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

Written By: - Date published: 6:47 pm, July 29th, 2021 - 33 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?

Hong Kong arrests uncovering an ‘ugly plot?’

Written By: - Date published: 6:15 pm, January 25th, 2021 - 6 comments

Retired Hong Kong Final Court of Appeal Judge Henry Litton raises some important questions about the motivations of the 53 would-be legislators recently arrested in Hong Kong. Five Eyes countries including New Zealand were quick to condemn the arrests, but Litton states their aim was to implement a wider plot called “10-steps to mutual destruction,” and to use their powers as legislators to create chaos.

No extradition for Assange

Written By: - Date published: 12:27 am, January 5th, 2021 - 104 comments

Great news. While unexpected, Nicky Hager who was an expert witness for Assange at the trial, thought this might be a possibility when he spoke to the Fabian Society in November. More details tomorrow.

Update: Bail application to be heard on Wednesday London time.

Nanaia Mahuta – Peacebroker

Written By: - Date published: 6:07 pm, December 16th, 2020 - 22 comments

“Do I believe that there might be an opportunity for New Zealand to create a different environment and have a conversation? Yes, I do.” Nanaia Mahuta told Reuters on Tuesday the country would be willing to help negotiate a truce between neighbouring Australia and regional heavyweight China, who are caught in an escalating trade and diplomatic spat. Great idea.

Blind-sided by Five Eyes

Written By: - Date published: 2:34 pm, December 12th, 2020 - 13 comments

It has been good to see some pushback in the media questioning the wisdom of  Mahuta’s FiveEyes alignment as the first public act of her tenure as our Foreign Minister. Chris Trotter writes in interest.co.nz that upsetting New Zealand’s most significant trading partner seems like a very silly thing to do. Others include Bryce Edwards […]

“Beyond Jacinda” – Colin James and Cr Tamatha Paul

Written By: - Date published: 1:45 pm, December 3rd, 2020 - 20 comments

Colin James and Councillor Tamatha Paul will discuss Colin’s paper “Beyond Jacinda” on Monday 7 December at 5:30pm at Baptist Church, 46-48 Boulcott Street Wellington. It will also be shown on Zoom and available on YouTube. Registration links below. All Welcome.

UK Labour suspends Corbyn for stating the obvious about anti-semitism in the Party

Written By: - Date published: 7:36 pm, October 30th, 2020 - 35 comments

Following a report into anti-semitism in the UK Labour party, Corbyn said it exists in the Party but it is over-stated and the campaign against it is politically-motivated by opponents inside and outside the Party. He was instantly suspended from the party and had the whip removed by leader Sir Keir Starmer, which seems excessive and will cause further discord. Corbyn is not an anti-Semite.

Checkpoint shroud-waving over Queensland politics?

Written By: - Date published: 10:56 pm, September 10th, 2020 - 12 comments

Today’s Checkpoint descended into shroud-waving in the case of a New South Wales family not able to visit their dying father in Queensland because of the strict border closure. As our health officials note, “bereavement issues” are where most care is needed to prevent the virus spread.

Assange’s torture and the death of journalism

Written By: - Date published: 9:28 pm, September 6th, 2020 - 60 comments

On the eve of Assange’s extradition hearing in London, award-winning freelancer Jonathan Cook has written a scathing indictment of corporate journalism’s collusion in ignoring his official torture. I posted an example of that here last year, where Richard Harman denied Assange was a journalist at a panel convened at Parliament by the British High Commissioner.

US v China: new Cold War or new Opium War?

Written By: - Date published: 10:27 am, August 25th, 2020 - 23 comments

The Trump administration has declared war on China, and there is much speculation in the punditry as to whether or not this is a new Cold War similar to that waged post World War 2 against Russia. In my opinion, the 19th century Opium Wars may offer a more appropriate analogy, albeit with a likely different outcome.

Brady under review by Canterbury University

Written By: - Date published: 7:59 pm, August 17th, 2020 - 99 comments

Canterbury University is conducting a review of statements made to the Justice Select Committee by Professor Anne-Marie Brady alleging covert military transfer to China which complainants from other Universities under attack said “contained manifest errors of fact and misleading inferences.” The University would do well to broaden its review to encompass the NATO-funded Canterbury SSANSE which Brady heads. The military-purpose link there is explicit.

Tick Tock Tik-Tok

Written By: - Date published: 5:37 pm, August 2nd, 2020 - 5 comments

Trump has announced he will ban Tik-Tok from the United States. It’s Chinese-owned so there. Or maybe he will force it to be sold to Americans.Don’t think security is the issue; kids used it to stuff up his Tulsa rally. And it is good for mockery, as clips about Trump and Pompeo show. Don’t think that will stop if Americans own it.

Operation Burnham: A disorganised cover-up?

Written By: - Date published: 9:03 pm, July 31st, 2020 - 13 comments

A justified operation, no organised cover-up, but serious failures in senior defence personnel’s denial and misrepresentation, and serious failures by the intelligence agencies in handing over a suspect to torture. The Inquiry called for a review of Defence administration, an Inspector-General of Defence, a Defence Force order on dealing with allegations of civilian casualties, and an “effective detention policy.”

Payne snubs Pompeo on China regime change

Written By: - Date published: 12:52 pm, July 30th, 2020 - 15 comments

Australia’s Foreign Minister Marise Payne and Defence Minister Linda Reynolds traveled to the US this week to meet face-to-face with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Defense Minister Mark Esper. In what was clearly meant as a follow-up to recent speeches on China by the Americans, Payne firmly declined to join Pompeo in in his call for regime change in China.

Hong Kong principles

Written By: - Date published: 9:49 pm, July 28th, 2020 - 38 comments

According to our Prime Minister, today’s announcement that New Zealand is suspending extradition arrangements with Hong Kong is because of our principles. But it is not immediately clear what these principles are, other than falling into line with our Five Eyes spying partners. Some history is important.

Looking the wrong way? The SIS in New Zealand

Written By: - Date published: 8:19 pm, July 1st, 2020 - 12 comments

Richard Northey and Nicky Hager will discuss their experiences with the SIS over the past thirty-five years, what they reveal about the agency’s values and culture, and what we might want to see in the forthcoming review of the intelligence and security agencies post the Christchurch mosque massacre. St Andrews Church, The Terrace, Wellington, Friday 3 July 5:30pm. All welcome, register here.

Fixing Unemployment – Zoom meetup Saturday 10am

Written By: - Date published: 3:11 pm, June 19th, 2020 - 8 comments

Is it time to completely rethink how we deal with unemployment? We face a tsunami of job losses not seen in generations. Two ideas — social insurance and a job guarantee — are gaining prominence as ways to change how we deal with the problem. One provides income protection for those who lose employment, the other aims for something bolder: the elimination of unemployment. All welcome; register here.

Kim Hill asked “Why…

Written By: - Date published: 4:51 pm, June 12th, 2020 - 31 comments

…is the US sharemarket roaring away – up 44% – while economic recovery prospects are grim?” ANZ’s Sharon Zollner’s answer on Tuesday was the Fed printing money, but worried markets were turning a  blind eye to the bad news. The bad news hit today as the sharemarket nose-dived. Wolf Richter’s answer was more to Kim’s point: “Fed bails out the wealthy while America convulses in pain.”

More Skripal bullshit

Written By: - Date published: 10:03 pm, June 9th, 2020 - 37 comments

Skripal’s relatives don’t believe it, Jacinda Ardern doesn’t believe it, Paul Buchanan doesn’t believe it, and I never believed it. But a story planted in the UK Sunday Times that the Skripals are here lets our media rerun the assassination attempt that failed, even though the most deadliest poison in the world was involved. Stuff website has a British Minister from Theresa May’s time rerunning the old lies,as does the NZ Herald. Fits in nicely with the SIS anti-Russian history.

Running for cover

Written By: - Date published: 9:38 pm, April 21st, 2020 - 41 comments

More 1% Americans are heading our way, according to Bloomberg. The Texas company building underground bunkers is getting more enquiries. They’re not running from the virus but fear the aftermath when the breadlines turn.

A response from the Rosa Luxemburg wing of the Labour Party

Written By: - Date published: 3:55 pm, April 15th, 2020 - 60 comments

According to Stephen Mills on Nine to Noon yesterday, Jeremy Corbyn’s resignation as Labour leader will only be mourned by “the microscopic Rosa Luxemburg-worshipping far left sect in New Zealand.” His outburst was deliberate, gratuitous and way over the top.

Bullet Train Wreck

Written By: - Date published: 10:21 pm, March 25th, 2020 - 23 comments

New York Governor Cuomo was told CoVid-19 was like an approaching freight train. More like a bullet train was his response. Watching the White House daily briefing with Trump dominant it looks like a massive train wreck is on the way in the US.

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