web analytics

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.

Links to post

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Climate Change: The benefits of electrification
    In order to meet our 2050 carbon target and do our bit to avoid making the Earth uninhabitable, New Zealand needs to decarbonise our economy, replacing fossil fuels with electricity in the energy, industrial and transport sectors. The good news is that it will mean cheaper power for all of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 hours ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 8 (sanitised version)
    For those folk who find my other Lock-Down Diary versions too “negative” or otherwise unpalatable… Here’s a photo of a pretty flower, .   . Better? Tomorrow’s Sanitised Version: a cute animal video. . . . =fs= ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    6 hours ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 8
    . . April 2: Day eight of living in lock-down… Today, my work day starts late. Our rosters and clients have been dramatically changed, lessening (theoretically) the number of people in our work “bubble”.  If just one of us catches covid19 the impact could be considerable as Grey Base Hospital ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    6 hours ago
  • A note on apartments and bubbles
    As Aotearoa enters week two of lockdown, it’s clear we’re all still working out what our “bubbles” look like and how to stay in them to stop the spread of Covid-19. New to the government’s Covid-19 website is some good guidance for people living in apartment blocks. Recent decades have ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    8 hours ago
  • Getting in futures shape 
    “There are decades where nothing happens; and there are weeks where decades happen.” Lenin Don’t we all know that feeling now.

    Prospect Magazine alerted me to this particularly apt quote. It is a much more evocative quote than Hemingway’s “gradually then suddenly” which is also doing ...

    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    9 hours ago
  • Maybe axing Clark would be unfair. But what about any of this is fair?
    Yesterday was the day the consequences of the lockdown suddenly got very real for many. Firms have been closing and laying people off since the outset of the quarantine but this has mostly been happening out of the public eye. The mass closure of a number of iconic New Zealand ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    9 hours ago
  • Might a ‘Coasean’ social contract mitigate overall societal harm from COVID-19?
    Brian Williamson1, Prof Nick Wilson2 (1Economic consultant, UK; 2University of Otago Wellington) In this blog, we outline how a win-win social contract could be forged to address the major dimensions of response to the COVID-19 pandemic when using a mitigation strategy: the particular need to protect older people from high ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    10 hours ago
  • Returning To “Normalcy”.
    Resuming Normal Service: The Republican Party's nominee for in 1920, Warren Harding, promised the American people: “not heroics, but healing; not nostrums, but normalcy; not revolution, but restoration”. If she wishes to remain our prime minister, then Jacinda Ardern will offer New Zealanders the same.HOW EDUCATED AMERICA snickered when the ...
    11 hours ago
  • New Zealand’s Government Must Save New Zealand’s Media.
    No Free Society Without A Free And Functioning News Media: If we are to surrender our civil rights to the broader cause of defeating Covid-19, then foreign corporations must, likewise, surrender their right to inflict immense economic and cultural harm on New Zealanders simply because it improves their bottom line.I’M ...
    11 hours ago
  • Corona fevers and the madness of models
    by Daphna Whitmore A third of the world is under lockdown and a clear assessment of this measure to curb the spread of COVID-19 is urgently needed.  With any high-stakes decisions it has to be asked what are we dealing with here? Are the measures warranted? Will they achieve their ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    17 hours ago
  • Lockdown day 8
    I haven’t done a huge amount in the last few days. I’m reading The Poppy War and I’ve sort of poked at a couple of games – I started SOMA but I’m a wimp and I quit while in the first room after the brain scan. I might try it ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    21 hours ago
  • Backstage and Theatre
    The swan politicians may be gliding on the water, occasionally snapping at one another. Meanwhile, as the Covid19 crisis illustrates, the officials are desperately paddling below providing the real locomotion. One of the most fatuous recent grandstanding comments (of about a week ago), adding to the public’s anxieties, was ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    23 hours ago
  • Legal Beagle: Waiver, the singular Crown and the conduct of Crown legal business
    Much has been written about the importance of discretion in an emergency situation, and the concerns raised by the potential for it to be exercised arbitrarily. Given the quality of the discussion, there seemed little point in adding to it at any length. In particular, I point to the evidence ...
    23 hours ago
  • Highlights from Bauer Media’s science-related reporting
    Today has felt surreal. I was all set to touch base online with my science communication students when a colleague shared the news that Bauer Media would be shutting down its publications immediately. The first link I saw implied it was Woman’s Weekly affected, and even that shocked me. But ...
    SciBlogsBy Sarah-Jane O'Connor
    1 day ago
  • Outsiders.
    Bogeymen, Real And Imagined: Is the number of psychopathic and sociopathic individuals in any given society truly as vanishingly small as we like to tell ourselves? Isn’t it more likely that the mass-shooters and serial-killers filling the headlines represent only the tip of a much, much larger iceberg of frightfulness? ...
    1 day ago
  • We have a right to know the rules we are expected to obey
    Outgoing Police Commissioner Mike Bush appeared before the Epidemic Response Committee today, who asked him for the rules police are using to enforce the lockdown. He refused:Police Commissioner Mike Bush has admitted the advice given to Kiwis about what they're able to do during the lockdown hasn't been clear enough. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 7 (sanitised version)
    For those folk who find my other Lock-Down Diary versions too “negative” or otherwise unpalatable… Here’s a photo of my cat, . . Better? Tomorrow’s Sanitised Version: a pretty flower. . . . =fs= ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 day ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 7
    . . April 1: Day seven of living in lock-down… This morning I had a brief chat with one of my neighbours, “D” (social distance between us, a good three or four metres). I learned he had resigned from his previous job and had been hired by another company – ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 day ago
  • RIP The Listener, New Zealand’s pioneering voice
    Funnily enough, my thought as I start this post is whether it will be well written enough. Or should that be well enough written? Because so much of what I know about good writing came from my two stints at The Listener, which this morning was shut down due to ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    1 day ago
  • OK, Britney: stop sniping at National for doing its job
    With normal democratic procedures in abeyance, there were two ways to go. First, it was open for the government to dissolve itself and invite the National Party to join a ministry of national salvation. That would have lessened the democratic deficit of the times by having a team of rivals without ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    1 day ago
  • Helpful tips for parents during lockdown
    Dr Kirsty Ross Children and young people can respond differently in times of distress. This also varies by age and developmental stage, with younger children having more magical and imaginative thinking, and older children having more awareness and knowledge of the issues our communities are facing (which brings up ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 day ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #13, 2020
    2 days ago
  • Hungary is now a dictatorship
    Hungary has been a virtual dictatorship for a decade now, as Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has gradually eroded its democracy. But now, its official, with the passage of an indefinite emergency law allowing rule by decree:Hungary’s parliament has passed a new set of coronavirus measures that includes jail terms for ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • A new Ministry of Works
    While the economy is on pause under lockdown, the government is beginning to plan how to cope with the post-lockdown, post-tourism, post-export education world we will eventually find ourselves in. They're planning a lot of infrastructure spending as economic stimulus, and have asked for proposals which can start the moment ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Capture: Well spaced out
    It's my distraction,  setting up tiny scenes to photograph.  I've got stuck on the Babushka dolls for now.  Something about their bubble shape.  Something about their never changing, smiling features, suggesting persistent equanimity.  Can we get through everything that is being thrown at us and keep at least a tiny ...
    2 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 6
    . . March 31: Day six of living in lock-down… This time I managed to sleep a little longer and the alarm woke me at the pre-set time: 6.55am. Then remembered I was working a later shift and could’ve slept in. Oh well, there are things to do at home. ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    2 days ago
  • March ’20 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
    Image credit: Diamond Harbour School Blogs I notice a few regulars no longer allow public access to the site counters. This may happen accidentally when the blog format is altered. If your blog is unexpectedly missing or ...
    2 days ago
  • Hard News: Poll Pot and the partisans
    Yesterday's Horizon poll showing support for a "Yes" vote in this year's cannabis referendum sliding into the majority for the first time in a year looked like good news for reformers – and it probably is. But the result warrants some scrutiny.The poll is the fifth in a series commissioned ...
    2 days ago
  • Why those bubbles are so important
    For almost a week now, every one of us who isn’t an essential worker has been confined to their bubble. We are allowed to go shopping for groceries, to visit the doctor, and to get a bit of exercise if we stay local. The reason we are doing this is ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    2 days ago
  • A Government System That Works
    The Covid-19 saga will no doubt produce many twists and turns for us before it is finally brought to an end. But one thing it has shown us – and what comfort it should bring us – is that our country’s government is in good hands. I am not thinking ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    2 days ago
  • Smashing down the barriers: Where are we at with COVID vaccines?
    In the absence of a vaccine or a cure for a deadly disease, staying home in your bubble is what you do, the concept is not new.  To the best of my knowledge last time we did this in NZ was for polio, in the years before a vaccine came ...
    SciBlogsBy Helen Petousis Harris
    3 days ago
  • National Network on Cuba (USA): “Cuban medical solidarity is a pillar of its society and is founde...
    The following statement was released on March 28 by the National Network on Cuba, a coalition of 40 groups, based in the United States. In recent weeks, Cuba has deployed hundreds of medical providers to over a dozen countries in Europe, Asia, as well as to their neighbors in Latin ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    3 days ago
  • Alarming decrease in calves increases fears for endangered Hector’s dolphin
    This has been a terrible summer for Hector’s dolphins. The first indication was very low numbers of dolphin sightings during late spring and early summer. The Otago University Marine Mammal Research Team has carried out routine dolphin surveys at Banks Peninsula for more than 30 years. In all that time, ...
    SciBlogsBy Otago Marine Science
    3 days ago
  • Time for Grant Robertson to reveal package #2?
    On March 17, Finance Minister Grant Robertson was quick out of the blocks with an economic rescue package to help businesses through the inevitable recession resulting from the coronavirus pandemic. Robertson had pulled together a scheme in short order that so far seems to have saved many jobs. In his ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    3 days ago
  • Saving lives
    The purpose of the lockdown is to save lives, by reducing the spread of covid-19. We won't know if its really working for another week, but given the devastation that will result if it doesn't - 14,000 dead is the optimistic scenario - its definitely worth trying. But pausing the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 5
    . . March 30: Day five of living in lock-down… Woke up still in darkness. Alarm hadn’t gone off. Turn to radio clock; it’s a few minutes after 6am… I lie there in the dark, waiting to drift off to sleep… but it ain’t happening. Clock ticks over to 6.55 ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    3 days ago
  • Speaker: Les Gray: the man who told the truth
    The story of Les Gray, the public sector psychologist who told the truth about his use of cannabis and set off a storm, has a special place in the lore of cannabis reform in New Zealand.When Paul Shannon interviewed Gray for the 'Dope and Hope' issue of Planet magazine in ...
    3 days ago
  • Why now? Historical specificity and the perfect storm that has created trans identity politics
    by Phil Duncan For Marxists, a key concern about social trends is their context – not just their causes, but why they happen when they do.  Events and phenomena have causes, but they also are time or period-specific. While much of the left have capitulated recently to postmodernism, most notably ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    4 days ago
  • Time for a living wage for supermarket workers
    Since the lockdown began, we've all suddenly been reminded who the actually essential workers in our society are: not the people at the top who pay themselves the big bucks and rort the perks, but the people at the bottom they screw over and squeeze: cleaners, warehouse staff, truck drivers ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Hard News: MUSIC: Lockdown Grooves
    Kia ora! As I've watched nearly all my remaining work vanish over the past couple of days, it has occured to me that one good way to keep me away from arguing with fools on Twitter all the time (in the knowledge that all we're really doing is processing our ...
    4 days ago
  • A place of greater safety?
    Aotearoa New Zealand has committed to trying to extirpate the virus that causes COVID-19 from its shores. To do that, as a society we’ve moved to “Level 4”. That means adapting to unprecedented restrictions on our personal freedoms, particularly to our rights to move freely and associate with friends and ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    4 days ago
  • The police and public trust
    When the Prime Minister declared a state of emergency last week, she handed the police powers to enforce it. And almost immediately, we started hearing about heavy-handed, arbitrary "enforcement" by police who (at best) cared more about order than law, or (more likely) had no idea what the rules were ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 4
    . . Lock Down: Day 4 – A photo essay with observations . March 29: Usual wake up routine as RNZ snaps on my radio-clock. Jim Mora’s voice slowly enters my conciousness; there’s talk of a second wave of covid19 taking hold in South Korea; the week in Parliament – ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    4 days ago
  • COVID-19 vs New Zealand
    Yesterday, New Zealand recorded its first Covid-19 related death on the West Coast. Unfortunately this is unlikely to be the only fatality, with the virus now being found in every region of the country.However despite the significant danger, people are still unfortunately breaching lockdown rules.There’s really only one main very ...
    4 days ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #13
    Story of the Week... Toon of the Week... Coming Soon on SkS... Climate Feedback Claim Review... SkS Week in Review... Poster of the Week... Story of the Week... ‘Misinformation kills’: The link between coronavirus conspiracies and climate denial   Grist / Rob Kim / Stringer / CSA Images  Scientific ...
    4 days ago
  • Rāhui day 4
    The kids did surprisingly well today – meltdown count was about 3, and mostly fairly short ones. (And a fourth while I was writing.) Game-wise I had a go at Fell Seal: Arbiter’s Mark. It’s a fairly standard RPG with turn-based combat and what they call a “mature storyline” (it ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    5 days ago
  • Letter to a friend
    by Don Franks Hi David, Nice hearing from you, I’m glad to hear you’re getting by okay in these grim times. You asked how’s it going for us back here in New Zealand. You would have heard that the whole country is locked down and with breaks for exercise and ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    5 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 3
    . . Lock Down: Day 3 – A photo essay with observations . March 28: First day of the first weekend in Lock Down. It feels like it’s been weeks since only Level 3 was declared last Tuesday, only four days ago. Woke up this morning to RNZ; coffee; toast, ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    5 days ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #13
    A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week, i.e., Sun, Mar 22, 2020 through Sat, Mar 28, 2020 Articles Linked to on Facebook Sun, Mar 22, 2020 In Just 10 Years, Warming Has Increased the Odds of Disasters by Chelsea Harvey, ...
    6 days ago
  • Rāhui day 3
    I’m here in lockdown with my flatmate and her two girls (6 and 2) and it. is. a time. They’re usually really active so to start with the only boardgame in the house is the copy of Guess Who that the 6 year old got for her birthday. Flatmate commented ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    6 days ago
  • A test of civil society.
    The CV-19 (COVID) pandemic has seen the imposition of a government ordered national quarantine and the promulgation of a series of measures designed to spread the burden of pain and soften the economic blow on the most strategically important and most vulnerable sectors of society. The national narrative is framed ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    6 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 2
    . . Lock Down: Day 2 – A photo essay with observations . March 27 – Day 2 of our Strange New World. The Park and Ride near my suburb, usually filled with hundreds of vehicles, had just… four; . . Another drive into Wellington City on a highway nearly ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    6 days ago
  • How Do You Feel? What Do You Think?
    Fortune's Children: Under extraordinary pressure, the leader of the Government and the leader of the Opposition will each show us what they are made of. Have they been blessed with intelligence, grace, wit, poise, toughness, empathy and humour – and in what measure? More importantly, to what extent have they ...
    6 days ago
  • Landlords are NOT an essential service
    If you’ve ever had the misfortune of having to rent a property on the open market in New Zealand, which is one of the most expensive in the entire world, you’ll likely be keenly aware of just how arrogant and entitled landlords and their real estate agents can be.Unfortunately for ...
    6 days ago
  • A “new Society” post-COVID19 will definitely emerge. The question is: on what path?
    Society-wise, aside from the specific morbidity shall we say of the medically-oriented aspects of this COVID-19 crisis, what is unfolding before the world is in more than one way an instructive study of humanity and reactions to a high intensity, high stress environment in real time. Friends, we are at ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    7 days ago
  • Raise the Bar: Everything you need to know about the wage subsidy
    Right now low waged and insecure workers are feeling the economic brunt of the looming #Covid19 Recession. In response legal advocate Toby Cooper* and hospitality and worker’s rights advocate Chloe Ann-King, are putting together a series of legal blogs about your employment rights: In this legal blog we outline some ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    7 days ago
  • The massacre of prisoners in Modelo jail, Bogota, March 21
    by Equipo Jurídico Pueblos and Gearóid Ó Loingsigh (25/03/2020) An escape plan in question On the night of March 21st and the early morning of the 22nd, the forces of the Colombian state stormed into the Modelo prison in Bogotá, murdering 23 prisoners and injuring 83, in response to the ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • We are not America
    When the government banned semi-automatic weapons in response to a terrorist atrocity, gun-nuts were outraged. Mired in toxic American gun culture, they thought owning weapons whose sole purpose was killing people was some sort of "constitutional right", a necessity for "defending themselves" against the government. Now, the Court of Appeal ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • When will we know the lockdown is working?
    Just before midnight on Wednesday March 25, Aotearoa New Zealand entered a countrywide alert level four lockdown. For at least the next four weeks, everyone who isn’t an essential worker is confined to their bubble. We are doing this to stop the explosive growth in people contracting and dying from ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    1 week ago
  • Lock Down: Day 1
    . . Lock Down: Day 1 – A photo essay with observations . Day one of the Level 4 nationwide lock-down (or, DefCon 4 as I sometimes cheekily call it) started at 11.59PM on 25 March. For a moment, most of the nation held it’s collective breath. In that brief ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • A Compelling Recollection.
    Broad, Sunlit Uplands: How those words fired my young imagination! Or, perhaps, it is more accurate to say: how those words fused, in my young mind, with the image printed on every packet of Fielder’s Cornflour. Always fascinated by history, especially modern history, I cannot hear Churchill’s wonderfully evocative words, even ...
    1 week ago
  • The Warehouse – where everyone gets a virus
    . . 24 March 2020 9.46AM Number of covid19 cases in Aotearoa New Zealand: 102 . As of 11.59 on Thursday, most of New Zealand will go into “lock down”. People will be expected not to travel to work; not to socialise; and to stay home. I will not be ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • Aggressive action to address climate change could save the world $145 trillion
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections A respected research group, Project Drawdown, finds that deploying solutions consistent with meeting the Paris climate targets would cost tens of trillions of dollars globally. But crucially, those outlays would also yield long-term savings many times larger than the up-front costs. The new 2020 Drawdown ...
    1 week ago
  • After the Pandemic
    It will pass. What happens next? Not immediately, but longer term. There are many opinions, fewer certainties. Will it “change everything!” as many confidently, and contradictorily predict? In this post I look at how foresight can help bound some of the uncertainties so you can more objectively consider the future. ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    1 week ago
  • Coronavirus – Cuba shows the way
    We’ve been meaning t write something on Cuba and the coronavirus but have just discovered a very good article on the subject in the US left publication Jacobin.  The article looks at how Cuba, a poor country but one where capitalism has been done away with, is leading the way ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Using privacy law to prevent the death penalty
    In 2018, El Shafee Elsheikh and Alexanda Kotey - two British citizens who had purportedly been stripped of their citizenship by the British government - were captured while fighting for Isis in Syria. The British government then conspired to hand them over to the US, and agreed to provide evidence ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • It’s Time For Disaster Socialism.
    Transformers: The disaster of the Great Depression was transformed into a new and fairer society by the democratic socialism of the First Labour Government. The disaster of the Covid-19 Pandemic offers a similar transformative possibility to the Labour-NZ First-Green Government. Seize the time, Jacinda! You will never have a better ...
    1 week ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #12, 2020
    Tamper with The System? Well, we already are. But there's a difference between accidentally trickling sand into a precision gearbox versus formulating a plan to alter it on the fly with improvements in mind. One action is more or less innocently unscrupulous, the other amenable to earning an easy ...
    1 week ago
  • Avoidable hospitalisations: Helping our health system get through COVID-19
    Associate Prof George Thomson, Louise Delany, Prof Nick Wilson While it is possible that New Zealand can use intense public health controls to eradicate COVID-19 from the country – we must also plan for other scenarios where thousands of New Zealanders are sick – including many urgently hospitalised.1 Better resilience ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • Raise the Bar: 10 questions to ask your employer proposing redundancy
    Kia ora my name is Chloe Ann-King* and I am the founder of Raise the Bar, a campaign and non-profit that gives free legal aid, advocacy and tautoko to hospitality workers in Aotearoa. Right now all over our country hospo workers are being fired at will, having shifts cut or being ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    1 week ago
  • An equitable way to support business
    The Herald reports that the government is planning to lend billions of dollars to large businesses to keep them operating during the pandemic. As with mortgage relief, this is necessary: we need companies to stay in business, to reduce the economic damage and help things get restarted again when this ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Hard News: Together Alone
    We're about to do something unprecedented as a nation. We hope that by taking this extraordinary action before a single life in New Zealand has been lost to the deadly novel virus we will save tens of thousands of lives. Our  lives. We'll do it together, in households, in isolation ...
    1 week ago
  • Why timing is everything: ‘A time to refrain from embracing’ starts today
    “There is a time for everything,    and a season for every activity under the heavens.”So writes the author of Ecclesiastes, a book in the Old Testament that’s counted as a ‘wisdom’ book and written as if by an unnamed king of Jerusalem. But who would have thought there would be a time ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    1 week ago
  • Dealing with the Covid-19 Tsunami.
    I was surprised when the prime minister described the Economic Response to Covid-19 package as the ‘largest peacetime government spend in New Zealand's history’. Reflecting – checking through history – I realised that the term ‘spend’ was crucial and the package had no income tax cuts. Even so, it has ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    1 week ago
  • What about renters?
    The government today announced the latest part of its pandemic relief package: a six-month mortgage holiday for people whose incomes have been affected by the pandemic. Which is great, because these people are going to need help, and that's what the government should be doing. At the same time, it ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago

  • Further measures to support businesses
    The Government will be introducing legislation to make changes to the Companies Act to help companies facing insolvency due to COVID-19 to remain viable and keep New Zealanders in jobs. The temporary changes include: Giving directors of companies facing significant liquidity problems because of COVID-19 a ‘safe harbour’ from insolvency ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 hours ago
  • Govt’s COVID plan, economic strength recognised
    The Government’s plan to cushion the blow of COVID-19 by supporting incomes, jobs and businesses, and position the economy to recover has been backed by another international report. International credit rating agency Moody’s today reaffirmed its highest Aaa credit rating on New Zealand, saying the economy is expected to remain ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 hours ago
  • Funding certainty for sports through COVID-19
    National sports organisations have been given certainty of funding to ensure they can remain viable through the COVID-19 pandemic, Sport and Recreation Minister Grant Robertson announced today. “The global spread of COVID-19 has had a significant impact on sport and recreation in New Zealand, including the cancellation or postponement of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    13 hours ago
  • Butchers now allowed to process pork
    Changes have been made to allow butchers to process pork, only for supply to supermarkets or other processors or retailers that are open, Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor has announced. “We carefully weighed the risk of allowing butchers to open their shops for retail customers, but the risk of spreading COVID-19 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    24 hours ago
  • Essential workers leave scheme established
    Essential workers who take leave from work to comply with public health guidance are being supported with a leave scheme to ensure they will continue to receive income, say the Minister of Workplace Relations and Safety Iain Lees-Galloway and Minister for Social Development, Carmel Sepuloni. A number of essential businesses ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Govt WhatsApp helps share COVID-19 information
    A Government WhatsApp channel has been launched to help make information more easily accessible and shareable in the fight against COVID-19. Govt.NZ, which is free to use on any mobile device, will carry information and news for the public, businesses, healthcare providers, not for profits and local government. It can ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Managed departure plan for stranded foreign nationals enables safe, orderly exit
    The Government has announced a plan to enable the safe, orderly exit of tens of thousands of stranded foreign nationals from New Zealand during the current COVID-19 Alert Level 4 restrictions, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Winston Peters has said. “When we moved into lockdown a week ago, the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Government delivers COVID-19 support to GPs and Pharmacies
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says the Government is delivering on its commitment to support general practice doctors and nurses, and pharmacies on the front-line of our fight against COVID-19. "For us to overcome COVID-19, we need community health services such as general practice and community pharmacy to step up ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Susan Thomas the new Chief High Court Judge
    Justice Susan Thomas has been appointed Chief High Court Judge, Attorney-General David Parker announced today.  She replaces Justice Geoffrey Venning who has resigned from the position.   David Parker paid tribute to Justice Venning, who he said had stewarded the High Court very capably over the last five years.   “On behalf ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Business Finance Guarantee – applications open
    Businesses can start applying to their banks for loans under the Business Finance Guarantee Scheme set up to support the New Zealand economy during the COVID-19 pandemic. “We’re moving quickly to protect New Zealand businesses, jobs and the economy during this unprecedented global economic shock,” Finance Minister Grant Robertson said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Work starts on ways to fast-track consents to boost recovery from Covid-19 downturn
    Work is underway looking at measures to speed up consents for development and infrastructure projects during the recovery from COVID 19, to provide jobs and stimulate our economy.  Environment Minister David Parker said the COVID-19 pandemic is a serious global crisis that will have a wide ranging and lasting impact ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Advance payments to support contractors
    Advance payments will be made to transport construction industry contractors to retain the workforce and ensure it is ready to quickly gear up to build projects which will be vital to New Zealand’s COVID-19 economic recovery, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. He said keeping the workforce required to build ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government seeks infrastructure projects
    The Government has tasked a group of industry leaders to seek out infrastructure projects that are ready to start as soon as the construction industry returns to normal to reduce the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford and Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones say. The Infrastructure ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Health system scaled up to prepare for COVID-19
    Work to scale up the health system in preparation for COVID-19 was today outlined by Health Minister David Clark, as he reported back to the new Epidemic Response Committee. “We are well placed to contain the spread of COVID-19. We have taken early and decisive action at our borders, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Essential media COVID-19 guidelines refined
    The Government is refining its COVID-19 essential business guidance to include the distribution of news publications for communities which are hard to reach. The Minister of Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media, Kris Faafoi, said the move was in recognition of the importance for New Zealanders who might be harder to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Supermarkets able to open on Easter Sunday
    The Government is ensuring supermarkets can open on Easter Sunday so we can buy groceries, but stay closed on Good Friday allowing workers to take a break. This provides a balanced approach and ensures we avoid large queues that two days closure may cause. “Supermarkets will be able to open ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New Zealand defence personnel conclude mission at Taji
    Following the successful conclusion of the Building Partner Capacity (BPC) mission at Taji, New Zealand defence personnel are returning to New Zealand from Iraq, in accordance with the Cabinet decision made in June 2019, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters and Defence Minister Ron Mark announced today. “New Zealand is very ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • State of National Emergency extended
    The State of National Emergency to help stop the spread of COVID-19 has been extended for a further seven days, Minister of Civil Defence Peeni Henare said. The initial declaration on March 25 lasted seven days and can be extended as many times as necessary. “Since we went into isolation ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Strong Govt books support ‘go hard, go early’ response
    New Zealand’s ability to go hard and go early in the fight against COVID-19 has been underpinned by strong Government finances and the growing economy heading into this global pandemic, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. The Treasury today released the Crown financial statements for the eight months to the end ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Christchurch Hospital Hagley ICU to open to support COVID-19 response
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says 36 new intensive care beds at Christchurch Hospital’s new Hagley building are being fast tracked so they are available for treatment of COVID-19 patients.   The Ministry of Health is working with contractor CPB and Canterbury DHB to enable access to the hospital’s ICU, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Government supports Air NZ freight flights
    The Government has fast-tracked up to $1 million to help Air New Zealand move urgent freight to and from New Zealand, with the first flight to Shanghai leaving tonight, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. Phil Twyford says it’s crucial that trade in vital goods such as medical supplies and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Tariff concessions on COVID-19 related products
    New Zealand will temporarily remove tariffs on all medical and hygiene imports needed for the COVID-19 response. Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker and Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Kris Faafoi said today that the New Zealand Customs Service will apply tariff concessions to all diagnostic reagents and testing ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Clarification of modification to wage subsidy scheme
    Minister of Finance Grant Robertson has clarified that the changes to the wage subsidy scheme announced yesterday mean that employers should be passing on the full subsidy to workers, except in the case where the person’s normal income is less than the level of the subsidy. “We still want employers ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Face masks flowing to DHBs
    Medical face masks from the national reserve supply are now being distributed to District Health Boards, while at the same time local production is being ramped up. Yesterday more than 640,000 masks were sent to DHBS – that is an immediate two week supply, with more to follow in coming ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • COVID-19: Further steps to protect New Zealanders’ jobs
    The Government has made modifications to the wage subsidy scheme to ensure people don’t lose their jobs during the national lockdown. These changes will soften the impact of COVID-19 on workers, families and businesses, and position them to exit the lockdown and look to recovery, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Tax relief for Mycoplasma Bovis farmers
    Farmers whose herds were culled in response to the outbreak of Mycoplasma bovis will be able to minimise the tax treatment of their income in some circumstances. Revenue Minister Stuart Nash says Cabinet has agreed to change the law. It means farmers may be eligible to spread their income over ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • $27 million for NGOs and community groups to continue providing essential services
    A $27 million dollar package, effective immediately, is being provided to social sector services and community groups to ensure they can continue to provide essential support to communities as we stay at home as a nation to stop the spread of COVID-19, Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni announced. “At ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Statement on guilty plea of March 15 terrorist
    “The guilty plea today will provide some relief to the many people whose lives were shattered by what happened on March 15,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said. “These guilty pleas and conviction bring accountability for what happened and also save the families who lost loved ones, those who were injured, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • COVID-19 updates
    The Prime Minister is holding daily press conferences to update New Zealanders on the Government's response to COVID-19. Links to videos and transcripts of these updates below. These transcripts also include All of Government press conferences led by Director Ministry of Health's Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield. 25 March: Live update from the Prime ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Police numbers break through 10,000 mark
    Frontline Police numbers have broken through the 10,000 mark for the first time in history as officers step forward to keep the community safe during the COVID19 lockdown. “Two Police graduations in Auckland and Wellington in the past week have been conducted in unprecedented circumstances,” Police Minister Stuart Nash said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Urgent tax measures for economic recovery
    Urgent legislation has been passed to support the package of economic and social measures needed to recover from the impact of the coronavirus outbreak. “The COVID-19 Response (Taxation and Social Assistance Urgent Measures) Bill will cushion New Zealanders from the worst economic impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak,” said Revenue Minister ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Further support for farmers and growers as drought persists
    From tomorrow, Government support for farmers and growers affected by drought will be expanded and extended across the country, with access to Rural Assistance Payments (RAPS) available throughout the North Island, parts of the South Island and the Chatham Islands, Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni announced. “These challenging conditions have ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • COVID-19: Temporary changes to Education Act
    Parliament has passed amendments to legislation that give the Secretary of Education stronger powers to act in the fight to limit the spread of COVID-19, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “They are part of a suite of changes passed under the COVID-19 Response (Urgent Management Measures) Legislation Bill,” Chris ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Canada, Australia, Chile, Brunei and Myanmar join NZ and Singapore in committing to keeping supply a...
    Canada, Australia, Chile, Brunei and Myanmar have joined forces with New Zealand and Singapore by committing to keep supply chains open and remove any existing trade restrictive measures on essential goods, especially medical supplies, in the face of the Covid-19 crisis.  Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker today welcomed ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • COVID-19: Rent increase freeze and more protection for tenants
    Immediate freeze on rent increases Tenancies will not be terminated during the lock-down period, unless the parties agree, or in limited circumstances Tenants who had previously given notice can stay in their if they need to stay in the tenancy during the lock-down period Tenants will still be able to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Working together to protect businesses and workers
    As New Zealand unites to lock-down in the fight against COVID-19, the Finance Minister is urging all businesses and workers to stay connected over the next four weeks. “We understand the extreme pressure many businesses are under right now. I know most business owners think of their workers as family ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • State of National Emergency declared to fight COVID-19
    A State of National Emergency has been declared across the country as the Government pulls out all the stops to curtail the spread of COVID-19. “Today we put in place our country’s second ever State of National Emergency as we fight a global pandemic, save New Zealanders’ lives and prevent ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Prime Minister’s statement on State of National Emergency and Epidemic Notice
    Mr Speaker I wish to make a Ministerial Statement under Standing Order 347 in relation to the recent declaration of a State of National Emergency. Having considered the advice of the Director Civil Defence Emergency Management, the Minister of Civil Defence declared a State of National Emergency for the whole of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Deadline for domestic travel extended
    People needing to travel on domestic flights, trains and Cook Strait ferries to get home before the country moves into level 4 lock-down tomorrow night will be able to continue using the passenger services until midnight on Friday, Transport Minister Phil Twyford said today. Domestic passenger services, particularly ferries, have ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Mortgage holiday and business finance support schemes to cushion COVID impacts
    The Government, retail banks and the Reserve Bank are today announcing a major financial support package for home owners and businesses affected by the economic impacts of COVID-19. The package will include a six month principal and interest payment holiday for mortgage holders and SME customers whose incomes have been ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago