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Brexit built on lies – still suffering.

Written By: - Date published: 5:16 am, October 18th, 2019 - 45 comments
Categories: International, uk politics - Tags: , , , , , ,

In the UK, Boris Johnson has just had a rather nasty setback in trying to get support for his Brexit package. It looks remarkably like the last one – which failed three times in parliament. It looks like the clone with tweaks will fail again.

“Brexit: DUP says it cannot support customs terms in Boris Johnson’s deal – live news”

The background to this is that the DUP vote is going to be absolutely critical to get any legislation into parliament with any hope of  it passing. Earlier reporting gives the background

Boris Johnson is in a race against time to secure the Democratic Unionist party’s backing for his newly negotiated Brexit deal as EU leaders said they were ready to approve the agreement on Thursday if the prime minister succeeds.

Plans to publish a full legal text ahead of the leaders’ summit had to be put on hold to the frustration of EU officials after the DUP raised a series of objections to the tentative agreement.

With time short, Johnson told a meeting of Conservative MPs he was hopeful of a deal but it felt like he was on the Hillary Step of Mount Everest while the summit was “shrouded in mist”.

The prime minister appeared to have the party’s hardline Eurosceptics onboard, including Steve Baker, who said Johnson had briefed them that the whole of the UK was leaving the customs union. But they also added a note of caution that they could not vote for any Brexit deal without seeing a legal text. The 21 former Tory MPs who have recently lost their whip could also rebel.

Basically the Irish on both sides of the border were always going to be the main stumbling block since this could effectively tear up the basis of the Good Friday agreement that ultimately forged enough of a political consensus to stop the civil war in Northern Ireland. 

Which makes it surprising that they weren’t brought into the agreement a lot earlier. But that does appear to be the trademark of the Boris government just as much as it was during the lead up to Brexit. Brash over-confidence and massive under delivery.

But this will dominate the politics in the UK  and Europe for the next few days. It is going to have to get unanimous approval from the EU members including the government of Eire, pass the British Parliament – where it will need to rely on the support of at least some of the members that Boris effectively tossed out of his Tory party last month for disagreeing with him over his actions about Brexit, and pass into legislation.

I suspect that Boris Johnson will try to eat his words and try to get a third extension of time from the EU. Otherwise Boris is going to find out the real underlying powers of Parliament are somewhat more than he can avoid before this comes anywhere close to passing its third reading in parliament.

The problem with getting actual agreement on Brexit was the flawed process followed to get to it. Referendums should never be singletons. That just leads to a great opportunities to lie without responsibility, as was so apparent in the UK’s Brexit referendum. With referendums, there needs to be a definite plan to be voted for or against in at least one of the referendums. 

While both sides exaggerated, what was very clear in 20:20 hindsight was that there was a pretty deliberate campaign to do so on the Brexit side. There are multiple ongoing inquiries into breaches of campaign financing and other breaches of campaign law.

The Brexit side tried to make it look like the whole process would be almost completely painless. Which it was never going to be bearing in mind the regional differences within the UK. The problem has been in details, most of which weren’t highlighted in the Brexit campaigns. Like the implications to the Northern Ireland peace agreement.

What has been apparent is that the EU has been leaning over backwards to be reasonable about the intent of the UK to leave. They have also been responsible about their previous obligations to members like Eire and the agreements like Northern Ireland and many other previously agreed ongoing programs. 

But really all of these things should have been part of the detail of a second referendum. In NZ referendums that have succeeded have all been two part referendums. First to determine a interest in pursuing an option. The second being an option between the status quo and enabling legislation so everyone is really sure what they’re voting for. That has allowed us to avoid the kind of quandary that we’re seeing in the UK.

45 comments on “Brexit built on lies – still suffering.”

  1. mickysavage 1

    Farage is not pleased …

  2. Dukeofurl 2

    DUP is no longer important to the Conservatives.  What people are thinking about was the minority Conservatives under May which needed the 10 DUP votes to govern.

    The defections since Johnson came to power mean the 10 votes  make no difference , plus  Johnson wants an election not a 'working majority' for normal government.

    Heres a deal with the EU , which the people  who went to Court were adamant shouldnt happen , now they can vote to leave under those conditions.

    We we see if all the talk about 'stopping a  no deal exit' suddenly becomes another referendum or other  means to stop Brexit completely- that was the intention all along.

     

  3. Dukeofurl 3

    "since this could effectively tear up the basis of the Good Friday agreement that ultimately forged enough of a political consensus to stop the civil war in Northern Ireland. "

    This is incorrect and is part of the ‘scare’ campaign. I have looked through the Good Friday Agreement, theres pages of details about the way the Northern Ireland Assembly works  – a compusory parrallel consensus with unionist and nationalist ( Sinn Fein and DUP). the Northern Ireland Police and so on . Pages and pages.
    https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/the-belfast-agreement

    The border is barely mentioned, and then only about removing military posts. These arent returning. ( Britain and Ireland have had freedom of movement since 1922)

    However the  most important part of the GFA about the  Northern Ireland Assembly  has been broken with no longer a functioning government under GFA rules. Wheres the breakdown in civil order over this ?

    This is far more important than   customs  rules  for  not important border

    This why its important to  go beyond the opinions of guardian columnists, especially from the Republic

  4. Dukeofurl 4

    Headlines change everything

    "Jean-Claude Juncker said there will be NO extension beyond Oct 31st if MPs reject it – leaving Remainer rebels backed into a corner"

    Guardian spins  it differently, which  cant make a difference now

    "EU leaves door open to Brexit extension, in blow to Boris Johnson

    Member states decline to follow Jean-Claude Juncker, who ‘ruled out’ further delay

    There is no separate approval required from Dublin either.  Johnson has been meeting privately with Varadker to get him on board

    • Varadker is irrelevant, he is towing the EU line…..Boris needed the DUP on board and they are going to vote against the deal, not abstain.

      If the DUP accepted this deal it would mean they would be accepting a giant step towards Irish unification across the whole island.

      There is a slim possibility that even without the DUP the deal could get through-Corbyn should threaten to remove the whip from any Labour members who vote for the deal or abstain because it flies in the face of Labour Party values, especially workers rights.

      • Dukeofurl 4.1.1

        No he doesnt 'need' the DUP.  Tories are 35 short not the 6 short under May for running a government.

        This is only for the Deal approval as a new Election will follow immediately. As well the major parties are split amoungst themseves, so the normal  party lines dont seem to count.

        The EU Commision had said there is no extension to this deal and now the  EU Council has  given their unanimous approval. ( Tusker  said they might not agree)

        ""The European Council endorses the Agreement on the withdrawal of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland from the European Union and the European Atomic Energy Community," the European Council conclusions read.

        • Bearded Git 4.1.1.1

          The EU will grant an extension if MP's reject the deal. FIFY.

          This will be a fascinating election. Arise PM Jeremy I predict.

          • Dukeofurl 4.1.1.1.1

            Juncker has ruled that out. Do you not read the papers

            "Jean-Claude Juncker said there will be NO extension beyond Oct 31st if MPs reject it –"

            I get you are 'under 25 yrs old' and  think that things happen because you believe them to be so, is spite of no evidence to  back it.

  5. mpledger 5

    What the UK should have done on such an important issue was to make the change based on a 2/3 votes rather than 50/50.  For such a significant change you want the country to be with you and you don't get that on a 50/50 vote. 

    If you get a chance to see "Spotlight on the Troubles: A Secret History" ( https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m0008c47 ) it's worth watching to find out who the DUP are.    It's pretty ballsy of the BBC to commission it but maybe they thought every day English people needed to know who the Conservatives are brokering deals with and what things could return to in Northern Ireland.

     

     

    • mpledger 5.1

      How making a UK/EU boarder in Ireland is going to be difficult (with pictures!)…

      https://www.irishcentral.com/news/brexit-border-northern-ireland

      • Dukeofurl 5.1.1

        That border has existed like that since  1922 long before the EU existed.

        There was supposed to  be border realignment along religious grounds and sort out the wiggles after partition. This was instead of the ancient  county boundaries. The  deal that Eire made to keep the 'old' border was because the UK kept all the debt.

    • Dukeofurl 5.2

      Scotland independence referendum  was only a majority one. Should that 'big deal' be 2/3 ?

      • mpledger 5.2.1

        Yes, I think so.  You've got to have a significant majority heading in the same direction or else every decision going forward becomes factionalised rather than argued on its merits.

        I think that once opinion tips off 50/50 then it will race to 66%.

    • Dukeofurl 5.3

      Did you not know that the DUP grew out of the Paisleyists and the unionist militia?

      Did you not know that Sinn Fein comes from a similar background?

      • mpledger 5.3.1

        There is a difference between knowing and seeing things told in a coherent way and through the many eyes of the people who experienced it.   And it was told in a pretty even-handed way given it was for a UK audience.

  6. Gosman 6

    I am actually impressed with what Johnson has negotiated. He probably cares less about the DUP than peeling off some Labour party MP's who are from leave constituencies. If he successfully does this then he has a chance of getting his deal through. If he manages that then he is pretty much guaranteed victory at the next election.

    • tc 6.1

      Agreed, my what a wonderful world we currently have with all these 'leaders' about the place.

      Hidden marrionette strings, supplied scripts and an undermined opposition from both within and outside their own party.

      It's democracy Jim, but not as we knew it.

    • Dukeofurl 6.2

      This tells you that the Tory 'government' has 288  seats out of 650 .

      Do you think 10 from the DUP will matter when they are  38 'short' of a bare majority  ?

      You are still thinking of the situation when May was PM. Everything changed with various resignations and expulsions.

      There are 36 independents.

      • Gosman 6.2.1

        Many of those independents voted for May's deal. I doubt they will object to voting for Johnson's one. It would make them look like they are deliberately spoiling Brexit. If Johnson offers to let them come back in to the Tory party fold I suspect most will happily oblige.

        • Dukeofurl 6.2.1.1

          They have thrown in towel without being offered  return to Tory party. Their electorates might not want them now. But  as is the norm in Britain  they can shop themselves around to  other electorates who could be interested.  Dropping out of parliament( or Cabinet) doesnt seem to hinder a political career for permanent politicians

          Latest news

          "This comes as Winston Churchill’s sacked grandson Nicholas Soames announced he and fellow Tory rebels will vote in favour of Mr Johnson’s deal.

          He told the BBC: “My quarrel with the PM was over nothing, except for No Deal. So there is a deal, and I will vote for it and so will many of my colleagues who had the whip taken away from them.”

    • You may be right Gos that the deal might sneak through (see my comment above) and for this reason Corbyn should threaten to remove the whip from any Labour MP who votes for the deal or abstains.

      One has to ask whether a deal that has sneaked through 51.9 versus 48.1 and 318 versus 317 is ever going to be accepted by what is now clearly a pro-EU population. 

       

      • Dukeofurl 6.3.1

        Pleeeese.. What 'acceptance' , the optionis  to leave with an agreement or leave with no agreement. There is no 3rd option

        The deal to leave was the policy of  the Tories and labour for the 2017 election, where both increased their votes substantially .  The SNP and the LDP ( remainers) didnt do so well. That was your 2nd referendum.

        The die has been cast , the Brits will queue for anything .  Its been  France who has been paralyses by violent demonstrations and Germany which didnt have a new government for 4 months after its elections

        • Bearded Git 6.3.1.1

          17 million voted to leave and 16 million voted to remain.

          In  such circumstances a confirmatory referendum, with all the facts on the table THIS TIME is entirely reasonable.

          • Dukeofurl 6.3.1.1.1

            Politically unacceptable.  How could even frame questions like  'Northern Ireland  follows EU VAT rules and  Customs rules  for Agriculture and manufacturing ( but excludes tampons)' or how Stormont votes on  ending the  Backstop?

            Look at the list of the EU referendums

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Referendums_related_to_the_European_Union

            Major changes were done with Single referendums  most places had  none

            Single European Act

            Maastricht Treaty

            Treaty of Amsterdam

            Treaty of Nice

            European Constitution

            Mostly change was offered as a  yes/No vote.

            many places that had second referendums were only to reverse a No vote.

            Norway voted twice to not join EU but in practice they are part of the EU by other means

            The Greek Bailout Referendum of 2015 was rejected by the Greeks  ( 61%), but their government then accepted even harsher bailout terms. The EU dont play nice

            • Craig H 6.3.1.1.1.1

              Easy enough – 2 votes. Vote on remain vs leave, and this deal or no deal. If remain has a majority, that's the outcome. If leave has a majority, then there's a deal if that vote has a majority, or not if that's the vote. 

              • ScottGN

                Or the Commons votes on Boris’s deal. If it passes then, that’s it done UK leaves.  If it fails then I guess the Benn Act kicks in and we see if an extension will be granted, supposing Boris agrees to write the letter. Then I guess we go through it all again 3 months down the line…

          • ScottGN 6.3.1.1.2

            Is that Remainers last stand now BG? A ‘confirmatory’ referendum? Keir Starmer was banging on about it the other day. Pity they didn’t think to include that requirement in the initial enabling legislation for the referendum as held in 2016.

            • Dukeofurl 6.3.1.1.2.1

              Historical minutiae

              Labours 1974 manifesto  had an EU  membership  renegotiation and referendum provision.

              The 1975 UK referendum  about EU membership –  from the then minority labour government after Ted Heaths previous Conservatives had taken UK into the then EU.

              official party positions.

              Stay : Conservatives, Liberals

              Neutral: labour 

              Leave: SNP , Plaid Cymru , both Ulster Unionist partys

  7. Sanctuary 7

    The British public seems to be sick to death of Brexit, or more to the point sick to death of the thrashing about of a technocratic governing elite that is bitterly dived between authoritarian and technocratic neoliberal ultras who want to remain and the fake populists of the disaster capitalist reactionary chancers and grifters who want to leave.

     

  8. It's interesting to see who or what are most exercised by the Brexit fandangle in this post.

    I think that what is behind this is that the Consevatives want to wind back Britain to a mix of Victorian morals and bold business adventuring with big fortunes for some, and permanently low incomes for the majority, coupled with the USA busy casting its QE money around the place.   They will be sold the NHS and make money out of selling the sick and dying nostrums as big pharma is trying to do here.   They will set out to scoop up worthwhile bits of UK and will create the same false sense of wealth in UK as selling our resources and private and public infrastructure has given us.

    Meanwhile the English speaking nations will become the least favourite nations of the world seen as voracious and predatory as they ally themselves to any government trying to similarly squeeze its people and land for anything that it can monetise.   They will act in effect to take the physical resources of the planet and vapourise it, despoiling the planet to build intricate machines used to go into space, or explore for anything else to be found.   And backing all this will be the IT despotic regime that will remove the ability to freely act and think in a straightforward and individual way without using a device of some sort that funnel thoughts of action and ideas past surveillance or checks and the will will need permission to be used by most ordinary people.  

    That's my prognosis after watching, reading and listening for some decades. What we are achieving now is trying to limit the loss and damage caused by the increase in affluence which has enabled rampant consumerism but has not led to more time in thinking and philosophy and ethics.    We are all sinking into the grossness of the nouveau riche – I hope that watching Mr Creosote actually does illustrate something to us.  If you go to the end after brief disgust at gut-wrenching Mr C, there is the lovely meaningful skit 'Monty Python Society For Putting Things On Top of Other Things'.

    (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v29QfOyuZ3Y

    No doubt someone will wish or think they should throw a bucket of cold water over me. But at present I am reading about how Hungarian Jews were treated at the end of WW2. No doubt if someone had advised them of their future prior to 1939 they would have felt the same.

    • Dukeofurl 8.1

      So you start off with Brexit  and end with genocide with a farrago of thoughts in between.

      So the EU isnt going to be doing what  Britain outside the EU does? Trade,  sell consumer goods  ( H&M , Mercedes, Airbus)

    • Dukeofurl 9.1

      There is no  3rd option of a new referendum. The EU says no extensions, Johnson doesnt want one either.

      What has Captain Cook got to do with it?  You should check what happened to The people of Rapa Nui when the Spainish arrived, taken into slavery in peru

      • Paaparakauta 9.1.1

        Did Tangata Whenua have the option of referendum ?

        By the standards of the time Te Tiriti was an enlightened move, but also pragmatic wrt logistics of war. That came later with von Tempsky and the NSW militia. 

        It is also why I have a high regard for 'Utu', filmed by a Victorian graduate.

    • Gosman 9.2

      I love now that Captain Cook is regarded as some kind of evil villain…

  9. Ad 10

    Boris Johnson will get his bill through just fine.

    The Labour Members whose electorates voted Leave – and there were plenty of them – will give him the numbers. 

    Unfortunately such Labour floor-crossers won't be rewarded for it, because Johnson will rise with his triumph like a mastermind of Churchillian brilliance. Rather than be known for what he actually is.

    With Corbyn seeking to achieve the most unpopular move in the country – vote for another Brexit delay – the Conservatives will streak ahead in popularity. With that goes the election. The Conservatives will romp in. 

    The consequences for the English, Scottish, Welsh and Northern Irish societies will be pretty bad (other than from London southwards). Also deeply, deeply corrosive for Labour. Also deeply, deeply corrosive for democracy itself in the UK. 

    Unfortunately there's no coulda-woulda-shouldas with this one. They won.

     

    • Paaparakauta 10.1

      What would be the best UK Labour strategy ?
      They need a positive alternative.

    • Treetop 10.2

      Vote the Johnson deal. The May deal is dead. The stay is history and a delayed Brexit just draws it out and may be more expensive.

      Corbyn has nothing better to offer.

  10. Sacha 11

    Half hour interview with Blair's old spin-doctor Alastair Campbell about the manoeuvering https://www.rnz.co.nz/national/programmes/saturday/audio/2018718416/alastair-campbell-brexit-latest

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    As Aotearoa enters week two of lockdown, it’s clear we’re all still working out what our “bubbles” look like and how to stay in them to stop the spread of Covid-19. New to the government’s Covid-19 website is some good guidance for people living in apartment blocks. Recent decades have ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    5 days ago
  • Getting in futures shape 
    “There are decades where nothing happens; and there are weeks where decades happen.” Lenin Don’t we all know that feeling now.

    Prospect Magazine alerted me to this particularly apt quote. It is a much more evocative quote than Hemingway’s “gradually then suddenly” which is also doing ...

    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    5 days ago
  • Maybe axing Clark would be unfair. But what about any of this is fair?
    Yesterday was the day the consequences of the lockdown suddenly got very real for many. Firms have been closing and laying people off since the outset of the quarantine but this has mostly been happening out of the public eye. The mass closure of a number of iconic New Zealand ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    5 days ago
  • Might a ‘Coasean’ social contract mitigate overall societal harm from COVID-19?
    Brian Williamson1, Prof Nick Wilson2 (1Economic consultant, UK; 2University of Otago Wellington) In this blog, we outline how a win-win social contract could be forged to address the major dimensions of response to the COVID-19 pandemic when using a mitigation strategy: the particular need to protect older people from high ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    5 days ago
  • Returning To “Normalcy”.
    Resuming Normal Service: The Republican Party's nominee for in 1920, Warren Harding, promised the American people: “not heroics, but healing; not nostrums, but normalcy; not revolution, but restoration”. If she wishes to remain our prime minister, then Jacinda Ardern will offer New Zealanders the same.HOW EDUCATED AMERICA snickered when the ...
    5 days ago
  • New Zealand’s Government Must Save New Zealand’s Media.
    No Free Society Without A Free And Functioning News Media: If we are to surrender our civil rights to the broader cause of defeating Covid-19, then foreign corporations must, likewise, surrender their right to inflict immense economic and cultural harm on New Zealanders simply because it improves their bottom line.I’M ...
    5 days ago
  • Corona fevers and the madness of models
    by Daphna Whitmore A third of the world is under lockdown and a clear assessment of this measure to curb the spread of COVID-19 is urgently needed.  With any high-stakes decisions it has to be asked what are we dealing with here? Are the measures warranted? Will they achieve their ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    5 days ago
  • Lockdown day 8
    I haven’t done a huge amount in the last few days. I’m reading The Poppy War and I’ve sort of poked at a couple of games – I started SOMA but I’m a wimp and I quit while in the first room after the brain scan. I might try it ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    6 days ago
  • Backstage and Theatre
    The swan politicians may be gliding on the water, occasionally snapping at one another. Meanwhile, as the Covid19 crisis illustrates, the officials are desperately paddling below providing the real locomotion. One of the most fatuous recent grandstanding comments (of about a week ago), adding to the public’s anxieties, was ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    6 days ago
  • Legal Beagle: Waiver, the singular Crown and the conduct of Crown legal business
    Much has been written about the importance of discretion in an emergency situation, and the concerns raised by the potential for it to be exercised arbitrarily. Given the quality of the discussion, there seemed little point in adding to it at any length. In particular, I point to the evidence ...
    6 days ago
  • Highlights from Bauer Media’s science-related reporting
    Today has felt surreal. I was all set to touch base online with my science communication students when a colleague shared the news that Bauer Media would be shutting down its publications immediately. The first link I saw implied it was Woman’s Weekly affected, and even that shocked me. But ...
    SciBlogsBy Sarah-Jane O'Connor
    6 days ago
  • Outsiders.
    Bogeymen, Real And Imagined: Is the number of psychopathic and sociopathic individuals in any given society truly as vanishingly small as we like to tell ourselves? Isn’t it more likely that the mass-shooters and serial-killers filling the headlines represent only the tip of a much, much larger iceberg of frightfulness? ...
    6 days ago
  • We have a right to know the rules we are expected to obey
    Outgoing Police Commissioner Mike Bush appeared before the Epidemic Response Committee today, who asked him for the rules police are using to enforce the lockdown. He refused:Police Commissioner Mike Bush has admitted the advice given to Kiwis about what they're able to do during the lockdown hasn't been clear enough. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 7 (sanitised version)
    For those folk who find my other Lock-Down Diary versions too “negative” or otherwise unpalatable… Here’s a photo of my cat, . . Better? Tomorrow’s Sanitised Version: a pretty flower. . . . =fs= ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    6 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 7
    . . April 1: Day seven of living in lock-down… This morning I had a brief chat with one of my neighbours, “D” (social distance between us, a good three or four metres). I learned he had resigned from his previous job and had been hired by another company – ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    6 days ago
  • RIP The Listener, New Zealand’s pioneering voice
    Funnily enough, my thought as I start this post is whether it will be well written enough. Or should that be well enough written? Because so much of what I know about good writing came from my two stints at The Listener, which this morning was shut down due to ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    6 days ago
  • OK, Britney: stop sniping at National for doing its job
    With normal democratic procedures in abeyance, there were two ways to go. First, it was open for the government to dissolve itself and invite the National Party to join a ministry of national salvation. That would have lessened the democratic deficit of the times by having a team of rivals without ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    6 days ago
  • Helpful tips for parents during lockdown
    Dr Kirsty Ross Children and young people can respond differently in times of distress. This also varies by age and developmental stage, with younger children having more magical and imaginative thinking, and older children having more awareness and knowledge of the issues our communities are facing (which brings up ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    6 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #13, 2020
    7 days ago
  • Hungary is now a dictatorship
    Hungary has been a virtual dictatorship for a decade now, as Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has gradually eroded its democracy. But now, its official, with the passage of an indefinite emergency law allowing rule by decree:Hungary’s parliament has passed a new set of coronavirus measures that includes jail terms for ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • A new Ministry of Works
    While the economy is on pause under lockdown, the government is beginning to plan how to cope with the post-lockdown, post-tourism, post-export education world we will eventually find ourselves in. They're planning a lot of infrastructure spending as economic stimulus, and have asked for proposals which can start the moment ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Capture: Well spaced out
    It's my distraction,  setting up tiny scenes to photograph.  I've got stuck on the Babushka dolls for now.  Something about their bubble shape.  Something about their never changing, smiling features, suggesting persistent equanimity.  Can we get through everything that is being thrown at us and keep at least a tiny ...
    7 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 6
    . . March 31: Day six of living in lock-down… This time I managed to sleep a little longer and the alarm woke me at the pre-set time: 6.55am. Then remembered I was working a later shift and could’ve slept in. Oh well, there are things to do at home. ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • March ’20 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
    Image credit: Diamond Harbour School Blogs I notice a few regulars no longer allow public access to the site counters. This may happen accidentally when the blog format is altered. If your blog is unexpectedly missing or ...
    1 week ago
  • Hard News: Poll Pot and the partisans
    Yesterday's Horizon poll showing support for a "Yes" vote in this year's cannabis referendum sliding into the majority for the first time in a year looked like good news for reformers – and it probably is. But the result warrants some scrutiny.The poll is the fifth in a series commissioned ...
    1 week ago
  • Why those bubbles are so important
    For almost a week now, every one of us who isn’t an essential worker has been confined to their bubble. We are allowed to go shopping for groceries, to visit the doctor, and to get a bit of exercise if we stay local. The reason we are doing this is ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    1 week ago
  • A Government System That Works
    The Covid-19 saga will no doubt produce many twists and turns for us before it is finally brought to an end. But one thing it has shown us – and what comfort it should bring us – is that our country’s government is in good hands. I am not thinking ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • Smashing down the barriers: Where are we at with COVID vaccines?
    In the absence of a vaccine or a cure for a deadly disease, staying home in your bubble is what you do, the concept is not new.  To the best of my knowledge last time we did this in NZ was for polio, in the years before a vaccine came ...
    SciBlogsBy Helen Petousis Harris
    1 week ago
  • National Network on Cuba (USA): “Cuban medical solidarity is a pillar of its society and is founde...
    The following statement was released on March 28 by the National Network on Cuba, a coalition of 40 groups, based in the United States. In recent weeks, Cuba has deployed hundreds of medical providers to over a dozen countries in Europe, Asia, as well as to their neighbors in Latin ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Alarming decrease in calves increases fears for endangered Hector’s dolphin
    This has been a terrible summer for Hector’s dolphins. The first indication was very low numbers of dolphin sightings during late spring and early summer. The Otago University Marine Mammal Research Team has carried out routine dolphin surveys at Banks Peninsula for more than 30 years. In all that time, ...
    SciBlogsBy Otago Marine Science
    1 week ago
  • Time for Grant Robertson to reveal package #2?
    On March 17, Finance Minister Grant Robertson was quick out of the blocks with an economic rescue package to help businesses through the inevitable recession resulting from the coronavirus pandemic. Robertson had pulled together a scheme in short order that so far seems to have saved many jobs. In his ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    1 week ago
  • Saving lives
    The purpose of the lockdown is to save lives, by reducing the spread of covid-19. We won't know if its really working for another week, but given the devastation that will result if it doesn't - 14,000 dead is the optimistic scenario - its definitely worth trying. But pausing the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 5
    . . March 30: Day five of living in lock-down… Woke up still in darkness. Alarm hadn’t gone off. Turn to radio clock; it’s a few minutes after 6am… I lie there in the dark, waiting to drift off to sleep… but it ain’t happening. Clock ticks over to 6.55 ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • Speaker: Les Gray: the man who told the truth
    The story of Les Gray, the public sector psychologist who told the truth about his use of cannabis and set off a storm, has a special place in the lore of cannabis reform in New Zealand.When Paul Shannon interviewed Gray for the 'Dope and Hope' issue of Planet magazine in ...
    1 week ago
  • Why now? Historical specificity and the perfect storm that has created trans identity politics
    by Phil Duncan For Marxists, a key concern about social trends is their context – not just their causes, but why they happen when they do.  Events and phenomena have causes, but they also are time or period-specific. While much of the left have capitulated recently to postmodernism, most notably ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Time for a living wage for supermarket workers
    Since the lockdown began, we've all suddenly been reminded who the actually essential workers in our society are: not the people at the top who pay themselves the big bucks and rort the perks, but the people at the bottom they screw over and squeeze: cleaners, warehouse staff, truck drivers ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Hard News: MUSIC: Lockdown Grooves
    Kia ora! As I've watched nearly all my remaining work vanish over the past couple of days, it has occured to me that one good way to keep me away from arguing with fools on Twitter all the time (in the knowledge that all we're really doing is processing our ...
    1 week ago
  • A place of greater safety?
    Aotearoa New Zealand has committed to trying to extirpate the virus that causes COVID-19 from its shores. To do that, as a society we’ve moved to “Level 4”. That means adapting to unprecedented restrictions on our personal freedoms, particularly to our rights to move freely and associate with friends and ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    1 week ago
  • The police and public trust
    When the Prime Minister declared a state of emergency last week, she handed the police powers to enforce it. And almost immediately, we started hearing about heavy-handed, arbitrary "enforcement" by police who (at best) cared more about order than law, or (more likely) had no idea what the rules were ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 4
    . . Lock Down: Day 4 – A photo essay with observations . March 29: Usual wake up routine as RNZ snaps on my radio-clock. Jim Mora’s voice slowly enters my conciousness; there’s talk of a second wave of covid19 taking hold in South Korea; the week in Parliament – ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • COVID-19 vs New Zealand
    Yesterday, New Zealand recorded its first Covid-19 related death on the West Coast. Unfortunately this is unlikely to be the only fatality, with the virus now being found in every region of the country.However despite the significant danger, people are still unfortunately breaching lockdown rules.There’s really only one main very ...
    1 week ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #13
    Story of the Week... Toon of the Week... Coming Soon on SkS... Climate Feedback Claim Review... SkS Week in Review... Poster of the Week... Story of the Week... ‘Misinformation kills’: The link between coronavirus conspiracies and climate denial   Grist / Rob Kim / Stringer / CSA Images  Scientific ...
    1 week ago
  • Rāhui day 4
    The kids did surprisingly well today – meltdown count was about 3, and mostly fairly short ones. (And a fourth while I was writing.) Game-wise I had a go at Fell Seal: Arbiter’s Mark. It’s a fairly standard RPG with turn-based combat and what they call a “mature storyline” (it ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    1 week ago
  • Letter to a friend
    by Don Franks Hi David, Nice hearing from you, I’m glad to hear you’re getting by okay in these grim times. You asked how’s it going for us back here in New Zealand. You would have heard that the whole country is locked down and with breaks for exercise and ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago

  • Planning for the future of tourism
    Tourism New Zealand to lead work reimagining the way tourism operates in post-COVID-19 world. Ministers to review International Visitor Conservation and Tourism Levy investment plan. The Government, industry and business are working together to develop a plan for how tourism will operate in a post-COVID-19 world, Tourism Minister Kelvin Davis ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 hour ago
  • NZ horticulture sector feeding Kiwis and the world during COVID-19
    More New Zealanders are taking up the chance to work in horticulture as the sector keeps New Zealanders fed and in jobs during the COVID-19 Alert Level 4 lockdown. “Our horticulture sector has long been one of New Zealand’s export star performers, contributing around $6 billion a year to our ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 hours ago
  • Work to repurpose PGF funds begins
    The Provincial Development Unit is working through applications and projects to see where Provincial Growth Fund money can be repurposed for initiatives deemed more critical to fighting the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones says. “We need to be throwing everything we have at ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    21 hours ago
  • A million workers supported by Govt wage subsidy
    The Government’s wage subsidy to protect jobs and keep workers and businesses connected during the lockdown has now supported over a million New Zealanders, with $6.6 billion already paid out. “We’re supporting businesses to pay wages, and stay connected with their workers so that we are all in a better ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    23 hours ago
  • Government helps Pacific communities fight COVID
    The Government is stepping up efforts to help protect New Zealand’s Pacific communities in the fight against COVID-19. Cabinet has agreed that $17 million will be allocated to support a COVID-19 Pacific Response Package, which will: Support Pacific health and disability services facing increased demand; Ramp up public health messaging ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Statement from the Prime Minister on Dr David Clark
    “Yesterday evening the Health Minister advised me of his trip to a beach during the lockdown and offered his resignation,” Jacinda Ardern said.  “Under normal conditions I would sack the Minister of Health. What he did was wrong, and there are no excuses.  “But right now, my priority is our ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Statement from David Clark
    Last night as part of my preparation for the Epidemic Response Committee, I provided the Prime Minister with a complete picture of my activity outside my home during Alert Level 4.  That included the fact that on the first weekend of the Alert Level 4 lockdown I drove my family ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • COVID-19 mental health support begins
    A range of support is being rolled out across New Zealand to help people look after their mental health during COVID-19 Health Minister David Clark said this morning. “COVID-19 has brought a lot of uncertainty into our lives and many of us will be feeling some level of distress or ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • New Zealanders in Peru to be assisted by Government charter flight
    The New Zealand Government has made arrangements to charter a flight for New Zealanders stranded in Peru to depart the country, following agreement with the Chilean government to allow the necessary transit through Chile, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters announced today. “Like many travellers around the world at the moment, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • COVID-19 Hospital Preparation Well Advanced
    Hospital preparations for COVID-19 are well advanced says Health Minister David Clark. “Hospitals across New Zealand are repurposing buildings and training staff to get ready for COVID-19 patients. This gives me confidence that we are well prepared for any potential increase in COVID-19 patients needing hospital level care,” said David ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Further measures to support businesses
    The Government will be introducing legislation to make changes to the Companies Act to help companies facing insolvency due to COVID-19 to remain viable and keep New Zealanders in jobs. The temporary changes include: Giving directors of companies facing significant liquidity problems because of COVID-19 a ‘safe harbour’ from insolvency ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Govt’s COVID plan, economic strength recognised
    The Government’s plan to cushion the blow of COVID-19 by supporting incomes, jobs and businesses, and position the economy to recover has been backed by another international report. International credit rating agency Moody’s today reaffirmed its highest Aaa credit rating on New Zealand, saying the economy is expected to remain ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Funding certainty for sports through COVID-19
    National sports organisations have been given certainty of funding to ensure they can remain viable through the COVID-19 pandemic, Sport and Recreation Minister Grant Robertson announced today. “The global spread of COVID-19 has had a significant impact on sport and recreation in New Zealand, including the cancellation or postponement of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Butchers now allowed to process pork
    Changes have been made to allow butchers to process pork, only for supply to supermarkets or other processors or retailers that are open, Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor has announced. “We carefully weighed the risk of allowing butchers to open their shops for retail customers, but the risk of spreading COVID-19 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Essential workers leave scheme established
    Essential workers who take leave from work to comply with public health guidance are being supported with a leave scheme to ensure they will continue to receive income, say the Minister of Workplace Relations and Safety Iain Lees-Galloway and Minister for Social Development, Carmel Sepuloni. A number of essential businesses ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Govt WhatsApp helps share COVID-19 information
    A Government WhatsApp channel has been launched to help make information more easily accessible and shareable in the fight against COVID-19. Govt.NZ, which is free to use on any mobile device, will carry information and news for the public, businesses, healthcare providers, not for profits and local government. It can ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Managed departure plan for stranded foreign nationals enables safe, orderly exit
    The Government has announced a plan to enable the safe, orderly exit of tens of thousands of stranded foreign nationals from New Zealand during the current COVID-19 Alert Level 4 restrictions, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Winston Peters has said. “When we moved into lockdown a week ago, the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Government delivers COVID-19 support to GPs and Pharmacies
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says the Government is delivering on its commitment to support general practice doctors and nurses, and pharmacies on the front-line of our fight against COVID-19. "For us to overcome COVID-19, we need community health services such as general practice and community pharmacy to step up ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Susan Thomas the new Chief High Court Judge
    Justice Susan Thomas has been appointed Chief High Court Judge, Attorney-General David Parker announced today.  She replaces Justice Geoffrey Venning who has resigned from the position.   David Parker paid tribute to Justice Venning, who he said had stewarded the High Court very capably over the last five years.   “On behalf ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Business Finance Guarantee – applications open
    Businesses can start applying to their banks for loans under the Business Finance Guarantee Scheme set up to support the New Zealand economy during the COVID-19 pandemic. “We’re moving quickly to protect New Zealand businesses, jobs and the economy during this unprecedented global economic shock,” Finance Minister Grant Robertson said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Work starts on ways to fast-track consents to boost recovery from Covid-19 downturn
    Work is underway looking at measures to speed up consents for development and infrastructure projects during the recovery from COVID 19, to provide jobs and stimulate our economy.  Environment Minister David Parker said the COVID-19 pandemic is a serious global crisis that will have a wide ranging and lasting impact ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Advance payments to support contractors
    Advance payments will be made to transport construction industry contractors to retain the workforce and ensure it is ready to quickly gear up to build projects which will be vital to New Zealand’s COVID-19 economic recovery, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. He said keeping the workforce required to build ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government seeks infrastructure projects
    The Government has tasked a group of industry leaders to seek out infrastructure projects that are ready to start as soon as the construction industry returns to normal to reduce the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford and Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones say. The Infrastructure ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Health system scaled up to prepare for COVID-19
    Work to scale up the health system in preparation for COVID-19 was today outlined by Health Minister David Clark, as he reported back to the new Epidemic Response Committee. “We are well placed to contain the spread of COVID-19. We have taken early and decisive action at our borders, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Essential media COVID-19 guidelines refined
    The Government is refining its COVID-19 essential business guidance to include the distribution of news publications for communities which are hard to reach. The Minister of Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media, Kris Faafoi, said the move was in recognition of the importance for New Zealanders who might be harder to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Supermarkets able to open on Easter Sunday
    The Government is ensuring supermarkets can open on Easter Sunday so we can buy groceries, but stay closed on Good Friday allowing workers to take a break. This provides a balanced approach and ensures we avoid large queues that two days closure may cause. “Supermarkets will be able to open ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand defence personnel conclude mission at Taji
    Following the successful conclusion of the Building Partner Capacity (BPC) mission at Taji, New Zealand defence personnel are returning to New Zealand from Iraq, in accordance with the Cabinet decision made in June 2019, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters and Defence Minister Ron Mark announced today. “New Zealand is very ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • State of National Emergency extended
    The State of National Emergency to help stop the spread of COVID-19 has been extended for a further seven days, Minister of Civil Defence Peeni Henare said. The initial declaration on March 25 lasted seven days and can be extended as many times as necessary. “Since we went into isolation ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Strong Govt books support ‘go hard, go early’ response
    New Zealand’s ability to go hard and go early in the fight against COVID-19 has been underpinned by strong Government finances and the growing economy heading into this global pandemic, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. The Treasury today released the Crown financial statements for the eight months to the end ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Christchurch Hospital Hagley ICU to open to support COVID-19 response
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says 36 new intensive care beds at Christchurch Hospital’s new Hagley building are being fast tracked so they are available for treatment of COVID-19 patients.   The Ministry of Health is working with contractor CPB and Canterbury DHB to enable access to the hospital’s ICU, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government supports Air NZ freight flights
    The Government has fast-tracked up to $1 million to help Air New Zealand move urgent freight to and from New Zealand, with the first flight to Shanghai leaving tonight, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. Phil Twyford says it’s crucial that trade in vital goods such as medical supplies and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Tariff concessions on COVID-19 related products
    New Zealand will temporarily remove tariffs on all medical and hygiene imports needed for the COVID-19 response. Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker and Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Kris Faafoi said today that the New Zealand Customs Service will apply tariff concessions to all diagnostic reagents and testing ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Clarification of modification to wage subsidy scheme
    Minister of Finance Grant Robertson has clarified that the changes to the wage subsidy scheme announced yesterday mean that employers should be passing on the full subsidy to workers, except in the case where the person’s normal income is less than the level of the subsidy. “We still want employers ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Face masks flowing to DHBs
    Medical face masks from the national reserve supply are now being distributed to District Health Boards, while at the same time local production is being ramped up. Yesterday more than 640,000 masks were sent to DHBS – that is an immediate two week supply, with more to follow in coming ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • COVID-19: Further steps to protect New Zealanders’ jobs
    The Government has made modifications to the wage subsidy scheme to ensure people don’t lose their jobs during the national lockdown. These changes will soften the impact of COVID-19 on workers, families and businesses, and position them to exit the lockdown and look to recovery, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Tax relief for Mycoplasma Bovis farmers
    Farmers whose herds were culled in response to the outbreak of Mycoplasma bovis will be able to minimise the tax treatment of their income in some circumstances. Revenue Minister Stuart Nash says Cabinet has agreed to change the law. It means farmers may be eligible to spread their income over ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • $27 million for NGOs and community groups to continue providing essential services
    A $27 million dollar package, effective immediately, is being provided to social sector services and community groups to ensure they can continue to provide essential support to communities as we stay at home as a nation to stop the spread of COVID-19, Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni announced. “At ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Statement on guilty plea of March 15 terrorist
    “The guilty plea today will provide some relief to the many people whose lives were shattered by what happened on March 15,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said. “These guilty pleas and conviction bring accountability for what happened and also save the families who lost loved ones, those who were injured, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • COVID-19 updates
    The Prime Minister is holding daily press conferences to update New Zealanders on the Government's response to COVID-19. Links to videos and transcripts of these updates below. These transcripts also include All of Government press conferences led by Director Ministry of Health's Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield. 25 March: Live update from the Prime ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Police numbers break through 10,000 mark
    Frontline Police numbers have broken through the 10,000 mark for the first time in history as officers step forward to keep the community safe during the COVID19 lockdown. “Two Police graduations in Auckland and Wellington in the past week have been conducted in unprecedented circumstances,” Police Minister Stuart Nash said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago