Choosing to be poor

Written By: - Date published: 7:32 am, May 24th, 2011 - 24 comments
Categories: class war, economy, jobs, poverty, Unions, wages - Tags: , ,

The Herald reports some interesting comments made by prominent scientist, Sir Paul Callaghan:

Kiwis choose to be poor, laments top scientist

Kiwis are poor because they choose to be, says Sir Paul Callaghan, one of the country’s top scientists. This assertion was part of a series of attacks he has directed at the Government’s plans to develop the economy.

“The choice is as simple and as stark as this: New Zealanders like to work in low-wage activities. Tourism is a classic example. Or people thinking about growing wine and look it’s great, it’s a nice lifestyle, but frankly, the revenue per job is poor,” he said. …

However, Callaghan said the Government did not seem interested in boosting technology and innovation. “There is no political leadership around this. One of the sad things about the Budget is the signal the Government sends about innovation is that it’s actually one of Bill English’s like-to-haves, not a must-have. I’m not expecting us to ramp it up to OECD levels overnight in a time like this, but [the Budget] doesn’t gel with a Government that says ‘we want to lift per capita GDP’,” he said. …

Unsurprisingly, I agree with Callaghan’s assessment of the useless political leadership that we currently “enjoy”. The Nats are cutting everything, investing in nothing, and still expect some pixie-dust fuelled growth explosion to magically occur. It’s a cycle way to nowhere.

But what of the assertion that we’re choosing to be poor? Choosing to work in low wage activities such as tourism? Matter of fact I agree again. We do choose to be poor. But I suspect that Callaghan and I have very different reasons. The problem is not that we’re choosing to work in the “wrong” activities – what’s wrong with tourism? The problem is that our expectations are too low. We choose to be poor because we accept low wages.

Case in point, unions. Unions exist to take care of the ordinary worker. Most unionised workers are still getting pay rises, while most non unionised workers are not. And yet the rate of union membership in the workforce as a whole is less than 20% and falling. People, you’re choosing to be poor.

On a larger scale, governments. Left wing governments exist to take care of the ordinary people. Under Labour unemployment fell, wages (especially minimum wages) rose, and the gap between rich and poor began to narrow for the first time in decades. Children were being lifted out of poverty. The gender pay gap was narrowing. Health inequalities were narrowing. But in 2008 we vacuously decided, nah, it’s time for a change. And now the indicators are getting worse again. Voting for right wing governments? That’s just choosing to be poor.

On a cultural scale, bread and circuses. We are well managed and distracted by infotainment and advertising, conditioned to accept our lot. The “American Dream” has it that we should none of us worry about poverty, because all of us have the opportunity to strike it rich one day. What nonsense. There isn’t much social mobility about, even less as inequality systematically rises. Grinding your life away for nothing but illusions? In so many ways that’s choosing to be poor.

Ultimately we choose to be poor because we let too much money “trickle up”. We let wealth and power concentrate in too few hands at the top of the pile. If we had any guts we’d rise up, and chase the money lenders out of the temple.

24 comments on “Choosing to be poor”

  1. lprent 1

    It is government far more concerned with coercing wealth from the poorest than in creating wealth. But look at the government members. If there is one that has the creativity to build something new and market it, then I have not seen it. There isn’t one that you could look at and say you’d want them in my export business. They don’t have the imagination….

    • rjs131 1.1

      Well can you point out which opposition members have been involved in innovation and exporting and why you would rather have Ashaf Choudery, Rajan Prasad, Rick Barker or Darien Fenton in your exporting business?? Who in Labour has ever risked their own money or employed someone?

      • Olwyn 1.1.1

        If I remember rightly Darien has run a small business before. Jim Anderton too was a successful businessman. Conversely, local patron saint of business Dr Brash seems to have been paid by the state for his whole life, even as he argues for its dismantling. And it seems that the bulk of our private debt arises from people over-leveraging for capital gains on property, as opposed to boldly taking risks in order to produce something.

        • Colonial Viper 1.1.1.1

          David Parker and Clare Curran both have solid SME experience.

          This another one of those stupid Right Wing memes spread by rjs131.

          Compare this with English who is a career bureaucrat, and Key, who has never successfully built a small or medium business himself but always paid others to do it.

          National is running NZ into the ground because they don’t understand SME’s.

        • lprent 1.1.1.2

          Conversely, local patron saint of business Dr Brash seems to have been paid by the state for his whole life, even as he argues for its dismantling.

          Yeah, my mother had the misfortune to be lectured by him on economics at university. Her comment was something like “he could make anything boring”. But at that time he was a public servant (early 70’s?)

      • lprent 1.1.2

        I think that has been answered in general.

        But as an observation, I usually find that strong National supporters in business are defined by their bull-necked, hidebound and dogmatic natures who go chasing short-term fleeting opportunities and don’t think through things in terms of their customers overseas. None of that is what is required to export innovation. There are exceptions. But I’d prefer to be working with almost anyone else.

        Fortunately you don’t find that many strong National supporters in innovative industries. You find people who vote for them, but who are also prepared to vote elsewhere if they think it it what the country requires. I usually find strong National supporters in the extractive industries attempting to screw the peasants or the environment.

        FFS all you have to do is look at the National bloggers for examples. 😈

  2. Jim Nald 2

    Sir Paul Callaghan is the PM’s Science Advisor ? ?

  3. Or… Most of us have a different perception of what being poor or rich entails. I am happy without a $ 50 million bank account.

    I would like for all of us to have a reasonable health care, education and some disposable income for some comfort items but generally being warm, fed and clothed in the company of friends and family is plenty.
    Maybe most of us “choosing to be Poor” are the norm and those of us who never have enough are the exception to he rule.

  4. morninglory 4

    People may be looking for meaning in life outside cultural norms and that means investigating activities currently undervalued by society, which in turn offers low wages. I think once you’ve seen the opportunities of small town NZ, tourism appears less of a choice and more of a temporary necessity. For some reason, there is a serious lack of creative thinking (not sure if that’s the right word, but it’s better than “innovation”) among average people in NZ. There’s an awful lot of resources, but either no access to them, or no ideas on what to do with them if they had access. Taking them off who owns them and giving them away isn’t an answer if the recipient doesn’t use them. It’s less about money trickling upwards and more about thinking patterns.

    • Draco T Bastard 4.1

      I find that there’s a lot of ideas in NZ but the people at the top are just too keen to take them and not give anything for them (I actually had an employment agreement put in front of me that basically claimed all my ideas as property of the company. Needless to say, I didn’t sign it but plenty of others did). This results in people getting burned and not giving the ideas any more and these people are, of course, the people without access to the resources necessary to bring their ideas to fruition without external help.

      No, we don’t just want to give everyone money but we do need to find a better way of supporting the people with ideas as the way NZ is ATM the people with ideas are the people being screwed over the most.

  5. Red Rosa 5

    Interesting that the contrasts between the American South and Western Europe are plain for any casual traveler to see, yet this government is claiming credit for turning NZ into something resembling Arkansas or Georgia.

    Which is certainly what will happen when the real impact of the Budget’s gamble takes effect. The combination of severe deflation and unrealistic growth forecasts will be drastic.

    A wealthy farming/business elite dictate to the masses, who cling happily to guns, god and NASCAR. Then when given half a chance they vote for the Teabaggers! Slickly done, you’d have to say. That is of course meant to describe the US South…;)

    In contrast, Western Europe (and Germany in particular) are coming out of recession in defiance of all those predictions of Socialist doom from the American Right. Ironically, one of their biggest problems is the con job their financial institutions were handed out of Wall St.

    New Zealanders seem very likely to vote back in a government which has delivered massive debt through tax cuts, and reject a party which delivered tax surpluses and low unemployment.

    Slickly done, you’d have to say….

  6. Lucy Gray 6

    “Case in point, unions. Unions exist to take care of the ordinary worker. Most unionised workers are still getting pay rises, while most non unionised workers are not. And yet the rate of union membership in the workforce as a whole is less than 20% and falling. People, you’re choosing to be poor.”
    I agree with the comment about falling rates of union membership – so many workers claim they cannot “afford” the membership fees, they need the $7 a week for something else. Yet the reality is that due to their increasing personal debt they cannot “afford” to lose their job due to 90 day law, management of change/restructuring, redundancy, or whatever blight hits their workplace.

    A large amount of the workforce is naive and thinks that nothing bad will happen to me, there are protections in place, and if something bad happens then they can just join a union when it happens. Many workers who are not unionised that I meet think that unions are the ambulances at the bottom of the cliff to carry away the injured, dead and dying. Even of my own members, many consider the primary role of the union is to resolve workplace issues/conflict.

    Unions are about improving workplaces and contribute to the workplace culture and practices and policies (well in my work place). There needs to be ideological and cultural shift amongst workers not just about the value of their work, but the value of being in a union.

  7. Tigger 7

    Some people choose to be poor. Some people choose to be douchebags also, apparently.

  8. Bunji 8

    I’d have to defend Sir Paul here – he gave an excellent address to the Labour Party conference. It was that address that the Herald article is covering.

    Here’s a very similar one on YouTube (minus the slides making fun of Don Brash completely getting his R&D facts completely wrong in the 2025 taskforce report (we’re 3rd lowest investor in R&D after Mexico & Turkey, Don Brash thought we were high investors and concluded we didn’t need any government investment in R&D…))

    Sir Paul says we as individuals don’t choose to be poor, but as a country we do. We are never going to get rich off Tourism (or Wine). As lovely as the jobs are, in New Zealand as elsewhere the money created per job is way too low. Not wages per job (also low), but what wealth is created before it is shared out between worker and employer.

    Fonterra earns good money / employee, but we can’t expand the dairy industry as we don’t have the land / water / physical resources to do so.

    But high-tech exporting? The main resources required are brains and entrepreneurship. Without trying, we have 10 of these companies earning us $5billion/year. If we had 100 of these companies, we’d close the wealth gap with Australia. So we should foster these companies, and make sure the individuals involved want to live here, by being clean & green (rather than expanding tourism & dairy and covering our environment in people/cows).

    Labour’s response: $800 million in tax credits for R&D, to foster the industry that will actually help us catch Australia – replacing National’s sop to the farmers by having us taxpayers pay for their pollution whilst they rort us for high milk prices and not paying their tax.

    • Chess Player 8.1

      The NZ dairy industry is absolutely expanding, it is just not doing so within NZ borders. The expertise is being exported and the physical farming is now well underway in countries like Argentina and China. Fonterra realised long ago that they couldn’t continue to grow the milk supply when constrained by NZ geography and environmental legislation and have been actively doing it elsewhere. This is why they have been moving to a different capital structure with raising funds from outside the farmer shareholder base. Coops are great in many ways, but don’t expect to massively scale up your business with self-funding from a coop’s shareholders. Too much democracy is not good when making big business decisions in a global setting.

      This is no different to Zespri using IP around the distribution processes. Most NZers would believe that most of the kiwifruit in the world comes from NZ. It doesn’t, in fact not even a 3rd comes from NZ. But Zespri is certainly the world’s biggest Distributer of kiwifruit, much of it grown in countries like Italy, all organised and distributed by Zespri.

      This is the knowledge economy at work.

  9. Tiger Mountain 9

    Many people do chose cowardly wimpishness today over organisation and telling the boss to get stuffed. And it is slightly more understandable today after 20 years of neo liberal individualism than it was in the immediate aftermath of the Employment Contracts Act in the early 1990s. High unemployment was a major factor in easing the passage of the ECA as it is today with ‘90 day fire at will’ and all the rest of the legislative measures designed precisely to keep unorganised precarious workers in that state.

    • Join a union, sign any working kids and family up too while you are at it, there is Together Union for $1 per week per family. http://www.together.org.nz/. There is Unite http://www.unite.org.nz/. There is also ultimately no excuse for choosing to be poor in the sense of this post.

  10. Draco T Bastard 10

    The speech is here and very, very good. He get it. He understands that farming is not the key to a prosperous future no matter how much the farmers want us to believe it is.

    He lays out the how and why to become a successful society and it has nothing to do with what this government are doing. Make people want to live here by becoming “clean and green” and support our entrepreneurs to do what they want rather than focussing on what the government or big corporations think is cool.

  11. Rich 11

    what’s wrong with tourism?

    We don’t have any objective advantage over countries in the developing world with much lower wages, that’s what. Sure, there are niche tourist experiences that might drive people to come to NZ (rugby, bungee jumping, dangerous driving) but for scenery, mountains, beaches and the like there are dozens of competitors.

    Against that there’s a long and expensive flight and a temperate climate. So we’ll never be able to sustain high wages looking after international tourists (at least until all the competitor economies increase their wage levels, or if we only targeted the kind of people who holiday in Switzerland).

    The point is that if we had more people working in industries where we do have an advantage – through education levels, speaking English and having a critical, creative culture, then we would produce more.

  12. randal 12

    well the way to get rich is to make stuff in high volume that other people want to buy.
    till Dr Callaghan can prescrinbe for that remedy then there is no need to beat others up about it. he is the scientist and has accessto capital. what is he going to do about it. sorry but I personally dont havea few spare billions to r&d and set up a car factory or fridge factory or nuclear warship construction comapny.

    • JD 12.1

      And you’d know this being rich yourself while posting on a socialist circlejerk forum?

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Climate Change: Vote for the climate
    Local body voting papers went in the post on Friday, and should be arriving over the course of this week (mine arrived today). And if you care about climate change, I urge you to vote. While local government seems irrelevant and out of touch (like a whine of old white ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 hours ago
  • Climate Change: We must do more
    Like many people, my submission on the Zero Carbon Bill urged more ambitious targets. And if the select committee was in any doubt, they're needed:An assessment backed by the world’s major climate science bodies has found commitments to cut greenhouse gas emissions must be at least tripled and increased by ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 hours ago
  • Cracking down on mining
    NZ Energy and Environment Business Week reports (in Scoop) that the government is finally moving on reforming the Crown Minerals Act, including banning mining on conservation land and repealing the hated Anadarko Amendment:The Government is planning to change the Crown Minerals Act’s purpose from “promoting” mining in light of changing ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 hours ago
  • Fluoridation – A new fight against scientific misinformation
    Anti-fluoride campaigners think a new Canadian fluoride IQ study is the best thing since sliced bread but the scientific critiques warn they are wrong. Photo Illustration by The Daily Beast/Getty The new Canadian ...
    6 hours ago
  • GM Strikers Are Waging a Battle on Two Fronts
    Reprinted from Jacobinmag by Jane Slaughter and Chris Brooks Almost 50,000 UAW workers are on strike against GM and a two-tier labor system that undermines worker solidarity. But members may need to wage a battle on two fronts — against the company, but also against their own union leadership. Forty-nine ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    21 hours ago
  • Who Will Be Fed Next To The Hungry Gods Of Politics?
    Before Jacingrant There Was Gracinda: Grant Robertson and his 2014 running mate, Jacinda Ardern. She stood at his side: loyal and obliging, as she had ever been. The media dubbed this duo “Gracinda” – a sort of political “Brangelina”. The other young people who worked alongside Robertson were also ambitious ...
    1 day ago
  • 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
    2 days 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
    3 days 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
    3 days 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
    3 days 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
    3 days 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 ...
    3 days 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
    3 days 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
    3 days 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
    3 days 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
    4 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
    4 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
    4 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
    4 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
    4 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
    4 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
    4 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
    4 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, ...
    4 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 ...
    5 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
    5 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
    5 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
    5 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
    5 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
    5 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
    5 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
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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 ...
    6 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
    6 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 ...
    7 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
    7 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
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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 ...
    2 weeks 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 ...
    2 weeks 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 ...
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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 ...
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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

No feed items found.