Chief Press Sec O’Sullivan leaves Key questions open

Written By: - Date published: 8:54 am, July 9th, 2008 - 44 comments
Categories: john key, Media - Tags:

Today’s Herald sees Fran O’Sullivan making another valiant effort to dig her hero, John Key, out of the hole he’s in over his non-disclosure of Tranz Rail shares while asking written parliamentary questions in 2002. Unwittingly, her contribution raises more questions.

Fran writes that Key’s written questions to Cullen were based on information which was already in the public arena (thanks to her sterling reports). That might well be true. But Fran worked around Parliament for long enough to know that the replies to MPs’ written questions are the preserve of the inquiring MP until the publication of a regular digest compiling all written questions and answers (known as ‘the greens). An MP can have answers to him or her self for weeks before the appearance of that public digest. Key asked questions which might have been in the public domain. But the answers he received might not have been, and could have given him a commercial advantage.

To not declare share ownership in such a situation represents a basic failure of principle and honesty. Key boasts of rising to rarefied levels in the financial world. In that world, managing – or mis-managing – conflicts and privileged information is something which occurs every day. To claim naivety in these matters is patently ridiculous. And downright disengenuous.

The media’s passivity on this issue is striking. Helen Clark was castigated by the media – and officially investigated by authorities – for supposedly helping ‘mum and dad’ Air NZ shareholders in the way she disclosed information. The media have largely ignored this story in which John Key sought special access to information over a company in which he held a significant shareholding.

44 comments on “Chief Press Sec O’Sullivan leaves Key questions open”

  1. higherstandard 1

    Another one for the list of things I do not care about.

  2. Blar 2

    Nice conspiracy theory but it just doesn’t stack up.

    Ask yourself this question. Would a man worth tens of millions of dollars and with an ambition to become Prime Minister risk all of that on $30000 in shares?

    It’s amazing how Labour’s campaign is increasingly looking like John Howard’s losing campaign (minus Joe Donald).

  3. Um Blar – it’s probably more that he didn’t see it as a risk or realise it was inappropriate until advised by his minders. It’s one of those “no moral compass” things that you righties are so good at.

    HS – and yet you felt the need to be the first to comment.

  4. Blar 4

    Sod, chances are the question was just funneled through him by an interested researcher. Pretty standard fare.

  5. Pascal's bookie 5

    So parliamentary questions for the Notionals are fed to them by outside interested parties Blar? Tell us more mate.

  6. Your making a lot of “nothing to see here” excuses lately bro. Are you on the Nat’s payroll?

  7. slightlyrighty 7

    If Key was the spokesperson for the Nats on this issue, and the information was in the public arena, then as an elected representative Key is perfectly justified in commenting on these issues and raising questions to the government on the matter.

    There are reports that Key, in selling his extremely small shareholding in Tranzrail actually caused his family trust to lose $50000. It could be argued that Key decided that his involvement in these issues was such that he could no longer hold these shares and he divested himself of these shares so he could ask the more searching questions that Helen Clark raised dubious concerns over.

    In any case, this is a bit rich coming from Helen Clark, who as I recall, has made comments in the media that has directly adversely affected the share price of Air New Zealand and Telecom, causing investors to lose 100’s of milions of dollars.

    Lets also not forget the actions of Jeanette Fitzsimons who conducts a greta deal of parliamentary business while “forgetting” to mention her shareholding in the listed NZ windfarm owner , manufacturer and developer, Windflow Technologies.

    And what about the various public statement on the Auckland International Airport by the government and it’s foreign minister, Winston Peters. How many NZ’er lost money because of that?

  8. Blar 8

    So parliamentary questions for the Notionals are fed to them by outside interested parties Blar? Tell us more mate.

    Er, I said an interested researcher you tard. As in, a person employed to work in the National research unit.

  9. higherstandard 9

    PB

    It’s not uncommon practice in parliament for interested parties to get a friendly (or unfriendly) politician to ask questions in the house as per Winnie below.

    Rt Hon Winston Peters: Why is Risperdal Consta, an antipsychotic injectable used by professionals on a fortnightly basis and paid for by taxpayers in the OECD and Australia, not available in New Zealand where the comparison is the hand out of tablets, which are frequently not used by those patients, leading to wide-scale problems in our society; and why does she not make that drug available in New Zealand?

    I’ve even forwarded issues I’ve had to MPs from both sides and had questions(oral and written) submitted in the house by MPs – parliament does actually work well on occasion – which is encouraging.

  10. Oliver 10

    What about a government that protects is leader by legislating an important constitutional case out of the courts. When Muldoon was taken to court under the Bill of Rights 1688 he respected the courts decision. When Helen faced a legal threat from the case of Darnton v Clark she had parliament legislate the case out of existence. That constitutes a most egregious abuse of power to protect her privileged position.

  11. Pascal's bookie 11

    Oh right, so he’s just an empty suit then.

  12. Blar 12

    PS: Sod, I thought one of the house rules here was we don’t talk about each other’s employers (can one of the Standardistas confirm this is a rule?).

    But anyway, I am not employed by the National party.

    [Tane: Blar, you are correct. Sod, stop it.]

  13. Lew 13

    Oliver: Hey there, you’re running that line again (nice to see you’ve dropped the tiddlywinks bit), but I see you’ve not rebutted any of my points in this comment – until you do so, don’t you think it’s a bit weak to continue making the same statements without any additional argument or evidence?

    L

  14. slightlyrighty 14

    Winston raising questions on anti psychotics? Talk about a conflict of interest! 😉

  15. Blar – that’s not entirely honest now is it?

    But… I’m gonna get banned if I take this any further so I guess I’ll drop it. Feel free to email me again some time if you want to discuss this. Sorry Tane.

    [lprent: You are soooo right. Good thing that Tane dealt with it before I did.]

  16. higherstandard 16

    SR

    Indeed – also his ladyfriend at the time was I believe running the company who made the product – regardless was it a reasonable question to ask in parliament – absolutely.

  17. Blar 17

    Sod, lobbing a broadside like that isn’t exactly ending it. I’m not and never have been employed by the National party. I’ve also never been paid, employed or instructed to comment on the Standard.

    You really are the Cameron Slater of the left.

  18. Oh no – I prefer to think of myself as the steady eddie of the left 😉 Cam’s way too dumb.

  19. Billy 19

    10:31 on the 9th of July 2008. The first recorded instance of ‘sod apologising. For anything. Wonder what that’s about.

  20. I’ve apologised at last twice before. Once on our blog, bro. Maybe I’m mellowing!

  21. Billy 21

    That’s right, Robynsod. You apologised to Kevyn. Although, I was happy to note, not for taking the piss out of the spelling of his name.

    I have noticed a tendency on your part to assume that no-one is right wing of their own volition. You seem to assume that people are only pretending to be right wing because someone is paying them. Maybe, like me, Blar is right wing because of an honest conviction. Surely, that’s possible.

  22. rave 22

    Key’s share holdings are only symptomatic. The disease is being a parasite and/or scavenger who lives off the labour of others. Such parasites and scavengers feel they have the moral high ground to stand on a pile of corpses and trumpet their hypocritical moral spiel.

  23. Blar 23

    “I’ve apologised at last twice before.”

    Slip sliding away.

    Anyway Sod, did you just admit to being an obsessive stalker freak?

  24. Maybe, like me, Blar is right wing because of an honest conviction. Surely, that’s possible.

    I actually think most people are right wing out of self interest. I quite like your PRW argument but would add that a PRW is just a leftie in need of better education. If we ever catch up for a beer I’ll tell you about Blar. Suffice to say he is certainly RW from conviction but he also has a vested interest. Anyway. Enough said. I’m not a great fan of this “outing” business…

  25. Anyway Sod, did you just admit to being an obsessive stalker freak?

    Are you calling my mate ed an obsessive stalker freak?

  26. Tane 26

    Guys, this is really tiring. If you want to have a personal squabble can you take it to Sodblog?

  27. Yeah – fair enough. C’mon Blar – we can carry this on over there…

  28. Damn! I’m in moderation on my own blog, I’ve lost my password and my email is down! I guess we can’t carry this on over there…

  29. slightlyrighty 29

    rave
    July 9, 2008 at 11:34 am

    Key’s share holdings are only symptomatic. The disease is being a parasite and/or scavenger who lives off the labour of others. Such parasites and scavengers feel they have the moral high ground to stand on a pile of corpses and trumpet their hypocritical moral spiel.

    Really Rave? So what of the Government being major shareholders in Air NZ? Kiwirail? Kiwibank?

    What of Jeanette Fitzsimons and Windflow technologies?

    Is this behavior parasitical?

    Where do you think the money for industry comes from?

  30. MacDoctor 30

    The media have largely ignored this story in which John Key sought special access to information over a company in which he held a significant shareholding.

    This will be because there is no story. Key sold his shares at a significant loss. This means that you are saying that Key is not only dishonest, he is also a complete financial moron. Seeing as his current net worth is probably well in excess of the combined net worth of everyone on this blog, I think that is just so much horse manure. The timing of his share sale indicates that, as soon as he saw he was going to have to make substantive remarks, he sold the shares that may cause a conflict of interest. That, more than anything so far, tells me that he is an honest man. I guess he should thank Clark for showing us how honest he is by her poorly grounded accusations.

  31. Draco TB 31

    What of Jeanette Fitzsimons and Windflow technologies?

    Is this behavior parasitical?

    Depends – does she do any of the actual work ie, does she produce any of the value of the company?

    Where do you think the money for industry comes from?

    Considering that banks pretty much print money at will – out of thin air. But the real question is: Why do the investors require ownership of the business?

  32. T-rex 32

    What does Jeanette Fitzsimons do for Windflow? Supply them with the stone tools they use to make their gearboxes?

    Draco – your second and third sentences are ludicrous. I’m just saying that so none of the fighty-righties try to infer I agree with you.

  33. Oliver 33

    Lew,

    I only just read that post you’ve referred to me, the nature of my employment means that I keep very funny hours.

    1). Yes the EFA already gets craploads of negative coverage but it deserves more. It is the single most undemorcratic thing done by a New Zealand goverment since a least the end of the Second World War. It’s probably the most undemocratic thing done by a New Zealand government since 1900 but I don’t know ennough to say that for certain.

    2) Okay Darnton v Clark was superseded by due process of laww but that doesn’t make it right. It is still a horrific abuse of power to protect Clark’s privieged position. In New Zealand when we talk about abusive power hungry unscrupulous politicos we always use Muldoon as the yard stick and even he was above legislating over a lawsuit under the Bill of Rights 1688.

    3) Personally I don’t believe the use of Crosby Textor is anti-democratic. Paying someone externally to help with branding is little diferent than hiring staffers to so it for you. It’s just out-sourcing a service that some people don’t out-source. But anyone that does think Crosby Textor is anti-democratic can hardly defend Labour record on protecting democracy. To even attempt to do so is rank hypocracy. Any honest commentator would have to admit that if they consider Crosby Textor anti-democratic they consider the insidious effects of the EFA and the brazen abuse of power in legislating against Darnton v Clark to be much more significant anti-democratic acts.

  34. Ari 34

    Oliver:
    1- Actually, there are lots of things I can name that I feel are much more anti-democratic. Best example is the new immigration bill, as it grants new powers to deny people entry to this country that are checked by neither due process nor independent review. The EFA is checked by both.

    2- I don’t personally like the retroactive legislation in that sense, but then again, I also don’t like the fact that we can’t retroactively force National to disclose its large, anonymous donations from trusts in previous elections. I’d honestly like to see electoral law formulated outside of Parliament so that it’s more even-handed in its treatment of ALL parties.

    3- Nobody is objecting to the fact that C/T are paid consultants- the objection is to how they’re advising National. People are objecting to the fact that they have previously run campaign strategies that are full of racist and sexist dogwhistling, spin the news, and stifle democratic debate- and National is three for four on those during this election cycle. (I’m sure John Key has some racist dogwhistling lined up in case this issue blows over, though)

    National has a right to hire even Hitler’s undead corpse as a consultant, and as long as they have no evidence of fascism or antisemitism (or eating brains) in their policies, it ought to be completely irrelevent to the news. But that’s simply not the case here- National are running a classic C/T campaign, and regardless of whether it’s on their advice or not, it’s a really bad thing, and the association with people who could advise them on how to do this kind of campaign makes it even more suspicious, especially as no party has previously had their campaign strategy fully managed by outside contractors- if the leak leads to the conclusions we’re worried about, National has crossed the rubicon for the first time when it comes to external campaign advice in New Zealand.

  35. expat 35

    God almighty – when will the CT bollocks end here?

    The only CT that needs to be discussed here is a CT scan for you conspiracy freaks.

    [lprent: Good to have your vote on continuing to look at C/T. We always value your opinion.]

  36. Lew 36

    Oliver: The main problem is that you keep making these assertions without any actual supporting arguments. In the case of 1. they’re probably not necessary, since it’s essentially a matter of partisan politics. In the case of 2. what you’re essentially saying is that the Speaker and the Governor-General conspired with Clark to prevent the exercise of democracy. It strains credibility. However this is also somewhat irrelevant to my point. However in the case of 3. you’re still arguing a non sequitur:

    “But anyone that does think Crosby Textor is anti-democratic can hardly defend Labour record on protecting democracy.”

    Actually, they can, because it’s perfectly reasonable and entirely justifiable to believe both that C/T are anti-democratic and that Labour are not anti-democratic. There is no logical inconsistency between these two positions because the actions undertaken by C/T and by Labour are qualitatively different. You can argue one is anti-democratic while the other isn’t, and that would be a justifiable argument. But the point remains that you have to argue it before you can expect people to take it seriously.

    I mentioned this in the perhaps vain hope that you won’t be one of those righties who flies in, makes a lot of squawking noises, craps on everything and leaves, and might possibly actually contribute to the discussion using something other than bald unsubstantiated statements and catchphrases.

    L

  37. Draco TB 37

    Draco – your second and third sentences are ludicrous.

    In what way are they ludicrous?
    The second sentence refers to Fractional Reserve Banking and the third sentence happens to be a question.

  38. Lew 38

    Draco TB: I don’t presume to answer for T-rex, but I’ll have a stab on it myself:

    TR: “Where do you think the money for industry comes from?”

    DTB: “Considering that banks pretty much print money at will – out of thin air.”

    Equivocation. There are two meanings of money in play here – money in the sense of value, and money in the sense of physical paper stuff. T-rex clearly meant the first kind. You imply that by printing the second kind, a bank can create the second kind. Ask Robert Mugabe how that’s working out.

    DTB: “But the real question is: Why do the investors require ownership of the business?”

    The very definition of investment in a capitalist system is ownership. Without it there’s no such thing. If you’d like to argue that capitalist bankers should want to not own the banks in which they invest, have at it.

    Honestly, DTB, you didn’t seem to be economically illiterate before. Why now?

    L

  39. Draco TB 39

    Ask Robert Mugabe how that?s working out.

    Yes, I’m implying that there’s a parallel. There’s a difference in the fact that a large amount of the money introduced by the fractional reserve system is removed from the economy and the stuff the Mugabe is printing isn’t. Both, though, result in inflation as the amount of paper money increases at a greater amount than the value in the economy.

    Without it there?s no such thing.

    So, in your view, no reason at all then?

    Take a company, it has a CEO, board of directors etc. This company doesn’t have any shareholders though. The CEO etc are still running the business for a profit but they’re now responsible to the workers. The only thing that’s really changed from the capitalist model is that the workers will now be responsible for the direction of the company and not the shareholders. This is interesting in that it seems to empower the workers so that they are fully responsible for their lives rather than being only responsible to do what their told which leads to disengagement and disillusionment.

    Why now?

    Questioning, Lew, Questioning. Can’t change anything if you don’t question.

    defense beats

  40. Lew 40

    Draco: See what you did was simply change the entire paradigm in which you were operating, without informing the rest of us. If you could at least say WARNING – hard left turn ahead or something, then perhaps people might not be so bemused.

    When you talk about a corporation in which there are no shareholders, a question remains unanswered: where does the capital come from? If it’s from the workers, then all you describe is a system where the workers happen to be the shareholders. In any meaningful sense of the word they are investors who own the corporation, which you said there needn’t be.

    L

  41. Draco TB 41

    where does the capital come from?

    The business raises capital two ways:
    1.) The old fashioned way, the business sells bonds.
    2.) It gets a commercial loan
    3.) Any combination of the above.

    Ownership isn’t needed but to clarify the idea the business would be self owned. Corporations etc are a legal construct and this would be no different except that it would disallow the selling of shares and it would define that the workers, of which the CEO and board of directors (If the business has them) are included, as the responsible for the businesses direction.

    WARNING – hard left turn ahead

    Lew, I happen to be hard left (I could quite happily shake hands with Marx) but I also happen to be liberal to the extent of making ACT look like a bunch of dictators. As such I fully support the goals of socialism and the free-market. I do not see the two as being mutually exclusive (as our brothers and sisters on the right seem to do) but mutually supportive.

  42. Draco TB 42

    More of Fran’s National spin in which she tries to continue the myth that the emails were stolen, Don’s feelings are absolute truth, the police didn’t do their job and Hager has to get a grip.

  43. randal 43

    she is just nother very stupid woman who knows nothing about the world except how much money she has in the bank and how many people are lining up to kiss her foot. typical tory really

  44. andy 44

    Draco TB

    I am sure my copy of the NZ herald had little flecks of frans mouth foaming rage fuelled spit, stuck to the page.

    I have heard more sane rants from talkback callers and Kiwiblog commenter’s.

    It must be hard when as a ‘journalist’ she has pinned her colours to the mast so to speak and turned partisan hack, shill, spokesperson for The National Party and all its ephemeral policy. To then be criticised and shown to be a dupe and a fool by Hager (another partisan) who has evidence and silly little things like facts.

    She rages impotently about how the police were not good enough at investigating something that never happened, and she tells us the are stink too! Don was just a nice guy taken down by some socialist mole inside parliamentary services (who will all be sacked when her mate John gets in and does his ‘stuff’, she will get back to us on policy BTW).

    Smearing the police and repeating the ‘theft’ meme is desperate and advocating Dons criticism of the police leaves me cold. I suspect the police quite quickly found no such theft occurred, found Don to not even understand that his google searches for asian schoolgirl porn were not private and leaving his hotmail permanently logged on was none to smart either. So they quietly made muttering excuses about Apec and buggered off for a cup of tea.

    Her further paroxysm over crosby/textor is quite telling, by truly avoiding the truthiness of John Key and whining like a 3 year old that “little Helen did it first” (spin doctors, yes we know they all do), she like most fanboys of JK can’t admit that he kinda lied about using C/T.

    I like most people are concerned about the fact that JK has not been upfront about it, when the laundry was hung on the line and everyone could see he shat the bed and tried to hide it just like Spud in trainspotting.

    The sad thing is when JK tried to pull the sheets away we all got covered in C/T inspired shit.

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    Make It 16, the youth-led campaign to lower New Zealand's voting age, is holding an official campaign launch at Parliament this Friday from 16:30. If you'd like to attend, you can register using EventBrite here. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • A founding member responds to Peace Action Wellington
    by Don Franks It was a lovely sunny Wellington afternoon with blue skies above  the beaches.  In Courtenay Place, political activists packed out a stuffy upstairs room for an important meeting. The assembled pacifists, anarchists, communists and independent young radicals of Peace Action Wellington felt the need for a mission ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    4 days ago
  • “Mistakes and errors”
    Current and former NZDF top brass are being publicly grilled this week by the hit and run inquiry over their public responses to allegations of civilian casualties. Previously, they've claimed there were no casualties, a position which led them to lie to Ministers and to the public. Now, they're saying ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • “Homosexuality is same-sex attraction and relationships, not heterosexuals with delusions of gende...
    by Rafael D. Quiles (gender-critical gay man from Puerto Rico) The writing on the wall is right in people’s faces and people just don’t see it or don’t want to. What could actually possess a heterosexual male to want to feminize himself and claim that he is a lesbian? Because ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    4 days ago
  • Trump: “Where’s my favourite dictator?”
    From the Wall Street Journal:Inside a room of the ornately decorated Hotel du Palais during last month’s Group of Seven summit in Biarritz, France, President Trump awaited a meeting with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi. Mr. Trump looked over a gathering of American and Egyptian officials and called out in ...
    5 days ago
  • Magdalen Burns, 1983-2019, fighter for women’s liberation
    by the Redline blog collective At Redline we are very saddened to hear of the death of Magdalen Burns who passed away on the morning of Friday, September 13 (British time). Magdalen was a great fighter for the rights of women in general and lesbian women in particular, a defender ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    5 days ago
  • Parliament and the Executive
    The Brexit issue has certainly brought with it a series of apparently difficult constitutional issues, many of them concerning the respective roles of the executive and parliament. Most of them arise because of the unwillingness of MPs, despite their professions to the contrary, to be bound by a constitutional rarity ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    6 days ago
  • The Abigail Article; Martyn Bradbury’s Article, and My Response
    . . This blogpost is different to my usual format of reporting on issues… Since July 1011, I have blogged on a variety of political issues; near always political and/or environmental; mostly highly critical of the previous National Government. Other issues included Israeli occupation of Palestinian lands and repression of ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    6 days ago
  • Police will have to wear silly Buckingham Palace hats from now on, says Police Minister
    Those close to the Police Minister believe the initiative may be the result of Nash “seeing a great deal” on AliExpress. In a move that comes seemingly out of nowhere, Police Minister Stuart Nash announced this afternoon that he expects all frontline staff to don bearskin hats, famously worn by ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    6 days ago
  • A sensible crackdown
    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
    7 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
    7 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
    7 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 ...
    7 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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 ...
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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 ...
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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 ...
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks ago

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