Beyond Left and Right?

Written By: - Date published: 8:27 pm, September 17th, 2018 - 78 comments
Categories: capitalism, class war, Economy, Media, Politics, poverty, Social issues, socialism, workers' rights - Tags: , ,

I had an interesting discussion the other day with a regular TS contributor. The subject and substance of the exchange is not what brings me to write this post, so I’m going to skip the details. It was the commenter’s use of information from right wing websites to justify left wing positions that got me curious.

I have a sneaking suspicion that many people whose political and social instincts are solidly left wing have no idea what the term means. They may have heart, they may have a sense that the world is unfair, however they lack class understanding and therefore have no effective bullshit meter.

And not having a grounding in working class politics means that any old tosh that sounds anti-establishment gets a pass mark whether it’s deserved or not. Forget fake news, fake views are what we really have to worry about.

And it logically follows from that position that those folk will never really know what’s going on and will always be susceptible to being suckered.

Let’s be crystal clear. The Government is not the real problem, it’s capitalism. It’s not chem trails, buildings in free fall or 1080. It’s capitalism. It’s not virtue signalling, putting preferred pronouns on Twitter pages or overusing the epiphet ‘racist!’. It’s capitalism.

It’s always capitalism.

Now, I don’t mean that earlier analysis in a nasty way; I’m not saying that people who’ve never read Marx, Lenin, Dimitrov, Luxemburg and so many others are foolish or stupid people, just that they are ignorant of what defines the left.

And it’s not easy getting that learning. For a start, you’ll have to read books. So that’s the men out of this discussion already. See how hard it is?


No point blaming the news gathering media for our collective ignorance either. Removing sub editors means that there is simply no quality control any more. Newspapers used to have the piss taken out of them if they occasionally misspelled words, but nowadays there is a budget for accidental defamation roughly equivalent to the salaries saved when all the wielders of the blue pencil were made redundant.

And it’s not a red pill/blue pill choice. That’s a fantasy designed to stroke teenage egos. What’s going on is a class struggle and you, dear reader, are part of it, because we’re all working class these days and have been for nearly four decades.

There’s no middle class any more. There’s just different degrees of poverty, from outright destitution to the mirage of credit card and house price wealth.

So what’s stopping us from uniting and losing our chains?


“The Democrats, the longer they talk about identity politics, I got ’em. I want them to talk about racism every day. If the left is focused on race and identity, and we go with economic nationalism, we can crush the Democrats.”

That’s Steve Bannon, quoted in the halcyon days when he was re-setting the White House agenda.

Steve gets it. He knows it’s a class struggle, it’s just that his class isn’t your class.

The author of the seminal book The End of History and the Last Man, Francis Fukuyama, has been reassessing his tome. Back in the eighties, Fukuyama suggested liberalism was probably humanity’s end state. Looking back, he now recognises that the triumph of liberalism over fascism and communism has not ended the world’s problems, nor has it bought any kind of societal consensus.

Fukuyama now notes:

“You have leftwing and rightwing versions of identity politics. The leftwing version is longer-standing, where different social movements began to emphasise the ways they were different from mainstream culture and that they needed respect in various ways. And then there was a reaction on the right, from people who thought, ‘Well, what about us? Why don’t we qualify for special treatment as well?’

Politically, it is problematic in that it undermines a sense of citizenship. And now you get extremism on both sides.”

It’s that sense of citizenship that I really miss. We’re all citizens, but we don’t see it as something to be exercised, something to work on. Something to be part of.


Cui bono, readers, cui fucken bono?

I have a question, once posed to a law class I was taking, that has always stuck in my mind as a useful indicator of class understanding:

What’s more important, individual rights or collective rights?

So what do you think the answer to that question is, Standarnistas?

And why does it matter?

 

 

KARL MARX as stand up comedian:

If you think poor people are poor because they were too stupid to invest in property...you might be bourgeoisie. If you think that without entrepreneurs no one would bother to do any work...you might be bourgeoisie. If you think "freedom" means having more power to boss around your employees...you might be bourgeoisie. If you think the person who should get credit for a new technology is the guy who hired people to make it...you might be bourgeoisie. If you think the people on welfare are the ones sponging off society...you might be bourgeoisie. If you think the "homeless problem" is that if there are too many of them around it lowers property values...you might be bourgeoisie. If someone asks you what you do for a living, and you describe your investment portfolio...you might be bourgeoisie.

 

 

 

78 comments on “Beyond Left and Right?”

  1. R.P Mcmurphy 1

    there is always a class struggle.
    marxism leninism stalinism trotskyite mao tse tung history is great stuff and no doubt inspiring to some.
    however it has lead to a blind alley and a criminal state.
    and look how the communist machine wrecked entire eco syystems trying to keep up with the united states in point less wars for resources and booty.
    maybe the point was to depopulate who knows.
    anyway.
    marx says in the introduction to the communist manifesto; ‘ who called these people from the soil?’
    in our hyper society it is accentuated as there is a whole more of the uppity pricks that need to be taken down. however the real struggle now is the environment. it is real.it is happening now. it is all going to crash sooner than we think.
    who is going to win.
    will the meek inherit the earth?
    who knows.

  2. McFlock 2

    Individual and collective rights matter.

    And to a large degree, so-called “identity politics” is just another capitalist division: all proletariat are treated with contempt by capitalists, but some proles are treated with more contempt than others. Focussing on the larger class struggle while ignoring the structural issutes within the proletariat (the alienation against each other that capitalism breeds) just provides the next ruling class of oppressors.

    Sure, Bannon and co will sneer. But that’s because they care as much about the struggles within the proletariat class as they do about the class as a whole.

    Sure, we should all get refreshers on class warfare, on how struggles are due to the capitalist system. And we should all be thinking of realistic ways to get out of it, rather than hoping for a revolution or automation to make the system collapse into something more humane.

    But we also need reminders of what “alienation” means: it drives people against each other as well as their bosses, it makes every remedy for a wrong a further slight against people who didn’t suffer that particular wrong and so not receive that remedy. It makes us jealous of the crumbs another peasant gets, rather than happy for them because they deserve that sustenance as much as me. And yes, it makes us angry when others achieve the same rights that we do, or even dare to ask for them.

  3. Ad 3

    You and Bill should talk.

  4. mickysavage 4

    Question posed by Shane te Pou on Twitter. What about the treaty?

    • Dennis Frank 4.1

      The treaty was necessary to keep the peace in Kororareka. The Empire offered the chiefs local sovereignty over their traditional domains in exchange for dominion over the whole, but Henry Williams sold the notion as christian kindliness & caring. So a power-sharing arrangement between powers that be at the time that later got transformed by settler realpolitik, as power was transferred from both hierarchies to ordinary people via the creation of democracy in Aotearoa.

      • marty mars 4.1.1

        You need to read up on colonisation but your opinions do show a view.

        For instance – “…transformed by settler realpolitik, as power was transferred from both hierarchies to ordinary people via the creation of democracy in Aotearoa.” is just fantasy.

        transformed = destruction and devastation

        • Dennis Frank 4.1.1.1

          I doubt you’re really arguing that Maori didn’t get the right to vote, you’re just pretending to deny the fact.

          • marty mars 4.1.1.1.1

            Why would I deny that fact?

            I was just saying your brief synopsis of what happened glossed over a few things important to me and others.

            Didn’t realise that was such a hand grenade to you.

            • Dennis Frank 4.1.1.1.1.1

              Okay, I acknowledge all the bad stuff that got done in the process as I have onsite here previously, but that was actually superfluous to the point I was making about the historical devolution of power from both hierarchies into the people via democracy.

              • The historical devolution of power for Māori is, imo, called colonisation.

                Probably an unneeded comment. I won’t do anymore.

                • Dukeofurl

                  So you would preferred the semi fuedal chiefly- caste system remain much as it did in Samoa and Tonga ?

                  • Doesn’t matter – we’ve got what we’ve got.

                    btw the ancient system of mana, tapu, whakapapa, and so on is still alive today – hidden in plain sight.

                    • Dukeofurl

                      yes. Thats because it served the chiefly system. genealogy isnt really a great way to base your economic system, with inter-tribal warfare for the spoils. The last part continues today using pakeha courts

  5. miravox 5

    “It’s that sense of citizenship that I really miss”

    Same. We began to lose that sense of citizenship back in the ’80s when society became less important than the economy and people began to accept being defined as consumers instead of citizens.

  6. Bill 6

    Quick thoughts on an initial pass.

    An understanding of class that’s derived from books is no defense against bullshit. In fact, some of those very books that people tout as “seminal” or whatever, contain huge dollops of bullshit that people would do well to be defending themselves against.

    An instinctual or gut feeling for what’s right and wrong works just fine in life. Where “learning” might come into the picture (ie -book learning), is if some degree, or a better degree of articulation is being sought. But it’s hardly necessary. And as alluded to above, it far too often leads to a situation of dominance or “justified” authoritarianism by “the most learn-ed” who, like priests of olde, lay claim to power because they possess “proper” knowledge and understanding (bullshit that ought to be defended against) 😉

    There’s also a whole debate on the nature of knowledge right there that I’m signposting and walking away from (The illiterate fisherman and the learned physicist ‘dropped into a boat” with no land in sight…those clouds, that wind, those birds, that behaviour, those waves – Who’s the intelligent one?)

    Anti-establishment (or anti-status quo) can break in a number of directions. Many of them, whether purporting to be left or right, are authoritarian. And (to reiterate from above) that’s bullshit that people would be well served to defend themselves against.

    To the question that’s stuck in your mind What’s more important, individual rights or collective rights? The answer is that both are. What matters is the degree to which individuals comprising the collective are empowered to determine the extent and limitation of those individual and collective rights.

    • Dennis Frank 6.1

      As someone who never wanted to read Marx, I think class analysis is worthwhile currently, to discern the extent to which is retains validity. You could get an academic to run a poll to measure the numbers who self-identify as lower-class, middle-class & upper-class: that would give you an identity-politics frame on whether class is still a real social divide.

      Most commentators are averse to getting real, so they tote classism as if it were an intellectual weapon of current political relevance. I bet research into political reality would prove it is an antiquated scheme valid in the 19th century that had become irrelevant by the 1970s.

      The Occupy movement was even stupider. It used the binary frame of the 1% against the 99%. That guaranteed its failure. On what basis could the 99% act in their common interests against the controllers? None of them even wanted to figure that out. They merely wanted to protest. Protest doesn’t work.

      • Bill 6.1.1

        You don’t need to read Marx to be aware of asymmetries of power. What Marx offered was an explanation of the systemic nature of power acting through the economic framework of capitalism.

        But really, do I need to articulate or theorise on the economic nuts and bolts that sit behind “that” guy assuming he has the right to compel me to do “this” work or “that” work, over here, or there or wherever at some time and in some fashion of their choosing?

        The answer is that no, I don’t.

        I either accept their authority or I reject it.

        Class isn’t irrelevant – it’s the reality that results from our acquiescence to power acting through a capitalist framework – but Marx’s descriptive breakdown isn’t without its problems. Personally, I find it far more useful to view class in basic terms of working class, managers and owners. Marxists who then zero in on ownership go off on the wrong foot. Ownership doesn’t mean a damned thing without control – it’s why owners have managers who they invest authority in…and we’re back to the question of whether we accept or reject their authority 😉

        There’s a wee illustrative story on that front that I quite like. In the 90s I worked a shit job in a Christchurch bread factory. There was an old English guy had worked there for years – decades. Being a bread factory, there was a “bread allowance” that workers were permitted to take away for themselves. Well, at some point, management decided to enforce a strict regime on that front. (One loaf of bread per day for single workers and two for those with family). On day two of “the enforcement”, the old English guy walked straight past the plant manager with a crate of bread destined for his car boot (a dozen loaves). The manager attempted to pull him up, and the response I remember to this day was – “Fuck off. I made it. It’s my bread.” And with that, he carried on to his car without so much as having broken his stride.

        Extending that attitude leads us to a place where we could say “You own this factory? That’s nice…” Control, not ownership is what matters – regardless of whether that ownership is in private hands or state hands.

        • Dennis Frank 6.1.1.1

          Yes, I agree that control matters more than ownership. All those books about the gfc illuminate the extent to which Board & CEO have the real power now, and shareholder leverage has become so diluted that only a mass revolt can prevail.

          Your account of the breadmaker is funny. If he didn’t get fired as a result, then clearly he was too valuable to the company and knew it! If they let him get away with it (his bluff not called) he became correct. Until that point, the bread belonged to the company.

  7. marty mars 7

    Class and identity analysis are NOT mutually exclusive. In fact they are BOTH necessary.

    I know the whakapapa of the left and can proudly say I am of the left.

    “What’s more important, individual rights or collective rights?”

    The funny thing about the dualistic nature of that question is that imo you CANNOT have one without the other.

    The last thing we need is bloody daggers on the left. Don’t buy into the either/or mentality – try thinking outside the square – maybe some indigenous anti colonisation/capitalistism knowledge would help you.

    • miravox 7.1

      I was thinking about writing a really long comment to agree with this, Marty. But what the hell – you’re right.

      Both class and identities are necessary and both are unavoidable and they’re muddled up together, with one or another non-class identity popping up sometimes and a class-identity at others. They’re not at opposite ends of a continuum.

      I think that’s the problem with Fukuyama’s words – he writes as if identities are separate and stand alone things, they’re not.

      The Marx as a comedian – 2nd panel – has it. Except the man in the seat these days (yes, most likely a man), worried about the cops turning up in a public space, is most likely brown – and, yes, most likely, but exclusively, working class.

      But that scenario wouldn’t work in the domestic sphere, but in common with the this image is that capitalism and the way people are treated within that system, might very well have a lot to do with why the cops turn up to sort out events caused by the struggle for power and identity that underpins family violence.

      Edit: oops that was a bit stream of consciousness… where’s weka, they would have said what I want to say much better.

  8. Incognito 8

    What’s more important, individual rights or collective rights?

    I give in to my antagonistic streak and answer:

    Neither. A society must protect the rights of the weak, vulnerable and marginalised, i.e. its members who cannot, for whatever reason, exercise their rights be it (as) individual or (minority) collective.

  9. Incognito 9

    It’s that sense of citizenship that I really miss. We’re all citizens, but we don’t see it as something to be exercised, something to work on. Something to be part of.

    Exactly! I tried to express something very similar in one of my comments on the PM’s speech yesterday although I referred to us, the people, as key stakeholders. I did not and do not feel invited to be part of The Plan or Our Plan. I feel more like a patient overhearing the surgical team discussing how they are going to operate on me.

    • Dennis Frank 9.1

      Yes, you reacted like that because of the Labour paternalism thing. It’s a tacit stance & Jacinda would be aghast to realise she’d used it. Labour work so hard at trying to persuade people that they are there to represent them, one empathises with the sincerity of the effort while noting the self-defeating effect of the `we know best’ attitude. People incapable of understanding others ought not to exhibit hubris.

      Why not just explain how we are all involved as stakeholders? Explain that Labour has moved beyond leftist sectarianism and is experimenting with a broader consensus? Admit the mistakes made in the fumbling attempts thus far. I sense Jacinda intuits the necessity but traditional Labour thinking has her in shackles.

  10. Stuart Munro 10

    Fukuyama has a habit of anchoring his flights of reasoning to research produced by Robert Putnam, and Putnam did produce some on melting pots. It was not encouraging.

    I can recall when I did pols, nationalism was treated as a vice. But “the nation state is the unit of political accountability” John Ralston Saul – globalism will not protect our jobs, our housing market, our environment, any of the things that matter to citizens.

    • McFlock 10.1

      My home town is about the size of Athens in 430BC. It’s a regional centre in a territorial local authority in a small nation.

      Globalisation doesn’t need to replace the nation-state, just put structures above it. Whether that government is effectively all-encompassing, such as NZ govt over regional or local councils, or more federalised such as Aus or the USA where the overarching government more facilitates issues that exist across states, is the rub.

      Been a while since I studied pols formally, though – and curriculae got a bit derailed in the noughties…

      • Stuart Munro 10.1.1

        Putnam’s work (roughly) shows that melting pot communities are characterized by low or declining social participation.

        There is of course the historical crude nationalism associated with invading assholes like Hitler and ideas like “my country right or wrong”, but enlightened nationalism, the idea of building a better country and society, and that we should build the best country and society that we can, is a powerful force for uniting and motivating communities with some historical validity.

        • McFlock 10.1.1.1

          Sounds a bit like taming fire, to me.

          • Stuart Munro 10.1.1.1.1

            So’s democracy – conventional wisdom, when de Toqueville was writing, is that demagogues wreck them utterly pretty damned quickly. But a well run democracy has low corruption and high civic participation, they can be remarkably good at solving their own problems.

            • McFlock 10.1.1.1.1.1

              Democracy is crap, but nobody has come up with a better model.

              Whereas nationalism might not be necessary, and can be destructive if not forcibly contained.

              • Stuart Munro

                Monarchists like de Tocqueville would say that late monarchy was pretty good, certainly it can be a smart and responsive government. Consensus democracy has a pretty good rep, but it takes time. Dahlian polyarchy has nothing to recommend it over other forms of oligarchy.

                • McFlock

                  Plato also dug the philosopher-king, ISTR.

                  But the question isn’t just the current ruler being good, but the transition through future bad rulers and mitigating their excesses/inadequacies.

                  But then that goes for democracy and the risk of demagogues, too. But at least you can vote a shite pm or president out again.

                  • Stuart Munro

                    Yes, I get that transitions is a point to democracy.

                    But one of the areas we’ve gone astray since neoliberalism is an area late monarchies often get right, that NZ democracy used to too. And that is anticipating the needs and desires of citizens where it is reasonable to do so.

                    Just as a business, to really thrive, must apply commonsense to customer needs and desires, so too a democracy that wants to remain popular must anticipate public response to issues and proffer well thought out solutions, without being determinate on true conscience issues.

                    • McFlock

                      monarchies often get/got it wrong, too.

                      And really, all any social order needs to do (monarchy to full participatory democracy) is to simply fool enough of the people enough of the time. Sure, they might not go down in history as the best government ever, but unless they’re toppled in a bloody revolution they probably won’t be the worst.

                      Some rulers rule with the objective of a thriving society. Others merely rule with the objective of ruling.

                    • Stuart Munro

                      “really, all any social order needs to do … is to simply fool enough of the people”

                      Once you go down that road you lose any right to govern, and any hope of positive outcomes.

                    • McFlock

                      I wasn’t talking rights, but reality.

                      The reality is that whatever form of social structures we have, from time to time the people within them will be good and at other times bad.

                      Any system of government or social structure needs to be able to minimise the excesses of the worst times and maximise the benefits of the better times. Part of that is minimising the upheaval between times and enabling replacement of the worst rulers.

                      Monarchies require large scale upheaval to change from a shite ruler, or have to withstand them long enough for them to die naturally.

                      Democracies have the least-damaging transitions, imo, and term limits are an even more effective safety catch on rulers.

                      Controlled nationalism might increase public participation, but the flipside is that it hands a weapon to demagogues and be removed from benefiting society as a whole.

  11. RedLogix 11

    It’s always capitalism.

    So life was just peachy before we had capitalism?

    • Draco T Bastard 11.1

      Yes.

      • Dennis Frank 11.1.1

        You’re kidding? Capitalism replaced feudalism. Life as a serf was fun? Think about the why of Robin Hood.

        • Stuart Munro 11.1.1.1

          Unregulated capitalism often is feudal – characterized by individual loyalty to ‘strong leaders’ and cheerfully exploiting or antagonistic to the rest.

          • solkta 11.1.1.1.1

            To understand the difference between Feudalism and Capitalism read Marx.

            • Stuart Munro 11.1.1.1.1.1

              I have as it happens. Feudalism has survived in some capitalist cultures. Better managed states don’t allow that to happen. Poorly managed ones allow the likes of Southwest Key Programs (one of Trump’s child camp operators) or Blackwater (a more conventional military feudal) to hollow out the carcass of their formerly democratic state.

              We’ve no cause to boast, having allowed a number of corporations to outgrow their usefulness until they survive through political influence and monopolism instead of productivity. They know who they are.

        • Draco T Bastard 11.1.1.2

          Feudalism is capitalist.

          Life in poverty and at the control of the capitalists is fun?

          • Dennis Frank 11.1.1.2.1

            I gather the reason it has been historically differentiated is that the aristocrat land-owners often subsisted on the wealth generated by the serfs on their estate. You could add to that the fact that there were no capital markets for them to invest any surplus in.

            Capital as excess wealth took centuries to evolve. There are books on this dimension of history that spell it out in detail but essentially it was usually gold & silver coins until bankers started with letters of credit & such paper money was eventually copied by monarchs.

            • Stuart Munro 11.1.1.2.1.1

              Mmm – one of the results of this system was that economies were perpetually depressed by shortage of coin – hence the prevalence of usury.

            • Draco T Bastard 11.1.1.2.1.2

              I gather the reason it has been historically differentiated is that the aristocrat land-owners often subsisted on the wealth generated by the serfs on their estate.

              How is that different from shareholders subsisting upon the wealth generated by the workers?

              Capital as excess wealth took centuries to evolve.

              No it didn’t. As soon as we had agriculture and ownership (which goes all the way back Sumer in the written records) there was ‘excess’ wealth. Sumer even used debt based monetary system (Debt: The first 5000 years).

              There are books on this dimension of history that spell it out in detail but essentially it was usually gold & silver coins until bankers started with letters of credit & such paper money was eventually copied by monarchs.

              And they’re wrong. Metal based coinage is relatively recent invention barely more than 2000 years old:

              Graeber lays out the historical development of the idea of debt, starting from the first recorded debt systems in the Sumer civilization around 3500 BC. In this early form of borrowing and lending, farmers would often become so mired in debt that their children would be forced into debt peonage. Also for the social tension that came with this enslavement of large parts of the population, kings periodically canceled all debts.

              The author claims that debt and credit historically appeared before money, which itself appeared before barter. This is the opposite of the narrative given in standard economics texts dating back to Adam Smith. To support this, he cites numerous historical, ethnographic and archaeological studies. He also claims that the standard economics texts cite no evidence for suggesting that barter came before money, credit and debt, and he has seen no credible reports suggesting such.

              • Dennis Frank

                Yes, I was actually aware of that ancient origin of credit. To have that kind of system, you need civilisation. You need a monarch or ruler who employs scribes to do book-keeping so debts can be extracted. I was reporting the norm in respect of the local rulers in the feudal system who serfs paid their land rental in food when they had no coins. Those lesser aristocrats in their domains were less likely to die by famine, obviously, but were still vulnerable due to the lack of capitalist infrastructure.

                So I’m not disagreeing with you. I’m aware that the centralised part of the hierarchy condensed into capital more rapidly than the diverse parts of the social ecosystem. At the margins, even the aristos were marginal.

            • Draco T Bastard 11.1.1.2.1.3

              They Don’t Just Hide Their Money. Economist Says Most of Billionaire Wealth is Unearned.

              The 62 richest people in the world own as much wealth as half of humanity. Such extreme wealth conjures images of both fat cats and deserving entrepreneurs. So where did so much money come from?

              It turns out, three-fourths of extreme wealth in the US falls on the fat cat side.

              A key empirical question in the inequality debate is to what extent rich people derive their wealth from “rents”, which is windfall income they did not produce, as opposed to activities creating true economic benefit.

              No different from feudalism.

              • Dennis Frank

                It’s no different from feudalism inasmuch as capitalism is also an exploitation system. My point is that the specialists in the field have their technical reasons for identifying them as different cultures. Take markets, for instance. They’re an integral part of capitalism while feudalism (as far as I know, since I’m not an economic historian) did not incorporate them nor the diversity of trade networks.

                • Draco T Bastard

                  My point is that the specialists in the field have their technical reasons for identifying them as different cultures.

                  There are certainly some differences but, IMO, there are far more similarities that bring about essentially the same ownership controlled structure.

                  Take markets, for instance. They’re an integral part of capitalism while feudalism (as far as I know, since I’m not an economic historian) did not incorporate them nor the diversity of trade networks.

                  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marketplace#Markets_in_medieval_Europe

                  Markets have been around for thousands of years including throughout the feudal period.

                  • Dennis Frank

                    But markets seem not to have been a part of the hierarchy structure. They seem to be a separate network of economic relationships. If you google feudalism you get a description that doesn’t include them:

                    “the dominant social system in medieval Europe, in which the nobility held lands from the Crown in exchange for military service, and vassals were in turn tenants of the nobles, while the peasants (villeins or serfs) were obliged to live on their lord’s land and give him homage, labour, and a share of the produce, notionally in exchange for military protection.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      The integral part of both that gives political power and the ability to bludge is ownership. Trump doesn’t go down to the market every day to sell the goods he personally produced nor buy the ones he needs/wants. Neither does an aristocrat.

                      The serfs in both systems, on the other hand, do.

                    • Dennis Frank

                      Yes, I agree with that. Ownership of a control system is normally where the power lies. However in contemporary capitalism ownership has become more diffuse. Partly by design: diversifying ownership was considered a way to make capitalism more democratic (eg Thatcher’s govt policy). Perhaps also to enhance resilience of the system – until herding became a counter-trend driving it towards tipping points.

                      Actual control of the system is hidden by design, so conspiracy theorists remain free to speculate. Seems clear it derives from a community of common interests, with a loose collaboration of groups at the uppermost level. Some public, some semi-private, and common sense suggests that the primary control groups are totally private. Obviously the current Rothschild patriarch remains pre-eminent, but only a fool would assume he can dictate how the USA operates, and his influence on Wall St players is likely relative to whatever current common interests they share. The old pyramid model can’t be feasible in a complex system of which all the operational parts are themselves complex systems!

      • SpaceMonkey 11.1.2

        No it wasn’t… it was a different kind of hard. As long as there are people who desire power over others there will be struggle.

        • Draco T Bastard 11.1.2.1

          Pre-capitalist = pre-agriculture when we were nomadic groups of a couple of hundred and all the group cared for each other and made sure everyone had what they needed.

          And I didn’t say it wasn’t hard.

  12. corodale 12

    Capitalism is good as a market mechanism. It is when the capital concentration also becomes both a governance and a religion…

  13. corodale 13

    The rights of the individual and the collective are the same things on different scales. The individual is a microcosm of the collective macrocosm.

    Should the desires of the head, the heart and the genitals be fairly and evenly balanced? Or should rule of the upper-class head, be guided by the middle-class heart, to help the lower-class know when to keep their pants on?

    If you fly around the planet westward, you will eventually return from the east.
    If you go far enough to the capitalist right, you will indeed return from the communist left.

    The capital concentration eventually becomes a controlling spike of totalitarian deep state globalism, ruled by a totalitarian communist United Nations.

  14. SpaceMonkey 14

    If those books are too dry for some people (and the reality is that for many they are)… start talking about it. That’s how we’ve done it for tens of thousands of years. Somewhere, perhaps around the 80s, it became a social no-no to discuss politics. Since then anything “left” has become synonymous with “communism”… a possible legacy from the end of the Cold War – the triumph of capitalism over communism? Yet I suspect what many left-minded people are really thinking of is something more akin to social democracy.

  15. Dennis Frank 15

    “What’s more important, individual rights or collective rights? And why does it matter?” In politics, collective rights prevail. Leviathan (Hobbes). We are born into a political matrix, bound by it.

    That matrix is part of humanity as social organism, which also incorporates a control system to provide state governance and organise national economies. So collective rights are a consequence of that framework. Holism isn’t just philosophy, it’s organic function. The whole coordinates all component groups within, allowing these relative autonomy, and it allows individuals relative autonomy within group constraints.

    The balance between individual and collective rights matters because it mediates natural chaos in human interactions into relative order, like any balance between centrifugal and centripetal forces. Systems cohere via this balance, both in nature and in human society.

  16. Andre 16

    “The Government is not the real problem, it’s capitalism.”

    Nope. The problem is that a large part of the population feels the need to indulge in dominance displays of one kind or another.Whether it’s having the most and flashest toys, having sex with the most attractive partners, eating the tenderest and tastiest meals etc etc.

    One of the best features of capitalism is it provides a route to channel these dominance displays into something useful for all of us via entrepreneurialism. Many of the big advances that improve our lives have been driven by enormous egos.

    Where we have failed is allowing government capture by the wealthy players of Big Boy’s Monopoly. So that ticket-clippers and glorified adminstrators can funnel an ever-increasing share into their own pockets, while continually reducing what they contribute back to maintaining the society that enables all that economic activity to actually happen.

    So my challenge to the fans of communism, socialism, la-la hippyism, what have you, is: how is your proposed societal structure going to harness the drives of these enormous egos and channel the dominance displays into something useful? Just saying it’ll happen when we all see the light is fkn delusional. There’s reasons why many of these alternative societal arrangements almost always devolve into sex cults or brutal dictatorships.

    Or we can accept that capitalism has its upsides, and work to mitigate its downsides. That effort is worth it because, for all its flaws, capitalism really has worked better for us than the alternatives we’ve tried. And the best current models for controlled and restrained capitalism are northern european social democracies.

  17. fustercluck 17

    “So what’s stopping us from uniting and losing our chains?”

    I think it is the fact that there are people who will fight to the death to resist a centralised authoritarian government.

  18. arkie 18

    And it’s not easy getting that learning. For a start, you’ll have to read books. So that’s the men out of this discussion already. See how hard it is?

    You don’t even have to pick up a book: https://www.marxists.org/archive/index.htm

  19. Carolyn_Nth 19

    The terms left and right preceded the rise of industrial capitalism. They were the struggle between the bourgeoisie and aristocracy in France – the bourgeoisie (now deemed middle class) sat on the left in the government and the aristocrats on the right.

    So it was about a struggle between an elite section of society, and the rest.

    And all those struggles in the wider Europe developed in the context of globalisation of European imperialism. European Industrial capitalism arose in a context where it was strongly intertwined with colonisation – it was developed on the baks of colonised people and their lands.

    NZ has never had a big industrial working class. There’s the Tallies and the freezing works.

    NZ colonisation developed with a myth of classlessness, that persisted for a long time. But NZ immigrants in the 19th and early 20th century tended to be from a very narrow class – the upper working classes (tradesmen, etc) and the lower middle classes. I think this has had some influence since then, on the way Pakeha view class.

    And back in the 50s and 60s, many of my dad’s friends were tradesmen, though my father was a professional businessman – classes mixed more then at sports clubs, etc. Some of these tradesmen men went on to develop their own business, were able to buy houses, etc. It was possible back then. Some tradesmen were very creative – maybe like artisan types that preceded capitalism.

    Basically, the lowest income people now in NZ include some industrial workers, but also many women in minimal wage jobs, and many people in hospitality, retail, service sectors and small businesses. In rural areas they are agricultural labourers. In cities like Auckland, those on lowest wages include the growing legion of bus drivers and office/business cleaners (both pretty multicultural, and includes both men and women) – plus largely women who work as teacher and nursing aids, rest home care workers, etc.

    “Working class” in NZ is not the same as the large sectors of industrial workers in other countries. Overseas in big factories, workers could regularly talk and discuss their plight. It was easier to organise as a class. Now in NZ, we have a diverse group of people on low incomes, including beneficiaries, and the precariously employed. It’s hard to organise such a group into a strong, unionised, collective force to counter those with power.

    It’s always about which groups in society have power. This changes with changes in economic structures, society and context.

    The left, IMO, are always on the side of those with least power against the dominant group/s in society – sometimes that is based on socio-economic class; sometimes it’s based on ethnicity (like chatel slavery); and sometimes it’s a more gender based patriarchal society. Often these systems are interconnected. These days capitalism is the most dominant system – but it isn’t necessarily always going to be the dominant oppressive system – see The Handmaids Tale.

    • miravox 19.1

      Hi Carolyn

      I agree with most of what you say, but there’s just one point that needs clarification, I think.

      You’re right, New Zealand didn’t industrialise the way Europe & the US did, and what industrialisation did occur was mostly related to farming, However, a big manufacturing base (for the size of the country) in the 60s and 70s did exist. Tariffs and protectionism meant NZ had to manufacture its own goods – whiteware, electronics, shoes, clothing and although we didn’t make cars, they were built-up here (Toyota in Thames, for example), etc.

      When I left school in the 70s at 15, I walked into a manufacturing job – clothing – no problem, because the manufacturers were crying out for workers. Hence mass immigration of from the Pacific.

      This manufacturing base is why there were historically large Pacific Island communities in Ponsonby, Parnell, and Lower Hutt, for example, and also accounted for some of the later ‘urban drift’ of Maori. The reason I’m mentioning this, is because it’s important to remember where the majority of the people who lost their jobs in the 80s came from, and whose children and grandchildren make up a large proportion of the underemployed and underpaid now, the ones in unsafe housing and with ridiculously bad access to healthcare.

      Manufacturers needed Pacific Island workers and Maori also to move into towns and cities to work in trades and labouring as well. And then they were ditched. This is the working class, as much as the steel workers in Northern England are the working class, and these people were treated just as badly, if not worse (i.e. Dawn Raids).

      Maybe it was diversity (or not identifying with this working class) that prevented organising among manufacturing workers even then? I honestly don’t know the answer – some knowledge of history of trade unionism that I don’t have would go a long way towards answering this. Maybe it was simply the oil crisis and a desperate government.

      With the du Pleiss Allan’s* of this world, it’s essential that this history doesn’t become invisible.

      *not just Du Pleiss Allan – this talk about Pacific Islanders has being going around in my social world for several months now, I believe this is being deliberately reproduced.

      • Carolyn_Nth 19.1.1

        Yes. That’s a very good point, miravox.

        Also in the 60s-70s Pacific Island workers were brought to Auckland to work in Crown Lynn potteries. There were a fair amount of industrial factories in west Auckland – Astley Tanneries, and then Cambridge clothing.
        most were moved off shore in the 80s.

        I also worked in a couple of factories in Auckland in the 60s- early 70s. One I only remember vaguely – I think it may have been while I was still at school – holiday job, I think. maybe packaging cosmetics with women workers.

        And in the early 70s, I think returning to Auckland after being away, I worked for a summer in Onehunga, on an assembly line putting magazines together.

        But, I still think this growth in manufacturing in the 50s-70s was pretty small scale – compared with car assembly lines in Dagenham, and Detroit, for instance.

        Te Ara says there was growth in manufacturing in NZ from the 30s through to the 70s:

        The structure of New Zealand manufacturing was different from that in Western Europe and North America. As a general rule New Zealand factories were small.

        However the pastoral processing plants which began from 1882 as a part of refrigerated exporting were exceptions. New Zealand’s dairy factories and freezing works were large in international terms.

        The processing of resources – including aluminium based on electricity, the exploitation of hydrocarbons, steel based on iron sands, and wood products – also involved larger-scale manufacture. Most processing was established after 1945 and was not large in international terms. The biggest industrial plant produced pulp and paper at Kawerau.

        • Dukeofurl 19.1.1.1

          Cambridge Clothing is still there.
          You are right about the others. The economic system at the time until Rogernomics was based on autarky. I used to pass a TV factory on the way to High School where TV sets were assembled mostly from higher value components imported, in the same street smaller manufacturers made components for the TV/radio factory.
          Same approach was for new cars , mostly local assembly with high end parts imported like engines gearboxes and body pressings. Tyres , glass, seating, electrical harness was made by smaller manufacturers
          The same happened with clothing, only limited amounts were direct imports the rest was made locally with a whole range of small to large factories ( Holeproof had a large plant in Royal Oak) and of course the making and repair of the machinery used in clothing.
          There was a regional element to the manufacturing , so Waihi when the gold mine closed in the late 50s, got a TV factory. Thames which had a long history of heavy engineering from the gold rush days got a car assembly plant.
          The government ruled the roost on manufacturing location as import licenses were required to import a lot of components for assembly or additional manufacturing.
          In reality the autarky process ended up as kiwi crony capitalism, with political connections often being the arbiter over who got what.

        • miravox 19.1.1.2

          Definitely NZ manufacturing was small-scale compared to UK, but it was there. I’d forgotten Crown Lynn – making crockery for the railways… those were the days.

          My older sister worked packaging cosmetics in Auckland around the same time as you – possibly 2 degrees of separation there 🙂

          I quite enjoyed the rhythm of the production line, and the bonuses. I worked at Bendon when I left school. After the neo-liberal turn, the company was sold and production moved to Australia. My next job was working in a fish & chip shop. No bonuses there. Losing high paid manufacturing was huge blow to the working class.

          My father welded the inside of anchor tankers – when he was laid off at 58, that was the end of his paid employment life. His body was pretty much broken, so he didn’t mind. He still had a couple of kids at home and a garden to tend. The big redundancy package, and fixed State Advances housing loan and relatively quick hand and knee surgeries, meant that he was set for his retirement.

          I harp on to my children about that, but they have no idea what I’m talking about. They’ve never lived in an era when workers were considered as more than Human resources.

          Even without the huge manufacturing plants, workers rights were still good – before the Douglas years. (For Pakeha men with their trade tickets, at least. I now wonder if it was the same for others).

  20. Sanctuary 20

    Identity and class intersect. If you are brown, you are more likely to be working poor or just plain poor. LGBTQ are (despite the capitalist love of the “pink dollar”) more likely to be marginalised by capitalism. But are progressive victories within the construct of late capitalism just a chimeras, a co-option of form over function? Capitalism is fundamentally unchangeable, although it is highly malleable. Capitalism will only mainstream marginal groups when they comply to it’s social constructs – is same sex marriage a victory for queer culture, or a surrender to the rewards offered to those who embrace mainstream conventions? Is wealthy Iwi corporate types sending their kids to expensive private schools a signal of Maori resurgence, or a repudiation of a cultural collectivist tradition and an abandonment of race in favour of individualism and greed? Do progressive “victories” actually usually just amount to defeats for alternative world views, economic models and lifestyles?

    The collapse of 20th century communism led to a crisis of ideology and, worst of all, a temporary end to the hope of an alternative to capitalism. The response was a bourgeois abandonment of socialism in favour of social liberalism, the terminating of class warfare in favour of “progressivism’ and an embracing of neoliberal capitalism as the best vehicle for delivering social justice – which meant in practice a form of bourgeois curated (and punitive) welfare.

    But times change, even if the new conservatives have not (they even still regard themselves as “left wing”, because this is an important part of their self-identification – a conceited narcissism entirely keeping with the core tenents of the neoliberalism they’ve embraced). A quarter century after the the fall of the USSR, neoliberal capitalism collapsed into crisis under the weight of it’s own greed and in the decade since the GFC the left has been re-thinking Leninism, Marxism and communism and the how to learn from the lessons of the 20th century. The fragile green shoots of socialist hope are once again germinating in the ideological soil made barren as much by Blair and Clinton as by Reaagan and Thatcher.

    Prgressive identity politics as the main engine of what passed for opposition to the rampant greed of late capitalism is just about over. Almost dead and buried, but for a entrenched media rearguard of new conservative “third way” pundits who opinions are increasingly exposed as those of emperors with no clothes, or rather no wider constituency beyond the bubbles of Washington DC or Westminster or Thorndon. It provided, perhaps, a lifeboat for the left post the events of 1989-91. Whatever usefulness it had for the left is now long past it’s use by date.

    • Carolyn_Nth 20.1

      Sanctuary: LGBTQ are (despite the capitalist love of the “pink dollar”) more likely to be marginalised by capitalism.

      This reminded me of an Aussie documentary film I watched this week on TVNZ on demand: Deep Water: the true story (first shown on Aussie TV in 2016)

      It is deeply shocking – more shocking than the fictionalised story based on it (Deep Water that I watched on demand a few weeks ago.

      In Sydney in the 1980s and 90s up to 80 gay men were killed by gay bashers. This was done at the same time that Sydney as a gay centre, and the Mardi Gras were on the rise. Mardi Gras (and Hero parades), while important as a positive expression of LGBT+ culture also seems to me to contain elements of neoliberal, commercialised extravaganza, and has lost its radical edge as a protest against right wing oppression.

      In the 80s and 90s in Sydney, gangs of young men, some at high school, prowled the coastal cliff beats of cruising gay men, looking for people to bash. They killed some just from extreme brute force, but also threw some (still alive) men off the cliffs – no one could survive that fall.

      The police were complicit, and at times, actively participated in collective gay bashing. The NSW police, as far as I’m aware, still refuse to investigate these crimes, or admit to their complicity.

      The documentary put the motivation for these bashings as arising from a culture that promoted a very narrow mand aggressive kind of masculinity. The bashings were described as a way for some men to establish their “masculinity”, and to be seen to do it by their peers.

      Some police can be helpful to the community, but, as with the covert surveillance of Clark and Thompson in collusion with the police, they are the front line of state, right wing oppression.

      And yes, third way “progressive” politics has knee capped a left wing (across class, ethnicity, gender and sexuality) that will fully oppose the power of the elites, and work towards a more egalitarian society. And this elite power these days is maintained within the oppressiveness of capitalist society.

  21. Dennis Frank 21

    How is the internet changing politics? Fukuyama is negative: “Another urgent area of concern, he suggests, is the need for politicians to address the ways that the internet has acted as an accelerator for identity politics, with social media allowing individuals to listen to people in just their own narrow group and not have any sense of national or wider conversations.”

    “The idea was for it to be a tool of democracy, to give people access to information and therefore to power,” he says. “But I think all of the editors and the ‘gatekeepers’ and the fact-checkers that characterise the old media were actually extremely useful – in simply slowing down the spread of false information and guaranteeing a certain minimum level of quality. All of that is gone now. So basically anything you see on the internet seems as good as anything else you see on the internet.”

    An irony here, perhaps. Hasn’t the internet brought us true democracy in the guise of chaos, social darwinism, and niche group silo-thinking? In respect to the antique left/right political frame, folks are diversifying out of that conceptual strait-jacket.

  22. Thanks for the post TRP, the more conversation about class the better IMO, some great threads too, unfortunately I haven’t got time today to get involved..

    This doesn’t really help to much, but it was listening to stuff like this that first opened my mind to politics and class etc…

    D.O.A. – “Class War” (1982)

  23. Dennis Frank 23

    Fukuyama is definitely onto something with thymos. Interesting to see google telling us that David Brooks wrote about it 12 years ago: https://www.nytimes.com/2006/03/19/opinion/all-politics-is-thymotic.html

    “Men want others to recognize their significance. They want to feel important and part of something important. Some people believe men are motivated by greed for money or lust for power. But money and power are means to get recognition. They are markers of success, and success makes men feel important and causes others to pay attention when they walk in the room.” Talk about getting straight to the point! Unusual for a liberal.

    “Plato famously divided the soul into three parts: reason, eros (desire) and thymos (the hunger for recognition). Thymos is what motivates the best and worst things men do. It drives them to seek glory and assert themselves aggressively for noble causes. It drives them to rage if others don’t recognize their worth. Sometimes it even causes them to kill over a trifle if they feel disrespected.”

    Greek democracy was direct, agora-driven. Google: “The literal meaning of the word is “gathering place” or “assembly”. The agora was the center of the athletic, artistic, spiritual and political life of the city.” And this: “In every Greek city the marketplace, called. the agora, was the center of daily life. Here people would work, trade goods and meet friends, and conduct business deals. In the beginnings of Greek trade people exchanged goods and services by bartering.”

    So there you have it – the original nexus that combined economy and democracy. No media. No class representatives. Just the real thing. No wonder they were able to suss out the primary motivating forces of political psychology. No wonder humanity has been unable to reach that depth of gnosis since then! Of course, my analysis applies only to enfranchised males. That alerts us to the political potential of emotional intelligence, which deserves female articulation. Has it happened yet?

  24. Dennis Frank 24

    Another writer points to how the US liberal establishment has been using thymos to divide and rule. “He’s right, as well, to identify thymos as a vastly under-rated human impulse behind all politics. ..liberal constitutionalism was designed to control and check exactly thymos – not by ignoring it, but by pitting the thymos of some against the thymos of others. At least that is what Harvey taught me about liberal constitutionalism in grad school.” https://www.theatlantic.com/daily-dish/archive/2007/05/the-politics-of-i-thymos-i/228635/

    He’s talking about Harvey Mansfield, an American political philosopher and Professor of Government at Harvard University, where he has taught since 1962.

  25. Dennis Frank 25

    TRP asked: “So what’s stopping us from uniting and losing our chains?” Human nature. Humans only unite on a common-interest basis. The process requires agreeing that it exists and being able to specify & explain how it motivates and incentivises behaviour. Everyone seems to agree this task is impossible due to self-interest prevailing.

    So the chains remain. This tacit agreement that figuring out how to unite is too hard remains our default position. Remember the Matrix movie, and how few people became conscious that the matrix was creating their world? Tacit stuff has way more control of behaviour and perception than anything else. Sensory input is powerful, but our minds factor that into a context of prior knowledge and belief, and many beliefs are held unconsciously.

    I acquired a tacit belief as a teenager that I had to get a job after university. Consequently I became a wage slave. If I’d had a better parental role model, I’d have chosen self-employment perhaps. More autonomy. Wage slaves yield their independence to that class of capitalists, via the capitalist system. I had to learn from that mistake (reincarnational karma).

  26. Kia ora, comrades and thanks for all the well reasoned replies. I thought it might be useful at this point to shed a bit more light on the individual vs collective rights question.

    The lecturer that day was Margaret Wilson. I think she asked the question to try and gauge whether the students had enjoyed a bit of ‘life experience’ or were still thinking as if the warmth and support of the family cocoon would last forever.

    Predictably, most younger students voted that individual rights were more important. The few of that could be said to be adult all voted that collective rights were more important.

    We were all wrong.

    As Marty and Miravox have spotted, collective rights are individual rights too. And individual rights that are not available collectively are primarily about power and control, and limiting the freedom of the majority. So, in a progressive society, in order to have one, we really must have the other. it’s not really an either/or question.

    Individual rights are collective rights and collective rights are individual rights. And that understanding is the foundation of citizenship and of a progressive society.

    Well, that’s how I remember it, anyway. Feel free to disagree though!

    • Dennis Frank 26.1

      Well, a quibble. Corodale wrote: “The rights of the individual and the collective are the same things on different scales. The individual is a microcosm of the collective macrocosm.” I expanded that (15).

      To elaborate, natural wholes or parts operate with relative autonomy, to the extent that any enclosing system they are part of allows that by not binding them into stasis. The human consequence of this general principle is that we as individuals have agency as a natural right, but as parts of any society, social group or community our right to autonomy is constrained by laws or the rules of a group or the conventions of a community. So much for the individual.

      Groups that are part of society or larger groups are likewise constrained in their exercise of relative autonomy. Larger human systems that they are part of limit their operational agency. It would be unfair to expect a law lecturer to be aware of this deep context that holism provides!

      If the theory of law provides a rationale for “Individual rights are collective rights and collective rights are individual rights” it would be interesting to see how that reasoning is articulated. Since it defies common sense! “Collective rights are held by a group, rather than any one individual. They have typically been a focus of indigenous peoples and other groups whose rights are threatened by an individualistic, capitalist system. https://www.quora.com/What-are-collective-rights

  27. georgecom 27

    the comments “not having a grounding in working class politics means that any old tosh that sounds anti-establishment gets a pass mark whether it’s deserved or not…The Government is not the real problem, it’s capitalism. It’s not chem trails, buildings in free fall or 1080. It’s capitalism”.

    Notwithstanding some of the language, is actually quite on the point. An understanding of class politics provides a good point of perspective/departure to understand the political economy without diving down ‘conspiracy theory’ rabbit holes. The drivers of the political economy and economic agents can be understood without necessarily needing to ascribe tags of good or evil, right or wrong, conspiracists etc to any particular person.

    A theory I have found useful to understand the world of work is Paul Thompson’s ‘core’ Labour Process Theory. Summarised here
    http://www.ephemerajournal.org/sites/default/files/5-1jaros.pdf

    The function of labour in generating surplus in capitalism, and hence the
    centrality of production to the system, and the privileged insight this affords
    labour for a theoretical and political challenge to the system.

    The necessity for constant renewal and change in the forces of production and
    the skills of labour due to the discipline of the profit rate and competitive
    accumulation of capital.

    The necessity for a control imperative in the labour process in order for capital
    to secure profitable production and translate its legal purchase of labour power
    into actual labour and a surplus.

    Given the dynamics of exploitation and control, the social relations between
    capital and labour in the workplace are of ‘structured antagonism’. At the same
    time, capital, in order to constantly revolutionize the production process, must
    seek some level of creativity and cooperation from labour…resulting in a
    continuum of overlapping worker responses…from resistance, to
    accommodation, compliance, or consent.

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  • 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
    4 days 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
    4 days 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 climate.change@stuff.co.nz There is a lot of discussion on the benefits of ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    4 days 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. ...
    4 days 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
    4 days 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
    5 days 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
    5 days 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 admin@averagekiwi.com
    5 days 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
    5 days 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
    5 days 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
    5 days 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 ...
    5 days 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 ...
    5 days 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 ...
    5 days ago
  • Spain is not a democracy
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days 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
    6 days 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
    6 days 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
    6 days 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
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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 climate.change@stuff.co.nz Why do people still think climate change isn’t real? David ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • The SIS unlawfully spied on Nicky Hager
    Back in 2011, journalist Nicky Hager published Other People's Wars, an expose on NZDF's activities over the previous decade of the "war on terror". NZDF didn't like this, and especially didn't like the fact that it was base don leaks from their own. So, they had the SIS investigate him ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • October 2019 – Newsletter
    https://mailchi.mp/7d9133add053/closing-the-gap-october-2019-newsletter ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    1 week ago
  • And they wonder why we think they’re environmental vandals…
    The Zero Carbon Bill is due back from select committee in two weeks, and will likely pass its final stages in November. So naturally, farmers are planning a hate-march against it. But they're not just demanding lower methane targets so they can keep on destroying the planet; they're also demanding ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Paying the price in California
    Last year, California burned. This year, to stop it happening again (or rather, to stop themselves from being found liable if it happens again), Pacific Gas and Electric is cutting power to half the state for a week:Schools are closed. Traffic lights down. Tunnels dark. Businesses unopened. Hospitals running on ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Let’s Hear It For Up-Close-And-Personal, Hard-Copy Democracy!
    The Best Way: Missing from the on-line voting debate is any reference to the voting system that produces turn-out figures ranging from 77 to 93 percent of registered voters. The voting system used to collect and count the votes cast in our parliamentary elections. The system that involves citizens making ...
    1 week ago
  • 10/10: World Day Against the Death Penalty
    Today, October 10, is the world day against the death penalty. Out of 195 UN member states, 84 still permit capital punishment. Today is the day we work to change that. This year's theme is children. Having a parent sentenced to death or executed causes long-term trauma and stigmatization which ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Talking Freer Lives: a Marxist gender-critical perspective from Australia
    Among the great new bunch of political friends we have been making recently is the excellent Australian-based Marxist gender-critical site, Freer Lives.  So we asked the comrade who set up that blog to write something for Redline on the blog, himself, his analysis of the rise of gender politics and ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Government spin accepted by union leadership
    by Don Franks  The Auckland City Mission is struggling with a 40 percent increase in demand for food parcels this year. A total of 23,020 were needed by June. Last month Missioner Chris Farrelly told the Herald the “cupboards are bare” and without an emergency food drive, he can’t see ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Forbidden Thoughts
    by The Council of Disobedient Women   Massey Wellington Student Association had a sit-in today. Imagine a sit-in. On a campus. Against a women’s rights meeting. Did the ’60s really happen or did we fucking dream it? They gathered in the student square, an echo chamber. Sitting on soft pillows ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Much love to my loyal Ukrainian readership
    For some reasons, my post about the mystery message from inside the Downing Street bunker seemed to catch people's attention.  Quite a lot of hits from NZ (unsurprisingly) and the USA (a bit more puzzlingly, but hi there, USAians!!) and 76 views from the Ukraine.I've celebrated my Ukrainian readers in ...
    1 week ago
  • Another day of bonkers GNUmours (again, sorry)
    First, almost a score of Labour MPs seem to have sent a letter to the EU basically begging them to accept a deal - any deal - just so Britain can get the Heck on with Brexiting instead of being trapped in limbo:
    To avoid no deal, deliver on the ...
    1 week ago
  • Labour vs working class immigrants – again!
    by Phil Duncan In 2016 the National-led government suspended the Parent Visa Category, through which migrants were able to bring their parents into New Zealand.  Since then over 5,700 people have been in immigration limbo, stuck on the visa wait list. Labour is now bringing back the scheme.  Well, sort ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Speak Up for Women press statement: on Massey University and Feminism 2020
    The following was released yesterday (Tues, October 8) by the women’s liberation organisation Speak Up for Women. On 23 September Speak Up For Women announced that we would be holding an event at the Massey University Theaterette in Wellington. The event is called Feminism 2020. The intention of the event ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Farmers support dirty rivers
    The government is currently consulting on plans to improve freshwater quality. So naturally, farmers oppose it:South Taranaki farmers are preparing to fight proposed national freshwater changes that some fear will bankrupt them. The Government's proposed National Environment Standard on Freshwater Management, released in September, rated the Waingongoro River as one ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • No-one cares about local government
    Yesterday was the last day for (reliably) posting your vote away in local body elections. Turnouts are mostly much lower than the equivalent time last year (Palmerston North is down 2.3%), and so naturally people are pushing their online-voting snake oil again. Because the online census worked so well, lets ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • The political ghosts of eugenics may matter more than the genetic
    This essay, on the political legacy of the eugenics movement, by Kenan Malik was originally published in the Observer on 6 October 2019, under the headline ‘The spirit of eugenics is still with us, as immigrants know to their cost’. Birth control. Intelligence tests. Town planning. Immigration controls. It’s striking how ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • “Surplus” again
    Another year, and the government has announced another enormous government "surplus". And just like last year, its nothing of the sort. When we have people homeless and sick and hungry, when we have schools and hospitals still falling down, when we have underpaid public servants and infrastucture unmaintained or unbuilt, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Inside the Downing Street bunker
    James Forsyth at The Spectator (I know, I know) has tapped one of his contacts inside Number Ten for an insight into the Johnson administration's thinking and strategy.It is fascinating, unsettling and quite, quite mad.  Some key points:Negotiations have stalled and the Johnson administration are keen to blame the EU: ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Taking Control Of The Nation’s Story.
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    2 weeks ago
  • Are GNUs extinct?
    Another round of tactical talks about forming a Government of National Unity have come to nothing with the Liberal Democrats still refusing countenance putting Jeremy Corbyn into Downing Street:Opposition talks on Monday made little headway over when to try and vote down Boris Johnson's government and who might succeed him as ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour chickens out again
    When the government was elected, it promised to lead the way on electric vehicles, and specifically to make the government vehicle fleet emissions-free where-practicable by 2025.They lied:There are 15,473 vehicles in the government fleet and only 78 are electric. When the coalition Government came into power in late 2017, the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Transgender extremism, violence at work against feminist meeting at British Labour Party conference
    by Nick Rogers The debate around the meaning of sex and gender made an appearance at this year’s British Labour Party conference in Brighton. Women’s Place UK – an organisation that questions the demand that biological males who self-identify as woman should have access to women’s spaces, to all-women shortlists, ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Rebelling in Wellington
    Yesterday I went down to Wellington to participate in the Extinction Rebellion protest. Its part of the latest global wave of XR actions, with actions happening all over the world. Some of those protests are massively disruptive: in Canada, XR is blocking major bridges, stopping people from getting to work. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks 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 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 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 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 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. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 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 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 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, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 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 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 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 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 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 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 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 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 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 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 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 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 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 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 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 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 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 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 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 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days 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 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days 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 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days 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. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days 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 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days 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 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days 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 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days 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 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days 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 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days 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 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days 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 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days 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 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days 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 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days 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 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • New Zealand deeply concerned at developments in north-east Syria
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters says New Zealand continues to have serious concerns for peace and stability in north-east Syria. “Recent reports that hundreds of ISIS-affiliated families have fled from a camp are deeply concerning from a humanitarian and security perspective”, Mr Peters says. “While we acknowledge Turkey’s domestic security ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government on high alert for stink bugs
    Biosecurity Minister Damien O’Connor is warning travelling Kiwis to be vigilant as the high-season for the crop-eating brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB) is under way. “We’re on high alert to stop BMSB arriving in NZ. The high season runs until April 30 and we’ve strengthened our measures to stop stink ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Better protections for students in halls of residence
    The Government is moving swiftly to change the law to improve the welfare and pastoral care of students living in university halls of residence and other tertiary hostels. Cabinet has agreed to several changes, including creating a new mandatory Code of Practice that sets out the duty of pastoral care ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • New trapping guide for community and expert trappers alike
    The Minister for Conservation Eugenie Sage has launched a new comprehensive trapping guide for community trappers to help them protect our native birds, plants and other wildlife, at Zealandia in Wellington today. ‘A practical guide to trapping’, has been developed by the Department of Conservation (DOC), and was launched during ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Widening Access to Contraceptives Welcomed
    Associate Health Minister Julie Anne Genter welcomes PHARMAC’s move to improve access to long-acting reversible contraception (LARCs). PHARMAC has today announced it will fund the full cost of Mirena and Jaydess for anyone seeking long term contraception, lifting previous restrictions on access to Mirena. “I welcome women having greater choices ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Major upgrade for Taranaki Base Hospital
    The Government has approved the next stage of a major redevelopment of Taranaki Base Hospital, which will deliver new and improved facilities for patients. Health Minister Dr David Clark has announced details of a $300 million dollar project to build a new East Wing at the New Plymouth hospital. It ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Extra support for rural families
    Extra funding will allow Rural Support Trusts to help farming families, says Minister for Rural Communities and Agriculture Damien O’Connor. “I know that rural families are worried about some of the challenges facing them, including the ongoing uncertainty created by the Mycoplasma bovis outbreak. “Those concerns sit alongside ongoing worries ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Howard Leaque Beekeeper programme graduation
    Thank you for the opportunity to be here to present certificates to the 16 graduates who have completed a beekeeping course delivered by the Howard League.  Let us start by acknowledging Auckland Prison’s Deputy Prison Director Tom Sherlock, and Acting Assistant Regional Commissioner of Corrections Northern Region Scott Walker - ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Finance Minister to attend APEC meetings
    Finance Minister Grant Robertson leaves this weekend to attend the APEC Finance Ministers meeting in Santiago, Chile. Discussions between APEC Finance Ministers at the meeting will include the effects of the current global economic uncertainty, risks for APEC economies and sustainable development of the region. While at APEC Grant Robertson ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Pacific languages are a source of strength, they ground us and build confidence
    The Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio says for Pacific people, language can be a source of strength. It can help ground us and give us confidence. When we speak them, our languages provide us with an immediate and intimate access to our identity and our story - and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Major boost to support disabled people in sport and recreation
    The Coalition Government has announced an action plan to improve the wellbeing of disabled New Zealanders by addressing inequalities in play, active recreation and sport. The initiative includes training to develop a workforce that understands the needs of children and young people with a range of impairments, advocacy for fit ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • More prefab homes to be built as red tape cut
    The construction sector is being freed up to allow more homes to be built more quickly as the Government cuts through some of the red tape of the Building Act.  “Every New Zealander deserves a warm, dry, safe home and old inefficiencies in the Building Act make building slow and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago