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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.

EU elections

Written By: - Date published: 7:30 am, May 25th, 2019 - 20 comments

The results of the European parliament elections are due.  It’s the first election they’ve had since the refugee crisis, the Brexit referendum, and the election of U.S. President Donald Trump.   There’s a reasonably high chance that the far right are going to increase their share of this Parliament.

Xi-ing Jacinda

Written By: - Date published: 8:32 pm, March 29th, 2019 - 73 comments

Jacinda Ardern will get a very warm welcome in Beijing based on immense respect for her and for New Zealand.  Xi Jin-Ping has just returned from a very successful visit to Europe, joining Italy to the Belt and Road initiative and buying 300 jets from Airbus. Pepe Escobar outlines the implications for Eurasia. Much food for thought.

Brexit; Labour Finally Backs A Second Referendum

Written By: - Date published: 8:57 am, February 26th, 2019 - 104 comments

Events in recent days have forced UK Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn into backing a second Brexit referendum. Labour are now aligned with the majority of British voters, but is it too little too late?

The Independent Group Grows

Written By: - Date published: 9:06 am, February 21st, 2019 - 25 comments

In the UK, 3 Conservative MP’s have now aligned themselves with the 8 dissenting Labour MP’s in the ‘Independent Group’. What does this mean for both parties and how will it affect Brexit?

What China crisis?

Written By: - Date published: 12:58 pm, February 18th, 2019 - 52 comments

Claims that New Zealand is at a crisis point in terms of its relationship with China appear to be somewhat overegged.

Trump restarts Nuclear Arms race

Written By: - Date published: 7:55 am, February 8th, 2019 - 58 comments

Donald Trump has announced that the US will be withdrawing from the Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces Treaty and Russia has also given notice. Stand by as the nuclear arms race restarts.

Is Brexit A Signal Of Decline?

Written By: - Date published: 7:15 am, January 18th, 2019 - 103 comments

What if Brexit is not a threat to democracy as a system of government or a threat to liberal values? And what if it is an example of British democracy’s best modern exemplars to the world of institutionalised democracy and the rule of all under the law since universal franchise was first granted?

No confidence?

Written By: - Date published: 7:48 am, January 17th, 2019 - 22 comments

Live feed of the UK debate in Parliament.

Brexit: Tories Lose Control of the House and the Process

Written By: - Date published: 8:50 am, January 10th, 2019 - 67 comments

Another day, another humiliating defeat for Theresa May. Surprisingly,  the news is no better for Jeremy Corbyn.

Go Democracy Go!

Written By: - Date published: 8:19 am, December 26th, 2018 - 68 comments

It’s going to be a strong year for democratic politics.

Random 2019 predictions …

Written By: - Date published: 7:30 am, December 22nd, 2018 - 114 comments

What will happen in 2019?

The SPOTY’s 2018

Written By: - Date published: 1:10 pm, December 15th, 2018 - 39 comments

Here’s your chance to vote in the Standard’s Politician of The Year awards. The SPOTY’s are recognised worldwide as the leading indicator of political success in NZ and have been awarded annually for over two hundred years.

Now it’s your turn to prick the Thorndon Bubble, dear reader. Who’s your Politician of the Year?

A Right Shambles

Written By: - Date published: 9:48 am, December 13th, 2018 - 34 comments

With the UK Tories self imploding, the US President contemplating jail time, Angela Merkel moving on and the conservative parties on both sides of the Tasman looking increasingly irrelevant, what should the left do to fill the gap?

Brexit vote on Tuesday

Written By: - Date published: 7:30 am, December 10th, 2018 - 41 comments

With a vote on the Brexit deal soon and with defeat a distinct possibility both Labour and the Conservatives need a Plan B and they need it inside 48 hours.

May’s Brexit

Written By: - Date published: 1:02 pm, November 15th, 2018 - 91 comments

The unsolvable problem that is Brexit is reaching it’s denouement with Theresa May’s leadership on the line, talk of a no confidence motion, a very leaky cabinet, and no possible achievable resolution in sight.

Tweet of the year

Written By: - Date published: 8:40 am, November 13th, 2018 - 15 comments

There is still seven weeks of this year left but it appears likely that the tweet of the year has been tweeted.

Brazil turns right

Written By: - Date published: 1:39 pm, October 29th, 2018 - 90 comments

Brazil has elected as its next President a 63-year-old former paratrooper who built his campaign around pledges to crush corruption, crime and a supposed communist threat.

Will there be a Brexit?

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

In short, I think not.

Quite a day or two then!

Written By: - Date published: 6:17 pm, September 18th, 2018 - 83 comments

A quick smorgasbord of reported news from Syria, to China and Sweden, to antisemitism and (hidden behind the links) an interview with (hopefully) the first woman who will serve as President of the USA.

Updated

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.

Norway’s plastic bottle recycling

Written By: - Date published: 8:00 am, August 28th, 2018 - 16 comments

Norway’s recycling policies are that good that it is in serious need of more rubbish.

Guest post: The end of Neoliberalism – What went wrong?

Written By: - Date published: 8:30 am, August 7th, 2018 - 172 comments

The Left predicted the death of neoliberalism after the global financial crisis of 2008.  But since then inequality has increased and new right nationalism is on the ascendancy.  How should the left respond?

Trump meets Putin

Written By: - Date published: 9:03 am, July 16th, 2018 - 116 comments

Some things that President Trump won’t do as when meeting Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki.

Petrol is going up, and up

Written By: - Date published: 8:30 am, June 30th, 2018 - 57 comments

Not all the current government’s fault, but the arrival of the fuel tax this weekend heralds a number of very sharp rises in what we have to pay in order to run a car.

Immigration Now

Written By: - Date published: 8:00 am, June 23rd, 2018 - 74 comments

Germany has one of the very few national-level consciences on world immigration, but that is now under threat. The Trump administration and his allies appear to be actively working to topple Germany’s Angela Merkel in favour of the hard right.

Trump will be President until 2024

Written By: - Date published: 8:00 am, June 21st, 2018 - 61 comments

It’s time to see the strong possibility of a second term of Donald Trump as United States President.  What would The World Look Like?

Trump was right … and then …

Written By: - Date published: 7:53 am, May 17th, 2018 - 17 comments

Donald Trump has had a few months of being lucky with some luck Foreign Affairs wins and good economic news. But his wreckage-trail of his consequences is becoming longer and clearer.

Trump trashes Iranian Nuclear deal because he can

Written By: - Date published: 8:38 am, May 9th, 2018 - 108 comments

Donald Trump has torn up a deal between the US and Iran that provided for limitation of its nuclear programme and prevented it from obtaining nuclear weapons.

Is Karl Marx dead?

Written By: - Date published: 11:38 am, May 8th, 2018 - 60 comments

2018 marks several anniversaries of Karl Marx whose significance for the critique of capitalist society is hard to diminish. But what now for his beliefs?

New Zealand Is all right, at the end

Written By: - Date published: 8:30 am, April 28th, 2018 - 27 comments

Democracy’s permanence is not inevitable.  Its imagining is not beyond imagining.  And New Zealand is one of the shrinking number of democracies who really have it.

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