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How Covid may work out from here

Written By: - Date published: 9:50 am, May 15th, 2021 - 68 comments

The world may never get back to a pre covid state.  Until herd immunity is achieved throughout large swathes of the world as well as in Aotearoa New Zealand our borders need to continue to be closely monitored.  The anti vaccination movement and the failure to ensure equitable vaccine distribution may mean that our current messy dread filled reality will continue.

National’s use of the dog whistle and its hatred of UN conventions

Written By: - Date published: 9:22 am, May 10th, 2021 - 52 comments

Judith Collins has applied the dog whistle to the He Puapua report and suggested that it is evidence of the Government wanting to radically change New Zealand society.  But a check through history shows that the report is based on an International Treaty that National signed up to.

Uyghur separatists behind call for Parliamentary motion on genocide

Written By: - Date published: 4:26 pm, May 4th, 2021 - 72 comments

On Morning Report today ‘High Court lawyer’ Sam Vincent called for Parliament to resolve to condemn alleged Uyghur genocide in Xinjiang. He said he spoke on behalf of Uyghur Solidarity Aotearoa committed to taking action on Xinjiang “or as they call it East Turkestan.” If they call it East Turkestan they are likely separatists, with possible links to terrorists. That explains a lot.

US to offer millions in new funds to take on China

Written By: - Date published: 2:57 pm, May 3rd, 2021 - 16 comments

This from SCMP columnist Alex Lo “If they look, swim and quack like US influence operations, they probably are US influence operations, especially when they come with an annual price tag of US$300 million to be authorised by law by the US Congress, of which US10 million has been earmarked especially for Hong Kong.” Lo […]

The problem with coal

Written By: - Date published: 10:13 am, May 1st, 2021 - 38 comments

New Zealand is about to enter a transition phase in energy that’s going to affect absolutely everyone.

Australia is picking a fight with China

Written By: - Date published: 11:22 am, April 28th, 2021 - 53 comments

I am pleased that Nanaia Mahuta and the Government have distanced ourselves from joining in with five eyes attacks on China.  Because when you look at that aggressive rhetoric that is emanating from Australia you have to be worried.

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 five eyes beat up

Written By: - Date published: 1:50 pm, April 24th, 2021 - 33 comments

There has been a conservative sourced beat up of Aotearoa New Zealand for not using an intelligence gathering treaty grouping to publicly attack China.

Biden is serious about climate change

Written By: - Date published: 7:28 am, April 24th, 2021 - 70 comments

One of the many regretful aspects of the Trump presidency was the United States open hostility to doing anything about climate change. It looks like Joe Biden will do his best to make up for lost time.

Putting Five Eyes in its place

Written By: - Date published: 10:25 pm, April 20th, 2021 - 19 comments

Following her speech to the NZ China Council, Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta wanted to be very clear that in speaking out about issues with other countries, New Zealand would not be doing it in concert with Five Eyes partners. She expressed a view that New Zealand did not agree with Five Eyes remit encroaching beyond intelligence, and that this had been communicated to Five Eyes partners. Good.

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.”

Bubble bubble toil and trouble

Written By: - Date published: 8:43 am, April 6th, 2021 - 42 comments

An announcement on the Trans Tasman bubble is expected this afternoon.

Greta Thunberg is now 18

Written By: - Date published: 9:06 am, April 2nd, 2021 - 59 comments

Greta Thunberg is now aged 18.  And her activism is still strong.

The Australian Parliament and Women

Written By: - Date published: 12:13 pm, March 24th, 2021 - 14 comments

To understand how power and misogyny and democracy all flow from the one stinking head, one need look no further than the Australian Parliament right now.

That’s No Moon  – It’s A Space Station

Written By: - Date published: 7:50 pm, March 22nd, 2021 - 9 comments

Did anyone notice Russia and China signing up to a treaty to form a common base on the moon?

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.

New Zealand Service in Afghanistan Concludes

Written By: - Date published: 7:00 am, March 17th, 2021 - 44 comments

Did New Zealand military forces do good in Afghanistan?

Vaccine Diplomacy

Written By: - Date published: 11:28 am, March 15th, 2021 - 19 comments

Vaccines have had a place in diplomacy since the Cold War. The country that can manufacture and distribute lifesaving injections to others less fortunate sees a return on its investment in the form of soft power. Today the country moving fastest towards consolidating these gains may be China.

West Australia result

Written By: - Date published: 9:45 am, March 15th, 2021 - 8 comments

The weekend state elections in West Australia are a astonishing landslide. On top of nearly a 13% two party swing swing for Labour in 2017, there appears to have been about a 17% swing to Labour in the weekend election in preliminary results. The Liberals are likely to be left with just 2 seats in a 59 seat Assembly. The main opposition party, now the National party, with 3 seats.  

The trans Tasman bubble

Written By: - Date published: 7:31 am, March 11th, 2021 - 72 comments

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has said New Zealanders have an unfettered ability to travel to Australia for a holiday.  Reality would suggest that he is wrong.

How to Put A Stake Through Our Monarchy’s Heart

Written By: - Date published: 2:13 pm, March 8th, 2021 - 31 comments

The Monarchy’s attacks on Meaghan Markle may backfire spectacularly.

Biden can reset with China

Written By: - Date published: 10:36 am, March 5th, 2021 - 43 comments

New Zealand should resist China’s authoritarian ways, and U.S. President Biden should too. But it’s all in how he does it.

V for vaccine

Written By: - Date published: 9:18 am, February 22nd, 2021 - 30 comments

The Covid pandemic is entering into an interesting stage with vaccinations being administered at an increasing rate and infection rates declining.  The opportunities for politicising the issue continue however.

We must resist US pressure on China that could lead to war

Written By: - Date published: 7:00 pm, February 20th, 2021 - 41 comments

In February 2002 I was at a union-NDP conference in Ottawa watching US television in my hotel room. Back home I reported on the conference to the Labour Party caucus and stated as an aside that the US was going to war with Iraq. Helen Clark stood up straightaway and said “we won’t be going with them.” Jacinda Ardern needs to do the same now.

Cruz’s Cancun crisis

Written By: - Date published: 9:56 am, February 20th, 2021 - 24 comments

What should a Texan representative do when the state is frozen over following an extreme weather event?  How about take a trip across the Mexican border for a holiday in a beach resort?

Zucked in

Written By: - Date published: 7:38 am, February 19th, 2021 - 19 comments

For a while the Australian Federal Government has been proposing legislation requiring Facebook and Google to compensate Australian media interests for posting links to local media stories.  Facebook has just replied by giving the Australian Government the middle finger.

Texas’s power crisis

Written By: - Date published: 8:26 am, February 18th, 2021 - 89 comments

Over in the US of A in the great state of Texas and in surrounding states locals are experiencing unusually cold weather and are suffering from the effects.  But instead of blaming their not fit for purpose electrical systems they are blaming the Green New Deal, even though it has not been implemented.

The Very, Very Lucky Country

Written By: - Date published: 8:18 am, February 17th, 2021 - 5 comments

While Australia is rightly branded The Lucky Country, it looks like we can reasonably be called the Very, Very Lucky Country.

Aussie Aussie Aussie, Oi Oi Oi …

Written By: - Date published: 7:30 am, February 17th, 2021 - 144 comments

Yesterday Jacinda Ardern chose to use decidedly undiplomatic speech to address Australia’s removal of its citizenship from a Jihadi bride leaving her as New Zealand’s problem, even though her link to New Zealand was tenuous and she was for all intents and purposes Australia’s problem.  And even though Ardern had previously asked Scomo to be careful with the issue.

Pandemic to endemic covid-19

Written By: - Date published: 9:30 am, February 13th, 2021 - 84 comments

Back in May, I wrote a post “Covid-19: may be endemic“. That is looking like it is more and more likely. The depth of infection in world populations means that recombinant variants are likely. Vaccines and previous immunity will reduce the death rates and infection rates. But won’t stop reinfection. Human behaviour will keep covid-19 as an endemic disease.

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