“As slippery as a snake in wet grass”

Written By: - Date published: 9:04 am, May 23rd, 2008 - 59 comments
Categories: budget 2008, john key - Tags: , ,

John Campbell interviews John Key on the budget, refusing to let him get away with merely repeating his focus-grouped lines.

At about the 3 minute mark Campbell challenges Key’s evasiveness directly: “I think you are as slippery as a snake in wet grass”.

It’s not just the media that are starting to get frustrated with Key and National’s refusal to come clean on the details. It happened with a family who were interviewed on Close Up too, I’ll post that video shortly.

59 comments on ““As slippery as a snake in wet grass””

  1. Stephen 1

    I know what you’re getting at, but your conclusion seems to be that it’s not fair enough for National to wait for the budget to come out so they can cost their own policies?

  2. IrishBill 2

    Thanks AYB, I missed this last night. I’m amazed at how much Key has changed his tune between this clip last night and his “Tax cuts are not the only priority” line he was running on morning report today. It’s starting to seem less like spin bingo and more like spin wheel of fortune. What will he say next? Let’s spin the wheel and see!

  3. Monty 3

    Stephen is correct – National can now work their policies on what is known. How could National possibly release their tax package without knowledge of Cullen’s desperate lolly scramble.

    [How then, can Key promise more cuts? SP]

    Cambel showed his true leftist colours by that dispicable comment. I imagine the howls of anguish if Paul Henry said similar to Helen Clark – and God knows she deserves the title of cunning – she never answers a question with a straight and direct answer if there is a little difficulty. – I hope to hell the bosses at TV3 haul that prick over the coals for such disrespect.

  4. Lew 4

    Monty: Holding leaders to account is what reporters do, and I think that it was fair comment.

    Key handled it very well, though – didn’t retaliate, didn’t get angry, just calmly repeated his message. He looked bullet-proof.

    I’ll be interested to see a bit more policy, now. I think if National keeps with the generalisations for much longer the electorate will start to get suspicious.

    L

  5. Policy Parrot 5

    GG John Campbell. Called it like it was.

  6. big bruv 6

    Campbell is a disgrace, he is just another in the long line of Labour luvvies who masquerade as journalists.

    [lprent: I see that bruv is still acting like a machine. I wonder where the spam engine picked up that line from. Pity the machine can’t spell]

  7. all_your_base 7

    Campbell wasn’t the only one frustrated with Key’s fluffing. I’ll post the other vids in a sec.

  8. Stephen 8

    Paul Henry had a bit of a go at Key this morning too, though in the end seemed to accept that now National had access to a budget they could get down to the nitty-gritty…cutting (*sigh*) ‘pork’ I suppose. They HAVE to wait so they can ‘beat’ Labour (political reasons) while at the same time costing their policies for making everyone ‘rich, richer than astronauts!’ (I’m sceptical about National policies making THAT much of a difference – but still, hopefully they can think of something)

  9. big bruv 9

    Iprent

    Would it kill you to be even a tiny bit objective?

    There is nothing wrong with being a supporter of one side or the other but this place does nothing more than recycle Labour party propaganda and lies.

    [lprent: Stephen just made my point. This is a site for discussion. I’m very harsh on using it as place to drop soundbites. They don’t enhance discussion. So I track people who do it as their major form of comment and steadily get harsher over time. From past experience, that includes you]

  10. Stephen 10

    BB, would it have killed you to make the first comment vaguely constructive or even present an argument? (with ‘evidence’)

  11. Stephen. Great Simpsons reference.

    I don’t know how Key gets away with saying his cuts will be bigger and he’ll magically be able to cut waste that Labour can’t

    When he made that comment that there’s been no review of the $60 billion the Govt spends for ten years, the Laobur Ministers cracked up – their jobs are about trying to get more for less, they want to be able to deliver more public services cheaper, not have embarrassing stories of waste or waiting lists, and be able to free money for popular tax cuts. They’re all about trying to cut waste – to think Key can come in and magically do better is dreaming.

  12. RedLogix 12

    Even the rather blue rinse Kathryn Ryan got peeved with JK just a few moments ago, saying “how do we assess your credibility” when Key refused to explain the gap between the $0.5b of cuts he could identify, and the fact that he was promising tax cuts costing MUCH more than the $2.5b Labour have committed to.

    Repeatedly he stated “we will not borrow for tax cuts”, but then went on to say that he would “increase borrowing for infrastructure”… an absurd evasion. Ryan challenged him on this three times, “but you only have one Budget and the numbers all have to add up”, and three times Key just waffled with how complex govt was and by how re-jigging “priorities” he was certain that huge savings could be made.

    In the end Ryan just blew him off, letting the news run over him.

  13. Stephen 13

    A whole generation will be using Simpsons references for a while now, which is good, cos I haven’t had that much Monty Python exposure.

    Steve, their job should of course *always* be to get more for less, but I have never been sure about the incentive to do so, especially when ‘bracket creep’ was providing the government with more tax dollars every year (yes, they spent money on programs). Do you have a view on the Rudd government commanding the public service to make savings of 5%?

    Redlogix, Key said on Breakfast this morning that capping public servant numbers would save a lot of money, but that would very much have to be over the long-term, and would not make a difference if it took effect next year, thats for sure.

  14. gobsmacked 14

    RedLogix

    That was quite a revealing interview, and I recommend people listen when it comes up on the Radio NZ website.

    National’s basic problem (not just for winning an election, but for governing) is that they need a Skyhawk … well, not literally, but their equivalent of Labour coming into office in 1999 and cancelling a big ticket spending item. You get attacked for it, but you have to accept that if you’re going to have credibility. Promising to keep everything that costs money (except that embassy in Sweden!) is just storing up a whole heap of trouble for themselves – not least with their own supporters.

  15. If a Journo said “I think you are as slippery as a snake in wet grass’, to Aunty Helen, you guys would start up a petition to get them fired.

    What a low standard the media has.

  16. Matthew Pilott 16

    Key tried that line on Live last night (and Close-Up I think) – he’s not going to borrow for tax cuts, only infrastructure.

    I’m going to blow all my pay on turps, and then borrow money to pay the bills. This means I’m borrowing to pay for essential serviced, not to get plastered from here to the Horowhenua, right?

    Irish – last night, tax cuts were National’s main, one and only priority. Has he changed his tune overnight?

    I guess the commonplace ceases to be noteworthy but I’d like to know if he’s still at it.

    I also liked the fact that there will be no cuts to the public service, only a cap. Yet Key mentioned ‘natural attrition’ repeatedly last night – that’s certainly a good way to ensure something becomed overworked and inefficient, but what does that matter if your only priority is tax cuts. I don’t care if prison escapes jump 70% or it takes me four months to get a passport!

  17. Stephen 17

    Is there a problem with borrowing for infrastructure i.e. getting future generations to pay too?

  18. Matthew Pilott 18

    Stephen – well yes. Borrowing costs a lot of money. If they’re improvements that are needed now or should have been completed some time ago it’s not good practice to saddle future generations with debt (and the cost of servicing debt) because people aren’t willing to stump up now.

    And it’s still borrowing for tax cuts in this context.

  19. ghostwhowalks 19

    The reason the government should be getting out of increasing borrowing is that the public is doing it for them. Plus the SOEs have their own debt, plus the future railways which will borrow/lease new rolling stock
    Check out what has happened to Iceland in the last 6 months as the debt for transformation came back to bite
    Some bloody long link

    previously there was not a high level of personal borrowing but that has all changed in the last 10 years, with homes, cars , credit cards, houshold items and even student debt making it normal to have large amounts of personal debt

    [lprent: fixed link with appropiate text]

  20. Stephen 20

    Well ideally the need for big infrastructure investments do not just appear out of nowhere (“needed now”), they are planned many years in advance. I’m not aware of any urgent needs in that sense except for WEANING US OFF OIL! ahem.

  21. Lew 21

    Brett Dale: Plenty of journos have said worse to Helen Clark, and I for one am not calling for the banning of anything – bring on this sort of thing. Where I draw the line is with the `Feminazi’ line and similar symbolic attacks of an offensive or obscene nature, though mostly it just marks the commentator out as impervious to reason.

    L

  22. Matthew Pilott 22

    Stephen, often they are planned for many years in advance, and delayed for even longer! That’s what happened in the 1990s – and why Labour has had to spend so much to ‘catch up’. I’ve gone up SH1 from Wellington pretty much yearly for a good part of the last three decades – and the improvements over the last decade astound me, in comparison to the one prior.

    Yes, there can’t be enough investment in public transport, trains and renewable energy sources.

    However other factors make an investment requirement urgent – an unexpected increase in the use of any piece of infrastructure can make it obsolete decades before expected.

  23. LEW:

    I cannot ever remember a Journo on a main network calling Helen Clark a snake or something wrose, there would be an outcry if they did.

    Could you please provide a quote from TVNZ or TV3.

    [lprent: I’m thinking that you are missing the point of a blog. It isn’t a news site, it is an opinion site. The posters express their opinion, and then try to back it up.

    In the msm, the only rough equivalent are meant to be clearly marked as opinion peices and editorials.In the latter the media source isn’t responsible for content apart from defamation and libel.

    Even those aren’t equivalent to this site. This is run by amateurs not professionals and doesn’t charge anything to either advertisers or ‘subscribers’.

    But I’d be interested in where this discussion goes.]

    [lprent: my apologies – I read the discussion in my usual backwards order. I see that I was incorrect. It triggered my ‘site attack’ responses. I’ve now read the comment stream in correct order.
    Sorry Brett]

  24. RedLogix 24

    The old argument about borrowing is simple. Govt really has to make the same fundamental choice as does any family or small business.

    1. In general borrowing for groceries or the wage bill is completely wrong. (Except to cover very specific short-term requirements.)

    2. Borrowing for unproductive assets, like cars and wide-screen TV’s is generally a recipe for endemic poverty.

    3. Borrowing is acceptable on assets that produce a direct benefit or positive cash flow, eg a home to live in, or plant and machinery that generates income. In this sense all govts (including this one) do borrow to fund infrastructure.

    4. But borrowing is conditional on two main factors, security and ability to service the loan.

    5. Loan servicing is generally limited to a percentage of income. Generally a loan over a certain multiple of annual income becomes “stressful”. If I have a household income of say $60k, a mortgage of about $200-250k is about as much as I can sensibly borrow. But Government lending is not done in isolation; as far as NZ Inc is concerned public and private sector debt are one and the same thing. At the moment NZ Inc has over $350b of private sector debt, any increase in public sector debt is in additional to that.

    JK’s proposals to massively increase borrowing to fund his tax cuts must be seen in this context. More public sector debt means a total higher risk for NZ and higher interest rates for ALL of us. Where is the authoritative analysis and debate on this?

    6. Loan security is the other major factor. Security is what you have to give up when everything turns to custard. For a household, it may be their home, for a business it means bankrupcy… for a nation it means their future. We’ve been through this once before when we sold off assets at firesale prices in order stave off the receivers.

    Far too much of New Zealand is already owned or controlled by overseas interests. JK’s proposal to mortgage off our future means that we are risking what we do have left onto the slaughtering block of big global money. Recall for a moment Rio Tinto’s threats over the Bluff smelter just last week… this is what happens when other people own your country.

  25. Ari 25

    Stephen- borrowing for infrastructure is fine, if you’re not running an ever-increasing debt. Because debts cost interest, paying off debts is an even more stable way of increasing your available cash later than investing is. I have no problem with borrowing to spend on infrastructure, if that borrowing meets a few criteria:

    a) The return from the infrastructure goes directly to either the public or the government.
    b) Failing that, the private companies or individuals who benefit invest even more in the infrastructure than the government does, and make commitments to fair service for the public.
    c) We’re borrowing for something that we couldn’t realistically cut other expenditures/save for in the time we need it.
    d) We run a level of debt that we can pay off during economic highs.

    The problem is essentially that National is promising you both the having and the eating of the cake at the same time, in response to having already eaten all the cake themselves ten years ago. They want to give you excessive tax cuts, but they’re also pointing out we’re lacking in infrastructure- that’s because they let our infrastructure fall behind in the ’90s.

    Essentially, if you take spending on infrastructure as a given, (which it is this election) you have a classic dichotomy:

    Infrastructure and other public spending funded through tax burden in the good economic years and relief of the national debt funds tax relief in bad years, and with constant expenditure on infrastructure, cost reliefs are noticable.

    OR

    Infrastructure and minimal spending funded through debt, tax cuts stimulating spending, but demand fueling higher costs meaning that there’s no real relief during economic lows.

    Personally, I much prefer the first choice.

  26. Stephen 26

    Hmm, what about this from Bernard Hickey?!:

    Buried in the budget is a line about unspecified spending cuts totalling NZ$1 billion over the next four years that Labour will have to find to help pay for the tax cuts. Dr Cullen flat out refused to answer my question in the lockup about what type of spending cuts they would be. The only answer he could have given is that he hasn’t dreamt them up yet. We can be sure he won’t enlighten us before the election.

    http://tinyurl.com/466xzm

  27. Ari 27

    Hah… apparently that chat on wednesday has had us channeling each other, Red. 😉

  28. To start with I don’t trust Hickey as he has repeately shown himself to be both partisan and not very good with numbers. But (and this a big “but”) if he is correct that means finding $250m a year which could mean reducing Public Service growth to $250m a year. That would be a shitty way to do it though. In reality I’d say it’s margin of error stuff as there is not tax cut forecast for 2009 and $250m could easily be picked up by a small (think second or third decimal place) increase in growth.

  29. AncientGeek 29

    Stephen: Interesting.

    That provides a minimum basis for judging whatever the Nat’s come up with. They have to start with at least $1 billion of cuts before they can even start to get bigger taxcuts.

    I wish I had time to follow this at present.

    recaptcha: furor the
    Yes, and I’m missing out

  30. Lew 30

    Brett Dale: So only TV counts, then? Bollocks.

    Although it’s on the subject of radio, I invite you to read my research paper on the topic of attacks on Helen Clark – email me, lewis%feayn;org for a copy. There’s no shortage of such matter out there: Clark is one of the world’s most reviled politicians, by a particular segment of NZ society.

    L

  31. Ari 31

    I’ll have a check with the actual economist in the household tonight and see what he has to say on Hickey’s take, Stephen. I wouldn’t be entirely surprised, and frankly, all that means is that what National would need to offer to trump Labour would be very scary indeed.

    Can Labour afford to do that? Absolutely. This is a tight time in the market and it’s in for some volatility, so whether it’s cuts or big social spending, SOMETHING was called for, and planning for that has been Cullen’s big strategy.

  32. IrishBill 32

    Hey Matt, Key went on and on about how tax cuts are not the only policy that matters when he was on morning report this morning. The link to the podcast is here.

  33. Matthew Pilott 33

    Buried in the budget is a line about unspecified spending cuts totalling NZ$1 billion over the next four years that Labour will have to find to help pay for the tax cuts.

    Stephen – that was a cut out of future spending – i.e. Cullen keeps a portion of projected tax take free for vital discretionary future spending. Previously, $1bn was allocated. Now, it’s $750m.

    If Hickey tried to ask Cullen what future, unallocated (and presumably unknown, at this stage) spending Cullen was going to cut, I’d be unsurpirsed if Cullen was laughing too much to answer the idiot!!!

    Irish – cheers, I’ll take a look. Might make for an interesting transcript to contrast with last night’s effort on Campbell Live.

  34. RedLogix 34

    Of course tax cuts are not the only policy that matters, but the hell of it is that National have spent five years MAKING it so in the mind of the public.

    To now claim otherwise is pitiful.

    Here are some things I really think matter:

    1. Weaning NZ off oil and taking our place in a legitimate global effort to transform our economies toward sustainable technologies.

    2. Addressing the poverty of values now endemic in our communities that have for several generations been alienated from the traditional bedrock institution of the churches. Little to nothing has taken their place for many.

    3. As Nandor spoke to on Wed night, the de-centralisation of power away from the nation state, developing a newer model with seamless regional/cultural/national/global layers in which ordinary people can both have meaningful participation and hold authority to account.

    4. Rebuilding a sense of vision for people that involves more than just making money. It is an old truth that the one and only thing that actually makes us happy is being deeply connected to community around us and being of SERVICE to them. Our current political leadership (both National and Labour) have failed to articulate an authentic leadership that ordinary people can connect with, and this more than anything else is I suspect the reason why politicians are generally held in such low regard.

    I would much rather we could talk about these things, how to build a momentum to some real change … not this fiddling with deck chairs agenda that National insists on.

  35. Stephen 35

    This matter is a little opaque Matthew, thanks.

  36. Stephen 36

    Yes Redlogix, on 3, I’ve always been very keen to see how the Greens mean to articulate the ‘anarchist’ branch of their ideology/s. They got 4 million for the Citizen’s Forum-thing on the EFB, and 10 million more for the ‘Community Organisation Grants Scheme’ (not really anarchist i spose, but very much community-based), but I *really* wish Nandor had been able to do more on this, or at the very least provoke some sort of DEBATE based on some sort of anarchist-grounded idea.

    from http://www.greens.org.nz/searchdocs/speech11849.html, with the other stuff they secured in the budget

  37. Policy Parrot 37

    When JK said “no.1 priority” with regard to tax cuts – did this ring a few bells in similarity to Jim Bolger about “unemployment” in 1990?

  38. DS 38

    “When JK said “no.1 priority’ with regard to tax cuts – did this ring a few bells in similarity to Jim Bolger about “unemployment’ in 1990?”

    Now we just need Key to start making promises with “no ifs, no buts, not maybes.”

  39. Does anybody here know were money comes from, how it’s made?
    This is a sincere invitation on the subject and not something smarty pants, I’m just interested if anybody has ever wondered about this and done some research?

  40. Lew 40

    Ev: See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Federal_Reserve_System for a case study of the US Federal Reserve. Most countries with elastic currencies have some similar central bank mechanism.

    L

  41. Lew:

    I agree, that Aunty Helen is not liked by certain members of society, those members being people who believe in choice and personal responsibility, people who believe the Government isn’t there to bail you out if you make bad choices, people who believe it doesnt matter what your gender/religion or race is, but everybody is EQUAL.

    Yep us common decent folk who pay our bills on time, dont like Aunty Helen.

  42. Lew 42

    Brett: Fire your speech writers, they’re too obvious.

    L

  43. gobsmacked 43

    Brett, I thought you were claiming to be a “lifelong Labour voter”?

    So you have voted for Aunty Helen four elections in a row. A strange way to show her how you feel.

  44. Matthew Pilott 44

    Brett Dale – is it easier to think you’re right when you think in such childish black and white terms?

    Is everything more clear cut when you can stereotype and imagine your opponents away, into a subsection of society that smokes, drinks, gambles and eats bad food?

    Is it easier to be obnoxious when you’re positive that you’re better than everyone else?

    I’m on the verge of retracting my earlier retraction with a rant like that. Here’s a question for you:

    In 1999, do you think that 38.74% of the population were not “common decent folk who pay [their] bills on time”, people who don’t “believe in choice and personal responsibility”, people who don’t “believe the Government isn’t there to bail you out if you make bad choices”, people who believe it does “matter what your gender/religion or race is” and people who don’t think that “everybody is EQUAL”.

    Do you think the same applied to 41.26% of New Zealand’s population in 2002?

    Do you think the same applied to 41.1% of the population on 2005?

    You, champ, have a f%#&ing low opinion of a whole lot of your fellow New Zealanders. Tell you what – I reciprocate.

  45. I use to vote Labour, but never voted for Aunty Helen four times.

    With all she has done in the last few years, I will NEVER vote for her party again.

  46. Matthew Pilott 46

    And on that little rant of my own, good weekend all!

  47. We who want to know 47

    On a complete tangent…

    WTF is going on with John Key’s hair? Is he dying it? Is it plugs? Glued on?

    It’s the receding hairline, the odd denseness, the brown-on-the-top grey-on-the-bottom… what are his imagemeisters thinking?

    [lprent: Please don’t go there. I hate the discussions that tend to hang off the physical attributes. They tend to be completely meaningless. I’ll tolerate remarks but not full blown discussions. They’re soooooooo boring.]

  48. Yeah – business tax cuts, family tax cuts, personal tax cuts, more money for health, education etc.

    I can see why you wouldn’t vote for her Brett. Not enough for the environment. You’ll be doing two ticks Green come the big day, eh?

  49. IrishBill 49

    I think Brett is concerned that the benefit cuts haven’t been reversed. Me too, Brett. Me too.

  50. QoT 50

    Just to totally lower the tone of the conversation, between this and the CloseUp vid linked I’m rather tempted to create a John Key drinking game – 1 shot for “What I CAN tell you is”, 1 shot “I BELIEVE National will” and finish the vessel for that single solitary “We WILL do xyz”.

    In the interests of bipartisan pissing-up, there will of course be other party-leader drinking games: finish the vessel when Helen Clark horrifically pwns her own Party President, a tiny sip for Peters questioning John Campbell’s journalistic integrity, some kind of sliding scale for the wackiness of Dunne’s bowties …

  51. IrishBill 51

    Nice idea Qot but I doubt even I would make it past the first two interviews without passing out if the rules were that loose. There’s about 10 shots in the five minute Campbell interview alone!

  52. QoT 52

    IB – I know I personally would prefer to spend most of this election campaign happily comatose!

  53. gobsmacked 53

    Brett: “I use to vote Labour, but never voted for Aunty Helen four times.”

    Therefore you did not vote Labour at the last election, and therefore you have not switched your vote since. Thanks for finally clearing that up, after you tried several times on this blog to give a different impression. It took a while, but we got there in the end.

  54. r0b 54

    Does anybody here know were money comes from, how it’s made?
    This is a sincere invitation on the subject and not something smarty pants, I’m just interested if anybody has ever wondered about this and done some research?

    Hi Eve

    You can find lots of pages on this, e.g.:
    http://economics.about.com/cs/studentresources/f/money.htm
    http://www.investopedia.com/articles/basics/03/061303.asp

    But I think that you might particularly enjoy the description in this sequence of five videos (“Money as Debt”):




  55. gobsmacked:

    The other blogs I write to got it straight away. I guess you guys on the left are a little slow.
    ,
    [lprent: guess you’re going to have to explain, embellish and give explanation. Otherwise we’ll have to consider that you don’t know.]

  56. r0b,

    I was given the Money as debt DVD by the guy who made the film because I got in touch with him after seeing the movie on line. He is a really nice guy.

    I just wanted to know how many people actually thought about how money is made.

    Not a lot it seems.

    Have you seen the “Money Masters”
    http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-515319560256183936
    It is a really good documentary about the history of the money cartel.

    I also really like Edward D. Griffin when I met him in Sidney. He wrote an extensive analysis about the the true nature of the Federal reserve. The creature from Jekyll island.

    So if money is made out of thin air, as the Money as Debt clearly shows, then why are we paying through the nose for it?

    We are made to believe that banks ought to be paid interest because they take a risk in lending us “their money”, but they don’t, they just create a negative on their balance and a positive on the balance to whom they are lending too. And then they cash in on the interest.
    9% in return for nothing, quit a good scam if you ask me.

    So if banks don’t have to take risks to create money then why are we borrowing from them in the first place? Why can’t “the people” just take back the right to make their own money and do it interest free?

    If, as this documentary clearly shows, private banking is a monumental scam then why don’t we break away from it and take our lives back into our own hands.

    And lastly if, as this documentary clearly shows, the big international reserve system is owned by private Bankers and supported by the government as a system to enforce the repayment of loans made out of nothing why do we still obey it like mice in a tread mill?

    So if we can determine that the Federal Reserve system has nothing to do with the Federal government and is just a name to keep the people from really understanding how money comes into being, than why are we even remotely considering John Key as a contender, knowing he has been working as an advisor to the very top people in this privately owned cartel.

    For god sakes he even talks about borrowing more money. If you understand the Money as Debt system you know that that is the road to debt hell. if he had come home to do some good here he would have said,”Right people, I know how the system works and it’s not good, we are going of the international money grid.

    The fact that he doesn’t tells me all I need to know.

    Why does nobody question this system?

  57. By the way have you seen the documentary the corporation:
    Very scary
    video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-3969792790081230711 part 1
    video.google.com/videoplay?docid=7365345393244917682 part 2

  58. Jum 58

    Re comment byRedLogix
    May 23, 2008 at 12:26 pm

    Good point
    On No 4
    I hope you will be asking this of the Prime Minister and Labour with their election pledges. They are the best party to govern, but could certainly bring some more community to decision making.

    although
    ‘Labour’ “have failed to articulate an authentic leadership that ordinary people can connect with”
    I have a problem with. I’m ordinary and I connect very strongly to the PM’s leadership of the last 8+ years. The best things she has done is recognise the hole that business left in wages and with Michael Cullen is filling that need, to Business’ shame. The social changes for gays and the safety of prostitutes, who fill the demand from male society, were great. The microchipping was an own goal.

    But
    On No 2
    If your idea of that, with the ‘church’ influence and the ‘values’ includes forcing women and men back into roleplays of the 50s and back, you can keep that idea.

    Speaking of the shame of business – I just opened a box of Sultana bran and there is 3 inches height of wasted cardboard packaging, all designed to trick me into thinking size matched price. Disgraceful, on so many levels including the environmental one.

  59. Lew 59

    Jum: “I’m ordinary and I connect very strongly to the PM’s leadership of the last 8+ years. ”

    You and an apparently-shrinking proportion of the electorate. This is the sort of self-centred `makes sense to me so the rest of yous must just be stupid’ attitude which has fed the `arrogant’ and `out of touch’ memes.

    “Disgraceful, on so many levels including the environmental one.”

    But it worked, didn’t it? End of story. If you don’t want this sort of strategy to be commercially viable, don’t condone its use by purchasing those products.

    L

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    With crunch time for new Zealand climate policy approaching, most of the New Zealand media have got on board with a global reporting effort to cover the issue. There's one strand of stories today about polling and what it shows about changing public attitudes to the crisis, but the strand ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    17 hours ago
  • Pissing-Off The Israelis Is A High-Risk Strategy.
    Dangerous Foes: For those readers of Bowalley Road who feel disposed to dismiss any prospect of an Israeli destabilisation of New Zealand politics, the example of the United Kingdom repays close attention. Ever since the election of Jeremy Corbyn as leader of the British Labour Party, the Israelis have sanctioned, funded and ...
    19 hours ago
  • Something to go to in Wellington
    Make It 16, the youth-led campaign to lower New Zealand's voting age, is holding an official campaign launch at Parliament this Friday from 16:30. If you'd like to attend, you can register using EventBrite here. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    20 hours ago
  • A founding member responds to Peace Action Wellington
    by Don Franks It was a lovely sunny Wellington afternoon with blue skies above  the beaches.  In Courtenay Place, political activists packed out a stuffy upstairs room for an important meeting. The assembled pacifists, anarchists, communists and independent young radicals of Peace Action Wellington felt the need for a mission ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    21 hours ago
  • “Mistakes and errors”
    Current and former NZDF top brass are being publicly grilled this week by the hit and run inquiry over their public responses to allegations of civilian casualties. Previously, they've claimed there were no casualties, a position which led them to lie to Ministers and to the public. Now, they're saying ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    21 hours ago
  • “Homosexuality is same-sex attraction and relationships, not heterosexuals with delusions of gende...
    by Rafael D. Quiles (gender-critical gay man from Puerto Rico) The writing on the wall is right in people’s faces and people just don’t see it or don’t want to. What could actually possess a heterosexual male to want to feminize himself and claim that he is a lesbian? Because ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 days ago
  • Trump: “Where’s my favourite dictator?”
    From the Wall Street Journal:Inside a room of the ornately decorated Hotel du Palais during last month’s Group of Seven summit in Biarritz, France, President Trump awaited a meeting with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi. Mr. Trump looked over a gathering of American and Egyptian officials and called out in ...
    2 days ago
  • Magdalen Burns, 1983-2019, fighter for women’s liberation
    by the Redline blog collective At Redline we are very saddened to hear of the death of Magdalen Burns who passed away on the morning of Friday, September 13 (British time). Magdalen was a great fighter for the rights of women in general and lesbian women in particular, a defender ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    3 days ago
  • Parliament and the Executive
    The Brexit issue has certainly brought with it a series of apparently difficult constitutional issues, many of them concerning the respective roles of the executive and parliament. Most of them arise because of the unwillingness of MPs, despite their professions to the contrary, to be bound by a constitutional rarity ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    3 days ago
  • The Abigail Article; Martyn Bradbury’s Article, and My Response
    . . This blogpost is different to my usual format of reporting on issues… Since July 1011, I have blogged on a variety of political issues; near always political and/or environmental; mostly highly critical of the previous National Government. Other issues included Israeli occupation of Palestinian lands and repression of ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    3 days ago
  • Police will have to wear silly Buckingham Palace hats from now on, says Police Minister
    Those close to the Police Minister believe the initiative may be the result of Nash “seeing a great deal” on AliExpress. In a move that comes seemingly out of nowhere, Police Minister Stuart Nash announced this afternoon that he expects all frontline staff to don bearskin hats, famously worn by ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    4 days ago
  • A sensible crackdown
    The government has released its Arms Legislation Bill, containing the second tranche of changes to gun laws following the March 15 massacre. And it all looks quite sensible: a national gun register, higher penalties for illegal possession and dealing, tighter restrictions on arms dealers and shooting clubs, and a shorter ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • California bans private prisons
    Private prisons are a stain on humanity. Prison operators explicitly profit from human misery, then lobby for longer prisons terms so they can keep on profiting. And in the US, prison companies run not only local and state prisons, but also Donald Trump's immigration concentration camps. Faced with this moral ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Why PPPs are a bad idea
    When National was in power, they were very keen on Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) - basicly, using private companies to finance public infrastructure as a way of hiding debt from the public. They were keen on using them for everything - roads, schools, hospitals. But as the UK shows, that "service" ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • A Movement That No Longer Moves.
    Moving And Shaking: There was a time when people spoke matter-of-factly about the “labour movement” – a political phenomenon understood to embrace much more than the Labour Party. Included within the term’s definition was the whole trade union movement – many of whose members looked upon the Labour Party as ...
    4 days ago
  • NZ ‘left’ politically embracing extreme postmodernism
    by Philip Ferguson Much of the left, even people who formally identify as marxists, have collapsed politically in the face of postmodern gender theory of the sort pioneered by American philosopher Judith Butler. For Butler even biological sex is socially constructed. “If the immutable character of sex is contested, perhaps ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    4 days ago
  • The obvious question
    The media is reporting that the (alleged) Labour party sexual assaulter has resigned from their job at Parliament, which means hopefully he won't be turning up there making people feel unsafe in future. Good. But as with everything about this scandal, it just raises other questions. Most significantly: why the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • The moment I found out that you found out, I acted swiftly
    By Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern I am every bit as angry as you are. I am every bit as disappointed as you must be. The people with power, oversight and the ability to do something about these processes within the Labour Party should be ashamed. Whoever those people are, I ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    5 days ago
  • This is why people hate property developers
    Property developers think there is an "oversupply" of houses in Auckland:High turnover rates and falling prices may be a sign that there are too many new houses going in to some parts of Auckland, commentators say. [...] Property developer David Whitburn said there was a "bit of an oversupply" in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 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
    5 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
    5 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 ...
    5 days ago
  • Ten reasons the Tories do NOT want an election
    There has been a lot of talk about Boris Johnson wanting an election, and he has blustered with great gusto about 'chicken' Jeremy Corbyn refusing one, but I think there are many reasons why he is secretly glad he has been refused the opportunity:The Tories are an utter rabble,tearing themselves ...
    5 days ago
  • Prorogation Illegal, rule Scottish judges
    Scottish appeal court judges have declared that Boris Johnson’s decision to suspend parliament in the run-up to the October Brexit deadline is unlawful. The three judges, chaired by Lord Carloway, Scotland’s most senior judge, overturned an earlier ruling that the courts did not have the powers to interfere in the prime ...
    5 days ago
  • Let me explain what I meant by Everyday New Zealanders
    By Simon Bridges. The following is a press release from the office of Simon Bridges, leader of The National Party. Key ora, New Zealand. Happy Maori Language Week. Look, I’m writing to you today because I want to clear something up. There’s been a lot of kerfuffle around some things ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    6 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
    6 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 ...
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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
    6 days ago
  • Flight to Los Angeles turned back after passengers decide they don’t want to go anymore
    An ambitious plan to fly to Los Angeles petered out into a brief sight-seeing trip and a desire to return home and get some sleep before work tomorrow. Air New Zealand has confirmed a flight to Los Angeles last night was turned back about a quarter of the way into ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    6 days ago
  • Indigenous Futures: defuturing and futuring – an analytical framework for policy development?
    There appears to be consensus – by omission – that the concept of indigenous futures should be accepted at face value. So I scavenged the internet to see if I could locate an academic descriptor or a framework around how we think about it as a concept, and whether it ...
    EllipsisterBy Ellipsister
    7 days ago
  • Cadbury rumoured to be releasing the Pineapple Trump
    Here’s another novelty chocolate to shove in your gob, New Zealand Cadbury could be seeking to make itself great again with a rumoured new release: Pineapple Trumps, a spin on its classic chocolate-encased pineapple treat and do-it-yourself tooth remover. The global confectionery manufacturer and bumbling “before” character in an infomercial, ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    7 days ago
  • The coming resource war.
    During my time in the Pentagon I had the privilege of sitting down with military leaders and defence and security officials from a variety of Latin American nations. Sometimes I was present as a subordinate assistant to a senior US defence department official, sometimes as part of a delegation that ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    7 days ago
  • Māori Language Week with The Civilian
    Kia ora, Aotearoa. It’s that magical time of year. Te Wiki o te Reo Māori. In English, the week that frightens talk radio. As you probably know by now, all your favourite media outlets are participating, some more successfully than others. Stuff has changed its name to Puna for the ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    7 days ago
  • Will Horizons act on climate change?
    Local body elections are coming up next month. And it looks like all Palmerston North candidates for Horizons (the Manawatu-Whanganui Regional Council) want to take action on climate change:Climate change is set to be a key issue in Palmerston North for the next three years if those wanting to get ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • BORA reform is stalled
    Eighteen months ago, the government promised to strengthen the Bill of Rights Act, by explicitly affirming the power of the courts to issue declarations of inconsistency and requiring Parliament to formally respond to them. So how's that going? I was curious, so I asked for all advice about the proposal. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Corbyn and Brexit
    As the Brexit saga staggers on, the focus is naturally enough on the Prime Minister and his attempts to achieve Brexit “do or die”. But the role played by the Leader of the Opposition is of almost equal interest and complexity. The first problem for Jeremy Corbyn is that he ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    7 days ago
  • A ditch for him to die in
    Last week, English Prime Minister Boris Johnson boldly declared that he would rather die be dead in a ditch than delay Brexit. Unfortunately for him, the UK parliament accepted the challenge, and promptly dug one for him. The "rebellion bill" requires him to ask for and secure yet another temporary ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Warning! Warning! Danger Jacinda Ardern! Danger Marama Davidson! Warning!
    Lost In Political Space: The most important takeaway from this latest Labour sexual assault scandal, which (if I may paraphrase Nixon’s White House counsel’s, John Dean’s, infamous description of Watergate) is “growing like a cancer” on the premiership, is the Labour Party organisation’s extraordinary professional paralysis in the face of ...
    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
  • Solar beats coal
    As the climate crisis escalates, it is now obvious that we need to radically decarbonise our economy. The good news is that its looking easy and profitable for the energy sector. Wind is already cheaper than fossil fuels, and now solar is too:The levellised cost of solar PV has fallen ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • A Step Too Far.
    A Crown Asset? For reasons relating to its own political convenience, the Crown pretends to believe that “No one owns the water.” To say otherwise would re-vivify the promises contained in the Treaty of Waitangi – most particularly those pertaining to the power of the chiefs and their proprietary rights ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Where Money Comes From
    Most people would say, no doubt, that they have a pretty good idea of what money is. They live with the reality of money every day. It is what is needed to buy the necessities of life and to maintain a decent standard of living. You get money, they would ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    2 weeks ago
  • Banned by the Green Party leadership: Jill Abigail on women’s rights and trans rights
    The article below was an opinion piece that appeared in the Spring 2019 issue of Te Awa (the NZ Green Party’s newsletter) and on the Greens website.  In keeping with their policy of hostility to women defending women’s right to female-only spaces, Green bureaucrats have since removed the opinion piece.  ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • The fallacy of the proximity argument.
    Longer term readers may remember my complaining that, as a political scientist, it is burdensome to have non-political scientists wanting to engage me about politics. No layperson would think to approach an astrophysicist and lecture him/her on the finer details of quarks and black holes, but everybody with an opinion ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    2 weeks ago
  • Where We Stood: Chris Trotter Replies To Stevan Eldred-Grigg.
    Joining The Fight: Stevan Eldred-Grigg's argument for New Zealand staying out of the Second World War fails not only on the hard-headed grounds of preserving the country’s strategic and economic interests; and not just on the soft-hearted grounds of duty and loyalty to the nation that had given New Zealand ...
    2 weeks ago

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