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Author Archive

Jacinda Ardern’s Labour Government: Style over substance or a guiding light for progressive politics?

Written By: - Date published: 8:42 am, August 10th, 2020 - 33 comments

Critics have dismissed the Jacinda Ardern government as being one of style over substance. This is unfair given the challenges this government has faced and the policy achievements it has had. However, it is a government that has much work to do if it wins a second term. And its over-reliance on Jacinda as party leader is a huge strategic risk, especially when the governments front bench is perceived, rightly or wrongly, to be lightweight.

Trade Unionism: Does it have a future

Written By: - Date published: 10:36 pm, July 27th, 2020 - 19 comments

There is no blueprint for building a stronger more effective trade union movement. There are many, who each and every day wake up and do exactly that.

Union peak bodies: a beacon of hope for all workers

Written By: - Date published: 11:02 pm, July 11th, 2020 - 21 comments

My view is that neither big nor small unions function particularly well in the modern-day workforce. There are many notable exceptions to this where both do very good work. But few have found the balance of good local support for members, tackling national and international issues and crucially not wasting considerable time and resource fighting another rival union encroaching on their patch.

Local Government: crucial and undervalued

Written By: - Date published: 12:27 am, July 11th, 2020 - 4 comments

On the day of the council vote, we organised for the effected Citi-Ops workers to sit in the public gallery in the Council rooms wearing their High Viz’s and work gear. I was one of three speakers for the union, expressing opposition to axing these jobs. The Council debated the issue for about 30 minutes. Those councillors in favour of making the workers redundant argued that they should not interfere with management decisions. Those against the decision felt that management did not have the mandate to make this decision. The vote ended up being 7-7, so Green Party Mayor Celia Wade-Brown used her casting vote to uphold management’s decision to outsource these workers jobs. The Citi Operations staff were sitting in the room, so Celia and the councillors were looking at these workers as they made them redundant.

Wellington buses now: how a local authority harmed public transport

Written By: - Date published: 7:27 am, July 6th, 2020 - 15 comments

Sure to form, Paul Swain along with Regional Council Chair and another former Labour MP Fran Wilde proposed tearing down the trolleybus wire and increasing the city’s carbon emission. This was to then promptly followed by re-tendering all the bus routes having redesigned all the bus network so that bus companies could then compete over routes and undercut each other. At one council meeting in mid-2016 Swain was questioned about the possibility of protecting drivers jobs and employment conditions. After a few questions, he lost patience, slammed in hand on the table and ended the meeting. This was the extent to which Swain and the Greater Wellington Regional Council considered supporting bus drivers during this process.

The 2008 Go Wellington Bus Lockout

Written By: - Date published: 5:44 am, July 3rd, 2020 - 6 comments

20 days after being elected President of the Wellington Tramways and Public Passenger Transport Employees Union (we just called it Tramways), drivers at Go Wellington were locked out. The City nearly ground to a halt with thousands unable to get to work and traffic congestion a nightmare. Certain journalists were quick to call this a communist conspiracy.

Black lives matter

Written By: - Date published: 1:09 am, June 6th, 2020 - 106 comments

The civil war may have ended slavery, the civil rights movement may have changed the legal framework ending segregation in the Southern States, but the idea that white people’s lives matter more has survived into the 21st century.

How Africa has weathered the COVID-19 storm

Written By: - Date published: 12:25 pm, May 27th, 2020 - 14 comments

Ramaphosa has no doubt learnt from his predecessor Thabo Mbeki’s abysmal response to the HIV crisis in South Africa where inaction by the government caused the virus to spread quickly. Sadly it’s through these sort of deadly mistakes that politicians learn the importance of prevention in public health.

 

UK: Too soon to end the lockdown

Written By: - Date published: 12:18 pm, May 9th, 2020 - 17 comments

First Secretary of State Dominic Raab has said that lockdown changes being announced this coming Sunday will be ‘modest’ and ‘small’. This is hardly surprising when earlier in the week the national statistician Professor Ian Diamond said that COVID-19 infection rates could be increasing. In particular, the number of cases being reported in care-homes appears to be increasing. Adding to the pressure both the Scottish and Welsh ruled out any significant relaxation of the lockdown rules.

UK Labour – the leaked report

Written By: - Date published: 1:35 pm, May 7th, 2020 - 27 comments

In July 2019 BBC current affairs show Panorama did a report on antisemitism in Labour. Ironically many of the whistleblowers from this Panorama documentary were the people named in this leaked Labour report as having frustrated antisemitism investigations. Were it not for COVID-19, we can be sure the BBC would ensure this was properly reported on to ensure a balanced and factual news service had been provided. Or maybe not?

Has the EU failed during COVID-19?

Written By: - Date published: 5:16 am, April 10th, 2020 - 20 comments

Originally posted on Nick Kelly’s blog 

For global governance organisations, this is an important moment. This is the chance for them to demonstrate their worth and coordinate the response. In many ways how these structures respond becomes more important than the response of nation-states. This also is where the deficiencies and shortcomings of such organisations become very apparent. The noise coming from the EU in the last 48 hours is far from reassuring.

Pandemics are no a time for inward-looking nationalism

Written By: - Date published: 4:37 am, April 9th, 2020 - 41 comments

Originally posted on Nick Kelly’s Blog

Trump is focused on the November US Presidential Election. His anti-Chinese, nationalist, America First rhetoric is his go-to response to keep his political base onside. He is placing his political ambition ahead of millions of lives both in the US and globally. Trump has placed electoral politics ahead of leadership that could save millions of lives.

This result could lead to the break up of the United Kingdom

Written By: - Date published: 8:11 am, February 10th, 2020 - 13 comments

Originally posted onNick Kelly’s blog

Nick is a Director of Piko Consulting and works as a Political Adviser in The House of Lords. 

Listening to the results being reported while driving on that California freeway, I recall thinking ‘this result could lead to the break up of the United Kingdom’. On hearing that both Northern Ireland and Scotland had voted to stay part of the EU, in contrast to the rest of the country, it was hard to imagine that this would not become a significant issue.

The BBC – a failed public broadcaster

Written By: - Date published: 11:36 am, February 3rd, 2020 - 26 comments

At the 2019 election the BBC had an opportunity to show the world what quality political journalism looks like in the 21st century. It failed. The consequences for this could be dire for the Beeb.

The Fourth Estate struggling in the social media world

Written By: - Date published: 11:51 pm, January 27th, 2020 - 30 comments

Originally posted on Nick Kelly’s blog

Ahead of the 2020 General Election in New Zealand, Labour Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has announced that her party is committed to run factual election and has signed up to a social media tool to help prove it. The 2020 NZ election will be an interesting case study of whether in the social media age there can be honest political debate free of misinformation and manipulation of facts.

Why UK Labour lost? Part 9: What the party needs to do now.

Written By: - Date published: 10:37 am, January 17th, 2020 - 12 comments

Originally post on Nick Kelly’s blog

The broader context of this defeat is that over the last century, UK Labour has won 8 out of the last 28 general elections. Overall the Labour Party is not a successful electoral force in the UK. What makes the 2019 loss harder, is that the party lost sections of its historical base in the North of England and the Midlands.

Why UK Labour lost?  Part 8: What it takes to win

Written By: - Date published: 7:18 am, January 16th, 2020 - 6 comments

Originally posted on Nick Kelly’s blog 

The UK Labour Party in the 2019 election assumed that like in 2017, the release of their policy manifesto would see their support increase significantly. Assuming that 2019 would be a re-run of 2017 was a foolish mistake.

Why UK Labour lost?  Part 7: Momentum and the Corbynistas

Written By: - Date published: 10:23 pm, January 15th, 2020 - 10 comments

Originally posted on Nick Kelly’s blog 

Momentum and its supporters need to find a way of selling genuine social democratic politics to a conservative English public.

Why UK Labour lost? Part 6: New Labour & Blairism

Written By: - Date published: 10:39 am, January 15th, 2020 - 10 comments

Originally posted on Nick Kelly’s blog

Fact is that the world has moved on from the 1980s and 90s. Politics certainly has. The types of 3rd way or centre/centre right positions that Blair and Campbell think will win just won’t anymore.

Why UK Labour lost? Part 5: Antisemitism

Written By: - Date published: 6:29 am, January 14th, 2020 - 13 comments

Originally posted onNick Kelly’s blog

Why UK Labour lost? Part 4: Ooooh Jeremy Corbyn

Written By: - Date published: 3:13 am, January 14th, 2020 - 12 comments

Originally posted on Nick Kelly’s blog

Why UK Labour lost? Part 3: Its Brexit innit

Written By: - Date published: 6:14 am, January 13th, 2020 - 28 comments

Originally posted on Nick Kelly’s blog

Why UK Labour lost? Part 2: UK Labour’s Strange loyalty to First Past the Post.

Written By: - Date published: 2:56 am, January 13th, 2020 - 13 comments

Originally posted on Nick Kelly’s Blog

Why UK Labour lost? Part 1: historical context

Written By: - Date published: 10:34 am, January 12th, 2020 - 2 comments

Originally posted on Nick Kelly’s blog

Qasem Soleimani murdered by the United States.

Written By: - Date published: 2:04 am, January 8th, 2020 - 11 comments

Originally posted on Nick Kelly’s blog

Australian fires and the climate crisis everybody wanted to ignore

Written By: - Date published: 11:05 am, January 7th, 2020 - 51 comments

Originally posted on Nick Kelly’s Blog 

Why the Tories won the UK election?

Written By: - Date published: 2:29 am, December 30th, 2019 - 9 comments

Originally posted on Nick Kelly’s blog 

The British Election result 2019

Written By: - Date published: 11:05 am, December 20th, 2019 - 21 comments

Democracy is a precious thing, and not something that can be taken for granted. Having an electoral system where every vote matters is crucial to creating a decent society. It is time that the UK started seriously debating electoral reform and how to improve its democratic systems.

Free Broadband

Written By: - Date published: 1:05 pm, December 12th, 2019 - 7 comments

Originally posted on Nick Kelly’s blog

Brexit – sorry its not getting done anytime soon.

Written By: - Date published: 11:23 am, December 12th, 2019 - 5 comments

Can the Conservatives get brexit done by January 31st as they are promising in the election? The short answer is no. The slogan is catchy, and taps into public sentiment. But it is also pure unadulterated bullshit. If the Conservatives do form the next government these words will haunt them, especially Boris Johnson.

The NHS and privatisation

Written By: - Date published: 12:14 pm, December 10th, 2019 - 18 comments

The NHS is well loved by the British public. It is seen as something which makes British society decent and civilised. That the NHS is now stretched and badly underfunded is seen as a national outrage. Fears of even further privatisation of the NHS due to a US trade deal has unsurprisingly made the NHS the number one election issue.

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  • District Court judge appointed
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  • Economic data highlights impact of Auckland moving out of Level 3
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  • The Toloa Tertiary Scholarships for 2021 aims to increase Pacific participation in STEM
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  • New Zealand to host Bledisloe Cup in October and ready to attract other international sporting event...
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  • Hundreds more regional apprenticeships
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