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Get out now

Written By: - Date published: 2:21 pm, January 6th, 2020 - 76 comments

General Soleimani was visiting Iraq at the request of the Iraqi Prime Minister to discuss mediation between the US and Iran. Following his assassination by the US the Iraqi Parliament has voted to ask all foreign troops to leave the country. New Zealand’s remaining troops should bring forward their scheduled departure and leave immediately.

 

That 1914 Feeling

Written By: - Date published: 10:28 pm, January 3rd, 2020 - 104 comments

President Trump personally ordered the assassination of General Qassem Soleimani, head of Iran’s elite military Quds force. He was killed by rockets fired from US drones over Baghdad Airport.  This is unlawful by any standards, as well as an act of war. Iran has promised retaliation.The doomsday clock just moved closer to midnight.

Little’s Electoral Bill a curate’s egg – good in parts

Written By: - Date published: 1:51 pm, December 4th, 2019 - 11 comments

I’ve always liked Punch magazine’s famous cartoon “True humility” where the curate assures his bishop noticing his bad egg that parts of it are excellent. Most discussion on Little’s Bill has focused on the bad bits regarding foreign donations. The good bit requires all political ads online to be attributed.

Snap election Britain

Written By: - Date published: 10:39 am, October 30th, 2019 - 55 comments

The UK will learn its political fate on Friday 13 December. MPs have voted in a one-line Bill to have an election on Thursday 12 November, in the middle of winter.  BoJo’s got his way if not quite the way he wanted. All bets are off.

 

British Justice tortures Assange

Written By: - Date published: 4:14 am, October 26th, 2019 - 36 comments

Craig Murray reports on the horror of Julian Assange’s treatment by British so-called “justice.” Read it and don’t weep. You can see why Murray resigned from the UK foreign service; their diplomacy is just as bad.

BoJo cornered

Written By: - Date published: 1:03 am, September 25th, 2019 - 75 comments

Lady Hale and the UK Supreme Court have torpedoed Boris Johnson’s cunning plan to prorogue Parliament. His request to the Queen was “unlawful, void, and of no effect.” Her Maj will not be pleased. Johnson is now boxed in – ask for an extension to Brexit, or resign.

 

Macron speech – The end of Western hegemony

Written By: - Date published: 2:09 am, September 19th, 2019 - 21 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.

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