Children bigger than politics

Written By: - Date published: 7:21 am, November 8th, 2010 - 29 comments
Categories: dpf, education, national - Tags: ,

Shame on those who put politics above the well-being of children.

Pity those who wallow so intensively in the mud of politics that they are unable to see any issue in other than political terms.

Shame and pity on those, like National’s pet blogger DPF, who are prepared to advocate a system likely to damage children because all they can see is politics. They can’t see the evidence. They can’t see the children. Only the game.

DPF’s record on the national standards debate has been disgusting. In August he wrote:

This is hilarious. Do you know why? The NZPF [New Zealand Principals Federation] is refusing to actually detail their concerns about the standards. They keep saying they are flawed, but have declined every request to detail how exactly they are flawed. They say they will not detail the flaws, unless the Government agrees in advance to suspend the standards.

As I replied at the time, this was utter bullshit. NZPF’s concerns were plastered all over their website, e.g.:

TWENTY FUNDAMENTAL FLAWS IN THE NATIONAL STANDARDS POLICY
W. B. Elley, May 2010

1. The National Standards policy assumes ‘One Size Fits All’. But our children vary enormously in backgrounds, interests, needs and abilities. They learn best if their teaching is pitched just above their present level. Each child should work to his/her own standard.

2. The Standards have been hastily prepared by committees, and untested for difficulty or intelligibility. They may well prove to be too hard, or too easy for the majority of children. … etc …

We didn’t hear any more of that particular line of nonsense out of DPF. But now he has another just as puerile, trying to portray the massive opposition to national standards as a Labour / union driven political campaign. For this he relies on documents produced by another blogger (a known forger of evidence) and speculation that a Board of Trustees chairwoman (Jane Forrest) must be the same person as someone with a similar name who was an activist 14 years ago. Yes — really.

Two things. First, you know the Nats have lost the debate when all they have left is shooting the messenger. From Tolley on down to the grubby little bloggers the Nats have nothing, no evidence, no reasoned argument, nothing except union-bashing hysteria. And second, let’s grant that it’s all true. Some of those active in the revolt against standards are unionists and even (teh horrorz!) members of the Labour Party. Now — so what? Are they are automatically wrong? Are they automatically barred from having an opinion? Teacher unionist: “We should rescue the children about to be run over by the bus!”. DPF: “It’s all a union political campaign!”.

Let’s remember where all this started. With warnings from the government’s own education advisor Professor John Hattie:

Prime Minister John Key has credited Hattie, a highly influential education expert who is often called in to advise officials on education matters, with inspiring the system. But today Hattie is going public with a critical discussion paper – which he says is a to-do list rather than an attack on the system. The paper warns that although the national standards system could be a “wonderful opportunity” it:

Could be the most disastrous education policy ever formulated.

Will only barely raise student achievement, if at all.

Could “pervert the nature of teaching” by pitting schools and teachers against one another.

Hattie also writes that the standards themselves – the targets students will be measured against – are “untested and experimental” and need to be drawn up based on evidence, not committees.

Is the government’s own educational advisor a credible source? Yes. Is the government’s own educational advisor running a union campaign? No. And it is his advice (and other experts emphasising the potential for national standards to harm children) that lead to the widespread schools’ rebellion. Are the schools refusing to participate in standards (early list here) all from Labour electorates? No. They are from the length and breadth of New Zealand. They aren’t running a union political campaign, they are standing up for children.

Summing up. The government’s own education advisor says that national standards could be the most disastrous education policy ever formulated. When the government refuses to test the standards and drives schools and the boards of trustees representing parents to eventually oppose them, National and their lapdogs do not engage with the evidence or the professional debate. Because they can’t. All they can do is threaten schools and look for ways to attack the messenger. It is an utterly shameful abdication of responsibility to the worst kind of “win at all costs” aggression. They are quite prepared to damage our children for the sake of the political game.

29 comments on “Children bigger than politics”

  1. I find it interesting that Farrar and Whaleoil are running a scene from a 15 year old documentary as their evidence of Forrest’s political views.

    They clearly didn’t go trawling through every piece of material including old documentaries searching for dirt on Forrest and co themselves. Only the nat research unit has that kind of resourcing.

    The irony in saying that anyone with political views can’t legitimately express a view on a political issue is that Farrar and Whale are the first to be delegitimised by that logic.

    Of course, what it’s really about is bullying and intimidating anyone who speaks up against the Government: ‘keep quiet or we’ll drag your name through the muck’. Good to see the msm isn’t buying it so far.

    • burt 1.1

      I find it interesting that Labour are running policy from the 1800’s – but hey that’s politics.

      • Draco T Bastard 1.1.1

        Burt, It’s National that’s trying to run a policy from the 1800s. Labour, and pretty much everyone else, is trying to keep the policy that developed over the last few decades and which happens to actually work.

      • bbfloyd 1.1.2

        don’t know why you bother burt… it’s just the same tired old partisan drivel every time you sit at your keyboard.. i hope you get a thrill from doing this… cause it would be totally pointless otherwise..

  2. jcuknz 2

    Perhaps you should note the difference between ‘could’ and ‘will’.
    Sounds like an academic putting a bet on both ways to me and of course those who don’t like the idea pick up on it and trumpet it for all they are worth, even though the comment is worthless …. amusing really.

    • Colonial Viper 2.1

      Except academics are usually extremely conservative with their language. The fact that Hattie chose the words he did shows an extreme level of concern around child education risks and outcomes. Hattie is not going to use the word “will” because he is a researcher aware of probabilities not a fortune teller.

      even though the comment is worthless …. amusing really.

      In addition to bagging the Government’s own top advisor, why don’t you leave the discussion around this to people who take child education seriously.

    • Ari 2.2

      Academics hedging their bets talk about probabilities and difficulties, they don’t fiercely criticise the implementation of policies they were passionate advocates for.

      Try again.

    • bbfloyd 2.3

      j.c..Worthless… bit like your comment really.. but not amusing.

  3. So that is two out of 240 schools where an attempt at a smear has been made. What is the bet that the other 238’s boards of trustees are having their personal details googled in search of incriminating evidence of (gasp) left wing action.

    This really is disgusting behaviour and we see it time and time again where the messenger is attacked and not the policy.

    • Roflcopter 3.1

      At least they aren’t sending people over to Australia to trawl through boxes of paper.

      • mickysavage 3.1.1

        Does this mean R that you think that Farrar and Whaleoil are out of line too?

      • Zaphod Beeblebrox 3.1.2

        Good to see you are on board. The H fee stuff was ordinary.

        Seriously though, is it me or are we developing a public nastiness and petty vindictiveness at the moment. If someone opposes you you leak information about people which unleashes a hidden moral outrage. Then someone rom the government makes a snide talking point (in the general of course) to keep the debate going.

        You saw it in the 2008 Presidential election against Obama who came out and used it to hurt the accuser. These people don’t give rats about policy and good decision making they are only interested in power and influence. If we let it occur unchallenged NZ is going to be in a pretty poor place in a couple of years.

  4. ianmac 4

    I think that it is probable of the 240+ BOTs, that at least half would be chaired by and/or populated by members or supporters of the National Party. Perhaps DPF could go digging into the National background of some of the more outspoken ones? (Or does it mean that only Labour supporters are interested in Education?)

    • Zaphod Beeblebrox 4.1

      Why does everybody in this country have to run around with a red, blue or green sticker?

      • grumpy 4.1.1

        Good point, also, if 90% of schools have no trouble implementing National Standards, why are we even discussing the 10% dissenters..

        Not many issues get 90% support.

        • ianmac 4.1.1.1

          We do know that 12% of BOTs have gone public.
          We do know that the bulk of schools are very concerned about the down side of NS.
          Please tell me who the 90% are Grumpy.
          (I do know that the 11 schools in our area are not joining the boycott, but their press statement say that they are very concerned about the process and that the lack of credible research give flawed results.)

        • Colonial Viper 4.1.1.2

          12% of the NZ workforce walking off the job would be 300,000 people downing tools, downing pens, downing mice.

          That’s frakin up there.

      • Crumble 4.1.2

        I agree Zaphod with your general idea here. National Standards, as the stand right now, are not good educational policy. This is the outcome of a number of studies and is an evidence based decision.

        The issue of National Standards has become a political one and is very quickly moving away from the real issue. Is the govt’s policy of National Standards a good education policy? The answer for me, the 240 BOTs, and a ever increasing number of teachers and parents is no.

      • Vicky32 4.1.3

        So Jan and Trev Average can tell who to support and who to denigrate?
        Deb

  5. Zaphod Beeblebrox 5

    Grumpy. Don’t know about the 90% bit- most parents I spoke to were not that impressed with the new school reports (your child is yes, no or maybe- with no context or analysis). But I do agree we don’t need our schools to be turned into a mini- parliamentary debating chamber. The appropriate place to air dissatisfaction with govt policy is the ballot box not the School Board meeting. This sort of stuff just diverts attention and gets Tolley off the hook.

    • grumpy 5.1

      If the Trustees are indeed boycotting National Standards without authority from parents, then School Board meetings are a good place to start.

      It will be interesting to find out the real situation when Boards reply to the Min of Ed’s survey.

  6. ianmac 6

    Zaphod : “The appropriate place to air dissatisfaction with govt policy is the ballot box not the School Board meeting.”
    Catch is that the hurry of implementation puts the issue in the “now.” In due course sure ballot box for BOT elections or General Election. And yes making it a political debate is unhelpful to kids.

    • Colonial Viper 6.1

      I tend to believe that its not a real democracy if you have 2.9 years of dictatorship with a month or two of democratic activity and a vote inbetween times.

      • grumpy 6.1.1

        How about 9 years?

        • Craig Glen Eden 6.1.1.1

          Yeah, I agree nine years of National was terrible aye? May it never happen again in my life time.

      • TightyRighty 6.1.2

        what would be a real democracy then CV? constant peer and social review against a particular set of benchmarks, with politicians removed from office for failing to meet these?

        • Colonial Viper 6.1.2.1

          I’d take the focus off politicians for a moment, away from the Few and on to the Many. Give the Many the information, forums, news, democratic levers to act on and use over a wide range of issues. Ensure that everyone can participate in democratic debate and that democratic principles are utilised in business life as well as in Government.

          Your ideas of peer and social review of Government and politician performance would fit well inside this framework.

  7. My children go to one of the 90% of schools that have implemented National Standards and I do not believe this experiment will last long. I do see parents at our school slowly coalescing into a strident opposition to this foolishness. This policy has a history of failure on an international scale. It is not about improving the learning performance of struggling school children as much as it is another tool with which the well-to-do can abuse lower decile public schools.

    As far as I can tell the only benefit this program will provide is statistics ‘proving’ well resourced, state subsidised, private schools perform better than resource starved lower decile public schools. These ‘statistics’ can then be used to provide a foundation for implementing future policy which rewards ‘success’ and punishes ‘failure’.

    There can be no doubt the social catastrophe the Key regime is currently overseeing will create a steady stream of lower decile school ‘failures’ and -although these kids are suffering from a variety of environmental deprivations outside of the education system- this will be promoted as the rationale for increasing subsidies for the private school system at the expense of the already struggling public sector.

    People like DPF and Matthew Hooten are worth watching because they seem to be the harbingers of National/Act party policy intent. As ugly as they are, they must be listened to carefully. At the moment both seem to be sounding a little desperate in their support for the National Standards fiasco. It appears the National party is prepared to go down with this ship and I think Matthew Hooten and DPF are getting sea sick. Although they both want to see the Key regime attend to the peculiar interests of their core support network, they also understand that that effort could easily cost them the next election.

Links to post

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Simon Bridges: the 15 March Christchurch massacre and winning at any cost
    . . Just when you thought Simon Bridges couldn’t sink any lower – he has. After the March 15th  Christchurch terror attack, the (current) Leader of the National Party issued strong committments to support urgently needed gun law reform; “We will be ready and prepared to be constructive and to ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    8 hours ago
  • Only the least intelligent students, with bad parents, will attend the nonsense climate strike
    We all know that bad parents simply don’t care about their children’s education. Most truants have loser parents, and grow up to be involved with crime, or in low paid employment usually like their parents. The nonsense so-called “climate strike” coming up will be attended mostly by the least intelligent ...
    An average kiwiBy admin@averagekiwi.com
    18 hours ago
  • Professional Internet Trolls being used to push manmade climate change lies
    Is the terrorist Organisation Greenpeace and the loony Green parties around the World hiring professional internet trolls? I have noticed a trend lately where if you post research, news articles or even comments that show the manmade climate change scam to be just that, you are immediately attacked, often within ...
    An average kiwiBy admin@averagekiwi.com
    18 hours ago
  • Climate Change: Strike!
    Today is the first day of the global climate strike. Led by schoolkids, people all around the world are going to protest to demand action on climate change. New Zealand isn't doing it till next Friday (join us!), but if you want to get active early, there's plenty to do ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • Climate Change: Squandering our opportunity?
    The Herald has a story today about the 400 MW of wind power currently under construction. Good news, right? Except that none of it is being driven by policy (instead, its about replacing Contact Energy's Taranaki Combined Cycle gas-fired power plant, due to shut down in 2022), and most of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • Protect The King!
    To Protect and Serve: When the Prime Minister finds herself enmeshed in the coils of a full-blown political scandal, her colleagues and party comrades have only one priority: to release her as swiftly – and with as little lasting injury – as possible. Is this what Jacinda Ardern’s colleagues and ...
    1 day ago
  • The rot at the top.
    When military leaders cover up and lie to elected civilian authorities, the foundation of democratic civil-military relations is undermined because it is those authorities who are entrusted to hold the military accountable to the public that they mutually serve. But this is only true if civilian political authorities take their ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 day ago
  • Challenging the voting age in court
    The Make It 16 campaign to lower the voting age is launching this afternoon, and they have already announced plans to challenge the law in court:The campaign, named "Make it 16" will launch at Parliament on Friday, with plans to take their case to the High Court, testing the rights ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • Israel’s elections herald a long siesta
    by Daphna Whitmore The long years of Netanyahu’s reign are drawing to an end. For years he has epitomized reactionary zionism as he oversaw hundreds of thousands of Jewish settlers seize land in the West Bank. There are now 700,000 settlers, putting an end to the myth that Israel was ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 day ago
  • Petrol companies promise prices will come back down once peace is restored to the Middle East
    BP, Z and Mobil all insist that petrol price hikes are temporary, “in a very literal sense.” The nation’s major petrol providers are trying to allay customer fears over prices, promising that they’ll move to lower them again “immediately” when the Middle East is returned to its formerly peaceful state. ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 days ago
  • All Blacks unveil boat for Rugby World Cup 2019
    South African coach Rassie Erasmus says he has no idea what they’re going to do about the boat. In a highly anticipated press conference this afternoon, All Blacks coach Steve Hansen has finally unveiled the team’s boat for its Rugby World Cup 2019 campaign. In a press conference that went ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 days ago
  • An increasingly shoddy coverup
    The Operation Burnham inquiry continued to question senior NZDF staff today, and their shoddy coverup over their knowledge of civilian casualties continue to fall apart. If you recall, first, we were asked to believe that it was all a series of "mistakes and errors": a senior officer with multiple degrees ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • If we are to avoid making the earth uninhabitable, we need to rapidly decarbonise our civilisation, and cut emissions to zero as quickly as possible. This seems like an impossible task, but its not. Pushing hard on a few technologies and trends will let us halve emissions in a decade:Greenhouse ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • A further attack on transparency
    The Local Government Act 2002 Amendment Bill (No 2) had part of its committee stage yesterday. its a generally tedious bill about the nitty-gritty of local government reorganisation. But it includes a clause making the Local Government Commission subject to the Ombudsmen Act, and hence the OIA. Great! Except of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Ihumātao and Treaty settlements
    Yesterday Ihumātao's mana whenua reached a consensus that they would like their land back, and asked the government to negotiate with Fletcher's for its return. The government's response? Try and undermine that consensus, while talking about how doing anything would undermine existing Treaty settlements. The first is just more bad ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Protecting our history
    Its Suffrage Day, the 126th anniversary of women winning the right to vote (but not stand in elections) in New Zealand. And to celebrate, the government has bought Kate Sheppard's house in Christchurch:The government has bought Kate Sheppard's former home in Christchurch for more than $4 million. The Ilam villa ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Climate Change: Ostracising the coal-burners
    The UN climate summit is happening in new York next week, and unlike previous years, coal-burners and denier-states are not being invited to speak:Leading economies such as Japan and Australia will not be invited to speak at next week’s crunch UN climate change summit, as their continued support for coal ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Jojo Tamihere Salutes Herr Goff.
    Get Back Jojo! The elation in Mayor Phil Goff’s camp may be easily imagined as they watched social media light up in indignation at challenger John Tamihere’s "Sieg Heil to that" quip. Just when JT’s notoriously right-wing, sexist and homophobic stains were beginning to fade back into his ‘colourful’ past, ...
    2 days ago
  • Hard News: A fun but flawed weed documentary
    Patrick Gower is good value when he's high. Not that I've ever, you know, got stoned with him. But in the second part of his documentary Patrick Gower on Weed, he does what you'd expect in a modern weed documentary and immerses himself – first with a doctor, then a ...
    3 days ago
  • Candidate Survey: Western Bay of Plenty – Local Body Elections 2019
    We surveyed candidates on their attitudes to issues facing the Western Bay Region, find out what they think: “Closing the Gap” Tauranga, one of the area groups of Income Equality Aotearoa NZ Inc., has surveyed all candidates in the three local body elections to discover attitudes to some basic issues ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    3 days ago
  • Project Nettie calls on scientists to defend biology
    Please spread widely, and sign, to support science and rationalism over the new irrationalism sweeping universities and institutions.  PROJECT NETTIE Sexual reproduction, the generation of offspring by fusion of genetic material from two different individuals, evolved over 1 billion years ago. It is the reproductive strategy of all higher animals ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    3 days ago
  • I’m glad I don’t live in Auckland
    Just when I was thinking that Palmerston North's mayoral race (which includes a convicted child molester / public wanker and a convicted child beater) was the worst in the country, Auckland mayoral candidate John Tamihere opened his mouth:Auckland mayoral candidate John Tamihere is being slammed for using the words "sieg ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Index of Power Update, 2018-19: China #2
    We reprint below an article from the excellent website the Economics of Imperialism by Tony Norfield This is an update of the statistics for my Index of Power, using data for 2018-19 and discussing what a country’s ranking reflects. The major change is that China’s rank has shifted up and ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    3 days ago
  • Climate Change: A history lesson
    Why is New Zealand climate change policy so crap? The Herald this morning has a long article on the twists and turns of climate change policy in New Zealand [paywalled / depaywall script], which shows where we've been. The short version is that the government first began worrying about this ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • What the All Blacks Mean to Us
    The All Blacks have been, for more than a century, arguably the most successful International sports team in the world. But they are more than that; even for those Kiwis who are immune to the charms of rugby (and there are more than a few), the All Blacks are ambassadors ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    3 days ago
  • No one is born into the wrong body
    A short and incredibly powerful speech from a young lesbian woman. No one is born in the wrong body. ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    4 days ago
  • Contempt
    Back in June, the UK Court of Appeal ruled that that country's continued arms sales to Saudi Arabia were unlawful. So you'd expect that the UK government stopped approving them, right?Of course not:The government has apologised for breaching a court ruling against the sale of weapons to Saudi Arabia that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Covering up the cover-up
    Yesterday NZDF officials were put on the stand about the lies they had told over Operation Burnham, making implausible claims that it was all a big mistake. But along the way, we learned they had already been put on the spot about it by a previous Defence Minister, who had ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Not as important as they think they are
    Farmers have been whining a lot lately, about the methane targets in the Zero Carbon Bill, about Canterbury's proposed nitrogen limits, and about the government's new proposals to stop them from shitting in our lakes and rivers. These policies are "throwing farmers under the tractor", they will force farmers off ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Behind Every Good Woman Should Stand – Another Good Woman.
    Alone, Alone, All, All, Alone: To argue that the Prime Minister is the victim of her advisers’ failure to keep her informed may offer Jacinda some measure of exoneration – but only at the cost of casting her as a hopeless political ingénue. A star-dusted muppet, whose only purpose is to ...
    4 days ago
  • Poor quality, poorly educated kiddie ‘Journalists’ spreading fake news
    In times of hysteria about the “World coming to an end” and “rising sea levels” so-called ‘Journalists’ who can barely spell words longer than four letters are having a ball! Though the majority of the Public have worked out that manmade climate change is nothing short of pseudo-science, and the ...
    An average kiwiBy admin@averagekiwi.com
    4 days ago
  • Chris Trotter on the BFD
    I don't want to give pblicity to certain parts of the internet that are better left to fester in their own irrelevance (I know, a bit like this place) but the listing of Chris Trotter as a 'author' on Cameron Slater's spinoff website, the BFD requires some explanation.Now, I don't ...
    5 days ago
  • Sex is not a spectrum
    The text below is a Twitter thread by Heather Heying that explains the essence of sexual reproduction and it long evolutionary history. She is an evolutionary biologist and a “professor-in-exile” after she and her husband, Bret Weinstein, stood up to supporters of an enforced “Day of Absence” for white staff and teachers ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    5 days ago
  • Climate Change: Trees, aviation, and offsets
    With crunch time for new Zealand climate policy approaching, most of the New Zealand media have got on board with a global reporting effort to cover the issue. There's one strand of stories today about polling and what it shows about changing public attitudes to the crisis, but the strand ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Pissing-Off The Israelis Is A High-Risk Strategy.
    Dangerous Foes: For those readers of Bowalley Road who feel disposed to dismiss any prospect of an Israeli destabilisation of New Zealand politics, the example of the United Kingdom repays close attention. Ever since the election of Jeremy Corbyn as leader of the British Labour Party, the Israelis have sanctioned, funded and ...
    5 days ago
  • Something to go to in Wellington
    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
    5 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
    5 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
    5 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
    6 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 ...
    6 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
    7 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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 ...
    2 weeks ago

No feed items found.