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Putting Five Eyes in its place

Written By: - Date published: 10:25 pm, April 20th, 2021 - 8 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 - 27 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.

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.

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.

Uyghur allegation escalation?

Written By: - Date published: 6:25 pm, February 6th, 2021 - 67 comments

Radio New Zealand carried a long story this week from the BBC of rape allegations in Xinjiang based on accounts from two Uyghur women Tursunay Ziawudun and Gulzira Auelkhan. Independent analyst Bernhard at Moonofalabama asks the question “Why do these Uyghur witnesses stories constantly change?

Reasons to abandon NZ’s Five-Eyed Folly

Written By: - Date published: 2:35 pm, February 4th, 2021 - 29 comments


Wayne Brown’s recent suggestion “Is it time to sell our seat on FiveEyes?” is from someone well placed by experience to form an educated opinion. “Trade sanctions of the type Australia is facing are a weapon used by both USA and China. So let’s have a debate on whether we need Five Eyes, or whether it’s time for us to trade on independently.”

Covid19 Vaccine Rollout and Global Inequality

Written By: - Date published: 7:46 am, February 2nd, 2021 - 24 comments

2023-2024 for a global rollout 0f the Covid vaccine will put stark lines of demarcation between which populations can trade and travel easily, and those who can’t. 

Twelve months of living with Covid

Written By: - Date published: 8:58 am, February 1st, 2021 - 21 comments

One year on from the declaration by the WTO that Covid was a public health emergency and with the benefit of hindsight it is interesting to see who heeded the scientific advice and how it worked out.

UK COVID-19 death toll hits 100,000 and The PM offers an insincere apology.

Written By: - Date published: 6:11 am, January 29th, 2021 - 21 comments

Originally posted on Nick Kelly’s Blog In late March 2020, the medical director of the NHS Stephen Powis said that keeping the UK COVID-19 death toll to under 20,000 would be a good result. Ten months later, almost to the day, the UK’s official death toll from COVID-19 hit 100,000, a few days after an […]

Are Revolutions A Good Idea?

Written By: - Date published: 8:30 am, January 23rd, 2021 - 24 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.

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