Anne Tolley is a fool

Written By: - Date published: 12:00 am, September 29th, 2010 - 54 comments
Categories: education, national - Tags: ,

Anne Tolley, Minister for wrecking primary education, is a fool. Sorry, but it’s the only conclusion I can reach. She doesn’t seem to have the first or faintest idea of what “national standards” are actually going to mean in practice. To maintain this blissful state of ignorance she has had to ignore veritable mountains of expert and professional advice. It is literally unbelievable. Here’s the final straw:

Education Minister Anne Tolley yesterday told teachers she would be “appalled” if they told parents their children were failing National Standards.

… [A teacher] started showing parents how their children were faring against the National Standards in reading. “They asked, ‘Is my child a failure?’ I said, ‘According to National Standards, yes, but according to me they are doing exactly what they are supposed to be doing’.” … Mrs Tolley replied: “… I’m appalled that any teacher would say to any parent that their child is a failure.”

What the (pardon me) hell does Tolley think national standards are for? You achieve them or you don’t, if you don’t achieve them you’ve failed to achieve them. If you don’t achieve them you’re a failure. That’s one of the major flaws with national standards, and that’s exactly what experts and professionals have been telling Tolley for months!

Experts:

We are very concerned that the intended National Standards system wrongly assumes that children are failing if they do not meet the standard for their age. This will lead to the repeated labelling of many young children as failures and will be self-fulfilling because it will damage children’s self-esteem and turn them off learning and achieving in literacy and numeracy and other curricula areas.

The PPTA:

The policy is driven by ideology. Research evidence shows that National Standards will not lead to improved outcomes for students. They will simply label individual students as failures, and may lead to league tables that wrongly label schools as failures. Many countries that have gone down this route in the past are now turning away from it. Refusing to recognise the weight of local and international evidence against such policies is most unwise.

The New Zealand Principals Federation:

Many children, who do not reach the national standards will be labelled as failures, by their parents and peers. This will be inevitable in Years 1 and 2, as the gap between high and low decile children at age 5 is already huge, and hard to eradicate in the short term. This factor will be tragic for young children, as negative labels are always hard to shake off.

The New Zealand Educational Institute in the media:

The first round of reporting against the standards has begun labelling children as failures, with parents and teachers now conceding that for many students, this process, as predicted, is damaging their motivation to learn.

And so on and so on, a universal chorus of resistance to Anne Tolley’s stupid national standards. Standards that label children as failures. That’s what they’re designed to do. That’s what everyone has been complaining about. And now Anne Tolley is “appallled” – she is “appalled that any teacher would say to any parent that their child is a failure”. Unbelievable. Key needs to show some actual leadership and bundle this blithering idiot on to the back benches, out of harms way. Because it is our children that she is harming.

54 comments on “Anne Tolley is a fool”

  1. lprent 1

    Agreed. The more I see of her, the better she makes Merv Wellington look – something I would have never believed to be possible. She appears to lack any political abilities and to have no understanding of her portfolio.

    As far as I can see her only ‘talent’ is an utter faith in the rightness of her remaining pig ignorant.

    She is a fool

  2. Draco T Bastard 2

    And now Anne Tolley is “appallled” – she is “appalled that any teacher would say to any parent that their child is a failure”.

    It wasn’t the teacher that said that though – it was Anne Tolley and her (Nacts) National Standards. This should be driven home in the MSM by the teachers, principals and academics.

    • Ari 2.1

      Isn’t it depressing that the Minister for Education doesn’t have critical reading skills? ><

      • NickS 2.1.1

        What else do you expect from Ministers “placed” by a PR firm?

        Sure, it’s nice to see National having multiple female Ministers for a change, but unfortunately unlike Labour they don’t seem to have been appointed on the basis of ability, but rather on the basis of “voter appeal”.

        • KINTO 2.1.1.1

          It was always a good laugh to see DPF’s regular pre election write ups\spin\defence of nationals lack of women and brown people, saying that labour may have more but national selects based upon ability or what ever. Now we get Bennet, Tolley and Collins, token morons.

  3. Tolley would be appalled at the notion that half of all students were below average. Sounds terrible to a simpleton, especially if they do not know the meaning of the word “average”. And try as they might no matter how much effort is put into raising standards half will still be below average.

    Is this simpleton really in charge of our kids’ education system?

    • Colonial Viper 3.1

      Half of all students are below the median?

    • prism 3.2

      ms – I always like Garrison Keeler’s tribute to the fictional local people from Google — Garrison Keillor Welcome to Lake Wobegon, where all the women are strong, all the men are good-looking, and all the children are above average. Sounds good – Minnesota has a low of cows too doesn’t it? (Appropriate typo eh.)

  4. Iang 4

    Anne Folley is a tool

  5. Julie 5

    It’s because Tolley’s intention with the Standards is not to label children as failures but to label teachers as failures. Key component in the battle to demean teaching and thus keep down teacher pay and conditions, justify privatization of parts of the education system (cue private sector can do it better rhetoric) and bring in performance pay for teachers, ostensibly to reward the non-failures but actually to divide a pretty unified profession. Children are just irrelevancies to Tolley et al.

    • Lanthanide 5.1

      I think this is spot on. National Standards isn’t about children, it’s about teachers. The problem is she has to pretend that it is about children, which is why we’re getting this schizophrenic response from her that doesn’t make sense.

      Having said that, I think a more capable liar could sell it much better than she has.

    • Irascible 5.2

      Merit Pay is another failed policy imported from the USA.
      http://www.usatoday.com/news/education/2010-09-21-merit-pay_N.htm

      Even when empirical evidence demonstrates that it doesn’t work the ideologs within the establishment still continue to believe in it because they regard education along the lines of an assembly line.

  6. popeye 6

    The most frustrating thing is that Tolley does not seem to have the capacity to grasp the issues. This makes her the perfect foil for the Nacts education agenda. It doesn’t make one jot of difference what argument is put up against National’s standards, Tolley blindly sticks to her rehearsed lines…parents want them, 1 in 5 etc. Sadly should the Key/English show be elected next year we will see the real intent of this bullshit policy as shonky data drives public opprobrium of perceived failure…a whole false economy designed to prompt the success of National’s management of education and justify the a private schooling/anti union agenda. Wake the feck up NZ.

    • illuminatedtiger 6.1

      She certainly doesn’t come across as the smartest individual.

      • Craig Glen Eden 6.1.1

        Smart? she is a straight out idiot.The only good thing I think that will come out of this is that hopefully teachers will finally wake up and wont vote National at the next election. Because if they watch what has happened in the rest of the state sector it is more than likely jobs will be lost in the public sector schools if National are re elected.

        • factchecker 6.1.1.1

          Spend appears to be going up not down ?

          http://www.treasury.govt.nz/budget/2009/estimates/est09educ.pdf

          • The Voice of Reason 6.1.1.1.1

            Whats your point? I don’t see a link between the spend and the comment you are replying to nor the post itself.

            • factchecker 6.1.1.1.1.1

              “Because if they watch what has happened in the rest of the state sector it is more than likely jobs will be lost in the public sector schools if National are re elected.”

              Vote health and education spends are overall going up rather than down unlike most other areas of expenditure.

              Education and Law and Order are two of the areas in NZ I’d like to see depoliticised so we the people could have a sensible discussion about what we want over the next fifty years – unfortunately between the politicians, unions and lobby groups I don’t believe it will ever happen

              • The Voice of Reason

                Ok, see where you’re coming from. However, I suspect Craig GE isn’t suggesting jobs will be lost for budgetary reasons, but for idealogical ones.

                • Craig Glen Eden

                  The spend in the public sector has gone down with reductions in money available for professional development of teachers and special needs units.However the private sector got a 60 million increase. Funny how National didn’t campaign on this before the election. But yes Voice of Reason I think its all idealogically driven. The Public sector will become less desirable to work in if its not financed properly so the driver is ideals the mechanism will be funding.

              • ianmac

                I cannot remember at any time when a politician has demanded a shift in the day to day operation of Primary School classrooms as this Government has. BOTs have no place in the classrooms as they are a Governance body. So above them, how come a Minister can do what the BOT cannot?

                I read Tolleys remark in the Herald and am staggered that she would say that in that she has said countless times that parents want clear plain reporting.
                Therefore: “Your child has failed to meet the National Standards.”

          • Draco T Bastard 6.1.1.1.2

            http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10667623

            One hundred jobs are to be cut at the Ministry of Education before next June, the public sector union says.

            Ministry staff were told today about the job cuts, on top of about 300 vacancies not being filled, and were assured that the changes would not add to already heavy workloads, Public Service Association national secretary Brenda Pilott said.

            Pretty sure that, in reality, funding is going down courtesy of a government only concerned about giving tax cuts to themselves and their rich mates.

          • Vicky32 6.1.1.1.3

            English teacher here… Spend is not a noun (except in grocery advertising!) 😀
            Deb

            • RobertM 6.1.1.1.3.1

              Daring to venture where angels fear to trend I will reply to this. Actually grammar is pretty much trade and and an artisans trade skill. My father and grandfather were both Oxford University educated, ( actually my grandfather got a first with Aldous Huxley and Harold MacMillen at Balliol in l913-14) and my mother was an MA and probably one of the best reading teachers in the nation. My lack of grammar is partly lifelong poor eyesight, I do not see or read comma’s and also that I was taught to read by rather radical methods which were very look and say and very little phonic. Possibly because the aim was to produce a very high comprehension ability. The flash cards were worked relentlessly in front of me by mother just as with Kennedy and Bush children. My mother as a professional reading teacher used any method to get good readers. She would’nt have hesitated to use say NASCAR subject matter if that had been current and certainly used a wide amount of material on Indianapolis and Grand Prix on her poorer decile and reading candidates. On several ocassions she told me she wouldn’t have hesitated to use Penthouse, if she thought that would have helped them read and she could get away with it. She admitted to me also that the methods she used to fully develop reading ability in me and several others, were criminal, but she had her reasons.

              But both National and the teachers are wrong. National for political and ideological reasons pretends it is possible to raise student capabilities far more than is possible. The introduced national standards will always be beyond 30-40% of the pupils if they were consistently assessed particularly in the intermediate years. The teachers also overstate what can be achieved. In modern world for the average secondard students it is probably the quality of their body that will determine there health and attractiveness to employees.

              • Vicky32

                In which case, RobertM, you ought to know that “comma’s” is wrong – plurals don’t take an apostrophe…
                I have extremely poor eyesight myself – I am an English teacher, and on the VARK scale am 80% auditory, but I can still recognise errors when I se and hear them.
                I taught my son to read in the 1990s, but I didn’t use American car racing!

  7. ianmac 7

    Rob: Great post by the way. Well said.

  8. tc 8

    “Key needs to show some actual leadership …” that’s f’n hilarious rob, good one.

    The only way sideshow will do anything if is his spin doctors spot some PR points to be gained from removing her…..otherwise the knuckle dragging wrecking ball routine will continue unabated.

    • ianmac 8.1

      She must remain as a smokescreen for other things. Note the lack of outrage over the Canterbury Emengency Powers Act.

      • Vicky32 8.1.1

        Although I noticed today that Kathryn Ryan seems to have finally become aware of it, today! (Unless I missed her saying something before, which is possible.)
        Deb

  9. E. Campbell 9

    Tolley’s clearly one of the worst performing Education Ministers the country’s had for nearly 30 years.

  10. randal 10

    the thing is most tories dont read because its too hard and they can only count when there is a profit otherwise they start whingeing about compliance costs.
    they wouldn know a standard if they tripped over one.

  11. tsmithfield 11

    If she is a fool, then what does that say about the teachers’ union considering they are being caned in the court of public opinion by a fool?

    • The Voice of Reason 11.1

      The Kiwiblog comments section is not the court of public opinion, TS. The teachers seem to have solid public support in all the reports I read of the reaction to the strike.

      • tsmithfield 11.1.1

        Did you actually look at that link? Nothing to do with Kiwiblog. Its a Yahoo online poll. Less than 1/3rd of approx 8000 respondents are supporting the teachers.

        • Pascal's bookie 11.1.1.1

          What’s that 8000 a sample of? Is it random? Weighted? Got MoE figures? Of any use at all?

        • NickS 11.1.1.2

          I take it you have absolutely no understanding of how utterly easy it is to mess with online polls, let alone the fact that because they use convenience sampling that such results are utterly fucking statistical invalid?

          In short, using an online (or a ring in poll) to support a point other than the uselessness of convenience sampling is fractally stupid.

    • George.com 11.2

      National Standards = an “assessment” package (using a very liberal interpretation of assessment) to record childrens progress.

      Teachers pay disupte = how much teachers get paid.

      Two seperate matters. The level (actual or perceived according to one poll of unknown validity) of public support for teachers getting a pay increase is nothing to do with a system of “assessing”childrens development and reporting this to parents in plain english.

      As has already been stated, ‘your child has failed to meet John Keys National Standards for their age cohort’ seems fairly plain english to me.’ That’s what National campaigned on in 2008, the policy which Anne Tolley says parents elected them to implement.

      • Draco T Bastard 11.2.1

        And now that it’s implemented the teachers should be saying “John Key and National have judged your child a failure” to all those parents whose child failed the said implemented standards.

      • Armchair Critic 11.2.2

        I looked on the National party’s policy page to see what they had on National Standards. And IMO the policy page sums up the National party’s policies very well. Honestly, follow the link.

    • Draco T Bastard 11.3

      Wow, TS linking to an unscientific, self-selecting, online poll, i.e. TS linking to delusion to support his delusion.

  12. toad 12

    TS, do you usually rely on unscientific on-line polls with poorly worded questions as a reliable information source?

    And in any case, that one is about teachers’ pay and conditions – not about National Standards which are the subject of this post.

    So you are about as far off the mark as it is possible to be.

    • tsmithfield 12.1

      Actually, Toad, the question looks perfectly clear and straightforward to me.

      Sure, its a convenience sample. However, it is out there in the public domain in a location where people from all political persuasions and views are likely to be looking. Thus, its main weakness is likely to be that mainly people with strong views either way are likely to bother responding. Might explain why “don’t know” is only 2%.

      So, I think it is at least safe to say that those with strong views are mainly against the teachers position.

      • Pascal's bookie 12.1.1

        It sure looks like your longwinded complaints about a graph in the Spirit level stemmed from a heartfelt love of statistical honesty.

        (Kidding, you look like a hack t)

        • tsmithfield 12.1.1.1

          Touche. 🙂

          I certainly wouldn’t base a thesis on that poll.

          However, it is a lot better than the TV polls where people have to pay to vote. It should be reasonably representative of the general population as it is a public site where a wide range of people are likely to visit, rather than a poll on a website likely to attract a certain group. And the effort involved in participating is very low (a couple of mouse clicks). So, there aren’t too many barriers to put people off from participating.

          Given what it is, and the strength of the result, it is probably not too bad as an indicator of public sentiment in my opinion.

          • NickS 12.1.1.1.1

            /facepalm

            You really don’t sampling design do you? Because it’s pretty obvious that any online poll can be manipulated and due to social networks can be easily swung by whichever group(s) have the bigger audience to wang the poll. Not to mention either, that the poll is only going to be seen by those who use Yahoo, but also have to be bothered, which means it is pretty easy to realise that it’s in no way shape or form going to be representative of the population.

            This is very basic stats101 ts, and a very clear no-no when trying to support an argument. Why is so difficult for you to accept this and stop using ad-hoc arguments to try and support something so stupid?

            • tsmithfield 12.1.1.1.1.1

              “You really don’t sampling design do you?”

              Actually I do. The aim is to get a sample that accurately represents the population that is being sampled. As I said, I wouldn’t base a thesis on this poll. But, given the nature of the poll, the fundamentals of it probably aren’t too bad, compared to similar polls of this type (e.g. TV polls where people have to pay to participate).

              “Because it’s pretty obvious that any online poll can be manipulated and due to social networks can be easily swung by whichever group(s) have the bigger audience to wang the poll.”

              If this is happening, and thats a big “if” then its likely to “wang” the poll in favour of groups with a high percentage of left wing voters (students and the like) more likely to use social networks rather than right wing voters. Therefore, if left wing voters have been trying to “wang” the poll, and it is still showing a huge majority against the teachers, then the poll may well be understating the result.

              • lprent

                If this is happening, and thats a big “if”..

                As far as I can see that is the norm rather than the exception. In programming terms every poll that doesn’t rely on a previously known login/password is trivial to manipulate. I’ve helped do it a few times simply for the exercise in spoofing IP packets (making them appear to come from a range of IP addresses). But even a non-programmer with a modicum of scripting (ie a script-bunny) can program damn near anything into the results by forcing a device with dynamic IP to reset or using a range of proxy servers.

                Of course there is the good old traditional power switch technique as well – accessible to anyone with dynamically allocated IP’s.

                …a high percentage of left wing voters (students and the like) more likely to use social networks rather than right wing voters.

                An unsubstantiated assertion that is probably incorrect.

                Anyway, it isn’t the number of people that online polls have to guard against. It is a very few people with some pretty basic knowledge, obsessional traits, and heaps of spare time. In other words someone like Whale.

                I can’t believe that you’re such an fool as to put ANY credence in on-line polls. Mind you, you could just be emulating Tolley, who also prefers to believe whatever is most convenient and ignores any alternate explanations.

                • tsmithfield

                  OK, I guess I should concede that the poll might not be that good.

                  “An unsubstantiated assertion that is probably incorrect.”

                  You realise you have just made an unsubstantiated assertion about my unsubstantiated assertion. 🙂

  13. Fabregas4 13

    Back to whether Tolley is a fool or not.
    *She wants parents to know how their children are progressing against National’s Standards BUT NOT to tell them that they are not meeting them.
    *She limits National’s Standards to Reading, Writing and Maths AND THEN bemoans the fact that schools are only completing National’s Standards reporting in Reading, Writing and Maths.
    * She slams teachers for not performing well AND THEN then makes cuts to ECE funding that mean that only 80% of teachers are qualified.
    * She states that 1 in 5 children are failing and then says that we need National’s Standards to identify failing children (think about it).
    *(this one for fun) She attends the NZSTA conference and believes that everyone attending supports her because they give a round of applause to the NZSTA President.

    I’ll leave it up to you to decide.

  14. Shaun 14

    So no kids in our school system are currently told that they are not achieving at their age level? Yeah right.

    • Fabregas4 14.1

      Yes, kids are told this, so are parents. But this is exactly the point. They are told in a sensitive, caring, plan for how to fix it way. It is done along with a focus and discussion on the child’s strengths too. Not on a piece of paper that pretends to be parent friendly when all the while is teacher bashing and blaming.

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    Property developers think there is an "oversupply" of houses in Auckland:High turnover rates and falling prices may be a sign that there are too many new houses going in to some parts of Auckland, commentators say. [...] Property developer David Whitburn said there was a "bit of an oversupply" in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Australia to Pacific: “Fuck you, you can all drown”
    World leaders are meeting in New York in two weeks for the 2019 Climate Action Summit, where they are expected to announce new and more ambitious targets to stop the world from burning. But the Australian Prime Minister won't be there, despite being in the USA at the time:Scott Morrison ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Implausible ignorance
    Labour Party president Nigel Haworth resigned yesterday over the party's sexual assault scandal. But while that's good news, its unlikely to take away the stench of a coverup. Because according to Paula Bennett in Parliament yesterday, pretty much everyone in the Prime Minister's office was involved as well:I have been ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Labour’s Fatal Flaw.
     Two-Faced? Labour insiders' commitment to the neoliberal status quo puts them at odds with their party’s membership; its trade union affiliates; and a majority of Labour voters, but this only serves to strengthen the perception they have of themselves as a special elite. Among the lesser breeds, they’ll talk up a ...
    6 days ago
  • Ten reasons the Tories do NOT want an election
    There has been a lot of talk about Boris Johnson wanting an election, and he has blustered with great gusto about 'chicken' Jeremy Corbyn refusing one, but I think there are many reasons why he is secretly glad he has been refused the opportunity:The Tories are an utter rabble,tearing themselves ...
    7 days ago
  • Prorogation Illegal, rule Scottish judges
    Scottish appeal court judges have declared that Boris Johnson’s decision to suspend parliament in the run-up to the October Brexit deadline is unlawful. The three judges, chaired by Lord Carloway, Scotland’s most senior judge, overturned an earlier ruling that the courts did not have the powers to interfere in the prime ...
    7 days ago
  • Let me explain what I meant by Everyday New Zealanders
    By Simon Bridges. The following is a press release from the office of Simon Bridges, leader of The National Party. Key ora, New Zealand. Happy Maori Language Week. Look, I’m writing to you today because I want to clear something up. There’s been a lot of kerfuffle around some things ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    7 days ago
  • Yes, the SIS is subject to the Public Records Act
    I understand there's some stuff going round about how the SIS "was removed from the list of public offices covered by the Public Records Act in 2017". The context of course being their records derived from US torture, which will be disposed of or sealed. The good news is that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • An evidence-based discussion of the Canadian fluoride/IQ study
    Dr. Christopher Labos and Jonathan Jarry discuss the recent Canadian fluoride/IQ research. They provide an expert analysis of the paper and its problems. Click on image to go to podcast. The critical debate about the recent ...
    7 days ago
  • Climate Change: Australia in denial
    Australia is burning down again, and meanwhile its natural disaster minister is denying climate change:Australia’s minister responsible for drought and natural disasters, David Littleproud, has said that he doesn’t “know if climate change is manmade”. Clarifying earlier comments that the question is “irrelevant” when considering the Coalition government’s response to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Philippines activist speaking on the Duterte tyranny
    Auckland Philippines Solidarity is excited to host Professor Judy Taguiwalo for a speaking tour of NZ in September. She is a well-known activist in the Philippines and was a political prisoner under the Marcos dictatorship. Professor Taguiwalo briefly served as a Cabinet member under President Duterte but was forced from ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    7 days ago
  • Disgust
    I have no special insights to offer on the Labour sexual assault coverup. All I have is disgust. Disgust that an organisation could fail its people so badly. Disgust that they punished the victims rather than the perpetrator. Disgust that its party hacks are apparently blaming the victims for demanding ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Speak Up for Women calls out Greens’ censorship
    This open letter to the Green Party was penned after an opinion piece by Jill Abigail, a feminist and founding member of the party, was censored by the Greens’ leadership. (Redline has reprinted her article here).The intolerance of the Green Party leaders and their acceptance of the misogyny of gender ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    7 days ago
  • Member’s Day: End of Life Choice, part 3
    Today is a Member's day, and David Seymour's End of Life Choice Bill continues its slow crawl through its committee stage. They're spending the whole day on it today, though the first hour is likely to be spent on voting left over from last time. After that they'll move on ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Flight to Los Angeles turned back after passengers decide they don’t want to go anymore
    An ambitious plan to fly to Los Angeles petered out into a brief sight-seeing trip and a desire to return home and get some sleep before work tomorrow. Air New Zealand has confirmed a flight to Los Angeles last night was turned back about a quarter of the way into ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Indigenous Futures: defuturing and futuring – an analytical framework for policy development?
    There appears to be consensus – by omission – that the concept of indigenous futures should be accepted at face value. So I scavenged the internet to see if I could locate an academic descriptor or a framework around how we think about it as a concept, and whether it ...
    EllipsisterBy Ellipsister
    1 week ago
  • Cadbury rumoured to be releasing the Pineapple Trump
    Here’s another novelty chocolate to shove in your gob, New Zealand Cadbury could be seeking to make itself great again with a rumoured new release: Pineapple Trumps, a spin on its classic chocolate-encased pineapple treat and do-it-yourself tooth remover. The global confectionery manufacturer and bumbling “before” character in an infomercial, ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • The coming resource war.
    During my time in the Pentagon I had the privilege of sitting down with military leaders and defence and security officials from a variety of Latin American nations. Sometimes I was present as a subordinate assistant to a senior US defence department official, sometimes as part of a delegation that ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Māori Language Week with The Civilian
    Kia ora, Aotearoa. It’s that magical time of year. Te Wiki o te Reo Māori. In English, the week that frightens talk radio. As you probably know by now, all your favourite media outlets are participating, some more successfully than others. Stuff has changed its name to Puna for the ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Will Horizons act on climate change?
    Local body elections are coming up next month. And it looks like all Palmerston North candidates for Horizons (the Manawatu-Whanganui Regional Council) want to take action on climate change:Climate change is set to be a key issue in Palmerston North for the next three years if those wanting to get ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • BORA reform is stalled
    Eighteen months ago, the government promised to strengthen the Bill of Rights Act, by explicitly affirming the power of the courts to issue declarations of inconsistency and requiring Parliament to formally respond to them. So how's that going? I was curious, so I asked for all advice about the proposal. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Corbyn and Brexit
    As the Brexit saga staggers on, the focus is naturally enough on the Prime Minister and his attempts to achieve Brexit “do or die”. But the role played by the Leader of the Opposition is of almost equal interest and complexity. The first problem for Jeremy Corbyn is that he ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • A ditch for him to die in
    Last week, English Prime Minister Boris Johnson boldly declared that he would rather die be dead in a ditch than delay Brexit. Unfortunately for him, the UK parliament accepted the challenge, and promptly dug one for him. The "rebellion bill" requires him to ask for and secure yet another temporary ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Warning! Warning! Danger Jacinda Ardern! Danger Marama Davidson! Warning!
    Lost In Political Space: The most important takeaway from this latest Labour sexual assault scandal, which (if I may paraphrase Nixon’s White House counsel’s, John Dean’s, infamous description of Watergate) is “growing like a cancer” on the premiership, is the Labour Party organisation’s extraordinary professional paralysis in the face of ...
    1 week ago
  • Union solidarity with Ihumatao land occupation
    by Daphna Whitmore Every Sunday for the past two months unionists from First Union, with supporters from other unions, have set out to the Ihumatao land protest, put up gazebos and gas barbeques, and cooked food for a few hundred locals and supporters who have come from across the country. ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: The wrong kind of trees?
    Newsroom today has an excellent, in-depth article on pine trees as carbon sinks. The TL;DR is that pine is really good at soaking up carbon, but people prefer far-less efficient native forests instead. Which is understandable, but there's two problems: firstly, we've pissed about so long on this problem that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • No freedom of speech in Turkey
    Canan Kaftancioglu is a Turkish politician and member of the opposition Republican People's Party (CHP). Like most modern politicians, she tweets, and uses the platform to criticise the Turkish government. She has criticised them over the death of a 14-year-old boy who was hit by a tear gas grenade during ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Speaker: Tadhg Stopford: Why I’m standing for the ADHB
    Hi there, just call me Tim.We face tough problems, and I’d like to help, because there are solutions.An Auckand District Health Board member has nominated me for as a candidate for the ADHB, because her MS-related pain and fatigue is reduced with hemp products from Rotorua.  Nothing else helped her. If I ...
    1 week ago
  • Good little vassals
    The Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security has published their report on whether the SIS and GCSB had any complicity in American torture. And its damning. The pull quote is this:The Inquiry found both agencies, but to a much greater degree, the NZSIS, received many intelligence reports obtained from detainees who, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Who Shall We Turn To When God, And Uncle Sam, Cease To Defend New Zealand?
    Bewhiskered Cassandra? Professor Hugh White’s chilling suggestion, advanced to select collections of academic, military and diplomatic Kiwi experts over the course of the past week, is that the assumptions upon which Australia and New Zealand have built their foreign affairs and defence policies for practically their entire histories – are ...
    1 week ago
  • The Politics of Opposition
    For most of the time I was a British MP, my party was out of government – these were the Thatcher years, when it was hard for anyone else to get a look-in. As a front-bencher and shadow minister, I became familiar with the strategies required in a parliamentary democracy ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • More expert comments on the Canadian fluoride-IQ paper
    The Green et al (2019) fluoride/IQ is certainly controversial – as would be expected from its subject (see If at first you don’t succeed . . . statistical manipulation might help and Politics of science – making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear). Anti-fluoride campaigners have been actively promoting it ...
    1 week ago
  • The return to guerrilla war in Colombia
    by Gearóid Ó Loingsigh On August 29th a video in which veteran FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia) commander Iván Márquez announced that they had taken up arms again was released. There was no delay in the reaction to it, from longtime Liberal Party figure and former president Uribe, for ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Air New Zealand identifies this enormous plot of unused land as possible second airport site
    Air New Zealand couldn’t believe its luck that this seemingly ideal piece of real estate had so far gone entirely unnoticed. Air New Zealand’s search for a site to build a second Auckland Airport may have made a breakthrough this afternoon, after employees scanning Google satellite imagery spotted a huge, ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Redline on the Labour Party
    No-one on the anti-capitalist left in this country today puts forward a case that Labour is on the side of the working class.  There are certainly people who call themselves ‘socialist’ who do, but they are essentially liberals with vested interests in Labourism – often for career reasons. Nevertheless, there ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • New Fisk
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour’s failure
    When National was in government and fucking over the poor for the benefit of the rich, foodbanks were a growth industry. And now Labour is in charge, nothing has changed: A huge demand for emergency food parcels means the Auckland City Mission is struggling to prepare for the impending arrival ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Ardern attempts to vaccinate Clarke Gayford live on television to prove that it’s safe
    Gayford, pictured here on The Project, before things got wildly out of control. A bold public relations move by the Government to encourage parents to vaccinate their children has gone horribly wrong. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern appeared on tonight’s episode of Three’s The Project, where the plan was for her ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Has Mr. Whippy gone too far by parking on our front lawns?
    Mr. Whippy’s business model has driven it down a dark road of intimidation. Residents in major centres around the country are becoming disgruntled by the increasingly aggressive actions of purported ice cream company Mr. Whippy, who have taken to parking on people’s front lawns and doorsteps in a desperate attempt ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Cleaning up the water
    Today the government released its Action Plan for Healthy Waterways, aimed at cleaning up our lakes and rivers. Its actually quite good. There will be protection for wetlands, better standards for swimming spots, a requirement for continuous improvement, and better standards for wastewater and stormwater. But most importantly, there's a ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Fronting up
    Today I appeared before the Environment Committee to give an oral submission on the Zero Carbon Bill. Over 1,500 people have asked to appear in person, so they've divided into subcommittees and are off touring the country, giving people a five minute slot each. The other submitters were a mixed ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Politics of science – making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear
    Anti-fluoride activists have some wealthy backers – they are erecting billboards misrepresenting the Canadian study on many New Zealand cities – and local authorities are ordering their removal because of their scaremongering. Many New Zealanders ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Democracy – I Don’t Think So
    So, those who “know best” have again done their worst. While constantly claiming to be the guardians of democracy and the constitution, and respecters of the 2016 referendum result, diehard Remainers (who have never brought themselves to believe that their advice could have been rejected) have striven might and main ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    2 weeks ago
  • Government says it will now build just one really nice home
    Following publication of this article, the Ministry has requested it to be noted that this supplied image is not necessarily representative of what the final house will look like, and it “probably won’t be that nice.” As part of today’s long-anticipated reset of the Government’s flagship KiwiBuild policy, Housing Minister ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Imperialism and your cup of coffee
    Over the next week or two we will be running three synopses of parts of the opening chapter of John Smith’s Imperialism in the 21st Century (New York, Monthly Review Press, 2016).  The synopsis and commentary below is written by Phil Duncan. Marx began Capital not with a sweeping historical ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Still juking the stats
    The State Services Commission and Ombudsman have released another batch of OIA statistics, covering the last six months. Request volumes are up, and the core public service is generally handling them within the legal timeframe, though this may be because they've learned to extend rather than just ignore things. And ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Hard News: Time for a New Deal: 25 years on
    In 1994, I was editing an ambitious street mag called Planet, from a fabled office at at 309 Karangahape Road. The thirteenth issue of the magazine was published in the winter of that year and its cover embodied a particularly ambitious goal: the end of cannabis prohibition.I wanted to do ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Not impressed
    KiwiBuild was one of the Ardern government's core policies. The government would end the housing crisis and make housing affordable again by building 100,000 new homes. Of course, it didn't work out like that: targets weren't met, the houses they did build were in the wrong place, and the whole ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago

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