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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    I have no special insights to offer on the Labour sexual assault coverup. All I have is disgust. Disgust that an organisation could fail its people so badly. Disgust that they punished the victims rather than the perpetrator. Disgust that its party hacks are apparently blaming the victims for demanding ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Speak Up for Women calls out Greens’ censorship
    This open letter to the Green Party was penned after an opinion piece by Jill Abigail, a feminist and founding member of the party, was censored by the Greens’ leadership. (Redline has reprinted her article here).The intolerance of the Green Party leaders and their acceptance of the misogyny of gender ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    4 days ago
  • Member’s Day: End of Life Choice, part 3
    Today is a Member's day, and David Seymour's End of Life Choice Bill continues its slow crawl through its committee stage. They're spending the whole day on it today, though the first hour is likely to be spent on voting left over from last time. After that they'll move on ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Flight to Los Angeles turned back after passengers decide they don’t want to go anymore
    An ambitious plan to fly to Los Angeles petered out into a brief sight-seeing trip and a desire to return home and get some sleep before work tomorrow. Air New Zealand has confirmed a flight to Los Angeles last night was turned back about a quarter of the way into ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    5 days ago
  • Indigenous Futures: defuturing and futuring – an analytical framework for policy development?
    There appears to be consensus – by omission – that the concept of indigenous futures should be accepted at face value. So I scavenged the internet to see if I could locate an academic descriptor or a framework around how we think about it as a concept, and whether it ...
    EllipsisterBy Ellipsister
    5 days ago
  • Cadbury rumoured to be releasing the Pineapple Trump
    Here’s another novelty chocolate to shove in your gob, New Zealand Cadbury could be seeking to make itself great again with a rumoured new release: Pineapple Trumps, a spin on its classic chocolate-encased pineapple treat and do-it-yourself tooth remover. The global confectionery manufacturer and bumbling “before” character in an infomercial, ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    5 days ago
  • The coming resource war.
    During my time in the Pentagon I had the privilege of sitting down with military leaders and defence and security officials from a variety of Latin American nations. Sometimes I was present as a subordinate assistant to a senior US defence department official, sometimes as part of a delegation that ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    5 days ago
  • Māori Language Week with The Civilian
    Kia ora, Aotearoa. It’s that magical time of year. Te Wiki o te Reo Māori. In English, the week that frightens talk radio. As you probably know by now, all your favourite media outlets are participating, some more successfully than others. Stuff has changed its name to Puna for the ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    5 days ago
  • Will Horizons act on climate change?
    Local body elections are coming up next month. And it looks like all Palmerston North candidates for Horizons (the Manawatu-Whanganui Regional Council) want to take action on climate change:Climate change is set to be a key issue in Palmerston North for the next three years if those wanting to get ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • BORA reform is stalled
    Eighteen months ago, the government promised to strengthen the Bill of Rights Act, by explicitly affirming the power of the courts to issue declarations of inconsistency and requiring Parliament to formally respond to them. So how's that going? I was curious, so I asked for all advice about the proposal. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Corbyn and Brexit
    As the Brexit saga staggers on, the focus is naturally enough on the Prime Minister and his attempts to achieve Brexit “do or die”. But the role played by the Leader of the Opposition is of almost equal interest and complexity. The first problem for Jeremy Corbyn is that he ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    5 days ago
  • A ditch for him to die in
    Last week, English Prime Minister Boris Johnson boldly declared that he would rather die be dead in a ditch than delay Brexit. Unfortunately for him, the UK parliament accepted the challenge, and promptly dug one for him. The "rebellion bill" requires him to ask for and secure yet another temporary ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Warning! Warning! Danger Jacinda Ardern! Danger Marama Davidson! Warning!
    Lost In Political Space: The most important takeaway from this latest Labour sexual assault scandal, which (if I may paraphrase Nixon’s White House counsel’s, John Dean’s, infamous description of Watergate) is “growing like a cancer” on the premiership, is the Labour Party organisation’s extraordinary professional paralysis in the face of ...
    6 days ago
  • Union solidarity with Ihumatao land occupation
    by Daphna Whitmore Every Sunday for the past two months unionists from First Union, with supporters from other unions, have set out to the Ihumatao land protest, put up gazebos and gas barbeques, and cooked food for a few hundred locals and supporters who have come from across the country. ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    6 days ago
  • Climate Change: The wrong kind of trees?
    Newsroom today has an excellent, in-depth article on pine trees as carbon sinks. The TL;DR is that pine is really good at soaking up carbon, but people prefer far-less efficient native forests instead. Which is understandable, but there's two problems: firstly, we've pissed about so long on this problem that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • No freedom of speech in Turkey
    Canan Kaftancioglu is a Turkish politician and member of the opposition Republican People's Party (CHP). Like most modern politicians, she tweets, and uses the platform to criticise the Turkish government. She has criticised them over the death of a 14-year-old boy who was hit by a tear gas grenade during ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Speaker: Tadhg Stopford: Why I’m standing for the ADHB
    Hi there, just call me Tim.We face tough problems, and I’d like to help, because there are solutions.An Auckand District Health Board member has nominated me for as a candidate for the ADHB, because her MS-related pain and fatigue is reduced with hemp products from Rotorua.  Nothing else helped her. If I ...
    6 days ago
  • Good little vassals
    The Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security has published their report on whether the SIS and GCSB had any complicity in American torture. And its damning. The pull quote is this:The Inquiry found both agencies, but to a much greater degree, the NZSIS, received many intelligence reports obtained from detainees who, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Who Shall We Turn To When God, And Uncle Sam, Cease To Defend New Zealand?
    Bewhiskered Cassandra? Professor Hugh White’s chilling suggestion, advanced to select collections of academic, military and diplomatic Kiwi experts over the course of the past week, is that the assumptions upon which Australia and New Zealand have built their foreign affairs and defence policies for practically their entire histories – are ...
    6 days ago
  • The Politics of Opposition
    For most of the time I was a British MP, my party was out of government – these were the Thatcher years, when it was hard for anyone else to get a look-in. As a front-bencher and shadow minister, I became familiar with the strategies required in a parliamentary democracy ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    6 days ago
  • More expert comments on the Canadian fluoride-IQ paper
    The Green et al (2019) fluoride/IQ is certainly controversial – as would be expected from its subject (see If at first you don’t succeed . . . statistical manipulation might help and Politics of science – making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear). Anti-fluoride campaigners have been actively promoting it ...
    1 week ago
  • The return to guerrilla war in Colombia
    by Gearóid Ó Loingsigh On August 29th a video in which veteran FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia) commander Iván Márquez announced that they had taken up arms again was released. There was no delay in the reaction to it, from longtime Liberal Party figure and former president Uribe, for ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Air New Zealand identifies this enormous plot of unused land as possible second airport site
    Air New Zealand couldn’t believe its luck that this seemingly ideal piece of real estate had so far gone entirely unnoticed. Air New Zealand’s search for a site to build a second Auckland Airport may have made a breakthrough this afternoon, after employees scanning Google satellite imagery spotted a huge, ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Redline on the Labour Party
    No-one on the anti-capitalist left in this country today puts forward a case that Labour is on the side of the working class.  There are certainly people who call themselves ‘socialist’ who do, but they are essentially liberals with vested interests in Labourism – often for career reasons. Nevertheless, there ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • New Fisk
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Labour’s failure
    When National was in government and fucking over the poor for the benefit of the rich, foodbanks were a growth industry. And now Labour is in charge, nothing has changed: A huge demand for emergency food parcels means the Auckland City Mission is struggling to prepare for the impending arrival ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Ardern attempts to vaccinate Clarke Gayford live on television to prove that it’s safe
    Gayford, pictured here on The Project, before things got wildly out of control. A bold public relations move by the Government to encourage parents to vaccinate their children has gone horribly wrong. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern appeared on tonight’s episode of Three’s The Project, where the plan was for her ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Has Mr. Whippy gone too far by parking on our front lawns?
    Mr. Whippy’s business model has driven it down a dark road of intimidation. Residents in major centres around the country are becoming disgruntled by the increasingly aggressive actions of purported ice cream company Mr. Whippy, who have taken to parking on people’s front lawns and doorsteps in a desperate attempt ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Cleaning up the water
    Today the government released its Action Plan for Healthy Waterways, aimed at cleaning up our lakes and rivers. Its actually quite good. There will be protection for wetlands, better standards for swimming spots, a requirement for continuous improvement, and better standards for wastewater and stormwater. But most importantly, there's a ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Fronting up
    Today I appeared before the Environment Committee to give an oral submission on the Zero Carbon Bill. Over 1,500 people have asked to appear in person, so they've divided into subcommittees and are off touring the country, giving people a five minute slot each. The other submitters were a mixed ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Politics of science – making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear
    Anti-fluoride activists have some wealthy backers – they are erecting billboards misrepresenting the Canadian study on many New Zealand cities – and local authorities are ordering their removal because of their scaremongering. Many New Zealanders ...
    1 week ago
  • Democracy – I Don’t Think So
    So, those who “know best” have again done their worst. While constantly claiming to be the guardians of democracy and the constitution, and respecters of the 2016 referendum result, diehard Remainers (who have never brought themselves to believe that their advice could have been rejected) have striven might and main ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • Government says it will now build just one really nice home
    Following publication of this article, the Ministry has requested it to be noted that this supplied image is not necessarily representative of what the final house will look like, and it “probably won’t be that nice.” As part of today’s long-anticipated reset of the Government’s flagship KiwiBuild policy, Housing Minister ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Imperialism and your cup of coffee
    Over the next week or two we will be running three synopses of parts of the opening chapter of John Smith’s Imperialism in the 21st Century (New York, Monthly Review Press, 2016).  The synopsis and commentary below is written by Phil Duncan. Marx began Capital not with a sweeping historical ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Still juking the stats
    The State Services Commission and Ombudsman have released another batch of OIA statistics, covering the last six months. Request volumes are up, and the core public service is generally handling them within the legal timeframe, though this may be because they've learned to extend rather than just ignore things. And ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Hard News: Time for a New Deal: 25 years on
    In 1994, I was editing an ambitious street mag called Planet, from a fabled office at at 309 Karangahape Road. The thirteenth issue of the magazine was published in the winter of that year and its cover embodied a particularly ambitious goal: the end of cannabis prohibition.I wanted to do ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Not impressed
    KiwiBuild was one of the Ardern government's core policies. The government would end the housing crisis and make housing affordable again by building 100,000 new homes. Of course, it didn't work out like that: targets weren't met, the houses they did build were in the wrong place, and the whole ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Solar beats coal
    As the climate crisis escalates, it is now obvious that we need to radically decarbonise our economy. The good news is that its looking easy and profitable for the energy sector. Wind is already cheaper than fossil fuels, and now solar is too:The levellised cost of solar PV has fallen ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • A Step Too Far.
    A Crown Asset? For reasons relating to its own political convenience, the Crown pretends to believe that “No one owns the water.” To say otherwise would re-vivify the promises contained in the Treaty of Waitangi – most particularly those pertaining to the power of the chiefs and their proprietary rights ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Where Money Comes From
    Most people would say, no doubt, that they have a pretty good idea of what money is. They live with the reality of money every day. It is what is needed to buy the necessities of life and to maintain a decent standard of living. You get money, they would ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    2 weeks ago
  • Banned by the Green Party leadership: Jill Abigail on women’s rights and trans rights
    The article below was an opinion piece that appeared in the Spring 2019 issue of Te Awa (the NZ Green Party’s newsletter) and on the Greens website.  In keeping with their policy of hostility to women defending women’s right to female-only spaces, Green bureaucrats have since removed the opinion piece.  ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • The fallacy of the proximity argument.
    Longer term readers may remember my complaining that, as a political scientist, it is burdensome to have non-political scientists wanting to engage me about politics. No layperson would think to approach an astrophysicist and lecture him/her on the finer details of quarks and black holes, but everybody with an opinion ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    2 weeks ago
  • Where We Stood: Chris Trotter Replies To Stevan Eldred-Grigg.
    Joining The Fight: Stevan Eldred-Grigg's argument for New Zealand staying out of the Second World War fails not only on the hard-headed grounds of preserving the country’s strategic and economic interests; and not just on the soft-hearted grounds of duty and loyalty to the nation that had given New Zealand ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Universities back the climate strike
    On September 27, School Strike 4 Climate will be striking for a future to pressure the government for meaningful climate action. This time, they've asked adults to join them. And now, Lincoln University and Victoria University of Wellington have signed on:Victoria University of Wellington has joined Lincoln University in endorsing ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Another constitutional outrage
    Another day, another constitutional outrage in the UK. This time, the government is saying that if parliament passes a law to stop Brexit before being prorogued, they may just ignore it:A senior cabinet minister has suggested Boris Johnson could defy legislation to prevent a no-deal Brexit if it is forced ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Ending dairy in Canterbury
    Environment Canterbury has finally proposed nitrogen limits to stop dairy farmers from poisoning Christchurch's water supply. And naturally, farmers are whining about it:A proposed move by Environment Canterbury (ECan) to protect Christchurch's drinking water by setting tough – some would say, draconian – nitrate reductions in the decades ahead and ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Is National the party of climate arson?
    The Zero Carbon Bill is currently before select committee. While its targets are weak, its a generally sensible bill that promises to establish a long-term framework to guide emissions reductions. But National hasn't made up its mind on whether it will support it - and according to Andrea Vance in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Experts warn Harold the Giraffe “well past” typical giraffe life expectancy, may not have long
    Dum-de-doo. Children across New Zealand have known him for generations as the lovable giraffe who tells them to exercise, hydrate and not to shove lit cigarettes up their nostrils. But a world renowned giraffe expert says we shouldn’t be getting attached to Life Education’s Harold the Giraffe, as he is ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • August ’19 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
    Image credit: 22 BLOGGERS WITH ADVICE FOR RESEARCHERS AND EVALUATORS, ILLUSTRATED 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 ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Bye, bye to the collusion lie
    Sums it up, really. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Opinion: Treat your car by buying extra petrol to snack on while you aren’t driving
    By Mike Hosking. Yesterday morning, I waltzed into work, and as I walked past the drones aggressively typing out news on the computers I’ve repeatedly asked to be moved further away from, I caught a glimpse of the words “climate change”, and noticed that suspiciously they weren’t in condescending quotation ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago

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