A “Culture of Entitlement”?

Written By: - Date published: 3:39 pm, August 17th, 2017 - 48 comments
Categories: business, class war, Economy, employment, Financial markets, infrastructure, jobs, manufacturing, minimum wage, poverty, socialism, uncategorized, welfare - Tags:

With the current dialog about welfare, It is time to look at the people who are the real  beneficiaries, of the welfare system.

Who use the educated and healthy  workforce, the safe environment and the functioning infrastructure, our taxes and work, provides.

The people who say “everyone should stand on their own two feet”, “you don’t work you don’t eat”,  and “take personal responsibility”,

The business sector.

What Business wants.

  1. Staff fully educated and trained. “Job ready”.
  2. Low wages.
  3. Tertiary education.
  4. Better infrastructure, including power, roads, transport links and other services.
  5. Better Government services.
  6. Protection from crime.
  7. Help with research.
  8. Help with exporting.
  9. Help with business development.
  10. More immigration to keep wages and training costs down.
  11. A pool of casual labour/unemployed, available when and where wanted.
  12. Welfare benefits at starvation level, so people will take any low paid irregular hour job offered.

All supplied by tax payers and/or  employees, at great cost to the rest of us, that pay our taxes……

Now get this.

Not happy with being able to use, tax rebates, PAYE earners cannot, and the numerous accounting loopholes to minimise tax, as well as outright tax fraud, they also want………….

TAX CUTS for business!

 

What business wants, is a lot of benefits supplied by tax payers, and the unemployed.

But.

They want someone else to pay for it.

“Socialism for Business”.

Where is the outrage from the “Tax Payers Union” and the “bene bashers” (the ones that were so upset with Turei last week)..?

48 comments on “A “Culture of Entitlement”?”

  1. Ad 1

    “The Entrepeneurial State”

  2. greg 2

    they what subsidized like farmers and sky city and we pay

  3. tracey 3

    You forgot relief from flood and drought… even for those who convert to dairy in drought prone areas (North Otago and North canterbury I am looking at you)

  4. Jordan Williams 4

    In fact, the Taxpayers’ Union has been very focal fighting “Socialism for Business”. Refer to http://www.taxpayers.org.nz/tags/corporate_welfare
    Jordan Williams

    • tc 4.1

      Yes dear, crawl back under your rock cammy misses you.

    • lprent 4.2

      I am not sure that I would describe a average rate of about one badly publicized report every year as being a ‘focal’ part of your organisations presence. It looks more like a single figleaf being pointed to among a forest’s worth of fallen oak leaves.

      Even then I have to generously count what looks like a simple political hit on the upper hutt council as being something more than just being politically mischievous. But that looks just like dirty politics hit to me. In other words more like what your organisation seems to stand for.

      This last document by Jim Rose looks like teeny figleaf with a title disguising simple stupidity. Just reading the summary shows several errors. For instance it appears to confuse who owns the track and land with who operates on top of the rail. I guess that is why it only showed up in NBR (who are a bit retarded these days in the ability to judge facts), and scoop – where anyone can place their own bullshit.

      But when I look at beneficiary bashing from the Taxpayers ‘Union’ that happens at a rate that barely lets a week go by as you criticize any and every welfare policy.

      Basically as an organisation, you appear to have a severe myopia and a bigotry that is hard to justify in your choice of what to focus on.

      Incidentally if you are a union for taxpayers – how about giving us taxpayers some transparency about where you get your funds from? Until I see detailed exposure of who you are operating for, I’ll consider you to be an organisation that is being run by some capricious business parasites and fronted by untrustworthy and morally challenged morons who are neck deep in some highly unethical behaviors.

      But you are such a great representative for the organisation…

    • Man, that things full of real, absolute BULLSHIT.

      Corporate welfare is not only a waste of taxpayer money but also counterproductive. Look at Emirates Team New Zealand. Removing the direct corporate welfare saw Team New Zealand bring home the Auld Mug. Forcing private businesses to compete on their own footing, rather than rely on government handouts, will inspire competition and innovation.

      Team New Zealand gets more government funding

      We can probably assume that if they didn’t get the government boost we wouldn’t have won.

      The largest recipient of taxpayer funded corporate welfare is KiwiRail. The latest budget has allocated $396 million to KiwiRail, a 50% increase on the previous year. KiwiRail has now received more than $4 billion in taxpayer handouts since 2008 despite being valued as a $1.5 billion liability.

      Except that Kiwirail isn’t really a corporation but, like the roads, is an essential government service. Treating as a corporation is the problem.

      If you actually do the research you’ll find that almost all successful technologies came out of government research of one form or another. Cuting corporate taxes won’t magically change that as we’ve seen – cutting the corporate taxes just means that more goes out to dividends. The corporates don’t actually increase research.

    • KJT 4.4

      Shouldn’t your outfit be called the “Tax dodgers Union”?

    • Tautoko Mangō Mata 4.5

      @Jordan Can you justify why you are opposed to a tax on sugary drinks which would save the taxpayer by reducing the incidence of diabetes, plus reducing the amount of surgery required for the extraction of rotten teeth in children? So far the only argument I have seen from you is one of individual choice which proves to be costly to taxpayers and therefore this view would appear to be not representative of the group that you purport to be representing. Are you in fact simply representing your own personal point of view?
      Deleted duplicate comment.

      • Jordan Williams 4.5.1

        Hi Taitoko,

        I don’t think the Taxpayers’ Union has relied much on the “individual choice” argument. We tend to avoid (not always successfully) the libertarian arguments on these sorts of matters and try to focus on the economics. I think on sugar tax, the freedom to choose argument doesn’t get one far, because it is inherently value or ideologically-based, rather than evidence.

        The evidence that a sugar tax (which for present purposes is actually a soda tax) would have a material impact on the consumption of sugar is weak. Only 1.6 per cent of New Zealanders’ total energy intake comes from the added sugar content of sugar sweetened non-alcoholic beverages and New Zealanders are still getting fatter despite consuming fewer calories, suggesting that we’re not burning as many (I was really surprised to learn this, but apparently it is the case across the Western World since the early 1990s).

        A lot of politicians point to Mexico’s soda tax as an apparent success, however when we’ve taken a closer look at this the reported reductions in soda sales have all relied on expressed preference data (i.e. survey), whereas the actual sales data (now that it is available) shows that the impact has been around 1% (there was a blimp when the tax was first introduced, but sales have bounced back).

        So in order for a soda tax to save the money claimed in the health system it would need to have a material impact on the sale of sodas (which appears doubtful, unless it is set at a very high level) and sodas would need to be a big part of our calligraphic intake (which they’re not).

        If a soda tax was set at high levels, I suspect there would be a lot of subsidisation – I am told that one of the reasons most modern luxury foods have so much sugar is because for a generation we were trying to reduce fat and salt content (so these were replaced by something as pleasing on a pallet (i.e. sugar). A soda tax may cause people to eat more chocolate. A pure sugar tax may just cause people to eat more pies.

        So if they don’t work (or don’t work much) and there is a risk of substitution, the next question is whether we should just do it anyway.

        Putting aside my ideological view (that few on this blog would agree with) that the government – being about 40% of the economy – is large enough as it is, even if a sugar tax saw an equal reduction of other taxes (say on income), I would still resist it because a sugar tax is particularly regressive. By that I mean sugar taxes impact the poor the most. That might be OK, *if* you take the view that those are the people you want to reduce sugar consumption the most anyway, but note that, counterintuitively, higher tobacco taxes have had the least impact on those who can least afford to smoke. The socioeconomic gradient has increased as smoking taxes have risen.

        Finally, you mention kids’ teeth being extracted. I have a lot of sympathy for what is, (and I’m calling it for what it is) child abuse in giving sipper bottles of cola to infants and young kids every day of the week. I’ve heard Rob Beaglehole (he dentist from Nelson)’s very effective presentation and I have huge respect for his efforts to draw the public’s attention to what is an abomination. I don’t agree with Rob’s policy prescription (for the reasons outlined above), but I certainly acknowledge that there is a problem.

        In relation to tooth decay, I think it more to do with the acidity of the sodas, than the sugar per say, and I think more education of parents about the dangers of overconsuption of sugary drinks at any age is certainly called for.

        Jordan

        PS. I didn’t write it, but a few years ago the TU published a report on the subject of sugar taxes. See http://www.taxpayers.org.nz/fizzed_out

        • Tautoko Mangō Mata 4.5.1.1

          Just to clarify matters, can I ask if any of the soft drink manufacturers are donors to The Tax Payers’ Union?

        • Tautoko Mangō Mata 4.5.1.2

          Just to clarify matters, can you confirm that the Tax Payers’ Union does not have any soft drink manufacturers as a donor?

        • Craig H 4.5.1.3

          Personally, I would like to see sugar (and probably fat) taxes based on the additional government health spending required, similar to tobacco tax.

  5. patricia bremner 5

    There is a disconnection. Just as farmers once had huge subsidies .
    What is needed is an acceptance of a livable wage.

    • Stuart Munro 6.1

      Reptilians tend to overstretch their s’s – he figured focusssssed would raise uncomfortable questions.

  6. Ad 7

    Nothing wrong with wanting lower taxes.

    We all want more stuff for less.

    Hell you should see the wish-list from the commie parties.

  7. eco Maori/kiwi 8

    Yes in my view of reality in NZ the Big business get to capitalize on the benefit systems. The accommodation benefit, and family support are part of the equation to keep wages low.

    I am a empty Nesters . Now what about the retired people who work for the minimum wage in working in Bunnings or other business if the system was fare there minimum wage should be $20 a hour to these people to help pay for all the extra expenses to get to work. I no the work is good for our elderly it gets them out of there houses and they get a social life . Please do not harp on about super that they get as there health expenses are high they are lonely and vulnerable so.
    Dont fucken target them or beneficiaries because they are in a similar situation

    The benefits system will be adding directly to business profits this could be worked out by a economist so all these business leaders should look hard at them selves before they put down beneficiaries anyone with shares in the NZ stock market should do the same. As all business that have a few employees are being subsidized by the tax payers . Its commonsense.

    But we need these business to provide work and money for our economy.
    So please do not over tax them or treat them and there owners badly.
    Or this dumb ASS cycle will continue 9 years of labour and then 9 years of Natianal.
    We need to find the right ballance for our tax and the expences of NZ .
    We need to treat everyone in our country with dignity give everyone a healthy happy and safe live . Or we will keep slipping down the OECD economic ladder.
    Its is also commonsense not to sell our assets to business and definitely not to foreigner.
    Ban sales of land to foreign business or foreigners
    One does not sell the house you end up losing any capital gains and paying renting
    We do not need advice/ be conned from foreigner interest to run our Country

    • eco Maori/kiwi 8.1

      Foreigner interest are only interested in them selves look at what our Ossie cousins
      are doing to us trust no one

  8. Jeremy 9

    As regards our business, a lot of what you’ve outlined businesses “want” we most definitely don’t want or are indifferent to:

    1). Staff fully educated and trained. “Job ready”.

    Sure, but a bigger benefit goes to the individual, their family and society. Businesses should be directly assessed a relatively small part of the taxes to pay for this.

    2). Low wages.

    I have no problem paying high wages, if the person employed can generate value in excess of their wages.

    3). Tertiary education.

    Usually preferable, but not necessary.

    4). Better infrastructure, including power, roads, transport links and other services.

    Sure, but again this is a societal benefit and businesses should be directly assessed a small part of the taxes to pay for this, unless they are heavy users, trucking companies etc. Or they should be made to pay for them outright, Telcos, etc. come to mind.

    5). Better Government services.

    Depends on the service. Good courts, absolutely (hopefully never needed). Archives NZ, couldn’t care less as regards business. Most government services aren’t relevant to business or exist solely to regulate business and therefore should be efficient if they are necessary.

    6). Protection from crime.

    Again this seems to be a societal benefit from which business derives a small part of the total benefit and should therefore part a commensurate amount of the tax.

    7). Help with research.

    Dear Lord please no. Stop this type of rort.

    8). Help with exporting.

    Dear Lord please no. Stop this type of rort.

    9). Help with business development.

    Dear Lord please no. Stop this type of rort.

    10). More immigration to keep wages and training costs down.

    I have my own personal view on immigration, i.e. that I’d like more of it, but it has nothing to do with business. In a business sense I’m indifferent.

    11). A pool of casual labour/unemployed, available when and where wanted.

    We use temps from time to time when people are on leave. We use them to take the pressure off other staff during extended absences. They are highly paid on a per hour basis compared to regular staff. If we had to bear that level of wages for all staff, all the time, the business would be barely viable, certainly not worth working 70+ hour weeks when I could work for someone else for what we would be earning. I think they’ll always be a pool of people keen to earn temp wages while they pursue other careers, writing, acting, etc. and some people who are building skills to make themselves employable full time. But if the pool shrinks below a certain size hourly rates will go up to attract more people to temp roles. As a business we could probably handle higher rates for the small periods requiring coverage. So I’m indifferent on this point.

    12). Welfare benefits at starvation level, so people will take any low paid irregular hour job offered.

    The whole MT resignation has shown me I need to learn more about welfare before I can comment intelligently, but to be fair we need experienced people with a particular skill for a niche industry so we aren’t really in a position to hire people off benefits or from prison unless they have that skill.

    I’d imagine many businesses and business owners would share similar views, especially regarding “research”, “exporting” and “business development”.

    • KJT 9.1

      Jeremy. It is all the things that organisations such as the manufacturers, Federated farmers and other employer groups say they want.
      But they do not want to pay for it.

      As for the idea that employees should only be paid their value to the business.

      Any business which cannot pay a living wage. Is not paying the full cost of the resources they use. It is a tax payer and employee funded hobby, not a business.

      • Molly 9.1.1

        “Any business which cannot pay a living wage. Is not paying the full cost of the resources they use. It is a tax payer and employee funded hobby, not a business.” QFT.

    • Vinnie 9.2

      I think you hit the nail on the head with point 2.
      That would sum up the sense of entitlement kjt was talking about

    • AB 9.3

      “I have no problem paying high wages, if the person employed can generate value in excess of their wages.”

      Seems sort of rational in theory, but ‘value generated’ can’t be calculated at the level of the individual worker, only in aggregate across a workforce. Therefore the way wage levels are actually determined for individuals have little to do with this fictional metric. It’s much more determined by availability/scarcity of that type of worker and what the guy down the road is paying similar people. You therefore can drive wages down by eliminating scarcity through high immigration and making life on a benefit a sort of Kafkaesque psychological torture that everyone is desperate to avoid.
      Empirically – if employers did actually pay workers according to the “value” they created we would have seen wages track upwards along with productivity. The fact that this historical pattern stopped in the 1980’s suggests that wage-setting mechanisms are not primarily related to “value generated”.
      Even when “value generated” is calculated across an entire workforce its measurement is pretty crude – basically it’s measured by the profitability of the enterprise. Profitability is influenced by so many other factors beyond the skill and value generated by the workforce, e.g. companies that make good products wiped out by 3rd-world low cost competitors.
      Actually – I think it’s a feature of neoliberal economics to divorce the effort and value generated by workers from their actual income – the former goes up while the latter stays flat or declines.

      • KJT 9.3.1

        If wages were paid according to “value added” cleaners would be paid more than bankers.

        http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/8410489.stm

        “Bankers cost the economy”, in the UK, “£7 for every pound, they earn”

        We would certainly appreciate the “value added” by mothers of children, more than we do.

        • Molly 9.3.1.1

          Original publication from the New Economics Foundation is: A Bit Rich which has the information found in the BBC article you linked to.

          The organisation is worth having a look at. They defined the SROI – social return on investment calculation, which has been picked up around the world. I believe Auckland Council uses it as a tool – or at least was contemplating it.

      • Jeremy 9.3.2

        @ AB,

        Yes, that is fair enough. Business and individuals vary in how much of the value they create they can capture. I would say however that this isn’t just the result of the rich trying to screw the poor, it is also a fundamental feature of economics, just compare historic margins for airlines vs. asset light airfreight forwarders vs. aircraft part manufacturers. Same supply chain, yet the margins are 40% vs. 12% vs. 0% to -2%. Wages, not surprisingly, are higher in the high margin business.

        We are lucky that our business is such were we seem to capture (in terms of revenue / profit) a fair amount of the value in our supply chain, and the individuals contributions (in terms of profit) is very measurable, which makes it easier than most for us to pay higher wages, bonuses, etc. than average across the economy.

  9. Eco maori 10

    Foreign interest are only INTERESTED in them selves look at what our Ossie cousin’s are doing to us trust no one

  10. carlite 11

    1.

    In my industry, the industry standard qualification is not enough. Entry level positions require 2 years’ experience.

    For positions that are on the immigration skills list.

    I cannot for the life of me think why the government would put these roles on the skills list, while at the same time allow employers to be so picky. Such bullshit.

  11. Nic 181 12

    It is preaching to the converted to express an opinion against NZ business but I will do it anyway. These bastards think that PAYE earners owe them a living. In return we get crap wages, crap employment contracts and crap working conditions. #!*?/*

  12. CLEANGREEN 13

    “The meek shall inherit the earth”

    The bible says!!!

    And it is high time we changed this toxic rorting Government which is just a “carpetbagger” mobster, with their foreign mates with criminal intent as they rape our once beautiful country.

  13. Incognito 14

    Red tape; I think you forgot that Business wants much less red tape, e.g. a watered down version of the RMA.

    • KJT 14.1

      Yes. I forgot to include “removing red tape”.
      Translation. Pass risks, environmental costs and other externalities onto the community.

      • Incognito 14.1.1

        Indeed, red tape means unnecessary oversight & regulations as well as some level of public scrutiny & accountability. Enough to trigger an anaphylactic shock in Business. Luckily the State is always keen to bail them out …

    • Molly 14.2

      I like the proposal someone made a few months ago, about renaming the legislation/terms to “protection”. So instead of “environmental regulation” – we have “environmental protection” legislation. Small change, but big impact when you will have politicians like David Seymour promising to remove protection rather than regulations.

      Same goes for “water protections”, “worker protections” etc.

      We need to claim more accurate language use, rather than allowing it to be watered down and allocated for use by those who wish to cause harm.

      There is an interesting read in one of James Hansen’s book about the coining of the term “climate change”. A deliberate choice of words that was intended not to spook the horses.

  14. gsays 15

    Well put kjt.
    You can add to the list;
    legislation favouring the employer (90 day right to fire and ‘weta’ contractor not employee laws),
    Punitive drug testing as an indiscriminate tool to be rid of staff when it suits.

  15. The OP has hit all the high notes on the rort that is NZ big business.

    Nic 181 has captured the frustrated anger that is quietly present among such a large number of the population that endures this rort ;

    … ” These bastards think that PAYE earners owe them a living. In return we get crap wages, crap employment contracts and crap working conditions. #!*?/* ” …

    And being the stuck record I am, and having to repeat it constantly , what Nic 181 and many of the rest of us express is a DIRECT CONSEQUENCE of the neo liberal reforms of the 1980’s.

    The difference being the gutlessness of our politicians in actually naming it and picking up the ball and running with it. As Jeremy Corbyn did. NZ big business feels safe and secure in the knowledge we are a small population , easily misinformed by our media, that can equally as easily have our democratic process interfered with by the likes of the New Zealand Initiative and others to ‘ buy off ‘ our politicians for use as their ‘ front people’ , our academics / critics can be either silenced by funding cuts or cherry picked for promotion over others if they play the game.

    Virtually ALL the above in the list provided by the OP has been directly enabled by the original Roger Douglas neo liberal reforms. Thus what we are seeing are only the symptoms of Corporate Welfare.

    It almost has a laconic irony about it. It is , in fact , a serious issue.

    Not only has it enabled the poverty in this country , – poverty that we never experienced post late 1940’s and created an unfamiliar ‘tiered class based society ‘ between the haves and have not’s , – it has also had a corrosive effect on our democracy. Like a self consuming monster, … and as more and more wealth goes upwards ( never downwards) that monster feeds upon itself with large political donations , back room ‘ sweet deals’ and creating a situation where big business has inordinate influence on political party’s , …sponsoring report after report and recommendations that favour big business interests only , and , – along with those recommendations , – ensure they are passed into law often against the wishes of the general public.

    This we saw time and again during the 1980’s and 1990’s , and despite massive ongoing protests and opposition , both under David Lange and again under Jim Bolgers govts, passed such laws as the Employment Contracts Act and the punitive and draconian ‘ Mother of all Budgets’ , – both under Ruth Richardson in 1991.

    Since then , NO GOVERNMENT has sought to rescind the bulk of those initiatives , we have seen only ineffectual tinkering and minor adjustments , – and that only to placate a vengeful population at the polling booths. There STILL IS a kind of quietly kept secret to maintain that status quo and only offer small concessions .

    There IS NO Jeremy Corbyn.

    Even the mere mention that there is now serious poverty in this country is met with a wall of denial and deflection.

    And there is NO Jeremy Corbyn because what Jeremy Corbyn advocates is in direct opposition to the neo liberal narrative with which the New Zealanders now live under : neo liberalism.

    And what Jeremy Corbyn advocates ( and with which he has met with wide public approval ) is KEYNESIANISM. And from that naturally springs : SOCIAL DEMOCRACY.

    You CANNOT have a true social democracy that operates under a neo liberal monetarist ideology.

    The two are diametrically opposed.

    Far right wing supporters of neo liberalism will try their best to say that ‘ socialism’ does not work. Poppycock . Frequently , they will use a time honored argument tantamount to trolling ,… they will cite third world/ emerging nations failed socialistic attempts and use that to try and influence and use scaremonger tactics to maintain their argument .

    An example of this is Venezuela as their latest example , – while studiously ignoring Scandinavia , – among the most wealthy nations per capita on earth WITH a well equipped and successful welfare state. And among the HIGHEST WAGED WORKFORCE .

    New Zealand during the late 1960’s early 1970’s was among the top wealthiest nations globally , around 6th. After the neo liberal reforms at various times it was 32nd , – behind Mexico. At other times it slipped behind Albania.

    And New Zealand during the 1960’s and 1970’s was a social democracy with a Keynesian economy. Similar to the Scandinavian country’s are in 2917.

    A favorite catch cry of the neo liberals especially under Thatcher was TINA , – ‘ There Is No Alternative’ .

    It is high time the social democratic movement cried ” Enough !!! ” ,… and changed that catch- cry by challenging the neo liberal narrative justifying poverty by quoting : ‘TINE , – ” There Is No Excuse” .

  16. Oh ,… and this,…. dontcha just love National ?

    Tech firms won concession after claiming NZ tax proposal ‘most …
    https://www.stuff.co.nz/…/tech-firms-won-concession-after-claiming-nz-tax-proposal-m…

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    Make It 16, the youth-led campaign to lower New Zealand's voting age, is holding an official campaign launch at Parliament this Friday from 16:30. If you'd like to attend, you can register using EventBrite here. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • A founding member responds to Peace Action Wellington
    by Don Franks It was a lovely sunny Wellington afternoon with blue skies above  the beaches.  In Courtenay Place, political activists packed out a stuffy upstairs room for an important meeting. The assembled pacifists, anarchists, communists and independent young radicals of Peace Action Wellington felt the need for a mission ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 days ago
  • “Mistakes and errors”
    Current and former NZDF top brass are being publicly grilled this week by the hit and run inquiry over their public responses to allegations of civilian casualties. Previously, they've claimed there were no casualties, a position which led them to lie to Ministers and to the public. Now, they're saying ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • “Homosexuality is same-sex attraction and relationships, not heterosexuals with delusions of gende...
    by Rafael D. Quiles (gender-critical gay man from Puerto Rico) The writing on the wall is right in people’s faces and people just don’t see it or don’t want to. What could actually possess a heterosexual male to want to feminize himself and claim that he is a lesbian? Because ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    3 days ago
  • Trump: “Where’s my favourite dictator?”
    From the Wall Street Journal:Inside a room of the ornately decorated Hotel du Palais during last month’s Group of Seven summit in Biarritz, France, President Trump awaited a meeting with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi. Mr. Trump looked over a gathering of American and Egyptian officials and called out in ...
    3 days ago
  • Magdalen Burns, 1983-2019, fighter for women’s liberation
    by the Redline blog collective At Redline we are very saddened to hear of the death of Magdalen Burns who passed away on the morning of Friday, September 13 (British time). Magdalen was a great fighter for the rights of women in general and lesbian women in particular, a defender ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    4 days 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
    4 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
    5 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
    5 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
    5 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
    5 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
    5 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 ...
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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 ...
    6 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 ...
    7 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 ...
    7 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
    1 week ago
  • Yes, the SIS is subject to the Public Records Act
    I understand there's some stuff going round about how the SIS "was removed from the list of public offices covered by the Public Records Act in 2017". The context of course being their records derived from US torture, which will be disposed of or sealed. The good news is that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • An evidence-based discussion of the Canadian fluoride/IQ study
    Dr. Christopher Labos and Jonathan Jarry discuss the recent Canadian fluoride/IQ research. They provide an expert analysis of the paper and its problems. Click on image to go to podcast. The critical debate about the recent ...
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Australia in denial
    Australia is burning down again, and meanwhile its natural disaster minister is denying climate change:Australia’s minister responsible for drought and natural disasters, David Littleproud, has said that he doesn’t “know if climate change is manmade”. Clarifying earlier comments that the question is “irrelevant” when considering the Coalition government’s response to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Philippines activist speaking on the Duterte tyranny
    Auckland Philippines Solidarity is excited to host Professor Judy Taguiwalo for a speaking tour of NZ in September. She is a well-known activist in the Philippines and was a political prisoner under the Marcos dictatorship. Professor Taguiwalo briefly served as a Cabinet member under President Duterte but was forced from ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week 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
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks ago
  • New Fisk
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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 ...
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks ago

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