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Does truth in politics no longer matter?

Written By: - Date published: 9:10 am, April 15th, 2022 - 68 comments

Over in the UK Boris Johnson has been fined for attending a party he told Parliament he did not attend and which was a gathering that did not breach Covid lockdown restrictions.  Surely he should resign.

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.

More Anarchy in the UK

Written By: - Date published: 8:19 am, January 14th, 2022 - 20 comments

Boris Johnson’s reign as UK Prime Minister may be terminal after news of a Downing Street party held during lockdown was leaked to the press.

A few random predictions for 2022

Written By: - Date published: 11:30 am, January 1st, 2022 - 117 comments

A few random predictions for 2022.

Anarchy in the UK

Written By: - Date published: 9:08 am, December 10th, 2021 - 25 comments

Boris Johnson is on the ropes.  Not because of the disastrous effects of Brexit which only passed because of some of the whoppers that he told, but because of a Christmas party held last year at 10 Downing Street at a time when the UK was under a strict lockdown.

The Covid vaccine may not be the nirvana

Written By: - Date published: 12:47 pm, August 21st, 2021 - 151 comments

Claims that a comprehensive vaccination scheme will allow life to get back to normal ignores the experience of Israel, which despite having a large proportion of its population vaccinated is having a surge of new infections of Covid that is stretching its health system.

What If Boris Is Right?

Written By: - Date published: 11:51 am, July 24th, 2021 - 80 comments

Now that UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has “opened up” the United Kingdom from many of the Covid19 strictures that it had undergone, there is a lot at stake to his reputation and indeed to the lives and livelihoods of its citizens.

Freedom day

Written By: - Date published: 7:55 am, July 19th, 2021 - 58 comments

As infection rates of Covid in the United Kingdom surge Boris Johnson has announced that today will be the UK’s Freedom day and will be removing pretty well all mandatory Covid restrictions, even the wearing of masks and social distancing.

The Covid Crisis – the perils of half hearted responses

Written By: - Date published: 4:59 pm, July 11th, 2021 - 40 comments

The New South Wales’ half hearted response to community outbreak has seen infected numbers increase while in the UK Boris Johnson is planning to remove all restrictions something top scientists describe as “dangerous and premature”.

Cummings: Boris is unfit for the job

Written By: - Date published: 8:37 am, May 27th, 2021 - 20 comments

Former top aide Dominic Cummings has accused UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson of being unfit for the job, and of making constant U-turns, “like a shopping trolley smashing from one side of the aisle to the other”.

Boris Johnson’s and Dominic Cummings’ very public fallout

Written By: - Date published: 10:54 am, April 27th, 2021 - 17 comments

Over in the UK Boris Johnson and his former chief advisor Dominic Cummings have had a very public fallout.  And ever since it happened there have been very public leaks of damaging information which incredibly have not as yet damaged the Conservative Party’s standing.

The European Super League – a proposal that has united Britain

Written By: - Date published: 9:13 am, April 20th, 2021 - 28 comments

There are few issues where UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson and former Labour Opposition Leader Jeremy Corbyn see eye to eye, yet this proposal has achieved just that. Rarer still to have the Second Heir to the Throne comment on such matters saying it would be “damaging.”

Boris wants more bombs

Written By: - Date published: 8:05 am, March 19th, 2021 - 50 comments

Boris Johnson has announced that the United Kingdom will increase its stockpile of nuclear weapons and open up the possibility of using weapons against non nuclear nations, despite being a signatory to various treaties that prohibit both actions being taken.

Britain’s tin-ear ’tilt’ to the Indo-Pacific

Written By: - Date published: 5:39 pm, March 18th, 2021 - 14 comments

In its new integrated defence and foreign policy strategy, Britain intends  to raise its nuclear warheads on Trident from 180 to 240. What a waste. It also intends to “tilt” to the Indo-Pacific, sending the New HMS Queen Elizabeth aircraft carrier here later in the year to give a message to China. It should read its history.

The UK is now the world’s Covid cot case

Written By: - Date published: 9:09 am, January 6th, 2021 - 25 comments

Well after the emergence of a mutated Covid virus that is much easier to spread and faced with surging infection rates Boris Johnson has put England into a lockdown similar but not as strong as New Zealand’s original lockdown.  But the question is, has he done too little too late?

Plan B activists still think NZ should be like Sweden

Written By: - Date published: 11:50 am, December 26th, 2020 - 171 comments

In a letter published in the Royal New Zealand College of Medical Practitioners journal Plan B academics have criticised the Government’s Covid elimination strategy because of the economic effects at the same time that recently announced growth figures show the economy grew in the past 12 months despite Covid.

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.

A joy to read

Written By: - Date published: 9:24 am, December 10th, 2020 - 18 comments

There are the odd occasions when you find a political opinion that is a joy to read and quite revealing. An analysis piece by the Bagehot columnist that refers to the Conservatives as the dysmorphic Tory party completes its transition from the natural party of government into a British version of the Taliban…

What happens when the Covid vaccine becomes available?

Written By: - Date published: 7:42 am, December 4th, 2020 - 60 comments

The United Kingdom has used emergency procedures to approve for general use the Pfizer Covid vaccine.  But this will nor provide overnight respite from Covid.  How do you handle the mass vaccination of pretty well the whole planet?  And what are the implications for New Zealand’s border policy?

The Covid crisis

Written By: - Date published: 11:43 am, November 1st, 2020 - 51 comments

A surge in Covid infections in Europe and in the United States is raising the specter that the most pessimistic predictions about the disease and its effect on the health system may occur.   And right wing governments appear to be spectacularly unable to deal with the crisis.

This result could lead to the break up of the United Kingdom

Written By: - Date published: 8:11 am, February 10th, 2020 - 13 comments

Originally posted onNick Kelly’s blog

Nick is a Director of Piko Consulting and works as a Political Adviser in The House of Lords. 

Listening to the results being reported while driving on that California freeway, I recall thinking ‘this result could lead to the break up of the United Kingdom’. On hearing that both Northern Ireland and Scotland had voted to stay part of the EU, in contrast to the rest of the country, it was hard to imagine that this would not become a significant issue.

The end of petrol driven cars

Written By: - Date published: 1:57 pm, February 9th, 2020 - 36 comments

Boris Johnson’s UK Government has announced that by 2035 there will be no more petrol or diesel cars entering the UK fleet.  Is it time for the New Zealand government to announce the same thing?

New book reveals Le Carré’s bleak view of post-Brexit world 

Written By: - Date published: 9:39 am, January 3rd, 2020 - 5 comments

John le Carré’s 26th book, Agent Running in the Field, which, according to the publishers is his take on Brexit, and suggests a dystopian future for European liberal democracies in a post-Brexit world. It follows John le Carré’s overarching theme – with friends like these, who needs enemies?

Why the Tories won the UK election?

Written By: - Date published: 2:29 am, December 30th, 2019 - 9 comments

Originally posted on Nick Kelly’s blog 

What Cheeto, Bojo and Scomo are up to

Written By: - Date published: 3:56 pm, December 21st, 2019 - 76 comments

It has been a tough week for conservative leaders with Trump impeached and the evangelical magazine Christianity Today calling for his resignation, Johnson in the UK announcing voter fraud measures reminiscent of the American deep South, and in Australia Morrison being criticised for missing in action, upstaged by a 13 year old girl and pushing through protection for religious bigotry that Israel Folau would be pleased with. 

The British Election result 2019

Written By: - Date published: 11:05 am, December 20th, 2019 - 21 comments

Democracy is a precious thing, and not something that can be taken for granted. Having an electoral system where every vote matters is crucial to creating a decent society. It is time that the UK started seriously debating electoral reform and how to improve its democratic systems.

How to counter angry boomer campaigns

Written By: - Date published: 8:15 am, December 17th, 2019 - 154 comments

The UK election was won not by Russian bots but by older voters with limited technical skills circulating poorly designed ads.  What can be done in New Zealand to counter what is clearly a right wing campaign tactic?

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 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.

Crash ‘n Burn

Written By: - Date published: 10:14 am, December 10th, 2019 - 17 comments

A chuttering PM and…well, I guess being left speechless.

Northern Ireland’s precarious peace

Written By: - Date published: 12:37 pm, December 9th, 2019 - Comments Off on Northern Ireland’s precarious peace

On Friday, UK leader of the opposition revealed a leaked Treasury Paper which undermines the Prime Ministers claims that there will be no checks on goods moving between Northern Ireland and Great Britain. My earlier post on each of the party’s Brexit positions pointed out how critical Northern Ireland has been in the Brexit debate.

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