Censoring criticism of Key

Written By: - Date published: 10:01 am, October 10th, 2011 - 145 comments
Categories: john key, radio - Tags: , ,

Martyn “Bomber” Bradbury has been banned from appearing on RNZ after strongly criticising Key’s behaviour in the throat slitting incident (video).  Bradbury confirms the ban in this post:

Banned from Radio NZ for criticizing the Government

Folks, the rumors are true, I’ve been banned from Radio NZ for criticizing John Key. I was phoned last Friday morning and told that my criticism of John Key was over the top and as such I had broken RNZ editorial policies. I thought they were joking.

I was first on RNZ over a decade ago with Kim Hill and have since then been a regular on the Panel, a show I very much enjoyed participating in. I have given dozens of opinions with the same bite in the past and thought the entire situation was a wind up.

I was wrong, this was no joke. I was told I would be banned, I asked if that was for life and was left with the impression that a Labour-Green Government would be in power before i was ever let back on the station. …

Not only has Bradbury been banned, RNZ has removed links to the audio of his criticism from its web site. Here’s the page for Afternoons last Thursday, note that The Panel (usually linked as Part 1 and Part 2) has only Part 1.  Bradbury’s remarks in Part 2 have disappeared down the memory hole.

The audio is still available if you know (ht hutch) where to look: (audio link)The relevant section starts at 07:30, or we’ve extracted just that section here: (audio link)If you’re not up for audio, the text of what Bradbury said is in his post linked above.  Have a listen and judge for yourselves.  This is all it takes to get you banned from RNZ.  I look forward to all the proud advocates of free speech, and all the journalists who opposed the Herald’s ban from Parliament, kicking up the same kind of fuss over this outrageous act of censorship.

Update: This just in from Bring back Bomber in comments:

I just spoke to RNZ CEO’s PA who put me through to John Houson (she said he was responsible for the banning) who told me Bomber was actually banned for making defamatory statements about the prime minister, and that Key might sue Bomber for defamation. He couldn’t tell me what statements were defamatory, told me to look at the script.

Update 2: From Carol:  Bomber just tweeted his response to the defamation claim:

http://twitter.com/#!/CitizenBomber/status/123147000555380736

RNZ now claim they banned me because I defamed the PM that wasn’t mentioned in their call to me, they r making this up as they go along now

Update 3: Good to see that 3News is now on the case: Blogger Bomber banned from RNZ for criticism of Key.

145 comments on “Censoring criticism of Key”

  1. Chris 1

    Might sue…and then again might not. Sounds like rationalisation.

  2. reporter 2

    I think the defamatory part of it might have been in the first paragraph of the transcript of BB’s rant. He’s effectivly accusing the PM of corruption.
    Putting aside the argument of whether BB’s correct or not, I guess the lawyers at national radio saw the statement as in that legal grey area, as radioNZ would then have to prove to that the loan to radio live was indeed a bribe! Or they would have to prove it was honest opinion. With the budget cuts they have, the last thing they need is a lawsuit.

    That’s my take on it anyway

    • I agree that an overly timid approach may raise issues but Bomber is commenting on a matter of public importance and the law says that MPs are pretty well fair game unless malice can be shown. 
       
      It is not as if he is the only one that has said this.  Mediaworks were given a sweetheart deal not recommended by Treasury.  And then Key gets essentially a free hour to say what he wants as long as it is not political.
       
      I have seen many comments on this on a number of sites and discussion on the possibility there is a link.  When you shut down this sort of debate then our elected representatives can get away with hell.
       
      Bomber also says that he read the first paragraph to Mora and they had a laugh about it.
       
      This really smells.

  3. Blue 3

    Defamation? Really?

    That’s another Tui billboard, right up beside ‘I was talking about Parliamentary security, honest’.

    Has Key ever denied making the throat-slitting gesture? Because I haven’t seen him do so.

    We know he yelled the comments that it was Labour’s fault because his office admitted it when they tried to spin it away.

    There is nothing else in what Bomber said that could be considered defamatory. The part about John Key’s behaviour being similar to that of a meth addict on a bender was clearly his own opinion 😀

    • Tigger 3.1

      Exactly – this is all clearly true or fair opinion. Defamation is a tool used by rich people to shut down opinions they don’t like. It’s expensive and the outcome not always favourable but it is immensely successful at tying up those trying to speak out.

      Let him sue. There will be freedom of speech lawyers lining up to work on Bomber’s case for free.

      • Zaphod Beeblebrox 3.1.1

        Interesting to see Key standing up in court explaining the throat slitting too.

      • lprent 3.1.2

        It hardly applies here, even if there was something defamatory (which IMHO there was not).

        Lange vs Atkinson in both the original 1998 judgement and 2000 court of appeal decision provide quite a wide latitude (read Margret Pope’s article about it after Michael Basset produced “..a vendetta masquerading as a scholarly work” – which perfectly describes the evil little creep’s intent IMHO).

        • Colonial Viper 3.1.2.1

          So Bomber’s right. RNZ are making this up as they go along. Let’s ask the PM’s Office to confirm whether or not they threatened RNZ with a defamation case.

          RNZ = Banana Republic news media

  4. Anne 4

    actually banned for making defamatory statements about the prime minister, and that Key might sue Bomber for defamation.

    Wow! That’s interesting. For the CEO’s PA, John Houson to say that then someone – probably from the PM’s office – has been in touch with RNZ and alluded to a possible defamation case by Key. That is bully boy stuff of the worst kind.

  5. Kerry 5

    The tories are always corrupt!

  6. Carol 6

    Bomber just tweeted his response to the defamation claim:

    http://twitter.com/#!/CitizenBomber/status/123147000555380736

    RNZ now claim they banned me because I defamed the PM that wasn’t mentioned in their call to me, they r making this up as they go along now

  7. Blighty 7

    Just listened to it now. There’s nothing defamatory there. Bomber is simply repeating the descriptions of Key’s actions that have been widely stated in the media and giving his opinion of Key’s actions.

    Defamation is when you make up a fact about someone to hurt their reputation, not when you repeat a fact and say how it makes you feel.

    Amazing how Mora actually tries to get them talking about the PM’s views on cats, rather than the issues raised by Bomber. Love how Bomber just refuses.

  8. Nick K 8

    No Blighty. You can republish a false statement and still be liable in defamation.

  9. Sounds like some minders are trying the Chilling Effect:

    A chilling effect is a term in law and communication which describes a situation where speech or conduct is suppressed by fear of penalization at the interests of an individual or group.It may prompt self-censorship and therefore hamper free speech. Since many attacks rely on libel law, the term libel chill is also often used. This is the same concept as a Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation, or “SLAPP” suit. – Wikipedia
     

    It amounts to censorship and shows that with his Medaiworks loan, RadioLive hour and the Bradbury incident that Key and National have undue influence with the media.

    • seeker 9.1

      “It amounts to censorship and shows that with his Medaiworks loan, RadioLive hour and the Bradbury incident that Key and National have undue influence with the media.”

      Absolutely. Key and co have totally outed themselves as Murdochlites. Rupert wannabees- and all from Nutwood.(with apologies to a rather favourite bear.)

  10. Roxanne 10

    Just to be clear:
    We are not allowed to give opinions about our prime minister, the definition of a public figure when discussing politics on radio now?

    Being genuinely outraged or questioning Keys leadership OR the people who represent us in an open forum can get you sued by the man himself?

    We are only allowed to speak out against the government as long as we use particular wording and our manners? Do people know how political frustration works, scripts are for actors.

    I remember other leaders getting flamed and accused from every corner of their lives and they didn’t scare that easy or resort to legal bullying. COS THEY WERE WORKING.

    Banning LEGAL criticism, bungling speeches, drunk on magazine covers and bringing back Coronation Street? Wait for him to pass his 18th ’emergency’ bill to stitch this shit up, National abuses legislative reach and John Key is a humiliating Jabroni.

  11. The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 11

    This is ridiculous. RNZ is full of people criticising Key. Happens all the time. Bomber is just a talentless waste of skin. That’s the real reason they are not inviting him back.

    • Zaphod Beeblebrox 11.1

      “Bomber is just a talentless waste of skin. That’s the real reason they are not inviting him back.”

      Is that the criteria for excluding RNZ guests? Never noticed that.

    • Lanthanide 11.2

      The funny thing is, RNZ didn’t even have to tell him he was banned. They could have just chosen never to invite him back on and never made their reasons for the decision clear.

      • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 11.2.1

        Absolutely, Lanthanide.

        • Pascal's bookie 11.2.1.1

          Which is what they would have done if it was just about his general performance. But they didn’t do that.

          I can’t see any reason not to take them attheir word about why they told him he wouldn’t be coming back. Why would they make that up?

          • freedom 11.2.1.1.1

            why would they change their story then Pascal? One day it about balance, one day about lack of notice, today it’s what, his choice of socks?

            bs is bs, no matter what ecofriendly paper bag you put it in

            • Pascal's bookie 11.2.1.1.1.1

              So you think the reason they’ve changed their story is that they really banned him because they just don’t want him on anymore?

              Doesn’t make much sense seeing they could just not invite him on again.

              Nope, I think you can take them at their word that they had specific problems with what he said that day, and they have banned him because of what he said.

    • Kate 11.3

      “Bomber is just a talentless waste of skin.”

      Sounds like defamation…

  12. The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 12

    The Mediawatch report cites several issues with Bradbury’s “contribution”:

    1. Bradbury spoke over the host and wouldn’t let him talk
    2. His rant against the Prime Minister was word for word taken from his blog post
    3. Previous contributions to the show were recitals from his blog posts
    4. His rant was against RNZ’s broadcasting standards

    So it is hardly banned for criticising the PM. Banned for being a bore, more like it.

    Democracy under threat? Self important childish bores who think it is funny to have names glorifying violence under threat, more like it.

    • IrishBill 12.1

      Using that rationale the only political commentator left unbanned would be Gordon Campbell.

      • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 12.1.1

        But it is more than a little tiresome when Bomber begins reading shit (and I mean shit) out. Everyone else seems to manage to speak off the cuff.

      • lprent 12.1.2

        Yep. I can’t think of anyone else who isn’t guilty of most of those in any single session. Hooten in particular routinely does them as a matter of course.

        But that also misses the point. Bomber has been doing all of those things for as long as I have heard him on RNZ. The only real thing that is different is that he is doing them close to an election, and John Key is getting more sensitive about his image after consistently screwing up recently.

        • Gosman 12.1.2.1

          Do you happen to have an example of this? Since you feel he routinely does them as a matter of course it should be pretty easy for you to link to an audio clip where Matthew Hooten has done something similar.

        • Anne 12.1.2.2

          Hooten in particular routinely does them as a matter of course.

          Hooton (he gets very upset when is surname is spelt wrong 😉 ) was a model of good behaviour today. I wonder whyyee?

          • Gosman 12.1.2.2.1

            So do you have an example of Hooten making similar potentially defamatorents about someone?

            • lprent 12.1.2.2.1.1

              There were no defamatory comments that I could see within the current law.

              Perhaps you should enlighten us about the one(s) that you see, and also state why you think that they go past the bounds established for Lange vs Atkinson.

              In the meantime (and in the expectation that you won’t front with anything sensible), I’m putting a mental note on you of “bullshitting fool”…

              • Gosman

                Do you happen to have examples of Matthew Hooten’s comments you feel are equivalent to Martyn Bradbury that he routinely does as a matter of course ?

                • Hooten gave this lovely performance Monday last week on Nine to Noon. Knowing that the Double Downgrade was undoubtedly going to be the big political issue of the last week that will be discussed, he came out fighting and making every effort to dominate the show.
                  Talk about “strident and partisan”! Bomber was nothing compared with Hooten.
                  Stream Link :
                  http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/ninetonoon/audio/2499353/politics-with-matthew-hooton-and-mike-williams.asx
                   

                • lprent

                  You made the claim that Bomber made defamatory comments. You have yet to back that up or retract.

                  If you don’t them I will be forced to ban you for making a defamatory comment (in accordance with your overall thesis). Unlike bomber talking about John Key, you talking about Bomber isn’t covered by Lange vs Atkinson.

                  • Gosman

                    I stated they were POTENTIALLY defamatory and I back that up by quoting back to you –

                    “I just spoke to RNZ CEO’s PA who put me through to John Houson (she said he was responsible for the banning) who told me Bomber was actually banned for making defamatory statements about the prime minister, and that Key might sue Bomber for defamation. He couldn’t tell me what statements were defamatory, told me to look at the script.”

                    Now you stated they were definately not defamatory (based on your obvious extensive knowledge of NZ laws on defamation). This is obviously at odds with the guy who thinks they are POTENTIALLY defamatory. You may well be right or he may well be right.

                    I will ask you again do you have examples of Matthew Hooten doing something similar (i.e. basically accusing the PM of being a nasty piece of work)?

                    • Colonial Viper

                      You seem to believe that RNZ is so chickenshit at their job that some unqualified bandying around of the words “potentially defamatory” scared them so much it caused them to hand out a life time ban to Bomber.

                      More likely reason: a call from the PM’s office.

                    • Gosman

                      Then the Labour Party should be all over this like a rash.

                      What is the Labour Party’s position by the way?

                    • lprent

                      Like you, the RNZ guy was talking out of his arse and clearly does not understand the limits of defamation with respect to politicians.

                      Defamation law is something that was force fed to me through several law courses, partners and families law degrees, and of course I took advice when this site was set up. There is NO statement that Bomber made about John Key that was potentially defamatory. For you to state there was (and Houson) however may be….

                      But I suspect they you are simply too ignorant on the subject to understand the difference between the two instances.

                      Just like your last para is equally ignorant and somewhat lazy. I never said anything about Hooten being defamatory. Stop being such an idiot and read back in the comments to what I was responding to and what I actually said. Why do you think I should participate in your ignorant fantasies about defamation?

                • Anne

                  Do you happen to have examples of Matthew Hooten’s comments you feel are equivalent to Martyn Bradbury…?

                  Listen to William Joyce’s stream link from about 11.49mins…

                  • Gosman

                    Yeah and what about it? Sounds like a perfectly reasoned position to take if you are meaning his comments about Phil Goff.

                    What did he state there that was in any way similar to what Martyn Bradbury has stated?

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Hooten’s completely beside the point. RNZ buckled to pressure from the top and subsequently banned Bomber.

                    • Gosman

                      So all I have seen on this from Labour is Clare Curran stating on Red Alert that she wants to be “… reassured that there was no external influence brought to bear on Radio NZ management and editorial staff to make that decision.”.

                      Apparently for an open and shut case of political interference in the editorial policy of Public Broadcasting all the Labour Party wants is to be reassured. You must be embarrassed with such an insipid and ineffective opposition to the National led government.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Both Hooten and Curran are beside the point.

                      Man you are desperate. Whose irrelevant name are you going to invoke next?

                  • Gosman

                    So the best example you have as a comparison is Matthew Hooten calling Phil Goff a relic who has flip floppedon major issues, (a charge I have seen made from people on the left as well), and that Mike Williams belief that polls show people shy away from supporting a Government at above 50% is a lie or factually inaccurate.

                    You seriously think this equates to calling into question the character of the Prime Minister by implying that he is a very nasty man indeed because of his supposed actions when a man attempted to jump into the debating chamber?

                    • Tiger Mountain

                      Heh, Gossie, I am tempted to say “Ve ask ze qvestions…” but I will not. Your attempted corralling style of commenting will not relieve ShonKey from his most recent deception over Standard and Poor’s. Gestures, body language and speech all gave him away.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      calling into question the character of the Prime Minister by implying that he is a very nasty man indeed because of the cut throat gesture he made at Goff when a man attempted to jump into the debating chamber?

                      Let’s call a spade a spade shall we mate.

                    • Gosman

                      What???

                      Care to explain how that comment of yours Tiger Mountain is related to what is being discussed?

                    • McFlock

                      oh look everybody – Gos is preparing to take offence at something on the interwebs so he can then pretend that he stomped off as a result of a grievous insult! Yep, an ‘allo ‘allo accent on the ‘net is so much worse than a throat-slashing gesture on the floor of the House.

                      [edit]”everybody” makes so much more sense than “everyboy”, doesn’t it?

                    • mik e

                      Gooseman key is suffering from OCD, OLD obsessive lying disorder ,OPOD obsessive photo op disorder, ODD obsessive denial disorder.OBD obsessive borrowing disorder.The day that Helen Clarke’s was threatened by a gun wielding ex under cover policeman . She didn’t use that as an excuse for the DPS to speed gooseman .Keys body language gave it away he fucked up and doesn’t want to take responsibility[the party of personal responsibility yeah right wing nut job]although initially he did apologize but then after crosby textor new story main stream media sucked in again.

    • McFlock 12.2

      ROFL! We are talking about the the same station that regularly airs Screechy McHooten, aren’t we?

    • r0b 12.3

      1. Bradbury spoke over the host and wouldn’t let him talk

      Have you actually listened to the audio?

  13. freedom 13

    RNZ today:
    the PM’s throat slitting gesture reported as ‘odd’ behaviour due to the intense fear of the threat

    WTF!

    they are making more out of Labour’s calling him a scumbag than the physical action itself!
    (They spent more time discussing the Greens hypothetical future relationship with National than commenting on the PM physically threatening another member in the House)

    Ryan is just yapping away nonsensical mantras
    prostrate at the altar of minor celebrity ? or just a populist protecting the pay packet?

    “i don’t think anyone is calling this an act of social-activism”
    Ryan forgets that we do not know what motivated the incident, perhaps if there was one single comment from the person who tried to launch themselves we could decide one way or another. The label of mental instability was branded on this person immediately, without proof or reason apart from one extreme action that had risk of self harm. This is something many of us engage in many times a day, from taking a drive, jumping out of an aeroplane, to eating a fast food cheeseburger, there are many acts more hazardous than what this individual attempted. He did not fall, injure himself or cause anyone to be harmed who is not prone to that risk as part of their job description.

    If social-activism is to promote a circumstance or bring light to a situation of social relevance then this most definitely was a social-activist action. It has highlighted the illusion of our PM’s character.

    • Lanthanide 13.1

      “The label of mental instability was branded on this person immediately, without proof or reason apart from one extreme action that had risk of self harm. This is something many of us engage in many times a day, from taking a drive, jumping out of an aeroplane, to eating a fast food cheeseburger, there are many acts more hazardous than what this individual attempted. He did not fall, injure himself or cause anyone to be harmed who is not prone to that risk as part of their job description.”

      I’m sorry, but attempting to jump off a balcony and fall at least 4m onto an uneven surface is considerably more dangerous than going driving or eating a cheeseburger, and arguably more dangerous than jumping out of an aeroplane wearing a parachute and properly trained in it’s use or tandem-diving with someone who is. Also no one deliberately goes driving or eats a cheeseburger with the intention of self-harm; and if they did then they would also be labelled mentally unstable.

      Psychologically speaking, an act of attempted self-harm (especially in public like this) is considered abnormal and a sign of mental instability, whether you agree with that determination or not.

      Whether he was truly trying to jump or just pretending to is another issue, but certainly everyone at the scene thought he was trying to jump. From the descriptions I’ve read it even sounds like he had quite a bit of his body over the railing by the time the public/security staff pulled him back.

      • McFlock 13.1.1

        Although self-harm can be a perfectly rational response to completely irrational circumstances – and WINZ are the masters of creating irrational circumstances (depending on the government of the day).

        There was another chap a few years back who broke some windows in a WINZ office and was on the media as being disturbed. The judge threw out the case because he and his kids were in dire straits, he’d gone through all the correct channels, and WINZ had still refused him support he was legally entitled to. Bashing in windows and chaining yourself to a door so you get arrested appeared irrational, but actually worked.

      • freedom 13.1.2

        In activism and other protest activity there is often potential for self-harm. This does not dictate a position of mental instability. Self-immolation, being a very clear and defensible example. A rational person can submit to physical injury when involved in an action they consider to be of importance. Rugby is a pretty good example.

        Instantly labelling this particular individual as a mentally unstable is purely an emotive and politically expedient judgement based on the isolated context and environment of the action. Based on that criteria most behaviour in the house would suggest the average age of a Parliamentarian is about three and a half.

        We have no valid information on what would have eventuated if the individual had completed their action. 4m is a relatively easy drop and if he had been aiming for one of the bench seats the odds of getting to the floor without injury are pretty good. As a mental exercise I have daydreamed the action myself when sitting in the gallery. Calling this a suicide attempt is fanciful and unrealistic and only demeans that very real issue which destroys families in NZ all too often.

        For all we know he may have landed safely, and simply tried to speak to the Members of the House. For all we know he may have had something to say. We will never know.

        • Lanthanide 13.1.2.1

          “For all we know he may have landed safely, and simply tried to speak to the Members of the House. For all we know he may have had something to say. We will never know.”

          If this person thought that jumping off a 4m balcony would leave him unharmed and in a position where he could speak to members of the house, then I would say he was mentally unbalanced.

          I’m sorry, but you’re just trying to twist this into an indictment on the media, when their coverage of the situation is completely justified by what actually took place.

          • freedom 13.1.2.1.1

            damn right it is an idictment of the media but i am not twisting anything. They selected what parts to report and obviously decided the PM physically threatening other members was not news worthy. ( flip it around and have Goff doing that to the PM and just imagine the livecast lynch mob that would be planned)

            The media and everyone who jumped on board have labelled the guy unstable without proof.

            The references to suicide were a completely sensationalist piece of bs fabrication as there is close to zero chance of dying from that fall, injury yes, serious injury, possibly, suicide? not likely.

            Obviously the odds of making it to the floor and getting out a single syllable would be zero,
            but attempting it may have been the purpose, my point was we do not know.

            What we do know are the facts of the PM’s behaviour and the reaction to these actions by other members of the House. We know the facts, we saw the throat slitting action, we saw the eye rolling, we have a clear picture of the charcter of our PM

            It is the media that chooses not to report on it, and no spin can justify that decision
            but with labels and distractions they have buried another chapter from The Life of a Liar

            • Lanthanide 13.1.2.1.1.1

              It’s highly possible you could die from a fall from that height (broken neck). Falling onto an uneven surface such as the edge or corner of a parliamentary desk heightens the risk.

              Lots of people die every year from tripping over in their own home.

              Whether it was a ‘suicide attempt’ per se is somewhat irrelevant – it’s clearly self-harm at the minimum. Self-harm is not carried out by people in sound mental health; that’s part of the definition of sound mental health.

              • freedom

                That is why i used self-immolation as an example. Find me someone with a more stable and sound state of mental health than a traditionally trained tibetan monk deciding to protest injustice with the offering of their own life.

                Certainly it is an extreme example amongst men of prayer but so are the actions of this man when taken in the context of his environment. He is not reported to have been displaying any outwards signs of unstable behaviour prior to the incident. We are not being informed of the situation that led to his action nor is that likely to change. A label was branded on him without justification. and has been memorized and repeated as expected without critique.

                He was more likely just a regular person under unmanageable stress and made an egregious decison which, one way or another, has altered the future of his life. He was 54 years old, most folk i know of that age have a pretty good reason for the things they do, (even though many spouses would question the sanity of many of these decisions i am sure) i openly concede he was desperate, i agree his actions were not immediately helpful to his situation,
                i realise the ‘lone nutter machine’ must be feed on a regular basis.

                I do not accept this as proof he is mentally unstable.

                • Lanthanide

                  “He is not reported to have been displaying any outwards signs of unstable behaviour prior to the incident.”

                  Actually he’s said to have been muttering to himself while sitting in the gallery.

                  Your reference to self-immolation is irrelevant – the man who attempted to jump from the gallery is not a tibetan monk nor did he attempt to self-immolate. We must interpret his actions according to the society in which he is in. Our society says that attempting to jump from a balcony of a height of at least 4m onto an un-even surface is evidence of ill mental health.

                  Just as we would judge someone eating cockroaches or cats and dogs to be evidence of poverty or extreme hunger, in other societies these behaviours are seen as normal.

                  Also, this:
                  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21489697
                  “Self-immolation was more frequently associated with a history of mental illness or substance abuse history in higher-income countries than in lower-income countries.”

                  http://injuryprevention.bmj.com/content/16/Suppl_1/A7.1.abstract
                  “This study suggests that adjustment disorder is a risk factor for self-immolation, overall. More broadly, psychopathology presents an increased risk of self-immolation. In male patients, drug abuse/dependency, antisocial personality disorder and depressive personality disorder increased the risk of self-immolation. Among females, adjustment disorders and depressive disorders increased the risk. “

                  • mike

                    We can’t rule out the possibility that the guy was doing his best to appear as if he was going to jump, without actually ever intending to. Just to make publicity for his point. I think that’s a less likely scenario, especially given eye witnesses saying they had no doubt he was trying to jump. I’m just saying it’s possible.

                    I don’t think it was nice of Bomber to say it, if somone said he ‘might’ have a mental health problem that’s fine, but I don’t see how saying he has a mental health problem could be grounds for defamation. It’s not malicious, and to show the claim to be false you would have to show that there is no evidence of a mental health problem. And as Lanthanide points out that could be a problem by virtue of his actions in the House.

                    And if it is grounds then someone should sue Paula Bennett who, after the incident was shown on TV saying, “Yes it was scary; obviously the guy has… [nods]… issues.” To say the guy had an issue is redundant, clearly he had some sort of WINZ related grievance. But everyone knows full well that Bennett’s comments are a euphemism for ‘mental health issues’. When I saw her saying that I persoanlly thought it smacked of discrediting guy and whatever WINZ grievance he may have. I found it offensive that thought it said more about her than him.

                    This is all academic anyway I’m sure. If the PM says he might sue Bomber I doubt he means ‘on behalf of the guy that clearly hates my guts’.

      • seeker 13.1.3

        Lanthanide
        I think ‘mental anguish’ is a better term than ‘mental instability’ in this instance.
        Extreme mental anguish can cause someone to spontaneously self harm unfortunately. That is why it is a good idea to try and desist from causing mental anguish in others, which certain governments don’t seem to take into account when coming up with unacceptable policies for fellow humans.

  14. Gosman 14

    Oh the irony of Martyn Bradbury moaning about being banned from Radio NZ National because of his views when he is well know for banning people from Tumeke for exactly the same reason.

    That stated can’t say I agree a ban is a suitable punishment. Perhaps being advised that statements which can be deemed defamatory should be best avoided.

    [lprent: So far I haven’t seen anyone demonstrate that the Bomber made ANY potentially defamatory comments (within Lange vs Atkinson – the test is pretty clear). ]

    • McFlock 14.1

      Tumeke’s a public broadcaster?

      • Gosman 14.1.1

        Did I claim,or even imply, that it was?

        • Tiger Mountain 14.1.1.1

          One of the few reasons I could ever seriously contemplate running a blog is for the admittedly small pleasure of sticking it to the likes of you Gossie. Blogs can be almost whatever the publishers want them to be unlike public radio which has broadcasting standards and some obligations of “balance” to operate by.
          The tory turds at Crosby Textor and the beehive seem to have decided too many voter ear drums are being delivered to Bomber and his on the mark descriptions of our beloved Prime mincer’s antics.

        • McFlock 14.1.1.2

          Either you claimed it was, or you were just comparing chalk and cheese and calling it “irony”. Either way, get a dictionary.

    • fmacskasy 14.2

      Gosman, you’ve made the same allegation on my blog as well, through your most recent comment. I hate to break it to you, but I you weren’t banned from my blog because I disagreed with you – I simply found your repetitious comments boring. Disagree with me all you like, but if I start to get bored, then I lose interest.

      That is not meant to be insulting. I’m just suggesting you need to re-visit your writing style.

      You also need to understand that there is a lightyear of difference between private blogs, where you post your comments at the “pleasure” of the Blog-owners (as an aside, I once left a fairly innocuous post on an American Republican website. It was removed very quickly. Ok, fair enough, I took the hint and did not return.), and Radio NZ.

      By contrast, Bradbury was regularly INVITED to share his left-wing views on RNZ’s afternoon Panel – just as David Farrar was invited on regular occassions to give us his right wing views.

      Banning someone for doing what you invited him to do in the first place seems bizarre.

      • Gosman 14.2.1

        What utter BS Frank. You were shown up for being an intellectual light weight when it came to understanding some basic principles of economics and couldn’t answer simple questions regarding matters such as what does ‘Clean Stadiums’ mean.

        Instead of acknowledging your errors or at least attempting to answer the questions you decided to take the cowards way out delete the comments which highlight your flawed thinking. You and Martyn Bradbury are being hypocrites when it comes to claiming your views are being censored when you do the same on your blogs all the time.

        That stated I actually disagree that he should be banned. Jim Mora just needs to make it plain to his panelists that [deleted] and controversial subjects should be couched in a manner that makes it plain that they are opinion and not fact.

        [lprent: So far I haven’t seen anyone demonstrate that the Bomber made ANY potentially defamatory comments (within Lange vs Atkinson – the test is pretty clear). However asserting (without any backing) that he made defamatory comments is probably defamatory. But applying the principle you’re suggesting should apply, perhaps I should start banning people who make defamatory assertions about non-politicians that they cannot substain. 😈 ]

        • Frank Macskasy 14.2.1.1

          “Instead of acknowledging your errors or at least attempting to answer the questions you decided to take the cowards way out delete the comments which highlight your flawed thinking. ”

          I deleted nothing, Gosman (except for the occassional typo).

          I actually add +++ Updates +++ to my Blog.

          However, considering your dissatisfaction with the management of my blog, I assume you will practice a classical neo-liberal response, whereby,

          1. You take your “business” elsdewhere.

          2. You set up your own blog, in competition to me.

          I wish you well for the future.

        • Gosman 14.2.1.2

          I stated potentially defamatory and I refer back to my previous comment on this. At the momemt we have someone in RNZ thinking it might be and someone such as yourself thinking it isn’t. I haven’t stated that it is defamatory as my knowledge of the law is obviously not as great as yours.

    • mik e 14.3

      the only one that tells lies is penoKEYo

  15. The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 15

    Surely, the larger question is, why does a grown man call himself “Bomber”? Does he think violence is clever and funny?

    • r0b 15.1

      Never picked you as the PC-gone-mad type OBB.  How about all those dangerous loonies in bomber jackets – are they next on your list?

      • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 15.1.1

        He can call himself what he likes. I can point out that he is a dick for doing so.

        Only next time the left wants to wail about the violent imagery supposedly used by the right, they might want to remember their good friend Bomber thinks bombing is cool.

        • Lanthanide 15.1.1.1

          “their good friend Bomber thinks bombing is cool.”

          [citation needed]

        • McFlock 15.1.1.2

          More to the point, why do YOU believe that a nickname carried forward from one’s youth is a “larger question” than the poss/probability that the PM’s office interfering in order to get criticism removed from our public broadcaster?

    • Lanthanide 15.2

      Why are you assuming that nickname necessarily has anything to do with munitions?

      • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 15.2.1

        You’re probably right. It’s probably something to do with kittens and bunnies and cup cakes.

    • higherstandard 15.3

      In his case Bomber is short for bombastic – a tag that stuck from his university days.

      Can’t understand why people don’t just ignore him – he is pretty much irrelevant outside of his own little circle.

      • mik e 15.3.1

        Lowering the standard again freedom of speech is defended by the right in their endless rhetoric but in practice they stoop to any level to deny criticism.

    • fmacskasy 15.4

      Dunno, Ole… we should ask the Road Runner and Wile E. Coyote?

      (By the way, I think I get your style now… )

    • mike 15.5

      “Surely, the larger question is, why does a grown man call himself “Bomber”?”

      The guy’s nickname is a larger question than that of media censorship?

      Surely, you’re wrong.

      Troll grade: D-

  16. infused 16

    I can’t stand bomber. Never have (way before I was interested in politics). Less I hear from him the better.

    • Lanthanide 16.1

      I don’t care for him either.

      But if they’re going to ban him from RNZ for what he did, they should be fair and ban everyone else that makes the same transgressions.

  17. JS 17

    Time for the 99% to stand up to the 1%.

  18. The Dompost hasn’t run the story yet, but this relates to it: http://www.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post/news/politics/5739737/Spat-after-man-tries-to-jump-at-Parliament?comment_msg=posted#post_comment

    Leave a comment folks! Time to push this in every direction!

    • AAMC 18.1

      Hmmm, they didn’t post my comment, wasn’t over the top or anything, isn’t it strange that no pots have been added since you provided this link…

  19. Jum 19

    And just to add to the 1951 retro shutdown of democracy by a National government, we have this:

    How factual was that official’s comment about handing out leaflets?

    Is it illegal for a protestor to hand out a leaflet?

    If so, where is it legal? Under the New Zealand flag of our democracy?

  20. Comments can be left here, on RNZ’s Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/#!/RadioNewZealand

  21. King Kong 21

    So I wonder which is more likely. RNZ gave Bomber the boot because;

    a) John Key was so scared of the potential damage from the rantings of an unknown lunatic that he strong armed RNZ into banning Bomber from the airwaves (but didn’t include the credible commentators from the left who also have a crack at him)

    or

    b) Some shouty little nob jockey got fired so he could be replaced by someone who could represent the left without embarrasing the whole movement.

  22. r0b 22

    Update 3: Good to see that 3News is now on the case: Blogger Bomber banned from RNZ for criticism of Key.

  23. Gordon Campbell makes similar points to the many above.

    He also focuses on RNZ – in the person of Jim Mora – ‘reaching for the lifeboat of triviality’ after Bradbury’s comment, which highlights the instinct to distract from, avoid and belittle any serious political discussion on a public broadcaster.

    What on earth were they thinking? Anyone with even a skerrick (sp?) of democratic impulse would realise the impropriety of this reaction. 

  24. mike 24

    Not a shit show in hell that Key will sue Bomber for defamation. Rank empty threat. Trying to discredit a critic and make him shut up. Sociopaths are paranoid about being outed for what they really are. Key could just ignored it, but he went after the threat. He thinks he can bully the guy into going away. But it could backfire and actually become a news story. That’s where they trip up, when they start thinking they can out-play everyone and their ego gets away on them.

    I really hope I’m wrong though. Please John Key, sue Bomber and then have to defend your own character in a court of law. Can’t see it. Pure bullying bluff.

    • King Kong 24.1

      Surely if Key is a “sociopath” and really wanted to silence one of the most unimportant politcial mouthpieces in the country then he would just have Bomber murdered. He must know lots of dodgy people who could do it from his time in the evil shadowwy world of banking.

      Honestly do you guys ever stop to listen to yourselves.

      • Colonial Viper 24.1.1

        Ahem. Seems like you don’t know what the fuck being ‘sociopathic’ means.

        • King Kong 24.1.1.1

          pretty sure I do;

          “a person, as a psychopathic personality, whose behavior is antisocial and who lacks a sense of moral responsibility or social conscience. ”

          That sounds like someone who wouldn’t have many qualms murdering someone who annoyed them.

          • McFlock 24.1.1.1.1

            But nor would they have an overwhelming compulsion. They’d be able to look at say the damage an unfettered “bomber” could do, vs the risk of being caught commissioning a contract killing, and would probably just decide to have a quiet word with RNZ. A higher-functioning one, anyway.

          • William Joyce 24.1.1.1.2

            Gerry is good at throwing his weight around. On second thoughts he’s more of a Herman Goring street brawler than a patient Dealy Plaza sniper.
            Tony Ryall could do it. Finlayson could do it. Joyce could do it and say he was merely constructing a by-pass and that the plans had been filed with the council office for sometime.
            Murray couldn’t do it – he would shoot someone else or even himself.
            Though not a sniper and more of a brown nose is Chris Tremaine. He would do anything for his beloved leader – but I think he’s more of fast car in the night hit and run type of guy.
            Tau would just headbut him and break his nose.
            As for Crusher Collins….well I couldn’t say that here….but it would be long and slow…a mixture of pleasure and pain…..involve leather and would leave you blubbering, senseless and out of your mind.

          • mike 24.1.1.1.3

            Pretty sure you don’t. Wow. It’s a only a small minority of psychopaths that have a compulsion to kill. Some people call them ‘failed psychopaths’ because they couldn’t control their impulses; usually they have abused childhoods. Most of them never consider murder as an option since it’s just too risky. Most of them get their kicks from dominating other people psychologically, and inflict damage on their victims that way.

            Unlike yourself monkey king, John Key is an intelligent guy. Of course he’s not going to put out a ‘hit’ on Bomber for fuck’s sake. Why take such a massive risk when he can just tell RNZ to ban him and thus send a message to others that if they like appearing on RNZ they’d better not look too hard at John Key? But if you think that disqualifies him from being a sociopath then you have no clue what a sociopath is.

            Jesus Christ I really think we deserve a better class of troll than this.

          • mik e 24.1.1.1.4

            KK Andrers brevik is in jail right now

      • fmacskasy 24.1.2

        …Surely if Key is a “sociopath” and really wanted to silence one of the most unimportant politcial mouthpieces in the country then he would just have Bomber murdered….

        Kong, honestly do you ever stop to listen to yourself?

        We’re discussing John Key – Tory politician. Not John Key – Hannibal Lechter wannabe. You’re in the wrong Parallel Universe, mate…

  25. seeker 25

    Tapu Misa has written a good article in the Herald on DJ John Key.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/politics/news/article.cfm?c_id=280&objectid=10757805

    Towards the end she says:

    “It may be hard to avoid the symbiotic nature of the relationship between the media and politicians, as former British Prime Minister Tony Blair argued when asked about his too close relationship with media mogul Rupert Murdoch in the wake of the phone hacking scandal this year.

    We’ve become inured to lines being blurred in the media, between news and commentary, and news and entertainment. But we should all be alert to the dangers of blurring the line between politicians and the media.”

    “banality of evil” (Hannah Arendt 1961) alert !

    A comment in The Guardian by David Pavett on Aug.17.11 said this:
    “I find the idea that evil is the result of banal motives very helpful. When people believe that evil is some kind of special force that afflicts specific individuals they see it as something apart from themselves. If we rather see evil as our failure to be fully alert to our responsibilities then this apparent downgrading of the idea becomes something much more powerful because it points to something of which we are all capable.”
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/audio/2011/aug/17/big-ideas-podcast-banality-of-evil

    Bomber was entirely right to say what he said on RNZ . He articulated the issues well and was “fully alert to his responsibilities” as a commentator and recounter of facts. He did not fudge, trivialise or avoid the issues but hindered the possible arising of the ‘banality of evil’ by hitting it head on, however painful that may be to some.

  26. Russell Brown calls Bradbury’s first paragraph feckless conspiracy-mongering:

    What does a $43 million loan to Mediaworks buy you on Radio Live – apparently an hour of John Key avoiding answering any questions on politics. Why pay Mediaworks $43 million for that, when John Key can appear on Close Up and not answer questions for free.

    I think I’ve seen similar feckless conspiracy-mongering here at times. I have never seen it censored here – and I think the RNZ over reaction was not habdled well.

    • lprent 26.1

      I suspect that it is feckless conspiracy-mongering, but if it is never raised then it provides room for corruption to grow. More importantly given the circumstances, I’m still not sure that it is not corruption.

      It is a valid question to ask because it does look like like an awfully cozy relationship between politicians and media with a lot of money involved. Pretty much the same question has been raised in the house by several parties for the same reason. The mediaworks licensing deal looks rather too much like a sweetheart deal to me. The explanations to date have never explained to me why it was made.

      The access given to John Key can be credibly cast as part of the other side to a sweetheart deal. If Key and his minders didn’t want io b viewed that way, then they should have avoided the appearance of impropriety (or worse) and stayed at arms length. They aren’t in opposition anymore, they are in government, and the expectations are quite different.

      • Pete George 26.1.1

        I agree that Key should not have put himself in a positiion of being open to repeat rubbish on this, but I think it’s got more to do with deliberate trivialising of the public face of politics than money.

    • Puddleglum 26.2

      No conspiracy in any formal sense of the word. But there’s plenty of evidence for the subtle influence on our actions, beliefs and decisions of the actions of others.

      Think about it this way, Pete George: when I help my neighbour out, there is a long-evolved tendency for my neighbour to experience a sense of obligation to either help me out in return or, less directly, to resist speaking ill of me (even if the occasion warrants),  be generally friendly to me, etc..

      The psychology is very clear and well-established in the research for this kind of influence (it’s also pretty obviious in our own lives). I don’t see why such a well-documented causal effect should be absent in this instance.

      As seeker put it so well, this blurring of the line between media and politics invites just this kind of influence.

      If your account of his comments is correct, then Russell Brown simply knows little about such effects. That’s not his fault, of course. 

  27. Tiger Mountain 27

    Pete, the luvvies at Public Address were never going to support Bomber, uni was far too long ago. Real politik and the next ‘self employed’ contract loom large.

    • Poor attempt to divert from the fact that Bradbury was repeating bullshit.

      • McFlock 27.1.1

        Bullshit?

        Let me put it this way – has any company NOT owned by mediaworks given ANY politician a full hour of uninterrupted publicity just weeks out from one of the last few elections? And then said “oh, it’s a regular thing, we’ll do it again next year”?

        That’s bullshit.

      • Tiger Mountain 27.1.2

        No attempt to divert tory Pete, has anyone seriously rebutted Bomber’s substantive comments about ShonKey’s economy with the truth yet?

      • Draco T Bastard 27.1.3

        Not BS. National give Mediaworks $43m dollar loan of our money and Mediaworks give John Key a 1 hour free publicity – and not give that same publicity to other parties. If MW had given such time to every party leader then it would be probable that it wasn’t bought with our money but they didn’t, they only got on the leader of the party that gave them our money.

        • Pete George 27.1.3.1

          they only got on the leader of the party that gave them our money.

          Except that no one gave them any of our money. They are giving us their money, plus interest.

          I don’t think Key should have done the talkback, but if a radio station offered me some free publicity I’d take it, I need it much more than Key or Goff.

          But continuing to moan about it simply keeps giving Radioworks more of the free publicity they were after.

          • McFlock 27.1.3.1.1

            “Except that no one gave them any of our money. They are giving us their money, plus interest”

            Um, no – we give them the right to use frequencies. They give us money. But they no give us money. They give us a little bit more money, maybe later. Their owners still take profits offshore. We have $40mill less money than we would have had right now. Oh, and Key coincidentally has his own radio show.

          • Draco T Bastard 27.1.3.1.2

            Except that no one gave them any of our money.

            Well, I suppose it’s more along the lines that they didn’t pay us what was owed.

            They are giving us their money, plus interest.

            At how much less than market rates because if it’s not less then they should have just gone to the bank. Actually, that’s what they should have done anyway. It’s not our governments job to loan our money to businesses that are a little short (not that MW was – they just didn’t want to go to the bank as it would have decreased their profits).

            • McFlock 27.1.3.1.2.1

              The only rates I gleaned from a google search (something imaginative like “mediaworks 43 million”) was 11.2%. It doesn’t say whether it’s per annum or over the 4 years, though.

              • fmacskasy

                McFlock – of course it was a LOAN. Mediaworks are paying interest, with the loan over a security;

                “…the Government allowed them to keep the frequencies and pay the money over a 50-month period – paying 11.2 per cent interest a year. The Crown held a mortgage on the frequency with a strong security. “

                As per my analysis of this issue: http://fmacskasy.wordpress.com/2011/10/09/politics-free-zone-tui-time/

                It fullfils every definition of a loan.

                If it ain’t, then I have bad news for my bank: the mortgages over my properties are mot “loans” at all!!

                As per usual, Key is trying to spin/BS his way out of this. *yawns*

                When the public finally wake up to this charlatan, he will fall Big Time.

      • fmacskasy 27.1.4

        Poor attempt to divert from the fact that Bradbury was repeating bullshit.

        So, let’s hang on a minute here, Pete…

        If you consider someone elses comments to be “bullshit” – then freedom of speech doesn’t apply?

        How does that work?

        Who decides if it’s “bullshit” – you?

        If you’re going to talk “deflection”, then it’s worthwhile considering that rightwingers justify Bomber’s banning as “he deserved it ‘cos he talks bullshit”. Thwey move on from the right to exptress an opinion, to deriding that opinion as “bullshit” and therefore not worth defending.

        Of course, if Labour was in government and David Farrar had been banned- migod, the venom would be flying from the right wing!

        It seems that freedom of speech to certain quarters applies only if you nod your head in approval to the sentiments expressed. Defending freedom of speech is always much more difficult when you vehemently oppose the opinion.

        There’s an old saying, “I disagree with what you are saying, but I will fight to the death for your right to say it.”

        Here in good ole NZ, it’s more a case of “I disagree with what you are saying, and don’t expect me to break a fingernail to protect your right to say it”.

  28. big bruv 28

    Well done RNZ, this action is to be applauded.

    • Tiger Mountain 28.1

      Lol Bruv. Do ‘backwoods boys’ even know the frequency for RNZ let alone listen to it?

  29. ianmac 29

    big bruv. You sound like a child with Oppositional Syndrome. You just say the opposite of whatever others say. Grow up lad or girly!

  30. madness 30

    2 4 6 8 Now we have a fascist state….

    so who said Key wasn’t like Muldoon? Silencing critics, controlling state owned companies, cowing opponents into submission…

  31. madness 31

    Gee almost like a former National Party spin doctor was running RNZ…..

  32. One of Jim’s guests at the moment is… David Farrar!

    Oh, the irony!

    Watch what you say, David, watch what you say…

    • Gosman 32.1

      David Farrar doesn’t tend to call people essentially nasty pieces of work on air or even on his blog very often. He is quite moderate. Unless of course you have something you have difficulty locating a lot of the time, namely evidence, suggesting he does.

      • McFlock 32.1.1

        True – he tends to say that “some notable bloggers [WOlink] have accused politician X as being a nasty piece of work”.

        Reducing the stink by adding a layer of slime.

  33. Jellytussle 33

    I was pleased to receive a response to my email in support of Bomber from RNZ. The exact text is as follows……”

    Thanks for taking the time to contact Radio New Zealand. We appreciate feedback from our regular listeners and I can assure you that your comments about Martyn Bradbury have been noted and passed on to the relevant people at Radio New Zealand National.

    Radio New Zealand has monitored and noted the on-line, email, and blog discussions over recent days relating to The Panel and Martyn Bradbury’s performance last week. There are several points that need to be made.

    Mr Bradbury has not been banned from Radio New Zealand. He was told that his invitation to appear as a future panellist on Afternoons had been withdrawn but there was no suggestion that it applied to other programmes.
    Radio New Zealand received many complaints from listeners regarding Mr. Bradbury’s comments on The Panel during Afternoons with Jim Mora last Thursday.

    The decision to withdraw Mr. Bradbury’s invitation to take part in future editions of The Panel was made by the programme’s Executive Producer immediately after the programme. That decision was supported by the senior manager responsible for the programme and subsequently by the Chief Executive and Editor-in-Chief.

    Mr. Bradbury’s invitation to participate on The Panel was withdrawn because his personal comments about the Prime Minister were deemed to be in breach of Radio New Zealand’s editorial requirements for fairness and balance. One of his comments was regarded as being potentially defamatory. The segment in question was removed from the Radio New Zealand website because it was considered to be potentially defamatory and Radio New Zealand has a duty to protect the organization against defamation proceedings.

    Participants on The Panel on Afternoons with Jim Mora are given plenty of latitude to express personal opinions but it is expected that these will be presented for engagement and discussion and that panellists will conform to Radio New Zealand’s editorial policies and broadcast standards. A relationship of trust and confidence between the programme presenter, producers, and panellists is essential for the programme to be effective.

    Mr Bradbury’s comments on The Panel on Afternoons last Thursday were inconsistent with information he had provided to programme producers before going on air and Mr Bradbury later apologised to the programme’s Executive Producer.
    It was made clear to him that while his invitation to appear as an occasional guest on The Panel was being withdrawn, it was not a ‘lifelong ban’.

    I hope this information clarifies some of the issues that have been raised over the last few days.

    Thanks again for your email…….”

    • Carol 33.1

      Jellytussle, this response from RNZ looks pretty much like the one Bomber commented on today on his blog. He claims that this is not the same as what he was told on the phone call on Friday from RNZ:

      http://tumeke.blogspot.com/2011/10/why-i-was-banned-from-rnz.html

      Well this is a different story to the one I was told on Friday morning by RNZ. At no time was defamation mentioned to me as the justification, I was told my criticism was over the top and that I would be banned. The defamation reason is an excuse on the hop, they are just making it up as they go along.

      Let’s note, I didn’t have my ‘invitation withdrawn’, I was banned, that was the word used during my Friday morning phone call and they know it. The reason given was my criticism of the PM breached their magically ill defined ‘editorial requirements for fairness and balance’.

      It was an opinion piece segment.

      I gave my opinion.

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    The government has released its Arms Legislation Bill, containing the second tranche of changes to gun laws following the March 15 massacre. And it all looks quite sensible: a national gun register, higher penalties for illegal possession and dealing, tighter restrictions on arms dealers and shooting clubs, and a shorter ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • California bans private prisons
    Private prisons are a stain on humanity. Prison operators explicitly profit from human misery, then lobby for longer prisons terms so they can keep on profiting. And in the US, prison companies run not only local and state prisons, but also Donald Trump's immigration concentration camps. Faced with this moral ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Why PPPs are a bad idea
    When National was in power, they were very keen on Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) - basicly, using private companies to finance public infrastructure as a way of hiding debt from the public. They were keen on using them for everything - roads, schools, hospitals. But as the UK shows, that "service" ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • A Movement That No Longer Moves.
    Moving And Shaking: There was a time when people spoke matter-of-factly about the “labour movement” – a political phenomenon understood to embrace much more than the Labour Party. Included within the term’s definition was the whole trade union movement – many of whose members looked upon the Labour Party as ...
    4 days ago
  • NZ ‘left’ politically embracing extreme postmodernism
    by Philip Ferguson Much of the left, even people who formally identify as marxists, have collapsed politically in the face of postmodern gender theory of the sort pioneered by American philosopher Judith Butler. For Butler even biological sex is socially constructed. “If the immutable character of sex is contested, perhaps ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    4 days ago
  • The obvious question
    The media is reporting that the (alleged) Labour party sexual assaulter has resigned from their job at Parliament, which means hopefully he won't be turning up there making people feel unsafe in future. Good. But as with everything about this scandal, it just raises other questions. Most significantly: why the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • The moment I found out that you found out, I acted swiftly
    By Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern I am every bit as angry as you are. I am every bit as disappointed as you must be. The people with power, oversight and the ability to do something about these processes within the Labour Party should be ashamed. Whoever those people are, I ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    5 days ago
  • This is why people hate property developers
    Property developers think there is an "oversupply" of houses in Auckland:High turnover rates and falling prices may be a sign that there are too many new houses going in to some parts of Auckland, commentators say. [...] Property developer David Whitburn said there was a "bit of an oversupply" in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Australia to Pacific: “Fuck you, you can all drown”
    World leaders are meeting in New York in two weeks for the 2019 Climate Action Summit, where they are expected to announce new and more ambitious targets to stop the world from burning. But the Australian Prime Minister won't be there, despite being in the USA at the time:Scott Morrison ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Implausible ignorance
    Labour Party president Nigel Haworth resigned yesterday over the party's sexual assault scandal. But while that's good news, its unlikely to take away the stench of a coverup. Because according to Paula Bennett in Parliament yesterday, pretty much everyone in the Prime Minister's office was involved as well:I have been ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Labour’s Fatal Flaw.
     Two-Faced? Labour insiders' commitment to the neoliberal status quo puts them at odds with their party’s membership; its trade union affiliates; and a majority of Labour voters, but this only serves to strengthen the perception they have of themselves as a special elite. Among the lesser breeds, they’ll talk up a ...
    5 days ago
  • Ten reasons the Tories do NOT want an election
    There has been a lot of talk about Boris Johnson wanting an election, and he has blustered with great gusto about 'chicken' Jeremy Corbyn refusing one, but I think there are many reasons why he is secretly glad he has been refused the opportunity:The Tories are an utter rabble,tearing themselves ...
    5 days ago
  • Prorogation Illegal, rule Scottish judges
    Scottish appeal court judges have declared that Boris Johnson’s decision to suspend parliament in the run-up to the October Brexit deadline is unlawful. The three judges, chaired by Lord Carloway, Scotland’s most senior judge, overturned an earlier ruling that the courts did not have the powers to interfere in the prime ...
    5 days ago
  • Let me explain what I meant by Everyday New Zealanders
    By Simon Bridges. The following is a press release from the office of Simon Bridges, leader of The National Party. Key ora, New Zealand. Happy Maori Language Week. Look, I’m writing to you today because I want to clear something up. There’s been a lot of kerfuffle around some things ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    6 days ago
  • Yes, the SIS is subject to the Public Records Act
    I understand there's some stuff going round about how the SIS "was removed from the list of public offices covered by the Public Records Act in 2017". The context of course being their records derived from US torture, which will be disposed of or sealed. The good news is that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • An evidence-based discussion of the Canadian fluoride/IQ study
    Dr. Christopher Labos and Jonathan Jarry discuss the recent Canadian fluoride/IQ research. They provide an expert analysis of the paper and its problems. Click on image to go to podcast. The critical debate about the recent ...
    6 days ago
  • Climate Change: Australia in denial
    Australia is burning down again, and meanwhile its natural disaster minister is denying climate change:Australia’s minister responsible for drought and natural disasters, David Littleproud, has said that he doesn’t “know if climate change is manmade”. Clarifying earlier comments that the question is “irrelevant” when considering the Coalition government’s response to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Philippines activist speaking on the Duterte tyranny
    Auckland Philippines Solidarity is excited to host Professor Judy Taguiwalo for a speaking tour of NZ in September. She is a well-known activist in the Philippines and was a political prisoner under the Marcos dictatorship. Professor Taguiwalo briefly served as a Cabinet member under President Duterte but was forced from ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    6 days ago
  • Disgust
    I have no special insights to offer on the Labour sexual assault coverup. All I have is disgust. Disgust that an organisation could fail its people so badly. Disgust that they punished the victims rather than the perpetrator. Disgust that its party hacks are apparently blaming the victims for demanding ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Speak Up for Women calls out Greens’ censorship
    This open letter to the Green Party was penned after an opinion piece by Jill Abigail, a feminist and founding member of the party, was censored by the Greens’ leadership. (Redline has reprinted her article here).The intolerance of the Green Party leaders and their acceptance of the misogyny of gender ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    6 days ago
  • Member’s Day: End of Life Choice, part 3
    Today is a Member's day, and David Seymour's End of Life Choice Bill continues its slow crawl through its committee stage. They're spending the whole day on it today, though the first hour is likely to be spent on voting left over from last time. After that they'll move on ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Flight to Los Angeles turned back after passengers decide they don’t want to go anymore
    An ambitious plan to fly to Los Angeles petered out into a brief sight-seeing trip and a desire to return home and get some sleep before work tomorrow. Air New Zealand has confirmed a flight to Los Angeles last night was turned back about a quarter of the way into ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    6 days ago
  • Indigenous Futures: defuturing and futuring – an analytical framework for policy development?
    There appears to be consensus – by omission – that the concept of indigenous futures should be accepted at face value. So I scavenged the internet to see if I could locate an academic descriptor or a framework around how we think about it as a concept, and whether it ...
    EllipsisterBy Ellipsister
    7 days ago
  • Cadbury rumoured to be releasing the Pineapple Trump
    Here’s another novelty chocolate to shove in your gob, New Zealand Cadbury could be seeking to make itself great again with a rumoured new release: Pineapple Trumps, a spin on its classic chocolate-encased pineapple treat and do-it-yourself tooth remover. The global confectionery manufacturer and bumbling “before” character in an infomercial, ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    7 days ago
  • The coming resource war.
    During my time in the Pentagon I had the privilege of sitting down with military leaders and defence and security officials from a variety of Latin American nations. Sometimes I was present as a subordinate assistant to a senior US defence department official, sometimes as part of a delegation that ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    7 days ago
  • Māori Language Week with The Civilian
    Kia ora, Aotearoa. It’s that magical time of year. Te Wiki o te Reo Māori. In English, the week that frightens talk radio. As you probably know by now, all your favourite media outlets are participating, some more successfully than others. Stuff has changed its name to Puna for the ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    7 days ago
  • Will Horizons act on climate change?
    Local body elections are coming up next month. And it looks like all Palmerston North candidates for Horizons (the Manawatu-Whanganui Regional Council) want to take action on climate change:Climate change is set to be a key issue in Palmerston North for the next three years if those wanting to get ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • BORA reform is stalled
    Eighteen months ago, the government promised to strengthen the Bill of Rights Act, by explicitly affirming the power of the courts to issue declarations of inconsistency and requiring Parliament to formally respond to them. So how's that going? I was curious, so I asked for all advice about the proposal. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Corbyn and Brexit
    As the Brexit saga staggers on, the focus is naturally enough on the Prime Minister and his attempts to achieve Brexit “do or die”. But the role played by the Leader of the Opposition is of almost equal interest and complexity. The first problem for Jeremy Corbyn is that he ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    7 days ago
  • A ditch for him to die in
    Last week, English Prime Minister Boris Johnson boldly declared that he would rather die be dead in a ditch than delay Brexit. Unfortunately for him, the UK parliament accepted the challenge, and promptly dug one for him. The "rebellion bill" requires him to ask for and secure yet another temporary ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Warning! Warning! Danger Jacinda Ardern! Danger Marama Davidson! Warning!
    Lost In Political Space: The most important takeaway from this latest Labour sexual assault scandal, which (if I may paraphrase Nixon’s White House counsel’s, John Dean’s, infamous description of Watergate) is “growing like a cancer” on the premiership, is the Labour Party organisation’s extraordinary professional paralysis in the face of ...
    1 week ago
  • Union solidarity with Ihumatao land occupation
    by Daphna Whitmore Every Sunday for the past two months unionists from First Union, with supporters from other unions, have set out to the Ihumatao land protest, put up gazebos and gas barbeques, and cooked food for a few hundred locals and supporters who have come from across the country. ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: The wrong kind of trees?
    Newsroom today has an excellent, in-depth article on pine trees as carbon sinks. The TL;DR is that pine is really good at soaking up carbon, but people prefer far-less efficient native forests instead. Which is understandable, but there's two problems: firstly, we've pissed about so long on this problem that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • No freedom of speech in Turkey
    Canan Kaftancioglu is a Turkish politician and member of the opposition Republican People's Party (CHP). Like most modern politicians, she tweets, and uses the platform to criticise the Turkish government. She has criticised them over the death of a 14-year-old boy who was hit by a tear gas grenade during ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Speaker: Tadhg Stopford: Why I’m standing for the ADHB
    Hi there, just call me Tim.We face tough problems, and I’d like to help, because there are solutions.An Auckand District Health Board member has nominated me for as a candidate for the ADHB, because her MS-related pain and fatigue is reduced with hemp products from Rotorua.  Nothing else helped her. If I ...
    1 week ago
  • Good little vassals
    The Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security has published their report on whether the SIS and GCSB had any complicity in American torture. And its damning. The pull quote is this:The Inquiry found both agencies, but to a much greater degree, the NZSIS, received many intelligence reports obtained from detainees who, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Who Shall We Turn To When God, And Uncle Sam, Cease To Defend New Zealand?
    Bewhiskered Cassandra? Professor Hugh White’s chilling suggestion, advanced to select collections of academic, military and diplomatic Kiwi experts over the course of the past week, is that the assumptions upon which Australia and New Zealand have built their foreign affairs and defence policies for practically their entire histories – are ...
    1 week ago
  • The Politics of Opposition
    For most of the time I was a British MP, my party was out of government – these were the Thatcher years, when it was hard for anyone else to get a look-in. As a front-bencher and shadow minister, I became familiar with the strategies required in a parliamentary democracy ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • More expert comments on the Canadian fluoride-IQ paper
    The Green et al (2019) fluoride/IQ is certainly controversial – as would be expected from its subject (see If at first you don’t succeed . . . statistical manipulation might help and Politics of science – making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear). Anti-fluoride campaigners have been actively promoting it ...
    1 week ago
  • The return to guerrilla war in Colombia
    by Gearóid Ó Loingsigh On August 29th a video in which veteran FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia) commander Iván Márquez announced that they had taken up arms again was released. There was no delay in the reaction to it, from longtime Liberal Party figure and former president Uribe, for ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Air New Zealand identifies this enormous plot of unused land as possible second airport site
    Air New Zealand couldn’t believe its luck that this seemingly ideal piece of real estate had so far gone entirely unnoticed. Air New Zealand’s search for a site to build a second Auckland Airport may have made a breakthrough this afternoon, after employees scanning Google satellite imagery spotted a huge, ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Redline on the Labour Party
    No-one on the anti-capitalist left in this country today puts forward a case that Labour is on the side of the working class.  There are certainly people who call themselves ‘socialist’ who do, but they are essentially liberals with vested interests in Labourism – often for career reasons. Nevertheless, there ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • New Fisk
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour’s failure
    When National was in government and fucking over the poor for the benefit of the rich, foodbanks were a growth industry. And now Labour is in charge, nothing has changed: A huge demand for emergency food parcels means the Auckland City Mission is struggling to prepare for the impending arrival ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Ardern attempts to vaccinate Clarke Gayford live on television to prove that it’s safe
    Gayford, pictured here on The Project, before things got wildly out of control. A bold public relations move by the Government to encourage parents to vaccinate their children has gone horribly wrong. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern appeared on tonight’s episode of Three’s The Project, where the plan was for her ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Has Mr. Whippy gone too far by parking on our front lawns?
    Mr. Whippy’s business model has driven it down a dark road of intimidation. Residents in major centres around the country are becoming disgruntled by the increasingly aggressive actions of purported ice cream company Mr. Whippy, who have taken to parking on people’s front lawns and doorsteps in a desperate attempt ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Cleaning up the water
    Today the government released its Action Plan for Healthy Waterways, aimed at cleaning up our lakes and rivers. Its actually quite good. There will be protection for wetlands, better standards for swimming spots, a requirement for continuous improvement, and better standards for wastewater and stormwater. But most importantly, there's a ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Fronting up
    Today I appeared before the Environment Committee to give an oral submission on the Zero Carbon Bill. Over 1,500 people have asked to appear in person, so they've divided into subcommittees and are off touring the country, giving people a five minute slot each. The other submitters were a mixed ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Politics of science – making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear
    Anti-fluoride activists have some wealthy backers – they are erecting billboards misrepresenting the Canadian study on many New Zealand cities – and local authorities are ordering their removal because of their scaremongering. Many New Zealanders ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Democracy – I Don’t Think So
    So, those who “know best” have again done their worst. While constantly claiming to be the guardians of democracy and the constitution, and respecters of the 2016 referendum result, diehard Remainers (who have never brought themselves to believe that their advice could have been rejected) have striven might and main ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    2 weeks ago
  • Government says it will now build just one really nice home
    Following publication of this article, the Ministry has requested it to be noted that this supplied image is not necessarily representative of what the final house will look like, and it “probably won’t be that nice.” As part of today’s long-anticipated reset of the Government’s flagship KiwiBuild policy, Housing Minister ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Imperialism and your cup of coffee
    Over the next week or two we will be running three synopses of parts of the opening chapter of John Smith’s Imperialism in the 21st Century (New York, Monthly Review Press, 2016).  The synopsis and commentary below is written by Phil Duncan. Marx began Capital not with a sweeping historical ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Still juking the stats
    The State Services Commission and Ombudsman have released another batch of OIA statistics, covering the last six months. Request volumes are up, and the core public service is generally handling them within the legal timeframe, though this may be because they've learned to extend rather than just ignore things. And ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Hard News: Time for a New Deal: 25 years on
    In 1994, I was editing an ambitious street mag called Planet, from a fabled office at at 309 Karangahape Road. The thirteenth issue of the magazine was published in the winter of that year and its cover embodied a particularly ambitious goal: the end of cannabis prohibition.I wanted to do ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Not impressed
    KiwiBuild was one of the Ardern government's core policies. The government would end the housing crisis and make housing affordable again by building 100,000 new homes. Of course, it didn't work out like that: targets weren't met, the houses they did build were in the wrong place, and the whole ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Solar beats coal
    As the climate crisis escalates, it is now obvious that we need to radically decarbonise our economy. The good news is that its looking easy and profitable for the energy sector. Wind is already cheaper than fossil fuels, and now solar is too:The levellised cost of solar PV has fallen ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • A Step Too Far.
    A Crown Asset? For reasons relating to its own political convenience, the Crown pretends to believe that “No one owns the water.” To say otherwise would re-vivify the promises contained in the Treaty of Waitangi – most particularly those pertaining to the power of the chiefs and their proprietary rights ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Where Money Comes From
    Most people would say, no doubt, that they have a pretty good idea of what money is. They live with the reality of money every day. It is what is needed to buy the necessities of life and to maintain a decent standard of living. You get money, they would ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    2 weeks ago
  • Banned by the Green Party leadership: Jill Abigail on women’s rights and trans rights
    The article below was an opinion piece that appeared in the Spring 2019 issue of Te Awa (the NZ Green Party’s newsletter) and on the Greens website.  In keeping with their policy of hostility to women defending women’s right to female-only spaces, Green bureaucrats have since removed the opinion piece.  ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • The fallacy of the proximity argument.
    Longer term readers may remember my complaining that, as a political scientist, it is burdensome to have non-political scientists wanting to engage me about politics. No layperson would think to approach an astrophysicist and lecture him/her on the finer details of quarks and black holes, but everybody with an opinion ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    2 weeks ago
  • Where We Stood: Chris Trotter Replies To Stevan Eldred-Grigg.
    Joining The Fight: Stevan Eldred-Grigg's argument for New Zealand staying out of the Second World War fails not only on the hard-headed grounds of preserving the country’s strategic and economic interests; and not just on the soft-hearted grounds of duty and loyalty to the nation that had given New Zealand ...
    2 weeks ago

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