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Mark Ames on the rally to restore sanity

Written By: - Date published: 7:03 pm, October 31st, 2010 - 27 comments
Categories: class war - Tags: ,

Mark Ames has a very good analysis of the “Rally to Restore Sanity” over at the exiled in which he points out exactly how liberal individualism has decimated itself (and I recommend you read the whole damn thing):

It’s the final humiliating undoing of Enlightenment Idealism that made Liberalism possible–imagine if Jefferson, Diderot, Montesquieu, Madison et al reduced the entire Enlightenment’s struggle against the old feudal order to “I’m against the monarchy because the monarchy’s stupid…but then again, Rousseau makes a fool of himself with his Romanticism, and Tom Paine is so serious with his ‘Rights of Man’, the Revolutionaries are just as crazy as the Monarchists, so rather than join either side and risk opening myself to mockery, I’m just going to stand back and laugh at them all and say, ‘Really? Independence? Everyone is created equal and has the right to pursue happiness? Really, TJ? You sure you want to say that about Bluebeard? Really?” [LAUGH TRACK]…

And he’s got a point. One of the phenomenons of the Hobbit fiasco was the number of liberal commentators who lined up to take pot-shots at the union. Not because of what they stood for but because they just weren’t doing it very well. As Ames makes clear there’s nothing the modern liberal fears more than getting caught standing for something:

Liberals are sure that this somehow makes them smarter and less lame–and indeed, they are less lame, because they are not taking themselves too seriously, which is something they’re very, very proud of. All great political struggles and ideological advances, all great human rights achievements were won by clown-led crowds of people who don’t take themselves too seriously, duh! That’s why they’re following a clown like Stewart, whose entire political program comes down to this: not being stupid, the way the other guys are stupid–or when being stupid, only stupid in a self-consciously stupid way, which is to say, not stupid.

It reminds me of a comment about the Hobbit by sanctuary over at the dimpost the other day:

This is what sticks in my craw about this whole fiasco – New Zealand business can fuck royally to the tune of billions of dollars time after time after time after time after time… And it might rate a mention or two from Russell Brown or Danyl. One small, under-resourced union fighting the good fight for its members makes some mistakes? WHOA! HOLD THE FRONT PAGE FOR A WEEK! No piece of scathing satire is bad enough for the union – they must be crushed beneath the torrent of judgemental scorn of clever middle class wordsmiths.

But back to Ames:

You see, this is why so many cool Gen-Xers and Gen-Yers were so jazzed up about going to the Stewart rally–by definition, they were guaranteed not to look stupid by going to it, because it’s not really a rally. They’re not putting anything on the line. They’re just going to chant the equivalent of that annoying Saturday Night Live Update skit “Really?” No generation ever looked so cool so late in their lives as my generation. We did it! We achieved our dream! We don’t look as stupid as the hippies did when they were in their 40s! Woo-hoo! We still mock ourselves and we’re still self-aware, but best of all, we don’t look stupid by devoting ourselves to ideas or movements that other people might one day laugh at. We won! We won the least-stupid-looking-generation competition! Let’s gather together in an ironic, self-aware way, and celebrate how we’re not really rallying or laying anything on the line–not even now, not even when the whole fucking country is collapsing. What’s our prize, Don?

Meanwhile, behind Door Number 1, the country is in two losing wars and the worst economic crisis in 80 years, behind Door Number 2, over 40 million Americans are on fucking food stamps, behind Door Number 3, millions are being land-transfered out of their property like landless peasants in a banana republic–yeah, it’s bad, whatever dude, it’s always been bad, nothing ever changes much, don’t have a cow, deal with it…

I’m gonna go out on a limb here and say a few things that might sound stupid, but bear with me:

1. Collective action is the only possible way to change shit. Large numbers of collectivized nobodies rallying to demand what they want–a better cut of the pie, and a better world to live in. It’s the only thing that power-elites fear and the only way to get them to negotiate. There must be thousands of billionaires’ unions—whether the Chamber of Commerce or the gazillions of libertarian networks—and the only thing they hope and dream about and invest their effort into is planting a seed into your vain Gen-X brain that makes you think it’s lame to collectivize.

Head over to the exiled for Ames’ other words of wisdom.

27 comments on “Mark Ames on the rally to restore sanity”

  1. Colonial Viper 1

    The Right has never had any problem with stepping forwards and being brutal (and brutish) with their agendas.

    The Left on the other hand, seem to prefer to sing kumbaya around campfires (thanks Michael Moore) and spend far too much time to arguing minutaie on various interminable treatises not worth a damn.

    I admit I did lay into AE for tactically mismanaging and miscalculating their moves. However it is the values and principles which we need to stand strong on and communicate and there, AE was 100% spot on. The operational execution we can improve over time.

    Glad that Helen Kelly and the CTU stood right by AE but yep, many more should have been on the line right there with them.

    Collective action is the only possible way to change shit. Large numbers of collectivized nobodies rallying to demand what they want–a better cut of the pie, and a better world to live in.

    Plus you need the people on the workers side who have the nous and knowledge to organise, lead and negotiate to success.

  2. Vicky32 2

    “and the only thing they hope and dream about and invest their effort into is planting a seed into your vain Gen-X brain that makes you think it’s lame to collectivize.”
    That’s probably the first time I have been glad to be a “baby-boomer!” However it makes me very sad to see how right he is about the Gen-X, Y and Z people… 🙁
    Deb

  3. ianmac 3

    Petrol Companies change their prices constantly so that there is no chance for protest to take aim.
    This Government changes the focus in bits so there is no chance for protest to take aim.
    Mining, Canterbury water, Earthquake Act, Super City, Public Transport, Subsidising Warners, Credit cards, Labour Laws, Privatisation, democracy, unemployment.
    Which one is big enough to settle in our sights and bring a concert of effort? That one? Damn. There is another one now. Or that one. Keep still damn it.

    • Colonial Viper 3.1

      Got to coalesce people around values and priorities, not just around the tactical issues of the day.

      At every time that people get annoyed enough about some action/inaction NAT is taking to actually surface, grab them and sign them up to Labour, the Greens, etc.

  4. Carol 4

    On first read I liked the Ames piece and the comparisons with the attacks on AE’s unsuccessful action against the Hobbit.

    But, on (semi-) reflection, I think I’m not totally sold on the argument. It seems lacking in depth…. maybe? I’m a little tired after a day’s work. I can’t quite identify why I’m not happy with the comparisons, but I have some glimmers of ideas:

    Firstly, I don’t agree with over-generalisations about whole generations. I’ve seen plenty of gen x,y,z… whatever… participating in political actions: eg the fairness at work rallies on Oct 20th. And there’s Babyboomers, who I work with and who are in the union, but didn’t go to the rally.

    Also many people who have bought the neoliberal lines on most things, still can join in some things that look a little like collective actions, and for things they believe in…. like consumerism … lining up for the latest IPAD, or the rallies for PJ and the Hobbit and against the unions. The difference is in not putting themselves on the line to challenge the status quo, or those with most economic or policitical power. It’s more about being on the side of the cool people, and the celebrities, maybe?

    That’s as far as my thoughts have got… but …. maybe I’ll work it out tomorrow???? Or maybe someone else can help me?

    • Colonial Viper 4.1

      Like middle management types who believe that because they are on $65,000 or $75,000 p.a., the 90 day right to fire law will never affect them or a family member. And that middle manager might be 31 years old or 51 years old.

      I don’t think that the matter is just about looking cool (or not), although that will influence some. It may however be about recognising and accepting oneself as being “working class” when you have fashioned a self image that you (must somehow) be above that.

      After all, how can one be ‘working class’ and concerned with the stresses and strains of ‘the working class’ when one has a university education and wears a nice YSL shirt and italian tie to work.

      • M 4.1.1

        ‘After all, how can one be ‘working class’ and concerned with the stresses and strains of ‘the working class’ when one has a university education and wears a nice YSL shirt and italian tie to work.’

        Absolutely, until one day their names are selected for a redundancy list and they’re scratching to make ends meet, and, if they’re the wrong side of forty, not pretty enough or whatever the requirement is for that day then no 65k or 75k job for them.

        • Lazy Susan 4.1.1.1

          I think that the erosion of real wages and conditions of the middle class has been as equally extreme as that of the working class. People in white collar jobs such as banking, insurance, local government, media etc. have been going backwards for the last 20 odd years. They’ve bought into the aspirational notion that someday they could get the top job and get the big money – just work hard and keep their noses clean. They’ve used debt to get the nice house, car and other trappings; to keep themselves one rung up from the working class and have felt reasonably OK about their lot

          The GFC in 2008 was the start of “the great de-leveraging” of the global debt mountain that has been building up since the end of the 2nd World War. Governments have intervened to temporarily stall this but they are only delaying the inevitable. As property prices and the banking system collapse the middle classes are being hit hard. This is already happening in the US and will happen here. The great middle class dream is being shattered and they are becoming angry – the question is who that anger is directed towards? In the USA it appears, unfortunately, that people are turning against each other rather than working together against the elites. I understand Ames point and have sympathy with it. Better though for the left to try and educate and win over their fellow citizens rather than simply turn their anger back on them. This, I think, is what the “Rally to Restore Sanity” was trying to achieve.

    • Bill 4.2

      All Ames is really saying is that in the same way that some punks bought their ‘punk’ from E.M.I. and wound up as accountants, so Hanks bought a slick Washington PR package expecting deliverance and wound up as disillusioned.

      Hanks bought into a middle class, even messianic version of the left and ‘mainstream’ activism (‘the brand’ as Ames calls it)…the Obama, the democrats, the reformism as an end in itself etc… And she’s discovered that that’s all a crock. But instead of seeking more effective strategies to further ideas or ideals she believes in, she is allowing her cynicism to confuse ‘the personal is political’ to mean that the political is entirely embodied within the personal (rather than interpreting the phrase as intended which was simply to point out that people can’t develop movements that will see an end of racism/sexism etc if they act in racist/sexist ways.)

      In effect, you might say she is foregoing politics in preference for pointless righteousness.

      As for the Rally For Sanity. Fucking inane. Ames does make the point that it simply doesn’t have a point. And a jester leading a spectacle of liberal fools would in my mind be a reasonable take on it. ( Unless there were specific issues that I just didn’t hear about?)

      As for criticising aspects of the union campaign. Why not? Positive criticism is a very good avenue for learning.

      For a well thought out criticism of liberalism, I’d recommend this excerpt from Chris Hedges’ book Death of the Liberal Class and if you have the bandwidth, this interview and follow up debate on the same

  5. This is what sticks in my craw about this whole fiasco – New Zealand business can fuck royally to the tune of billions of dollars time after time after time after time after time… And it might rate a mention or two from Russell Brown or Danyl. One small, under-resourced union fighting the good fight for its members makes some mistakes? WHOA! HOLD THE FRONT PAGE FOR A WEEK! No piece of scathing satire is bad enough for the union – they must be crushed beneath the torrent of judgemental scorn of clever middle class wordsmiths.

    I didn’t reply to Sanctuary at the time but I’ll make my point here: attacking free market ideology and crony capitalism have pretty much been the defining themes of my blog for the last couple years. They’re subjects I now hesitate to write about because I write about them so much and I don’t want just keep repeating myself. The unions? I guess I mention them like, once every three months. I’m pretty sure this is the first time I’ve satirised them.

    Robert MacNamara said (of the US invasion of Iraq, I paraphrase slightly) that if the US could not convince allies with similar interests and similar values to their own that their cause was right then they should re-examine their own assumptions. If the union movement cannot convince someone as astute and sympathetic to their cause as Russell Brown then it needs to re-examine its assumptions, not throw a temper tantrum and accuse him of class treason, or any of the other nonsense that’s been thrown his way in the last week.

    • IrishBill 5.1

      I made a similar point about how AE needed to reach out to potentially sympathetic supporters in my post of October the 2nd.

      However in retrospect I don’t think anybody needs to convince Russell of anything and I certainly don’t see him as the left man on the clapham omnibus as you seem to. I also think it’s significant he’s chairing a “panel discussion” at the SPADA conference which looks like it’s going to be nothing more than a bitchfest about the union.

      You’ve got a fair point about your blog though, it’s a favourite of mine and I don’t think you could be considered anti-union at all.

      • pollywog 5.1.1

        I don’t think anybody needs to convince Russell of anything and I certainly don’t see him as the left man on the clapham omnibus as you seem to.I also think it’s significant he’s chairing a “panel discussion” at the SPADA conference

        translation : the guy is full of himself, ain’t worth shit to the left and is basically looking to feather his own nest by sucking up to ‘the man’…

        ahhh…good ‘ol Russell “wheres the free beers” Brown.

        gotta love his hustle.

        🙂

  6. A 6

    If anything, the Ames article seems to orbit around the issue without ever stating it clearly.

    Here it is: the leftish commitment to countercultural individualism, identity politics and the politics of personal authenticity (otherwise known as not being defined by “the man”) is not only compatible with neoliberalism, it is neoliberalism.

    That, in a nutshell, is why the left never seems to gain any traction. It’s adopted the core of its opponents’ ideology and expends all its energy in self deception and conspiracy theories trying to hide that fact from itself.

    When you think about it, it is quite funny.

    Pretty obvious that it will require a whole lot more than a media makeover to fix the problems exposed by the Hobbit fiasco.

    • Carol 6.1

      That, in a nutshell, is why the left never seems to gain any traction. It’s adopted the core of its opponents’ ideology and expends all its energy in self deception and conspiracy theories trying to hide that fact from itself.

      Actually, it happened the other way around. That is what has made it so difficult for the left. In the 60s, idenitity politics, countercultural ideals etc., were drawn into a movements built on class politics (especially in the UK, Euope, NZ & Aussie) and civil rights (in the US). They became part of a broad political agenda working for class equality and social justice, based in neo-Marxist theories.

      Then in the 70s, in the forging of neoliberalism, the leaders of the neoliberal revolution found it useful to adopt a version of identity politics and counter-culture ideals. This is because it made a fairly easy fit with economic neoliberalism, by re-casting the counter-culture values in totally individualistic terms of social liberalism. It meant that it was relatively easy to win over those who had made identity issues and counter-culture values part of their ideals and everyday lives. This involved a shift from those values as part of collective activism to a totally individualistic focus on them: i.e taking the wider political collective activism out of the “personal is political”.

      Both Naomi Klein and David Harvey have written about this appropriation by neoliberalism of an individualistic form of identity politics and counterculture values.

      • A 6.1.1

        “Actually, it happened the other way around”.

        That’s part of the mythmaking I was talking about. There is no distinction other than a rhetorical one between “authentic counterculture” and “co-opted counterculture”. They are the same. The counterculture and its authenticity inspired revolt against the evils of conformity and the mass society is the spirit of capitalism in a purer form. After all, the intensity of status competition and the resulting consumption is much greater than anything the old patrician forms of status competition could manage.

        Just look at the amount people spend on organic vegetables. And many of these people claim to oppose capitalism at the same time they pay 50 bucks for “alternative” tea.

        Worthless, self-deceived hypocrites the lot of them.

        • Colonial Viper 6.1.1.1

          If you are advocating increasing this maybe you should read your Keynes…

          Capitalism provides us with cheap shite corporate mass sourced tea imported from the lowest cost foreign countries using low wage labour working with no minimum employment and work/chemical safety standards.

          Surely its not hypocritical to oppose this?

          Same with organic vegetables. It could be argued quite easily that pre-mass market food manufacture *all* vegetables were organic, and that is something to aspire to. Although of course growing your own in the backyard would be better than buying organic versions at your local M&S.

          • Vicky32 6.1.1.1.1

            “Although of course growing your own in the backyard would be better than buying organic versions at your local M&S.”
            Absolutely, if it’s at all possible! (That’s what my parents did, but they owned their own house, and my father was particularly gifted in that area.)
            However, although I would like to buy organic and Fairtrade, I simply can’t afford it. Doing the right thing becomes a middle class luxury, which is bad.
            Deb

    • Draco T Bastard 6.2

      Here it is: the leftish commitment to countercultural individualism, identity politics and the politics of personal authenticity (otherwise known as not being defined by “the man”) is not only compatible with neoliberalism, it is neoliberalism.

      The cult of individualism and difference forgetting that we can’t live without society and that all the basics that everyone needs are exactly the same. Fighting between groups within the society will destroy the society making most worse off rather than making them all better off.

      There is, of course, one group that will “win” and that’s the group that’s quite happy to fuel the stupidity and that’s the psychopathic capitalist group. As people fight for their individual rights these people will take the wealth that would allow them to actually be themselves within a caring society.

      • Bill 6.2.1

        “Fighting between groups within the society will destroy the society making most worse off..”

        By ‘fighting’, I guess you are referring to a competition of ideas where one idea is found to be right (either because it is genuinely better or because it has more leverage) and the others are discarded?

        Whatever happened to curiosity; to the ability to explore a situation or problem without trying to force it to a preconceived conclusion?

        Society and cultures needs to change to avoid stagnation (obviously), but using competing ideas as the vehicle for change always delivers limits (ie the parameters of the dominant idea) rather than expansive and fluid solutions.

        The trick would be to develop strategies that do not lead to the crystallisation inherent to new orthodoxies; strategies that encourage fluidity and avoid any concentration of power in the hands of those who advocate any particular action or perspective (the priest, politician, business ‘man’, shaman, professional…).

        Thankfully but contentiously, we have the strategy at our disposal if we choose to use it.

        Democracy that is not subject to the various asymmetries inherent to, and that flow from hierarchy is sitting right there for us to develop and hone. Unfortunately, such a move would have to take place in spite of the pseudo democracy we labour beneath at the moment. And as such would be perceived as a direct challenge to it and therefore run the risk of being contaminated by an urge, encouraged by ingrained habit born of current orthodoxies, to compete for ascendency.

        And this is perhaps where the ‘personal is political’ comes into play again?

  7. deemac 7

    Jon Stewart is not a politician, he’s a satirist. He does it damn well. It’s not his job to lead the left/liberals. Seems pretty unreasonable to put such a demand on him.

    • Pascal's bookie 7.1

      And their target isn’t politicians, it’s the media.

    • And Ames’ piece overlooks the role that satire has played in building awareness at the frailty of the elites amongst countless populations, and produced some of the world’s greatest writers, particularly from Europe.

      And it gets the argument arse-backwards.

      The populace has a tolerance for “serious” discussion (the quotation marks recognise I’m including talkback in that description) only for so long as it reinforces what they already think. Any attempt to convince them of an alternate point of view tends to be dismissed as a boring diatribe.

      One of the most effective ways of bringing about a re-evaluation of comfortably-held beliefs is through satire. The audience essentially thinks “Ha! That’s ridiculous. But hold on… I kinda think that… and people are laughing at it and thus, by extension, at me. And since I can see the joke, maybe they have a point…”

      Ames is right that no one wants to be mocked. So if you believe Donald Rumsfeld about the war, and Rumsfeld is constantly (and accurately) mocked, by extension you feel you’re being mocked, and you’ll at least take the trouble to examine whether you can defend Rumsfeld when your workmates repeat the latest “Daily Show” gag about him.

      Having helped weaken the blind adherence to dogma that stands in the way of change, deemac is right – Stewart has done as much as could be expected of him.

      The fact that the left is presently incapable of producing an effective, inspirational leadership to take advantage of that isn’t Stewart’s fault. And as long as it can’t, the disillusioned won’t put anything on the line because they’re not being asked to in a way which makes them respond.

  8. IrishBill 8

    Just got around to reading the Ames piece. It’s a nice piece of rhetoric but I’m not sure I agree with it, if anything the rally strikes me as an event that could be built on. As for the Hobbit? Frankly I’ll be happy if I never hear the word “hobbit” again.

  9. john 9

    Some observations about Mark Ames article and the Historical Depression now affecting the US.
    Politics
    1. Real Politics died in the US decades ago why? The Republicans and Democrats are the two heads of a one party state. Real alternatives such as Ralph Nader never get a look in.
    2. The media is corporate controlled and purveys the corporate view on all aspects of society.
    3. In my opinion,others may disagree, John Stewart is a corporate controlled clown who in reality trivialises serious issues ,which if treated properly would be very unpc and uncool.
    4. Part of this death of real politics is the manipulative emphasis on image and brand rather than real issues. Refer John Key here he’s very careful to keep his smiling unsullied by real issues image going at all times and people buy it! Even though he’s heading one of the most extreme right wing governments since the 90s.
    5. The US is a police state, they arrest people for the most trivial things like protesting.Organising alternatives is dangerous to life and limb,(Look at JFK and his brother Robert, Martin Luther King)(Anyway grassroots doesn’t have the cash the corporate parties have!)most don’t think the dumbed down American populace are worth it! Like Socialism is Communism! Iraq was behind 911! And the Christian extremists who think the World was made 6000 years ago! Why put your life on the line for people so alienated from each other they have guns at home?
    6. So real politics died a long time ago so why could or should that lady treat it other than a brand of consumer choice?

    NeoLiberalism
    1. This ideology has made a declining situation infinitely worse:
    2. Close to 50,000 factories off-shored to Asia principally China
    3. A tax regime which favours the already rich so much wealth is crazily skewed in the US.
    4 The common good plundered by privatization adnauseum,meaning wealth continues upwards relentlessly.
    5. An attitude of extreme individualism without comprehension of working and surviving together.
    6. Unions are busted by off-shoring and extreme prejudice from employers.

    One could go on and on, yet this government sends Paula to learn corporate responsibility from them! It’s the Corporate/Goverment fascist state that’s killing America! They’re both in and out of bed together like a Brian Rix Farce!

    • john 9.1

      Ralph Nader who could have offered a fresh new alternative for Americans comments here on American’s “Corporate Serfdom” Refer link:
      http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article26719.htm

    • john 9.2

      Hi this is a comment to Mark Ames’ piece in exiledonline. It’s by an American living in Czechoslovakia . This is humour so don’t take it too seriously!

      “Aren’t Americans just idiots in general? Don’t take offense to this Exile readers as most of you are smart enough to understand and enjoy the cynicism and criticism that is expressed here. But honestly, how many Americans do you meet that are coherent of what is going on at the most fucked up levels of government and the damage its done to society?

      I’ve been living in Europe for five years now, so I have a more positively skewed view of Americans who at least want to see the world a bit, but most of them are pretty ignorant of what’s going on.

      Here in the Godforsaken hipster capital that is Prague I see so many carbon copy young Americans trying to manufacture an original experience and persona while still clinging onto their hamburger and french fry eating, ipod wearing ways that its taught me something. Americans are too fearful to stand up to their inner fears and try to make change, even when they travel thousands of miles to get away. Or in this example, go to a rally to express a desire to make change.

      They walk right up to the precipice, take a look at the unknown void below, and then they turn around and run back to the warm embrace of a paternalistic system which makes their fears go away at the cost of any sort of liberty or justice.

      Its simply not programmed into most Americans to look deeply into a situation and take action. They can always rationalize government and corporate theft by telling themselves that they’ve still got enough to be comfortable. They feign political activism to address that subconscious gnawing inside of them which knows their system is fucked, but they do just enough to quiet it and never silence it.

      And these are the GOOD Americans who are at least halfway intelligent and active. The majority of Americans are obese assholes that live in backwards suburbs amongst strip malls, tract housing, office buildings, and a KFC/Taco Bell.

      Their understanding of the world revolves around whats on TV, how their football team is doing, which microwave meal to zap up for dinner, washing their truck, spending time with their fat family and friends, and listening to hate speech at Church every Sunday.

      To think that these people choose the world’s most important politicians is frightening due to their shocking ignorance. They have no experience with the outside world, so they take what the TV/Pastor tells them as truth. They don’t know any Muslims, they don’t know any gays, they don’t know where Iraq is or care about why we have been fighting an ongoing war there for eight years.

      Its basically a bunch of dumb, ignorant, boring drones that have had so much shit programmed into their head that they don’t know nor care about anything aside from their small cheap pleasures such as Sunday night 2 for $20 at Applebee’s, the new flatscreen coming out at Best Buy, beers with their fat violent friends during the football game, and trying to get ahead at their shitty insignificant job.

      These people are so fucked up and stupid that they’ll do whatever their Church tells them to do. They abhor fags, they love guns, and they hate Muslims– so the Republican Party and Tea Party get their vote, and they’ll stomp heads to make sure that what want is enforced.

      Modern Day America is the story of a sad, wasted existence. On one side you have the people who sort of get it but don’t have the balls to do anything about it and on the other side you have the fat, stupid, ignorant, assholes that have the righteous conviction to fuck shit up for everyone else.

      In the crevices between the wavering masses lie the people that get it: one side that tries to spur others to action, and the other side that says fuck it all and gets the hell out. I’m proud to say that I’m of the second group. Life’s too short to have to wait for ignorant people to combine balls with knowledge and do what needs to be done to make real changes. I’ll be drinking a cheap Czech beer at the corner bar if things ever come together.”

  10. Jon Stewart was amazing his speech at the end was mindblowing.

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    2 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 9
    . . April 3: Day 9 of living in lock-down… Another late-start to my work day. Everything is temporarily upended as clients are shuffled around so we can minimise our “bubble” by reducing the number of people we help. One of my colleagues has been removed from his clients; his ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    2 days ago
  • Death to our lockdown enemies!
    We must root out the traitors among us! ...
    Imperator FishBy Scott Yorke
    2 days ago
  • Climate Change: The benefits of electrification
    In order to meet our 2050 carbon target and do our bit to avoid making the Earth uninhabitable, New Zealand needs to decarbonise our economy, replacing fossil fuels with electricity in the energy, industrial and transport sectors. The good news is that it will mean cheaper power for all of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 8 (sanitised version)
    For those folk who find my other Lock-Down Diary versions too “negative” or otherwise unpalatable… Here’s a photo of a pretty flower, .   . Better? Tomorrow’s Sanitised Version: a cute animal video. . . . =fs= ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    3 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 8
    . . April 2: Day eight of living in lock-down… Today, my work day starts late. Our rosters and clients have been dramatically changed, lessening (theoretically) the number of people in our work “bubble”.  If just one of us catches covid19 the impact could be considerable as Grey Base Hospital ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    3 days ago
  • A note on apartments and bubbles
    As Aotearoa enters week two of lockdown, it’s clear we’re all still working out what our “bubbles” look like and how to stay in them to stop the spread of Covid-19. New to the government’s Covid-19 website is some good guidance for people living in apartment blocks. Recent decades have ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    3 days ago
  • Getting in futures shape 
    “There are decades where nothing happens; and there are weeks where decades happen.” Lenin Don’t we all know that feeling now.

    Prospect Magazine alerted me to this particularly apt quote. It is a much more evocative quote than Hemingway’s “gradually then suddenly” which is also doing ...

    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    3 days ago
  • Maybe axing Clark would be unfair. But what about any of this is fair?
    Yesterday was the day the consequences of the lockdown suddenly got very real for many. Firms have been closing and laying people off since the outset of the quarantine but this has mostly been happening out of the public eye. The mass closure of a number of iconic New Zealand ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    3 days ago
  • Might a ‘Coasean’ social contract mitigate overall societal harm from COVID-19?
    Brian Williamson1, Prof Nick Wilson2 (1Economic consultant, UK; 2University of Otago Wellington) In this blog, we outline how a win-win social contract could be forged to address the major dimensions of response to the COVID-19 pandemic when using a mitigation strategy: the particular need to protect older people from high ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    3 days ago
  • Returning To “Normalcy”.
    Resuming Normal Service: The Republican Party's nominee for in 1920, Warren Harding, promised the American people: “not heroics, but healing; not nostrums, but normalcy; not revolution, but restoration”. If she wishes to remain our prime minister, then Jacinda Ardern will offer New Zealanders the same.HOW EDUCATED AMERICA snickered when the ...
    3 days ago
  • New Zealand’s Government Must Save New Zealand’s Media.
    No Free Society Without A Free And Functioning News Media: If we are to surrender our civil rights to the broader cause of defeating Covid-19, then foreign corporations must, likewise, surrender their right to inflict immense economic and cultural harm on New Zealanders simply because it improves their bottom line.I’M ...
    3 days ago
  • Corona fevers and the madness of models
    by Daphna Whitmore A third of the world is under lockdown and a clear assessment of this measure to curb the spread of COVID-19 is urgently needed.  With any high-stakes decisions it has to be asked what are we dealing with here? Are the measures warranted? Will they achieve their ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    3 days ago
  • Lockdown day 8
    I haven’t done a huge amount in the last few days. I’m reading The Poppy War and I’ve sort of poked at a couple of games – I started SOMA but I’m a wimp and I quit while in the first room after the brain scan. I might try it ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    3 days ago
  • Backstage and Theatre
    The swan politicians may be gliding on the water, occasionally snapping at one another. Meanwhile, as the Covid19 crisis illustrates, the officials are desperately paddling below providing the real locomotion. One of the most fatuous recent grandstanding comments (of about a week ago), adding to the public’s anxieties, was ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    4 days ago
  • Legal Beagle: Waiver, the singular Crown and the conduct of Crown legal business
    Much has been written about the importance of discretion in an emergency situation, and the concerns raised by the potential for it to be exercised arbitrarily. Given the quality of the discussion, there seemed little point in adding to it at any length. In particular, I point to the evidence ...
    4 days ago
  • Highlights from Bauer Media’s science-related reporting
    Today has felt surreal. I was all set to touch base online with my science communication students when a colleague shared the news that Bauer Media would be shutting down its publications immediately. The first link I saw implied it was Woman’s Weekly affected, and even that shocked me. But ...
    SciBlogsBy Sarah-Jane O'Connor
    4 days ago
  • Outsiders.
    Bogeymen, Real And Imagined: Is the number of psychopathic and sociopathic individuals in any given society truly as vanishingly small as we like to tell ourselves? Isn’t it more likely that the mass-shooters and serial-killers filling the headlines represent only the tip of a much, much larger iceberg of frightfulness? ...
    4 days ago
  • We have a right to know the rules we are expected to obey
    Outgoing Police Commissioner Mike Bush appeared before the Epidemic Response Committee today, who asked him for the rules police are using to enforce the lockdown. He refused:Police Commissioner Mike Bush has admitted the advice given to Kiwis about what they're able to do during the lockdown hasn't been clear enough. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 7 (sanitised version)
    For those folk who find my other Lock-Down Diary versions too “negative” or otherwise unpalatable… Here’s a photo of my cat, . . Better? Tomorrow’s Sanitised Version: a pretty flower. . . . =fs= ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    4 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 7
    . . April 1: Day seven of living in lock-down… This morning I had a brief chat with one of my neighbours, “D” (social distance between us, a good three or four metres). I learned he had resigned from his previous job and had been hired by another company – ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    4 days ago
  • RIP The Listener, New Zealand’s pioneering voice
    Funnily enough, my thought as I start this post is whether it will be well written enough. Or should that be well enough written? Because so much of what I know about good writing came from my two stints at The Listener, which this morning was shut down due to ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    4 days ago
  • OK, Britney: stop sniping at National for doing its job
    With normal democratic procedures in abeyance, there were two ways to go. First, it was open for the government to dissolve itself and invite the National Party to join a ministry of national salvation. That would have lessened the democratic deficit of the times by having a team of rivals without ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    4 days ago
  • Helpful tips for parents during lockdown
    Dr Kirsty Ross Children and young people can respond differently in times of distress. This also varies by age and developmental stage, with younger children having more magical and imaginative thinking, and older children having more awareness and knowledge of the issues our communities are facing (which brings up ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    4 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #13, 2020
    5 days ago
  • Hungary is now a dictatorship
    Hungary has been a virtual dictatorship for a decade now, as Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has gradually eroded its democracy. But now, its official, with the passage of an indefinite emergency law allowing rule by decree:Hungary’s parliament has passed a new set of coronavirus measures that includes jail terms for ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • A new Ministry of Works
    While the economy is on pause under lockdown, the government is beginning to plan how to cope with the post-lockdown, post-tourism, post-export education world we will eventually find ourselves in. They're planning a lot of infrastructure spending as economic stimulus, and have asked for proposals which can start the moment ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Capture: Well spaced out
    It's my distraction,  setting up tiny scenes to photograph.  I've got stuck on the Babushka dolls for now.  Something about their bubble shape.  Something about their never changing, smiling features, suggesting persistent equanimity.  Can we get through everything that is being thrown at us and keep at least a tiny ...
    5 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 6
    . . March 31: Day six of living in lock-down… This time I managed to sleep a little longer and the alarm woke me at the pre-set time: 6.55am. Then remembered I was working a later shift and could’ve slept in. Oh well, there are things to do at home. ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    5 days ago
  • March ’20 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
    Image credit: Diamond Harbour School Blogs I notice a few regulars no longer allow public access to the site counters. This may happen accidentally when the blog format is altered. If your blog is unexpectedly missing or ...
    5 days ago
  • Hard News: Poll Pot and the partisans
    Yesterday's Horizon poll showing support for a "Yes" vote in this year's cannabis referendum sliding into the majority for the first time in a year looked like good news for reformers – and it probably is. But the result warrants some scrutiny.The poll is the fifth in a series commissioned ...
    5 days ago
  • Why those bubbles are so important
    For almost a week now, every one of us who isn’t an essential worker has been confined to their bubble. We are allowed to go shopping for groceries, to visit the doctor, and to get a bit of exercise if we stay local. The reason we are doing this is ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    5 days ago
  • A Government System That Works
    The Covid-19 saga will no doubt produce many twists and turns for us before it is finally brought to an end. But one thing it has shown us – and what comfort it should bring us – is that our country’s government is in good hands. I am not thinking ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    5 days ago
  • Smashing down the barriers: Where are we at with COVID vaccines?
    In the absence of a vaccine or a cure for a deadly disease, staying home in your bubble is what you do, the concept is not new.  To the best of my knowledge last time we did this in NZ was for polio, in the years before a vaccine came ...
    SciBlogsBy Helen Petousis Harris
    5 days ago
  • National Network on Cuba (USA): “Cuban medical solidarity is a pillar of its society and is founde...
    The following statement was released on March 28 by the National Network on Cuba, a coalition of 40 groups, based in the United States. In recent weeks, Cuba has deployed hundreds of medical providers to over a dozen countries in Europe, Asia, as well as to their neighbors in Latin ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    5 days ago
  • Alarming decrease in calves increases fears for endangered Hector’s dolphin
    This has been a terrible summer for Hector’s dolphins. The first indication was very low numbers of dolphin sightings during late spring and early summer. The Otago University Marine Mammal Research Team has carried out routine dolphin surveys at Banks Peninsula for more than 30 years. In all that time, ...
    SciBlogsBy Otago Marine Science
    6 days ago
  • Time for Grant Robertson to reveal package #2?
    On March 17, Finance Minister Grant Robertson was quick out of the blocks with an economic rescue package to help businesses through the inevitable recession resulting from the coronavirus pandemic. Robertson had pulled together a scheme in short order that so far seems to have saved many jobs. In his ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    6 days ago
  • Saving lives
    The purpose of the lockdown is to save lives, by reducing the spread of covid-19. We won't know if its really working for another week, but given the devastation that will result if it doesn't - 14,000 dead is the optimistic scenario - its definitely worth trying. But pausing the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 5
    . . March 30: Day five of living in lock-down… Woke up still in darkness. Alarm hadn’t gone off. Turn to radio clock; it’s a few minutes after 6am… I lie there in the dark, waiting to drift off to sleep… but it ain’t happening. Clock ticks over to 6.55 ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    6 days ago
  • Speaker: Les Gray: the man who told the truth
    The story of Les Gray, the public sector psychologist who told the truth about his use of cannabis and set off a storm, has a special place in the lore of cannabis reform in New Zealand.When Paul Shannon interviewed Gray for the 'Dope and Hope' issue of Planet magazine in ...
    6 days ago
  • Why now? Historical specificity and the perfect storm that has created trans identity politics
    by Phil Duncan For Marxists, a key concern about social trends is their context – not just their causes, but why they happen when they do.  Events and phenomena have causes, but they also are time or period-specific. While much of the left have capitulated recently to postmodernism, most notably ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    7 days ago
  • Time for a living wage for supermarket workers
    Since the lockdown began, we've all suddenly been reminded who the actually essential workers in our society are: not the people at the top who pay themselves the big bucks and rort the perks, but the people at the bottom they screw over and squeeze: cleaners, warehouse staff, truck drivers ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Hard News: MUSIC: Lockdown Grooves
    Kia ora! As I've watched nearly all my remaining work vanish over the past couple of days, it has occured to me that one good way to keep me away from arguing with fools on Twitter all the time (in the knowledge that all we're really doing is processing our ...
    7 days ago
  • A place of greater safety?
    Aotearoa New Zealand has committed to trying to extirpate the virus that causes COVID-19 from its shores. To do that, as a society we’ve moved to “Level 4”. That means adapting to unprecedented restrictions on our personal freedoms, particularly to our rights to move freely and associate with friends and ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    7 days ago
  • The police and public trust
    When the Prime Minister declared a state of emergency last week, she handed the police powers to enforce it. And almost immediately, we started hearing about heavy-handed, arbitrary "enforcement" by police who (at best) cared more about order than law, or (more likely) had no idea what the rules were ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 4
    . . Lock Down: Day 4 – A photo essay with observations . March 29: Usual wake up routine as RNZ snaps on my radio-clock. Jim Mora’s voice slowly enters my conciousness; there’s talk of a second wave of covid19 taking hold in South Korea; the week in Parliament – ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    7 days ago
  • COVID-19 vs New Zealand
    Yesterday, New Zealand recorded its first Covid-19 related death on the West Coast. Unfortunately this is unlikely to be the only fatality, with the virus now being found in every region of the country.However despite the significant danger, people are still unfortunately breaching lockdown rules.There’s really only one main very ...
    7 days ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #13
    Story of the Week... Toon of the Week... Coming Soon on SkS... Climate Feedback Claim Review... SkS Week in Review... Poster of the Week... Story of the Week... ‘Misinformation kills’: The link between coronavirus conspiracies and climate denial   Grist / Rob Kim / Stringer / CSA Images  Scientific ...
    1 week ago
  • Rāhui day 4
    The kids did surprisingly well today – meltdown count was about 3, and mostly fairly short ones. (And a fourth while I was writing.) Game-wise I had a go at Fell Seal: Arbiter’s Mark. It’s a fairly standard RPG with turn-based combat and what they call a “mature storyline” (it ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    1 week ago
  • Letter to a friend
    by Don Franks Hi David, Nice hearing from you, I’m glad to hear you’re getting by okay in these grim times. You asked how’s it going for us back here in New Zealand. You would have heard that the whole country is locked down and with breaks for exercise and ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 3
    . . Lock Down: Day 3 – A photo essay with observations . March 28: First day of the first weekend in Lock Down. It feels like it’s been weeks since only Level 3 was declared last Tuesday, only four days ago. Woke up this morning to RNZ; coffee; toast, ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #13
    A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week, i.e., Sun, Mar 22, 2020 through Sat, Mar 28, 2020 Articles Linked to on Facebook Sun, Mar 22, 2020 In Just 10 Years, Warming Has Increased the Odds of Disasters by Chelsea Harvey, ...
    1 week ago
  • Rāhui day 3
    I’m here in lockdown with my flatmate and her two girls (6 and 2) and it. is. a time. They’re usually really active so to start with the only boardgame in the house is the copy of Guess Who that the 6 year old got for her birthday. Flatmate commented ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    1 week ago
  • A test of civil society.
    The CV-19 (COVID) pandemic has seen the imposition of a government ordered national quarantine and the promulgation of a series of measures designed to spread the burden of pain and soften the economic blow on the most strategically important and most vulnerable sectors of society. The national narrative is framed ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 2
    . . Lock Down: Day 2 – A photo essay with observations . March 27 – Day 2 of our Strange New World. The Park and Ride near my suburb, usually filled with hundreds of vehicles, had just… four; . . Another drive into Wellington City on a highway nearly ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • How Do You Feel? What Do You Think?
    Fortune's Children: Under extraordinary pressure, the leader of the Government and the leader of the Opposition will each show us what they are made of. Have they been blessed with intelligence, grace, wit, poise, toughness, empathy and humour – and in what measure? More importantly, to what extent have they ...
    1 week ago
  • Landlords are NOT an essential service
    If you’ve ever had the misfortune of having to rent a property on the open market in New Zealand, which is one of the most expensive in the entire world, you’ll likely be keenly aware of just how arrogant and entitled landlords and their real estate agents can be.Unfortunately for ...
    1 week ago
  • A “new Society” post-COVID19 will definitely emerge. The question is: on what path?
    Society-wise, aside from the specific morbidity shall we say of the medically-oriented aspects of this COVID-19 crisis, what is unfolding before the world is in more than one way an instructive study of humanity and reactions to a high intensity, high stress environment in real time. Friends, we are at ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    1 week ago
  • Raise the Bar: Everything you need to know about the wage subsidy
    Right now low waged and insecure workers are feeling the economic brunt of the looming #Covid19 Recession. In response legal advocate Toby Cooper* and hospitality and worker’s rights advocate Chloe Ann-King, are putting together a series of legal blogs about your employment rights: In this legal blog we outline some ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    1 week ago
  • The massacre of prisoners in Modelo jail, Bogota, March 21
    by Equipo Jurídico Pueblos and Gearóid Ó Loingsigh (25/03/2020) An escape plan in question On the night of March 21st and the early morning of the 22nd, the forces of the Colombian state stormed into the Modelo prison in Bogotá, murdering 23 prisoners and injuring 83, in response to the ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • We are not America
    When the government banned semi-automatic weapons in response to a terrorist atrocity, gun-nuts were outraged. Mired in toxic American gun culture, they thought owning weapons whose sole purpose was killing people was some sort of "constitutional right", a necessity for "defending themselves" against the government. Now, the Court of Appeal ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • When will we know the lockdown is working?
    Just before midnight on Wednesday March 25, Aotearoa New Zealand entered a countrywide alert level four lockdown. For at least the next four weeks, everyone who isn’t an essential worker is confined to their bubble. We are doing this to stop the explosive growth in people contracting and dying from ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    1 week ago
  • Lock Down: Day 1
    . . Lock Down: Day 1 – A photo essay with observations . Day one of the Level 4 nationwide lock-down (or, DefCon 4 as I sometimes cheekily call it) started at 11.59PM on 25 March. For a moment, most of the nation held it’s collective breath. In that brief ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • A Compelling Recollection.
    Broad, Sunlit Uplands: How those words fired my young imagination! Or, perhaps, it is more accurate to say: how those words fused, in my young mind, with the image printed on every packet of Fielder’s Cornflour. Always fascinated by history, especially modern history, I cannot hear Churchill’s wonderfully evocative words, even ...
    1 week ago
  • The Warehouse – where everyone gets a virus
    . . 24 March 2020 9.46AM Number of covid19 cases in Aotearoa New Zealand: 102 . As of 11.59 on Thursday, most of New Zealand will go into “lock down”. People will be expected not to travel to work; not to socialise; and to stay home. I will not be ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • Aggressive action to address climate change could save the world $145 trillion
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections A respected research group, Project Drawdown, finds that deploying solutions consistent with meeting the Paris climate targets would cost tens of trillions of dollars globally. But crucially, those outlays would also yield long-term savings many times larger than the up-front costs. The new 2020 Drawdown ...
    1 week ago
  • After the Pandemic
    It will pass. What happens next? Not immediately, but longer term. There are many opinions, fewer certainties. Will it “change everything!” as many confidently, and contradictorily predict? In this post I look at how foresight can help bound some of the uncertainties so you can more objectively consider the future. ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    2 weeks ago

  • Further measures to support businesses
    The Government will be introducing legislation to make changes to the Companies Act to help companies facing insolvency due to COVID-19 to remain viable and keep New Zealanders in jobs. The temporary changes include: Giving directors of companies facing significant liquidity problems because of COVID-19 a ‘safe harbour’ from insolvency ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Govt’s COVID plan, economic strength recognised
    The Government’s plan to cushion the blow of COVID-19 by supporting incomes, jobs and businesses, and position the economy to recover has been backed by another international report. International credit rating agency Moody’s today reaffirmed its highest Aaa credit rating on New Zealand, saying the economy is expected to remain ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Funding certainty for sports through COVID-19
    National sports organisations have been given certainty of funding to ensure they can remain viable through the COVID-19 pandemic, Sport and Recreation Minister Grant Robertson announced today. “The global spread of COVID-19 has had a significant impact on sport and recreation in New Zealand, including the cancellation or postponement of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Butchers now allowed to process pork
    Changes have been made to allow butchers to process pork, only for supply to supermarkets or other processors or retailers that are open, Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor has announced. “We carefully weighed the risk of allowing butchers to open their shops for retail customers, but the risk of spreading COVID-19 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Essential workers leave scheme established
    Essential workers who take leave from work to comply with public health guidance are being supported with a leave scheme to ensure they will continue to receive income, say the Minister of Workplace Relations and Safety Iain Lees-Galloway and Minister for Social Development, Carmel Sepuloni. A number of essential businesses ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Govt WhatsApp helps share COVID-19 information
    A Government WhatsApp channel has been launched to help make information more easily accessible and shareable in the fight against COVID-19. Govt.NZ, which is free to use on any mobile device, will carry information and news for the public, businesses, healthcare providers, not for profits and local government. It can ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Managed departure plan for stranded foreign nationals enables safe, orderly exit
    The Government has announced a plan to enable the safe, orderly exit of tens of thousands of stranded foreign nationals from New Zealand during the current COVID-19 Alert Level 4 restrictions, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Winston Peters has said. “When we moved into lockdown a week ago, the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Government delivers COVID-19 support to GPs and Pharmacies
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says the Government is delivering on its commitment to support general practice doctors and nurses, and pharmacies on the front-line of our fight against COVID-19. "For us to overcome COVID-19, we need community health services such as general practice and community pharmacy to step up ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Susan Thomas the new Chief High Court Judge
    Justice Susan Thomas has been appointed Chief High Court Judge, Attorney-General David Parker announced today.  She replaces Justice Geoffrey Venning who has resigned from the position.   David Parker paid tribute to Justice Venning, who he said had stewarded the High Court very capably over the last five years.   “On behalf ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Business Finance Guarantee – applications open
    Businesses can start applying to their banks for loans under the Business Finance Guarantee Scheme set up to support the New Zealand economy during the COVID-19 pandemic. “We’re moving quickly to protect New Zealand businesses, jobs and the economy during this unprecedented global economic shock,” Finance Minister Grant Robertson said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Work starts on ways to fast-track consents to boost recovery from Covid-19 downturn
    Work is underway looking at measures to speed up consents for development and infrastructure projects during the recovery from COVID 19, to provide jobs and stimulate our economy.  Environment Minister David Parker said the COVID-19 pandemic is a serious global crisis that will have a wide ranging and lasting impact ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Advance payments to support contractors
    Advance payments will be made to transport construction industry contractors to retain the workforce and ensure it is ready to quickly gear up to build projects which will be vital to New Zealand’s COVID-19 economic recovery, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. He said keeping the workforce required to build ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government seeks infrastructure projects
    The Government has tasked a group of industry leaders to seek out infrastructure projects that are ready to start as soon as the construction industry returns to normal to reduce the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford and Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones say. The Infrastructure ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Health system scaled up to prepare for COVID-19
    Work to scale up the health system in preparation for COVID-19 was today outlined by Health Minister David Clark, as he reported back to the new Epidemic Response Committee. “We are well placed to contain the spread of COVID-19. We have taken early and decisive action at our borders, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Essential media COVID-19 guidelines refined
    The Government is refining its COVID-19 essential business guidance to include the distribution of news publications for communities which are hard to reach. The Minister of Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media, Kris Faafoi, said the move was in recognition of the importance for New Zealanders who might be harder to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Supermarkets able to open on Easter Sunday
    The Government is ensuring supermarkets can open on Easter Sunday so we can buy groceries, but stay closed on Good Friday allowing workers to take a break. This provides a balanced approach and ensures we avoid large queues that two days closure may cause. “Supermarkets will be able to open ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • New Zealand defence personnel conclude mission at Taji
    Following the successful conclusion of the Building Partner Capacity (BPC) mission at Taji, New Zealand defence personnel are returning to New Zealand from Iraq, in accordance with the Cabinet decision made in June 2019, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters and Defence Minister Ron Mark announced today. “New Zealand is very ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • State of National Emergency extended
    The State of National Emergency to help stop the spread of COVID-19 has been extended for a further seven days, Minister of Civil Defence Peeni Henare said. The initial declaration on March 25 lasted seven days and can be extended as many times as necessary. “Since we went into isolation ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Strong Govt books support ‘go hard, go early’ response
    New Zealand’s ability to go hard and go early in the fight against COVID-19 has been underpinned by strong Government finances and the growing economy heading into this global pandemic, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. The Treasury today released the Crown financial statements for the eight months to the end ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Christchurch Hospital Hagley ICU to open to support COVID-19 response
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    7 days ago
  • Government supports Air NZ freight flights
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  • Clarification of modification to wage subsidy scheme
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  • Face masks flowing to DHBs
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  • COVID-19: Further steps to protect New Zealanders’ jobs
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  • $27 million for NGOs and community groups to continue providing essential services
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  • COVID-19 updates
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  • Canada, Australia, Chile, Brunei and Myanmar join NZ and Singapore in committing to keeping supply a...
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  • COVID-19: Rent increase freeze and more protection for tenants
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  • Working together to protect businesses and workers
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  • State of National Emergency declared to fight COVID-19
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  • Deadline for domestic travel extended
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    The Government, retail banks and the Reserve Bank are today announcing a major financial support package for home owners and businesses affected by the economic impacts of COVID-19. The package will include a six month principal and interest payment holiday for mortgage holders and SME customers whose incomes have been ...
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