Cunliffe rules out challenge

Written By: - Date published: 9:42 am, January 25th, 2013 - 81 comments
Categories: david cunliffe, labour, leadership - Tags:

Tucked away on the One News site last night…

Labour leadership bid ruled out by Cunliffe

David Cunliffe has unequivocally ruled out standing for the Labour Party leadership again.

Cunliffe was demoted by Labour leader David Shearer in November for refusing to rule out a challenge for the leadership.

The MP for New Lynn told ONE News political reporter Michael Parkin he is not interested in standing again so he’ll be serving his time as a back bench MP. This was revealed at the annual Ratana celebrations near Wanganui this morning.

Cunliffe never had a chance in a February challenge, and has done the right thing to unequivocally put speculation to rest. I hope we’ll see him back on the front bench soon, and playing an important role in the next Labour-led government.

81 comments on “Cunliffe rules out challenge”

  1. ianmac 1

    “… The MP for New Lynn told ONE News political reporter Michael Parkin he is not interested in standing again ….”
    What’s that? Again? Did he mean that his efforts like at the Labour Party Conference will not be repeated again?

    • Pete 1.1

      You’ll recall he stood when Helen Clark left. I believe it did gain some coverage.

      • Tom Gould 1.1.1

        A pragmatic move this time, as with only 8 firm votes in caucus, the result would just be further humiliation, really.

    • Olwyn 1.2

      ianmac; Cunliffe did stand in December 2011; hence the “again.” You know as well as I do that reports of “his efforts” at the conference are controversial. Many think that the claims of an imminent challenge were fabricated by certain Labour MPs in collusion with Patrick Gower. A few excited delegates expressing preferences does not amount to “doing the numbers” and refusal to answer a question on a secret ballot does not amount to a challenge.

    • Anne 1.3

      Come on ianmac. You’re better than that. You weren’t even there yet you claim to know what happened. Let me say it one more time:

      CUNLIFFE DID NOT TRY TO LAUNCH A CHALLENGE OR COUP AT THE CONFERENCE.

      You know only too well that the again was referring to the leadership contest late in 2011 following the election.

      The post-conference crisis was manufactured by a small bunch of paranoid caucus members with an irrational fear of a very talented colleague – plus concern they would lose their power in caucus should he ever become the leader. (I suspect the latter was the over-riding concern).

      edit: I see Olwyn has made the same points at 1.2.

    • Dr Terry 1.4

      Response to ianmac: You mean Shearer’s desperate antics I take it?

  2. Pete 2

    he is not interested in standing again

    For just the leadership, right? It would be a real shame if he has decided to exit politics altogether.

    • Colonial Viper 2.1

      Yes for the Leadership, at least that’s what the first para suggests; I hope so anyway as LAB really needs Cunliffe in a senior post. I suppose this decision shows that Cunliffe is smart enough not to run over a cliff chasing after something which is not going to happen. But it frakin burns to think that TRP called this one correctly all along… Hi TRP 😉

      • karol 2.1.1

        You’ve got to wonder how that that was One news interpretation. Is there a direct, on-camera quote from Cunliffe? Kate Chapman on Stuff tells it differently:

        Clean shaven – unlike the bearded version following his failed leadership bid last year – and wearing a beige cap, Cunliffe told media he supported Shearer.

        “I’ve already stated a number of times he has my full support.

        “I am not challenging David Shearer.”

        And his support was not contingent on a decent spot in the party’s frontbench reshuffle due early next month.

        “It’s a matter for the leader,” Cunliffe said.

        He had not spoken to Shearer about it but was “telling the world now”….

      • Te Reo Putake 2.1.2

        Cheers, CV! If only I was that good at picking English footy results and greyhound quinellas. Bah!

      • Anne 2.1.3

        But it frakin burns to think that TRP called this one correctly all along…

        He wasn’t the only one CV. Quite a few of us called it correctly. He was just more noisy about it. 🙂

      • QoT 2.1.4

        Broken clocks, etc.

    • Dr Terry 2.2

      Cunliffe’s talents are wasted on politics. I hope they will be employed in some other form of high office.

  3. King Kong 3

    So if he can rule it out now why could he not do it in November?

    Unless of course he was staging a coup in November, but that is impossible as so many on the Standard have told me it was just ludicrous speculation.

  4. shorts 4

    was on TV3 news as well…. and what does a soundbite about political aspirations mean – nothing

    If memory serves he basically said pretty much what he was saying at the conference but slightly more directly (and slowly) so Gower could understand

  5. ad 5

    Politicians like David Cunliffe should learn to lie ie say they won’t challenge, get the numbers, and then do it.

    Learn to lie to camera abut “war is on” or “war is off” moments.

    Or lie still.

    Shearer’s actions in demoting him were in the Australian NSW school. There’s no rules. Only the rule of raw numbers. It’s up to Cunliffe or Shearer to get their numbers together.

    So far it looks like the great majority of caucus have chosen the “let’s just have more of the same thanks” political trajectory for Labour. So those at the tail end of the list get to lose their jobs in 2014. Once again New Zealand, and Labour, gets to lower its sights, without a shot fired.

  6. KhandallaViper 6

    If we are to win in 2014 the Party Leadership, the Caucus, the activists, the affiliates, the donors and the supporters need to be on the same page.

    We will be on the same page when the Leader of the Caucus gets an endorsement from the rest.

    At the moment that endorsement is not there.

    It seems that the Wellington “advisors” to the Leader are telling him to keep his head down, cover his ears, engage in prepared set pieces with the MSM and ignore the disgruntled ones.

    The real world is that the vast majority of the membership feel they are being duped.

    Until the party addresses that chasm between the Plebs and the Patricians we are going nowhere above 31%.

    • One of the plebs in New Lynn electorate. Not a member but give Labour money and time.

      The current Patricians seem more interested in legalising marijuana, lowering the voting age and gay rights. That’s ok but it ain’t jobs, housing, education, health and prison reform. Especially jobs.

      Cunliffe may benefit from his time in the wilderness. I hope so because he is one of the few, in my humble opinion, that can think creatively in the economics of exporting the expensive smart things and avoiding a political upheaval amongst the Polynesians.

      The Plebs want the traditional ‘Fair Go!” The current Patricians want the frills associated with privileged minorities. Cunliffe, Watakere Man, knows, understands and is aware of the differences. So do the Plebs.

  7. Enough is Enough 7

    Cunliffe had every chance in February if Shearer chose to do the only democratic thing and put the leadership to the wider Labour Party, as the party called for with the constituional changes.

    This is a disaster for those of us who want an end to 30 years of neo liberal policies. There will be no meaningful economic reforms under a Shearer led Labour Government. It will be more of the same rubbish we have seen since Rogernomics was introduced.

    We (being those who really want to rebalance society) must now deliver a strong Green Party to Parliament. One that will have enough power in that Cabinet room to drive Labour left. We need 6 to seven ministers in that Cabinet.

    • AmaKiwi 7.1

      Think bigger.

      We need the Greens to have MORE seats in Parliament than Labour.

      National must popping the champagne corks at the prospect of going up against Captain Mumblefucks and his party’s empty bank account.

  8. Matthew 8

    IMO his best bet would be to have another go next February. By then we will know if Shearer is up to it

    • MrSmith 8.1

      If not now then never, this is like watching a rerun of the last election except the Labour party leadership looks worse this time.

      If this is true though it’s great news for the Greens and National, but oh you poor old Labour supporters 4 years on and stuck with Mumble Fuck, bumbling and stumbling his way to the next election. At-least with a prick like Key we know what we are getting, with Shearer we will never know because he usually forgets half way through telling us.

    • Colonial Viper 8.2

      A leadership challenge in 2014? No, even if Mother Teresa got in, it would be gifting the election to National.

      • geoff 8.2.1

        Can anyone tell me, at this point, why anyone who considers themselves left-wing should consider voting Labour over the Greens?
        What’s the advantage?

        • Enough is Enough 8.2.1.1

          Great Question Geoff

          And one I have absolutley no answer for.

          r0b should be able to answer. He is in my view Labour’s strongest supporter out of the Standard authors…

          • r0b 8.2.1.1.1

            Will try and comment late tonight (flat out just now!)

          • r0b 8.2.1.1.2

            OK, so, why would a leftie vote Labour?

            Can I start by saying that I personally don’t care whether it is Labour or The Greens that gets a leftie’s vote. I’ve voted Green before, may do again, and I’ve donated to them, and I’ve worked with them locally at elections times. I’m not “tribal” about any party, it just so happens that I got involved with Labour because (back in 1999) they had a much stronger local organisation. I stick with them now for similar reasons – it is Labour that can get stuff done. But when it comes to vote, vote left, that’s what I care about.

            So (acknowledging that there are good reasons to vote Green) what are good reasons to vote Labour?

            – because the left will never win without them (sorry but politics is a pragmatic game, and pragmatically I think Labour will always represent a bigger chunk of the electorate)

            – because they are more realistic than The Greens (their policies are always tempered by the reality of check of being called upon to put them in to practice, the Greens, never in Government, can be more speculative and leftie-populist)(having said that – The Greens have usually been more realistic about the importance of environmental threats)

            – for some of the reasons outlined by IB – they have more experience and more depth

            – because of their roots in the union movement, and connections with Maori, both of which are very important

            – and because I know that Labour is full of wonderful people, who want all the right things, and that the constraints that often hold them back (NZ voters are centrist, the MSM right-wing) are the constraints that would apply to any lefite government.

        • Te Reo Putake 8.2.1.2

          The Greens can’t win electorate seats, so if you live in a seat that is winnable for Labour (and therefore helps the chances of a Lab/Green Govt getting up) then at least one vote should be for Labour, even if you have a pen in one hand and your nose in the other. But that’s probably not really answering your question, is it?

          The answer is policy. Your party vote, as a lefty voting in a MMP format western democracy, should go to the party that, in your opinion, offers the best policies.

          • geoff 8.2.1.2.1

            Yeah that still doesn’t answer my question. If you can answer why you personally are persuaded by Labour’s policy over Green’s then that would answer the question.
            Saying ‘the policy’ is too general. If you can be specific about particular policies then that would be helpful. I am not a Green party member and have party voted for both Labour and Green in previous elections (Labour in 2011).
            There may be good reasons why I shouldn’t discard Labour in 2014 even if the ABCers still hold the reins but I can’t think/ haven’t heard of any yet…

          • Colonial Viper 8.2.1.2.2

            The Greens can’t win electorate seats

            Patience, TRP. That is changing.

            NB Labour lost 35% of their electorate seats in the 2011 election. They managed to win just 13 out of 70 electorate seats (19% of them).

            • Te Reo Putake 8.2.1.2.2.1

              Nah, they can’t do it. There is no inner city electorate like Melbourne Central where the density of population allows for the possibility of a Green win. While its true that the Greens did win Coromandel once, that was with my help, and I ain’t doing it again.*

              Nah, voting Green in a winnable-for-Labour electorate is voting Tory by default.

              * Kidding, sorta. A boundary change put my part of Tauranga in the Coromandel electorate and after the LP gave a nod and a wink, a lot of Labour voters swung in behind Jeannette.

              • bad12

                Your thinking is a little ‘old’ best left at the cemetary alongside the headstone of FFP a long dead old timer,

                The Green Party has no need of electorates, it’s support is from New Zealand…

                • Colonial Viper

                  Indeed, I used my example to suggest that Labour is also losing grip of the electorate seats. 13 out of 70 seats. Just awful.

                  • Te Reo Putake

                    Er, shome mistake, shurely? Labour have 22 electorate seats, CV. Up 1 from 2008.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      LOL I’m a facepalm moron. Thanks for the correction TRP.

                      Labour is really good at holding electorate seats. Sorta.

                    • Te Reo Putake

                      You had me worried! The 2 Auckland and 1 Chch seat that were lost by a handful of votes will probably come back, but its the provincial ones that we need to be reconnecting with, I reckon. Win the heartland, win the election.

                • Te Reo Putake

                  Your comment makes no sense, Bad. The first sentence derides my thinking, the second agrees with my proposition. Happy hour?

            • George D 8.2.1.2.2.2

              The Greens can’t win electorate seats, because they (we, I’m a member) don’t want to. There are good reasons not to, and in previous elections these have prevailed. The memory of Coromandel 1999-2002 is imprinted on the party. The cost of having incumbents, either safe and thus unremovable, or unsafe and requiring significant investment to protect, is high. Your party gets Jim Anderton. You also give up the chance to represent national constituencies and choose your voters by offering correct but unpopular policy, and have to court the plurality of any given electorate – people who often want things that your party would rather not agree to. The upside is the incredible legitimacy and bolstering of the party vote that successful candidates bring. I don’t believe the compromises are so great as to make it a negative sum game, and I think that as the vote edges towards or about 20%, you come closer to a plurality in a lot of locations, making the job a feasible one.

              Those against electorate seats will likely prevail again this time around too – the party (both membership and leadership) still thinks of itself as a minor party that gets elected through list seats, and is unlikely put in the considerable money, time, and effort required to do an electorate seat properly. Our electorate-level organisation and voter efforts have improved but still need consolidation. All these things will change, but it will be a gradual transition. Which is unfortunate, as now represents a great time to gain experience and take a shot at a floundering National and weakened Labour.

          • Enough is Enough 8.2.1.2.3

            It has to be blind loyalty doesn’t it, because they aren’t exactly promisiing to reverse the changes of the past 30 years.

            Rogernomics and Ruthanasia are the foundation rocks of Labours economic policies.

            When will Labour reverse Ruth Richardson’s benefot cuts?

            • hush minx 8.2.1.2.3.1

              I have to say at the moment I will be giving my electorate vote to the greens even though it’s unlikely they will win. I will not give my vote to the Labour candidate who I am sure it’s part of the problem we have been discussing at length.

              • Te Reo Putake

                Your local Tory candidate thanks you for your support and wants you to know that when they’re the MP, their door will always be open to the Chamber of Commerce, Federated Farmers and, of course, our friends at the Institute for Cetacean Research.

                But closed to the likes of you, obviously.

  9. just saying 9

    Given what I saw on the tele last night, I think Cunliffe would be unwise to stand in February, should there be an opportunity. Those with any interest in the matter, and who rely on the mainstream media for their information probably have little reason to disbelieve the media and various senior Labour sources who have been reported effectively saying that Cunliffe is a slimy, deceitful, arsehole.

    Cunliffe clearly communicated that he would not stand. And it’s the end of January.

    • Bill 9.1

      Any move by anyone for leadership who doesn’t embrace the neo-liberal orthodoxy is going to be crucified in the media. Thing is, in the right hands, that in itself can be turned into an unstoppable momentum.

    • Anne 9.2

      … senior Labour sources who have been reported effectively saying that Cunliffe is a slimy, deceitful, arsehole.

      Attributing to another… what the person might be him/herself is one of the oldest tricks in the book.

      Actually, John Key is a frequent user of that little trick.

  10. Glen Forrester 10

    I’m a little sad about this.

    David Cunliffe did some excellent work with Telecom and the network. He has always impressed me with his speeches in the Parliament.

    I’m confused too. Is The Standard a Labour blog? I don’t read many positive comments about the current leader!

    What is all the fuss about changes to rules for leadership elections if no election is going to be had? Is it just that there is going to be an election but David Cunliffe will not be a candidate? It makes the election seem like a bit of a waste if you ask me.

    Please pardon my ignorance. I am learning but I don’t think I am knowledgeable like many of you.

    • Bunji 10.1

      Hi Glen, as you’re new…

      The Standard is a blog by a collective who support the left / labour movement – labour with a small l, rather than the Labour Party specifically. A few authors, like myself, are Labour members / supporters, others are Green supporters, or possibly even Mana. But the point is that it is independent (despite what various media say…).

      As to a leadership election – the disappointment of many of the commenters here is that there doesn’t appear that there will be a Labour leadership election. Caucus has to give a vote of approval for the Parliamentary Leader (Shearer) in February by constitutional rules, and if Shearer doesn’t get the support of 60%+1 of them then it goes to a wider electoral college of 40% MPs, 40% members, 20% unions. And without a challenger it’s hard to see Shearer failing to get that support.

      Last November the Labour Party put in the new Leadership selection rules (previously it was a pure Caucus vote), and some now want the chance to use them. Others of us would prefer we got on with holding the government to account and presenting a vision for an alternate government, rather than concentrating on internal battles. That’s what most of the argument is about…

      • One Tāne Huna 10.1.1

        Bunji, I think the problem is more that the current configuration does not offer the best chance we have of winning the election. Far from it.

        Specifically, I think this results in concern that Winston First will hold the balance of power, and that rather than a genuine left (Labour/Green/Mana) government with a mandate to effect change, and the will to drive the nails into the coffin of Rogernomics, we will be afflicted with National-lite.

      • mikesh 10.1.2

        If 40% (in a secret ballot) express dissatisfaction the wider membership gets to vote even in the absence of visible challenger. There is no actual need, as far as I can see, for a potential challenger to show his hand until after the caucus vote.

        • AmaKiwi 10.1.2.1

          Technically correct. But not true if your caucus is controlled by a bunch of ruthless bullies who need someone, anyone, to demonize. If they decide you are the demon they could decide to destroy your political career, no matter how dedicated and talented you are.

  11. Draco T Bastard 11

    And that should be the end of Labour as a major left party.

  12. vto 12

    Cunliffe has ruled out a tilt at the Labour party leadership because he is about to announce his candidacy for the Vote Them Out party and vote himself out of existence. Aintcha David ..

  13. One Tāne Huna 13

    It’s a bit sad that there are so many people who are still prepared to let Patrick “I am the story” Gower dictate the terms and conditions of internal Labour Party affairs.

  14. Jenny 14

    Before these events David Cunliffe was far away the leading parliamentarian speaking out against climate change, leaving the Greens in his wake as they modify their opposition to climate change in exchange for electoral advantage and cabinet positions.

    Because of the “strategic” and “pragmatic” back down by the Greens, the role of climate change advocate in our parliament is crying out to be filled.

    My hope is that with all this behind us, David Cunliffe can now return to informing and warning the public and the electorate of the reality and the magnitude of the approaching danger and of the real need to take measurable meaningful actions against it.

  15. RedLogix 15

    For the record; my Green Party membership is getting renewed. I’ve just plain lost interest in Captain Mumbles and his crew of miserable has-beens.

    Quite possibly similar thoughts are going through Cunliffe’s mind.

    • Jenny 15.1

      Why would Cunliffe jump from one climate change ignoring party to another?

    • Anne 15.2

      Interesting to hear that RedLogix. I may yet feel compelled to change my membership allegiance to the Greens, but it would be an upsetting day for me if it happens because I admit to being tribal Labour.

      I will give Shearer and co. one more chance to right the wrong they have committed. If it doesn’t happen, it will be “hello Greens, may I join you?”

      Quite possibly similar thoughts are going through Cunliffe’s mind.

      You could be right.

      • QoT 15.2.1

        *crosses fingers* It could be equally catastrophic or AMAZEBALLS.

        • Jenny 15.2.1.1

          I think the thoughts that are going through Cunliffe’s head are that he would be just as unwelcome in the Green Party caucus as he is in the Labour Party caucus and for the same reasons.

          H would also be thinking that such a move would be letting down his own electorate committee and electorate supporters.

          Of course the ABC’s would be overjoyed if Cunliffe left the Labour Party for the Greens. That is just what they would want.

          David Cunliffe is far better off staying right where he is and fighting the good fight. Let the ABC’s try and force him out if they dare.

          • AmaKiwi 15.2.1.1.1

            Although philosophically Cunliffe might be more at home with the Greens than with the people who now rule the Labour caucus, I doubt people who have worked for years building the Green Party are going to step aside and give him a high ranking on the party list. I can’t blame them.

            • Jenny 15.2.1.1.1.1

              Philosophically the Greens are quite at home with a Shearer led Labour Party, committed to expanding new coal mining, (not to mention oil drilling and fracking). Cunliffe would be seen as the personification of the elephant in the front room. Or like Marley’s ghost, reminding them of Green Christmas’s past. Cunliffe would be very unwelcome in their midst, risking their cosy little sell out arrangement to not raise the issue of climate change, in the hope of cabinet positions.

          • QoT 15.2.1.1.2

            Yes, but you quite clearly have bizarro-conspiracy views about the Green caucus which you’ve consistently failed to substantiate, so why anyone would be swayed by your comment is beyond me, Jenny.

      • RedLogix 15.2.2

        Well I said my piece on this topic ages ago, well before the Conference. If the Labour caucus really prefers Shearer over Cunliffe then nothing much is going to change that … and I’m not that interested in holding my breath waiting for them to change their minds.

        I’ve said before that Labour has a proud heritage and I’m not going to disrespect that; but the Greens are ultimately the future of the left. Shearer seems to have unwittingly hurried that process along for me….

        • Jenny 15.2.2.1

          The Greens will not have a future if they keep down playing climate change.

          • Colonial Viper 15.2.2.1.1

            Be consistent with the indignant moralising, it should persuade the Greens around to your point of view sooner or later.

            • Jenny 15.2.2.1.1.1

              You are probably right. It has the sad air of inevitability about it.

              But at least no one should be surprised when it happens.

              • Colonial Viper

                We’re all in a tough spot Jenny. Next 20 years are going to be rough.

                Although I may be tactically critical, I always appreciate the good will and compassion you hold towards humanity, and I do respect your strident approach (heh reminds me of me haha).

                In this situation I feel that it’s difficult to do more than vigorously shake ones fist at the iceberg from the deck of the Titanic, realising how ineffective that sounds, and is. But sadly, politicians of today have been trained to follow the polls not lead them. None others are allowed to survive for long.

                We have to work with people in our personal circles, our nearby communities, help them figure out how to make a real practical difference day to day for the future, without a Hari Seldon anywhere on the horizon. Maybe he – or she – is yet to come.

                • Jenny

                  I had never heard of “a Hari Sheldon” I had to refer to google to find out.

                  A fictional character who can see the future?

                  Hardly.

                  You only have to look at the history of third parties here and overseas that sold out their principles to accomodate themselves to the bigger party. It never ends well. They inevitably wind up imploding.

                  In my opinion, this will be the Green Party future as well, if they continue to refuse to make climate change an election issue.

                  The reason: If you don’t campaign on it, you can claim no mandate to act on it once in government. ergo you will end up supporting government policies that will dismay your core supporters. Hence an implosion.

                  • RedLogix

                    How did John Key get into power Jenny? By pretending to be Labour without the Section 59 ‘anti-smacking’ baggage.

                    If you want to argue that the future will any fashion be better if the Greens remain in eternal Opposition …. knock yourself out telling us how.

  16. AmaKiwi 16

    CV, I have a different perspective.

    At present most people in NZ are still hoping the old systems can still work, even as evidence mounts they cannot. People are “sliding down the slope of hope.”

    In some places citizens have lost hope. They overthrow their governments.

    My concern is how this will unfold in NZ and what follows. Is the overthrow by ballots or bullets? Do we build a social and political democracy or embrace a “strong leader,” a.k.a. a dictator?

    The NZ adoration of “strong leaders” disgusts me. Because our parliament has absolute power, we are vulnerable to a home grown version of Hitler, Stalin, Mao. This is why I want binding referendums rather than shaking our fists at the icebergs. Power to the people now, before it is too late.

    It’s not just the economic system that is f*cked up. The political decision making system is, too.

  17. pollywog 17

    Cunliffe should quit Labour and join Mana.

    imagine that 🙂

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    The Operation Burnham inquiry continued to question senior NZDF staff today, and their shoddy coverup over their knowledge of civilian casualties continue to fall apart. If you recall, first, we were asked to believe that it was all a series of "mistakes and errors": a senior officer with multiple degrees ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • If we are to avoid making the earth uninhabitable, we need to rapidly decarbonise our civilisation, and cut emissions to zero as quickly as possible. This seems like an impossible task, but its not. Pushing hard on a few technologies and trends will let us halve emissions in a decade:Greenhouse ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • A further attack on transparency
    The Local Government Act 2002 Amendment Bill (No 2) had part of its committee stage yesterday. its a generally tedious bill about the nitty-gritty of local government reorganisation. But it includes a clause making the Local Government Commission subject to the Ombudsmen Act, and hence the OIA. Great! Except of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Ihumātao and Treaty settlements
    Yesterday Ihumātao's mana whenua reached a consensus that they would like their land back, and asked the government to negotiate with Fletcher's for its return. The government's response? Try and undermine that consensus, while talking about how doing anything would undermine existing Treaty settlements. The first is just more bad ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Protecting our history
    Its Suffrage Day, the 126th anniversary of women winning the right to vote (but not stand in elections) in New Zealand. And to celebrate, the government has bought Kate Sheppard's house in Christchurch:The government has bought Kate Sheppard's former home in Christchurch for more than $4 million. The Ilam villa ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Climate Change: Ostracising the coal-burners
    The UN climate summit is happening in new York next week, and unlike previous years, coal-burners and denier-states are not being invited to speak:Leading economies such as Japan and Australia will not be invited to speak at next week’s crunch UN climate change summit, as their continued support for coal ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Jojo Tamihere Salutes Herr Goff.
    Get Back Jojo! The elation in Mayor Phil Goff’s camp may be easily imagined as they watched social media light up in indignation at challenger John Tamihere’s "Sieg Heil to that" quip. Just when JT’s notoriously right-wing, sexist and homophobic stains were beginning to fade back into his ‘colourful’ past, ...
    2 days ago
  • Hard News: A fun but flawed weed documentary
    Patrick Gower is good value when he's high. Not that I've ever, you know, got stoned with him. But in the second part of his documentary Patrick Gower on Weed, he does what you'd expect in a modern weed documentary and immerses himself – first with a doctor, then a ...
    3 days ago
  • Candidate Survey: Western Bay of Plenty – Local Body Elections 2019
    We surveyed candidates on their attitudes to issues facing the Western Bay Region, find out what they think: “Closing the Gap” Tauranga, one of the area groups of Income Equality Aotearoa NZ Inc., has surveyed all candidates in the three local body elections to discover attitudes to some basic issues ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    3 days ago
  • Project Nettie calls on scientists to defend biology
    Please spread widely, and sign, to support science and rationalism over the new irrationalism sweeping universities and institutions.  PROJECT NETTIE Sexual reproduction, the generation of offspring by fusion of genetic material from two different individuals, evolved over 1 billion years ago. It is the reproductive strategy of all higher animals ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    3 days ago
  • I’m glad I don’t live in Auckland
    Just when I was thinking that Palmerston North's mayoral race (which includes a convicted child molester / public wanker and a convicted child beater) was the worst in the country, Auckland mayoral candidate John Tamihere opened his mouth:Auckland mayoral candidate John Tamihere is being slammed for using the words "sieg ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Index of Power Update, 2018-19: China #2
    We reprint below an article from the excellent website the Economics of Imperialism by Tony Norfield This is an update of the statistics for my Index of Power, using data for 2018-19 and discussing what a country’s ranking reflects. The major change is that China’s rank has shifted up and ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    3 days ago
  • Climate Change: A history lesson
    Why is New Zealand climate change policy so crap? The Herald this morning has a long article on the twists and turns of climate change policy in New Zealand [paywalled / depaywall script], which shows where we've been. The short version is that the government first began worrying about this ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 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
    3 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
    4 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
    4 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
    4 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
    4 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 ...
    4 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
    4 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 ...
    5 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
    5 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
    5 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 ...
    5 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
    5 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
    5 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
    5 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
    6 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 ...
    6 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
    7 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
    1 week ago
  • The Abigail Article; Martyn Bradbury’s Article, and My Response
    . . This blogpost is different to my usual format of reporting on issues… Since July 1011, I have blogged on a variety of political issues; near always political and/or environmental; mostly highly critical of the previous National Government. Other issues included Israeli occupation of Palestinian lands and repression of ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • Police will have to wear silly Buckingham Palace hats from now on, says Police Minister
    Those close to the Police Minister believe the initiative may be the result of Nash “seeing a great deal” on AliExpress. In a move that comes seemingly out of nowhere, Police Minister Stuart Nash announced this afternoon that he expects all frontline staff to don bearskin hats, famously worn by ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • A sensible crackdown
    The government has released its Arms Legislation Bill, containing the second tranche of changes to gun laws following the March 15 massacre. And it all looks quite sensible: a national gun register, higher penalties for illegal possession and dealing, tighter restrictions on arms dealers and shooting clubs, and a shorter ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • California bans private prisons
    Private prisons are a stain on humanity. Prison operators explicitly profit from human misery, then lobby for longer prisons terms so they can keep on profiting. And in the US, prison companies run not only local and state prisons, but also Donald Trump's immigration concentration camps. Faced with this moral ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Why PPPs are a bad idea
    When National was in power, they were very keen on Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) - basicly, using private companies to finance public infrastructure as a way of hiding debt from the public. They were keen on using them for everything - roads, schools, hospitals. But as the UK shows, that "service" ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • A Movement That No Longer Moves.
    Moving And Shaking: There was a time when people spoke matter-of-factly about the “labour movement” – a political phenomenon understood to embrace much more than the Labour Party. Included within the term’s definition was the whole trade union movement – many of whose members looked upon the Labour Party as ...
    1 week ago
  • NZ ‘left’ politically embracing extreme postmodernism
    by Philip Ferguson Much of the left, even people who formally identify as marxists, have collapsed politically in the face of postmodern gender theory of the sort pioneered by American philosopher Judith Butler. For Butler even biological sex is socially constructed. “If the immutable character of sex is contested, perhaps ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    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
    2 weeks ago
  • Indigenous Futures: defuturing and futuring – an analytical framework for policy development?
    There appears to be consensus – by omission – that the concept of indigenous futures should be accepted at face value. So I scavenged the internet to see if I could locate an academic descriptor or a framework around how we think about it as a concept, and whether it ...
    EllipsisterBy Ellipsister
    2 weeks ago
  • Cadbury rumoured to be releasing the Pineapple Trump
    Here’s another novelty chocolate to shove in your gob, New Zealand Cadbury could be seeking to make itself great again with a rumoured new release: Pineapple Trumps, a spin on its classic chocolate-encased pineapple treat and do-it-yourself tooth remover. The global confectionery manufacturer and bumbling “before” character in an infomercial, ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • The coming resource war.
    During my time in the Pentagon I had the privilege of sitting down with military leaders and defence and security officials from a variety of Latin American nations. Sometimes I was present as a subordinate assistant to a senior US defence department official, sometimes as part of a delegation that ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    2 weeks ago
  • 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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 ...
    2 weeks ago

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