Bait and Switch – to SM

Written By: - Date published: 8:27 pm, June 29th, 2011 - 69 comments
Categories: electoral systems, referendum - Tags:

Good piece in today’s Herald by John Armstrong focussing on Vote for Change’s declaration that they are not in favour of any particular form of electoral system at this stage. He doesn’t find it believable, and nor do I. His take is that “Vote for Change looks very much like the National Party Preservation Society in drag.” I agree. I think they have a classic bait and switch strategy, it involves Key, and we should not take it lightly.

According to Stuff, David Farrar has been involved in giving VfC strategic advice. Farrar himself describes this as three or four conversations. He  opens the door to contracting Curia to poll for to Vote to change but says:

Regardless of whether Curia does any work for a group promoting a particular system, it won’t affect what I blog.

To which the only possible response is “yeah right”.

Farrar’s conversations may also have included tips from the campaign against the alternative vote in the UK run by David’s “mate” Matthew Elliott. You can read a bit about Elliott here in ConservativeHome, the UK equivalent of Kiwiblog.

As for the bait and switch, I think that VfC does not want to declare its hand now because it is looking to test the wind as to the most effective lines to run against MMP. I would bet a dime to a dollar that Curia will be contracted to poll for them to help establish these lines. So the bait is to run down MMP while pretending to talk about options, shift the current 50-33 in favour of MMP, then switch  to Supplementary Member which is the change National really wants.

Not much attention is paid to it in New Zealand, but conservative parties around the world are very tightly networked through the International Democratic Union. They share campaign ideas, polling techniques and money,  while the corresponding Socialist International only runs talkfests. The Conservative Party’s aim in defeating the minimally proportional Alternative Vote was to entrench their advantage in the constituencies. There will now be a boundary review which will reduce the number of constituencies and effectively be a rural gerrymander in favour of the Conservative party.

The ultimate aim of the Conservative party in Britain and the National Party in New Zealand is more or less continuous power. The National Party hated the fact that Labour won three consecutive terms in government from 1999-2008. They do not see themselves as the natural party of government, more the permanent party of government – that’s why they want a constituency-based system that is not proportional.They have learnt some lessons from their time out of power, most importantly not to frighten the horses.

So John Key is making soothing noises about MMP at the moment, while at the same time expressing his sotto voce preference for the Supplementary Member system. Here he is having a bob each way on the subject. I would bet a dime to ten dollars that if National is running at anything like their current poll numbers in the month before the November election, his view will harden up considerably.

I would also bet a dime to a hundred dollars that VfC will also declare a preference for Supplementary Member in a couple of months or so. After all, two of the six people on its supporters’ page, Kerry Prendergast and Emma Daken, are already recommending it.

69 comments on “Bait and Switch – to SM”

  1. the sprout 1

    good analysis, agree 100% – that is precisely their strategy

  2. tc 2

    Ya gotta hand it to the right ….with the means, the top advice, willing elves and sprites, the msm leashed, belief they are the might and power that should rule forever they’ve got it going on all fronts.

  3. ZeeBop 3

    A few points. Oil projections were over generous and pushed up asset and stock prices.

    As it turns out not only are they over valued but that all the cash (future calls on value IOUs)
    that has been printed cannot match up to supply (as oil use will switch from luxuries to basics, like food production and chinese middle classes). So when you say some cartel of conservatives, could you add the attribution of ‘loser’ Conservatives. Since they are sitting on a pile of money out of all proportion of the world economy to repay them, how stupid is that, my useless paper wads of cash are much greater than yours. Just like in the Great Depression, the longest, and last of a serious of crashes spreading back into end of the 19th century.
    The rich are buying assets, rent seeking, and they are desperate.

    Second, the Herald is a loser conservative paper that time after time returns to the keep digging dogma just as election time comes around.

    Third MMP is a side issue, the country is sent packing, unemployment up, incentivized to leave for Australia, and really there’s enough change going to be on Labour’s platform. I even worry that the ‘Changes’ Labour are articulating might infect the MMP vote.

    Fourth there are much more pressing issues around disenfranchisement, the internet is key to the future and yet its too expensive for Labour core constituencies. What’s the point in having MMP when the MSM is able to so dump the loser conservative branding into the laps of natural Labour voters that saw Key get in last time.

    Conservatism has failed, for now, yet the left aren’t articulating why, like Labour have not understood the paradigm shift yet.

    • Colonial Viper 3.1

      The rich are buying assets, rent seeking, and they are desperate.

      Maybe if we sell them our hydrodams they will be happier?

      Conservatism has failed, for now, yet the left aren’t articulating why, like Labour have not understood the paradigm shift yet.

      A few of us in Labour seriously get it. Others don’t, as yet.

      • Rusty Shackleford 3.1.1

        National aren’t conservative. Centralizing power in the hands of the state has failed.

        • KJT 3.1.1.1

          True.

          They are radicals trying to steal our assets and the products of our labour.

          Calling them conservatives is an insult to many honest people who were really conservatives.

          Power should be in our hands. Not in that of a few political glove puppets for US corporates.

  4. queenstfarmer 4

    “The ultimate aim of the Conservative party in Britain and the National Party in New Zealand is more or less continuous power.”

    As opposed to the other parties who stand down after a couple of terms, to let the other side have their turn. Honestly where do you come up with this stuff, priceless!

    • Draco T Bastard 4.1

      The other parties aren’t trying to rig the system in their favour.

      • Rusty Shackleford 4.1.1

        Sure they are. Democracy basically boils down to “Vote for me, and I will take money from someone and give it to you.” The problem with the system is we are running out of people to take money off.

        • Colonial Viper 4.1.1.1

          Meh, the 1000 richest people in this country have $100B in assets. Plenty to go mate. That’ll even sort out English’s incompetence deficit for a few years yet.

          • Rusty Shackleford 4.1.1.1.1

            Where do you get that figure from? I’ve seen it pop up a few times. Not that it really matters. You can covet other peoples stuff all you want.

            • Colonial Viper 4.1.1.1.1.1

              Wrong mate its the wealthy who covet other peoples stuff – and have the power and influence to take it.

              Ordinary people just struggle getting by day to day living hand to mouth.

              • Rusty Shackleford

                It depends on your mind set. I tend to find that the fundamental difference between statists and lovers of liberty is that statists tend to have a “there isn’t enough for everyone” type of attitude towards life. That because someone is rich, they must have got that way by ripping off poor people. It’s also why statists are so drawn to issues like global warming and resource depletion.

                Middle class NZers live as well as monarchs of 200 years ago. But you insult them by claiming they live hand to mouth (working as a slave till late April could have something to do with it, but who knows?). If someone has more than someone else, they probably got that way by working for it. If they didn’t work for it, the only other way is to suck from the teat of the govt. An institution many here are so keen to make fatter.

                • Colonial Viper

                  Fcuk mindset and attitude

                  This is about deliberately designed societal and economic structures

                  Middle class NZers live as well as monarchs of 200 years ago.

                  Bullshit. What middle class NZer has dozens of serfs and hundreds of acres at their disposal. You are so full of it.

                  But you insult them by claiming they live hand to mouth

                  I insult them? You don’t even acknowledge that poor people exist in this land. They are invisible to your little Right Wing kowtow to wealth eyes.

                  You know, the 50% of NZers who earn less than $29K p.a., I presume that’s who you are calling “middle class”

                  Perhaps they should just eat cake

                  between statists and lovers of liberty

                  LOL I’ll bet you haven’t ever met a real statist in your short little dozen years in an R&D company life.

                  That because someone is rich, they must have got that way by ripping off poor people.

                  Well the capitalist wealthy have, they’ve done it by extracting for themselves all the surplus produced by waged and unwaged labour.

                  • Rusty Shackleford

                    A middle class NZer has a refrigerator a car, life saving drugs, computers, cell phones,etc. Lives longer, his kids live longer, has better selection of entertainment and travel options. Nearly every measurable factor is better for a middle class person today than a monarch of 200 years ago.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      But you can’t have people who piss you off beheaded, like you used to. And you certainly don’t get to live in a 28 bedroom castle with kept grounds, butlers, a fully stocked liquor cabinet and chefed meals on order, like you would have 200 years ago. International trips to visit foreign courts and large staffed sailing vessels at your beck and call as well.

                      You can’t go pheasant shooting and you can’t go fox hunting neither. You don’t even have a harem like you did in the courts of the east. Or in Britain in medieval times an aristocratic lord could choose to take any newly wedded bride in his land as his for the first night, even before her new husband could have her.

                      So given all this, how exactly is someone on $29,000 pa. in NZ (the ‘median class’) as well off as that royalty of 200 years ago in “nearly every measurable factor”?

                      I rather suspect you don’t have any imagination about what being a monarch is actually about yeah? You are really a proletariat trying to rise above his station in life. Bad peon.

                      BTW your comparison with old monarchy needs adjusting. The correctly inflation adjusted example is the lifestyle of William and Kate.

                      Let’s continue the comparison on that basis shall we.

                    • higherstandard

                      Gees what kind of vacuous twats post this kind of stink all over the interwebs at 1 in the morning – get a fecking life you losers.

                    • Vicky32

                      Lives longer, his kids live longer, has better selection of entertainment and travel options.

                      Your use of ‘his’ rather gives you away, Rusty! I smell Randbot…
                      Please define ‘middle-class’. By your standards I am middle class, but I can’t afford to travel. Otherwise, I’d be in Aussie (or Italy!)

                • Bored

                  Rusty, you are showing the signs of standard sociopathy, an inability to see yourself as part of the group, a setting oneself aside from the rest to a percieved superior position. Try accepting dualistic non linear or rationalist positions and you might understand your fellow citizen better.

                  • higherstandard

                    Bored you are showing standard signs of attacking the messenger, as well as breakfast time pompous wankery well done.

                    • Bored

                      Aha, so Rusty does have mates! Lower standard commentary together, goodo.

                    • higherstandard

                      Oh dear failed basic 4th form comprehension did we dear.

                      It’s all in the plural dear chap….. a haw haw haw.

                  • Bored

                    I rest my case HS, lower standard indeed.

                    • higherstandard

                      Well done Mr Hutz you are a master indeed.

                    • Bored

                      As a matter of interest what the hell is it with people like yourself and Rusty (and no doubt many others from all sides) that you refer to, liken people to and quote characters from American TV cartoon series such as the Simpsons and similar?

                      Must be generational, I must be having a life rather than picking up recieved wisdom from countless hours of watching US TV shows. Christ, 6000 years of civilisation and culture and we are reduced to this. No wonder you cant tell a higher from a lower standard.

                    • higherstandard

                      Gosh you’re a sensitive wee tike today.

                • “If someone has more than someone else, they probably got that way by working for it.”

                  Wrong. Effort and hard work has very little to do with it. It is the economic system that leverages ‘positioning’ to create wealth.

                  That system comes with a huge cost in terms of psychological and social dysfunction. There’s plenty of reliable evidence on the increase in ‘psychopathology’ and it’s pretty clear that that increase has come about through the removal of the ‘social buffers’ that prevent it. That removal, at the population level, has largely occurred to smooth the progress of capitalism – like a sweeper brushing the ice away in curling.

                  • Rusty Shackleford

                    What social buffers?

                    • Colonial Viper

                      The ones common in any social democratic system of capitalism.

                    • Rusty Shackleford

                      Also, your link is stupid. Bill Gates undoubtedly created a lot of value for society. His wealth probably only represents a tiny fraction of the total wealth he has generated over the past 30 years.

                    • Rusty Shackleford

                      Sweet platitude CV.

                    • “What social buffers?”

                      Stable relationships throughout life for one. The heightened mobility common in ‘developed’ countries leads to weaker social bonds. The developmental process – that also involves the neurodevelopment of those parts of the cortex (prefrontal cortex) that are most closely associated with ‘executive’ cognitive functions during the first 20 or so years of life – requires certain social inputs for the successful formation of most of the psychological capacities required to become a coherent and well-functioning person. There’s extensive literature on this – try googling Eric Keverne and his article in the 2004 volume of Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B. It’s in a special issue on the science of well-being.

                      I’d provide the link but I wouldn’t want it to be a ‘stupid link’. The other link I did provide was a simple way of responding to the argument that wealthy people are as wealthy as they are because of their ‘hard work’. On that point, the massive amounts of wealth you claim flowed from Bill Gates similarly did not flow from his hard work. I don’t think you got the point: It is the system that creates the aggregated and concentrated wealth that you admire – not the individuals in it.

                      My point was just that there is a cost to that aggregation and accumulation of wealth. That cost is inevitable, given the rearrangements of our social world that are required to create such a system (e.g., residential mobility, weakened social ties, embracing consumerist ethics, etc.).

            • KJT 4.1.1.1.1.2

              Centralising power in the hands of the very wealthy has failed many times!

              Power should be in the hands of the people in the country. Not Politicians. Ours have proved unworthy of the trust we place in them.

              You are correct though that NACT is not conservative.

              http://kjt-kt.blogspot.com/2011/04/nothing-is-worth-killing-for.html

              “They are evil”.

              That is an insult to the many principled and genuinely aspirational for New Zealand conservatives we used to have.

              Formerly conservatives believed in prosperity for everyone. New Zealand as a first world country with public services and fairness. They would have no more sold us off to the highest bidder than the left. Their aspirations were the same as ours, we just differed on how to get there! Those people we could talk to.

              Since 1984 we have had Neo-Liberals in power with their voodoo economics.

              http://kjt-kt.blogspot.com/2011/06/on-retirement-pensions-and-age-of.html#uds-search-results

              These people you cannot talk to. Google Authoritarian leaders and followers.

              Those who advocate an economic system which has failed so conclusively to deliver are either fools or thieves.

              RWNJ is entirely appropriate.

              Which one are you Rusty.

              • Colonial Viper

                That is an insult to the many principled and genuinely aspirational for New Zealand conservatives we used to have.

                They are stil out there, although in the main they are all >50 years old.

                A lot of them are National voters, a lot of them really really hate the fact that National are selling off our assets to foreigners.

            • KJT 4.1.1.1.1.3

              IT IS NOT THEIR STUFF.

              Who made it and who worked for it?

      • queenstfarmer 4.1.2

        Rigging it by letting the public decide via referendum is sneaky indeed.

        • Draco T Bastard 4.1.2.1

          You missed the article labelled Bait and Switch – to SM didn’t you? It’s not hard to find – it’s at the top of the page.

          • queenstfarmer 4.1.2.1.1

            No, the simple fact is that the public will decide whether it wants to change systems, and if so (in another 3 years) what system it wants. Clearly this is anathema to some people.

            • Colonial Viper 4.1.2.1.1.1

              Nothing like using democratic processes to herd people into a less democratic system. Oh the irony!

      • Peter 4.1.3

        Exactly

  5. Celia 5

    The questions are
    What is fairest, what engenders communication and common ground, who benefits – or loses?
    An interesting set of bedfellows in Vote for Change – possibly with an axe or two to grind!

  6. The moniker ‘conservative’ is a bit of a misnomer, these people are neoliberal extremists. The purpose of the National Party, like the Republican Party in the US, is to create massive public debt, then it doesn’t matter who gets into power as their primary concern is servicing that debt. The quickest and most fashionable way to create public debt is massive tax cuts for the wealthiest people.
     

    • Rusty Shackleford 6.1

      Who ran up the national debt to unprecedented levels? Well…… Bush, but who blew that figure out of the water? Obama.

      And the quickest way to run up debt isn’t to cut taxes, it’s to give a pile of cash to the guys who blew up the economy.

      • Colonial Viper 6.1.1

        More Rusty lies. Bank bail outs and stimulus spending represent less than 20% of the US deficit.

        The fact that corporate taxes and taxes from the wealthy are at their lowest levels for 80 years might have something to do with it.

        All the US needs to do is tax their corporations and the top 1% of their wealthy and their deficit would be sorted tomorrow.

        GE, one of the US most profitable companies, pays no tax. In a good year, the US Government even owes it money.

        http://www.fool.com/investing/general/2011/03/30/general-electric-the-face-of-a-broken-tax-code.aspx

        • Rusty Shackleford 6.1.1.1

          The article you posted doesn’t support any of the assertions you made.

          • Colonial Viper 6.1.1.1.1

            Use your imagination.

            (Hint – also look at the New York Times article it references)

  7. Rusty Shackleford 7

    This article seems like a lot like a lot 2+2=5 thinking to me. If we live in a democratic system, shouldn’t we let people debate at length and then vote on which way to vote in the giant douche or the turd sandwich?

    • Colonial Viper 7.1

      Yes because in a democracy people should be allowed to choose to abrogate the rights of others and live under an oppressive dictatorship. You know, if enough people will it, it must be OK.

      • Rusty Shackleford 7.1.1

        Isn’t that pretty much exactly what happens anyway?

        • Colonial Viper 7.1.1.1

          Sure it is mate, that’s exactly how it happens 🙄

          • ZeeBop 7.1.1.1.1

            Something I should of said, so I’ll say it here. What do you want? A house, kids, car, etc. But not everyone wants kids, some have already a house, and don’t want a car? Should they be forced to work as hard as the person who has a car, or wants a house, or wants kids? There will always be an exceptional exception. A person somewhere who need not work much for they have most of what they want out of life, their hobbies being free, gardening, knitting, open source software. How we judge ourselves should come from how we treat those who are satizified with their lives, do we make them live in poverty to achieve their life goals, do we reward them excessively like the ?Pope?, how we treat the outliers should how conformist we are, how we denigrate them how authoritarian we are. The drive for profit at the cost of all else, the future social cohesion, crime, poverty, disease, a serf in Tudor times had firewood to stay warm our elderly cannot afford to heat their homes! A serf would have a patch of land for growing food, most people now do not, a serf could fish the river, pick mushrooms from the forest floor. Most people cannot in today’s world. Until we remember that our civil rights protect everyone’s ability to have adequate housing, heating, food, health, inclusion and education, we will continue to have a buggered economy run by hollow men with only one thing on their mind, improvising the commonwealth, leaving them open to exploit the rest of us with their deprave sense of worth.
            There’s a reason why Labour had to create the Human Rights Commission, because there were no rich private people who would fund a civil rights organisation in NZ (on the expectation they would get a knighthood for their good work). That’s strikes fear into me, that the number one organisation globally that commits human rights offensives, government is suppose to protect human rights. That’s wrong, its a conflict of interest. And any rich people who want to help society, stop giving to the clean up after the problem has arisen, and start giving to those that change society and stop them happening again, civil rights lawyers.
            If you do then in time a society will have changed, and you will get a well earned knight hood.

    • Hanswurst 7.2

      This is a straw man. The post doesn’t claim that National or VfC shouldn’t be able to have their say in the debate. What this post and other recent contributions on the VfC corporation do is to point out the tactics (and the money) that are being used to generate noise and publicity against MMP. That isn’t attempting to stifle the debate, it’s participating in it.

      • Colonial Viper 7.2.1

        Yep. Because astroturfing doesn’t count as “participation”.

        • Hanswurst 7.2.1.1

          I think it does, actually… in more or less the same way as the professional foul counts as part of sport.

  8. Frank Macskasy 8

    Well sussed, Mike. And yes, I concur – VfC will opt for SM – FPP in-drag.

    Though they’ll have a devil of a job promoting it. That option won only 5.5% of the vote in 1992, with the first MMP referendum.

  9. I’ve just joined http://www.facebook.com/voteforchangenz so I can argue with them; I call it therapy and enlightening the stupid.

    • Bored 9.1

      Splendid, such a positive move I might just join you. I will put on my mental skidlid first.

  10. ZeeBop 10

    Conundrum. Better dead than red? Used to mean that freedom, justice for all, was worth dying for. We hear little of this now our elites socialize the risk and privatize the profits.

    But here’s another one. The unintended consequences of poor government which chooses short term solutions that burden the people unnecessarily, tends to reward people who avoid poor government. For example, by being unduly lax in protecting employee rights, more people flee for the competent government of Australia. This has the immediate effect of lowering the unemployment numbers as jobs are left empty, but are filled with less skilled staff that cost more to retrain, lowers the number of young working age people engaged in buying and selling in the economy. So a policy that harms the poorest, with the least roots in the community, is cited as a great leap forward by our great leader, and in fact cannibalizes our working pool of citizens.
    Who is going to fund the boomers retirement? Not it seems lots of kiwis who choose to avoid poor government of our great leader.

    Better poor than nice? Better soft on business than efficient? Better off poorer than fairer?

    • Colonial Viper 10.1

      Helping out a lazy private sector and unimaginative unproductive investment class is what it is.

      • ZeeBop 10.1.1

        Yes, and that’s *not* the capitalist model. The capitalist model is to breed up newer capitalists to replace those worn out who bunged up the system. That’s what Democracy is about, removing insipid leaderships quickly and painlessly. So why hasn’t it been working? Well because energy was getting cheaper and cheaper in real terms, energy savings were increase, fuelling yet more lavish self-congratulations of the neo-liberals parasites who got out front and laid claim to the all the hard work of others, and so wrote themselves a cheque by undermining the banking system, Thatcher, Douglas, they should be had up on crimes against humanity, for not coming out right now and saying they are not perfect, their works were for their time and are not applicable now, by basking in the falsity of their ideology they are effectively underwriting the malaise we are in.
        Societies function best when the vibrant and vigorous go stale and are removed cleanly for a new generation, and they always do, that’s the physics of the universe, entropy.

        NZ needs its very own peaceful purging of our media and political ratbunch.

    • KJT 10.2

      Pity that politicians are not as accountable as other professions.

      In mine, if you stuffed up as badly as they have, against your clients interests, you would be in jail.

      • Frank Macskasy 10.2.1

        Actually, KJT, they’re generally more accountable than in other professions.

        There aren’t very many professions where you can be voted out of your job by the Great Unwashed.

        Imagine; you’re a plumber, and every three years, people in your area can decide whether or not you can keep your profession. If you’ve pissed off to many folk, you can end up with your job revoked, and someone else taking over your role; your business; your work vehicle.

        Hmmm, I can think of a few locals in my area who could benefit from a bit of that…

        • KJT 10.2.1.1

          Actually as a plumber or builder if you stuff up, even one job, you are very likely to be out of business or very poor for some time. It can happen even if you don’t stuff up and one client gets a snitch on you!

          In my profession it is strict liability. If a stuff up happens when i am in charge and cannot prove it wasn’t my fault I can be jailed or fined.

          A politician gets to stuff up the lives of millions of people then gets given a knight hood and some high paying consulting role and a few lucrative directorships.

          They even get resurrected to lead commissions.
          Ever seen a poor ex MP.

  11. Bored 11

    Zee and CV, as you say it all comes down to an unimaginative and rentier model of landlordism, for both political power and for economic advantage. The people behind this really are highly undesirable specimens.

  12. ianmac 12

    Some of us would prefer our salesmen to be upfront. Some of us despise those salesmen who slip and slide and set out to deceive. Perhaps like the Nigerian Prince scam they will offer great rewards- er sometime in the future?
    If Vote for Change have a case for SM let them state it. As Mike says, be aware of the subterfuge.

  13. Irascible 13

    And then we hear Jammy-lea spouting forth quoting Key on this: http://tvnz.co.nz/breakfast-news/young-guns-4-18-video-4276295

    Snake oil to the last. ACT philosophy to the fore.

  14. Frank Macskasy 14

    I wonder if those who suggest that this it a “problem”, where MPs rejected by their Electorate, actually vote for the Party of whom the “rejected MP” belongs to?

    For Example, Annette King took the Rongotai Electotate in 2008, beating Chris Finlayson.

    It would be fair to say that Rongotai, being a reasonable safe Labour seat, usually supports Labour candidates.

    However, this did not prevent Chris Finlayson being elected to Parliament (14th on the 2008 National Party list) because he was supported by National Party voters.

    Regardless of ones political leanings, Mr Finlayson seems to be doing a remarkably good job, being appointed Attorney-General and holding the ministerial portfolios of Minister for Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations and Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage.

    Critics of MMP might consider that if MPs who were rejected by their electorates were prevented from being elected to Parliament via the Party List, Mr Finlayson would not now be in Parliament.

    Neither would Nicky Wagner, Aaron Gilmore, Michael Woodhouse, Paul Quinn, Hekia Parata, Kanwal Singh Bakshi, Carol Beaumont, Jackie Blue, Tim Groser, Tau Henare, and Kate Wilkinson.

    That’s a lot of talent to be cutting out, for no good reason.

  15. Frank Macskasy 15

    By the way, when I state that “Mr Finlayson seems to be doing a remarkably good job” and “Nicky Wagner, Aaron Gilmore, Michael Woodhouse, Paul Quinn, Hekia Parata, Kanwal Singh Bakshi, Carol Beaumont, Jackie Blue, Tim Groser, Tau Henare, and Kate Wilkinson… That’s a lot of talent to be cutting out, for no good reason.” – I’m looking at the situation from the p.o.v. of a National supporter.

    Needless to same, I am not, and have never been, a card-carrying member of the National Party.

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    The text below is a Twitter thread by Heather Heying that explains the essence of sexual reproduction and it long evolutionary history. She is an evolutionary biologist and a “professor-in-exile” after she and her husband, Bret Weinstein, stood up to supporters of an enforced “Day of Absence” for white staff and teachers ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    20 hours ago
  • Climate Change: Trees, aviation, and offsets
    With crunch time for new Zealand climate policy approaching, most of the New Zealand media have got on board with a global reporting effort to cover the issue. There's one strand of stories today about polling and what it shows about changing public attitudes to the crisis, but the strand ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • Pissing-Off The Israelis Is A High-Risk Strategy.
    Dangerous Foes: For those readers of Bowalley Road who feel disposed to dismiss any prospect of an Israeli destabilisation of New Zealand politics, the example of the United Kingdom repays close attention. Ever since the election of Jeremy Corbyn as leader of the British Labour Party, the Israelis have sanctioned, funded and ...
    1 day ago
  • Something to go to in Wellington
    Make It 16, the youth-led campaign to lower New Zealand's voting age, is holding an official campaign launch at Parliament this Friday from 16:30. If you'd like to attend, you can register using EventBrite here. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • A founding member responds to Peace Action Wellington
    by Don Franks It was a lovely sunny Wellington afternoon with blue skies above  the beaches.  In Courtenay Place, political activists packed out a stuffy upstairs room for an important meeting. The assembled pacifists, anarchists, communists and independent young radicals of Peace Action Wellington felt the need for a mission ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 day ago
  • “Mistakes and errors”
    Current and former NZDF top brass are being publicly grilled this week by the hit and run inquiry over their public responses to allegations of civilian casualties. Previously, they've claimed there were no casualties, a position which led them to lie to Ministers and to the public. Now, they're saying ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • “Homosexuality is same-sex attraction and relationships, not heterosexuals with delusions of gende...
    by Rafael D. Quiles (gender-critical gay man from Puerto Rico) The writing on the wall is right in people’s faces and people just don’t see it or don’t want to. What could actually possess a heterosexual male to want to feminize himself and claim that he is a lesbian? Because ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 days ago
  • Trump: “Where’s my favourite dictator?”
    From the Wall Street Journal:Inside a room of the ornately decorated Hotel du Palais during last month’s Group of Seven summit in Biarritz, France, President Trump awaited a meeting with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi. Mr. Trump looked over a gathering of American and Egyptian officials and called out in ...
    2 days ago
  • Magdalen Burns, 1983-2019, fighter for women’s liberation
    by the Redline blog collective At Redline we are very saddened to hear of the death of Magdalen Burns who passed away on the morning of Friday, September 13 (British time). Magdalen was a great fighter for the rights of women in general and lesbian women in particular, a defender ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    3 days ago
  • Parliament and the Executive
    The Brexit issue has certainly brought with it a series of apparently difficult constitutional issues, many of them concerning the respective roles of the executive and parliament. Most of them arise because of the unwillingness of MPs, despite their professions to the contrary, to be bound by a constitutional rarity ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    3 days ago
  • The Abigail Article; Martyn Bradbury’s Article, and My Response
    . . This blogpost is different to my usual format of reporting on issues… Since July 1011, I have blogged on a variety of political issues; near always political and/or environmental; mostly highly critical of the previous National Government. Other issues included Israeli occupation of Palestinian lands and repression of ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    3 days ago
  • Police will have to wear silly Buckingham Palace hats from now on, says Police Minister
    Those close to the Police Minister believe the initiative may be the result of Nash “seeing a great deal” on AliExpress. In a move that comes seemingly out of nowhere, Police Minister Stuart Nash announced this afternoon that he expects all frontline staff to don bearskin hats, famously worn by ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    4 days ago
  • A sensible crackdown
    The government has released its Arms Legislation Bill, containing the second tranche of changes to gun laws following the March 15 massacre. And it all looks quite sensible: a national gun register, higher penalties for illegal possession and dealing, tighter restrictions on arms dealers and shooting clubs, and a shorter ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • California bans private prisons
    Private prisons are a stain on humanity. Prison operators explicitly profit from human misery, then lobby for longer prisons terms so they can keep on profiting. And in the US, prison companies run not only local and state prisons, but also Donald Trump's immigration concentration camps. Faced with this moral ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Why PPPs are a bad idea
    When National was in power, they were very keen on Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) - basicly, using private companies to finance public infrastructure as a way of hiding debt from the public. They were keen on using them for everything - roads, schools, hospitals. But as the UK shows, that "service" ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • A Movement That No Longer Moves.
    Moving And Shaking: There was a time when people spoke matter-of-factly about the “labour movement” – a political phenomenon understood to embrace much more than the Labour Party. Included within the term’s definition was the whole trade union movement – many of whose members looked upon the Labour Party as ...
    4 days ago
  • NZ ‘left’ politically embracing extreme postmodernism
    by Philip Ferguson Much of the left, even people who formally identify as marxists, have collapsed politically in the face of postmodern gender theory of the sort pioneered by American philosopher Judith Butler. For Butler even biological sex is socially constructed. “If the immutable character of sex is contested, perhaps ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    5 days ago
  • The obvious question
    The media is reporting that the (alleged) Labour party sexual assaulter has resigned from their job at Parliament, which means hopefully he won't be turning up there making people feel unsafe in future. Good. But as with everything about this scandal, it just raises other questions. Most significantly: why the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • The moment I found out that you found out, I acted swiftly
    By Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern I am every bit as angry as you are. I am every bit as disappointed as you must be. The people with power, oversight and the ability to do something about these processes within the Labour Party should be ashamed. Whoever those people are, I ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    5 days ago
  • This is why people hate property developers
    Property developers think there is an "oversupply" of houses in Auckland:High turnover rates and falling prices may be a sign that there are too many new houses going in to some parts of Auckland, commentators say. [...] Property developer David Whitburn said there was a "bit of an oversupply" in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Australia to Pacific: “Fuck you, you can all drown”
    World leaders are meeting in New York in two weeks for the 2019 Climate Action Summit, where they are expected to announce new and more ambitious targets to stop the world from burning. But the Australian Prime Minister won't be there, despite being in the USA at the time:Scott Morrison ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Implausible ignorance
    Labour Party president Nigel Haworth resigned yesterday over the party's sexual assault scandal. But while that's good news, its unlikely to take away the stench of a coverup. Because according to Paula Bennett in Parliament yesterday, pretty much everyone in the Prime Minister's office was involved as well:I have been ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Labour’s Fatal Flaw.
     Two-Faced? Labour insiders' commitment to the neoliberal status quo puts them at odds with their party’s membership; its trade union affiliates; and a majority of Labour voters, but this only serves to strengthen the perception they have of themselves as a special elite. Among the lesser breeds, they’ll talk up a ...
    5 days ago
  • Ten reasons the Tories do NOT want an election
    There has been a lot of talk about Boris Johnson wanting an election, and he has blustered with great gusto about 'chicken' Jeremy Corbyn refusing one, but I think there are many reasons why he is secretly glad he has been refused the opportunity:The Tories are an utter rabble,tearing themselves ...
    6 days ago
  • Prorogation Illegal, rule Scottish judges
    Scottish appeal court judges have declared that Boris Johnson’s decision to suspend parliament in the run-up to the October Brexit deadline is unlawful. The three judges, chaired by Lord Carloway, Scotland’s most senior judge, overturned an earlier ruling that the courts did not have the powers to interfere in the prime ...
    6 days ago
  • Let me explain what I meant by Everyday New Zealanders
    By Simon Bridges. The following is a press release from the office of Simon Bridges, leader of The National Party. Key ora, New Zealand. Happy Maori Language Week. Look, I’m writing to you today because I want to clear something up. There’s been a lot of kerfuffle around some things ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    6 days ago
  • Yes, the SIS is subject to the Public Records Act
    I understand there's some stuff going round about how the SIS "was removed from the list of public offices covered by the Public Records Act in 2017". The context of course being their records derived from US torture, which will be disposed of or sealed. The good news is that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • An evidence-based discussion of the Canadian fluoride/IQ study
    Dr. Christopher Labos and Jonathan Jarry discuss the recent Canadian fluoride/IQ research. They provide an expert analysis of the paper and its problems. Click on image to go to podcast. The critical debate about the recent ...
    6 days ago
  • Climate Change: Australia in denial
    Australia is burning down again, and meanwhile its natural disaster minister is denying climate change:Australia’s minister responsible for drought and natural disasters, David Littleproud, has said that he doesn’t “know if climate change is manmade”. Clarifying earlier comments that the question is “irrelevant” when considering the Coalition government’s response to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Philippines activist speaking on the Duterte tyranny
    Auckland Philippines Solidarity is excited to host Professor Judy Taguiwalo for a speaking tour of NZ in September. She is a well-known activist in the Philippines and was a political prisoner under the Marcos dictatorship. Professor Taguiwalo briefly served as a Cabinet member under President Duterte but was forced from ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    6 days ago
  • 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
    6 days 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
    6 days 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
    6 days 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
    7 days 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
    7 days 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
    7 days 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
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week 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
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week 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
    1 week ago
  • Air New Zealand identifies this enormous plot of unused land as possible second airport site
    Air New Zealand couldn’t believe its luck that this seemingly ideal piece of real estate had so far gone entirely unnoticed. Air New Zealand’s search for a site to build a second Auckland Airport may have made a breakthrough this afternoon, after employees scanning Google satellite imagery spotted a huge, ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Redline on the Labour Party
    No-one on the anti-capitalist left in this country today puts forward a case that Labour is on the side of the working class.  There are certainly people who call themselves ‘socialist’ who do, but they are essentially liberals with vested interests in Labourism – often for career reasons. Nevertheless, there ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • New Fisk
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour’s failure
    When National was in government and fucking over the poor for the benefit of the rich, foodbanks were a growth industry. And now Labour is in charge, nothing has changed: A huge demand for emergency food parcels means the Auckland City Mission is struggling to prepare for the impending arrival ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Ardern attempts to vaccinate Clarke Gayford live on television to prove that it’s safe
    Gayford, pictured here on The Project, before things got wildly out of control. A bold public relations move by the Government to encourage parents to vaccinate their children has gone horribly wrong. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern appeared on tonight’s episode of Three’s The Project, where the plan was for her ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Has Mr. Whippy gone too far by parking on our front lawns?
    Mr. Whippy’s business model has driven it down a dark road of intimidation. Residents in major centres around the country are becoming disgruntled by the increasingly aggressive actions of purported ice cream company Mr. Whippy, who have taken to parking on people’s front lawns and doorsteps in a desperate attempt ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Cleaning up the water
    Today the government released its Action Plan for Healthy Waterways, aimed at cleaning up our lakes and rivers. Its actually quite good. There will be protection for wetlands, better standards for swimming spots, a requirement for continuous improvement, and better standards for wastewater and stormwater. But most importantly, there's a ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Fronting up
    Today I appeared before the Environment Committee to give an oral submission on the Zero Carbon Bill. Over 1,500 people have asked to appear in person, so they've divided into subcommittees and are off touring the country, giving people a five minute slot each. The other submitters were a mixed ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Politics of science – making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear
    Anti-fluoride activists have some wealthy backers – they are erecting billboards misrepresenting the Canadian study on many New Zealand cities – and local authorities are ordering their removal because of their scaremongering. Many New Zealanders ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Democracy – I Don’t Think So
    So, those who “know best” have again done their worst. While constantly claiming to be the guardians of democracy and the constitution, and respecters of the 2016 referendum result, diehard Remainers (who have never brought themselves to believe that their advice could have been rejected) have striven might and main ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    2 weeks ago
  • Government says it will now build just one really nice home
    Following publication of this article, the Ministry has requested it to be noted that this supplied image is not necessarily representative of what the final house will look like, and it “probably won’t be that nice.” As part of today’s long-anticipated reset of the Government’s flagship KiwiBuild policy, Housing Minister ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Imperialism and your cup of coffee
    Over the next week or two we will be running three synopses of parts of the opening chapter of John Smith’s Imperialism in the 21st Century (New York, Monthly Review Press, 2016).  The synopsis and commentary below is written by Phil Duncan. Marx began Capital not with a sweeping historical ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Still juking the stats
    The State Services Commission and Ombudsman have released another batch of OIA statistics, covering the last six months. Request volumes are up, and the core public service is generally handling them within the legal timeframe, though this may be because they've learned to extend rather than just ignore things. And ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Hard News: Time for a New Deal: 25 years on
    In 1994, I was editing an ambitious street mag called Planet, from a fabled office at at 309 Karangahape Road. The thirteenth issue of the magazine was published in the winter of that year and its cover embodied a particularly ambitious goal: the end of cannabis prohibition.I wanted to do ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Not impressed
    KiwiBuild was one of the Ardern government's core policies. The government would end the housing crisis and make housing affordable again by building 100,000 new homes. Of course, it didn't work out like that: targets weren't met, the houses they did build were in the wrong place, and the whole ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Solar beats coal
    As the climate crisis escalates, it is now obvious that we need to radically decarbonise our economy. The good news is that its looking easy and profitable for the energy sector. Wind is already cheaper than fossil fuels, and now solar is too:The levellised cost of solar PV has fallen ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago

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