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Spinning ‘social investment’

Written By: - Date published: 8:32 am, January 14th, 2017 - 53 comments

Bill English has co-opted the old term “social investment” to replace another old term “targeted welfare”. Simon Wilson (writing at The Spinoff) has bought into the spin and written a deeply confused piece about it.

The Lighthouse

Written By: - Date published: 8:00 am, January 14th, 2017 - 19 comments

The lighthouse is a piece of public art recently erected in downtown Auckland. It is to celebrate the institution of the State House and has been paid for by real estate barons.

Michael Moore: why blowing up the system and voting for Trump will feel good

Written By: - Date published: 8:24 am, October 28th, 2016 - 182 comments

Trump is the “human molotov cocktail” that many Americans have been waiting for.

Race, Class, Global Warming and Democracy.

Written By: - Date published: 1:06 pm, September 7th, 2016 - 18 comments

Nothing and no-one is separate in this world. Nothing and no-one is more important than anything else or anyone else; no voice greater and no voice lesser.

Bregman: Socialism is a great product

Written By: - Date published: 8:08 am, August 21st, 2016 - 147 comments

Extracts from a long piece by Rutger Bregman in The Guardian. Plenty to disagree with perhaps, but plenty to ponder too.

Financial capital is crazy OP. Time to strip it back to basics.

Written By: - Date published: 12:08 pm, August 8th, 2016 - 72 comments

Financial capital is way over powered in our current political economic system. Every aspect of our lives has been financialised and securitised, from our homes to our educations. From our drinking water to our power supply.

Simplicity

Written By: - Date published: 11:57 am, April 9th, 2016 - 62 comments

Good shit happening in France.

Corporate Saviours

Written By: - Date published: 12:37 pm, February 12th, 2016 - 66 comments

oh, hallelujah…

What have the Unions ever done for us?

Written By: - Date published: 8:30 am, February 11th, 2016 - 48 comments

A video from the TUC in the UK explaining how important Unions are which is just as relevant for Aotearoa as it is for the UK.

So, how would you spend $1.2B per year?

Written By: - Date published: 3:23 pm, February 1st, 2016 - 84 comments

A Kiwi Kids allowance for all under fives, with totally fee free public primary and secondary schools.

The great big list of John Key’s big fat lies (UPDATED)

Written By: - Date published: 7:00 am, January 27th, 2016 - 76 comments

How many more lies will John Key tell today in his so-called State of the Nation address? Virtual chocolate fish to whomever guesses the closest number.

Chris Trotter is on fire

Written By: - Date published: 8:32 am, November 19th, 2015 - 160 comments

“What differentiates the Left from the Right is the former’s fundamental rejection of the strongest human-beings’ proclivity to dominate, coerce and exploit the weakest. Without this proclivity, none of the economic and social systems elaborated by armed minorities throughout history could have endured.”

Indeed.

There is Hope.

Written By: - Date published: 9:00 am, November 10th, 2015 - 65 comments

Anarchism, past and present.

Does the left win by tacking to the centre or by being principled?

Written By: - Date published: 11:40 am, September 13th, 2015 - 162 comments

Jeremy Corbyn’s election provides a further opportunity to discuss if elections should be won by  tacking to the centre or adopting a principled approach to politics.

The modern precariat and the Unconditional Basic Income

Written By: - Date published: 2:09 pm, August 2nd, 2015 - 127 comments

A UBI would allow ordinary people to shift their daily focus from doing paid jobs making money for others, to doing useful work of their own choice, under their own control.

Common People; Yanis Varoufakis is all Class.

Written By: - Date published: 11:21 am, July 7th, 2015 - 81 comments

The Greek Finance minister has unexpectedly quit. He had already said he would resign if the referendum was lost; nobody expected that he would go after such a stunning win. But it was the strategically correct thing to do. Why can’t some of the veterans in the NZ Labour Party take the hint?

An open letter to Andrew Little

Written By: - Date published: 6:08 pm, June 26th, 2015 - 432 comments

A respectful open letter to Andrew Little with suggestions for how to win the next election!

Dear NZ Labour. Listen up.

Written By: - Date published: 12:06 pm, May 12th, 2015 - 48 comments

For the sake of reference – Nye Bevan was a Labour mp and the architect of the British NHS. Michael Sheen’s  speech was a defense of that institution, but the underpinning message is, well…

War HUH!

Written By: - Date published: 8:18 am, February 13th, 2015 - 417 comments

NZ is again being asked to go to war in Iraq. The Clark Labour Government said no a decade ago, but in 2015 there may be a compelling reason to join the fight; this time it’s the right thing to do. New Standard author te reo putake puts the case for NZ entering the battle against ISIS.

A calculated feeding of the beasts within

Written By: - Date published: 2:13 pm, February 5th, 2015 - 74 comments

The social democracy of my youth has radically collapsed into our current culture of individualism, privatisation and personal greed.

The Socialist Pope

Written By: - Date published: 1:26 pm, December 29th, 2014 - 54 comments

Pope Francis has created a stir recently.  He has been instrumental in the ending by the United States of sanctions against Cuba, he has criticised the Curia for being inwardly focussed and not sufficiently concerned for the poor and he has reached out to Muslims.  And to top things off he is intending to issue a Papal Encyclical on climate change and will be urging countries to enter into a meaningful agreement on climate change.

This is not business as usual. This is not some hippy over-reaction. This is serious shit!

Written By: - Date published: 4:18 pm, December 11th, 2014 - 55 comments

New author Mandy Hager joins us with some reflections on having become a grandmother: “So that’s why I’m speaking out now, every opportunity I get. Not because I like the exposure (shudder), but because I love this tiny little person and I will fight for his future, come what may. It’s the right thing to do. …”

Re-writing 2nd Wave Women’s Movement: Pat Rosier – h/t Hand Mirror

Written By: - Date published: 1:02 pm, July 19th, 2014 - 7 comments

A must read Hand Mirror post acknowledges the passing of Pat Rossier. She played a significant role in NZ’s 2nd wave Women’s Movement.  Misinformation about feminism fails to represent its diversity & socialist underpinnings. A full chronicle of the NZ 2nd wave is needed.

“Hope and Wire”: Disaster & collaboration

Written By: - Date published: 3:09 pm, July 4th, 2014 - 10 comments

Responses to TV3’s miniseries, Hope and Wire, based on the Christchurch quakes & aftermath, are mixed.  The opening episodes set up some universal themes: of wealth-seeking individualism versus community solidarity and collaboration.  Many in Christchurch are angry that their city, and it’s experiences, have been mis-represented.

Spying on the left: 20th century “dirt files”

Written By: - Date published: 9:43 pm, June 1st, 2014 - 56 comments

Secret files have been released, that document the spying of Labour/left politicians in the early-to-mid 20th century: Savage, Fraser, Nash, Sutch, Sir Dove Meyer Robinson.  The NZ establishment has a long history of treating the left as a threat. [Update: “Dunne over” by spy review]

Labour please take note.

Written By: - Date published: 10:50 am, May 26th, 2014 - 71 comments

The more that National publicly adopts “left wing” “socialist”  party policies, such as “free” medical care for children under 13, keeping the retirement age as it is, and balancing the budget, the more they rise in the polls.

UBI

Written By: - Date published: 8:47 pm, January 7th, 2014 - 359 comments

New Zealand was once considered one of the best places on earth to live. It could be again …

What happened to the working class?

Written By: - Date published: 8:36 am, December 15th, 2013 - 175 comments

In post WWII UK, working class people were gaining a stronger voice in public life.  Then came Thatcher and middle class capture of politics & the media.  Something similar happened in NZ.  How can those on low incomes and/or from the working classes gain a stronger voice in NZ politics?

How to: Pick an Excuse for Not doing Anything About Poverty

Written By: - Date published: 11:08 am, December 12th, 2013 - 97 comments

Right wing, excuses reasons, for not doing anything about children in poverty.

Labour shoot themselves in the foot, again!

Written By: - Date published: 10:13 am, December 7th, 2013 - 247 comments

Just when you begin to think Labour are looking like a Government, one of the has-beens from the Rogernomics era, again! shows that they have NFI how to get elected and they are still clinging desperately to the Neo-liberal paradigm.

Populists v Plutocrats

Written By: - Date published: 8:15 pm, November 4th, 2013 - 12 comments

Democrat Bill de Blasio is almost 40 points clear of his Republican rival in the race for Mayor of New York City. His parents were investigated for communist sympathies. An anti-apartheid poster hangs on his kitchen wall. He loves Europe’s social democrats, admires Latin American liberation theology and is poised to confound the conservative trend in US politics by sweeping to an improbable triumph as the next Mayor of New York in this week’s elections. There are some lessons from our local elections too.

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