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Boris Johnson’s majority is disappearing

Written By: - Date published: 8:57 am, August 3rd, 2019 - 30 comments
Categories: Parliament, Politics, uk politics, uncategorized - Tags: , , ,

In the United Kingdom the Conservatives have lost a seat in a by election even though it previously held the seat with  a majority of more than 8,000.  From the Guardian:

Boris Johnson has suffered a major blow after the Tories were beaten by the Liberal Democrats in the Brecon and Radnorshire byelection.

The victory by Liberal Democrat candidate Jane Dodds means the new prime minister’s working majority in the House of Commons has been cut to just one and will be seized on as a sign voters are concerned by Borish Johnson’s pledge to leave the EU without a deal if necessary.

The Liberal Democrats won 13,826 votes, with the Conservatives taking 12,401, a narrow majority of 1,425 that overturned the Tories’ previous majority of more than 8,000. It was a sobering night for the Labour party (1,680 votes), which was beaten into fourth place by the Brexit party (3,331), and only just held on to its deposit. Ukip came last behind the Monster Raving Loony Party.

In her acceptance speech, Dodds said: “I am incredibly humbled by the support. From every walk of life and every political persuasion, people have chosen to believe in my positive liberal vision for something better.

“And by backing that liberal vision, people in Brecon and Radnorshire have sent a powerful message to Westminster: we demand better.”

She continued: “People are desperately crying out for a different kind of politics. There is no time for tribalism when our country is faced with a Boris Johnson government and the threat of a no-deal Brexit.

“My very first act as your MP when I arrive in Westminster will be to find Boris Johnson, wherever he’s hiding, and tell him loud and clear: stop playing with the futures of our communities and rule out a no-deal Brexit.”

Labour did not do so well.

And from Ireland has come a proposal to provide seven extra anti Johnson votes in Parliament.

From Fintan O’Toole at the Irish Times:

Boris Johnson’s radical right-wing administration has no effective majority in the House of Commons, even with the support of the DUP. But given the fragmented state of the opposition, Johnson may still be able to drive onwards towards the Brexit deadline of October 31st and over the edge of the cliff. There is one party that can stop him: Sinn Féin.  

Sinn Féin holds seven seats at Westminster but leaves them vacant. Calling on the party to take those seats is rhetorically satisfying but pointless. In the first place, it has an impregnable argument for not doing so. It won these seats on an abstentionist platform. And it did so in 2017, when Theresa May was pushing for a very hard Brexit. Its voters knew the dangers and supported abstention anyway. That fact cannot be set aside.

And secondly, even if Sinn Féin was somehow able to make an immediate decision to occupy its seats when the Commons returns in September, the effect would probably be counterproductive. The Brexiteers and their media wing would generate hysteria about the Provos thwarting the will of the British people. Johnson would relish it. Wavering Tories would step back into line.

His solution?  Sinn Fein MPs all resign. And Sinn Féin, the SDLP, Alliance and the Greens all agree on a joint candidate who would be very likely to be elected at the by election.

And once elected what would they do?

[T]he candidates will commit themselves to respecting Sinn Féin’s policy of abstention on all issues except the ones that pertain to Brexit and the unfolding crisis. Their platform is simple. They will support all measures, procedural or legislative, to stop a no-deal Brexit, up to and including the revocation of article 50. They will support in all circumstances the retention of the backstop. They will support any proposal for a new referendum. They will support a motion of no-confidence in Johnson if he seeks to push through a no-deal Brexit. And they will support, if the opportunity arises, the formation of an alternative cross-party administration.

The proposal is desperate but English politics is very unstable.  It would be an outstanding result of the English’s continuous occupation of Irish soil resulted in the English Parliament descending into chaos.  Of course the alternative is that Northern Ireland becomes part of the Republic again.

Interesting times … 

30 comments on “Boris Johnson’s majority is disappearing”

  1. Visubversa 1

    Obvious tactical voting by Labour supporters in the by-election. The Irish stuff is just insanity.

  2. Ad 2

    Johnson is a powerful orator and it will need a very focussed and united Labour-LibDeb opposition that generates an alternative plan for the UK that can overcome him in the public  mind. 

    But there's no change without the new framing of the opposition uniting.

    With Jo Swinson now the effective leader of opposition in the UK, Corbyn should accept that his party's job is to prepare the policy platform for everything beyond Britain's exit. 

    Corbyn can use the instability of Brexit over the next year to blame it for even greater economic decline than is already appearing in Britain. Or at least, Corbyn's shadow Chancellor John McConnell can.

    Demand from UK trading partners is faltering. Industry suffered its most widespread fall in output since 2012, with a drop in car production leading the charge. 

    Germany, France and Spain have released manufacturing figures this week that were also unexpectedly grim.

    With Brexit as an accelerant to global economic slowdown in part caused by much larger trade wars between the US and China, there's a story waiting to be written for the left in UK politics. 

    Given that UK Labor will never now be useful in the Brexit debate, they can at least form an economic policy platform for a replacement government as the UK economic sputters and declines.

    • Hanswurst 2.1

      Yes, your pathological hatred of Corbyn is well known.

    • woodart 2.2

      british labour party has been worse than useless. at a time when the tories are divided and tearing the country up, labour has phucked around on the sidelines. should have won the last election easily, but mixed messages have wasted peoples time . 

      • Dukeofurl 2.2.1

        "should have won the last election easily,"

        Nonsense.  Even though their vote rose 9% they  were still 55 seats behind the Conservatives  . 

        55!

        • woodart 2.2.1.1

          dont care whether they were 55 or 500 seats behind. my point is that with the tories doing there best to resemble headless chooks, british labour couldnt get there shit together to present a united competent alternative.

  3. Dennis Frank 3

    Good to see the Raving Loonies are still hard at it.  The winner:  "My very first act as your MP when I arrive in Westminster will be to find Boris Johnson, wherever he’s hiding".

    So she doesn't know the PM normally hides in 10 Downing St.  Must be a refugee from Labour.

  4. Dennis Frank 4

    "His solution?  Sinn Fein MPs all resign. And Sinn Féin, the SDLP, Alliance and the Greens all agree on a joint candidate who would be very likely to be elected at the by election."

    Cool idea.  I wonder if Sinn Féin, the SDLP, Alliance and the Greens have all agreed on anything ever?  If so, then quote that precedent.  If not, apologise for momentary utopianism.  Fintan O’Toole at the Irish Times being downright Irish…

    • Dukeofurl 4.1

      Quite a bizarre idea… too silly for words. The only likely winner out of this  would be the execrable DUP

      SF has been slowly taking seats of the SDLP over the years, such as Down South and Foyle
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_parliamentary_constituencies_in_Northern_Ireland

      • greywarshark 4.1.1

        They could be asking for another referendum that would be binding but it must be a larger majority say 75/25.     Some delay would be good, and as Boorish has staked his whole ability merely on getting the Brexit passed, and that is all, then he is bound to seem even dodgier than now and another Conservative leader will be chosen.    The Irish idea may be bizarre at first glance, but set against the whole background, it matches in temerity the rest of the riot.   

        A diversion.  Has anyone read Tom Sharpe, he would have loved this, but died in 2013.   He was a great eccentric in life and managed to be so in death.

        https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3423790/Tom-Sharpe-blot-graveyard-Author-s-partner-fined-Church-England-burying-loved-one-chapel-grounds-without-permission.html

        • alwyn 4.1.1.1

          "They could be asking for another referendum that would be binding but it must be a larger majority say 75/25."

          And which way would you suggest must reach the 75%? Convention would say that you must, if you don't use a simple majority, have a larger number to change the status quo. At the moment the status quo, as determined by the poll of 3 years ago, is to leave the EU.

          Would you now say that there must be at least 75% of the people voting in a new poll to vote to stay in the EU or the departure will have to happen?

          • Dukeofurl 4.1.1.1.1

            Johnson has quite cleverly changed the debate parameters.

            Its now clearly about  leaving EU with the choice between Deal or No deal.

            Swept aside is the 'Remain' option for now . 

            • alwyn 4.1.1.1.1.1

              That is quite true. Boris always was an exceedingly crafty fellow.

              However I think that greywarshark was talking about a rerun of the original referendum, of the leave/don't leave variety. In that case I would say my comment stands.

              If he didn't mean that should be the referendum question, and happens to see this, perhaps he might respond.

  5. greywarshark 5

    Edit:
    This was possibly a good summation of likely events from yesterday in Open Mike after discussing the possibility of Labour calling a No confidence vote after the Brecon MP gets into the Commons and some defector Remainer crosses the floor.

    Dukeofurl 14.1.3.1

    2 August 2019 at 5:49 pm

    No.  Losing a no confidence motion doesnt mean a new election at all. Under fixed term election rules it takes 2  separate no confidence motions.

    All the first motion would do is  that Johnson would resign but  immediately form a new government  and likely prorouge parliament to avoid another one.  Harpers conservatives did a similar scenario when they were a minority government facing a no confidence  motion they would lose ( no fixed terms law either).

    and ScottGN followed with the results for Harper:

    ScottGN 14.1.3.1.1
    2 August 2019 at 6:28 pm

    Yep. And Harper went on to win a majority in the election following his shutting down the parliament in Ottawa.

    The Rules are like piano keys to be played by masters of the instrument.

    • greywarshark 5.1

      I presume that DukeofUrl knows of what he speaks.  If not could someone advise the facts.

      • Dukeofurl 5.1.1

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fixed-term_Parliaments_Act_2011

        There is also  a 'non' no confidence motion. Where the motion is 'no confidence in the Prime Minister'.

        This doesnt bring down the government as its  'the PM' not  HM Government

        The last no confidence motion in HMG ( Jan 2019) failed 325 to 306

        • mosa 5.1.1.1

          But the one on March 28th 1979 on Scottish devolution led to the fall of the Callaghan government and ushered in the Thatcher revolution on May 3rd 1979 by one vote.

          18 Years passed before a captialist friendly Labour party won government.

          No Brexit of course but huge industrial unrest during the " winter of discontent "

          • Dukeofurl 5.1.1.1.1

            Westminster passed  at 'second reading'  Scottish Home Rule bill in 1913 but the war stopped further progress.

            The Irish Home Rule Act was passed in 1914 but was suspended for 12 months with the start of WW1 , but everything changed in 1916.

            many of the machinations of Irish Home rule around this time are being repeated now to stop Brexit.

  6. greywarshark 6

    Thank goodness someone knows enough and can explain it to us.   If the non motion was activated, would that shake the exotic bird out of his tree?   Or would it be quickly dealt with and on into the Valley of Death ride the 600?

    I spent some time looking at whether the House of Lords could stop the horses from bolting.    They can in some cases, hold legislation back presumably to avoid the country making an arse of itself.    But they have to be called in about a month before meeting.   The matter did appear to be one in which they would have some right of determination.

    However then the EU would have to consider its deadline.    If they thought that there was something of substance being done they might.   Setting a deadline and being hard-line was necessary for them to try and get some gravitas into what is actually the plot for a spoof movie, one that Leslie Nielsen could have had fun with.   They don't want instability entering the compact, and the UK becoming more of a USA puppet than it already is, they might stretch time lines if it is to their advantage.

    • Dukeofurl 6.1

      No reconsidering deadline. The no deal option is just there to concentrate the minds of the EU leaders – who will leave office shortly after.

      EU will easily screw over the Irish to 'save the german car industry' ( 20% go to Britain) or the French farmers.

      Who would have thought after all the  issues of the 1916 rebellion and the  following  1920s independence war with Britain that Ireland is so keen to still hang onto Britains apron strings- Dont they have the massive EU market to rely on along with EU subsidies

      • greywarshark 6.1.1

        But what about Northern Ireland?  There seems a fear of that starting up again and it rips the country apart.

        • Dukeofurl 6.1.1.1

          Thats just part of project Fear.- mainly hyped by that  partisan Remain newspaper The Independent.

          They had a border all through the troubles as the problem was the British presence in Northern Ireland – which continues to this day – not the border per see , which was always porous

          Everything has changed in Ulster since the Good Friday Agreement

          "The two main political parties to the Agreement were the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP), led by David Trimble and the Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP), led by John Hume."

          The  main Ulster  unionist party now are  the Democratic Unionists  they werent parties  of the original agreement, in fact they rejected it.

          looking at the Belfast Agreement – or Good Friday- having  no controls on border isnt mentioned

          Click to access agreement.pdf

          The current situation came about because of EU  border rules and as Ireland  , like UK is outside Schengen, there will still be  some sort of border checks between Ireland its self and mainland Europe like there is now ( show ID)



  7. Brtiss internal poltiks.

    No wonder a few are heading for the escape hatch. Am I bovvered so far? Not so much

    • greywarshark 7.1

      Laughed only understood one word in ten though.   Never mind I get desperate, hold up a piece of string and I'll giggle.

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    4 days ago
  • More support for Sarjeant Gallery
    Whanganui’s Sarjeant Gallery will receive an investment of up to $12 million administered by the Provincial Growth Fund to support its redevelopment, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. The project is included in a $3 billion infrastructure pipeline announced by Finance Minister Grant Robertson and Shane Jones yesterday. ...
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    4 days ago
  • Funding for training and upskilling
    The Provincial Growth Fund is investing nearly $2.5 million into three Te Ara Mahi programmes to support Manawatū-Whanganui jobseekers and employees to quickly train and upskill, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. “Up to 154 local people will be supported into employment within the first year by these ...
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    4 days ago
  • Statement from the Minister of Health Dr David Clark
      This morning I have formally tendered my resignation as Minister of Health, which was accepted by the Prime Minister. Serving as Minister of Health has been an absolute privilege – particularly through these extraordinary last few months. It’s no secret that Health is a challenging portfolio. I have given ...
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    4 days ago
  • Scholarship placements for agricultural emissions scientists doubles
    Scholarships for 57 early-career agricultural emissions scientists from 20 developing countries is another example of New Zealand’s international leadership in primary sector sustainability, says Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor. Mr O’Connor, announcing the scholarships today, says hundreds of applications were received for this fourth round of the CLIFF-GRADS programme (Climate, Food ...
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    4 days ago
  • Funding for Foxton regeneration
    A project to help rejuvenate the Horowhenua town of Foxton will receive a Provincial Growth Fund investment of $3.86 million, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. “This funding for the Foxton Regeneration project will be used to make the well-known holiday town even more attractive for visitors and ...
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    4 days ago
  • Plan to improve protection of moa bones
    Moa bones and other sub-fossil remains of extinct species are set to have improved protection with proposals to prevent the trade in extinct species announced the Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage today. “We have lost too many of our native species, but these lost species, such as moa, remain an ...
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    4 days ago
  • Free lunches served up to thousands of school children in the South Island
    The Government’s free and healthy school lunches programme moves south for the first time creating jobs for around 30 people in Otago and Southland. “Eighteen schools with 3000 students are joining the programme – 11 have already begun serving lunches, and seven are preparing to start during Term 3. This is ...
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    5 days ago
  • Screen Sector recovery package protects jobs, boosts investment
    Thousands of Kiwi jobs and investment in New Zealand productions will be protected through a screen sector support package announced today by Associate Minister for Arts Culture and Heritage Carmel Sepuloni, Minister for Economic Development Phil Twyford and Minister for Broadcasting Kris Faafoi. The package also includes investment in broadcasting ...
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    5 days ago
  • New fund to help save local events and jobs
    The Government has established a new $10 million fund for the domestic events sector to help save jobs and protect incomes as it recovers from the impacts of COVID-19, Minister of Economic Development Phil Twyford announced today. This funding from Budget 2020 follows talks with the event sector designed to ...
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    5 days ago
  • Bill to improve fuel market competition
    The Government has taken another step in its commitment to making sure New Zealanders get a fairer deal at the petrol pump with the introduction of legislation to improve competition in the retail fuel market, says Energy and Resources Minister Megan Woods. “The fuel market study that this Government ordered ...
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    5 days ago
  • New Zealand joins global facility for pre-purchase of COVID-19 Vaccine
    New Zealand has joined a global initiative that aims to enable all countries to access a safe and effective Covid-19 vaccine, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters announced today. The COVAX Facility was recently launched by Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance. The Alliance includes the World Health Organization, UNICEF, the World Bank ...
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    5 days ago
  • Right to legal representation in Family Court restored today
    From today new legislation takes effect to both restore the right to legal representation at the start of a Care of Children (CoCA) dispute in the Family Court, and allow parties to those proceedings to access legal aid where eligible. During a visit to the Family Court in Auckland today, ...
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    5 days ago
  • Transitioning to a fully-qualified home-based ECE workforce
    Home-based early childhood education (ECE) subsidised by the government will transition to a fully qualified workforce by 2025 to ensure better and more consistent quality, Education Minister Chris Hipkins announced today. “Quality early learning helps provide children with a strong foundation for their future,” Chris Hipkins said. From 1 January ...
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    5 days ago
  • Criminal Cases Review Commission gets to work
    The new Criminal Cases Review Commission | Te Kāhui Tātari Ture (CCRC) has started work and can now independently investigate claimed miscarriages of justice. “Even though we have appeal rights and safeguards against unsafe convictions, from time to time our justice system does get things wrong. The design of the ...
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    5 days ago
  • Speech by the Minister of Defence to the New Zealand Institute of International Affairs
    E ngā mana, e ngā reo, e ngā karangatanga maha, tēnā koutou Ki a koutou Te Āti Awa, Taranaki Whānui, Ngāti Toa Rangatira, ngā mana whenua o te rohe nei, tēnā koutou Ko Te Whare Wānanga o Aotearoa ki ngā take o te Ao (NZIIA), Ko te Rōpū Tohu Tono ...
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    5 days ago
  • Six months with baby and $20 more a week for new parents
    The Government’s increase to paid parental leave kicks in today with another 4 weeks taking New Zealand up to a full 6 months (26 weeks, up from 22 weeks) leave for new parents, and the maximum weekly payment will increase by $20pw, Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Iain Lees-Galloway says. ...
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    5 days ago
  • Infrastructure investment to create jobs, kick-start COVID rebuild
    A new package of infrastructure investments will help kick-start the post-COVID rebuild by creating more than 20,000 jobs and unlocking more than $5 billion of projects up and down New Zealand. Finance Minister Grant Robertson and Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones today outlined how the $3 billion infrastructure fund in the ...
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    5 days ago
  • Statement on passage of national security law for Hong Kong
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters today expressed the New Zealand Government’s deep disappointment at the passage by China’s National People’s Congress Standing Committee of a national security law for Hong Kong. “New Zealand has consistently emphasised its serious concern about the imposition of this legislation on Hong Kong without inclusive ...
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    5 days ago
  • July 1 marks progress for workers, families
    More jobs and more family time with newborns are the centrepiece of a suite of Government initiatives coming into effect today. July 1 is a milestone day for the Government as a host of key policies take effect, demonstrating the critical areas where progress has been made. “The Coalition Government ...
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    6 days ago
  • Auckland water consent referred to Board of Inquiry
    Environment Minister David Parker has today “called in” Auckland’s application to the Waikato Regional Council to take an extra 200 million litres of water a day from the lower reaches of the Waikato River for Auckland drinking water and other municipal uses.  The call-in means the application has been referred ...
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    6 days ago
  • New Zealand to host virtual APEC in 2021
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters and Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker announced today that New Zealand’s hosting of APEC in 2021 will go ahead using virtual digital platforms. Mr Peters said the global disruption caused by COVID-19, including resultant border restrictions, had been the major factor in the ...
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    6 days ago
  • Matakana Link Road construction kicks off and drives jobs
    The start of construction on a new link road between Matakana Road and State Highway 1 will create jobs and support the significant population growth expected in the Warkworth area, Transport Minister Phil Twyford and Mayor Phil Goff announced today. Transport Minister Phil Twyford said construction of the Matakana Link ...
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    6 days ago
  • PPE supplies secured as COVID-19 response focuses on border
    The Government is prioritising its latest investment in PPE for frontline health workers, including staff at managed isolation and quarantine facilities, Health Minister David Clark says. “With no community transmission of COVID-19 our response now has a firm focus on keeping our border safe and secure. “We must ensure that ...
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    1 week ago
  • PGF funding for Parihaka settlement
    The Parihaka Papakāinga Trust in Taranaki will receive up to $14 million for a new visitor centre and other improvements at the historic settlement that will boost the local economy and provide much-needed jobs, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones and Minister for Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations Andrew Little have ...
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    1 week ago
  • Protections for workers in triangular employment
    Protections for workers who are employees of one employer but working under the direction of another business or organisation have come into force, closing a gap in legislation that  made the personal grievance process inaccessible for some workers, says Workplace Relations Minister Iain Lees-Galloway. “This Government is working hard to ...
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    1 week ago
  • Government strengthens managed isolation system
    A range of improvements are already underway to address issues identified in the rapid review of the Managed Isolation and Quarantine system released today, Housing Minister Megan Woods said. The review was commissioned just over a week ago to identify and understand current and emerging risks to ensure the end-to-end ...
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    1 week ago
  • Whakatāne to go predator free with Government backing Ngāti Awa led efforts
    The important brown kiwi habitat around Whakatāne will receive added protection through an Iwi-led predator free project announced by Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage and Under Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher Tabuteau. “The Government is investing nearly $5 million into Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Awa’s environmental projects with $2.5 ...
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    1 week ago
  • Growing Goodwood: Expanding wood waste recycling plant in Bay of Plenty, Waikato
    An extra 4,000 tonnes of offcuts and scraps of untreated wood per year will soon be able to be recycled into useful products such as horticultural and garden mulch, playground safety surfacing and animal bedding as a result of a $660,000 investment from the Waste Minimisation Fund, Associate Environment Minister ...
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    1 week ago
  • Scott Watson’s convictions to be referred to Court of Appeal
    The Governor-General has referred Scott Watson’s convictions for murder back to the Court of Appeal, Justice Minister Andrew Little announced today. Mr Watson was convicted in 1999 of the murders of Ben Smart and Olivia Hope. His appeal to the Court of Appeal in 2000 was unsuccessful, as was his ...
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    1 week ago