A quick Brethren reference

Written By: - Date published: 10:56 pm, August 2nd, 2008 - 120 comments
Categories: election 2008, john key, national - Tags:

At last an upfront acknowledgement of the Exclusive Brethren’s support for National during the 2005 election campaign. According to Colin Espiner:

Day One of National’s annual conference is nearly over and so far the biggest clanger has been departing Tauranga MP Bob Clarkson’s thank-you to the Exclusive Brethren during his departing remarks to delegates.

There was some shocked silence and a few laughs but the look on president Judy Kirk’s face was priceless. Suffice to say she was not amused.

And Audrey Young observed:

Bob Clarkson, who was thanked effusively for his “triumph” in beating Winston Peters in Tauranga last election, has just told the conference he had the help of 150 Brethren to do it!

I don’t think the leadership will be delighted with that admission. Interesting though. The delegates laughed but must have been dumbstruck at both the information and Clarkson’s generous parting gift to Peters’ campaign to reclaim the seat.

I am sure many within National would wish to see a veil drawn over that particular relationship. It isn’t that simple however. Having Steven Joyce, who was a key player in the Hollow Men, as one of their top list candidates is just going to keep Bob Clarkson’s revelations a live issue.

Mr Joyce has made no apologies for what happened in 2005, saying he worked to be a good campaign manager:

“I am just confident that everything that National did in that campaign among the campaign team was in keeping with the electoral act.”

John Key escaped much of the Hollow Men fall out and appears unconcerned at any of Joyce’s association with Brethren activity. According to Key, the party will benefit from Joyce’s political and business experience:

“Steven Joyce has over a number of years played an important role in the rejuvenation of the party…this contribution is set to continue in the years ahead.”

But how many National MPs feel similarly comfortable? And what does the future offer for Mr Joyce under the leadership of Key? Under National party rules it’s the leader who appoints the Cabinet (under Labour it’s a caucus vote).

Is Mr Key planning to have Steven Joyce sitting beside him around the Cabinet table? How will the current crop of MPs feel about the fast tracking of a man who brought considerable controversy to the party? What portfolios would Joyce be in line to get and at whose expense?

We’re used to headlines from Bob Clarkson, but full marks for his Brethren confession, even if it was on his way out the door. But with Steven Joyce moving into a top spot on National’s list, and Key’s ongoing support for Joyce, I’m expecting to see some fallout and rocky terrain ahead.

120 comments on “A quick Brethren reference”

  1. He was taking the piss.

  2. jaymam 2

    It is known that almost all of the National MPs accepted help from the Brethren to help them erect advertising hoardings and deliver pamphlets:

    Sunday Star-Times
    Brethren cost Nats win – Rich
    24 September 2006
    By IRENE CHAPPLE and RUTH LAUGESEN

    “The Star-Times has been told that during a caucus meeting last year, National MPs comparing notes found most had been approached with offers from the Brethren to help them erect advertising hoardings and deliver pamphlets, and virtually all had accepted. There were split views on whether to accept help but the caucus decided it did not require a policy response and instead left the decision up to individual MPs.

    During the election campaign, two – Rich and Simon Power – said they had rejected Brethren help. It is also understood Maurice Williamson declined help.”

  3. Tamaki resident 3

    or he was pissed

  4. Swampy 4

    Who really cares about the Exclusive Brethren in relation to the 2005 election campaign. Labour has flogged this for all they can milk from it, probably to divert attention away from their own equivalent – the trade unions.

    The Exclusive Brethren saga led NZ an uncomfortably long way down the path towards State persecution of a harmless minority group.

  5. Rex Widerstrom 5

    So hold on… your position is that it’s wrong for people who support the direction of a particular political party to donate their labour to campaigning for that party?

    That screws Labour’s support from the unions, then.

    I do wish you’d display this level of precious purse-lipped disapproval over the actions of Winston Peters.

    But instead you’re prepared to co-opt the parting utterance of an indolent buffoon who represents everything you claim to despise (and much that I find distasteful, too) in your support of Winston.

    So does this provide The Standard’s answer to the question I posed on another thread and which neither “Steve Pierson” or “John A” have fronted up to answer.

    And that is, whether leaving aside the legality and even the hypocrisy of the donations, are Winston Peters, Ron Mark and the other stooges exhibiting the level of personal integrity and behaviour that makes them, in your eyes, fit and proper Members of the NZ House of Representatives.

    And if not, why has this blog become a virtual cheerleader for them?

    [Tane: Rex, no one from the Standard has said they support Peters. The questions I have seen have been around the media’s handling of the issue. Don’t mistake that for support. Furthermore, asking for an opinion from “The Standard” on Peters is to misunderstand what this site is. It’s a machine, it doesn’t have opinions. The posts are each author’s personal opinions, written without the permission or checking of anyone else.

    As for the Brethren objection, the issue was with National’s dishonesty around their use of the Brethren, a secretive and abusive cult on the fringes of society looking to elect National for some kind of far-right agenda. There is no comparison with Labour’s longstanding and open relationship with New Zealand’s largest democratic membership organisation.]

  6. monkey boy 6

    perhaps Key should publically meet with representatives of the ‘major’ faiths in modern (yes, modern) New Zealand, and include the EB in his invitation. And if Clark Maharey,Cullen etc get nasty publicise it for the derision it deserves, rather than being complicit in the state-bully-boy tactics they seem cowed by.
    After all nobody likes a bully.

  7. So explain to me Dancer. How is this different from the SFWU’s “donation” to Labour of $137,090 worth of staff time in 2005?

    http://keepingstock.blogspot.com/2008/07/unions-as-third-parties.html

    [Tane: See my response to Rex above.]

  8. How a tiny group of religious followers can frighten a timid and jellyfish government is beyond my comprehension?

    The way the scaremonger girls from Labour act, anyone would think that these chaps are brothers of the Attila the Hun. Fabian socialists are such sad and shallow individuals.

  9. Dancer 9

    For me the issue with the EB is that (putting the question of the pamphlets to one side) they provided an on the ground resource – and yes some unions did the same for parties of the left. but did we know about the former – was it acknowledged in any public way? no. however the real issue is what effect will steve joyce have on the national caucus. it appears he is very comfortable with the approach national took during the 2005 campaign. and now he’s on the fast track to be a minister under key. it won’t surprise readers that i have questions about the ramifications of both.

  10. vto 10

    the chinless scarf- wearers

    attacked by …

    the violent mallard

    and the braindead chardonnay ‘socialists’.

    ha ha ha. and wgtn wonders why the political system and its operators are held in such low regard.

  11. Dancer – the SFWU budgeted $70,000 for the 2005 election, but ended up spending over three times that amount, leaving a deficit for the year of $218,000 for members to have to make up. Are you saying that you’re happy for the unions to spend significant sums of members’ funds supporting the left, but that the right can’t receive support? That’s how I interpret your response.

  12. Dancer 12

    happy for all sides to receive support – it’s what politics is built on after all. i just don’t want to be surprised by them. i know many people hate the finance act – and it sure isn’t without it’s problems. but at least it gets those relationships out in the open.

  13. I guess the effect that Steven Joyce is going to have on the National caucus is around the same that Darien Fenton, Lynne Pillay, Su’a William Sio, Mark Gosche, Rick Barker and others from a trade union background have on the Labour caucus. But Joyce has been an very successful businessman as we as a National Party activist, and maybe, just maybe, John Key has put him forward because of his business acumen.

  14. sean 14

    [lprent: Go away for a week to consider the stupidity of attacking writers on my site. Especially in that manner.
    Lynn
    ]

  15. MikeE 15

    If they were Jews would you be saying the same thing?

  16. Draco TB 16

    The Exclusive Brethren, hand in hand with National, led NZ an uncomfortably long way down the path towards democratic corruption.

    Fix’d
    The problem with the relationship between National and the EB was that it was hidden. Such occult practices are the beginnings of bought and paid for policies.

    Sean, your bigotry against women is showing.

  17. r0b 17

    So Righties, what’s the problem with the Standard commenting on this? Colin Espiner seemed to think it was news. Audrey Young seemed to think it was news. Judy Kirk and the National delegates knew at once that it was news. Are they all part of The Standard’s wicked plot?

    The underhand role of The Brethren in the 2005 election arguably cost National the election, and certainly cost National’s leader his job when the public found out the truth. It’s news. Tough.

    [lprent: machine… You probably mean “Steve’s” wicked plot – a writer against the whole of the Nat’s. It does seem a bit ridiculous, the Nat’s will never know what hit them.]

  18. Tane 18

    r0b, you may have noticed in recent times the rightie commenters have stopped arguing on the issues (they’ve lost that debate) so have resorted to attacking and abusing The Standard, telling us what we can and can’t comment on, or misrepresenting the positions of its authors.

    It’s rather tiring, but to be expected.

  19. r0b 19

    [lprent: machine… You probably mean “Steve’s” wicked plot

    Beg your pardon, yes I’ll try and stop making that mistake. Dancer, not Steve.

    [lprent: Darn – I was reading comments at the backend rather than threads..]

  20. r0b 20

    It’s rather tiring, but to be expected.

    Indeed. Well perhaps if National starts releasing it’s actual detailed costed policies (instead of bullet points) the focus for our righties will move back to policies and issues? Shall I hold my breath?

  21. Felix 21

    Shall I hold my breath?

    Nine out of ten doctors say “no”.

  22. Quoth the Raven 22

    I would compare this to the Moonies support of the Republicans in the U.S. It’s not that religious organizations shouldn’t be allowed to support a political party it’s just that if cults like the Moonies or the Brethren are supporting a party it should give you pause for thought if you also support that party. The righties who find the Brethren morally reprehensible and their actions disturbing should ask themselves why do they support my party?

  23. shortfuse 23

    So the Brethren issue has raised its scarfed head again. Bob Clarkson will be getting a stiff paddling from his Natty mates tonight!

  24. randal 24

    the brethren are engineers…they believe it is their god given right to generate alternatives…that might be so but unless they play by the same rules as everyone else then they are nowhere!

  25. Rex Widerstrom 25

    Tane: Thanks for your response. I realise “The Standard” is lines of code (I’ve built a few sites myself. I was using it loosely as shorthand for “those I’m about to name”. Sorry, sloppy of me).

    I then did specifically name “John A” and “Steve Pierson” as contributors whose support for Winston’s spin I find especially galling.

    I asked (on a slightly more appropriate thread) whether they found his behaviour acceptable and, if not, then why – regardless of the donations issue – they were writing posts which could only be seen as buttressing him. Lynn was quick to respond (thanks, Lynn) but then he’s never written anything I have issue with – and as you say, he can’t be spokesman for “The Standard” because it’s not like you have editorial meetings.

    I’d like those two, who are quick to express moral outrage (often justifiably) over the actions of others on the political stage to explain to me why they’re soft-pedalling on Winston. And “we’re critiquing the media not the politician” is, frankly, weak.

    As for the Bretheren issue, physical labour – unless donated in significant blocks and on paid time – wouldn’t, I as I understand it, be declarable. Nor should it. What I do in my own time is my business.

    Thus while I have an issue with the Brethren and National over the question of donations, I think it’s veering dangerously close to Big Brother to expect a Labour candidate to have to declare “20 members of the local branch of the Wheeltappers and Shunters Union were amongst those who licked my envelopes”, or a National candidate to make a similar disclosure about Bretheren. Or pagans, or Zoroastrins or Anglicans (though they’d probably get their gardener to do the actual licking 🙂 )

  26. randal, we agree on something, the “brethren are engineers ” but so is the Labour government that they strongly oppose .The Clark regime has subjected New Zealand too a social engineering experiment that has gone horribly wrong for the majority of kiwi citizens.
    Suck on that and watch Labour go below the 20% support mark.
    It’s great to be alive and waiting for the glorious inevitable day.

  27. randal 27

    rex w.Most New Zealanders love winston Peters even if thy would never vote for him. he keeps ‘them’ (“they”) on the straight and narrow. i.e. he is a catalyst for keeping the parties honest. Go WINNIE……..god speed old chap…sail on into the next millenium sweeping all aside who would chaeapen and demean us and sweep us away if they had half a chance.

  28. RedLogix 28

    Rex,

    Quit misrepresenting this as a ‘freedom of religion’ issue. It is not.

    The EB’s are perfectly free to be narrow minded and noxious on their own time and in private. But the moment they involve themselves in politics they become open to scutiny and fair game for criticism.

    If hypothetically the Catholic Church was to declare open support for the Labour Party, donated massive sums, and instructed all Catholics to both actively assist the Labour campaign and how to vote… I’m certain that you would find such an involvement most unwelcome on a number of levels.

    And while Bolger was most identifiably Catholic, and I am sure he brought some of his personal convictions to his role as PM… he was not a Catholic Prime Minister, rather he was a Prime Minister who happened to be Catholic. There is a substantial difference.

    We have a long tradition of separation of Church and State in this country, and the involvement of the EB’s, (as QOT eloquently expresses above, a peculiar and definitely fringe cult) in the electoral campaigns of one of New Zealand’s largest political parties is most undesirable.

  29. “Most New Zealanders love winston Peters”

    What medications is this nutbar on ?

  30. Felix 30

    randal’s right, most Real Kiwis™ have a soft spot for Winnie because he represents “sticking it to the man”.

    (note I said “represents” not “actually means it”)

    I for one am not looking forward to a parliament without him, although I’d never vote for him. The sooner we get him his own tv show the better.

  31. We have a long tradition of separation of Church and State in this country

    Which does not mean that people cannot espouse their views and partake in politics, even if they are a religious organisation. The separation of church and state was originally envisaged to prevent undue intrusion of the state in matters of religion, not the other way round. In a true democracy, it is the right of every citizen and every group of citizens to be able to participate in the political process. To deny the EB the right to do this is to render this country undemocratic.

  32. “The sooner we get him his own tv show the better.”

    I guess we will view him in the future at Winny Watch on Sly Fox News?
    Maybe he could administer a Tiny Tony V kicking of a Wine Box?
    Sky’s the limit for ol’ Winny the pooh.

  33. RedLogix 33

    To deny the EB the right to do this is to render this country undemocratic.

    Again like Rex you make the mistake of confusing the right of individuals to participate in the political process, and to express their religious views in doing so. (As in fact I do from time to time.)

    But that is wholly different from Churches and/or their affliate entities directly involving themselves in politics, in the form of policy, funding and direction to their members.

  34. Quoth the Raven 34

    We should remember that this is not just some church or ordinary religious organization. If any of you righties think this is an ordinary religious organization please pick your brain up off the floor and dust it off before putting it back in your head. The exclusive brethren are a cult. They try to separate themselves from the rest of civilised society. They don’t let their members watch television or listen to the radio. They keep their members in line with intimidation and have been linked to many suspicious deaths. They are a bunch of misongynists who worship in windowless fortresses. Here are some parts of a letter written by escapees of the Brethren to Kevin Rudd:

    I am writing on behalf of a group of ex-members of the religious sect known as the Exclusive Brethren, and many others concerned about their activities. Our ages range from 30 to 80 years, and many of us have suffered traumatic experiences as a result of the doctrines and practices of this sect, whether having “escaped’ recently or as long ago as 50 years.

    With the Government apology to the indigenous “stolen generation’ still fresh in our minds, we wish to bring to your attention many similarities between the suffering and life-long damage inflicted on Aboriginal children, and that inflicted not by Government agencies but by the Exclusive Brethren on children and families of members who have “fallen foul’ of the leadership for whatever reason. Children have been stolen from their parents on many occasions, across the world, over the past 40 to 50 years.
    Prime Minister, we know you are aware of the controversial political and financial activities of the Exclusive Brethren, and the damage they have inflicted on families. We thank you sincerely for your public statement last August, when you said “I believe this is an extremist cult and sect. I also believe they break up families.’ Many ex-members around the world know just how true this is.

    We have no desire to persecute or interfere with the religious practices of the Exclusive Brethren. However we point out that there are other extremely important and basic human rights which have been flouted, indeed trampled upon, by the Exclusive Brethren for decades, with horrendous effects on individuals and families. The Brethren tend to have a siege mentality and see any questioning or criticism as religious persecution, when in fact it is they who are doing the persecuting.

    We want to see a comprehensive Inquiry into the Exclusive Brethren not to persecute the brainwashed and down-trodden rank and file, but to bring the powerful and corrupt leadership to account and to break down the barriers between us and the many family members and loved ones that we miss so dearly in some cases for many decades.

    We have also had contact with sources within the New Zealand Government, who have told us that in principle they would be willing to co-operate with any move by your Government to investigate the activities of the Exclusive Brethren, especially in cases where Family Court procedures are being flouted and children are being emotionally abused. We ask you to make contact with New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark to explore the possibility of a trans-Tasman effort in this matter.

    I’m sorry it’s a very long letter, that’s only a small part of it. So I say again I think the righties here should ask themselves why do they support my party?

  35. Froth Raven – I support the “righties”, because their leader has not called my family “feral inbreds”.

  36. Ari 36

    Which does not mean that people cannot espouse their views and partake in politics, even if they are a religious organisation. The separation of church and state was originally envisaged to prevent undue intrusion of the state in matters of religion, not the other way round. In a true democracy, it is the right of every citizen and every group of citizens to be able to participate in the political process. To deny the EB the right to do this is to render this country undemocratic.

    I think having churches as organisations not interfere in state matters is just as important, especially so while they are subsidised as tax-free institutions. When religion and politics both get in the driver’s seat, you’re in for a very bumpy ride. Your vote is yours, and nobody has the right to claim God, Buddha, random probability fluctuations, or whatever “wants” you to vote a certain way, or help a particular party. Members of the same church can and do have very different political views, and that strikes me as an ideal to uphold.

    The Exclusive Brethren as individuals can (and I would say they should) get involved in politics. But if they do so like they’ve got something to hide, or if they play dirty politics, or if their church tries to dictate how they should vote, we as the public are perfectly within our rights to criticise them- either as individuals, or as groups where appropriate. That’s no different from the way the media treats any other group of New Zealanders.

  37. RedLogix: Again like Rex you make the mistake of confusing the right of individuals to participate in the political process

    Not at all. What I am saying is that groups have a right to participate as well. This is how a union can participate in the political process separately from its member’s individual involvement. How would this be different if the (say) Baptist church polled its members and asked which political party they would like them to support? (This is extremely hypothetical, of course. The chances are high that there would be no consensus in the Baptist church partly because no one political party represents Christian thinking).

  38. Let me see if I understand you, Raven. Because the EB are weird and do not represent the mainstream, they cannot participate in politics?

    Who else would you like to disenfranchise? The mentally handicapped. The Magillicuddy silly party? Winston Peters? (OK you have my sympathies for the last one).

  39. randal 39

    d4j is just inbred…forget the feral…heir to weak recessive genes
    with a corresponding inability to ratiocinate.

  40. Ari: When religion and politics both get in the driver’s seat, you’re in for a very bumpy ride.

    If you mean that the Church attempts political control (i.e. becomes the government) then I couldn’t agree with you more. If you mean that the church should not have a political voice then you are stepping into very dangerously murky waters. You are denying Christians, Jews, Muslim and Buddhists etc. full participation in the political process, if you are saying that they cannot vote according to their religious beliefs.

  41. Quoth the Raven 41

    Did I say they couldn’t get involoved in politics MacQuack? Did you even read my fist comment? I was saying that calling them a church is misleading they are a cult. They are not christians either. Defending an organization as monetarily corrupt as this and attacking Winston Peters in the same breath is reaching to the heights of hypocracy, which I guess isn’t hard for you.

    Who else would you like to disenfranchise? The mentally handicapped.
    I would never say you couldn’t get involved in politics, Mac.

  42. My apologies, Raven. We were talking about EB involvement in politics. I assumed you were inferring that, because they were an odd cult, that they couldn’t partake in the political process. I am certainly not defending the EB, only their right to be involved in politics. And there is no hypocrisy here. Winston is not participating in the politic process, he is part of the Government.

    And I was kidding about disenfranchising him…

  43. RedLogix 43

    MacDoctor,

    The EB involvment was not a case of a group of individual EB’s deciding to give National a hand.

    In this case there is clear evidence that their support of the National Party derives from a clear organisational directive from the top of their leadership down.

    The claim that it was all a case of a few like-minded individuals gettting together is feeble smoke-screen. If individual EB’s were free to participate in politics they would hold to a diversity of political opinion and expression, as do most other members of all main-stream churches.

    If they were genuinely free to act as individuals there would be EB members of all political parties. In fact there are not. In fact the Church has until recently forbad their members to even so much as vote, much less join or support a political party of their own personal choice.

    I fully assert the right of individuals to be EB’s. And if as individuals they could participate in politics, then I accept that are perfectly free to do so. But the moment the church ORGANISATION involves itself in politics they have stepped over a line, and irregardless of their beliefs.

    Moreover, once they step over that line they open themselves up to public scrutiny; scrutiny that they themselves tried to avoid. The fact that EB’s are also a pack of authoritarian, fundamentalist, noxious dip-weeds cannot be wholly ignored and is really just the icing on the cake.

  44. “d4j is just inbred forget the feral heir to weak recessive genes
    with a corresponding inability to ratiocinate.”

    I sincerely hope for the public’s safety that this nutbar randal is a compulsory forensic mental health patient locked up in a maximum security ward?

  45. RedLogix: But the moment the church ORGANISATION involves itself in politics they have stepped over a line, and irregardless of their beliefs.

    And how is this different from a union getting involved in politics?

  46. Rex Widerstrom 46

    RedLogix:

    If hypothetically the Catholic Church was to declare open support for the Labour Party, donated massive sums, and instructed all Catholics to both actively assist the Labour campaign and how to vote I’m certain that you would find such an involvement most unwelcome on a number of levels.

    Actually I wouldn’t. Sorry, I should have sprinkled my examples with non-religious groups. Nudists and train spotters, maybe.

    Since I don’t actually believe in the imaginary friend to which the Catholics and the EBs pledge their allegiance, I don’t really see them as any different to, say, Grey Power. Or a union. So if your hypothetical happened I wouldn’t give a fig. I object to the secrecy of the National / EB association, not it’s existence, just as I’d object of a relationship between the Catholic Church and Labour only if it were undertaken stealthily.

    Provided they are open about it I don’t see why any group shouldn’t rally behind the party of their choice. A party can always reject the group, of course. And if they don’t, people can then decide whether they like the company that party’s keeping. What can possibly be wrong with that?

    As MacDoctor has said, the problem with rejecting support from religious interests is where do you draw the line?

    randal:

    look up the definition of “most” and then have a quiet lie down and a think. Even Winston knows 90% of the populace detest him and his goon squad. What he’s doing at present is trying to claw back the portion of the 10% who find his behaviour tolerable or, like you, admirable.

    By the way, since we’ve disagreed I hope you don’t mind if I get people to dig into your past and then publicly slander you over issues that have nothing to do with your politics? After all, that’s the satndard you’re saying is acceptable.

  47. RedLogix 47

    The principle at stake here is the separation of Church and State.

    Need I state the obvious here; but Unions are not Churches. You know this perfectly well. Quit deceiving yourself.

    Moreover the relationship between the Unions and the Labour Party is well-known and a matter of common knowledge. And has been for over 70 years.

    By contrast the EB’s tried to keep their relationship with National a secret. You really have to ask yourself why.

  48. RedLogix 48

    Rex,

    Methinks you are being a bit disengenuous. You are perfectly free to be dismissive of religion, and you won’t get me trying to persuade you otherwise with mere words. But one of the long hard lessons learnt as Western democracy during it’s long bloody evolution (Hundred Years War anyone?) was the need to keep the Churches and the State separate.

    You may not personally care for religion yourself, but plenty of your fellow countryfolk still do for better or worse, and being complacent about this age-old and hard won principle is not yet called for.

  49. Rex Widerstrom 49

    RedLogix:

    Don’t get me wrong, I personally support separation of Church and State. And I meant no disrespect to those with religious beliefs – I was merely trying to explain I saw their agenda as no more nor less potentially insidious than numerous other influences that could be, and are, brought to bear on politics.

    Trying to pick and choose who can support whom seems to me to be unnecessarily arduous and open to accusations of prejudice, is all.

    Better to legislate for (and make it plain that we as voters will accept nothing less than) total openness and honesty about all forms of assistance received from any bloc by parties and individual candidates. And that we will punish severely – through statute and at the ballot box – anyone caught covering up.

    Then, if any party wants to align itself with EBs, Catholics, nudists or vegans it can do so, declare the association, and let the public decide whether they’re comfortable with it.

    I’d hope no party would be so stupid as to accept such an arrangement, but recent events serve to convince me there are no depths to which some will not stoop in their quest for power. But at least we’d know.

  50. Quoth the Raven 50

    MacDoctor – Apology accepted.

  51. RedLogix 51

    Rex,

    Your last post was pretty good, and at a pragmatic level as it applies to NZ politics at the moment I guess we are not so very far apart.

    But as with all principles there will be grey areas, and you have to draw the line somewhere. It is also equally true that as with all principles, there are some actions you can reasonably legislate against… but there are others that while remaining legal, are still open to condemnation as ethically wrong.

    So while I accept that it would be a step too far to try and legislate against formal Church involvement in politics (Destiny Party?)… this does not mean that it is an ethically desirable thing and should pass without comment.

    As a matter of convention and commonsense all mainstream Churches I am aware of avoid overt involvment in politics, even though there is no specific statute against it. Equally from their own end, most of the major political parties have observed the same convention.

    I’d hope no party would be so stupid as to accept such an arrangement, but recent events serve to convince me there are no depths to which some will not stoop in their quest for power. But at least we’d know.

    But National were. And we do know.

  52. Rex Widerstrom 52

    Yes, exactly. They did, we know, and a lot of people think less of them for it, which kinda supports my theory that as long as it’s done in the open, the “wisdom of crowds” will take care of any shennanigans.

    At a pragmatic level we’re not so far apart at all. I think we both want the same thing, we’re just debating the route rather than the destination.

    Destiny Party is good example of the principle in action. People don’t want religion mixed with their politics in that way, and so generally find them (along with similar attempts to float a ‘Christian’ Party) to be an unattractive option. The free market doesn’t always work, but I’m surprised at how often it works well in sorting out political ideologies. “Daylight is the best disinfectant” my mum always says – as long as the deals are done in the open then most people just seem to intrinsically know whether they’re comfortable with it or not.

  53. RedLogix said (@ 3.01pm) “But that is wholly different from Churches and/or their affliate entities directly involving themselves in politics, in the form of policy, funding and direction to their members.”

    But Red, isn’t that just what the unions do at election time? Policy? Maybe. Funding? Certainly. Direction to their members? Absolutely! Pardon me. but I can’t see the difference.

  54. RedLogix 54

    Inv2,

    If you cannot see the difference then all I can suggest is that you spend a number of years as a sincere and active member of both.

    The difference should, as I can personally attest, become quite apparent to you.

    But I’ll try and give it an honest answer.

    Unions (along with similar sorts of outfits such as Federated Farmers, the Law Society, the various Medical and Employer Associations) primarily concern themselves with the business affairs of this world. And while there will always be ultra-zealous members of ANY organisation whose lives are wholly dedicated to the cause as if it were a religion, the fact is that most people’s attachment to them is both temporal (ie if they change career they will automatically relinquish membership) and peripheral to their identity.

    By contrast the sincere believer seeks to fully set aside their worldly identity and submit their will to an authority they perceive as both higher and greater than themselves. The believer will strive to commit themselves wholly and without reservation to the principles and causes of their faith. Now while it is true that many people attend a Church or are a member of a Faith pretty much at a ‘social club’ level, the fact remains that religion is a both fundamental and deeply pervasive experience for many.

    Another way to look at is that while politics is the exercise of temporal authority, religion is the exercise of a spiritual one. We have enough trouble with individual power mad egotists abusing the power of each separately; imagine then the potential for disaster if ultimate political AND ecclesiatical power were combined in just one person.

    All I can suggest is that at our current stage of development, humans do not have the ability or the means to safely combine religion and politics. The mixture while potentially very powerful, is also rather unstable.

  55. RedLogix 55

    Rex,

    Good discussion. I will finish up by saying that maybe the reason that I place such importance on the idea that religions should not get involved in politics, is perhaps BECAUSE I take religion more seriously than you do.

    While I fully agree with you that sunlight is a great disinfectant (and few other regulars at the Standard would disagree with you on that)… we only need look about the rest of the world (and much of it’s history) to realise that while useful, sunlight alone is not always sufficient.

  56. Ari 56

    If you mean that the Church attempts political control (i.e. becomes the government) then I couldn’t agree with you more. If you mean that the church should not have a political voice then you are stepping into very dangerously murky waters. You are denying Christians, Jews, Muslim and Buddhists etc. full participation in the political process, if you are saying that they cannot vote according to their religious beliefs.

    I’d certainly agree passionately with your first statement.

    I don’t think the members of the church should have no political voice. I don’t think that there should be no parties or candidates that cater to points of view commonly held by certain religions or churches.

    I do think, however, that any church as an organisation has no right to tell its members how to vote, or to cherry-pick issues that favour the political orientations of a few of its members and say “remember these issues when you vote”. Faith is a diverse thing and can’t be encapsulated neatly into either left-wing or right-wing categories. One of the founding principles to me of a democracy is that people ultimately get to decide their own votes without undue pressure, and I think a lot of the language around what people believe God would want has strayed into that area. Furthermore, as taxpayer-subsidised institutions with astounding amounts of systematic social power, I think churches have a duty to be collectively above politics, even if they have a perfect right to inform our conscience on some issues that might be seen as political and provide ethical guidance to members.

    If an individual chooses on their own to vote on faith-based reasons, more power to them, and obviously we cannot and should not try to stop it, even if now and then we might think they have made a terrible decision in doing so- the same can be said for any party or candidate you don’t like. 🙂

    Should church leaders be able to found their own parties, possibly independently of their church? I’d like to say yes, but it raises the same sorts of issues as public servants being seen as not politically neutral, partners in different parts of the public service not always being able to support each other’s work endeavors, and so forth- there are genuine reasons to be concerned about bleed-through of the political onto things which should not be politicised.

  57. Thanks for your response Red – interesting. Might I say that at one point a couple of years ago I was both a card-carrying member of the EPMU, and on the leadership of the church that I attend – does that qualify me to express an opinion?

    My personal view (and I stress personal) is that there is no place for a wholly Chritian party in politics. I would far rather that Christians become involved in parties right acroiss the spectrum, and use their influence in that manner. Whilst I would happily vote for a candidate who is a Christian (which I will do this year), I would not give my party vote to a Christian party. There will doubtless be many in the church who disagree with me, but that is my personal view, honestly held.

  58. Swampy 58

    “As for the Brethren objection, the issue was with National’s dishonesty around their use of the Brethren, ”

    What use was that?

    A book, a play and a movie repeat unproven allegations which have been used by Left wing political groups to claim that $500,000 was spent in support of the National Party by producing leaflets.

    The evidence however is that the leaflets did not mention the National Party, and therefore did not have to be counted in that party’s election returns. Similarly, campaigning by unions in favour of Labour party policies, without mentioning the Labour party, was in the same category.

    There has been no denial of the use of Brethren volunteers in a number of electorates.

    Hager’s claims wouldn’t stand up in a court of law… I would love to see someone strip away the constant shrill shrieking by Hager and Co and find out if the public at large really believe his fantasy.

  59. Swampy 59

    “The righties who find the Brethren morally reprehensible and their actions disturbing should ask themselves why do they support my party?”

    The Brethren are a fairly harmless bunch of individuals who Labour have taken the opportunity to make scapegoats of in a campaign that looks close to the 1930s in Europe. I don’t have a problem with them supporting National.

  60. Swampy 60

    “The EB’s are perfectly free to be narrow minded and noxious on their own time and in private. But the moment they involve themselves in politics they become open to scutiny and fair game for criticism.

    We have a long tradition of separation of Church and State in this country, and the involvement of the EB’s, (as QOT eloquently expresses above, a peculiar and definitely fringe cult) in the electoral campaigns of one of New Zealand’s largest political parties is most undesirable.”

    What has been carried out against the EBs by Labour goes way above simple criticism since the 2005 election.

    What you are saying in the second para I quote is that Christians can’t participate in society, including politics, because of church-state separation, which is complete nonsense. Using your own example, Bolger. Perhaps you were not aware that Michael Joseph Savage was also a Catholic, and a number of his first cabinet were also members of various Christian churches.

    Basically, the involvement of the EBs is no different from any other Christians choosing to support any party, or vote for that matter. Invoking the doctrine of church-state separation is irrelevant to this discussion.

  61. r0b 61

    Hager’s claims wouldn’t stand up in a court of law

    And Don Brash resigned the day before The Hollow Men was published because?…

    I don’t have a problem with them supporting National.

    National have a problem with them supporting National though.

  62. Swampy 62

    “I was saying that calling them a church is misleading they are a cult. They are not christians either. ”

    How do you know that? Are you God? LOL

  63. Swampy 63

    “The fact that EB’s are also a pack of authoritarian, fundamentalist, noxious dip-weeds cannot be wholly ignored and is really just the icing on the cake.”

    Not really, the left spout the same nonsense against numerous Christian churches. The above statement implies a dangerous lack of respect for the right of such Christians to express their viewpoint.

  64. Swampy 64

    “But one of the long hard lessons learnt as Western democracy during it’s long bloody evolution (Hundred Years War anyone?) was the need to keep the Churches and the State separate.”

    All of that was initiated by Protestants who wanted the freedom to practice their own religious beliefs independently of the State religion of the Catholic Church. That is where the impetus came from.

    Now, think about it, you are arguing that Christians shouldn’t be able to practice these beliefs in the political system because of CSS.

  65. Draco TB 65

    A book, a play and a movie repeat unproven allegations which have been used by Left wing political groups to claim that $500,000 was spent in support of the National Party by producing leaflets.

    The emails that the National Party accused Hager of stealing essentially prove the allegations. The most interesting thing about those emails is that the National Party never denied them which you would think would have been the first thing they would do if they were unfounded. It was also $1.2m not $500k and they were created with the collusion of the National Party so that they indirectly supported Nationals’ own advertising. It wasn’t technically illegal but they were breaking the intent of the law (ie acting unethically).

  66. Swampy 66

    “So while I accept that it would be a step too far to try and legislate against formal Church involvement in politics (Destiny Party?) this does not mean that it is an ethically desirable thing and should pass without comment.”

    There is no more unethical about Destiny or any other church becoming involved in politics than there is about any other group with any particular view (communists, unions etc) becoming involved in politics.

  67. Swampy 67

    “Unions (along with similar sorts of outfits such as Federated Farmers, the Law Society, the various Medical and Employer Associations) primarily concern themselves with the business affairs of this world. And while there will always be ultra-zealous members of ANY organisation whose lives are wholly dedicated to the cause as if it were a religion, the fact is that most people’s attachment to them is both temporal (ie if they change career they will automatically relinquish membership) and peripheral to their identity.

    By contrast the sincere believer seeks to fully set aside their worldly identity and submit their will to an authority they perceive as both higher and greater than themselves. The believer will strive to commit themselves wholly and without reservation to the principles and causes of their faith. Now while it is true that many people attend a Church or are a member of a Faith pretty much at a ‘social club’ level, the fact remains that religion is a both fundamental and deeply pervasive experience for many.”

    There has never been any Christian state in the world apart from the Catholic Church one – which led to the Reformation and it was under Protestantism that that order was swept away.

    There is nothing inherently different in the slightest about a group of communists campaigning in support of their beliefs, and a Christian organisation doing the same.

  68. Swampy 68

    “I do think, however, that any church as an organisation has no right to tell its members how to vote, or to cherry-pick issues that favour the political orientations of a few of its members and say “remember these issues when you vote’.”

    The unions tell their members how to vote, in a manner of speaking. What’s the difference?

  69. Tanya 69

    Sounds to me like there is friction between Clarkson and Key. I think the whole Brethren thing was overblown anyway. A mountain made of a molehill, just look at the Winston saga of now.

  70. Ari 70

    The unions tell their members how to vote, in a manner of speaking. What’s the difference?

    The difference is that unions are not subsidised by the state, and wield little or no informal social power. Churches are essentially treated like a state service, or like a non-profit charity, despite the fact that they clearly are not non-profit.

    A mountain made of a molehill, just look at the Winston saga of now.

    Indeed, hundred-thousand dollar parallel campaigns bear striking similarity to molehills, and all those nasty republican 511 groups over in america are not really a big deal, not a way to exploit the loopholes in a broken funding system, noooooo. 😉

  71. Jasper 71

    Are the Exclusive Brethren the new Jews?

    It appears to be so, as regardless of whether they are a cult, they still worship Jahweh, and follow his words which are delivered through Divine Leader who has a multi-million dollar mansion overlooking Sydneys Darling Harbour.

    Brian Tamaki has been quoted as saying he wouldn’t mind being a “Divine Leader” but where would his multi-million dollar mansion go? Would it overlook Lake Rotorua? Or possibly the Kaipara?

    The Brethren have money. The Jews have money (after all, they own the banking cartel), and Owen Glenn has money.

    However, the Brethren getting involved in politics was a far bigger issue, as one of their main scriptures is “no politics”
    Shouldn’t the NZ branch have been condemned to burn in hell for spending money on politics?

    Or does the fascinating (yes, fascinating) Brethren methodology differentiate between spending money on business based political parties, who help business owners, which all Brethren are, and actually getting involved in Politics?

    Divine Leader forbids getting involved in Politics as it actually means the EB have to think about other people.
    – The whole saga is far more interesting that the issue of 1.5million spent on a leaflet destroying the Greens image. –

    captcha: Yesterday Names – how apt.

    [I just want to point out that this Jasper is not the Jasper who occasionally writes posts on The Standard. SP]

  72. Jasper 72

    Are the Exclusive Brethren the new Jews?

    It appears to be so, as regardless of whether they are a cult, they still worship Jahweh, and follow his words which are delivered through Divine Leader who has a multi-million dollar mansion overlooking Sydneys Darling Harbour.

    Brian Tamaki has been quoted as saying he wouldn’t mind being a “Divine Leader” but where would his multi-million dollar mansion go? Would it overlook Lake Rotorua? Or possibly the Kaipara?

    The Brethren have money. The Jews have money (after all, they own the banking and insurance cartel), and Owen Glenn has money.

    However, the Brethren getting involved in politics was a far bigger issue, as one of their main scriptures is “no politics”
    Shouldn’t the NZ branch have been condemned to burn in hell for spending money on politics? For that matter, how is the EB spending money on promoting a party any different to the B/I industry and OG donating money?

    Well… its relatively simple.

    The fascinating (yes, fascinating) Brethren methodology seems to differentiate between spending money on business based political parties, who help business owners, which all Brethren are, and actually getting involved in Politics.

    Divine Leader forbids getting involved in Politics as it actually means the EB have to think about other people.
    – The whole saga is far more interesting that the issue of 1.5million spent on a leaflet destroying the Greens image. –

    Which is where the core issue really is. A third party, with apparent sanction by Brash, set out to destroy the credibility of a party that is likely to be in Parliament for a long time yet, and could well be the biggest party come 2014 – thanks to Generation 1979 – 1985 (y) It’s incredibly interesting the MSM and to a lesser extent, Hager, even bothered to investigate that angle. The EB will suffer under Green policies, and they know it.

    The B/I industry and OG simply donate money to the parties, for them to spend as they see fit (and provide a few kickbacks along the way – like ACC’s work account)

    captcha: Yesterday Names – how apt.

    [lprent: Note that this is the another Jasper – not the one who writes posts. ]

  73. Rob 73

    I love the hang up the lefties have with the Exclusive Brethren when they used their own money to put out something they believed in. What is far more interesting and you guys wont got there is who tried to bribe the Maori party to go with Labour that was much more serious and was trying to steal away democracy in New Zealand. I only wish that the Maori Party had accepted the cheque and found our who it was. Then it all could have been exposed. Believe some people and parties may have had egg on their faces. I could imagine the up roar if this had happened and National was in power you guys would be going absolutely tropp about it, But no hardly a word said rather hypocritical don’t you think?

  74. PhilBest 74

    Tane:

    “As for the Brethren objection, the issue was with National’s dishonesty around their use of the Brethren, a secretive and abusive cult on the fringes of society looking to elect National for some kind of far-right agenda.”

    Draco TB:

    “The problem with the relationship between National and the EB was that it was hidden. Such occult practices are the beginnings of bought and paid for policies.”

    “rOb”:

    “The underhand role of The Brethren in the 2005 election arguably cost National the election, and certainly cost National’s leader his job when the public found out the truth. It’s news. Tough.”

    RedLogix:

    “By contrast the EB’s tried to keep their relationship with National a secret. You really have to ask yourself why.” AND:

    “As a matter of convention and commonsense all mainstream Churches I am aware of avoid overt involvment in politics, even though there is no specific statute against it. Equally from their own end, most of the major political parties have observed the same convention.

    I’d hope no party would be so stupid as to accept such an arrangement, but recent events serve to convince me there are no depths to which some will not stoop in their quest for power. But at least we’d know.

    But National were. And we do know.”

    Oh, so the religious affiliation of voluntary helpers at the electorate level has now become an issue, on the Left, of obligatory declaration and publicisation?

  75. Tane 75

    Phil. The Brethren are not simply an ordinary minority Christian group, or a few “Christian businessmen”.

    They are, as a matter of fact and record, a secretive, violent and abusive cult with some extreme right-wing beliefs.

    Of course I have no problem with them helping National with buckets of money and manpower, so long as it’s transparent and above-board and subject to the reasonable financial limitations of a democratic society.

    It is then up to the public whether they want to vote for a party that has a close association with such a group.

  76. Matthew Pilott 76

    “Voluntary helpers at the electorate level”?

    I think you have the wrong people there Phil, these were the ones meeting with Natonal Party leadership in private and spending inordinate sums, against the intent and spirit of the law, in order to try and influence an election. Wasn’t the address on their pamphlet a fake one as well, because I’d imagine that’s against the law.

    Not surprisingly, you’ve taken the view that their religious affiliation was the most improtant thing, and are prepared to overlook the important aspect of it, the way in which they acted, which was, to say the least, rather anti-democratic.

  77. RedLogix 77

    PhilBest,

    Most of the points have been covered higher up in this thread. In a nutshell:

    1. Everyone agrees that there can be no objection to individual members of any Church being involved in politics.

    2. Most have agreed that observing some degree of separation of Church and State is a good thing.

    3. Some like Rex Widestrom and Tane above, take the ‘sunlight’ approach to this question, taking the line that any involvment is ok so long as it is done openly.

    4. And while I endorse that transparency is a necessary condition, I have argued that it is not a sufficient one, that by observation, and from history, there is a special and peculiar risk that arises when both secular and ecclesiastical authority are undesirably entangled.

    5. Therefore I accept that while it is not desirable to legislate against it, nonetheless I do argue that there remains a strong ethical argument for Churches and Political parties to avoid formal organisational links and/or support with each other.

    This has been an unwritten convention of New Zealand politics for many decades. The only exception has been the various attempts at some form of Christian Party, all of which have failed to gain much endorsement from the electorate. For very good reason I would suggest.

  78. Draco TB 78

    Oh, so the religious affiliation of voluntary helpers at the electorate level has now become an issue, on the Left, of obligatory declaration and publicisation?

    I don’t know where you got the idea that I was against voluntary helpers (ie, passing out party pamphlets) when I specifically said that I was against the hidden collusion between a religious sect and a party done in such a way as to circumvent the law.

  79. Rob 79

    Yes but what about the corruption of someone trying to buy the election for Labour!! You haven’t mentioned it don’t want to go there smells a bit fishy!!

    Would be a great crosby textor strategy if they announce who this was in September just before the Election or if the Serious Fraud Office discover who it was just before the Election derfintely not to Labours advantage is it!!

  80. Matthew Pilott 80

    What on earth are you on about Rob, you’re losing the plot.

    I notice you’re keeping silent on c/t handling of English-goes-off-the-cuff… As their no.1 cheerleader and groupie, I thought you’d be defending them, if not saying they’re not working on it or something. They probably feel abandoned by you Rob, what’s up? Losing a little of that blind, naive faith?

  81. Rob 81

    Who offered the Maori Party $250 k only if the ywent with Labour a wealthy over seas person funny that!! tried to bribe an Election in 2005

    Do you think it might be all about to come out soon could be very interesting.

    Crosby Textor on to it may be bery embarassing

  82. Matthew Pilott 82

    You’re not the sharpest tool in the shed are you Rob?

  83. Matthew Pilott 83

    Someone tell Rob that his little scoop has been in the news for about a month. He’s officially too stupid to function and I can’t be bothered.

    [lprent: He is pretty boring, but he seems to have gotten the hang of not quite attracting my attention. It is a skill that many others have failed in. I’m afraid I leave the accuracy stuff up to the comments section.

    Did you notice that Anita was having fun with him last week. I saw that she monitored his statements for a few days and didn’t find one that was accurate. ]

  84. Rob 84

    Sharp enough to be very cutting at times Mathew who do you think tried to bribe the election for Labour in 2005 by bringing in the Maori Party only if they voted for Labour?

    Could come out if the serious fraud squad investigate winnie I guess New Zealanders deserve to know who is trying bribe to make Government’s. Not very democratic really

  85. Matthew Pilott 85

    Oh for the love of christ that information is already out in the public domain Rob.

    If this is you being ‘sharp’ then at your more stupid moments you must forget how to breathe.

  86. Matthew Pilott 86

    Lynn – indeed. I should just ignore it all as well, but sometimes I have a little time to kill and this doesn’t exactly take up much effort. Maybe Anita thought much the same!

  87. lprent 87

    I wish I had the time *sigh*

  88. Tane said “Phil. The Brethren are not simply an ordinary minority Christian group, or a few “Christian businessmen’.

    They are, as a matter of fact and record, a secretive, violent and abusive cult with some extreme right-wing beliefs.”

    Do you have facts to support those allegations Tane? Especially the violence one? Perhaps individual members of the EB have been convicted of offences involving violence, but that does not a violent sect make. It would be like me saying that the SFWU is a violent union because one of its employees hits people with a megaphone.

  89. PhilBest 89

    Tane said:

    “….They are, as a matter of fact and record, a secretive, violent and abusive cult with some extreme right-wing beliefs.

    Of course I have no problem with them helping National with buckets of money and manpower, so long as it’s transparent and above-board and subject to the reasonable financial limitations of a democratic society.

    It is then up to the public whether they want to vote for a party that has a close association with such a group.”

    Inventory2 is right. Keep this up, Tane, and Mallard, and Cullen, and whoever. You show your true colours. There are enough NZ-ers who have EB neighbours, or who work with them, or have business dealings with members of the EB; that you guys are onto a sure-fire loser here. You haven’t got the same clout as that guy called Goebbells who finished up on the end of a hangman’s noose at Nuremberg. Too many NZ-ers know each other and our society is still too free.

    I don’t believe the Tane assertion for a minute, that he has no problem with buckets of money from anyone helping his political opponents. His bleating over the EFB is evidence of that, and his caveat about “reasonable financial limitations”. Yeah, and a lawnmower and chainsaw shop owner is part of the great borgeoise plot to oppress the proletariat. Get a load of that politics of envy, that small-mindedness, everybody. BLEAH.

    And what is all this banging on about “close associations” between a fundamentalist church and National?

    DracoTB said THIS, and I will deal with that at the same time;

    “….the hidden collusion between a religious sect and a party done in such a way as to circumvent the law.”

    THAT, my friends, is merely a lie that has been repeated often enough that a tragically large number of people believe it.

  90. Draco TB 90

    THAT, my friends, is merely a lie that has been repeated often enough that a tragically large number of people believe it.

    I’ve read the emails etc. There was definitely collusion between National and the EB and they definitely kept that relationship hidden for as long as possible. There is definitely a spending cap on parties political advertising. The two advertising campaigns were designed within that relationship to support each other and bypass that spending cap, ergo, to circumvent the law.

  91. PhilBest 91

    Matthew Pilott said:

    “….the way in which they acted, which was, to say the least, rather anti-democratic.”

    And Redlogix wrote a nice little summary of why Christian churches should not participate in politics. Do you mean “members of Christian Churches”, or not?

    Now, we need to talk about “democracy”. Democracy and free speech are things of which it can be said, “use it or lose it”. Some wise man once said that the price of liberty is eternal vigilance.

    Democracy tends to involve participation, as the Trade Unions well know. Now, what we have, as John Tamihere said very well, is a good number of roughly “conservative” people who get on with making a living and raising kids and particpating in non-political communiy activity. While socialists devote whole lifetimes to plotting and organising.

    There comes a time when conservatives of whatever stripe, wake up and realise that politics is coming after them and intruding into their lives, whether they like it or not. It becomes a question then, of whether it is “too late”, whether they have in fact lost those freedoms that were taken for granted at one time, because they hadn’t been using them.

    The whole EB/EFB saga has probably filled a useful role of waking NZ-ers up, so God does indeed move in mysterious ways. We have experienced an exposure of more about what the Left really is. Participation in the democratic process is only OK for Trade Unions and supporters of socialism.

    By the way, it is to the eternal shame of the Catholics that no Catholic did what the EB “Secret Seven” did, given what Pope John Paul said about the NZ Labour Government. Democracy means that anyone with a strong opinion for whatever reason, can express it, using their own money. It is not something that is to be circumscribed on the occaision that those opinions are based on a religious belief. Such people are just as entitled to their say as a Trade Union is.

    It is a measure of the hypocrisy of the Left, that virtually every belief system is to be tolerated APART from the traditional one that has underpinned the very success of our culture. That is what this is really about. I suspect that Tane and co hate the EB because they exemplify how society once was, and still COULD be if the ethics of work and individual responsibility were still paramount. They have not been able to work out how to give us their utopia where everyone is well off and there is no crime; along with their abolition of “patriachy” and “bigotry” and “judgementalism” and the like. And they never will, because they have thrown out the baby with the bathwater.

  92. Pascal's bookie 92

    Philbest, no one has a problem with the EB participating in politics in the normally accepted way mate. Except for the EB themselves of course.

    Voting is beneath them or something, they are not supposed to take part in elections because on the one hand, ‘God raises up governments’, and on the other hand they are the elect and outside of the wordly affairs that bother the rest of us. It’s like with the military thing, they are all gung ho for other New Zealanders to be getting shot at, but prohibit themselves from being a part of it.

    Given that, PhilBest, and seeing you have so much knowledge about these dead ordinary small business men, how is it that they fund political campaigns? Why is that ok but voting would be too corrupting for the dee wee petals?

    Should other voters be entitled to know who it is that is trying to influence them? I reckon they should. I don’t think they should get a free ride just because they have a weird religion.

  93. PhilBest 93

    DracoTB says:

    “I’ve read the emails etc…….”

    WHAT “e-mails” (in the plural)?

    What e-mails FROM THE NATS to the EB? What meetings apart from “Don Brash bumped into some EB in some maket place”?

    What “etc”?

    THIS in spite of Don Brash apparently being under 24 hour surveillance and the Nats e-mail system being systematically espionaged.

    SOR-REEEE.

    You guys and your lapdog allies in the MSM are as good as the Nazis were, at doing what you’ve done. Repeat lies; keep repeating; get ignorant masses to believe same. Trash lives of decent, honest, productive people. YOU SCUM.

  94. PhilBest 94

    Pascal’s Bookie, nice TRY.

    “I don’t think they should get a free ride just because they have a weird religion.”

    Translation: they are the ONLY PEOPLE who should NOT get a free ride, BECAUSE they have a weird religion.

    Hmmmmmmmmmmm………….where have we heard that before?

  95. Vanilla Eis 95

    Good lord PhilBest – Godwins Law strikes again.

  96. Matthew Pilott 96

    I recall some months ago Mr Best trying to pass off every brethren member as a chainsaw shop owner or a lawnmower shop owner. It’s clear he knows two guys who are EB and thinks they’re quite alright, so they must all be alright. Attack them though, and he gets all exctied, shrieky (“SOR-REEEE”) and then turns into a downright bigot.

    Not worth engaging with such SCUM when he can’t keep his little blurts to himself.

    Phil, I’ll make one point. You are attacking us for criticising the EB (in case you’re a complete blind idiot, there’s a whole lot of stuff out there about what they have done to people. Ripping families apart and not allowing mothers to see their children…is that part of your sick ‘model society’? Spare me, thanks, I’d rather go with the Libertarians, at least they have family values. Try and use what little intellect God gave you and think for yourself whether those very well publicised incidents are symptomatic of a deeper malaise or not, though I truly doubt you have the capacity), and in doing so come up with comments such as:

    “It is a measure of the hypocrisy of the Left…”

    “You guys and your lapdog allies in the MSM are as good as the Nazis were, at doing what you’ve done”

    “[you]…haven’t got the same clout as that guy called Goebbells”

    “We have experienced an exposure of more about what the Left really is”

    “While socialists devote whole lifetimes to plotting and organising.”

    So, in being critical of the people attacking the EB, Phil Best attacks an entire ideology and a sizeable percentage of the world’s population. I imagine you will not be able to see the contradiction in reasoning, Phil, (I doubt you can see straight through all the unhealthy rage you’re trying to express) but to the rest of us you look like a hysterical nut-bar. You can’t defend one group by attacking another wholesale.

    Get a grip.

    Or: Trash lives of decent, honest, productive (left wing) people. YOU (really are) SCUM.

  97. Pascal's bookie 97

    Reading and logic not your strong points then philbest? Or do just love the smell of burning straw?

  98. RedLogix 98

    And Redlogix wrote a nice little summary of why Christian churches should not participate in politics. Do you mean “members of Christian Churches’, or not?

    To make this crystal clear.

    No-one here has ANY problem with ordinary members of Christian Churches participating in politics in the normal, open and transparent way.

    What I do have major reservations about is when any Church ORGANISATION, as a matter of policy elects to support and link itself to one specific party. Even less acceptable when they attempt to do it in secret.

    As a matter of convention and common-sense most main-stream Churches and Political parties have mutually avoided such links.

    The fact that it was done by the EB, who have to say the least a controversial record, was merely the icing on the cake.

  99. Pascal's bookie 99

    “They have not been able to work out how to give us their utopia where everyone is well off and there is no crime; along with their abolition of “patriachy’ and “bigotry’ and “judgementalism’ and the like. And they never will, because they have thrown out the baby with the bathwater.”

    Nuff said really. What a fucknuckle.

  100. PhilBest 100

    Matthew Pilott
    August 5, 2008 at 1:38 pm

    “I recall some months ago Mr Best trying to pass off every brethren member as a chainsaw shop owner or a lawnmower shop owner.”

    Look, Matthew Pilott, there happened to be a media beat-up of these sinister, “super wealthy” people, and all the media could do was give us shots of the front of a lawnmower and chainsaw shop and an office fitout company, and shots of a latest-model Holden Commodore belonging to some EB bigwig, and talk critically about some EB bigwig’s “sprawling Villa”.

    I mean, FOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO, eh? They really sound like company-buyout-and-asset-strip specialists, eh? They really sound like they holiday in the Bahamas in their private yachts, eh?

    Seeing you raise our little discussions of a few months ago, I posted at that time, a few quotes off “theexclusivebrethren.com” that any fool could find, and Tane just gave it a brush-off to the effect that you couldn’t trust any propaganda these people put out about themselves.

    SOR-REEEEE again. Decent ordinary Kiwis can SEE who are, and who stands for, the decent honest productive people; and who are the Nazi-channelling bigots attacking them.

  101. PhilBest 101

    RedLogix:

    “What I do have major reservations about is when any Church ORGANISATION, as a matter of policy elects to support and link itself to one specific party. Even less acceptable when they attempt to do it in secret.

    As a matter of convention and common-sense most main-stream Churches and Political parties have mutually avoided such links.

    The fact that it was done by the EB, who have to say the least a controversial record, was merely the icing on the cake.”

    And the comments of Pope John Paul on the NZ Labour Government? Any difficulty about that, had any Catholics who had it in their power, actually had the sort of respect for their Pope, to have done something like members of the EB did? Would that be a “Church ORGANISATION” “electing to support and link itself to a political party”? Something to be condemned and shut down and legislated against?

    If you want to talk about what is really a “link” between a political party and some supposedly independent organisation , you can’t do better than to look at the “intertwined lovers” behaviour of certain Unions, and the Labour Party. THAT, my friends, is a “link”. The other, no. What members of the EB did, was participate in Democracy, based on their convictions, which is something NZ needs more of, and MORE balance in between Left and Right, not less. And if they had supported the Labour Party, you’d have said exactly the same.

  102. PhilBest 102

    Pascal’s bookie
    August 5, 2008 at 2:49 pm

    “They have not been able to work out how to give us their utopia where everyone is well off and there is no crime; along with their abolition of “patriachy’ and “bigotry’ and “judgementalism’ and the like. And they never will, because they have thrown out the baby with the bathwater.’

    “Nuff said really. What a fucknuckle.”

    Sor-reee, Pascals’s Bookie……..

    I heard you go “ouch” when the truth hurt you. Try again.

  103. PhilBest 103

    Matthew Pilott:

    “…..there’s a whole lot of stuff out there about what they have done to people. Ripping families apart and not allowing mothers to see their children is that part of your sick ‘model society’? Spare me, thanks, I’d rather go with the Libertarians, at least they have family values. Try and use what little intellect God gave you and think for yourself whether those very well publicised incidents are symptomatic of a deeper malaise or not……”

    Are you talking about the “Family Court”, there, Matthew? Or perhaps the effects of the D.P.B.? Or the effects of the Prostitution Reform Law? Or the effects of the erosion of traditional morals and notions of responsibility, especially towards parenthood?

    What is the proportion of ripped-apart families in the EB, compared to in YOUR model society?

    DUH.

  104. PhilBest 104

    FROM THE ARCHIVES of “TheStandard” Hey, this little trip down memory lane was FUN……

    # PhilBest
    December 7, 2007 at 12:14 pm

    Tane, read THIS

    http://www.theexclusivebrethren.com/documents/Brethren Life.pdf

    Quote: (Page 7, under “poverty relief and welfare support’)

    “Poverty is rare but all people in needy circumstances have ready access to detailed assistance and care within the brethren community. One of our priority objectives is to provide every member of the Church with the opportunity to be equal with other members. We do not want class distinctions to cause dysfunction, friction, or division between any members of our community’.

    (Further,under “Our role in the community’:)

    ” most are paid wages above the national average for the relevant work classification. Any shortfall in wages or underpayment that comes to our notice is treated seiously and is recompensed based on an independent assessment of the EMPLOYEE’S situation’ (my emphasis).

    And (page 6, under “housing’)

    “Brethren adopt an objective of equality as a key principle governing housing selection to prevent status differentiation and to provide a social environment where all brethren families can entertain each other at home without discrimination or unnecessary distinction ‘

    And lots more like it. Read it all.

    Tane, these sound like people inimical to everything you stand for, eh? People hand in glove with the “business roundtable’ and the super wealthy plot to screw the proletariat, eh?

    Or are you gonna stick to your line, “yeah right’, anything the EB’s say must be lies, because they’re forever tarnished by the mental associations you have formed about them, guided by those paragons of honesty, the MSM journalists and of course Our Dear Leader and her crew.

    The comments made by Dean at 5.44 yesterday seem to me to lend the ring of truth to the EB information.

    # 62 Tane
    December 7, 2007 at 12:26 pm

    Phil, I didn’t come down in the last shower. You don’t judge groups by what they say about themselves, you judge them by their actions. The Brethren’s political activities have been secretive, dishonest and tilted towards the far-right of politics. Don’t expect me to think they’re all joy and happiness just because they say so.

    # 63 PhilBest
    December 7, 2007 at 12:46 pm

    Oooooooooh, nasty. You can’t let any possibilty into your broad, capacious mind, that the EB’s may be the ones who are being told untruths about?

    Come on, I can see even from reading Hager’s book and from the media reporting, that these guys have been unfairly labelled. What they say about themselves rings true. The media have done a big shock, horror, beat up of some proprieters of some very small businesses. One guy “lives in a sprawling villa in Mount Eden’. Yawn. You guys working up a plot of “the super rich’, including these guys, has me wetting myself with mirth. If only it wasn’t so damn ugly, and demeaning, and vicious, where these people are concerned.

    Moving envelopes of cash around. Foooooooooooo. How much cash can you get in an envelope? When has Customs arrested any of these guys for having over the legal limit of cash on them?

    In spite of the media’s massive efforts, including, I hear suggested now, massive payments and financial inducements to former members of the church in return for information/appearances, we have yet to see any tax havens, transfers of millions, or private yachts.

    Come ON. This is a very nasty, propagandised, beat-up of a group who represent not “super wealth’, but thrift, hard work, enterprise, and personal responsibility. Not that you might not still hate them all the same for that, but part of the great plot against the proletariat the EB’s AIN’T.

    # 64 PhilBest
    December 7, 2007 at 12:51 pm

    And my point about the Hollow Men book, is that Hager had all those e-mails, and he seems to have known who Don Brash was meeting every minute of every day. But he had NO e-mails FROM Brash to the EB’s, and NO details of any meeting other than one where some alleged EB bumped into Brash in a shopping mall or something.

    If there was one thing the book utterly FAILED to prove, it was any “link’ between Brash and the EB’s. Nothing but Hager’s conjecture. And to my mind, it proved the opposite – because if there HAD been any evidence, Hager would have had it, such was the thoroughness of the political hit on Brash’s privacy.

    # 65 Draco TB
    December 7, 2007 at 3:14 pm

    PhillBest said:
    “Moving envelopes of cash around. Foooooooooooo. How much cash can you get in an envelope?’

    I think it’s about 10k per envelope and carrying up to 40 envelopes.
    http://www.abc.net.au/4corners/content/2007/20071015_brethren/interviews.htm

    “And my point about the Hollow Men book, is that Hager had all those e-mails, and he seems to have known who Don Brash was meeting every minute of every day. But he had NO e-mails FROM Brash to the EB’s, and NO details of any meeting other than one where some alleged EB bumped into Brash in a shopping mall or something.’

    I suspect Hager was limited to information that his informants were limited to. This being the case I would suspect that he wouldn’t have had enough to establish a clear link but there was certainly enough to raise some serious questions.

    # 66 PhilBest
    December 7, 2007 at 4:26 pm

    I anticipate the arrests of some EB’s next time they try the spiriting-illegal-amounts-of-cash-through-customs rark. This week, perhaps? Or don’t the Customs people read newspapers or watch TV?

    Hey, we’re getting much more decency into this debate here. Draco TB: so now its just “enough to raise some serious questions’? Hey, I thought EVERYONE KNEW that the EB and Don Brash were in cahoots to “steal the election’. I thought people like Tim Pankhurst, Chris Trotter, John Campbell, et al, had ESTABLISHED ALL THAT BEYOND A DOUBT in the minds of the public?

    Now, doesn’t all this start to look just a bit like the sort of shameful bully politics that have deeply stained the heritages of some of our fellow modern enlightened civilisations? Hasn’t this sort of stuff been the small beginnings of what developed into ghastly crimes against humanity?

    We have a choice, here, guys – the truth, or the advancement of YOUR political cause by whatever it takes. And you, and Our dear Leader’s regime, and their media lackeys, are NOT looking good. Some of the media lackeys are waking up, the arseholes – they helped us into this mess. But it appears that of the regular bloggers on the Left, very few are decent, “moderate’ leftists.

    # 67 Matthew Pilott
    December 7, 2007 at 4:32 pm

    PB for all your bluster about the EB you clearly know very little or you wouldn’t be talking about the EB as ‘very small businesses’. Unless you’re comparing them to GM or IBM, or perhaps Peru

    # 68 PhilBest
    December 7, 2007 at 4:46 pm

    Matthew Pilott, if you think the EB businesses that the media have done a beat-up of are NOT just “small’ businesses, but VERY small businesses, YOU are the EPITOME of the small-mindedness that is ruining this country. That lawnmower and chainsaw shop musta had AT LEAST HALF A DOZEN STAFF, FOOOOOOO, EH, OOOOOOH, the ENVY, BLOW YA PUNY SOCIALIST MIIIIIIIIIIND.

    # 69 the sprout
    December 7, 2007 at 5:00 pm

    have a drink phil

    # 70 PhilBest
    December 8, 2007 at 1:07 pm

    Actually after some of my visits to the Standard I want to immerse myself in a vat of alcohol.

    # 71 the sprout
    December 8, 2007 at 1:10 pm

    that would be good too, but don’t have any candles too close by

  105. Matthew Pilott 105

    Phil Best, people’s objection to the EB is nothing to do with their wealth, or if they choose to openly participate in Democracy.

    As for the family court, the DPB and the legalisation of prostitution, last I checked those state instruments were there for a variety of reasons – to spare families from going through full formal court proceedings, and to give precedence to childrens’ interests for one, to support those unable to work and support their families, and to allow sex workers to work in a safer legal environment and not criminalise people in an anready vulnerable situation.

    Last I checked, you weren’t excluded from seeing your children if you changed religion in the real world (which is not, of course, my model society). I’d imagine the proportions of such families would be similar, if not slightly lower in the EB world because you don’t get entirely booted out of society for making difficult choices in the real world (incidentally, if you weren’t earning, society would SUPPORT you through the dpb)…

    What is a capital “F” followed by a significant number of “O”s meant to signify? i’m afraid that you’re becoming unintelligible. Mabye it would be best if you come back another day when you can type rationally.

    Decent ordinary Kiwis can SEE who are, and who stands for, the decent honest productive people; and who are the Nazi-channelling bigots attacking them.

    Yes, that is true. There are decent, honest, productive people, probably both within and outside of the EB. It’s hard to tell when they’re removed from society and we get reports of people who have effectively had their children kidnapped by the EB but hey, benefit of the doubt – they can’t all be evil. Though your rants aren’t doing them any favours…

    Stop embarrassing yourself with the Nazi references, it’s not doing your crusade any good.

  106. PhilBest 106

    MORE from “theexclusivebrethren.com”

    http://theexclusivebrethren.com/documents/MarriageandFamily.pdf

    “An investigation into Marriage and Family Relations among The Exclusive Brethren in Australia”

    By Gary D. Bouma, BA, BD, MA, PhD, Professor of Sociology, UNESCO Chair in Interreligious and Intercultural Relations – Asia Pacific; Monash University.

    The answers to the questions raised in the little exchange between Matthew Pilott and myself, will be found therein.

    CHEERS.

  107. Tane 107

    Phil, I skimmed your rehashed post. What’s your point?

  108. RedLogix 108

    Something to be condemned and shut down and legislated against?

    May I politely suggest you read the thread more thoroughly rather than just scanning for phrases that attract your attention. I have specifically stated above that I did NOT think that legislating against this kind of involvment was either desirable or possible. Nor has anyone else suggested this.

    If you want to talk about what is really a “link’ between a political party and some supposedly independent organisation , you can’t do better than to look at the “intertwined lovers’ behaviour of certain Unions, and the Labour Party.

    It may have escaped your notice, but Unions are not Churches. They are rather different things.

    What members of the EB did, was participate in Democracy, based on their convictions,

    Or given what we do know about the EB, that they were carrying out the orders of their leadership, based on the probablilty that if they did not there would be severe personal consequences for them.

    If members of this particular Church were genuinely free to be involved in politics they would be free to be support a variety of Parties, and free to vote. But they are not are they?

    And considering both the tone and nature of your comments, you are yourself providing a lucid example of exactly why I think Churches and Political Parties make poor bed-fellows.

  109. PhilBest 109

    Matthew Pilott:

    “people’s objection to the EB is nothing to do with their wealth, or if they choose to openly participate in Democracy.”

    Hey, it IS TOO about those things at “the Standard” and in the Labour Party, otherwise, why pass such an over-the-top EFB? It’s a bit late to try and flip-flop on that now.

    But add the word “alleged” in front of “wealth”, too, would ya?

    AND Matthew:

    “As for the family court, the DPB and the legalisation of prostitution, last I checked those state instruments were there for a variety of reasons – to spare families from going through full formal court proceedings, and to give precedence to childrens’ interests for one, to support those unable to work and support their families, and to allow sex workers to work in a safer legal environment and not criminalise people in an already vulnerable situation.”

    FINE. You’ve got your justifications for things that rip families apart on a grand scale, the EB have their justifications for things that obviously keep families TOGETHER. And THAT, my friends, is what you REALLY hate most about them.

    I’d like to see D4J comment on your writeup of the Family Court. As for prostitutes “in an already vulnerable situation”, hey, how is it working out for them now that you’ve decriminalised them? How are their drug habits and depression and suicide attempts, how is their sense of self-worth coming along?

    Say, “Foooooooo, eh”. Do you know “philu”? He pops in on Kiwiblog all the time and says “fwhooar”. It’s the same thing.

  110. Matthew Pilott 110

    Phil, you can put up some nice happy quotes, I can put up some rather unhappy ones. What do you say?

    I’d rather not turn this into a propaganda clipping service as you have chosen to, so I’ll give two links:

    BBC Overview:

    A comment within from a happy camper:
    —–
    The harshness of separation has been heavily criticised in the press and by former members of the Exclusive Brethren.
    They say that the Exclusive Brethren’s rigid laws destroy marriages, split families and damage the lives of members who try to leave.
    Since a members’ whole existence has been focused on the church they have to rebuild their lives completely if they leave or are expelled. It can be a very lonely experience.

    “It was a known thing ever since you were a child that if you ever left you’d go to hell – you’d burn in hell for ever; and that you’d never be able to speak to any of your family or anyone that you’d ever known through childhood in the Brethren ever again. That you’d just be ignored… like you didn’t exist”
    Ex-Brethren woman

    Representatives of the Brethren have rejected the claim about hell: “salvation is not in any way limited to membership of an organisation or fellowship”.
    Families often put great pressure on leavers to return to the Brethren, which can add to the trauma of separation. Other pressure can include job loss and having to leave the family home.
    —–
    Charming innit?

    And this.
    —–
    Consider, for example, the ‘Levitical meetings’ started by Taylor Jr. These meetings were based on instructions in Leviticus to ‘shut up’ (isolate or expel) a person or house where leprosy was suspected. At intervals, priests visited to establish whether or not the leprosy had spread.

    This Scripture was misapplied by Taylor to mean that a member suspected of sin or of breaking Taylor’s directives was banned from meetings and even from contact with all other members, even close relatives. The ‘priests’ were assembly leaders who visited these individuals and decided their fate. And there are many horror stories.

    One husband was ‘shut up’, that is, expelled and banned fifteen years ago from living with his wife and children. Neither his brother nor his wife knew the reason for the decision but they were submissive to the leaders. Such practices place draconian power in the hands of the leadership.
    —–

  111. PhilBest 111

    Tane
    August 5, 2008 at 4:08 pm

    “Phil, I skimmed your rehashed post. What’s your point?”

    Good for you, Tane. Consider: what if the Exclusive Brethren site’s claims about themselves are true? And you’re wrong?

    Consider: Why would the EB’s own leader say all that stuff about equality and lack of class distinctions if the EB really WERE in on the grand “exploit the proletariat” plot?

  112. Matthew Pilott 112

    FINE. You’ve got your justifications for things that rip families apart on a grand scale, the EB have their justifications for things that obviously keep families TOGETHER. And THAT, my friends, is what you REALLY hate most about them.

    So much for keeping families together, Phil. Tyranny in place of love. That (as you shout) is what I HATE about them; I pity you. I know that it’s not all as nice as you paint, and not all as bad as I have given example of, but I think there have to be some serious questions asked.

    Unlike you, I can attempt to see both sides of the story. I can see the good and the bad within the family court and the EB, an sincerely believe good outweighs bad a thousand times over for the former. Unfortunately I can’t say the same about the latter…

    Hey, it IS TOO about those things at “the Standard’ and in the Labour Party, otherwise, why pass such an over-the-top EFB? It’s a bit late to try and flip-flop on that now.

    Yes, open democracy. That’s what the EFA does and is doing. Thank god for that eh?

    Nice typically conservative and ill-informed comments about prostitution. You’ll be telling me absistence really works for horny young kids next. I’m not going to educate your poor backwards mind here, but only suggest that if you could open it a fraction you would see the good that the law change has made.

    If you missed it, I can’t help. I can only thank whoever required that people with the foresight to help people’s lives were in charge to put that law into place, instead of backwards reactionaries like yourself who would make things worse for their own conceited morals.

  113. PhilBest 113

    OK, OK, Matthew Pilott, we could dig up some pretty unsavoury stuff about things that Unions have done in the past, too. Does that mean that politicians and the media and the public would have good reason to condemn any involvement on their part, in participatory democracy? Or that they cannot possibly represent any broader good in spite of those unsavoury incidents?

    And DO READ that study by Professor Bouma of Monash Uni. As I said above, the EB have their justifications for things that obviously keep families TOGETHER.

  114. Matthew Pilott 114

    I will have a look, and try to keep an open mind when I do.

  115. PhilBest 115

    Matthew Pilott; You seem to be ignoring the salient point. I asked THIS question an hour ago:

    What is the proportion of ripped-apart families in the EB, compared to in YOUR model society?

    DUH.

    And you say:

    “I can attempt to see both sides of the story. I can see the good and the bad within the family court and the EB, an sincerely believe good outweighs bad a thousand times over for the former. Unfortunately I can’t say the same about the latter”

    FINE. I’ll leave others who can read and follow our respective links, to judge WHOSE model society rips apart a thousand times as many families……..

    “Yes, open democracy. That’s what the EFA does and is doing. Thank god for that eh?”

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA……….keep it up.

    “Nice typically conservative and ill-informed comments about prostitution. You’ll be telling me absistence (SIC) really works for horny young kids next.”

    Hey, did you not have any ancestors for whom abstinence DID work? I’m not going to educate your poor backwards mind here, but only suggest that if you could open it a fraction you would see the good that the old traditions did for society and its stability in their time…….

    “….the good that the law change has made…….people with the foresight to help people’s lives were in charge to put that law into place…….”

    ….yeah, to help people’s lives onto a spiral of self-destruction.

    Nice open liberal mind you have, anything that feels good to you can lodge itself there…..

    Time to go immerse myself in a vat of alcohol again…..

  116. PhilBest 116

    Sorry, missed your nice comment above about reading that report with an open mind. I take back my above insult.

  117. Pascal's bookie 117

    PhilBest, seeing you hate for people to miss the point, how about you address the point that has been raised a number of times.

    The problem I had with how the Brethren behaved last time round is as follows. Please extend to me the same courtesy that you extend to the E. Brethren and accept this at face value.

    First a disclaimer.

    I have no problem with people belonging to whatever religion they please. I have no problem with people structuring their family life however they please, as long as it is within the Law. This obviously includes setups like the Brethren, that I think are immoral with regard to the ‘shutting in’ and the ‘shunning’ and so forth. Not my problem, like I say they can do what they want. (The fact that they do not extend this courtesy to others is again my problem, not theirs. I’m ok with that, they can argue their unpopular case, I’m confident they’ll lose.)

    Part of doing what they want, is the whole “exclusive” thing. They separate themselves from society for a number of theological reasons. Fine. Their prerogative. They take this to the extent of prohibiting belonging to or voting for any political party. Again, fine by me. How is it though that they can, within that theological framework, spend so much time and money trying to influence the election? That interests me. I am explicitly not saying they shouldn’t be allowed or whatever, I am merely saying that I would like to have that information to help me judge the worth of their message.

    Which brings me to the problem I had with their campaign.

    They deliberately took steps to hide the fact that the campaign was a Brethren initiative.

    They pretended to be a bunch of ordinary individuals that coincidentally decided, along with other Brethren sub chapters around the world, to all of a sudden start funding and/or campaigning for, political parties. Even though such a thing would, on the face of it, be a strange thing for them to do given their theology. This to me says that something was going on inside the group. Fair enough, they can do what they like. Won’t be the first time religion contradicted itself.

    What’s not fair enough though is that they didn’t want the voters to know that it was the Brethren that was speaking. Name another organisation that would get away with this.

    That is the difference between what they did, and what Unions do. Every union ad or flier states in great big letters who it is that is speaking. They don’t hide the fact that it is a Union speaking. That is what I found to be dishonest.

    Are you familiar with the concept of Divine Deception as it relates to the EB? You do know that Lying For The Lord is widely practiced according to many ex members of this happy little group.

    Or those exmembers not to be believed because they are all just bitter individuals that want their kids back.

  118. PhilBest 118

    Sorry, I’ve been too busy to revisit this thread until now.

    Pascal’s Bookie:

    have you read the study by Professor Bouma of Monash Uni that I linked to above? It seems to me that maybe Matthew Pilott and Tane have got the point. You guys talk about the GOOD that you perceive to be done by the DPB, Prostitution Law Reform, and the way the Family Court operates, and you minimise the downsides. Yet you go off your rockers at every evil incident that can be attributed to the Exclusive Brethren, when as a distinguished Professor has pointed out, they have the most stable family structures to be found anywhere. That is why socialists who are prepared to justify the “family breakdown” side-effects of THEIR social model in the light of the “good” that is otherwise served by that social model, are hypocritical in the extreme to condemn “family breakdown” when it occurs in the EB, all the while that the rate of family brakdown in the EB is the LOWEST to be found in any identifiable social group.

    I have been thinking about this further, and am kicking myself that I had not thought up to now, of the following angle, which bears pretty directly on the point you are trying to make. Has the Labour Party not always been able to take for granted, support and voluntary help at the time of every election, from the congregations of numerous “pinko” ministers and churches? In far greater numbers than the EB? Has anybody ever at any time insisted on declarations of religious affiliation from these people? Would any “Conservative” politician DREAM of insisting on this?

    Sorry, as I say, I am kicking myself for not thinking of this earlier, but as far as I am concerned now, it is game, set, and match, as far as the sheer hypocrisy of your side of the political fence is concerned.

  119. lprent 119

    PB: Don’t be stupid.

    You’re trying to compare two completely different levels of activity and trying to say that they are the same.

    You are talking about people openly assisting virtually every party in the political spectrum. They come from the across the religious spectrum, and in only a few cases do it by congregation (eg destiny church). But the point is that they campaign overtly.

    Then you are saying that is the equivalent to a small covert group. They tried to outspend the Greens election budget when attacking them. To avoid the restrictions by the Electoral Act 1993, they put bogus contact details on their brochures.

    A covert attack on a political party with the clear intent of bypassing the law, is not the same as openly helping political parties.

    Thank god the legislation has changed so this type of immoral behavior is now limited and must be overt.

  120. Draco TB 120

    PhilBest:
    You’re working from the false assumption that keeping families together against their natural tendency to split is the best option.

    As I said earlier – I couldn’t care less about the EB religion but I do care about their attempt to mold the election while remaining hidden and in collusion with National which I find despicable.

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    While many imagine that countries like the USA and Europe dominate space activities, in fact India is now a major player on this stage. It launches satellites for its own purposes and also commercially, and has constellations orbiting our planet and returning data of vital importance to that nation in ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    1 day ago
  • The rot at the top (2).
    Thanks to a report from the Acting Inspector General of Intelligence and Security following a complaint by Nicky Hager, we have come to find out that the SIS illegally spied on Mr. Hager on behalf of the NZDF after publication of Hager’s 2011 book, Other People’s Wars. The NZDF justified ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 day ago
  • Common misconceptions about “Global Warming”
    COMMON MISCONCEPTIONS ABOUT GLOBAL WARMING MYTH 1: Global temperatures are rising at a rapid, unprecedented rate. FACT: The HadCRUT3 surface temperature index, produced by the Hadley Centre of the UK Met Office and the Climate Research Unit of the University of East Anglia, shows warming to 1878, cooling to 1911, ...
    An average kiwiBy admin@averagekiwi.com
    1 day ago
  • A climate of tyranny
    For the past week, Extinction Rebellion has been peacefully protesting in London to demand action on climate change. The British government's response? Ban their protests:Police have banned Extinction Rebellion protests from continuing anywhere in London, as they moved in almost without warning to clear protesters who remained at the movement’s ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • Collins crushes climate
    An essay by Judith Collins MP reported on Carbon News yesterday seems to show an alarming shift in attitude within the National Party. Collins argues against the Zero Carbon Bill, the Paris Agreement, and downplays the magnitude of climate impacts. The Paris Agreement was adopted in December 2015 and ratified ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert McLachlan
    2 days ago
  • More disappointment
    When they were running for election, Labour promised to overhaul the Employment Relations Act and introduce fair pay agreements to set basic pay and conditions on an industry level, preventing bad employers from undercutting good ones. They followed this up by establishing a working group, which reported back in January ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • What do these mother-child studies really say about fluoridation?
    A list of indicators of bad science – many of these are found in articles promoted by anti-fluoride activists. Anti-fluoride activists have been pouring money into a scaremongering campaign warning pregnant women not to drink fluoridated water. They claim fluoride will lower the IQ of their future child. Fluoride ...
    2 days ago
  • Losing Labour’s Mills-Tone.
    Nothing Left To Say: Labour's pollster, Stephen Mills, remains swaddled-up in the comforting myths of the 1980s. As if the experience of Roger Douglas’s genuinely radical post-Muldoon policy agenda was literally a once-in-a-lifetime thing – as much as the party could possibly absorb for at least the next 50 years.MEMO ...
    2 days ago
  • Speaker: Disability and the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Historical Abuse
    The Royal Commission on abuse in care is very significant for the disability community. For many decades last century, thousands of disabled children, and adults who managed to survive, were locked away from families and communities. This was not for anything they had done, but for the perceived threat their ...
    2 days ago
  • Spain is not a democracy
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • UK Conservatives hate democracy
    With an unfair voting system, uneven electorates and an un-elected upper house, the UK's "democracy" is barely worthy of the name. But now the government wants to make it worse:The government has been accused of suppressing voters’ rights with the potential disenfranchisement of tens of thousands of people after plans ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • What is wrong with our building industry?
    Back in the 90's and early 2000's, the building industry was building leaky homes which should never have been granted consent. Now it turns out they've been building dodgy office blocks as well:New imaging technology has revealed hundreds of major buildings nationwide have defective or missing concrete or reinforcing steel. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Local bodies
    Local body election results were released over the weekend, to joy or despair depending on where you live. In Auckland, Phil Goff trounced John Tamihere, who is muttering darkly about running for Parliament again (but which party would want him?) Wellington is now a wholly-owned subsidiary of Weta Workshop, except ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • A future of government
      How could government evolve over the next decades? Reports of democracy’s imminent demise are greatly exaggerated.  However, satisfaction with political systems in many countries is low, so there is much to do for governments of all political stripes to improve relevance and trust. Digital technologies are seen as one ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    5 days ago
  • Speaker: Catalonia, interrupted
    Two years have now gone by since the Friday afternoon when my university-student son and I headed out of our Barcelona flat to a nearby primary school, designated as a polling station for the vote that was to be held the following Sunday: the referendum on Catalonia’s independence from Spain ...
    5 days ago
  • Sage Decisions Unwisely Over-Ruled.
    Overruled: The joint decision of Finance Minister, Grant Robertson (Labour) and his Associate Minister, David Parker (Labour) arguably the two most powerful ministers in Jacinda Ardern’s government, to grant OceanaGold the consents which Land Information Minister, Eugenie Sage (Greens) had earlier denied them, offers bitter proof of how hard fighting ...
    5 days ago
  • Government may ban voting in effort to get more people to do it
    More than double the number of people who will vote in this year’s local body elections have tried marijuana or urinated somewhere they shouldn’t have. As local elections look set for the lowest turnout in decades, with many regions falling well short of 40%, the Government is exploring a number ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    5 days ago
  • Woman: Deleted.
    A Statement on Abortion Law Reform by the Council of Disobedient Women   On the eve of bringing an end to antiquated, anti-women abortion laws Green MP Jan Logie intends to write women out of the Bill. With a stroke of the pen, the woke are aiming for total erasure ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    5 days ago
  • The Hollowest of Men Ride Again… SURPRISE!
    Musings continue apace about “the experienced businessman!” soon to be taking up a National Party MP position. Or to be more accurate, being parachuted into a seat to shut down their former MP Jamie-Lee Ross, who despite his own shortcomings shed at least some more light on the inner workings ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    6 days ago
  • Barbaric
    The Ugandan government wants to murder gay people:Uganda has announced plans to impose the death penalty on homosexuals. The bill, colloquially known as “Kill the Gays” in Uganda, was nullified five years ago on a technicality, but the government said on Thursday it plans to resurrect it within weeks. The ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Fighting Monsters.
    Freedom Of Speech? The Säuberung (cleansing by fire) was the work of the German Student Union which, on 10 May 1933, under the watchful eye of the Nazi Reichminister for Propaganda, Joseph Goebbels, consigned 25,000 books to the flames in a ritual exorcism of “un-German thought”. According to the logic of the ...
    6 days ago
  • The next wave of kaupapa Māori politics: its constitutional, it must be.
      “There can be no such thing as kaupapa Māori political parties or politics in Aotearoa” (Willie Jackson, Labour Party (2017). Māori TV, General/List Election Special) I begin with that claim because at the time, I was confounded at first that it fell out of Willie Jackson’s mouth, and then ...
    EllipsisterBy Ellipsister
    6 days ago
  • Night lights of NZ from orbit
    New Zealand has prided itself for decades with regard to its lack of pollution, and all will be aware that the ‘100% Pure New Zealand‘ meme is under threat through land, water and air pollution of various causes. There is another type of contamination that the country also faces: light ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    6 days ago
  • Reporters deliver uplifting news to fleeing Japanese residents: they won’t miss any rugby
    New Zealand’s media is doing its part in Japan, reassuring those in the path of the storm that they won’t miss any rugby while away from their flooded homes. New Zealand sports reporters stationed in Japan for the Rugby World Cup have had the rare and heartwarming opportunity to inform ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    6 days ago
  • Government in contentious discussions about whether to put surplus on red or black
    Regional Development Minister Shane Jones is the only Cabinet member in favour of putting it all on green. As Finance Minister Grant Robertson finds himself with an enormous $7.5 billion surplus, the Government has begun intense, at times contentious conversations about whether to put the money on red or black at ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    6 days ago
  • Jordanian teachers’ successful strike has lessons for here
    by Susanne Kemp At the start of September close to 100,000 school teachers went on strike in Jordan.  They demanded a 50% pay rise.  A pay rise actually agreed to by the regime back in 2014. In early October, however, in the face of government repression and threats, the teachers’ ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    6 days ago
  • Why some people still think climate change isn’t real
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz Why do people still think climate change isn’t real? David ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    6 days ago
  • The SIS unlawfully spied on Nicky Hager
    Back in 2011, journalist Nicky Hager published Other People's Wars, an expose on NZDF's activities over the previous decade of the "war on terror". NZDF didn't like this, and especially didn't like the fact that it was base don leaks from their own. So, they had the SIS investigate him ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • October 2019 – Newsletter
    https://mailchi.mp/7d9133add053/closing-the-gap-october-2019-newsletter ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    6 days ago
  • And they wonder why we think they’re environmental vandals…
    The Zero Carbon Bill is due back from select committee in two weeks, and will likely pass its final stages in November. So naturally, farmers are planning a hate-march against it. But they're not just demanding lower methane targets so they can keep on destroying the planet; they're also demanding ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Climate Change: Paying the price in California
    Last year, California burned. This year, to stop it happening again (or rather, to stop themselves from being found liable if it happens again), Pacific Gas and Electric is cutting power to half the state for a week:Schools are closed. Traffic lights down. Tunnels dark. Businesses unopened. Hospitals running on ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Let’s Hear It For Up-Close-And-Personal, Hard-Copy Democracy!
    The Best Way: Missing from the on-line voting debate is any reference to the voting system that produces turn-out figures ranging from 77 to 93 percent of registered voters. The voting system used to collect and count the votes cast in our parliamentary elections. The system that involves citizens making ...
    7 days ago
  • 10/10: World Day Against the Death Penalty
    Today, October 10, is the world day against the death penalty. Out of 195 UN member states, 84 still permit capital punishment. Today is the day we work to change that. This year's theme is children. Having a parent sentenced to death or executed causes long-term trauma and stigmatization which ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Talking Freer Lives: a Marxist gender-critical perspective from Australia
    Among the great new bunch of political friends we have been making recently is the excellent Australian-based Marxist gender-critical site, Freer Lives.  So we asked the comrade who set up that blog to write something for Redline on the blog, himself, his analysis of the rise of gender politics and ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    7 days ago
  • Government spin accepted by union leadership
    by Don Franks  The Auckland City Mission is struggling with a 40 percent increase in demand for food parcels this year. A total of 23,020 were needed by June. Last month Missioner Chris Farrelly told the Herald the “cupboards are bare” and without an emergency food drive, he can’t see ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    7 days ago
  • Forbidden Thoughts
    by The Council of Disobedient Women   Massey Wellington Student Association had a sit-in today. Imagine a sit-in. On a campus. Against a women’s rights meeting. Did the ’60s really happen or did we fucking dream it? They gathered in the student square, an echo chamber. Sitting on soft pillows ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Much love to my loyal Ukrainian readership
    For some reasons, my post about the mystery message from inside the Downing Street bunker seemed to catch people's attention.  Quite a lot of hits from NZ (unsurprisingly) and the USA (a bit more puzzlingly, but hi there, USAians!!) and 76 views from the Ukraine.I've celebrated my Ukrainian readers in ...
    1 week ago
  • Another day of bonkers GNUmours (again, sorry)
    First, almost a score of Labour MPs seem to have sent a letter to the EU basically begging them to accept a deal - any deal - just so Britain can get the Heck on with Brexiting instead of being trapped in limbo:
    To avoid no deal, deliver on the ...
    1 week ago
  • Labour vs working class immigrants – again!
    by Phil Duncan In 2016 the National-led government suspended the Parent Visa Category, through which migrants were able to bring their parents into New Zealand.  Since then over 5,700 people have been in immigration limbo, stuck on the visa wait list. Labour is now bringing back the scheme.  Well, sort ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Speak Up for Women press statement: on Massey University and Feminism 2020
    The following was released yesterday (Tues, October 8) by the women’s liberation organisation Speak Up for Women. On 23 September Speak Up For Women announced that we would be holding an event at the Massey University Theaterette in Wellington. The event is called Feminism 2020. The intention of the event ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Farmers support dirty rivers
    The government is currently consulting on plans to improve freshwater quality. So naturally, farmers oppose it:South Taranaki farmers are preparing to fight proposed national freshwater changes that some fear will bankrupt them. The Government's proposed National Environment Standard on Freshwater Management, released in September, rated the Waingongoro River as one ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • No-one cares about local government
    Yesterday was the last day for (reliably) posting your vote away in local body elections. Turnouts are mostly much lower than the equivalent time last year (Palmerston North is down 2.3%), and so naturally people are pushing their online-voting snake oil again. Because the online census worked so well, lets ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The political ghosts of eugenics may matter more than the genetic
    This essay, on the political legacy of the eugenics movement, by Kenan Malik was originally published in the Observer on 6 October 2019, under the headline ‘The spirit of eugenics is still with us, as immigrants know to their cost’. Birth control. Intelligence tests. Town planning. Immigration controls. It’s striking how ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • “Surplus” again
    Another year, and the government has announced another enormous government "surplus". And just like last year, its nothing of the sort. When we have people homeless and sick and hungry, when we have schools and hospitals still falling down, when we have underpaid public servants and infrastucture unmaintained or unbuilt, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Inside the Downing Street bunker
    James Forsyth at The Spectator (I know, I know) has tapped one of his contacts inside Number Ten for an insight into the Johnson administration's thinking and strategy.It is fascinating, unsettling and quite, quite mad.  Some key points:Negotiations have stalled and the Johnson administration are keen to blame the EU: ...
    1 week ago
  • Taking Control Of The Nation’s Story.
    Fatal Contact: With the arrival of captain James Cook in October 1769, the islands of what would become New Zealand ceased to be the preserve of Polynesian navigators and settlers and became a part of both the world’s map and the world’s history.THE MAORI NATIONALIST assault upon the historical meaning ...
    1 week ago
  • Are GNUs extinct?
    Another round of tactical talks about forming a Government of National Unity have come to nothing with the Liberal Democrats still refusing countenance putting Jeremy Corbyn into Downing Street:Opposition talks on Monday made little headway over when to try and vote down Boris Johnson's government and who might succeed him as ...
    1 week ago
  • Labour chickens out again
    When the government was elected, it promised to lead the way on electric vehicles, and specifically to make the government vehicle fleet emissions-free where-practicable by 2025.They lied:There are 15,473 vehicles in the government fleet and only 78 are electric. When the coalition Government came into power in late 2017, the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Transgender extremism, violence at work against feminist meeting at British Labour Party conference
    by Nick Rogers The debate around the meaning of sex and gender made an appearance at this year’s British Labour Party conference in Brighton. Women’s Place UK – an organisation that questions the demand that biological males who self-identify as woman should have access to women’s spaces, to all-women shortlists, ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Rebelling in Wellington
    Yesterday I went down to Wellington to participate in the Extinction Rebellion protest. Its part of the latest global wave of XR actions, with actions happening all over the world. Some of those protests are massively disruptive: in Canada, XR is blocking major bridges, stopping people from getting to work. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • ‘The Workshop’ – Report: Talking about Poverty and Welfare Reform: A Guide to Strategies that ...
    The Workshop is a charitable trust for public good. The Workshop undertake research to find ways of communicating that will build support for the solutions that work to solve complex social and environmental problems. See their Report on Talking about Poverty and Welfare Reform below. ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    1 week ago
  • Exclusive language
    What is language? We generally assume that it a facility unique to humans, allowing us to share what’s in and on our minds. We can tell of our plans, our past exploits, our knowledge. It also allows us to lie. And yet there are vast numbers of people we can’t ...
    SciBlogsBy Michael Corballis
    1 week ago
  • April 2018 – Submission to the NZ Govt Tax Working Group
    You can read our submission HERE ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    1 week ago
  • 2018 – Submission to the NZ Government Tax Working Group
    Read our submission here ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    1 week ago
  • Guardian: Poll shows DISASTER for Corbyn and the End of Times
    The Guardian - ever eager to forewarn of doom and disaster on the left - are leading with a new poll from Opinium, which puts the Conservatives 15% clear of Labour.Con 38% +2Lab 23% -1Lib Dem 15% -5Brexit 12% +1Green 4% +2This isn't good news, and it would be very ...
    1 week ago
  • How prostitution became the world’s most modern profession
    Being and Being Bought (Spinifex Press, 2013) by Kajsa Ekis Ekman  A synopsis and commentary of Chapters 1-2 by Daphna Whitmore Ekman, a Swedish journalist and critic, brings together a Marxist and feminist analysis of prostitution and surrogacy in this groundbreaking book She opens the discussion with a definition of ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Clever legal fellow on Scottish challenge to Brexit
    I make no claims to having much legal knowledge,  so I defer to those trained in this area.I am very much enjoying this twitter stream from m'learned friend in Edinburgh, deciphering the legal arguments around the Scottish court challenge to Boris Johnson, based on the charmingly obscure principle of Nobile ...
    2 weeks ago
  • An Open Letter From Closed Minds.
    Ivory Folly? The University of Auckland’s Vice-Chancellor, Professor Stuart McCutcheon, upheld the right of the radical nationalist group, Action Zealandia to exercise their freedom of speech – not matter how distasteful that speech might be. A wiser community of students and scholars would have nodded their agreement and moved on. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Extinction Rebellion members want to “eat babies”
    If you are not convinced terrorist Organisation ‘Extinction Rebellion’ is very, very dangerous – watch this video at one of their recent meetings. Not only is this obviously mentally ill Woman begging the other terrorists to promote killing and “eating” babies and children, if you watch carefully other members nod ...
    An average kiwiBy admin@averagekiwi.com
    2 weeks ago
  • The government needs to tell people about the OIA
    The Ombudsman has been surveying people about their knowledge of the OIA and the right to information. Unfortunately, it doesn't seem that widespread:The Chief Ombudsman says too many New Zealanders were in the dark over their right to access official information. Peter Boshier said an independent survey released yesterday on ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: Join the rebellion
    In the wake of last Friday's climate strike, Peter McKenzie had an article in The Spinoff about protest strategies. The school strike movement is "polite" and cooperates with those in power because that's its kaupapa - its led by schoolkids who understandably don't want to risk arrest. But there's more ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Jermey Corbyn, I don’t like GNU (sorry)
    So, the latest ruminations on the gnews from Westminster (Again, sorry; I'll stop making that pun right now).  This follows on from, and likely repeats bits of, my last post, on the suggestion that a Government of National Unity (GNU) should be set up and then oversee a referendum before ...
    2 weeks ago
  • New Fisk
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • About time
    New Zealand likes to think of itself as not a racist country (despite being founded on the racist dispossession and subjugation of Maori). But for years, we've had a racist refugee policy, which basicly excludes refugees from Africa and the Middle East unless they already have relatives here. Now, the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Legal Beagle: Vexation, or Something Too Long for Twitter
    Several people have asked me whether a particular repeat litigant could be declared a vexatious litigant, in light of their recent decision to appeal an adverse High Court ruling. My nascent tweet thread was getting ridiculously long, so it became this blog post instead.The short answer is: no. The particular ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Zealandia’s Lost Boys.
    Appealing To The Past: Action Zealandia, like so many of the organisations springing up on the far-Right, across what they call the “Anglosphere”, is born out of the profound confusion over what a man is supposed to be in the twenty-first century and, more importantly, what he is supposed to do.THE STATUE OF ...
    2 weeks ago
  • British trade union and political activists defend women’s right to speak, organise
      The attempts of anti-democratic transactivists to (often violently) disrupt women’s rights organising is largely ignored by those sections of the left most prone to misogyny and authoritarianism in New Zealand.  In Britain, however, scores of trade union and left activists added their names to a letter in July, defending ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Turning their back on justice
    The Justice Committee has reported back on the Criminal Cases Review Commission Bill. The Bill would establish an independent, quasi-judicial body to investigate and review potential miscarriages of justice, and refer them back to the Court of appeal if required. It would be a vital backstop to our judiciary, help ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago

  • Indigenous Freshwater Fish Bill Passes
    The future for New Zealand’s threatened indigenous freshwater fish looks brighter with the passing of the Conservation (Indigenous Freshwater Fish) Amendment Bill in Parliament today said Minister of Conservation, Eugenie Sage. “Until now, our freshwater fish legislation has been 20 years out of date. We have lacked effective tools to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 hours ago
  • Kiwis to take part in world’s biggest earthquake drill
    At 1.30pm tomorrow, hundreds of thousands of Kiwis will join about 65 million people around the globe in ShakeOut, the world’s biggest earthquake drill. The annual drill is to remind people of the right action to take during an earthquake which is to Drop, Cover, Hold, and to practise their ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    11 hours ago
  • Rising wages and low inflation supporting Kiwis
    Kiwis are benefiting from higher wage growth and low inflation under the Coalition Government. Stats NZ data out today shows the rise in the cost of living remains low, as annual Consumers Price Index (CPI) inflation fell to 1.5% in September from 1.7% in June. “The low inflation comes as ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    13 hours ago
  • NZ economy strong amid global headwinds
    New Zealand’s economic strength and resilience has been recognised in a major update on the state of the global economy. The IMF’s latest World Economic Outlook released overnight shows a reduced global growth forecast over the next two years as issues like the US-China trade war and Brexit take hold. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    13 hours ago
  • Keeping New Zealanders safer with better counter-terrorism laws
    Justice Minister Andrew Little has today introduced a new Bill to prevent terrorism and support the de-radicalisation of New Zealanders returning from overseas. The Terrorism Suppression (Control Orders) Bill gives the New Zealand Police the ability to apply to the High Court to impose control orders on New Zealanders who ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    13 hours ago
  • Improved succession and dispute resolution core of Ture Whenua changes
    A Bill that proposes targeted changes to simplify the processes for Māori land owners when engaging with the Māori Land Court has had its First Reading today. “The approach taken by the Government is to ensure that the protection of Māori land remains a priority as we seek to improve ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    15 hours ago
  • Speech to CTU Biennial Conference
    Let me first thank all the new unionists and members in the room. There is nothing more important to improving people’s working lives than people making the decision to care, to get on board and help, to take up the reins and get involved. Congratulations to you. You bring the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    15 hours ago
  • Minister ensures continued Whenuapai flight operations
    Minister of Defence Ron Mark has signed a certificate exempting the activity of engine testing at Whenuapai Airbase from the Resource Management Act 1991. The Act gives the Minister of Defence the power to exempt activities for the purposes of national security.  The certificate will mean the recent Environment Court ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    15 hours ago
  • NZ joins Coalition of Finance Ministers for Climate Action
    Finance Minister Grant Robertson has announced New Zealand will join the Coalition of Finance Ministers for Climate Action while attending APEC meetings in Chile. The objective of the 39 member Coalition is to share information and promote action to tackle climate change. It was formed in April this year, in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    18 hours ago
  • CTU speech – DPM
    Ladies and gentlemen, NZCTU President Richard Wagstaff, members of respective unions – thank you for the invitation to speak to you today. This might be preaching to the choir, but the importance of trade unions in New Zealand’s historical arch is difficult to understate. And it is my belief that ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Police Association Annual Conference
    "Let’s start by acknowledging that it has been a huge year. " Police Association Annual Conference James Cook Grand Chancellor Hotel Wellington Nau mai, haere mai. Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, ka nui te mihi, ki a koutou katoa. President of the Police Association, Chris Cahill; Members of the Association and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New Zealand announces a further P-3 deployment in support of UN sanctions
    Minister of Foreign Affairs Winston Peters and Minister of Defence Ron Mark have announced the New Zealand Government’s decision to again deploy a Royal New Zealand Air Force P-3K2 (P-3) maritime patrol aircraft to support the implementation of United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions imposing sanctions against North Korea. New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New Zealand deeply concerned at developments in north-east Syria
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters says New Zealand continues to have serious concerns for peace and stability in north-east Syria. “Recent reports that hundreds of ISIS-affiliated families have fled from a camp are deeply concerning from a humanitarian and security perspective”, Mr Peters says. “While we acknowledge Turkey’s domestic security ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government on high alert for stink bugs
    Biosecurity Minister Damien O’Connor is warning travelling Kiwis to be vigilant as the high-season for the crop-eating brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB) is under way. “We’re on high alert to stop BMSB arriving in NZ. The high season runs until April 30 and we’ve strengthened our measures to stop stink ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Better protections for students in halls of residence
    The Government is moving swiftly to change the law to improve the welfare and pastoral care of students living in university halls of residence and other tertiary hostels. Cabinet has agreed to several changes, including creating a new mandatory Code of Practice that sets out the duty of pastoral care ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New trapping guide for community and expert trappers alike
    The Minister for Conservation Eugenie Sage has launched a new comprehensive trapping guide for community trappers to help them protect our native birds, plants and other wildlife, at Zealandia in Wellington today. ‘A practical guide to trapping’, has been developed by the Department of Conservation (DOC), and was launched during ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Widening Access to Contraceptives Welcomed
    Associate Health Minister Julie Anne Genter welcomes PHARMAC’s move to improve access to long-acting reversible contraception (LARCs). PHARMAC has today announced it will fund the full cost of Mirena and Jaydess for anyone seeking long term contraception, lifting previous restrictions on access to Mirena. “I welcome women having greater choices ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Major upgrade for Taranaki Base Hospital
    The Government has approved the next stage of a major redevelopment of Taranaki Base Hospital, which will deliver new and improved facilities for patients. Health Minister Dr David Clark has announced details of a $300 million dollar project to build a new East Wing at the New Plymouth hospital. It ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Extra support for rural families
    Extra funding will allow Rural Support Trusts to help farming families, says Minister for Rural Communities and Agriculture Damien O’Connor. “I know that rural families are worried about some of the challenges facing them, including the ongoing uncertainty created by the Mycoplasma bovis outbreak. “Those concerns sit alongside ongoing worries ...
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