web analytics

Austria and Europe

Written By: - Date published: 2:07 pm, October 16th, 2017 - 20 comments
Categories: Deep stuff, democracy under attack, democratic participation, elections, Europe, Globalisation, im/migration, International, Politics - Tags:

Why is Europe continuing to vote for anti-immigration parties, spurning the once-dominant centre-left parties? The Austrian election has finally provoked me.

After World War II, European societies were built on principles that owed a lot to centre-left ideas. There was widespread agreement after the war that the political chaos and social upheaval associated with the Great Depression had been the consequence of unregulated markets, so the idea that they should be left unregulated again was an anathema. And so, when European political economies were rebuilt, they were designed to ensure that capitalism was reined in by governments. Just to focus on Austria for a moment, it’s been said by historian Gunter Bischof that no country did better out of the Marshall Plan that stabilised industrial production than Austria. This postwar order worked well: The three decades after 1945 remain Europe’s period of fastest growth ever.

So why now are so many exclusionary parties gaining in share and now gaining power?

My quick answer is that more and more are viewing foreign immigration as shorthand for globalised trade stealing economic security. More and more voters view un-integrated migrants as standing for destabilisation and economic insecurity.

This is growing fast. Way, way back in May 1989, 28% of Jacques Chirac’s Gaullist supporters pronounced themselves “globally in agreement” with the ideas about immigrants expressed in the program of Jean-Marie Le Pen’s National Front. In 1991 the figure was 50%. In the Presidential elections of 1995, the socialist candidate Lionel Jospin got just 21% – a figure they can but dream of now. In 2017 the National Front was actually running off for the Presidency itself.

Other examples abound, but here’s the fresh one: a 31 year-old from the further right is now elected to run Austria.

His People’s Party won 31%, and they will form a coalition with the far-right Austrian Freedom Party who came in second with 26%: 57%. The Austrian Greens are gone, and the old social democrat parties are way down.

In 2015, Austria was used as a gateway for nearly 900,000 migrants making their way to Germany.

In a poll reported in Deutcsche Walle, state broadcaster ORF reported 55% of respondents said that they voted for the OVP (People’s Party) because of their stance on asylum and immigration.

The threat and its political results is clear.

And yet for so many at the core of Europe, European integration and free borders to economic migration really works. To see Europe at work for the “winners” one has only to spend a few days in the triangle made up by the towns of Saarbrucken (Germany), Metz (France), and Luxembourg. Here prosperous citizens of three countries travel freely across all-but-vanished frontiers. People, employment, commodities, and entertainment move easily back and forth among languages and states, seemingly unconscious of the historic tensions and enmities that marked this very region in the quite recent past.

The threat to this prosperity used to emerge from the European south – from the south of Italy, Spain, Greece. Each in turn provided waves of immigration from distinct European subcultures for cheaper and less skilled labour. Thirty years ago, many European saw this multiculturalism – the embrace of an inclusive and diverse society – as an answer to Europe’s social problems. Today it is clear a growing number consider it to be a cause of them. That perception has led to some mainstream politicians including previous Prime Minister David Cameron and Angela Merkel, to publicly denounce multiculturalism and speak out against its dangers. It has fuelled the success of far-right parties across Europe.

But the truth about multiculturalism is complex and highly coded. Multiculturalism has become a proxy for amalgamating social and political issues: immigration, identity, political disenchantment, working-class decline. Different countries have followed distinct paths. While the United Kingdom’s public sector has worked hard over the last two decades to give various ethnic communities a more equal stake in the political system, some non-integrated Muslims have perpetrated outrageous violence. Germany has encouraged immigrants to pursue separate lives in lieu of citizenship, but the Turkish communities have drifted further from mainstream society. Everywhere you look in Europe, the overarching consequences from the immigrants arriving since the high point of the early 1970s has seen fragmented societies, alienated minorities, and resentful citizenries.

The causes may be legion, but from the citizenry voting against them, the biggest interest they seek to protect is economic. Prior to the GFC a decade ago, and the austerity programmes that made things worse, the “losers” in Europe’s postwar history have been sustained by complicated but expensive and substantial systems of regional aid that the European Union put in place within and between countries. These amount to a form of institutionalised relief – constantly correcting for market deformations that have concentrated wealth and opportunity in the rich northwestern core without doing much to alter the causes of the disparity. Southern Europe, the periphery countries, and the “immigrants” thus constitute a community of the disadvantaged for whom the EU is the only source of relief on the one hand – for without their help the depressed mining communities and unprofitable peasant villages would be in even worse trouble than they are – and envy and resentment on the other.

Failure to protect sustained prosperity is viewed by voters as an undermining of the entire project of European integration, and you can see the significant impact of globalised manufacturing on European voting patterns here.

It’s also worth looking at “The Trade Origins of Nationalist Protectionism: Import Competition and Voting Behaviour In Europe” by Italo Conantone and Piero Stanig.

That same impact from globalised manufacturing can be seen on the Brexit vote.

The really chilling thing is how much the citizen-frog is enjoying feeling the heat turned up in the pot. So many Austrians are nonplussed by a hard-right president and government. “Most people just don’t associate the Freedom Party with the far right anymore,” says Günter Haunlieb, a senior director at Gallup International, a leading pollster in Vienna. “The Nazi label doesn’t stick.”

Voters do, however, associate the mainstream parties with the period of economic stagnation that took hold after the global financial crisis of 2008. Unlike Greece, Spain and other debt-wracked E.U. members, Austria came away from the crisis relatively healthy, and its economy has returned to growth. But the crisis has left Austrians feeling unmoored, fearful of losing what they still have. “A steady job previously guaranteed a comfortable life here,” says Haunlieb. “But that’s finished. People have stopped believing they can move up the social ladder.”

There is hardly a democracy in Europe where that same sentiment would not ring true. Countries in the formerly communist East have been hit especially hard by factory closures, high unemployment and an exodus of young workers to the wealthier states of Western Europe. They have all been able to capitalize not only on fears of migration but also on angst over economic inequality, often with what seem like the same slogans in different languages. On immigration: Send them back! On Muslims: Keep them out! On the media: Full of lies! On the Establishment: Crooked! On the elections: Rigged! Even their tactics seem to run in parallel, especially when it comes to the politics of fear.

It used to be possible to conceive of such failures in long Marxist waves: painful crises are followed by incremental reforms that lead to deeper integration. From the GFC, so the theory goes, institutional collapse leads to policy crisis that threatens to destroy whatever progress has been made to integration. Unwilling to allow such collapse. E.U. leaders then agree to a set of minimal reforms they think are necessary to save what they have accomplished, strengthening their common institutions but leaving them incomplete in ways that will later spark another crisis. But the political trends right across the continents’ elections are now too great to ignore: France’s President Macron stands alone with the E.U. President as seeking greater integration. What matters now is far simpler: the E.U. hasn’t delivered enough in a decade, individual members states are fracturing from internal and external threats, and the centre of its idealism holds less and less.

The simple test for the European Union, as it is for any political party is this: you keep fear down and the politics of xenophobia at bay when you consistently deliver the economic goods. Fail to do that with really significant cross-regional wealth transfers, and the whole thing will start to turn to the path that Austria is now on.

20 comments on “Austria and Europe ”

  1. Sparky 1

    People are afraid for their jobs, afraid of possible crime and possibly losing their sense of self. Really no government should undertake this kind of mass migration without asking their citizenry and lets be honest in many nations in Europe that has not happened. The result is this kind of back lash.

    • Michelle 1.1

      Well people here in good old NZ need to think how our Maori people feel cause all this immigration does not bode well for us as a people. Yet we have a Tory government hell bent on bringing in thousands every year so the rich can get richer. Put yourself in our shoes.

  2. esoteric pineapples 2

    They are all going to get a shock when literally millions upon millions of migrants start heading for any part of the world that is functioning as the world heats up.

  3. Smellpir 3

    Excellent post.

    I have been challenged recently by political friends in the US to explain why the politics of immigration in NZ is actually different to reprehensible political impulses now being unleashed in the US and what you are characterising in Europe.

    At one level, what NZ First is proposing IS similar, and I accept your premise that a vote against a tide of ethnically-demarcated, poor immigrants is a proxy challenge to the destabilising effect of globalisation. However, the tide of rich globalists who see NZ as a safe haven for their abundant store of mobile capital seem to be something else? Yes, they are the flip-side of globalism – if immigration exposes countries to the flight and plight of the poor victims of globalisation and neoliberalism – the losers – then surely it also exposes us to the wishes and desires of the winners?

    So, can we have genuine progressive immigration policy that doesn’t punish the victims as well as the winners? (I can’t see that accepting a few thousand refugees exhausts our national responsibilities to the the disenfranchised of the world).

    I hope we can, although maybe protecting us from the ‘amenity predators’ of the world like Peter Thiel isn’t achieved through immigration policy, but through rules around property ownership and a different tax regime?

    • Ad 3.1

      I suspect your point about our resistances to globally mobile elites and property ownership in New Zealand is about to get tested,no matter who our new government is. Yet another challenge to our real estate bubble.

      I’m not yet game to do a post on New Zealand immigration policy after the kerfuffles from last week. I might just keep picking on somewhere safe and distant like Austria. 🙂

  4. Sanctuary 4

    The problem with modern immigration is it now occurs in the age of the wide body jet, mass tourism and globalisation.

    To illustrate, I’ll tell a true story. My old man had an English mate who came out in the fifties as a working class ten pound Pom, an assisted passage via ship and a three week journey. Before he left to come to NZ he and his three best mates went down to the local pub and had a going away drink. He got here as a lad in his early twenties, secured a job on the wharf in Napier, married a local girl, had some kids and migrated into the Kiwi middle class. Eventually, after forty years and now retired, he went back to his old home town. Having long lost touch with his mates he went to his old local pub. There sitting at exactly the same table were his old mates. He walked up to them, and one said “‘ere, where you been then?”

    Now that is a fair dinkum story my Dad liked to tell as a contemptuous illustration of the backward, innate conservatism of the English (I suspect it was more like British humour). But it also neatly illustrates how total immigration was right up to the 1980s. You left, and you were gone forever. Letters (that took weeks) and the excitement of the very infrequent, expensive, long distance, operator assisted call was all there was. Until the 1980s, you had no choice but assimilation. Be you a post-war Dutch or a Pole by the second generation no one spoke the old language anymore and by the third the only thing that distinguished you was your surname and membership of a (heavily diluted) cutural society. Further, this is what most of the locals approvingly thought of as “good” migration. You turned into Kiwis, quick smart.

    Modern immigration has done away with that. Grandparents can Skype their grand kids across the planet every day. You can call home all the time for very little. Air travel back to the homeland is affordable to almost everyone. Assimilation is now not necessary, and if you come from a Muslim society (because that is what this debate is really about, no one cares about immigration by cultural and racial in-groups) with radically different and conservative cultural views on things like the role of women not even desirable. A permanent, non-integrated first generationalism is the new norm. These new migrants NEVER have to integrate culturally or even socially if they are disinclined to.

    And I personally think that is a very worrying thing, yet the liberal middle class gatekeepers refused to even discuss this without howling racism. And the consequence of that arrogance has been the rise of the anti-immigration right.

    • Ad 4.1

      I sure ain’t no immigration expert, but even I can see there’s a difference between assimilation and integration. Assimilation means to me at least to erase and dissolve oneself in to the context. Integration seems to me to mean both the person and the society has some give and take in how they re-frame lives and identities.

      I grew up in a street where there were strong English accents on all three sides of us, but their children had none. There were northern English, Welsh, Scots, and Cornish. Most were older having come after the War.

      It’s a pretty different neighbourhood now.

      • garibaldi 4.1.1

        I think the reason for the resurgent Nationalism in Europe is fully explained in one word…..Islam.

        • Blackcap 4.1.1.1

          Having lived in Europe between 2006 and 2010, I concur with your synopsis.

        • Skyler 4.1.1.2

          Yes. Perhaps people are afraid of what history tells us. Cultural and religious differences often inevitably lead to war. As sad as it is, I have to wonder what is really behind the refugee crisis in Burma. It’s predominantly a Buddhist country which is usually a peaceful religion. Perhaps the Buddhists are afraid if the Islamic population grows too much in number, they may eventually be overthrown and slaughtered. Afghanistan, Lebanon…. the war in Yugoslavia. History tells us clashes of culture often follows this path. It would be good as a country if we could discuss this without being branded racist. It’s terribly important. The West is at risk of self destructing with our PC nonsense. How many other cultures and countries now allow this to happen to them? Christians in many countries are being slaughtered but we don’t talk about that.

  5. Bill 5

    The quote that captures the heart of the situation is

    “A steady job previously guaranteed a comfortable life here,” says Haunlieb. “But that’s finished. People have stopped believing they can move up the social ladder.”

    The same holds true of the USA, where people knew that voting for “the establishment” as personified by Clinton, would just mean a continuation of an intergenerational decline in living standards and prospects.

    The same held true in France where all establishment parties got hammered in the polls…or in Canada where Trudeau faked an anti-establishment line to win elections there. (Worth noting that Macron in France and Trudeau in Canada are collapsing in polls now)

    It has held true in the UK too where, when the opportunity has been presented, an “anti-establishment” vote has triumphed and it holds in Spain and Greece where Syrzia and Podemos enjoyed electoral success at the expense of what Gareth Morgan might call “the old establishment parties”.

    The centre (the radical centre that cleaves to a revived 19C Liberalism) is collapsing.

    And that collapse either breaks to the right off the back of xenophobic tosh that old establishment parties lend weight to, or it breaks to a social democratic left off the back of a meaningful critique of the Liberalism that has been foisted on “the west” during the latter decades of the 20C. Funnily enough, the old establishment parties don’t like that critique having oxygen and continually seek to smother it.

    Unfortunately, although this post touches on the root cause of peoples’ unhappiness, it buys into and perpetuates the “blame an immigrant” narrative that both the centre and right, for their own different reasons, would rather promote.

  6. timeforacupoftea 6

    I was overseas and heard from a news source that the NZ Greens Policy on
    1: refugees was just released.
    https://www.greens.org.nz/sites/default/files/Green%20Party%20Refugee%20Full%20Policy%20Wording.pdf
    followed by
    2: METIRIA TUREI’s misdemeanours in her youth,
    I was not sure which of the 2 caused the massive drop in the polls.

    But now reading about the Austrian election results, could it have been the refugee policy ?

  7. Stuart Munro 7

    I think you’ve pretty much nailed why a number of countries are rejecting immigration in spite of apparently adequate economic performance – that the country is making it in some fashion is no relief to the poor, and migrant competition is more consequential the less secure you are.

    The issue of integration is also potentially fraught – if NZ acquires a racially distinct landlord class with a different culture’s values about wealth and poverty that is unlikely to make for happily functioning communities.

  8. miravox 8

    I’m not a political analyst, so this is loaded with ‘I reckons’. But after almost seven years in Vienna, I feel the need to go through this analysis point by point and add my reckons where I think Austria fits in.

    At the outset – It’s terrifying that the FPÖ (sorry, I can’t call it the ‘Freedom’ party so I’ll use the acronym with the ‘F’ standing for that other political F-word) and the ‘former’ neo-nazi Heinz-Christian Strache will be part of the next Austrian government. There is very little doubt about that given the acrimonious breakup of the grand coalition between the conservatives and social democrats. Pre-election reckons are here

    I think you’re right to focus on the economic factors as a root cause for the rise of the right. The conservatives could not use this to beat the SocDems though, because they were part of (and likely a great part of the cause of) the problem. Sebastian Kurz instead created a narrative that he picked up from the FPÖ. It doesn’t mean he believes it, just as John Key didn’t believe it when he said he was working for a ‘brighter future’ for all New Zealanders.

    I also agree with the points you’ve made about the centre-left ideals in Europe (although in Austria’s I suggest that began post-imperial war, rather that post-ww2).

    “So why now are so many exclusionary parties gaining in share and now gaining power?”

    In Austria’s case I reckon a look at the previous election in 2013 is required. The country was dissatisfied with job prospects, although the unemployment rate was only 5.4% (lower than NZs – at around 6% in the same period). But jobs and businesses had to be propped up by government for that to remain.

    Also, Austrians can vote from age 16 and I was shocked (I think it’s fair to say that in NZ we expect most young people to vote left/green) at a University of Vienna analysis to see that over 40 percent of 16-18 voted FPÖ – these voters were without a doubt anti-immigrant – possibly because they were the ones, especially if working class, who felt they had no future – going from school to training course, but no job. This was flagged also at the 2008 election. An analysis found

    that 43% of the 16-29 year olds voted for the FPÖ (25% of the 16-18 year olds). The youngest also quoted the immigration (32.3%) as the main issue in the election, ahead of education (23.7%). According to the polls young people’s mistrust of the traditional political parties [was] still rising.

    People in work may have had fears, but actions were taken to protect their jobs, pay and their working hours.

    “My quick answer is that more and more are viewing foreign immigration as shorthand for globalised trade stealing economic security. More and more voters view un-integrated migrants as standing for destabilisation and economic insecurity.”

    Discussing this with locals, complaints about immigration hark back to the refugee crisis from the break-up of Yugoslavia. Ironically it was the far-right in power 10 years ago that removed the tools of integration for refugees then, and will do the same again now, if they have the chance. There was also talk about the Vienna housing department not dispersing refugees, as they were required to do, and now there are a district that Austrian-born youth feel are no-go zones. They say the youth in these areas don’t speak German and this also ties in with their recreational life e.g. football teams (think Glasgow Rangers & Celtic). I’ve no idea how true this is, but the fact that young people believe it is enough in terms of politics.

    Nowadays the EU freedom of movement policies are a real concern as well. Masses of people from eastern Europe taking low-skilled jobs for (illegally) lower wages than an Austrian ever could and begging gangs – yes, they do exist. Austria is not exactly authoritarian about this and people are upset. The EU has not handled freedom of movement well. If the freedom of capital to move eastwards was more aligned with development needs at the same time as the freedom of movement of people to the west, the results could well have been different. But that’s not how the globalisation we know works.

    In hindsight, I reckon, it would have been better for the left if the conservatives formed a coalition with the FPÖ back then, in 2013 but, to their credit, the conservatives refused to do this. (The SocDems had already stated they would not work with FPÖ). As it was the conservatives got their hands on the economy, unemployment began to rise etc, etc. And then the refugee emergency.

    “A 31 year-old from the further right is now elected to run Austria.
    His People’s Party won 31%, and they will form a coalition with the far-right Austrian Freedom Party who came in second with 26%: 57%. The Austrian Greens are gone, and the old social democrat parties are way down.”

    – Kurz is not from the ‘further right’ he’s a mainstream conservative politician who has co-opted the rhetoric of the far-right. He’s neo-liberal, a smart and experienced political operator and pretty damned sure of himself. Although he probably socially conservative – don’t expect and LBGTQ rights any time soon – I’d liken him more to Macron (who used the language of the left in his campaign) than any of the old far-right Europeans such as Farage or Wilders. Both are young neo-libs and know how to lie and work a crowd. His website – yes he campaigned on his site, not the party site (how Trump-ish huh?), show immigration policies that are not too different from New Zealand’s and would go down well in NZ political discourse – points-based, highly-skilled, not a ‘burden’ on the country.

    – The Greens had a split in their party so that ruined them. Peter Pilz, whose list focuses on corruption is a former Green and is in parliament. The Greens proper took the rest of the split vote, but not quite enough to make it back in.

    – The SocDems are not well down, they are on the same as last election and expected to be ahead of FPÖ after specials are counted – despite being embroiled in a scandal of their own making, which lost them valuable support.

    – FPÖ (as have the conservatives) have also benefited from the collapse of other smaller parties that were around last election, and who had alternative agendas to push (including Stronach’s neo-liberal agenda). Also the FPÖ was (surprisingly) the only party scandal-free this election. It was a pretty filthy election and it’s easy to see that people may have done a pox on both the traditional party houses and gone FPÖ. I’ll be interested to see how many negative choice votes were based on the dirty politics.

    “In 2015, Austria was used as a gateway for nearly 900,000 migrants making their way to Germany.
    In a poll reported in Deutcsche Walle, state broadcaster ORF reported 55% of respondents said that they voted for the OVP (People’s Party) because of their stance on asylum and immigration.
    The threat and its political results is clear.”

    The refugee emergency should not, in my view be the header for this piece of information – the tone is inflammatory and the perspective not quite right in terms of my Austrian experience. I wish these pollsters would separate out the refugee/asylum/immigration views.

    I don’t think New Zealanders quite understand what this movement of people across the continent meant for Austrians, and, acknowledging there are arseholes everywhere, how supportive they generally were (as earlier Balkans, Czech and Hungarian refugees) – and yes! there was a real sense of atonement (for which there can never be enough) for the past among the people we met when we joined the 150,000-person march in Vienna supporting the rights of refugees.

    But after accepting 90,000-odd refugees, the services to support them were not coping and EU countries were not participating in solving the crisis. Sebastian Kurz was the Foreign minister at the time, and he did work to close the Balkan route, and it did feel like a relief.

    Note also when the refugee numbers were cut , that meant a reduction to 37,500 per year, not zero or 1500 or whatever NZ, Australia, UK, US would do (The english-speaking – Canada excepted – world is so holier than thou over this and simply do not have the right to make a judgement, unless they’re also supporting a proportionate increase in their own refugee quotas, imo).

    Anyway, while the conservatives support was waning, Kurz’s personal political capital was rising. When the inevitable implosion of the coalition occurred, he was well-set to shake up Austrian politics.

    “And yet for so many at the core of Europe, European integration and free borders to economic migration really works. To see Europe at work for the “winners” one has only to spend a few days in the triangle made up by the towns of Saarbrucken (Germany), Metz (France), and Luxembourg. Here prosperous citizens of three countries travel freely across all-but-vanished frontiers. People, employment, commodities, and entertainment move easily back and forth among languages and states, seemingly unconscious of the historic tensions and enmities that marked this very region in the quite recent past.”

    I don’t think people here have a problem with the *ahem* right sort of immigrants. Austria has always had a large immigrant population, thanks to its near-Empire (timewise and geographically) past and their response to the aforementioned needs of other European countries suggests they are reasonably tolerant.

    “…Angela Merkel, to publicly denounce multiculturalism and speak out against its dangers. It has fuelled the success of far-right parties across Europe.”

    Angela Merkel is clearly not anti-immigrant despite finding multiculturalism problematic. She knows the economic value to Germany, with its falling birth-rate, of immigration and that self-interest played its part in the response to the refugee emergency. I think Kurz is similar – unless he’s planning to reduce the integration services for migrants that he says he is. I have to believe that saying he’s cutting these services is all part of building his credentials; that it won’t happen, given the last time the far-right did this created some of the problems now. I reckon he’ll keep the services, but in-line with his neo-lib credentials, will privatise them.

    “So many Austrians are nonplussed by a hard-right president and government. “Most people just don’t associate the Freedom Party with the far right anymore,” says Günter Haunlieb, a senior director at Gallup International, a leading pollster in Vienna. “The Nazi label doesn’t stick.””

    Yup. The FPÖ has moderated its tone. This was especially clear when they were trying to broaden their base in the presidential election last year – an election that they lost to EU-supporting, former refugee, Green Party leader – Yay Austria!

    “Voters do, however, associate the mainstream parties with the period of economic stagnation that took hold after the global financial crisis of 2008…”

    Yes. This was where the SocDems lost support after 2013 – moving economic policies to the centre with the conservative coalition. They lost a lot of trust, despite beginning to implement and, campaign on, worker-friendly policies now.

    …France’s President Macron stands alone with the E.U. President as seeking greater integration.”

    As I reckoned before, I think Austria will stay a strong EU supporter under Kurz. Hopefully (I can dream) this will lead to a schism with FPÖ and the coalition collapses early, with the public realising they’re living in one of the most equitable societies in the world because of the policies that you mentioned at the top of this piece, and that these are the policies that the SocDems represent.

    “The simple test for the European Union, as it is for any political party is this: you keep fear down and the politics of xenophobia at bay when you consistently deliver the economic goods.”

    If that was the only thing that mattered, Austria would have voted SocDem, who ran a campaign on traditional left-ist working class-based policies, a la Jeremy Corbyn.

    And to finish on the refugee/immigration thing… It’s worth noting also that Vienna and Burgenland remain social democratic states. Although Burgenland’s majority decreased, Vienna’s support for social democrats actually increased by over 3% (as always, local conditions apply in those results). Why is it worth noting? Because the Balkans refugee route went through Burgenland to Vienna. (Refugee routes avoided Hungary went through states in the south that were not SocDem before and after the crisis).

    More localised research also supports the hypothesis that exposure to refugees decrease support for the FPÖ in an analysis of the 2015 state election exit poll data it was found that

    a positive effect on the optimism in the population that the integration of refugees can be managed.

    If it was all about immigration these states would have had much lower SocDem votes. I suggest, given the Viennese election results, that a similar effect occurs when economic migrants are integrated into the society. A left-ist government, that worked from this point of view, rather than ditching support for immigration, may have a policy platform that is both economically useful, ethical, and acceptable.

    • Ad 8.1

      Lovely detailed response and great to hear from someone with long term experience of the situation on the ground.

      • miravox 8.1.1

        Thanks Ad…

        The first move has been played – a big oops for the Eurosceptics. As expected Kurz wasn’t saying what people thought they heard.

        “It is clear to me that Austria must play an important role within the European Union and when we are pro-European, we should not only stand for Europe but be an especially active participant in Europe,” the 31-year-old conservative “whizz-kid” said.

        “This is clearly what I will do in the coming years,” he added.

        FPÖ won’t be happy.

    • Foreign waka 8.2

      Thank you for providing such extensive explanation of the political landscape of Austria.
      May I add that, also from personal experience, that Vienna in particular is coping with an increased influx of criminals that are organized and know how to drain the social system to the disadvantage of the now increasingly retiring masses. One has to understand that the social fund is self supporting, in other words similar like Kiwi saver, only compulsory and one only gets what has been put in. However, this fund is being now used to support the refugees and social immigrants which leads to enormous resentment, especially if the entitlements are cut to do this. There are children who have to support the elderly because there is not enough money paid out under that scheme. The injustice is felt in some quarters with profound anger.
      As you mentioned, there are whole districts that not one of the locals wants to enter. It becomes therefore a divided city.
      Brutal attacks of the common variety is another issue the locals have to deal with. Example: Not so long ago 2 women were going to work early in the morning and were attacked by young men that on investigation were refugees. One of the women died because the attack was so vicious. No reason why, just hate.
      The counties have started to reduce the social welfare given so freely (approx in NZ $ 2800 per month per person) but Vienna hasn’t. So naturally all the emigrants ascended on the capital. So despite being generous and forgetful – Austrians are known for being vocal but settle to any change of circumstance given some time – the situation has come to a head and the vote shows the discontent and betrayal the population feels.
      Unlike you, having high hopes, I am not so positive and belief that the FPO will actually be a lasting partner if the situation for the locals is not improved.
      And additionally, Vienna has the Bundeswahlen in a few months and will for sure vote OVP. So the capital will join in the same overall tenor of the situation.
      The real sad part is that the majority of the refugees are in dire need for assistance and this right of survival is being negated by those who take advantage and introduce polarization and criminality.
      NZ has the advantage that no one can just swim here, but Europe’s borders have until recently not been policed. This stupidity is now coming home to roost.

      • miravox 8.2.1

        I love your description of Austrians as “known for being vocal but settle to any change of circumstance given some time”. This is exactly our thoughts too.

        I hear what your saying about Vienna’s problems – though another part is that some other states (just like the other European countries) have refused to help with refugee resettlement.

        I think the partnership between ÖVP and FPÖ would last if Kurz was saying what he really believed, I just don’t think he is. But time will tell.

        I guess I hope they don’t last, partly because integration requires exactly the opposite to what these two parties are planning – as the results of the far-right’s last term in government shows.

        It’s my last day living here today. It’s been such a privilege to have the chance to get to know your country. I’ll miss it immensely.

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Gordon Campbell on juggling Covid, and France’s Trump-like populist
    It is the age-old Covid problem. How to balance the needs for firms (and schools) to re-open against the need to protect public health. In the past, the balance has been struck by insisting that the best public health outcomes also deliver the best economic (and educational) outcomes. While that ...
    1 hour ago
  • NZ Politics Daily: 20 October 2021
    Today’s NZPD testimonial from Joe Atkinson, Political Scientist, University of Auckland: “NZPD is an indispensable source for political junkies like me. It sorts the wheat out from the media chaff and saves a lot of time.” Anyone can sign up to NZPD for free at: https://democracyproject.nz/nz-politics-daily/ Today’s content Housing Zane Small (Newshub): How ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    2 hours ago
  • The Picnic Period: A sign of our Covid times
    Auckland. For a long been it’s been known to Maori as Tamaki Makaurau, a place of ‘many lovers’. In the past fortnight, though, Auckland has shaken out the rug and grabbed a drink to become Tamaki Pikiniki, a place of many picnics. The humble picnic is now, in many ways, a ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    1 day ago
  • Are Covid vaccines becoming less effective?
    A critical debate about Covid-19 vaccines is when does protection wane, by how much, why, and what does this mean for controlling the pandemic and the impacts of infections. Depending on the studies or headlines you read it can be confusing. Some report declining vaccine effectiveness, and others don’t. Some ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    1 day ago
  • NZ Politics Daily: 19 October 2021
    Today’s NZPD testimonial from Dr Oliver Hartwich, Executive Director, The New Zealand Initiative “There is a dearth of quality journalism in New Zealand, and so I am grateful to NZ Politics Daily for sifting through our media to discover the gems of reporting and opinion editorials. It is a valuable contribution to ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    1 day ago
  • The Entrust election
    Auckland is holding elections for EnTrust, its local electricity trust. Entrust is important - it owns electricity and gas-supplier Vector, and so the decisions it makes around energy infrastructure could make a significant difference to greenhouse gas emissions. But the elections have traditionally been ignored, so its run by CitRats ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Argentina returns the favour
    In the early 2000s, Argentinian victims of the Dirty War, denied justice due to a local amnesty, sought justice in Spanish courts, who obligingly convicted agents of that country's dictatorship of crimes against humanity under Spain's "universal jurisdiction" law. But Argentina wasn't the only country with a repressive dictatorship which ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Climate Change: A good move, but not enough
    The government has announced that it will quadruple climate aid to developing nations, from $300 million to $1.3 billion over four years. This is good: "climate finance" - aid to developing nations to decarbonise and offset the damage caused by rich-country emissions - is going to be a flashpoint at ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Too Much Say, Not Enough Do.
    When The Green Party Co-Leader Speaks, Does He Make Any Sound? James Shaw must know that neither New Zealanders, nor the rest of humanity, will ever take the urgent and transformative action that Science now deems necessary to stave-off climate catastrophe.POOR JAMES SHAW: He’s the man this government sends out ...
    2 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on the perils of declaring premature victory
    Sure enough, Saturday’s Vaxathon was a barrel of fun and a throwback not merely to the Telethons of the past. It also revived memories of those distant days of early 2020, when we were all carefully wiping down our groceries, not touching our faces, washing our hands for 20 seconds ...
    2 days ago
  • NZ Politics Daily: 18 October 2021
    Today’s NZPD testimonial from Kim Gillespie, Editor NZME Newspapers Lower North Island & Communities “I find the daily email great for giving me an overview of each morning’s big issues across the media landscape, and really appreciate the huge amount of work that must go in to compiling it each day.” Anyone ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    2 days ago
  • Bryce Edwards: Political Roundup – Celebrating and critiquing 25 years of MMP
    Over the last week, MMP has been in the spotlight, given that it’s now been 25 years since the first general election was held under this proportional representation system. This has produced some important commentary and storytelling about the introduction of MMP and about the various pros and cons of ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    2 days ago
  • COVID-19 in Aotearoa: what does public health do now?
    Dr Belinda Loring, Dr Ruth Cunningham, Dr Polly Atatoa Carr* Public health activities have collectively made an incredible contribution to minimising the impact of COVID-19 in Aotearoa. But the work for public health is not over. As the situation in Auckland heralds a transition point in our approach to the ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    2 days ago
  • 2021 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #42
    Listing of articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week: Sun, October 10, 2021 through Sat, October 16, 2021 The following articles sparked above average interest during the week: ‘This is a story that needs to be told’: BBC film tackles Climategate scandal, Why trust science?, ...
    3 days ago
  • Is injection technique contributing to the risk of post vaccine myocarditis?
    Recent misleading media headlines about vaccines being administered incorrectly in the absence of evidence do little to help public confidence in vaccines. Spoiler alert, vaccines are not being administered incorrectly. The topic of this blog is based on what could be an important scientific question – is one of the ...
    SciBlogsBy Helen Petousis Harris
    3 days ago
  • A Māori health expert reports from the Super Saturday frontlines
    Rawiri Jansen, National Hauora Coalition I write this as I charge my car, getting ready to head home at the end of a pretty good Super Saturday. It started with coffee and checking the news feeds as any good day should. Between 9 and 10 am as I drove to ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    3 days ago
  • Weddings and Leopards
    Could it be that the Herald is beginning to twig that an unremitting hostility to the government does not go down well with all its readers? The evidence for that is that, in today’s issue, two contributors (Bill Ralston and Steven Joyce) who usually enjoy sticking the knife in, take ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    3 days ago
  • The Chronicles of Kregsmal and Krunch: Volume I
    As noted previously, my weekly DND campaign with Annalax and Gertrude has been put on ice. I expect it to return eventually, but for now it is very much on hiatus. The remainder of the group have decided to run an entirely new campaign in the meantime. This ...
    4 days ago
  • Super Saturday recap: Patrick Gower doesn’t know what he’s supposed to do
    It was Aotearoa’s first national day of action in over ten years, the first since 2010, when Prime Minister John Key tried to inspire us to clean up our nation’s berms. It didn’t work. Today, New Zealand’s berms are worse than ever. But history is not destiny, and other cliches. ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    4 days ago
  • COVID-19 Worried about getting your vaccine or want a simple explanation?
    Worried about getting your vaccine? Let me tell you a secret. No-one likes getting a vaccine. People do it because they know they’re better off to. Let me tell you another secret, a weird one: the vaccine doesn’t really “do” anything. Confusing? Let me explain… Vaccines are a face at ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    4 days ago
  • Delta puts workers’ power under the spotlight
    by Don Franks Foremost fighting the Delta virus are workers, especially in health, distribution, service and education sectors. Unionised members of these groups are centrally represented by the New Zealand Council of trade unions ( NZCTU). Political journalist Richard Harman recently noted:“Businesses are caught in a legal tangle if they ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    4 days ago
  • Faster transitions to clean energy are also cheaper
    This is a re-post from the Citizens' Climate Lobby blog Several clean energy technologies like solar panels have become consistently cheaper year after year as the industries have benefited from learning, experience and economies of scale. Falling solar costs are described by “Swanson’s Law,” much like Moore’s Law described the rapid and consistent ...
    5 days ago
  • Abstraction and Reality in Economics
    Sometimes high theory loses the human point of the exercise.One of the joys of teaching is you learn from your students. When fifty-odd years ago, I was at the University of Sussex, a student doing our first-year economics course, Jim, came to me, saying he was pulling out because it ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    5 days ago
  • What Happened to the Team?
    Last year, in the early stages of the pandemic, the Prime Minister’s “team of five million” performed well; team discipline was maintained and we all worked well together. This year, however, has been a different story; team discipline has weakened, and many people have on numerous occasions behaved badly and ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    5 days ago
  • Climate Change: Another legal victory
    Across the world climate change activists have been going to court, seeking to make their governments act to protect future generations. And hot on the heels of victories in the Netherlands and Germany, there's been another one in France: A French court has ordered the government to make up ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Invasion Of The (Covid) Body Snatchers.
    It's Here! They're Here! We're Here! Help! It’s as if we’re all living through a Covid version of Invasion of the Body Snatchers. What has become of Jacinda? Where have they taken her closest Cabinet colleagues? The people on the stage of the Beehive Theatrette look the same, but they ...
    5 days ago
  • NZ Politics Daily: 15 October 2021
    Today’s NZPD testimonial from Associate Professor Grant Duncan, Massey University, Auckland “The NZ Politics Daily email is very helpful in giving me a quick overview of current events and opinion. It allows me to pick out important or informative columns that I may otherwise have missed. I recommend NZ Politics Daily to anyone ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    5 days ago
  • Missing From The Anti-Covid Action.
    The Invisible Man: Where has the NZ Council of Trade Unions been during the Covid-19 Pandemic? Why hasn’t its current president, Richard Wagstaff (above) become a household name during the pandemic? Up there with Ashley Bloomfield, Michael Baker, Shaun Hendy and Siouxsie Wiles? WHERE HAVE THE UNIONS BEEN during the Covid-19 ...
    5 days ago
  • “Go West, Young Virus”
    The Auckland Coronavirus Outbreak potters along, not helped by the perception that the Government is disturbingly enthusiastic about “managing the virus” or loosening the border. Health Minister Andrew Little said today he envisages 90% vaccination rates (which we don’t have) eventually leading to 5,000 cases in Auckland a week… ...
    6 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #41, 2021
    How to fill a glass and thereby drink— from a fire hose So far this year, New Research has published listings for 3,291 papers concerning climate change from one aspect or another. Each edition includes two dozen or so articles describing freshly and directly observed effects of global waming. These ...
    6 days ago
  • Climate Change: UKanians supports cuts
    The Guardian reports a study on emissions reduction policy from the UK, which found that UKanians overwhelmingly support stronger action than their government: The UK public backs a carbon tax on polluting industries, higher levies on flying and grants for heat pumps in order to tackle the climate crisis, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Media Link: “A View from Afar” on PRC-Taiwan tensions.
    In this week’s podcast Selwyn Manning and I discuss the upsurge in tensions between the PRC and Taiwan and what are the backgrounds to and implications of them. You can check the conversation out here. ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    6 days ago
  • Labour’s 2023 election manifesto
    This morning Health Minister Andrew Little effectively unveiled Labour's 2023 election manifesto: 5,000 cases a week in Auckland alone: Thousands of people will be infected with Covid-19 every week even with vaccination levels at 90 per cent, and hospitals face being overwhelmed once restrictions are eased and borders opened, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Don't Blame James.
    Emissions Impossible! So, don’t be too hard on poor James Shaw. His pathetic little To-Do list is, indeed, totally inadequate to the crisis. But, you know what? He’ll be lucky to get half of the items ticked-off. There’s just too many entrenched interests – not the least of whom are ...
    6 days ago
  • The “Pulpit of Strewth”
    Barry Soper is one half of one of one of those right-wing husband-and-wife duos in which the Herald seems to specialise. In today’s issue, he has a piece that doesn’t quite reach the heights (or depths) of a Hoskings-style anti-government hostility, but which does provide an interesting example of the ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    6 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on the epic fails of Kris Faafoi
    Ever since Winston Peters first breathed life into this government in 2018, its own branding has been all about social justice and how we all need to be “kind” to each other. Somehow, Kris Faafoi must have missed the memo. His performance in the immigration portfolio (in particular) has neither ...
    6 days ago
  • NZ Politics Daily: 14 October 2021
    Today’s NZPD testimonial from Mike Treen, Advocate, Unite Union “Please continue your incredible work compiling these news digests. As someone operating in the fields of advocacy for workers and the broader social justice areas it is invaluable to be able to check what is happening in the media relating to the issues I have to deal ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    6 days ago
  • Overconfident Idiots: Why Incompetence Breeds Certainty
    This is a re-post from the Thinking is Power website maintained by Melanie Trecek-King where she regularly writes about many aspects of critical thinking in an effort to provide accessible and engaging critical thinking information to the general public. Please see this overview to find links to other reposts from Thinking is Power. ...
    7 days ago
  • Climate Change: Abandoning ambition
    When Labour was first elected to power in 2017, they promised us "[an] ambitious plan to take real action on climate change". Four years and a lot of foot-dragging later, they've finally released that plan. And its not what was promised. Where to begin? Firstly, they've taken the Climate Change ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Many e-cigarette vaping liquids contain toxic chemicals: new Australian research
    Alexander Larcombe, Telethon Kids Institute   From October 1, it’s been illegal to buy e-liquids containing nicotine without a prescription from a doctor everywhere in Australia, except South Australia. But vaping with nicotine-free e-liquids is not illegal in Australia (though in some jurisdictions the e-cigarette devices themselves are illegal). Vaping ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    7 days ago
  • Young adults worldwide have blunt message for governments: ‘We don’t trust you.’
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Karin Kirk Elizabeth Marks describes herself as “a psychologist who works on difficult problems.” Her past research aimed at helping people cope with challenging health conditions, apt training, it appears, for taking on climate change issues. A few years ago, she altered ...
    1 week ago
  • Making ‘Second Age’ Hobbits Work: Amazon Series Speculation
    Time for a good old-fashioned fandom furore. The Tolkien fandom hasn’t had a proper one of those since the Great Nudity Scandal of October 2020… so it clearly must be time to pontificate from on-high about a television series we still know vanishingly little about. This time the subject ...
    1 week ago
  • NZ Politics Daily: 13 October 2021
    Today’s NZPD testimonial from Dr Lara Greaves, Political scientist, University of Auckland: “I love the NZ Politics Daily emails as they help me to keep on top of current events. It’s incredibly easy to skim through and follow the links. I really appreciate these as it means that I am exposed to a ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    1 week ago
  • The Data and Statistics Bill and the OIA
    The government introduced a new Data and Statistics Bill today to modernise and replace the 45-year old Statistics Act. Part of the Bill re-enacts the existing confidentiality regime (with one exception), which while a secrecy clause isn't an especially controversial one. Another part is aimed at removing "outdated" (inconvenient) limits ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Graham Adams: The debate over the $55 million media fund erupts again
    RNZ’s Mediawatch and a video clip viewed 42,000 times keep the topic of the Public Interest Journalism Fund fizzing. Graham Adams reports.   A week ago, the NZ Taxpayers’ Union posted a short video clip of the exchange in Parliament between Jacinda Ardern and Judith Collins in which the National ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    1 week ago
  • Multiple sclerosis: the link with earlier infection just got stronger – new study
    Scott Montgomery, UCL For most of the time since the first description of multiple sclerosis (MS) in 1868, the causes of this disabling disease have remained uncertain. Genes have been identified as important, which is why having other family members with MS is associated with a greater risk of developing ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Hit hard by the pandemic, researchers expect its impacts to linger for years
    Sora Park, University of Canberra; Jennie Scarvell, University of Canberra, and Linda Botterill, University of Canberra   The impacts of COVID-19 on Australian university researchers are likely to have consequences for research productivity and quality for many years to come. According to an online survey of academics at the University ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Covid and free speech
    by Don Franks Some commentators have likened the struggle against Covid 19 to the world war experience. To those of us not alive in those times, that comparison can only be academic. What the anti virus battle reminds me of much more is an industrial strike. In my twenties and ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • “Angry Blowhards”
    In today’s Herald, their excellent columnist, Simon Wilson, takes to task those “shouty” people whom he further describes as “angry blowhards”. They are those whose prime reaction to the pandemic is anger – an anger they seamlessly (and perhaps unwittingly) transfer from the virus to the government. The basis for ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • Looking Forward To 2022.
    Future Tense? Okay, so that’s where we are in 2022. Living in a New Zealand where all the usual rules of politics once again apply. And, guess what? Jacinda’s government, once again, isn’t doing very well – not very well at all.LET’S PLAY A GAME. Let’s pretend we’re half-way through ...
    1 week ago
  • Gordon Campbell on Covid mandates, and the Covid pill
    The cliché about “living with Covid” will not mean life as we’ve known it, Jim. Vaccination is fast becoming a condition of employment, and also a requirement to participate in aspects of social life, such as travel, attending bars, cafes, and concerts etc. These protective measures enjoy a high level ...
    1 week ago
  • NZ Politics Daily: 12 October 2021
    Today’s NZPD testimonial from Prof Alan Bollard, Professor of Practice at the School of Government, Victoria University of Wellington; Chair of the Infrastructure Commission: “NZ Politics Daily” provides a great public service – a quick and unbiased way to check policy announcements and analysis every morning.” Anyone can sign up to NZPD ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    1 week ago
  • Legal Beagle: A submission on the COVID-19 Public Health Response Amendment Bill (No 2)
    I have made a submission on the COVID-19 Public Health Response Amendment Bill (No 2).In preparing it, I looked at the Hansard for the first reading debate, and got name-dropped as someone likely to make a submission. So, of course I did. I focus on a small bit of the ...
    1 week ago
  • Hard News: More tales from the Medicinal Cannabis Scheme
    You may have read last week that two years after the publication of regulations for medicinal cannabis – and three years after the enabling legislation – two local products from a local manufacturer have finally met the minimum quality standards for prescription. You may also be interested to know that ...
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Real action requires government
    Over the weekend someone pointed me at a journal article on "The Poverty of Theory: Public Problems, Instrument Choice, and the Climate Emergency". Its a US law journal article, so is a) very long; and b) half footnotes (different disciplines have different norms), but the core idea is that the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Not doing our bit
    Last month the US and EU announced they would push an agreement to cut methane emissions by 30% (from 2020 levels) by 2030 at the upcoming climate change conference in Glasgow. The good news is that New Zealand is looking at joining it. The bad news is that that won't ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Delta’s Week Of Doom.
    Classic Shot: Are the Prime Minister’s formidable communication skills equal to the task of getting her government’s anti-Covid campaign back on track?IF JACINDA ARDERN thought last week was bad, the week ahead promises to be even worse. Sixty community cases of Covid-19, one of the highest daily totals so far ...
    1 week ago
  • Urgent measures needed to allow the safe re-opening of Auckland schools
    Dr Rachel Webb, Dr Jin Russell, Dr Pip Anderson, Dr Emma Best, Dr Alison Leversha and Dr Subha Rajanaidu* In this blog we describe the range of urgent measures that are needed to facilitate a safe return to schools in Auckland and other regions of the country where there is ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • Children live online more than ever – we need better definitions of ‘good’ and ‘bad’ scree...
    Kathryn MacCallum, University of Canterbury and Cheryl Brown, University of Canterbury   The pandemic has fundamentally altered every part of our lives, not least the time we spend on digital devices. For young people in particular, the blurred line between recreational and educational screen time presents new challenges we are ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Putting Aotearoa on the map: New Zealand has changed its name before, why not again?
    Claire Breen, University of Waikato; Alexander Gillespie, University of Waikato; Robert Joseph, University of Waikato, and Valmaine Toki, University of Waikato   Our names are a critical part of our identity. They are a personal and social anchor tying us to our families, our culture, our history and place in ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Speaker: Yes, of course festival organisers will follow the law on vaccination
    On Tuesday 5 October the New Zealand Government announced that proof of COVID-19 vaccination would be a requirement to attend large events this summer.It took a few days for event owners to absorb the information and understand the implications. By the end of the working week, most of the big ...
    1 week ago
  • NZ Politics Daily: 11 October 2021
    Today’s NZPD testimonial from Jim Hubbard, Cartoonist “NZ Politics daily is a go to for cartoonists, or should be.  Political reporting enmasse like this gives cartoonists and political junkies a smorgasbord to get their teeth into. Essential and I daresay vital reading for those who care about the future of NZ.” Anyone can sign ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    1 week ago
  • 2021 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #41
    Listing of articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week: Sun, October 3, 2021 through Sat, October 9, 2021 The following articles sparked above average interest during the week: VFX Artist Reveals how Many Solar Panels are Needed to Power the ENTIRE World, Will you fall ...
    1 week ago
  • The Night of Parmenides: accepted
    A bit of good news on the writing front. My 3900-word short story, The Night of Parmenides, has been accepted by SpecFicNZ for their upcoming Aftermath anthology, to be published in early 2022. This is my first published short story to be explicitly set in my home-town of ...
    1 week ago
  • The Virus, the Politician, and the gang member
    . . . . . References Newshub Nation: Gang leader Harry Tam denies Winston Peters’ claims he helped infected woman breach COVID boundary, sparking Northland lockdown Te Ao News: ‘Apologise!’ Mob leader slams Peters’ Covid, Northland allegations Stuff media: Covid-19 – Search for contact of Northland case ‘extraordinarily frustrating’ CNBC: ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • Rapid kits, responses, and openings: watch motivations, or catch something worse with Covid…
    Last week was probably a high point for many armchair “experts”, fresh from their high after some deep inhaling of the various musings and fumings, of an actually very smug, and very insualted John “Things all work for me…” Key, former Prime Minister and FOREX trader, had blitzed the ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    2 weeks ago
  • Bollocks
    It would appear we have an unwelcome presence in town.Positive wastewater results had been detected in Hamilton and Palmerston North on October 6 and 7. There are 26 cases in hospital, seven of these are in ICU or high dependency units (HDU).One of the people in hospital is in Palmerston ...
    2 weeks ago
  • World-leading?
    So, the Herald has found someone, as we can see from today’s issue, who is able to explain why we should not claim to have been “world-leading” in our response to the covid epidemic. It seems that we have been kidding ourselves when we celebrated our low total number of ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    2 weeks ago
  • Why Is Labour So Frightened Of “Mr Stick”?
    Force Multiplier: Why are Ardern and her ministers so loathe to put a bit of stick about? The “emergency” legislation eventually enacted to authorise the measures needed to combat the Covid-19 pandemic failed to confer upon the New Zealand Government the unequivocal authority that subsequent events showed to be so ...
    2 weeks ago
  • The Need for an Updated Strategic Approach to Covid-19 Control in Aotearoa NZ
    Prof Nick Wilson, Dr Jennifer Summers, Prof Michael Baker* The NZ Government appears to have drifted into an unclear strategic approach to Covid-19 control. In this blog we outline one potential way forward: a regional strategic approach that considers “regional suppression” and “regional elimination”. To maximise the success of this ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    2 weeks ago
  • Mairon: The Actual Source for the Blasted Name
    Long-time Tolkien geeks – or those bemused enough to run across a certain internet phenomenon – might know that ‘Sauron’ is not actually the real name of the Lord of the Ring. ‘Sauron’ is just an abusive Elvish nickname, meaning ‘the Abhorred.’ Sauron’s actual name, at least originally, ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Forced Re-entry
    The elimination of Covid strategy is not so much defeated but changing circumstances means that policy has to evolve. Our elimination stance was never sustainable or at least it would not be until the rest of the world also eliminated Covid-19. Elimination of the virus was a strategy we adopted ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    2 weeks ago
  • Repeal this unjust law
    Yesterday the Supreme Court ruled on National's unjust "three strikes" law, and found that the sentence it required was (in the case in question) so disproportionate as to "shock the conscience" and violate the Bill of Rights Act ban on disproportionately severe treatment or punishment: The Supreme Court has ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: Preparing for the flood
    The Christchurch City Council has published new "coastal hazards" data, indicating which places are under threat from sea-level rise. And its not good news: Parts of Christchurch and Banks Peninsula are likely to become unhabitable [sic] as the city council figures out how to adapt to sea level ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • The Virus, Not The Government
    I wonder if Mike Hosking ever reads the paper in which he appears so regularly? If he does, he might have noticed a report in today’s Herald about the problem that could face churches in Auckland if a vaccine passport becomes mandatory for those wishing to attend church services. The ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    2 weeks ago

  • Guaranteed MIQ spots for health workers
    The Government is changing the way managed isolation is co-ordinated for health workers, guaranteeing 300 spots a month for the health and disability sector. “Our world-class workforce is vital in rebuilding the health system and dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic,” Andrew Little said. “Whether it’s bringing doctors or nurses in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    11 mins ago
  • Govt helps to protect New Zealanders digital identities
    Making it easier for New Zealanders to safely prove who they are digitally and control who has access to that information is one step closer to becoming law, Minister for Digital Economy and Communications, Dr David Clark said. The Digital Identity Services Trust Framework Bill passed its first reading today ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    29 mins ago
  • Red tape cut to boost housing supply
    New building intensification rules will mean up to three homes of up to three storeys can be built on most sites without the need for a resource consent New rules will result in at least 48,200 and as many as 105,500 new homes built in next 5-8 years Bringing forward ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    23 hours ago
  • Nationwide business partnership grows conservation jobs
    Further Government support for New Zealand’s longest-standing sustainable business organisation will open up opportunities for dozens of workers impacted by COVID-19 to jump start a nature-based career, Conservation Minister Kiri Allan says. Partnering to Plant Aotearoa, led by the Sustainable Business Network (SBN), is a collaboration with iwi, hapū and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New Zealand increases climate aid contribution
    Government commits $1.3 billion over four years to support countries most vulnerable to the effects of climate change At least 50 percent of funding will go to the Pacific as it adapts to the impacts of climate change The increase means New Zealand now meets its fair share of global ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Super Māori turnout for Super Saturday
    Māori have put a superb effort into mobilising to get vaccinated over Super Saturday, with thousands rolling up their sleeves to protect themselves, their whānau and communities from COVID-19, Associate Health Minister Peeni Henare says. “It was absolutely outstanding that 21,702 Māori got vaccinated on this one day alone with 10,825 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Language assists Tagata Niue to thrive
    Despite the uncertain times we face with the challenges of COVID-19, our cultural knowledge, values and language remain constant, helping us progress towards goals in life, said  the Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio. This year, the Niuean community in New Zealand decided on the theme, “Kia tupuolaola e ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New Zealand Ambassador to France announced
    Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta today announced the appointment of Caroline Bilkey as New Zealand’s next Ambassador to France and the OECD. “Aotearoa New Zealand and France have a shared history, and enjoy a strong, collaborative partnership. This includes a strong trade and economic relationship, a shared commitment to support ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Govt welcomes nurses’ pay settlement
    The Government is welcoming news that a new employment agreement for nurses working in public hospitals has been settled. “I am very pleased that the hard work of the Nurses Organisation and District Health Boards has led to a settlement that both can support,” Health Minister Andrew Little said today. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Judge of the High Court appointed
    Māori Land Court Judge Layne Harvey has been appointed a Judge of the High Court, Attorney‑General David Parker announced today. Justice Harvey graduated with an LLB from the University of Auckland in 1992 and commenced employment as a law clerk with Simpson Grierson in Auckland that same year. In 1997 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Kiwis to have their say on plan to reduce waste
    New Zealanders are invited to have their say on proposals for a new waste strategy and options for new waste legislation. “Reducing waste is one of the issues all New Zealanders – especially younger Kiwis - care deeply about,” Environment Minister David Parker said today “New Zealand is one of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Next steps in action plan for indigenous rights kicks off
    Minister for Māori Development Willie Jackson has today meet with more than 30 national Māori organisations in an online hui, kicking off the process to develop a plan for New Zealand to implement the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (the Declaration). The previous National Government signed ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Iwi-led housing solutions build homes for the future
    Whai Kāinga, Whai Oranga will open on 20 October, to receive applications for investment through Te Tūāpapa Kura Kāinga – Ministry of Housing and Urban Development and Te Puni Kōkiri The $730m fund combines investment from Budget 2021 ($380m) and the Māori Infrastructure Fund ($350m) - the largest investment seen ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • E whakarite ana Te Kāwanatanga i ngā tūāpapa mō twhakamaumahara ki Te Petihana Reo Māori ka t...
    I te rā nei, i pānuihia e te Minita mō Manatū Taonga, ko Carmel Sepuloni, rāua ko te Minita Whanaketanga Māori, ko Willie Jackson, ā tērā tau, ka whakanuia rawatia te 50 o ngā tau mai i te whakatakotoranga o te petihana mō te Reo Māori me te huanga mai ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • E whakarite ana Te Kāwanatanga i ngā tūāpapa mō tewhakamaumahara ki Te Petihana Reo Māori ka t...
    I te rā nei, i pānuihia e te Minita mō Manatū Taonga, ko Carmel Sepuloni, rāua ko te Minita Whanaketanga Māori, ko Willie Jackson, ā tērā tau, ka whakanuia rawatia te 50 o ngā tau mai i te whakatakotoranga o te petihana mō te Reo Māori me te huanga mai ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Government green lights rapid antigen testing
    Some of the country’s largest businesses have put in an order for 300,000 approved rapid antigen tests for their workforce, after working at pace with the Government on a new scheme unveiled by Associate Minister of Health and Research, Science and Innovation Ayesha Verrall. A coalition of around 25 businesses ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Government lays foundations as Māori Language Petition commemorations take shape for 2022
    Taiaha hā! Taiaha hā! - Te kairangi o te reo hoki mai ki taku tikanga, ki taku taumata, ki taku reo, ki taku ao. He reo whai tikanga, he reo whai mana, he reo whai tangata koe. Ki te whāngaihia te reo Māori he ao tēnā, ki te kore he ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Major contract awarded to power NZ Battery investigation
    A consortium of specialist firms has been awarded a major contract to advance the New Zealand Battery Project’s feasibility investigation into a pumped hydro storage scheme at Lake Onslow, the Minister of Energy and Resources Megan Woods has announced. “This contract represents a major milestone as it begins the targeted ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Additional Funding for Foodbanks and Social Agencies
    The Government has approved $13.55m from the Covid Response and Recovery Fund to support foodbanks and social sector agencies, Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni has announced. “Foodbanks and social agencies across Auckland are doing a great job supporting their communities and the Government is today providing them with more ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Generating a new generation of guardians
    The Government is supporting a Whakatōhea-led project undertaking landscape scale restoration in forests and around vulnerable rivers within the Eastern Bay of Plenty, Minister of Conservation Kiri Allan says. “The Whakatōhea Tiaki Taiao project will employ four people to undertake pest and weed control, ecosystem restoration and monitoring over three ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Parts of Waikato, Northland staying at Alert Level 3
    The parts of Waikato that have been in Alert Level 3 and Northland will remain in Alert Level 3 for a few more days, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said today. Auckland remains at Alert Level 3, Step 1. “Based on the latest public health information, ministers have decided that ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • New courthouses for Tauranga and Whanganui
    The Government is moving ahead with new courthouses in Tauranga and Whanganui, which the Justice Minister says provide an opportunity to redesign court facilities that help put victims at the heart of the justice system. “These courthouses are part of the 10-year infrastructure investment plan to restore and modernise Ministry ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Speech on the launch of the consultation on the development of the Emissions Reduction Plan
    Tēnā koutou katoa. Ngā mihi o te ata. Earlier this month Save the Children wrote to me with their most up to date analysis on the impact of climate change. What they said was that children born in Aotearoa today will experience up to five times as many heatwaves and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Opportunity to shape NZ’s first Emissions Reduction Plan
    The Government is inviting New Zealanders to inform the country’s first Emissions Reduction Plan with the release of a consultation document containing a range of policy ideas to decrease the country’s emissions, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Climate Change Minister James Shaw announced today. The Emissions Reduction Plan will set ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Convention on Biological Diversity COP 15, Virtual High-Level Segment
    Kia ora koutou katoa. I want to thank China for hosting this critically important Conference of the Parties. We are all here for the same reason. Biodiversity loss, and the ongoing degradation of nature, are accelerating at an unprecedented rate. These losses are causing irreparable harm to our planet’s ability ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government books show resilient and strong economy
    The end of year audited Crown accounts released today show the Government’s health led approach to the COVID-19 pandemic has protected New Zealand’s economy. “On almost every indicator the accounts show that the New Zealand economy has performed better than forecast, even as recently as the Budget in May. It ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • ​​​​​​​Health system is ready for assisted-dying law
    The health system is ready for the implementation of the End of Life Choice Act when it takes effect next month, making assisted dying legal in New Zealand, Health Minister Andrew Little said today. The law received 65.1 per cent support in a public referendum held alongside last year’s general ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Taking a lead in threat to curious kea
    Reducing lead poisoning of kea, the world’s only alpine parrot and one-time New Zealand bird of the year winner, is the goal of a two year project being backed by the Government’s Jobs for Nature programme, Minister of Conservation Kiri Allan says.  “Lead poisoning is a serious threat to this ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government provides certainty to working holiday and seasonal visa holders and employers for summer
    The Government will extend Working Holiday visas and Supplementary Seasonal Employment (SSE) work visas for six months to provide more certainty to employers and visa holders over the coming summer period, Immigration Minister Kris Faafoi has announced. “This offers employers and visa holders the certainty they’ve been asking for going ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Lower card fees good for businesses, consumers
    The Bill to help lower the cost of the fees retailers get charged for offering contactless and debit payment options is another step closer to becoming law, Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Dr David Clark said today. “COVID-19 has changed the way we spend our money, with online and contactless ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Mandatory vaccination for two workforces
    High-risk workers in the health and disability sector to be fully vaccinated by 1 December, 2021, and to receive their first dose by 30 October School and early learning staff and support people who have contact with children and students to be fully vaccinated by 1 January, 2022, and to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Fund allows more Pacific community led vaccinations
    The Government has made $1.1 million available through ‘The Prepare Pacific Community Vaccination Fund’ to directly support Pacific community-led initiatives towards increasing vaccinations, said Associate Minister of Health, Aupito William Sio. “The best way to protect our communities from COVID-19 is through vaccination. “We need to explore every avenue to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Small business at heart of economic recovery across APEC region
    The Minister for Small Business says support for small and medium enterprises will remain ongoing as the Asia-Pacific region moves through response and recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. Stuart Nash today chaired a virtual summit from Wellington for the APEC Small and Medium Enterprises Ministerial Meeting (SMEMM). “APEC Ministers responsible ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Restrictions on abortion medication lifted for health practitioners
    Abortion services can now be provided in primary care, meaning people can access this care from someone like their trusted GP and in a familiar setting, Associate Minister of Health Dr Ayesha Verrall announced today. “By lifting some restrictions on the funded medications used for early medical abortions, more health ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Record day for Māori vaccinations
    More than 10,000 vaccinations were administered to Māori yesterday, the highest number in the vaccine campaign so far, Associate Minister of Health (Maori Health) Peeni Henare announced. There were 10,145 doses administered across the motu yesterday this is almost equivalent to the population of Hāwera. The doses are made up ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Statement on Joint Cooperation in Agriculture between Ireland and New Zealand
    8 October 2021 - Dublin, Ireland Agriculture plays an important role in the economic, social, environmental, and cultural wellbeing of Ireland and New Zealand. We are focused on increasing the productivity, inclusivity, and resilience of our respective primary sectors. As agri-food exporting nations, we also share a commitment to a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Northland to move to Alert Level 3 tonight
    Northland will move to Alert Level 3 restrictions from 11:59pm tonight following recent information on the risk presented by the positive case initially tested in Whangarei earlier this week and confirmed in Auckland yesterday, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said. The person is now in an Auckland Managed Isolation Quarantine ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Prime Minister's Christmas Card Competition
    It’s that time of year again! If you’d like to help design the Prime Minister’s official Christmas card, here’s how to take part: Draw, paint, sketch or craft an image you’d like to see on the front of this year’s Christmas card. It can be anything you want – a traditional ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Speech : Pacific Public Sector Fono – Friday 8th October 2021
    Greetings and Acknowledgements and Warm Pacific Greetings to one and all. It’s a privilege to be able to join with you this afternoon and share some remarks on how important you are to our communities throughout Aotearoa, and across the Pacific region. COVID-19 has been described as a one in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Pacific Public Sector Fono – Friday 8th October 2021
    Greetings and Acknowledgements and Warm Pacific Greetings to one and all. It’s a privilege to be able to join with you this afternoon and share some remarks on how important you are to our communities throughout Aotearoa, and across the Pacific region. COVID-19 has been described as a one in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago