Better to Jaw Jaw than War War

Written By: - Date published: 5:36 pm, February 5th, 2015 - 112 comments
Categories: iraq, john key, war - Tags:

Churchill had many famous quotes, but in one he put it that it was “better to jaw jaw than to war war”.

John Key meanwhile thinks there is no options between ignoring things and war.

He’s accused “the left” (that hideous amorphous beast, that I’m sure lives around here somewhere) of “hypocrisy” because “they” criticise him for not raising human rights abuses with our trading partners and not having an opinion on apartheid – and then having the temerity not to want to sacrifice Aotearoan lives in a hopeless cause in an oil-rich state.

Phil Goff has pointed out that Key seems unconcerned about atrocities in Saudi Arabia (our friends), so why does Key make such distinctions between oil-rich states on the other side of the world?  Surely that’s where the hypocrisy is?

There is no hypocrisy in us here on “the left” wanting our leaders to jaw jaw about human rights problems – and use our new-found clout on the Security Council not to improve our trading possibilities but to angle for those who can’t protect themselves and make the world a better place – and then not wanting to war war in Iraq.

History shows us how many (the Lancet says 100s of thousands) have died because of the last US invasion there.  Was that a human rights improvement?

“The left” wanted rid of Saddam, sanctions seemed to be hurting the people they were meant to protect, but is the IS-ridden Iraqi state the improvement the last war promised?

There are some who say those who participated in that war (not us!) have a moral duty to get rid of this hydra they have created, and there is a certain argument there.

What Iraq would look like if, when the US pursued “regime change”, Donald Rumsfeld hadn’t been in charge of the Pentagon – protecting the oil sites & ministry while the rest of Iraq’s people and culture burned and was looted – is an open question.  If the US hadn’t split their resources between Afghanistan and Iraq, and had gone in trying to make it better for the common people, they may have been able to improve things, but that’s not what happened.

So yes, something needs done to clean up their mess – but us joining their war, and having no control over it isn’t likely to help.  Afghanistan showed how our soldiers were stuck between releasing Taleban to attack them again, or handing them over to US prisons in a move that risked war crimes charges against our troops for the subsequent torture within.  Why put our troops in that situation again?

Far better to provide humanitarian aid to those suffering, support diplomatic efforts, and leave the war to those who started this mess – and can take responsibility for their actions.

112 comments on “Better to Jaw Jaw than War War”

  1. Humbug 1

    Cowards choice. This isn’t conscription nor will it be a land based war involving infantry. Educate yourself.

  2. Tracey 2

    when will a journo ask john key why we are turning the other cheek to the atrocities being carried out by boko haram … think of those children john. there is no UN mandate but that never stops you does it john?

    • Stuart Munro 2.1

      No club memberships go with facing Boko Haram – and they’re all Key cares about. He’s what they used to call a lounge lizard.

      The smart way, and the moral way, to fight ISIS is to assist the Syrian and displaced Iraqi refugees. This would shrink ISIS and rebuild the lives ruined by decades of militarism and foreign interference.

      Key is neither smart nor moral however, nor is he brave. Neither John nor Max will be anywhere near the front lines that better men will be sent to die on.

    • Paul 2.2

      They won’t ask.
      They are sock puppets.

  3. So the very people who tell me their whole DNA is laced with human rights and standing up for people who can’t protect themselves tell me to look the other way when people are being beheaded by kids, burnt by kids and thrown off buildings. Well, sorry. Give me a break.

    Such a nice man, that John Key 🙄

    Earlier this week, Key emits a dog whistle stating that he expects his reception at Waitangi to be a bit rough.

    Then today, instead of talking about you know, treaty issues, or other pertinent (and more appropriate) political discourse, he decides that Waitangi is the perfect place to lob a ton of raw meat off the balcony.

    What an asshole.

    He really doesn’t understand that as Prime Minister of New Zealand, his job is to govern for the whole country, not just his mates.

  4. Colonial Rawshark 4

    Since Labour already agreed with National that ISIS/ISIL/Islamic terrorism was a real threat to NZ necessitating the passing of the latest BS surveillance/anti-terrorism bill, they don’t have a moral leg to stand on this issue any more.

    Now that it’s time to send our troops over to Iraq to play our part in sorting out this real threat to our nation, it’s a bit too late to start complaining about the deployment.


  5. This shit will never stop now… Endless wars, a stock market that will never be allowed to go down, a government controlled spy apparatus that monitors everything… That’s what we have become, slaves to our freedoms, addicts to our desires, consumers of our future…

    • One Anonymous Bloke 5.1

      Oh don’t be so pessimistic.

      Look at how we were 100 years ago – read Pinker on violence and those better angels.

  6. One Anonymous Bloke 6

    All wars start and end with a conversation.

    The art of war is keeping the time between those conversations as short as possible – to do otherwise ‘is the height of inhumanity’.

    Check the fate of gays in Nigeria or activists in Saudi Arabia or US citizens in the USA, or Chinese citizens in China, and then tell me again why we only shed blood for oil.

    • Tracey 6.1

      cos we bow down to the mighty dollar in all things. it is the measure of all things for those unable to find a small enough ruler to measure … other things

  7. Jay 7

    Isn’t the question, “will we do something about burnings, beheadings, the sexual enslavement of prepubescent girls and women, stonings, and the execution of homosexuals, or not”?

    Imagine that you’re a prepubescent girl being raped right now. Or a man about to be beheaded by a ten year old boy wielding a blunt knife. Do you care that the war is over oil, or that the usa hasn’t invaded Nigeria? What would you ask nzers to do if that was you? Would you want humanitarian aid? It’s happening NOW. What are we going to do?

    Nevermind who started it, or if there’s trouble in the other countries that noone cares about. What are we actually, as a country, going to do about it?

    It’s either something meaningful, or its nothing. The Japanese have contributed humanitarian aid. Didn’t protect their citizens at all, so not wanting to get involved for fear that we’re next won’t wash.

    Should the whole world say, “we don’t believe in war “, and go back to our own countries? Should we say, it’s not my country, so they can do what they like to its citizens?

    If your neighbour was beheading someone, would you call the police? Would you expect the police to arrest the man, or would you want them to give his wife humanitarian aid? Or would you write a stern letter to him telling him you disapprove?

    We all feel that world war two was a righteous war because of what we discovered the Nazis were doing to the Jews, homosexuals etc.

    Should we just have jaw jawed about that too?


    • b waghorn 7.2

      The American s have spent over half my 42 years on this earth causing mayhem in Iraq thanks to JW and JWJ and its only getting worse.
      The USA needs to take a back seat and get the UN involved until all parties are sitting around a table talking there will be no peace in Iraq.
      If kiwis start coming home in body bags from Iraq what has started out as thinking we are doing the right thing will soon turn to hate .
      The deep scars left in the psyche of NZ from the four big wars of last year are only just healing in my opinion.

      • Alpha z 7.2.1

        the last time kiwi soldiers came in body bags–key said he was too busy to attend the funeral~because he was watching his son play sum game. key is a arsewhole.

        • Alpha z

          “The latest deaths bring the total number of Kiwi soldiers killed in Afghanistan to 10.”

          “The Prime Minister earlier said going to his son’s baseball game instead of attending the funeral service was a “difficult decision.
          I’ve got to let somebody down, but my son makes huge sacrifices for me and my job,” Key said.

          cancel game ticket! can see son again but not dead soldier.
          pm, nah. brain dead pm.

    • Colonial Rawshark 7.3

      Isn’t the question, “will we do something about burnings, beheadings, the sexual enslavement of prepubescent girls and women, stonings, and the execution of homosexuals, or not”?

      Hey so what are we going to do about the incompetent sectarian government in Baghdad which drove the people into the Sunni north of Iraq into the arms of ISIS?

      Do you also want us to cut all ties to Saudi Arabia, who are major funders of ISIS?

    • sabine 7.4

      the prebusecent girls being raped in NZ under the current government are shit out of luck, see Roastbusters.
      the women beheaded last week in Saudi Arabia was shit out of luck, they are our friends and we fly the flag halfmast in honor of the King who died.

      as for all your other question….Iraq has not done anything to he US…remember the pretty pictures of Rumsfeld with Saddam Hussein, when the US armed Iraq to fight against Iran.
      Remember Iran, whose democratically elected President in the 50’s was killed, a Shah was installed and the Petroleum was secured for BP?
      Remember Afghanistan who unitl 1968 was a country known for its stunning beauty, its hospitality and its exports, fruits, nuts and carpets? No you don’t?

      Then maybe before you go about asking bs, you go about thinking, reading and realise that we – the western world have the middle east so fucked up that really it is just simply fubar now. And no matter how many boys and girls in uniform, the children of other parents we throw at it we will not undue the mess we have created.

      we have lost that war around 1920 when the english bombed Bagdad for the first time, and we have lost it for certain when the US parked their helicopters in the City of Ur.

    • Tracey 7.5

      a child is being raped in nz right now or at least between your post and mine.

      i dont have to imagine it.

      children are being raped and enslaved right now in many parts of the world. they are not thinking why hasnt nz helped me… they are in survival mode wondering why the people in the other room or house wont help.

      as for this “war” you speak of these are my thoughts…

      taleban… still operating
      al quaeda … still operating
      isis operating 2 years…

      how did the afganistan war and war in iraq work out? those 3 groups still operate…

      how many of those groups had direct or indirect assistance from a major power at some or all points of their existence?

      cut supply of weapons today from all countries supplying them and turn on the resulting black market. why do you suppose that hasnt been tried Jay. Thoughts.

  8. mickysavage 8

    I listened to Key’s speech today at Waitangi and had two immediate impressions:

    1. How inappropriate.
    2. I bet he is engaging in a bit of diversion creation and rabble rousing for the hell of it.

    Not the best reason to commit us to a war caused by many stupid decisions made about the middle east over the past few decades.

    • Paul 8.1

      Anything to keep Sabin out of the news.

    • fisiani 8.2

      How surprising that Honest John riles you so easily.

      • mickysavage 8.2.1

        fisi you are one of the more annoying trolls. Your comment about a “white feather” is particularly annoying. How about you lift your game and actually contribute to the discussion.

        • Paul

          It takes more courage to oppose war sometimes.

          • mickysavage

            Yep I started to type a comment about my great uncle who was Irish and refused to fight in the first world war and was jailed and given a white feather and who was an utterly decent human being but then deleted it. And there was my uncle who refused to fight in the second world war but joined the red cross and saved many human lives. Fisi’s thinking is so one dimensional and stupid. And he is obviously a troll in that he tries to rile rather than debate.

      • tricledrown 8.2.2

        Magot Thatcher covers up for pedophile spy
        Unfortunately the Russians had kept all the evidence.
        NZ Judge appointed for enquiry with increased powers

  9. Morrissey 9

    A little more about this primus upper class bastard inter pares …

    “I hate Indians. They are a beastly people with a beastly religion.”

    In Sudan in the late nineteenth century, Churchill bragged that he personally shot at least three “savages”.

    In South Africa, where “it was great fun galloping about,” he defended British built concentration camps for white Boers, saying they produced “the minimum of suffering”. The death toll was almost 28,000.

    When Mahatma Gandhi launched his campaign of peaceful resistance against British rule in India, Churchill raged that Gandhi “ought to be lain bound hand and foot at the gates of Delhi, and then trampled on by an enormous elephant with the new Viceroy seated on its back. Gandhi-ism and everything it stands for will have to be grappled with and crushed.”

    In 1943 a famine broke out in Bengal, caused by the imperial policies of the British. In reply to the Secretary of State for India’s telegram requesting food stock to relieve the famine, Churchill wittily replied: “If food is scarce, why isn’t Gandhi dead yet?”

    Up to 3 million people starved to death. Asked in 1944 to explain his refusal to send food aid, Churchill jeered: “Relief would do no good. Indians breed like rabbits and will outstrip any available food supply.”

    In 1920 Churchill advocated the use of chemical weapons on the “uncooperative Arabs” involved in the Iraqi revolution against British rule. “I do not understand the squeamishness about the use of gas,” he declared. “I am strongly in favor of using poison gas against uncivilized tribes. It would spread a lively terror.”

    Read more….

    • adam 9.1

      If you want to really read some sick stuff from Churchill – try laying your hands on “the unpublished papers”. Ravings of a sick and twisted mind. Only seen one or two of these essays he wrote later in life, and quite frankly thought he was a evil little man. Bugger the good he did – he was bloody close to being a right fascist himself.

      • Colonial Rawshark 9.1.1

        Boy you lefties really want to have our primary schools teaching either Deutschlandlied or Gosudarstvenny Gimn SSSR.

    • joe90 9.2

      Churchill was a pig of a man – Gandhi?

      Sept. 26, 1896: “Ours is one continual struggle against a degradation sought to be inflicted upon us by the Europeans, who desire to degrade us to the level of the raw Kaffir* whose occupation is hunting, and whose sole ambition is to collect a certain number of cattle to buy a wife with and, then, pass his life in indolence and nakedness.” — Vol. 1, p. 410


      Jan. 23, 1909: “I acquainted the Governor with what had happened and told him there was urgent need for separate lavatories for Indians. I also told him that Indian prisoners should never be lodged with Kaffirs. The Governor immediately issued an order for a lavatory for Indians to be sent on from the Central Gaol. Thus, from the next day the difficulty about lavatories disappeared.” — Vol. 9, p. 270

  10. Penny Bright 10

    Who has read ‘War is a racket’ by Major-General Smedley Butler, published in 1935?

    I’ve never read anything like it.

    Be interested in what others think?

    Penny Bright

    • GregJ 10.1

      One of the few American’s to have been awarded the Medal of Honor twice. A very interesting character.

      The book is quite short (51 pages) – you can read it here. (pdf)

    • Flipnz 10.2

      WOW! That is calling it as it is. If only we had leaders with such wisdom, insight and the courage to act in opposition to the money and in support of the people.

      The capitalist assumption is that making money is supporting the people. Sometimes it is not.

  11. Clemgeopin 11

    I am suspecting/thinking that there is ANOTHER REAL motive for ISIS to be seen as ruthless in their ways and in trying to get very wide global publicity for their ‘mission’. They are wanting us to enter their war to trap us and the world:

    See this link:

    So now it’s a family not a club

  12. Ovid 12

    I find myself a lot more hawkish than I expected in regards to IS and the events of the past week. Sure, I did object to the invasion of Iraq. I wasn’t convinced that there were WMDs and I felt that containment of Saddam through the no-fly zones and sanctions was enough to keep him in check. I also objected to the decommissioning of the Iraqi Army in the aftermath, thinking they’d need to remain for security.

    But “I told you so” offers little comfort to the families of those beheaded, burnt alive, thrown off buildings and stoned. I’m fully aware the actions of IS have been calculated to elicit anger from the west. Well, they have succeeded. I believe they must be stopped.

    • adam 12.1

      But, ISIS can be beaten with economic warfare. Strangling supply lines and supporting those in the region who oppose them. If we cut off their money – you know the thing that buys the weapons…

      Why the hell do we need to recall our SAS and other retired troops?

      When can help – just smarter help.

      Sending in troops = waste of bloody time and effort. And that jingoism will pass if you get internationalist and look for solutions other than at the end of a barrel.

    • Colonial Rawshark 12.2

      Sorry mate, as long as the Iraqi government remains utterly corrupt, sectarian and consistently pro-Shia, the Sunni north of Iraq is always going to look for ways to challenge Baghdad. Whether it is by supporting ISIS or by other means.

    • sabine 12.3

      so you are enlisting?

  13. Clemgeopin 13

    Do these talking wealthy RW dudes get their OWN kids to become soldiers for the sake of patriotism and would they want their OWN kids to be deployed to distant ideology/religious/sectarian driven foreign Muslim lands, because, as Key says, “It is the Kiwi way to care for human rights” and oh, also because we are “family” with US/UK and going to “help Iraq” is the “price we have to pay” for being part of the 5 eyes “club”. So many reasons, so much BS!

    There is an article on Stuff on Key’s speech today (which he says he “hadn’t planned” and was made on the spur of the moment without notes). Read the OVER 300 comments under the article to see what Key is thinking, but what the ‘people of NZ’ are really thinking:

    Here is the link:

    • Tracey 13.1

      at least until the recent past leaders declaring war went to the battlefields and witb their sons. the biggest exceptions found in ww1 and 2.

      • Clemgeopin 13.1.1

        It is quite abhorrent to me to hear the very privileged wealthy ‘leaders’ pushing for other people’s sectarian/religious/selective ‘human rights’ dubious war in distant lands while they and their own kids are shielded from mortal danger, exposing the soldiers that come from the economically poor or Maori families to go and fight and die. I particularly cringed when Key said convenient hypocritical crap such as “It is the Kiwi way to care for human rights”, “we are “family” with US/UK” “going to help Iraq is the price we have to pay for being in the club” etc.

        I might even agree to support Key if he asks every National party and ACT MP to send at least one of their own children along to Iraq either to fight or to do humanitarian/ambulance/nursing or driving duties for a year in Iraq along with the soldiers he wants to send there.

        Of course, that won’t happen because that is not what the privileged rich do. But the rich know how to fool and tell the less privileged what to do. The kids of the rich are precious. Not expendable unlike the kids from the ordinary or poor families that volunteer to become soldiers.

  14. sabine 14

    for the national 101st keyboard brigade
    Mark Twain
    the war prayer

    Part two

  15. Lloyd 15

    Ultimately in this war the Kurds will be screwed. Happens every time. New Zealand troops committed to a war will inevitably blow innocent people’s heads off and burn others to death. It is what happens in a war. Do we need New Zealanders’ taxes go towards such atrocities?

    Churchill’s “Jaw, Jaw” quote is one of the few of his that I respect. Did he actually write it or was it a speech writer?

    Remember Churchill was central in organising the disasters of Gallipoli and the defence of Greece against the Nazis. Both places where New Zealand men were cannon fodder. Can’t understand why New Zealanders have this respect for him as a defender of the empire….

  16. Jamie 16

    I am from the right and I object to the war because it is un-winnable when senior members of our allies are providing funds and arms to the enemy

    -remember Sec of State Hilary Clinton and Benghazi???
    -or Senator John McCain and Syria???

    I do have a idea on how to go about winning the War on Terrorism and hopefully avoiding WW3

    To win an irregular war you have to out G the guerrilla

    It involves bringing battalions of Iraqi troops to NZ and training them to a high standard

    -training would involve the construction of our infrastructure (kind of like what the Roman legions were doing when they weren’t fighting or fornicating)

    The plan is a bit rough and ready (like me) and needs a bit of polish

    If any can come up a better plan for victory that doesn’t involve universal slaughter and turning the middle east to glass I would like to hear it

    Not holding my breath…

    • Colonial Rawshark 16.1

      It involves bringing battalions of Iraqi troops to NZ and training them to a high standard

      Uh, NZ barely has two battalions itself, with very limited combat experience.

      What’s to stop hardened Iraqi Army units from taking over our nice fertile country.

      IMO Iraq now presents us with the perfect no win scenario. You win by not going in.

    • Tracey 16.2

      i think cutting off the supply of militaria is a good place to start. ALL nations stop overtly supplying a group involving all permanent members of the SC oversee missions to wipe out black market supply. cant be a worse idea than the failed ones to date… without guns and food… there is no G just brrrrrrr.

      • Colonial Rawshark 16.2.1

        Very nice in theory, however the US is the world’s biggest exporter of arms, they are selling another 170 M1 Abrams tanks to Iraq for US$5M a piece, why would they want the arms trade to stop.

        • Tracey

          i know. it isnt put forward as an option cos of that. it is nonetheless an option. dr mapp may have a comment. Buwahahahaha

  17. chaffnz 17

    Please stop asking each other to ‘sign up’ as if that is the only way someone can demonstrate they believe a conflict to be just. As a servant in uniform I find it offensive. I have chosen to serve. I have made that choice and I dont expect every citizen of this country, employing me through a democratic process, to suddenly have to ‘sign up’ to make that employment any more valid. If your military servants feel the war is completely unjust then they will just resign. But then if your soldiers feel like that. Then you the people will too. And the government will be undone. The system works. Like as not, we your servants are representatives of you the people. Stop telling people to ‘sign up’. If u dont like the decisions made on your behalf by your government then vote them out, or leave.

    • Truth is the first casualty of war. The soldiers involved will be the last to figure out the real reasons for going to war. Talk of human rights, justice, or nation building is all just bullshit

      I spent 33 years and four months in active military service and during that period I spent most of my time as a high class muscle man for Big Business, for Wall Street and the bankers. In short, I was a racketeer, a gangster for capitalism.

      Major General Smedley Butler (highest ranking & most decorated US Marine)

      • Flipnz 17.1.1

        “Talk of human rights, justice, or nation building is all just bullshit…”

        No it isn’t. What is bullshit is capitalising (making money) on war.

    • Flipnz 17.2

      Agree. Asking people if they are going to sign up is not a comment and is just trolling.

    • Tracey 17.3

      are soldiers not trained to follow orders without question? how easy is it to resign from our military? how many soldiers do you know who have resigned cos they object to the reasons for going?

    • Ad 17.4

      Nicely said.

  18. Time to share this excellent article from The Dim-Post:

    Here’s my problem with sending our troops over to help out in Iraq.

    Firstly, ‘Iraq’ doesn’t exist anymore. Iraq as a modern country was invented by the west after WWI and the collapse of the Ottoman Empire. An unrelated group of rival ethnicities, tribes and faiths patched together into a geographical fiction and held together by various tyrants until 2003, when the US invaded and the country disintegrated in the aftermath, flying apart into a chaotic failed state filled with millions of refugees, militias and rival warlords fighting in a massive bloody civil war spilling across the borders into several of Iraq’s neighbors, with most of the regional powers fighting each other via local proxies. That’s what we’re sending our troops into. We’re only calling this disaster zone ‘Iraq’ because it’s embarrassing to our allies, the US and the UK – who invaded Iraq, botched the post-war occupation and bought about the unimaginable carnage and destruction of the resulting civil war – to acknowledge that the country we’re helping no longer exists. […]

    As someone later observed: We don’t have a plan on how to win or even a solid victory condition as far as I have seen.

    • GregJ 18.1

      Yep – that’s a pretty good summary of the dilemma. Add in a similar situation with Syria and it is pretty hard to see how you find a way through.

      Perhaps a Shia Arab state in the South, a Kurdish entity for Northern Iraq & Northern Syria (which the Turks and the Iranians will resist), and some sort of Sunni Arab state in the Centre – with an Alawite/Shia entity in the West. Of course that still leaves out the Assyrians, Yazidis, Druze and various other minority groups who have all suffered at the hands of all of the above groups.

    • SPC 18.2

      All nation states are invented. Saying they do not really, or rightly, exist is a device for some purpose.

      And the idea that a nation state needs to be of one homogenous group in terms of ethnicity and religious sect is very dubious.

      Apparently the obligation to provide collective security to member states of the UN can be ignored if one no longer recognises the real existence of a member state … in which case there is no obligation.

      That said, there is a real problem.

      Iraqi unity becoming superseded by Sunni and Shia inter-group separation and violence, of which IS is just a symptom. Particularly with the incorporation of Shia militias who have been ethnic cleansing Baghdad (why Sunni members of the Iraqi army did not resist the IS invasion) and Diyali province into the Iraqi army.

      Our training new units in that army does not make things worse. Particularly if they are Sunni units that occupy areas retaken from IS. Better still would be a federal structure for Iraq that allowed Kurds (in practice now) and Sunni area self government.

      • Colonial Rawshark 18.2.1

        Iraqi unity becoming superseded by Sunni and Shia inter-group separation

        ? This was completed many years ago.

        Bremner started it in 2002 by eliminating all Baath party members from civil administration, and then making redundant the entire Iraqi armed forces.

        • Colonial Rawshark

          Actually it was probably 2003/2004 that happened….

          • SPC

            My opposition to the 2003 regime change was that foreign forces entering the Sunni area of Iraq was wrong.

            The case was one for liberating the southern and Kurdish area and leaving the regime to become one of Sunni self government. Ultimately the three areas would come to an arrangement over oil revenue sharing that would have allowed a federal structure for Iraq.

            It is still their best future option.

            • Colonial Rawshark

              Well that sounds workable but I have not seen such an option, federal or otherwise, on any negotiating table.

  19. SPC 19

    1. Our soldiers would be training, not at risk fighting.

    2. The UN, we are on the UNSC, has a policy of collective security of nation states.

    Iraq’s government was elected and Iraq was invaded by an armed group based in Syria seeking to rule over both.

    3. Iraqi soldiers (and Kurds) would be the ones fighting Islamic State forces.

    • Colonial Rawshark 19.1

      1) ISIS can launch attacks within 20km of Baghdad, and can launch suicide attacks within Baghdad itself. No where in Iraq is not a combat zone.

      2) The Americans and the UK used up 12 years and hundreds of billions of dollars to try and train up Iraqi forces who immediately ran away from ISIS, abandoning critical bases and equipment to the enemy.

      3) Iraq’s government is utterly sectarian and corrupt, and has lost the confidence of the northern Iraq Sunni areas, which is the situation which allowed ISIS to thrive.

      4) Iraqi forces are known for shooting dead their western trainers.

      • SPC 19.1.1

        1. No one proposes to train Iraqi units in Baghdad.

        2. We know why. And so do you – your 3.

        3. IS thrived in Syria. They took the north of Iraq only because local Sunni army units would not fight to continue Baghdad rule over them while Shia militia were ethnic cleansing Baghdad of Sunni.

        None of which details why IS cannot be beaten, Shia militias can do it but their motivation (ethnic cleansing areas and establishing military supremacy in the state is not a human rights based solution).

        4. New Zealand soldiers can die driving trucks or during exercises here.

        • Colonial Rawshark

          So you intend that we help western forces beat an Insurgency which has the support (sometimes tacit, sometimes active) of the local communities and tribes. While the central government continues to be unchanged, incompetent, utterly sectarian and alienating to those same communities.

          This is a recipe for being bogged down in a failing anti-insurgency campaign for years, and I believe that you can see that too.

          4. New Zealand soldiers can die driving trucks or during exercises here.

          Those aren’t deaths due to the actions of Iraqi soldiers.

          • SPC

            If it were my policy, I would expect Baghdad to offer Sunni areas self government within Iraq (and the Kurdish area) within a new federal structure.

            And to build up/train a Sunni national guard force (and incorporate some of the locals) to take over areas liberated from IS.

            • Colonial Rawshark

              If this was a serious option on the negotiating table then I can see that our involvement in Iraq in some form might have some productive meaning.

              • SPC

                The whole point of being on the UNSC was to have our voice heard.

                So we can and should at least try and improve the chances of the mission being successful by offering up a better plan if we are to take up a part in it.

                It is harder to make such a contribution as a bystander not willing to get involved.

                • Tracey

                  i wonder if other plans have been offered up but not being the US preferred option we dont hear about it.

                  china does not appear to be a target of terrorism… i wonder why not?

                  • Liberal Realist

                    “china does not appear to be a target of terrorism… i wonder why not?”

                    Not quite – China has had a number of terrorist attacks perpetrated by Uyghur separatists in Xinjiang and elsewhere in China.

                • Colonial Rawshark

                  I doubt the US is willing to agree to any UNSC oversight or mandate.

                  • SPC

                    I don’t. Just as they sought it in the case of Libya. They tried to but the Russians wanted any UNSC resolution to include support for the government of Syria.

                    • Colonial Rawshark

                      Well if the US is serious about obtaining international support – it has to materially take into account the views of the major powers which have a stake in the country in question.

    • Tracey 19.2

      last time we were told they would just be training they were leading sqirmishes.

      • SPC 19.2.1

        In Afghanistan they were training a group to respond to insurgency action within Kabul in Kabul. And as we know went with them.

        In Iraq, is it proposed that they will travel with the group to combat zones to the north of Baghdad?

        From what we have heard they will not be training them anywhere near the area IS occupies.

        • Colonial Rawshark

          You can’t believe the fuckers.

          The SAS don’t go into an operational theatre to deliver basic training and PT to rookies.

  20. saveNZ 20

    Yep the birds have come home to roost. The US and UK find themselves trapped in an un winnable war. Rather than lose face, they turn to their club they try to get more countries to help them. Cos it does not look bad if US and UK soldiers are being burned alive while they are playing golf again.

    How about that Government accountability that the ‘poor’ are constantly told they must adopt?

  21. Jaw Jaw and War War are both tactics employed by imperialist powers to control their spheres of interest.
    Jaw Jaw usually means putting some dictator in place so they can supress the population like General Sisi in Egypt.
    War War usually means imperialism has to step in to take direct control in suppressing popular revolution.
    Often this will mean the enlisting of allies on the basis of “guns for butter”.
    This scenario is as old as the rise of capitalism imperialism towards the end of the 19th century.
    The answer to both is the armed people who throw out both imperialism and its local stooges.
    The NACT role in supporting the US wars today is no different from kiwis going to the Boer War, the “great wrong war”, WW2 against ‘fascism’ and every war since them.
    This is a war in the interests of the New Zealand ruling class, not the big majority of NZers who are workers.
    Our interests align with the Arab Revolution for independence from imperialism and its sundry puppets and dictators.

    • ghostwhowalksnz 21.1

      The interest of the working class are helped by not confronting facism ?. Japanese imperialism wasnt a threat to NZ ?
      You are too deranged !

      • dave brown 21.1.1

        Yes ghost, things are not always as they appear in the war comics.
        WW2 was presented by our ruling classes to us as a war against fascism, but in reality fascism is the extreme bourgeois answer to socialist revolution.
        It is a social movement that rallies the petty bourgeois to smash the working class.
        So the ruling classes enemy was not fascism as such but the threat of socialist revolution arising out of the Great Depression.
        The workers’ answer to fascism was not to side with the so-called ‘democracies’ who had their own incipient fascist movements, against the fascist states, but to oppose both sides in the war.
        Our answer was for workers in all countries to unite against the war between the big powers and instead of turning our guns on workers in other countries, to turn them on our own ruling classes.
        That imperialism and not fascism was the real enemy is proven by the fact that all the big powers used their armies at the end of the war to put down the partisan movements and revolutionary nationalists from Italy to IndoChina.
        NZ in fighting alongside Britain and the US were serving the interests of these countries to defeat their imperialist rivals and take control of their spheres of interest.
        In Greece the allies suppressed the partisans who fought for an independent socialist republic.
        In IndoChina the British handed control back to the French after putting down a popular revolution against the Japanese.
        Elsewhere revolutionary nationalists came to power as in Yugoslavia and China, but always surrounded by imperialism which isolated these movements from the international working class, or pitted them against them in wars of liberation as in IndoChina.
        Always the bottom line for imperialism is to prevent the international working class from uniting and overthrowing its hold over their livelihoods and their lives.

        • ghostwhowalksnz

          What a load of nonsense.

          The socialist nation, Soviet Union joined with fascist Germany in invading Poland.

          In fact it was the bourgeois democracies that were intially doing the fighting, as the socialist country was on the side of the war mongers ( invading Finland as well).
          It you thats been reading comics.

  22. Ad 22

    “Far better to provide humanitarian aid to those suffering, support diplomatic efforts, and leave the war to those who started this mess – and can take responsibility for their actions.”

    I do agree with this a long way – it’s certainly the easiest way to get a United Nations mandate for action, which is what all small states like ours should acquire before acting. It’s safe.

    There will be a real question about whether New Zealand sends post-war UN mandated peacekeepers into the region. There are plenty of them in the Golan Heights or Serbia still in harms’ way. That’s less safe, but comparatively safe.

    But I still think sometimes the Left likes to take the morally softest option possible, and leave the heavy lifting to the right’s military experience and tradition. The British left were quite happy to rail against Franco’s fascism, others quite happy to volunteer in central America against military movements there, still others quite happy to support the ANC in its communist military phase.

    We have to have the hard debates that sharpen when it’s right to intervene with guns in a new moral context – one in which it’s not just whole military theaters being contested, but also against an enemy who knows more precisely than any other we have seen how to use MSM and social media to amplify moral outrage.

    The post does not face the hard question: when does the left pick up the gun?

    • Colonial Rawshark 22.1

      That’s bloody simple: we pick up the gun and intervene when the economic, social or international interests of NZ, and especially of our people, are being placed at risk, and military means can help resolve the situation.

      We do not pick up the gun when doing so jeopardises our economic, social or international interests, places innocent Kiwis at risk for no concrete gain, or when military means cannot resolve the situation or worse is likely to exacerbate it.

      • Ad 22.1.1

        No, that’s not enough, and remarkably selfish.

        We pick up a gun – particularly as peacekeepers – when people have a UN mandate to be protected. That means the world has voted and sufficiently agreed that this is the right thing to do. So whether left or right, as a people, we pick up a gun.

        That may mean there is no gain for us at all. We do it because the world and ourselves agree that it is the right thing to do.

        • Colonial Rawshark

          Do you claim that there is a peace to keep in Iraq? Do you claim that there is a UN mandate for peacekeeping in Iraq?

          If not, why is what you say relevant to our discussion here?

          That may mean there is no gain for us at all. We do it because the world and ourselves agree that it is the right thing to do.

          Oh that’s a great speech – but why are you committing our troops when there is no exit plan? When it has already been shown that 12 years of training the Iraqi forces has led to nothing but disastrous failure because the Baghdad government is corrupt, incompetent and compromised by sectarianism?

          How on earth do you see sending our troops into that as being “the right thing to do”?

          By the way, as a Leftie I have a very clear idea of the use of military forces, and it doesn’t include committing our men and women to open ended no win situations especially in scenarios where you have already admitted we have no interests at stake.

      • Instauration 22.1.2

        Yes – defence is cheapest when you don’t nurture enemies.
        In Jordans case – defence is cheapest when you are paid to be offensive;
        So – from where does Jordan assume a right to attack the sovereign nation Syria ?

        • SPC

          Syria is the sovereign nation, not a group from Iraq (Al Qaeda in Iraq offshoot Islamic State in Iraq) occupying part of it.

          The governments of both Jordan and Syria regard IS as a terrorist group.

  23. The Fairy Godmother 23

    Interesting that after World War II the Americans adopteted the Marshal plan where they poured Billions of investment money into Western Europe to support the rebuild so they wouldn’t fall into the hands of the Communists. It seems to have worked. The spin off was great for the American economy as the people of recovering Western Europe had money to buy American goods. Pity they don’t have similar thinking today. Far more effective way to stop the influence of ISIS.

  24. The Fairy Godmother 24

    Interesting that after World War II the Americans adopteted the Marshal plan where they poured Billions of investment money into Western Europe to support the rebuild so they wouldn’t fall into the hands of the Communists. It seems to have worked. The spin off was great for the American economy as the people of recovering Western Europe had money to buy American goods. Pity they don’t have similar thinking today. Far more effective way to stop the influence of ISIS.

  25. Jim Hawthorne 25

    “The truth must be protected by an army of lies” – Churchill. Like who funded Hitler – and who is funding Isis as two fairly obvious examples. Both sides always controlled- otherwise people and Nations always choose peace, breeding, good drugs and parties 🙂

  26. War on Terror based on lies? Tell me it ain’t so?!

    “The 28 pages primarily relate to who financed 9/11, and they point a very strong finger at Saudi Arabia”

  27. millsy 27

    Makes me think that the West should made a deal with Saddam to leave him in power and not invade Iraq.

    Sometimes it is really better the devil you know….

  28. Sable 28

    This far right government are a bunch of greasy US sell outs. They do not care one jot about the people of this country who I’m sure they viewed in their elitist world as being not better than cattle.

    As long as their puppet masters in the US are happy they are happy. Its as simple as that.

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Close Tiwai Point
    Tiwai Point's electricity contract is up for renewal. And as usual, they're sticking their hand out, demanding a government subsidy, and threatening to close if they don't get one:The owners of the aluminium smelter said on Wednesday that there were seeking talks with the Government amid a strategic review which ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    8 hours ago
  • How volcanoes influence climate and how their emissions compare to what we produce
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to Everyone is going on about reducing our carbon footprint, zero ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    10 hours ago
  • ACT: Backed by Nazis
    So, it turns out that the ACT Party - which previously called itself "the liberal party" - is financed by Nazis:ACT Party leader David Seymour says his party will not return a donation from Mike Allen, a Christchurch businessman who sells mock "Make America Great Again" hats to fund advertising ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    11 hours ago
  • Counting Barretts
    Just in case you don’t have a seven-year-old boy in your house (in which case this will be obvious) a well-known brand of breakfast cereal here in NZ is currently coming with All-Blacks stats cards. Perfect for finding out your favourite rugby player’s height, number of caps, and how much ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    11 hours ago
  • Bullying their critics
    Over the past month we've heard some horrific stories about bullying in the police. The police's response? Try to bully people into silence:The police have told a whistleblower to retract his statements to RNZ about being bullied or face legal action. The demand came just hours after Police Commissioner Mike ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    15 hours ago
  • Member’s Day: End of Life Choice, part 5
    Today is a Member's Day, which should see the final part of the committee stage of David Seymour's End of Life Choice Bill. The big question today is the referendum clause: will it be necessary, or can the bill pass without it? While the majorities for his amendments during the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    15 hours ago
  • There is no ‘gendered brain’
    One of the key arguments used by trans ideologists is that some male-bodied people (ie men) are women because they ‘feel’ they are women.  To make this hocus-pocus sound a bit more credible, some will argue that such men have a ‘female brain’.  But this is thoroughly anti-scientific too. . ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    15 hours ago
  • Canada’s electoral system is broken
    Canadians went to the polls today in parliamentary elections, and appear to have re-elected blackface wearer Justin Trudeau. Unfortunately, they use first-past-the-post, and they've provided a perfect demonstration of how unfair this system is:PartySeats% Seats% VoteLiberal15746.4%33.1%Conservative12135.8%34.4%Bloc Québécois329.5%7.7%New Democratic Party247.1%15.9%Green Party30.9%6.5%Other10.3%2.4% [Results from Elections Canada] Yes, the Liberals got fewer votes ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • Measles: the quackery that is homeopathic “vaccination”
    A few days ago, a friend sent me a link to a health-related FB page that had published a post from a homeopathist, offering homeopathic “vaccination”¹ against measles (using something called a “Morbillinum nosode” at a “potency” of 200C, which I’ll explain shortly). I followed the link, left a comment ...
    SciBlogsBy Alison Campbell
    1 day ago
  • Colombia: 20th anniversary of La Gabarra massacre
    by Gearóid Ó Loingsigh This year marks the 20th anniversary of the La Gabarra massacre. The community organised an event to remember the most well-known of the horrendous heart-breaking events that befell the communities of this area of the municipality of Tibú: the massacre carried out on August 21st 1999. ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 day ago
  • A prediction
    There was another police chase in Christchurch this morning, resulting in a crash which killed one person and injured five more. Because someone died, the chase is being investigated by the Independent Police Conduct Authority. And based on previous reports by the IPCA, we know how it will go: the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Climate Change: The Zero Carbon Bill
    Just a month ago we saw the biggest protest in a generation as people marched to demand stronger action on climate change. A core demand of the protesters was to strengthen the Zero Carbon Bill's target to net-zero by 2040. So what is the government's response? Judging by the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Zombie ants, updated
    Back in 2010, I wrote about the strange tale of the zombie ants, which do the bidding of their fungal overlords. (They’re not an isolated example; a range of parasites change their hosts’ behaviour. See here and here for example – though as you’ll find, the toxoplasmosis story may be ...
    SciBlogsBy Alison Campbell
    2 days ago
  • Paying For Our Pakeha “Guilt” And “Privilege”.
    Shouldn't That Be: "Wrong White Crowd"? Rather than apportion guilt, would it not have been wiser for the makers of Land Of The Long White Cloud to accept that the Pakeha of 2019 are not – and never will be – “Europeans”? Just as contemporary Maori are not – and ...
    2 days ago
  • A Bodyguard of Truths.
    One, Two, Many Truths: With the collapse of “actually existing socialism” in 1991, the universities of the West found themselves saddled with a new mission. With their ideological competitors now soundly defeated they were no longer required to demonstrate the superiority of capitalist values. Their job now was to cement ...
    2 days ago
  • A call to unionists
    by the Council of Disobedient Women   We call on the Council of Trade Unions to show some fortitude and take a stand with your sisters. Unionists know that there is a material world, otherwise workers could simply identify out of poverty. They could declare themselves Well Paid. Why stop ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 days ago
  • Sophistry and bullshit
    I spent some time reading the Regulatory Impact Statement and Bill of Rights Act advice for the government's odious control order scheme today. I am not impressed with either of them. Starting with the RIS, it is built on some pretty questionable assumptions. For example:Unless individuals have been convicted of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • I’m so fly, I’m #NoFly!
    #NoFly: Walking the talk on climate change, by Shaun Hendy. BWB Texts, 2019. Reviewed by Robert McLachlan In June 2018, Swede Maja Rosén founded We stay on the ground with a pledge not to fly in 2019, and a goal of persuading 100,000 other Swedes to join her. In August, ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 days ago
  • Punishing the young
    We all know that NZ First is a party of and for old people who hate the young. But they've topped their previous pedophobia with a proposal that all young people be forced to do 100 hours community work:NZ First wants all young people to do 100 hours of community ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Journalism, clickbait, & ideas of classical beauty – but not science
    A couple days ago the NZ Herald published a story with the headline, “Science says Bella Hadid is world’s most beautiful woman“, and followed up with the ridiculous statement that Supermodel Bella Hadid has been declared as the world’s most beautiful woman following a scientific study into what constitutes as ...
    SciBlogsBy Alison Campbell
    3 days ago
  • Is Simon’s Smile Sustainable?
    A Sustainable Proposition: With as much as 18 percent of the electorate declaring itself “undecided” about who to vote for, there is obviously plenty of space for a party like former Green Party member, Vernon Tava's, about-to-be-launched "Sustainable NZ Party" to move into. The most hospitable political territory for such ...
    3 days ago
  • What the actual Hell?
    Keir Starmer has hinted that Labour might vote in favour of the Johnson government's shoddy deal, with the proviso that a second referendum is attached:Speaking to BBC One’s The Andrew Marr Show, he said: “We will see what that looks like but it makes sense to say that by whatever ...
    3 days ago
  • Hard News: Dealer’s Choice, an oral history from Planet 1994
    In 1994, I was the editor for an issue of Planet magazine focused on cannabis, its culture and the prospects for the end of its prohibition. Part of that issue was an interview with 'Ringo', an experienced cannabis dealer.I recently posted my essay from that issue, and I figured it ...
    4 days ago
  • The invasion of women’s sports by men: some facts
    Dr Helen Waite, sports sociologist and former elite athlete, on the invasion of women’s sport by men and the anti-scientific and misogynist ideology used to rationalise it.   ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    5 days ago
  • Remainers starting to sound like fascists
    As Brexit comes to a grisly conclusion (perhaps) people on all sides are saying intemperate and uwise things.  Some, like the Daly Mail, have been doing it for years.People as normally level headed as Jon Lansman are calling for automatic deselection of MPs who vote against a (likely) Labour three ...
    5 days ago
  • Labour MPs supporting Johnson’s turd-sandwich deal?
    I find this unbelievable:
    I've got one source saying more Labour MPs than expected are mulling whether to vote for the deal - including names who were not on the letter to Juncker and Tusk— Emilio Casalicchio (@e_casalicchio) 17 October 2019 I've compiled a list of possible reasons why Labour ...
    5 days ago
  • Why do we need control orders again?
    On Wednesday, the government was loudly telling us that it needed to legislate to allow it to impose "control orders" - effectively a parole regime, but imposed without charge, prosecution, conviction or real evidence - on suspected terrorists because they couldn't be prosecuted for their supposed crimes. Today, it turns ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Bullshitting the Minister
    On Monday, the Hit and Run inquiry heard from NZDF's former director of special operations, who claimed that the defence Minister knew everything about the Operation Burnham raid. Today, the inquiry heard from that (former) Minister - and it turns out that he didn't know nearly as much as NZDF ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Speaker: Extinction Rebellion is not a cult (but ecstasy for the people)
    Yoga gurus and cult leaders – I’ve seen a few. Two weeks ago, I unknowingly joined an alleged new-age cult at the Kāpiti coast, together with a giant kraken and some neatly dressed pensioners who would make any book club proud.They were among the two hundred people of all ages ...
    6 days ago
  • We need to bring the police under control
    The last decade has seen a trend of increasing weapons availability to police. Assault rifles. Tasers on every hip. Guns in cars. And following the march 15 massacre, pistols on every hip, all over the country. At the same time, its also seen an increase in the abuse of force: ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • If you can’t measure it, does it exist?
    In the last couple of weeks, I’ve been busy preparing for our summer paper on Science Communication. Looking for something amusing about ‘risk’ in science, I came across this neat cartoon about why so many people come knocking on my door (or phoning me, or emailing me) desperately wanting ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    6 days ago
  • Swinson’s swithering
    Jo Swinson is doing even worse at this Being Sensible lark that I'd thought.  I've just become aware of the following utterance
    .@KayBurley presses Lib Dem leader @joswinson on whether she would agree to a #Brexit deal 'no matter how bad a deal it is' as long as it had ...
    6 days ago
  • Women’s rights, trans ideology and Gramsci’s morbid symptoms
    by John Edmundson The International Socialist Organisation (ISO) have recently reposted a February article, by Romany Tasker-Poland, explaining ISO’s position in the “trans rights” debate.  It is available on their website and on their Facebook Page.  The article sets out to explain why “socialists support trans rights”.  It reads more ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    7 days ago
  • We need to take guns off police
    Today's IPCA report of police criminality: a police officer unalwfully tasered a fleeing suspect who posed no threat to anyone:The police watchdog has found an officer unlawfully tasered an Auckland man who broke his ankle jumping off a balcony to escape arrest. [...] To avoid arrest, the man jumped over ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • “Bringing kindness back”
    "Auckland City Mission: 10% of Kiwis experiencing food insecurity", RNZ, 16 October 2019:About half a million people are experiencing food insecurity, according to new research from the Auckland City Mission. Food insecurity, or food poverty, is defined as not having enough appropriate food. The City Mission said over the last ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Press Release: “Fake News” from Auckland City Council CCOs Board Chairs re pay and performance b...
    Media Statement for Immediate Release 16th October 2019 “Fake News” from Auckland City Council CCOs Board Chairs re pay and performance bonuses for top managers Despite comments from Auckland City Council CCOs Board Chairs re pay and performance bonuses for top managers—Herald Newspaper Tuesday Oct 15th–there is very little evidence ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    7 days ago
  • Ever-So-Slightly Bonkers: Simon Bridges Plays To His Base.
    Would You Buy A Used Propaganda Video From This Man? Bridges and the National Party’s strategists have discovered that the ideas and attitudes considered acceptable by today’s editors and journalists are no longer enforceable. The rise and rise of the Internet and the social media platforms it spawned means that ...
    7 days ago
  • Asking for food
    There is plenty of evidence of the way the business mentality has permeated every level of society since the recrudescence of market liberalism 35 years ago. You only need to think of how citizens in need of help from their government, their state, their country, are now routinely described as ...
    Opposable ThumbBy Unknown
    7 days ago
  • Forty years of change in the jobs Kiwi do and the places they call home
    John MacCormick Over the last 40 years, New Zealanders – and people in other countries – have experienced big changes in the jobs they do and where they live and work. These changes include: a decline in manufacturing jobs an increase in jobs in ‘information-intensive’ industries (which are better paid ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    7 days ago
  • Protecting Fresh Waterways in Aotearoa/NZ: The Strong Public Health Case
    Nick Wilson, Leah Grout, Mereana Wilson, Anja Mizdrak, Phil Shoemack, Michael Baker Protecting waterways has the benefits of: (1) protecting water from hazardous microbes; (2) minimising cancer risk and other problems from nitrates in water; (3) avoiding algal blooms that are hazardous to health; (4) protecting mahinga kai uses (cultural ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • Massey University triggered to rebrand
    by The Council of Disobedient Women In a press release today Massey University announced it has decided to rebrand and reorientate after struggling to be a University for grown-ups. For some time the University has wanted to be a safe play space for wee-woke-misogynists who have been really badly triggered ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Swinson backing calls for a second referendum (again)
    After a brief dalliance with 'hard Revoke' it looks like the Lib Dems are changing ground on on Brexit, with leader Jo Swinson reverting to calling for a second referendum on Johnson's deal.The party has tabled an amendment to the Queen’s speech requesting that any deal brought back from Brussels ...
    1 week ago
  • An odious bill
    The government has decided that someone has done Something Bad. But despite their belief, there seems to be no evidence that they have actually broken the law. So the government's solution is to pass a retrospective law allowing them to be punished anyway, on a lower standard of proof. If ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • National is now the party of climate arson
    So, Judith Collins has done a Facebook rant about climate change, peddling the same shit National has been shovelling for the past twenty years: the impacts are overstated, there's no need to do anything about it, and its too hard anyway (oh, and its so unfair that people who peddle ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The environmental footprint of electric versus fossil car
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to There is a lot of discussion on the benefits of ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • “Manifest” by Andrew Bird – A Song For The Times.
    I came across this song quite by accident. If it isn't one of Greta Thunberg's favourites - it should be.Video courtesy of YouTube.This post is exclusive to Bowalley Road. ...
    1 week ago
  • Passing the buck
    Last month, NZDF's shoddy coverup of what it knew about civilian casualties in Operation Burnham began to fall apart, with the revelation that a report on the matter, which NZDF claimed not to have, had been sitting in an NZDF safe for the past nine years. Yesterday, the man responsible ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • India a major player in Earth observation satellites
    While many imagine that countries like the USA and Europe dominate space activities, in fact India is now a major player on this stage. It launches satellites for its own purposes and also commercially, and has constellations orbiting our planet and returning data of vital importance to that nation in ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    1 week ago
  • The rot at the top (2).
    Thanks to a report from the Acting Inspector General of Intelligence and Security following a complaint by Nicky Hager, we have come to find out that the SIS illegally spied on Mr. Hager on behalf of the NZDF after publication of Hager’s 2011 book, Other People’s Wars. The NZDF justified ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Common misconceptions about “Global Warming”
    COMMON MISCONCEPTIONS ABOUT GLOBAL WARMING MYTH 1: Global temperatures are rising at a rapid, unprecedented rate. FACT: The HadCRUT3 surface temperature index, produced by the Hadley Centre of the UK Met Office and the Climate Research Unit of the University of East Anglia, shows warming to 1878, cooling to 1911, ...
    An average kiwiBy
    1 week ago
  • A climate of tyranny
    For the past week, Extinction Rebellion has been peacefully protesting in London to demand action on climate change. The British government's response? Ban their protests:Police have banned Extinction Rebellion protests from continuing anywhere in London, as they moved in almost without warning to clear protesters who remained at the movement’s ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Collins crushes climate
    An essay by Judith Collins MP reported on Carbon News yesterday seems to show an alarming shift in attitude within the National Party. Collins argues against the Zero Carbon Bill, the Paris Agreement, and downplays the magnitude of climate impacts. The Paris Agreement was adopted in December 2015 and ratified ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert McLachlan
    1 week ago
  • More disappointment
    When they were running for election, Labour promised to overhaul the Employment Relations Act and introduce fair pay agreements to set basic pay and conditions on an industry level, preventing bad employers from undercutting good ones. They followed this up by establishing a working group, which reported back in January ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • What do these mother-child studies really say about fluoridation?
    A list of indicators of bad science – many of these are found in articles promoted by anti-fluoride activists. Anti-fluoride activists have been pouring money into a scaremongering campaign warning pregnant women not to drink fluoridated water. They claim fluoride will lower the IQ of their future child. Fluoride ...
    1 week ago
  • Losing Labour’s Mills-Tone.
    Nothing Left To Say: Labour's pollster, Stephen Mills, remains swaddled-up in the comforting myths of the 1980s. As if the experience of Roger Douglas’s genuinely radical post-Muldoon policy agenda was literally a once-in-a-lifetime thing – as much as the party could possibly absorb for at least the next 50 years.MEMO ...
    1 week ago
  • Speaker: Disability and the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Historical Abuse
    The Royal Commission on abuse in care is very significant for the disability community. For many decades last century, thousands of disabled children, and adults who managed to survive, were locked away from families and communities. This was not for anything they had done, but for the perceived threat their ...
    1 week ago
  • Spain is not a democracy
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • UK Conservatives hate democracy
    With an unfair voting system, uneven electorates and an un-elected upper house, the UK's "democracy" is barely worthy of the name. But now the government wants to make it worse:The government has been accused of suppressing voters’ rights with the potential disenfranchisement of tens of thousands of people after plans ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • What is wrong with our building industry?
    Back in the 90's and early 2000's, the building industry was building leaky homes which should never have been granted consent. Now it turns out they've been building dodgy office blocks as well:New imaging technology has revealed hundreds of major buildings nationwide have defective or missing concrete or reinforcing steel. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Local bodies
    Local body election results were released over the weekend, to joy or despair depending on where you live. In Auckland, Phil Goff trounced John Tamihere, who is muttering darkly about running for Parliament again (but which party would want him?) Wellington is now a wholly-owned subsidiary of Weta Workshop, except ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • A future of government
      How could government evolve over the next decades? Reports of democracy’s imminent demise are greatly exaggerated.  However, satisfaction with political systems in many countries is low, so there is much to do for governments of all political stripes to improve relevance and trust. Digital technologies are seen as one ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    2 weeks ago
  • Speaker: Catalonia, interrupted
    Two years have now gone by since the Friday afternoon when my university-student son and I headed out of our Barcelona flat to a nearby primary school, designated as a polling station for the vote that was to be held the following Sunday: the referendum on Catalonia’s independence from Spain ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Sage Decisions Unwisely Over-Ruled.
    Overruled: The joint decision of Finance Minister, Grant Robertson (Labour) and his Associate Minister, David Parker (Labour) arguably the two most powerful ministers in Jacinda Ardern’s government, to grant OceanaGold the consents which Land Information Minister, Eugenie Sage (Greens) had earlier denied them, offers bitter proof of how hard fighting ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Government may ban voting in effort to get more people to do it
    More than double the number of people who will vote in this year’s local body elections have tried marijuana or urinated somewhere they shouldn’t have. As local elections look set for the lowest turnout in decades, with many regions falling well short of 40%, the Government is exploring a number ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Woman: Deleted.
    A Statement on Abortion Law Reform by the Council of Disobedient Women   On the eve of bringing an end to antiquated, anti-women abortion laws Green MP Jan Logie intends to write women out of the Bill. With a stroke of the pen, the woke are aiming for total erasure ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • The Hollowest of Men Ride Again… SURPRISE!
    Musings continue apace about “the experienced businessman!” soon to be taking up a National Party MP position. Or to be more accurate, being parachuted into a seat to shut down their former MP Jamie-Lee Ross, who despite his own shortcomings shed at least some more light on the inner workings ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    2 weeks ago
  • Barbaric
    The Ugandan government wants to murder gay people:Uganda has announced plans to impose the death penalty on homosexuals. The bill, colloquially known as “Kill the Gays” in Uganda, was nullified five years ago on a technicality, but the government said on Thursday it plans to resurrect it within weeks. The ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Is this study legit? 5 questions to ask when reading news stories of medical research
    Hassan Vally, La Trobe University Who doesn’t want to know if drinking that second or third cup of coffee a day will improve your memory, or if sleeping too much increases your risk of a heart attack? We’re invested in staying healthy and many of us are interested in reading ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • Fighting Monsters.
    Freedom Of Speech? The Säuberung (cleansing by fire) was the work of the German Student Union which, on 10 May 1933, under the watchful eye of the Nazi Reichminister for Propaganda, Joseph Goebbels, consigned 25,000 books to the flames in a ritual exorcism of “un-German thought”. According to the logic of the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • The next wave of kaupapa Māori politics: its constitutional, it must be.
      “There can be no such thing as kaupapa Māori political parties or politics in Aotearoa” (Willie Jackson, Labour Party (2017). Māori TV, General/List Election Special) I begin with that claim because at the time, I was confounded at first that it fell out of Willie Jackson’s mouth, and then ...
    EllipsisterBy Ellipsister
    2 weeks ago
  • Night lights of NZ from orbit
    New Zealand has prided itself for decades with regard to its lack of pollution, and all will be aware that the ‘100% Pure New Zealand‘ meme is under threat through land, water and air pollution of various causes. There is another type of contamination that the country also faces: light ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    2 weeks ago
  • Reporters deliver uplifting news to fleeing Japanese residents: they won’t miss any rugby
    New Zealand’s media is doing its part in Japan, reassuring those in the path of the storm that they won’t miss any rugby while away from their flooded homes. New Zealand sports reporters stationed in Japan for the Rugby World Cup have had the rare and heartwarming opportunity to inform ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Government in contentious discussions about whether to put surplus on red or black
    Regional Development Minister Shane Jones is the only Cabinet member in favour of putting it all on green. As Finance Minister Grant Robertson finds himself with an enormous $7.5 billion surplus, the Government has begun intense, at times contentious conversations about whether to put the money on red or black at ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Jordanian teachers’ successful strike has lessons for here
    by Susanne Kemp At the start of September close to 100,000 school teachers went on strike in Jordan.  They demanded a 50% pay rise.  A pay rise actually agreed to by the regime back in 2014. In early October, however, in the face of government repression and threats, the teachers’ ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Why some people still think climate change isn’t real
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to Why do people still think climate change isn’t real? David ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago

  • Minister of Finance and Sport and Recreation to visit Japan and Vietnam
    Finance Minister Grant Robertson departs tomorrow for events and meetings in Japan and Vietnam.  While in Japan, he will discuss economic and fiscal issues including meeting with the Minister of Finance, Taro Aso, and Minister of Economic and Fiscal Policy, Yasutoshi Nishimura. He will meet with the Minister of Education, ...
    10 hours ago
  • Dashboard tracks housing progress
    The Government’s Housing Dashboard released today confirms record numbers of state houses are under construction and shows the Government build programme is gaining momentum.  “After nine years of inaction, and a hands-off attitude from the previous government we’re starting to see things move in the right direction for housing,” says ...
    11 hours ago
  • Ministerial Statement on the International Convention Centre fire
    Mr Speaker, I wish to make a ministerial statement relating to the Auckland fire. The Government is closely monitoring the situation with the fire at the NZ International Convention Centre and is thankful that everyone is now safe. Firefighters are doing an incredible job managing the fire and bringing it ...
    13 hours ago
  • Government invests in Te Reo, environmental data research
    The Government is investing in ambitious research that will digitise Te Reo, grow the low-carbon protein efficient aquaculture industry, help interpret environmental trends, and large data sets says Research, Science and Innovation Minister Megan Woods. The four projects range from teaching Siri to speak Te Reo to crunching large environmental ...
    18 hours ago
  • Government announces next steps as part of a comprehensive plan to fix skills gap
    A new education-to-employment brokerage service to strengthen connections between local employers and schools. Funding for more trades focused ‘speed-dating’ events to connect schools with employers. Promotional campaign to raise profile of vocational education. The Government is taking action to increase the number of young people taking up vocational education and ...
    19 hours ago
  • Corrections Amendment Bill passes third reading
    A Bill to improve prison security and ensure the fair, safe, and humane treatment of people in prison while upholding public safety has passed its third reading. Corrections Minister Kelvin Davis says the Corrections Amendment Bill makes a number of changes to ensure the Corrections Act 2004 is fit for ...
    1 day ago
  • Ngāi Tahu CEO appointed to NZ-China Council
    Minister for Māori Development, Nanaia Mahuta, has selected Arihia Bennett MNZM, Chief Executive Officer of Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu, as the Te Puni Kōkiri appointed representative on the New Zealand-China Council. The New Zealand-China Council (the Council) was established in 2012 as a New Zealand led and funded organisation ...
    2 days ago
  • Southern Response claims move to EQC
    Responsibility for processing the small number of Southern Response claims still to be settled will be transferred to EQC by the end of the year. “As claim numbers reduce, it no longer makes sense for the Crown to have two organisations processing the remaining Canterbury claims,” Grant Robertson says. “Since ...
    2 days ago
  • Bowel screening starts in Whanganui
    Health Minister David Clark is encouraging Whanganui residents to take up the opportunity for free bowel screening, which can detect cancer early when it’s easier to treat.   Over the next two years 12,000 Whanganui locals, aged 60 to 74 will be invited to participate in the National Bowel Screening ...
    2 days ago
  • Pacific Peoples Minister to attend Our Ocean Conference in Norway
    Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio, heads to Oslo today to represent New Zealand at the sixth Our Ocean Conference, which is being hosted by the Norwegian Government from the 23-24 October. “The Our Ocean Conference mobilises real action on issues like marine plastic pollution and the impacts of ...
    3 days ago
  • Government announces 27 percent increase in Trades Academy places
    Two secondary-school initiatives are being expanded as part of the Government’s plan to see more young New Zealanders take up a trade to help close the skills gap.   This includes the largest single increase in Trades Academy places in recent years. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Education Minister Chris ...
    3 days ago
  • Speech to the New Zealand Institute of International Affairs, Pacific Futures Conference: Connection...
    Session 4: Pacific Connectivity – Youth, Media and New Opportunities   Kia ora tatou katoa and Warm Pacific greetings to one and all. Representatives of Tainui, the local people of the land, or manawhenua – the indigenous peoples of this area – have welcomed you this morning in accordance with ...
    5 days ago
  • Methane reducing cattle feed one step closer
    The Government today announced its support for a project that could substantially reduce agricultural greenhouse gas emissions from cattle. The announcement was made as part of Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s and Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor’s visit to Nelson’s Cawthron Aquaculture Park. The Cawthron Institute will receive $100,000 from the Government’s ...
    6 days ago
  • Bill to refresh superannuation system passes first reading
    Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni has welcomed the first reading of the New Zealand Superannuation and Veteran’s Pension Legislation Amendment Bill. “Every New Zealander has a stake in New Zealand Superannuation and Veteran’s Pension,” says Carmel Sepuloni. “They are our most common form of social assistance – nearly 800,000 New ...
    6 days ago
  • Government announces next steps in fight against measles
    Babies in Auckland aged six months and over can receive a free vaccination and children will all have access to vaccines, Associate Minister of Health Julie Anne Genter announced today at Papatoetoe High School.   The move comes as part of Government efforts to step up the fight against measles. ...
    6 days ago
  • Speech to the New Zealand Institute of International Affairs, Pacific Futures: Connections, Identity...
    ***Check against delivery*** Good morning. It is a pleasure to be here, and to have the honour of opening this important conference on behalf of the New Zealand Institute of International Affairs. Let us take the opportunity to acknowledge all the people who have helped make today possible, including our special ...
    6 days ago
  • Police trial new response to high risk events
    Police Minister Stuart Nash says the safety of frontline officers and members of the public will be the focus of a new trial of specialist Police response teams in three of our largest urban centres. Police have this morning released details of an initiative to be trialled in Counties Manukau, ...
    6 days ago
  • New awards celebrate fisheries sustainability
    The Minister of Fisheries is calling for entries for a new public award to celebrate innovation in our seafood sector. “I have established the Seafood Sustainability Awards to recognise and celebrate those throughout industry, tangata whenua and communities who demonstrate outstanding dedication and innovation towards the sustainability of New Zealand’s ...
    6 days ago
  • More progress for women and we can do more
    Minister for Women Julie Anne Genter welcomes leaders in the private sector taking action on closing their gender pay gaps to ensure a fairer workplace for all New Zealanders. Ms Genter today launched a new report, Addressing the gender pay gap and driving women’s representation in senior leadership, from the Champions for ...
    6 days ago
  • Proposals to curb environmental damage help our coasts and the oceans
    Government Ministers today welcomed the release of a marine environment report highlighting the four key issues affecting our oceans, estuaries and coastlines.  The release underlines the importance of government proposals to combat climate pollution, ensure clean freshwater, protect biodiversity, make land use more sustainable, and reduce waste and plastic.    Environment ...
    6 days ago
  • New mental health facility for Waikato
    The Government has approved funding for a new acute mental health facility for Waikato which will provide better care and support to people with mental health and addiction issues. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Health Minister Dr David Clark announced the $100 million project to replace the aging Henry Rongomau ...
    7 days ago
  • 500 new te reo Māori champions in our classrooms
    The Government is making progress on its goal to integrate te reo Māori into education by 2025, with over 500 teachers and support staff already graduating from Te Ahu o te Reo Māori,  Associate Education Minister Kelvin Davis announced today. Kelvin Davis made the announcement at an awards ceremony in Waikanae today, for ...
    7 days ago
  • Minister James Shaw welcomes 2018 Census first release
    Statistics Minister James Shaw has welcomed the first release of 2018 Census data. The first release of data today, 23 September, includes key data on population, regional growth, the number of homes and the size of different ethnic groups in New Zealand. Data from the 2018 Census will support the ...
    7 days ago
  • Driving transparency, ethics and accountability in government use of algorithms
    Minister for Statistics James Shaw today announced a public consultation on a proposed algorithm charter for government agencies. The charter has been developed by the Government Chief Data Steward in response to growing calls for more transparency in government use of data. Computer algorithms – procedures or formulas for solving ...
    7 days ago
  • New Zealand and the Netherlands working together on climate change
    Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor, Climate Change Minister James Shaw and visiting Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte co-hosted a business roundtable in Auckland this morning focused on working together to address climate change.  “The Netherlands is an important partner for New Zealand. We share a strong agricultural history. Sustainable agribusiness and ...
    7 days ago
  • Protecting fairness for workers and businesses
    The Government is taking action to build an inclusive economy where more of us receive our fair share at work and businesses can compete on great products and services, not undercutting wages and conditions, Immigration and Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Iain Lees-Galloway says. Two consultations launched today seek feedback ...
    7 days ago
  • Indigenous Freshwater Fish Bill Passes
    The future for New Zealand’s threatened indigenous freshwater fish looks brighter with the passing of the Conservation (Indigenous Freshwater Fish) Amendment Bill in Parliament today said Minister of Conservation, Eugenie Sage. “Until now, our freshwater fish legislation has been 20 years out of date. We have lacked effective tools to ...
    1 week ago
  • Kiwis to take part in world’s biggest earthquake drill
    At 1.30pm tomorrow, hundreds of thousands of Kiwis will join about 65 million people around the globe in ShakeOut, the world’s biggest earthquake drill. The annual drill is to remind people of the right action to take during an earthquake which is to Drop, Cover, Hold, and to practise their ...
    1 week ago
  • Rising wages and low inflation supporting Kiwis
    Kiwis are benefiting from higher wage growth and low inflation under the Coalition Government. Stats NZ data out today shows the rise in the cost of living remains low, as annual Consumers Price Index (CPI) inflation fell to 1.5% in September from 1.7% in June. “The low inflation comes as ...
    1 week ago
  • NZ economy strong amid global headwinds
    New Zealand’s economic strength and resilience has been recognised in a major update on the state of the global economy. The IMF’s latest World Economic Outlook released overnight shows a reduced global growth forecast over the next two years as issues like the US-China trade war and Brexit take hold. ...
    1 week ago
  • Keeping New Zealanders safer with better counter-terrorism laws
    Justice Minister Andrew Little has today introduced a new Bill to prevent terrorism and support the de-radicalisation of New Zealanders returning from overseas. The Terrorism Suppression (Control Orders) Bill gives the New Zealand Police the ability to apply to the High Court to impose control orders on New Zealanders who ...
    1 week ago
  • Improved succession and dispute resolution core of Ture Whenua changes
    A Bill that proposes targeted changes to simplify the processes for Māori land owners when engaging with the Māori Land Court has had its First Reading today. “The approach taken by the Government is to ensure that the protection of Māori land remains a priority as we seek to improve ...
    1 week ago
  • Speech to CTU Biennial Conference
    Let me first thank all the new unionists and members in the room. There is nothing more important to improving people’s working lives than people making the decision to care, to get on board and help, to take up the reins and get involved. Congratulations to you. You bring the ...
    1 week ago
  • Minister ensures continued Whenuapai flight operations
    Minister of Defence Ron Mark has signed a certificate exempting the activity of engine testing at Whenuapai Airbase from the Resource Management Act 1991. The Act gives the Minister of Defence the power to exempt activities for the purposes of national security.  The certificate will mean the recent Environment Court ...
    1 week ago
  • NZ joins Coalition of Finance Ministers for Climate Action
    Finance Minister Grant Robertson has announced New Zealand will join the Coalition of Finance Ministers for Climate Action while attending APEC meetings in Chile. The objective of the 39 member Coalition is to share information and promote action to tackle climate change. It was formed in April this year, in ...
    1 week ago
  • Feedback Sought – Section 71 – Lyttelton Parking
    Feedback sought– Lyttelton commercial zone parking  The Associate Minister for Greater Christchurch Regeneration, Poto Williams, is seeking feedback on a proposal to remove on-site car parking requirements for new developments in the Lyttelton commercial zone.  The proposal, by Christchurch City Council, asks that powers under section 71 of the Greater ...
    1 week ago
  • Feedback Sought – Section 71 – Hagley Oval
    Hon Minister Poto Williams Associate Minister for Greater Christchurch Regeneration   MEDIA STATEMENT       Tuesday 15 October 2019 Feedback sought – Hagley Oval The Associate Minister for Greater Christchurch Regeneration, Poto Williams, is seeking feedback on a proposal about Hagley Oval. The proposal was developed by Regenerate Christchurch ...
    1 week ago
  • CTU speech – DPM
    Ladies and gentlemen, NZCTU President Richard Wagstaff, members of respective unions – thank you for the invitation to speak to you today. This might be preaching to the choir, but the importance of trade unions in New Zealand’s historical arch is difficult to understate. And it is my belief that ...
    1 week ago
  • Police Association Annual Conference
    "Let’s start by acknowledging that it has been a huge year. " Police Association Annual Conference James Cook Grand Chancellor Hotel Wellington Nau mai, haere mai. Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, ka nui te mihi, ki a koutou katoa. President of the Police Association, Chris Cahill; Members of the Association and ...
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand announces a further P-3 deployment in support of UN sanctions
    Minister of Foreign Affairs Winston Peters and Minister of Defence Ron Mark have announced the New Zealand Government’s decision to again deploy a Royal New Zealand Air Force P-3K2 (P-3) maritime patrol aircraft to support the implementation of United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions imposing sanctions against North Korea. New ...
    1 week ago