Crosby/Textor Spin Bingo

Written By: - Date published: 6:30 pm, July 1st, 2008 - 67 comments
Categories: john key, slippery, spin - Tags: ,

John Key has his round of five interviews tomorrow morning (Breakfast, Sunrise, ZB, KiwiFM, bFM) and will undoubtedly face questions on his use of Crosby/Textor. So, what line will C/T have him parrot repeatedly?

He’s already trying “I get most of my advice from the public” (weak) and the more aggressive “I’m going to set the tone of National’s campaign and that tone will be optimistic, positive and ambitious, if anyone runs a dirty campaign it will be Labour” – both out of the C/T handbook but will they have something better for tomorrow?

My pick is still “the real issue here is why Helen Clark is so obsessed with who I get advice from when hardworking Kiwis are suffering from 9 years of overtaxation”

What are your guesses for spin bingo? Closest guess gets a C/T internship.

67 comments on “Crosby/Textor Spin Bingo”

  1. infused 1

    Donno, but do we care? no.

  2. higherstandard 2

    Why don’t you apply SP ?

  3. HS.
    a) I’m not a Tory
    b) I have morals

    (not having morals obviously doesn’t automatically follow from being a Tory, there are principled Tories who have leaked out the C/T info for starters)

  4. Daveo 4

    I think he’ll go with the tried and tested “we don’t discuss who individual contractors are”, and failing that a “look, everyone uses contractors, Labour uses contractors too, it’s no big deal, frankly this is desperate.”

  5. pinetree 5

    Steve

    If I were using the C/T playbook – under which heading would I fit The Standard’s approach to tackling of the Nats and John Key ?

    ….you know, “slippery John”, “Kremlinology”, “Misdirection” etcetera etcetera..

    “Last Chance Saloon” ?

    ….Standard’s have slipped, is the best tactic honestly to just out-and-out decry all things Key/Nats rather than talk up/explain what the left has got on offer…?

    Is that the reponse to the polls, “hell, they’re not listening, or are too stoopid to care, tell you what, let’s roll out the Bogey-Man tactic, that’ll scare em”….

    Raise the game, outside a small little clique of politicos this sort of stuff just doesn’t stick with Joe Punter…voting is a volume game and youd have to suspect people have got a hell of a lot more on their mind than to be swayed by this sort of periphery….

    ….but mud sticks huh….

  6. andy 6

    my pick will be:

    aaaaggghhh, eeeerr, ummmmm, ahhh, uuummmm, arrrgggh, uuummmmmm I don’t have that in front of me/I can’t recall/we get lots of advise from many sectors some solicited and some not ….

    BTW gidday CT boys, cause you must be lurking!

  7. My pick is still “the real issue here is why Helen Clark is so obsessed with who I get advice from when hardworking Kiwis are suffering from 9 years of overtaxation’

    Again good answer even better that it happens to be true

    why dont u apply for the job u seem bloody good at it

  8. pinetree –

    We do argue for leftwing ideas all the time – have alook at our wages archive or work rights archive or look up ACC or look at how we’ve promoted Drinking Liberally. The basis of our opposition to the likes of Key is that they would reverse or stagnate leftwing reforms, and we frequently elucidate those grounds when arguing against National policy.

  9. Andrew Thompson: Cullen always said he was preparing for the day when things would go pear-shaped. Things look like having a reasonable chance of going pear-shaped. The Bank of International Settlements (BIS) is warning today of the serious risk of a global depression. The credit bubble isn’t close to being over. Banks everywhere do not have their books in order and bad debt is mounting.

    Of particular concern are the 40% of Chinese government enterprises operating at a loss and the large number of “leveraged buyouts” over the past several years that have elied on continued access to cheap credit.

    It’s starting to look like Cullen was right and now would be a dumb time for tax cuts.

  10. This is my pick, too.

    “the real issue here is why Helen Clark is so obsessed with who I get advice from when hardworking Kiwis are suffering from 9 years of overtaxation’

    It completely misses the point to make another point. Standard practice.

  11. andy 11

    I am in heaven, number seven…

    Bingo!

    Pinetree is the winner of the Crosby/Textor meat tray for repeating this meme:

    is the best tactic honestly to just out-and-out decry all things Key/Nats rather than talk up/explain what the left has got on offer ?

    Razorlight

    8.44am 1/07/08

    The left is so obsessed with this man they are failing to recognise it is the Labour policies they should be looking at.

    Good to see the boys are working late, tax payer dollars hard at work!

    captcha: A repeatedly

  12. mike 12

    The story will be more about National being the victim of sabotage in a dirty campaign.
    Kiwi’s like a clean fight etc..

    I like the “listening to the public” line as well.

    Captcha: 167th industries – some sort of OECD rating?

  13. Pascal's bookie 13

    Threadjack alert, I don’t have a bingo entry.

    “The credit bubble isn’t close to being over. Banks everywhere do not have their books in order and bad debt is mounting.”

    How did that all happen? Some crazy left wing reforms no doubt. Or maybe it was the Commodity Futures Modernization Act passed in 2000, that deregulated the finacial sector in the US and ushered in a new era for the U.S. financial services industry.

    In the words of the genius that pushed it through (Phil Gramm):

    “The work of this Congress will be seen as a watershed where we turned away from an outmoded Depression-era approach to financial regulation and adopted a framework that will position our financial services industry to be world leaders into the new century’

    Cite

    Worked out pretty shit eh?

    Oh well, I imagine Mr Gramm is now quite chastened and remorseful and is busying himself doing something more worthwhile for the community. Something better suited to his talents. Like chopping firewood for old people, or running cake stalls to raise some money to help the millions his crappy legislation has hurt.

    But no, he’s the chief economic advisor for McCain, who admits that he needs help on the economy because it’s not his strong suit.

  14. Bingo; can Housing New Zealand find me a resort or house??
    I will even be a rubbish detective for the nanny girls.

  15. gobsmacked 15

    “Yes, we use Crosby/Textor”

    That’s what he should say, anyway. Look at how this has developed: on Sunday – a minor story. In the SST, but not picked up by other media. 48 hours later – a bigger, growing story, now prominent in all media.

    The story hasn’t changed, it just got oxygen from Key’s ham-fisted handling of it.

    Most of the public don’t care about C/T (although I wish they did). But when Key bumbles through the questioning on TV, he looks anything but Prime Ministerial, and far more people pay attention to that performance than to Hager & the blogs. Key’s digging himself in deeper each day, and it’s dumb. It feeds all his negatives: slippery, stumbly, can’t think on his feet, not up to the job he wants. And if he doesn’t try and kill the story, it will keep coming back. Journos don’t dislike him yet, but they won’t put up with being treated like idiots, when they all know the truth (everyone does now).

    If you’re reading this John, send me the invoice. You’re wasting your money on the Aussies.

  16. Monty 16

    The Ct issue is only relevant in the minds of the left in the beltway. To everyone else it simply does not matter. You guys are desperate for a beat-up on this – but what I can see there are maybe 20 regular posters on this site. about 18 of them are leftists. Don’t you ever feel that you are screaming at each other in a small sound proof room? Because that is certainly what it seems like to us righties.

    At present there are so many issues that need attention, but you leftards are screaming “Crosby Textor”. Everyone is rather puzzelled by this. Surely Labour employ very similar (even nastier )tactics. You leftards acuse the right of your own worst sins.

    You have not found an issue that grabs the imagination and disguist of the average Kiwi. You are instead showing your desperation and rally how pathetic you really have become – mind you is that what being 25% points behind in the polls does t a desperate and dying party. Not to far away now from National being double the support of Labour – what nasty lies and attacks will follow when that happens? You guys need to focus on the big issues, not worry about the sort of crap that seems to dominate your pathetic little lives.

  17. Monty. Helen Clark’s history and beliefs are an open book. Crosby/Textor created Brand Key from the ground up.

  18. Dominic 18

    Monty. This blog focuses heavily on deconstructing National’s spin and unravelling the branding of John Key – so you can see why a revelation like this is of interest. In short they can write what they bloody well like and I can enjoy reading it. Your opinion isn’t necessary.

  19. Razorlight 19

    SP “Helen Clark’s history and beliefs are an open book.”

    Who was behind these slogans

    “Closing the Gaps”, “economic transformation”, “environmental sustainability”, “knowledge economy”

    Every one of those has been a Clark aspiration or slogan that 12 months after it has been announced ceases to be mentioned again.

    Who was the spin doctor behind those slogans. Or who was the brains behind dropping them when it became clear it was only spin.

    Who had the idea to alter pictures for election advertising.

    Who is pulling Labour’s strings to give them this facade

  20. Dominic 20

    RL: Those are a bunch of crap slogans, and bad ones at that – hardly evidence of a dastardly spin machine out to play the public for suckers by hiding your real policies and principles and running purely on a brand of ‘nice guy, grew up in a state house, likes Maori kids’ while running constant and nasty attack politics against the opposition.

  21. Skeptic 21

    [Tane: Banned for a week. You’ve been around here long enough to know you can’t pull that kind of shit and get away with it.]

  22. Razorlight 22

    Dominic, what is the nasty attack politics against the opposition that Key is engaging in.

    I don’t recall him coming down to the level of calling people pricks. Mr Cullen may have. Or spending time talking about someones property port folio. Contributors to The Standard may have.

    There is only one side engaging in atack politics.

  23. higherstandard 23

    Dominic

    What are these constant and nasty attack politics ?

    Isn’t this the same thing Key was complaining about when Labour was having a go at him in the house and the Prime Minister came back with “Diddums” ?

    … snap with RL

  24. Razorlight 24

    Has Helen Clark ruled out push polling yet?

  25. higherstandard 25

    SP

    From your post earlier today ….

    a) I’m not a Tory
    b) I have morals

    (not having morals obviously doesn’t automatically follow from being a Tory, there are principled Tories who have leaked out the C/T info for starters)

    you may enjoy this put together by someone of like mind to you in the UK.

    http://uncyclopedia.org/wiki/Conservatory_Party

  26. ak 26

    Ataboy Mont – whip it up till it eats you away boy, onya for keeping us posted on your personal neuroses.

    Going on the media to date, eg last week’s PM FORCES DISABLED MAN TO WALK and its current refusal to pursue Key’s blatant public lie or Crosby-Textor’s disgusting past practices, it wouldn’t matter what the Slippery flipflop says:
    If he said “Go and get fracked the lot of ya” the headline would be KEY PROMISES FREE TRAVEL AND ROMANCE FOR STRUGGLING TAXPAYERS

    Course it might have to compete with CLARK DISCOVERS CANCER CURE: TOO LITTLE TOO LATE SAY VOTERS

  27. Ari 27

    Dominic

    What are these constant and nasty attack politics ?

    Isn’t this the same thing Key was complaining about when Labour was having a go at him in the house and the Prime Minister came back with “Diddums’ ?

    snap with RL

    Let’s see, how about the fact that National has released longer critiques of Labour’s policy in practically every area than the pitiful amount of policy they’ve released?

    How about the dogwhistled sexism from them (a little) and from their supporters? (a lot) How about Key’s constant refusal to answer questions about his own principles or himself in general if it doesn’t involve repeating his “brand” as a hard-working kiwi bloke from poor beginnings?

    Personally, I agree with you that Helen Clark shouldn’t have done that. However, I don’t think you’ve even identified an example of attack politics. If you’re looking for something from the Labour side, the worst they’ve done is “slippery”- which, as attack politics go, could potentially be disqualified for actually being a justifiable attack on policy positions.

    (Usually “attack politics” refers to unrelated personal attacks that don’t have anything to do with the way the MP(s) have conducted themselves in Parliament or their policies. Justified and policy-based criticism is a slightly different beast, although sometimes lumped in together)

  28. Razorlight 28

    Ari ‘Usually “attack politics’ refers to unrelated personal attacks that don’t have anything to do with the way the MP’

    Like “Rich Prick” for example. Now who used that term?

    Or describing Mr Key’s home as a trophy house.

    I think it may have been the same person, a certain Mr Cullen.

  29. Noone is saying that spin doesn’t happen. No-one is saying that some times people don’t overstep the mark either… those things are on a different scale from having a secret strategy company that is renowned for it’s anti-democratic tactics creating the entire public image of a leader (and what does National have beside’s Key?) that is purposely deceptive.

  30. pinetree 30

    Cheers Steve, points well made…

    Andy, I see your point, but it’s a little difficult to argue your logic…

    …anything I’d present as a counter to your views is taken as concrete proof in itself of the position you already hold to be evident…

    I cannae win…

    ….suspect we’ll fail to see eyeto-eye on this one….c’est la vie, or that’s politics….

    I do have genuine question, and I’m interested in the response, but if alls well on the left/Labour then surely it’s not simply a case of change/apathy in that natural consituency that sees the polls andf feeling we’re seeing….

    …even if you leave aside a very plausible argument about it not being “election time” yet, this has surely got to be telling Lab/left something…is Key on some kind of “honeymoon” due to voter ignorance/apathy, or is there something gone very, very wrong and the message lost somewhere…??

    Either way, I don’t think your answers rest with the sort of tactics that results in “diddums” moments….but that’s my view….

  31. I think it’s a series of things

    a) a government naturally builds up bad feeling over time, losing votes. The polls show a long-term, gradual downward trend from 2004.

    b) This government has made some unpopular decisions, particularly s59, and failed to elucidate how these moves fit into their goals of creating a fairer, more sustainable society (Clark writes her own speeches, that’s a problem, she needs some help to draw them from wonkery to visionary)

    c) As we’ve shown, National (well C/T) has used tried and true tactics of using hit and run tactics to beat up every tiny issue against the government without getting into the hard (vote losing) stuff of detailing their own policy.

    d) in an unprecendented act, C/T has created a myth of John Key, and unlike any party leader in NZ history he parrots lines given to him by C/T far more than he speaks from his own beliefs and knowledge… and, it has worked so far.

    e) the economy, like every economy in the world, is facing severe difficulties in the face of peak oil. Like every government, our government is getting blamed by its citizens for that economic woe.

  32. Proctor 32

    My pick?

    “We have used outside agencies in the past to discuss ideas – but the real issue is – the point you’re missing is – why didn’t Labour consult with experts when purchasing the Rail back – if they’d done that they might have saved the taxpayers millions.’

    I will be sick if he uses that.

    Am interested to see what else Hager has. He’ll have something else up his sleeve.

    Captcha: Dicky is

  33. Razorlight 33

    SP

    With reference to your point (d). How on earth do you know Key is parroting lines. How do you know this is a facade. Why can’t we take Key on face value. I see no evidence he does not belive what he says.

  34. dave 34

    Probably he`ll say

    Unlike the Prime Minister I don’t push poll. Nor do I tell blatant lies.

    [lprent: dave you are an inaccurate git.
    Helen did not say that she push-polled.
    What she did say was that she would not rule out push-polling as a tactic by Labour this election.
    Bearing in mind that the national party proxies, the exclusive brethren, did last election she would be foolish to rule it out. Who will be their proxy this time?
    Your comment also raised my trolling instincts. It sounded distinctly like a copy paste line rather than something you put any thought into. Raise your game or be prepared to leave.]

  35. Felix 35

    Razorlight, you’re welcome to “take Key on face value” as you put it. I’m a bit more discerning.

    Meanwhile, scoop have another denial from Mr Key.

  36. John 36

    No. Why would Bill English want to leak our use of Crosby Textor? He supports me 100% even though I helped roll him and install Don Brash and then I beat him for the leadership when I rolled Don Brash. No, I’m sure there are no hard feelings. It has to be someone hacking the parliamentary systems and they are only looking at National’s emails. That’s what C/T will be telling our slippery little friend to say.

    [lprent: Don’t attempt to impersonate people. I’ll leave the comment in place as it does follow the post.]

  37. Razorlight 37

    Felix

    My point is other than SP telling us daily John Key is not the man we see, I have no reason not to take him as I see him. Other than the Key haters on the left there has been noone suggest he is anything other than the guy we see in the news each night. Certainly no evidence of it.

  38. r0b 38

    “I don’t need professional advice to tell me what an overwhelming majority of Kiwis can already see — this tired Labour government is out of ideas and reduced to dirty personal attacks. It’s time for a change”…

  39. Oliver 39

    Although there are an awful lot of lefties getting very excited about this most people in NZ don’t know what pushpolling is or couldn’t care less.

    Anyway, aren’t your views on the issue due to change very soon now that Helen has refused to rule out using push-polling?

  40. Rex Widerstrom 40

    Oh god are we still on about Key employing some rather ineffective one trick ponies?

    Sorry to rain on the endless parade of “CT trip elderly ladies, steal the walkers from under pensioners and enjoy a spot of midget tossing in their spare time” posts but no one in Australia actually gives a toss that the Liberals employ CT. They voted the Libs out on their own (lack of) merits. No one outside the “beltway” cares, nor should they. This is what politics is nowadays, and faux outrage from people who know precisely how the game is played does you no credit. A post, yes… but days of posts?!

    Breathe through the nose fellas. Then get back to posting on issues that do matter… issues of substance and policy (or lack thereof).

    Perhaps someone would be good enough to email me when you’ve finally got over this excitement. If I wanted re-runs I’d be watching the telly.

    [lprent: You know how it goes. The writers write what posts they want to. Enjoy the telly – I seldom find anything of interest there]

  41. Razorlight 41

    Rex I will put a lazy tenner on SP still rehashing this story in a weeks time so don’t expect that email anytime soon.
    [lprent: And the same note again as the previous comment]

  42. Tane 42

    Well done Steve. Bill English used a version of

    “the real issue here is why Helen Clark is so obsessed with who I get advice from when hardworking Kiwis are suffering from 9 years of overtaxation’

    on Morning Report this morning.

  43. higherstandard 43

    So he does win the internship at C/T then – he will be pleased

  44. lprent 44

    hs: I suspect that Steve is too damn honest and probably not hard nosed enough. I gave him moderator rights long ago, and I don’t think he has banned anyone yet. Definitely not a candidate for what NRT called the dirty tricks brigade.

  45. vto 45

    Tane said “Well done Steve. Bill English used a version of

    “the real issue here is why Helen Clark is so obsessed with who I get advice from when hardworking Kiwis are suffering from 9 years of overtaxation’

    on Morning Report this morning.”

    I know this has already been said but perhaps it was said because it is the truth. And highlights the other truth, namely that Clark and labour do anything they can to smear Key and the nats and make them out to be nasty evil people with horns on their heads (which is what you lot are claiming the nats are doing!).

    Perhaps some actual analysis as to why Clark and labour are dead in the water in the average voters eyes would be a better use of your time.

  46. burt 46

    Press release from National;

    We have a cunning plan, we simply wait for the first Labour MP that breaches the EFA to be charged, we know this probably won’t happen but the polls are on our side in the meantime.

    If Labour get charged for breaching their own laws that they can’t understand then we start spending tax payers money like crazy on electioneering.

    If Labour win they will probably do what they did last time, why wouldn’t they it was convenient and it wasn’t illegal. Then our spending will be retrospectively validated as well. If we win, we will do what Labour did last time because we can say “Labour did it too”.

    It’s only public money, and we all like to spend it.

  47. Scribe 47

    Steve Withers (a long way up),

    It’s starting to look like Cullen was right and now would be a dumb time for tax cuts.

    Yep, looks that way. Yet he’s delivering them anyway — through gritted teeth — because he knows it’s the only chance Labour has to get close to winning.

  48. T-rex 48

    Monty – Don’t you ever feel that you are screaming at each other in a small sound proof room? Because that is certainly what it seems like to us righties.

    Regularly. But then I remember that not all readers are posters…

  49. mike 49

    Anyone else find Jim Boldger’s comments on Goodmorning interesting.

    When asked what he thought of Nationals stance on Kiwirail.

    “I will obviously have no problems working with National…” I think National will be positive…

    No doubt in his mind who he is going to be working with later this year….

  50. well, mike, if Jim says it we may as well all pack up and go home, eh? (actually I’m at home, I win!)… after all Jim Bolger is always right about everything….do you think Bolger had any doubt in his mind that he would stil be PM went he came back from that overseas trip in 1998?

  51. higherstandard 51

    Mike

    Indeed. I’m not sure about Bolger there is a tendency to just see another ex politician at the public teat, but he certainly speaks far more believable and competently than when he was PM.

    On the surface he also appears to have done a reasonable job with Kiwibank.

    SP How do you feel about the government getting in a Torie to sort the railways ?

  52. T-rex 52

    Wow mike, that from an ex-National ex-PM? ERIE!!!

    edit: Damn you for Ninja’ing me Steve. And damn you more for being home.

  53. coge 53

    Push-polling is a grossly inefficient method of canvassing. It can only have an effect on the most marginal of electorates & MMP makes it even less useful. Plus the general public don’t give a toss it’s being used or not. So Labours claims about push-polling are a sure sign of a desparate beat up. All good news.

  54. mike 54

    Granted TR and SP but I thought he would be a little more careful about what he says and how he says its given his new employers.

    HS: Remember his unfortunate habit of assuming the accent the foreign dignity visiting at the time. Cringe

  55. KK 55

    “Plus the general public don’t give a toss it’s being used or not” – I love it how Coge just makes stuff up like that

    Do you think that the average voter even knows what push-polling is? given it any thought? – unlikely

  56. Higherstandard 56

    Mike

    I’d forgotten but yes I do recall it.

  57. coge 57

    KK, my point exactly. How could they possibly give a toss if they don’t understand it? Now tell me why Labour pushing this one?

  58. Prediction:

    My pick is still “the real issue here is why Helen Clark is so obsessed with who I get advice from when hardworking Kiwis are suffering from 9 years of overtaxation’

    Observation (Morning Report today):

    “Labour is obsessed with who gives advice to National. The public I would have to say is much more concerned with an economy that’s turning down interest rates that are still too high and law and order that’s out of control”

    English rather than Key, but I think the judges will pay on that.

  59. KK 59

    Coge,

    I guess we have a different outlook. I consider the average voter to be disengaged from politics (do you not?) e.g the average voter is voting national but they don’t actually understand what national stands for and unfortunately fall victim to buzz words (as argued under brand key).

    So the idea of poll pushing and not understanding what is means is another example of disengagement.

    If the average voter had an understanding of poll-pushing and how it negatively affects our democratic tradition (i.e it is unfair, impartial and therefore unjust), I think that they wold care and would be asking questions.

  60. Lew 60

    The `Average Voter’ might not know what push-polling is, but the point is to make them know, not so much what it is, but that it’s bad and National’s campaign strategists have done it in the past.

    I would like to see Helen Clark come out and officially rule push-polling out, for two reasons. First, I think it’s generally just bad form. Second, if Labour are going to continue this line of attack, their mrejection needs to be unequivocal. Audrey Young’s blog post avers that Labour wouldn’t rule out `honest’ push-polling. There is a clear distinction between these two methods: both are campaigning masquerading as research, but one is campaigning on false pretences (the `push’ being a falsehood such as the C/T example of a candidate supporting 9-month abortions) and one not (the `push’ being, for example, the fact that National intends to abolish the Maori seats in 2014, which is their stated policy). The fact that there are both honest and dishonest uses for push-polling means that Labour and others can’t criticise its use in the general case – they have to criticise it based on a particular implementation. This confuses the matter and makes it a poor target.

    Labour’s major problem in my view is that their communications strategy has been unclear, confused and lacking in focus, which leads voters to be suspicious and opens the party up to attack. This is an example: the refusal to take a strong stance on an issue and shore up some firm moral ground.

    L

  61. T-rex 61

    Mike – Isn’t KiwiRail an SOE now? I think Bolgers comment was perfectly appropriate – he’s not beholden to Labour and nor should he be.

  62. gobsmacked 62

    Nobody picked this one in the Spin-Bingo – it’s straight out of “Yes, Minister”:

    – Asked “what advice are your advisers giving on not talking about your advisers?” Mr Key said: “I haven’t sought advice on that.” (NZPA)

    Classic!

  63. higherstandard 63

    Visions of Sir Humphrey Appleby – now that was a great programme.

  64. Lew 64

    GS: “what advice are your advisers giving on not talking about your advisers?’

    Who asked that question? I suppose it’s not clear.

    L

  65. Felix 65

    Razorlight,

    I understand the point you’re making, I just think you might want to get out a bit more if you really haven’t noticed anything about Mr Key that suggests you shouldn’t be taking him at face value.

    Do you have any evidence that you can take him at face value? (Facile, I know, but essentially this is the inverse of your statement.)

  66. r0b 66

    Regularly. But then I remember that not all readers are posters

    T-rex, exactly. As real reporting in the MSM withers away in this country, it is up to ordinary people to speak the truth to power. Enter the blog. Some listen, most don’t, it still has to be done.

  67. Dean 67

    SP:

    “Monty. Helen Clark’s history and beliefs are an open book.”

    If that’s the case then perhaps youd like to explain the whole “I think you’re defying human nature” quote she made in regards to smacking children?

    Yeah, I thought not. It’s like you’re living in your own world.

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  • Trump: “Where’s my favourite dictator?”
    From the Wall Street Journal:Inside a room of the ornately decorated Hotel du Palais during last month’s Group of Seven summit in Biarritz, France, President Trump awaited a meeting with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi. Mr. Trump looked over a gathering of American and Egyptian officials and called out in ...
    1 day 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
    2 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
    2 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
    2 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
    3 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
    3 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
    3 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
    3 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 ...
    3 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
    4 days ago
  • The obvious question
    The media is reporting that the (alleged) Labour party sexual assaulter has resigned from their job at Parliament, which means hopefully he won't be turning up there making people feel unsafe in future. Good. But as with everything about this scandal, it just raises other questions. Most significantly: why the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days 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
    4 days 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
    4 days 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
    4 days 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
    4 days 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 ...
    4 days 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 ...
    5 days 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 ...
    5 days 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
    5 days 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
    5 days 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 ...
    5 days 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
    5 days 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
    5 days 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
    5 days 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
    5 days 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
    5 days 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
    6 days 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
    6 days 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
    6 days 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
    6 days 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
    6 days 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
    6 days 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
    6 days 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
    6 days 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
    6 days 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 ...
    6 days 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
    7 days 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
    7 days 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
    7 days ago
  • Speaker: Tadhg Stopford: Why I’m standing for the ADHB
    Hi there, just call me Tim.We face tough problems, and I’d like to help, because there are solutions.An Auckand District Health Board member has nominated me for as a candidate for the ADHB, because her MS-related pain and fatigue is reduced with hemp products from Rotorua.  Nothing else helped her. If I ...
    1 week ago
  • Good little vassals
    The Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security has published their report on whether the SIS and GCSB had any complicity in American torture. And its damning. The pull quote is this:The Inquiry found both agencies, but to a much greater degree, the NZSIS, received many intelligence reports obtained from detainees who, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Who Shall We Turn To When God, And Uncle Sam, Cease To Defend New Zealand?
    Bewhiskered Cassandra? Professor Hugh White’s chilling suggestion, advanced to select collections of academic, military and diplomatic Kiwi experts over the course of the past week, is that the assumptions upon which Australia and New Zealand have built their foreign affairs and defence policies for practically their entire histories – are ...
    1 week ago
  • The Politics of Opposition
    For most of the time I was a British MP, my party was out of government – these were the Thatcher years, when it was hard for anyone else to get a look-in. As a front-bencher and shadow minister, I became familiar with the strategies required in a parliamentary democracy ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • More expert comments on the Canadian fluoride-IQ paper
    The Green et al (2019) fluoride/IQ is certainly controversial – as would be expected from its subject (see If at first you don’t succeed . . . statistical manipulation might help and Politics of science – making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear). Anti-fluoride campaigners have been actively promoting it ...
    1 week 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
    1 week ago
  • Air New Zealand identifies this enormous plot of unused land as possible second airport site
    Air New Zealand couldn’t believe its luck that this seemingly ideal piece of real estate had so far gone entirely unnoticed. Air New Zealand’s search for a site to build a second Auckland Airport may have made a breakthrough this afternoon, after employees scanning Google satellite imagery spotted a huge, ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Redline on the Labour Party
    No-one on the anti-capitalist left in this country today puts forward a case that Labour is on the side of the working class.  There are certainly people who call themselves ‘socialist’ who do, but they are essentially liberals with vested interests in Labourism – often for career reasons. Nevertheless, there ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • New Fisk
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Labour’s failure
    When National was in government and fucking over the poor for the benefit of the rich, foodbanks were a growth industry. And now Labour is in charge, nothing has changed: A huge demand for emergency food parcels means the Auckland City Mission is struggling to prepare for the impending arrival ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Ardern attempts to vaccinate Clarke Gayford live on television to prove that it’s safe
    Gayford, pictured here on The Project, before things got wildly out of control. A bold public relations move by the Government to encourage parents to vaccinate their children has gone horribly wrong. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern appeared on tonight’s episode of Three’s The Project, where the plan was for her ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Has Mr. Whippy gone too far by parking on our front lawns?
    Mr. Whippy’s business model has driven it down a dark road of intimidation. Residents in major centres around the country are becoming disgruntled by the increasingly aggressive actions of purported ice cream company Mr. Whippy, who have taken to parking on people’s front lawns and doorsteps in a desperate attempt ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Cleaning up the water
    Today the government released its Action Plan for Healthy Waterways, aimed at cleaning up our lakes and rivers. Its actually quite good. There will be protection for wetlands, better standards for swimming spots, a requirement for continuous improvement, and better standards for wastewater and stormwater. But most importantly, there's a ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Fronting up
    Today I appeared before the Environment Committee to give an oral submission on the Zero Carbon Bill. Over 1,500 people have asked to appear in person, so they've divided into subcommittees and are off touring the country, giving people a five minute slot each. The other submitters were a mixed ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Politics of science – making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear
    Anti-fluoride activists have some wealthy backers – they are erecting billboards misrepresenting the Canadian study on many New Zealand cities – and local authorities are ordering their removal because of their scaremongering. Many New Zealanders ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Democracy – I Don’t Think So
    So, those who “know best” have again done their worst. While constantly claiming to be the guardians of democracy and the constitution, and respecters of the 2016 referendum result, diehard Remainers (who have never brought themselves to believe that their advice could have been rejected) have striven might and main ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    2 weeks ago
  • Government says it will now build just one really nice home
    Following publication of this article, the Ministry has requested it to be noted that this supplied image is not necessarily representative of what the final house will look like, and it “probably won’t be that nice.” As part of today’s long-anticipated reset of the Government’s flagship KiwiBuild policy, Housing Minister ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Imperialism and your cup of coffee
    Over the next week or two we will be running three synopses of parts of the opening chapter of John Smith’s Imperialism in the 21st Century (New York, Monthly Review Press, 2016).  The synopsis and commentary below is written by Phil Duncan. Marx began Capital not with a sweeping historical ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Still juking the stats
    The State Services Commission and Ombudsman have released another batch of OIA statistics, covering the last six months. Request volumes are up, and the core public service is generally handling them within the legal timeframe, though this may be because they've learned to extend rather than just ignore things. And ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Hard News: Time for a New Deal: 25 years on
    In 1994, I was editing an ambitious street mag called Planet, from a fabled office at at 309 Karangahape Road. The thirteenth issue of the magazine was published in the winter of that year and its cover embodied a particularly ambitious goal: the end of cannabis prohibition.I wanted to do ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Not impressed
    KiwiBuild was one of the Ardern government's core policies. The government would end the housing crisis and make housing affordable again by building 100,000 new homes. Of course, it didn't work out like that: targets weren't met, the houses they did build were in the wrong place, and the whole ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Solar beats coal
    As the climate crisis escalates, it is now obvious that we need to radically decarbonise our economy. The good news is that its looking easy and profitable for the energy sector. Wind is already cheaper than fossil fuels, and now solar is too:The levellised cost of solar PV has fallen ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • A Step Too Far.
    A Crown Asset? For reasons relating to its own political convenience, the Crown pretends to believe that “No one owns the water.” To say otherwise would re-vivify the promises contained in the Treaty of Waitangi – most particularly those pertaining to the power of the chiefs and their proprietary rights ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Where Money Comes From
    Most people would say, no doubt, that they have a pretty good idea of what money is. They live with the reality of money every day. It is what is needed to buy the necessities of life and to maintain a decent standard of living. You get money, they would ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    2 weeks ago
  • Banned by the Green Party leadership: Jill Abigail on women’s rights and trans rights
    The article below was an opinion piece that appeared in the Spring 2019 issue of Te Awa (the NZ Green Party’s newsletter) and on the Greens website.  In keeping with their policy of hostility to women defending women’s right to female-only spaces, Green bureaucrats have since removed the opinion piece.  ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • The fallacy of the proximity argument.
    Longer term readers may remember my complaining that, as a political scientist, it is burdensome to have non-political scientists wanting to engage me about politics. No layperson would think to approach an astrophysicist and lecture him/her on the finer details of quarks and black holes, but everybody with an opinion ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    2 weeks ago
  • Where We Stood: Chris Trotter Replies To Stevan Eldred-Grigg.
    Joining The Fight: Stevan Eldred-Grigg's argument for New Zealand staying out of the Second World War fails not only on the hard-headed grounds of preserving the country’s strategic and economic interests; and not just on the soft-hearted grounds of duty and loyalty to the nation that had given New Zealand ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Universities back the climate strike
    On September 27, School Strike 4 Climate will be striking for a future to pressure the government for meaningful climate action. This time, they've asked adults to join them. And now, Lincoln University and Victoria University of Wellington have signed on:Victoria University of Wellington has joined Lincoln University in endorsing ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Another constitutional outrage
    Another day, another constitutional outrage in the UK. This time, the government is saying that if parliament passes a law to stop Brexit before being prorogued, they may just ignore it:A senior cabinet minister has suggested Boris Johnson could defy legislation to prevent a no-deal Brexit if it is forced ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Ending dairy in Canterbury
    Environment Canterbury has finally proposed nitrogen limits to stop dairy farmers from poisoning Christchurch's water supply. And naturally, farmers are whining about it:A proposed move by Environment Canterbury (ECan) to protect Christchurch's drinking water by setting tough – some would say, draconian – nitrate reductions in the decades ahead and ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Is National the party of climate arson?
    The Zero Carbon Bill is currently before select committee. While its targets are weak, its a generally sensible bill that promises to establish a long-term framework to guide emissions reductions. But National hasn't made up its mind on whether it will support it - and according to Andrea Vance in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago

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