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National’s culture problem

Written By: - Date published: 9:14 pm, August 8th, 2022 - 139 comments

National MP Sam Uffindell has today been engaged in a media wide mea culpa after allegations that he bullied a young student and was expelled from Kings College have been publicised.

Black lives matter Aotearoa version

Written By: - Date published: 9:35 am, June 10th, 2020 - 53 comments

The Black Lives Matter movement is causing many countries to reflect on their history and practices.  And the decision of the police to discontinue the Armed Response Teams Trial and the Childrens Commissioner’s scathing report on Oranga Tamariki’s practices in the uplifting of young children, mostly Maori, from their mothers are examples of the change that is happening.

Rude ‘n Terrible?

Written By: - Date published: 6:55 pm, November 8th, 2018 - 38 comments

Trump’s…I don’t actually have words for this little escapade.

Nat branch chair calls for “corporal punishment”

Written By: - Date published: 6:27 am, March 21st, 2017 - 38 comments

Bill English should have spoken out to dissociate his party from Price’s archaic views. Why hasn’t he?

$46.25 per week Minister!?!

Written By: - Date published: 3:00 pm, March 19th, 2015 - 6 comments

One way the Government is transforming the disability support system is by keeping quiet about allowances desperately needed by those caring for disabled children.

National and Pasifika

Written By: - Date published: 8:30 am, July 12th, 2014 - 86 comments

National’s desire of increasing its support among Pasifika is understandable in an MMP world. But John Key’s and National’s selection of socially conservative candidates in South Auckland in an attempt to be attractive to some socially conservative voters is more than a little disingenuous.

Key rewrites history for “Crazy Colin”

Written By: - Date published: 5:00 pm, November 13th, 2013 - 68 comments

Answering questions on the up-coming Asset Sales referendum, John Key spoke some appalling un-truths.  He is rewriting political history to suit “Crazy” Colin Craig’s possible coalition bottom lines on the “anti-smacking” law.   Cunliffe finally got there in the General Debate, but the opposition was too slow in countering Key’s lies & spin.

Flogging a dead horse

Written By: - Date published: 10:43 am, March 18th, 2013 - 32 comments

Irrelevant fringe group “Family First” really only has one drum, so I guess that they have nothing better to do except continue to beat it.

Education Standards and National Standards

Written By: - Date published: 6:01 pm, September 14th, 2011 - 50 comments

The guys at RSA Animate provide their illustative talents to a quite brilliant and wide ranging lecture by Sir Ken Robinson on the topic of education. In the space of just over 10 minutes, he ranges from it’s industrial beginnings to its doped out, standardised present and argues finally, that educationally we’re  heading in exactly the wrong direction and suggests alternatives.

Child crime and bullying

Written By: - Date published: 6:43 am, April 5th, 2011 - 41 comments

Under Key’s government we are seeing an escalation in violence committed by children.  Why?  TV and media violence hasn’t noticeably step-changed in the last year.  More likely it is a symptom of the stress that families are under.  Children are the canaries in the coal mine…

Right wing tantrums

Written By: - Date published: 9:25 am, September 10th, 2010 - 173 comments

The mind set of your typical far RWNJ (Right Wing Nut Job) reminds me of nothing so much as a spoiled greedy baby.  Never more so than after reading a couple of notable tantrums from right wing politicians lately.

Corporal punishment bullshit

Written By: - Date published: 7:53 am, May 16th, 2010 - 33 comments

Family First have a history of trying to make political capital out of stacked questions. They’re are at it again, distorting the results of a survey question to push for bringing back corporal punishment in schools. They are aided and abetted by some spectacularly bad journalism.

The next step on smacking

Written By: - Date published: 8:45 am, April 14th, 2010 - 44 comments

Smacking and the reform of Section 59 was one of the big political issues of the last few years. Key’s position on facing down the appallingly worded “smacking referendum” remains one of the very few things that I can respect and applaud him on. Key will not want to revisit this issue, but the evidence from a new study suggests that he should…

How much astroturf can you buy for $500,000?

Written By: - Date published: 8:00 am, November 20th, 2009 - 77 comments

Tomorrow the Christian Right are holding a self-styled ‘March for Democracy’ that’s been bankrolled to the tune of $500,000 by Auckland property developer Colin Craig. I’m sure you’ll have seen the TV ads, the newpaper full-pagers and the slick PR campaign. They’re even paying for free buses to and from the event. With that kind […]

What matters

Written By: - Date published: 9:01 am, November 19th, 2009 - 27 comments

Did you see Brain Rudman’s article in the Herald yesterday? The quote says it all: It just reminds you what an absurd debate this is. Still at least we’re not arguing over whether ‘working dogs’ should be microchipped any more.

30 years without smacking

Written By: - Date published: 8:37 am, October 9th, 2009 - 21 comments

Sweden has had a smacking ban for 30 years. How is that working out? Stockholm When celebrating the 30th anniversary of the world’s first national ban on corporal punishment of children last month, Sweden’s social affairs minister, Göran Hägglund, claimed a dramatic success over something many Swedes now consider a scourge. “Colleagues from other countries […]

Does John Key believe a word he says?

Written By: - Date published: 9:32 am, September 3rd, 2009 - 22 comments

This 2007 quote from John Key is doing the rounds among angry “No” voters: Labour shows contempt for New Zealanders The Labour Government has shown utter contempt for New Zealanders and the democratic process with its plan to railroad the anti-smacking bill through Parliament, says National Party Leader John Key. “The Labour-led Government knows the […]

Two referendum editorials

Written By: - Date published: 9:25 am, August 31st, 2009 - 20 comments

In the aftermath of the “smacking” referendum I was struck (as I often am lately) by the range in quality of editorial / opinion piece writing on the subject. Compare and contrast. John Armstrong writes: The referendum’s opponents have naturally sought to downplay the 88 per cent “no” vote as not unexpected, arguing that people […]

Reaching out to the ‘No’ vote

Written By: - Date published: 12:21 pm, August 27th, 2009 - 41 comments

I must confess that Key’s position on the repeal of s59 has puzzled me from the moment he started cooperating with the Labour government to get it passed. It’s a principled and evidence based position in stark contrast to his usual ideological blinders and populist posturing. Or perhaps it’s based on a deeply personal conviction. […]

S59, an opening for Winston?

Written By: - Date published: 10:00 am, August 27th, 2009 - 18 comments

In 2007, 113 MPs voted for the Bradford amendment to s59 of the Crime Act. Eight voted against it. One of them was Winston Peters. Flash forward to 2009. The referendum has shown widespread dissatisfaction with the status quo – it’s dissatisfaction based on myths but the dissatisfaction is real. And neither of the major […]

Basher bill puts pressure on Key

Written By: - Date published: 2:13 pm, August 26th, 2009 - 104 comments

John Boscawen’s private members’ bill to amend s59 of the Crimes Act has been drawn from the ballot. Essentially it would take us back to square one in the smacking/child assault issue. The bill would allow parents and adults to assault* children for the purposes of correction as long as the level of the force […]

Beating lobby loses the plot

Written By: - Date published: 11:10 am, August 26th, 2009 - 51 comments

Beating lobby spokesman Larry Baldock appears to be losing the plot now that it’s dawned on him that his gaming of the smacking referendum question has left him with no mandate for a law change. In a press release titled “Democracy in danger?” Baldock rants that because the Government changed the law after the MMP […]

Time for Key to show some backbone

Written By: - Date published: 4:06 pm, August 24th, 2009 - 63 comments

John Key thinks there’s no need to change the law in the wake of the smacking referendum, but he does think there’s a need for ‘increased safeguards’ to prevent parents who mete out ‘inconsequential’ smacks from being prosecuted. He’s also stated that he agrees with the result of the referendum, stating that it is ‘totally […]

Referendum results

Written By: - Date published: 11:52 am, August 22nd, 2009 - 224 comments

I can’t say I’m all that surprised about the results of the ‘smacking’ referendum. As any good pollster will tell you, if you ask a leading question you’ll get the result you want. And that’s exactly what we got. Contrary to what the beating lobby is claiming today, all this referendum tells us is that […]

Will Key fold?

Written By: - Date published: 5:56 pm, August 20th, 2009 - 76 comments

Interesting times for Key. Rodney is trying to wag the dog over Maori seats. He’s also trying it on over the “smacking referendum” (memo to Rodney, you can only throw your toys out of the cot once). The “No” vote organiser “sickos” are already planning their victory party, and already arguing about “the next step”. […]

Smackathon planned

Written By: - Date published: 1:41 pm, August 17th, 2009 - 44 comments

Anti-violence campaigners are urging Auckland parents to be especially vigilant in the wake of news that “Vote No” campaigner Larry Baldock is planning a referrendum victory party at a secret Auckland hotel. Local supermarkets have reported selling out of wooden spoons, extension cords and lengths of copper piping in the lead up to the event. […]

Someone give Rodney a Smack

Written By: - Date published: 9:46 am, August 10th, 2009 - 37 comments

Rodney Hide is increasingly becoming an embarrassment to the government.  The perception that he has created is that he will back to the hilt any cranky right wing idea if he believes that there is political support.  And MMP means that minor parties do not need significant support, an incensed small group of extremists will […]

Section 59 and child abuse

Written By: - Date published: 11:45 am, August 4th, 2009 - 26 comments

Late last week households around the country received their referendum envelope that asks “Should a smack as part of good parental correction be a criminal offence?” Leaving aside the ambiguity and lack of clarity in that question, the lack of opinion based on fact and any semblance of common sense apart from Chicken Licken Family […]

Should a…

Written By: - Date published: 5:00 pm, July 8th, 2009 - 37 comments

www.should-a.com, a website “created for the express purpose of openly mocking the citizen’s initiated referendum aimed at The Crimes (Substituted Section 59) Amendment Act 2007, popularly known as the Anti-smacking Amendment”. Awesome.

Crossing the line

Written By: - Date published: 2:16 pm, June 25th, 2009 - 38 comments

Tuesday’s post, A Rankin headache started: There must be an automatic recoil on the Government benches when Christine Rankin’s name is mentioned. In the comments, “gobsmacked” makes the observation [abridged]: John Key has decided to respond by indulging in some very nasty mud-slinging. This what he said in the House on Tuesday: ‘When National was in […]

A Rankin headache

Written By: - Date published: 7:14 pm, June 23rd, 2009 - 33 comments

There must be an automatic recoil on the Government benches when Christine Rankin’s name is mentioned. Even Bill Ralston has noticed the difficulty in which they find themselves with her latest embarassment: We now have the ludicrous position where a Families Commissioner appears to run a shadow campaign by proxy, through surrogates, completely contrary to […]

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