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Brexit

Written By: - Date published: 1:51 pm, June 15th, 2016 - 54 comments
Categories: Europe, International, uk politics - Tags: , ,

The Brexit (British Exit from the EU) process is fascinating. Background information from the BBC is here, and The Economist here. The vote is a week away (23 June). Several recent polls are giving the Leave campaign a big lead – see today’s Guardian: EU referendum live: TNS poll gives leave campaign seven-point lead.

Britain is significantly divided on the Brexit (see graph below). Immigration is a major issue. The economic consequences of are unpredictable, but likely to be significant. Socially it would likely tear Britain apart.

As Brexit looks more and more likely, the ripples are spreading round the world:

Markets panic as Brexit vote looms

Golbal stock markets have plunged amid fears the UK could vote to leave the European Union in a crucial referendum after polls showed the “Brexit” camp surging ahead.

On Tuesday a poll by YouGov and UK Newspaper The Times showed the leave camp held 46 per cent of the vote compared to 39 per cent of the UK who wanted to remain in the EU.

It’s a three point swing from the previous week and is the strongest indicator yet the country will vote to split ways with the 27 other members of the bloc on June 23. Eleven per cent of voters remain undecided.

The market uncertainty follows European Council president Donald Tusk’s warning that a vote to leave could trigger the end of “Western political civilisation” by undermining the basis of European integration.

“As a historian I fear Brexit could be the beginning of the destruction of not only the EU but also Western political civilisation in its entirety,” he told the German newspaper Bild. “Every family knows that a divorce is traumatic for everyone … Everyone in the EU, but especially the Brits themselves, would lose out economically.”

Mr Tusk’s comments are one of the latest warnings in an increasingly hysterical campaign that has seen voters bombarded from both sides. …

OK, the destruction Western political civilisation in its entirety might be over-egging it a bit, but I can’t see Brexit working out well for England or Britain (anyone for border controls between England and Scotland or Wales?). The Leave campaign seems to be driven by archaic nationalism and xenophobia – though as a Guardian reader I guess I would say that. (On a further personal note, I’m due to spend a few months in England later this year – I wonder what shape it will be in!)

brexit-graph

brexit-sun

54 comments on “Brexit”

  1. Ad 1

    No good will come of this for New Zealand.

    – Euro and Pound will be perpetually less stable, because both will be weaker
    – Stock markets will rock the world over as analysts determine how much weaker Britain will be.
    – NZDollar will be incredibly unstable for many months, as analysts figure out whether common dairy markets between EU and Britain will split and hence affect all global dairy trading
    – No more NZ residential access into Britain, as the xenophobia really hits
    – Either Cameron resigns in his own time, or Boris gets the numbers and rolls him; we lose a major ally.
    – Most importantly, the idea of an expansionist EU that pushes human rights, democratization, the Euro, regional subsidies from Crete to the Outer Hebrides, and the right to work wherever you want, is dead.
    With the decline of the EU – which has been on life support since 2008 – the last post-war multilateral civil institution that still had some expansionist energy goes out with it.

    • Draco T Bastard 1.1

      NZDollar will be incredibly unstable for many months

      The NZ$ hasn’t exactly been stable at any time since it was floated.

      No more NZ residential access into Britain, as the xenophobia really hits

      Oh dear, how sad, never mind.

      Really, why would you even think that we have a default right to that?

      Most importantly, the idea of an expansionist EU…

      Yeah, can’t really say that I’ve ever been fond of empire. Even beneficent ones always end up as a pit of corruption.

      and the right to work wherever you want

      Whatever gave you the idea that you have that right?

      • Ad 1.1.1

        The New Zealand dollar will become more unstable, which makes it pretty hard for a narrow-base exporting country to actually generate a stable wealth base, let alone a tax base. So it’s a major problem that will get worse.

        Clearly you have no desire to work in Britain, nor any dependants who would ever wish to. Whereas thousands and thousands of New Zealanders have been doing precisely that for most of New Zealand’s existence, and have planned to. Many of us and our relatives have relied on patrilineage to either get into Britain or Ireland, because it’s where the decent jobs area. So it’s a problem that will get worse.

        If you can’t tell the difference between the European Union and an Empire, then you have no idea of what the EU stood for in the first place. Do a bit of homework and look up the definition and origin of the EU on Wikipedia before more you generate more dumb comments.

        The right to work wherever you want describes the existing situation that EU members have, which was quite clear from the sentence.

        If you can’t see the risks in BREXIT, you are ignorant. Pop over to The Guardian UK site and do yourself the good of an education on the subject.

        • Draco T Bastard 1.1.1.1

          The New Zealand dollar will become more unstable, which makes it pretty hard for a narrow-base exporting country to actually generate a stable wealth base, let alone a tax base.

          I can’t see Brexit doing anything to the stability of our dollar. If we want to do anything about the stability of our dollar and prevent it from being over-valued on the forex then we need to base its value upon our actual trade rather than what people are willing to pay for it to get the high interest rates.

          Whereas thousands and thousands of New Zealanders have been doing precisely that for most of New Zealand’s existence…

          But it’s not a right that we have or should have. If we want decent jobs and a better economy then perhaps we should develop our own.

          If you can’t tell the difference between the European Union and an Empire…

          There is none. The EU is an expansionist unaccountable dictatorship just like any empire throughout history. They have some good policies but the EU financial attack on Greece shows that it’s not what one would call benevolent or beneficial.

          The right to work wherever you want describes the existing situation that EU members have, which was quite clear from the sentence.

          Actually, it wasn’t. It sounded like you thought that you should have the right to work wherever you wanted and that this dream of yours was now dead because the EU would no longer be able to force it upon other countries.

          And, again, it’s not a right you should have. NZ is reeling under the weight of excessive immigration ATM and we have immigration controls. If we had open borders, as you want, then we’d be fucked within a year, two at most.

          • Ad 1.1.1.1.1

            The market instability is already happening. We don’t have to wait and see.

            ‘…perhaps we should develop our own’. We haven’t. So the risk is real and matters right now.

            Third point is crap. It’s an elected democracy. Start withe Macx Weber and work upwards.

            The meaning of the sentence is now even clearer for you.

            ‘NZ reeling under the weight of excessive immigration.’ Sheer xenophobia. And unsupported fear. Luckily your view is dying every year more of the old white grey cohort dies.

            • Draco T Bastard 1.1.1.1.1.1

              The market instability is already happening.

              To our dollar? Doubt if you could tell the difference in amongst the normal noise of our unstable currency.

              We haven’t.

              And doing so would alleviate all your rather pathetic fears.

              Sheer xenophobia. And unsupported fear.

              No, it really isn’t – this is what’s actually happening right now. We’ve got Treasury saying it, we’ve got a housing bubble that’s at least partially due to it, our infrastructure is stretched, and declining wages because of it as local employers import cheap fucking labour.

              Don’t you watch the bloody news? Or is it that your blind faith in your ideology that’s blinding you to what’s really happening? Need to deny the facts because reality isn’t what you want it to be.

              The meaning of the sentence is now even clearer for you.

              And you’re still wrong. Nations cannot allow uncontrolled immigration. They don’t have the infrastructure to support it or the ability to build that infrastructure fast enough.

            • Draco T Bastard 1.1.1.1.1.2

              Third point is crap. It’s an elected democracy.

              The bureaucrats running the place on massively high salaries are unelected and unaccountable. The elected governments have essentially no say.

              • Kevin

                Totally agree.

                Other than being on a lovely little gravy train, what do MEP’s do other than talk to lobbyists or vote on legislation that they have no hand in proposing, no hand in drafting and no hand in amending. Just a yes or no vote.

                Doesn’t sound like any democracy I have ever heard of.

    • Colonial Viper 1.2

      the last post-war multilateral civil institution that still had some expansionist energy goes out with it.

      Love the way they have been expanding into central and eastern Europe as a way to screw their own workers as well as act as a carrot to pull countries away from being friendly with Russia

    • Anno1701 1.3

      “No more NZ residential access into Britain, as the xenophobia really hits”

      i anticipate quite the opposite !

      • Ad 1.3.1

        That’s not been the pattern so far over the last decade, despite our PM begging everyone from the Queen down on the subject every time he goes there. Our access has been declining fast.

        • Anno1701 1.3.1.1

          “Our access has been declining fast.”

          mostly to compensate for the influx of euro-zone migrants, they cant be stopped currently but we can

          if that is closed off the UK will need to open up other migrant flows , they are going to need them !

    • Rodel 1.4

      Ad
      ” Either Cameron resigns in his own time, or Boris gets the numbers and rolls him; we lose a major ally.”
      Cameron an ally?.. Cameron’s only ally is his Etonian self & mates. He probably doesn’t even know we exist except as some colonial outpost of his privileged aristocracy.
      I think Winston’s advice for Brits to vote Brexit may be to our advantage.

      • Ad 1.4.1

        Ally to the current National government. Which few enough international allies as it is.
        Winston should mind his own business.

    • Clare 1.5

      bring it on

    • Tony Veitch (not the partner-bashing 3rd rate broadcaster) 1.6

      Just wondering – could this be the trigger that initiates a world-wide collapse? The whole neoliberal economic system is so f. . . . up that all it will need is one event for the house of cards to collapse.
      If this is so, then the shit will hit the fan big time!!

    • “No more NZ residential access into Britain, as the xenophobia really hits”

      I’ve listened to a lot of Brexit campaigners (and Remainers) speak, and it’s quite clear that Brexiteers are all about renewing Britain’s ties with the Commonwealth. However, there may be a source which has led you to believe this?

  2. Colonial Viper 2

    The EU was always designed to undermine the sovereignty of nation states.

    The UK got it right to stay the hell out of the Euro and I daresay if they vote to leave the undemocratic bureaucracy that is the EU, they will get it right again.

  3. Draco T Bastard 3

    “As a historian I fear Brexit could be the beginning of the destruction of not only the EU but also Western political civilisation in its entirety,”

    Yeah, capitalism does that.

    Everyone in the EU, but especially the Brits themselves, would lose out economically

    This is either a basic misunderstanding of economics or scaremongering. I figure it’s the latter. Just because the UK leaves the EU doesn’t mean that trade will stop but it does mean that the people already within the UK would be better able to use the resources that they have available to them.

  4. Anno1701 4

    Personally ill be gutted

    I loved living in Europe and was planning to move back

  5. save nz 5

    This is what happens when governments stop valuing their own people. It started with Neoliberalism, Thatcher, Blair – the Iraq war that Tony Blair promised a year prior to Bush, and making a fake case of WMD which caused a weapons inspector expert citizen to commit suicide, when he disagreed.

    Whether is is the EU, or just stupidity by the UK government – many governments have got too greedy, stopped responding to the people and the people are responding to, their lives not improving.

    Complexity and size is not more efficient, it is just more dominating. While I think the EU is a fantastic concept and should be working really well – clearly it is not working for the people of Britain if they vote EXIT.

    • Ad 5.1

      The majority want to leave, but that’s because those xenophobic morons from the midlands have been duped. The Guradian UK has some good breakdowns on support in the UK by sector.

      • save nz 5.1.1

        Thats democracy AD. The government and EU should have kept the people in the midlands happier.

        And that is what the opposition in this country need to look at, what keeps most people happy and what is fair, not some sort of ideology of austerity for the masses or from National bribes and lies.

        While I personally support the EU, look what they did to Greece! Look at the Syrian refugee crisis caused by ISIS and Western warfare!

        Decades ago, governments seemed to have some sort of care of their citizens, now politics is some sort of global CV and networking opportunity for politicians.

        In 5 eyes countries, people have noticed that politicians don’t care and the people no longer trust politicians. And judging by the mass spying, the government don’t trust the people either.

        They have created a culture of distrust and it is back firing on them.

        • Ad 5.1.1.1

          A general protest vote about their distrust of government as a concept is a really dumb motivation. Even Scotland got right the idea of Head over Heart.

          • Colonial Viper 5.1.1.1.1

            That’s just the first half of the game in Scotland.

            • Bill 5.1.1.1.1.1

              Assuming the Scottish population votes to remain (and it looks that way), Brexit would be a “material change in circumstances” that could well lead to demands for a second independence referendum.

      • Bill 5.1.2

        …but that’s because those xenophobic morons from the midlands have been duped.

        Ah yes. Blaming economic woes on immigrants…reasonably and rationally, of course! God forbid anyone making an argument to curb immigration was actually in any way xenophobic. Everybody loves foreigners, right? Alas, rational economic analyses dictate that their movement must be proscribed.

        Thank god we live in New Zealand where such muck could never gain any traction.

      • One Two 5.1.3

        It is my opinion that not only do you have no idea what you’re talking about, but that you’re also the least informed handle who comments on this site

        Is it deliberate?

  6. Jones 6

    “…especially the Brits… would lose out economically”

    Many are losing out already but for those inside the City of London… I think Donald Tusk underestimates the power of the City of London.

  7. Cricklewood 7

    I think it’s probably for the best in the long term if there is a brexit.
    I’ve come to the opinion that the bigger the government organization the less democratic it becomes. In the case of the EU look to Greece and how it’s citizens lost the ability to control their destiny and here in NZ the Rodney’s super city has resulted in a loss of local democracy.
    Watching council consistently (in thrall with Fletchers) act against the wishes of my local board (potentially illegally) and community has been disheartening to say the least.

    The smaller and more local the govt the better to my mind.

  8. Sans Cle 8

    I don’t really rate the economic stability of Europe (it’s a myth), but it’s the political and social instability I am concerned about, that a Brexit may unleash.

  9. red-blooded 9

    I’m with Sans Cle on this one. The EU has brought relative stability to a set of nations that have historically been anything but. If it needs reforming, then the nation states within it should discuss and decide on reform. Splitting away seems foolhardy.

    Side note, I wonder if the term “brexit” has made it somehow cooler? A bit like the “BeLEAVE in ourselves” headline featured above. All very catchy, but what happens next?

  10. ttd 10

    The demographics bear a resemblance to a NZ politics breakdown.
    Substitute Brexit for voting for that nice MR Key
    7% difference Tory selfishness + great unwashed = majority

  11. Rolfcopter 11

    Not sure if it’s been posted before, but “Brexit: The Movie” is definitely a must-watch as to the issues Britain has come across as part of the EU…. and it’s been superbly shot and produced.

    Not one single mention of immigration in the movie at all.

    There’s also an interesting part on why Switzerland refused to join.

    It’s time to leave.

  12. Sanctuary 12

    The export of our best and brightest to the UK – and Australia – is a subtle form of economic imperialism that has gone on since forever. Anything that lessens that is actually good for our country.

    I am actually in the UK just now and the remain campaign has been as tin earred and hopeless as the leave campaign has been dishonest and racist. This referendum is actually about the same things that have propelled Trump, Sanders, Corbyn, and all the other insurgent candidates and parties. And that is the rising anger at the political, media and economic elites from the growing numbers of losers from neloiberal economics and austerity policies. Today’s Guardian has an editorial that sums up the leave campaign http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/jun/14/the-guardian-view-on-the-leave-campaign-anatomy-of-another-elite but the problem with the remain campaign is that it has confirmed pretty much every prejudice about the EU and neoliberal elites. The remain campaign seriously believes rolling out Tony Blair and John Major to preach dire consequences was a good idea. It has run a scare campaign which looks to the average voter like just more of the same being talked down to by an elitist TINA brigade that still fails to admit it may have made any mistakes at all, rather than talk about positives for Britain. In short, the remain camp has fucked it up, and Cameron will be gone no matter what the refetendum result as a direct consequence of his mis -handling of the vote.

    PS Corbyn is nowhere near as dispised as the Oxbridge ruling elite who dominate things here would have you believe. There is a delicious irony that the liberal elites are now looking to the “unelectable” and “universally unpopular” Corbyn as the saviour of the remain camp, with headlines like “Corbyn leads Labour cavalry to the rescue”. They have known all along he had a broader appeal that their hysterical anti-Corbynism would admit.

  13. infused 13

    Good.

  14. DS 14

    Brexit has its Left and Right wings – the Right get more prominence with the “foreigners taking our jobs” line, but Left Euroscepticism is based on the idea that the EU is an enforcer of neoliberal economics.

    (You think the TTPA is bad? The EU already prevents a democratically-elected government from nationalising the railways, because it violates the sacred cow of market competition).

    That said, I’m actually on the fence. I regard the current EU model as broken, undemocratic, and truly malign (ask Greece), but Brexit under a Tory majority government is a recipe for the Right going crazy with repealing workplace legislation. Ideally you’d want Brexit under a Centre or Left government, but the problem there is that such a government would be less likely to pull out in the first place.

    • Rocco Siffredi 14.1

      “but Brexit under a Tory majority government is a recipe for the Right going crazy with repealing workplace legislation. I”

      What about being a member of the EU is preventing this right now, or in the past years?

  15. DS 15

    Oh yes, and the same people issuing dire economic warnings now were issuing dire economic warnings about the UK not joining the Euro (the best decision ever, in hindsight).

  16. RedLogix 16

    I’d guess the Brexit campaign has a lot to do with a bunch of tax-thieving elites worried that Europe might be on the verge of actually doing something about them.

  17. jcuknz 17

    I am on the fence over this but I think like communisim the EU is a wonderful concept but inevitably spoilt by human nature.

    • RedLogix 17.1

      I agree with you that in general the EU is a good concept, but it’s implementation has been botched. Personally I think this will either prompt substantial EU reform, or it will end in tears.

      More than a few people will be looking at Greece and thinking … ah no thanks.

  18. swordfish 18

    Betfair still has Remain ahead – roughly 60/40.

    For many months, there was a clear divergence between the On-Line and Phone-based Polls – the former almost always calling it neck-and-neck (usually with Leave a point or two in front), the latter always placing Remain in front, with a clear lead of 5-10 points.

    Since late May, things have become a little messier, with much more variation and a general swing towards Leave, although you can still discern an on-going divide between the 2 types of polls.

    18 Polls since Late May
    6 Phone Polls
    4 have Remain ahead (by between 2 and 14 points)
    2 place Leave in the lead (4-6 points)

    12 On-Line Polls
    3 with Remain in Lead (each by 2 points)
    8 with Leave in front (by 2-8 points)
    1 Equal

    Last 6 Polls = 2 Remain leading (both phone Polls) / 4 Leave leading (3 On-Line Polls and 1 Phone-based Poll)

    Phone Polls do tend to have a slightly better record in the UK over recent years.

    Also, most accurate Pollster for 2015 General Election – Com Res – still has Remain ahead (albeit by a small margin).

    So I wouldn’t entirely rule-out a Remain win just yet.

    Could come down to turnout – the lower socio-economic C2DEs favour Brexit by 53% to 27% according to recent YouGov Poll , but are less likely to vote (55% certain to vote according to latest poll), whereas ABC1s favour Remain by 54% to 36% (with 67% of them certain to vote).

    Also quite likely that the large Don’t Know pool will divide between Remain and Non-Vote, rather than head in Brexit’s direction.

    Polls, incidentally, suggest Leave voters overwhelmingly base their decision on Immigration ………. Remain voters overwhelmingly on Impact on the Economy.

    (The TNS Poll referred to in this post was an On-Line Poll)

    • “Polls, incidentally, suggest Leave voters overwhelmingly base their decision on Immigration ………. Remain voters overwhelmingly on Impact on the Economy.”

      So we know what we’ve known since Thucydides or Hobbes; people’s fears will shape their actions and beliefs. There are two kinds at work here.

    • Kiwiri 18.2

      Thanks for this, Swordfish.

      For months, I have been asking British friends (when I should have just googled or looked up the legislation or policy) whether the referendum is – in our NZ-speak – a “binding” referedum or not.

      I had long suspected that, thanks to what would be typical of a Westminster Parliamentary system, it will not be binding.

      Just this evening, I heard from a UK friend about a piece that came out in the past day or so that what the public votes might not mean any change to the status quo, i.e. the referendum is not binding after all, thanks to the fine print.

      So, yawn, given that I suspect many Parliamentarians will not vote to leave (or even introduce a bill, or whatever mechanism that would be involved, to bring about that effect, the status quo will continue.

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    As the first week of Level Four lockdown unfolded, mounting questions grew as to just what was (and was not) allowed under its “rules”. Partly these were driven by some apparently contradictory messages from different authority figures and explanations carried in the media. Partly they reflected a somewhat sketchy legal basis ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    3 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 9
    . . April 3: Day 9 of living in lock-down… Another late-start to my work day. Everything is temporarily upended as clients are shuffled around so we can minimise our “bubble” by reducing the number of people we help. One of my colleagues has been removed from his clients; his ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    4 days ago
  • Death to our lockdown enemies!
    We must root out the traitors among us! ...
    Imperator FishBy Scott Yorke
    4 days ago
  • Climate Change: The benefits of electrification
    In order to meet our 2050 carbon target and do our bit to avoid making the Earth uninhabitable, New Zealand needs to decarbonise our economy, replacing fossil fuels with electricity in the energy, industrial and transport sectors. The good news is that it will mean cheaper power for all of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 8 (sanitised version)
    For those folk who find my other Lock-Down Diary versions too “negative” or otherwise unpalatable… Here’s a photo of a pretty flower, .   . Better? Tomorrow’s Sanitised Version: a cute animal video. . . . =fs= ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    5 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 8
    . . April 2: Day eight of living in lock-down… Today, my work day starts late. Our rosters and clients have been dramatically changed, lessening (theoretically) the number of people in our work “bubble”.  If just one of us catches covid19 the impact could be considerable as Grey Base Hospital ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    5 days ago
  • A note on apartments and bubbles
    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
    5 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
    5 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 ...
    5 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
    5 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
    6 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
    6 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
    7 days 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 ...
    7 days 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 ...
    7 days 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
    7 days 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
    7 days 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
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 3
    . . Lock Down: Day 3 – A photo essay with observations . March 28: First day of the first weekend in Lock Down. It feels like it’s been weeks since only Level 3 was declared last Tuesday, only four days ago. Woke up this morning to RNZ; coffee; toast, ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #13
    A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week, i.e., Sun, Mar 22, 2020 through Sat, Mar 28, 2020 Articles Linked to on Facebook Sun, Mar 22, 2020 In Just 10 Years, Warming Has Increased the Odds of Disasters by Chelsea Harvey, ...
    1 week 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
    12 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
    13 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
    17 hours 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
    20 hours 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
    20 hours 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
    21 hours 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
    1 day 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
    4 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
    4 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
    5 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
    5 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
    5 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
    6 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
    6 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
    7 days 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
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  • $27 million for NGOs and community groups to continue providing essential services
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