Boris’s big gamble

Written By: - Date published: 12:14 pm, September 3rd, 2019 - 57 comments
Categories: boris johnson, conservative party, Europe, uk politics - Tags:

It seems pretty likely that the United Kingdom will soon head to the polls.

Boris Johnson has set out a very clear message, either Parliament backs him or it is off to the polls. 

From the Guardian:

Boris Johnson has issued a final Brexit ultimatum to rebel MPs by pledging to call a snap general election next month if the House of Commons pushes ahead with a bill tabled by a cross-party group of backbenchers seeking to block no deal.

In a carefully choreographed sequence, Johnson held an emergency cabinet meeting, addressed Conservative MPs at a Downing Street reception and then made a live television address outside No 10 to say there were “no circumstances” under which departure from the EU would not happen on 31 October.

Johnson said in his televised address, which was punctuated by chants from protestors at the gates of Downing Street, that he did not want an election. But No 10 briefings openly threatened one on 14 October if rebels did not back down.

Johnson said the backbench bill, signed by the former chancellor Philip Hammond, the ex-justice secretary David Gauke and others, would “chop the legs out” from the UK’s Brexit negotiations.

The bill, which the MPs hope to push through parliament at high speed if they seize control of the Commons timetable on Tuesday, would mandate Johnson to extend departure until 31 January, unless MPs backed a deal or approved no deal.

It appears that Johnson thinks that he can get a better deal out of the EU if the clock is ticking down and he can practice his particular form of brinkmanship.    Proroguing Parliament, even for a short time, intensifies pressure and reduces Parliament’s ability to stop him.  But the two things he wants, removal of a hard boarder around Northern Ireland and cancellation of the penalty the UK has been assessed to pay do not seem resolvable.  Again from the Guardian:

The prime minister is insisting that the EU removes the Irish backstop from the withdrawal agreement but the UK government is yet to offer any alternative plan for avoiding a hard border on the island of Ireland after Brexit.

The prime minister has instead claimed that the British government will not pay its £39bn divorce bill unless a new deal is negotiated and ratified.

The EU responded that such move would stymie any hope of talks on a free trade deal in the foreseeable future.

Schallenberg said: “We expect – and I underline this in triplicate – that the United Kingdom will fully meet its financial obligations as a member, whether or not there is a hard Brexit.

“The UK will also have to consider what kind of signal that would be for future contractors outside the EU if it ignores its obligations as soon as things get tough.”

That will work.  Sign up to a treaty with a penalty provision, withdraw, and refuse to pay the penalty. 

I must admit struggling with the whole idea of Brexit.  I appreciate there is a strong vein of left wing thought that thinks it is a good thing.  For me I am with George Monbiot, it appears to me to be a proposal that has disaster captialists rubbing their hands in glee.

The next few days are going to be very interesting as Parliament and the UK executive go head to head …

57 comments on “Boris’s big gamble”

  1. Andre 1

    Any halfway competent political leader in opposition should easily be able to look like a thoroughly attractive alternative to this government clusterfuck.

    What's Corbyn doing? Just adding to the all-around omnishambles?

  2. JohnP 2

    Corbyn wanted to no confidence Johnson, put a caretaker govt in and then extend Article 50 and call a General Election. If Labour had won they’d renegotiate the deal and have a second referendum, Remain v Labour’s Deal. Lib Dems said no, because they can't stomach Corbyn as PM.

    Now Johnson wants a General Election and Corbyn's saying 'bring it on', but the Lib Dems don't want one and some of Labour don't either 'until Brexit is resolved'.

    This ignores that since the 2017 election, parliamentary arithmetic has been a key factor in nothing actually being sorted out. Only one way to change that. An election.

    • weka 2.1

      Aren't the Conservatives set to win that?

      • JohnP 2.1.1

        A General Election? Polling says so, but polling put May's Tories 20 points up on Corbyn in 2017 – and Johnson might be about to purge his own party of MPs who disagree with him and go into a campaign on the back of nearly a decade of austerity.

         

  3. Tiger Mountain 3

    Snap elections are generally laden with chances for more instability. An opportunists delight. 

    Mr Corbyn is up against it. How does he present a positive “for the many not the few” MkII Campaign, in such a scenario? If he can achieve a Labour Govt. in this chaos, with sections of his own supporters ok with Brexit, then he will join the ranks of all time political miracle makers.

    • JohnP 3.1

      Labour's plan since at least 2017 has been pretty clear, despite them being accused of not having one.

      It's this;  ‘We voted to leave, so we should get a good deal. If we don’t get a good deal (that protects workers rights etc) then we won’t vote for it, but will take action to prevent No Deal – preferably a vote of no confidence to force a General Election and then attempt to renegotiate the deal with new ‘red lines’ and then put that deal to a public referendum with the Deal vs Remain being the option.’

      The Lib Dems have plumped for: ‘We must have a second vote, even if No Deal is an option on the ballot’ which has increasingly become hard remain and ignore what doing that would mean electorally – a Brexiteer backlash of huge proportions.

      Tories under Johnson: 'No Deal is the deal'

      Corbyn's aim is to give Brexit voters a deal they can vote for, and an option for Remainers to vote for – rather than the Tories ignoring the 48% who voted Remain or the Lib Dems ignoring the 52% who voted leave (yes, I know those numbers will hve shifted). 

      By Labour taking a nuanced position the Liberal Democrats and their outriders have labelled them pro-Brexit because their best outcome involves presenting a deal to the public in a referendum, which ignores that the Liberal Democrats are willing to end up with No Deal by accident in their desired referendum. The Conservatives and Brexiteers label them Remainers who are trying to prevent Brexit by offering a second referendum, but also that they’re trying to make No Deal happen by voting down Theresa May’s deal.

      In an election, hopefully things become a little clearer, as they did in 2017.

       

       

      • Andre 3.1.1

        That Labour position, paraphrased: We'll faff around ineffectually a bit more just like May did. Then we'll go to a referendum. Y'know, coz we don't have any confidence we'll get anything better than May did.

        • JohnP 3.1.1.1

          Except, of course, that Corbyn isn't held hostage by the DUP or the ERG like May was over negotiations and his meetings with Michel Barnier indicated there could be progress in a Brexit deal with Labour's approach which would focus on workers rights etc

          The backstop, the financial settlement – all the things Johnson is trying to renegotiate without presenting any solutions, that's all down to the Tory Party's internal problems. The prorogue of Parliament, all of that, is aimed at making Europe believe he wants No Deal and making changes to the things they have repeatedly said they will not change. Madness.

          Yet at the same time, the ERG and Cummings etc – they want No Deal. They really want it.

        • Gabby 3.1.1.2

          Well they probably wouldn't get anything better dredre.

  4. weka 4

    One good thing I can see from Brexit is that it might slow the British economy in ways that drop GHG emissions meaningfully. I don't expect that to be pretty though. If Brexit doesn't happen and the UK continues with green BAU, the planet burns.

    As for Boris, I don't get the agenda here. Is he after a fiefdom with a greatly increased underclass and power consolidated in a contracted ruling class?

    • greywarshark 4.1

      Boorish hasn't decided yet.    Being Leader and having a goal of whatever is enough to keep him feeling vital and manly, and shouting follow me or else you can join all the other losing w…rs.     It is about strutting and shouting and winning all the toys and filling all the possible niches where people might retire for thought.

    • SHG 4.2

      The recycling centres and rubbish-combustion power plants are on the EU side of the channel, and after Brexit those doors will be closed. Within a few months Britain will be drowning in rubbish.

      • weka 4.2.1

        Good incentive to stop producing so much and to shift to closed loop cycles.

      • Peter Christchurh nz 4.2.2

        Yes, as always, the world is just about to end.

        No. Reality is GB will, after a year of turmoil and adjustment, flourish, as it will have the entire.world to trade with rather than being tied to the sop of the EU.

        Why on earth are so many on this site always preaching that the end is near? Adaptability is the strength humans have.

  5. Stuart Munro. 5

    Well I hope Corbyn gets in – Milton Jones needs to sue Boris for stealing his trademark disheveled hair, and he'll get no justice under the Tories.

  6. bwaghorn 6

    Corbyn should just grow a pair and make it all about Brexit if it comes to an election 

    A Vote for labour is a vote to cancel Brexit. 

  7. ianmac 7

    Gordon has a point:

    In the face of Boris Johnson’s latest provocations, the best response for Remainers and Tory rebels alike would be… to do nothing at all. Everyone needs to step back and let Johnson have his ‘no deal’ Brexit, since that’s the only way of making sure that the current Tory leadership gets to wear the consequent turmoil.

    http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/HL1909/S00001/gordon-campbell-on-ensuring-boris-gets-blamed-for-brexit.htm

  8. Wayne 9

    Seems to me an election is the only way forward. The Conservatives have been unable to pass any bill that has a deal. Too many Conservatives and virtually all of Labour voted against the deal that May did. The current parliament won't vote for any sort of deal. There is no majority for anything, except delay.

    Boris looks like a guy who is prepared break the deadlock by going to the people. Hopefully a new parliament would produce a government (left or right) with a practical working majority. Boris will certainly make the election all about Brexit. Corbyn will think he can repeat 2017 and do better than the polls currently indicate. Maybe he will, though I don't think so.

    Boris just seems to be a fundamentally better campaigner than Corbyn. Labour and Corbyn have been all over the show with Brexit. At the moment it seems to be a new referendum. So a general election campaign to have a referendum. Ridiculous. At least people know what Boris stands for, and that is an exit from the EU. So will the public back Boris and end the deadlock? We will probably know within 6 to 7 weeks!

    • Anne 9.1

      Labour and Corbyn have been all over the show with Brexit. At the moment it seems to be a new referendum.

      On the 18th November 2018 this is what Corbyn had to say:

      https://www.theguardian.com/politics/video/2018/nov/18/an-option-for-the-future-corbyn-on-second-brexit-referendum-video

      It seemed like an eminently sensible approach and not too different to what he is saying today.

      I think JohnP knows what he's talking about. Corbyn has consistently been misrepresented by the British MSM since the moment he was elected to the Labour leadership. I'm reminded of the Cunliffe hysteria in NZ in 2014 – a pack of baying MSM wolves mindlessly baying away at a fictitious moon. 

      Thanks for the heads up JohnP.

      Edit: and I note Corbyn was accused by his enemies in Labour of… being a closet brexiteer at the time of the first referendum and that has proven to be false.

      • JohnP 9.1.1

        Kia ora for that Anne.

        I wouldn't say that Corbyn has been consistently misrepresented by the media (not all of the time), but the reporting on Labour 'not having a plan' stems from the fact that his plan involved recognising that parliamentary arithmetic was against him and that any plan needed to involve both Remain and Leave voters.

        Compare that to;

        Theresa May's 'this is the deal, vote for the deal, even though it's bad'

        Liberal Democrats 'we want a referendum' / 'Bollocks To Brexit'

        Brexiteers and Farage 'Any Deal is a bad deal'

        Johnson ‘If we don’t try and do no Deal the EU won’t shift on the things they have repeatedly said they will not renegotiate’

        And opposition parties kept insisting their single sentences were the simple solution to a hideously complex problem – and that Corbyn didn't have a position on Brexit because the position wasn't a campaign slogan, it was a series of decisions that would have to be made in the process of exiting the European Union that were decided on by Labour Conference in 2017 and 2018. He's literally doing what the membership instructed him to.

        The bigger problem is that the Lib Dems and Tories and Brexit Party all attacked Corbyn for having no policy, when it's pretty clear that May failed, the Liberal Democrats have demonstrated they're more willing to let No Brexit happen than to bring down the Government from Opposition, and the Brexiteers don't care about consequences – they want a Brexit and damn everything.

         Corbyn's plan is the one left standing for Remain. Brexiteers want to antagonise and infuriate Remain and push ahead, Lib Dems want to risk having No Deal on a second referendum ballot (which could go horribly wrong).

        Labour's policy is to renegotiate a deal from Government and then give every single voter a say on the outcome – Remain vs Labour's Deal. That way if the Brexiters want Brexit, they can vote for it – but not in a way which utterly wrecks the country. Equally Remainers and those who have changed their mind since 2016 will have the chance to vote for Remain. 

        The biggest issue with criticising Corbyn's policy since 2017 is that if he hadn't made up a 20 point gap in the 2017 election, May would have had a big majority and her Brexit deal would have sailed through Parliament. Even if she hadn't called the election, she could have passed the deal.

        The reason Brexit hasn't happened is the Labour Party under Jeremy Corbyn swiped the Govts majority and then voted against the terrible deal it negotiated consistently, while always maintaining it would prefer to seek a General Election to fix the problem of post-2017 parliamentary arithmetic which meant there has not been a majority for ANY Brexit outcome in over 2 years.
         

         

      • The Al1en 9.1.2

        He wasn’t just a closet Brexiteer, he was decidedly anti EU. He even voted against Britain joining in the first place.

        • Anne 9.1.2.1

          He may well have done so Al1en but at some point he changed his mind. He voted to remain. Watch my link @ 9.1.

          And btw, he has made no bones about the fact some things need to change.

          • The Al1en 9.1.2.1.1

            He's a social Chameleon, he'll change to suit the people around him.

            It's just one of the reasons voters won't vote for him, even the missing 20% of labour voters.

            • JohnP 9.1.2.1.1.1

              Yes, he's both a social chameleon who cannot be trusted and a stuck in the same ideas he's had for thirty years who cannot be trusted.

              • The Al1en

                No, he'll say, eventually, what he thinks people want to hear, but as usual with Corbyn, you can just piss it off. 

                If labour voters don't rate him, and at 20 odd percent, there's loads of traditional voters who don't, then all you're left with is wishful thinking over fact. There's absolutely no reason to vote for his party, and no hope in hell he'll convince a majority to do so.

                As a former labour voter, I'd vote lib dem this time. Not only because it's tactical in my old constituency to get the tories 1 seat down, but equally because Corbyn's a total fail and untrustworthy for top office.

                • JohnP

                  Good luck with that, the Liberal Democrats are doing what they do best and are organising to not stand candidates against Remain Tories which could well deliver a Tory majority and a No Deal Brexit.

                  Swinson helps Remain Tories win seats.

                  Tories win majority because of this.

                  Boris does No Deal Brexit anyway.

                  Five year Tory Government with the Remain Tories post-Brexit turning back into the Tory MPs they are.

                  Lovely stuff from them: https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/general-election-lib-dems-draw-up-target-list-for-local-pacts-with-remain-tories-d7bx9ptjn

                  • The Al1en

                    The lib dems are the only party capable of beating the conservatives in Richmond park, so if I could vote there, which sadly I can't, it wouldn't be wasted, and with 1 tory seat less, I'd have done my part.

                    Shame the same can't be said of the failure 'leading' the labour party. No point blaming others for the crap job Corbyn has done in guiding the opposition to defeat. That’s the home ground of the blinkered.

                    The worst, most divided tory party in memory and he still can't lead his way out of a paper bag. #useless.

        • Stuart Munro. 9.1.2.2

          I expect that much of Corbyn's refusal to take a side early on was that he was genuinely loathe to overturn a referendum. We saw the same thing with the Blairite Labour/Tories he tolerated until he could no more.

          • The Al1en 9.1.2.2.1

            More likely waiting to see if it all fell into his lap without having to make the hard decisions, but your version of history could also be true.

    • cleangreen 9.2

      Interesting times eh Wayne?

      I think that Boris is playing the game that will force an election for sure and done the numbers that show Brits want change as we did when we wee hoodwinking into voting for John Key as the way forward so maybe Brits are in the same boat now as they saw how Greece was bullying into submission for not following the 'EU rules' and got their country mostly now sold out after deciding to staying inside the EU.

      My Son just came back from a holiday in Greece and says it is now a torn nation half bitter half happy. 

      Will UK want that or a better outcome?.

       

       

  9. Macro 10

    You have to wonder at the intelligence of English politicians and the hard right Brexiteers who insist on this stupid affair. They take no cognisance of the situation in Ireland and the fragile peace so hard won with the Good Friday agreement. All that effort will go up in smoke. Even now there has been a bombing close to the Border.  The majority of voters in Northern Ireland voted to remain – why because they foresaw the huge pot mess that was involved in the UK leaving the EU. Those north of the border in Scotland also can't believe that the are being forced to leave the EU by the arrogant English – who can only think of themselves.

    If Brexit goes ahead the United Kingdom will soon become the Disunited Kingdom. Even now the Northern Irish are looking across the Border to Dublin, and the Scots are drawing up a second referendum to give England the boot.

    As the Irish Border so telling says:

    "I'm not a fan of Brexit – But I do admire its ability to divide a country"

  10. SPC 11

    An election without an arrangement between LD and Labour would be a disaster for both.

    They would be better advised to 

    1. overturn BJ's no deal Brexit  deadline

    2. block a no deal Brexit. 

    3. oppose an early election.

    4. form a new government with rebel Tories, SNP etc to realise a deal with the EU. Someone not head of any party as caretaker PM (such as one of the former Labour MP's in the breakaway or a rebel Tory).    

    5. send that deal to the people in a referendum (an important issue is that the WTO is losing judicial oversight because Trump is blocking the appointment of new judges to undermine its ability to constrain his bullying of other nations – thus staying in the single market is becoming more important).

    6. only hold a new election afterward.  

  11. Seems to me like a centrist, united Germany against the Brits…truly what has changed since 1914?

    The Cranberries – Zombie (Official Music Video) – YouTube

    • But the center of Europe isnt Germany… its Russia… hence the reason for hedging in Russia against the west… its always been that way, meanwhile thousands suffer , and die.

      This is western capitalism , not some glorious British Empire pursuit, plain and simple.

      And thats what this is all about, nothing more, nothing less.

      • cleangreen 12.1.1

        Bloody well said WK, you have hit the nail on the head there.

        My Son just returned to Germany after 'a week in Ireland and another week in Greece' both a free society by comparison to Germany, and he is feeling 'down' after being free in  a less 'controlled centrist  political country as Germany is.

  12. Michael 13

    Corbyn seems to be Boris' best ally.

  13. JohnP 14

    Well, Johnson has become the first PM to lose his first Parliamentary vote since 1895.

    He wants a General Election, but Corbyn has refused until the anti-No Deal legislation has been passed.

    20+ Tory MPs voted against Johnson and now he's got to remove the whip, reducing his party size to 289.

    Oh, that's after his majority of 1 was turned to a -1 today by one of his MPs literally crossing the floor while he was speaking to join the Lib Dems.

     

  14. joe90 15

    BoJo had a bad day.

    Johnson was the first prime minister to lose his first Commons vote since 1894. His attempt, in alliance with his advisor Dominic Cummings, to bully parliamentarians into submission, had fallen apart. 

    https://www.politics.co.uk/blogs/2019/09/03/historic-rebel-victory-parliament-moves-to-stop-no-deal

    • Anne 15.1

      Excellent link. Sums up the chaotic mess in a nutshell.

      Mr. Rees Mogg on behalf of the Johnston government said:

      We should recognise that the people are our masters and show us to be their lieges and servants, not to place ourselves in the position of their overlords.  As we come to vote today I hope all members will contemplate the current constitutional confusion and consider the chaos this concatenation of circumstances could create.

      What a load of piffle. What was he even talking about?

      About on a par with this:

      All credit to the Tories who put sanity and principles first. They are the ones who will be remembered when the film hits the theatres.

  15. joe90 16

    Johnson's been sacked more than once for lying.

    Boris Johnson secretly agreed to suspend parliament in mid-August, explosive court documents reveal – nearly two weeks before denying the plan existed.

    An email was sent to the prime minister and Dominic Cummings, his chief aide, entitled “Ending The Session”, which says “we should prorogue” from 9 September.

    https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/boris-johnson-prorogue-parliament-brexit-dominic-cummings-email-court-scotland-a9089911.html

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    By Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern I am every bit as angry as you are. I am every bit as disappointed as you must be. The people with power, oversight and the ability to do something about these processes within the Labour Party should be ashamed. Whoever those people are, I ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    5 days ago
  • This is why people hate property developers
    Property developers think there is an "oversupply" of houses in Auckland:High turnover rates and falling prices may be a sign that there are too many new houses going in to some parts of Auckland, commentators say. [...] Property developer David Whitburn said there was a "bit of an oversupply" in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Australia to Pacific: “Fuck you, you can all drown”
    World leaders are meeting in New York in two weeks for the 2019 Climate Action Summit, where they are expected to announce new and more ambitious targets to stop the world from burning. But the Australian Prime Minister won't be there, despite being in the USA at the time:Scott Morrison ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Implausible ignorance
    Labour Party president Nigel Haworth resigned yesterday over the party's sexual assault scandal. But while that's good news, its unlikely to take away the stench of a coverup. Because according to Paula Bennett in Parliament yesterday, pretty much everyone in the Prime Minister's office was involved as well:I have been ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Labour’s Fatal Flaw.
     Two-Faced? Labour insiders' commitment to the neoliberal status quo puts them at odds with their party’s membership; its trade union affiliates; and a majority of Labour voters, but this only serves to strengthen the perception they have of themselves as a special elite. Among the lesser breeds, they’ll talk up a ...
    6 days ago
  • Ten reasons the Tories do NOT want an election
    There has been a lot of talk about Boris Johnson wanting an election, and he has blustered with great gusto about 'chicken' Jeremy Corbyn refusing one, but I think there are many reasons why he is secretly glad he has been refused the opportunity:The Tories are an utter rabble,tearing themselves ...
    6 days ago
  • Prorogation Illegal, rule Scottish judges
    Scottish appeal court judges have declared that Boris Johnson’s decision to suspend parliament in the run-up to the October Brexit deadline is unlawful. The three judges, chaired by Lord Carloway, Scotland’s most senior judge, overturned an earlier ruling that the courts did not have the powers to interfere in the prime ...
    6 days ago
  • Let me explain what I meant by Everyday New Zealanders
    By Simon Bridges. The following is a press release from the office of Simon Bridges, leader of The National Party. Key ora, New Zealand. Happy Maori Language Week. Look, I’m writing to you today because I want to clear something up. There’s been a lot of kerfuffle around some things ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    6 days ago
  • Yes, the SIS is subject to the Public Records Act
    I understand there's some stuff going round about how the SIS "was removed from the list of public offices covered by the Public Records Act in 2017". The context of course being their records derived from US torture, which will be disposed of or sealed. The good news is that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • An evidence-based discussion of the Canadian fluoride/IQ study
    Dr. Christopher Labos and Jonathan Jarry discuss the recent Canadian fluoride/IQ research. They provide an expert analysis of the paper and its problems. Click on image to go to podcast. The critical debate about the recent ...
    6 days ago
  • Climate Change: Australia in denial
    Australia is burning down again, and meanwhile its natural disaster minister is denying climate change:Australia’s minister responsible for drought and natural disasters, David Littleproud, has said that he doesn’t “know if climate change is manmade”. Clarifying earlier comments that the question is “irrelevant” when considering the Coalition government’s response to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Philippines activist speaking on the Duterte tyranny
    Auckland Philippines Solidarity is excited to host Professor Judy Taguiwalo for a speaking tour of NZ in September. She is a well-known activist in the Philippines and was a political prisoner under the Marcos dictatorship. Professor Taguiwalo briefly served as a Cabinet member under President Duterte but was forced from ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    6 days ago
  • Disgust
    I have no special insights to offer on the Labour sexual assault coverup. All I have is disgust. Disgust that an organisation could fail its people so badly. Disgust that they punished the victims rather than the perpetrator. Disgust that its party hacks are apparently blaming the victims for demanding ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Speak Up for Women calls out Greens’ censorship
    This open letter to the Green Party was penned after an opinion piece by Jill Abigail, a feminist and founding member of the party, was censored by the Greens’ leadership. (Redline has reprinted her article here).The intolerance of the Green Party leaders and their acceptance of the misogyny of gender ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    6 days ago
  • Member’s Day: End of Life Choice, part 3
    Today is a Member's day, and David Seymour's End of Life Choice Bill continues its slow crawl through its committee stage. They're spending the whole day on it today, though the first hour is likely to be spent on voting left over from last time. After that they'll move on ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Flight to Los Angeles turned back after passengers decide they don’t want to go anymore
    An ambitious plan to fly to Los Angeles petered out into a brief sight-seeing trip and a desire to return home and get some sleep before work tomorrow. Air New Zealand has confirmed a flight to Los Angeles last night was turned back about a quarter of the way into ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    7 days ago
  • Indigenous Futures: defuturing and futuring – an analytical framework for policy development?
    There appears to be consensus – by omission – that the concept of indigenous futures should be accepted at face value. So I scavenged the internet to see if I could locate an academic descriptor or a framework around how we think about it as a concept, and whether it ...
    EllipsisterBy Ellipsister
    1 week ago
  • Cadbury rumoured to be releasing the Pineapple Trump
    Here’s another novelty chocolate to shove in your gob, New Zealand Cadbury could be seeking to make itself great again with a rumoured new release: Pineapple Trumps, a spin on its classic chocolate-encased pineapple treat and do-it-yourself tooth remover. The global confectionery manufacturer and bumbling “before” character in an infomercial, ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • The coming resource war.
    During my time in the Pentagon I had the privilege of sitting down with military leaders and defence and security officials from a variety of Latin American nations. Sometimes I was present as a subordinate assistant to a senior US defence department official, sometimes as part of a delegation that ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Māori Language Week with The Civilian
    Kia ora, Aotearoa. It’s that magical time of year. Te Wiki o te Reo Māori. In English, the week that frightens talk radio. As you probably know by now, all your favourite media outlets are participating, some more successfully than others. Stuff has changed its name to Puna for the ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Will Horizons act on climate change?
    Local body elections are coming up next month. And it looks like all Palmerston North candidates for Horizons (the Manawatu-Whanganui Regional Council) want to take action on climate change:Climate change is set to be a key issue in Palmerston North for the next three years if those wanting to get ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • BORA reform is stalled
    Eighteen months ago, the government promised to strengthen the Bill of Rights Act, by explicitly affirming the power of the courts to issue declarations of inconsistency and requiring Parliament to formally respond to them. So how's that going? I was curious, so I asked for all advice about the proposal. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Corbyn and Brexit
    As the Brexit saga staggers on, the focus is naturally enough on the Prime Minister and his attempts to achieve Brexit “do or die”. But the role played by the Leader of the Opposition is of almost equal interest and complexity. The first problem for Jeremy Corbyn is that he ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • A ditch for him to die in
    Last week, English Prime Minister Boris Johnson boldly declared that he would rather die be dead in a ditch than delay Brexit. Unfortunately for him, the UK parliament accepted the challenge, and promptly dug one for him. The "rebellion bill" requires him to ask for and secure yet another temporary ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Warning! Warning! Danger Jacinda Ardern! Danger Marama Davidson! Warning!
    Lost In Political Space: The most important takeaway from this latest Labour sexual assault scandal, which (if I may paraphrase Nixon’s White House counsel’s, John Dean’s, infamous description of Watergate) is “growing like a cancer” on the premiership, is the Labour Party organisation’s extraordinary professional paralysis in the face of ...
    1 week ago
  • Union solidarity with Ihumatao land occupation
    by Daphna Whitmore Every Sunday for the past two months unionists from First Union, with supporters from other unions, have set out to the Ihumatao land protest, put up gazebos and gas barbeques, and cooked food for a few hundred locals and supporters who have come from across the country. ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: The wrong kind of trees?
    Newsroom today has an excellent, in-depth article on pine trees as carbon sinks. The TL;DR is that pine is really good at soaking up carbon, but people prefer far-less efficient native forests instead. Which is understandable, but there's two problems: firstly, we've pissed about so long on this problem that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • No freedom of speech in Turkey
    Canan Kaftancioglu is a Turkish politician and member of the opposition Republican People's Party (CHP). Like most modern politicians, she tweets, and uses the platform to criticise the Turkish government. She has criticised them over the death of a 14-year-old boy who was hit by a tear gas grenade during ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Speaker: Tadhg Stopford: Why I’m standing for the ADHB
    Hi there, just call me Tim.We face tough problems, and I’d like to help, because there are solutions.An Auckand District Health Board member has nominated me for as a candidate for the ADHB, because her MS-related pain and fatigue is reduced with hemp products from Rotorua.  Nothing else helped her. If I ...
    1 week ago
  • Good little vassals
    The Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security has published their report on whether the SIS and GCSB had any complicity in American torture. And its damning. The pull quote is this:The Inquiry found both agencies, but to a much greater degree, the NZSIS, received many intelligence reports obtained from detainees who, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Who Shall We Turn To When God, And Uncle Sam, Cease To Defend New Zealand?
    Bewhiskered Cassandra? Professor Hugh White’s chilling suggestion, advanced to select collections of academic, military and diplomatic Kiwi experts over the course of the past week, is that the assumptions upon which Australia and New Zealand have built their foreign affairs and defence policies for practically their entire histories – are ...
    1 week ago
  • The Politics of Opposition
    For most of the time I was a British MP, my party was out of government – these were the Thatcher years, when it was hard for anyone else to get a look-in. As a front-bencher and shadow minister, I became familiar with the strategies required in a parliamentary democracy ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • More expert comments on the Canadian fluoride-IQ paper
    The Green et al (2019) fluoride/IQ is certainly controversial – as would be expected from its subject (see If at first you don’t succeed . . . statistical manipulation might help and Politics of science – making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear). Anti-fluoride campaigners have been actively promoting it ...
    1 week ago
  • The return to guerrilla war in Colombia
    by Gearóid Ó Loingsigh On August 29th a video in which veteran FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia) commander Iván Márquez announced that they had taken up arms again was released. There was no delay in the reaction to it, from longtime Liberal Party figure and former president Uribe, for ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Air New Zealand identifies this enormous plot of unused land as possible second airport site
    Air New Zealand couldn’t believe its luck that this seemingly ideal piece of real estate had so far gone entirely unnoticed. Air New Zealand’s search for a site to build a second Auckland Airport may have made a breakthrough this afternoon, after employees scanning Google satellite imagery spotted a huge, ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Redline on the Labour Party
    No-one on the anti-capitalist left in this country today puts forward a case that Labour is on the side of the working class.  There are certainly people who call themselves ‘socialist’ who do, but they are essentially liberals with vested interests in Labourism – often for career reasons. Nevertheless, there ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • New Fisk
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour’s failure
    When National was in government and fucking over the poor for the benefit of the rich, foodbanks were a growth industry. And now Labour is in charge, nothing has changed: A huge demand for emergency food parcels means the Auckland City Mission is struggling to prepare for the impending arrival ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Ardern attempts to vaccinate Clarke Gayford live on television to prove that it’s safe
    Gayford, pictured here on The Project, before things got wildly out of control. A bold public relations move by the Government to encourage parents to vaccinate their children has gone horribly wrong. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern appeared on tonight’s episode of Three’s The Project, where the plan was for her ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Has Mr. Whippy gone too far by parking on our front lawns?
    Mr. Whippy’s business model has driven it down a dark road of intimidation. Residents in major centres around the country are becoming disgruntled by the increasingly aggressive actions of purported ice cream company Mr. Whippy, who have taken to parking on people’s front lawns and doorsteps in a desperate attempt ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Cleaning up the water
    Today the government released its Action Plan for Healthy Waterways, aimed at cleaning up our lakes and rivers. Its actually quite good. There will be protection for wetlands, better standards for swimming spots, a requirement for continuous improvement, and better standards for wastewater and stormwater. But most importantly, there's a ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Fronting up
    Today I appeared before the Environment Committee to give an oral submission on the Zero Carbon Bill. Over 1,500 people have asked to appear in person, so they've divided into subcommittees and are off touring the country, giving people a five minute slot each. The other submitters were a mixed ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Politics of science – making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear
    Anti-fluoride activists have some wealthy backers – they are erecting billboards misrepresenting the Canadian study on many New Zealand cities – and local authorities are ordering their removal because of their scaremongering. Many New Zealanders ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Democracy – I Don’t Think So
    So, those who “know best” have again done their worst. While constantly claiming to be the guardians of democracy and the constitution, and respecters of the 2016 referendum result, diehard Remainers (who have never brought themselves to believe that their advice could have been rejected) have striven might and main ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    2 weeks ago
  • Government says it will now build just one really nice home
    Following publication of this article, the Ministry has requested it to be noted that this supplied image is not necessarily representative of what the final house will look like, and it “probably won’t be that nice.” As part of today’s long-anticipated reset of the Government’s flagship KiwiBuild policy, Housing Minister ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Imperialism and your cup of coffee
    Over the next week or two we will be running three synopses of parts of the opening chapter of John Smith’s Imperialism in the 21st Century (New York, Monthly Review Press, 2016).  The synopsis and commentary below is written by Phil Duncan. Marx began Capital not with a sweeping historical ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Still juking the stats
    The State Services Commission and Ombudsman have released another batch of OIA statistics, covering the last six months. Request volumes are up, and the core public service is generally handling them within the legal timeframe, though this may be because they've learned to extend rather than just ignore things. And ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Hard News: Time for a New Deal: 25 years on
    In 1994, I was editing an ambitious street mag called Planet, from a fabled office at at 309 Karangahape Road. The thirteenth issue of the magazine was published in the winter of that year and its cover embodied a particularly ambitious goal: the end of cannabis prohibition.I wanted to do ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Not impressed
    KiwiBuild was one of the Ardern government's core policies. The government would end the housing crisis and make housing affordable again by building 100,000 new homes. Of course, it didn't work out like that: targets weren't met, the houses they did build were in the wrong place, and the whole ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Solar beats coal
    As the climate crisis escalates, it is now obvious that we need to radically decarbonise our economy. The good news is that its looking easy and profitable for the energy sector. Wind is already cheaper than fossil fuels, and now solar is too:The levellised cost of solar PV has fallen ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago

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