Conference roundup

Written By: - Date published: 8:32 am, October 18th, 2010 - 30 comments
Categories: labour, leadership, phil goff - Tags:

Labour’s conference in the weekend seems to have gone well, and been well received by the media. Phil Goff drew a line in the sand on foreign ownership of land, and picked himself up a new nick-name in the process:

The ‘Goff-father’ says ‘no’ to foreign ownership in NZ

The Labour Party wants to make it “virtually impossible” for foreigners to buy Kiwi farmland. The major new policy announced at its annual conference today would also clamp down on other big foreign investments in New Zealand.

Phil Goff opened up to the party faithful about closing the farm gate on foreign ownership. “No overseas person has the right to buy our land; it is a privilege – a privilege we have granted too easily,” he says.

I wrote yesterday about what I believe is the most significant policy announcement

Labour focuses on children

Labour deputy leader Annette King says the party will put children at the centre of social policy. … “The next Labour Government will put children at the centre of policy in areas including health, education, social development and housing,” Mrs King said. Labour sees a focus on children as the most effective way to reduce harm and costs in later life.

… and on Saturday about Labour proposing a definite time for New Zealand to become a republic:

Editorial: Goff right to call for debate on a republic

Hats off to the Labour Party leader, Phil Goff. In suggesting that New Zealanders should start talking about our country becoming a republic, he has gone where influential sitting politicians have feared to tread.

3 News describes “fighting talk” from Andrew Little:

Fighting talk from Labour president Andrew Little

Last weekend’s local government elections showed the mood of the country is changing and National can be defeated, Labour’s president Andrew Little told the party’s annual conference today. “The people have said more of the same is not enough,” he said. “There is a sense of unease across the country.”

Mr Little said the economy had slowed to a crawl, and the Government did not have policies that would create a single extra job. In a strong and well-received speech, he said Labour could win next year’s election and take at least seven electorate seats from National. …

He urged the conference to “get ready for the battle of 2011”, and said party leader Phil Goff was the man to lead Labour to victory.

The full text of Phil Goff’s keynote speech is on line here. The fans love it! Even Audrey Young is sensing the mood:

The conference is going extremely well. Unlike last year’s where the party pretended to have moved on but was still grieving over being rejected by voters, and having to admit errors, it is now genuinely looking forward.

It has started running really interesting conferences, getting along specialists to talks to workshops and encouraging genuine debate as part of its ongoing policy review.

A good conference.

30 comments on “Conference roundup”

  1. Was there any talk about climate policy?

    One good thing Labour did this year was opposing National’s plans for mining in National Parks, it was the first time John Key was forced to back down, national and bluegreens members quit the party over that piece of unpopular policy, and Gerry Brownlee was left out to dry.

    More of that please.

    • Bunji 1.1

      There was talk about climate policy – indeed in his speech Goff mentioned about National’s gutting of the ETS meaning that $110 billion was being paid for by taxpayers instead of polluters – but it wasn’t the main focus. There were some good sessions on water particularly actually.

  2. M 2

    ‘And that’s why one of the first things Labour will do in Government is scrap the 90-day fire at will law and restore fairness at work.’

    Phil, I salute you and so will any workers that have half a brain in their heads. National enacted the 90-day rule because most employers are completely useless at using the current legislation to deal with employee performance problems. Time after time most employers jump in with their size nines and any case they have against an employee ends up being procedurally flawed because they are woefully inept.

  3. The Chairman 3

    Labour’s new catch cry for the next election has become another Labour letdown.

    In a matter of months, Labour goes from owning our future to owning the majority share in our future.

  4. The conference was really uplifting and it is clear now that there will be a real debate over the next 12 months about what New Zealand’s economic direction should be.

    IMHO the most important sessions were the economic ones hosted by David Cunliffe where Selwyn Pellett, John Whalley, Ganesh Nana (a real New Zealander!) and Bernard Hickey spoke. These guys are not left wing revolutionaries! The message from each of them was clear however, NZ needs to manage its currency, private debt is a huge problem and the “free” market is not working.

    The “free” market has transformed from a device to efficiently distribute resources into a device designed to enrich the already wealthy at the expense of the rest of us. When Bernard Hickey makes a comment about how he was surprised that there were no “bankers heads on pikes” you know there is a change of opinion happening.

    It was all summed up by the perfect counter to Thatchers TINA (there is no alternative). The left wing carrying cry is TARA, there is a real alternative.

    • Draco T Bastard 4.1

      /poke
      TARA = There Are Real Alternatives.

      Labour have moved a bit to the Left. It would be nice to see them move a little more.

      • Bunji 4.1.1

        (otherwise it’d be TIARA)

        Agree that the economic/monetary policy was a main focus, but I’d add the child-centred social policy (cf Annette King’s speech) as also being at the heart of discussion. Less so the foreign ownership thing that seemed to be the main thing covered. But a lot of great stuff in many areas.

      • millsy 4.1.2

        I think they are mindful of the reaction in the media , especially in talkback.

        We make the Tea Partiers look like Bolsheviks sometimes

      • lprent 4.1.3

        “You can’t always get what you want (but you get what you need)”

        Political parties movement limits are as far as they feel that their constituency will allow. In a broad based party that usually isn’t particularly far or fast.

    • Colonial Viper 4.2

      Yep the Fabian sessions, and Hickey’s presentation, were simply awesome. Goodbye TINA, hello gorgeous TARA!!!

      Now, Labour party members have to get their head around some of these ideas, how they can be congruently married up with our social and community priorities and turned into a simple winning election platform. Lots of work to be done there.

      However I still do not know why the Government does not exercise its sovereign right to generate its own debt free currency, instead of letting the banks do it out of thin air by creating mountains of interest bearing debt.

      A Government issued dollar owes nothing to no one, does not create ongoing interest charges with its existence, and is thus able to act as a free medium for the lubrication of commerce and trade primarily benefitting the people not primarily benefitting the banks.

      Draco – these are monumental changes Labour have announced. They represent a huge shift in mindset and an agility from caucus we haven’t seen since Labour lost in ’08. Its a frankly stunning answer to long standing charges that Labour and National ‘are basically the same’. Sure there is more work to be done but the journey has started.

      • Draco T Bastard 4.2.1

        I suppose “monumental” might describe it – they’ve moved from slightly right to slightly left. They aren’t quite as left as the Greens yet but it’s certainly better than them being slightly right.

        I think such a move will resonate well within the populace.

      • Lats 4.2.2

        However I still do not know why the Government does not exercise its sovereign right to generate its own debt free currency, instead of letting the banks do it out of thin air by creating mountains of interest bearing debt.

        It sounds like you are suggesting the govt just print a whole bunch more money. Now I’m no economist, but wouldn’t doing that just devalue the $NZ? Thats a good thing for exporters I suppose, but not so good for importers. It would in theory lead to increased prices for any imported goods (petrol, electronics, etc) and I suspect the nett result would be a rise in CPI and inflation. The last thing the people need is for prices to rise even more.

        I’m not sure which is worse, burdening us with ever more debt and interest, or massively devaluing our currency and the flow on effects that will bring about. But I’d be more than happy if someone with a better grasp of economics would touch on this….

        A better option in my opinion would be a return to the more fiscally prudent policies exercised by the Clark government. We were never really in a position to afford tax cuts, and it was nothing more than a cynical vote grabber for the Nats. Sadly a lot of people were sucked in by it.

        • Draco T Bastard 4.2.2.1

          It sounds like you are suggesting the govt just print a whole bunch more money.

          Kinda. It’s offset by the taxes that the government imposes. In reality, it’s exactly what happens now with the Fractional Reserve Banking system but it doesn’t have the interest component that turns the Fractional Reserve Banking system into a Ponzi Scheme.

          It would in theory lead to increased prices for any imported goods (petrol, electronics, etc)

          Which could lead to more of those things being made here which would develop the economy.

          The last thing the people need is for prices to rise even more.

          What the people need is a developing economy that’s not stuck in a 19th century farming mode. Absolute necessities shouldn’t raise either as we produce them here (although I’m sure that the farmers would probably put their prices up anyway – it’s what they always seem to do).

          A better option in my opinion would be a return to the more fiscally prudent policies exercised by the Clark government.

          The Clark government may have been prudent but they also stayed stuck to the failed neo-liberal economic paradigm that caused the GFC.

          • Lats 4.2.2.1.1

            Kinda. It’s offset by the taxes that the government imposes.

            Ahh, so more tax, not print more money? That makes somewhat more sense, I was worried about impact of flooding the market with new $$$. I never thought we should have cut taxes in the first place, not if it meant increasing borrowing to cover it.

            Which could lead to more of those things being made here which would develop the economy.

            Well we don’t seem to have the oil reserves to make our own petrol, and even if we did I understand that it still has to be bought through the international market, which uses $US. So if our currency gets devalued we still end up paying a lot more for oil. I can see your argument for other consumer goods, but even with a devalued dollar I doubt we’d be able to match the economies of scale and efficiencies in SE asian countries. For a start we pay our workers a minimum wage, we can’t match the sweatshops for cheap labour, despite the Nats best efforts.

            Absolute necessities shouldn’t raise either as we produce them here (although I’m sure that the farmers would probably put their prices up anyway – it’s what they always seem to do).

            Again, despite our agricultural prowess we still import certain staples. With the increase in dairy conversions the grain bowl that was Canterbury is no longer producing enough wheat to satisfy our demands, so flour producers are having to import grain from Australia. I also think it might be a tad unfair on farmers to say they are the ones putting their prices up, I suspect it is the middlemen that are taking the cream off the top on the way to the supermarket. My dad was a farmer, and while we never went hungry we were never rich either, his only input into the price of his stock was to sell to the best bidder. He couldn’t just decide to sell for more, the buyers would go to someone who was prepared to sell for less.

            • Draco T Bastard 4.2.2.1.1.1

              Ahh, so more tax, not print more money?

              The idea would be to print about the same amount, or possibly less, of money as is presently printed by banks. This would keep the NZ$ about the same as far as quantity value is concerned. The difference is from the lack of interest rates which would mean that more value would be kept in the NZ economy benefiting our society rather than going offshore.

              …I doubt we’d be able to match the economies of scale and efficiencies in SE asian countries.

              Economies of scale don’t apply due to factories running close to the same efficiency no matter their size. They’re designed to run as efficiently as possible after all. Wages are something we can’t compete with though but, then, why would we want to?

              With the increase in dairy conversions the grain bowl that was Canterbury is no longer producing enough wheat to satisfy our demands, so flour producers are having to import grain from Australia.

              And that needs to be addressed as well – Canterbury can’t support the cows that it has already and the farmers and their pet government want to increase the herds.

              He couldn’t just decide to sell for more, the buyers would go to someone who was prepared to sell for less.

              I know how it’s supposed to work but why is it then that prices for NZ produce are more expensive in NZ than overseas? There is something wrong there.

    • Don’t you mean TIARA Mickey?

      Perhaps not; a bejewelled head-dress worn by a Queen wouldn’t really fit with Andrew Little’s calls for a Republic now, would it 😉

      • mickysavage 4.3.1

        Ha I2.

        Actually on reflection it was There Are Real Alternatives, thanks Draco.

        No need for a Tiara!

        Roll on the revolution (or is that evolution?)

  5. TightyRighty 5

    So the repeaters are useful sometimes. Repeating the lies and the false promises of the left. It’s about the only time they aren’t met with derision by the commentors on this site.

    • Draco T Bastard 5.1

      The lies and false promises come from NACT who are only there to enrich themselves and their rich mates at everyone else’s expense.

    • bbfloyd 5.2

      is it getting stuffy in the closet TR? that was smaller than usual… weight of reality starting to suffocate?

  6. roger nome 6

    TR – your cruising name is too obvious for a repressed/closet rightist.. Try something more subtle like – “Master-Slave, Fire at Will”. What do you think?

  7. Workingman 7

    Some good stuff from Labour during the conference, but a win next year still seems unlikely given the enduring popularity of smile and wave Key. But have faith, the puppet show will end one day. Hopefully Key’s second term will be hamstrung by ACT’s self destruction and he’ll have to rely on the Maori Party, which will annoy the heck out of the rednecks. I say give Andrew Little a shot at the leadership sometime after the election. Cunliffe is too smug and he won’t resonate well with working New Zealanders. Shane Jones has no show after porngate.

    • bbfloyd 7.1

      very good exposition of apathy W. i could almost believe you are attempting to masquerade as left leaning… just a small point… assumption doesn’t actually have any weight when stacked up against reality. and the volume of assumption you put forward would float a zeppelin.

  8. Brokenback 8

    “TARA = There Are Real Alternatives.

    Labour have moved a bit to the Left. It would be nice to see them move a little more.”

    Not possible with the Goff/king “backbone” cabal.

    Very little in the way of historical perspective is raised about the philosophy and history of the current leadership.
    Goff & King were rogernomes & have remained confirmed drys ever since.

    There are suggestions they played a significant role in forming the Dunne/NZF coalition in the aftermarth of the 2005 election that denied South Auckland of its just rewards and almost certainnly paved the way for the 2008 ‘defeat’.

    I’ll never vote labor whilst chameleons & sychophants of their ilk have any role except warming the bench at the nervous end of the Party List.

    And I’m not the only one.

    • Bored 8.1

      Well said Brokenback, my take from the Conference as reported here is that there is some movement left but not nearly enough. Its a “lets not frighten the horses” approach, lacking in ambition probably for the reasons you stated, i.e the continued reverence given to the precepts of Rogernomics and attendant personnel. What will happen I predict is that National will pit their show pony (Key) in an image based contest with Goff. Key wins that every time.

      • Draco T Bastard 8.1.1

        They’ve still got time to move further as the year progresses but, I agree, that they’re still hanging on to the neo-liberal paradigm. It’s obvious that we don’t actually need to import capital (money) to do anything in NZ when most FDI just doesn’t come with anything new anyway or even just to buy up what our entrepreneurs have developed. Either way is taking the wealth away and not giving any back.

        What will happen I predict is that National will pit their show pony (Key) in an image based contest with Goff. Key wins that every time.

        I don’t think image is going to it this time.

      • millsy 8.1.2

        A ‘let’s not frighten the horses’ strategy is nessesary at this stage. There will be plenty of time for any further moves to the left, or actual policy in the coming months.

        Remember: Neo-liberalism holds all the aces at the moment, and Labour is going to be expecting wave after wave of attacks from the Establishment. The farmers, and businesses have opened their salvo, following a nasty bit of mind gaming from Gordo Gekko-lite this morning, and I firmly expect the right wing Dom-Post, The Press and The New Zealand Herald to launch their attacks with a cluster of editorials condeming the Labour Party’s stance on foreign ownership tomorrow morning. I can probably predict word for word what Granny’s editorial will be tomorrow.

        To be honest, I think we are going to have one hell of a scrap in the next 12 to 18 months. No quarter is going to be given or asked for.

  9. Colonial Viper 9

    You guys and girls want Labour to go more Left? Well firstly recognise the huge step change the weekend has brought to Labour. Think about the shit fights which must still be in progess around the details internally. Then figure out who in the party and who in the caucus backed this step change and support them in pushing for more, much more. Help them and policy council come up with solutions to implementation issues and ideas to manage risks of going further Left, and of going more progressive. Support the Fabians and ask that they push push push. Talk to Labour party members and ask that they push push push.

    And recognise that if this is how far Labour has been able to come in the two short years since Clark and Cullen left, in just two short years being led by Goff, imagine where Labour could be in two more short years.

    But for gawdsakes don’t mill around saying “yeah, sorta mediocre OK, however they’re just being gutless as per usual”. Capital controls, binning the reserve bank act and putting the hammer down on foreign investment WHILE refocusing on the children of NZ, thats a pretty damn fine start. But yeah I agree, its just a start. A real Progressive Enterprise is going to be an enormously hard and demanding three, four term agenda.

    We’ve come a long way from no GST on fruits and vegetables, people.

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    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 ...
    6 days ago
  • NZ ‘left’ politically embracing extreme postmodernism
    by Philip Ferguson Much of the left, even people who formally identify as marxists, have collapsed politically in the face of postmodern gender theory of the sort pioneered by American philosopher Judith Butler. For Butler even biological sex is socially constructed. “If the immutable character of sex is contested, perhaps ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    7 days ago
  • The obvious question
    The media is reporting that the (alleged) Labour party sexual assaulter has resigned from their job at Parliament, which means hopefully he won't be turning up there making people feel unsafe in future. Good. But as with everything about this scandal, it just raises other questions. Most significantly: why the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The moment I found out that you found out, I acted swiftly
    By Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern I am every bit as angry as you are. I am every bit as disappointed as you must be. The people with power, oversight and the ability to do something about these processes within the Labour Party should be ashamed. Whoever those people are, I ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • This is why people hate property developers
    Property developers think there is an "oversupply" of houses in Auckland:High turnover rates and falling prices may be a sign that there are too many new houses going in to some parts of Auckland, commentators say. [...] Property developer David Whitburn said there was a "bit of an oversupply" in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Australia to Pacific: “Fuck you, you can all drown”
    World leaders are meeting in New York in two weeks for the 2019 Climate Action Summit, where they are expected to announce new and more ambitious targets to stop the world from burning. But the Australian Prime Minister won't be there, despite being in the USA at the time:Scott Morrison ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Implausible ignorance
    Labour Party president Nigel Haworth resigned yesterday over the party's sexual assault scandal. But while that's good news, its unlikely to take away the stench of a coverup. Because according to Paula Bennett in Parliament yesterday, pretty much everyone in the Prime Minister's office was involved as well:I have been ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Labour’s Fatal Flaw.
     Two-Faced? Labour insiders' commitment to the neoliberal status quo puts them at odds with their party’s membership; its trade union affiliates; and a majority of Labour voters, but this only serves to strengthen the perception they have of themselves as a special elite. Among the lesser breeds, they’ll talk up a ...
    1 week ago
  • Ten reasons the Tories do NOT want an election
    There has been a lot of talk about Boris Johnson wanting an election, and he has blustered with great gusto about 'chicken' Jeremy Corbyn refusing one, but I think there are many reasons why he is secretly glad he has been refused the opportunity:The Tories are an utter rabble,tearing themselves ...
    1 week ago
  • Prorogation Illegal, rule Scottish judges
    Scottish appeal court judges have declared that Boris Johnson’s decision to suspend parliament in the run-up to the October Brexit deadline is unlawful. The three judges, chaired by Lord Carloway, Scotland’s most senior judge, overturned an earlier ruling that the courts did not have the powers to interfere in the prime ...
    1 week ago
  • Let me explain what I meant by Everyday New Zealanders
    By Simon Bridges. The following is a press release from the office of Simon Bridges, leader of The National Party. Key ora, New Zealand. Happy Maori Language Week. Look, I’m writing to you today because I want to clear something up. There’s been a lot of kerfuffle around some things ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Yes, the SIS is subject to the Public Records Act
    I understand there's some stuff going round about how the SIS "was removed from the list of public offices covered by the Public Records Act in 2017". The context of course being their records derived from US torture, which will be disposed of or sealed. The good news is that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • An evidence-based discussion of the Canadian fluoride/IQ study
    Dr. Christopher Labos and Jonathan Jarry discuss the recent Canadian fluoride/IQ research. They provide an expert analysis of the paper and its problems. Click on image to go to podcast. The critical debate about the recent ...
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Australia in denial
    Australia is burning down again, and meanwhile its natural disaster minister is denying climate change:Australia’s minister responsible for drought and natural disasters, David Littleproud, has said that he doesn’t “know if climate change is manmade”. Clarifying earlier comments that the question is “irrelevant” when considering the Coalition government’s response to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Philippines activist speaking on the Duterte tyranny
    Auckland Philippines Solidarity is excited to host Professor Judy Taguiwalo for a speaking tour of NZ in September. She is a well-known activist in the Philippines and was a political prisoner under the Marcos dictatorship. Professor Taguiwalo briefly served as a Cabinet member under President Duterte but was forced from ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Disgust
    I have no special insights to offer on the Labour sexual assault coverup. All I have is disgust. Disgust that an organisation could fail its people so badly. Disgust that they punished the victims rather than the perpetrator. Disgust that its party hacks are apparently blaming the victims for demanding ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Speak Up for Women calls out Greens’ censorship
    This open letter to the Green Party was penned after an opinion piece by Jill Abigail, a feminist and founding member of the party, was censored by the Greens’ leadership. (Redline has reprinted her article here).The intolerance of the Green Party leaders and their acceptance of the misogyny of gender ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Member’s Day: End of Life Choice, part 3
    Today is a Member's day, and David Seymour's End of Life Choice Bill continues its slow crawl through its committee stage. They're spending the whole day on it today, though the first hour is likely to be spent on voting left over from last time. After that they'll move on ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Flight to Los Angeles turned back after passengers decide they don’t want to go anymore
    An ambitious plan to fly to Los Angeles petered out into a brief sight-seeing trip and a desire to return home and get some sleep before work tomorrow. Air New Zealand has confirmed a flight to Los Angeles last night was turned back about a quarter of the way into ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Indigenous Futures: defuturing and futuring – an analytical framework for policy development?
    There appears to be consensus – by omission – that the concept of indigenous futures should be accepted at face value. So I scavenged the internet to see if I could locate an academic descriptor or a framework around how we think about it as a concept, and whether it ...
    EllipsisterBy Ellipsister
    1 week ago
  • Cadbury rumoured to be releasing the Pineapple Trump
    Here’s another novelty chocolate to shove in your gob, New Zealand Cadbury could be seeking to make itself great again with a rumoured new release: Pineapple Trumps, a spin on its classic chocolate-encased pineapple treat and do-it-yourself tooth remover. The global confectionery manufacturer and bumbling “before” character in an infomercial, ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • The coming resource war.
    During my time in the Pentagon I had the privilege of sitting down with military leaders and defence and security officials from a variety of Latin American nations. Sometimes I was present as a subordinate assistant to a senior US defence department official, sometimes as part of a delegation that ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Māori Language Week with The Civilian
    Kia ora, Aotearoa. It’s that magical time of year. Te Wiki o te Reo Māori. In English, the week that frightens talk radio. As you probably know by now, all your favourite media outlets are participating, some more successfully than others. Stuff has changed its name to Puna for the ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Will Horizons act on climate change?
    Local body elections are coming up next month. And it looks like all Palmerston North candidates for Horizons (the Manawatu-Whanganui Regional Council) want to take action on climate change:Climate change is set to be a key issue in Palmerston North for the next three years if those wanting to get ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • BORA reform is stalled
    Eighteen months ago, the government promised to strengthen the Bill of Rights Act, by explicitly affirming the power of the courts to issue declarations of inconsistency and requiring Parliament to formally respond to them. So how's that going? I was curious, so I asked for all advice about the proposal. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Corbyn and Brexit
    As the Brexit saga staggers on, the focus is naturally enough on the Prime Minister and his attempts to achieve Brexit “do or die”. But the role played by the Leader of the Opposition is of almost equal interest and complexity. The first problem for Jeremy Corbyn is that he ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • A ditch for him to die in
    Last week, English Prime Minister Boris Johnson boldly declared that he would rather die be dead in a ditch than delay Brexit. Unfortunately for him, the UK parliament accepted the challenge, and promptly dug one for him. The "rebellion bill" requires him to ask for and secure yet another temporary ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Warning! Warning! Danger Jacinda Ardern! Danger Marama Davidson! Warning!
    Lost In Political Space: The most important takeaway from this latest Labour sexual assault scandal, which (if I may paraphrase Nixon’s White House counsel’s, John Dean’s, infamous description of Watergate) is “growing like a cancer” on the premiership, is the Labour Party organisation’s extraordinary professional paralysis in the face of ...
    1 week ago
  • Union solidarity with Ihumatao land occupation
    by Daphna Whitmore Every Sunday for the past two months unionists from First Union, with supporters from other unions, have set out to the Ihumatao land protest, put up gazebos and gas barbeques, and cooked food for a few hundred locals and supporters who have come from across the country. ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: The wrong kind of trees?
    Newsroom today has an excellent, in-depth article on pine trees as carbon sinks. The TL;DR is that pine is really good at soaking up carbon, but people prefer far-less efficient native forests instead. Which is understandable, but there's two problems: firstly, we've pissed about so long on this problem that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • No freedom of speech in Turkey
    Canan Kaftancioglu is a Turkish politician and member of the opposition Republican People's Party (CHP). Like most modern politicians, she tweets, and uses the platform to criticise the Turkish government. She has criticised them over the death of a 14-year-old boy who was hit by a tear gas grenade during ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Speaker: Tadhg Stopford: Why I’m standing for the ADHB
    Hi there, just call me Tim.We face tough problems, and I’d like to help, because there are solutions.An Auckand District Health Board member has nominated me for as a candidate for the ADHB, because her MS-related pain and fatigue is reduced with hemp products from Rotorua.  Nothing else helped her. If I ...
    1 week ago
  • Good little vassals
    The Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security has published their report on whether the SIS and GCSB had any complicity in American torture. And its damning. The pull quote is this:The Inquiry found both agencies, but to a much greater degree, the NZSIS, received many intelligence reports obtained from detainees who, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Who Shall We Turn To When God, And Uncle Sam, Cease To Defend New Zealand?
    Bewhiskered Cassandra? Professor Hugh White’s chilling suggestion, advanced to select collections of academic, military and diplomatic Kiwi experts over the course of the past week, is that the assumptions upon which Australia and New Zealand have built their foreign affairs and defence policies for practically their entire histories – are ...
    1 week ago
  • The Politics of Opposition
    For most of the time I was a British MP, my party was out of government – these were the Thatcher years, when it was hard for anyone else to get a look-in. As a front-bencher and shadow minister, I became familiar with the strategies required in a parliamentary democracy ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • More expert comments on the Canadian fluoride-IQ paper
    The Green et al (2019) fluoride/IQ is certainly controversial – as would be expected from its subject (see If at first you don’t succeed . . . statistical manipulation might help and Politics of science – making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear). Anti-fluoride campaigners have been actively promoting it ...
    2 weeks ago
  • The return to guerrilla war in Colombia
    by Gearóid Ó Loingsigh On August 29th a video in which veteran FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia) commander Iván Márquez announced that they had taken up arms again was released. There was no delay in the reaction to it, from longtime Liberal Party figure and former president Uribe, for ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Air New Zealand identifies this enormous plot of unused land as possible second airport site
    Air New Zealand couldn’t believe its luck that this seemingly ideal piece of real estate had so far gone entirely unnoticed. Air New Zealand’s search for a site to build a second Auckland Airport may have made a breakthrough this afternoon, after employees scanning Google satellite imagery spotted a huge, ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Redline on the Labour Party
    No-one on the anti-capitalist left in this country today puts forward a case that Labour is on the side of the working class.  There are certainly people who call themselves ‘socialist’ who do, but they are essentially liberals with vested interests in Labourism – often for career reasons. Nevertheless, there ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago

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