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Local Government: crucial and undervalued

Written By: - Date published: 12:27 am, July 11th, 2020 - 4 comments

On the day of the council vote, we organised for the effected Citi-Ops workers to sit in the public gallery in the Council rooms wearing their High Viz’s and work gear. I was one of three speakers for the union, expressing opposition to axing these jobs. The Council debated the issue for about 30 minutes. Those councillors in favour of making the workers redundant argued that they should not interfere with management decisions. Those against the decision felt that management did not have the mandate to make this decision. The vote ended up being 7-7, so Green Party Mayor Celia Wade-Brown used her casting vote to uphold management’s decision to outsource these workers jobs. The Citi Operations staff were sitting in the room, so Celia and the councillors were looking at these workers as they made them redundant.

The 2008 Go Wellington Bus Lockout

Written By: - Date published: 5:44 am, July 3rd, 2020 - 6 comments

20 days after being elected President of the Wellington Tramways and Public Passenger Transport Employees Union (we just called it Tramways), drivers at Go Wellington were locked out. The City nearly ground to a halt with thousands unable to get to work and traffic congestion a nightmare. Certain journalists were quick to call this a communist conspiracy.

His work here is not yet done

Written By: - Date published: 7:00 am, May 1st, 2020 - 71 comments

Former Prime Minister John Key has said that under current conditions employers are going to sack 20 per cent of their workers even if the company is doing well and that employers should never waste a crisis.

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.

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….

Macron speech – The end of Western hegemony

Written By: - Date published: 2:09 am, September 19th, 2019 - 21 comments

France President Macron’s remarkable and wide-ranging speech to French ambassadors after France hosted the recent G7 conference in Biarritz is well worth a read. He lays it all out – so much better than Trump’s tweets or BoJo’s bluster.

Tamihere wants to privatise half of Watercare

Written By: - Date published: 8:33 am, July 3rd, 2019 - 98 comments

John Tamihere has caused jaws throughout the region to drop by proposing that half of Watercare is privatised.

Despatches from Surrealistan

Written By: - Date published: 4:15 am, June 6th, 2019 - 7 comments

London feels surreal.  Joined the demo against Trump, in town to see the Queen, see off the Prime Minister, and plunder the NHS in the name of ‘free trade.’ Saw the play “The Last Temptation of Boris Johnson,”  which might be prescient.

Trump’s brilliant strategy to dismantle US dollar hegemony

Written By: - Date published: 5:05 pm, February 3rd, 2019 - 56 comments

Polymath economist Professor Michael Hudson’s latest article is a geopolitical panoramic masterpiece, sparked by outrage at a series of concurrent events on January 31 which he predicts means that 2019 will be the “year of global fracture.” Definitely worth a read.      

National shafted us with the MOM privatisation

Written By: - Date published: 7:20 am, January 17th, 2019 - 318 comments

Five years on how are the benefits from the Mixed Ownership Model privatisation process the last Government engaged in working out?

Public Service Reform

Written By: - Date published: 4:30 pm, September 6th, 2018 - 27 comments

For a country the size of Melbourne, we have a ridiculously complex state, and this layer of accountablility is largely a complete waste of our taxpayer money and degrades our agency as citizens.  Can we do better?

Corporatism.

Written By: - Date published: 12:35 pm, August 1st, 2018 - 44 comments

Hand in hand with “compassionate liberalism”.

Nurses deserve our support

Written By: - Date published: 6:30 am, July 12th, 2018 - 101 comments

Perhaps the Labour-led coalition might choose to reflect on it priorities – the sufficient funding of essential public services or buying billion-dollar war machines from the Donald Trump regime.

Liberalism Uber Alles

Written By: - Date published: 11:29 am, June 13th, 2018 - 32 comments

If the political class think liberalism has failed, then why is it that the process of killing off NZ Post is approaching completion?

Regrets, John Key’s had a few *

Written By: - Date published: 8:00 am, April 6th, 2018 - 43 comments

or more accurately one.  A failed vanity flag referendum.

Rimutaka Prison.

Written By: - Date published: 7:03 am, January 28th, 2018 - 51 comments

Who are the bigger criminals?

Updated.

High Country selloff scandal laid bare

Written By: - Date published: 2:11 pm, January 21st, 2018 - 33 comments

A feature in yesterday’s Domion Post Weekend lays bare the extent of the scandalous selloff of huge tracts of our high country. The tenure review of the high country has been conducted since 1992 to  privatise some of the land and also bringing parts into the conservation estate. The process has been followed by both National and Labour governments.

The failure of “right to buy” policies

Written By: - Date published: 3:03 pm, December 11th, 2017 - 19 comments

Not only did National’s policy to sell off state houses fail, but now we’ve found out a similar Thatcher policy in the UK just handed many social houses to private landlords. Should we consider making it harder to sell off state houses in New Zealand?

TVNZ pays Chief Executive a bonus after massive plunge in profits

Written By: - Date published: 7:39 am, November 14th, 2017 - 40 comments

TVNZ’s board has decided to respond to a massive plunge in profitability by paying it chief executive a bigger salary package and a large bonus.

TPP, Corporate Coup or “Free trade”?

Written By: - Date published: 9:07 pm, November 8th, 2017 - 99 comments

However. TPP ( The trans Pacific partnership) is NOT a “Free trade” agreement. It is an attempt to cement in corporate power, to override inconvenient  local Democracy, and collect rents from local communities in perpetuity.
Since when was giving large companies extra rights in law, and rights to extract even more economic rents, “Free trade”?

Begone, capitalism! You don’t own me

Written By: - Date published: 7:39 am, October 25th, 2017 - 73 comments

Do we want to be owned by capitalism and stay in its trap of wage and debt slavery, or do we want to boldly go to post-capitalism, whatever that might be.

Donkey Dick Duncan

Written By: - Date published: 11:34 am, October 9th, 2017 - 318 comments

Gross political incompetence, not immigration, is what lies behind and beneath New Zealand’s infra-structure problems. Only a excited donkey’s dick waving in a stiff breeze might point accusingly towards immigrants and immigration as the problem.

Why be a public servant?

Written By: - Date published: 1:16 pm, July 20th, 2017 - 28 comments

Today thousands of IRD workers face the prospect of losing their jobs while two MOT workers who lost their jobs for whistle blowing are vindicated.  Who would be a public servant?

The possible privatisation of Ports of Auckland

Written By: - Date published: 8:59 am, May 19th, 2017 - 134 comments

The Government is attempting through coercion and cajoling to get Auckland Council to privatise Ports of Auckland.

The SOE sell down three years on

Written By: - Date published: 8:30 am, February 7th, 2017 - 78 comments

Some time in the next 12 months it is likely that the forgone dividend payments and loss in share value from the Power Company shares and Air NZ share sale will be greater than the amount received, only three years after the sale.

Privatised Education Strikes Again.

Written By: - Date published: 11:59 am, January 25th, 2017 - 20 comments

The problems we have identified many times, with privatisation of essential services, continue.

National plans to sell Housing Corp home Key grew up in

Written By: - Date published: 8:30 am, November 25th, 2016 - 39 comments

John Key, the state house tenant turned good who has relied heavily on his humble upbringing is overseeing the sale of the state house he grew up in.

Nat state house selloff in tatters

Written By: - Date published: 7:18 am, November 23rd, 2016 - 24 comments

Another fail in National’s plan to sell off state houses is good news for those of us who believe that it is the government’s responsibility to take care of society’s most vulnerable.

Kiwibank is being privatised by stealth

Written By: - Date published: 8:37 am, November 2nd, 2016 - 31 comments

Kiwibank is selling 47% of its shareholding to the New Zealand Super Fund and to the Accident Compensation Corporation. The Government gets a cheque for $200 million which will improve the appearance of its books. Financial sleight of hand?

National 0, Christchurch 1

Written By: - Date published: 1:49 pm, September 21st, 2016 - 97 comments

Did Lianne Dalziel just prove how economically challenged the National Party are? It appears Christchurch will be able to pay its quake bill without flogging off the family silver. Why are the right so wedded to asset sales when they make no financial sense?

America bails on private prisons

Written By: - Date published: 3:49 pm, August 19th, 2016 - 19 comments

America is bailing on private prisons because they don’t work. What’s the bet that National is ‘too proud and arrogant’ to follow suit.

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