Author Archive

Macron speech – The end of Western hegemony

Written By: - Date published: 2:09 am, September 19th, 2019 - 18 comments

France President Macron’s remarkable and wide-ranging speech to French ambassadors after France hosted the recent G7 conference in Biarritz is well worth a read. He lays it all out – so much better than Trump’s tweets or BoJo’s bluster.

BoJo plot foiled – for the time being

Written By: - Date published: 1:47 am, September 12th, 2019 - 57 comments

Phil Syrpis, Professor of EU Law at Bristol University, tweeted in July  Johnson’s plan to force a general election as the defender of the people’s decision against the UK Parliament’s indecision and Brussels bureaucratic intransigence and be in power for the next five years. It was rumbled and it failed.

Trump sacks Bolton – oil price nosedives!

Written By: - Date published: 7:01 am, September 11th, 2019 - 26 comments

This has been rumoured for some time now. It’s good news – peace now has a chance, as Trump  has woken up to the fact that a shooting war would not be good for his re-election. Also Bolton’s hard-line strategy was failing everywhere.

Head Theory

Written By: - Date published: 7:25 am, September 4th, 2019 - 24 comments

The English team have reintroduced the infamous  bodyline approach to their cricket. The 20th century euphemism for it was “leg theory,” in the 21st century it is better described as “head theory.” “It isn’t cricket” used to be the Englishman’s definer for noble values. Not any more.

 

Missile test shows US bad faith on INF Treaty

Written By: - Date published: 4:43 pm, August 27th, 2019 - 9 comments

US’s recent test of an intermediate range missile shows that the reasons given for its withdrawal from the INF treaty were spurious. It also shows up the gullibility of our MFAT, who voted against a Russian proposal for dialogue late last year in the UN on the grounds that it was a “sidestep.”

The sociopathology of sanctions

Written By: - Date published: 9:08 am, August 11th, 2019 - 206 comments

Autonomous sanctions imposed on Iran and Venezuela by the US are expressly designed to drive whole populations into poverty to bring about regime change. They are sociopathic. Based on its values, The National Party wants to make such sanctions New Zealand’s policy. Extraodinary!

 

Nuclear chickens coming home?

Written By: - Date published: 8:23 am, August 8th, 2019 - 30 comments

The Intermediate-range  Nuclear Forces treaty between the United State and Russia signed by Reagan and Gorbachev in 1987 formally ended on August 2nd. On Sunday the new US Secretary of Defense Mark Esper dined privately with Winston Peters. Before and during his trip to the Pacific, Mark Esper called for placement of intermediate-range US missiles in Asia.

Fool me twice?

Written By: - Date published: 12:05 am, July 27th, 2019 - 29 comments

Boris Johnson’s ruthless purge of Cabinet and hard right shift looks like preparation for an early election.  Reminds me of 1984 at home, as a right wing coup is on the way. He lied his way to Brexit – will it work again?

Boris for UK PMⁿ

Written By: - Date published: 12:52 am, July 24th, 2019 - 99 comments

67% of the 160,000 UK Conservative Party members have voted for Boris Johnson as their leader. An attempt to block him as PM has been circumvented by the Speaker. The Queen has had to delay her trip to Balmoral to receive him as Prime Minister. I’d have more faith in the Ukraine’s comedian. At least he can command a majority in Parliament.

 

Peters, Pence, Pompeo and the Rapture

Written By: - Date published: 2:57 am, July 21st, 2019 - 25 comments

Hamish Rutherfurd writes that Winston Peters’ trip to the US to secure a trade deal is far-fetched and a waste of time. I agree. But if Peters has his agenda, so will Mike Pompeo, Mike Pence, John Bolton and Dan Coats have theirs. He was scheduled to meet them all. No wonder the 9th floor are worried.

 

An October election in the UK?

Written By: - Date published: 9:39 am, June 13th, 2019 - 27 comments

Boris Johnson declared his candidacy today. The Guardian’s Tom Kibasi speculates on his strategy – pick a fight with the EU, make Brexit the issue and call an election. Do a deal with Farage and save Britain from Corbyn. Will it work?

FiveEyes on our elections

Written By: - Date published: 3:56 am, June 12th, 2019 - 94 comments

Andrew Little’s letter to the Select Committee on election interference puzzled me – it seemed to be out of the blue and not particularly relevant to our system. Then I read about a meeting on the Gold Coast last year and it became clear as to why – FiveEyes pressure.

 

Government under FiveEyes

Written By: - Date published: 9:48 pm, June 7th, 2019 - 11 comments

Australian Federal Police chief Neil Gaughan told media after raiding the ABC that “if police did not investigate the leaking of classified information, Australia would no longer be entrusted by FiveEyes partners with intelligence that saves lives.” FiveEyes didn’t save Muslim lives in Christchurch.

 

Despatches from Surrealistan

Written By: - Date published: 4:15 am, June 6th, 2019 - 7 comments

London feels surreal.  Joined the demo against Trump, in town to see the Queen, see off the Prime Minister, and plunder the NHS in the name of ‘free trade.’ Saw the play “The Last Temptation of Boris Johnson,”  which might be prescient.

Auf Wiedersehen Iraq

Written By: - Date published: 12:49 pm, May 16th, 2019 - 30 comments

The Germans and the Dutch have suspended training Iraqi soldiers citing increased tensions in the area. What do they know that Ron Mark doesn’t? Cabinet is due to  make a decision shortly on our long-planned decision to withdraw, and he seems to want us to stay. Labour’s policy at the election was to withdraw, it should prevail.

Huawei go again

Written By: - Date published: 10:31 pm, May 12th, 2019 - 29 comments

Mike Pompeo has just been in Britain trying to bully the UK government out of using Huawei for its 5G network. He and other officials have been heavying countries around the world. Its not working, but one thing is clear. It makes GCSB’s head Andrew Hampton’s assertion that its decision to reject Huawei was independent is simply not believable. 

The Brady Papers

Written By: - Date published: 3:03 pm, May 10th, 2019 - 54 comments

Anne-Marie Brady submitted to yesterday’s Select Committee Inquiry into foreign interference in our elections, making copious reference to her “Magic Weapons” paper of 2017. She didn’t mention another paper which casts a much different light on her independence and purpose

Support Tax Fairness Reform

Written By: - Date published: 12:15 pm, April 9th, 2019 - 16 comments

The Tax Justice Network has started a campaign to gain support for taxing capital as income to support and improve our public services. If you would like to support the campaign, you can sign the petition here or donate here. All funds donated will go to the campaign advertising.

Xi-ing Jacinda

Written By: - Date published: 8:32 pm, March 29th, 2019 - 73 comments

Jacinda Ardern will get a very warm welcome in Beijing based on immense respect for her and for New Zealand.  Xi Jin-Ping has just returned from a very successful visit to Europe, joining Italy to the Belt and Road initiative and buying 300 jets from Airbus. Pepe Escobar outlines the implications for Eurasia. Much food for thought.

More political interference on Huawei

Written By: - Date published: 4:00 pm, March 13th, 2019 - 24 comments

Here’s another one for the select committee reviewing foreign interference. Visitor from Britain Charlie Parton of the Royal United Services Institute was on Morning Report this morning telling us to avoid Huawei because they are Chinese and different from us. At least he does us a favour by making it clear the matter is political not technical.

Magicked-Up Weapons

Written By: - Date published: 10:30 pm, March 11th, 2019 - 116 comments

I’m glad Anne-Marie Brady will get the chance to present her “Magic Weapons” paper to the select committee examining the last election. At long last it might get given some proper critical examination, of its content as well as it provenance. In my opinion it reads like a long list of the blindingly obvious, mixed with a large dose of conspiracy theory. It certainly doesn’t show much sign of the sort of critical thinking one might expect from an academic.

The right to strike for their future

Written By: - Date published: 2:49 pm, March 8th, 2019 - 25 comments

Good editorial in the DomPost today supporting the students’ strike for their future environment. I can’t say the same for David Farrar on National radio yesterday opining they should strike at the weekend. For another lesson in patronising, watch Senator Dianne Feinstein’s treatment of the kids in California.

Thanks a million Ruth

Written By: - Date published: 10:00 pm, March 5th, 2019 - 23 comments

Ruth Dyson, in my opinion up in the top rank of great Labour women, has announced she will leave Parliament at the end of this term. Typically in advance and typically without fanfare. Her contribution to Labour and to the less fortunate in our country has been huge.

GCSB head Hampton gazumped by Pompeo

Written By: - Date published: 1:15 pm, February 22nd, 2019 - 18 comments

On Wednesday GCSB chief Andrew Hampton told a Select Committee there was absolutely “no pressure” publicly or privately on his decision to block Huawei. On Thursday US Secretary of State Pompeo publicly warned that “United States would not be able to partner with or share information with countries that adopt Huawei Technologies Co Ltd systems.” What a difference a day makes.

Spark vs Spooks

Written By: - Date published: 1:47 pm, February 13th, 2019 - 66 comments

Spark wants Huawei’s 5G technology because its the best and the cheapest. The GCSB spooks don’t want us to have it because 5Eyes and because the US has yanked their chain. The Prime Minister says no decision has been made – the media and the world think it is a goneburger. We should support New Zealand’s Spark, not US corporate interests.

Trump’s brilliant strategy to dismantle US dollar hegemony

Written By: - Date published: 5:05 pm, February 3rd, 2019 - 56 comments

Polymath economist Professor Michael Hudson’s latest article is a geopolitical panoramic masterpiece, sparked by outrage at a series of concurrent events on January 31 which he predicts means that 2019 will be the “year of global fracture.” Definitely worth a read.      

Take the oil!

Written By: - Date published: 6:23 pm, January 28th, 2019 - 87 comments

Before he was elected President, Donald Trump’s approach to United States illegal attacks on Iraq and Libya was that their only mistake was that the US didn’t “take the oil.” After becoming President, his approach to oil-rich Venezuela was “can’t we just invade them?”

Update: John Bolton confirms its about the oil.

Peters to Pence on the Pacific – a return to colonialism?

Written By: - Date published: 9:38 pm, January 14th, 2019 - 120 comments

Winston Peters went to Washington last December to see US VP Mike Pence and invited the US to engage more in the South-West Pacific without informing Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern. Patrick Smellie described this apparent oversight as “deeply worrying.” Even more worrying is what Peters said when he was there.

New Zealand First or America First?

Written By: - Date published: 9:41 pm, December 19th, 2018 - 37 comments

In Washington last week Winston Peters urged America to involve itself more in the Pacific, in a speech the Prime Minister was apparently unaware of. Referring to Africa, John Bolton outlined what that involvement would mean – American interests first and only. Dangerous with the neocons in charge of the playpen.

 

Safe from prying 5Eyes

Written By: - Date published: 10:22 pm, December 8th, 2018 - 62 comments

I like my Huawei phone. Apparently the US National Security Agency can’t break its encryption. That’s presumably the “security” issue why Spark is being blocked from using Huawei, and why Meng Wanzhou is held hostage in Canada at the behest of US neocons.

Yanking our chain

Written By: - Date published: 10:32 pm, December 3rd, 2018 - 46 comments

Tracy Watkins is in Korea paid for by the US to head off any support fro President Moon’s visit here. The US security chiefs are here in Wellington today with the 40-grit sandpaper. A high-ranking Russia “expert” from the UK was here last week because they thought Winston Peters wasn’t sufficiently outraged by the Skripal false flag affair. We’re in the gun in the information wars.

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  • Disgust
    I have no special insights to offer on the Labour sexual assault coverup. All I have is disgust. Disgust that an organisation could fail its people so badly. Disgust that they punished the victims rather than the perpetrator. Disgust that its party hacks are apparently blaming the victims for demanding ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Speak Up for Women calls out Greens’ censorship
    This open letter to the Green Party was penned after an opinion piece by Jill Abigail, a feminist and founding member of the party, was censored by the Greens’ leadership. (Redline has reprinted her article here).The intolerance of the Green Party leaders and their acceptance of the misogyny of gender ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Member’s Day: End of Life Choice, part 3
    Today is a Member's day, and David Seymour's End of Life Choice Bill continues its slow crawl through its committee stage. They're spending the whole day on it today, though the first hour is likely to be spent on voting left over from last time. After that they'll move on ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Flight to Los Angeles turned back after passengers decide they don’t want to go anymore
    An ambitious plan to fly to Los Angeles petered out into a brief sight-seeing trip and a desire to return home and get some sleep before work tomorrow. Air New Zealand has confirmed a flight to Los Angeles last night was turned back about a quarter of the way into ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Indigenous Futures: defuturing and futuring – an analytical framework for policy development?
    There appears to be consensus – by omission – that the concept of indigenous futures should be accepted at face value. So I scavenged the internet to see if I could locate an academic descriptor or a framework around how we think about it as a concept, and whether it ...
    EllipsisterBy Ellipsister
    1 week ago
  • Cadbury rumoured to be releasing the Pineapple Trump
    Here’s another novelty chocolate to shove in your gob, New Zealand Cadbury could be seeking to make itself great again with a rumoured new release: Pineapple Trumps, a spin on its classic chocolate-encased pineapple treat and do-it-yourself tooth remover. The global confectionery manufacturer and bumbling “before” character in an infomercial, ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • The coming resource war.
    During my time in the Pentagon I had the privilege of sitting down with military leaders and defence and security officials from a variety of Latin American nations. Sometimes I was present as a subordinate assistant to a senior US defence department official, sometimes as part of a delegation that ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Māori Language Week with The Civilian
    Kia ora, Aotearoa. It’s that magical time of year. Te Wiki o te Reo Māori. In English, the week that frightens talk radio. As you probably know by now, all your favourite media outlets are participating, some more successfully than others. Stuff has changed its name to Puna for the ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Will Horizons act on climate change?
    Local body elections are coming up next month. And it looks like all Palmerston North candidates for Horizons (the Manawatu-Whanganui Regional Council) want to take action on climate change:Climate change is set to be a key issue in Palmerston North for the next three years if those wanting to get ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • BORA reform is stalled
    Eighteen months ago, the government promised to strengthen the Bill of Rights Act, by explicitly affirming the power of the courts to issue declarations of inconsistency and requiring Parliament to formally respond to them. So how's that going? I was curious, so I asked for all advice about the proposal. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Corbyn and Brexit
    As the Brexit saga staggers on, the focus is naturally enough on the Prime Minister and his attempts to achieve Brexit “do or die”. But the role played by the Leader of the Opposition is of almost equal interest and complexity. The first problem for Jeremy Corbyn is that he ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • A ditch for him to die in
    Last week, English Prime Minister Boris Johnson boldly declared that he would rather die be dead in a ditch than delay Brexit. Unfortunately for him, the UK parliament accepted the challenge, and promptly dug one for him. The "rebellion bill" requires him to ask for and secure yet another temporary ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Warning! Warning! Danger Jacinda Ardern! Danger Marama Davidson! Warning!
    Lost In Political Space: The most important takeaway from this latest Labour sexual assault scandal, which (if I may paraphrase Nixon’s White House counsel’s, John Dean’s, infamous description of Watergate) is “growing like a cancer” on the premiership, is the Labour Party organisation’s extraordinary professional paralysis in the face of ...
    1 week ago
  • Union solidarity with Ihumatao land occupation
    by Daphna Whitmore Every Sunday for the past two months unionists from First Union, with supporters from other unions, have set out to the Ihumatao land protest, put up gazebos and gas barbeques, and cooked food for a few hundred locals and supporters who have come from across the country. ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: The wrong kind of trees?
    Newsroom today has an excellent, in-depth article on pine trees as carbon sinks. The TL;DR is that pine is really good at soaking up carbon, but people prefer far-less efficient native forests instead. Which is understandable, but there's two problems: firstly, we've pissed about so long on this problem that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • No freedom of speech in Turkey
    Canan Kaftancioglu is a Turkish politician and member of the opposition Republican People's Party (CHP). Like most modern politicians, she tweets, and uses the platform to criticise the Turkish government. She has criticised them over the death of a 14-year-old boy who was hit by a tear gas grenade during ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Speaker: Tadhg Stopford: Why I’m standing for the ADHB
    Hi there, just call me Tim.We face tough problems, and I’d like to help, because there are solutions.An Auckand District Health Board member has nominated me for as a candidate for the ADHB, because her MS-related pain and fatigue is reduced with hemp products from Rotorua.  Nothing else helped her. If I ...
    1 week ago
  • Good little vassals
    The Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security has published their report on whether the SIS and GCSB had any complicity in American torture. And its damning. The pull quote is this:The Inquiry found both agencies, but to a much greater degree, the NZSIS, received many intelligence reports obtained from detainees who, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Who Shall We Turn To When God, And Uncle Sam, Cease To Defend New Zealand?
    Bewhiskered Cassandra? Professor Hugh White’s chilling suggestion, advanced to select collections of academic, military and diplomatic Kiwi experts over the course of the past week, is that the assumptions upon which Australia and New Zealand have built their foreign affairs and defence policies for practically their entire histories – are ...
    2 weeks ago
  • The Politics of Opposition
    For most of the time I was a British MP, my party was out of government – these were the Thatcher years, when it was hard for anyone else to get a look-in. As a front-bencher and shadow minister, I became familiar with the strategies required in a parliamentary democracy ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    2 weeks ago
  • More expert comments on the Canadian fluoride-IQ paper
    The Green et al (2019) fluoride/IQ is certainly controversial – as would be expected from its subject (see If at first you don’t succeed . . . statistical manipulation might help and Politics of science – making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear). Anti-fluoride campaigners have been actively promoting it ...
    2 weeks ago
  • The return to guerrilla war in Colombia
    by Gearóid Ó Loingsigh On August 29th a video in which veteran FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia) commander Iván Márquez announced that they had taken up arms again was released. There was no delay in the reaction to it, from longtime Liberal Party figure and former president Uribe, for ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago

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