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Author Archive

Why stick more fingers in the donations dyke?

Written By: - Date published: 9:50 pm, August 1st, 2022 - 13 comments

The latest attempt to construct a sensible political donations regime will likely again prove to be full of holes. Going back to basics would be much better. The good news is that the basics were comprehensively assessed 36 years ago by the 1986 Royal Commission on Electoral Reform. It recommended state funding.

Militarising the Pacific

Written By: - Date published: 2:04 pm, July 17th, 2022 - 16 comments

The Solomons Islands security agreement with China led to paroxysms of ‘serious concern’ about militarisation of the Pacific. 3 days before the Pacific Island Forum convened, 4 US B-2 nuclear-capable stealth bombers  deployed on rotation into Australia. I know what worries me most.

Should our future lie with NATO?

Written By: - Date published: 3:23 pm, June 21st, 2022 - 62 comments

Not content to stay in the North Atlantic, NATO is shortly about to reveal in Madrid its next ten-year plan to contain China. Jacinda Ardern will be there, who knows why. Are we nailing our colours to a flag at half-mast?

Foot-shooting the sanctions’ lockstep

Written By: - Date published: 6:41 pm, June 18th, 2022 - 45 comments

RNZ’s “The Detail” asked are New Zealand’s sanctions against Russia working? They aren’t, but one detail we learnt that MFAT has 100 staff members assigned to sorting out their complications!! What a waste.

The terrorist ‘heroes’ of Mariupol

Written By: - Date published: 4:44 pm, May 21st, 2022 - 128 comments

The mass surrender of over 2000 members of  the extreme nationalist AZOV battalion in Mariupol is a major win in the fight against global race-based terrorism.  These extreme nationalists share the same ideology as the Christchurch and Buffalo assassins. Efforts to combat extremism have focused on the influence of social media on individuals. Insufficient attention is paid to organising centres such as AZOV.

The Natives are Getting Uppity

Written By: - Date published: 8:24 pm, March 29th, 2022 - 33 comments

Jacinda Ardern is “gravely concerned.” Peeni Henare was ‘”caught off-guard.”. Barnaby Joyce feels “intimidated.” Solomon Islands PM Sogavare found it “insulting to be branded as unfit to  manage our sovereign affairs.” I think he is right.

Five Eyes Joins Morning Report

Written By: - Date published: 7:21 pm, March 25th, 2022 - 65 comments

Morning Report today interviewed ex MI6 chemical weapons false flag specialist Hamish de Bretton-Gordon saying because Russia has lost in Ukraine it will likely resort using to chemical weapons. FiveEyes hawks want NATO to intervene, so we get World War 3, Hurrah!

Who Pays the Price of Sanctions

Written By: - Date published: 4:32 pm, March 20th, 2022 - 194 comments

New Zealand’s sanctions on Russia have not stopped the war in Ukraine. They may have made our parliamentarians feel better, and Tony Blinken was quick to congratulate us on falling into line with the US “high-impact sanctions.” The language is combative, but the evidence shows sanctions do not  work. They can have significant blow-back effects, particularly if not combined with effective diplomacy.

Denazifying Ukraine

Written By: - Date published: 8:51 pm, March 6th, 2022 - 128 comments

One of Vladimir Putin’s objectives in the Russian incursion into Ukraine was to “denazify Ukraine.” With the breakdown in the agreement to allow a humanitarian corridor out of Mariupol, this task will be much harder and the terrorist toll much higher. Once Russia has succeeded however, the world will be a better place for it.

Global Britain fell with Singapore

Written By: - Date published: 10:00 pm, February 16th, 2022 - 4 comments

Today February 15th is the 80th anniversary of the fall of Singapore in 1942, described by many as Britain’s worst military disaster. It was a massive strategic fail, and its effect is still powerful today, most notably with Australia’s lockstep with the US. Current British strategists don’t seem to have learnt a thing.

 

Big developments in Beijing

Written By: - Date published: 4:44 pm, February 7th, 2022 - 31 comments

The meeting between Putin and Xi Jinping is likely to set the geopolitical direction for the 21st century. If ‘divide and rule’ was the mantra for the US’s hegemonic rule in the 20th century, ‘unite and share’ looks like setting the tone for the 21st. Co-operation rather than competition is the mantra, and “friendship between the two states has no limits.” A truly remarkable turnaround.

Prisoners of the Narrative #1

Written By: - Date published: 4:30 pm, January 23rd, 2022 - Comments Off on Prisoners of the Narrative #1

Robert Ayson’s advocacy of a sanctions regime for New Zealand in case of a  Russian invasion of Ukraine is a bad idea based on poor intelligence.The “Russian invasion” narrative was always a beat-up, and there is no support from major players in Europe for sanctions such as removal from the SWIFT payment system. Russia’s claim for border security is reasonable and essential for peace.

Blinken and Blind-Sided?

Written By: - Date published: 2:54 pm, January 16th, 2022 - 17 comments

Russian peacekeepers are already leaving Kazakhstan having nipped the ‘colour revolution’ in the bud. Blinken clearly didn’t have a clue when he said Russians never leave the house. Russian intelligence was superb. Now we wait for Russia’s response to US likely refusal to pull back from its borders. One thing I’d bet on – no invasion of Ukraine.

Unwanted guests?

Written By: - Date published: 10:40 pm, January 8th, 2022 - 22 comments

When I heard US Secretary of State Blinken’s take-away line from his D.C. press conference on RNZ’s news bulletin today on events in Kazakhstan  ‘I think one lesson in recent history is that once Russians are in your house, it’s sometimes very difficult to get them to leave’ I wondered what the Iraqis would think.

Let’s punch for peace

Written By: - Date published: 4:28 pm, December 30th, 2021 - 34 comments

Today’s Herald editorial says New Zealand ‘wisely’ doesn’t punch above its weight in  military activities. That’s not true – I remember sailing around the nuclear-powered USS Truxtun as it entered harbour in a Wellington gale. It was just one of many flotillas campaigning against nuclear weapons and nuclear war that resulted in a knockout – New Zealand’s suspension from the ANZUS alliance on a point of principle.

Assange extradition judgment overturned

Written By: - Date published: 3:31 pm, December 12th, 2021 - 29 comments

I should have known not to be hopeful. British justice is an oxymoron which makes a mockery of official references to our ‘like-minded countries’ in the Five Eyes. The decision by senior judges in the UK to overturn a previous court decision not to extradite Julian Assange to the US is an example of state persecution of a person with the courage to speak out against crimes of the state.

Mothers of the Revolution

Written By: - Date published: 6:16 pm, November 20th, 2021 - 41 comments

Saw an inspiring premiere of this NZ -made movie about the amazing women of Greenham Common at the Wellington Film Festival today. Their years-long protest led to the INF treaty, a major advance in nuclear safety, now abandoned. Well worth seeing – a timely reminder in light of today’s news about NATO moving nuclear missiles around Eastern European nations on Russia’s borders.

The AUKUS Shell-game

Written By: - Date published: 3:54 pm, October 4th, 2021 - 44 comments

While the agreement between the 19th Century anglophone maritime powers the US and the UK to admit Australia to the exclusive nuclear submarine club gained all the headlines, another much more significant and imminent agreement was reached between the US and Australian governments on expanding US bases in Australia in the AUSMIN statement. The US gains another unsinkable aircraft carrier.

The rise and rise of David Seymour’s ACT

Written By: - Date published: 2:28 pm, August 25th, 2021 - 35 comments

I thought David Seymour was the  most interesting speaker at the Victoria University post-election conference at Parliament last year. Two things stood out for me in  his presentation following ACT’s election gains. He opened by offering lengthy and effusive praise to his researcher, then clearly stated his objective to supplant National as the leading party on the right. He’s on track for that, as current media attention shows.

China reports zero local symptomatic Covid-19 cases for first time in weeks

Written By: - Date published: 10:52 am, August 24th, 2021 - 55 comments

You probably won’t see this in our local media, as our pundits today debate whether it is time to ditch our elimination strategy and Australia gives up on it. China is also well ahead on ensuring its vast population is vaccinated as well.

Advice from Oz for the anti-China media

Written By: - Date published: 11:44 am, August 10th, 2021 - 23 comments

There’s so many of them here – Guyon Espiner, Anna Fifield, Lucy Craymer, Sam Sachdeva, Laura Walters, John Daniell, Emile Donovan, Paula Penfold, reef fish with the same few sources. Australian Paul Strutynski provides the textbook in his “Guide for budding foreign policy journalists wanting to work for the Nine Network or Newscorp.”

Are we really ready to escalate to war with China over Taiwan?

Written By: - Date published: 6:47 pm, July 29th, 2021 - 38 comments

“What will the role of New Zealand be should China invade Taiwan?” was by far the  most popular question for Jacinda Ardern after she spoke at a NZIIA seminar last week. Promising to be benign, Ardern said we are “very predictable,” cited alleged human rights abuses in Hong Kong, and went on to say we […]

Communist Party of China turns 100

Written By: - Date published: 11:59 pm, June 30th, 2021 - 59 comments

July 1st this year marks the 100th anniversary of the foundation of the Communist Party of China in Shanghai in 1921. It is a date worth commemorating as while the Party is not well understood, its positive achievements have been outstanding.

NZ Nuclear-Free Day

Written By: - Date published: 9:32 pm, June 8th, 2021 - 3 comments

June 8 is the anniversary of Aotearoa’s 1987 nuclear-free legislation. NZOnScreen is running a retrospective of our proud history, the Nuclear-free Collection. It is well worth a watch. I particularly liked the movie “Nuclear Reaction,” with Big Norm seeing off the French, Big Dave seeing off the Americans, and Kiwi Keith also clear about where we stood. The nuclear risk is worse now than it has ever been.

 

Uyghur separatists behind call for Parliamentary motion on genocide

Written By: - Date published: 4:26 pm, May 4th, 2021 - 72 comments

On Morning Report today ‘High Court lawyer’ Sam Vincent called for Parliament to resolve to condemn alleged Uyghur genocide in Xinjiang. He said he spoke on behalf of Uyghur Solidarity Aotearoa committed to taking action on Xinjiang “or as they call it East Turkestan.” If they call it East Turkestan they are likely separatists, with possible links to terrorists. That explains a lot.

US to offer millions in new funds to take on China

Written By: - Date published: 2:57 pm, May 3rd, 2021 - 16 comments

This from SCMP columnist Alex Lo “If they look, swim and quack like US influence operations, they probably are US influence operations, especially when they come with an annual price tag of US$300 million to be authorised by law by the US Congress, of which US10 million has been earmarked especially for Hong Kong.” Lo […]

Putting Five Eyes in its place

Written By: - Date published: 10:25 pm, April 20th, 2021 - 19 comments

Following her speech to the NZ China Council, Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta wanted to be very clear that in speaking out about issues with other countries, New Zealand would not be doing it in concert with Five Eyes partners. She expressed a view that New Zealand did not agree with Five Eyes remit encroaching beyond intelligence, and that this had been communicated to Five Eyes partners. Good.

The SIS is worried about foreign interference – so what’s NATO doing in our back yard?

Written By: - Date published: 9:28 pm, March 31st, 2021 - 26 comments

The SIS can’t help itself – it keeps getting involved in our politics, but stays resolutely one-eyed. As Sam Sachdeva of Newsroom reports, it has just released advice for politicians on how to avoid political interference. Maintaining ‘transparent’ secrecy, it uses its favourite journalists and academics to drop the necessary hints – look over here. […]

Britain’s tin-ear ’tilt’ to the Indo-Pacific

Written By: - Date published: 5:39 pm, March 18th, 2021 - 14 comments

In its new integrated defence and foreign policy strategy, Britain intends  to raise its nuclear warheads on Trident from 180 to 240. What a waste. It also intends to “tilt” to the Indo-Pacific, sending the New HMS Queen Elizabeth aircraft carrier here later in the year to give a message to China. It should read its history.

We must resist US pressure on China that could lead to war

Written By: - Date published: 7:00 pm, February 20th, 2021 - 41 comments

In February 2002 I was at a union-NDP conference in Ottawa watching US television in my hotel room. Back home I reported on the conference to the Labour Party caucus and stated as an aside that the US was going to war with Iraq. Helen Clark stood up straightaway and said “we won’t be going with them.” Jacinda Ardern needs to do the same now.

Uyghur allegation escalation?

Written By: - Date published: 6:25 pm, February 6th, 2021 - 67 comments

Radio New Zealand carried a long story this week from the BBC of rape allegations in Xinjiang based on accounts from two Uyghur women Tursunay Ziawudun and Gulzira Auelkhan. Independent analyst Bernhard at Moonofalabama asks the question “Why do these Uyghur witnesses stories constantly change?

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