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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    One, Two, Many Truths: With the collapse of “actually existing socialism” in 1991, the universities of the West found themselves saddled with a new mission. With their ideological competitors now soundly defeated they were no longer required to demonstrate the superiority of capitalist values. Their job now was to cement ...
    22 hours ago
  • A call to unionists
    by the Council of Disobedient Women   We call on the Council of Trade Unions to show some fortitude and take a stand with your sisters. Unionists know that there is a material world, otherwise workers could simply identify out of poverty. They could declare themselves Well Paid. Why stop ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 days ago
  • Sophistry and bullshit
    I spent some time reading the Regulatory Impact Statement and Bill of Rights Act advice for the government's odious control order scheme today. I am not impressed with either of them. Starting with the RIS, it is built on some pretty questionable assumptions. For example:Unless individuals have been convicted of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • I’m so fly, I’m #NoFly!
    #NoFly: Walking the talk on climate change, by Shaun Hendy. BWB Texts, 2019. Reviewed by Robert McLachlan In June 2018, Swede Maja Rosén founded We stay on the ground with a pledge not to fly in 2019, and a goal of persuading 100,000 other Swedes to join her. In August, ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 days ago
  • Punishing the young
    We all know that NZ First is a party of and for old people who hate the young. But they've topped their previous pedophobia with a proposal that all young people be forced to do 100 hours community work:NZ First wants all young people to do 100 hours of community ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Journalism, clickbait, & ideas of classical beauty – but not science
    A couple days ago the NZ Herald published a story with the headline, “Science says Bella Hadid is world’s most beautiful woman“, and followed up with the ridiculous statement that Supermodel Bella Hadid has been declared as the world’s most beautiful woman following a scientific study into what constitutes as ...
    SciBlogsBy Alison Campbell
    2 days ago
  • Is Simon’s Smile Sustainable?
    A Sustainable Proposition: With as much as 18 percent of the electorate declaring itself “undecided” about who to vote for, there is obviously plenty of space for a party like former Green Party member, Vernon Tava's, about-to-be-launched "Sustainable NZ Party" to move into. The most hospitable political territory for such ...
    2 days ago
  • What the actual Hell?
    Keir Starmer has hinted that Labour might vote in favour of the Johnson government's shoddy deal, with the proviso that a second referendum is attached:Speaking to BBC One’s The Andrew Marr Show, he said: “We will see what that looks like but it makes sense to say that by whatever ...
    2 days ago
  • Hard News: Dealer’s Choice, an oral history from Planet 1994
    In 1994, I was the editor for an issue of Planet magazine focused on cannabis, its culture and the prospects for the end of its prohibition. Part of that issue was an interview with 'Ringo', an experienced cannabis dealer.I recently posted my essay from that issue, and I figured it ...
    4 days ago
  • The invasion of women’s sports by men: some facts
    Dr Helen Waite, sports sociologist and former elite athlete, on the invasion of women’s sport by men and the anti-scientific and misogynist ideology used to rationalise it.   ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    4 days ago
  • Remainers starting to sound like fascists
    As Brexit comes to a grisly conclusion (perhaps) people on all sides are saying intemperate and uwise things.  Some, like the Daly Mail, have been doing it for years.People as normally level headed as Jon Lansman are calling for automatic deselection of MPs who vote against a (likely) Labour three ...
    4 days ago
  • Labour MPs supporting Johnson’s turd-sandwich deal?
    I find this unbelievable:
    I've got one source saying more Labour MPs than expected are mulling whether to vote for the deal - including names who were not on the letter to Juncker and Tusk— Emilio Casalicchio (@e_casalicchio) 17 October 2019 I've compiled a list of possible reasons why Labour ...
    5 days ago
  • Why do we need control orders again?
    On Wednesday, the government was loudly telling us that it needed to legislate to allow it to impose "control orders" - effectively a parole regime, but imposed without charge, prosecution, conviction or real evidence - on suspected terrorists because they couldn't be prosecuted for their supposed crimes. Today, it turns ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Bullshitting the Minister
    On Monday, the Hit and Run inquiry heard from NZDF's former director of special operations, who claimed that the defence Minister knew everything about the Operation Burnham raid. Today, the inquiry heard from that (former) Minister - and it turns out that he didn't know nearly as much as NZDF ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Speaker: Extinction Rebellion is not a cult (but ecstasy for the people)
    Yoga gurus and cult leaders – I’ve seen a few. Two weeks ago, I unknowingly joined an alleged new-age cult at the Kāpiti coast, together with a giant kraken and some neatly dressed pensioners who would make any book club proud.They were among the two hundred people of all ages ...
    5 days ago
  • We need to bring the police under control
    The last decade has seen a trend of increasing weapons availability to police. Assault rifles. Tasers on every hip. Guns in cars. And following the march 15 massacre, pistols on every hip, all over the country. At the same time, its also seen an increase in the abuse of force: ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • If you can’t measure it, does it exist?
    In the last couple of weeks, I’ve been busy preparing for our summer paper on Science Communication. Looking for something amusing about ‘risk’ in science, I came across this neat xkcd.com cartoon about why so many people come knocking on my door (or phoning me, or emailing me) desperately wanting ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    5 days ago
  • Swinson’s swithering
    Jo Swinson is doing even worse at this Being Sensible lark that I'd thought.  I've just become aware of the following utterance
    .@KayBurley presses Lib Dem leader @joswinson on whether she would agree to a #Brexit deal 'no matter how bad a deal it is' as long as it had ...
    5 days ago
  • Women’s rights, trans ideology and Gramsci’s morbid symptoms
    by John Edmundson The International Socialist Organisation (ISO) have recently reposted a February article, by Romany Tasker-Poland, explaining ISO’s position in the “trans rights” debate.  It is available on their website and on their Facebook Page.  The article sets out to explain why “socialists support trans rights”.  It reads more ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    6 days ago
  • We need to take guns off police
    Today's IPCA report of police criminality: a police officer unalwfully tasered a fleeing suspect who posed no threat to anyone:The police watchdog has found an officer unlawfully tasered an Auckland man who broke his ankle jumping off a balcony to escape arrest. [...] To avoid arrest, the man jumped over ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • “Bringing kindness back”
    "Auckland City Mission: 10% of Kiwis experiencing food insecurity", RNZ, 16 October 2019:About half a million people are experiencing food insecurity, according to new research from the Auckland City Mission. Food insecurity, or food poverty, is defined as not having enough appropriate food. The City Mission said over the last ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Press Release: “Fake News” from Auckland City Council CCOs Board Chairs re pay and performance b...
    Media Statement for Immediate Release 16th October 2019 “Fake News” from Auckland City Council CCOs Board Chairs re pay and performance bonuses for top managers Despite comments from Auckland City Council CCOs Board Chairs re pay and performance bonuses for top managers—Herald Newspaper Tuesday Oct 15th–there is very little evidence ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    6 days ago
  • Ever-So-Slightly Bonkers: Simon Bridges Plays To His Base.
    Would You Buy A Used Propaganda Video From This Man? Bridges and the National Party’s strategists have discovered that the ideas and attitudes considered acceptable by today’s editors and journalists are no longer enforceable. The rise and rise of the Internet and the social media platforms it spawned means that ...
    6 days ago
  • Asking for food
    There is plenty of evidence of the way the business mentality has permeated every level of society since the recrudescence of market liberalism 35 years ago. You only need to think of how citizens in need of help from their government, their state, their country, are now routinely described as ...
    Opposable ThumbBy Unknown
    6 days ago
  • Forty years of change in the jobs Kiwi do and the places they call home
    John MacCormick Over the last 40 years, New Zealanders – and people in other countries – have experienced big changes in the jobs they do and where they live and work. These changes include: a decline in manufacturing jobs an increase in jobs in ‘information-intensive’ industries (which are better paid ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    6 days ago
  • Protecting Fresh Waterways in Aotearoa/NZ: The Strong Public Health Case
    Nick Wilson, Leah Grout, Mereana Wilson, Anja Mizdrak, Phil Shoemack, Michael Baker Protecting waterways has the benefits of: (1) protecting water from hazardous microbes; (2) minimising cancer risk and other problems from nitrates in water; (3) avoiding algal blooms that are hazardous to health; (4) protecting mahinga kai uses (cultural ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    6 days ago
  • Massey University triggered to rebrand
    by The Council of Disobedient Women In a press release today Massey University announced it has decided to rebrand and reorientate after struggling to be a University for grown-ups. For some time the University has wanted to be a safe play space for wee-woke-misogynists who have been really badly triggered ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    6 days ago
  • Swinson backing calls for a second referendum (again)
    After a brief dalliance with 'hard Revoke' it looks like the Lib Dems are changing ground on on Brexit, with leader Jo Swinson reverting to calling for a second referendum on Johnson's deal.The party has tabled an amendment to the Queen’s speech requesting that any deal brought back from Brussels ...
    7 days ago
  • An odious bill
    The government has decided that someone has done Something Bad. But despite their belief, there seems to be no evidence that they have actually broken the law. So the government's solution is to pass a retrospective law allowing them to be punished anyway, on a lower standard of proof. If ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • National is now the party of climate arson
    So, Judith Collins has done a Facebook rant about climate change, peddling the same shit National has been shovelling for the past twenty years: the impacts are overstated, there's no need to do anything about it, and its too hard anyway (oh, and its so unfair that people who peddle ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • The environmental footprint of electric versus fossil car
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz There is a lot of discussion on the benefits of ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    7 days ago
  • “Manifest” by Andrew Bird – A Song For The Times.
    I came across this song quite by accident. If it isn't one of Greta Thunberg's favourites - it should be.Video courtesy of YouTube.This post is exclusive to Bowalley Road. ...
    7 days ago
  • Passing the buck
    Last month, NZDF's shoddy coverup of what it knew about civilian casualties in Operation Burnham began to fall apart, with the revelation that a report on the matter, which NZDF claimed not to have, had been sitting in an NZDF safe for the past nine years. Yesterday, the man responsible ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • India a major player in Earth observation satellites
    While many imagine that countries like the USA and Europe dominate space activities, in fact India is now a major player on this stage. It launches satellites for its own purposes and also commercially, and has constellations orbiting our planet and returning data of vital importance to that nation in ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    1 week ago
  • The rot at the top (2).
    Thanks to a report from the Acting Inspector General of Intelligence and Security following a complaint by Nicky Hager, we have come to find out that the SIS illegally spied on Mr. Hager on behalf of the NZDF after publication of Hager’s 2011 book, Other People’s Wars. The NZDF justified ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Common misconceptions about “Global Warming”
    COMMON MISCONCEPTIONS ABOUT GLOBAL WARMING MYTH 1: Global temperatures are rising at a rapid, unprecedented rate. FACT: The HadCRUT3 surface temperature index, produced by the Hadley Centre of the UK Met Office and the Climate Research Unit of the University of East Anglia, shows warming to 1878, cooling to 1911, ...
    An average kiwiBy admin@averagekiwi.com
    1 week ago
  • A climate of tyranny
    For the past week, Extinction Rebellion has been peacefully protesting in London to demand action on climate change. The British government's response? Ban their protests:Police have banned Extinction Rebellion protests from continuing anywhere in London, as they moved in almost without warning to clear protesters who remained at the movement’s ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Collins crushes climate
    An essay by Judith Collins MP reported on Carbon News yesterday seems to show an alarming shift in attitude within the National Party. Collins argues against the Zero Carbon Bill, the Paris Agreement, and downplays the magnitude of climate impacts. The Paris Agreement was adopted in December 2015 and ratified ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert McLachlan
    1 week ago
  • More disappointment
    When they were running for election, Labour promised to overhaul the Employment Relations Act and introduce fair pay agreements to set basic pay and conditions on an industry level, preventing bad employers from undercutting good ones. They followed this up by establishing a working group, which reported back in January ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • What do these mother-child studies really say about fluoridation?
    A list of indicators of bad science – many of these are found in articles promoted by anti-fluoride activists. Anti-fluoride activists have been pouring money into a scaremongering campaign warning pregnant women not to drink fluoridated water. They claim fluoride will lower the IQ of their future child. Fluoride ...
    1 week ago
  • Losing Labour’s Mills-Tone.
    Nothing Left To Say: Labour's pollster, Stephen Mills, remains swaddled-up in the comforting myths of the 1980s. As if the experience of Roger Douglas’s genuinely radical post-Muldoon policy agenda was literally a once-in-a-lifetime thing – as much as the party could possibly absorb for at least the next 50 years.MEMO ...
    1 week ago
  • Speaker: Disability and the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Historical Abuse
    The Royal Commission on abuse in care is very significant for the disability community. For many decades last century, thousands of disabled children, and adults who managed to survive, were locked away from families and communities. This was not for anything they had done, but for the perceived threat their ...
    1 week ago
  • Spain is not a democracy
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • UK Conservatives hate democracy
    With an unfair voting system, uneven electorates and an un-elected upper house, the UK's "democracy" is barely worthy of the name. But now the government wants to make it worse:The government has been accused of suppressing voters’ rights with the potential disenfranchisement of tens of thousands of people after plans ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • What is wrong with our building industry?
    Back in the 90's and early 2000's, the building industry was building leaky homes which should never have been granted consent. Now it turns out they've been building dodgy office blocks as well:New imaging technology has revealed hundreds of major buildings nationwide have defective or missing concrete or reinforcing steel. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Local bodies
    Local body election results were released over the weekend, to joy or despair depending on where you live. In Auckland, Phil Goff trounced John Tamihere, who is muttering darkly about running for Parliament again (but which party would want him?) Wellington is now a wholly-owned subsidiary of Weta Workshop, except ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • A future of government
      How could government evolve over the next decades? Reports of democracy’s imminent demise are greatly exaggerated.  However, satisfaction with political systems in many countries is low, so there is much to do for governments of all political stripes to improve relevance and trust. Digital technologies are seen as one ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    2 weeks ago
  • Speaker: Catalonia, interrupted
    Two years have now gone by since the Friday afternoon when my university-student son and I headed out of our Barcelona flat to a nearby primary school, designated as a polling station for the vote that was to be held the following Sunday: the referendum on Catalonia’s independence from Spain ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Sage Decisions Unwisely Over-Ruled.
    Overruled: The joint decision of Finance Minister, Grant Robertson (Labour) and his Associate Minister, David Parker (Labour) arguably the two most powerful ministers in Jacinda Ardern’s government, to grant OceanaGold the consents which Land Information Minister, Eugenie Sage (Greens) had earlier denied them, offers bitter proof of how hard fighting ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Government may ban voting in effort to get more people to do it
    More than double the number of people who will vote in this year’s local body elections have tried marijuana or urinated somewhere they shouldn’t have. As local elections look set for the lowest turnout in decades, with many regions falling well short of 40%, the Government is exploring a number ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Woman: Deleted.
    A Statement on Abortion Law Reform by the Council of Disobedient Women   On the eve of bringing an end to antiquated, anti-women abortion laws Green MP Jan Logie intends to write women out of the Bill. With a stroke of the pen, the woke are aiming for total erasure ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • The Hollowest of Men Ride Again… SURPRISE!
    Musings continue apace about “the experienced businessman!” soon to be taking up a National Party MP position. Or to be more accurate, being parachuted into a seat to shut down their former MP Jamie-Lee Ross, who despite his own shortcomings shed at least some more light on the inner workings ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    2 weeks ago
  • Barbaric
    The Ugandan government wants to murder gay people:Uganda has announced plans to impose the death penalty on homosexuals. The bill, colloquially known as “Kill the Gays” in Uganda, was nullified five years ago on a technicality, but the government said on Thursday it plans to resurrect it within weeks. The ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Is this study legit? 5 questions to ask when reading news stories of medical research
    Hassan Vally, La Trobe University Who doesn’t want to know if drinking that second or third cup of coffee a day will improve your memory, or if sleeping too much increases your risk of a heart attack? We’re invested in staying healthy and many of us are interested in reading ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • Fighting Monsters.
    Freedom Of Speech? The Säuberung (cleansing by fire) was the work of the German Student Union which, on 10 May 1933, under the watchful eye of the Nazi Reichminister for Propaganda, Joseph Goebbels, consigned 25,000 books to the flames in a ritual exorcism of “un-German thought”. According to the logic of the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • The next wave of kaupapa Māori politics: its constitutional, it must be.
      “There can be no such thing as kaupapa Māori political parties or politics in Aotearoa” (Willie Jackson, Labour Party (2017). Māori TV, General/List Election Special) I begin with that claim because at the time, I was confounded at first that it fell out of Willie Jackson’s mouth, and then ...
    EllipsisterBy Ellipsister
    2 weeks ago
  • Night lights of NZ from orbit
    New Zealand has prided itself for decades with regard to its lack of pollution, and all will be aware that the ‘100% Pure New Zealand‘ meme is under threat through land, water and air pollution of various causes. There is another type of contamination that the country also faces: light ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    2 weeks ago
  • Reporters deliver uplifting news to fleeing Japanese residents: they won’t miss any rugby
    New Zealand’s media is doing its part in Japan, reassuring those in the path of the storm that they won’t miss any rugby while away from their flooded homes. New Zealand sports reporters stationed in Japan for the Rugby World Cup have had the rare and heartwarming opportunity to inform ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Government in contentious discussions about whether to put surplus on red or black
    Regional Development Minister Shane Jones is the only Cabinet member in favour of putting it all on green. As Finance Minister Grant Robertson finds himself with an enormous $7.5 billion surplus, the Government has begun intense, at times contentious conversations about whether to put the money on red or black at ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Jordanian teachers’ successful strike has lessons for here
    by Susanne Kemp At the start of September close to 100,000 school teachers went on strike in Jordan.  They demanded a 50% pay rise.  A pay rise actually agreed to by the regime back in 2014. In early October, however, in the face of government repression and threats, the teachers’ ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Why some people still think climate change isn’t real
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz Why do people still think climate change isn’t real? David ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • The SIS unlawfully spied on Nicky Hager
    Back in 2011, journalist Nicky Hager published Other People's Wars, an expose on NZDF's activities over the previous decade of the "war on terror". NZDF didn't like this, and especially didn't like the fact that it was base don leaks from their own. So, they had the SIS investigate him ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • October 2019 – Newsletter
    https://mailchi.mp/7d9133add053/closing-the-gap-october-2019-newsletter ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    2 weeks ago
  • And they wonder why we think they’re environmental vandals…
    The Zero Carbon Bill is due back from select committee in two weeks, and will likely pass its final stages in November. So naturally, farmers are planning a hate-march against it. But they're not just demanding lower methane targets so they can keep on destroying the planet; they're also demanding ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: Paying the price in California
    Last year, California burned. This year, to stop it happening again (or rather, to stop themselves from being found liable if it happens again), Pacific Gas and Electric is cutting power to half the state for a week:Schools are closed. Traffic lights down. Tunnels dark. Businesses unopened. Hospitals running on ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Let’s Hear It For Up-Close-And-Personal, Hard-Copy Democracy!
    The Best Way: Missing from the on-line voting debate is any reference to the voting system that produces turn-out figures ranging from 77 to 93 percent of registered voters. The voting system used to collect and count the votes cast in our parliamentary elections. The system that involves citizens making ...
    2 weeks ago
  • 10/10: World Day Against the Death Penalty
    Today, October 10, is the world day against the death penalty. Out of 195 UN member states, 84 still permit capital punishment. Today is the day we work to change that. This year's theme is children. Having a parent sentenced to death or executed causes long-term trauma and stigmatization which ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Talking Freer Lives: a Marxist gender-critical perspective from Australia
    Among the great new bunch of political friends we have been making recently is the excellent Australian-based Marxist gender-critical site, Freer Lives.  So we asked the comrade who set up that blog to write something for Redline on the blog, himself, his analysis of the rise of gender politics and ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago

  • Corrections Amendment Bill passes third reading
    A Bill to improve prison security and ensure the fair, safe, and humane treatment of people in prison while upholding public safety has passed its third reading. Corrections Minister Kelvin Davis says the Corrections Amendment Bill makes a number of changes to ensure the Corrections Act 2004 is fit for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    13 hours ago
  • Ngāi Tahu CEO appointed to NZ-China Council
    Minister for Māori Development, Nanaia Mahuta, has selected Arihia Bennett MNZM, Chief Executive Officer of Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu, as the Te Puni Kōkiri appointed representative on the New Zealand-China Council. The New Zealand-China Council (the Council) was established in 2012 as a New Zealand led and funded organisation ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    16 hours ago
  • Southern Response claims move to EQC
    Responsibility for processing the small number of Southern Response claims still to be settled will be transferred to EQC by the end of the year. “As claim numbers reduce, it no longer makes sense for the Crown to have two organisations processing the remaining Canterbury claims,” Grant Robertson says. “Since ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    19 hours ago
  • Bowel screening starts in Whanganui
    Health Minister David Clark is encouraging Whanganui residents to take up the opportunity for free bowel screening, which can detect cancer early when it’s easier to treat.   Over the next two years 12,000 Whanganui locals, aged 60 to 74 will be invited to participate in the National Bowel Screening ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    20 hours ago
  • Pacific Peoples Minister to attend Our Ocean Conference in Norway
    Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio, heads to Oslo today to represent New Zealand at the sixth Our Ocean Conference, which is being hosted by the Norwegian Government from the 23-24 October. “The Our Ocean Conference mobilises real action on issues like marine plastic pollution and the impacts of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government announces 27 percent increase in Trades Academy places
    Two secondary-school initiatives are being expanded as part of the Government’s plan to see more young New Zealanders take up a trade to help close the skills gap.   This includes the largest single increase in Trades Academy places in recent years. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Education Minister Chris ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Speech to the New Zealand Institute of International Affairs, Pacific Futures Conference: Connection...
    Session 4: Pacific Connectivity – Youth, Media and New Opportunities   Kia ora tatou katoa and Warm Pacific greetings to one and all. Representatives of Tainui, the local people of the land, or manawhenua – the indigenous peoples of this area – have welcomed you this morning in accordance with ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Methane reducing cattle feed one step closer
    The Government today announced its support for a project that could substantially reduce agricultural greenhouse gas emissions from cattle. The announcement was made as part of Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s and Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor’s visit to Nelson’s Cawthron Aquaculture Park. The Cawthron Institute will receive $100,000 from the Government’s ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Bill to refresh superannuation system passes first reading
    Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni has welcomed the first reading of the New Zealand Superannuation and Veteran’s Pension Legislation Amendment Bill. “Every New Zealander has a stake in New Zealand Superannuation and Veteran’s Pension,” says Carmel Sepuloni. “They are our most common form of social assistance – nearly 800,000 New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government announces next steps in fight against measles
    Babies in Auckland aged six months and over can receive a free vaccination and children will all have access to vaccines, Associate Minister of Health Julie Anne Genter announced today at Papatoetoe High School.   The move comes as part of Government efforts to step up the fight against measles. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Speech to the New Zealand Institute of International Affairs, Pacific Futures: Connections, Identity...
    ***Check against delivery*** Good morning. It is a pleasure to be here, and to have the honour of opening this important conference on behalf of the New Zealand Institute of International Affairs. Let us take the opportunity to acknowledge all the people who have helped make today possible, including our special ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Police trial new response to high risk events
    Police Minister Stuart Nash says the safety of frontline officers and members of the public will be the focus of a new trial of specialist Police response teams in three of our largest urban centres. Police have this morning released details of an initiative to be trialled in Counties Manukau, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • New awards celebrate fisheries sustainability
    The Minister of Fisheries is calling for entries for a new public award to celebrate innovation in our seafood sector. “I have established the Seafood Sustainability Awards to recognise and celebrate those throughout industry, tangata whenua and communities who demonstrate outstanding dedication and innovation towards the sustainability of New Zealand’s ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • More progress for women and we can do more
    Minister for Women Julie Anne Genter welcomes leaders in the private sector taking action on closing their gender pay gaps to ensure a fairer workplace for all New Zealanders. Ms Genter today launched a new report, Addressing the gender pay gap and driving women’s representation in senior leadership, from the Champions for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Proposals to curb environmental damage help our coasts and the oceans
    Government Ministers today welcomed the release of a marine environment report highlighting the four key issues affecting our oceans, estuaries and coastlines.  The release underlines the importance of government proposals to combat climate pollution, ensure clean freshwater, protect biodiversity, make land use more sustainable, and reduce waste and plastic.    Environment ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • New mental health facility for Waikato
    The Government has approved funding for a new acute mental health facility for Waikato which will provide better care and support to people with mental health and addiction issues. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Health Minister Dr David Clark announced the $100 million project to replace the aging Henry Rongomau ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • 500 new te reo Māori champions in our classrooms
    The Government is making progress on its goal to integrate te reo Māori into education by 2025, with over 500 teachers and support staff already graduating from Te Ahu o te Reo Māori,  Associate Education Minister Kelvin Davis announced today. Kelvin Davis made the announcement at an awards ceremony in Waikanae today, for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Minister James Shaw welcomes 2018 Census first release
    Statistics Minister James Shaw has welcomed the first release of 2018 Census data. The first release of data today, 23 September, includes key data on population, regional growth, the number of homes and the size of different ethnic groups in New Zealand. Data from the 2018 Census will support the ...
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    6 days ago
  • Driving transparency, ethics and accountability in government use of algorithms
    Minister for Statistics James Shaw today announced a public consultation on a proposed algorithm charter for government agencies. The charter has been developed by the Government Chief Data Steward in response to growing calls for more transparency in government use of data. Computer algorithms – procedures or formulas for solving ...
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    6 days ago
  • New Zealand and the Netherlands working together on climate change
    Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor, Climate Change Minister James Shaw and visiting Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte co-hosted a business roundtable in Auckland this morning focused on working together to address climate change.  “The Netherlands is an important partner for New Zealand. We share a strong agricultural history. Sustainable agribusiness and ...
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    6 days ago
  • Protecting fairness for workers and businesses
    The Government is taking action to build an inclusive economy where more of us receive our fair share at work and businesses can compete on great products and services, not undercutting wages and conditions, Immigration and Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Iain Lees-Galloway says. Two consultations launched today seek feedback ...
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    6 days ago
  • Indigenous Freshwater Fish Bill Passes
    The future for New Zealand’s threatened indigenous freshwater fish looks brighter with the passing of the Conservation (Indigenous Freshwater Fish) Amendment Bill in Parliament today said Minister of Conservation, Eugenie Sage. “Until now, our freshwater fish legislation has been 20 years out of date. We have lacked effective tools to ...
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    6 days ago
  • Kiwis to take part in world’s biggest earthquake drill
    At 1.30pm tomorrow, hundreds of thousands of Kiwis will join about 65 million people around the globe in ShakeOut, the world’s biggest earthquake drill. The annual drill is to remind people of the right action to take during an earthquake which is to Drop, Cover, Hold, and to practise their ...
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    7 days ago
  • Rising wages and low inflation supporting Kiwis
    Kiwis are benefiting from higher wage growth and low inflation under the Coalition Government. Stats NZ data out today shows the rise in the cost of living remains low, as annual Consumers Price Index (CPI) inflation fell to 1.5% in September from 1.7% in June. “The low inflation comes as ...
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    7 days ago
  • NZ economy strong amid global headwinds
    New Zealand’s economic strength and resilience has been recognised in a major update on the state of the global economy. The IMF’s latest World Economic Outlook released overnight shows a reduced global growth forecast over the next two years as issues like the US-China trade war and Brexit take hold. ...
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    7 days ago
  • Keeping New Zealanders safer with better counter-terrorism laws
    Justice Minister Andrew Little has today introduced a new Bill to prevent terrorism and support the de-radicalisation of New Zealanders returning from overseas. The Terrorism Suppression (Control Orders) Bill gives the New Zealand Police the ability to apply to the High Court to impose control orders on New Zealanders who ...
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    7 days ago
  • Improved succession and dispute resolution core of Ture Whenua changes
    A Bill that proposes targeted changes to simplify the processes for Māori land owners when engaging with the Māori Land Court has had its First Reading today. “The approach taken by the Government is to ensure that the protection of Māori land remains a priority as we seek to improve ...
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    7 days ago
  • Speech to CTU Biennial Conference
    Let me first thank all the new unionists and members in the room. There is nothing more important to improving people’s working lives than people making the decision to care, to get on board and help, to take up the reins and get involved. Congratulations to you. You bring the ...
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    7 days ago
  • Minister ensures continued Whenuapai flight operations
    Minister of Defence Ron Mark has signed a certificate exempting the activity of engine testing at Whenuapai Airbase from the Resource Management Act 1991. The Act gives the Minister of Defence the power to exempt activities for the purposes of national security.  The certificate will mean the recent Environment Court ...
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    7 days ago
  • NZ joins Coalition of Finance Ministers for Climate Action
    Finance Minister Grant Robertson has announced New Zealand will join the Coalition of Finance Ministers for Climate Action while attending APEC meetings in Chile. The objective of the 39 member Coalition is to share information and promote action to tackle climate change. It was formed in April this year, in ...
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    7 days ago
  • Feedback Sought – Section 71 – Lyttelton Parking
    Feedback sought– Lyttelton commercial zone parking  The Associate Minister for Greater Christchurch Regeneration, Poto Williams, is seeking feedback on a proposal to remove on-site car parking requirements for new developments in the Lyttelton commercial zone.  The proposal, by Christchurch City Council, asks that powers under section 71 of the Greater ...
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    1 week ago
  • Feedback Sought – Section 71 – Hagley Oval
    Hon Minister Poto Williams Associate Minister for Greater Christchurch Regeneration   MEDIA STATEMENT       Tuesday 15 October 2019 Feedback sought – Hagley Oval The Associate Minister for Greater Christchurch Regeneration, Poto Williams, is seeking feedback on a proposal about Hagley Oval. The proposal was developed by Regenerate Christchurch ...
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    1 week ago
  • CTU speech – DPM
    Ladies and gentlemen, NZCTU President Richard Wagstaff, members of respective unions – thank you for the invitation to speak to you today. This might be preaching to the choir, but the importance of trade unions in New Zealand’s historical arch is difficult to understate. And it is my belief that ...
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    1 week ago
  • Police Association Annual Conference
    "Let’s start by acknowledging that it has been a huge year. " Police Association Annual Conference James Cook Grand Chancellor Hotel Wellington Nau mai, haere mai. Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, ka nui te mihi, ki a koutou katoa. President of the Police Association, Chris Cahill; Members of the Association and ...
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    1 week ago
  • New Zealand announces a further P-3 deployment in support of UN sanctions
    Minister of Foreign Affairs Winston Peters and Minister of Defence Ron Mark have announced the New Zealand Government’s decision to again deploy a Royal New Zealand Air Force P-3K2 (P-3) maritime patrol aircraft to support the implementation of United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions imposing sanctions against North Korea. New ...
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    1 week ago
  • New Zealand deeply concerned at developments in north-east Syria
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters says New Zealand continues to have serious concerns for peace and stability in north-east Syria. “Recent reports that hundreds of ISIS-affiliated families have fled from a camp are deeply concerning from a humanitarian and security perspective”, Mr Peters says. “While we acknowledge Turkey’s domestic security ...
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    1 week ago
  • Government on high alert for stink bugs
    Biosecurity Minister Damien O’Connor is warning travelling Kiwis to be vigilant as the high-season for the crop-eating brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB) is under way. “We’re on high alert to stop BMSB arriving in NZ. The high season runs until April 30 and we’ve strengthened our measures to stop stink ...
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    1 week ago
  • Better protections for students in halls of residence
    The Government is moving swiftly to change the law to improve the welfare and pastoral care of students living in university halls of residence and other tertiary hostels. Cabinet has agreed to several changes, including creating a new mandatory Code of Practice that sets out the duty of pastoral care ...
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    1 week ago
  • New trapping guide for community and expert trappers alike
    The Minister for Conservation Eugenie Sage has launched a new comprehensive trapping guide for community trappers to help them protect our native birds, plants and other wildlife, at Zealandia in Wellington today. ‘A practical guide to trapping’, has been developed by the Department of Conservation (DOC), and was launched during ...
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    1 week ago
  • Widening Access to Contraceptives Welcomed
    Associate Health Minister Julie Anne Genter welcomes PHARMAC’s move to improve access to long-acting reversible contraception (LARCs). PHARMAC has today announced it will fund the full cost of Mirena and Jaydess for anyone seeking long term contraception, lifting previous restrictions on access to Mirena. “I welcome women having greater choices ...
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    1 week ago