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Brussels attack

Written By: - Date published: 8:08 am, March 23rd, 2016 - 55 comments
Categories: International, war - Tags: , ,

Isis has claimed responsibility for the horrific attacks in Brussels that left 34 dead.

The Guardian’s ongoing coverage is here.

This piece covers reaction from US presidential candidates. Naturally Trump calls for ‘more than waterboarding’ – because that will help.

55 comments on “Brussels attack”

  1. esoteric pineapples 1

    Does anyone really believe we are ever going to “destroy” ISIS or “terrorism”.

    • Sabine 1.1

      no, and we were never ment too.

      If we really wanted to defeat ‘terrorism’ we would have not invaded Iraq / Afghanistan in the first place, but instead made it a Police action with the full co-operation of the international services, i.e. Interpol, and the secrete services of all the countries.

      then once the perpetrators apprehended we would have held fully puplicly available trials for murder, consipracy, terrorism etc etc, instead of going the way of indefinite detention, water boarding and extrajudicial killings be it by drone or ‘human flown plane’.

      instead we went to invade a country that had nothing to do with anything, had no weapons of mass distraction err……and voila, 14 years later we are still fighting against Hydras heads.

      But I am sure the usual suspects have made a killing.

      Not sure if anyone has ever read about the Wolfowitz Doctrice, it should be required reading.

      http://work.colum.edu/~amiller/wolfowitz1992.htm

      http://www.archives.gov/declassification/iscap/pdf/2008-003-doc18.pdf

      In the meantime, the war that we (western world) have started is coming home to roost.

      • Gosman 1.1.1

        I don’t remember Belgium invading Afghanistan or IraqIraq.

        • Matthew Hooton 1.1.1.1

          Belgium was strongly critical of the Iraq adventure, as of course was France.

          • Colonial Viper 1.1.1.1.1

            Belgium was strongly critical of the Iraq adventure, as of course was France.

            Iraq? That’s ancient history.

            Why don’t you look at what EU and NATO have done to Syria and Libya in the mean time.

            Its not an accident that the train station hit was just a few hundred metres from major EU institution offices.

        • AB 1.1.1.2

          Your reply is disingenuous – because Sabine is not asserting that terrorists make such a direct calculation and retaliate in kind.
          I take her assertion to be that western military and economic dominance creates an environment where some people are driven mad in response. You would be silly to dismiss this as a factor in the psychopathology of terrorism.

          ‘Disingenuous’ is being kind actually – more of a cheap rhetorical trick. And as the cheap rhetorical trick is the standard MO of Matthew Hooten, I see he has chimed in along the same line.

      • Matthew Hooton 1.1.2

        If terrorism was caused by the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq, what caused the attacks of September 11, 2001?

        • Molly 1.1.2.1

          Matthew, does your knowledge of western intervention in the Middle East conveniently start on Sept 11th 2001?

          • Macro 1.1.2.1.1

            🙂 Nothing like rewriting history.
            Of course the Balfour Declaration never happened.

            • McFlock 1.1.2.1.1.1

              Actually, the bigger one is Sykes-Picot.

              That’s the real betrayal of the Arabs. And then propping up oppressive regimes in return for oil also helped piss people off.

              • Macro

                Yes – the Balfour Declaration was an attempt to smooth over the mess – as has almost every attempt since. You would think that after 100 years of meddling the west would have learned to keep their noses out by now!

        • McFlock 1.1.2.2

          Something that is not conducive to defeating terrorism does not in any way imply that the something was the original cause of terrorism in the first place.

          I’m surprised that you have such difficulty with basic English. Or, indeed, with recent history.

        • Stuart Munro 1.1.2.3

          Beirut.

          “God knows it did not cross our minds to attack the Towers, but after the situation became unbearable—and we witnessed the injustice and tyranny of the American-Israeli alliance against our people in Palestine and Lebanon—I thought about it. And the events that affected me directly were those of 1982 and the events that followed—when America allowed the Israelis to invade Lebanon, helped by the U.S. Sixth Fleet. As I watched the destroyed towers in Lebanon, it occurred to me to punish the unjust the same way: to destroy towers in America so it could taste some of what we were tasting and to stop killing our children and women.”

          — Osama bin Laden, 2004 (wikipedia)

        • saveNZ 1.1.2.4

          I believe most of the terrorists from 9/11 were Saudi Nationals. The regime that is one of the worst for human rights and recently crucified a body of a rival who was just a youth. Saudi Arabia was in “Granny” Herald yesterday as imprisoning a migrant worker who dared complain about his employer. We love to give Saudi businessmen bribes to kill lambs in the desert in the hope of a ‘free trade’ agreement. Lordy, lets hope not, or with all that free movement of Nationals we will be facing the same terrorism issues as Europe.

          As for France their government was bombing Syria. Yes the French public is against it, but governments now seem to think they can follow their own agenda and use twisted intelligence to justify in secret their bombing. It is the public that has to live with the growing insecurity from these issues, made worse by the

          ISIS never existed before the US started bombing the crap out of Iraq. Now with globalism the chickens have come home to roost.

          Obama set out to create a religious war with the West. Thanks to bad decisions of members of the US government they took the bait.

        • Draco T Bastard 1.1.2.5

          The invasions of Afghanistan, Iraq, Palestine, Iran, etc, etc

      • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 1.1.3

        I should have known it was the West’s fault. For once, could we not just blame the terrorists and their fucked up religion?

        • saveNZ 1.1.3.1

          @The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell

          Last time I looked Saudi Arabia was not part of the west.

          • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 1.1.3.1.1

            It’s not always about you, saveNZ. I was addressing this:

            If we really wanted to defeat ‘terrorism’ we would have not invaded Iraq / Afghanistan in the first place

        • Puddleglum 1.1.3.2

          It is hapless to cite religious fanaticism as the ’cause’ of terrorism. Such ideas have always been present.

          The sensible question is what is it that now allows such ideas to flourish and what makes them coalesce with financial and geopolitical interests to both recruit and sustain a terrorist movement on such a scale?

          People don’t get ‘seduced’ by extreme ideas unless they serve other, rather less intangible and rather more obvious, purposes. Cults, for example, can only exploit those whose lives have made them need what the cult claims to offer – e.g., in the case of ISIS perhaps, a sense of justice, a sense of power, a sense of hope.

          Defeating an idea is a ludicrous notion. Far better to make sure there are as few ‘minds’ and geopolitical interests produced by this world of ours which are likely to be receptive to it.

          That’s the long term strategy, of course. More immediate responses, sadly, are also needed. The ‘minds’ and geopolitical interests have already been produced this time around.

      • Paul Campbell 1.1.4

        WE didn’t do those things, the blame should go to those who did. People who’s egos were more important than actually solving the problem.

  2. Ad 2

    I feel incredibly helpless that terrorism appears to be getting worse across the world not better. I don’t see any way to unwind it. I can see a few of the causes. I can see how it could be made less worse. Not how to ever eradicate it.

  3. Wayne 3

    Do you think ISIS should be left with its proto-state in North East Syria and Northern Iraq?

    While I am sure terrorism can be never fully eradicated, it would nevertheless seem reckless to leave the prime sponsor of ISIS terrorism in place.

    While the Iraq invasion clearly has its role in the formation of ISIS in Northern Iraq, that is not a reason to allow it to continue to exist.

    The Syrian civil war can’t be primarily blamed on the West. The prime cause was Assad’s response to the popular uprising. The regime was so unpopular that in large parts of the country the people were able to eject the government, get access to the weapons stores and conduct a civil war. And with the Kurds and ISIS in Iraq, they have been able to sustain their compatriots in Syria (and of course then fight each other).

    • Ad 3.1

      What do you think the probable framework for resolution in both northern Iraq and Syria is?

    • Yuri 3.2

      The prime sponsor of ISIS terrorism, in the final analysis, is Saudi Arabia.

      The prime sponsor of global terrorism, as in the root cause and enabler, is the USA.

      • adam 3.2.1

        Yuri, I think ISIS is an unexpected bite back for the USA.

        I don’t think they enabled it, they don’t want this, they the empire, this is not suppose to happen. /sarc

        They are Pax Americana

        Well obviously not, all empires are violent, especially on the fringes of empire – like the middle east. Just most of the time, people bow down to empire.

    • Roflcopter 3.3

      Do you think ISIS should be left with its proto-state in North East Syria and Northern Iraq?

      That option is inconsistent with the ideas of ISIS’s caliphate, which does not recognise any boundaries, and has stated that their caliphate will be global… the only way you would confine them to a proto-state is by military means.

    • Sabine 3.4

      Al Quada, Isis, wonder what we will name the group, once we kill their leaders several times over.

      • One Two 3.4.1

        Mujaheddin Freedom Fighters, in the 1980’s

        ‘The West’ (Oil and Banking Oligarchs) only sponsor, ‘moderate terrorists’

        The ‘real terrorists’ wear suits, ties and run/manage corporations which are murdering, injuring and abusing the global bio-sphere, and all its inhabitants, using weapons of mass destruction

        Weapons of physical warfare and weapons on ‘paper’ (legislation, treaties, contracts, agreements et al)

    • Stephen 3.5

      In a lot of cases, follow the money trail works. If a lot of the financial support ISIS gets comes from Saudi Arabia, which apparently it does, why can we not bring pressure to bear there. Or is the fact that SA is a “friend” of most of the West make them untouchable?

      • saveNZ 3.5.1

        +1 – the system is screwed up because the worst terrorists are protected and both regimes use the terror excuses as cover for other activities and to seize power even from their own people.

      • Draco T Bastard 3.5.2

        The fact that Saudi Arabia has huge amounts of oil and thus influences the oil price makes them untouchable.

        • saveNZ 3.5.2.1

          all the more reason to get away from oil, to cleaner energy.

          • Draco T Bastard 3.5.2.1.1

            Yep but the present set of rich/corporate/political schmucks don’t see it that way. They see it as another way to wield power.

    • adam 3.6

      Wayne silly question, do you think the Kurds are the enemy too?

      As I think ISIS need to be smashed, and we have allies in the middle east who can do just that. The Kurds. if we can get Turkey to pull their heads in.

      And don’t under estimate the influence of the USA in the civil war in Syria. The US ambassador going to an opposition rally of Assad’s, sent signals, not sure if it was planned – because the Americans did not initially help the opposition very much. But it sent signals they would have USA support.

      I agree Assad was not popular, it would have been the smart move to avoid taking on his regime, violently. Why? because Assad had overwhelming military support. He still does, the bulk of the military has stuck with Assad.

      And anyway the issue is way more complex than a few words on a message board.

    • Draco T Bastard 3.7

      Do you think ISIS should be left with its proto-state in North East Syria and Northern Iraq?

      Would you have asked the same thing when the Anglo-Saxons invaded England?

      After all, we now have English culture because of it.

      Personally, I’d say that we should leave them to it. If they settle down then they may produce a viable culture. If they don’t settle down then the people there will probably do something about it. Just as the US did about the bloody British. And the British did about the bloody British as well.

      The only thing that we should be doing there is stopping the influx of arms from the rest of the world. If they want weapons, they can make their own.

    • Stuart Munro 3.8

      Do you think the attacks in Paris and Belgium were ordered, or adventitious? If they are adventitious then destroying the formal ISIS structure will not prevent them. It might be wise to control radicalising acts like bombing, and give some thought to reconstruction.

    • Colonial Viper 3.9

      Do you think ISIS should be left with its proto-state in North East Syria and Northern Iraq?

      Wayne, can you answer a question for me please?

      Why has the EU, NATO and the USA tolerated Turkey (a NATO member with huge armed forces) actively helping and resourcing ISIS in Northern Syria. For years now.

  4. Manuka AOR 4

    The responses from the people of Belgium themselves have been inspiring:
    “On social media, people rose to the horrific occasion with heartfelt grace, grit and wit, creating hashtags aimed at following the mandate to, “Find shelter. Organize. Help.”

    “Through #Brüssel, #IkWilHelpen (I will help), #openhouse, #porteouverte, #Bruxelles and #enterrasse (still sitting outside in fearlessness on terraces), they have offered rides, beds, couches, hugs, meals, empathy and images of “many class acts full of light, even in a moment of darkness.” Many posts struck a determinedly down-but-not-out tone that rejected fear, the goal of terror.” http://www.commondreams.org/further/2016/03/22/ikwilhelpen
    —————–
    http://abcnews.go.com/International/people-brussels-provide-aid-shelter-free-rides-deadly/story?id=37839354 (This includes photos and tweets)
    ” While tens of thousands of Twitter users all over the globe are using hashtags like #PrayForBelgium, #JeSuisBruxelles and #PrayForTheWorld to offer their thoughts and prayers, those in Brussels or in nearby towns are using other hashtags to offer direct help.

    “Hashtags like #PorteOuverte (French for “open door”), #OpenHouse and #BrusselsIsWelcome are being used by those opening up their homes to anyone in need of shelter”

  5. Manuka AOR 5

    While the attack in Brussels receives instant world wide media coverage, the attack on a marketplace one week earlier, in which 120 people – more than 20 children, – were killed, receives little or none. Entire families were blown up in this instance, and the bodies often destroyed “beyond recognition”. The weapons used may well have come from the Belgian arms supply to the Saudis. https://theintercept.com/2016/03/22/families-were-blown-up-scenes-from-a-saudi-led-bombing-in-yemen/

    • saveNZ 5.1

      +1 Manuka AOR, while we have so many double standards terrorism will flourish. In fact most of the anti terrorism measures made by governments and double standards, seem to be increasing it.

      Don’t worry Trump is on his way to create ‘world peace’. sarc. But since Clinton loves wars so much, I think folks who want to reduce Terror attacks, need to hope for Bernie Sanders. Maybe that is why youth want him, ultimately they bear the greatest price of the F-up so far.

      Yep there are blood thirsty psychos everywhere, (look at Anders Behring Breivik) but it doesn’t help when governments start multiple bombing attacks on an entire countries in retaliation, escalating the terror and amplifying the attacks.

  6. Bill 6

    So ISIS claim responsibility. But what does that mean? It probably doesn’t mean that some-one traveled from Syria or Iraq to Belgium.

    Within ‘western’ countries, there are now people, some born in western countries, who are understandably upset about how ‘the west’ conducts its affairs in the Middle East (and elsewhere). And every night when they put on the news, they, like us, are informed that Muslims are terrorists and that Muslims are the enemy and that Muslims are illogical and that Muslims are backwards and that Muslims are violent…the humanity is stripped away and “Muslim” is broadcast far and wide as some vile caricature of malevolence.

    Muslim and non-Muslim alike are never informed that drone strikes, invasions or sanctions are, or might be unacceptable and wrong. ‘Double tap’ drone strikes on wedding parties are…well, there were a terrorist there weren’t there? And if the dead family members of the maimed bride and groom want to hang with alleged terror suspects or suspiciously gather in crowds numbering more than two or three…

    Growing numbers of people in the west may have family or have been close to people who have been obliterated in drone strikes or invasions or by sanctions. And aside form the ‘official’ dehumanised caricature being broadcast every night and every day in the news, on the radio, on TV and in films…probably in books too, Muslims are subjected to the ongoing ‘petty’ discriminations of the street, in the search for a job, in housing allocation…etc.

    It adds up. It damages.

    Our state governments and the media have seemed to revel in ‘othering’ and marginalising. Where there has been fleeing refugees from Syria or Afghanistan, the wests immediate reaction has been to condemn and reject them as ‘economic migrants’ at best or terrorists at worst- belittling and dismissing their experience and desperation…and holing many up in detention centers miles from anywhere in the middle of vast oceans.

    When a bomb is planted or a killing takes place, the western media insists that domiciled Muslims, not just condemn the act, but leave it hanging as an atrocity bereft of context beyond that of being perpetrated by some conveniently illogical and bestial Muslim enemy of the west’s imagination.

    Y’know, tell some group you’re fucking on that they are ‘x, y or z’ often enough, or for long enough, and the chances are that some within the group will become precisely that ‘x, y or z’. And after you’ve created a real live version of your bogey man and it’s encouraged it to act in precisely the way you always claimed it would…

    Fuck the bombing of people, but fuck the mind bombing of people too, y’know?

  7. shorts 7

    Belgium has one of the largest Muslim communities in Europe – there has been racial/cultural tension there as a result (similar to France) for a very long time

    As a consequence the potential for an attack from a resident for whatever reason are high – if they are connected to ISIS who knows (yet), it sure suits both sides to consider it to be ISIS

    And for those worried, terrorism is no worse than its ever been… and the causes are no newer than ever either – the reaction too also follow a very depressingly familiar line too

    No one is tackling the causes, nor the results so these sorts of attacks will continue – I wish this wasn’t so

    • Chooky 7.1

      +100 shorts…my heart goes out to those innocents killed and maimed and their families …however until there is honesty about tackling the causes, probably “these sorts of attacks will continue”

  8. As usual, the Guardian ties itself in knots trying to avoid naming the ideology involved. This article refers to “European extremist violence,” “radical activity,” “militancy” and “violent ideology,” anything other than use the word “Islam.” It’s like reading about Sendero Luminoso or the Red Army Faction with any reference to communism excised.

    • From the linked article:

      Many of my students live in Molenbeek and were shocked by such statements. “Is it because we are Muslim?” they asked me. “Is it because we are of Moroccan origin?” “What did I and my parents do wrong?”

      Well, duh-uh. You set up a Muslim enclave in Belgium, members of your enclave attack Belgium, and now you’re asking yourselves “Gee, why are Belgians not enjoying having our foreign enclave in their midst?” Try engaging your brains, dumb cunts.

  9. She'll be right 10

    Warfare between Islam and the West has been going on for a long time – ever since the days of Muhammad’s successors circa AD: 650-700 when Europe was threatened.

    This continued for many years including the times of the Crusades.

    For several centuries the warfare reduced – primarily as Western technological inventions pushed the means of warfare heavily in favour of the West.

    This culminated in the break up of the Ottoman Empire following WW1.

    You can forget about pointing to any individual incident that fuels the hatred and terrorism – it comes down to the fundamental beliefs involved.

    The religion/ideology established by Muhammad requires its adherents to convert the world by force. Those who do not wish to be converted are to be killed or enslaved. Opposing this ideology are non-Muslims who (for obvious reasons) do not wish to be destroyed or enslaved.

    The reason why it has been getting worse over the last 20 years or so are due to technological advances in means of terror and because the West has lost its mojo.

    Once upon a time (Empire building) nations of the West were quite confident that their way was the right way and were happy to fight for it. Now with the advent of PC liberalism, the belief system of the West (Christianity) has been rejected and all the cultures should hold hands and sing Kum by Ya.

    A nice thought but its not reality. It makes the West weak and just encourages more acts of war by the adherents of militant Islam who see the weakness as a sign from Allah that they will fulfill the long term goals.

    Also as many know Muslims see death (especially death by jihad) as free entry into Paradise so they have no qualms in the likes of suicide bombing or sending their children as suicide bombers etc whole world by force. If other nations refuse they are to be destroyed or enslaved.

    .

    • Colonial Viper 10.1

      The reason why it has been getting worse over the last 20 years or so are due to technological advances in means of terror and because the West has lost its mojo.

      What?

      You mean it’s nothing to do with the USA and NATO continuously killing off secular governments in the Middle East and Central Asia?

      Mossadegh/Iran, Afghanistan, Saddam/Iraq, Gaddafi/Libya, Assad/Syria, as a short list of examples.

      And then allowing extremist Islamism or theocracies to take hold in those same countries?

      Not to mention ongoing US financial and military support for the most extremist Islamic country of them all, Saudi Arabia.

      You don’t think that’s got something to do with it?

      Seriously mate, get real.

      • Psycho Milt 10.1.1

        They have a little to do with it, just like the victors’ actions against Germany in the Treaty of Versailles had a little to do with the Nazi terror, and western countries’ invasion of the Soviet Union in support of the old regime had a little to do with the Bolshevik terror. They’re relevant if you want to take a really comprehensive overview of what prompted those reigns of terror, but only an apologist for extremist violence would try and make out that they’re central to or downright caused those reigns of terror.

        Still, the fact that only an apologist for violent totalitarian ideologies would peddle that bullshit does explain your comment.

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    5 days ago
  • Massey University’s free speech policy double-plus-good
    The Committee of Disobedient Women has intercepted an email from Dr Emma Eejut, Senior Lecturer in Sociology, Massey University to the university’s Vice-Chancellor, Jan Thomas. Dear Jan, Thank you for your courageous move.  I think 10 pages of blether** should tie any of the students game enough to try holding ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    5 days ago
  • Unacceptable
    That's the only response to the findings of the Ombudsman's investigation into LGOIMA practices at the Christchurch City Council:My investigation identified serious concerns about the Council’s leadership and culture, and its commitment to openness and transparency. In particular, Council staff raised concerns with me about various methods employed by some ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • There is what corruption looks like
    NZ First seems to be nakedly trying to enrich itself from public office:A powerful New Zealand First figure helped establish a forestry company that then pushed for money from two key funding streams controlled by a New Zealand First Minister. An RNZ investigation has found Brian Henry, lawyer for Winston ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Escape from Manus Island
    Behrouz Boochani is an award winning author and journalist. He is also a refugee, who for the past six years has been detained in Australia's offshore gulag on Manus Island, and in Papua New Guinea. But last night, with the cooperation of the WORD Christchurch festival and Amnesty International, he ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • When World’s Collide.
    Different Strokes: If a multicultural immigration policy imposes no obligation on immigrant communities to acknowledge and ultimately embrace their host nation’s most cherished traditions and values, then how is that nation to prevent itself from being reduced to a collection of inward-looking and self-replicating ethnic and cultural enclaves?THE COALITION GOVERNMENT’S ...
    5 days ago
  • Could There Be Method In Massey University’s Madness?
    Protective Zone: Reading the rules and guidelines released by Massey University, it is impossible to avoid the conclusion that its governing body considers the whole concept of free speech a disruptive threat to the orderly imparting of orthodox academic knowledge.IN TRUE ORWELLIAN fashion, Massey University has announced its commitment to ...
    6 days ago
  • Climate Change: We need more trees, not less
    Farmers held a hate-march on Parliament today, complete with MAGA hats, gun-nut signs, and gendered insults. While supposedly about a grab-bag of issues - including, weirdly, mental health - it was clear that the protest was about one thing, and one thing only: climate change. And specifically, forestry "destroying" rural ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • The IGIS annual report: Dead letters and secret law
    The Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security released their annual report today, and I've been busy reading through it. In amongst the usual review of what they've been doing all year, there's a few interesting bits. For example, a discussion on "agency retention and disposal of information", which points out that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • A referendum on bigotry
    The End of Life Choice Bill passed its third reading last night, 69 - 51. Thanks to a compromise with NZ First - which looks to have been necessary on the final numbers - the commencement of the bill will be subject to a referendum. Given the ugliness of the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Political parties and GMOs: we all need to move on
    Recently more than 150 post-graduate students and young scientists presented an open letter to the Green Party via The Spinoff, encouraging them to reconsider their position on genetic modification. Their target is tackling climate change issues.[1] Can any party continue to be dismissive about genetic modification (GM) contributing to ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    7 days ago
  • Class, Identity Politics and Transgender Ideology
    by Deirdre O’Neill Under Thatcher and then Blair and continuing up until our contemporary moment, the working class has seen its culture slowly and progressively destroyed. The change from an industrial society to a service society produced a marked shift in focus from the working class as the backbone of ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Irony
    Since 2013, the Australian government has detained refugees without trial in Pacific gulags, where they are abused, tortured, and driven to suicide. The policy is not just an abuse of human rights and possible crime against humanity; it has also had a corrosive effect on the states Australia uses as ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • An age of protest.
    It seems fair to say that we currently live in a problematic political moment in world history. Democracies are in decline and dictatorships are on the rise. Primordial, sectarian and post-modern divisions have re-emerged, are on the rise or have been accentuated by political evolutions of the moment such as ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Another captured agency
    Last month, Greenpeace head Russel Norman surrendered his speaking slot at an EPA conference to student climate activist Sorcha Carr, who told the EPA exactly what she thought of them. It was a bold move, which confronted both regulators and polluters (or, as the EPA calls them, "stakeholders") with the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • NZ First’s dodgy loans
    The core principle supposedly underlying New Zealand's electoral finance regime is transparency: parties can accept large donations from rich people wanting to buy policy, but only if they tell the public they've been bought. Most parties abide by this, so we know that TOP was wholly-owned by Gareth Morgan, and ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Member’s Day: The choice on End of Life Choice
    Today is a Member's Day, probably the second-to-last one of the year, and its a big one, with the Third Reading of David Seymour's End of Life Choice Bill. last Member's Day it was reported back from committee, after MPs voted narrowly to make it subject to a (rules TBA) ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • How growth in population and consumption drives planetary 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 The growth of the human population over the last 70 ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • The disappearing Women …
    by The Council of Disobedient Women In her excellent oral submission to the Abortion reform select committee on 31st October on behalf of Otago University’s Department of Public Health, historian and public health researcher Hera Cook stated: “We would ask that the committee not use the term ‘pregnant persons’ and ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • “A Passage to India”: enduring art in changing times
    by Don Franks In 1957, E M Forster wrote, of his greatest work: “The India described in ‘A Passage to India’ no longer exists either politically or socially. Change had begun even at the time the book was published ( 1924) and during the following quarter of a century it ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Contemptuous
    The Referendums Framework Bill was due back from select committee today. But there's no report on it. Instead, the bill has been bounced back to the House under Standing order 29593) because the Committee didn't bother to produce one. They probably tried. But given the membership of the committee (which ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Zero Carbon: It’s not just a good idea, it’s the law
    Two years into New Zealand’s Labour-led government, the long-delayed Zero Carbon Bill became law on 7 November. Passed essentially unanimously, the lengthy public debates and political manoeuvring faded away until the final passage was even anticlimactic: Flipping through the @nzstuff @DomPost I was starting to wonder if I’d dreamt ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert McLachlan
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: What happens next?
    Now the Zero Carbon Bill is law, what's next? Obviously, the ETS changes currently before select committee are going to be the next battleground. But we're also going to get a good idea of where we're going, and if the progress the Zero Carbon Act promises is good enough, during ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Climate change will fuel bush fires
    Grant Pearce The effects of the current Australian bushfires in New South Wales and Queensland (and also again in California) are devastating and far-reaching. To date, the fires have resulted in several lives being lost and many homes and properties destroyed. Here in New Zealand, the impacts have been only ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Participation rates
    A passing comment in a post the other day about the labour force participation rates of older people prompted me to pull down the fuller data and see what we could see about various participation rates over the decades since the HLFS began in 1986.   As it happens, the ...
    SciBlogsBy Michael Reddell
    1 week ago
  • Not So Much “OK Boomer” As “OK Ruling Class”.
    Distract And Divert: The rise of what we have come to call “Identity Politics” represents the ideological manifestation of the ruling class’s objective need to destroy class politics, and of the middle-class’s subjective need to justify their participation in the process.THE RELIEF of the ruling class can only be imagined. ...
    1 week ago
  • Asking for it …
    "I saw a newspaper picture,From the political campaignA woman was kissing a child,Who was obviously in pain.She spills with compassion,As that young child'sFace in her hands she gripsCan you imagine all that greed and avariceComing down on that child's lips?" ...
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand’s Poor Pandemic Preparedness According to the Global Health Security Index
    Dr Matt Boyd, Prof Michael Baker, Prof Nick Wilson The Global Health Security Index which considers pandemic threats has just been published. Unfortunately, NZ scores approximately half marks (54/100), coming in 35th in the world rankings – far behind Australia. This poor result suggests that the NZ Government needs to ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Thank Winston
    The Zero Carbon Act is inadequate, with a weak methane target designed to give farmers a free ride. But it turns out it could have been worse: Climate Change Minister James Shaw was so desperate to get National on board, he wanted to gut that target, and leave it in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Illicit markets and Bali Booze
    The Herald reprints an Australian story on a couple of tragic deaths in Bali from drinking cocktails that had methanol in them.  The story argues that methanol is likely the result of home distillation. But what the young tourists were experiencing was far from a hangover. They’d consumed a toxic cocktail ...
    SciBlogsBy Eric Crampton
    1 week ago
  • This is not what armed police are for
    Last month, the police announced a trial of specialist roaming armed units, which would drive round (poor, brown) areas in armoured SUVs, armed to the teeth. When they announced the trial, they told us it was about having armed police "ready to attend major incidents at any time if needed". ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Spain’s failed electoral gamble
    Spain went to the polls today in the second elections this year, after the Socialists (who had come to power in a confidence vote, then gone to the polls in April) rejected the offer of a coalition with the left-wing PoDemos, and instead decided to gamble n a better outcome ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The astroturf party
    National has finally rolled out its "BlueGreen" astroturf party, fronted by an array of former nats and people who were dumped by the Greens for not being Green enough. Its initial pitch is described by Stuff as "very business-friendly", and its priorities are what you'd expect: conservation, predator-free funding, a ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • How to cheat at university
    A couple of days ago I attended (and spoke at) the University of Waikato’s “LearnFest” event. There were lots of talks and sessions on very diverse aspects of teaching, mostly at tertiary level. One was by Myra Williamson from Te Piringa Faculty of Law here at Waikato, on Contract Cheating ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    1 week ago
  • How NZ was put on world maps using a transit of Mercury
    There will be a transit of Mercury – the planet Mercury will pass across the face of the Sun – taking place at sunrise in New Zealand on Tuesday, 12th November. It was by observing such an event 250 years ago that James Cook and his scientist colleagues were able ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    1 week ago
  • Georgina Beyer: We need to be able to talk without being offended
    Since becoming the world’s first openly transexual mayor and member of parliament, Georgina Beyer has been recognised as a trailblazer for trans rights. Daphna Whitmore talks with her about where she sees the current trans movement We start out talking about legislation the government put on hold that would have ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • The anti-fluoride brigade won’t be erecting billboards about this study
    If FFNZ really put their faith in “Top Medical Journals” they would now be amending their billboards to recognise new research results. Image from FFNZ but updated to agree with the latest research. ...
    1 week ago
  • Chosen To Rule? What Sort Of Christian Is Chris Luxon?
    National Messiah? Chris Luxon identifies himself as an evangelical Christian. If he is genuine in this self-characterisation, then he will take every opportunity his public office provides to proselytise on behalf of his faith. He will also feel obliged to bear witness against beliefs and practices he believes to be ...
    2 weeks ago
  • War of the worms
    I'm going to make a Reckless Prediction™ that the Tories have 'topped out' in the 'poll of polls' / Britain Elects multipoll tracker at about 38%, and in the next week we will start to see Labour creep up on them.In fact, we might just be seeing the start of ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Marvelly shows us how to be a feminist without feminism
    by The Council of Disobedient Women Lizzie Marvelly: “I may have missed this… has @afterellen gone all terf-y? Or am I reading something incorrectly? “ https://twitter.com/LizzieMarvelly/status/1191840059105742849 After Ellen is a lesbian website that is unashamedly pro-lesbian, as you’d expect. So why is Ms Marvelly so bothered about lesbians having their ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Out of the past – Tories to revive racist laws from the 16th century
    Did you know there once was a time when it was illegal to be a gypsy (aka Romani) in Britain?That was between 1530, when the Egyptians Act was passed, and 1856, when it was repealed.Amongst other things, the act forbade the entry of 'Egyptians' into England, ordered those already there ...
    2 weeks ago
  • 1000 of these now
    Some days I sit and think, “what will I write…?” What do you say when you get to 1000 posts? Maybe you just start where you are, diverge to where this all began, then offer a collection of reader’s favourite posts, and a few of your own? (And throw in ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    2 weeks ago
  • Has Shane Jones Just Saved NZ First?
    Counter-Puncher: The “activists” and “radicals” (his own words) from the Indian community who took such strong exception to Shane Jones’ remarks about Immigration NZ’s treatment of arranged marriages, may end up bitterly regretting their intervention. Jones is not the sort of person who turns the other cheek to his critics.SHANE ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: As predicted
    Yesterday, when National voted for the Zero Carbon Bill, I predicted they'd gut it the moment they regained power, just as they had done to the ETS. And indeed, they have explicitly promised to do exactly that within their first hundred days in office. What would their amendments do? Abandon ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Let this never be forgot
    In the spirit of Remember, remember the fifth of November, let's keep this in mind FOREVER.
    Oh dear. Extraordinary interview on PM with Andrew Bridgen and @EvanHD just now. Bridgen was defending Jacob Rees Mogg’s Grenfell comments. Evan asked him if JRM had meant to say he would have left ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Too Late To Change Capitalism’s Flightpath?
    Collision Course? In conditions of ideological white-out, the international bankers’ “Woop-Woop! Pull Up!” warning may have come too late to save global capitalism.WHAT DOES IT MEAN when international bankers are more willing to embrace radical solutions than our politicians and their electors? At both the International Monetary Fund and the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Whooping cough vaccine works well despite its imperfections
    Pertussis (whooping cough) is a conundrum. It is a disease that was described hundreds of years ago and the bacteria that causes it (Bordetella pertussis) isolated in 1906. We have had vaccines for about 80 years but this disease is defiant in the face of human immunity. I wanted to ...
    SciBlogsBy Helen Petousis Harris
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: Passed
    The Zero Carbon Bill has just passed its third reading, uanimously. In the end, National supported it - but we all know they'll turn around and gut it the moment they regain power. Meanwhile, I guess ACT's David Seymour didn't even bother to show up. I am on record as ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Retailing of vaping products – New NZ Research
    Dr Lindsay Robertson, Dr Jerram Bateman, Professor Janet Hoek Members of the public health community hold divergent views on how access to vaping products or electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) products should be arranged. Some believe ENDS should be as widely available as smoked tobacco and argue for liberal ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    2 weeks ago
  • Justice for Bomber
    When the Police were trying to cover up for the National Party over Dirty Politics, they went all-in with their abuses of power. They illegally search Nicky Hager's house, violating his journalistic privilege and invading his privacy. They unlawfully acquired Hager's bank records. They did the same to left-wing blogger ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Britain’s climate tyranny was unlawful
    Last month, in response to a wave of protests by Extinction Rebellion, the British government purported to ban their protests from the whole of London. It was a significant interference with the freedoms of expression and assembly, and another sign of the country's decline into tyranny. But now, a court ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • More crime from the spies
    Last year, the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security reported on significant problems with the intelligence warrant system. While they were unwilling to declare any warrant "irregular" (meaning unlawful) due to the recent law change, they were also not willing to give the system a clean bill of health. Now, they've ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Vaccination, compulsion, and paternalism for the lower orders
    The National Party has come out in support of encouraging greater vaccination uptake. But it sure isn’t the way I’d do it. National’s suggested docking the benefits of those on benefit whose kids aren’t keeping up with their vaccinations. Some in National have suggested extending that to payments under Working ...
    SciBlogsBy Eric Crampton
    2 weeks ago

  • Cowboy clampers will be stymied
    Clayton Mitchell, Spokesperson for Consumer Affairs The ‘wheel clamping’ Bill that will cap clamper fees to $100 passed its third reading in Parliament today. New Zealand First welcomes The Land Transport (Wheel Clamping) Amendment Bill to combat predatory wheel clamping behaviour in what is currently a largely unregulated business. Cowboy clampers are: gouging ...
    11 hours ago
  • Mental Health Commission back on track
    Jenny Marcroft, Spokesperson for Health New Zealand First welcomes the passage of the Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission Bill through its first reading in Parliament. “Today’s progress takes serious action on the mental health and addiction crisis the country is facing,” says New Zealand First Health Spokesperson Jenny Marcroft. “The re-establishment ...
    11 hours ago
  • New Zealand’s key assets are not for sale: national interest test delivered
    Mark Patterson, Spokesperson for Primary Industries Today the Government announced the delivery of the promise to protect New Zealand interests by applying a new National Interest Test to the sales of our most sensitive and high risk assets to overseas buyers. This further strengthening of the Overseas Investment Act will ...
    1 day ago
  • National interest test added to protect New Zealanders’ interests
    The Coalition Government is delivering on its promise to protect New Zealanders’ interests by applying a new national interest test to the sales of our most sensitive and high-risk assets to overseas buyers. Under current Overseas Investment Act (OIA) rules, assets such as ports and airports, telecommunications infrastructure, electricity and ...
    1 day ago
  • Electoral law breach allegations
    Rt Winston Peters, Leader of New Zealand First Allegations raised this morning by Stuff Limited / Fairfax concern a party matter but I am confident that New Zealand First has operated within electoral laws, now and for the last 27 years. Declarable donations were declared to the Electoral Commission. Our ...
    1 day ago
  • Wayne Brown hits back at critics: Ports of Auckland has to move
    The chairman of the Upper North Island Supply Chain Strategy (UNISCS) working group, Wayne Brown, has hit back at critics of his group’s recommendations to relocate the Ports of Auckland cargo operations to Whangarei’s deepwater port of Northport. The working group's recommendation to close Auckland waterfront to all but cruise ...
    2 days ago
  • Week That Was: Supporting our schools
    We're setting our young people up for success, investing in education around the country.  ...
    2 days ago
  • Kiwis to have their say on End of Life Choice
    Jenny Marcroft MP, Spokesperson for Health New Zealand First backs the public to decide on the End of Life Choice Bill via a referendum at the 2020 General Election. The Bill, with New Zealand First’s referendum provision incorporated, passed its final reading in Parliament this evening. New Zealand First Spokesperson for ...
    6 days ago
  • Addressing miscarriages of justice
    Darroch Ball, Spokesperson for Justice New Zealand First is proud that a key Coalition Agreement commitment which will provide for a more transparent and effective criminal justice system has been realised. Legislation to establish the Criminal Cases Review Commission, an independent body focused on identifying and responding to possible miscarriages of ...
    1 week ago
  • Week That Was: Historic action on climate change
    "Today we have made a choice that will leave a legacy... I hope that means that future generations will see that we, in New Zealand, were on the right side of history." - Jacinda Ardern, Third Reading of the Zero Carbon Bill ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Tax-free deployments for Kiwi troops
    Darroch Ball, New Zealand First List MP A Member’s bill has been proposed that would provide income tax exemptions for all New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel while on operational deployment overseas. The Income Tax (Exemption for Salary or Wages of NZDF Members on Active Deployment) Amendment Bill proposed by New Zealand First ...
    2 weeks ago
  • A balanced Zero Carbon Bill passed
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, New Zealand First Leader New Zealand First is proud to have brought common sense to the Climate Change Response (Zero Carbon) Amendment Bill, which passed its final reading in Parliament today. Party Leader Rt Hon Winston Peters says months of hard work went into negotiating a balanced ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Paramedics’ status to be recognised
    Jenny Marcroft MP, Spokesperson for Health New Zealand First has listened to calls to recognise paramedics as registered health professionals under the Health Practitioners’ Competence Assurance Act (the Act). Today, the Coalition Government announced plans for paramedics to be registered as health practitioners under the Act, and the establishment of a ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Week That Was: 2,000 teachers in two years
    We began the week by commemorating the New Zealand Wars and celebrating a major increase in the number of teachers. Then, we were busy supporting offenders into work and getting our rail back on track after years of underinvestment. And that's just the start! ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Winning an election one conversation at a time
    In October I was sworn in as the Mayor of Lower Hutt. It’s the privilege of my life to serve Hutt people as their Mayor. There is something really special to be able to serve the community where I was raised, and where I live.   ...
    3 weeks ago

  • APEC 2021 Bill passes first reading
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters has welcomed the first reading of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation 2021 (APEC 2021) Bill in Parliament today. The temporary bill supports New Zealand’s security preparations for hosting the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Forum in 2021. “APEC is the leading economic and trade forum ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 hours ago
  • Making progress for our kids
    The Government is making progress on improving the wellbeing of the one million New Zealanders under the age of 18,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said on World Children’s Day. The Government has today recommitted to the most widely ratified human rights treaty in history – the United Nation’s Convention on ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    9 hours ago
  • Māori women in business contribute to our economy, whānau and communities
    Minister for Women Julie Anne Genter has released a new report celebrating the contribution of Māori women in business across Aotearoa New Zealand. “Māori women are leaders in our communities, they employ many people and support our economy and our communities,” Julie Anne Genter said. The report, Ngā wāhine kaipakihi: ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    9 hours ago
  • Two schools on the way for Omokoroa
    Four parcels of land have been bought in Omokoroa, in the Western Bay of Plenty District, for an education facility that will accommodate both a primary and secondary school on a campus-like facility, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. Two parcels were acquired from private land owners and two were ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    11 hours ago
  • Families Package helps over 1 million New Zealanders in first year
    1 million New Zealanders warmed by the Winter Energy Payment 36,000 families bank the Best Start Payment in first year 6,000 more families received the Family Tax Credit, 220,600 in total   They receive an increase too – from an average of $117 to $157 a week for Inland Revenue clients, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    13 hours ago
  • Clamp down on wheel clamping passes third reading
    New rules to clamp down on overzealous wheel clamping and extortionate fees charged in order to release a vehicle have passed their final stage in Parliament today. The Land Transport (Wheel Clamping) Amendment Bill has now passed its third reading. “These changes mean $100 will be the maximum wheel clamping ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission Bill passes first hurdle
    An independent Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission is a step closer after it unanimously passed its first vote in Parliament today.  The Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission Bill lays the groundwork for establishing the Commission as a fully independent crown entity – delivering on a key recommendation of He Ara ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Boosting border security with electronic travel authority – now over 500,000 issued
    We’ve improved border security with the NZeTA, New Zealand Electronic Travel Authority, which helps us to screen travellers for border and immigration risks off-shore before they travel to New Zealand. It was launched in August and became mandatory on 1 October 2019. More than 500,000 NZeTAs have been issued since ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Plan of action to protect seabirds
    A proposed national plan of action to reduce the number of seabirds caught in fisheries is being circulated for public feedback. Fisheries Minister Stuart Nash and Conservation Minister Eugenie Sage say New Zealand is a global centre of seabird diversity with about 145 species in our waters. It has more ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • National interest test added to overseas investment rules
    The Government is delivering on its promise to protect New Zealanders’ interests by applying a new national interest test to the sales of our most sensitive and high risk assets to overseas buyers. Associate Finance Minister David Parker said under current Overseas Investment Act rules, assets such as ports and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • New housing part of support for Kaumātua
    The Government is building special housing to accommodate one of Aotearoa’s greatest taonga- our kaumātua, says the Minister for Māori Development, Hon Nanaia Mahuta.  Speaking at a National Kaumātua Service Providers Conference in Rotorua today, the Minister reinforced the importance kaumātua play in maintaining and passing on mātauranga Māori, knowledge, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Forestry helps prisoners into jobs
    Eleven men from a pilot forestry training programme for prisoners in Northland now have full time jobs or job offers upon release, Corrections Minister Kelvin Davis and Forestry Minister Shane Jones announced today. The ‘release to work’ programme was a collaboration between Te Uru Rākau and the Department of Corrections, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Reform of public service a step closer
    Minister of State Services Chris Hipkins today introduced into Parliament a Bill that will make it easier for the public service to tackle the biggest challenges facing Governments. The Bill represents the most significant change in the public service in 30 years. The State Sector Act 1988 will be repealed ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Donations scheme to relieve pressure on families
    The families of more than 416,000 students will be better off next year as their schools have signed up to the Government’s donations scheme, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. The scheme will see almost $62.5 million in additional Government funding go to schools nationwide next year. “I’m really pleased ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Further support for Samoan measles outbreak
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters has announced further support as the Government of Samoa responds to a serious measles outbreak. “New Zealand will deploy a further 18 vaccination nurses, bringing the total to 30 working in Samoa over the next four weeks,” Mr Peters said. “A New Zealand Medical Assistance ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Speech to the Child Poverty Action Group 2019 Summit
      Fa’atalofa atu, malo e lelei, Kia ora koutou katoa Thank you to the Child Poverty Action Group for asking me to be here today to provide an update on some of the things that have been happening across my the social development portfolio.  Can I firstly acknowledge the vast ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Speech to the New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing Annual Conference
    ***Please check against delivery*** Good morning everyone. It is a pleasure to be with you this morning to open this year’s New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing Conference and AGM. Firstly, thank you Dr Alan Jackson, NZTR Chair for your introduction. And let us acknowledge also: The NZTR Board; Dean McKenzie, Chair ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Fairer rules for tenants and landlords
    The Government has delivered on its promise to the over one million New Zealanders who now rent to make it fairer and more secure, Associate Minister of Housing (Public Housing) Kris Faafoi has announced today. Both renters and landlords will benefit from the suite of practical changes to the Residential ...
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