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Chilcot report – Blair’s bad week

Written By: - Date published: 10:02 am, July 5th, 2016 - 44 comments
Categories: iraq, uk politics, war - Tags: , , ,

It’s interesting how much the shadow of Tony Blair still hangs over British politics. He’d still often quoted on events of the day (e.g. here arguing to slow the rush to Brexit), and still obviously popular with many Labour Party MPs. But he’s having a bad week. Even before its release the Chilcot report is drawing attention to the hubristic warmongering that will forever stain his time in office:

Tony Blair faces calls for impeachment on release of Chilcot report

Labour and SNP figures consider legal action against former PM to ban him from office over role in Iraq war

Senior figures from Labour and the Scottish National party are considering calls for legal action against Tony Blair if the former prime minister faces severe criticisms from the long-awaited inquiry into the war in Iraq.

A number of MPs led by Alex Salmond are expected to use an ancient law to try to impeach the former prime minister when the Chilcot report comes out on Wednesday.

The law, last used in 1806 when the Tory minister Lord Melville was charged for misappropriating official funds, is seen in Westminster as an alternative form of punishment that could ensure Blair never holds office again.

Salmond, the former Scottish first minister, said there “has to be a judicial or political reckoning” for Blair’s role in the Iraq conflict. “He seemed puzzled as to why Jeremy Corbyn thinks he is a war criminal, why people don’t like him,” he told Sky News.

“The reason is 179 British war dead, 150,000 immediate dead from the Iraq conflict, the Middle East in flames, the world faced with an existential crisis on terrorism – these are just some of the reasons perhaps he should understand why people don’t hold him in the highest regard.

“[MPs] believe you cannot have a situation where this country blunders into an illegal war with the appalling consequences and at the end of the day there isn’t a reckoning. There has to be a judicial or political reckoning for that.” …

A “reckoning” for the leaders of this fiasco would indeed be welcome. More welcome still would be a formal recognition by the “coalition of the willing” of the false pretenses on which this war was based and the damage that it has done, followed massive reparations and assistance rebuilding the shattered countries of the region. Don’t hold your breath though.

44 comments on “Chilcot report – Blair’s bad week”

  1. Anne 1

    Further excerpt from the provided link:

    But John Prescott called for Labour’s leadership not to increase tensions within the party by making “very angry statements” about the Iraq war.

    “Bitter division within the PLP talking about different parties can only be made worse by very angry statements about Iraq,” Lord Prescott told the BBC’s Sunday Politics show. “We can have a proper debate, but keep it less personal. Let’s debate it and probably learn from the lessons and avoid such a terrible situation.”

    Very wise words from an experienced UK Labour sage.
    If Corbyn and co. indulge in a bitter [personal] rampage against Tony Blair in particular at this crucial time, then they will do the UK Labour Party irreparable and probably terminal damage.

    Edit: I’m a Corbyn supporter but, imo, an all out war waged against the former Blair govt. is not the answer to future UK Labour stability.

    • Colonial Viper 1.1

      I’m interested in why you think UK Labour Party stability is the priority here, instead of say, clearing out the right wing of the Labour Party and returning Labour to its working class and lower middle class roots.

      Do you really think that accommodating the Blairites and the careerist MPs in Labour is the way to go.

      Without disruptive renewal and a return to its principles, a continuation of Labour’s decline into irrelevance is what will happen.

      • Angryca 1.1.1

        My thoughts exactly!! The blairites should toddle off to the lib dems, labour parties will be minority parties here and abroad within a decade if they don’t start washing their hands of the neoliberal wing and get back to their original beliefs

    • whateva next? 1.2

      I think it is the former Blair govt that is waging war on Corbyn using his spin doctor to orchestrate it, power abused.

  2. RedLogix 2

    Well the millions of us who can still remember marching against this war, and who remember being arrogantly dismissed have no sympathy for Blair and Bush at all.

    Even less the 10’s of millions of people living in the Middle East who’ve had to live with the brutal consequences.

    Not to mention the 100’s thousands of dead, maimed and devastated.

    Time for a reckoning in my book.

    • Peter ChCh 2.1

      Absolutely agree. Blair seemed then and now to have some sort of messiah complex. Maybe he and Bush really did believe their own bs about forcing change on despotic regimes. But I am equally sure Hitler was acting in what he saw as the best interests of all. He was a war criminal and so is Blair.

      Its sad though that the first two comments in this thread (Anne and CV) are more interested in Labour politics than pursuing what is right, regardless of whether it is good or bad for Labour or Corbyn.

      • Anne 2.1.1

        No-one is suggesting that Tony Blair and his supporters (past and present) should not be held to account for the disastrous decision to wage war on Iraq. Quite the opposite. But don’t get personal. Corbyn and co. must be sorely tempted to do so given recent events but it won’t help them much in their fight to win the next election. And surely that is the ultimate aim – get rid of the Tories and elect a worker friendly Labour government.

        If speculation re- the outcome of the report proves to be correct, then the Blairites are going to be left largely bereft of credibility and influence and will, hopefully, melt away without further internal ructions being created – ructions that allow the British MSM to persevere with their distortions and misrepresentations of the Corbynites.

        • Peter Ch Ch 2.1.1.1

          Apologies if that came out as a personal attack. I certainly meant the comment as a statement of principal.

        • Peter Ch Ch 2.1.1.2

          Apologies if that came out as a personal attack. I certainly meant the comment as a statement of principal.

          • Ad 2.1.1.2.1

            Principle.

          • Anne 2.1.1.2.2

            I didn’t take your comment as a personal attack Peter Ch Ch. 🙂

            I was referencing the UK LP. Attack the past policies of Blair and co. by all means but don’t get personal about it.

        • Bill 2.1.1.3

          So you don’t think this whole coup attempt in UK Labour is in anyway driven by the personal agenda of Tony Blair to have a certain amount of quashing applied by the PLP to the Chilcot report?

          I mean, Corbyn has been clear that if there is a case to answer, then Blair must answer. I don’t think the same can be said for many within the PLP.

          And a thing to consider is that it takes a government to refer war crimes to the International Criminal Court. Would an Angela Eagle argue for the government to take such a course of action?

          I believe it already is personal and has been ever since Corbyn became leader. I said it before and I’ll say it again. If Corbyn sees out the aftermath of the Chilcot Report, then all the baying will subside because the principle reason for all that baying won’t apply any more.

          By the way. I don’t for a second believe that all of the mps who voted against Corbyn were doing so for reasons of the Chilcot Report. I wouldn’t hazard a guess at how many have been blind sided by fuckers running spurious lines that he’s unelectable and unable to ‘bring the Party together’ etc – but a fair few.

          • Anne 2.1.1.3.1

            I don’t disagree with anything you have said Bill especially the fact that the coup attempt was a personal attack on Jeremy Corbyn in an effort to undermine his influence and authority within the Party. I suspect they have failed and that Corbyn’s responses thus far – which have not been personal – have been the correct responses.

            I also agree that a significant portion of the Labour MPs were in such a state of confusion after the Brexit vote they became suckers for the Blairite line. I wonder how many of them have privately conceded they were hoodwinked since?

    • save nz 2.2

      +1 RedLogix – Bush would probably not have invaded Iraq if Blair had not promised to support him. Bush was rightly very nervous about invading Afghanistan.

      The whole middle east could be completely different. The US would be different and not trillions in debt. They should have learnt from Vietnam.

      Brexit would never happened because as Labour would have been able to get back in power. Now many UK labour politicians seem to be considered as having as few principals as the Conservatives.

      Corbyn is feared because he has real views and methods to help the British people.

      • Chooky 2.2.1

        +100 save nz

        …imo Blair deserves to be in jail for war crimes against humanity

        …there should an equivalent of the Nuremberg Trials for crimes committed by politician leaders in the West against the Middle East peoples and sovereign states

        • Rodel 2.2.1.1

          Chooky-I can recall a photo of a sad little Iraqi boy in hospital with both arms and legs blown off by a US missile…..and in the same newspaper a photo of Bush and Blair grinning and shaking hands over their successful invasion of Iraq.How do such monsters get elected?

          IMO they should both be imprisoned, preferably in Abu Ghraib.

          • Chooky 2.2.1.1.1

            +100…and I can recall a photo of an Iraqi man in tears of utter despair looking up while holding his little boy in his arms as he viewed his destroyed house ( I hope none of the rest of the family were in that house)

            it was an utterly outrageous immoral war!

  3. s y d 3

    Please remember that in the corporate model only the operatives will be held to account (fed to the wolves)

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/tony-blair-chilcot-iraq-war-soldiers-international-criminal-court-human-rights-saddam-hussein-a7116696.html

    • Peter Ch Ch 3.1

      Hardly unique to corporate culture though is it?

      Gaddafi sacrificed Megrahi over lockerbie; the senior Nazis and SS ran to South America and left the German people to pay the price, Mao Great Leap forward led to millions starving whilst he grew fat; the islamic revolution in iran led to millions of poor being slaughtered while the elite pursued very earth5ky pleasures. Communism or capitalism. Faciscm or islamism. All muchbthe same innterms of sacrificial.lambs.

      And reading this thread where the first posters disregard the deaths and torture and destruction as being on little consequence so long as their spiritual leaders of Labour and Corbyn thrive, makes me see that even the extreme left acolytes are no different than the Blairs and Bushs of this world.

      • Colonial Viper 3.1.1

        Boy you really know fucking nothing about the history of the world.

  4. swordfish 4

    Recent British Public Opinion on Blair/Iraq

    YouGov (May 2016)
    ………………………………………Total……Lab voters……Tory………..LD………..SNP………Ukip
    Never Forgive Blair…………53%………….39%…………64%……….52%………67%………74%

    Time we Forgave Him……..15%………….25%…………11%………16%……….10%……….7%

    Blair did nothing Wrong……8%……………14%…………7%………..8%…………7%……….7%

    Unsure…………………………….24%……………22%……….18%………24%………..16%………12%

    YouGov research since 2003 has charted a steady decline in public support for the Iraq War (was it the right thing to do in retrospect), falling to just 26% last year. (Support for the attack had averaged 54% across the 21 polls conducted by YouGov throughout 2003, reaching a height of 66% in April 2003).

    YouGov (June 2015)
    US and Britain were Right or Wrong to take Military Action against Iraq ?
    ……………………Total………..Lab……..Tory……..LD……..Ukip
    Wrong……………51%……….51%……..48%…….56%…….60%

    Right………………26%……….27%……..32%…….22%…….24%

    YouGov (March 2013)
    Did the invasion of Iraq Increase or Decrease the risk of Terrorist Attacks on Britain ?
    Increase……56%
    Decrease…..7%
    No Diff……..30%

    Which do you think is more likely for Iraq in the future ?
    Becomes a Peaceful Democracy….12%
    A Permanently Unstable Country…71%

    Did Blair deliberately set out to Mislead the British public in the run-up to the war about whether Iraq possessed chemical and biological weapons of mass destruction ?
    Yes, Blair deliberately misled … 50%
    No, Blair genuinely believed it…31%
    Unsure……………………………………19%

    In early 2010, a poll conducted by BPIX (for the Daily Mail), found that 80% of respondents believed Blair had lied in his evidence to the Chilcot War Inquiry, with almost a third agreeing he should stand trial for War Crimes. Nearly 60% agreed that Blair had made a blood pact with Bush well in advance of war on Iraq being declared and so was forced to exaggerate the WMDs motive to secure public approval. The most hostile judgement came from women (who were crucial to sealing Labour’s three Election victories under Blair). On almost every measure, women were particularly critical of the former PM.

    By the time he stood down as Prime Minister and Labour leader in June 2007, Blair had experienced high net negativity poll ratings for well over a year. Disapproval of his performance as PM almost always being in the 60-70% range, with Approval down in the mid-20s to early-30s.

    • swordfish 4.1

      To be scrupulously fair, though, you’d have to say that most Brits are opposed to Blair standing trial for war crimes.

      The early 2010 BPIX poll (cited above) found just under a third agreeing he should face Trial.

      And the March 2013 YouGov found:
      More broadly, which of the following best sums up your view of Tony Blair in respect of the Iraq War ?

      (1) Even if some of the details were wrong, Blair was right to warn that Hussein’s regime was extremely dangerous … 29%

      (2) Blair misled Parliament and the British public about the scale of the threat from Iraq but he did not intend to do so15%

      (3) Blair knowingly misled Parliament and the Public but we should move on and take no action against him18%

      (4) Blair knowingly misled Parliament and the Public and should be tried as a War Criminal22%

      (5) Unsure … 15%

      Strongest supporters of Blair being tried as a War Criminal were Tories (29%), the over 60s (28%), and Londoners (28%). Men and the Scots (and probably Scots Men – like Bill) were also more likely than average to want to see Blair face the music. Weakest support for this option came from Labour voters (12%) and 25-39 year olds (15%).

      On the other hand, a Jan 2010 Com Res Poll found as many as 37% agreeing Blair should be put on trial for War Crimes (57% disagreed), with particularly strong support among the young and the poorer (C2DE) half of the Country and SNP, Greens and especially Ukip supporters.

      60% agreed that Gordon Brown should share responsibility with Blair for the decision to wage war on Iraq.

      In all cases, though, a minority.

      • Chooky 4.1.1

        re “To be scrupulously fair, though, you’d have to say that most Brits are opposed to Blair standing trial for war crimes”

        …well you can compare those Brits stats with the Germans who wanted the Nuremberg Trials….better to ask the peoples of the Middle East …the victims!

        (so NOT “scrupulously fair” at all!)

        imo unless Western leaders are held to account for what has happened and is happening in the Middle East …then there will be no healing

        …and the war crimes will continue

        • swordfish 4.1.1.1

          Whoa there !!! You’re getting a little over-excited, Chooks. Those nostrils are beginning to flair with self-righteous fervour.

          Entirely agree with the broad thrust of your eloquently-stated argument. He (and others) certainly should be held to account.

          I was simply trying to objectively outline British Public Opinion on the matter (which has some bearing on what British Elites do next).

          Wasn’t suggesting that UK public opinion was some sort of definitive Yardstick by which to judge Blair’s guilt or innocence.

          So, you see, there was no need for tears before bedtime.

  5. dukeofurl 5

    Comment from ICC
    “Fourth, while the International Criminal Court (“ICC” or the “Court”) currently has jurisdiction over war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide, [as explained to The Telegraph], the Court does not yet have jurisdiction over the crime of aggression. Therefore, the specific question of the legality of the decision to resort to the use of force in Iraq in 2003 – or elsewhere – does not fall within the legal mandate of the Court, and hence, is not within the scope of its preliminary examination.”

    Office of Prosecutor ICC.
    http://www.icc-cpi.int/Pages/item.aspx?name=160704-otp-stat

    wee brains need to get their head around that.

  6. save nz 6

    AS for the most disgusting way to cash on on the Iraq War….

    This is what war has come down to, money and fake everything!

    Iraq PM orders removal of British-made fake bomb detectors
    After hundreds killed by Isis car bomb, Haidar al-Abadi orders corruption inquiry into James McCormick handheld wands

    http://click.mail.theguardian.com/?qs=7e03b2f974c68fa947b09be30025ab1032c1bd8ed11a1402c3becb00befb7ffc

    • dukeofurl 6.1

      They were originally sold a (fake) golf ball detector, which was supposed to be novelty item !!. You couldnt make it up as it would too unbelievable.

  7. Ad 7

    Can we have a quick check about how many other British Prime Ministers have had a “find the blame” report or a call to send them to a War Crimes Tribunal?

    I think there’s a bit of misdirected leftie rage about this war under this Prime Minister than say the fifty others Britain has got itself into over the last 150 years.

    It would be more useful to have a proper evaluation of his government’s policies on the whole of Britain.

    • Bill 7.1

      Well, I dunno Ad. Maybe none of those other PMs were suspected of committing a war crime? Just a thought.

      • save nz 7.1.1

        Just because he looks charismatic, white, has powerful friends and from the west, does not mean he should just be let off.

      • dukeofurl 7.1.2

        Your ‘intel is faulty”

        As the link to ICC prosecutors says -no way.

      • Pretty sure Winston Churchill made Blair look like a rank amateur in the war crimes stakes.

        • Bill 7.1.3.1

          In deed. But the general public and the political class didn’t give a shit…so, no ‘suspicion’.

  8. save nz 8

    And don’t forget the persecution of Weapons Inspector David Kelly…

  9. dukeofurl 9

    The worst about the Iraqi war, the deluded idea of regime change, flowering of western style democracy-
    is they did it all again in Syria.

    oh one thing changed, no western troops on ground this time, just supply the weapons to let Syrians kill Syrians.

    Cameron Obama etc all made the same mistake that Bush and Blair made, even though they had the hindsight.

  10. Chooky 10

    ‘Enraged UK veterans blast ‘war of aggression’ ahead of Chilcot’s Iraq war report (RT EXCLUSIVE)’

    https://www.rt.com/uk/349456-veteran-blast-iraq-chilcot/

    “A UK veterans’ group has blasted the 2003 Iraq conflict as a “war of aggression” waged on the Iraqi people ahead of the publication of the Chilcot report on Wednesday.
    Veterans for Peace UK (VFPUK), which is reported to contain up to 400 armed forces veterans from Britain’s recent conflicts, has criticized the country’s establishment over the war. It is the first public intervention by an ex-services organization on the issue.

    “Whatever Chilcot says, this country and its armed forces executed a war of aggression on the people of Iraq,” the group claimed in a statement seen in advance by RT and due for release Monday evening…

  11. newsense 11

    There is a whole lot rotten in the commons.

    If we’re putting Blair in the dock for dissembling about this war, can we damn well make sure that we put those that dissembled and led to Brexit with all these terrible consequences in the dock too? their deceit is responsible for a lot.

    • Colonial Viper 11.1

      Your comparison is a nonsense. The Iraq War was illegal and cost a nation and a million lives or more.

      BREXIT – freedom from the French and the Germans. No wonder the English outside of London voted for it so clearly.

      • miravox 11.1.1

        “freedom from the French and the Germans”
        Remember freedom fries?

        If the UK followed the French and Germans. Blair could never have joined the Coalition of the Willing. Clearly the EU does not run UK foreign policy

        In both cases the people are deceived by their own, not foreign, leaders (although the referendum obviously was not illegal).

  12. Chooky 12

    ‘Vindicated? Jeremy Corbyn’s decade-long opposition to the Iraq War’

    https://www.rt.com/uk/349640-chilcot-corbyn-blair-iraq/

    …”In the soon-to-be-launched documentary on the decisions taken by then-Prime Minister Tony Blair, ‘We Are Many’, Corbyn angrily describes how MPs neglected the millions-strong anti-war movement and voted for intervention in Iraq regardless.

    …In a 2011 interview with RT, Corbyn said: “[The UK] has involved itself in what I believe to be an illegal invasion of another country. We’ve lost a considerable number of British soldiers, a much larger number of American soldiers and others have died, and tens of thousands of Iraqis, probably half a million Iraqis, have died as a result of this. And is the world a safer place? No. Is the threat of terrorism less? No. Is this a good way forward for international law? No.”

    The so-called coup launched against Corbyn’s leadership last week was seen by commentators as a way to silence the Islington MP ahead of the publication of the Chilcot report. Corbyn has vowed to apologize in the name of his party once the inquiry results are made public, and is known to want to see heads roll for the 2003 decision…

  13. mauī 13

    So many good tweets from Neil Clark journo

    After #Chilcot Blairites & Iraq war propagandists need to be kicked out of public life & put on trial

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    . . March 31: Day six of living in lock-down… This time I managed to sleep a little longer and the alarm woke me at the pre-set time: 6.55am. Then remembered I was working a later shift and could’ve slept in. Oh well, there are things to do at home. ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    3 days ago
  • March ’20 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
    Image credit: Diamond Harbour School Blogs I notice a few regulars no longer allow public access to the site counters. This may happen accidentally when the blog format is altered. If your blog is unexpectedly missing or ...
    3 days ago
  • Hard News: Poll Pot and the partisans
    Yesterday's Horizon poll showing support for a "Yes" vote in this year's cannabis referendum sliding into the majority for the first time in a year looked like good news for reformers – and it probably is. But the result warrants some scrutiny.The poll is the fifth in a series commissioned ...
    3 days ago
  • Why those bubbles are so important
    For almost a week now, every one of us who isn’t an essential worker has been confined to their bubble. We are allowed to go shopping for groceries, to visit the doctor, and to get a bit of exercise if we stay local. The reason we are doing this is ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    3 days ago
  • A Government System That Works
    The Covid-19 saga will no doubt produce many twists and turns for us before it is finally brought to an end. But one thing it has shown us – and what comfort it should bring us – is that our country’s government is in good hands. I am not thinking ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    3 days ago
  • Smashing down the barriers: Where are we at with COVID vaccines?
    In the absence of a vaccine or a cure for a deadly disease, staying home in your bubble is what you do, the concept is not new.  To the best of my knowledge last time we did this in NZ was for polio, in the years before a vaccine came ...
    SciBlogsBy Helen Petousis Harris
    4 days ago
  • National Network on Cuba (USA): “Cuban medical solidarity is a pillar of its society and is founde...
    The following statement was released on March 28 by the National Network on Cuba, a coalition of 40 groups, based in the United States. In recent weeks, Cuba has deployed hundreds of medical providers to over a dozen countries in Europe, Asia, as well as to their neighbors in Latin ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    4 days ago
  • Alarming decrease in calves increases fears for endangered Hector’s dolphin
    This has been a terrible summer for Hector’s dolphins. The first indication was very low numbers of dolphin sightings during late spring and early summer. The Otago University Marine Mammal Research Team has carried out routine dolphin surveys at Banks Peninsula for more than 30 years. In all that time, ...
    SciBlogsBy Otago Marine Science
    4 days ago
  • Time for Grant Robertson to reveal package #2?
    On March 17, Finance Minister Grant Robertson was quick out of the blocks with an economic rescue package to help businesses through the inevitable recession resulting from the coronavirus pandemic. Robertson had pulled together a scheme in short order that so far seems to have saved many jobs. In his ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    4 days ago
  • Saving lives
    The purpose of the lockdown is to save lives, by reducing the spread of covid-19. We won't know if its really working for another week, but given the devastation that will result if it doesn't - 14,000 dead is the optimistic scenario - its definitely worth trying. But pausing the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 5
    . . March 30: Day five of living in lock-down… Woke up still in darkness. Alarm hadn’t gone off. Turn to radio clock; it’s a few minutes after 6am… I lie there in the dark, waiting to drift off to sleep… but it ain’t happening. Clock ticks over to 6.55 ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    4 days ago
  • Speaker: Les Gray: the man who told the truth
    The story of Les Gray, the public sector psychologist who told the truth about his use of cannabis and set off a storm, has a special place in the lore of cannabis reform in New Zealand.When Paul Shannon interviewed Gray for the 'Dope and Hope' issue of Planet magazine in ...
    4 days ago
  • Why now? Historical specificity and the perfect storm that has created trans identity politics
    by Phil Duncan For Marxists, a key concern about social trends is their context – not just their causes, but why they happen when they do.  Events and phenomena have causes, but they also are time or period-specific. While much of the left have capitulated recently to postmodernism, most notably ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    5 days ago
  • Time for a living wage for supermarket workers
    Since the lockdown began, we've all suddenly been reminded who the actually essential workers in our society are: not the people at the top who pay themselves the big bucks and rort the perks, but the people at the bottom they screw over and squeeze: cleaners, warehouse staff, truck drivers ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Hard News: MUSIC: Lockdown Grooves
    Kia ora! As I've watched nearly all my remaining work vanish over the past couple of days, it has occured to me that one good way to keep me away from arguing with fools on Twitter all the time (in the knowledge that all we're really doing is processing our ...
    5 days ago
  • A place of greater safety?
    Aotearoa New Zealand has committed to trying to extirpate the virus that causes COVID-19 from its shores. To do that, as a society we’ve moved to “Level 4”. That means adapting to unprecedented restrictions on our personal freedoms, particularly to our rights to move freely and associate with friends and ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    5 days ago
  • The police and public trust
    When the Prime Minister declared a state of emergency last week, she handed the police powers to enforce it. And almost immediately, we started hearing about heavy-handed, arbitrary "enforcement" by police who (at best) cared more about order than law, or (more likely) had no idea what the rules were ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 4
    . . Lock Down: Day 4 – A photo essay with observations . March 29: Usual wake up routine as RNZ snaps on my radio-clock. Jim Mora’s voice slowly enters my conciousness; there’s talk of a second wave of covid19 taking hold in South Korea; the week in Parliament – ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    5 days ago
  • COVID-19 vs New Zealand
    Yesterday, New Zealand recorded its first Covid-19 related death on the West Coast. Unfortunately this is unlikely to be the only fatality, with the virus now being found in every region of the country.However despite the significant danger, people are still unfortunately breaching lockdown rules.There’s really only one main very ...
    5 days ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #13
    Story of the Week... Toon of the Week... Coming Soon on SkS... Climate Feedback Claim Review... SkS Week in Review... Poster of the Week... Story of the Week... ‘Misinformation kills’: The link between coronavirus conspiracies and climate denial   Grist / Rob Kim / Stringer / CSA Images  Scientific ...
    5 days ago
  • Rāhui day 4
    The kids did surprisingly well today – meltdown count was about 3, and mostly fairly short ones. (And a fourth while I was writing.) Game-wise I had a go at Fell Seal: Arbiter’s Mark. It’s a fairly standard RPG with turn-based combat and what they call a “mature storyline” (it ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    6 days ago
  • Letter to a friend
    by Don Franks Hi David, Nice hearing from you, I’m glad to hear you’re getting by okay in these grim times. You asked how’s it going for us back here in New Zealand. You would have heard that the whole country is locked down and with breaks for exercise and ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    6 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 3
    . . Lock Down: Day 3 – A photo essay with observations . March 28: First day of the first weekend in Lock Down. It feels like it’s been weeks since only Level 3 was declared last Tuesday, only four days ago. Woke up this morning to RNZ; coffee; toast, ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    6 days ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #13
    A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week, i.e., Sun, Mar 22, 2020 through Sat, Mar 28, 2020 Articles Linked to on Facebook Sun, Mar 22, 2020 In Just 10 Years, Warming Has Increased the Odds of Disasters by Chelsea Harvey, ...
    6 days ago
  • Rāhui day 3
    I’m here in lockdown with my flatmate and her two girls (6 and 2) and it. is. a time. They’re usually really active so to start with the only boardgame in the house is the copy of Guess Who that the 6 year old got for her birthday. Flatmate commented ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    7 days ago
  • A test of civil society.
    The CV-19 (COVID) pandemic has seen the imposition of a government ordered national quarantine and the promulgation of a series of measures designed to spread the burden of pain and soften the economic blow on the most strategically important and most vulnerable sectors of society. The national narrative is framed ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    7 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 2
    . . Lock Down: Day 2 – A photo essay with observations . March 27 – Day 2 of our Strange New World. The Park and Ride near my suburb, usually filled with hundreds of vehicles, had just… four; . . Another drive into Wellington City on a highway nearly ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • How Do You Feel? What Do You Think?
    Fortune's Children: Under extraordinary pressure, the leader of the Government and the leader of the Opposition will each show us what they are made of. Have they been blessed with intelligence, grace, wit, poise, toughness, empathy and humour – and in what measure? More importantly, to what extent have they ...
    1 week ago
  • Landlords are NOT an essential service
    If you’ve ever had the misfortune of having to rent a property on the open market in New Zealand, which is one of the most expensive in the entire world, you’ll likely be keenly aware of just how arrogant and entitled landlords and their real estate agents can be.Unfortunately for ...
    1 week ago
  • A “new Society” post-COVID19 will definitely emerge. The question is: on what path?
    Society-wise, aside from the specific morbidity shall we say of the medically-oriented aspects of this COVID-19 crisis, what is unfolding before the world is in more than one way an instructive study of humanity and reactions to a high intensity, high stress environment in real time. Friends, we are at ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    1 week ago
  • Raise the Bar: Everything you need to know about the wage subsidy
    Right now low waged and insecure workers are feeling the economic brunt of the looming #Covid19 Recession. In response legal advocate Toby Cooper* and hospitality and worker’s rights advocate Chloe Ann-King, are putting together a series of legal blogs about your employment rights: In this legal blog we outline some ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    1 week ago
  • The massacre of prisoners in Modelo jail, Bogota, March 21
    by Equipo Jurídico Pueblos and Gearóid Ó Loingsigh (25/03/2020) An escape plan in question On the night of March 21st and the early morning of the 22nd, the forces of the Colombian state stormed into the Modelo prison in Bogotá, murdering 23 prisoners and injuring 83, in response to the ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • We are not America
    When the government banned semi-automatic weapons in response to a terrorist atrocity, gun-nuts were outraged. Mired in toxic American gun culture, they thought owning weapons whose sole purpose was killing people was some sort of "constitutional right", a necessity for "defending themselves" against the government. Now, the Court of Appeal ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • When will we know the lockdown is working?
    Just before midnight on Wednesday March 25, Aotearoa New Zealand entered a countrywide alert level four lockdown. For at least the next four weeks, everyone who isn’t an essential worker is confined to their bubble. We are doing this to stop the explosive growth in people contracting and dying from ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    1 week ago
  • Lock Down: Day 1
    . . Lock Down: Day 1 – A photo essay with observations . Day one of the Level 4 nationwide lock-down (or, DefCon 4 as I sometimes cheekily call it) started at 11.59PM on 25 March. For a moment, most of the nation held it’s collective breath. In that brief ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • A Compelling Recollection.
    Broad, Sunlit Uplands: How those words fired my young imagination! Or, perhaps, it is more accurate to say: how those words fused, in my young mind, with the image printed on every packet of Fielder’s Cornflour. Always fascinated by history, especially modern history, I cannot hear Churchill’s wonderfully evocative words, even ...
    1 week ago
  • The Warehouse – where everyone gets a virus
    . . 24 March 2020 9.46AM Number of covid19 cases in Aotearoa New Zealand: 102 . As of 11.59 on Thursday, most of New Zealand will go into “lock down”. People will be expected not to travel to work; not to socialise; and to stay home. I will not be ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • Aggressive action to address climate change could save the world $145 trillion
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections A respected research group, Project Drawdown, finds that deploying solutions consistent with meeting the Paris climate targets would cost tens of trillions of dollars globally. But crucially, those outlays would also yield long-term savings many times larger than the up-front costs. The new 2020 Drawdown ...
    1 week ago
  • After the Pandemic
    It will pass. What happens next? Not immediately, but longer term. There are many opinions, fewer certainties. Will it “change everything!” as many confidently, and contradictorily predict? In this post I look at how foresight can help bound some of the uncertainties so you can more objectively consider the future. ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    1 week ago
  • Coronavirus – Cuba shows the way
    We’ve been meaning t write something on Cuba and the coronavirus but have just discovered a very good article on the subject in the US left publication Jacobin.  The article looks at how Cuba, a poor country but one where capitalism has been done away with, is leading the way ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Using privacy law to prevent the death penalty
    In 2018, El Shafee Elsheikh and Alexanda Kotey - two British citizens who had purportedly been stripped of their citizenship by the British government - were captured while fighting for Isis in Syria. The British government then conspired to hand them over to the US, and agreed to provide evidence ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • It’s Time For Disaster Socialism.
    Transformers: The disaster of the Great Depression was transformed into a new and fairer society by the democratic socialism of the First Labour Government. The disaster of the Covid-19 Pandemic offers a similar transformative possibility to the Labour-NZ First-Green Government. Seize the time, Jacinda! You will never have a better ...
    1 week ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #12, 2020
    Tamper with The System? Well, we already are. But there's a difference between accidentally trickling sand into a precision gearbox versus formulating a plan to alter it on the fly with improvements in mind. One action is more or less innocently unscrupulous, the other amenable to earning an easy ...
    1 week ago
  • Avoidable hospitalisations: Helping our health system get through COVID-19
    Associate Prof George Thomson, Louise Delany, Prof Nick Wilson While it is possible that New Zealand can use intense public health controls to eradicate COVID-19 from the country – we must also plan for other scenarios where thousands of New Zealanders are sick – including many urgently hospitalised.1 Better resilience ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • Raise the Bar: 10 questions to ask your employer proposing redundancy
    Kia ora my name is Chloe Ann-King* and I am the founder of Raise the Bar, a campaign and non-profit that gives free legal aid, advocacy and tautoko to hospitality workers in Aotearoa. Right now all over our country hospo workers are being fired at will, having shifts cut or being ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    1 week ago
  • An equitable way to support business
    The Herald reports that the government is planning to lend billions of dollars to large businesses to keep them operating during the pandemic. As with mortgage relief, this is necessary: we need companies to stay in business, to reduce the economic damage and help things get restarted again when this ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Hard News: Together Alone
    We're about to do something unprecedented as a nation. We hope that by taking this extraordinary action before a single life in New Zealand has been lost to the deadly novel virus we will save tens of thousands of lives. Our  lives. We'll do it together, in households, in isolation ...
    1 week ago
  • Why timing is everything: ‘A time to refrain from embracing’ starts today
    “There is a time for everything,    and a season for every activity under the heavens.”So writes the author of Ecclesiastes, a book in the Old Testament that’s counted as a ‘wisdom’ book and written as if by an unnamed king of Jerusalem. But who would have thought there would be a time ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    1 week ago

  • Further measures to support businesses
    The Government will be introducing legislation to make changes to the Companies Act to help companies facing insolvency due to COVID-19 to remain viable and keep New Zealanders in jobs. The temporary changes include: Giving directors of companies facing significant liquidity problems because of COVID-19 a ‘safe harbour’ from insolvency ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    22 hours ago
  • Govt’s COVID plan, economic strength recognised
    The Government’s plan to cushion the blow of COVID-19 by supporting incomes, jobs and businesses, and position the economy to recover has been backed by another international report. International credit rating agency Moody’s today reaffirmed its highest Aaa credit rating on New Zealand, saying the economy is expected to remain ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Funding certainty for sports through COVID-19
    National sports organisations have been given certainty of funding to ensure they can remain viable through the COVID-19 pandemic, Sport and Recreation Minister Grant Robertson announced today. “The global spread of COVID-19 has had a significant impact on sport and recreation in New Zealand, including the cancellation or postponement of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Butchers now allowed to process pork
    Changes have been made to allow butchers to process pork, only for supply to supermarkets or other processors or retailers that are open, Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor has announced. “We carefully weighed the risk of allowing butchers to open their shops for retail customers, but the risk of spreading COVID-19 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Essential workers leave scheme established
    Essential workers who take leave from work to comply with public health guidance are being supported with a leave scheme to ensure they will continue to receive income, say the Minister of Workplace Relations and Safety Iain Lees-Galloway and Minister for Social Development, Carmel Sepuloni. A number of essential businesses ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Govt WhatsApp helps share COVID-19 information
    A Government WhatsApp channel has been launched to help make information more easily accessible and shareable in the fight against COVID-19. Govt.NZ, which is free to use on any mobile device, will carry information and news for the public, businesses, healthcare providers, not for profits and local government. It can ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Managed departure plan for stranded foreign nationals enables safe, orderly exit
    The Government has announced a plan to enable the safe, orderly exit of tens of thousands of stranded foreign nationals from New Zealand during the current COVID-19 Alert Level 4 restrictions, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Winston Peters has said. “When we moved into lockdown a week ago, the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government delivers COVID-19 support to GPs and Pharmacies
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says the Government is delivering on its commitment to support general practice doctors and nurses, and pharmacies on the front-line of our fight against COVID-19. "For us to overcome COVID-19, we need community health services such as general practice and community pharmacy to step up ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Susan Thomas the new Chief High Court Judge
    Justice Susan Thomas has been appointed Chief High Court Judge, Attorney-General David Parker announced today.  She replaces Justice Geoffrey Venning who has resigned from the position.   David Parker paid tribute to Justice Venning, who he said had stewarded the High Court very capably over the last five years.   “On behalf ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Business Finance Guarantee – applications open
    Businesses can start applying to their banks for loans under the Business Finance Guarantee Scheme set up to support the New Zealand economy during the COVID-19 pandemic. “We’re moving quickly to protect New Zealand businesses, jobs and the economy during this unprecedented global economic shock,” Finance Minister Grant Robertson said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Work starts on ways to fast-track consents to boost recovery from Covid-19 downturn
    Work is underway looking at measures to speed up consents for development and infrastructure projects during the recovery from COVID 19, to provide jobs and stimulate our economy.  Environment Minister David Parker said the COVID-19 pandemic is a serious global crisis that will have a wide ranging and lasting impact ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Advance payments to support contractors
    Advance payments will be made to transport construction industry contractors to retain the workforce and ensure it is ready to quickly gear up to build projects which will be vital to New Zealand’s COVID-19 economic recovery, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. He said keeping the workforce required to build ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government seeks infrastructure projects
    The Government has tasked a group of industry leaders to seek out infrastructure projects that are ready to start as soon as the construction industry returns to normal to reduce the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford and Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones say. The Infrastructure ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Health system scaled up to prepare for COVID-19
    Work to scale up the health system in preparation for COVID-19 was today outlined by Health Minister David Clark, as he reported back to the new Epidemic Response Committee. “We are well placed to contain the spread of COVID-19. We have taken early and decisive action at our borders, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Essential media COVID-19 guidelines refined
    The Government is refining its COVID-19 essential business guidance to include the distribution of news publications for communities which are hard to reach. The Minister of Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media, Kris Faafoi, said the move was in recognition of the importance for New Zealanders who might be harder to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Supermarkets able to open on Easter Sunday
    The Government is ensuring supermarkets can open on Easter Sunday so we can buy groceries, but stay closed on Good Friday allowing workers to take a break. This provides a balanced approach and ensures we avoid large queues that two days closure may cause. “Supermarkets will be able to open ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New Zealand defence personnel conclude mission at Taji
    Following the successful conclusion of the Building Partner Capacity (BPC) mission at Taji, New Zealand defence personnel are returning to New Zealand from Iraq, in accordance with the Cabinet decision made in June 2019, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters and Defence Minister Ron Mark announced today. “New Zealand is very ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • State of National Emergency extended
    The State of National Emergency to help stop the spread of COVID-19 has been extended for a further seven days, Minister of Civil Defence Peeni Henare said. The initial declaration on March 25 lasted seven days and can be extended as many times as necessary. “Since we went into isolation ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Strong Govt books support ‘go hard, go early’ response
    New Zealand’s ability to go hard and go early in the fight against COVID-19 has been underpinned by strong Government finances and the growing economy heading into this global pandemic, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. The Treasury today released the Crown financial statements for the eight months to the end ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Christchurch Hospital Hagley ICU to open to support COVID-19 response
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says 36 new intensive care beds at Christchurch Hospital’s new Hagley building are being fast tracked so they are available for treatment of COVID-19 patients.   The Ministry of Health is working with contractor CPB and Canterbury DHB to enable access to the hospital’s ICU, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government supports Air NZ freight flights
    The Government has fast-tracked up to $1 million to help Air New Zealand move urgent freight to and from New Zealand, with the first flight to Shanghai leaving tonight, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. Phil Twyford says it’s crucial that trade in vital goods such as medical supplies and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Tariff concessions on COVID-19 related products
    New Zealand will temporarily remove tariffs on all medical and hygiene imports needed for the COVID-19 response. Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker and Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Kris Faafoi said today that the New Zealand Customs Service will apply tariff concessions to all diagnostic reagents and testing ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Clarification of modification to wage subsidy scheme
    Minister of Finance Grant Robertson has clarified that the changes to the wage subsidy scheme announced yesterday mean that employers should be passing on the full subsidy to workers, except in the case where the person’s normal income is less than the level of the subsidy. “We still want employers ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Face masks flowing to DHBs
    Medical face masks from the national reserve supply are now being distributed to District Health Boards, while at the same time local production is being ramped up. Yesterday more than 640,000 masks were sent to DHBS – that is an immediate two week supply, with more to follow in coming ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • COVID-19: Further steps to protect New Zealanders’ jobs
    The Government has made modifications to the wage subsidy scheme to ensure people don’t lose their jobs during the national lockdown. These changes will soften the impact of COVID-19 on workers, families and businesses, and position them to exit the lockdown and look to recovery, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Tax relief for Mycoplasma Bovis farmers
    Farmers whose herds were culled in response to the outbreak of Mycoplasma bovis will be able to minimise the tax treatment of their income in some circumstances. Revenue Minister Stuart Nash says Cabinet has agreed to change the law. It means farmers may be eligible to spread their income over ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • $27 million for NGOs and community groups to continue providing essential services
    A $27 million dollar package, effective immediately, is being provided to social sector services and community groups to ensure they can continue to provide essential support to communities as we stay at home as a nation to stop the spread of COVID-19, Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni announced. “At ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Statement on guilty plea of March 15 terrorist
    “The guilty plea today will provide some relief to the many people whose lives were shattered by what happened on March 15,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said. “These guilty pleas and conviction bring accountability for what happened and also save the families who lost loved ones, those who were injured, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • COVID-19 updates
    The Prime Minister is holding daily press conferences to update New Zealanders on the Government's response to COVID-19. Links to videos and transcripts of these updates below. These transcripts also include All of Government press conferences led by Director Ministry of Health's Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield. 25 March: Live update from the Prime ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Police numbers break through 10,000 mark
    Frontline Police numbers have broken through the 10,000 mark for the first time in history as officers step forward to keep the community safe during the COVID19 lockdown. “Two Police graduations in Auckland and Wellington in the past week have been conducted in unprecedented circumstances,” Police Minister Stuart Nash said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Urgent tax measures for economic recovery
    Urgent legislation has been passed to support the package of economic and social measures needed to recover from the impact of the coronavirus outbreak. “The COVID-19 Response (Taxation and Social Assistance Urgent Measures) Bill will cushion New Zealanders from the worst economic impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak,” said Revenue Minister ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Further support for farmers and growers as drought persists
    From tomorrow, Government support for farmers and growers affected by drought will be expanded and extended across the country, with access to Rural Assistance Payments (RAPS) available throughout the North Island, parts of the South Island and the Chatham Islands, Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni announced. “These challenging conditions have ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • COVID-19: Temporary changes to Education Act
    Parliament has passed amendments to legislation that give the Secretary of Education stronger powers to act in the fight to limit the spread of COVID-19, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “They are part of a suite of changes passed under the COVID-19 Response (Urgent Management Measures) Legislation Bill,” Chris ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Canada, Australia, Chile, Brunei and Myanmar join NZ and Singapore in committing to keeping supply a...
    Canada, Australia, Chile, Brunei and Myanmar have joined forces with New Zealand and Singapore by committing to keep supply chains open and remove any existing trade restrictive measures on essential goods, especially medical supplies, in the face of the Covid-19 crisis.  Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker today welcomed ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • COVID-19: Rent increase freeze and more protection for tenants
    Immediate freeze on rent increases Tenancies will not be terminated during the lock-down period, unless the parties agree, or in limited circumstances Tenants who had previously given notice can stay in their if they need to stay in the tenancy during the lock-down period Tenants will still be able to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Working together to protect businesses and workers
    As New Zealand unites to lock-down in the fight against COVID-19, the Finance Minister is urging all businesses and workers to stay connected over the next four weeks. “We understand the extreme pressure many businesses are under right now. I know most business owners think of their workers as family ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
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  • State of National Emergency declared to fight COVID-19
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    Mr Speaker I wish to make a Ministerial Statement under Standing Order 347 in relation to the recent declaration of a State of National Emergency. Having considered the advice of the Director Civil Defence Emergency Management, the Minister of Civil Defence declared a State of National Emergency for the whole of ...
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