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So! You want a “plan”?

Written By: - Date published: 4:36 pm, March 11th, 2021 - 50 comments

Expecting a bit much aren’t you? We haven’t had that since Muldoon. At least he had them. The kind of people now asking for a plan were those who complained about governments that “interfered with the sacred ‘free market’” and screamed about “central planning”, “picking winners”, “protectionism” etc. They prefer just getting cheap labour to give the illusion of economic growth. And build a cycleway!

Reasons to abandon NZ’s Five-Eyed Folly

Written By: - Date published: 2:35 pm, February 4th, 2021 - 29 comments


Wayne Brown’s recent suggestion “Is it time to sell our seat on FiveEyes?” is from someone well placed by experience to form an educated opinion. “Trade sanctions of the type Australia is facing are a weapon used by both USA and China. So let’s have a debate on whether we need Five Eyes, or whether it’s time for us to trade on independently.”

Brexit revisited

Written By: - Date published: 7:19 am, December 13th, 2020 - 19 comments

With Brexit looming there is talk of unfinished customs software and the possibility of chaos around ports, the UK’s food supply being compromised, and potential skirmishes with France at fishing spots.  And Angela Merkel and Emmanuel Macron are refusing to talk to Boris Johnson.  Hang on England, this is going to get wild.

“Reds under the Bed”.

Written By: - Date published: 8:40 am, September 4th, 2020 - 78 comments

Everyone has recently had an education on  “Socialism” working in practice.

And a graphic illustration of the shortcomings, of under regulated “Free market” Capitalism, Globalism, tax cuts for the rich, and the mania for monetising everything in sight, and “running it like a business”.

How Trump Has Changed New Zealand’s future

Written By: - Date published: 7:00 am, September 2nd, 2020 - 28 comments

Post Trump how is the world order looking?

US v China: new Cold War or new Opium War?

Written By: - Date published: 10:27 am, August 25th, 2020 - 23 comments

The Trump administration has declared war on China, and there is much speculation in the punditry as to whether or not this is a new Cold War similar to that waged post World War 2 against Russia. In my opinion, the 19th century Opium Wars may offer a more appropriate analogy, albeit with a likely different outcome.

Hong Kong principles

Written By: - Date published: 9:49 pm, July 28th, 2020 - 38 comments

According to our Prime Minister, today’s announcement that New Zealand is suspending extradition arrangements with Hong Kong is because of our principles. But it is not immediately clear what these principles are, other than falling into line with our Five Eyes spying partners. Some history is important.

Re-open New Zealand

Written By: - Date published: 10:23 am, July 3rd, 2020 - 82 comments

It is great to see former Prime Minister Helen Clark join the debate about re-opening New Zealand’s borders. We need it. There is no better time for New Zealand to re-launch itself to the world.

The plan for Monday

Written By: - Date published: 9:43 am, April 18th, 2020 - 30 comments

Even if New Zealand gets out of the immediate Covid-19 infection better than most other countries, the result is still a wrecked world and a slow recovery. What we face is something like an Australian firefighter with a hose and a tanker facing an onrushing wall of flame: they successfully dampen down a defined circle […]

What we were doing wasn’t working.

Written By: - Date published: 6:32 am, April 15th, 2020 - 112 comments

After the lockdown, it is tempting to try and go back to what we had before. To the familiar and comfortable, especially for us that were comfortable. Forgetting that for so many, things were anything but, comfortable. That won’t be happening. “Before” no longer exists.

New Zealand’s poor in this new crisis

Written By: - Date published: 9:16 am, April 11th, 2020 - 126 comments

Covid 19 is not some great leveller. To succeed the state has to completely redirect the economy to so that ordinary workers and working families are supported.

China: Guns, Germs, and Steel

Written By: - Date published: 8:00 am, February 14th, 2020 - 34 comments

The coronavirus outbreak that exploded three weeks ago in the central Chinese city of Wuhan has prompted the most severe Chinese government actions in three decades.

Oh Look! (What. a. surprise.)

Written By: - Date published: 10:41 am, February 8th, 2020 - 20 comments

Mainstream media yet again aiding and abetting the character assassination of whistle blowers.

Mike Moore

Written By: - Date published: 7:30 am, February 3rd, 2020 - 104 comments

It’s not often you find New Zealanders who give every single breath they have to the left and do it with resounding and even global success. Such a person was Mike Moore.

Chinese New Year

Written By: - Date published: 9:26 am, January 27th, 2020 - 15 comments

With China’s New Year arriving, and a terrible flu virus struggling to be contained within it at the same time, it’s time to reflect again on China’s future and impact for New Zealand.

Brexit – sorry its not getting done anytime soon.

Written By: - Date published: 11:23 am, December 12th, 2019 - 5 comments

Can the Conservatives get brexit done by January 31st as they are promising in the election? The short answer is no. The slogan is catchy, and taps into public sentiment. But it is also pure unadulterated bullshit. If the Conservatives do form the next government these words will haunt them, especially Boris Johnson.

The Missing Millions

Written By: - Date published: 11:18 am, December 12th, 2019 - 18 comments

Millions of people and an entire region of the UK left out of polling calculations….

The NHS and privatisation

Written By: - Date published: 12:14 pm, December 10th, 2019 - 18 comments

The NHS is well loved by the British public. It is seen as something which makes British society decent and civilised. That the NHS is now stretched and badly underfunded is seen as a national outrage. Fears of even further privatisation of the NHS due to a US trade deal has unsurprisingly made the NHS the number one election issue.

China independence day

Written By: - Date published: 4:17 pm, October 1st, 2019 - 91 comments

October 1st is the National Day of the People’s Republic of China. They like to make it a big day, bigger than the United States’ July 4th. It’s called Golden Week because they all really holiday and reconnect across the country. They shop like lock forwards pack down. It’s massive. As the 70th event, it […]

Fonterra, again

Written By: - Date published: 9:15 am, September 29th, 2019 - 24 comments

Why New Zealand – and its government – need to engage much harder about Fonterra.

National are lighting political dumpster fires while the Amazon burns

Written By: - Date published: 7:15 am, August 27th, 2019 - 47 comments

New Zealand’s poster boys for late stage capitalism’s dying throes are fools of the highest order.

Fonterra failure and Government failure

Written By: - Date published: 7:38 am, August 19th, 2019 - 95 comments

Fonterra is dragging New Zealand down, faster and faster.  What is this Government going to do?

The Hong Kong protest worked

Written By: - Date published: 8:22 am, June 16th, 2019 - 20 comments

Carrie Lam, the Chief Executive of Hong Kong, has permanently suspended the legislative proposal to enable extradition of Hong Kong people to among other places mainland China.

The Coming Global Economic Slowdown and New Zealand

Written By: - Date published: 8:45 am, June 3rd, 2019 - 49 comments

With the United States – China trade war well underway, the sick chaos of Brexit is shrinking the U.K. economy and slowing much of Europe’s economy, and smaller economies such as that of Mexico in the crosshairs through further politically manufactured trade disputes, the second half of this year looks for New Zealand nowhere near as rosy as the first half.

Peters to Pence on the Pacific – a return to colonialism?

Written By: - Date published: 9:38 pm, January 14th, 2019 - 120 comments

Winston Peters went to Washington last December to see US VP Mike Pence and invited the US to engage more in the South-West Pacific without informing Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern. Patrick Smellie described this apparent oversight as “deeply worrying.” Even more worrying is what Peters said when he was there.

Safe from prying 5Eyes

Written By: - Date published: 10:22 pm, December 8th, 2018 - 62 comments

I like my Huawei phone. Apparently the US National Security Agency can’t break its encryption. That’s presumably the “security” issue why Spark is being blocked from using Huawei, and why Meng Wanzhou is held hostage in Canada at the behest of US neocons.

Political interference

Written By: - Date published: 10:35 pm, November 20th, 2018 - 82 comments

China certainly has interfered  in New Zealand politics, most notably by the offer of a free trade deal which delivered huge benefits to our economy.  Party and government officials all stressed to us that they were grateful for New Zealand’s support for their accession to the World Trade Organisation,  the rule-based trade body. The US and Australia in contrast want to build a military base on Manus Island north of Papua.

Will there be a Brexit?

Written By: - Date published: 11:37 am, September 19th, 2018 - 33 comments

In short, I think not.

Fonterra’s loss

Written By: - Date published: 9:35 am, September 13th, 2018 - 67 comments

Fonterra has just reported an after tax loss of $196 million for the 2018 year. It’s never had an annual loss in its history.

Business confidence verses business certainty

Written By: - Date published: 11:13 am, August 31st, 2018 - 37 comments

Lately the news has been all doom and gloom about business confidence.  But what is the reality?  And should we worry what an Australian Bank is telling us?

Is Matthew Hooton becoming a socialist?

Written By: - Date published: 8:38 am, July 20th, 2018 - 41 comments

Occasional Standard reader Matthew Hooton has written a cogent column on industrial relations in which he realises and accepts that wages for ordinary workers are too low.

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