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Are Revolutions A Good Idea?

Written By: - Date published: 8:30 am, January 23rd, 2021 - 19 comments

Revolt? Revolution? Pain in the ass? Depends, like comedy, on timing. And which side of history you end up on.

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?

No extradition for Assange

Written By: - Date published: 12:27 am, January 5th, 2021 - 104 comments

Great news. While unexpected, Nicky Hager who was an expert witness for Assange at the trial, thought this might be a possibility when he spoke to the Fabian Society in November. More details tomorrow.

Update: Bail application to be heard on Wednesday London time.

Chris Bishop goes woof woof on variant ‘B.1.1.7’

Written By: - Date published: 1:26 pm, December 28th, 2020 - 43 comments

I realise that this would normally be our silly season, but it seems a bit macabre with the northern winter death toll. But nothing really excuses Chris Bishop for being a complete dickhead in barking for immediate offshore testing for travellers from the UK. It is pointless. The government are a bit more sensible. They’re instituting an extra test at our border.

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…

Assisted dying law in New Zealand and the UK

Written By: - Date published: 6:05 am, December 9th, 2020 - 65 comments

Assisted Dying

There is now growing recognition internationally that the right to a dignified death is a fundamental human right. Assisted dying is not about reducing health care costs or pressuring those who are frail, old or disabled to end their life prematurely. It is about allowing those with a terminal illness the choice to die rather than face a period of significant physical decline and suffering before the end of their life.

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.

UK Labour suspends Corbyn for stating the obvious about anti-semitism in the Party

Written By: - Date published: 7:36 pm, October 30th, 2020 - 35 comments

Following a report into anti-semitism in the UK Labour party, Corbyn said it exists in the Party but it is over-stated and the campaign against it is politically-motivated by opponents inside and outside the Party. He was instantly suspended from the party and had the whip removed by leader Sir Keir Starmer, which seems excessive and will cause further discord. Corbyn is not an anti-Semite.

Assange’s torture and the death of journalism

Written By: - Date published: 9:28 pm, September 6th, 2020 - 60 comments

On the eve of Assange’s extradition hearing in London, award-winning freelancer Jonathan Cook has written a scathing indictment of corporate journalism’s collusion in ignoring his official torture. I posted an example of that here last year, where Richard Harman denied Assange was a journalist at a panel convened at Parliament by the British High Commissioner.

Expand Five Eyes

Written By: - Date published: 7:00 am, August 1st, 2020 - 70 comments

With the growing assertions by the Chinese government across the eastern Pacific including in Hong Kong and our own repudiation of an extradition treaty, there are now calls to expand the Five Eyes intelligence network to include Japan.

More Skripal bullshit

Written By: - Date published: 10:03 pm, June 9th, 2020 - 37 comments

Skripal’s relatives don’t believe it, Jacinda Ardern doesn’t believe it, Paul Buchanan doesn’t believe it, and I never believed it. But a story planted in the UK Sunday Times that the Skripals are here lets our media rerun the assassination attempt that failed, even though the most deadliest poison in the world was involved. Stuff website has a British Minister from Theresa May’s time rerunning the old lies,as does the NZ Herald. Fits in nicely with the SIS anti-Russian history.

Protesters Say Statue Tripped, Fell Into Water

Written By: - Date published: 9:09 am, June 9th, 2020 - 100 comments

The toppling of a statute of former slave trader Edward Coulson has led to conjecture that the statute may have tripped and fallen rather than forcibly removed and deposited in Bristol Harbour.

Bunker boy Trump finally builds that wall

Written By: - Date published: 1:23 pm, June 5th, 2020 - 23 comments

This week Donald Trump has hid in a bunker, used tear gas to move protestors away from a church so that he could have a photo opportunity with a bible, and has started to build his much vaunted wall.  Although it is around the White House and not on the Mexican border.

How Covid 19 appears to be playing out

Written By: - Date published: 10:51 am, June 4th, 2020 - 108 comments

The politics of Covid 19 present difficulties for the opposition.  They cannot fault execution of the plan so far and have been reduced to complaining that the restrictions are not being loosened quickly enough.

Covid19 is a bastard

Written By: - Date published: 9:25 am, May 11th, 2020 - 128 comments

We are heading towards decision time. Does Aotearoa New Zealand loosen up and head back to a semi normal life?

UK: Too soon to end the lockdown

Written By: - Date published: 12:18 pm, May 9th, 2020 - 17 comments

First Secretary of State Dominic Raab has said that lockdown changes being announced this coming Sunday will be ‘modest’ and ‘small’. This is hardly surprising when earlier in the week the national statistician Professor Ian Diamond said that COVID-19 infection rates could be increasing. In particular, the number of cases being reported in care-homes appears to be increasing. Adding to the pressure both the Scottish and Welsh ruled out any significant relaxation of the lockdown rules.

UK Labour – the leaked report

Written By: - Date published: 1:35 pm, May 7th, 2020 - 27 comments

In July 2019 BBC current affairs show Panorama did a report on antisemitism in Labour. Ironically many of the whistleblowers from this Panorama documentary were the people named in this leaked Labour report as having frustrated antisemitism investigations. Were it not for COVID-19, we can be sure the BBC would ensure this was properly reported on to ensure a balanced and factual news service had been provided. Or maybe not?

How this may play out

Written By: - Date published: 11:01 am, March 29th, 2020 - 212 comments

Developments on Covid-19 are happening at pace as we enter the make or break stage concerning the virus’s spread.

How does the government handle a pandemic induced world recession?

Written By: - Date published: 8:54 am, March 13th, 2020 - 152 comments

With the world’s economy in turmoil and infection rates continuing to surge the responses of different countries to the crisis shows markedly different results. And the issue could be the determining issue of this year’s election.

Starmer, Biden and Benji

Written By: - Date published: 11:07 am, March 3rd, 2020 - 21 comments

Two leadership races and a General election appear to be going to conservative candidates. What does that mean for parliamentary democracy?

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 Fourth Estate struggling in the social media world

Written By: - Date published: 11:51 pm, January 27th, 2020 - 30 comments

Originally posted on Nick Kelly’s blog

Ahead of the 2020 General Election in New Zealand, Labour Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has announced that her party is committed to run factual election and has signed up to a social media tool to help prove it. The 2020 NZ election will be an interesting case study of whether in the social media age there can be honest political debate free of misinformation and manipulation of facts.

Why UK Labour lost? Part 9: What the party needs to do now.

Written By: - Date published: 10:37 am, January 17th, 2020 - 12 comments

Originally post on Nick Kelly’s blog

The broader context of this defeat is that over the last century, UK Labour has won 8 out of the last 28 general elections. Overall the Labour Party is not a successful electoral force in the UK. What makes the 2019 loss harder, is that the party lost sections of its historical base in the North of England and the Midlands.

Why UK Labour lost?  Part 8: What it takes to win

Written By: - Date published: 7:18 am, January 16th, 2020 - 6 comments

Originally posted on Nick Kelly’s blog 

The UK Labour Party in the 2019 election assumed that like in 2017, the release of their policy manifesto would see their support increase significantly. Assuming that 2019 would be a re-run of 2017 was a foolish mistake.

Why UK Labour lost?  Part 7: Momentum and the Corbynistas

Written By: - Date published: 10:23 pm, January 15th, 2020 - 10 comments

Originally posted on Nick Kelly’s blog 

Momentum and its supporters need to find a way of selling genuine social democratic politics to a conservative English public.

Why UK Labour lost? Part 6: New Labour & Blairism

Written By: - Date published: 10:39 am, January 15th, 2020 - 10 comments

Originally posted on Nick Kelly’s blog

Fact is that the world has moved on from the 1980s and 90s. Politics certainly has. The types of 3rd way or centre/centre right positions that Blair and Campbell think will win just won’t anymore.

Why UK Labour lost? Part 5: Antisemitism

Written By: - Date published: 6:29 am, January 14th, 2020 - 13 comments

Originally posted onNick Kelly’s blog

Why UK Labour lost? Part 4: Ooooh Jeremy Corbyn

Written By: - Date published: 3:13 am, January 14th, 2020 - 12 comments

Originally posted on Nick Kelly’s blog

Why UK Labour lost? Part 3: Its Brexit innit

Written By: - Date published: 6:14 am, January 13th, 2020 - 28 comments

Originally posted on Nick Kelly’s blog

Why UK Labour lost? Part 2: UK Labour’s Strange loyalty to First Past the Post.

Written By: - Date published: 2:56 am, January 13th, 2020 - 13 comments

Originally posted on Nick Kelly’s Blog

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