Simon Canute and the blogs

Written By: - Date published: 12:17 am, October 17th, 2010 - 29 comments
Categories: blogs, dpf - Tags: , ,

Minster of Justice Simon Power is ‘consulting’ on regulating the on-line communities to prevent violations of normal societal and legal standards. Clare Curran at Red Alert asks ‘hopefully’ that this isn’t simply a reaction to the idiocy of ex-National party member Whaleoil in how he chases readership. But I suspect that is exactly why this kind of foolishness has come back on the agenda again. Plus of course National would prefer that there wasn’t so much criticism of their wimpy leader and his habit of having poll driven responses rather than having or using his backbone.

There are existing systems in place that are generally sufficient. But they need to move closer to the speed of internet processes rather than the glacial pace that the courts have. It took almost a year between the time that Whaleoil started violating name suppression orders and the time he actually stood in front of a judge for sentencing. That is patently ridiculous and more importantly didn’t reinforce the lesson early enough. Simon Power has the ability to speed up the court process, but has been failing to provide the required resources. The delays are getting worse not better.

In his press statement Simon Power said…

It’s a bit of a Wild West out there in cyberspace at the moment, because bloggers and online publishers are not subject to any form of regulation or professional or ethical standards.

Bullshit – quite simply this is the statement of a fool that doesn’t appear to understand the way that the net operates. Which is the point that No Right Turn makes in his first post on the subject and I intend to expand on here.

But the ‘wild-west’ of blogging exists largely on the wild-right of the local blogosphere with their weak to non-existent moderation of comments. Perhaps the minister should have a talk to the erstwhile supporters of his government about voluntarily providing more effective moderation of their comments sections. Or in the case of Whaleoil, ask him to stop trying to take shortcuts to boost his readership while attempting to shroud himself in a spurious attempt to portray it as a deliberate activist activity. Failing to do that makes it look like Power is using a excuse manufactured by his own supporters to suppress the better managed blogs like this one and others that do moderate well within what the courts would allow.

Generally the net is populated not by ‘professionals’ but by individuals exercising their ability to say what they are thinking. That makes the whole basis of Power’s ‘review’ more than a little farcical. The closest thing that the local blogosphere has to a professional, outside of the few professional media driven blogsites like Pundit, is David Farrar. He runs a polling business that seems to have customers that are largely right wing political parties – mostly National. But even the contortions of his post at kiwiblog he seems to do basic spin control for Power, but anticipates my (and others) reaction to the news of this ‘review’.

But the way the Minister’s press statement has framed the issues is not good, and likely to rub a lot of people up the wrong way.

He is right, and I can’t see any of the potential benefits that he postulates are there. I can simply see it as destroying a system that is mostly already working because a Minster is too damn lazy to do his job in effectively improving the court processes, and doesn’t use the processes that are already in place inside the net itself.

Generally bloggers and almost all hosting providers abide by the rules of society, not only of their own societies, but also of others when requested to do so. We certainly do. The content that we provide and permit on our overseas server pretty much conforms to a standard that we think that the local courts would permit if a case was ever taken. This is a strictly voluntary moderation standard but as far as I can see most local bloggers tend to conform to the same standard to one degree or another. With a few exceptions the standard of moderation has improved considerably over the last few years without the Ministers inept interventions. Bloggers that don’t abide by this informal standard tend to get the treatment that Whaleoil did – widespread derision. We mostly ignored the deluded fool and we waited for the court process to take its laborious but inevitable course.

Besides if the courts, police or Minister had wanted to shortcut their own glacial processes then they could complained to his hosting provider. Generally if a complaint is received by most hosting providers either locally or internationally, they will look at the specified examples, make their own decisions, and in all likelihood they would have at least warned Whale or taken the site down. That is how the net tends to operate and has done so for decades. It is exactly the procedure that we take when we receive complaints about material on this site. Moreover whatever decision was made and whatever action was taken would have taken days or even hours – not the months that Simon Power’s justice system took.

However there appears to have been no attempt by the police, courts, or department of justice to take that effective action. It hardly shows the concern that Simon Power dribbles on about in his statement. To people on the net that lack of effective action indicates that officials were not particularly serious about the damage it was doing to our court system. People on the local net appeared to be far more concerned about it than either Simon Power, the police or the courts were based on the comment on the subject.

Quite simply either Simon Power has no real idea about how the net currently operates, and the way that it has done so for my 30 years around network communications, or this is some kind of idiotic attempt to suppress and intimidate the local blogosphere. Personally I suspect the latter because Simon Power is too young to have not been exposed to the net in his youth. The local blogosphere has increasingly attacking an ineffective government – for all points on the political spectrum. This looks like the same idiotic type of net-nanny approach that we have been suppressing for decades in select committees to backbench MP’s (I last did it in the late 1990’s) and advice to our more elderly politicians who didn’t grow up with the net.

Perhaps the Law Commission should look at the reality of how the net actually operates, informally and internationally and look at how to establish effective actions using the existing methods that the network provides. But since there are very few literate (in my terms) lawyers then I suspect that is a pious hope. They’d probably feel more comfortable requesting that Simon Power looks at how to put more resources into the court system so cases like Whaleoils name suppression violations can be done in a far more timely manner.

What we don’t want to see is how some fool of a politician would prefer it to operate so that they can stifle public opposition by citizens. Even the ever more desperate operation of the great firewall of china can’t prevent information flowing in and out of China, and I hardly think that the NZ Government has either the nounce, finance or commitment to mount such an effort.

If the Law Commission are foolish enough to to try to regulate the local net on the flimsy pretext that Power is proposing, then I will treat whatever ‘solution’ they come up with as simply being an network impediment, and bypass it. I’d suspect that many bloggers and even their hosting providers around the net would feel the same. Personally if Minster prefers to make an arse of the law with a Canute like proclamation, then I’d be willing to sit down and spend some time writing code to simply make a monkey out of it. Unlike the poor deluded Whaleoil, I’m not only a professional programmer but I also understand the law enough to do a pretty good job of twisting it into knots and make it look completely ridiculous. I don’t think that I’d be alone.

The likely outcome of a foolish decision by either Simon Power or the Law Commission is that the current voluntary restrictions that almost all bloggers currently observe (apart from the delusional Whaleoil) will cease. Once New Zealand gains a reputation as a impediment to the network, then international providers are also likely to cease their current levels of potential cooperation

29 comments on “Simon Canute and the blogs”

  1. The mainstream media, private or public, has been easy to control for the elite interests they serve. ‘Professional’ journalists/editors self censor to the point that nothing controversial is reported in a way that might adversely affect the illusion of authourity with which the centers of power cloak themselves. I believe the ruling elite are extraordinarily fearful of the radically democratic potential of the internet.

    The internet, although clumsy and crude at the moment, offers a large section of the community a forum where they can discuss policy decisions with a diverse mix of their peers. Previously the decision making process has been heralded by obedient broadcasters and newspapers to a passive audience. Aside from letters to the editors, discussion was largely limited to workplaces and small social gatherings or, if serious enough, union meetings and public rallies. Nothing in the past has matched the internet’s capacity for allowing dissenting ideas to coalesce into coherent resistance at such a swift pace. It is in the interests of those who control the decision making process to ensure the internet is constrained to disseminating information in as passive a manner as possible.

    The pretext Power is operating under, in the pursuit of passivity, is flimsy to the point of irrelevancy. The offending blogger was successfully dealt with using existing legislation. If a newspaper had printed the same material, in contempt of court orders, the editor/owners/journalist would have been dealt with in a similar manner. I doubt Simon Power would be “…’consulting’ on regulating…” the fourth estate “…to prevent violations of normal societal and legal standards.”. If violating court orders was socially relevant blog sites everywhere would be participating in the violation, it didn’t happen.

    I am sure there are contemporaries of Simon Power, throughout the ‘free and democratic’ societies of the west, who are dredging up pretexts around which they intend to craft regulations that limit the participatory nature of the internet. There is nothing more threatening to the centers of power than an informed and politically active public. From the perspective of the bosses this must be prevented where possible.

    I do not envy those who have been ‘offered’ this task, King Canute’s attempt to order the tide to cease its advance had a far greater chance of success. The tide will come in.

  2. comedy 2

    I thought the latest theory was that Slater was on the Nat payroll ?

    Is this just a Machiavellian plan to confuse the punters oh noes !!

    • lprent 2.1

      I tend to take people at their word, unless of course I have contrary evidence (eg Paul Henry frequent proforma insincere ‘apologies’) or a bad attitude on the day and a desire to stir. In this case I suspect that Slater has left National. But that doesn’t stop a cynical politician from using his ravings to stir up a shitstorm

      That might confuse you, but that really doesn’t seem to be a onerous task.

      • comedy 2.1.1

        So to sum up your approach to life.

        ‘I take people at their word unless I don’t like them and choose not to ‘……. right o

        Guess that’s what it takes to be a political blogger and party activist.

        • lprent 2.1.1.1

          Oh no, you really get to know if I don’t like someone. It usually involves someone wasting my time..

          I note that you haven’t said anything about the substance of this post. I’m aware that you have a genuine problem with having a shallow mind, but surely you have an opinion about regulating the blogs that you comment on?

          • comedy 2.1.1.1.1

            “I’m aware that you have a genuine problem with having a shallow mind, but surely you have an opinion about regulating the blogs that you comment on?”

            Much like I’m aware that you have a pathologic need to insult almost everyone who calls you on your hypocrisy.

            Now onto the pertinent question, should blogs be regulated and how.

            I’m very much for free speech so in principle would oppose any “blog regulation” that prohibits such discourse. I do however note the not infrequent banning of commenters and deletion of comments on blogs which does seem to be somewhat hypocritical.

            • lprent 2.1.1.1.1.1

              Good to see that you have an opinion but still appears shallow and sloganist to me. From memory you were against the free speech when it came to people expressing their opinions about Paul Henry and what they intended to do to his supporting advertisers.

              You have free speech pretty much anywhere but subject to the rules of the various private sites and the willingness of societies to take action against you. This is what free speech is – you can say what you want, but you take the consequences of your action.

              But many ‘free speech’ advocates do not consider that they should be responsible for their actions. They are as Paul Thomas pointed out yesterday

              Given the likelihood that these episodes were essentially stunts that got out of hand, it’s curious that Henry’s defenders – a distinct minority among the many readers who responded to last week’s column – see it as a freedom of speech issue and the outcry as evidence of creeping totalitarianism in the guise of political correctness.

              This freedom of speech is a one-way street. They have the right to say whatever they like and we have to wear it.

              As the great American jurist Oliver Wendell Holmes pointed out, using the example of someone falsely shouting ‘Fire!’ in a crowded theatre, freedom of speech isn’t absolute.

              As I said you sound as if you’re more into uttering a slogan than thinking about the consequences.

              • comedy

                “From memory you were against the free speech when it came to people expressing their opinions about Paul Henry and what they intended to do to his supporting advertisers.”

                Your memory is failing.

                • Pascal's bookie

                  I do however note the not infrequent banning of commenters and deletion of comments on blogs which does seem to be somewhat hypocritical.

                  Really. Lynn can stop people commenting on the whole internet and delete their dribble from any blog? Fuck, that’s some powerful fu.

                  • lprent

                    Yeah, I am so all-powerful that I can moderate other sites.. (not)

                    We’re pretty clear about when people get comments deleted or if they get banned and why these things happen. The only people who just get comments deleted are those that we have never approved a first comment for. They keep getting them deleted until they raise their standard to a minimum level.

                    I keep an eye on the trash to make sure that comments aren’t just deleted by over-enthusiastic authors. It isn’t efficient to trash comments without an explanation because the commentator doesn’t get an opportunity to learn better behaviour.

                • ghostwhowalksnz

                  ‘Free speech’ , that you refer to is the right from government interference in what you think or say.

                  • lprent

                    I would have put it as unreasonable interference. I have few quibbles with preventing tainting the jury decision process. The background threat of the defamation process is sufficient to reduce the more idiotic outpourings to acceptable levels. The biggest issue is actually the vexatious misuse as were performed against hager a few years ago.

                    What irritated me is having a posturing publicity seeker looking for a cheap shot rather than exercising that options that are already in his power.

                • bbfloyd

                  can you feel the bite of the hoist C? that’s your own petard you can feel.

                • roger nome

                  The oxymoronic comedy act is wearing thin. He’s not funny, not thoughtful, and not even very much fun to laugh at (unlike d4j). What purpose does he serve here?

                  [lprent: Sometimes he rouses himself to a higher standard. Usually you have to torment him a bit first before he will exert himself. ]

  3. Rharn 3

    A thought provoking article on a subject few of the public know little about.

  4. Santi 4

    Power is a pompous fool. All politicians, including wimpy Key and useless Goff should be open to the fiercest criticism in the blogosphere.

    Lousy comments from a lousy minister.

  5. prism 5

    Listening to the news this morning I thought of our present being an analogy to Brave New World. There are manipulators of parts of society that has a zeitgeist of being happy, wanting to party, not allowing troublesome thoughts or concerns about ethics and morals to be examined.

    This regime encourages Paul Henry who is allowed to pursue an unethical line that brings in money for powers-that-be, he has fans that are catered to because they are the consumer mass with money and easy to manipulate like the brain-washed soma drug takers of the book, people who rail against Paul H and his ilk are like John the Savage trying to find a moral compass and depth, drawing on past writings and thinking which are varied and confused making discussion essential to find a clear path. John Savage is doomed because he is on his own and his idea of life purpose though confused is extensive, but the rest of his world has no desire to search for a life purpose, but to live mindlessly in the now.

  6. prism 6

    Last thought – a Burmese dissident who has escaped the country has a sister in law away for 65 years for being an uppity thoughtful democracy supporter. He and his whole family are affected by the punitive rulers of Burma. He fights for an ideal and sacrifices his ease of life and perhaps life itself.

    Yet what happens when people have democracy? After a while they take it for granted, many don’t bother to vote, or play along with it as a system to rort in all the ingenious ways that humans can think of? Sorry to be thinking so much this morning about ‘inconvenient truths’ and human tendencies. We have so much potential to be higher species on all levels but fail as a group to realise it, though some individuals do and illustrate what could be achieved. And that’s not requiring perfection in any aspect, just to be able to grasp the vision and work towards it.

  7. Simon Power is too young to have not been exposed to the net in his youth

    Ah, no. He was born in 1969. When he was a child, there weren’t even home computers. When he was a teenager, there were home computers, but no public network. While the net had made its way into student use in universities by the time he went there, it was mostly in computer science departments. He was studying law. And he would likely have graduated before there was a web.

    And Power is one of our younger politicians. If you want politicians who understand the web, who grew up with it, you need to look to the next generation beyond him. As for the older ones, they’re fossils.

    • lprent 7.1

      I was born in 1959. Computer networks were available when I went to university. At Waikato there were terminals all over the campus. It was much the same at Otago 5 years later. PCs and modems were widely available and not too expensive for clones when I was in my mid to late 20’s.

      Before the web there was Usenet and bbses. Both were widely available when I was in my early 30’s.

      All of those opportunities were available to Power except when he was a decade younger. But more importantly he would have contempataries or even older people with the required skills to make judgements about practicality. This review shows no understanding of the topic. All it will do is piss off literates by pandering for a PR line. We are not particularly tolerant of idiots who don’t make an effort to understand the issues

      Agreed that most of the ministers are fossils, but that really doesn’t stop them from knowing and trusting literates – preferably ones with better knowledge levels than DPF.

      • Idiot/Savant 7.1.1

        You’re mistaking availability for exposure, theoretical opportunity for using it. Yes, computers and the net existed when Power was young, but they were confined to the techno-priesthood. Even when he was at Vic, they were the domain of computer science students and early adopters. They weren’t ubiquitous enough to assume that he was properly exposed to them, let alone enough to have a clue.

        (Remember, you’re a geek. Power is a lawyer. Your technological experiences are very, very different).

        But I agree: this review is utterly uninformed by even a hint of a clue, and he clearly didn’t bother to talk to anyone who had one. And as a result, Power looks like a dick.

        • lprent 7.1.1.1

          The first degree was techno-geek (well science) at a technically literate uni. But the second? I was doing an MBA (ie management) at Otago, and yes we had more gear than the undergrads – but not by much. Admittedly the legal fraternity tend towards being a tad conservative at a tech level. It appears to be a career requirement after they look at prior cases and the potential consequences.

          But that is part of the issue as well. I find it hard to see how a group of people from a traditionally technophobe profession who are even older than Power can contribute.

          What would the average age of the members of the Law Commission be? Ummm http://www.lawcom.govt.nz/about/commissioners They look like they range in age from quite a few years older than I am to about 70+ for Palmer

          I’ve been having to educate people older than myself on how to think about computers and networks forever. There is quite an impressive shortfall in basic understanding for people that are older than I am, and even more so for older people who aren’t technically inclined. The way of thinking that is implied in the existence of open networks, and the implications, just seems to be quite beyond their comprehension. If you understand why it was almost impossible to build it any other way, it is pretty obvious.

          But I’d agree that for people who grew up with the web it appears completely obvious. Their problem is the opposite one. They accept the status quo and don’t understand the implications of what even small changes could imply for the network survival – they’ve never examined the alternatives.

          Update: re-read this, and no I’m not interested in trying to educate yet another lot… It is a lot less interesting than writing code.

        • Draco T Bastard 7.1.1.2

          He probably had exposure but it would have been limited. He’s a year younger than I am and all the secondary schools (Rutherford, Green Bay and Tokoroa) I went to had computers that we were taught how to use.

    • lprent 7.2

      If he was studying law, then he’d definitely have been exposed to the computer nets. My ex spent inordinate amounts of time on Lexis when she was doing law in the mid-80’s

  8. Ari 8

    I think there’s room to regulate professional blogs, if they’re good standards and careful of free speech. (for instance business blogs of newspaper columnists, or people who make a decent living from running a blog) Trying to regulate anyone who’s not actually blogging professionally and is just having their say is pretty much lunacy though.

    • lprent 8.1

      I don’t think that they need more regulation than already exists through the courts and net cooperation. What Power should concentrate on is making sure that these are used in a more timely manner

  9. “It’s a bit of a Wild West out there in cyberspace at the moment, because bloggers and online publishers are not subject to any form of regulation or professional or ethical standards.

    Fuck what Simon says, I regulate like Nate Dogg and Warren G.

    Regulators…mount up

    Fight the Power !!!

  10. roger nome 10

    Polly i know – i’m sick of the kid-glove left. Bring back Robinsod etc. These power-obsesed rightists need to be told it like it is. Also, the NZ left has been bending over to take the searing-hot poker of rogernomics, ruthanasia and third-wayism for far too long. They all equate to the same thing – i.e. if you’re born poor, the market will make sure you have a great big pit to climb out of, which most will never scale. The result – most stay poor, alienated and disenfranchised for the rest of their lives. Well fuck that. Where are the people with balls in this movement? Too many simpering cowards, afraid of confronting the fundamental sickness of the right.

    I like the attitude of Woody Guthry who used to tour with a guitar, which had a message on it “this machine kills fascits”.

    http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Woody_Guthrie_NYWTS.jpg

    He wrote the song “this land is your land, this land is my land” – fuck yeah. We’re entitled to share in the wealth of this earth just as much as Key and any of the other born to rule types. Fuck them all if they try to tell me any different.

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    Why is New Zealand climate change policy so crap? The Herald this morning has a long article on the twists and turns of climate change policy in New Zealand [paywalled / depaywall script], which shows where we've been. The short version is that the government first began worrying about this ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • What the All Blacks Mean to Us
    The All Blacks have been, for more than a century, arguably the most successful International sports team in the world. But they are more than that; even for those Kiwis who are immune to the charms of rugby (and there are more than a few), the All Blacks are ambassadors ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    5 days ago
  • No one is born into the wrong body
    A short and incredibly powerful speech from a young lesbian woman. No one is born in the wrong body. ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    5 days ago
  • Contempt
    Back in June, the UK Court of Appeal ruled that that country's continued arms sales to Saudi Arabia were unlawful. So you'd expect that the UK government stopped approving them, right?Of course not:The government has apologised for breaching a court ruling against the sale of weapons to Saudi Arabia that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Covering up the cover-up
    Yesterday NZDF officials were put on the stand about the lies they had told over Operation Burnham, making implausible claims that it was all a big mistake. But along the way, we learned they had already been put on the spot about it by a previous Defence Minister, who had ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Not as important as they think they are
    Farmers have been whining a lot lately, about the methane targets in the Zero Carbon Bill, about Canterbury's proposed nitrogen limits, and about the government's new proposals to stop them from shitting in our lakes and rivers. These policies are "throwing farmers under the tractor", they will force farmers off ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Behind Every Good Woman Should Stand – Another Good Woman.
    Alone, Alone, All, All, Alone: To argue that the Prime Minister is the victim of her advisers’ failure to keep her informed may offer Jacinda some measure of exoneration – but only at the cost of casting her as a hopeless political ingénue. A star-dusted muppet, whose only purpose is to ...
    6 days ago
  • Poor quality, poorly educated kiddie ‘Journalists’ spreading fake news
    In times of hysteria about the “World coming to an end” and “rising sea levels” so-called ‘Journalists’ who can barely spell words longer than four letters are having a ball! Though the majority of the Public have worked out that manmade climate change is nothing short of pseudo-science, and the ...
    An average kiwiBy admin@averagekiwi.com
    6 days ago
  • Chris Trotter on the BFD
    I don't want to give pblicity to certain parts of the internet that are better left to fester in their own irrelevance (I know, a bit like this place) but the listing of Chris Trotter as a 'author' on Cameron Slater's spinoff website, the BFD requires some explanation.Now, I don't ...
    6 days ago
  • Sex is not a spectrum
    The text below is a Twitter thread by Heather Heying that explains the essence of sexual reproduction and it long evolutionary history. She is an evolutionary biologist and a “professor-in-exile” after she and her husband, Bret Weinstein, stood up to supporters of an enforced “Day of Absence” for white staff and teachers ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    6 days ago
  • Climate Change: Trees, aviation, and offsets
    With crunch time for new Zealand climate policy approaching, most of the New Zealand media have got on board with a global reporting effort to cover the issue. There's one strand of stories today about polling and what it shows about changing public attitudes to the crisis, but the strand ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Pissing-Off The Israelis Is A High-Risk Strategy.
    Dangerous Foes: For those readers of Bowalley Road who feel disposed to dismiss any prospect of an Israeli destabilisation of New Zealand politics, the example of the United Kingdom repays close attention. Ever since the election of Jeremy Corbyn as leader of the British Labour Party, the Israelis have sanctioned, funded and ...
    7 days ago
  • Something to go to in Wellington
    Make It 16, the youth-led campaign to lower New Zealand's voting age, is holding an official campaign launch at Parliament this Friday from 16:30. If you'd like to attend, you can register using EventBrite here. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • A founding member responds to Peace Action Wellington
    by Don Franks It was a lovely sunny Wellington afternoon with blue skies above  the beaches.  In Courtenay Place, political activists packed out a stuffy upstairs room for an important meeting. The assembled pacifists, anarchists, communists and independent young radicals of Peace Action Wellington felt the need for a mission ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    7 days ago
  • “Mistakes and errors”
    Current and former NZDF top brass are being publicly grilled this week by the hit and run inquiry over their public responses to allegations of civilian casualties. Previously, they've claimed there were no casualties, a position which led them to lie to Ministers and to the public. Now, they're saying ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • “Homosexuality is same-sex attraction and relationships, not heterosexuals with delusions of gende...
    by Rafael D. Quiles (gender-critical gay man from Puerto Rico) The writing on the wall is right in people’s faces and people just don’t see it or don’t want to. What could actually possess a heterosexual male to want to feminize himself and claim that he is a lesbian? Because ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Trump: “Where’s my favourite dictator?”
    From the Wall Street Journal:Inside a room of the ornately decorated Hotel du Palais during last month’s Group of Seven summit in Biarritz, France, President Trump awaited a meeting with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi. Mr. Trump looked over a gathering of American and Egyptian officials and called out in ...
    1 week ago
  • Magdalen Burns, 1983-2019, fighter for women’s liberation
    by the Redline blog collective At Redline we are very saddened to hear of the death of Magdalen Burns who passed away on the morning of Friday, September 13 (British time). Magdalen was a great fighter for the rights of women in general and lesbian women in particular, a defender ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Parliament and the Executive
    The Brexit issue has certainly brought with it a series of apparently difficult constitutional issues, many of them concerning the respective roles of the executive and parliament. Most of them arise because of the unwillingness of MPs, despite their professions to the contrary, to be bound by a constitutional rarity ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • The Abigail Article; Martyn Bradbury’s Article, and My Response
    . . This blogpost is different to my usual format of reporting on issues… Since July 1011, I have blogged on a variety of political issues; near always political and/or environmental; mostly highly critical of the previous National Government. Other issues included Israeli occupation of Palestinian lands and repression of ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • Police will have to wear silly Buckingham Palace hats from now on, says Police Minister
    Those close to the Police Minister believe the initiative may be the result of Nash “seeing a great deal” on AliExpress. In a move that comes seemingly out of nowhere, Police Minister Stuart Nash announced this afternoon that he expects all frontline staff to don bearskin hats, famously worn by ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • A sensible crackdown
    The government has released its Arms Legislation Bill, containing the second tranche of changes to gun laws following the March 15 massacre. And it all looks quite sensible: a national gun register, higher penalties for illegal possession and dealing, tighter restrictions on arms dealers and shooting clubs, and a shorter ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • California bans private prisons
    Private prisons are a stain on humanity. Prison operators explicitly profit from human misery, then lobby for longer prisons terms so they can keep on profiting. And in the US, prison companies run not only local and state prisons, but also Donald Trump's immigration concentration camps. Faced with this moral ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Why PPPs are a bad idea
    When National was in power, they were very keen on Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) - basicly, using private companies to finance public infrastructure as a way of hiding debt from the public. They were keen on using them for everything - roads, schools, hospitals. But as the UK shows, that "service" ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • A Movement That No Longer Moves.
    Moving And Shaking: There was a time when people spoke matter-of-factly about the “labour movement” – a political phenomenon understood to embrace much more than the Labour Party. Included within the term’s definition was the whole trade union movement – many of whose members looked upon the Labour Party as ...
    1 week ago
  • NZ ‘left’ politically embracing extreme postmodernism
    by Philip Ferguson Much of the left, even people who formally identify as marxists, have collapsed politically in the face of postmodern gender theory of the sort pioneered by American philosopher Judith Butler. For Butler even biological sex is socially constructed. “If the immutable character of sex is contested, perhaps ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • The obvious question
    The media is reporting that the (alleged) Labour party sexual assaulter has resigned from their job at Parliament, which means hopefully he won't be turning up there making people feel unsafe in future. Good. But as with everything about this scandal, it just raises other questions. Most significantly: why the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The moment I found out that you found out, I acted swiftly
    By Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern I am every bit as angry as you are. I am every bit as disappointed as you must be. The people with power, oversight and the ability to do something about these processes within the Labour Party should be ashamed. Whoever those people are, I ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • This is why people hate property developers
    Property developers think there is an "oversupply" of houses in Auckland:High turnover rates and falling prices may be a sign that there are too many new houses going in to some parts of Auckland, commentators say. [...] Property developer David Whitburn said there was a "bit of an oversupply" in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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 ...
    2 weeks 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 ...
    2 weeks 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 ...
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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 ...
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks ago

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