Cunliffe’s not so shabby question: broadband costs

Written By: - Date published: 12:57 pm, September 18th, 2013 - 39 comments
Categories: capitalism, david cunliffe, infrastructure, john key, news, Steven Joyce, telecommunications, tv - Tags:

The MSM, especially TV One and TV 3’s 6pm news, reported on Cunliffe stumbling over the word Chorus in his first question yesterday to PM Key.

They failed to significantly report on the substance of Cunliffe’s question, that exposes Key’s prevarications on the costs to Kiwis of his Ultrafast Broadband plan.

Cunliffe lays out the importance of his question in a press release:

Kiwis will pay $150 more a year for their broadband than they should thanks to the National Government – and John Key knows it, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe.

“John Key’s government is planning to keep the price of copper broadband services artificially high because it has a political problem and is trying to make its ultrafast broadband plan more attractive to consumers.

“The Commerce Commission’s draft determination would have cut prices for broadband by up to $12.50 a month.  But the Minister’s proposals override the independent regulator, and would keep prices higher for longer.

“John Key’s claim in Parliament today that “under every scenario consumers will pay less” is just plain wrong.  Every scenario put forward by the Government in its discussion document would see Kiwis pay more than they would under the Commerce Commission’s plan.

“This is corporate welfare.  National is once again propping up big business at the expense of Kiwi families.

Cunliffe also points out the crony capitalism involved in Key’s slippery deal:

“Embarrassingly, John Key’s former boss at Bankers Trust, Gavin Walker, is the chair of Chorus’ UFB Steering Committee.  Given the $600-million estimated subsidy involved, that is just too close for comfort.

Following this question and Key’s comments on it later yesterday, Paul McBeth and NBR staff report on the dodgy way Key operates, getting advice by phone from Chorus Chair and passing it off as official advice. (h/t Penny Bright)

At question time in Parliament today, Prime Minister John Key defended comments that Chorus may go broke if the Commerce Commission pressed ahead with plans for a sharp cut in the regulated price on the copper lines, saying Cabinet had received advice based on commercial and in-confidence briefings between Chorus and Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment.

In his post-Cabinet press conference yesterday, Key said he could not recall where the advice had come from.

He said today that those briefings probably would have come after he received a phone call from Chorus chair Sue Sheldon in December last year when she shared her view on the impact of the regulator’s draft decision and gave the government “some understanding of the issues they would face.”

The article goes on to point out the significance of Cunliffe’s question, in relation to the manipulations of Joyce and Key around the comparative pricing of copper wire and brroadband connections.

He was answering the first question directed to him by the newly elected leader of the Labour Party, David Cunliffe, who asked if Key still believed Chorus would “go broke” if proposals to drop the price of copper services in line with Commerce Commission recommendations went ahead.

The new Labour leader also asked why then-ICT Minister Steven Joyce did not include base copper pricing in UFB contract negotiations.

Cunliffe’s choice is significant because he was Communications Minister in 2006 when he surprised Telecom by forcing operational separation between its core infrastructure and competitive telephony and broadband services in a move that saw prices to consumers drop.

Cunliffe is expected to campaign heavily on that record in the context of the current spat over how to price copper services in a way that doesn’t undermine the government’s desire to see consumers switch quickly to the fibre-based ultra-fast broadband network, which the government is underwriting.

So there may be more to come on this story.  I hope the MSM are paying attention.

[update] Press release from Coalition for Fair Internet Pricing.

ASX & ASIC Asked to Investigate Chorus Insolvency Speculation

Ongoing speculation of a risk that Chorus Ltd (CNU) may become insolvent has led New Zealand’s Coalition for Fair Internet Pricing to ask the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) and the regulator, the Australian Securities & Investments Commission (ASIC), to inquire into the company.

[…]

A spokeswoman for the Coalition for Fair Internet Pricing, Sue Chetwin, also Chief Executive of Consumer NZ, said today: “We continue to be concerned that there may be information circulating in Wellington, as the Prime Minister has confirmed, about the financial viability of Chorus Ltd under the Commerce Commission’s draft determination that is not available to its shareholders or to the broader market.

 

39 comments on “Cunliffe’s not so shabby question: broadband costs”

  1. The FACTS are that you cannot have either transparency or democratic accountability without proper written records.

    Here the Public Records Act 2005 is quite pivotal.

    Unfortunately, the RULE OF LAW – ie: the implementation and enforcement of the Public Records Act 2005, is being violated in a major way at both central and local government level.

    eg: ‘the books’ are not open at central and local government level, and we aren’t given the ‘devilish detail’ of where exactly public tax and rates monies are being spent, invested or borrowed.

    New Zealand is effectively like a legislative ‘Wild West’.

    On so many pivotal fronts the RULE OF LAW is not upheld, those who make the law don’t follow it themselves, and those responsible for upholding and implementing the LAW – just ‘make it up’.

    This won’t be happening on my watch!

    Good on David Cunliffe for helping to expose more corrupt, crony capitalism!

    ‘Her Warship’ 😉

    Penny Bright

  2. Herodotus 2

    From an alternative angle, what would have been chorus’s pricing policy should they not have won the fibre tender? Should that not indicate what premium there is?
    Perhaps in reflection the govt should have owned the fibre lines we already have invested $1b into the process.
    This has the ability to save households as much if not more than the Lab &Greens power policy.
    This fibre is something that has an immediate impact on our daily lives, coupled with SNA1 whereby there is a perception that corporates come 1st.
    This is a great commencing point in differentiation between Cunliffe / Key

    • Draco T Bastard 2.1

      Perhaps in reflection the govt should have owned the fibre lines we already have invested $1b into the process.

      The government should own the entire telecommunications sector. Having private investors has cost us $17b dollars in loss just for Telecom. Add in the other telco’s and the loss goes up.

      We are, IMO, a minimum of five years behind where we would be if telecommunications hadn’t been deregulated and sold.

      • billbrowne 2.1.1

        Yes, at a minimum Chorus should be re-nationalised, they own both the Copper mine that the NZ people paid for and the fibre mine that the NZ people are paying for.

      • srylands 2.1.2

        Don’t be ridiculous.

        That table suggests that the Crown would have recieved the same dividend stream from BNZ had it not neen sold to NAB! Without a sale there would not have been a BNZ.

        Same with Telecom – if it had stayed in State ownership why do you think it would have performed exactly the same over the last 23 years?

        • Colonial Viper 2.1.2.1

          Of course Telecom wouldn’t have “performed exactly the same”: it would have instead extracted less money out of communities, and it would not have shipped those monies overseas.

          That table suggests that the Crown would have recieved the same dividend stream from BNZ had it not neen sold to NAB! Without a sale there would not have been a BNZ.

          BULLSHIT.

          The Government could have recapped BNZ easy.

        • KJT 2.1.2.2

          Looking at the SOE’s over the same time period the evidence is that Telecom would have performed considerably better as under State ownership. AND the dividends would have stayed in New Zealand.

          AND. Kiwibank shows the value of a State owned bank, for keeping the banking cartels charges within reason, for one!

        • Telecom CEOs or shareholders wouldn’t be as rich, but our businesses and communities would more than make up the difference.

        • Draco T Bastard 2.1.2.4

          Without a sale there would not have been a BNZ.

          Actually, without the government bailout there wouldn’t have been a BNZ.

          The sale of Telecom didn’t magically make it start producing profit. It was doing that throughout the 1980s. No, what the sale did was shift that profit from being put directly back into the network and upgrading it to being dished out as dividends to the free-riding bludgers otherwise known as shareholders. which is why we’re now having to pay out even more taxpayer dollars to upgrade the network.

          Same with Telecom – if it had stayed in State ownership why do you think it would have performed exactly the same over the last 23 years?

          I don’t think it would have performed exactly the same – I think it would have performed better:
          1.) We’d already have FTTH across most, if not all, of the country
          2.) We wouldn’t have to be paying out billions to corporations to upgrade the network and
          3.) IMO, we wouldn’t be paying anywhere near as much per month for telecommunications

          Telecom is the proof that the private economic system doesn’t actually work.

          • millsy 2.1.2.4.1

            “Actually, without the government bailout there wouldn’t have been a BNZ.”

            Given the on-going social costs resulting from Ruth Richardson’s austerity package, to pay for the bailout, one wonders if it was worth keeping, especially as it is now 100% Australian owned, Bank of NZ being in name only.

        • millsy 2.1.2.5

          The old NZPO and its predessor, the Post and Telegraph department, seemed to do OK with rolling out phone lines to almost all of the country (and telegraph lines before). Not to mention other communications services. I shudder to think what would be the case if we left it up to the private sector to build our telecoms network.

          Compare and contrast with broadband today, where you are stuffed if you leave the cities.

          National’s original proposal of a single fibre to the home network, that all retailers could use was a good one, and even its watered down proposal of local fibre companies was pretty good. But Chorus was allowed to join in and the whole thing became a shambles.

          Hopefully Messiah-boy will sort it when he gets in next year.

          UFB could unlock this country’s potential in a way that we could never imagine.

          • Draco T Bastard 2.1.2.5.1

            I shudder to think what would be the case if we left it up to the private sector to build our telecoms network.

            We wouldn’t have one as the BS with paying Chorus billions to do the job, despite having the income to do it before hand, shows.

  3. Blue 3

    It was quite funny to see that although the political journalists seemed to see Question Time yesterday as some sort of victory for Key, complete with stupid Herald cartoon suggesting that Cunliffe had been ‘knocked out’, the fact is that the issue he raised got significant coverage today.

    Forcing Steven Joyce into this is nothing to sneeze at.

  4. tracey 4

    Good to see nbr doing serious reporting. Political journos hang your pasty faces in shame

  5. bad12 5

    Right now the price of a ‘copper wire’ connection is probably not foremost on a lot of peoples minds, however the machinations of the Prime Minister in having the ex Telecom ‘Chorus’ set it’s own prices for such internet connections is likely to become as damaging to Slippery’s Government as was the GCSB Legislation,

    i have to wonder here what the rumored involvement of both Hooten and Farrer in the recently set up group opposing the Governments involvement in ‘price fixing’ on behalf of Chorus shareholders spells for the PM,

    What could Farrar and Hooten expect to gain from the Prime Minister on this issue, a ‘back-down’ where the Commerce Commission gets to set the price of internet access for the average Kiwi household would come at the price of a messy public campaign which would see Slippery, His fingerprints already all over the deal, lose even more appeal in the wider electorate,

    Perhaps the ‘two spinners’ of the National Party message have decided to exploit the slide in Nationals popularity with a view to a little night of the long knives leadership coup in favor of their particular pet candidate,

    Having played carrot and stick with both 2 degrees and voda-phone over their initial support for the campaign against the ‘copper tax’ Slippery’s right hand man Steven Joyce is in this little drama right up to His armpits, the rumor being is that to pacify the other tel-cos He has had to earmark the best part of the old analogue tv spectrum to be dished out to them on the cheap,

    Perhaps Slippery should have listened to Ruth Richardson’s historical call that Government has no business in business, especially one as inept as this one is proving to be,

    The PM is probably busily scratching out the hairy implants from His bald spot wondering why, recently, everything He touches seems to turn to s**t and it wasn’t like that in the good old money trading days,

    At the time of course He was doing exactly what He was told to do from the big boys upstairs who have fall guys like Slippery as the well paid middle men for times when the brown stuff hits the fan,

    i can’t see any minor servant of the Government in sight to take the fall for this latest of foot in mouth brain fades from our Prime Minister…

  6. alwyn 6

    It is a bit futile complaining that the MSM are reporting this as being a fall at the first fence by Cunliffe when he set himself up for it.
    It was Cunliffe who has promoted his activities as being a battle with his talk that “the party is on a war footing” and “We are taking the fight to the Key Government”. He also claims that “Key knows I have his measure”.
    Add to this the the statement that “I’m not expecting to have his trousers around his ankles at the first meeting”, with it’s implication that it won’t be long though and you have to expect that the media will highlight the fact that it took him THREE attempts to read a dozen words of a sheet of paper before he got them right.
    Under promise David, under promise and then out-perform. You are doing it the wrong way round.
    If you want to see how the questioning works best look back at Lockwood Smith and Tony Ryall in 2005-2008.

    • framu 6.1

      yes, because stumbling over one words is totally the big story here.

      while i agree that complaining about the MSM is a little futile – i find your sticking up for shit journalism a bit weird

      Does stumbling over one word really negate all the quotes youve picked out? Really?

      Or is it just a distraction from the substance of the question and the reply it got?

      • alwyn 6.1.1

        You misunderstand what I am trying to say.
        I shall try and be a bit clearer.
        It was Cunliffe who spent his time giving quotes to the press about how he was going to take Key apart and basically saying that Key would crumble before him.
        Then he goes into Parliament and makes a fool of himself.
        I am NOT sticking up for shit journalism as you call it.
        Stumbling over a word is totally trivial. It does not however fit in with the image Cunliffe was claiming for himself as the man who would demolish Key.

        • framu 6.1.1.1

          ok – i get you now 🙂

        • karol 6.1.1.2

          Yet you quote Cunliffe as saying this:

          “I’m not expecting to have his trousers around his ankles at the first meeting”,

          And so he was not building up expectations as you claim. The line about taking on Key was for the party in the context of the leadership contest.

          To the media, he said in effect, “I know I will make mistakes, I am not expecting an instant knockout blow in the House – we are beginning a long election campaign.”
          Of course, the short term memory, drama queens in the MSM want instant results.

          • alwyn 6.1.1.2.1

            Now I am getting seriously concerned.
            Are you saying that Cunliffe will say one thing to a party audience, where he is trying to get them to vote for him, and then feed another line to the media?
            What does he actually mean then. The options appear to be
            1. The members of the party are so stupid they won’t even realise I don’t actually have any real belief that I can or will do what I am telling them.
            2. The members of the media are so stupid that they won’t find out that I was boasting about what I was going to do to Key in the party meetings.
            3. I can’t remember what I said last week.
            4. Why should I say what I mean. I’m a leading Labour politician and it’s my right to lie whenever I feel like it.
            Incidentally, everything I quoted him as saying was reported in the media, as direct quotes mostly. Are you sure that he only said it to party audiences?
            As for your interpretation that he was saying “I know I will make mistakes … ” can you show me ANY occasion when he has admitted to making a mistake?

            • karol 6.1.1.2.1.1

              Oh, alwyn, we all frame things differently to different audiences – nothing sinister about it.

              See Gordon Campbell on that.

              nd since it will be Labour Party members, unions and Labour MPs who will decide the leadership contest, it was inevitable that hating on John Key would become a default option, and an easy way of looking staunch. Yet to outsiders, the fixation the three contenders seem to have with the taking down of John Key – up to and including Shane Jones’ rant last week about torturing his testicles – is kind of embarrassing. Hopefully, it has just been campaign rhetoric. Because if the successful candidate wants to reach a wider audience and win the 2014 election, Labour will need to dial it back.

              Cunliffe said to members he can take on Key – people were especially calling for that re-election debates, etc.

              But there’s more to leadership of a team than on-on-one encounters between leaders.

        • Anne 6.1.1.3

          Cunliffe was claiming for himself as the man who would demolish Key.

          He didn’t say he was going to do it overnight and Alwyn knows it.

          Beware the worm that turns?

        • felix 6.1.1.4

          “It was Cunliffe who spent his time giving quotes to the press about how he was going to take Key apart and basically saying that Key would crumble before him.”

          alwyn, I think you’re mistaken. I can’t seem to find a quote of Cunliffe saying anything of the sort.

          I can find a couple of him say he would “take the fight to John Key” but that’s nothing at all like what you claimed.

          Would you like to rephrase?

          • Colonial Viper 6.1.1.4.1

            alwyn is permitted his personal alternate reality…

          • alwyn 6.1.1.4.2

            You won’t find him saying those exact words but that isn’t what I was claiming.
            As you say he said he would take the fight to key.
            He also said that it would be war, although I haven’t pinned down a reference.

            He did say “Prime Minister John Key should be worried” and “John Keys got a problem”
            http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11125165

            He also said “We will be taking the fight to the Government” and “I believe I have his number and I believe he knows I do”
            http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11125621

            He also opined that “I’ve got his number” and “I can foot it with John Key … in any debate, anywhere, anytime”
            http://blog.labour.org.nz/2013/09/13/winning-why-are-you-the-one-to-take-on-and-beat-john-key-labour-leadership-qa-14/

            If that isn’t claiming he was going to best Key rather easily I don’t know what is.
            Then he couldn’t even read out his questiom!

            • karol 6.1.1.4.2.1

              Cunliffe not only stated his questions, but as I said in my post, that and Key’s answers raised serious questions from some journalists/commentators. And Key’s answers show him to be a little on the dodgy side.

              But, as CV says, Alwyn’s comments seem to come from some ARG.

              • Arfamo

                I watched that stumble on TV One Newsotainment. It was amusing. Even David laughed at it. It’s yesterday’s news, and not really even news. Why is anyone getting their knickers in a twist over it? People are far more interested in everything else Cunliffe is saying and doing. Jesus, if we focussed on the number of stupid mis-speaks Key makes we’d never notice what else he’s up to.

                • Pascal's bookie

                  ” Why is anyone getting their knickers in a twist over it? ”

                  Lack of anything substantive to criticise I would think.

            • felix 6.1.1.4.2.2

              “If that isn’t claiming he was going to best Key rather easily I don’t know what is.”

              Then you don’t know what is.

              Every one of those statements implies being ready for a tough battle. Nothing in there about an easy besting at all.

  7. tracey 7

    And yet the pm was still exposed again… loss of memory… phone calls with the chair is direct interference in a company. Only last week srylands was hollering how they cant do this.

  8. Sable 8

    I wonder if the public at large really understand this?They are misinformed at every turn by the sleazy mainstream media and Key’s isn’t about to fess up.

    I think Cunliffe and the Greens really need a proper nationwide media campaign of their own outlining this and other shortcomings of this current government explained in terms people can readily understand.

    The only way to bypass the MSM’s lies is to take them on at their own game.

    • Anne 8.1

      Cunliffe and the Greens really need a proper nationwide media campaign of their own outlining this and other shortcomings of this current government explained in terms people can readily understand.

      That is what I thought Red Alert was going to do… 😡

      • Draco T Bastard 8.1.1

        Haven’t been over to RA for years now.

        • felix 8.1.1.1

          Hilariously, despite two new posts since Sunday, redalert authors still haven’t mentioned that the NZ Labour Party has a new leader.

          Amazing.

          • Colonial Viper 8.1.1.1.1

            This can’t be happening
            This can’t be happening
            This can’t be happening
            This can’t be happening
            This can’t be happening
            This can’t be happening
            This can’t be happening
            This can’t be happening
            This can’t be happening
            This can’t be happening
            This can’t be happening
            This can’t be happening
            This can’t be happening
            etc…

          • Anne 8.1.1.1.2

            Well, look who the moderating authors are… all of them ABCers. It was set up by the ABCs for the ABCs. We just didn’t know it.

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    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
    5 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
    5 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
    5 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
    5 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
    5 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
    5 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
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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 ...
    6 days 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
    7 days 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 ...
    7 days 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
    7 days 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week 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
  • Experts warn Harold the Giraffe “well past” typical giraffe life expectancy, may not have long
    Dum-de-doo. Children across New Zealand have known him for generations as the lovable giraffe who tells them to exercise, hydrate and not to shove lit cigarettes up their nostrils. But a world renowned giraffe expert says we shouldn’t be getting attached to Life Education’s Harold the Giraffe, as he is ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • August ’19 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
    Image credit: 22 BLOGGERS WITH ADVICE FOR RESEARCHERS AND EVALUATORS, ILLUSTRATED I notice a few regulars no longer allow public access to the site counters. This may happen accidentally when the blog format is altered. If your ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Bye, bye to the collusion lie
    Sums it up, really. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Opinion: Treat your car by buying extra petrol to snack on while you aren’t driving
    By Mike Hosking. Yesterday morning, I waltzed into work, and as I walked past the drones aggressively typing out news on the computers I’ve repeatedly asked to be moved further away from, I caught a glimpse of the words “climate change”, and noticed that suspiciously they weren’t in condescending quotation ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago

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