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Are the left really angry?

Written By: - Date published: 10:14 am, May 17th, 2015 - 51 comments
Categories: Andrew Little, journalism, labour, Left, making shit up, Media, spin, the praiseworthy and the pitiful, uk politics, you couldn't make this shit up - Tags: , , , , , ,

still protesting this shit

The latest right wing meme is that angry left activists cost Labour the English Election as well as the last local election and if only they were more moderate and reasonable everything would have been fine.  This analysis of course ignores completely the result in Scotland where the feisty angry nationalists who opposed the wasting of money on the renewal of Trident and the imposition of austerity to further hurt the poor failed miserably in only winning 56 out of 59 seats.  And if they chose to look elsewhere then clearly Greece, where an upstart left party won power, or Spain where something similar may happen, provide evidence of ordinary people deciding to turn to the left.

The usual suspects have engaged in this schoolyard quality attack.  Matthew Hooton, Cameron Slater, David Farrar,  Bob Jones and Mike Hosking have all trotted out the argument that Labour’s activists are a hindrance and not an asset.

Hooton and Slater have based this conclusion on the basis of a single UK blog post where self proclaimed former Labour voter said he was changing over to UKIP because some Labour supporters are angry.  The Angry Andy meme that John Key is trying to create is not accidental.

The article trots out the usual attack lines.  Labour in the UK was described as not being sufficiently aspirational, of being more interested in gender quotas, championing feminism and trying their best to not offend the LBGT and Muslim communities.  As if all of these are bad things.

The writer, Martin Daubney,was for a long time the editor of Loaded Magazine, a formerly popular “lads” magazine.  In the past he has railed against feminists and immigrants and does not like paying tax.  In his fertile imagination Labour is not interested in whites, heterosexuals or men.  And all Labour supporters are bullies.  Obviously he has not heard of Dirty Politics.  It seems that he has moved away from Labour because it is not misoginist enough.

The rather strange aspect of his writing is that apart from dissing feminists and complaining about taxes and immigration policy is not discussed.  You really get the feeling his decision about his politics involves a mean spirited self reappraisal where his personal interests are paramount and his various dislikes have been converted into a decision about his political allegiance.

The sad thing about these attacks are that they represent nothing new.  The left have always thought that injustice has to be addressed.  The right have used a variety of techniques (communists! feminists!) to attack these ideas without ever addressing the actual merits of the argument or questioning where the status quo is actually appropriate.

And like it or not there are many things people should be angry about.  For instance why our world is doing precious little about climate change despite the science being clear and the remedies attainable.  Or why in a land of plenty a quarter of a million kiwi kids live in poverty.  Or why there is a never-ending flow of wealth from the poor to the rich.

To finish off I had a look through and found a couple of historical examples of “hate filled lefty speech” which “turned off average voters” and ensured conservative success at the polls although history has clearly shown that these stands and campaigns were actually right.

For instance this dude who was clearly angry and racism in America.

And these artists who were clearly angry at apartheid in South Africa.

51 comments on “Are the left really angry?”

  1. jenny kirk 1

    Yep – anger can move mountains !

    • Draco T Bastard 1.1

      Yep. The problem isn’t that the Left aren’t angry – it’s that they’re not angry enough with the deprivation and exploitation that the authoritarians are forcing upon the peoples of the Earth.

      • Richard Christie 1.1.1

        And our neoliberal masters have very successfully fine-tuned the modern opiates of the people.

        Lotto, casinos, the mind dulling game and reality TV shows, cheap Chinese made consumables, purging intelligent public discourse from the airwaves control of print media etc etc etc

        • whateva next? 1.1.1.1

          Cheap available alcohol also…..Clearly articulated in the Masterclass, and Crosby/ Textor are Masters, I have to admit to that. Just wished they had a conscience too.
          http://gu.com/p/488t8/sbl

      • AmaKiwi 1.1.2

        +1

  2. adam 2

    Jeez, I would have said the opposite -that labour party activist are too nice.

    They put up with a parliamentary wing who are pretty self absorbed and prone to believing their own hyperbole.

    I’d also say, that whilst a broad church approach may be what labour is after, having such a strong faction tethered to economic orthodoxy – does make it look like national light/ middle class liberal party.

    This collection, Matthew Hooton, Cameron Slater, David Farrar, Bob Jones and Mike Hosking all see the writing on the wall for this national government. They just want to make sure a weak left is in – for the changing of the guard at the next election.

    As it stands – it looks like they are getting their way.

    • Colonial Rawshark 2.1

      Don’t write off a fourth NAT term yet. Labour has no road to forming a majority government without cobbling together a coalition of the Greens and of NZF. And if it is not a strong and principled coalition with a significant majority at the outset, it will likely only last one term.

      The NATs are still working out their strategies and collecting their data. Initiatives like this “angry” meme are nothing more than light probes to determine the state of the ground as part of this ongoing data collection.

      • sirpat 2.1.1

        so true…..im an angry lefty……angry cos the left has its head so far up its arse its blind to what is in front of it.

  3. One Anonymous Bloke 3

    When the Left is angry we get universal education and healthcare.

    When the Right is angry we get private prisons and war.

    So there’s that.

  4. As the old saying goes, if you’re not angry, you’re not paying attention.

  5. The Murphey 5

    People should be angry and need to get angry

    That so many are not instinctively responding as such to defend their right to exist speaks to the deep psychological trauma which has been inflicted

    (Ironic it is deemed appropriate to inflict this onto public sector staff)

    Anger can take a forceful peaceful path however the connotations used seek to paint a different picture through word association

    Anger when used positively is the most powerful of human emotions

    • Anne 5.1

      I attended the Auckland Regional Conference of the Labour Party yesterday and I didn’t see or hear anything “angry”. I can recall the name “John Key” mentioned only once. Various senior Labour Party people spoke (including Andrew Little) and the only thing they were interested in was… continuing to grow the party, building trust and empathy with the electorate at large, discussing policy directions and how best to present them and what Labour’s priorities should be for the future of this country. All of it was positive stuff delivered in a friendly, amicable atmosphere punctuated with humour and general good will.

      Not an “angry” word was spoke…

      As TM says above: Anger when used positively is the most powerful of human emotions. I think the way it was used at this conference was indeed positive.

    • Stuart Munro 5.2

      “There are three things all wise men fear: the sea in storm, a night with no moon, and the anger of a gentle man.”

  6. Colonial Rawshark 6

    The latest right wing meme is that angry left activists cost Labour the English Election

    All the right wing are doing now are spinning into a gap left by UK Labour (and NZ Labour) not having clear answers as to why they lost. Normal PR tactic – there is a messaging gap, so fill it with your own message. Very standard.

    What did cost UK Labour the election?

    IMO UK Labour doesn’t even understand itself why they lost the English (and of course the Scottish) components of their recent general election. I’m sure they’ll hold a big inquiry into it, and decide that the answer is to go back to the Third Way Blairite Labour.

  7. Colonial Rawshark 7

    The right wing establishment wins in the UK – as usual

    Neil Clark explains the well known process of the Left being left out in the cold yet again.

    http://rt.com/op-edge/257349-uk-general-election-tories/

  8. Clean_power 8

    At this pace there will be another election cycle before the Left wins an election in NZ. 2020 is the realistic target.

  9. Anne 9

    I attended the Auckland Regional Conference of the Labour Party yesterday and I didn’t see or hear anything “angry”. I can recall the name “John Key” mentioned only once. Various senior Labour Party people spoke (including Andrew Little) and the only thing they were interested in was… continuing to grow the party, building trust and empathy with the electorate at large, discussing policy directions and how best to present them and what Labour’s priorities should be for the future of this country. All of it was positive stuff delivered in a friendly, amicable atmosphere punctuated with humour and general good will.

    Not an “angry” word was spoke….

    • Anne 9.1

      Oops: above supposed to be deleted.

      • dukeofurl 9.1.1

        of course, the ‘angry’ meme is a witched brew being stirred up on the right.

        The dirty politics from the 9th floor of the beehive is back. No sign of Jason Ede at the business he was supposed to working for at a high level.

  10. felix 10

    The right always say this shit.

    If Labour would just drop all that workers rights stuff and promise not to change anything, we’d let them have a turn at governing.

    If the Greens would just embrace right-wing corporate dogma, we’d give them a tree.

    It’s bullshit and it’s time the left stopped listening to it.

  11. Bill 11

    I noticed that on immigration, the Tories want nothing to do with refugees, Labour were silent and the SNP went on national news programme and stated that the UK ought to take the 60 000 earmarked by Europe and threw out the line that anyone saying anything else was insulting the general attitude held by ordinary people. Kicking against the memes with a ‘don’t give a fuck’ attitude.

    On gender, seeing as how the post brings it up, I’ll just leave this link here and note that the Scottish government is vocal on gender balancing, has a balanced cabinet and no-one jumps up and down about it.

    http://www.swbg.org.uk/

  12. Stuart Munro 12

    The right begin to respect the left when it becomes clear that they will be punished if they don’t – punitive taxation, nationalisation of public property acquired by graft, expulsion of Serco, Sky City and charter schools. Appeasement is not much of a strategy.

  13. hoom 13

    OMG OMG OMG I’m going to actually get to hear the ‘I have a dream speech’.

  14. Atiawa 14

    The problem for labour is that it no longer has a coherent industrial voice. It’s political arm has also become it’s industrial – 1999 – 2008 enacted 4 weeks annual leave, 5 days sick leave, working for families etc etc -. These changes & other improvements to working life should have been won at the bargaining table.
    WFF a fine and noble redistribution of wealth would not have been necessary if unions were strong and able to win pay increases that kept up with productivity increases and inflation and gave workers a greater share of the wealth pie. A labour government would have been able to give support, both financial and social to those who for what ever reason, have found themselves out of work or unemployable rather than propping-up low paying employers/jobs.
    Of course the left is angry. I’m fucking angry. I don’t want Grant or Andrew, Phil, Annette, Ian or other Labour pollies leading the industrial charge for workers. That is the role of Helen, Bill, John and other union leaders. But they need the help of political Labour who believe that workers have been short changed since 1991 and the demolition of organised labour.
    The Council of Trade Union’s (CTU) must campaign for a return to compulsory unionism. Where else are working people able to do anything collectively about their anger?

    • Ben 14.1

      “The Council of Trade Union’s (CTU) must campaign for a return to compulsory unionism.”

      Do you seriously believe that compulsory unionism is in any way going to help Labour get back into power? It wasn’t just the employers that rejected such policy, but the majority of employees – hench the very low union memberships numbers at present.

      • Colonial Rawshark 14.1.1

        Its a wonder that all the left can ever dream about is going backwards to old fashioned solutions from 40 years ago. Well, the unions failed miserably to stop Rogernomics and Ruthanasia, how is a re-run in the age of peak resources and climate change going to be any different?

      • Atiawa 14.1.2

        Labour’s very existence is because working people & their unions realised that they required a political voice in the corridors of power. Whether a policy to again make unionism compulsory would win Labour the treasury benches is debateable and in all probability unlikely given the millions of $ the right would pour into defeating the notion. However the world is a completely different place now compared to 1991 and although the issues of housing, health, education and a fair go at work remain as relevant to us all today as they were prior to the 1990’s there is now an added array of issues never previously considered 25 years ago affecting present day workers and their families.
        A healthy, well resourced, robust and democratic union movement is exactly what is required today. Grant & Bill don’t have the financial solutions to the problems confronting working people and their families and I don’t know of any other mass movement in the world today who has the best interests of workers at the front left & centre of their being, other than the union movement and it’s members.
        Please let me know when you think of an alternative.

  15. Rather ironic considering that Screechy McHooton seems to exist in a permanent state of hysteria.

    The middle class are indeed, as Gordon McLaughlan put it, a passionless people, confused and embarrassed by passion. We should never be apologetic for it, we should be proud of it. The only thing to be ashamed of is disorganisation and unfortunately, those are the endemic problems of the Labour Party.

  16. Reddelusion 16

    If Greece and Scotland are your answer, what’s the ?

    • mac1 16.1

      Can you name two small mountainous countries which have been well to the fore in mathematics, science, political and social thought, and engineering? 🙂

  17. Charles 17

    The problem with anger is that it feels more powerful than it is actually influencial. Anger’s a cycle of outrage and venting, with no gauranteed moment of learning or development past the stalled position, and the venting is where the power seeps out. Venting often results in the kind of brain chemistry that fools a person into being more satisfied that the pressure is vented than with the problem being solved.
    Telling people they have to be angry all day everyday for the rest of their lives isn’t healthy or admirable. Recently I heard a poverty action spokesperson tell me poor people aren’t happy, can’t ever be happy and shouldn’t be happy. Works for her career I guess, but no good for the people she claims to represent.

    No one starts constructive negotiations by marching into an employer’s office, pushing over the desk, calling the employer whatever flavour of the day they like, and screeching about change. Doesn’t work like that. We hear “angry” unionists being angry after the fact. Pop over to The Daily Blog and read a very general outline of what “angry” unionists do to win a collective negotiation. They think, they reason, they plan, they consider strategy, they present options, they meet people, they build confidence and they report developments. Not much time for hysterics in that lot, not if they want to win. Without strategy, the apparent gains of anger are hard to hold onto.

    Anger tells us what’s wrong and that we’ve waited too long to fix it. Outside of that it’s a waste of energy and an unreliable and unstable motivator. It does not follow that anyone is obliged to apologise for anger, because no one can avoid it and frustrations will always build faster than desired improvements will materialise.

    • Atiawa 17.1

      What makes unions angry – private sector union’s anyway – is bargaining for a better deal, and to be told by the boss that the business down the road will have a competitive advantage if he/she were to agree to his employees claims because the business competitor down the road isn’t unionised and they won’t be getting anything.
      So instead of winning a 5% pay increase they accept a 2% deal. It’s been going on since 1991 and the introduction of the scumbag Employment Contracts Act.
      Now you might say, “why doesn’t the union recruit the workers down the road?”
      A fair and reasonable question.
      Well, workplaces develop their own culture. The foreman might be a bully or the boss rewards his/her workplace leaders sufficiently enough to keep them onside. Some employees may have had a previous bad experience with the union. It could be that they are just plain fearful of the boss or god forbid, pleased to have a job. And in some cases the boss is a good bastard because on a Friday he puts on a bar-b-que and buys a few beers. Oh yeah and the smart boss employs workers who qualify for WFF.
      Call me cynical if you wish, but I’ve seen it.

    • just saying 17.2

      Telling people they have to be angry all day everyday for the rest of their lives isn’t healthy or admirable.
      Who has said this?
      Straw man.
      Recently I heard a poverty action spokesperson tell me poor people aren’t happy, can’t ever be happy and shouldn’t be happy.
      Who said this and when?
      I don’t believe these words were ever spoken.

      I have a suspicion your life is pretty comfy and it would be to your disadvantage if the nation’s power and resources were distributed more equally.

      I agree it’s better to respond to anger than to just react to it, but that’s not all you were saying.

      For you:

  18. RedBaronCV 18

    I think I’d change the heading of this article to “are the left really angry ? no but the right are really scared”
    One rightie told me recently that Scotland & Northland votes were “aberations” .
    Self delusional?

  19. Wayne 19

    Your examples , (Greece, Spain and Scotland) essentially prove the point. New Zealand and most other western nations are simply not in their situation. And trying to show that New Zealand is in the same situation requires extremely hyperbolic statements which are easily perceived as angry or deranged, (or more simply just disconnected from reality).

    If the left want to win, they have to have a programme and theme that is relevant to most peoples lives. For instance saying that most people are worse off now than 7 years ago and that drastic surgery is required sounds rather at odds with most peoples lives (mostly because such a statement is factually untrue and demonstrably so).

    To be fair Andrew Little by and large does not portray angriness (though Meteria does). It is generally the activists. And Labour was damaged by its association with Kim Dotcom – actually virtually nil, but his antics required a major slap down by Labour if the point was to be made.

    • Stuart Munro 19.1

      Most people are worse off now than 7 years ago.

      That’s why Winston won Northland.

  20. saveNZ 20

    I’m angry because I don’t want the Nats to get in next election and continue their regime of terror. The problem is that on some of the Nats worst policies, Labour are either silent or just a lighter version. If the left are to succeed then Labour need to sort themselves out. The Nats have lost the plot (think Northland) but they have massive help from dirty politics and dirty donations to keep winning elections.

    In Northland by opposition parties collaborating and putting in the best candidate based on what the electorate wanted and not splitting the votes they defeated the Nats.

    The Nats are so far right now, they are Act.

    Labour has gone right and is now the old Nats.

    The trick should be to be should be a jump back to the middle and to stop pandering to outside interests (surveillance, war, TPP) and instead concentrate on Local needs ( health, education, housing, jobs, growing the economy and having more diversification in the sector (not just relying on selling off the country to the rich and migrants and overseas investors, to keep us afloat).

    To win, the opposition parties need to collaborate and stay on top of dirty politics, watch each other’s backs, as well as taking a hard look at policy. Otherwise dirty politics will raise it’s head and wipe out individuals one by one so that the public are so confused they don’t vote, the opposition parties split each other’s vote and the Nats sail in again.

  21. Wayne 21

    saveNZ,

    “regime of terror”, the clue is probably in those words as whether people may be inclined to think that the left is a bit hysterical.

    Presumably by “dirty donations” you are mostly troubled by the $3 million donations from National Party members. Given there are several tens of thousands of members, the donations add up.

    The SNP got 100,000 members in the last six months. However in New Zealand presumably the “regime of terror” has so intimidated the left that people do not join for fear of the consequences.

    • Brutus Iscariot 21.1

      Bang on.

      Precisely the example of the “LWNJ” phenomenon.

      “As far right as Act”
      “Regime of Terror”

      Extreme language that turns off anyone with a decent grip on reality.

  22. Dont worry be happy 22

    On a personal level, having moved from a left wing city (no prizes for working out which one) to the country I now find myself surrounded by really nice people with the most horrible set of bigoted and ignorant views. National voters to a man.

    It is like that nightmare where suddenly no one is as they seem.

    What to do with my ‘anger’?

    I will not be the first or last in this situation. Any ideas anyone?

    • lprent 22.1

      I suggest that you use The Standard to vent. Then go and do what needs to be done without too much anger.

      Over the years it has been apparent that TS acts a emergency relief valve, especially in rural and provincial NZ.

      • mac1 22.1.1

        Rural venting? They’ll want to tax that next.

        And that’s taking the less suggestive meaning of ’emergency relief’.

        ‘rural’, ‘provincial’, ‘pagan’- they’re all pejorative, aren’t they?

        This provincial townsman does appreciate TS anyway.

        Think I’ll go and play my banjo now. “da da da di da.”

        • lprent 22.1.1.1

          One of the most common things that shows up in my mailbox from readers is from readers outside the urban hellholes, saying that being able to talk to like minded activists is why they like TS.

          It is sometimes a very long way between progressive activists in rural NZ. I spent a number of years in both rural and provincial NZ when I was younger.

  23. PeteKeating 23

    An interesting UK take on why Labour lost. https://youtu.be/30bsFxL68UY

  24. Gosman 24

    Yeah those artists really made a huge difference to ending Apartheid. It had nothing to do with the end of the threat of Communism as a result of the collapse of the Soviet Empire/sarc

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    The Treaty on Open Skies is one of the most effective mechanisms for preventing war curently in force. By letting countries make surveillance flights over each others' territory, it eliminates fears that they are secretly preparing for war. So naturally, the US is planning to withdraw from it: The Trump ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 11
    . . April 5: Day eleven of living in lock-down… My one day of rest for the week, and an opportunity to mow my lawns – which I’d been delaying for about three weeks. (On the plus side, the damp micro-climate in my back yard yielded three lovely fresh mushrooms ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    4 days ago
  • Now we know what the rules are
    As the lockdown has gone on, disquiet about what the rules were and the police's enforcement of them has grown. On Friday, Police admitted that they were abusing routine traffic stops to effectively set up illegal checkpoints, and on Saturday Stuff revealed internal police advice saying that they actually needed ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Anti-fluoridation propaganda now relies on only four studies. 2: Green et al (2019)
    Paul Connett is putting all his eggs in one basket. He says “you only have to read four studies” to find community after fluoridation harmful. Image credit: Fluoride Action Network newsletter. For part 1 of this series see Anti-fluoridation propaganda now relies on only four studies. 1: Bashash et al (2018). Paul Connett, ...
    4 days ago
  • Hard News: Splore Listening Lounge 2020: the road to a “yes” vote
    As far as anyone can say, New Zeaand still has a general election scheduled for September 19 this year. The election will be accompanied by two referenda, one of which will ask voters:Do you support the proposed Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill?The official campaign period for the cannabis referendum begins ...
    4 days ago
  • Obituary for The New Zealand Listener (1939-2020)
    The vast majority of tributes to the Listener hearken back to its glory days, with little reflection on the magazine as it was at its end.I wrote for it, for half the Listener’s life; I have known personally all the editors except the first (mythical) three. From 1978 to 2014 ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    4 days ago
  • Universal income – a challenge to capitalism or a crutch?
    As the world economy slides rapidly towards deep recession there are growing calls for a Universal Benefit coming from some leftists and rightists. Now Finance Minister Grant Robertson is saying it is on the table.  This article by a French party Workers Struggle provides analysis of various forms of universal ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    4 days ago
  • Anti-fluoridation propaganda now relies on only four studies. 1: Bashash et al (2018)
    This is the advice from the very top of the anti-fluoride movement – Paul Connett, director of the Fluoride Action Network (FAN). Don’t worry about reading  up on all the scientific information “You only have ...
    4 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 10
    . . April 4: Day 10 of living in lock-down… I wake up to a fine Saturday morning which normally would be like an early Christmas. But it’s Day 10 of Level 4 Lock Down. What  will my fellow New Zealanders be doing on a day like this – staying ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    5 days ago
  • Redline reaching out to more writers & readers
    Some time during the night we went over the 850,000 views mark. We might have had our millionth view by the end of this year – certainly by early next year. Most of the people involved in Redline spent years and years producing various small left-wing papers and selling them ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    5 days ago
  • Keir Starmer elected
    Comfortably, in the very first round, with an impressive 56% of the votes.I wonder, did members of the Shadow Cabinet start tweeting their resignations during Starmer's victory speech, or is that only a trick the right pull?It is odd how all the talk of how the next leader "needs to ...
    5 days ago
  • Hard News: Michael Baker and the Big House
    One of the key voices in this extraordinary time in which we live is that of University of Otago epidemiologist Professor Michael Baker. Philip Matthews did an an excellent job this weekend of capturing the way he became the man for this moment in a profile for The Press.But one ...
    5 days ago
  • New Zealand Gives up on Trying to Save Daylight
    New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern addressed the nation today about the decline in daylight New Zealand has been experiencing over the previous few months. She said “As many of you will notice, our attempts to stem the dwindling of the daylight over the last few months have been completely ...
    Can of wormsBy Can of Worms, Opened
    5 days ago
  • A bulletin from Greece
    Redline received this article from the KOE a Marxist party in Greece Our friends in the KOE describe here the mounting crisis in Greece and tensions on the Turkish border. As desperate people flee from their homelands which have been ruined after decades of imperialist wars and interventions the people ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    5 days ago
  • And God spake all these words, saying
    As the first week of Level Four lockdown unfolded, mounting questions grew as to just what was (and was not) allowed under its “rules”. Partly these were driven by some apparently contradictory messages from different authority figures and explanations carried in the media. Partly they reflected a somewhat sketchy legal basis ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    6 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 9
    . . April 3: Day 9 of living in lock-down… Another late-start to my work day. Everything is temporarily upended as clients are shuffled around so we can minimise our “bubble” by reducing the number of people we help. One of my colleagues has been removed from his clients; his ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    6 days ago
  • Death to our lockdown enemies!
    We must root out the traitors among us! ...
    Imperator FishBy Scott Yorke
    6 days ago
  • 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
    7 days 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
    7 days 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
    7 days 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
    7 days 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
    7 days 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
    7 days 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
    7 days 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 ...
    7 days 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 ...
    7 days 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week 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 week 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 week 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 week 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 week 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 week 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 week 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 week 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 week ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #13, 2020
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week 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
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week ago

  • Decisions made on urgent turf maintenance
    The Sport and Recreation Minister Grant Robertson has announced that urgent maintenance of turf and care for plants in non-plantation nurseries will soon be able to go ahead under Level 4 restrictions. “The Government has agreed that urgent upkeep and maintenance of biological assets will be able to go ahead ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    11 hours ago
  • Acknowledging an extraordinary te reo champion
    E tangi ana a Taranaki iwi, e tangi ana te ao Māori, otirā e tangi ana te motu. Mōu katoa ngā roimata e riringi whānui ana, mōu katoa ngā mihi.   E te kaikōkiri i te reo Māori, e Te Huirangi, takoto mai. Takoto mai me te mōhio ko ngā ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    12 hours ago
  • Prime Minister’s remarks halfway through Alert Level 4 lockdown
    Today is day 15 of Alert Level 4 lockdown. And at the halfway mark I have no hesitation in saying, that what New Zealanders have done over the last two weeks is huge. In the face of the greatest threat to human health we have seen in over a century, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    14 hours ago
  • Licenses, WoFs and regos extended under lockdown
    All driver licences, WoFs, CoFs, and some vehicle certifications, that expired on or after 1 January 2020 will be valid for up to six months from 10 April 2020, Transport Minister Phil Twyford has announced. “People shouldn’t have to worry about getting fined for having an expired document if driving ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    16 hours ago
  • Inquiry report into EQC released
    The Government has today released the report from the Public Inquiry into the Earthquake Commission chaired by Dame Silvia Cartwright.  Minister Responsible for the Earthquake Commission Grant Robertson says the Government wants to learn from people’s experiences following the Canterbury earthquakes and other recent natural disasters. “Dame Silvia’s report documents ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    17 hours ago
  • More time for health workers and elderly to get flu vaccine
    The Government has extended by two weeks till April 27 the amount of time priority groups, such as health workers and those aged over 65, have to get their flu vaccine before it is made available to the wider public. This year’s vaccination campaign is a key component of the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    20 hours ago
  • Communities step up to help New Zealanders stay connected and fed during lockdown
    Communities stepping up to help New Zealanders stay at home to break the transmission of COVID-19 and save lives have received Government support, said Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni. “Delivering groceries for the elderly who can’t shop online, providing data packs for low income families to keep them connected, and being ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • 120 COVID-19 testing centres now operating
    Across New Zealand 120 sites are taking samples to be tested for COVID-19.   68 community based assessment centres (CBACs) have been established to take samples from people with COVID-19 symptoms. Alongside this, 52 other centres including designated general practices, swabbing centres, and mobile clinics are now testing people for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Covid19: Government moving quickly to roll out learning from home
    The Ministry of Education is working with partners to develop a package of options so that students can learn at home when Term 2 begins on 15 April, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. Supports are also being prepared for households with children under five, to help parents and whānau ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Making learning from home accessible to Māori learners and whānau
    Māori Television to begin educational te reo programmes Ki te Ao Mārama – a new online learning space Thousands of hard copy learning packs ready for distribution Helpdesk and advice service for kōhanga, kura and wharekura Television, the internet and hard copy learning packs are some of the ways whānau ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New Zealand to provide assistance to Vanuatu following Tropical Cyclone Harold
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters has announced an initial package of support to help the people and the Government of Vanuatu respond to the impact of Tropical Cyclone Harold. “Our Pacific neighbours have been hit by a Category 5 Cyclone at the same time as dealing with the economic impacts ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Planning for the future of tourism
    Tourism New Zealand to lead work reimagining the way tourism operates in post-COVID-19 world. Ministers to review International Visitor Conservation and Tourism Levy investment plan. The Government, industry and business are working together to develop a plan for how tourism will operate in a post-COVID-19 world, Tourism Minister Kelvin Davis ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • NZ horticulture sector feeding Kiwis and the world during COVID-19
    More New Zealanders are taking up the chance to work in horticulture as the sector keeps New Zealanders fed and in jobs during the COVID-19 Alert Level 4 lockdown. “Our horticulture sector has long been one of New Zealand’s export star performers, contributing around $6 billion a year to our ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Work to repurpose PGF funds begins
    The Provincial Development Unit is working through applications and projects to see where Provincial Growth Fund money can be repurposed for initiatives deemed more critical to fighting the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones says. “We need to be throwing everything we have at ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • A million workers supported by Govt wage subsidy
    The Government’s wage subsidy to protect jobs and keep workers and businesses connected during the lockdown has now supported over a million New Zealanders, with $6.6 billion already paid out. “We’re supporting businesses to pay wages, and stay connected with their workers so that we are all in a better ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government helps Pacific communities fight COVID
    The Government is stepping up efforts to help protect New Zealand’s Pacific communities in the fight against COVID-19. Cabinet has agreed that $17 million will be allocated to support a COVID-19 Pacific Response Package, which will: Support Pacific health and disability services facing increased demand; Ramp up public health messaging ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Statement from the Prime Minister on Dr David Clark
    “Yesterday evening the Health Minister advised me of his trip to a beach during the lockdown and offered his resignation,” Jacinda Ardern said.  “Under normal conditions I would sack the Minister of Health. What he did was wrong, and there are no excuses.  “But right now, my priority is our ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Statement from David Clark
    Last night as part of my preparation for the Epidemic Response Committee, I provided the Prime Minister with a complete picture of my activity outside my home during Alert Level 4.  That included the fact that on the first weekend of the Alert Level 4 lockdown I drove my family ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • COVID-19 mental health support begins
    A range of support is being rolled out across New Zealand to help people look after their mental health during COVID-19 Health Minister David Clark said this morning. “COVID-19 has brought a lot of uncertainty into our lives and many of us will be feeling some level of distress or ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New Zealanders in Peru to be assisted by Government charter flight
    The New Zealand Government has made arrangements to charter a flight for New Zealanders stranded in Peru to depart the country, following agreement with the Chilean government to allow the necessary transit through Chile, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters announced today. “Like many travellers around the world at the moment, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • COVID-19 Hospital Preparation Well Advanced
    Hospital preparations for COVID-19 are well advanced says Health Minister David Clark. “Hospitals across New Zealand are repurposing buildings and training staff to get ready for COVID-19 patients. This gives me confidence that we are well prepared for any potential increase in COVID-19 patients needing hospital level care,” said David ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days 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
    7 days 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
    7 days ago
  • Government supports air services to offshore islands
    The Government has stepped in to support vital air links to our offshore islands, the Chatham Islands, Great Barrier Island and Motiti Island, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. “As part of our $600 million support package to minimise the impacts of COVID-19 on the aviation sector, the Government has ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days 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
    7 days 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
    1 week 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 week 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 week 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 week 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 week 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 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
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  • Essential media COVID-19 guidelines refined
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