A Country Party?

Written By: - Date published: 11:39 am, June 3rd, 2010 - 34 comments
Categories: ETS, national - Tags: ,

There’s increasing rumbles in the country side about a Country Party breaking away from National. The roots of this are in the anti-ETS backlash, which National brought upon itself with its behaviour in opposition.

It’s kind of like the Republicans’ Tea Party in the States. Started as Republican astro-turfing, the Tea Party has rapidly taken on because mainstream Republicans can’t actually adopt the extreme Right policies that their militarised base are demanding.

So, it is for National. Now in government, National has to actually govern. One of the things it has to do is distribute the cost of the international price on carbon created by Kyoto at least partially on to polluters. Naturally, the farmers, as heavy polluters who National has been feeding anti-climate change propaganda for years, don’t want to pay and can’t understand why National has betrayed them.

The storm of anger over this betrayal is compounded by what many in National’s rural base see as an overly generous attitude to Maori on issues like the foreshore and seabed, which threatens Pakeha rural business interests. Not to mention raising the driving age.

A Country Party standing apart from National would have more influence over rightwing governments than a rural base submersed within the Party.

Is a Country Party practical? Yes. There’s the population base: 20% of the country lives rurally and most of them are National voters. The rural population is already well organised through an array of community groups and companies. A breakaway Country Party could easily raise the money for a campaign. Winning a few seats and passing 5% should be easy.

Will it happen? Hard to say, but it’s looking more and more likely.

If it does come about, the Right will be reverting to its pre-National days. You see, National formed to bring the Right together with the sole aim of keeping Labour out of power (the name National was meant to show they represented all New Zealand, not just the working class – Labour called them the Nationalists referencing the Franco’s fascists). National brought together Reform representing the urban business class, United (the rump of the Liberals) representing farmers, and the crypto-fascist New Zealand Legion.

Could National, the Country Party, and ACT re-establish the old arrangement?

The Left has already splintered into natural fragments now that MMP makes it possible. The Right might be about to do the same.

34 comments on “A Country Party?”

  1. Badger 1

    This should not be seen as a Good Thing (TM)

    New Zealand has enough fringe right-wing types (Act Party) – you double or tripple the lunacy by encouraging a country party.

    • Fisiani 1.1

      It’s what you get when you muse over a keyboard without a clue on reality

      • mickysavage 1.1.1

        It is what Farrar does all the time. Propose and surmise what is happening on the other side without having a clue. Except Eddie’s suggestions are actually possible.

        National does seem to have a number of cracks visible right now. Serves them right.

      • Sam 1.1.2

        We’re talking about political happenings in the country, not what you do when you end up in front of your computer.

  2. The Voice of Reason 2

    A country party would be an interesting return to the past and certainly would be useful for the left in terms of splintering the right vote. I have a sense that Fed Farmers are very close to ACT now, so it wouldn’t surprise me if Rodders offers a list seat to them as he has done for the Senseless Sentencing Trust.

    I have the opportunity to talk to farmers most Friday nights in the pub, as I live in a rural town in the commuter belt of the city I work in. There does seem to be grumbling that National are not delivering for them. The ETS, rural broadband, roading and other issues are not important to the urban elite that run the Nats these days. I seem to recall that the Nats used to have a city/country split in their leadership, with either the PM or deputy having to come from a rural area. Obviously not the case now with two city slickers in control.

    • Lanthanide 2.1

      Pfft, English is from Dipton! He’s hardly a city-slicker.

      • The Voice of Reason 2.1.1

        Er, yes, I know he’s nominally from Dipton, but he has lived in the slicker parts of Wellington for twenty years while rorting the housing allowance as if he was a rural MP, which he clearly is not. I’m sure there was a post or twenty on the subject earlier in the year, Lanthanide.

  3. PK 3

    ***you double or tripple the lunacy by encouraging a country party.***

    They provide a large portion of the country’s wealth (generally seen as a Good Thing (TM)). If their interests are being ignored it makes sense to form a party – every other group does so.

  4. gingercrush 4

    A country party is not viable. Its a myth to believe that the rural/country community is as tight-knitted as you like to believe. The fact is most of the rural community actually don’t have much to do with farming. This murmuring by some is well bullshit.

    Who the hell is going to lead the party and how are they going to expect to get 5% of the vote. Not all farmers will vote for such a party. They’d stay with National or whatever other party they vote for (The Greens do quite well in a number of rural/provincial seats). The idea that personalities from outside parliament are going to win electorates isn’t realistic.

    No minor party from when MMP began have been successful without a leader or member already being in parliament. Without Tariana Turia the Maori Party would have struggled. Alliance didn’t exist without Jim Anderton and the Greens came from Alliance (though the value party then the Greens always did rather well before MMP).

    Who from National (and that is where they would need to come from) would form their own party and who from National have the personality to pull it off? There’s no one. Look at every rural/country or provincial electorate in this country and name someone from there that could legitimately lead a party. But not only lead a party but actively get the people of that electorate to vote for them? There isn’t.

    And show me an example of an outsider coming in and being successful politically in this country? The closest thing you’ll get is the New Zealand Party.

    A Country Party would be frankly laughable. The only way it could work and this is a huge stretch would be to tap into the conservative/religious vote base. The likes who voted the Kiwi party in 2008 and the Christian Coalition in 1996. That isn’t very viable either.

    • Lanthanide 4.1

      Lockwood Smith maybe? He’d never leave National, though.

      • gingercrush 4.1.1

        Of all the rural/country electorates (though in my mind Rodney is just an urban outlier). That would be the best place for the party to spring from since many in Rodney are upset about the Super City situation. Though to what extent dissent and dissatisfaction due to local politics plays about at a General level is debatable. And much of the dissatisfaction in the Rodney District aren’t even in that electorate anymore.

    • Zaphod Beeblebrox 4.2

      I think you’re correct on this one. Rural people are very diverse politically and farmers are a small percentage of rural folk.
      Also different issues are important to people in different parts of the country. A lot of them are committed conservationists. Rural South islanders are unlikely to agree much with the Coromandel or Waitakere acre block dwellers. National do well because they have a conservative social agenda and rural people have an anti-Wellington predilection which they also spout well.
      Whats gets me though is why rural people like things like privatization and reduced government spending(which is sure to decrease their services of like telecommunications, roads, libraries, schools and hospitals) and would vote for tax cuts for high income earners. You’d think they would be guaranteed losers from that sort of agenda.

  5. Lew 5

    GC, the Greens? The māori party?

    Anyway, I’m intrigued by the suggestion and not concerned either way.

    I suspect that the consequence of this would be to drive National in the direction of what the ACT party used to be prior to being hijacked by the anti-science-hang-and-flog neo-authoritarians; it would be the national party of social conservatism, soft authoritarianism, a trade protectionism and agricultural nest-feathering,while National could focus on the urban liberals and city business types with rhetoric about free markets and free people. At present its service of two masters is beginning to look costly. With a Country Party, though, ACT’s lunch would be eaten by two competitors.

    An appropriate allegory is Australia, where the Liberal party is roughly equivalent to our Nats; somewhat accepting of environmental and socially-liberal causes, but not so much as Labor; while the National party (roughly what I’m suggesting a Country Party might be here) is rurally-based, much less environmentally and socially tolerant, but generally in line with the Libs on many topics.

    But there’s considerable ambivalence in them there hills. As I’ve argued before, rural dwellers are a complex bunch, not all authoritarian redneck throwbacks, and those socially-conservative voters who reluctantly tick “National” at present often do so for lack of alternatives. There are lots of lifestylers and back-to-the-landers, and lots more who wish they were. It’s a damned shame that the only MP who really has any connection with the huge population of hunters, trampers, fishers and non-farming rural types is the suave and urbane Peter Dunne. I’ve suggested the Greens have an opportunity to exploit this, by taking different (read: less hand-wringy-liberal nancy) positions on topics like outdoor recreation and natural resource management. Not that they will.

    Not that National would split, either. Much of the right’s strength is in unity, in swallowing its internal differences for the common good, and exerting discipline over message and policy.

    L

    • gingercrush 5.1

      Both the Greens and the Maori Party came from the inside. Rod Donald and Jeanette Fitzsimmons came from the Alliance. The Green/Value vote existed for years prior to the Alliance and was above 5% and no doubt once 1996 came around that Green vote was very important to the Alliance Party. But I’d argue had Fitzsimmons and the Greens simply came from outside parliament I don’t think they’d be elected in 1999. Had Jenny Shipley not played her part in Coromandel. I’m not even sure the Green party would exist in parliament.

      So while outside forces helped that Green vote get near to 5%. I’d argue without the parliament presence of Fitzsimmons and Donald. Coromandel wouldn’t have happened and they would have lagged in the party vote as well.

      And while outside movements within Maori were important in the Maori Party forming. Without Turia providing the trigger from inside Parliament I doubt the Maori Party would have such an impact.

      That’s why for a Country Party to be successful they need someone from inside parliament.

      • Lew 5.1.1

        Oh, I see what you’re arguing, now. I agree on that count.

        L

        • toad 5.1.1.1

          Sandra Goudie?

          She’s about as rednecked and intolerant as you can get, and the fact that she’s been an MP for 8 years and hasn’t progressed beyond the backbenches would indicate she has no career prospects with National.

          • Lew 5.1.1.1.1

            Nah. Couldn’t be a bloody sheila. They need a Pine Tree.

            L

            • Pascal's bookie 5.1.1.1.1.1

              Richard Loe?

              @GC

              But while I don’t think it is going to happen, if it did I’m not convinced that they would need a current or recent pollie to be the front man, or someone many people here would recognise.

              What an established politician as frontman for a new party does, is bring coverage, recognition, experience and a bit of organisation and some parliamentary, ahem, resourcing. The hard thing to overcome is the lack of an organisation, with info distribution channels and fundraising ability.

              Within NZ all of that stuff is doable for a rural based party. The recognition doesn’t need to be universal, and nor does the press coverage. There are rural media outlets that will be glad for the copy and go to pretty damn near every farm gate. There are numerous organisations with the communication networks already in place. They only need to reach these people. And if they can get a showing in a poll, they become a story and MSM coverage will follow. A well crafted timely stunt, (a-la fart tax tractor hikoi or something to do with the RB, interest rates and high dollars crushing exports, or whatever it is that opportunity presents) and you are away laughing.

              As noted, I don’t think a split will happen, the talk is just shots across bows. But those shots aren’t meaningless, and it could happen. And if it does happen, of all possible newbie outsider parties to be able to pull off getting past 5 percent, a rural one would have the best shot at it. I wouldn’t write the possibility of a split off, or the chances of it’s success.

              One thing about authoritarians, even mild ones, is that they are loyal as all hell. But they expect that to be returned and if they decide they’ve been betrayed, it’s all over baby blue.

      • Oscar 5.1.2

        I agree with the argument, but it doesn’t necessarily need to be someone inside Parliament.

        While it would definitely be easier to get a fledgling party off the ground, a’la Winston 1st in 1996, it’s entirely possible that the likes of Spud Bolger could easily be a frontman for a Country Party.

        Perhaps that big ostentatious birthday advertisement was a code, a call to arms for Spud to start farming his support base?

  6. Nick C 6

    I think at most you may see many rural groups openly endorsing Act. There is no way there will be a country party, it simply wont happen.

    • kaplan 6.1

      Just to clarify. Does ‘Simply wont happen’ mean the same things as ‘Never ever’? It’s just that our PM has recently proven that ‘Never ever’ = ‘Once we find a way to convince youse guys it’s all good’.
      It’s awesome. Works for promises on GST and asset sales plus heaps more. Probably will work in you case too.

      • Nick C 6.1.1

        No simply wont happen as in about as likely as the Cathrine Delahunty becoming Prime Minister of New Zealand after the next election

  7. Sanctuary 7

    Personally I’d like to see ACT and a Country Party both poll 4.9% without an electorate seat.

    Hey, a win is a win!

  8. PK 8

    ***It’s kind of like the Republicans’ Tea Party in the States. Started as Republican astro-turfing, the Tea Party has rapidly taken on because mainstream Republicans can’t actually adopt the extreme Right policies that their militarised base are demanding.***

    Extreme right? Actually, the reason is that mainstream Republicans are beholden to corporate and military interests.

    “Program of the Boston Tea Party
    Adopted in Convention, May 27, 2010

    1. End the Wars of Aggression: The U.S. should withdraw all forces from Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia, South Korea, Germany, Japan, and all other occupied nations.

    2. End the Fed: The U.S. Congress should audit the Fed, allow for competition of currencies, repeal the income tax, abolish the IRS, and refuse any further ‘bailouts’ of corporations in any industry. Furthermore, all federal regulations covering every aspect of the private economy, including those individuals who seek self-employment, should be repealed across the board. All FICA and withholding taxes levied on employers and employees should be eliminated entirely.

    3. End the War on Drugs: The federal government should repeal all laws against the use and trade of “controlled substances.” The states and local communities should also permit people to freely choose what substances they wish to consume without government intervention.

    4. End the Abuses of Liberty: Congress should repeal the Patriot Act, Military Commissions Act & FISA Acts and abolish the NSA, TSA, CIA and any other federal agency that infringes on individual rights. Congress should review and revoke the emergency powers granted to the President in response to the September 11th terrorist attacks. The U.S. should restore privacy by forbidding warrant-less wiretapping of phone and internet communication. The U.S. must restore habeas corpus, allowing all detainees, foreign and domestic, a speedy and public trial. No physical or environmental discomfort should be used to influence the interrogation of suspects for any crime. The U.S. government must respect the rights of all people, regardless of place of birth, status of citizenship, or suspicion of criminality.

    5. End the Immigration Fiasco: Rather than suddenly decide to enforce long-ignored immigration laws, the U.S. should open the borders to trade and travel. We should loosen restrictions on citizens and visitors alike, allowing people of many backgrounds and cultures to coexist in a society of social and economic freedom and prosperity. The Immigration and Customs Enforcement and Border Patrol agencies at all levels of government should be abolished and dismantled immediately.”

    http://www.bostontea.us/program

  9. DS 9

    Nitpick: Reform was the redneck rural party, United was the urban business party (not the other way round).

  10. gobsmacked 10

    Let’s hope we get the Country Party in Parliament.

    Then we might get to hear this exchange, which did actually happen* in Australia:

    “I am a Country Member …”

    (interjection) “We remember!”

    (*possibly, and if it didn’t, it should have)

  11. DS 11

    >>>(*possibly, and if it didn’t, it should have)<<<

    Well, if puns on "country" are good enough for William Shakespeare's Hamlet, they should be good enough for party politics.

  12. solatnz 12

    The historical cleavages in the NZ right were there in 1935 and caused the Right to lose the election to Labour.

    You had the rural-based conservative Reform, the urban liberal but anti-Labour United and the pro-business Democrats (who won no seats). I see those as roughly correlating to “Country Party”, National and ACT respectively. NZ First represents the old National Party that overlapped Reform and United.

    If a country party were to form a splinter the Right vote it would be catastrophic for them.

  13. Bored 13

    A bag of spuds with a blue rosette on it was all that the Nats needed to stand to win Selwyn and Ashburton in the recent past…there was Ruth and Jenny.

  14. vto 14

    Good. Anything to spread the power has to be good. Concentrated power has only concentrated uses.

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • “Homosexuality is same-sex attraction and relationships, not heterosexuals with delusions of gende...
    by Rafael D. Quiles (gender-critical gay man from Puerto Rico) The writing on the wall is right in people’s faces and people just don’t see it or don’t want to. What could actually possess a heterosexual male to want to feminize himself and claim that he is a lesbian? Because ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    36 mins ago
  • Trump: “Where’s my favourite dictator?”
    From the Wall Street Journal:Inside a room of the ornately decorated Hotel du Palais during last month’s Group of Seven summit in Biarritz, France, President Trump awaited a meeting with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi. Mr. Trump looked over a gathering of American and Egyptian officials and called out in ...
    7 hours ago
  • Magdalen Burns, 1983-2019, fighter for women’s liberation
    by the Redline blog collective At Redline we are very saddened to hear of the death of Magdalen Burns who passed away on the morning of Friday, September 13 (British time). Magdalen was a great fighter for the rights of women in general and lesbian women in particular, a defender ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 day ago
  • Parliament and the Executive
    The Brexit issue has certainly brought with it a series of apparently difficult constitutional issues, many of them concerning the respective roles of the executive and parliament. Most of them arise because of the unwillingness of MPs, despite their professions to the contrary, to be bound by a constitutional rarity ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    2 days ago
  • The Abigail Article; Martyn Bradbury’s Article, and My Response
    . . This blogpost is different to my usual format of reporting on issues… Since July 1011, I have blogged on a variety of political issues; near always political and/or environmental; mostly highly critical of the previous National Government. Other issues included Israeli occupation of Palestinian lands and repression of ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    2 days ago
  • Police will have to wear silly Buckingham Palace hats from now on, says Police Minister
    Those close to the Police Minister believe the initiative may be the result of Nash “seeing a great deal” on AliExpress. In a move that comes seemingly out of nowhere, Police Minister Stuart Nash announced this afternoon that he expects all frontline staff to don bearskin hats, famously worn by ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 days ago
  • A sensible crackdown
    The government has released its Arms Legislation Bill, containing the second tranche of changes to gun laws following the March 15 massacre. And it all looks quite sensible: a national gun register, higher penalties for illegal possession and dealing, tighter restrictions on arms dealers and shooting clubs, and a shorter ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • California bans private prisons
    Private prisons are a stain on humanity. Prison operators explicitly profit from human misery, then lobby for longer prisons terms so they can keep on profiting. And in the US, prison companies run not only local and state prisons, but also Donald Trump's immigration concentration camps. Faced with this moral ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Why PPPs are a bad idea
    When National was in power, they were very keen on Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) - basicly, using private companies to finance public infrastructure as a way of hiding debt from the public. They were keen on using them for everything - roads, schools, hospitals. But as the UK shows, that "service" ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • A Movement That No Longer Moves.
    Moving And Shaking: There was a time when people spoke matter-of-factly about the “labour movement” – a political phenomenon understood to embrace much more than the Labour Party. Included within the term’s definition was the whole trade union movement – many of whose members looked upon the Labour Party as ...
    3 days ago
  • NZ ‘left’ politically embracing extreme postmodernism
    by Philip Ferguson Much of the left, even people who formally identify as marxists, have collapsed politically in the face of postmodern gender theory of the sort pioneered by American philosopher Judith Butler. For Butler even biological sex is socially constructed. “If the immutable character of sex is contested, perhaps ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    3 days ago
  • The obvious question
    The media is reporting that the (alleged) Labour party sexual assaulter has resigned from their job at Parliament, which means hopefully he won't be turning up there making people feel unsafe in future. Good. But as with everything about this scandal, it just raises other questions. Most significantly: why the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • The moment I found out that you found out, I acted swiftly
    By Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern I am every bit as angry as you are. I am every bit as disappointed as you must be. The people with power, oversight and the ability to do something about these processes within the Labour Party should be ashamed. Whoever those people are, I ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    3 days ago
  • This is why people hate property developers
    Property developers think there is an "oversupply" of houses in Auckland:High turnover rates and falling prices may be a sign that there are too many new houses going in to some parts of Auckland, commentators say. [...] Property developer David Whitburn said there was a "bit of an oversupply" in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Australia to Pacific: “Fuck you, you can all drown”
    World leaders are meeting in New York in two weeks for the 2019 Climate Action Summit, where they are expected to announce new and more ambitious targets to stop the world from burning. But the Australian Prime Minister won't be there, despite being in the USA at the time:Scott Morrison ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Implausible ignorance
    Labour Party president Nigel Haworth resigned yesterday over the party's sexual assault scandal. But while that's good news, its unlikely to take away the stench of a coverup. Because according to Paula Bennett in Parliament yesterday, pretty much everyone in the Prime Minister's office was involved as well:I have been ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Labour’s Fatal Flaw.
     Two-Faced? Labour insiders' commitment to the neoliberal status quo puts them at odds with their party’s membership; its trade union affiliates; and a majority of Labour voters, but this only serves to strengthen the perception they have of themselves as a special elite. Among the lesser breeds, they’ll talk up a ...
    3 days ago
  • Ten reasons the Tories do NOT want an election
    There has been a lot of talk about Boris Johnson wanting an election, and he has blustered with great gusto about 'chicken' Jeremy Corbyn refusing one, but I think there are many reasons why he is secretly glad he has been refused the opportunity:The Tories are an utter rabble,tearing themselves ...
    4 days ago
  • Prorogation Illegal, rule Scottish judges
    Scottish appeal court judges have declared that Boris Johnson’s decision to suspend parliament in the run-up to the October Brexit deadline is unlawful. The three judges, chaired by Lord Carloway, Scotland’s most senior judge, overturned an earlier ruling that the courts did not have the powers to interfere in the prime ...
    4 days ago
  • Let me explain what I meant by Everyday New Zealanders
    By Simon Bridges. The following is a press release from the office of Simon Bridges, leader of The National Party. Key ora, New Zealand. Happy Maori Language Week. Look, I’m writing to you today because I want to clear something up. There’s been a lot of kerfuffle around some things ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    4 days ago
  • Yes, the SIS is subject to the Public Records Act
    I understand there's some stuff going round about how the SIS "was removed from the list of public offices covered by the Public Records Act in 2017". The context of course being their records derived from US torture, which will be disposed of or sealed. The good news is that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • An evidence-based discussion of the Canadian fluoride/IQ study
    Dr. Christopher Labos and Jonathan Jarry discuss the recent Canadian fluoride/IQ research. They provide an expert analysis of the paper and its problems. Click on image to go to podcast. The critical debate about the recent ...
    4 days ago
  • Climate Change: Australia in denial
    Australia is burning down again, and meanwhile its natural disaster minister is denying climate change:Australia’s minister responsible for drought and natural disasters, David Littleproud, has said that he doesn’t “know if climate change is manmade”. Clarifying earlier comments that the question is “irrelevant” when considering the Coalition government’s response to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Philippines activist speaking on the Duterte tyranny
    Auckland Philippines Solidarity is excited to host Professor Judy Taguiwalo for a speaking tour of NZ in September. She is a well-known activist in the Philippines and was a political prisoner under the Marcos dictatorship. Professor Taguiwalo briefly served as a Cabinet member under President Duterte but was forced from ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    4 days ago
  • Disgust
    I have no special insights to offer on the Labour sexual assault coverup. All I have is disgust. Disgust that an organisation could fail its people so badly. Disgust that they punished the victims rather than the perpetrator. Disgust that its party hacks are apparently blaming the victims for demanding ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Speak Up for Women calls out Greens’ censorship
    This open letter to the Green Party was penned after an opinion piece by Jill Abigail, a feminist and founding member of the party, was censored by the Greens’ leadership. (Redline has reprinted her article here).The intolerance of the Green Party leaders and their acceptance of the misogyny of gender ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    4 days ago
  • Member’s Day: End of Life Choice, part 3
    Today is a Member's day, and David Seymour's End of Life Choice Bill continues its slow crawl through its committee stage. They're spending the whole day on it today, though the first hour is likely to be spent on voting left over from last time. After that they'll move on ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Flight to Los Angeles turned back after passengers decide they don’t want to go anymore
    An ambitious plan to fly to Los Angeles petered out into a brief sight-seeing trip and a desire to return home and get some sleep before work tomorrow. Air New Zealand has confirmed a flight to Los Angeles last night was turned back about a quarter of the way into ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    5 days ago
  • Indigenous Futures: defuturing and futuring – an analytical framework for policy development?
    There appears to be consensus – by omission – that the concept of indigenous futures should be accepted at face value. So I scavenged the internet to see if I could locate an academic descriptor or a framework around how we think about it as a concept, and whether it ...
    EllipsisterBy Ellipsister
    5 days ago
  • Cadbury rumoured to be releasing the Pineapple Trump
    Here’s another novelty chocolate to shove in your gob, New Zealand Cadbury could be seeking to make itself great again with a rumoured new release: Pineapple Trumps, a spin on its classic chocolate-encased pineapple treat and do-it-yourself tooth remover. The global confectionery manufacturer and bumbling “before” character in an infomercial, ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    5 days ago
  • The coming resource war.
    During my time in the Pentagon I had the privilege of sitting down with military leaders and defence and security officials from a variety of Latin American nations. Sometimes I was present as a subordinate assistant to a senior US defence department official, sometimes as part of a delegation that ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    5 days ago
  • Māori Language Week with The Civilian
    Kia ora, Aotearoa. It’s that magical time of year. Te Wiki o te Reo Māori. In English, the week that frightens talk radio. As you probably know by now, all your favourite media outlets are participating, some more successfully than others. Stuff has changed its name to Puna for the ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    5 days ago
  • Will Horizons act on climate change?
    Local body elections are coming up next month. And it looks like all Palmerston North candidates for Horizons (the Manawatu-Whanganui Regional Council) want to take action on climate change:Climate change is set to be a key issue in Palmerston North for the next three years if those wanting to get ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • BORA reform is stalled
    Eighteen months ago, the government promised to strengthen the Bill of Rights Act, by explicitly affirming the power of the courts to issue declarations of inconsistency and requiring Parliament to formally respond to them. So how's that going? I was curious, so I asked for all advice about the proposal. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Corbyn and Brexit
    As the Brexit saga staggers on, the focus is naturally enough on the Prime Minister and his attempts to achieve Brexit “do or die”. But the role played by the Leader of the Opposition is of almost equal interest and complexity. The first problem for Jeremy Corbyn is that he ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    5 days ago
  • A ditch for him to die in
    Last week, English Prime Minister Boris Johnson boldly declared that he would rather die be dead in a ditch than delay Brexit. Unfortunately for him, the UK parliament accepted the challenge, and promptly dug one for him. The "rebellion bill" requires him to ask for and secure yet another temporary ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Warning! Warning! Danger Jacinda Ardern! Danger Marama Davidson! Warning!
    Lost In Political Space: The most important takeaway from this latest Labour sexual assault scandal, which (if I may paraphrase Nixon’s White House counsel’s, John Dean’s, infamous description of Watergate) is “growing like a cancer” on the premiership, is the Labour Party organisation’s extraordinary professional paralysis in the face of ...
    6 days ago
  • Union solidarity with Ihumatao land occupation
    by Daphna Whitmore Every Sunday for the past two months unionists from First Union, with supporters from other unions, have set out to the Ihumatao land protest, put up gazebos and gas barbeques, and cooked food for a few hundred locals and supporters who have come from across the country. ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    6 days ago
  • Climate Change: The wrong kind of trees?
    Newsroom today has an excellent, in-depth article on pine trees as carbon sinks. The TL;DR is that pine is really good at soaking up carbon, but people prefer far-less efficient native forests instead. Which is understandable, but there's two problems: firstly, we've pissed about so long on this problem that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • No freedom of speech in Turkey
    Canan Kaftancioglu is a Turkish politician and member of the opposition Republican People's Party (CHP). Like most modern politicians, she tweets, and uses the platform to criticise the Turkish government. She has criticised them over the death of a 14-year-old boy who was hit by a tear gas grenade during ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Speaker: Tadhg Stopford: Why I’m standing for the ADHB
    Hi there, just call me Tim.We face tough problems, and I’d like to help, because there are solutions.An Auckand District Health Board member has nominated me for as a candidate for the ADHB, because her MS-related pain and fatigue is reduced with hemp products from Rotorua.  Nothing else helped her. If I ...
    6 days ago
  • Good little vassals
    The Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security has published their report on whether the SIS and GCSB had any complicity in American torture. And its damning. The pull quote is this:The Inquiry found both agencies, but to a much greater degree, the NZSIS, received many intelligence reports obtained from detainees who, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Who Shall We Turn To When God, And Uncle Sam, Cease To Defend New Zealand?
    Bewhiskered Cassandra? Professor Hugh White’s chilling suggestion, advanced to select collections of academic, military and diplomatic Kiwi experts over the course of the past week, is that the assumptions upon which Australia and New Zealand have built their foreign affairs and defence policies for practically their entire histories – are ...
    6 days ago
  • The Politics of Opposition
    For most of the time I was a British MP, my party was out of government – these were the Thatcher years, when it was hard for anyone else to get a look-in. As a front-bencher and shadow minister, I became familiar with the strategies required in a parliamentary democracy ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    6 days ago
  • More expert comments on the Canadian fluoride-IQ paper
    The Green et al (2019) fluoride/IQ is certainly controversial – as would be expected from its subject (see If at first you don’t succeed . . . statistical manipulation might help and Politics of science – making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear). Anti-fluoride campaigners have been actively promoting it ...
    1 week ago
  • The return to guerrilla war in Colombia
    by Gearóid Ó Loingsigh On August 29th a video in which veteran FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia) commander Iván Márquez announced that they had taken up arms again was released. There was no delay in the reaction to it, from longtime Liberal Party figure and former president Uribe, for ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Air New Zealand identifies this enormous plot of unused land as possible second airport site
    Air New Zealand couldn’t believe its luck that this seemingly ideal piece of real estate had so far gone entirely unnoticed. Air New Zealand’s search for a site to build a second Auckland Airport may have made a breakthrough this afternoon, after employees scanning Google satellite imagery spotted a huge, ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Redline on the Labour Party
    No-one on the anti-capitalist left in this country today puts forward a case that Labour is on the side of the working class.  There are certainly people who call themselves ‘socialist’ who do, but they are essentially liberals with vested interests in Labourism – often for career reasons. Nevertheless, there ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • New Fisk
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Labour’s failure
    When National was in government and fucking over the poor for the benefit of the rich, foodbanks were a growth industry. And now Labour is in charge, nothing has changed: A huge demand for emergency food parcels means the Auckland City Mission is struggling to prepare for the impending arrival ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Ardern attempts to vaccinate Clarke Gayford live on television to prove that it’s safe
    Gayford, pictured here on The Project, before things got wildly out of control. A bold public relations move by the Government to encourage parents to vaccinate their children has gone horribly wrong. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern appeared on tonight’s episode of Three’s The Project, where the plan was for her ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Has Mr. Whippy gone too far by parking on our front lawns?
    Mr. Whippy’s business model has driven it down a dark road of intimidation. Residents in major centres around the country are becoming disgruntled by the increasingly aggressive actions of purported ice cream company Mr. Whippy, who have taken to parking on people’s front lawns and doorsteps in a desperate attempt ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Cleaning up the water
    Today the government released its Action Plan for Healthy Waterways, aimed at cleaning up our lakes and rivers. Its actually quite good. There will be protection for wetlands, better standards for swimming spots, a requirement for continuous improvement, and better standards for wastewater and stormwater. But most importantly, there's a ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Fronting up
    Today I appeared before the Environment Committee to give an oral submission on the Zero Carbon Bill. Over 1,500 people have asked to appear in person, so they've divided into subcommittees and are off touring the country, giving people a five minute slot each. The other submitters were a mixed ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Politics of science – making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear
    Anti-fluoride activists have some wealthy backers – they are erecting billboards misrepresenting the Canadian study on many New Zealand cities – and local authorities are ordering their removal because of their scaremongering. Many New Zealanders ...
    1 week ago
  • Democracy – I Don’t Think So
    So, those who “know best” have again done their worst. While constantly claiming to be the guardians of democracy and the constitution, and respecters of the 2016 referendum result, diehard Remainers (who have never brought themselves to believe that their advice could have been rejected) have striven might and main ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • Government says it will now build just one really nice home
    Following publication of this article, the Ministry has requested it to be noted that this supplied image is not necessarily representative of what the final house will look like, and it “probably won’t be that nice.” As part of today’s long-anticipated reset of the Government’s flagship KiwiBuild policy, Housing Minister ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Imperialism and your cup of coffee
    Over the next week or two we will be running three synopses of parts of the opening chapter of John Smith’s Imperialism in the 21st Century (New York, Monthly Review Press, 2016).  The synopsis and commentary below is written by Phil Duncan. Marx began Capital not with a sweeping historical ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Still juking the stats
    The State Services Commission and Ombudsman have released another batch of OIA statistics, covering the last six months. Request volumes are up, and the core public service is generally handling them within the legal timeframe, though this may be because they've learned to extend rather than just ignore things. And ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Hard News: Time for a New Deal: 25 years on
    In 1994, I was editing an ambitious street mag called Planet, from a fabled office at at 309 Karangahape Road. The thirteenth issue of the magazine was published in the winter of that year and its cover embodied a particularly ambitious goal: the end of cannabis prohibition.I wanted to do ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Not impressed
    KiwiBuild was one of the Ardern government's core policies. The government would end the housing crisis and make housing affordable again by building 100,000 new homes. Of course, it didn't work out like that: targets weren't met, the houses they did build were in the wrong place, and the whole ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Solar beats coal
    As the climate crisis escalates, it is now obvious that we need to radically decarbonise our economy. The good news is that its looking easy and profitable for the energy sector. Wind is already cheaper than fossil fuels, and now solar is too:The levellised cost of solar PV has fallen ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • A Step Too Far.
    A Crown Asset? For reasons relating to its own political convenience, the Crown pretends to believe that “No one owns the water.” To say otherwise would re-vivify the promises contained in the Treaty of Waitangi – most particularly those pertaining to the power of the chiefs and their proprietary rights ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Where Money Comes From
    Most people would say, no doubt, that they have a pretty good idea of what money is. They live with the reality of money every day. It is what is needed to buy the necessities of life and to maintain a decent standard of living. You get money, they would ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    2 weeks ago
  • Banned by the Green Party leadership: Jill Abigail on women’s rights and trans rights
    The article below was an opinion piece that appeared in the Spring 2019 issue of Te Awa (the NZ Green Party’s newsletter) and on the Greens website.  In keeping with their policy of hostility to women defending women’s right to female-only spaces, Green bureaucrats have since removed the opinion piece.  ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • The fallacy of the proximity argument.
    Longer term readers may remember my complaining that, as a political scientist, it is burdensome to have non-political scientists wanting to engage me about politics. No layperson would think to approach an astrophysicist and lecture him/her on the finer details of quarks and black holes, but everybody with an opinion ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    2 weeks ago
  • Where We Stood: Chris Trotter Replies To Stevan Eldred-Grigg.
    Joining The Fight: Stevan Eldred-Grigg's argument for New Zealand staying out of the Second World War fails not only on the hard-headed grounds of preserving the country’s strategic and economic interests; and not just on the soft-hearted grounds of duty and loyalty to the nation that had given New Zealand ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Universities back the climate strike
    On September 27, School Strike 4 Climate will be striking for a future to pressure the government for meaningful climate action. This time, they've asked adults to join them. And now, Lincoln University and Victoria University of Wellington have signed on:Victoria University of Wellington has joined Lincoln University in endorsing ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Another constitutional outrage
    Another day, another constitutional outrage in the UK. This time, the government is saying that if parliament passes a law to stop Brexit before being prorogued, they may just ignore it:A senior cabinet minister has suggested Boris Johnson could defy legislation to prevent a no-deal Brexit if it is forced ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Ending dairy in Canterbury
    Environment Canterbury has finally proposed nitrogen limits to stop dairy farmers from poisoning Christchurch's water supply. And naturally, farmers are whining about it:A proposed move by Environment Canterbury (ECan) to protect Christchurch's drinking water by setting tough – some would say, draconian – nitrate reductions in the decades ahead and ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Is National the party of climate arson?
    The Zero Carbon Bill is currently before select committee. While its targets are weak, its a generally sensible bill that promises to establish a long-term framework to guide emissions reductions. But National hasn't made up its mind on whether it will support it - and according to Andrea Vance in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Experts warn Harold the Giraffe “well past” typical giraffe life expectancy, may not have long
    Dum-de-doo. Children across New Zealand have known him for generations as the lovable giraffe who tells them to exercise, hydrate and not to shove lit cigarettes up their nostrils. But a world renowned giraffe expert says we shouldn’t be getting attached to Life Education’s Harold the Giraffe, as he is ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • August ’19 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
    Image credit: 22 BLOGGERS WITH ADVICE FOR RESEARCHERS AND EVALUATORS, ILLUSTRATED 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 ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Bye, bye to the collusion lie
    Sums it up, really. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Opinion: Treat your car by buying extra petrol to snack on while you aren’t driving
    By Mike Hosking. Yesterday morning, I waltzed into work, and as I walked past the drones aggressively typing out news on the computers I’ve repeatedly asked to be moved further away from, I caught a glimpse of the words “climate change”, and noticed that suspiciously they weren’t in condescending quotation ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago

No feed items found.