever since the election of Jeremy Corbyn as leader of the British Labour Party, the Israelis have sanctioned, funded and ...
    5 days ago
  • Something to go to in Wellington
    Make It 16, the youth-led campaign to lower New Zealand's voting age, is holding an official campaign launch at Parliament this Friday from 16:30. If you'd like to attend, you can register using EventBrite here. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • A founding member responds to Peace Action Wellington
    by Don Franks It was a lovely sunny Wellington afternoon with blue skies above  the beaches.  In Courtenay Place, political activists packed out a stuffy upstairs room for an important meeting. The assembled pacifists, anarchists, communists and independent young radicals of Peace Action Wellington felt the need for a mission ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    5 days ago
  • “Mistakes and errors”
    Current and former NZDF top brass are being publicly grilled this week by the hit and run inquiry over their public responses to allegations of civilian casualties. Previously, they've claimed there were no casualties, a position which led them to lie to Ministers and to the public. Now, they're saying ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • “Homosexuality is same-sex attraction and relationships, not heterosexuals with delusions of gende...
    by Rafael D. Quiles (gender-critical gay man from Puerto Rico) The writing on the wall is right in people’s faces and people just don’t see it or don’t want to. What could actually possess a heterosexual male to want to feminize himself and claim that he is a lesbian? Because ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    6 days ago
  • Trump: “Where’s my favourite dictator?”
    From the Wall Street Journal:Inside a room of the ornately decorated Hotel du Palais during last month’s Group of Seven summit in Biarritz, France, President Trump awaited a meeting with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi. Mr. Trump looked over a gathering of American and Egyptian officials and called out in ...
    6 days ago
  • Magdalen Burns, 1983-2019, fighter for women’s liberation
    by the Redline blog collective At Redline we are very saddened to hear of the death of Magdalen Burns who passed away on the morning of Friday, September 13 (British time). Magdalen was a great fighter for the rights of women in general and lesbian women in particular, a defender ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Parliament and the Executive
    The Brexit issue has certainly brought with it a series of apparently difficult constitutional issues, many of them concerning the respective roles of the executive and parliament. Most of them arise because of the unwillingness of MPs, despite their professions to the contrary, to be bound by a constitutional rarity ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • The Abigail Article; Martyn Bradbury’s Article, and My Response
    . . This blogpost is different to my usual format of reporting on issues… Since July 1011, I have blogged on a variety of political issues; near always political and/or environmental; mostly highly critical of the previous National Government. Other issues included Israeli occupation of Palestinian lands and repression of ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • Police will have to wear silly Buckingham Palace hats from now on, says Police Minister
    Those close to the Police Minister believe the initiative may be the result of Nash “seeing a great deal” on AliExpress. In a move that comes seemingly out of nowhere, Police Minister Stuart Nash announced this afternoon that he expects all frontline staff to don bearskin hats, famously worn by ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • A sensible crackdown
    The government has released its Arms Legislation Bill, containing the second tranche of changes to gun laws following the March 15 massacre. And it all looks quite sensible: a national gun register, higher penalties for illegal possession and dealing, tighter restrictions on arms dealers and shooting clubs, and a shorter ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • California bans private prisons
    Private prisons are a stain on humanity. Prison operators explicitly profit from human misery, then lobby for longer prisons terms so they can keep on profiting. And in the US, prison companies run not only local and state prisons, but also Donald Trump's immigration concentration camps. Faced with this moral ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Why PPPs are a bad idea
    When National was in power, they were very keen on Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) - basicly, using private companies to finance public infrastructure as a way of hiding debt from the public. They were keen on using them for everything - roads, schools, hospitals. But as the UK shows, that "service" ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • A Movement That No Longer Moves.
    Moving And Shaking: There was a time when people spoke matter-of-factly about the “labour movement” – a political phenomenon understood to embrace much more than the Labour Party. Included within the term’s definition was the whole trade union movement – many of whose members looked upon the Labour Party as ...
    1 week ago
  • NZ ‘left’ politically embracing extreme postmodernism
    by Philip Ferguson Much of the left, even people who formally identify as marxists, have collapsed politically in the face of postmodern gender theory of the sort pioneered by American philosopher Judith Butler. For Butler even biological sex is socially constructed. “If the immutable character of sex is contested, perhaps ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • The obvious question
    The media is reporting that the (alleged) Labour party sexual assaulter has resigned from their job at Parliament, which means hopefully he won't be turning up there making people feel unsafe in future. Good. But as with everything about this scandal, it just raises other questions. Most significantly: why the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The moment I found out that you found out, I acted swiftly
    By Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern I am every bit as angry as you are. I am every bit as disappointed as you must be. The people with power, oversight and the ability to do something about these processes within the Labour Party should be ashamed. Whoever those people are, I ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • This is why people hate property developers
    Property developers think there is an "oversupply" of houses in Auckland:High turnover rates and falling prices may be a sign that there are too many new houses going in to some parts of Auckland, commentators say. [...] Property developer David Whitburn said there was a "bit of an oversupply" in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Australia to Pacific: “Fuck you, you can all drown”
    World leaders are meeting in New York in two weeks for the 2019 Climate Action Summit, where they are expected to announce new and more ambitious targets to stop the world from burning. But the Australian Prime Minister won't be there, despite being in the USA at the time:Scott Morrison ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Implausible ignorance
    Labour Party president Nigel Haworth resigned yesterday over the party's sexual assault scandal. But while that's good news, its unlikely to take away the stench of a coverup. Because according to Paula Bennett in Parliament yesterday, pretty much everyone in the Prime Minister's office was involved as well:I have been ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Labour’s Fatal Flaw.
     Two-Faced? Labour insiders' commitment to the neoliberal status quo puts them at odds with their party’s membership; its trade union affiliates; and a majority of Labour voters, but this only serves to strengthen the perception they have of themselves as a special elite. Among the lesser breeds, they’ll talk up a ...
    1 week ago
  • Ten reasons the Tories do NOT want an election
    There has been a lot of talk about Boris Johnson wanting an election, and he has blustered with great gusto about 'chicken' Jeremy Corbyn refusing one, but I think there are many reasons why he is secretly glad he has been refused the opportunity:The Tories are an utter rabble,tearing themselves ...
    1 week ago
  • Prorogation Illegal, rule Scottish judges
    Scottish appeal court judges have declared that Boris Johnson’s decision to suspend parliament in the run-up to the October Brexit deadline is unlawful. The three judges, chaired by Lord Carloway, Scotland’s most senior judge, overturned an earlier ruling that the courts did not have the powers to interfere in the prime ...
    1 week ago
  • Let me explain what I meant by Everyday New Zealanders
    By Simon Bridges. The following is a press release from the office of Simon Bridges, leader of The National Party. Key ora, New Zealand. Happy Maori Language Week. Look, I’m writing to you today because I want to clear something up. There’s been a lot of kerfuffle around some things ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Yes, the SIS is subject to the Public Records Act
    I understand there's some stuff going round about how the SIS "was removed from the list of public offices covered by the Public Records Act in 2017". The context of course being their records derived from US torture, which will be disposed of or sealed. The good news is that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • An evidence-based discussion of the Canadian fluoride/IQ study
    Dr. Christopher Labos and Jonathan Jarry discuss the recent Canadian fluoride/IQ research. They provide an expert analysis of the paper and its problems. Click on image to go to podcast. The critical debate about the recent ...
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Australia in denial
    Australia is burning down again, and meanwhile its natural disaster minister is denying climate change:Australia’s minister responsible for drought and natural disasters, David Littleproud, has said that he doesn’t “know if climate change is manmade”. Clarifying earlier comments that the question is “irrelevant” when considering the Coalition government’s response to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Philippines activist speaking on the Duterte tyranny
    Auckland Philippines Solidarity is excited to host Professor Judy Taguiwalo for a speaking tour of NZ in September. She is a well-known activist in the Philippines and was a political prisoner under the Marcos dictatorship. Professor Taguiwalo briefly served as a Cabinet member under President Duterte but was forced from ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Disgust
    I have no special insights to offer on the Labour sexual assault coverup. All I have is disgust. Disgust that an organisation could fail its people so badly. Disgust that they punished the victims rather than the perpetrator. Disgust that its party hacks are apparently blaming the victims for demanding ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Speak Up for Women calls out Greens’ censorship
    This open letter to the Green Party was penned after an opinion piece by Jill Abigail, a feminist and founding member of the party, was censored by the Greens’ leadership. (Redline has reprinted her article here).The intolerance of the Green Party leaders and their acceptance of the misogyny of gender ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Member’s Day: End of Life Choice, part 3
    Today is a Member's day, and David Seymour's End of Life Choice Bill continues its slow crawl through its committee stage. They're spending the whole day on it today, though the first hour is likely to be spent on voting left over from last time. After that they'll move on ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Flight to Los Angeles turned back after passengers decide they don’t want to go anymore
    An ambitious plan to fly to Los Angeles petered out into a brief sight-seeing trip and a desire to return home and get some sleep before work tomorrow. Air New Zealand has confirmed a flight to Los Angeles last night was turned back about a quarter of the way into ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Indigenous Futures: defuturing and futuring – an analytical framework for policy development?
    There appears to be consensus – by omission – that the concept of indigenous futures should be accepted at face value. So I scavenged the internet to see if I could locate an academic descriptor or a framework around how we think about it as a concept, and whether it ...
    EllipsisterBy Ellipsister
    2 weeks ago
  • Cadbury rumoured to be releasing the Pineapple Trump
    Here’s another novelty chocolate to shove in your gob, New Zealand Cadbury could be seeking to make itself great again with a rumoured new release: Pineapple Trumps, a spin on its classic chocolate-encased pineapple treat and do-it-yourself tooth remover. The global confectionery manufacturer and bumbling “before” character in an infomercial, ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • The coming resource war.
    During my time in the Pentagon I had the privilege of sitting down with military leaders and defence and security officials from a variety of Latin American nations. Sometimes I was present as a subordinate assistant to a senior US defence department official, sometimes as part of a delegation that ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    2 weeks ago
  • Māori Language Week with The Civilian
    Kia ora, Aotearoa. It’s that magical time of year. Te Wiki o te Reo Māori. In English, the week that frightens talk radio. As you probably know by now, all your favourite media outlets are participating, some more successfully than others. Stuff has changed its name to Puna for the ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Will Horizons act on climate change?
    Local body elections are coming up next month. And it looks like all Palmerston North candidates for Horizons (the Manawatu-Whanganui Regional Council) want to take action on climate change:Climate change is set to be a key issue in Palmerston North for the next three years if those wanting to get ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • BORA reform is stalled
    Eighteen months ago, the government promised to strengthen the Bill of Rights Act, by explicitly affirming the power of the courts to issue declarations of inconsistency and requiring Parliament to formally respond to them. So how's that going? I was curious, so I asked for all advice about the proposal. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Corbyn and Brexit
    As the Brexit saga staggers on, the focus is naturally enough on the Prime Minister and his attempts to achieve Brexit “do or die”. But the role played by the Leader of the Opposition is of almost equal interest and complexity. The first problem for Jeremy Corbyn is that he ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    2 weeks ago
  • A ditch for him to die in
    Last week, English Prime Minister Boris Johnson boldly declared that he would rather die be dead in a ditch than delay Brexit. Unfortunately for him, the UK parliament accepted the challenge, and promptly dug one for him. The "rebellion bill" requires him to ask for and secure yet another temporary ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Warning! Warning! Danger Jacinda Ardern! Danger Marama Davidson! Warning!
    Lost In Political Space: The most important takeaway from this latest Labour sexual assault scandal, which (if I may paraphrase Nixon’s White House counsel’s, John Dean’s, infamous description of Watergate) is “growing like a cancer” on the premiership, is the Labour Party organisation’s extraordinary professional paralysis in the face of ...
    2 weeks ago

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