Crime rises, Nats’ get tough policies have no effect

Written By: - Date published: 9:21 am, January 13th, 2010 - 62 comments
Categories: crime, national/act government - Tags:

You might recall that a bit over a year ago a salesman in a nice suit with a nice smile came and sold us a brighter future. We haven’t seen all that much of that salesman since then but we can remember what he promised to deliver in that ‘brighter future’. We even have the billboards.

There was higher incomes (through the magic of tax cuts), there was ultra-fast broadband (now rebranded as merely ‘fast broadband’), we were going to get “more doctors, more nurses, less bureaucrats” (and, presumably, betterer teachers), and National promised to “make our neighbourhoods safer: tougher bail, sentencing, and parole”. I might come back to some of the others in future posts but, for now, let’s look at the last one.

National did indeed change parole and bail laws but did it do anything? Has that reduced crime to “make our neighbourhoods safer” as promised? Because if it hasn’t, they’re just a wasting time and taxpayer money.

Well, surprise, surprise, crime hasn’t fallen since National passed these laws under Urgency in December 2008. In the six months following their passing, crime rose by nearly 5% compared to the same period in the previous year (population growth was 1.1%, btw).

OK, I can hear you righties already – ‘six months isn’t long enough. These policies, despite having the immediate effect of keeping more people in jail longer, need time to bring the crime rate down’.

Well, the full year crime stats aren’t out for a while yet but because there are relatively few of them and they all get reported under the joyful Herald’s ‘assault and homicide’ tag I was able to count up the killings (murder + manslaughter) in the last six months and compare with the total with past stats. I wouldn’t reccommend it – not a lot of fun.

And not a good result for the ‘Lock ’em Up Longer’ brigade. Killings rose from 34 in the six months before National’s ‘get tough’ laws were passed to 36 in the next six months, and 44 in the last six months. Of course, random clusters happen with relatively uncommon events but 44 in the last six months is the 3rd worse toll in the last 15 years, the 5th worse allowing for population growth. It doesn’t look like the Nats’ ‘tough’ crime policies have done anything to reduce the worst offences.

My point here is not to blame the Government for these killings. Most homicides are the result of a lethal combination of passing rage, stupidity, and intoxication, and mostly it’s family, friends, and partners, not criminal strangers.

What I am trying to show is how foolish it is to claim that a ‘good dose of law and order’ will magically prevent crime. National’s policies have done nothing to reduce homicides and other crime because their formula simply doesn’t work.

A Government that really wanted to reduce crime, rather than one that was simply pandering to populism to get elected, would concerntrate on the well-known and understood causes of crime – the biggest of which are unemployment-induced poverty and deprivation.

62 comments on “Crime rises, Nats’ get tough policies have no effect”

  1. tsmithfield 1

    How about this possibility Marty.

    Up until recently people haven’t bothered reporting a lot of crimes because they thought nothing would get done about it anyway.

    Since the changes to the laws with respect to crime people now feel like something will happen if they report crime, so they are more willing to take action and actually report crime.

    • Bill 1.1

      All those unreported murders, eh?

    • Bright Red 1.2

      Even the slightest bit of evidence to support your claim that crimes weren’t being reported in the past?

      No. Just another rightwing myth.

      Even the slightest bit of evidence that chagnes to parole and bail laws have affected people’s likelihood to reports crimes? No, of course not. God, I feel sorry for your employer if that’s the kind of logic you use in your work.

      You do realise that to claim insurance after a burglary, you need a police report, eh?

      • Crash Cart 1.2.1

        Didn’t the left use the same reasoning to explain the increased number of reported child abuse incidents after the introduction of the changes to section 59? I remember hearing it trotted out that there had been a change in attitude and that more people were reporting incidents as opposed to more people falling within the scope of the law.

        • IrishBill 1.2.1.1

          Nope. You’re thinking of the spike in reporting of domestic abuse following the “it’s not OK” campaign.

          While that’s still a correlative rather than causative analysis it’s one that is a lot more plausible than tsmiths as, unlike burglaries, stranger assaults and homicides, domestic violence has proven under-reporting rates.

        • Sam 1.2.1.2

          Yes because domestic abuse and murders are the same thing.

  2. sweetd 2

    I am sure being in a recession (for part of the period) and high unemployment due to the recession have major impacts on crime levels.

    What can’t be proven is what level homicides would be at without the nats crime policies. One can only speculate, it may have been higher or lower.

    My point is, you can not address this this in the simplistic way, that is, nats crime policies are ineffective when you can not measure the effect that major recessions are having on society.

    • Rob Carr 2.1

      Except the Nats job is to fix our recession and not see us go though a doubling in our unemployment rate since April 2008. Australia had only around a 50% increase. Maybe if we put our money into fixing out economy rather than keeping people locked up longer we would have a whole lot less crime.

  3. Pete 3

    Really tsf?

    Even conidering the well established correlation between the causes of crime (as Marty notes) and rises in criminal ‘events’.

    This is not something that is simply reflected in statistics because people feel “like something will happen”, more likely it is due to rising unemployment numbers (see Household Labour Force survey etc) and not much of anything being done about the increasing numbers of NZers living in poverty (same again, including work done by academics and NGOs) education not catering to all (I know let’s standardise! and create ‘Aspire’ scholarships – based on a lottery!), and opportunities being lost to work on the real causes of crime at an early age (early childhood development – ie appropriate (more and better) resources for carers and educators, food provided to kids who don’t have lunch/breakfast etc).

    P.S. you can google all this in case you want to know.

  4. Scott 4

    Marty, I have some sympathy for your view that locking more people up may be counterproductive.

    But I’m not sure these stats prove the Nats’ law and order policies are a bust. A number of law and order measures put forward by the Nats are still working themselves through the parliamentary process. So it may be too early to see any correlation between National’s law and order policy and crime increases.

    And let’s be fair. We should not forget that Labour when in power also pursued a law and order agenda. Neither of the major parties has the political courage to call bullshit on the law and order mob.

    • Draco T Bastard 4.1

      We should not forget that Labour when in power also pursued a law and order agenda. Neither of the major parties has the political courage to call bullshit on the law and order mob.

      Unfortunately true.

    • Rob Carr 4.2

      Hopefully one day our government will grow a backbone and do it…

  5. Sanctuary 5

    I think we have to escape from the race to see who is the first political party to bring back hanging for stealing sheep.

  6. snoozer 6

    sweetd, scott.

    Surely, we can expect something from government. Surely we can expect that their policies that they say will reduce crime actually will result in less crime.

    Is that too much to ask?

    • Scott 6.1

      Not at all. But if we want to throw the stats back in their face and say “ha! Not working!” we need to give them time to actually implement their policies.

      Otherwise they will just blame the stats on Labour being soft on crims. And people will believe them.

  7. Brett 7

    What would be more effective is that any one convicted of a imprisonable offence should be automatically sentenced to the maximum amount.
    Then if the individual shows they have been reformed they then have a chance of being released early.
    For this to work effectively prison sentences would have to be increased greatly to give prisoners the motivation to make changes

    It’s crazy releasing someone back into the community who is highly likely going to re offend just because their sentence is up.

    • lprent 7.1

      Like that guy who killed a tagger?

    • IrishBill 7.2

      That’s called preventative detention and we already have it.

      • Brett 7.2.1

        I was thinking more along these lines for example:
        Guy gets done for home invasion and beats some one half to death automatic 50 years.
        If he shows remorse and can prove that he is no longer a danger to society he may get out in 10 years. If he can’t be rehabilitated he’s basically there for life.

        • Crash Cart 7.2.1.1

          Similar to something I hear on Radio live a while back. When you are found guilty of a crime you are automatically sent up for a set period of time. However once in side you can earn credits by carrying out courses and restitution (be it meeting victims or paying for damage)being carried out. Credits take time off your sentence.

          • lprent 7.2.1.1.1

            Sounds like a system that will get lawyered pretty promptly.

          • Rob Carr 7.2.1.1.2

            Theoretically a good idea but seems like it would be full of loopholes and release people early who are dangerous while keeping people others in longer than they need to be simply because they do not have enough points. I would rather know they are really good at not committing crime than really good at doing maths.

    • So first time drunk driving offenders go to jail?

      Better start building those prisons!

      • Crash Cart 7.3.1

        Bad example in my opinion. Drunk driver should go to jail. I personally think that legalizing drugs is the answer to over crowded prisons and would lower crime rates across the board but that’s a different topic all together.

  8. tsmithfield 8

    Bright-Red “Even the slightest bit of evidence that chagnes to parole and bail laws have affected people’s likelihood to reports crimes? No, of course not. God, I feel sorry for your employer if that’s the kind of logic you use in your work.”

    Labour advanced the very same reason for the increase in reported domestic violence crime after the campaign drawing attention to domestic violence.

    • Draco T Bastard 8.1

      And was reasonable for that particular increase as people were more confident than previously of reporting domestic violence. There’s been nothing to change peoples reporting habits of other crimes.

    • Rob Carr 8.2

      Because their campaign was to increase the reporting of crime. Harsher penalties are likely to reduce reporting of crime because people do not wish to see them be punished excessively.

  9. prism 9

    A crime reduction in New York gets quoted often. Theories from the get tough on the broken window pane level so nipping bad behaviour in the bud, or shifting on the shiftless to other areas, or the decline in births in a significant female population have been touted.
    I am just starting on an old book about Frank Serpico, NY cop who didn’t accept the ingrained police corruption and protection rackets even if on a small scale. It will be interesting to see how bad habits in police attitudes might affect crime statistics.
    Working with families from the beginning would save big bucks – different paths need to be offered. Think of the recent guy who did something awful, started prospecting for a patch at 13 and now he is going to jail as a young man after hurting somebody sufficiently nastily, he will probably be accepted into the gang. I am relieved to hear that
    Rufus Junior Marsh is dead. Chances are he was dragged up as a wee one, very sad when people go bad. There is no changing really bad people either. So more support for parents with young children with good mentors would pay heaps.

  10. Anthony Karinski 10

    Why not just have a bit of a public flogging instead of jail time? Would satisfy the hang them high brigade and the criminal school environment of jails would be dismantled.

  11. Bored 11

    Just to be really contentious, why dont National come down really hard on corporate crime, tax rorts, and other financially based criminal acts? I might venture (just to be contentious again) that calling for a harder response to crime (as the Right constantly does) raises the spectre of distinct double standards.

    • Rob Carr 11.1

      Because what they really want is protection for their stolen money being stolen from them and figure no-one else is smart enough to do it the financial way?

  12. Pascal's bookie 12

    nah. What’s happening see, is those crims know that strikes and The Garrot are coming. Naturally they are getting their murders in before then.

  13. Bill 13

    Does the fact that the two biggest parties vie with one another on ‘Get Tough on ( some types of ) Crime’ have anything to do with the Corporate inspired ‘Lean, Mean’ Capitalist Machine’ that has been forced on us over recent decades?

    Both discourses tend to disregard or/and discount humanity and assume the theoretical has a broader scope and greater depth than reality, which is pinched, squeezed and twisted to fit the theoretical frames of reference or discarded as irrelevant if it cannot be made to fit.

    One extreme expression of the blow back from the pressures caused by all this poverty of imagination and intellect is the growing incidence of individuals dealing with situations by employing lethal force, ie. ‘Going Postal’.

    And it seems the NZ government is happy enough to respond, not by pausing for reflection, but by screwing the lid down even tighter.

    e.g. Putting the army on the streets to back up the police. (Jan Molenaar). By having an armed defender squad that seems to be called on at the slightest and slimmest excuse. By having a shoot to kill policy when fire arms are used ( Three shots to the head = a single response) By arming police with tasers. By moving inexorably towards having the police armed.

    And all within an ever more proscriptive legislative framework which forms but a part of a wider environment where a rule exists, censure awaits and a verbotten mentality squats over even quite mundane expressions of individuality ( not to be confused with individualism) and freedom.

    btw. Which all amounts to a very definite effect of ‘Get Tough’ and concomitant policies and mentalities

    • prism 13.1

      Moving towards an armed police force, tasers etc.
      There is a big business in supplying police forces that holds conventions in USA. Police have a look at all the serious tools available and want what the others have. The advent of crazy people on drug mixes and their behaviour would make me want to have access to tasers. But once they get these weapons can we trust that their use will be as a last resort.
      We have all seen video clips of a cop overseas using cruel taser force on someone who is just not co-operating and in the innocent till proved guilty bracket.
      The police stop and search practice is a harrassment to ordinary people, and happens too regularly. It will cause more acts of defiance and anger with abusive reaction which make the police feel vulnerable, and so it goes.
      Setting roadside checkpoints should be a rare occurrence used when there is a special need.

  14. Lindsay 14

    “A Government that really wanted to reduce crime, rather than one that was simply pandering to populism to get elected, would concerntrate on the well-known and understood causes of crime the biggest of which are unemployment-induced poverty and deprivation.”

    Except the violent crime rate in NZ flat-lined through 1994-04 (2004 was when unemployment reached a record low) at around 110 offences per 10,000 and grew from then.

    A Wall St Journal claims that those reasons have been demolished by crime continuing to plummet in the US.

    Excerpt; The recession of 2008-09 has undercut one of the most destructive social theories that came out of the 1960s: the idea that the root cause of crime lies in income inequality and social injustice. As the economy started shedding jobs in 2008, criminologists and pundits predicted that crime would shoot up, since poverty, as the “root causes” theory holds, begets criminals. Instead, the opposite happened. Over seven million lost jobs later, crime has plummeted to its lowest level since the early 1960s. The consequences of this drop for how we think about social order are significant.

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703580904574638024055735590.html

    • snoozer 14.1

      Lindsay, total crime fell in step with unemployment for the decade until 2009. http://www.thestandard.org.nz/might-be-taken-the-wrong-way-by-some/

      No serious person would take some trumped up idiot in the Wall Street Journal as a source. The fall in recorded crime in the US almost certainly has its roots in the slashing of police budgets http://www.cnn.com/2008/CRIME/10/23/police.economy/

      • Pete 14.1.1

        According to the article the author is a contributing editor to the Mannhattan Institute’s City Journal.

        The Manhattan Institute has a nice wee mission statement:
        “The mission of the Manhattan Institute is to develop and disseminate new ideas that foster greater economic choice and individual responsibility”.

        Sounds like a Libertarian/ACT hybrid of one-eyed bollocks to me. I also quite enjoy the “new ideas” part…

        And of course you get the idea of where Lindsay is coming from by reading her press releases.

        For the record – I’d prefer to see the development of policies and/or programmes that reduce social injustice and income inequality anyway (for all the harm they do to society – regardless of the impact on crime). But unfortunately blind ideology means that we should maintain the ‘aspirational’ leanings of the conservative asses here and in the States.

        I reckon we wait to see whether snoozer or Scott’s theories prove true before jumping on Lindsay’s bandwagon.

    • Scott 14.2

      There was a drop in crime overall in the US in 2009. But it may not be quite that simple. The FBI statistics show that some of the US cities hardest hit by the recession (e.g. Detroit) saw crime rates rise.

      There may well be a lag between the onset of a recession and resultant criminal activity. It may be premature to conclude poverty and unemployment are not causes of crime. Let’s wait to see whether there really is a downward trend, or whether this is a blip.

  15. Lindsay 15

    Snoozer, That’s an interesting graph. Worth a blog post.

    http://lindsaymitchell.blogspot.com/2010/01/unemployment-and-crime-according-to.html

    Is CNN a more reliable source than The Wall St Journal?

    Pete, I resigned from ACT early last year. And I am not a conservative. I believe that family/whanau breakdown is the major contributor to crime and welfare has been instrumental in causing that breakdown. If we went at the problem with that in mind the need to lock more and more people up and take a punitive approach to justice would reduce.

    • snoozer 15.1

      Lindsay. Are you more illiterate or innumerate? You wrote:

      “This “conversation” came out of a post they did today which was actually about violent crime and how it has risen under National. But it had been rising under Labour too.”

      Wrong on two points:
      1) the post is not about violent crime, it is about all crime and uses homicides for the last six months because Marty was able to count them himself
      2) it’s not about how crime has risen under National. It’s about National’s policies have failed to make crime fall as promised. Big difference

      and you wrote:

      “Or let’s put it another way. A forty five percent drop in unemployment, which delivered maybe a 10 percent drop in crime, does not show a strong association.”

      Basic innumeracy here. A strong correlation does not mean that a 1% change in one variable is associated with a 1% change in another variable. It means that a change of X% in one variable is usually associated with a change in Y% of the other variable. So, a 10% decrease in unemployment might be associated with a 2% decrease in crime (interesting that you yourself admit a casual link – “which delivered”). There is a very strong association between unemloyment and crime. 0.916 is a very strong correlation. Nearly perfect.

      And it matters. If unemployment goes from 3.5% to 6.5%, the correlation identified by Marty suggests there will be an increase in crime from under 0.1 offences per person to 0.115, a 15% increase. That’s about 50,000-60,000 more offences across the country.

    • Pete 15.2

      Lindsay – I wasn’t suggesting you were conservative or otherwise (ie make your own mind up by reading the press releases you’ve published in recent years).

      Broadly speaking I was suggesting that we never fix the societal problems that cause criminal behaviour (or social injustice/income inequality) because we follow ideology (the capitalist construct) blindly – adn without the necessary checks and balances (see ’causes of the recession (Freddie Mac, Fanny May etc’, ‘tax evasion by the big baks’ and so on). That goes for Labour of late too – though they weren’t really following the traditional Labour ideology, I’d say its obvious to all and sundry that they are not-so-closet conservatives themselves on a few major issues – crime and immigration spring imediately to mind.

      I’m sure most people would agree that a person’s family situation is a major contributor to that person’s wellbeing – and therefore a potential contributor to criminal behaviour. However, it is just one contributor (along with health and educational opportunities and support for example).

      Simply put, I think it’s using pretty broad strokes to say welfare=family breakdown=crime. And I’d be interested to know how you define ‘family breakdown’. Can you elaborate?

  16. What are the stats for minor crimes?

    • Armchair Critic 16.1

      Bill English has been trying hard to contribute to those stats. Paula Bennett too. Maybe Richard Worth, but JK won’t confirm either way.

    • Eddie 16.2

      What’s a minor crime and what’s a major one, Brett?

      The stats are fully available to the public on the stats website. If you want to know something about them, work it out yourself, then share with us. We’re not your research team.

  17. For Pete’s sake Lindsay, stick to art.

  18. Lindsay 18

    Snoozer said, If unemployment goes from 3.5% to 6.5%, the correlation identified by Marty suggests there will be an increase in crime from under 0.1 offences per person to 0.115, a 15% increase. That’s about 50,000-60,000 more offences across the country.

    Actually, roughly the inverse did happen. Unemployment went from 7.2% to 3.4% with a drop of around 7% or 31,000 offences (1999 – 2005).

    So what is accounting for the other 400,000 offences? You can show a correlation at the margin but that is not the same as what is claimed in this post ;

    “A Government that really wanted to reduce crime, rather than one that was simply pandering to populism to get elected, would concerntrate on the well-known and understood causes of crime the biggest of which are unemployment-induced poverty and deprivation.”

    If the biggest cause of crime was unemployment induced poverty then when the unemployment rate dropped by over 50 percent there should have been a much larger drop in crime. Didn’t happen.

    I am not disputing that unemployment is a factor in crime. I am disputing that it is as important as you, or the writer of the post, believe it to be.

    And I dispute it only because if we continue pursuing policies based on wrong assumptions matters are not going to improve.

    Pete, Family breakdown. Not only the move away from stable and secure two parent families (plenty of single parents do a great job but top of the list for youth offenders is being fatherless – Andrew Becroft) but, as important, the breakdown of extended whanau. Grandparents play an important role in Maori families. Many young Maori have become estranged through urbanisation and gangs become family for young men who are redundant thanks to welfare. Another factor leading to crime is maternal youth. Because babies are not taken into the whanau as was traditionally the case they end up being raised by mothers that cannot cope, or are removed and begin on a procession of fostercare/CYF homes, also shown to be a frequent pathway to jail.

    Fizzlebug, I have nothing against adoption – gay or otherwise.

    Galeandra, Probably good advice. My parents would agree. They fail to understand why I keep worrying about the problems of the world. Or trying to comprehend them.

    • Pete 18.1

      Lindsay – as I’ve already said, I don’t think you’ll get any argument about family issues being a major contirubutor to criminal behaviour.

      But I’m really a bit unsure about the thinking you have posed – particularly:
      “Many young Maori have become estranged through urbanisation and gangs become family for young men who are redundant thanks to welfare”

      Redundant THANKS TO WELFARE – that’s an odd position to take. How is the existence of welfare making people redundant exactly?

      Also, apart from this I don’t see the correlation between crime and welfare in what you’ve mentioned. Is the reason why fatherless kids are predominantly youth offenders a product of being fatherless (not having a role model, support etc) or because (and this is a stretch) the mother is on welfare. It’s a long bow you are drawing here…

    • Zetetic 18.2

      No-one ever said poverty was the sole cause of crime. It’s obviously a large one. Increased unemployment results in more crime. Strong correlation.

      You’re a testement to the fact that you can be a commentator in this country and not have a clue what you’re talking about.

  19. Big Bruv 19

    Don’t confuse these fools with facts Lindsay, they have trouble with the truth.

    [lprent: I always thought you had a problem with thinking rather than facts.

    For instance you’d just finishing waffling about tolerance for debate at KB about the time that all of my comments disappeared. That was very funny because it was obvious that was what was going to happen, and was in fact what I was testing..

    The divergence between your thinking on ‘reality’ and evidential facts is rather large. In fact, I suspect it enters the delusional state. ]

  20. There is no genuine discussion or learning here. There is only entrenchment. I guess thats fine – its your blog.

    • gitmo 20.1

      Nah everyone’s just bored with the lack of news at the moment and still grumpy about the election loss and Key’s popularity, therefor you get the wild bitching and side issues a bit like talk back post an Allblacks loss

      Often there is useful and interesting debate here….. probably wait until Feb and then come back.

  21. roger nome 21

    yeah – wh needs analysis and debate when you’ve got the psychic “gitmo” telling you what your thoughts are….. it’s not that Key’s an incompetant PR creation shell of a PM that’s pissing you off, it’s that you’re just a sore loser. you really should get to know yourself better…

    • gitmo 21.1

      [deleted]

      [lprent: I can give you more time to find one yourself. Insults without a point irritate me. ]

  22. Lindsay 22

    Pete, “Redundant” as in having no purpose. Mothers do not need the fathers of their children around when welfare will provide just as well financially.

    Fatherless kids are more likely to get in trouble. The availability of welfare increases the number of fatherless children. Numerous studies have shown the higher the welfare rate, the higher the single parent family rate (notwithstanding there is a large difference between a single parent family that has arisen from separation or divorce and one where a father has never been present.)

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    Why is New Zealand climate change policy so crap? The Herald this morning has a long article on the twists and turns of climate change policy in New Zealand [paywalled / depaywall script], which shows where we've been. The short version is that the government first began worrying about this ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • What the All Blacks Mean to Us
    The All Blacks have been, for more than a century, arguably the most successful International sports team in the world. But they are more than that; even for those Kiwis who are immune to the charms of rugby (and there are more than a few), the All Blacks are ambassadors ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    2 days ago
  • No one is born into the wrong body
    A short and incredibly powerful speech from a young lesbian woman. No one is born in the wrong body. ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    3 days ago
  • Contempt
    Back in June, the UK Court of Appeal ruled that that country's continued arms sales to Saudi Arabia were unlawful. So you'd expect that the UK government stopped approving them, right?Of course not:The government has apologised for breaching a court ruling against the sale of weapons to Saudi Arabia that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Covering up the cover-up
    Yesterday NZDF officials were put on the stand about the lies they had told over Operation Burnham, making implausible claims that it was all a big mistake. But along the way, we learned they had already been put on the spot about it by a previous Defence Minister, who had ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Not as important as they think they are
    Farmers have been whining a lot lately, about the methane targets in the Zero Carbon Bill, about Canterbury's proposed nitrogen limits, and about the government's new proposals to stop them from shitting in our lakes and rivers. These policies are "throwing farmers under the tractor", they will force farmers off ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Behind Every Good Woman Should Stand – Another Good Woman.
    Alone, Alone, All, All, Alone: To argue that the Prime Minister is the victim of her advisers’ failure to keep her informed may offer Jacinda some measure of exoneration – but only at the cost of casting her as a hopeless political ingénue. A star-dusted muppet, whose only purpose is to ...
    3 days ago
  • Poor quality, poorly educated kiddie ‘Journalists’ spreading fake news
    In times of hysteria about the “World coming to an end” and “rising sea levels” so-called ‘Journalists’ who can barely spell words longer than four letters are having a ball! Though the majority of the Public have worked out that manmade climate change is nothing short of pseudo-science, and the ...
    An average kiwiBy admin@averagekiwi.com
    3 days ago
  • Chris Trotter on the BFD
    I don't want to give pblicity to certain parts of the internet that are better left to fester in their own irrelevance (I know, a bit like this place) but the listing of Chris Trotter as a 'author' on Cameron Slater's spinoff website, the BFD requires some explanation.Now, I don't ...
    3 days ago
  • Sex is not a spectrum
    The text below is a Twitter thread by Heather Heying that explains the essence of sexual reproduction and it long evolutionary history. She is an evolutionary biologist and a “professor-in-exile” after she and her husband, Bret Weinstein, stood up to supporters of an enforced “Day of Absence” for white staff and teachers ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    3 days ago
  • Climate Change: Trees, aviation, and offsets
    With crunch time for new Zealand climate policy approaching, most of the New Zealand media have got on board with a global reporting effort to cover the issue. There's one strand of stories today about polling and what it shows about changing public attitudes to the crisis, but the strand ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Pissing-Off The Israelis Is A High-Risk Strategy.
    Dangerous Foes: For those readers of Bowalley Road who feel disposed to dismiss any prospect of an Israeli destabilisation of New Zealand politics, the example of the United Kingdom repays close attention. Ever since the election of Jeremy Corbyn as leader of the British Labour Party, the Israelis have sanctioned, funded and ...
    4 days ago
  • Something to go to in Wellington
    Make It 16, the youth-led campaign to lower New Zealand's voting age, is holding an official campaign launch at Parliament this Friday from 16:30. If you'd like to attend, you can register using EventBrite here. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • A founding member responds to Peace Action Wellington
    by Don Franks It was a lovely sunny Wellington afternoon with blue skies above  the beaches.  In Courtenay Place, political activists packed out a stuffy upstairs room for an important meeting. The assembled pacifists, anarchists, communists and independent young radicals of Peace Action Wellington felt the need for a mission ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    4 days ago
  • “Mistakes and errors”
    Current and former NZDF top brass are being publicly grilled this week by the hit and run inquiry over their public responses to allegations of civilian casualties. Previously, they've claimed there were no casualties, a position which led them to lie to Ministers and to the public. Now, they're saying ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • “Homosexuality is same-sex attraction and relationships, not heterosexuals with delusions of gende...
    by Rafael D. Quiles (gender-critical gay man from Puerto Rico) The writing on the wall is right in people’s faces and people just don’t see it or don’t want to. What could actually possess a heterosexual male to want to feminize himself and claim that he is a lesbian? Because ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    4 days ago
  • Trump: “Where’s my favourite dictator?”
    From the Wall Street Journal:Inside a room of the ornately decorated Hotel du Palais during last month’s Group of Seven summit in Biarritz, France, President Trump awaited a meeting with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi. Mr. Trump looked over a gathering of American and Egyptian officials and called out in ...
    5 days ago
  • Magdalen Burns, 1983-2019, fighter for women’s liberation
    by the Redline blog collective At Redline we are very saddened to hear of the death of Magdalen Burns who passed away on the morning of Friday, September 13 (British time). Magdalen was a great fighter for the rights of women in general and lesbian women in particular, a defender ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    5 days ago
  • Parliament and the Executive
    The Brexit issue has certainly brought with it a series of apparently difficult constitutional issues, many of them concerning the respective roles of the executive and parliament. Most of them arise because of the unwillingness of MPs, despite their professions to the contrary, to be bound by a constitutional rarity ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    6 days ago
  • The Abigail Article; Martyn Bradbury’s Article, and My Response
    . . This blogpost is different to my usual format of reporting on issues… Since July 1011, I have blogged on a variety of political issues; near always political and/or environmental; mostly highly critical of the previous National Government. Other issues included Israeli occupation of Palestinian lands and repression of ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    6 days ago
  • Police will have to wear silly Buckingham Palace hats from now on, says Police Minister
    Those close to the Police Minister believe the initiative may be the result of Nash “seeing a great deal” on AliExpress. In a move that comes seemingly out of nowhere, Police Minister Stuart Nash announced this afternoon that he expects all frontline staff to don bearskin hats, famously worn by ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    6 days ago
  • A sensible crackdown
    The government has released its Arms Legislation Bill, containing the second tranche of changes to gun laws following the March 15 massacre. And it all looks quite sensible: a national gun register, higher penalties for illegal possession and dealing, tighter restrictions on arms dealers and shooting clubs, and a shorter ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • California bans private prisons
    Private prisons are a stain on humanity. Prison operators explicitly profit from human misery, then lobby for longer prisons terms so they can keep on profiting. And in the US, prison companies run not only local and state prisons, but also Donald Trump's immigration concentration camps. Faced with this moral ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Why PPPs are a bad idea
    When National was in power, they were very keen on Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) - basicly, using private companies to finance public infrastructure as a way of hiding debt from the public. They were keen on using them for everything - roads, schools, hospitals. But as the UK shows, that "service" ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • A Movement That No Longer Moves.
    Moving And Shaking: There was a time when people spoke matter-of-factly about the “labour movement” – a political phenomenon understood to embrace much more than the Labour Party. Included within the term’s definition was the whole trade union movement – many of whose members looked upon the Labour Party as ...
    7 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
    1 week ago
  • The obvious question
    The media is reporting that the (alleged) Labour party sexual assaulter has resigned from their job at Parliament, which means hopefully he won't be turning up there making people feel unsafe in future. Good. But as with everything about this scandal, it just raises other questions. Most significantly: why the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The moment I found out that you found out, I acted swiftly
    By Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern I am every bit as angry as you are. I am every bit as disappointed as you must be. The people with power, oversight and the ability to do something about these processes within the Labour Party should be ashamed. Whoever those people are, I ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • This is why people hate property developers
    Property developers think there is an "oversupply" of houses in Auckland:High turnover rates and falling prices may be a sign that there are too many new houses going in to some parts of Auckland, commentators say. [...] Property developer David Whitburn said there was a "bit of an oversupply" in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Australia to Pacific: “Fuck you, you can all drown”
    World leaders are meeting in New York in two weeks for the 2019 Climate Action Summit, where they are expected to announce new and more ambitious targets to stop the world from burning. But the Australian Prime Minister won't be there, despite being in the USA at the time:Scott Morrison ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Implausible ignorance
    Labour Party president Nigel Haworth resigned yesterday over the party's sexual assault scandal. But while that's good news, its unlikely to take away the stench of a coverup. Because according to Paula Bennett in Parliament yesterday, pretty much everyone in the Prime Minister's office was involved as well:I have been ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Labour’s Fatal Flaw.
     Two-Faced? Labour insiders' commitment to the neoliberal status quo puts them at odds with their party’s membership; its trade union affiliates; and a majority of Labour voters, but this only serves to strengthen the perception they have of themselves as a special elite. Among the lesser breeds, they’ll talk up a ...
    1 week ago
  • Ten reasons the Tories do NOT want an election
    There has been a lot of talk about Boris Johnson wanting an election, and he has blustered with great gusto about 'chicken' Jeremy Corbyn refusing one, but I think there are many reasons why he is secretly glad he has been refused the opportunity:The Tories are an utter rabble,tearing themselves ...
    1 week ago
  • Prorogation Illegal, rule Scottish judges
    Scottish appeal court judges have declared that Boris Johnson’s decision to suspend parliament in the run-up to the October Brexit deadline is unlawful. The three judges, chaired by Lord Carloway, Scotland’s most senior judge, overturned an earlier ruling that the courts did not have the powers to interfere in the prime ...
    1 week ago
  • Let me explain what I meant by Everyday New Zealanders
    By Simon Bridges. The following is a press release from the office of Simon Bridges, leader of The National Party. Key ora, New Zealand. Happy Maori Language Week. Look, I’m writing to you today because I want to clear something up. There’s been a lot of kerfuffle around some things ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Yes, the SIS is subject to the Public Records Act
    I understand there's some stuff going round about how the SIS "was removed from the list of public offices covered by the Public Records Act in 2017". The context of course being their records derived from US torture, which will be disposed of or sealed. The good news is that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • An evidence-based discussion of the Canadian fluoride/IQ study
    Dr. Christopher Labos and Jonathan Jarry discuss the recent Canadian fluoride/IQ research. They provide an expert analysis of the paper and its problems. Click on image to go to podcast. The critical debate about the recent ...
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Australia in denial
    Australia is burning down again, and meanwhile its natural disaster minister is denying climate change:Australia’s minister responsible for drought and natural disasters, David Littleproud, has said that he doesn’t “know if climate change is manmade”. Clarifying earlier comments that the question is “irrelevant” when considering the Coalition government’s response to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Philippines activist speaking on the Duterte tyranny
    Auckland Philippines Solidarity is excited to host Professor Judy Taguiwalo for a speaking tour of NZ in September. She is a well-known activist in the Philippines and was a political prisoner under the Marcos dictatorship. Professor Taguiwalo briefly served as a Cabinet member under President Duterte but was forced from ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Disgust
    I have no special insights to offer on the Labour sexual assault coverup. All I have is disgust. Disgust that an organisation could fail its people so badly. Disgust that they punished the victims rather than the perpetrator. Disgust that its party hacks are apparently blaming the victims for demanding ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Speak Up for Women calls out Greens’ censorship
    This open letter to the Green Party was penned after an opinion piece by Jill Abigail, a feminist and founding member of the party, was censored by the Greens’ leadership. (Redline has reprinted her article here).The intolerance of the Green Party leaders and their acceptance of the misogyny of gender ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Member’s Day: End of Life Choice, part 3
    Today is a Member's day, and David Seymour's End of Life Choice Bill continues its slow crawl through its committee stage. They're spending the whole day on it today, though the first hour is likely to be spent on voting left over from last time. After that they'll move on ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Flight to Los Angeles turned back after passengers decide they don’t want to go anymore
    An ambitious plan to fly to Los Angeles petered out into a brief sight-seeing trip and a desire to return home and get some sleep before work tomorrow. Air New Zealand has confirmed a flight to Los Angeles last night was turned back about a quarter of the way into ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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 ...
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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 ...
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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

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