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Big developments in Beijing

Written By: - Date published: 4:44 pm, February 7th, 2022 - 31 comments

The meeting between Putin and Xi Jinping is likely to set the geopolitical direction for the 21st century. If ‘divide and rule’ was the mantra for the US’s hegemonic rule in the 20th century, ‘unite and share’ looks like setting the tone for the 21st. Co-operation rather than competition is the mantra, and “friendship between the two states has no limits.” A truly remarkable turnaround.

Prisoners of the Narrative #1

Written By: - Date published: 4:30 pm, January 23rd, 2022 - Comments Off on Prisoners of the Narrative #1

Robert Ayson’s advocacy of a sanctions regime for New Zealand in case of a  Russian invasion of Ukraine is a bad idea based on poor intelligence.The “Russian invasion” narrative was always a beat-up, and there is no support from major players in Europe for sanctions such as removal from the SWIFT payment system. Russia’s claim for border security is reasonable and essential for peace.

Blinken and Blind-Sided?

Written By: - Date published: 2:54 pm, January 16th, 2022 - 17 comments

Russian peacekeepers are already leaving Kazakhstan having nipped the ‘colour revolution’ in the bud. Blinken clearly didn’t have a clue when he said Russians never leave the house. Russian intelligence was superb. Now we wait for Russia’s response to US likely refusal to pull back from its borders. One thing I’d bet on – no invasion of Ukraine.

Mothers of the Revolution

Written By: - Date published: 6:16 pm, November 20th, 2021 - 41 comments

Saw an inspiring premiere of this NZ -made movie about the amazing women of Greenham Common at the Wellington Film Festival today. Their years-long protest led to the INF treaty, a major advance in nuclear safety, now abandoned. Well worth seeing – a timely reminder in light of today’s news about NATO moving nuclear missiles around Eastern European nations on Russia’s borders.

Looking the wrong way? The SIS in New Zealand

Written By: - Date published: 8:19 pm, July 1st, 2020 - 12 comments

Richard Northey and Nicky Hager will discuss their experiences with the SIS over the past thirty-five years, what they reveal about the agency’s values and culture, and what we might want to see in the forthcoming review of the intelligence and security agencies post the Christchurch mosque massacre. St Andrews Church, The Terrace, Wellington, Friday 3 July 5:30pm. All welcome, register here.

Magicked-Up Weapons

Written By: - Date published: 10:30 pm, March 11th, 2019 - 116 comments

I’m glad Anne-Marie Brady will get the chance to present her “Magic Weapons” paper to the select committee examining the last election. At long last it might get given some proper critical examination, of its content as well as it provenance. In my opinion it reads like a long list of the blindingly obvious, mixed with a large dose of conspiracy theory. It certainly doesn’t show much sign of the sort of critical thinking one might expect from an academic.

Media Thriving on its Own Shit.

Written By: - Date published: 1:25 pm, October 29th, 2018 - 24 comments

When purveyors of propaganda come to believe their own spin and start entertaining really quite idiotic conspiracy theories and abandoning any pretense of being in possession of rational thought, then we’ve got a problem.

Is Politik a propaganda mouthpiece for the UK Embassy?

Written By: - Date published: 8:46 pm, September 8th, 2018 - 29 comments

In Politik’s 7 September issue we are told that Western diplomats in Wellington are surprised that Winston Peters has not accused Russia of the Skripal poisoning or joined some other countries in taking reprisals. Editor Richard Harman quotes a source to tell us that the British in particular were “pissed” at Peters’ response. Well dearie me. I’m with Winston, a wise old owl.

Evidence-based foreign policy

Written By: - Date published: 6:07 pm, April 2nd, 2018 - 99 comments

In the second stage of a false flag attack, facts go out the window and the sole issue becomes “are you for us or against us.” Our media and National Party politicians are well into this stage in the Skripal affair. But as questions mount and skeptics proliferate from all sides, Jacinda Ardern and Winston Peters may well be wiser than media advisers by not following blindly  the western herd. 26 countries is not the whole world. Update: Porton Down unable to establish Novichok of Russian origin.

Denial in Politics

Written By: - Date published: 9:26 pm, December 17th, 2016 - 33 comments

There’s a lot of it around. The Democrats and their media and spook allies are in a complete lather over Putin’s supposed personal influence in the US election. Confident of victory and its spoils up till midday on election day, the Clinton team are incapable of assessing just what a debacle of a campaign they ran, still less what they need to do now. Lessons abound.

Key’s 4th term – something doesn’t add up

Written By: - Date published: 6:49 am, December 6th, 2016 - 145 comments

Key has long craved a “historic” 4th term. Interviewed on 24 September he was still saying he wanted it, he now claims he had already decided to quit. While rumours are hard to believe, something doesn’t add up here.

Jill Stein: a Clinton Presidency could mean nuclear war with Russia

Written By: - Date published: 9:45 am, October 16th, 2016 - 219 comments

Hillary Clinton’s no-fly zone policy for Syria as declared in the second presidential election means air war with Russia.

Alert Memo to President Obama: it’s better to Jaw Jaw Jaw than War War War

Written By: - Date published: 10:57 am, October 5th, 2016 - 68 comments

Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity advise Obama that the best way to get out of the dangerously escalating hawkish jam that parts of his government have put him in is to meet directly with Putin.

The (gradual?) decline of American empire

Written By: - Date published: 12:20 pm, October 6th, 2015 - 93 comments

Col. Lawrence Wilkerson was Chief of Staff to Secretary of State Colin Powell. And he says that the American empire is in decline.

Some thoughts…

Written By: - Date published: 2:04 pm, August 30th, 2014 - 113 comments

The English faction is now calling the shots inside the National party.

And the leaker is…

Written By: - Date published: 2:48 pm, June 7th, 2013 - 75 comments

Peter Dunne – still denying it but cannot be ruled out.

Update: Breaking news – Peter Dunne has resigned as a minister.

Lusk papers 2 – selling out to America

Written By: - Date published: 9:21 am, June 2nd, 2013 - 248 comments

Here’s the second of the Lusk papers that we were leaked, as was to be covered in today’s Sunday Star Times.

This paper confirms that a faction within National sees New Zealand as a vassal of America, and wants to see American influence (and American money) gain control over our politics.

The Lusk paper

Written By: - Date published: 9:50 am, June 1st, 2013 - 130 comments

This is the first of the Lusk papers, as leaked to us a couple of days ago, and as currently being discussed on The Nation.

Hollow Men 2 ?

Written By: - Date published: 11:50 pm, May 31st, 2013 - 62 comments

There are three leaks in play this weekend, similar but different. Someone has taken a media shotgun to the Collins / Lusk faction. Hollow Men 2 ?

The meaning of utu

Written By: - Date published: 11:37 am, May 14th, 2013 - 115 comments

Aaron Gilmore has promised ‘utu’, or reciprocation, against a select band of National insiders. What’s going on behind the scenes?

Kitteridge report released

Written By: - Date published: 4:46 pm, April 9th, 2013 - 42 comments

Following the leaking of the Kitteridge GCSB report to the media (who had copies? who leaked?) and ructions in Parliament’s question time today, the report has been released early. (Very convenient timing for the Nats!)

A note to a media commentator

Written By: - Date published: 2:51 am, November 17th, 2012 - 53 comments

I finally got around to listening to Gavin Ellis making a complete dork of himself on Radio NZ talking about authors on this site being “manipulated”. Hah! Anyone trying to manipulate them is likely to wind up being made into a pretzel. I wouldn’t care to try it myself. So does Gavin Ellis = a bit of an idiot. Or more charitably, has he actually bothered to think about this issue?

Nat Civil War: Key backs Boag over Collins

Written By: - Date published: 11:35 am, April 2nd, 2012 - 54 comments

John Key gave one of his least sure and most defensive interviews in five years on Q+A on the weekend. His goal was clearly to protect his personal brand and close the issue down. He failed. He failed because he refused to criticise Pullar and Boag, and refused to back Collins’ law suits. That puts him at odds with the Collins faction and onside with Boag’s.

Confused? A guide to the letters & leaks in the Nats’ Civil War

Written By: - Date published: 4:03 pm, March 31st, 2012 - 77 comments

The ever-growing list of letters, emails, and leaks in the National Party Civil War, that started off as an apparently apolitical privacy breach by ACC, is getting hard to follow. Here’s a summary of the various documents and their ramifications – so far.

Beware the young advisers – they reflect their masters

Written By: - Date published: 7:30 am, June 27th, 2010 - 25 comments

An interesting parallel between Kevin Rudd  and the Key government’s leadership style surfaced in our papers this weekend. On Saturday, Tracy Watkins had this to say in the DomPost: Dislike of the Australian leader seems to have reached legendary proportions in the three years since he won the election a dislike surpassed only by the […]

Between the lines: Nats’ outdoor rec policy

Written By: - Date published: 12:10 pm, July 23rd, 2008 - 28 comments

The ‘policies’ National is releasing are nothing more than bullet points but we know from a number of slips that these vague one-pagers only scrape the surface. When they’re talking to friendly audiences without the media around, National’s MPs tend to be more forthcoming and rightwing when discussing policy. Clues can also be found in […]

Kremlinology: National on ACC

Written By: - Date published: 10:40 am, June 16th, 2008 - 41 comments

In most countries, accident insurance is big business. Insurers and lawyers make billions off premiums, claims, and court cases but many people don’t actually get any cover if they are injured. The Third Labour Government set up ACC to ensure everyone would have cover if they were injured. It also freed up the court system […]

Notional Policy: Kiwisaver

Written By: - Date published: 7:24 am, May 30th, 2008 - 24 comments

Tracy Watkins reported yesterday that National’s weakening of the employer contribution to Kiwisaver may take a different path to the one we envisaged. Rather than limiting employer contributions to a lower level Watkins reports businesses want to be able to dock or cut wages to compensate for the Kiwisaver contributions they make. This is currently […]

Why didn’t Kate know Nats’ Kiwisaver policy?

Written By: - Date published: 12:48 pm, May 29th, 2008 - 34 comments

The most surprising thing to come of the National’s Kiwisaver fiasco is not that they want to undermine the scheme and get employers out of paying their part (this is the party of big business, after all). No, the real shock is to learn that Kate Wilkinson, National’s Industrial Relations spokesperson, is not involved in […]

Kremlinology: National and Kiwisaver

Written By: - Date published: 11:59 am, May 28th, 2008 - 15 comments

National’s refusal to say what it stands for is becoming so ridiculous we have resorted to the Cold War art of Kremlinology. Today, we look at Kiwisaver. National has had a tortured relationship with Kiwisaver. When it was first introduced in 2005 John Key described it as a “terribly designed system” and spent the next […]

Kremlinology: Nats’ tax plans

Written By: - Date published: 3:24 pm, May 26th, 2008 - 11 comments

National is still refusing to give us any detail on its tax cut plan, indicating it doesn’t have one. But let’s do a bit of Kremlinology to work out what we might expect from them when they eventually get their act together. The size of Labour’s tax cuts has spooked National. Key’s speech in reply […]

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