Broken principles and broken windows

Written By: - Date published: 7:33 pm, September 5th, 2010 - 45 comments
Categories: class war, jobs - Tags: , , ,

Compare two situations:

People put money into a finance company after dozens have collapsed. They know that high interest equals high risk. They know SCF is shaky as hell. It goes belly up and…. government pay-outs for all of them. Including the interest! Including non-residents who aren’t covered by the rules! No questions of whether SCF met the terms of its guarantee. No worries about ‘moral dilemma’ of letting people gamble with all the risk on the taxpayer.

People whose houses and property were damaged in Christchurch but don’t have insurance get the cold shoulder from the government. Key says “Ultimately if you don’t have insurance and you don’t fit in the category of real hardship, then there’s no question there will be a cost,” Reckons he’s worried about “moral dilemma”. Doesn’t want to make not having insurance risk-free for home owners. But risk-free investing underwritten by the taxpayer is fine, eh?

Rich investor and you put your money in a dodgy finance company? Did the company collapse? You get your money back. No questions.

Lost your job thanks to this endless recession? Couldn’t afford insurance? Property damaged in the quake? Key says you can get stuffed.

The rich get taxpayer-backed insurance for their savings. The workers don’t for their houses.

It’s called class war.

One more thing. Key reckons the rebuilding will be a “be tremendous stimulus”. Says it’s a “great irony” that jobless workers in Christchurch might get work in the rebuilding. Nah, you pillock, it’s called the broken windows fallacy. Working to rebuild what you lost is no gain. Not a substitute for real stimulus.

45 comments on “Broken principles and broken windows”

  1. So, this broken windows fallacy.

    Does it apply if the money will be paid by local insurance companies who have reinsured with overseas companies? (Which I am assuming is the case.)

    Doesn’t this mean that we (New Zealand) are receiving money from overseas that we otherwise would not have got and that this transfer therefore does have some stimulus effect?

    (Of course, if the actuaries have done their jobs correctly I guess we have paid for it, with a profit margin, in our insurance premiums transferred to those very same reinsurers.)

    • Marty G 1.1

      ha, zet’s right. working to replace a loss is not a gain in wealth. In fact, it means that resources are expended that otherwise could have been used to gain wealth. Think about it. If this was a great economic event and there’s been no loss of human life, we would be celebrating, wouldn’t we? But we’re not because we’re going to have to spend so much time rebuilding, diverting resources from stuff we would rather be doing.

      Sure, there will be jobs created in the short-term but what’s happened is the loss of a couple of billion in capital in physical damage and the conversion of a couple of billion of EQC capital into present spending.

      • Yes, but if the person paying for the window to be fixed is overseas, how does that change things? In that case the money is coming from out of our economy and means that New Zealand is receiving money that would otherwise have gone to the shareholders in France as profit.

        Of course, to analyse properly, you’d have to have a good idea of where the insurance money was coming from and the domestic/foreign split.

      • KJT 1.1.2

        If the resources would otherwise go to profits in overseas insurance companies then you could say it is a gain in wealth.

    • Ari 1.2

      If you have a window and it breaks, and someone else offers to pay to fix it, you haven’t gained the money they gave you to fix it. You’ve broken even because you’re spending it to replace lost assets. Foreign insurance companies don’t even account for that, as you’ve had to pay them previously for the privilege, so you’re actually out of pocket for the deal unless they somehow overpay you.

  2. RedLogix 2

    Nail head hit Zet.

    In the normal course of events Key might have a point; after all it’s kinda galling for sane responsible folk who’ve paid their own insurance, to see their taxes spent on bailing out those who have chosen not to.

    But set in the context of the SCF bailout, and impact of the recession, the hypocrisy is laid bare. Moreover Key has let the mask slip badly here.

    As Warren Buffet famously put it, ‘it’s class warfare alright, and my class is winning’.

    • Rex Widerstrom 2.1

      Nail hit too RL. It’s like these reckless shits who drive around uninsured and with no asset backing and then leave other people holding the bill… not to be encouraged. But that argument, perfectly valid in its own right, kinda falls flat when you’re happy to have your mates recklessly drive a company into a metaphorical power pole, only to have everyone else pay to tow it off and panelbeat it.

  3. Macro 3

    What about the rural community hit by extreme weather (flood, drought, etc)? Minister of Ag on the spot to fork out relief packages aplenty! Another of what’s good for some – not for others.

    • KJT 3.1

      Yeah always thought that was funny. There with bells on for cockies. Not that I think we should not be! But! No help for the drainlayer in Whangarei who went bust after a winter of solid rain.

  4. Anne 4

    Didn’t Bill English and John Key decry Labour – both before and after the election – about Labour’s policy to create a stimulus package as a means of overcoming the worst effects of the recession? Smile and Wave has had a change of heart then?

  5. Puddleglum 5

    As Minister of Tourism I would have expected John Key to factor in the loss to Christchurch’s heritage in any ‘accounting’ of the benefits of fixing these particular ‘broken windows’ – and perhaps supporting the strengthening of what remains of the city’s older buildings (not to mention those of other cities).

    That work would provide a rather less ‘ironic’ stimulus. (The phrase ‘great irony’ may actually show that Key has some dim awareness of the fallacy he is hawking to the public.)

    • bbfloyd 5.1

      that awareness isn’t dim….. he knows full well what he’s saying..and how honest it isn’t..

      • Draco T Bastard 5.1.1

        Yep, even in the limited economics training he got at uni as part of his business degree he would have been introduced to the Broken Windows Fallacy.

  6. illuminatedtiger 6

    Not sure if this is entirely on topic but did anyone notice how Key could only talk about swimming pools when interviewed by John Campbell last night? Is this seriously all our Prime Minister thinks about. Does this man know what a typical Kiwi home looks like?

    • Marty G 6.1

      “Does this man know what a typical Kiwi home looks like?” -No.

      • joe bloggs 6.1.1

        Liar. Dissembler. There has been no end of publicity about JK’s beginnings:

        I was raised, along with my sisters, in a state house in Christchurch. Back then I thought I was poor and, by most standards we were.

        John Key: Valuing Families
        Speech to the Family First New Zealand Forum on the Family
        08 September 2008

        He goes on to say in the next breath

        “As I grew up, though, I recognised that what my mother gave to my sisters and I was far more valuable than money. She instilled in us the desire to improve ourselves by our own hard work, the confidence that we were able to do it, and the hope that it was possible to do so. She instilled in me an ethic of hard work and determination and a genuine belief that “you get out of life what you put into it”.

        Evidently the politics of envy plays a central role in YOUR belief system Marty.

        • prism 6.1.1.1

          joe bloggs – Sounds like a quote from John Key’s personal PR manager. It makes its three points which are a well-known effective speechifying strategem. It sounds very preachy, it would be peachy though, if all one had to do to become a millionaire or just a success was to follow his mother’s approach. It sounds a good approach but it needs to include having consideration for others and not measuring yourself or them firstly by the value of financial assets.

        • Puddleglum 6.1.1.2

          It’s all about what comes to mind, joe bloggs. And, what comes to mind is usually determined by recent, adult experiences rather than what happened in your childhood.

          I, too, was raised in a state house in Christchurch and, before that, a migrant’s hostel in Australia and, before that, post WWII prefabricated housing for the working class in England. But I became educated and have spent most of my adult life around educated people. I still find myself assuming that people know things that I just take as ‘general knowledge’ – but most don’t. That is, I don’t relate to other people’s likely experience of ‘general knowledge’ based on my childhood experiences of people’s knowledge but on the experiences I’ve had for the last few decades.

          Similarly, I imagine that hearing about swimming pools, spa pools, or whatever, was salient for Key because of HIS last few decades of experience around wealthier people. Naturally enough, that’s probably how he could empathise/ understand what was going on – by its effects on upper middle class New Zealand. Not by its effects on the lives of the less wealthy.

          More charitably, perhaps he thought he was basically talking to relatively wealthy Aucklanders on John Campbell’s programme and that’s how he thought he could best get the sense of the event across to those people. Who knows? What’s for sure is that swimming pools aren’t a priority for most Christchurch citizens at the moment and so such comments won’t resonate with them.

          To be honest, I don’t think this is just a failing of Key’s. There are tens of thousands of people in Christchurch who have no idea of the daily experience of even more tens of thousands of their co-citizens. I think it’s that basic ignorance that allows some New Zealanders to say things like “there are no classes in New Zealand” and other ridiculous claims.

          One of the (predictable) tragedies is that it was the eastern (lower SES) suburbs that were hit worst because of the liquefaction and general instability of the ground their houses were built on. As cities grow, typically, cheaper housing gets developed on less ‘prime’ more marginal land. Apparently there’s a recent Bexley development (an eastern suburb) that has had major damage to the foundations of most of the houses in it. Still, I guess the developer did his or her bit to boosting GDP at the time the development went ahead. Now it can be boosted again by fixing it up (or trashing it).

  7. Tigger 7

    Key is praying for a hurricane, tsunami and a couple of major fires to hit various parts of the country. Heck, if Rangitoto erupts he’ll likely wet himself in delight. He is revolting.

  8. vto 8

    Your parable may have some relevance in normal conditions however here in Canterbury at this stage of the depression (will everyone stop calling it a recession please) the influx of money is indeed a silver lining.

    People I know in the construction industry who were looking down the barrel of empty work orders are now full to over-flowing. This provides income to people wo would not otherwise have had it.

    So, fine parable and maybe it is correct in the final outcome in that people may not have new shoes, and instead have repaired windows, but it will drastically improve the incomes in Canterbury in a situation where things were dire.

    Save the parable for when all else is equal.

    • Marty G 8.1

      The country is worse off, you can’t get around that. Ultimately, we end up with $2 billion less in our national savings that has been spent replacing $2 billion of physical damage.

      Yes the rebuild will contribute to GDP but that just shows the flaws in GDP as a measure of human welfare. Anyway, the loss of ordinary business activity may offset that.

      Remember, if the broken windows fallacy doesn’t apply then it stands to reason that you should be going around damaging more buildings to create more stimulus.

      • Pascal's bookie 8.1.1

        “The country is worse off, you can’t get around that.”

        Undeniably true. There was a big fucking earthquake that wrecked a bunch of shit.

        But what’s also true is that there is an increase in aggregate demand that will be filled by using labour and capital that previously couldn’t find anything particularly productive to do.

        The source of that increase in demand is, in a sense, irrelevant. The work created is undeniably productive. It’s not nothing. Sure, it’s rebuilding assets that were lost, but so what?

        “should be going around damaging more buildings to create more stimulus.”

        Not really, because no one is saying that the damage is good thing. They are saying that fixing broken shit is work. It’s more like saying that a govt should soak up ‘excess’ labour in a depression by fixing up run down infrastructure. Would you respond to someone who suggested that by saying that they ‘may as well go around blowing up bridges?’

        I’m not saying that fallacy isn’t real, just that it’s not entirely convincing or always appropriate.

        I’m pretty sure the folks getting paid, and their families, and the people they buy goods and services off, would agree. If that offends libertarians, econowonks, and people who think an economy is a race to build the biggest pile of shit, fuck them.

        People that didn’t ahve work, are gonna have good productive work. And it’s going to be paid for with funds that otherwise would have been sitting in investments waiting for just such an occurance.

        • Loota 8.1.1.1

          But what’s also true is that there is an increase in aggregate demand that will be filled by using labour and capital that previously couldn’t find anything particularly productive to do.

          The source of that increase in demand is, in a sense, irrelevant. The work created is undeniably productive. It’s not nothing. Sure, it’s rebuilding assets that were lost, but so what?

          This is exactly why major powers love wars.

          Nothing gets the economy going like a good bash-bam.

          All things considered however, NZ should already have been spending that $2B developing new science and industry.

          That’s what I call stimulus.

          This, this is just spending to stand still. Pays some bills for some contractors, great, but don’t see it as being much more than that.

  9. Jenny 9

    .
    ZETETIC:

    Key reckons the rebuilding will be a “be tremendous stimulus”. Says it’s a “great irony” that jobless workers in Christchurch might get work in the rebuilding. Nah, you pillock, it’s called the broken windows fallacy. Working to rebuild what you lost is no gain. Not a substitute for real stimulus.

    In his essay the ‘Beware! the end is nigh! Grant Morgan explains that the ‘growth gene’ is deep in the DNA of capitalism.

    Without continual growth capitalism cannot exist.

    This means, that when capitalism is up against any limits to endless growth, like recessions or depressions – Capitalists Welcome Destruction.

    In a recession capitalists like Key see natural disasters, (or wars for that matter) as a good thing.

    UNITY: ‘Beware! The end is nigh!’

    Capitalism’s growth gene has spurred a reckless looting and spoilage of nature, particularly since the invention of the oil well drill 150 years ago. …

    Morgan’s claim of an endless need for growth and expansion also explains capitalism’s shift to financialisation in the ’80s and ’90s, (ending in the present financial collapse), occurred because the real economy could no longer generate sufficient profits to sate capitalism’s growth gene.

    • prism 9.1

      Wikipedia info on who Grant Morgan is –
      Grant Morgan is a political activist from Auckland, New Zealand.
      Morgan is a leading member of Socialist Worker (Aotearoa), and the chairperson of the Residents Action Movement. He was also the first Secretary of the Solidarity Union, and the last General Secretary of the Communist Party of New Zealand.

      And Gareth Morgan is NZ financier. Just for those who like me don’t know who’s who about all.

  10. nadis 10

    It’s not a black and white as you’d think.

    GDP = C +G +I +(Ex-Imp)

    In the aftermath of the earthquake you’ll see C , G and I all increase plus the multiplier effect as money circulates, so in GDP terms it is likely there will be an increase in measured activity (yes i know GDP is a flawed measure that doesnt take account of all externalities). The argument is no different to calls for stimulus on the back of the GFC induced recession. Exactly the same logic but on the back of the earthquake, any spending (stimulus) will be far better targeted – good for employees,small business, big business. And afterwards you have (hopefully) better quality infrastructure than when you started so there will also be a productivity gain (one of the externalities ignored by the broken window fallacy).

    The problem with invoking the broken windows fallacy is that it makes more sense in micro-economic terms than macro as it ignores a lot of external costs and benefits.

    It actually would be a good thing to go around breaking windows to promote GDP growth – as long as you stopped when you had spent the savings you had put away for the rainy day, and provided you were installing fancy new improved windows that allow businesses and investors to be more efficient in the future. After that point though, it doesn’t make sense to continue breaking windows.

    And tell the the tradesman in a small business who previously had no forward work who now has 12 months of work that “it’s not real activity”.

    The real issue here (which I don’t disagree with) is the inequity of treatment you point out between SCF investors and uninsured homeowners. The initial guarantee scheme was flawed, the extension was flawed, neither should have have extended beyond banks and building societies. So no argument that the SCF bailout was a joke. But equally no argument that if you are uninsured you are stupid. NZ is earthquake prone.

    • Lanthanide 10.1

      “And afterwards you have (hopefully) better quality infrastructure than when you started so there will also be a productivity gain (one of the externalities ignored by the broken window fallacy).”

      I don’t deny that in general that could be an outcome, but I don’t see it as particularly being the case here. Most of the damage is to chimneys and inner city brick buildings. These aren’t ‘productive’ assets anyway, so replacing them with new ones isn’t going to increase productivity. Ok so the new buildings might have new, more efficient heating and lighting, but that’s about it, and the number of buildings affected is so small that it would count as a rounding error and nothing more.

    • Bright Red 10.2

      “It actually would be a good thing to go around breaking windows to promote GDP growth – as long as you stopped when you had spent the savings you had put away for the rainy day, and provided you were installing fancy new improved windows that allow businesses and investors to be more efficient in the future.”

      No, it would be good providing you had nothing better to expend your resources on than replacing windows with better windows.

      I think we can agree that being forced to replace infrastructure that was working perfectly well with more modern infrastructure is not a good thing when it diverts resources from elsewhere or, at the very least, leaves our national accounts $2 billion worse off.

      And you’re ignoring the fact that going around breaking windows would prevent those buildings being used efficiently until the windows are replaced. The same is true of the earthquake – yes, there will be economic activity replacing damaged infrastructure but a whole lot of ordinary economic activity (which is presumably more optimal in normal times) will be disrupted for months.

  11. F.Y 11

    It may also be more profitable not to rebuild and instead demolish damaged buildings, using the sites of less profitable dwellings for better use or bank their value as bare land. Key isn’t really thinking straight. That’s pretty clear, he’s just making something bad look good for him. Luckily, no one will pull him up on it. And 98% of voters won’t even notice. Being busy is an integral part of NZ culture. Doesn’t matter if you’re picking the nose off your face as long as you can say you’re busy over a beer later.

  12. Bill 12

    At least the reconstruction of infrastructure will be useful and might have the added benefit of making up for any shortfalls that might have been occurring vis a vis maintenance.

    And repairing ‘broken windows’ is a lot more desirable and possibly rewarding for workers that the mind numbing tedium that defines far too much utterly pointless employment that is undertaken for absolutely no good reason and that constitutes a total waste of resources (both human and material).

    Actually, talking of princilples and things that get broken, there would seem to be an argument for breaking a whole heap of windows, not repairing them and concentrating on repairing the humanity that has been crushed and diminished by the imposition of utterly unrewarding and soul destroying ‘gainful’ employment.

    Now wouldn’t that be novel? To see a social initiative that encouraged people to realise their human potential rather than insisting that they become enthralled by their earning potential or lack thereof and summarily judged by that same sole criteria?

  13. zimmer 13

    Yet deciples at this site are happy for us to be taxed billions for CO2 emissions when the earth is not getting any warmer.

    No insurance should mean no payout, whats the point of insurance then? SCF was covered by a scheme, I have a problem with it but they were covered.
    Sometimes people have to learn the hard way and not rely on the tax payer as much for income as they could not be bothered getting it in the first place. This is called being responsible. Like getting a car and ramming a new BMW with no insurance, plain dumb. Insurance is cheap for a house & contents, $10-15/wk, that is all. So don’t cry if you are not insured. Just rent.
    Last week you were saying the Greens had a plan, build state houses, but to rebuild houses in Chch is different? Labour/Greens good, National bad.
    Class war my arse, just a little game going on in your deluded head. I bet a few employers will lose their shirt over this EQ as well, especially un-insured or under insured. Dumb arse Unite Union upset some workers may not get paid, well how can an employer pay when he has lost a revenue stream? The worker & boss will suffer together. That what happens in disasters.

    • F.Y 13.1

      You tell us that not be insured is dumb, and not to cry for the victims, then tell us some employers will be left with nothing because of no insurance and that’s a shame? Class war, yep, you’re part of it, pushing “the employer is better” end. And just to upset your silly little world, renters need insurance too. Landlords insurance doesn’t cover the tenants belongings or the property in some situations. But why should facts upset those who also think landlords are owed? Carry on with your class war, it only demonstrates your ignorance.

    • prism 13.2

      Hey zimmer you say
      Yet deciples at this site are happy for us to be taxed billions for CO2 emissions when the earth is not getting any warmer.
      It will be good for you to keep writing to this site as the informed people who gather here will play along with your search for the truth and as you fumble around, let you know when you’re getting warmer! You may actually learn about the earth too. But it looks as if you’ll have a big job. Well kia kaha.

      • Craig Glen Eden 13.2.1

        Zimmer Building Additional homes is a stimulus, rebuilding damaged homes does not create a extra building. It simply gets the owner back to the pre earth quake state. If you had been following what people are saying in their posts and you are not biased you can clearly see their point that this will increase the building sector activity and spend, but it is not the same as additional stimulus spending.It is your leader Smile and Wave who is trying to have it both ways.

        Labour said to stimulate National said not to, now Key says the increase in building activity will be good. The only people who are Flip flopping is Key.

        ANTI -spam word caught

    • Bright Red 13.3

      the world is getting warmer: http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/2010july/

      “So don’t cry if you are not insured. Just rent.”

      Did you opose the SCF bail-out too? Just want consistancy here.

      “Last week you were saying the Greens had a plan, build state houses, but to rebuild houses in Chch is different? Labour/Greens good, National bad.”

      I don’t think anyone is against rebuilding Chch.

    • Armchair Critic 13.4

      zimmer – in response to your “insurance analogy”:
      Most insurance companies put significant effort into making sure claims are strictly in terms of the policy, and will try to find any excuse not to pay out. Once they accept a claim, they pay out as little as they possibly can. The unseemly haste with which National used taxpayer’s money to pay out SCF’s creditors, and the percentage the paid out, is quite unlike what an insurance company would or should have done.
      There is plenty of water to pass under the bridge with SCF.

    • Draco T Bastard 13.5

      Yet deciples at this site are happy for us to be taxed billions for CO2 emissions when the earth is not getting any warmer.

      Actually, it’s the NACT people who think everyone should be taxed billions to pay for their pollution. Oh, and the Earth has just had another record warm year which is fairly irrefutable proof that it is getting warmer.

      SCF was covered by a scheme, I have a problem with it but they were covered.

      Actually, indications are that SCF had broken the terms of the cover and, therefore, weren’t covered.

      Sometimes people have to learn the hard way and not rely on the tax payer as much for income as they could not be bothered getting it in the first place. This is called being responsible.

      The people working 40+ hours a week and still not having enough to live on are being responsible. The people who aren’t are the people who think that paying a living wage is paying too much. People such as Jonkey.

      Class war my arse, just a little game going on in your deluded head.

      Not delusion, NACT really are working to lower the incomes of at least 95% of the population. You know, the people not in their class. This is seen by their removal of workers rights, their reluctance to increase the minimum wage, their removal of democracy in Canterbury and Auckland and their gift of $1.8b to their rich mates in SFC.

    • Vicky32 13.6

      I’d like to point out zimmer-frame, that UB for a single person is $194.00 a week – $15.00 a week for insurance = $179.00. Unaffordable.

  14. So many great points Zet.
    I wonder if any of them will be raised by the ‘Opposition’.

  15. Kleefer 15

    Zetetic, you so nearly hit the nail on the head that I grunted in frustration when you said “real stimulus”. Read Henry Hazlitt’s book Economics in one Lesson and you’ll understand that all government “stimulus” falls prey to the broken window fallacy. However thank you for pointing out Mr Key’s stupidity, it’s up there with Judith “Crusher” Collins touting the economic benefits to a region of having a $1.2 billion prison. Goes to show right-wingers are often just as economically illiterate as left-wingers. They all need to read some Austrian economics and understand how the economy actually works.

  16. Billy the Fish 16

    Interesting comparing the comments by two senior economic analysts (mass paraphrasing)

    ANZ Analsysis – This will stimulate the economy and lead to good things

    Westpac Analysis – Be careful on looking on this as a stimulus – Broken Windows Fallacy

    Looking at moving my account to the W bank as the dude there talks much sense and seems to understand economics 101

Links to post

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Hard News: A fun but flawed weed documentary
    Patrick Gower is good value when he's high. Not that I've ever, you know, got stoned with him. But in the second part of his documentary Patrick Gower on Weed, he does what you'd expect in a modern weed documentary and immerses himself – first with a doctor, then a ...
    2 hours ago
  • Candidate Survey: Western Bay of Plenty – Local Body Elections 2019
    We surveyed candidates on their attitudes to issues facing the Western Bay Region, find out what they think: “Closing the Gap” Tauranga, one of the area groups of Income Equality Aotearoa NZ Inc., has surveyed all candidates in the three local body elections to discover attitudes to some basic issues ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    8 hours ago
  • Project Nettie calls on scientists to defend biology
    Please spread widely, and sign, to support science and rationalism over the new irrationalism sweeping universities and institutions.  PROJECT NETTIE Sexual reproduction, the generation of offspring by fusion of genetic material from two different individuals, evolved over 1 billion years ago. It is the reproductive strategy of all higher animals ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    10 hours ago
  • I’m glad I don’t live in Auckland
    Just when I was thinking that Palmerston North's mayoral race (which includes a convicted child molester / public wanker and a convicted child beater) was the worst in the country, Auckland mayoral candidate John Tamihere opened his mouth:Auckland mayoral candidate John Tamihere is being slammed for using the words "sieg ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    10 hours ago
  • Index of Power Update, 2018-19: China #2
    We reprint below an article from the excellent website the Economics of Imperialism by Tony Norfield This is an update of the statistics for my Index of Power, using data for 2018-19 and discussing what a country’s ranking reflects. The major change is that China’s rank has shifted up and ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    11 hours ago
  • Climate Change: A history lesson
    Why is New Zealand climate change policy so crap? The Herald this morning has a long article on the twists and turns of climate change policy in New Zealand [paywalled / depaywall script], which shows where we've been. The short version is that the government first began worrying about this ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    13 hours ago
  • What the All Blacks Mean to Us
    The All Blacks have been, for more than a century, arguably the most successful International sports team in the world. But they are more than that; even for those Kiwis who are immune to the charms of rugby (and there are more than a few), the All Blacks are ambassadors ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    16 hours ago
  • No one is born into the wrong body
    A short and incredibly powerful speech from a young lesbian woman. No one is born in the wrong body. ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 day ago
  • Contempt
    Back in June, the UK Court of Appeal ruled that that country's continued arms sales to Saudi Arabia were unlawful. So you'd expect that the UK government stopped approving them, right?Of course not:The government has apologised for breaching a court ruling against the sale of weapons to Saudi Arabia that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • Covering up the cover-up
    Yesterday NZDF officials were put on the stand about the lies they had told over Operation Burnham, making implausible claims that it was all a big mistake. But along the way, we learned they had already been put on the spot about it by a previous Defence Minister, who had ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • Not as important as they think they are
    Farmers have been whining a lot lately, about the methane targets in the Zero Carbon Bill, about Canterbury's proposed nitrogen limits, and about the government's new proposals to stop them from shitting in our lakes and rivers. These policies are "throwing farmers under the tractor", they will force farmers off ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Behind Every Good Woman Should Stand – Another Good Woman.
    Alone, Alone, All, All, Alone: To argue that the Prime Minister is the victim of her advisers’ failure to keep her informed may offer Jacinda some measure of exoneration – but only at the cost of casting her as a hopeless political ingénue. A star-dusted muppet, whose only purpose is to ...
    2 days ago
  • Poor quality, poorly educated kiddie ‘Journalists’ spreading fake news
    In times of hysteria about the “World coming to an end” and “rising sea levels” so-called ‘Journalists’ who can barely spell words longer than four letters are having a ball! Though the majority of the Public have worked out that manmade climate change is nothing short of pseudo-science, and the ...
    An average kiwiBy admin@averagekiwi.com
    2 days ago
  • Chris Trotter on the BFD
    I don't want to give pblicity to certain parts of the internet that are better left to fester in their own irrelevance (I know, a bit like this place) but the listing of Chris Trotter as a 'author' on Cameron Slater's spinoff website, the BFD requires some explanation.Now, I don't ...
    2 days ago
  • Sex is not a spectrum
    The text below is a Twitter thread by Heather Heying that explains the essence of sexual reproduction and it long evolutionary history. She is an evolutionary biologist and a “professor-in-exile” after she and her husband, Bret Weinstein, stood up to supporters of an enforced “Day of Absence” for white staff and teachers ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 days ago
  • Climate Change: Trees, aviation, and offsets
    With crunch time for new Zealand climate policy approaching, most of the New Zealand media have got on board with a global reporting effort to cover the issue. There's one strand of stories today about polling and what it shows about changing public attitudes to the crisis, but the strand ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Pissing-Off The Israelis Is A High-Risk Strategy.
    Dangerous Foes: For those readers of Bowalley Road who feel disposed to dismiss any prospect of an Israeli destabilisation of New Zealand politics, the example of the United Kingdom repays close attention. Ever since the election of Jeremy Corbyn as leader of the British Labour Party, the Israelis have sanctioned, funded and ...
    2 days ago
  • Something to go to in Wellington
    Make It 16, the youth-led campaign to lower New Zealand's voting age, is holding an official campaign launch at Parliament this Friday from 16:30. If you'd like to attend, you can register using EventBrite here. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • A founding member responds to Peace Action Wellington
    by Don Franks It was a lovely sunny Wellington afternoon with blue skies above  the beaches.  In Courtenay Place, political activists packed out a stuffy upstairs room for an important meeting. The assembled pacifists, anarchists, communists and independent young radicals of Peace Action Wellington felt the need for a mission ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 days ago
  • “Mistakes and errors”
    Current and former NZDF top brass are being publicly grilled this week by the hit and run inquiry over their public responses to allegations of civilian casualties. Previously, they've claimed there were no casualties, a position which led them to lie to Ministers and to the public. Now, they're saying ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • “Homosexuality is same-sex attraction and relationships, not heterosexuals with delusions of gende...
    by Rafael D. Quiles (gender-critical gay man from Puerto Rico) The writing on the wall is right in people’s faces and people just don’t see it or don’t want to. What could actually possess a heterosexual male to want to feminize himself and claim that he is a lesbian? Because ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    3 days ago
  • Trump: “Where’s my favourite dictator?”
    From the Wall Street Journal:Inside a room of the ornately decorated Hotel du Palais during last month’s Group of Seven summit in Biarritz, France, President Trump awaited a meeting with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi. Mr. Trump looked over a gathering of American and Egyptian officials and called out in ...
    3 days ago
  • Magdalen Burns, 1983-2019, fighter for women’s liberation
    by the Redline blog collective At Redline we are very saddened to hear of the death of Magdalen Burns who passed away on the morning of Friday, September 13 (British time). Magdalen was a great fighter for the rights of women in general and lesbian women in particular, a defender ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    4 days ago
  • Parliament and the Executive
    The Brexit issue has certainly brought with it a series of apparently difficult constitutional issues, many of them concerning the respective roles of the executive and parliament. Most of them arise because of the unwillingness of MPs, despite their professions to the contrary, to be bound by a constitutional rarity ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    5 days ago
  • The Abigail Article; Martyn Bradbury’s Article, and My Response
    . . This blogpost is different to my usual format of reporting on issues… Since July 1011, I have blogged on a variety of political issues; near always political and/or environmental; mostly highly critical of the previous National Government. Other issues included Israeli occupation of Palestinian lands and repression of ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    5 days ago
  • Police will have to wear silly Buckingham Palace hats from now on, says Police Minister
    Those close to the Police Minister believe the initiative may be the result of Nash “seeing a great deal” on AliExpress. In a move that comes seemingly out of nowhere, Police Minister Stuart Nash announced this afternoon that he expects all frontline staff to don bearskin hats, famously worn by ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    5 days ago
  • A sensible crackdown
    The government has released its Arms Legislation Bill, containing the second tranche of changes to gun laws following the March 15 massacre. And it all looks quite sensible: a national gun register, higher penalties for illegal possession and dealing, tighter restrictions on arms dealers and shooting clubs, and a shorter ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • California bans private prisons
    Private prisons are a stain on humanity. Prison operators explicitly profit from human misery, then lobby for longer prisons terms so they can keep on profiting. And in the US, prison companies run not only local and state prisons, but also Donald Trump's immigration concentration camps. Faced with this moral ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Why PPPs are a bad idea
    When National was in power, they were very keen on Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) - basicly, using private companies to finance public infrastructure as a way of hiding debt from the public. They were keen on using them for everything - roads, schools, hospitals. But as the UK shows, that "service" ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • A Movement That No Longer Moves.
    Moving And Shaking: There was a time when people spoke matter-of-factly about the “labour movement” – a political phenomenon understood to embrace much more than the Labour Party. Included within the term’s definition was the whole trade union movement – many of whose members looked upon the Labour Party as ...
    6 days ago
  • NZ ‘left’ politically embracing extreme postmodernism
    by Philip Ferguson Much of the left, even people who formally identify as marxists, have collapsed politically in the face of postmodern gender theory of the sort pioneered by American philosopher Judith Butler. For Butler even biological sex is socially constructed. “If the immutable character of sex is contested, perhaps ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    6 days ago
  • The obvious question
    The media is reporting that the (alleged) Labour party sexual assaulter has resigned from their job at Parliament, which means hopefully he won't be turning up there making people feel unsafe in future. Good. But as with everything about this scandal, it just raises other questions. Most significantly: why the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • The moment I found out that you found out, I acted swiftly
    By Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern I am every bit as angry as you are. I am every bit as disappointed as you must be. The people with power, oversight and the ability to do something about these processes within the Labour Party should be ashamed. Whoever those people are, I ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    6 days ago
  • This is why people hate property developers
    Property developers think there is an "oversupply" of houses in Auckland:High turnover rates and falling prices may be a sign that there are too many new houses going in to some parts of Auckland, commentators say. [...] Property developer David Whitburn said there was a "bit of an oversupply" in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Australia to Pacific: “Fuck you, you can all drown”
    World leaders are meeting in New York in two weeks for the 2019 Climate Action Summit, where they are expected to announce new and more ambitious targets to stop the world from burning. But the Australian Prime Minister won't be there, despite being in the USA at the time:Scott Morrison ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Implausible ignorance
    Labour Party president Nigel Haworth resigned yesterday over the party's sexual assault scandal. But while that's good news, its unlikely to take away the stench of a coverup. Because according to Paula Bennett in Parliament yesterday, pretty much everyone in the Prime Minister's office was involved as well:I have been ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Labour’s Fatal Flaw.
     Two-Faced? Labour insiders' commitment to the neoliberal status quo puts them at odds with their party’s membership; its trade union affiliates; and a majority of Labour voters, but this only serves to strengthen the perception they have of themselves as a special elite. Among the lesser breeds, they’ll talk up a ...
    7 days ago
  • Ten reasons the Tories do NOT want an election
    There has been a lot of talk about Boris Johnson wanting an election, and he has blustered with great gusto about 'chicken' Jeremy Corbyn refusing one, but I think there are many reasons why he is secretly glad he has been refused the opportunity:The Tories are an utter rabble,tearing themselves ...
    1 week ago
  • Prorogation Illegal, rule Scottish judges
    Scottish appeal court judges have declared that Boris Johnson’s decision to suspend parliament in the run-up to the October Brexit deadline is unlawful. The three judges, chaired by Lord Carloway, Scotland’s most senior judge, overturned an earlier ruling that the courts did not have the powers to interfere in the prime ...
    1 week ago
  • Let me explain what I meant by Everyday New Zealanders
    By Simon Bridges. The following is a press release from the office of Simon Bridges, leader of The National Party. Key ora, New Zealand. Happy Maori Language Week. Look, I’m writing to you today because I want to clear something up. There’s been a lot of kerfuffle around some things ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Yes, the SIS is subject to the Public Records Act
    I understand there's some stuff going round about how the SIS "was removed from the list of public offices covered by the Public Records Act in 2017". The context of course being their records derived from US torture, which will be disposed of or sealed. The good news is that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • An evidence-based discussion of the Canadian fluoride/IQ study
    Dr. Christopher Labos and Jonathan Jarry discuss the recent Canadian fluoride/IQ research. They provide an expert analysis of the paper and its problems. Click on image to go to podcast. The critical debate about the recent ...
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Australia in denial
    Australia is burning down again, and meanwhile its natural disaster minister is denying climate change:Australia’s minister responsible for drought and natural disasters, David Littleproud, has said that he doesn’t “know if climate change is manmade”. Clarifying earlier comments that the question is “irrelevant” when considering the Coalition government’s response to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Philippines activist speaking on the Duterte tyranny
    Auckland Philippines Solidarity is excited to host Professor Judy Taguiwalo for a speaking tour of NZ in September. She is a well-known activist in the Philippines and was a political prisoner under the Marcos dictatorship. Professor Taguiwalo briefly served as a Cabinet member under President Duterte but was forced from ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Disgust
    I have no special insights to offer on the Labour sexual assault coverup. All I have is disgust. Disgust that an organisation could fail its people so badly. Disgust that they punished the victims rather than the perpetrator. Disgust that its party hacks are apparently blaming the victims for demanding ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week ago
  • Indigenous Futures: defuturing and futuring – an analytical framework for policy development?
    There appears to be consensus – by omission – that the concept of indigenous futures should be accepted at face value. So I scavenged the internet to see if I could locate an academic descriptor or a framework around how we think about it as a concept, and whether it ...
    EllipsisterBy Ellipsister
    1 week ago
  • Cadbury rumoured to be releasing the Pineapple Trump
    Here’s another novelty chocolate to shove in your gob, New Zealand Cadbury could be seeking to make itself great again with a rumoured new release: Pineapple Trumps, a spin on its classic chocolate-encased pineapple treat and do-it-yourself tooth remover. The global confectionery manufacturer and bumbling “before” character in an infomercial, ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • The coming resource war.
    During my time in the Pentagon I had the privilege of sitting down with military leaders and defence and security officials from a variety of Latin American nations. Sometimes I was present as a subordinate assistant to a senior US defence department official, sometimes as part of a delegation that ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Māori Language Week with The Civilian
    Kia ora, Aotearoa. It’s that magical time of year. Te Wiki o te Reo Māori. In English, the week that frightens talk radio. As you probably know by now, all your favourite media outlets are participating, some more successfully than others. Stuff has changed its name to Puna for the ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Will Horizons act on climate change?
    Local body elections are coming up next month. And it looks like all Palmerston North candidates for Horizons (the Manawatu-Whanganui Regional Council) want to take action on climate change:Climate change is set to be a key issue in Palmerston North for the next three years if those wanting to get ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • BORA reform is stalled
    Eighteen months ago, the government promised to strengthen the Bill of Rights Act, by explicitly affirming the power of the courts to issue declarations of inconsistency and requiring Parliament to formally respond to them. So how's that going? I was curious, so I asked for all advice about the proposal. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Corbyn and Brexit
    As the Brexit saga staggers on, the focus is naturally enough on the Prime Minister and his attempts to achieve Brexit “do or die”. But the role played by the Leader of the Opposition is of almost equal interest and complexity. The first problem for Jeremy Corbyn is that he ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • A ditch for him to die in
    Last week, English Prime Minister Boris Johnson boldly declared that he would rather die be dead in a ditch than delay Brexit. Unfortunately for him, the UK parliament accepted the challenge, and promptly dug one for him. The "rebellion bill" requires him to ask for and secure yet another temporary ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Warning! Warning! Danger Jacinda Ardern! Danger Marama Davidson! Warning!
    Lost In Political Space: The most important takeaway from this latest Labour sexual assault scandal, which (if I may paraphrase Nixon’s White House counsel’s, John Dean’s, infamous description of Watergate) is “growing like a cancer” on the premiership, is the Labour Party organisation’s extraordinary professional paralysis in the face of ...
    1 week ago
  • Union solidarity with Ihumatao land occupation
    by Daphna Whitmore Every Sunday for the past two months unionists from First Union, with supporters from other unions, have set out to the Ihumatao land protest, put up gazebos and gas barbeques, and cooked food for a few hundred locals and supporters who have come from across the country. ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: The wrong kind of trees?
    Newsroom today has an excellent, in-depth article on pine trees as carbon sinks. The TL;DR is that pine is really good at soaking up carbon, but people prefer far-less efficient native forests instead. Which is understandable, but there's two problems: firstly, we've pissed about so long on this problem that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • No freedom of speech in Turkey
    Canan Kaftancioglu is a Turkish politician and member of the opposition Republican People's Party (CHP). Like most modern politicians, she tweets, and uses the platform to criticise the Turkish government. She has criticised them over the death of a 14-year-old boy who was hit by a tear gas grenade during ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Speaker: Tadhg Stopford: Why I’m standing for the ADHB
    Hi there, just call me Tim.We face tough problems, and I’d like to help, because there are solutions.An Auckand District Health Board member has nominated me for as a candidate for the ADHB, because her MS-related pain and fatigue is reduced with hemp products from Rotorua.  Nothing else helped her. If I ...
    1 week ago
  • Good little vassals
    The Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security has published their report on whether the SIS and GCSB had any complicity in American torture. And its damning. The pull quote is this:The Inquiry found both agencies, but to a much greater degree, the NZSIS, received many intelligence reports obtained from detainees who, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Who Shall We Turn To When God, And Uncle Sam, Cease To Defend New Zealand?
    Bewhiskered Cassandra? Professor Hugh White’s chilling suggestion, advanced to select collections of academic, military and diplomatic Kiwi experts over the course of the past week, is that the assumptions upon which Australia and New Zealand have built their foreign affairs and defence policies for practically their entire histories – are ...
    1 week ago
  • The Politics of Opposition
    For most of the time I was a British MP, my party was out of government – these were the Thatcher years, when it was hard for anyone else to get a look-in. As a front-bencher and shadow minister, I became familiar with the strategies required in a parliamentary democracy ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • More expert comments on the Canadian fluoride-IQ paper
    The Green et al (2019) fluoride/IQ is certainly controversial – as would be expected from its subject (see If at first you don’t succeed . . . statistical manipulation might help and Politics of science – making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear). Anti-fluoride campaigners have been actively promoting it ...
    1 week ago
  • The return to guerrilla war in Colombia
    by Gearóid Ó Loingsigh On August 29th a video in which veteran FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia) commander Iván Márquez announced that they had taken up arms again was released. There was no delay in the reaction to it, from longtime Liberal Party figure and former president Uribe, for ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Air New Zealand identifies this enormous plot of unused land as possible second airport site
    Air New Zealand couldn’t believe its luck that this seemingly ideal piece of real estate had so far gone entirely unnoticed. Air New Zealand’s search for a site to build a second Auckland Airport may have made a breakthrough this afternoon, after employees scanning Google satellite imagery spotted a huge, ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Redline on the Labour Party
    No-one on the anti-capitalist left in this country today puts forward a case that Labour is on the side of the working class.  There are certainly people who call themselves ‘socialist’ who do, but they are essentially liberals with vested interests in Labourism – often for career reasons. Nevertheless, there ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • New Fisk
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour’s failure
    When National was in government and fucking over the poor for the benefit of the rich, foodbanks were a growth industry. And now Labour is in charge, nothing has changed: A huge demand for emergency food parcels means the Auckland City Mission is struggling to prepare for the impending arrival ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Ardern attempts to vaccinate Clarke Gayford live on television to prove that it’s safe
    Gayford, pictured here on The Project, before things got wildly out of control. A bold public relations move by the Government to encourage parents to vaccinate their children has gone horribly wrong. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern appeared on tonight’s episode of Three’s The Project, where the plan was for her ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Has Mr. Whippy gone too far by parking on our front lawns?
    Mr. Whippy’s business model has driven it down a dark road of intimidation. Residents in major centres around the country are becoming disgruntled by the increasingly aggressive actions of purported ice cream company Mr. Whippy, who have taken to parking on people’s front lawns and doorsteps in a desperate attempt ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Cleaning up the water
    Today the government released its Action Plan for Healthy Waterways, aimed at cleaning up our lakes and rivers. Its actually quite good. There will be protection for wetlands, better standards for swimming spots, a requirement for continuous improvement, and better standards for wastewater and stormwater. But most importantly, there's a ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Fronting up
    Today I appeared before the Environment Committee to give an oral submission on the Zero Carbon Bill. Over 1,500 people have asked to appear in person, so they've divided into subcommittees and are off touring the country, giving people a five minute slot each. The other submitters were a mixed ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Politics of science – making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear
    Anti-fluoride activists have some wealthy backers – they are erecting billboards misrepresenting the Canadian study on many New Zealand cities – and local authorities are ordering their removal because of their scaremongering. Many New Zealanders ...
    2 weeks ago

No feed items found.