web analytics

Brexiting the EU

Written By: - Date published: 7:57 am, July 24th, 2018 - 75 comments
Categories: capitalism, conservative party, Donald Trump, Economy, International, Jeremy Corbyn, Judith Collins, labour, uk politics - Tags: ,

It has been a hell of a month for the UK.

The conservative party is imploding.  Theresa May is stuck squarely in the middle between Conservative MPs who think that BREXIT will be a disaster for the economy and Conservative MPs who do not care.  This speech from Anna Soubry captures the mood well.

Boris Johnson is riding the wave. He resigned as a Minister on the basis that May was not being staunch enough.

The resignation seems very calculated.

Here is his resignation speech to Parliament.

And after receiving a ringing endorsement from Donald Trump the sky must be the limit for Johnson’s plans.  Just what the world needs, another idiotic right wing male leader.

Then there was a vote in Parliament where Conservative MPs put up a hard Brexit amendment. It was passed, just, thanks to the support of four Labour MPs. This was a potentially Government ending vote and four Labour MPs voted to preserve May’s reign. The UK could have had a vote of no confidence and a general election instead.

The Liberal Democrats went missing. Literally. And the Conservatives broke all sorts of Parliamentary conventions to get their vote over the line.  They were that worried they broke the convention on the pairing of votes and falsely represented to Liberal Democrat MP Jo Swinson that she could skip a crucial vote to look after her new baby.  When you add on the missing votes of Lib Dem MPs Tim Farron and Vince Cable who both were inexplicably missing that three vote majority looks very slim.

Then Jeremy Corbyn faced an attack by pro Israeli MPs because the Labour party was still grappling with a definition of anti semitism in a policy. The timing was extraordinary. It is as if some people do not want him to be Prime Minister and will use whatever weapon they have. I hope they face a Momentum inspired re-selection battle soon.

And some of those involved in the Vote Leave campaign face the prospect of prosecution. The organisation was fined £61,000 and referred to the police after the Electoral Commission found that it had broken electoral law by exceeding its £7m spending limit through funnelling £675,315 to the pro-Brexit youth group BeLeave.

Then to really top things off a poll was released yesterday suggesting that the electorate is deeply divided between those who want to BREXIT now and those who don’t.  From the Week Day:

Voters opposed to Theresa May’s Brexit plan would be prepared to turn to a far-right party in protest, a major new poll into the mood of the nation has found.

The Sunday Times says the YouGov survey, “will spark unease in Downing Street”, coming after a tumultuous couple of weeks in Westminster that saw the prime minister lose two senior members of her cabinet before narrowly avoiding defeat on a customs union backstop amendment that could have led to a full-blown leadership challenge.

Reuters says “May’s political vulnerability was exposed by the survey” which found voters would overwhelmingly prefer Boris Johnson, who resigned as foreign secretary in protest at the Chequers Brexit White Paper, to negotiate with Brussels and lead the Conservatives into the next election rather than the current prime minister.

Despite his star fading somewhat over the past year, Johnson remains a popular figure both within the Tory party and among prospective voters, with his support likely to grow if he is seen by MPs as someone who could prevent votes leaching to populist parties.

This threat is highlighted by polling which found around 38% of people would vote for a new party on the right that was committed to a Hard Brexit, while 24% are prepared to support an explicitly far-right anti-immigrant, anti-Islam party.

One in three voters, meanwhile, are prepared to back a new anti-Brexit centrist party.

“On this evidence” says Politico, “the conditions look perfect for a fundamental realignment of the British party system”.

It is as if the two tribes are realigning themselves in a somewhat disorganised fashion behind both slogans (remain or leave) without thinking too much about the reasons.  The political difficulty for the left is that there are a significant number of conservative working class voters who agree whole heartedly with the anti immigration nature of the proposal.  For too many Brexit means giving the middle finger to immigrants whereas for some in the Conservative Party they can see that hindering free trade and capital flows is not conducive to Globalisation and will in all likelihood cause major economic disruption.

And Judith Collins thinks it is all very interesting.  I wonder what she is planning?

75 comments on “Brexiting the EU”

  1. Sanctuary 1

    “On this evidence” says Politico, “the conditions look perfect for a fundamental realignment of the British party system”.

    not under FPP it isn’t.

    It is evidence that whoever of the major two parties can cling to more of it’s vote will score a landslide victory, and this is what is driving their Brexit strategies.

    Also, I have given up using the Guardian (along with the rest of the highly polarised and partisan British press) as a source for the mood of the British public on Brexit or even for any common sense on Brexit or Corbyn. The paper is basically the voice of pink neoliberals, the very serious people of the Blairite “centre” who represent no one but have a platform to be Cassandras about any threat to the status quo.

    Because of the political paralysis in Westminster – which BTW accurately reflects the wider crisis of identity in the UK and the deep divisions of British society at the moment – Britain will crash out of the EU with a hard Brexit by default.

    • Gosman 1.1

      People on the Left have an amazing ability to overestimate the level of support for their particular brand of politics. The reason there is not a harder left Newspaper than the Guardian is because the market for such a newspaper would be very small.

      • RedLogix 1.1.1

        Yes, on the face of it the evidence supports that assertion. The interesting question is why, why is it that this distribution of political support seems so fixed over time. It may have much less to do with actual parties and policies than we’d like to think.

        • One Two 1.1.1.1

          ‘Fixed’ over time – 44.4

          38
          33

          Fixed!

          • RedLogix 1.1.1.1.1

            And yet at the same time most commenters here lament a Labour Party that is far too centrist for their tastes.

            Unfixed!

      • The Mirror has a circulation 5 times that of the Grauniad and is arguably to its left. There’s also the Morning Star, which while niche, is both well red and well read.

      • Sanctuary 1.1.3

        The Guardians problem is that it insists in painting Brexit purely in terms of outdated middle class identity politics, and it utterly refuses to contemplate the costs of EU membership has had on low income Brits.

        It’s solutions are equally outdated – a Blairite contempt for democracy by continually re-litigating the referendum result and/or demanding an autocratic refusal by parliament to implement the result.

      • Bill 1.1.4

        Advertising revenue Gosman. Without advertising revenue to bring down the cover price, any paper promoting a sensible position (read: “social democratic” in this day and age), would have a very short existence in that supposedly neutral arbitrator of supply, demand and preference (ie – the market).

        • dukeofurl 1.1.4.1

          Newspapers like the Guardian mix their news stories and opinion very freely in their digital version. The printed version will probably show more separation so you know for sure you have moved from opinion to news to sport etc. So often people will think ‘this is what the Guardian is saying’- they do have a hard to find part where they do editorials- why its just a talking head really. Click bait comes into to with headlines that demand ..demand I tell you,this or that

          The Guardian probably has a bigger audience outside Britain than in for its online audience ( Same goes for NY Times , its biggest online audience is in India but its most popular section is recipes – which explains it commonly has them on its ‘digital front page’)
          I think the Guardian gets quite a bit of revenue from its syndicated opinion writers hence the natural selection favours those writing for a middle class milieu.

  2. marty mars 2

    Thank you Micky. Your post is informative and is valuable – you’re really great at these posts.

    I like finding out what’s happening around the world and I also don’t care much – apart from Armageddon, injustice, and the like. But many here will be listening as intently to their devices as their grandparents did to the radio in the day. Good on them.

    • cleangreen 2.1

      Says; ‘ Marty the wise man from mars.’ – bullshit I say to this;

      “But many here will be listening as intently to their devices as their grandparents did to the radio in the day. Good on them.”

      Open-up your narrow mind.

      We all seacjh for the ‘truth channels’ now; – dont you know?

      • marty mars 2.1.1

        NEVER, EVER THREATEN THE PEOPLE FROM MARS AGAIN OR YOU WILL SUFFER CONSEQUENCES THE LIKES OF WHICH FEW THROUGHOUT HISTORY HAVE EVER SUFFERED BEFORE. WE ARE NO LONGER A PLANET THAT WILL STAND FOR YOUR DEMENTED WORDS OF VIOLENCE & DEATH. BE CAUTIOUS!

        • cleangreen 2.1.1.1

          Nutter you are for sure ‘nasty – marty’.

          I was banned for using upper case etalics watch out be careful you wont’ also eb banned using upper case wording to show aggression.

          [Marty’s comment was funny and topical – MS]

  3. Bill 3

    You missed the bit about Labour and Conservative MPs suggesting the UK ought to form a “government of national unity” a la WW2. (One way to keep Corbyn’s social democratic policies out of government 😉 )

    But anyway.

    Was it only just over a hundred years ago that Britain had this empire the sun never set on, and that Britain could set the terms of trade it preferred with who-ever it wanted off the back of its military might? And to think, that in a few months it will have no terms of trade with anyone.

    I wonder how that one works – no access to agreed international trading mechanisms?

    • Grafton Gully 3.1

      Invisibles and BAE

      • Exkiwiforces 3.1.1

        Who the hell would want to buy from Big And Expensive unless you are oil/ gas rich country or you have very deep pockets.

        Their ships and subs are overpriced and break down, The Typhoon Jet is a half ass design and land warfare systems division isn’t much chop either apart from some legacy Armoured Vehicles. The UAVS division are are good but are stave of money to really make a good fist of it.

        They no longer build civilian airliners and they only do bits and pieces for Airfarce (Airbus) and anyone else much like the rest of its Military Aircraft division apart from the Hawk which I think is still built at Bough once home to Blackburn Buccaneer and the worlds first flying brick the Blackburn Firebrand (One test pilot said it was built like a battleship and it flew like a battleship). Also they managed to well truely stuff up the Nimrod MR4 Project which would’ve given the Boeing P8 a run for its money.

        The only thing worth buying is the Hawk Jet, but even then the KAI T50 from South Korea is still cheaper and more capable than the Hawk. Their missile and radar division is world class and little bit on the expensive side.

        But then again Boeing and Lockheed Martin are just as bad with Boeing P8 problems, the 767 tanker program and Lockheed’s JSF their version of the flying brick.

        • feijoa 3.1.1.1

          They do make very good whisky though…..

          • Exkiwiforces 3.1.1.1.1

            I didn’t know that BAE aka Big And Expensive was into Whisky as well making big shitty and expensive defence products.

            2 Mates and I, plus a few Cuban cigars knock off a 100yr old Aldberg single malt which I brought after one my Middle East/ Africa deployments for my med discharge Party which was followed by an even excellent 50yr port from Oporto.

        • Mike Smith 3.1.1.2

          Tell us more about the P8 please EKF

    • dukeofurl 3.2

      ‘– no access to agreed international trading mechanisms?

      WTO is the default mechanism, very low tariffs mostly . The EU has high tariffs on agriculture imports but they have most to lose as Britain is big market for Agriculture from northern France, Netherlands, Denmark and especially Ireland.

      EU is a large grab bag of other entities apart from trade. They cover Medicines, patents, aviation , Cyber crime, work safety, environment, IPO, etc
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agencies_of_the_European_Union

      They are all distinct ‘legal personalities’ from the EU itself, and some Britain isnt a party to.

      • Bill 3.2.1

        I’m not so sure that Britain has any clear cut or defined membership of the WTO.

        (So, I did a very quick search, and got…)

        The UK is already a WTO member, but its membership terms are bundled with the EU’s. Re-establishing the UK’s WTO status in its own right means both the UK and the EU would negotiate simultaneously with the rest of the WTO’s members to extract their separate membership terms. Agreement on the UK’s terms is unlikely before those of the EU.

        https://www.ictsd.org/opinion/nothing-simple-about-uk-regaining-wto-status-post-brexit

        • Gosman 3.2.1.1

          Joining the WTO shouldn’t be a problem. It is kind of a default position unless you want to opt out.

          • Bill 3.2.1.1.1

            Default? Really? And all those “bundled terms” surrounding the UK’s current membership just get kind of ignored? I don’t think so. Pretty sure the WTO would be keen enough to kind of ‘fast track’ things, but still….

            From WTO pages…

            Third, “let’s draft membership terms”. Once the working party has completed its examination of the applicant’s trade regime, and the parallel bilateral market access negotiations are complete, the working party finalizes the terms of accession. These appear in a report, a draft membership treaty (“protocol of accession”) and lists (“schedules”) of the member-to-be’s commitments.

            Finally, “the decision”. The final package, consisting of the report, protocol and lists of commitments, is presented to the WTO General Council or the Ministerial Conference. If a two-thirds majority of WTO members vote in favour, the applicant is free to sign the protocol and to accede to the organization. In many cases, the country’s own parliament or legislature has to ratify the agreement before membership is complete.

            https://www.wto.org/english/thewto_e/whatis_e/tif_e/org3_e.htm

  4. ianmac 4

    Was the photo at the top accidental? Ha.

  5. Wayne 5

    It is not true that a large number of Conservative MP’s who support Leave don’t care what happens to the economy. Instead they think the UK will do better outside the EU, facing fewer trade restrictions. The EU has notoriously high barriers to trade in agricultural products and widely excessive levels of regulation.
    Obviously you don’t agree with the Leave economic argument, but don’t pretend that there isn’t actually one.

    • AB 5.1

      “Instead they think the UK will do better”
      What’s this “UK” thing you are talking about? It’s an abstraction right? So instead of talking in abstractions, why not say exactly who will do better, who will do worse and how the former intend to (permanently) compensate the latter? Oh – and give the environment personhood by making it a ‘who’ too.

      • dukeofurl 5.1.1

        UK Industry ,manufacturing, fisheries was badly affected by joining the EU- who compensated them.

        Bryan Gould, who was a ministerial official before becoming a UK MP explains what it meant at the time
        http://www.bryangould.com/the-truth-about-brexit-as-seen-from-new-zealand/

        ‘ The Common Market could not have been more inimical to British interests. It required the British to give up significant competitive advantages; first, their access to efficiently produced Commonwealth food which made possible a cheap food policy at home – and therefore lower industrial costs – and, secondly, their preferential markets in Commonwealth countries for relatively expensive British manufactures.

        And so it proved in practice. British taxpayers found themselves subsidising inefficient French farmers, British consumers had to pay higher food prices and therefore required higher wages just to stand still, and British manufacturers and their workforces faced lost output and jobs as they were outgunned in their own market and in Europe by the post-war revival of German industry.

        • AB 5.1.1.1

          May be true – which is why arguments based on what is good for “the country” or “the economy” are just hot air deliberately designed to avoid any calculation or ethical reflection on individual benefit and harm.
          Abstractions do not bleed, get depressed or kill themselves.

        • Exkiwiforces 5.1.1.2

          Yes the wheels did certainly fall for the British Industry etc after entering EU and my UK mates have said along with my ex pat cousin in London “we/ the Brits only wanted to sign up the for “Common Market” not all this other shit that being force down our/ their mouths etc by our weak knee pollies at Westminster”.

    • mickysavage 5.2

      Obviously you don’t agree with the Leave economic argument, but don’t pretend that there isn’t actually one.

      Not sure that I do Wayne. I did include the video from Conservative MP Anna Soubry to show that at least on the Conservative side there are MPs who think that economically it is a bad decision.

      Any links to economic arguments that suggest that it will improve things? And I take anything said by the leave campaign itself with a rather large dose of salt.

  6. Ad 6

    If your opponent is tripping themselves and falling, order another pint.

    Corbyn is looking pretty wily by being deftly positional . So I find him slightly more convincing as a politician.

    But our own government has to do much better on our own EU equivalent trade+diplomatic+social relationship with Australia. So no room for schadenfreude here.

  7. Gosman 7

    The theory of free trade (which most people here certainly don’t seem to understand) is that reducing Trade barriers even unilaterally will benefit an economy. Therefore the UK could crash out of the EU without a deal and then decide to impose no restrictions of goods coming from the rest of the EU and it would benefit. It would be the EU that would be imposing restrictions on British goods at that point. This technically harms them more than the British as they aren’t able to get what they want at the price they previously got them at.

    • dukeofurl 7.1

      Theory of free trade ?

      There are probably many theories there, depending what you want

      The opposite of free trade, for NZ for a long time any way, was autarky
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Autarky

      High employment, a stable economy, a standard of living similar/better to that of current ‘free trade’ position. Whats not to like for everyday kiwis ?. The high income earners wouldnt like it.

    • McFlock 7.2

      How does that work in practise? What countries have unilaterally removed all import and export duties on goods and services? Those would be the richest countries in the world, right?

      • Gosman 7.2.1

        Generally they tend to be better off than those with closed or restricted trade yes. What about the theory do you not understand?

        • McFlock 7.2.1.1

          How it works in practise, as per my question. To which countries do you refer?

        • Stuart Munro 7.2.1.2

          The problem is that presumption, which goes back to the likes of Adam Smith, is really based on English access to continental grain breaking the monopoly of large local grain growers.

          When free trade instead licenses foreign monopolies to destroy local businesses to the extent that prices rise for want of local alternatives (for it is the availability of alternatives that controls price gouging) the benefits are no longer there.

          NZ economists, not being the sharpest pencils in the drawer (or they’d be working somewhere else) rarely go even that deep.

          The free trade of English textile mills with India or opium with China was no blessing to those countries.

          • Gosman 7.2.1.2.1

            While not disagreeing with you in relation to Opium’s impact on China the textile trade with India was not exactly free. The British imposed restrictions on Indian manufacturing to benefit their own production.

            • Stuart Munro 7.2.1.2.1.1

              You miss the point: that the beneficial character of free trade is not achieved if it destroys local industry irrespective of whether that destruction is accomplished by simple competition or the heavy-handed jackboots of colonial imperialism.

              • Gosman

                Except if people are working in an area that is noncompetitive then it is better that they are employed in a more productive sector of the economy. NZers should never have been employed assembling motor vehicles for example. Much better to retrain in some other area.

                • Stuart Munro

                  That presumes there are comparable industries available, which there generally are not.

                  Motor vehicle assembly plants were by no means unique to NZ, as most countries recognized the dangers of deskilling their work forces. What happened was a shift in culture among bureaucrats, called neo-liberalism, which stated: fuck the workers, let them eat cake and the country can go to hell in a handcart. And so it went.

                  • Gosman

                    What benefit did having highly skilled people bring to the NZ economy when they were employed in a sector where we were never going to be able to compete with more efficient producers?

                    The highly skilled people previously employed in Car assembly plants were not the people who generally became long term unemployed.

                    • Stuart Munro

                      Shows what you know.

                      You just pushed the cost of adapting to your epic fucked up far-right fantasy onto the poorest members of society.

                      And then you pretend to be amazed at inequality growth. Perfidity thy name is Gosman.

                    • Gosman

                      Again, what benefit did these highly skilled people working in car assembly plants bring to the NZ economy long term?

                    • Macro

                      The question you should ask yourself before going off half cock is this:
                      “What is the economy for anyway?”
                      You quote the car assembly industry that is now pretty much defunct. There were thousands of people employed in support industries here as well. Not everything was made off shore. Tyres, seats, wheels, carpets, upholstery, all made here. Then there is the example of the clothing industry. Where did all those people go? The timber industry is only a fraction of what it used to be, as we now ship most of our logs off shore.
                      As those highly skilled workers moved onto other jobs, the less skilled lost jobs by the thousands. Is this what the economy is for?

            • McFlock 7.2.1.2.1.2

              That trade was unilaterally “free”.
              You said a nation unilaterally reducing trade barriers is, according to theory, better off.
              Where has this happened in actual practise?

              • Gosman

                https://policyexchange.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/Unilateral-Free-Trade.pdf

                “In 1846, partly triggered by the ongoing famine in Ireland, Parliament
                unilaterally removed the Corn Laws, abandoning the precondition of
                reciprocity. This was followed by the phasing out of imperial preference,
                repeal of Navigation Acts and abolition of hundreds of other custom
                duties. ”

                “Inspired by the success of free ports like Hong Kong and Singapore and
                experiments with new Special Economic Zones like Shenzhen, from the
                1980s on China unilaterally dismantled much of its tight control over
                foreign trade. Average tariffs fell from a high of 56% in 1982 to 7.5% by
                Global Champion – 23
                2015, while the coverage of licensing requirements fell from around half
                of imports and two-thirds of exports to less than 4% and 8%
                respectively.22
                As a result, imports expanded from just 2.5% of the
                Chinese economy to over a quarter, while growth accelerated as China
                took advantage of cheap labour to ultimately become the world’s largest
                exporter. “

                • McFlock

                  lol

                  Reducing the starvation levels in Ireland have little to do with benefits for the English people – and then bilateral agreements occurred. All the repeal of the corn laws did was make life slightly less shitty for an occupied state.

                  As for China, decentralisation has as much if not more to do with it than any “unilateral” removal of conventional trade barriers (according to the reference in your link). But I’m not a communist, so that’s also irrelevant.

                  • Gosman

                    You asked for examples I provided them. You can dispute them all you like but that’s the theory and examples of how people believe the theory works.

                    • McFlock

                      So examples of countries being better off after reducing trade barriers unilaterally include one country that decided to stop starving an occupied territory and signed some bilateral agreements afterwards (with no information about how either act made them better off), and a communist state decentralising some decisions before joining multilateral organisations and signing bilateral agreements?

                      So you don’t have any actual real-world examples that support your theory. Good to know.

                  • Mike Smith

                    Except it didn’t reduce stacation levels in Ireland. Corn that could have fed the Irish was all exported by the landholders. England may have benefited but the Irish population halved theough starvation and emigration. Some example.

                    • McFlock

                      Yeah fair call

                      Basically gossie made a catechism of market faith and he assumed we’d take his word for it that the random cases he spouted supported his preaching. And thereby we would all become good corporate capitalists, I guess.

    • Draco T Bastard 7.3

      The theory of free trade (which most people here certainly don’t seem to understand) is that reducing Trade barriers even unilaterally will benefit an economy.

      That’s not actually the theory of free-trade. It’s the lie of the capitalists that has seen the capitalists much better off while most other are worse off as their incomes stagnate at best.

      Therefore the UK could crash out of the EU without a deal and then decide to impose no restrictions of goods coming from the rest of the EU and it would benefit. It would be the EU that would be imposing restrictions on British goods at that point. This technically harms them more than the British as they aren’t able to get what they want at the price they previously got them at.

      And the UK manufacturing base would collapse along with UK incomes with it.

      Oh, wait, that’s what’s been happening with the UK as part of the EU.

      Perhaps it’s that your prefer simply doesn’t work the way you think it does.

      • Gosman 7.3.1

        Most of us are not worse off. People in the World are generally much better off now than at any time in human history as a result of freer trading relationships.

        • Draco T Bastard 7.3.1.1

          Nope.

          The Australian Aborigines were certainly better off without them. A forty thousand year old civilisation that didn’t know poverty.

          Many African tribes were much better off without the free-trade of slaves to the US/UK/France etcetera.

          And in NZ the tariff barriers that we once had helped decrease poverty whereas the lack of them has seen an increase in poverty.

        • KJT 7.3.1.2

          Extremely debatable.

          An increase in GDP of a third world country does not equal a reduction in poverty for one. Ask the Barrio/favela dwellers in South America what unlimited access for US agribusiness to their farm markets has done to them. For just one example.

        • greywarshark 7.3.1.3

          Gosman is one of the great Doubting Thomases of the blog. He will be still tapping or speaking on his death bed and then go quiet hopefully for ever. We should have an address that we can send wreaths to, though not for decades I think. It is being so mentally active that keeps him going.

          Do not go gentle into that good night
          Dylan Thomas, 1914 – 1953

          Do not go gentle into that good night,
          Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
          Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

          Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
          Because their words had forked no lightning they
          Do not go gentle into that good night.

          Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
          Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
          Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

          Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
          And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
          Do not go gentle into that good night.

          Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
          Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
          Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

          And you, my father, there on the sad height,
          Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
          Do not go gentle into that good night.
          Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

          https://www.poets.org/poetsorg/poem/do-not-go-gentle-good-night

  8. Cemetery Jones 8

    “It is as if the two tribes are realigning themselves in a somewhat disorganised fashion behind both slogans (remain or leave) without thinking too much about the reasons.”

    Now there’s some immense condescension. I prefer to understand why people don’t believe the same thing as me rather than convince myself I can minimise their reasons or pretend they have none. I recommend it.

    • RedLogix 8.1

      Smart thinking.

    • cleangreen 8.2

      EU is now more about being a political pact than being an economic one nowdays.

      With the ECB and the Europoean Council all running the show with ‘NATO’ smug in the middle kept close by.

      NATO will be used to punish any errant EU member, should they step out of the grand order that the EU council decides is in their best interests.

      Then NATO will be used to make an example of any next errant member.

      Remember the ugly scenes over Greece?

      https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-31125337

      Here are the players that dealt the poisoned rat to Greece.

      Mr Tsipras met the leaders of the three top EU institutions in Brussels – European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, European Council President Donald Tusk and European Parliament President Martin Schulz.

      At a joint news conference, Mr Schulz described their talks as “fruitful” but said there were difficult times ahead.

      In a newspaper interview with German daily Handelsblatt, Mr Schulz has warned that Greece risks bankruptcy if it does not honour its commitments.

  9. Draco T Bastard 9

    This speech from Anna Soubry captures the mood well.

    She says that the MP’s and the government’s job is to provide frictionless trade but that is not their job. Their job is to put in place rules that determine if trade with another nation is beneficial or not and from there put in place tariffs and/or outright bans on trade with that country in accordance with those rules.

    She makes the same mistake as most politicians and economists who believe that free-trade is about allowing trade no matter what and it isn’t.

    The politicians and the people need to ask if the country that we’re looking to trade with have the same standards as us:

    Do they have the same working conditions?
    Do they have the same respect for human rights?
    Do they have the same minimum wages after taking into account exchange rate and/or purchasing power?
    Do they have the same environmental protections as us?
    Do they have a floating exchange rate or do they manipulate it?

    The list goes on and it’s really important because a market system simply cannot work unless all costs are appropriately accounted for.

    Of course, if we did that then we’d come to the conclusion that we don’t need FTAs and that FTAs get in the way of actual free-trade as they remove the willing buyer/willing seller basis of free-trade.

    She goes on that jobs will be lost with Brexit but it’s also possible that more jobs will be created as jobs that are now done in the EU get on-shored into the UK.

  10. the other pat 10

    i like the photo at the beginning…..” A BITTER FUTURE”….sums it up methinks.

  11. SPC 11

    As I see it, it was inevitable that attitudes would harden during the two year period – due to a natural support for nationalist positions during the negotiating phase.

    Those in favour of a hard Brexit have exploited this to undermine a soft Brexit. They see the UK as a new Singapore off Europe, an ambition for an end to environmental and labour regulations required by the EU so as to advantage capital and also a government that acts in a nationalist way for local corporate business advantage. Which can either do better under WTO rules or make better bi-lateral trade arrangments.

    It’s about 1/3rd for this hard Brexit and one third for a soft Brexit and one third fior staying in the EU. The middle third splits down the middle, if its either a hard Brexit or staying in.

    This is all a nightmare politically.

    Given the narrow margin (and the demographic – where the margin of victory is eroded within a decade by the death of older voters), the best response is to offer to stay in the customs zone and single market for that time (suspending payment of any Brexit bill, enjoying the end of payments into the EU budget, and making no welfare payments, housing or family tax credit support to EU workers in the EU). What Cameron wanted for staying in the EU and more. Financially better off, but not part of the EU management process for a decade. And it gives the UK a decade to look at its options.

  12. greywarshark 12

    Overseas trade with whom, for what goods, at what prices and can we get advantage from opening our barriers of tariffs to match our love of imported goodies, greedy and uppish as we are about what we should have against what we deserve related to our actual country earnings?

    The emphasis went onto exports in the late 1980s? and off our domestic market. Was this a piece of sleight of hand, a bit of derring-do, a ‘trust us we know what we are doing’, a bullrush at the trade barriers to us, reckless in its unconcern for a Plan B? Now we have opened the gate and let the herd in to trample our veggie garden and eat our roses, can we gather anything viable from our Smashed Palace?

    I think the same type of people are behind Brexit, without an inch of safety net just-in-case (they will probably go off metrics now and match up with the USA which is still on imperial or was till recently.)

    https://www.mscnewswire.co.nz/news-sectors/reporters-desk/item/16002-trade-shortfall-tops-4-billion-in-june-year.html

    Trade shortfall tops $4 billion in June year
    Wednesday, 25 July 2018 11:03

    Trade shortfall tops $4 billion in June year
    The value of annual imports rose $374 million more than exports, pushing the June 2018 annual trade deficit to $4.0 billion, Stats NZ said today. This is the largest trade deficit for a June year in a decade.

    Compared with the June 2017 year, the trade deficit this year widened as all major import and export groups increased.

    “The last June year surplus was in 2014, driven by high dairy export values,” acting international statistics manager Dave Adair said. “Exports dipped in 2015 leading to a deficit, which has widened since due to steadily rising imports.”

  13. greywarshark 13

    Micky Savage
    Thanks for this truly awful bunch of facts about the political machinations around Brexit. It is interesting how right wing fables and personal cliques can triumph in Britain in place of reasoned and far-seeing political planning. Perfidious Albion – nobody should shake a Brit polly by the hand without donning sterile disposable gloves.

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Reviewing the whitewash
    Back in 2015, then Ombudsman Beverley Wakem conducted a review of the OIA, Not a game of hide and seek. The "review" was a whitewash, which found no need for legislative change, and instead criticised the media and requesters - which destroyed Wakem's reputation, and undermined that of the Office ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    34 mins ago
  • You Gov MRP Poll Out
    So, You Gov's MRP poll - the weird one that tries to reflect what will happen at a constituency level and which pretty much nailed the hung parliament in 2017 - is not looking too good for Labour:
    UK #GE2019 MRP seat projection:CON: 339 (-20)LAB: 231 (+20)SNP: 41 (-2)LDEM: 15 ...
    1 hour ago
  • Climate Change: Accountability?
    We've known about climate change for over forty years now,and it has been a major political issue for twenty. And yet fossil fuel companies have kept polluting with impunity, while government have looked the other way and twiddled their thumbs and refused to do anything because "the economy", or just ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 hour ago
  • Delusional And Irrational: The Rise Of Paranoid Politics In New Zealand.
    Sheer Loopiness: Many of those expressing bemusement at the antics of these #turnardern effacers, were convinced that they were yet another expression of the National Party’s increasingly spiteful anti-government propaganda campaign. They marvelled at the oddness of the perpetrators’ mindset and questioned the common-sense of allowing the rest of New Zealand ...
    3 hours ago
  • Things to know about Whakaari/White Island
    Brad Scott, GNS Science VolcanologistThis post was originally published by GeoNet. Following the 9 December devastating eruption at Whakaari/White Island we have put together some information about the island. New Zealand’s most active volcano Whakaari/White Island is currently New Zealand’s most active volcano, it has been since an eruptive episode ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    20 hours ago
  • Status quo supports status quo
    The Justice Committee has reported back on its Inquiry into the 2017 General Election and 2016 Local Elections, with a host of recommendations about how to improve our electoral systems. Some of their recommendations are already incorporate din the Electoral Amendment Bill currently before Parliament, but there's also a recommendation ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    21 hours ago
  • The Greens abandon NeoLiberalism
    Back in 2017, in order to make themselves "electable" in the eyes of rich people who oppose everything they stand for, the Greens signed up for NeoLiberalism, adopting a restrictive set of "Budget Responsibility Rules" which basicly prevented them from using government to make things better. Now, they're finally abandoning ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    22 hours ago
  • Lying about a failed war
    Since invading in 2001, the US has consistently claimed that their war in Afghanistan has been going well, even when it continued year after year after year. Of course, they were lying, and thanks to the Washington Post and the US Freedom of Information Act, we get to see just ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    23 hours ago
  • Artificial Intelligence and You
    How should we think about artificial intelligence and the implications that it has for our work and leisure? There are many articles on artificial intelligence and its potential impacts on jobs, and the ethics of applications. These are important topics, but I want to focus on some less discussed aspects, ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    1 day ago
  • Statistical manipulation to get publishable results
    I love data. It’s amazing the sort of “discoveries” I can make given a data set and computer statistical package. It’s just so easy to search for relationships and test their statistical significance. Maybe relationships which ...
    1 day ago
  • More lies on the Twitter (Dan Hodges edition)
    The other big story concerning Leeds Hospital is Boris Johnson's bizzare behaviour at Leeds Hospital, where he was confronted by a journalist and challenged about a four year old boy with suspected pneumonia who was left sleeping on the floor, rather than getting  abed like a sick kid would in ...
    1 day ago
  • LabourActivistPunchedMattHancock’sSPADGate
    So, for a brief period of history, it was alleged that a protester had punched Matt Hancock's SPAD (not a euphemism; special adviser) when Hancock visited Leeds Hospital.This was reported by the likes of Robert Peston and Laura Keunssberg, as well as the less credible Guido Fawkes.  It also quickly ...
    1 day ago
  • France’s anti-Zionism is anti-liberté
    by Daphna Whitmore Last week France passed a law that equates anti-Zionism with anti-Semitism. It is based on a definition of anti-Semitism that includes criticism of Israel such as: “Denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination, e.g., by claiming that the existence of a State of Israel is a racist ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 days ago
  • Another bus lockout
    Over the past year we've seen major bus problems in Hamilton and Wellington, as drivers have sought better wages and an end to the bullshit of split shifts, which basicly see them "married to the job". And now its Auckland's turn. When NZBus's drivers planned low-level strike action of not ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Climate Change: Showing us how its done
    The government has been congratulating itself over the passage of the Zero Carbon Act, which sets out long-term emissions targets. But those targets are insufficient. Meanwhile, Denmark is showing us how its done:Denmark’s parliament adopted a new climate law on Friday, committing to reach 70% below its 1990 emissions in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Public sector dysfunction should not be allowed to undermine freedom of information
    Another day, another piece of legislation with a secrecy clause. This time its the innocuous-seeming Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission Bill, which (after establishing a new body and making it subject to the OIA in three different ways) includes the rapidly-becoming-standard clauses enabling it to request information from other public ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • “This is England, this knife of Sheffield steel…”
    The state of the United Kingdom is fractured, torn up, shredded. The Empire is gone, it died a long time ago. And yet, the country is still tracking with a lead in favour of the ones who play to the ingrained, class-bound division for political gain. It is a disgrace ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    4 days ago
  • CORSIA, coming soon to an airport near you
    On 27 September, Greta Thunberg addressed a crowd of 500,000 at the School Strike for Climate in Montreal, saying: “You are a nation that is allegedly a climate leader. And Sweden is also a nation that is allegedly a climate leader. And in both cases, it means absolutely nothing. Because ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert McLachlan
    4 days ago
  • Cloaking hate speech and fake news in the right to free expression.
    It should be obvious by now but let’s be clear: The same folk who regularly traffic in disinformation, misinformation and “fake news” are also those who most strongly claim that their freedom of expression rights are being violated when moves are made to curb hate speech (as opposed to protected ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    4 days ago
  • The Physics (and Economics, and Politics) of Wheelchairs on Planes
    Michael Schulson When Shane Burcaw flies on an airplane, he brings along a customized gel cushion, a car seat, and about 10 pieces of memory foam. The whole arsenal costs around $1,000, but for Burcaw it’s a necessity. The 27-year-old author and speaker — who, alongside his fiancée, Hannah ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    4 days ago
  • To Advance Civil Rights, Oppose Transgender Extremism
    We are very pleased to publish this submission is from Lucinda Stoan. She is a social justice activist, mother, and educator, based in Washington State in the  US.   This detailed and comprehensive source-linked overview of trans issues and what is at stake will be useful for many people, especially in ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    5 days ago
  • Faafoi should be fired
    Newshub last night reported that Broadcasting Minister Kris Faafoi had apparently promised to help out a mate with an immigration issue. While its normal for people to approach MPs for assistance in this area, when you're a Minister, the rules are different: as the Cabinet Manual says, Ministers must "at ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Adrian Orr – The Reserve Bank’s Revolutionary Governor?
    New Zealand's Underarm Banker: It bears recalling that the “independence” of the Reserve Bank Governor was for decades held up by neoliberal capitalists as the most compelling justification for passing the Reserve Bank Act. Interesting, is it not, how the ruling class’s support for the Bank’s independence lasted no longer than ...
    5 days ago
  • Driving Us Up The Poll.
    Rubbish In, Rubbish Out: Put all this together, and it’s difficult to avoid the conclusion that anyone who responds positively to a pollster’s request to “answer a few questions” is just ever-so-slightly weird. Desperately lonely? Some sort of psephological train-spotter? Political party member primed to skew the poll for or against ...
    5 days ago
  • Jordan Williams, Colin Craig podcast series announced
    “Free at last, Free at last, Thank God almighty we are free at last.” ― Martin Luther King Jr. A long and bitter court feud between former Conservative Party leader Colin Craig and Jordan Williams has been settled, with an apology and compensation from Williams. On Tuesday, Craig sent out ...
    The PaepaeBy Peter Aranyi
    6 days ago
  • Scientific integrity requires critical investigation – not blind acceptance
    Some people seem to want to close down any critical discussion of the current research into the relationship between water fluoride and child IQ. They appear to argue that claims made by researchers should not be open to critical review and that the claims be accepted without proper consideration ...
    6 days ago
  • Climate Change: The shameful reality
    The government has been congratulating itself over the passage of the Zero Carbon Act, which sets out long-term emissions targets. Meanwhile, Climate Action Tracker has the shameful reality: those targets are insufficient:While New Zealand is showing leadership by having passed the world’s second-ever Zero Carbon Act in November 2019, under ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • More secrecy
    The government introduced a Racing Industry Bill today. As an urban who horse racing as pointless-to-cruel, and gambling as a tax on stupidity and/or hope, this isn't normally a bill which would interest me in the slightest, beyond grumpiness at more government money for a dying industry. But there is ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Unlikely online bully, Liam Hehir
    Check. Check. One, two, three, four. Is this thing ON? Hello readers, I logged in last night (yeah, it’s been a while) to mark THE END of the landmark legal case, Jordan Williams v Colin Craig, which (gulp) reached The Supreme Court, in which New Zealand’s most-defamed man was suing the politician he ...
    The PaepaeBy Peter Aranyi
    6 days ago
  • The Birth Of Israel: Wrong At The Right Time.
    Before The Birth: Israel’s most fervent supporters set their clocks ticking in Biblical times. They cite the kingdoms of David and Solomon as proof that, in the words of the Exodus movie’s theme-song: “This land is mine.” The majority of Israel’s backers, however, start their clocks in 1933 – the year Adolf ...
    6 days ago
  • Hard News: Public Address Word of the Year 2019: Korero phase
    In an unreliable, strange and confusing world, Public Address is proud to present a measure of comfort and stability by annually asking everyone what words or phrases sum up the year that's been – and then giving some of them consumer goods as prizes for being clever or simply lucky.Well, ...
    6 days ago
  • Generalist to specialist
    Both my parents are pretty handy – and they seem to have the right tools for most jobs in the garage and they know how to fix practically anything. A similar story could be told about their generation’s experience in the workforce – being a generalist was not unusual and ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    6 days ago
  • A “coincidence”
    When it was revealed that NZ First had tried to enrich itself from public office via the Provoncial Growth Fund, the Prime Minister assured us that everything was OK as Shane Jones, the Minister responsible for the fund, had recused himself. Except it seems that that recusal came very late ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Member’s Day
    Today is a Member's Day, and probably the last one of the year. After the marathon of the End of Life Choice Act, most of the bills up for debate today are uncontentious. First up is the second reading of Chlöe Swarbrick's Election Access Fund Bill. This will be followed ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Worse than I thought
    The Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Committee has reported back on the government's odious and tyrannical control orders bill. As expected, the fraudulent select committee process has made no significant changes (partly because they couldn't agree, but mostly because it was a stitch-up from the start, with no intention of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The cannabis bill and the referendum
    Yesterday, the government released its draft Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill, which will be put to a non-binding referendum at the next election. I'm not a drug policy expert, but Russell Brown is, and he thinks its pretty good. And pretty obviously, it will be a massive improvement on the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Hard News: The Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill: pretty good so far
    As you're probably aware, the draft bill outlining the proposed legal cannabis regime to be put to a referendum late next year was published yesterday, and has already attracted a flurry of comment. It's notable that a good deal of the comment is about proposals that aren't actually new.A minimum ...
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Alignment
    One of the big problems in New Zealand climate change policy is the government working at cross-purposes with itself. It wants to reduce fossil fuel use, but encourages oil and gas exploration. It wants to reduce transport emissions, but then builds enormous new roads. The problem could be avoided if ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • How climate change will affect food production and security
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz According to the United Nations, food shortages are a threat ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • More bad faith
    Last year, the government announced it was ending offshore oil exploration by no longer issuing new permits. The idea was that the industry would then die off as permits expired. Except almost immediately the government revealed its bad faith, by saying they would extend permits and alter conditions to keep ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Banning foreign money from our elections
    The government has said it will ban foreign donations to political parties and candidates, and will be introducing legislation to be passed under all-stages urgency this afternoon. While I agree with the goal, I don't see a particular case for urgency, unless the government is concerned about a flood of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Reforming the Education Acts
    The government introduced the Education and Training Bill to Parliament yesterday. Its a massive bill, which replaces both existing Education Acts, as well as various other bits of legislation (including some which are still proceeding through the House). I'll leave the serious analysis to teachers and people who actually know ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Bite-sized learning
    Amelia SharmanThere’s no one-size-fits-all when it comes to micro-credentials, those bits of bite-sized learning that can help workers stay on top of technological change.  What’s a micro-credential? While definitions vary, micro-credentials can be understood as short courses that allow people to learn new skills or have an existing competency recognised. ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • “Not The Labour Party We Once Knew.”
    All Smiles Now: Claire Szabo is taking up her presidential role after serving as the CEO of Habitat For Humanity. Which is absolutely perfect! After KiwiBuild was so comprehensively mismanaged by Phil Twyford, the party has not only elected a new president from a thoroughly respectable not-for-profit, but one who ...
    1 week ago
  • Marxist versus liberal methodology on transgender ideology/identity politics
    While much of the NZ left has transitioned to postmodern and identity politics in relation to transgender ideology, there are some very good articles about that deploy Marxist methodology in relation to this subject.  The one below is from the British marxist group Counterfire and appeared on their site here ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Book review: The Farm by Joanne Ramos
    by Daphna Whitmore At Golden Oaks, a luxurious country retreat in the Hudson Valley, pregnant women have the best care money can buy. From the organic food, personalised exercise programmes, private yoga instruction and daily massages Golden Oaks looks like a country lodge for the upper class. Set some time ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Loosening the purse strings
    When Labour was running for election in 2017, it felt it needed to demonstrate "fiscal responsibility" and signed itself up to masochistic "budget responsibility rules". It was a fool's errand: the sorts of voters who demand fiscal responsibility are also the sorts of voters who believe that labour can never ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: How to get there
    Writing in Stuff, Joel MacManus looks at what we need to do to meet the Zero Carbon Act's targets. The core of it:1. Convert 85 per cent of vehicles on the road to electric. 2. Eliminate fossil fuels from all industrial heating up to 300 degrees Celsius. 3. Double our ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • anti-vaxxers in a measles epidemic: so many ways to be untruthful
    “Anti-vaxers are a pro-death movement,” those comments from Dr Helen Petousis-Harris speaking about six more Measles related deaths in Samoa over the past twenty-four hours. “Anti-vaxers are a pro-death movement,” those comments from Dr Helen Petousis-Harris speaking about six more Measles related deaths in Samoa ...
    SciBlogsBy Alison Campbell
    1 week ago
  • Is Youth Vaping a Problem in New Zealand?
    Professors Janet Hoek and Richard Edwards, Emeritus Professor Phil Gendall, Jude Ball, Dr Judith McCool, Anaru Waa, Dr Becky Freeman Recent media reports have presented conflicting evidence on youth vaping in NZ. While some NZ school principals report concerns about increasing vaping on school grounds and confiscating vapes, ASH Year ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • In pursuit of “Freedom and Democracy”: Forever Wars in “America’s backyard”.
    “America the Beautiful!”, staunch defender of democracy, freedom and… a whole lot of despotic tyrants that play nice with what is called “the Washington Consensus.” America is indeed capable of immense good, but like any Nation, and most assuredly any aspirant to the mantle of Empire, great, immense evil. All ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    1 week ago
  • November ’19 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
    Image credit: The beginner’s guide to blogging 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 ...
    1 week ago
  • Whodunnit? Finding the mystery 1080 testing lab
    1080 is used to control pests in NZ. Its use is contested by a noisy few. A new report claims high levels of 1080 in rats washed up on a beach. Flora and Fauna of Aotearoa (F&F) won’t name the laboratory that did their testing. It has sparked a hunt ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    1 week ago
  • Authoritarian Friends, Democratic Enemies.
    What Kind Of Empire? The thing for Kiwis to decide is what kind of empire they want to belong to. The kind that, while offering its own citizens democratic rights, demands absolute obedience from its “friends”? Or, the kind that, while authoritarian at home, takes a relaxed attitude to the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Boris Johnson Goes Down
    It hasn't been a good week for the Conservatives, pollwise.  All major recent polls are showing their lead shrinking.Comparing each pollster's current (between 29/11 and 22/11) and previous most recent poll.Com Res - Conservative lead down 3 points.You Gov - Conservative lead down 1 point.Kantar - Conservative lead down 4 ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Interesting
    Within quick succession, Countdown maths wizard and twitterer Rachel Riley, alleged comedian David Baddiel and prominent lawyer Andrew Julius have all expressed very similar opinions / ideas:
    These #3billboards are going round London today, organised by ex-Labour people, horrified by what their party has become. Their principles haven’t changed, they’re ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Damn the Polls
    So, there have been a bunch of bad polls out for Labour, and even the Leftie's friend, Survation, have recently given the Conservatives a rip-snorting 11% lead.  You Gov's much vaunted MRP poll - which pretty much nailed the result in 2015 - is currently predicting a comfortable majority for ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: Europe declares an emergency
    The European Parliament has voted overwhelmingly to declare a climate emergency:The European parliament has declared a global “climate and environmental emergency” as it urged all EU countries to commit to net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. The vote came as scientists warned that the world may have already crossed ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • A Bi-Partisan Commitment To X-ing “P”.
    Pure Fear: Worse than Heroin, this drug’s addictive power was terrifying. People under its influence didn’t drift off to Elysium. Nor did it persuade inadequate individuals that they could conquer the world. No, this drug – pure crystal methamphetamine, “P” for short – unlocked the gates of Hell itself. It ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Advice about measles: when ignorance is definitely not a virtue
    As the rate of measles infection, and of deaths, continues to climb in Samoa, antivaccination activists infectious disease proponents seem intent on doubling down on their claims about vaccination. (Check pretty much any news-media FB post about measles & you’ll see exactly what I mean.) Unfortunately, some of them have ...
    SciBlogsBy Alison Campbell
    2 weeks ago
  • Samoa’s devastating measles epidemic – why and how bad?
    Samoa are experiencing a devastating measles epidemic. It is possible that 2-3% of the population will ultimately be infected by the time it is over. Hopefully the mass immunisation campaign currently under way can mitigate some of this, for many it is too late. The first question many people ask ...
    SciBlogsBy Helen Petousis Harris
    2 weeks ago
  • “It’s basic rights we are defending”: the Meghan Murphy interview
    Meghan Murphy is a Canadian writer and journalist She runs the Feminist Current website which she founded in 2012.  She was a keynote speaker for the Feminism2020 conference in Wellington this month. When Massey University cancelled the original venue booking Feminism2020 was hosted in Parliament by MP David Seymour. Meghan ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • A week of protests in Colombia
    Text and photos by Gearóid Ó Loingsigh Colombia has lived through one week of protests against the economic measures taken by president Duque. What looked like a protest that would fizzle out after its first day on November 21st is still going strong. Part of the reason for the continuance ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Anti-neutrinos–When you are your own opposite
    Around a million billion pass through you each second, almost all originating from our sun, but few of them are likely to interact with you enroute. I was reading in a physics magazine earlier in the week about the nature of neutrinos. These are extremely numerous elementary particles, but only ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    2 weeks ago
  • Exoplanets, life, and the danger of a single study
    By Pallab Ghosh There’s value in covering new research advances, even when the underlying science is unsettled. But there are also risks. The recent announcement that scientists discovered water on the planet K2-18b, 110 light years away, prompted a media swoon. News stories, including a piece written by me, billed ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • The Intersex Continuum
    I wrote this review a couple of years ago when I was still in the process of getting my head around the politics of transgenderism, and specifically the claim that intersex conditions lend support to the notion that sex is ‘socially constructed’. Since writing this review I have come across ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Leaving us with the bill
    Two weeks ago, Malaysian-owned oil company Tamarind declared it was insolvent and went into administration after a failed offshore drilling campaign. Tamarind apparently specialises in buying oil fields at the end of their life and trying to squeeze out the last few drops of pollution. But part of their scam ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • How much does flying contribute to climate change?
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz How much does our use of air travel contribute to the ...
    SciBlogsBy Shaun Hendy
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: The task before us
    Two weeks ago, the Zero Carbon Act became law. Right this moment, the Climate Change Commisison will be working on its initial budgets for 2022-25 and 2026-2030, and the UN has just given them a very clear steer:Countries must make an unprecedented effort to cut their levels of greenhouse gases ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Among my favourite asteroids: (2309) Mr. Spock
    Minor planet/asteroid (2309) Mr. Spock is named not for the character in Star Trek, but for a cat that was itself imperturbable, logical, intelligent and had pointed ears In a preceding blog post I introduced one of my favourite asteroids, (2472) Bradman, and also mentioned (6581) Sobers amongst a few ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    2 weeks ago
  • Measles deaths and antivax misinformation
    Today the death toll from measles in Samoa rose to 32. All but four of the dead were less than 5 years old. Absolutely terrible, heartbreaking, news. That statistic alone should be enough to give the lie to the common claim by antivaccination activists plague enthusiasts that “measles is a ...
    SciBlogsBy Alison Campbell
    2 weeks ago
  • Colombia: the state murder of Dilan Cruz
    by Gearóid Ó Loingsigh It is late here in Bogotá, almost 11.30pm on Monday the 25th of November as I write this. The day began full of hope with yet more massive marches throughout the country, a mix of the International Day of Non-Violence Against Women and the National Strike. ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Anti-fluoride propagandists appear not to read the articles they promote
    Anti-fluoride activists are rubbing their hands in glee over what they claim is “yet another study” showing fluoride harms the brains of children. But their promotion relies on IQ relationships which the paper’s authors acknowledge disappearing when outliers or other factors are considered. And they completely ignore other relationships ...
    2 weeks ago
  • The rise and collapse of classical political economy
    The feature below is the conclusion of A History of Economic Thought, whose author was a leading Marxist economist in Russia in the early 20th century, Isaac Ilyich Rubin.  The book arose from a course he ran at Moscow University following the Russian Revolution.  First published in Russian in 1929, ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Among my favourite asteroids: (2472) Bradman
    There are many thousands of asteroids with formal names, some humdrum but other more noteworthy (depending on your predilections). One of my favourites, the name of which I was involved in suggesting, is (2472) Bradman, named for the Australian cricketing great.  As a minor planet (synonym: asteroid) spotter, I have ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    2 weeks ago

  • $12 billion in extra infrastructure investment
    The Government is lifting capital investment to the highest level in more than 20 years as it takes the next step to future-proof New Zealand. Finance Minister Grant Robertson has announced $12 billion of new investment, with $8 billion for specific capital projects and $4 billion to be added to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    26 mins ago
  • Strong economy, careful spending gives $12bn of surpluses
    The Government is forecast to run $12 billion worth of surpluses across the four years to 2023/24 as the economy continues to grow. The surpluses will help fund day-to-day capital requirements each year. These include fixing leaky hospitals, building new classrooms to cover population growth and take pressure off class ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    26 mins ago
  • Priorities for 2020 Wellbeing Budget outlined
    Budget 2020 will continue the Coalition Government’s focus on tackling the long-term challenges facing New Zealand while also investing to future-proof the economy. When the Government took office in 2017 it was left with crumbling infrastructure, severe underinvestment in public services, degraded rivers and lakes, a housing crisis and rising ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    26 mins ago
  • Minister welcomes data-rich coastline mapping tool
    The Minister responsible for the Marine and Coastal Area (Takutai Moana) Act 2011 (te Takutai Moana Act 2011), Andrew Little has welcomed the launch of an online geospatial tool that provides data-rich, dynamic coastline maps that will significantly boost research and evidence-gathering under the Act. Te Kete Kōrero a Te ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 hours ago
  • Chief Victims Advisor reappointed for a further two years
    The Chief Victims Advisor to Government Dr Kim McGregor, QSO, has been reappointed in her role for a further two years. Dr McGregor has held the role since it was established in November 2015. She provides independent advice to government on how to improve the criminal justice system for victims. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 hours ago
  • New Zealand tsunami monitoring and detection system to be established
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters and Civil Defence Minister Peeni Henare have today announced the deployment of a network of DART (Deep-ocean Assessment and Reporting of Tsunami) buoys. “New Zealand and the Pacific region are particularly vulnerable to natural disasters. It is vital we have adequate warning systems in place,” ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 hours ago
  • DART Buoys Announcement
    DART Buoys Announcement Aotea Wharf, 9.30am 11 December 2019   Acknowledgements Acknowledgements to Minister for Civil Defence Hon Peeni Henare also here today. White Island It is with regret that this event shadows the tragic natural disaster two days ago. The volcanic eruptions on White Island have claimed 5 lives, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 hours ago
  • Final steps for racing industry reform
    Racing Minister Winston Peters has welcomed the first reading of the Racing Industry Bill in parliament today. This is the second of two Bills that have been introduced this year to revitalise New Zealand’s racing industry. “Our domestic racing industry has been in serious decline.  The Government is committed to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    21 hours ago
  • Funding to promote New Zealand Sign Language initiatives
    Minister for Disability Issues, Carmel Sepuloni, is pleased to announce that $291,321 is to be awarded to national and local community initiatives to maintain and promote the use of New Zealand Sign Language (NZSL). “New Zealand is one of the few countries  in the world where Sign Language is an ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    22 hours ago
  • How New Zealand defines and recognises veterans
    Minister for Veterans Ron Mark has announced today the Coalition Government’s initial response to work completed by the independent statutory body, the Veterans’ Advisory Board. “When Professor Ron Paterson completed his review of the Veterans’ Support Act in 2018, he made a number of recommendations, including one which I referred ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    23 hours ago
  • Government to fund lion’s share of Ohakea water scheme
    The Government will fund the bulk of the cost of a rural water supply for the Ohakea community affected by PFAS contamination, Environment Minister David Parker announced today at a meeting of local residents. This new water scheme will provide a reliable and clean source of drinking water to the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Prime Minister statement on White Island eruption
    I have had the opportunity to be briefed on the details of the volcanic eruption of Whakaari/White Island, off the coast of Whakatane in the Bay of Plenty.  The eruption happened at 2.11pm today.  It continues to be an evolving situation.  We know that there were a number of tourists ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Govt funds $100k for weather-hit communities
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Minister of Civil Defence Peeni Henare have today confirmed initial Government support of $100,000 for communities affected by the severe weather that swept across the South Island and lower North Island over the weekend. The contribution will be made to Mayoral relief funds across the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Death of NZ High Commissioner to Cook Islands
    New Zealand's High Commissioner to the Cook Islands, Tessa Temata, died in Palmerston North over the weekend, Foreign Minister Winston Peters said today. Ms Temata, 52, had recently returned to New Zealand for medical treatment. "On behalf of the Government and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, we extend ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Wellington rail upgrade full steam ahead
    Transport Minister Phil Twyford today announced construction is underway on Wellington commuter rail upgrades which will mean more frequent services and fewer breakdowns. The upgrades include converting the Trentham to Upper Hutt single track section to a double track, with a new signalling system, upgraded stations and level crossings, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Defence Climate Change Implementation Plan released
    Minister of Defence Ron Mark and Minister for Climate Change James Shaw have announced the release of a Defence Climate Change Implementation Work Plan, titled Responding to the Climate Crisis: An Implementation Plan.  The plan sets out a series of recommendations based on the 2018 New Zealand Defence Assessment, The ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Govt releases funding to support South Canterbury
    A medium-scale adverse event has been declared for the South Canterbury district, which will see up to $50,000 in funding made available to support farming communities which have been significantly affected by recent heavy rain and flooding in the area, says Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor. “Two weeks of solid rain ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Speech at launch of Rethinking Plastics Report
    Thank you Professor Juliet Gerrard and your team for the comprehensive and extremely helpful report and recommendations. Thank you too to all the stakeholders and interested parties who have contributed ideas and thinking to it. “Making best practice, standard practice” is a great framework for change and the action plan ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Govt pledges next steps on plastic waste
    The Government will phase out more single-use plastics following the success of its single-use plastic bag ban earlier this year and the release today of a pivotal report for dealing with waste. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has welcomed the Rethinking Plastics in Aotearoa New Zealandreport, released by her Chief Science Advisor ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • International student enrolments grow in universities and the regions
    International education continues to thrive as the Government focuses on quality over quantity, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said. The tuition revenue from international education increased to $1.16 billion last year with the average tuition fee per student increasing by $960. The total number of international students enrolled in New Zealand ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Speech to Government Economics Network 2019 Conference
    I want to talk about one of the most pressing issues in our national life: the housing crisis and the poor performance of our cities. The argument I want to make to you is that generations of urban land use policy have lacked a decent grounding in economics. The consequences ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • DHB leadership renewed and strengthened
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says new appointments to DHBs represent a significant changing of the guard, with 13 new chairs including four Māori chairs. Today 76 appointments have been announced to complement elected board members, as well as eight elected members appointed as either chair or deputy chair.  Four ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Tabuteau to advance New Zealand’s trade and political interests with European partners
    Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Foreign Affairs, Fletcher Tabuteau, is travelling to Germany, Poland, Austria, and Spain next week to bolster New Zealand’s political and trade relationships in Europe. While in Spain, Mr Tabuteau will represent New Zealand at the 14th Asia-Europe (ASEM) Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in Madrid. “New Zealand strongly supports ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Statement from the Prime Minister on Kris Faafoi
    “I’ve spoken to Minister Faafoi, who has apologised for his poor handling of this issue,” Jacinda Ardern said. “I have confidence in Kris as a hardworking and effective Minister, but this should have been dealt with in a much clearer manner, and I’ve made my views on that very clear ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Tonga-New Zealand Joint Ministerial Forum
    Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters met with Tongan Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pohiva Tu'i'onetoa in Wellington today. The pair signed a Statement of Partnership setting out joint priorities for cooperation out to 2023.  “We welcomed Prime Minister Tu'i'onetoa on his first visit to New Zealand as Prime Minister. Tonga ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Shooting in Kurow
    The Minister of Police Stuart Nash says his sympathies are with the family of a man who died after being shot by Police in Kurow. “Initial reports are that Police were called by a family member to help the man who was threatening to harm himself,” Mr Nash says. “However ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government delivers funding boost for ethnic communities
    Ethnic communities will be able to plan and deliver more community initiatives thanks to an increase in Government funding, Minister for Ethnic Communities Hon Jenny Salesa said today. “Ensuring Aotearoa New Zealand is a place we can all be proud to call home has been a key priority of our ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Govt supports Southland farmers in sustainability
    Healthier waterways, better productivity and farmer wellbeing are front and centre in a new project involving more than 1000 Southland farmers and growers. Minister of Agriculture Damien O’Connor today announced that the Thriving Southland Change and Innovation Project is the first region-wide extension programme supported by the $229 million Sustainable ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Flood of support for Top of the South catchment
    Work to look after nature and restore freshwater quality in Te Hoiere/Pelorus River catchment is getting a significant boost, thanks to new Government funding support Minister for Conservation Eugenie Sage announced in Canvastown today. “Every New Zealander should be able to swim in their local river without getting sick, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Eight Queen’s Counsel appointed under new criterion
    Eight Queen’s Counsel have been appointed under a process that includes the new criterion of a commitment to improving access to justice, Attorney-General David Parker announced today. “The new criterion was included this year. It emphasises that excellence and leadership in the profession can be seen through a wider, community ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Major expansion for Wellington’s Onslow College
    Onslow College in Wellington will get 20 new classrooms for more than 400 students, Education Minister Chris Hipkins announced today. The much-needed investment will relieve growth pressure the school has been experiencing for some time. Seven existing classrooms which have deteriorated over time will also be replaced, bringing the total ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Talented young Kiwis awarded PM’s Scholarships to Asia and Latin America
    More than 250 young New Zealanders will add international experience to their education, thanks to the latest Prime Minister’s Scholarships for Asia (PMSA) and Latin America (PMSLA), Education Minister Chris Hipkins announced today. This round of scholarships supports 252 recent graduates or current students to undertake study, research or internships ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Government to improve competitiveness and transparency in the retail fuel market
    Consumers will benefit from a more competitive, transparent retail fuel market as a result of changes the Government will be making in response to the findings of the Commerce Commission’s study of the fuel sector. “We accept the Commission’s findings and, as the Prime Minister has said, we’re ready to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • More cancer medicines for more people
    Five new cancer medicines have now been funded this year, meaning thousands of people have more treatment options PHARMAC has today announced that it has approved two new medicines for funding – fulvestrant for breast cancer and olaparib for ovarian cancer. This follows earlier decisions on advanced lung cancer treatment alectinib, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Government acts to sort out electoral ‘coin toss’ problem
    The Minister of Local Government, Hon Nanaia Mahuta says the Government will consider making changes to local electoral legislation before the 2022 elections to fix the problems that have arisen where elections are settled by a coin toss.  The Minister says the recount process in the Murupara- Galatea ward at ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • NZ to Join IMO Convention to Reduce Ship Emissions
    New Zealand will sign up to new international maritime regulations to reduce ship emissions and lift air quality around ports and harbours, Associate Transport Minister Julie Anne Genter announced today. Subject to completion of the Parliamentary treaty examination process, New Zealand will sign up to Annex VI of MARPOL, an ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Bill to empower urban development projects
    New legislation to transform our urban areas and create sustainable, inclusive and thriving communities will tomorrow be introduced to Parliament, Urban Development Minister Phil Twyford said. “The Urban Development Bill gives Kāinga Ora-Homes and Communities the tools it needs to partner with councils, communities, mana whenua and private developers to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Early Learning Action Plan to kickstart long term change
    Today’s launch of He taonga te Tamaiti: Every child a taonga: The Early Learning Action Plan 2019-2029 provides the foundation for long-lasting changes to early learning, Education Minister Chris Hipkins says.   “Early learning will be one of the Government’s top education priorities going into 2020,” Chris Hipkins said.   ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Climate change lens on major Government decisions
    Major decisions made by the Government will now be considered under a climate change lens, Minister for Climate Change James Shaw announced today. “Cabinet routinely considers the effects of its decisions on human rights, the Treaty of Waitangi, rural communities, the disability community, and gender – now climate change will ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Tertiary Education Commission Board announced
    Education Minister Chris Hipkins today announced the appointment of Māori education specialist Dr Wayne Ngata and Business NZ head Kirk Hope to the Board of the Tertiary Education Commission (TEC). Dr Alastair MacCormick has been reappointed for another term. “Wayne Ngata, Kirk Hope and Alastair MacCormick bring a great deal ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago