Bullet dodged

Written By: - Date published: 11:30 am, December 17th, 2009 - 76 comments
Categories: climate change, john key - Tags:

keylettermanWell, that could have been embarrassing. John Key on the world stage, along with leaders of other countries in what has been billed the ‘greatest debate on Earth’ had the potential to be very painful.

It goes without saying that he would have treated the whole thing as a PR event. National was already preparing the ground for it in the same manner as they did the Letterman appearance. Key might not actually have whipped out ‘the top ten reasons why I am “somewhat suspicious” of climate change’ but he would have struggled to foot it in a top-level public debate on the issue, and New Zealand’s embarrassing backward steps under his government would have been exposed to all the world.

I think that is probably why Key was bumped. The debate is meant to be a serious discussion of how the world can tackle climate change. Having a Prime Minister there who has stripped back his country’s climate change policies to the bone wouldn’t have made sense. I mean, what would he have said ‘yeah, we took the existing Emissions Trading Scheme, which although world-leading was too weak, and reduced it into a $110 billion lolly scramble for polluters’?

The reality is, New Zealand is now in the obstructionist camp at Copenhagen. The old alliance of the Anglo-Saxon settler-states (the only developed countries in the world where deniers are given any credence) has come together again, this time to block, frustrate, and dilute any international agreement that comes anywhere near being sufficient. Our ‘global alliance’ on agriculture emissions research is a joke – we’re spending less on it than on Key’s bloody cycleway.

No wonder Key was uninvited. Under his watch, New Zealand has gone from climate change leader to enemy of progress.

76 comments on “Bullet dodged”

  1. BLiP 1

    Dunno why Key would even be considered – according to him and the redneck rabble at his meetings, there’s no need to worry about climate change for the next ten years.

    • Jim McDonald 1.1

      Did BBC see Helen Clark at the meeting, invited NZ and then realised NZ now has a new PM? hehe

      • Jim McDonald 1.1.1

        Hey Blip

        Just read your reference below (December 17, 2009 at 3:06 pm).

        So what I joked is not too far off the mark.

        Key would have been fantastic with his smiley lips for a photo-op but if he had to open his mouth to debate ….. ???

      • BLiP 1.1.2

        Heh! More likely the BBC did a bit of research and found out that the last time Shonkey was on international television he was there to insert a product placement for Cinnabon and, even then, it was a lie.

    • Jacquie Butterfield 1.2

      BLiP, You’ve made me laugh. First one today!

  2. Bill 2

    The debate is meant to be a serious discussion of how the world can tackle climate change.

    Which begs the question as to why any leaders of any countries are participating? They have had their bash, and as fully expected failed spectacularly.

    A serious discussion would have science taking centre stage. We already know that serious political solutions are to be pushed aside in favour of continuing ‘business as usual’.

    That leaves techno fixes. Science would have told us that there are no techno fixes if even the most cursory acknowledgement of the precautionary principle is to be observed.

    This would have led us straight back to a political solution and the need to shove the dead wood aside. But no. We give the dead wood a platform and hype it up as being serious and (laughably) the ‘greatest debate on Earth’…..actually, JK should have been there and there woud have been at least one honest expression of political intent, integrity and competence.

  3. fizzleplug 3

    Or maybe, the rest of the world sees us as insignificant on the climate change matters?

    After all, we are pretty insignificant.

  4. lukas 4

    climate change leader huh?

    please explain record emissions growth compared to other developed countries in the last 10 years?

    • fizzleplug 4.1

      Is this the part where we consider India and China to not be developed?

    • Significant, not record.

      Caused by the economy humming along, people driving more and increased demand on power being fed by thermal power stations.

      There is no immediate fix but a few things you could do are:

      1. Ban the construction of thermal power stations.
      2. Introduce efficiency standards for things like ligkt bulbs.
      3. Introduce biofuel additions to fuel.
      4. Get an ETS going which provides a market incentive for power users to reduce consumption.

      All done by the last Government, all either removed or kneecapped by the current.

      And your point is?

      • gitmo 4.2.1

        How are any of those suggestions going to effect our agricultural emissions ?

        • mickysavage 4.2.1.1

          I forgot the $12m levy that was to fund study into animal ruminations commonly known as the fart tax.

          This was opposed bitterly by the Nats. Interesting they now agree on the need to fund research in the area.

          • lukas 4.2.1.1.1

            so a $12million dollar tax that would just be passed on to consumers, probably with a mark up, is great news, but a pledge of $45 million dollars is not?

            please explain.

            • BLiP 4.2.1.1.1.1

              Its about choice, Lukey. See, if a company gets taxed and then passes the cost on via price rises, consumers then have the choice to purchase the product or not. What choice do the tax payers have with Shonkey striding the world stage spending our money like it belongs to him? Same with the billion dollar National Ltd® ETS subsidy, what choice do consumers have about that?

              Choice – remember that? Thought you’d have been in favour of it.

              • Jim McDonald

                The spirit of the festive season makes me suggest charitably that the policy mind of our PM just emitted a brain fart.

    • Bright Red 4.3

      Our net emissions are below 1990 levels.

      We’re making a surplus off Kyoto, remember?

      • fizzleplug 4.3.1

        Maybe these new education standards would have prevented someone counting all those trees incorrectly haha.

  5. gitmo 5

    Yes I’m sure none of the other leaders are seeing this as a PR opportunity cough cough, more hot air and bombast the whole meeting’s a fiasco and gorgefest.

    Who are the other tosspots taking part in the debate, Kevin Rudd, Jacob Zuma, Prime Minister of South Africa, President of Mexico Felipe Caldero and Indian Minister of Environment and Forests Jairam Ramesh……… which of these do you prefer to Key ?

  6. Tim Ellis 6

    Funny how the post below shows that New Zealand’s commitments at Copenhagen are in line with the biggest commitments other countries are making, yet Marty says we’re in the “obstructionist camp”.

    • Bright Red 6.1

      we’re nowhere near what the major EU countries are proposing.

      The UK has passed a law requiring 80% by 2050 and targets along the way (30-odd by 2020).

      • zelda 6.1.1

        Thank the Brits for having nuclear power.
        They arent going to meet their existing legally binding reductions ( 34% relative to 1990). So they make more unrealistic changes . Way to go

    • sk 6.2

      We are the only country where the national leader has declared to the natianal legislature in the last 5 years that climate change is a “complete and utter hoax”. Those are tough words to run from . . ..

  7. sk 7

    maybe the BBC was worried that the NZ Prime Minister could not think of ‘somethink’ to say .. . .

  8. grumpy 8

    But Hey! They’ve got Zuma there. Isn’t he the guy who claims beetroot is the cure for AIDS and raped his young neice who had AIDS. When asked why he had unprotected sex with an HIV positive person he said “it’s OK, I washed myself afterwards”.

    Bet he really understands the AGW science.

    Great company.

  9. Tim Ellis 9

    Perhaps the BBC, given its intention to grill international leaders, thought that having the leader of the country with the world’s first all gases, all sectors emissions trading scheme wasn’t worth grilling. Probably why they opted to go after Mr Rudd, who doesn’t have an emissions trading scheme. It seems that Marty’s “new zealand sucks” message isn’t getting through to the rest of the world.

    • lukas 9.1

      amazing how things change so quickly. A number of posts were made here about National running a nz sucks campaign prior to the election, now a number of writers here and the “green” Party MP’s have mastered the art of telling the rest of the world how much we suck.

      • lprent 9.1.1

        I hate to tell you this – but we do.

        The Key government is moving every environmental policy area backwards. From the power generation to the ETS this government is useless on maintaining any progress that we have been making towards a less polluting and more sustainable future.

        I’m just surprised that the Greens think that they can get any progress on their main issues with this regressive government.

    • Bright Red 9.2

      Tim. Key gutted the world’s first all sectors, all gases ETS.

      Do you think that Key deserves a pat on the head because he didn’t abolish it completely?

      • Tim Ellis 9.2.1

        No, BR, Mr Key’s government pared back the ETS so we wouldn’t sacrifice our economy just so that we could be light years ahead of our trading partners on climate change. It is still ahead of most of the world.

        • sk 9.2.1.1

          The beneficiaries are all foreign industrial companies; Rio, Bluescope, Holcim. Prey tell, what are the economic benefits of subsidising these companies?

          • Tim Ellis 9.2.1.1.1

            The economic benefits are that they don’t close up shop and go and operate in China where they have lower production costs, are closer to their markets, and aren’t hit with large carbon charges. It seems saving New Zealand jobs isn’t a priority for you.

            • BLiP 9.2.1.1.1.1

              False dichotomy.

            • sk 9.2.1.1.1.2

              Shall we go back to an import substitution model then? Which is the conclusion that follows from your point.

              Rio can’t build an aluminium smelter in China, no cheap electricity for them. Nor can Bluescope, nor Holcim (the latter can own equity stakes but not 100% of a plant in China). Last I heard no Chinese SOE was operating an industrial plant in NZ. Their markets – aside from Rio – are largely in NZ. All it means is higher prices, which we need if the market is to play any role in reducing demand for carbon intensive product (i.e. using wood in place of cement or steel).

        • Bright Red 9.2.1.2

          You are admitting, Tim, that Key has taken NZ backwards on climate change policy.

    • sk 9.3

      Tim, I feel real bad for you, but I keep telling you that Mr Key is regarded as a lightweight offshore. That is why the BBC doesn’t want to ‘grill’ him.

      Oh, and with the intensity based free allocation, everyone can see that the NZ ETS is what you have when you don’t want an ETS

      • Jim McDonald 9.3.1

        Maybe NZ officials (the ones who escaped being ‘capped’/fired) should quickly contact BBC and ask if they’d like to grill marshmallow?

  10. BLiP 10

    Second thoughts: it would have been quite fun if Shonkey had been interviewed. He might have been asked about why New Zealand should be considered 100% Pure when over the last 12 months National Ltd®:

    – defended internationally the importation of rain-forest-wrecking palm kernel and stood silent while Federated Farmers called Greenpeace “terrorists”

    – removed a proposed ban on incandescent lightbulbs

    – reversed a moratorium on building new gas/oil/coal power stations

    – gutted the home insulation scheme

    – pulled $300million out of public transport, walking and cycling schemes and added it to a pot of $2billion to ‘upgrade’ state highways

    – changed the law to provide billions of dollar in subsidies for polluters via the ETS casino

    – begun a process of gutting the Resource Management Act to make it difficult/impossible for the public to lodge appeals against developers and removed the rights of councils to have general tree protection

    – removed the ability of Auckland to introduce a fuel levy to fund planned public transport upgrades

    – left electrification of rail network up in the air without promised funding commitments

    – removed the Ministry for the Environment’s programme to make Government Departments ‘carbon neutral’

    – removed funding for public tv advertising on sustainability and energy efficiency

    – pulled funding helping small towns do public litter bin recycling schemes

    . . . very aspirational indeed. In fact, it would appear the provision of evidence proving that that New Zealand sucks is, in fact, solely down to the efforts of National Ltd® and its big-business sugar daddies.

  11. gobsmacked 11

    This is yet another flip-flop by the BBC.

    First, they said they were going to have John Key on the programme.

    Then they said there was “only a 5% chance” that he would be dumped from the programme.

    Then they made some excuse about timetables and diaries, and said it was a very long flight from New Zealand.

    Finally, at the last minute, the BBC caved in to pressure, and changed their mind. A total U-turn.

    Poor John. What has he done to deserve being treated like this?

    • Ros 11.1

      I’m a curious Australian gobsmacked, curious as to how our aspirant to President of the World, Kevin Rudd, got to bump your PM. I note that the BBC says “Top decision makers from all continents will be in the panel discussion” While a number of the commenters here are pleased about NZ being snubbed, I have darker thoughts. It’s not as if Kruddy would have not moved heaven and earth to change his timetable to be in the debate if he had been asked. So very likely your PM was the first choice for (from all continents) Now if you studied our PM you would be aware that would have him spitting. Just recall his sniffy correction of Obama for introducing the President of Brazil as the most popular politician in the world.

      So did the BBC decide to invite Kruddy, or did Kruddy’s minions get stuck into the BBC. He has a huge entourage with him including an official photographer. You seem to have some inkling as to what happened gobsmacked. Care to add to your comment for the curious.

      • BLiP 11.1.1

        Word is that Shonkey’s press people talked him up but, after a moment’s research, it soon became apparent that Key is a lightweight trying to leverage his own abilities off the record of his predecessor Helen Clark. See here:

        What the Prime Minister’s initial inclusion in the BBC debate reveals, however, is how well connected his press secretaries are with the rest of the world’s media. They would have talked him up and made him out to be more concerned about climate change than he really is. But actions speak louder than words. And sooner or later, BBC’s research and talking to other world leaders, its producers would have quickly worked out that New Zealand’s Prime Minister was the wrong guy to put on the debate. Because New Zealand, and the Prime Minister, are not key players at all on this issue. That changed at the change of government last year.

        • Tim Ellis 11.1.1.1

          That same report describes Ms Clark as a key player on climate change. This explains why at the most important summit of the generation she is having dinner with Charles Chauvel.

          • BLiP 11.1.1.1.1

            Very good idea introducing Charles so some of the movers and shakers rather than a cretin who preferred to make jokes about her being childless. Can you just imagine the cringe which would creep up your spine when introducing Shonkey to the rest of the diners? I think she’s actually done New Zealand a favour by saving us the embarrassment.

            • BLiP 11.1.1.1.1.1

              And its Miss Clark.

              [lprent: She has been married to Peter Davis for about 29 years. He is looking forward to her return. He is used to her being around on the weekends. Difficult from New York. I gather the phone and e-mail isn’t quite the same.
              However (IMHO) she sensibly didn’t change her name when they got married. It is a rather senseless custom. Mind you, so is the Miss/Mrs. ]

          • lprent 11.1.1.1.2

            TE: What is Charles the Labour spokesperson on? Climate change was one of them? Why would she talk to anyone else about the NZ position.

            The UNDP is a major player. But her role is at a rather more senior level than John Key, and more focused on the effects of trying to help people through the screwups that politicians like John Key are doing.

  12. SHG 12

    Why would anyone care what the PM of NZ has to say on climate change? NZ is a small country with a tiny population. It’s utterly insignificant.

    • sk 12.1

      Wrong SHG. Historically, when we have had bright, articulate, capable PM’s they do get a hearing, even if our economic size is irrelevant (Nash at Bretton Woods is an analogue for Copenhagen).

      But this group of adjectives do not apply to Mr Key outside of NZ. His approachability / commonality is a domestic, not global, strength. He lacks the intellectual firepower or belief structure to contribute to the global climate change debate. Unfortunate, but true nonetheless.

  13. tc 14

    Here here gobsmacked….what has Jonny done to deserve this.

    The comedic value alone made him a worthy participant both in terms of the lack of answers, indepth comments and his mashing of the english language.

    The BBC is not like the vacant space media spots he gets here without being challenged they would hone in on any weaknesses and there’s plenty of british based criticism they would feed off that his gov’t has got up to unwinding the former govt’s sustainability initiatives.

    Like children not allowed to play with matches the BBC have taken a mature experienced view that JK is way out of his league…..that’s not good TV so esay decision.

  14. gobsmacked 15

    To clarify: my comment above was just a sarcastic piss-take. Using John Key’s own words on going/not going to Copenhagen. It turns out the BBC were as unreliable as he is.

    So his staff are now grumbling to the media about the BBC’s late change of heart. Oh, the irony is sweet. Key got Key’ed.

  15. According to the piece about it on Stuff –

    “The dumping will be an embarrassment for Key after Climate Change Minister Nick Smith earlier this week said the Prime Minister’s inclusion was a “huge honour”.

    “Basically, what you’re looking for is a non-European developed country that’s seen to be constructive,” Smith said.”

    If you were looking for a non-European developed country that’s seen to be constructive you wouldn’t look to New Zealand under National. Perhaps that’s what the BBC twigged.

  16. Scribe 17

    Marty G,

    Your post actually doesn’t make any sense.

    You say Key was dropped from the panel because of our embarrassing ETS, but when the ETS was passed, he wasn’t even going to be in Copenhagen for the conference. Therefore, the BBC would have invited Key with that knowledge, so uninviting him for that reason seems completely illogical. Yet that’s what you’re claiming happened.

    • grumpy 17.1

      And Rudd doesn’t even have an ETS and seems not to favour one anywhere near a comprehensive as NZ’s

    • lukas 17.2

      as opposed to his other posts on climate change that make sense? take his polar bear one as a prime example.

      • grumpy 17.2.1

        You don’t think Marty is just using the climate issue to push his well documented hatred of capitalism?

        I would have thought Marty, that you could have made very valid points about the Emissions Trading market (developed by Enron) and the opportunities for ubercapitalists to enrich themselves at the world’s expense

        • lukas 17.2.1.1

          Perhaps, also his well documented hatred of John Key and anyone who disagrees with his view.

      • Scribe 17.2.2

        as opposed to his other posts on climate change that make sense?

        True, but I try to just criticise the immediate idiocy, rather than documenting a pattern of idiocy.

        When reading this post, for some reason I was reminded of the whole Hillary Clinton “I was named after Ed Hillary” saga.

  17. tc 18

    Yes I figured as much Gobsmacked.

    We have the same scenario as Oz has had up till their last election……being led by an international embarrassment who’s first name is John.

    lets hope that unlike Oz the opposition can rally and make them one term wonders and get NZ back on track and educate the swingers about poor choices being very costly to their children and themselves……a Tolley good idea eh what !

  18. Irascible 19

    A question.In this day of crosby-textor spinning was Key really invited then univited or was the truth that his spin doctors suggested the possibility of his being invited if he was to attend the Copenhagen conference and left it to credulous journalists to read it as a real invitation. Once the spin began it became a “truth”, a given that Key (informed on the issue by Hide.) was a participant in the BBC discussion. This would allow the spin doctors to then cry foul once the real invitees were announced and declare that their client was unfairly bounced from the forum thus presenting Key as a victim who deserves the sympathy of all NZers?
    Given this NACT govt’s propensity to rorting the system and distortions of information I can’t help but ask the question.

    • Jim McDonald 19.1

      NZers might feel regret about declining international perceptions and regard of NZ but NZers should not have sympathy for Key.

      The majority of NZers voted a joker for PM. So we should neither be surprised nor sympathetic when the PM gets treated like a joke.

  19. Herodotus 20

    To me al this conference is a waste of time, it is all about MONEY nothing about CO2 reduction, which just points out really HOW COMMITTED the leaders really are. Especially when all we see is leaders with their hands out. If there is AGW, this get-together just helps one faction, those who are sceptics. Otherwise we would see leaders actually leading and a agenda that reflects a change in emissions, but to those I am sorry you will be dissappointed.

  20. about that cycleway..

    captcha – arriving

  21. gobsmacked 22

    Follow-up – ABC (Australia) reports:

    “The BBC has now made a statement that it approached many world leaders to be on the panel.

    The broadcaster says while it wanted the widest representation of world views, it was never the case that two leaders from Australasia would appear on the show.

    The BBC says when it first approached Mr Key, he was unavailable.

    Later they were told the New Zealand Prime Minister was free. But by then they had already lined up Kevin Rudd.”

    (emphasis added)

    So Key’s dithering on Copenhagen cost him his slot. Will the NZ media now report this very different version of events? Or just keep parroting Beehive spin?

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    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
    5 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
    6 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
    6 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 ...
    6 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 ...
    6 days 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 ...
    6 days 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
    6 days 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
    6 days 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 ...
    6 days 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
    6 days 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
    6 days 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
    6 days ago
  • Speak Up for Women calls out Greens’ censorship
    This open letter to the Green Party was penned after an opinion piece by Jill Abigail, a feminist and founding member of the party, was censored by the Greens’ leadership. (Redline has reprinted her article here).The intolerance of the Green Party leaders and their acceptance of the misogyny of gender ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    7 days ago
  • Member’s Day: End of Life Choice, part 3
    Today is a Member's day, and David Seymour's End of Life Choice Bill continues its slow crawl through its committee stage. They're spending the whole day on it today, though the first hour is likely to be spent on voting left over from last time. After that they'll move on ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Flight to Los Angeles turned back after passengers decide they don’t want to go anymore
    An ambitious plan to fly to Los Angeles petered out into a brief sight-seeing trip and a desire to return home and get some sleep before work tomorrow. Air New Zealand has confirmed a flight to Los Angeles last night was turned back about a quarter of the way into ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    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
  • Democracy – I Don’t Think So
    So, those who “know best” have again done their worst. While constantly claiming to be the guardians of democracy and the constitution, and respecters of the 2016 referendum result, diehard Remainers (who have never brought themselves to believe that their advice could have been rejected) have striven might and main ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    2 weeks ago
  • Government says it will now build just one really nice home
    Following publication of this article, the Ministry has requested it to be noted that this supplied image is not necessarily representative of what the final house will look like, and it “probably won’t be that nice.” As part of today’s long-anticipated reset of the Government’s flagship KiwiBuild policy, Housing Minister ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Imperialism and your cup of coffee
    Over the next week or two we will be running three synopses of parts of the opening chapter of John Smith’s Imperialism in the 21st Century (New York, Monthly Review Press, 2016).  The synopsis and commentary below is written by Phil Duncan. Marx began Capital not with a sweeping historical ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Still juking the stats
    The State Services Commission and Ombudsman have released another batch of OIA statistics, covering the last six months. Request volumes are up, and the core public service is generally handling them within the legal timeframe, though this may be because they've learned to extend rather than just ignore things. And ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Hard News: Time for a New Deal: 25 years on
    In 1994, I was editing an ambitious street mag called Planet, from a fabled office at at 309 Karangahape Road. The thirteenth issue of the magazine was published in the winter of that year and its cover embodied a particularly ambitious goal: the end of cannabis prohibition.I wanted to do ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Not impressed
    KiwiBuild was one of the Ardern government's core policies. The government would end the housing crisis and make housing affordable again by building 100,000 new homes. Of course, it didn't work out like that: targets weren't met, the houses they did build were in the wrong place, and the whole ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Solar beats coal
    As the climate crisis escalates, it is now obvious that we need to radically decarbonise our economy. The good news is that its looking easy and profitable for the energy sector. Wind is already cheaper than fossil fuels, and now solar is too:The levellised cost of solar PV has fallen ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago

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