Corbyn’s Isis Crisis

Written By: - Date published: 9:25 am, November 27th, 2015 - 89 comments
Categories: defence, International, iraq, Jeremy Corbyn, Syria, uk politics, war - Tags: , , ,

New UK Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn faces a difficult test of his leadership over the next few days. He has made a reasonable case that the Tory proposal to join the bombing campaign in Syria is vague in its aims and uncertain in its outcome, but it appears that the majority of the shadow cabinet believe that there is no alternative to joining the fragile coalition.

In a letter to his MP’s, Corbyn states:

“We’ve all been horrified by the despicable attacks in Paris and are determined to see the defeat of ISIS.

“Our first priority must be the security of Britain and the safety of the British people. The issue now is whether what the PM is proposing strengthens, or undermines, our national security.

“I do not believe that the PM today made a convincing case that extending UK bombing to Syria would meet that crucial test. Nor did it satisfactorily answer the questions raised by us and the Foreign Affairs Committee.

“In particular, the PM did not set out a coherent strategy, coordinated through the UN for the defeat of ISIS. Nor has he been able to explain what a credible and acceptable ground forces could retake and hold territory freed from ISIS control by an intensified air campaign.

“In my view, the PM has been unable to explain the contribution of additional UK bombing to a comprehensive negotiated political settlement of the Syrian civil war, or its likely impact on the threat of terrorist attacks in the UK.

“For these, and other reasons, I do not believe the PM’s current proposal for air strikes in Syria will protect our security and therefore cannot support it.”

However, only three members of the shadow cabinet are believed to be likely to support Corbyn’s position.

The Labour MP’s will decide on Monday what their response will be. They have three options:

  • Support the airstrikes
  • Oppose the airstrikes
  • Conscience vote

Corbyn’s best move would be to accept a conscience vote. To have the majority of his MP’s choose to make support for the bombing campaign the formal Labour Party position would a disaster for his leadership. Far better the soft option of each MP going with their hearts.

In an unusual case of cross border lobbying, pressure is being put on UK Parliamentarians by their French counterparts. In an open letter in the Guardian,  France’s defence minister Jean-Yves Le Drian calls on the UK to show immediate solidarity:

“Isis is not just present in Iraq. It operates across the border in Syria, where its headquarters are located, in Raqqa. It is from Raqqa that some of the main threats against other countries are planned and orchestrated. That’s why it is now crucial to strike Isis in Syria in order to degrade and, ultimately, to destroy it.

Today, for the very first time since the beginning of the Syrian conflict, diplomatic efforts seem to be converging in Vienna. Western countries, Russia, Iran, Turkey and the Gulf states have agreed to combine their efforts against the threat posed by Isis. We have to jointly seize this opportunity to broaden the coalition that is needed to defeat Isis.”

Corbyn is stuck between a rock and a hard place. Stick to his pacifist principles or accept that he is offside with the majority in caucus, and indeed, with the UK populace. If he gets this wrong, his leadership may take a fatal hit.

Oh, and if you were wondering what the position of the third biggest party in Westminster was, you’ll be comforted to know that double dipping Westminster MP and Scottish MSP Alex Salmond had a hard choice to make. Participate in the vital debate over Syria or … unveil a portrait of himself in a Scottish gallery. Priorities, priorities.

Of course, the coalition against Isis is a far from solid thing. The shooting down of a straying Russian jet by Turkey has made getting an agreed plan significantly harder. Odd how alike Turkey’s Erdogan and Russia’s Putin are. Both populist nationalists, not afraid to shed blood to make themselves look stronger. Hopefully this incident is a one off, but don’t hold your breath.

Finally, an interactive map of the current state of play in Syria. ISIS appear to have moved their main fight west, away from Iraq and toward the Syrian capital, Damascus. Their areas of control in Iraq and the Kurdish areas appear to be thinning. I’m guessing that’s a combination of small gains by the Iraqi Government and their Western backers, and substantial gains by the Kurdish forces, coinciding with Isis prioritising the immediate opportunity to put pressure on the Assad regime. If Isis have peaked in Iraq, that’s good news. I’m glad New Zealand is doing it’s small bit to help.

 

 

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89 comments on “Corbyn’s Isis Crisis”

  1. savenz 1

    Totally disagree. Corbyn as all politicians should be going with their beliefs not some sort of half baked chicken strategy. like “Oh I will vote for war, because it might make me look weak if others do not agree”.

    I doubt Corybyn will cop out like that.

    I agree with his analysis and think he should vote NO!

    More bombing of Syria will make things worse for Britain!

    He is right!

    • NZSage 1.1

      “More bombing of Syria will make things worse for Britain!”

      I agree and those Labour MP’s willing to back the Tory warmongers should listen to their own conscience… if that means resigining then good riddance to them.

    • Grantoc 1.2

      When it comes to matters relating to the protection of the populace in times of serious external violent threats, a major political leader’s first consideration is to ensure the electorate’s protection and well being.

      Corbyn is entitled to be guided by his pacifist principles in determining a policy position accordingly.

      However what he should not do is to adhere so rigidly to principle, when, in doing so he neglects his greater responsibility to provide that reassurance and protection to the nation that the times demand.

      So far he has not put up a convincing case for the principled position he is taking on the threat of isis terrorism to Britain. He is therefore failing in his duty as a major political leader in the UK. He is also failing to read the mood of nation (and indeed his own shadow cabinet).

      While he may be admired for sticking to his principles; sticking to his principles on this issue will turn out to be a major step towards his downfall as the leader of the British Labour Party.

  2. Ad 2

    Corbyn is sounding very “Peace in our time”.

    I really don’t care any longer what caused ISIS or their desire to spread. They have to be faced, fought, controlled, and degraded. I really do believe if they are left to their own devices they will seek to conquer Turkey, Jordan, and Israel.

    Well-assembled post BTW TRP.

    Corbyn should change his mind and unite his party, and unite with the Conservatives on this vote. Not the right moment for a conscience vote.

    • RedLogix 2.1

      And the last time the West charged in bombing the Middle East without a coherent strategy, or plan to hold the territory peacefully afterwards – tell me – just how did that work out?

      • Ad 2.1.1

        I believe President Obama is showing all the same signs of a constitutionally educated liberal trying if at all possible not to leave a further legacy of incoherent large scale war (he prefers it proxy and/or hands-off).

        It’s understandable. And on balance good.

        It’s not enough. I don’t believe we will finally defeat ISIS. I think they will now be with us always. And there’s a lot of truth to what CV and other commentators say that at base the US should share a lot of the causal blame.

        That’s still not enough. A good question to answer is: what would unite the Russians, Chinese, and all other members of the UN Security Council to vote against the spread of ISIS? Corbyn should ask himself why his no doubt noble reasoning is better than their collective vote?

        • RedLogix 2.1.1.1

          Does no-one actually read what Corbyn is asking for?

          In particular, the PM did not set out a coherent strategy, coordinated through the UN for the defeat of ISIS. Nor has he been able to explain what a credible and acceptable ground forces could retake and hold territory freed from ISIS control by an intensified air campaign.

          You tell me how it’s all going to work, you explain how your bombing campaign (that even the military don’t believe in) is going to make anything better. You answer Corbyn’s implied question – and then I’ll support your fight to defeat ISIS.

          But I’m not going to reflexively tick your box for more of the same mindless, unintelligent slaughter and chaos we’ve already seen far too much of.

          • Ad 2.1.1.1.1

            If the UK’s intention is solely to degrade and destroy ISIS, then it must request authorization from the Syrian government to participate in a coordinated military campaign that could help speed up the task.

            If Western (and allied Arab) leaders can’t stomach dealing with the Assad government, then by all means work through an intermediary – like the Russians – who can coordinate and authorize military operations on behalf of their Syrian ally.

            The Syrian government has said on multiple occasions that it welcomes sincere international efforts to fight terrorism inside its territory. But these efforts must come under the direction of a central legal authority that can lead a broad campaign on the ground and in the air.

            We are still short of the UN Security Council authorizing the use of force. Just. For that to happen, the Russians to persuade Syria’s Assad that the air bombing campaign really is working. Which in part it seems to be. Following that, for Russia and Assad to propose a coordinated attack effort against ISIS, and go to the UN for the full force authorization resolution.

            • RedLogix 2.1.1.1.1.1

              So why then is Corbyn taking flack as an ‘idealist’ and ‘pacifist’ – when all he has asked for is pretty much the same as what you have outlined above? It’s a reasonable question Ad.

              • Ad

                The British media are not good at principled nuance. That’s his first mistake.
                After the sustained terrorist attacks in Europe over the past few years, most citizens aren’t up for rational diplomatic exchanges either.
                The other problem for Corbyn is the British experience of Islam, which ain’t great in a lot of suburbs.

                It would be great to see a post-NutjobMuslim Marshall Plan. But I no longer think it’s possible.

                The best we can now hope for (terrible way to think) is to squash ISIS into something smaller.

                Red I do not think that you’re some moist hippie. And a few years ago when ISIS were just a handful of mad dogs escapes from Iraq who got fed by the CIA, I would probably have agreed with you.

            • Pascals bookie 2.1.1.1.1.2

              Problem with that AD, is that a very large proportion of Syria will not accept any ‘solution’ that works with Assad’s regime.

              They have a veto on whether or not the civil war continues. Any international intervention that restores Assad’s control over the country will be met with an insurgency once any ‘peacekeepers’ are deployed. That insurgency will be funded by the smae ‘private’ financiers from Saudi, UAE and the other gulf states that fund the Sunni Islamists now. If you take the ISIS badge away, they will just reform into a new group that is more platable to those financiers.

              To the Arab Sunni world, the ‘Russia plan’ is the ‘Persian shia-dog plan’.

              The international community can’t just wish the underlying politics that are driving this war away, and think it will fix itself.

            • Mark 2.1.1.1.1.3

              Hard to reconcile that with Cameron advocating Assad be overthrown in his speech to Parliament.

    • savenz 2.2

      @ Ad It is clear that ISIS wants the bombing, that is their recruitment strategy!

      Quote from Nicolas Hénin

      “I was held hostage by Isis. They fear our unity more than our airstrikes”
      Nicolas Hénin

      http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/nov/16/isis-bombs-hostage-syria-islamic-state-paris-attacks

      Corbyn is right to stick to his position and oppose air strikes.

      • Ad 2.2.1

        I don’t care what ISIS wants. Nor should you. They are the enemy, and we are theirs.

        I’m also realistic enough to believe that there will not be ‘boots on the ground’ large scale armies from NATO forces to confront them, until there is a territorial threat to Europe, Turkey or Israel.

        So yes the best that NATO and Russian forces will do is degrade them with air strikes and bombing. We are many years off from an alternative set of countries being formed out of the Syrian mess.

        Of course, we could all just hold still, and let ISIS take over the whole of Syria. Wouldn’t take long.

        • RedLogix 2.2.1.1

          ISIS is widely regarded as one of the consequences of the last time we bombed the Middle East.

          Now I Ioath ISIS and all they stand for as much as anyone. Search this site for “RedLogix fundamentalist” and you’ll find me banging on about the dangers of religous bigots going back to 2008. So don’t for one instant paint me as a sympathiser or peacenik.

          But if there is one lesson the West should have learnt in the past 12 years, surely to God, is that initiating military action absent clear moral authority, coherent strategy and a plausible end-game – is always doomed to total failure.

          Even the US military has learnt this lesson the hard way.

        • Anno1701 2.2.1.2

          “Of course, we could all just hold still, and let ISIS take over the whole of Syria. Wouldn’t take long.”

          the conflict in Syria has already been going on for years and IS may take small parts of syria piecemeal but they are totally incapable of holding them against the myriad of opponents they face

          Yes they are a credible light infantry force with strong motivation/esprit de corps

          but they also a bunch of tweaking/speed freak religious nutters that have a toxic philosophy which isnt wanted by the majority in the region

          • Colonial Viper 2.2.1.2.1

            but they also a bunch of tweaking/speed freak religious nutters that have a toxic philosophy which isnt wanted by the majority in the region

            Except for certain highly monied and powerful types in: Saudi Arabia, Qatar, UAE, Turkey, Israel.

        • One Two 2.2.1.3

          Your comments indicate high levels of confusion

    • dialey 2.3

      If the west put as much effort and resources into cutting off the funding stream, cutting off the arms supply and scuttling the IS oil trade, there might be a very different outcome. As it is the arms military supply traders are rubbing their hands with glee at the prospect of yet another boost to their profits.

  3. BM 3

    This is the problem you get when you pick a idealist to run the show.

    Total failure.

    • savenz 3.1

      @ BM Yep the blairites did such a good job of winning the election! NOT!

      • savenz 3.1.1

        Maybe the neoliberals hawks in the UK Labour party want to blow up the Labour party more than they want to blow up Syrians.

        Sounds like ABC’s in NZ!

        So disciplined, so devoted to the Labour party leadership…..

    • RedLogix 3.2

      So ISIS represents the ‘total success’ achieved while you ‘realists’ have been in charge?

      OAB is right – you right wing dickheads NEVER take any responsibility for the shitty consequences of your actions.

      • McFlock 3.2.1

        heh

        The continued existence of ISIS/L/Daesh and al qaeda are prime examples of the victory of [warped] idealism over pragmatic realpolitik.

        • RedLogix 3.2.1.1

          Being also prime examples of the consequences of ‘pragmatic real-politik’ meddling.

        • DoublePlusGood 3.2.1.2

          Actually, they’re prime examples of what happens when you go around wrecking countries by invading them.

  4. tinfoilhat 4

    I was surprised to see some ‘realpolitik’ honesty in an editorial in todays SMH.

    http://www.smh.com.au/comment/no-military-answer-to-islamic-state-which-prospers-as-big-boys-squabble-20151125-gl8af3.html

    Which tends to mirror my assessment of the situation so I might have some bias as to the article.

    As for Corbyn I agree with many of his stated positions but am realistic that he has little to no show of being voted into power in the UK.

  5. Colonial Viper 5

    If the UK had bombed Assad last time around, ISIS would be in charge of Damascus right now.

    • DoublePlusGood 5.1

      If they’d bombed, there’d be even more refugees moving across Europe, displaced by even more structural instability in the region.

    • Ad 5.2

      That was probably the US calculation when they took out Ghaddafi in Libya.
      I agree that specific executions are a whole bunch better than waves of aerial bombing, but I think we are beyond curing it by a few executions in Syria now.

  6. Gosman 6

    How is allowing a conscience vote on matters of National security in any way a sign of a strong leader. Either the airstrikes are bad for the UK’s National securitity and shouldn’t go through or they are necessary to show solidarity with the UK’s allies. There should be no middle ground wishy washy position. UK Labour will look foolish and weak allowing a conscience vote.

    • Sanctuary 6.1

      The left is about peace. Those who vote for war will be marking their own card for further action at an electorate level.

    • It’s not a sign of a strong leader, Gosman. It’s a reflection of the situation Corbyn finds himself in. If he insists on caucus choosing between support or opposition to the UK joining in the bombing, he will lose. The shadow cabinet and wider caucus appear to overwhelmingly support taking action. So allowing a conscience vote would be clever politics and avoid a leadership crisis.

      • Gosman 6.2.1

        He’s an ineffectual leader if he can’t enforce a position that is principled and right (according to people here any way) amongst his own MP’s.

      • Sanctuary 6.2.2

        I am not sure if I agree with your summation TRP. Corbyn is being actively undermined and white-anted by a revanchist gang of Blairites and neoliberals that have no support in the wider membership. The chances of rapproachment between the Bairite rump and the Corbynistas are zero. Sooner or later, they are going to pull the trigger and either roll Corbyn – which will mean the end of the British Labour party and the end of true democratic choice in the UK for a generation or more – or if they fail they’ll defect at a time of their choosing, designed to cause the maximum damage to the Labour party. Surely if a showdown is judged inevitable then it is better for Corbyn to preempt the crisis, seize the initiative and force their hand?

        • te reo putake 6.2.2.1

          The difficulty is that on this issue, he’s also offside with most Labour members, supporters and voters. Support for intervention has risen since the Paris attacks. If he pushes it, he risks going down in flames. And I think he’s wise enough to play the long game, rather than just go for the ego boost of self imposed martyrdom.

          • Pascals bookie 6.2.2.1.1

            Just to be clear, are you saying he should support military action that he thinks is unwise, purely for domestic political reasons?

            EDIT:Ok, I see now you aren’t saying that, sorry.

            • te reo putake 6.2.2.1.1.1

              No worries, P’s b.

              If Corbyn finds a way through this I reckon his leadership will be strengthened. He’s made his personal position clear, and that will go down well with his supporters.

              If he can provide leadership that doesn’t antagonise or motivate those who oppose him within the party to push for a coup, then he will gain a bit of moral authority. A good leader doesn’t have to win every time and its no bad thing to allow democracy to prevail.

              btw Corbyn’s had a tough week already, with a key ally going off message and quoting Mao in parliament. Not a good look, no matter how well intentioned.

              http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2015/nov/25/john-mcdonnell-mao-zedong-little-red-book-george-osborne

  7. Sanctuary 7

    This is what politics was like when the Suffragettes made bombs and threw stones, when striking workers fought police and army with guns and bricks – in otherwords, this is what happens when you truly challenge the deep state and it’s institutions.

    The violence of the establishment reaction to Corbyn in the UK is in line with that sort of history, and the divisions in Labour are symptomatic of a revolutionary party that was set up by those who wished to challenge the deep state but has now been captured and institutionalised by that very deep state.

    Labour will not survive as a tweedle dum alternative to the Tories – why vote Labour when you can have the real thing – and it needs to detach itself from the establishment and become truly reformative again in order to survive. Sticking to their position over a antidote that proposes an Orwellian constant war supported by constant war mongering and an increasingly repressive surveillance stae is in the finest traditions of a broad left that believes in true freedom for all, and contains everyone from Quakers to anti-imperialists to radical socialists.

  8. maui 8

    New Zealand should be ashamed of itself for being involved in Iraq. All we’ve done is paint a target on our backs for the world’s most dangerous terrorist organization.

    Europe is suffering from millions of people on the move and huge domestic conflict, its like the consequences of World War 3 are here already. That’s the repercussions of Europe not standing up to your bullying friends like the US and saying no you’re not f-ing destroying the Middle East. New Zealand is in on this game too and the bad far outweighs the good we might achueve.

  9. Colonial Viper 9

    I posted this yesterday but it deserves a re-run.

    Dr Nafeez Ahmed details out how western powers have been right at the heart of the rise of extremism and terrorism in the Middle East:

    View at Medium.com

    In 2008, a US Army-commissioned RAND report confirmed that the US was attempting to “to create divisions in the jihadist camp. Today in Iraq such a strategy is being used at the tactical level.” This included forming “temporary alliances” with al-Qaeda affiliated “nationalist insurgent groups” that have fought the US for four years, now receiving “weapons and cash” from the US.

    The idea was, essentially, to bribe former al-Qaeda insurgents to breakaway from AQI and join forces with the Americans. Although these Sunni nationalists “have cooperated with al-Qaeda against US forces,” they are now being supported to exploit “the common threat that al-Qaeda now poses to both parties.”

    In the same year, former CIA military intelligence officer and counter-terrorism specialist Philip Geraldi, stated that US intelligence analysts “are warning that the United States is now arming and otherwise subsidizing all three major groups in Iraq.” The analysts “believe that the house of cards is likely to fall down as soon as one group feels either strong or frisky enough to assert itself.”

    • Ad 9.1

      The interview with the US Intelligence Commander in there is particularly tart.

      • Colonial Viper 9.1.1

        And a “senior Iraqi official” is quoted as saying

        “The Americans allowed ISIS to rise to power because they wanted to get Assad out from Syria. But they didn’t anticipate that the results would be so far beyond their control.”

        • Ad 9.1.1.1

          Arguably that makes an even greater moral imperative on the US (with a UN SC mandate for force) to finish what it started.

          And by ‘finish’, I mean precisely Obama’s phrasing of “degrade” first. I don’t think they are ever going to go away now.

          • Colonial Viper 9.1.1.1.1

            It seems to me they still want to use these groups to get rid of Assad however, so I don’t think very much has changed. It seems like a US supplied TOW missile was used by one of the anti-Assad groups to destroy a Syrian Army search and rescue helicopter looking for the downed Russian pilots. I imagine this kind of thing is going to continue.

  10. Colonial Viper 10

    And let’s not forget about the totally destructive war Saudi Arabia, the gulf’s richest state, is now waging against Yemen, the Gulf’s poorest state. If the Saudis succeed the result is likely to be another extremist Salafi militant base in the ME.

    And of course, the Saudis are conducting their massive war campaign using American supplied weapons and training.

  11. Hami Shearlie 11

    Jumping into striking Isis in Syria based on gung-ho emotion over Paris is a mistake in my view. George Bush and Blair did the same thing when the Towers were struck in NY and look how that’s turned out?Aghanistan and Iraq are still total disasters after all these years and probably will be for decades to come. A good deal more cold hard analysis with more spies on the ground or in the air using drones, and other types of surveillance both in Syria if possible, and the West, should be done before any moves are made. Revenge is a dish best served cold. Where Isis is getting their funding from should be a top priority to examine. Only by cutting off their money and lines of support can you hope to defeat them – as we saw on the news, tunnels they are using go for miles and miles underground. Targeting their supply lines such as those tunnels would severely curtail their activities. That’s how the Allies defeated Rommel in WW2!

    • savenz 11.1

      Hello it is not really a bit secret that some of the terrorism money comes from Saudi Arabia! U know the place where most of the 9/11 bombers came from! They are America’s official ‘friend’ and John Key can’t get enought of them so much so he has to send plane loads of sheep to be inhumanely killed and pay 11 million in bribes for a free trade agreement.
      Saddam hated muslims in Iraq it is his downfall and the destruction of Iraq through bombing than led to ISIS creation and uprising. USA used to fund the Taliban as well!

      The reality seems that the USA seems to be the key creator of terrorist groups so maybe they need to have a look at history, listen to some very intelligent people (not currently in the military) and have a strategy to bring their country back from the brink of both drowning in debt and funding groups that eventually hate the USA so much they want to bomb them in terrorist attacks.

      • Colonial Viper 11.1.1

        The article by Dr Nafeez Ahmed details out how 10 of the 15 Saudi 9/11 hijackers got their US visas through the US consulate in Jeddah. And how the visa office was staffed by CIA agents who let through Islamic militants who did not qualify for US visas.

    • dave brown 11.2

      As CV points out the US has deliberately used proxies, both its Arab state proxies and the Islamist cults that are backed by them, to advance its interests in the MENA and Afghanistan.

      However, today, on the other side is Iran, now backed by Russia and China.

      The main imperialist proxies (leaving out Israel a US tool), SA on the US side and Iran on the Russia/China side, happen to be Sunni and Shia respectively, so the battle lines have increasingly taken on a sectarian form to rally and discipline their forces.

      Since it was kicked out Iran by the revolution in 1979 followed by the counter-revolutionary Khomeini, the US and and its Israeli stooge has aimed its ‘axis of evil’ policy at Iran. The US backed Saddam in the Iraq/Iran war which Iraq lost. Saddam began to challenge the US in 1991 which responded to the first Gulf war killing over a million Iraqis in that war or by starving them with sanctions.

      After 9/11 Bush launched the war on terror and smashed the Baathist regime because it began to swing towards Russia. He took out the largely Sunni army leadership. It turns out that many of these leaders formed the beginning of what would become ISIS while in jail.

      The rise of China and Russia as born again imperialist powers in the 90s and 2000s forced the US to compromise in MENA tolerating Shia regimes in Syria and Iraq that did not rock the boat. Israel, SA, and it turns out Turkey, did not share this equanimity. When in 2011 the Arab Spring broke out and the popular masses had to be contained this created openings for AQ to emerge to prove itself as willing to take on that task against its rival radical Shia sects backed by Iran, and now by the China/Russia imperialist bloc.

      While NATO and SCO lined up with their Islamic proxies for control of oil in MENA, their main enemy was now the Arab revolution picking up momentum and threatening to overthrow their client dictators. Instant repression such as in Bahrain, or fake democracy followed by military dictatorship as in Egypt, or NATO intervention as in Libya, held the revolution at bay.

      Only in Syria did an armed popular revolution threaten to overthrow a dictator. The US intervened mainly to keep the popular uprising and the FSA without heavy weapons (as it had done in Libya) in the hope that Assad and the FSA would fight to a bloody draw. When after 4 years the FSA was making inroads on Assad despite the backing of Russia and Iran, the US and its proxies began arming their own sects. Waiting in the wings to fight the Shia aligned regimes was ISIS/Daesh. But Daesh was not prepared to act merely as a proxy for the US bloc, its origins in the former Iraqi regime meant it wanted to rewrite the old imperialist borders and stake out a nation state.

      All of this proves that all the lying rhetoric coming out of both imperialist blocs about a ‘war on terror’ is bullshit to mask their own rotten role in screwing over MENA for at least a century, and their power grab today when the global crisis is pushing the US to aggressively challenge both Russia and China, neither of which will back down if strategic interests are involved. Daesh is not a problem because it cuts throats and rapes women, but because it is not prepared to bow down to either imperialist bloc.

      The question of whether this particular proxy war will blow up into a world war depends on whether vital interests are at stake as in the Crimea, or stupid adventurist actions, like Erdogan shooting down a Russian plane, will lead to further misguided actions. But more importantly it depends on whether a mass anti-imperialist movement in the West and the East can halt the drive towards WW III.

      You can be sure that the only thing that will stop the imperialists or their client states from dragging the popular masses into a widening war sooner of later is popular resistance. That is why it is essential to oppose imperialist warmongering on both sides and not to be diverted by the ‘war on terror’. Only by stopping imperialism at home from intervening directly or indirectly in MENA and by backing the popular secular forces fighting for democracy against imperialist and Islamic reaction, can the Arab revolution rise again with any prospect of victory.

      Corbyn is taking a classic social democratic stand against the right wing Blairites backing of imperialist war, by arguing that a war under the aegis of the UN is somehow not imperialist. For him imperialism is not in the DNA of capitalism, rather its a disease that is “not nice to have”. The left including those inside the LP should be calling for the open resistance to Britain taking any part in any military intervention and out of NATO end of US bases, Trident etc.
      Instead the labour movement should be calling on workers to treat the Syrian civil war as today’s Spanish civil war, and send volunteers and arms to defeat Assad and and to reinforce the secular armed masses of MENA to to overthrow their reactionary regimes and kick the imperialists out.

  12. Tiger Mountain 12

    well a few labourites are finally posting on Corbyn, when he is in a very difficult situation of course, when he was first elected it seemed the cone of silence had descended upon the NZ Labour party, President Haworth has not uttered a public word about Jeremey Corbyn’s ascension as far as I am aware

    so any comment from the right of the NZLP should be taken in that spirit

    as for what should Corbyn do?–social media poll of Labour members and conscience vote for the MPs, very hard for a new leader not supported by many MPs to successfully say no to war of any kind in pommy land

  13. b waghorn 13

    Blanket bombing will achieve fuck all more than kill more innocents and create more enemies of the west.
    I don’t care how moral someone’s reasons are for bombing if you kill a persons kids they will oppose you till their last breath, l would.
    Boots on the ground to dig Isis out of its strongholds and either capture or kill the leaders is the only way.

    • greywarshark 13.1

      “I don’t care how moral someone’s reasons are for bombing if you kill a persons kids they will oppose you till their last breath, l would.”

      This is such an obvious point that I am surprised it gets overlooked. Israel happily keep their war of attrition going by always killing and destroying more than anything that the Palestinians do so they are always on the back foot with big losses of people and environment to retaliate against.

      Same with every country and people.

    • ZTesh 13.2

      But then you end up sacrificing thousands of our own soldiers and leaving their families and communities bereft.

      The only effective strategy is the one that kills the most ISIS and the least amount of innocents be they civilians or our own soldiers.

  14. Wayne 14

    The reason why this is difficult for many Labour MP’s (though not Corbyn) is that they know the issue is more than just about ISIS and Syria.

    It is also about how the UK is generally positioned alongside its principal allies.

    So if the US, France (and Russia for that matter) have decided that ISIS needs to be dealt to in Syria, if the UK declines to be involved they are fundamentally stepping back from a leadership role in the West and in NATO.

    Of course that is no concern to Corbyn, in fact he would welcome it. But it will worry quite a few Labour MP’s. They won’t want to be associated with such a strategy.

    So while it is an internal struggle for the soul of Labour, it is also about how the Left are seen to perceive the role of Britain in the world.

    For the Hard Left it is to back out of western leadership in a traditional sense and become something like a Nordic nation. For the Middle Left they consider that Britain should be able to be counted alongside their key allies of France and the US.

    • Pascals bookie 14.1

      God you talk some shit son.

      • Tracey 14.1.1

        And is paid quarter of a million to be a law commissioner. He can obviously magic away his deep seated biases… I am surpised Boshier got the Oversight of ombudsmen not Wayne, but perhaps that would be too obvious. 😉

    • Bill 14.2

      You serenely over-looking the last UK Commons vote on bombing Syria?

      Labour, SNP, Plaid Cymru, Greens etc all against. Some defecting Tory’s against too. Now sure, Cameron sent the RAF off to drop bombs on people in spite of losing the vote, but that’s another story.

    • Pascals bookie 14.3

      So if the US, France (and Russia for that matter) have decided that ISIS needs to be dealt to in Syria, if the UK declines to be involved they are fundamentally stepping back from a leadership role in the West and in NATO.

      This is just amazing, frankly.

      As is this:

      So while it is an internal struggle for the soul of Labour, it is also about how the Left are seen to perceive the role of Britain in the world.

      I think it deserves a fisking in fact, given it comes from a former Minister of Defence who one would think would have the benefit of least some residual knowledge from briefings that the rest of us aren’t privvy to.

      “the US, France (and Russia for that matter) have decided that ISIS needs to be dealt to in Syria,”

      Look at how Russia is put in brackets there, as if it Russia is more of a bit player than NATO at the moment. Compare that to the actual facts.

      Russia is allied with Assad and Iran, and through them Iraq. ie. in the two theatres.
      The NATO led coalition of 60 or whatever they are calling it is sort of allied to Iraq, but wants Assad gone. That contradiction between the two theatres is what has paralysed them, along with the fact that the gulf states in the coalition don’t at all like Assad or the Baghdad govt. There is little real desire from those allies to restore Syrian or Iraqi state integrity, hence the big barrel of nothing that is being done.

      Russia, on the other hand (and I have no time for Putin, just calling what’s obvious obvious) has a strategy that makes sense. They don’t give a shit about what the gulf states think, and so are free to support the govts in Iraq and Syria. To that end they are hitting the non ISIS regime opponents in Syria first, this will have numerous effects but the mid game is to make ISIS the only alternative to Assad and thus put the west in a box.

      Now how the fuck does what Cameron is describing ‘deal to ISIS’? Seriously. How does it. Explain this to me in terms of assymetric warfare. All we are hearing is various forms of more of the same. That fundamental contradcition in what the west is trying to do in Ira and Syria remains in place, and it is that contradiction that is creating the space ISIS thrives in.

      Look at that last piece TRP linked to. ISIS has steadied itself in the Sunni areas, just as any half competent analyst would expect given there is a sectarian war being fought with outside support for the actors. Militia are primarily defensive. they can attack into areas with poulations that are like them, they struggle to take or hold areas populated by their sectarian opponents. The Kurds are making gains in areas that aren’t Sunni, for example.

      “if the UK declines to be involved they are fundamentally stepping back from a leadership role in the West”

      Leadership role in the west. News flash wayne. the west is following here. We have no coherent strategy to deal with the facts that exist on the ground. We are bound by our shitty little despotic gulf state alliances, states that are more than happy to ignore the shit out of our desires and fire up the funding for terrorist groups destabilising shia govts they don’t like. The govt in Baghdad is more than happy to take our training and then sit on their arses because they have no particular desire to fight to liberate a bunch of Sunnis who have no real desire to be governed by them.

      On what planet is this ‘western leadership’?

      ” it is also about how the Left are seen to perceive the role of Britain in the world”

      Andthere we have it. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if that is how a bunch of Blairites see it, but I’m surprised that a former Minister of Defence sees it that way, or falls back on such morally vacous reasoning so quickly.

      that concern about perception, at the cost of ignoring actual reality, is telling to me. this isn’t about domestic partisan politcs, or it oughtn’t be. that’s not ‘leadership’ is the opposite, it’s arrogance and a complete failure to unnderstand asymetric warfre to boot. Whose ‘percetion’ are we talking about here?

      Whose perception matters, in an assymetric war, Wayne?

  15. Wayne Mapp 15

    Bill
    Obviously I am aware of the last vote and how it went. But circumstances have changed. Paris is the largest terrorist event since 9/11. The US, France and in a fashion, Russia are acting in concert.
    That is why Cameron is now putting a new case, and why it is a challenge for many UK Labour MP’s.
    Now I appreciate most commenters on The Standard are Corbynites, but that is not the only rational viewpoint. Obviously many UK Labour MPs are finding this is a challenging issue. And most of them are not fools and knaves as some commenters here seem to believe.

    • lprent 15.1

      Now I appreciate most commenters on The Standard are Corbynites

      Huh? How could you guess that? Some commenters actively support Corbyn. Others are mildly interested. But most would be in a wait and see mode. I know I am. And that doesn’t even count the right wing comment who uniformly think he is a pain.

      Where did you suck that bit of wisdom from? Your arse?

      • b waghorn 15.1.1

        I’m very wary of Corbyn due to the fact he made a radical vegan his shadow minister for farming,

    • Tracey 15.2

      Wow. You dont cout stuff in middle east countries?

      And remember when Obama denied the US bombdd MSF … 24 hours later? And how long til they admitted it?

      Biggest… what a vacuous measure you invoke.

      Do you support all opposition leaders in western countries who are “right”?

    • Ad 15.3

      Come on Wayne step the debate up and stop throwing bait out.
      You’re better than that.

    • DoublePlusGood 15.4

      “Paris is the largest terrorist event since 9/11”
      You cannot be serious. By what measure? Here are some terrorist attacks since September 11, 2001 where loss of life was greater:
      Bali?
      Moscow, 2002?
      Beslan?
      Madrid?
      The Ashura bombings in Iraq 2004?
      Sadr City, 2006?
      April 2006, Baghdad?
      Train bombing in Mumbai 2006?
      August 2007, Iraq bombing of Yazidi communities?
      Mumbai, 2008?
      January 2012 attacks in northern Nigeria?
      May 2013, Iraq?
      May 2014 attacks in northern Nigeria?
      The plane blown up over Sinai around the time of the Paris attacks?

      Or did you just mean “Terrorist attack with the largest amount of attention from the West?”

    • Colonial Viper 15.5

      Wayne, your historically blind commentary showcases the “senility of the elites” afflicting western leadership at present.

      ISIS/Daesh territory is entirely landlocked.

      If NZ wants to stop ISIS/daesh, we should be protesting to the Turkish Government to shut down the border crossings used by ISIS to ferry men, materiel and oil.

      We should also insist that the legitimate government of Syria and its institutions and military forces be a key component of the fight against ISIS/Daesh in Syria.

  16. Ad 16

    A quandary I am coming to is that almost every action available about Syria would seem to make things worse, including Do Nothing. So we must choose the least damaging of options (Sounds very similar to the Climate Change debate!).

    I can’t for the life of me see anyone but the UN Security Council – fragile filament of political reality that it is – forming the super-coherence among world leaders that is needed.

    There is also very little alignment and very serious conflict among a wide-ranging group of powers that are allegedly in some areas working together. This list of collaborators at risk of coming to blows with one another includes the United States, Russia, Iran, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, the Gulf states, Israel, France, Iraq, and others. If they are going to shoot each others’ planes down, it gets pretty hard to form proper and mandated coalitions. Nut jobs like Trump don’t help either.

    Sometimes looking at the changing maps of the Middle East makes me think of a version of the Balkans prior to World War One. It’s a great Gordian Knot of interconnected and thorny problems that are getting worse. The more we struggle with it, the worse the problems become for us.

    But the great difference between history and present events is: the present doesn’t wait.

    • Pascals bookie 16.1

      https://crankville.wordpress.com/2015/11/18/what-is-the-un-even-for-though/

      “I think a solution won’t look like a simple military slice of the knot. The regional players, (not just the states, but the tribes and the patrons and all the rest), need to grapple with the borders and create states that are legitimate.

      That is going to be hard. It won’t be easy to get representatives around the table. But at least it will face the actual issues. Everything from a Kurdish state, to a new Sunni state in Anbar, to exile for Assad with a trial in absentia, protection of the Allawites and whatever all else, will have to be on the table.

      The international community will need to step in with peacekeepers, probably for decades. Syria will need to be rebuilt. The UN must play a massive role. It will not be cheap. I reckon the arms and oil cos should foot the bill myself, but it may be that tax hikes in the west (gasp) are necessary.

      Many people say this threat is like WWII, and if that’s true, then what I’m talking about shouldn’t be seen as an extreme response. I think it’s a more rational one than trying to work out who we should betray next. It will probably, despite it’s enormous cost, be cheaper than another 20 years of war.”

    • Anne 16.2

      I can’t for the life of me see anyone but the UN Security Council – fragile filament of political reality that it is – forming the super-coherence among world leaders that is needed.

      And just imagine if Helen Clark was running the show. Even Putin would be falling into line and doing what he was told. 😈

  17. Pascals bookie 17

    This is interesting too, from Iraq

    “WATCH: US-led coalition airstrike destroys ISIS bridge near Ramadi, Iraq.”

    “ISIS bridge”

    “Coalition airstrike destroys daesh bridge near Ramadi Iraq 18 Nov to protect Iraqi security forces from VBIED attacks”

    Who is on the deffensive?

    Destroying a pretty damn big bridge to stop VBIEDs?

    How long are we expecting Daesh to be in control of Ramadi?

    Is that bridge really of more use to them than us?

    hmmm.

    • Colonial Viper 17.1

      It’s tactical destruction of Iraqi infrastructure. I’m sure Bechtel will get a contract to rebuild the bridge in due course.

  18. Wayne 18

    Some of you seem to think I have extreme views on this issue. But if I do they seem to widely held among governments that we are normally quite close to.

    Obviously Hollande and Obama, neither of whom could be described as of the Right, hold them. It also seems that quite a few UK Labour MP’s also hold them.

    So they don’t justify the protestations of outrage they seem to have generated.

    And it hardly seems unreasonable for me to speculate on what many UK Labour MP’s will be thinking. I have met enough UK Labour MP’s over the years to know that many of them will be evaluating the issue in the manner I have described.

    But some of the responses do show the danger of me saying anything at all on The Standard, even if it is only on how I perceive that MP’s in another nation might be considering an issue that is of international interest.

    • Pascals bookie 18.1

      Hi Wayne.

      I don’t think you have extreme views. I simply don’t know what your views are, as you simply mouth weird meta statements about perceptions.

      I wrote a fairly long comment that you seem to be reponding to while avoiding any of the actual points or questions that I raised, which pretty much confirms my point I think.

      Have a good weekend though.

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    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • The SIS unlawfully spied on Nicky Hager
    Back in 2011, journalist Nicky Hager published Other People's Wars, an expose on NZDF's activities over the previous decade of the "war on terror". NZDF didn't like this, and especially didn't like the fact that it was base don leaks from their own. So, they had the SIS investigate him ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • October 2019 – Newsletter
    https://mailchi.mp/7d9133add053/closing-the-gap-october-2019-newsletter ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    1 week ago
  • And they wonder why we think they’re environmental vandals…
    The Zero Carbon Bill is due back from select committee in two weeks, and will likely pass its final stages in November. So naturally, farmers are planning a hate-march against it. But they're not just demanding lower methane targets so they can keep on destroying the planet; they're also demanding ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Paying the price in California
    Last year, California burned. This year, to stop it happening again (or rather, to stop themselves from being found liable if it happens again), Pacific Gas and Electric is cutting power to half the state for a week:Schools are closed. Traffic lights down. Tunnels dark. Businesses unopened. Hospitals running on ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Let’s Hear It For Up-Close-And-Personal, Hard-Copy Democracy!
    The Best Way: Missing from the on-line voting debate is any reference to the voting system that produces turn-out figures ranging from 77 to 93 percent of registered voters. The voting system used to collect and count the votes cast in our parliamentary elections. The system that involves citizens making ...
    1 week ago
  • 10/10: World Day Against the Death Penalty
    Today, October 10, is the world day against the death penalty. Out of 195 UN member states, 84 still permit capital punishment. Today is the day we work to change that. This year's theme is children. Having a parent sentenced to death or executed causes long-term trauma and stigmatization which ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Talking Freer Lives: a Marxist gender-critical perspective from Australia
    Among the great new bunch of political friends we have been making recently is the excellent Australian-based Marxist gender-critical site, Freer Lives.  So we asked the comrade who set up that blog to write something for Redline on the blog, himself, his analysis of the rise of gender politics and ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Government spin accepted by union leadership
    by Don Franks  The Auckland City Mission is struggling with a 40 percent increase in demand for food parcels this year. A total of 23,020 were needed by June. Last month Missioner Chris Farrelly told the Herald the “cupboards are bare” and without an emergency food drive, he can’t see ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Forbidden Thoughts
    by The Council of Disobedient Women   Massey Wellington Student Association had a sit-in today. Imagine a sit-in. On a campus. Against a women’s rights meeting. Did the ’60s really happen or did we fucking dream it? They gathered in the student square, an echo chamber. Sitting on soft pillows ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Much love to my loyal Ukrainian readership
    For some reasons, my post about the mystery message from inside the Downing Street bunker seemed to catch people's attention.  Quite a lot of hits from NZ (unsurprisingly) and the USA (a bit more puzzlingly, but hi there, USAians!!) and 76 views from the Ukraine.I've celebrated my Ukrainian readers in ...
    1 week ago
  • Another day of bonkers GNUmours (again, sorry)
    First, almost a score of Labour MPs seem to have sent a letter to the EU basically begging them to accept a deal - any deal - just so Britain can get the Heck on with Brexiting instead of being trapped in limbo:
    To avoid no deal, deliver on the ...
    1 week ago
  • Labour vs working class immigrants – again!
    by Phil Duncan In 2016 the National-led government suspended the Parent Visa Category, through which migrants were able to bring their parents into New Zealand.  Since then over 5,700 people have been in immigration limbo, stuck on the visa wait list. Labour is now bringing back the scheme.  Well, sort ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Speak Up for Women press statement: on Massey University and Feminism 2020
    The following was released yesterday (Tues, October 8) by the women’s liberation organisation Speak Up for Women. On 23 September Speak Up For Women announced that we would be holding an event at the Massey University Theaterette in Wellington. The event is called Feminism 2020. The intention of the event ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Farmers support dirty rivers
    The government is currently consulting on plans to improve freshwater quality. So naturally, farmers oppose it:South Taranaki farmers are preparing to fight proposed national freshwater changes that some fear will bankrupt them. The Government's proposed National Environment Standard on Freshwater Management, released in September, rated the Waingongoro River as one ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • No-one cares about local government
    Yesterday was the last day for (reliably) posting your vote away in local body elections. Turnouts are mostly much lower than the equivalent time last year (Palmerston North is down 2.3%), and so naturally people are pushing their online-voting snake oil again. Because the online census worked so well, lets ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • The political ghosts of eugenics may matter more than the genetic
    This essay, on the political legacy of the eugenics movement, by Kenan Malik was originally published in the Observer on 6 October 2019, under the headline ‘The spirit of eugenics is still with us, as immigrants know to their cost’. Birth control. Intelligence tests. Town planning. Immigration controls. It’s striking how ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • “Surplus” again
    Another year, and the government has announced another enormous government "surplus". And just like last year, its nothing of the sort. When we have people homeless and sick and hungry, when we have schools and hospitals still falling down, when we have underpaid public servants and infrastucture unmaintained or unbuilt, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Inside the Downing Street bunker
    James Forsyth at The Spectator (I know, I know) has tapped one of his contacts inside Number Ten for an insight into the Johnson administration's thinking and strategy.It is fascinating, unsettling and quite, quite mad.  Some key points:Negotiations have stalled and the Johnson administration are keen to blame the EU: ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Taking Control Of The Nation’s Story.
    Fatal Contact: With the arrival of captain James Cook in October 1769, the islands of what would become New Zealand ceased to be the preserve of Polynesian navigators and settlers and became a part of both the world’s map and the world’s history.THE MAORI NATIONALIST assault upon the historical meaning ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Are GNUs extinct?
    Another round of tactical talks about forming a Government of National Unity have come to nothing with the Liberal Democrats still refusing countenance putting Jeremy Corbyn into Downing Street:Opposition talks on Monday made little headway over when to try and vote down Boris Johnson's government and who might succeed him as ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour chickens out again
    When the government was elected, it promised to lead the way on electric vehicles, and specifically to make the government vehicle fleet emissions-free where-practicable by 2025.They lied:There are 15,473 vehicles in the government fleet and only 78 are electric. When the coalition Government came into power in late 2017, the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Transgender extremism, violence at work against feminist meeting at British Labour Party conference
    by Nick Rogers The debate around the meaning of sex and gender made an appearance at this year’s British Labour Party conference in Brighton. Women’s Place UK – an organisation that questions the demand that biological males who self-identify as woman should have access to women’s spaces, to all-women shortlists, ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Rebelling in Wellington
    Yesterday I went down to Wellington to participate in the Extinction Rebellion protest. Its part of the latest global wave of XR actions, with actions happening all over the world. Some of those protests are massively disruptive: in Canada, XR is blocking major bridges, stopping people from getting to work. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago

  • Methane reducing cattle feed one step closer
    The Government today announced its support for a project that could substantially reduce agricultural greenhouse gas emissions from cattle. The announcement was made as part of Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s and Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor’s visit to Nelson’s Cawthron Aquaculture Park. The Cawthron Institute will receive $100,000 from the Government’s ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Bill to refresh superannuation system passes first reading
    Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni has welcomed the first reading of the New Zealand Superannuation and Veteran’s Pension Legislation Amendment Bill. “Every New Zealander has a stake in New Zealand Superannuation and Veteran’s Pension,” says Carmel Sepuloni. “They are our most common form of social assistance – nearly 800,000 New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government announces next steps in fight against measles
    Babies in Auckland aged six months and over can receive a free vaccination and children will all have access to vaccines, Associate Minister of Health Julie Anne Genter announced today at Papatoetoe High School.   The move comes as part of Government efforts to step up the fight against measles. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Speech to the New Zealand Institute of International Affairs, Pacific Futures: Connections, Identity...
    ***Check against delivery*** Good morning. It is a pleasure to be here, and to have the honour of opening this important conference on behalf of the New Zealand Institute of International Affairs. Let us take the opportunity to acknowledge all the people who have helped make today possible, including our special ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Police trial new response to high risk events
    Police Minister Stuart Nash says the safety of frontline officers and members of the public will be the focus of a new trial of specialist Police response teams in three of our largest urban centres. Police have this morning released details of an initiative to be trialled in Counties Manukau, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New awards celebrate fisheries sustainability
    The Minister of Fisheries is calling for entries for a new public award to celebrate innovation in our seafood sector. “I have established the Seafood Sustainability Awards to recognise and celebrate those throughout industry, tangata whenua and communities who demonstrate outstanding dedication and innovation towards the sustainability of New Zealand’s ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • More progress for women and we can do more
    Minister for Women Julie Anne Genter welcomes leaders in the private sector taking action on closing their gender pay gaps to ensure a fairer workplace for all New Zealanders. Ms Genter today launched a new report, Addressing the gender pay gap and driving women’s representation in senior leadership, from the Champions for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Proposals to curb environmental damage help our coasts and the oceans
    Government Ministers today welcomed the release of a marine environment report highlighting the four key issues affecting our oceans, estuaries and coastlines.  The release underlines the importance of government proposals to combat climate pollution, ensure clean freshwater, protect biodiversity, make land use more sustainable, and reduce waste and plastic.    Environment ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New mental health facility for Waikato
    The Government has approved funding for a new acute mental health facility for Waikato which will provide better care and support to people with mental health and addiction issues. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Health Minister Dr David Clark announced the $100 million project to replace the aging Henry Rongomau ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • 500 new te reo Māori champions in our classrooms
    The Government is making progress on its goal to integrate te reo Māori into education by 2025, with over 500 teachers and support staff already graduating from Te Ahu o te Reo Māori,  Associate Education Minister Kelvin Davis announced today. Kelvin Davis made the announcement at an awards ceremony in Waikanae today, for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Minister James Shaw welcomes 2018 Census first release
    Statistics Minister James Shaw has welcomed the first release of 2018 Census data. The first release of data today, 23 September, includes key data on population, regional growth, the number of homes and the size of different ethnic groups in New Zealand. Data from the 2018 Census will support the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Driving transparency, ethics and accountability in government use of algorithms
    Minister for Statistics James Shaw today announced a public consultation on a proposed algorithm charter for government agencies. The charter has been developed by the Government Chief Data Steward in response to growing calls for more transparency in government use of data. Computer algorithms – procedures or formulas for solving ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New Zealand and the Netherlands working together on climate change
    Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor, Climate Change Minister James Shaw and visiting Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte co-hosted a business roundtable in Auckland this morning focused on working together to address climate change.  “The Netherlands is an important partner for New Zealand. We share a strong agricultural history. Sustainable agribusiness and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Protecting fairness for workers and businesses
    The Government is taking action to build an inclusive economy where more of us receive our fair share at work and businesses can compete on great products and services, not undercutting wages and conditions, Immigration and Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Iain Lees-Galloway says. Two consultations launched today seek feedback ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Indigenous Freshwater Fish Bill Passes
    The future for New Zealand’s threatened indigenous freshwater fish looks brighter with the passing of the Conservation (Indigenous Freshwater Fish) Amendment Bill in Parliament today said Minister of Conservation, Eugenie Sage. “Until now, our freshwater fish legislation has been 20 years out of date. We have lacked effective tools to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Kiwis to take part in world’s biggest earthquake drill
    At 1.30pm tomorrow, hundreds of thousands of Kiwis will join about 65 million people around the globe in ShakeOut, the world’s biggest earthquake drill. The annual drill is to remind people of the right action to take during an earthquake which is to Drop, Cover, Hold, and to practise their ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Rising wages and low inflation supporting Kiwis
    Kiwis are benefiting from higher wage growth and low inflation under the Coalition Government. Stats NZ data out today shows the rise in the cost of living remains low, as annual Consumers Price Index (CPI) inflation fell to 1.5% in September from 1.7% in June. “The low inflation comes as ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • NZ economy strong amid global headwinds
    New Zealand’s economic strength and resilience has been recognised in a major update on the state of the global economy. The IMF’s latest World Economic Outlook released overnight shows a reduced global growth forecast over the next two years as issues like the US-China trade war and Brexit take hold. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Keeping New Zealanders safer with better counter-terrorism laws
    Justice Minister Andrew Little has today introduced a new Bill to prevent terrorism and support the de-radicalisation of New Zealanders returning from overseas. The Terrorism Suppression (Control Orders) Bill gives the New Zealand Police the ability to apply to the High Court to impose control orders on New Zealanders who ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Improved succession and dispute resolution core of Ture Whenua changes
    A Bill that proposes targeted changes to simplify the processes for Māori land owners when engaging with the Māori Land Court has had its First Reading today. “The approach taken by the Government is to ensure that the protection of Māori land remains a priority as we seek to improve ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Speech to CTU Biennial Conference
    Let me first thank all the new unionists and members in the room. There is nothing more important to improving people’s working lives than people making the decision to care, to get on board and help, to take up the reins and get involved. Congratulations to you. You bring the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Minister ensures continued Whenuapai flight operations
    Minister of Defence Ron Mark has signed a certificate exempting the activity of engine testing at Whenuapai Airbase from the Resource Management Act 1991. The Act gives the Minister of Defence the power to exempt activities for the purposes of national security.  The certificate will mean the recent Environment Court ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • NZ joins Coalition of Finance Ministers for Climate Action
    Finance Minister Grant Robertson has announced New Zealand will join the Coalition of Finance Ministers for Climate Action while attending APEC meetings in Chile. The objective of the 39 member Coalition is to share information and promote action to tackle climate change. It was formed in April this year, in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Feedback Sought – Section 71 – Lyttelton Parking
    Feedback sought– Lyttelton commercial zone parking  The Associate Minister for Greater Christchurch Regeneration, Poto Williams, is seeking feedback on a proposal to remove on-site car parking requirements for new developments in the Lyttelton commercial zone.  The proposal, by Christchurch City Council, asks that powers under section 71 of the Greater ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Feedback Sought – Section 71 – Hagley Oval
    Hon Minister Poto Williams Associate Minister for Greater Christchurch Regeneration   MEDIA STATEMENT       Tuesday 15 October 2019 Feedback sought – Hagley Oval The Associate Minister for Greater Christchurch Regeneration, Poto Williams, is seeking feedback on a proposal about Hagley Oval. The proposal was developed by Regenerate Christchurch ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • CTU speech – DPM
    Ladies and gentlemen, NZCTU President Richard Wagstaff, members of respective unions – thank you for the invitation to speak to you today. This might be preaching to the choir, but the importance of trade unions in New Zealand’s historical arch is difficult to understate. And it is my belief that ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Police Association Annual Conference
    "Let’s start by acknowledging that it has been a huge year. " Police Association Annual Conference James Cook Grand Chancellor Hotel Wellington Nau mai, haere mai. Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, ka nui te mihi, ki a koutou katoa. President of the Police Association, Chris Cahill; Members of the Association and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • New Zealand announces a further P-3 deployment in support of UN sanctions
    Minister of Foreign Affairs Winston Peters and Minister of Defence Ron Mark have announced the New Zealand Government’s decision to again deploy a Royal New Zealand Air Force P-3K2 (P-3) maritime patrol aircraft to support the implementation of United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions imposing sanctions against North Korea. New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • New Zealand deeply concerned at developments in north-east Syria
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters says New Zealand continues to have serious concerns for peace and stability in north-east Syria. “Recent reports that hundreds of ISIS-affiliated families have fled from a camp are deeply concerning from a humanitarian and security perspective”, Mr Peters says. “While we acknowledge Turkey’s domestic security ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government on high alert for stink bugs
    Biosecurity Minister Damien O’Connor is warning travelling Kiwis to be vigilant as the high-season for the crop-eating brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB) is under way. “We’re on high alert to stop BMSB arriving in NZ. The high season runs until April 30 and we’ve strengthened our measures to stop stink ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Better protections for students in halls of residence
    The Government is moving swiftly to change the law to improve the welfare and pastoral care of students living in university halls of residence and other tertiary hostels. Cabinet has agreed to several changes, including creating a new mandatory Code of Practice that sets out the duty of pastoral care ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • New trapping guide for community and expert trappers alike
    The Minister for Conservation Eugenie Sage has launched a new comprehensive trapping guide for community trappers to help them protect our native birds, plants and other wildlife, at Zealandia in Wellington today. ‘A practical guide to trapping’, has been developed by the Department of Conservation (DOC), and was launched during ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Widening Access to Contraceptives Welcomed
    Associate Health Minister Julie Anne Genter welcomes PHARMAC’s move to improve access to long-acting reversible contraception (LARCs). PHARMAC has today announced it will fund the full cost of Mirena and Jaydess for anyone seeking long term contraception, lifting previous restrictions on access to Mirena. “I welcome women having greater choices ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Major upgrade for Taranaki Base Hospital
    The Government has approved the next stage of a major redevelopment of Taranaki Base Hospital, which will deliver new and improved facilities for patients. Health Minister Dr David Clark has announced details of a $300 million dollar project to build a new East Wing at the New Plymouth hospital. It ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Extra support for rural families
    Extra funding will allow Rural Support Trusts to help farming families, says Minister for Rural Communities and Agriculture Damien O’Connor. “I know that rural families are worried about some of the challenges facing them, including the ongoing uncertainty created by the Mycoplasma bovis outbreak. “Those concerns sit alongside ongoing worries ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Howard Leaque Beekeeper programme graduation
    Thank you for the opportunity to be here to present certificates to the 16 graduates who have completed a beekeeping course delivered by the Howard League.  Let us start by acknowledging Auckland Prison’s Deputy Prison Director Tom Sherlock, and Acting Assistant Regional Commissioner of Corrections Northern Region Scott Walker - ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Finance Minister to attend APEC meetings
    Finance Minister Grant Robertson leaves this weekend to attend the APEC Finance Ministers meeting in Santiago, Chile. Discussions between APEC Finance Ministers at the meeting will include the effects of the current global economic uncertainty, risks for APEC economies and sustainable development of the region. While at APEC Grant Robertson ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Pacific languages are a source of strength, they ground us and build confidence
    The Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio says for Pacific people, language can be a source of strength. It can help ground us and give us confidence. When we speak them, our languages provide us with an immediate and intimate access to our identity and our story - and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Major boost to support disabled people in sport and recreation
    The Coalition Government has announced an action plan to improve the wellbeing of disabled New Zealanders by addressing inequalities in play, active recreation and sport. The initiative includes training to develop a workforce that understands the needs of children and young people with a range of impairments, advocacy for fit ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • More prefab homes to be built as red tape cut
    The construction sector is being freed up to allow more homes to be built more quickly as the Government cuts through some of the red tape of the Building Act.  “Every New Zealander deserves a warm, dry, safe home and old inefficiencies in the Building Act make building slow and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago