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

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