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Learning lessons on mining

Written By: - Date published: 10:06 am, May 15th, 2010 - 6 comments

Here in NZ we have the issue of mining front and centre, with assurances that it will be done with due process. Gerry Brownlee must be feeling frustrated at the senario in the US which vividly illustrates what can happen when it all goes wrong. This NY Times examines how the situation came to be…

British election – latest polling

Written By: - Date published: 11:30 am, May 6th, 2010 - 23 comments

From the Guardian today, latest polling predicts Tories on course to regain power after 13 years…

Out of fashion

Written By: - Date published: 10:02 pm, May 4th, 2010 - 9 comments

You’d think Gerry Brownlee would be embarrassed after the week he’s had – yet I doubt it. We’ve ceased to have such expectations of our politicians. But is there more to it than that? Perhaps. According to Christine Rossen, we are facing ‘the death of embarrassment’, with a potential social cost.

John Armstrong: Welcome to the cool, funky, and er, sober, Labour Party

Written By: - Date published: 2:11 pm, April 22nd, 2010 - 22 comments

Read John Armstong’s take on Labour’s brand survey

Poll watching – the British elections

Written By: - Date published: 6:59 pm, April 7th, 2010 - 8 comments

As we hit mid-term in our election cycle, political addicts are casting their eyes over to the UK. Now the latest Guardian poll shows that the gap between the two main parties is now at four points – the closest in an ICM poll for almost two years…

Mining – a third way?

Written By: - Date published: 6:39 pm, March 28th, 2010 - 14 comments

As always Rod Oram offers a considered approach to issues of the day. In today’s Sunday Star Times he offers his analytical skills to mining.

Interesting observations

Written By: - Date published: 4:02 pm, March 24th, 2010 - 14 comments

Interesting times – on both sides of the political divide currently. Over at the Pundit, Tim Watkin provides some thought provoking observations on selections, mining, and asks ‘Why are National and Labour trying so hard to LOSE Auckland?”

Strange beauty

Written By: - Date published: 1:18 pm, March 21st, 2010 - 10 comments

A building with built in wind turbines that can generate a portion of it’s own power needs as well as feeding into the main grid? Well there’s a new building called the ‘Razor’, in south London, which can do just that, and looks like something out of science fiction. View the photo display featured in the Guardian.

The Greatest Show on Earth: Richard Dawkins

Written By: - Date published: 1:44 pm, March 17th, 2010 - 4 comments

World Renowned evolutionary biologist and atheist, professer Richard Dawkins, presents the case and evidence for evolution. His New Book, The Greatest Show on Earth, explores the evidence for evolution and why it should be considered fact, not theory. Links to the Podcast of his talk in Christchurch.

Gender gap alive and well

Written By: - Date published: 4:51 pm, March 4th, 2010 - 6 comments

Next Monday is International Women’s Day (8 March). I know a few readers will ask Do we still still need to worry? According to Asha-Rose Migiro, UN Deputy Secretary-General, the answer is yes. Among the areas where progress has lagged is in tackling the scourge of violence against women…

Have your say on unfair dismissal laws

Written By: - Date published: 2:00 pm, March 2nd, 2010 - 9 comments

Kate Wilkinson (Minister of Labour) has opened public submissions on a review on personal grievances, with the release of a discussion paper today. Details are here on the Dept of Labour website and submissions close on 31 March.

Lovin’ Alice

Written By: - Date published: 5:00 pm, February 26th, 2010 - 4 comments

A burst of ‘popular’ culture to mull over the weekend, with the Guardian providing comment on the upcoming Alice in Wonderland. According to Xan Brooks : the films of Tim Burton are not so much released as laid on, staged and mounted like lavish masked balls. The interiors are opulent and the tables piled high […]

British poll finds fewer believe in climate change

Written By: - Date published: 4:30 pm, February 25th, 2010 - 45 comments

According to a Guardian poll today, public conviction about the threat of climate change has declined with the proportion of adults who believe climate change is “definitely” a reality dropped by 30% over the last year, from 44% to 31%, in the latest survey by Ipsos Mori. Overall around nine out of 10 people questioned still appear to accept some degree of global warming.

Poll shows race closing in Britain

Written By: - Date published: 3:30 pm, February 23rd, 2010 - 20 comments

Britain could be heading for a hung Parliament, according to the latest Guardian poll.

With no more than three months to go until polling day, the Conservatives have fallen to 37%, down three, while Labour’s support, at 30%, is up one. The Lib Dems are unchanged on 20%.

South Africa honours Nelson Mandela’s walk to freedom

Written By: - Date published: 3:56 pm, February 11th, 2010 - 7 comments

Twenty years ago, on 11 February 1990, after 27 years of incarceration, Nelson Mandela walked out of Victor Verster prison on a hot Sunday afternoon. And history changed.

Colin James on Labour 2010

Written By: - Date published: 8:46 pm, January 31st, 2010 - 2 comments

I know Standard readers follow politics closely almost by definition, but for those who don’t here’s Colin James’ observations on the year ahead for Labour, and for Phil Goff (Press, 30 Jan ’10). He asks: Phil Goff cooks sausages to a turn on the barbecue. But can he cook up a strategic future for Labour? […]

Obama’s State of the Nation

Written By: - Date published: 4:11 pm, January 29th, 2010 - 5 comments

I suspect more than one reader of the Standard would have been glued to the live stream yesterday of Obama’s state of the nation speech. If you’re interested in reactions there’s a useful summary over at the Huffington post, which appears mixed. But what I really enjoyed was this visual from the Guardian, which asks […]

Outsourcing away

Written By: - Date published: 6:18 pm, January 27th, 2010 - 8 comments

We’ve had a few posts about the lack of action from the government – but over on Bernard Hickey’s blog he’s spotted progess being made on the topic of outsourcing: Treasury and the Ministry of Economic Development (MED) said they had asked outside companies to bid to run administrative services for the government, including information […]

Thoughts on Massachusetts

Written By: - Date published: 8:12 am, January 23rd, 2010 - 3 comments

I enjoyed this piece by Jane Young over on Pundit so much I wanted to share: The brain in the White House appears to have been outsmarted by the brawn of a nude centrefold, as Obama’s filibuster-proof Senate number has been whipped away by a man once voted America’s Sexiest Man. You couldn’t make this stuff […]

NYTimes to charge for online

Written By: - Date published: 2:30 pm, January 21st, 2010 - 17 comments

From today’s (free online) Guardian: America’s most popular newspaper website today announced that the era of free online journalism is drawing to a close. The New York Times, the so-called grey lady of US media, has become the biggest publisher yet to set out plans for a paywall around its digital offering, abandoning the once […]

Between a rock and a hard place

Written By: - Date published: 2:58 pm, January 18th, 2010 - 14 comments

At the end of the month the new kindergarten year begins. Reading this article in the SSTimes from yesterday reminded me of just how hard the question of childcare is for many parents: The Kiwi tradition of sending pre-schoolers to kindy is losing favour, as growing numbers of parents seek all-day care for their children.The […]

Enough considering already!

Written By: - Date published: 3:15 pm, December 7th, 2009 - 14 comments

When first writing about my thoughts on Phil Goff’s speech little did I realise that it was turning into an ongoing issue! Perhaps some closer consideration should have been given to the ‘internal communication’ – the speech now appears as a stand-alone issue (although maybe that counts as ‘got headlines – tick?), distracting from the […]

Rod Oram on the Brash report

Written By: - Date published: 9:00 am, December 7th, 2009 - 20 comments

All the arguments in one handy location – thank you Rod Oram, who in his SSTimes column says: …All it [the report] can say is: we’re not sure what the problems are or what we can do about them. But much lower taxes, government spending and regulation will do the trick. It offers no evidence […]

More people considering…

Written By: - Date published: 10:00 am, December 4th, 2009 - 36 comments

According to Vernon Small: Labour leader Phil Goff will be asked to explain his controversial “nationhood” speech at next week’s party caucus meeting. Discontent, especially on the Left of the party, has centred around Mr Goff’s comments on the foreshore and seabed policy. Insiders say the speech was discussed during a “robust” national council meeting […]

With some time to consider….

Written By: - Date published: 2:30 pm, December 1st, 2009 - 82 comments

I’ve been thinking about the reaction Phil Goff has had to his Nationhood speech, and whether Team Labour would be happy with the way it’s rolled out. Got headlines, tick, got commentators to notice, tick, appealed to demographic ‘non-Labour voting male’, tick, made some positioning statements on policy, tick. But what about the down side? […]

The Key to change?

Written By: - Date published: 10:25 pm, November 29th, 2009 - 9 comments

Will Key go to Copenhagen? Or rather, why wouldn’t he want to go?  According to TVNZ tonight: At least 90 world leaders are now expected to attend next month’s global climate change talks in Copenhagen but New Zealand’s prime minister still says he will not be among them. That is despite coming under pressure at […]

Education flaws: Just plain scary

Written By: - Date published: 3:06 pm, November 25th, 2009 - 24 comments

Primary school education has been the focus of debate here in NZ with the introduction of ‘national standards’. Today we hear on RNZ that: Four of the country’s top educational academics have condemned the Government’s national standards policy. In an open letter Education Minister Anne Tolley, four senior assessment academics say the brief time frame […]

End of year polls

Written By: - Date published: 8:52 pm, November 9th, 2009 - 35 comments

Not much to say but spotted the new Roy Morgan: The latest NZ Morgan Poll shows support for John Key’s National-led Government is 60.5% (up 1.5%) comprising National Party 55.5% (up 2.5%), Maori Party 3.5% (up 0.5%), ACT NZ 1% (down 1.5%) and United Future 0.5% (unchanged) according to the Roy Morgan New Zealand Poll […]

Blame it on the genes

Written By: - Date published: 8:56 pm, November 2nd, 2009 - 4 comments

The American asks: Who are smarter, liberals or conservatives? This is the kind of question that could spark fierce and endless debates between political opponents, but what if we could know, scientifically, that one side has the edge in brainpower? Should that change how we think about political issues? This interesting article points out that […]

Images of the ’00’s

Written By: - Date published: 9:29 pm, October 19th, 2009 - 2 comments

Pausing for a moment from the steamroller of local politics  – here we have some of the significant moments of the last nine years, courtesy of the Guardian. They’ve put together these  images of the ’00’s. What would a Kiwi version look like?

It will happen, not today, not tomorrow but…

Written By: - Date published: 9:33 pm, October 18th, 2009 - 30 comments

As I scanned the stuff website I came across the latest TV3 poll results. Scarcely what I’d regard as cheerful Sunday night reading (National on 59.9%, Labour 27.2%, Greens 6.9% ). But upon reading Duncan Garner’s blog I decided that while the sea change might not be happening now the signs are there that it […]

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