Daily Review 28/03/2018

Written By: - Date published: 6:21 pm, March 28th, 2018 - 87 comments
Categories: Daily review - Tags:

Daily review is also your post.

This provides Standardistas the opportunity to review events of the day.

The usual rules of good behaviour apply (see the Policy).

Don’t forget to be kind to each other …

87 comments on “Daily Review 28/03/2018”

  1. chris73 1

    Cheer up Lefties, it can’t get any worse for Labour

    Or can it…. 🙂

    • Stuart Munro 1.1

      What because Griffin lost his rag and essentially declared himself unwilling to work with the coalition? If he’d meant to keep his sinecure he wouldn’t have made it into a drama. With or without Curran, Griffin is gone. The wails of grief will not reach heaven.

      • Carolyn_Nth 1.1.1

        Yes. As the story unfolds, Curran actually looks increasingly to have acted within the rules. Her handling of it was clumsy and landed Hirschfeld in it, unfortunately. But then Curran is no match for the Nats’ underhand political plays.

        And Griffin is increasingly looking like a dodgy manipulator who doesn’t want to follow the government’s plans for a repurposing of RNZ.

        Griffin in his role should not be playing politics. He should work within the framework put in place by the government.

        For 9 long years RNZ had to work on a shoestring, because the Nats want to give more power to the corroborates owning and running commercial media, while public service media has been undermined.

        Now it’s all change and Griffin and Thompson will just have to suck it up or resign.

        And there’s been some dodgy collusion between Griffin and Melissa Lee – that is unacceptable for a chairman of a state broadcaster.

        • weka 1.1.1.1

          I posted a Newsroom opinion piece below on the politics of the RNZ revamp. Do you see Thompson as being RW? Jennings appears to be saying that Thompson is supportive of RNZ although nervous about the move to TV broadcasting.

          • veutoviper 1.1.1.1.1

            Thompson is currently in the position of having to play the line expected of him by the Board, and in particular the Chair, Griffin. He may well have been walking a tightrope himself and had to suppress his own real views.

            As I reported yesterday on OM at 9.3.1.2.1.3, Griffin’s two year reappointment by Amy Adams in 2016 runs out on 30 April, just four weeks away. https://www.beehive.govt.nz/release/appointments-radio-new-zealand-board

            I was 99% sure that Griffin would not be rolled over again (he’s done 8 years as RNZ Chair) because of the change of government; now my bet is 100% that he is gone. Griffin has always played politics; he know no other way and does know all the tricks in the book. He’s now in his mid 70s, semi-retired, and knows he is unlikely to get any appointments under this government. He’s got nothing to lose re ‘feeding’ Lee etc at this stage.

            In fact, having seen how he operates, my bet is that he may have been the one who ‘fed’ her right back on 7 December – the day that Curran met the Board of RNZ and two days after the Curran/Herschfeld meeting on 5 December. December 7 was also the same day that Lee filed her first written question No 19129 (2017) to Curran re her meeting with Herschfeld. The next day (8 Dec) Lee filed 24 more Written Questions on various matters relating to RNZ directly or indirectly via ‘fishing’ questions as I reported in my comment at 13.3 in OM 27 March: /open-mike-27-03-2018/#comment-1466525

            IMHO Lee did not pull those questions out of thin air.

            And re your 1.1.1.2.1 below, I really don’t think CH would want the Chair job. Obviously under Griffin it has essentially been a part time job, but also it is a “governance” strategic/overview position, not a hands-on management/operational position. CH appears to someone who is an ‘in there doing it’ type of person.

        • Johnr 1.1.1.2

          Was Curran meeting Hirschfeld to sound her out about Hirschfeld replacing Griffin.

          Works for me.

      • chris73 1.1.2

        Well I was thinking more along the lines of:
        Shane Jones blatantly ignoring Jacinda,
        Sexual assaults at Labour affiliated camps,
        Ron Mark treating the air force as his own personal taxi service,
        the Greens giving their share of questions to National (powerful symbolism), NZFirst attempting to bribe/blackmail/threaten Mark Mitchell (not sure of the correct terminology),
        Claire Curran being well Claire Curran

        But hey on the bright side

        https://www.stuff.co.nz/entertainment/music/102577041/ed-sheeran-pops-over-to-prime-minister-jacinda-arderns-for-a-cuppa-and-scones

        • Draco T Bastard 1.1.2.1

          Shane Jones blatantly ignoring Jacinda

          And? He’s not in her party and she doesn’t have control over him.

          Sexual assaults at Labour affiliated camps

          A well handled situation it seems. Labour did everything right on it.

          But, then, there was John Key’s ongoing sexual assault of a waitress that got… nothing.

          Ron Mark treating the air force as his own personal taxi service

          You mean like John Key?

          Claire Curran being well Claire Curran

          Have to agree with that – she doesn’t appear to have ministerial capability.

          • James 1.1.2.1.1

            “Sexual assaults at Labour affiliated camps

            A well handled situation it seems. Labour did everything right on it.”

            Even you couldn’t believe that.

            • Draco T Bastard 1.1.2.1.1.1

              I’ve read the expert stuff – Labour did everything right.

              You don’t like it because it’s Labour doing everything right.

              • James

                It’s not worth going over again – but I think you are on your own with this view after reading a lot of comments on this.

                • Draco T Bastard

                  Being right is more important than hanging with the crowd.

                • reason

                  So your still being two faced over this James ….. you intrepid defender of Rugby players who sexually assault

                  • james

                    No not at all.

                    So reason – as opposed to trying to deflect and start a flame war – Do you agree with DTB that Labour did everything right?

                    “We understand we failed in our duty of care during the event…and in support we’ve offered since then,” Haworth said.”

                    ^ That is doing everything right according to DTB.

                    • reason

                      I’ll answer your question James …. when you answer mine and Tracys …. which were made well over a week ago just as you were being banned for being an arse.

                      Its very discourteous and arrogant to ask questions without having the decency to address ones made to you ….

                      So you first.

                      In the meantime I recommend this comedian who makes more appropriate comments about sexual assaults than those who seek to defend it ….

                      David Cameron …. the masculine version of theresa May, gets a good mention over the pigs head rumor that Lord Ashcroft started

                      5 minute mark approx

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      “We understand we failed in our duty of care during the event…and in support we’ve offered since then,” Haworth said.”

                      Which was really stupid of Labour. They’re buying in to National’s rhetoric which is a lie.

                      Labour did everything right. Shit happened. They learn a few lessons and move on.

                      It is impossible to plan for every possible eventuality.

                      And demanding that people do so is demanding the impossible.

          • Monty 1.1.2.1.2

            The Shane Jones. I believe he was speaking as a minister with his regional hat on. I would have thought the MP Adern would have some influence in that regard.

          • The Pink Postman 1.1.2.1.3

            perhaps it need to be stated That the fellow that misbehaved himself at the Youth camp was not a Labour Party member .Was he a Nat mischief maker?

      • ScottGN 1.1.3

        The Radio NZ carry on is small beer, beltway stuff. No one really cares about the ins-and-outs of Curran and Hirshfeld meeting in a Wellington caff, though both of them should have known better.
        Ardern and Peters frankly weird response to the Russia spy/poisoning though has the capacity to really undermine her premiership. She needs to finetune that sort of stuff pretty smartly.

        • chris73 1.1.3.1

          On its own it is but when you add up everything thats gone wrong in the first 6 months its eventually going to catch up with you

          • ScottGN 1.1.3.1.1

            Actually I think less has gone wrong in the first 6 months than you would have liked. And a lot has gone right.

          • Draco T Bastard 1.1.3.1.2

            Almost nothing has gone wrong. What we have is the RWNJs trying really hard to make it look like things have gone wrong.

        • Carolyn_Nth 1.1.3.2

          The Russian Spy thing is also an exaggerated beat up. My guess is that May has used the Skripal poisoning as an excuse to stir up popular sentiment against Russia. It was all done too hastily without all the evidence being in.

          There’s various elements of uncertainty about what has been stated publicly.

          I think NZ should not jump on the bandwagon at this point. Ardern expressing certainty about the origin of the Skripal attack seems like appeasing allies, while not getting sucked into reprisals.

          • One Anonymous Bloke 1.1.3.2.1

            Ardern says there no plausible alternative explanation other than the attempted murders were committed by the Kremlin. Sorry to burst your bubble.

            Daily Review 27/03/2018

            • Carolyn_Nth 1.1.3.2.1.1

              Yeah. Well, she’s just repeating the UK government line. And I was aware of Ardern’s statement on that when I made my comment @ 7.22pm.

              So, why not just wait and see when all the evidence is in and fully published?

              There are questions to be asked – though I think this article is stretching it a bit (or more than a bit) to make it 30 questions.

              But the UK and US governments have a track record of stretching evidence to fit their foreign adventure plans.

              But some of those questions are worth asking.

            • Draco T Bastard 1.1.3.2.1.2

              ‘Plausible’ explanations aren’t evidence.

              Ardern saying that reduces my respect for her – and it wasn’t that great anyway.

            • mikesh 1.1.3.2.1.3

              Jacinda claims to have been briefed by the SIS. The SIS have no doubt been briefed by MI6. But MI6, whatever their actual beliefs, would not wish to be seen to be contradicting their PM, so how much is Jacinda’s reason for supporting Britain (TINA) really worth?

              Can it really be true that no other country possesses the chemistry smarts that the Russians possess?

              • One Anonymous Bloke

                Can it really be true that no other country possesses the chemistry smarts that the Russians possess?

                Has anyone made that claim? No. Funny how all the Kremlin’s “arguments” are strawmen.

                • mikesh

                  Once again you miss the point. You really are a hopeless case.

                  • One Anonymous Bloke

                    Once again you’ve produced a comment with no substantive material, other than a personal attack. Did your father enjoy the movie you made with him and your pet goat?

        • Anne 1.1.3.3

          Ardern’s announcement yesterday that MFAT had advised her there were no ‘non declared’ Russian spies in NZ took me by surprise. Spies, be they of the western or eastern variety, are the province of the NZSIS.

          She corrected it today but it suggested a lack of knowledge on her part.

          Btw, why has this government not looked into the circumstances surrounding the National MP, Jian Yang who was discovered to have had close ties to the Chinese military intelligence?

          • One Anonymous Bloke 1.1.3.3.1

            Because that’s a job for the SIS, not the government.

          • veutoviper 1.1.3.3.2

            Who said they aren’t? Or rather that the new government has not asked the NZ SIS to do further investigations?

            It is not something that would be splashed all over the media while it is under investigation.

          • veutoviper 1.1.3.3.3

            Sorry Anne, I meant to include in my comment at 1.1.3.3.2 this link to an article by Matt Nippert in the Herald in Dec 2017 where Winston Peters was calling for an investigation into Jian Yang. Considering Peters’ position in the new govt, it would not surprise me if there was an investigation in progress.

            http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11963295

        • Tamati Tautuhi 1.1.3.4

          So ex Chinese spies working for the National Government is okay ?

          We have to find the Russian spies b4 we can expell them duh ?

        • Tamati Tautuhi 1.1.3.5

          We have to find the spies b4 we can expell them ?

        • reason 1.1.3.6

          Scott Watson did the poisoning Scott ….

    • weka 1.2

      Cheer up chris, only 12+ years to go 🙂

      • chris73 1.2.1

        I was going to reply with something like it being closer to 2 years nine months but at the rate its going even that might be pushing it 🙂

        • weka 1.2.1.1

          weren’t you one of the righties utterly convince National were going to win the election? 🙂

        • Bearded Git 1.2.1.2

          Dream on troll.

          The Nats pathetic, tissue paper thin strategy of claiming this government is incompetent is laughable.

          If you want incompetence, look at the mess the Nats have left the public health service in-John Campbell covered this on Checkpoint tonight. Oh but that’s right, only the plebs use the public health service so that doesn’t matter when you can afford to roll up to Coleman’s private health service.

          • chris73 1.2.1.2.1

            Yeah I’m sure you’re right, not likely to be any more scandels for a while 🙂 at the very least its going to be interesting to see what happens when Jacinda goes on maternity leave on Winstons running the show 🙂

    • Ffloyd 1.3

      Feel better? I’m so glad.

  2. One Anonymous Bloke 2

    The final terms of reference for the government’s inquiry into the electricity sector goes further than draft proposals to include examining whether power companies can make “excessive profits” and “whether the costs of providing electricity services are or should be socialised or spread evenly across different classes of consumers”.

    Newsroom.

    That’s more than I expected from this government. The inquiry members are yet to be announced…

  3. weka 3

    This story got posted in twitter about an Aussie guy who nearly got shot by the police in the US for getting out of his car, walking towards the police and reaching for his wallet after he had been pulled over (tweet is a decent warning about how to behave in the US).

    I’m curious how many people in NZ get out of the car and walk towards the police when pulled over?

    • chris73 3.1

      I’ve been pulled over twice and stayed in my car both times because walking towards someone is generally considered threatening (I’m guessing from the polices point of view)

      Much better to stay in the car and follow the polices instructions

      • weka 3.1.1

        I stay in the car too, not sure why. Sometimes a safety thing, mostly probably laziness. Might be about changing the power dynamic though.

    • James 3.2

      I used to work on the states a lot.

      I often preferred to take a day and drive than flying on the wee commuter fights.

      Was warned about this several times by people I work with. Sadly the risk is real.

  4. weka 4

    Opinion piece from Mark Jennings at Newsroom,

    There are some things about the Carol Hirschfeld RNZ saga that just don’t add up.

    Why would a highly respected, experienced broadcasting executive like Hirschfeld repeatedly lie to her boss?

    Especially given that she had enjoyed a highly successful partnership with that boss?

    Hirschfeld and RNZ CEO Paul Thompson are widely credited with pulling off a remarkable revival of RNZ in the face of a funding freeze and a somewhat staid culture.

    Thompson’s digital and strategic skills married with Hirschfeld’s style and TV experience seemed to be the perfect combination.

    He suggests that the meeting was a relationship building one, and that Hirschfeld’s lying about its planning was around the politics of Cullen’s plans for RNZ to do public television. Still doesn’t make sense of Hirschfeld lying to Thompson though.

    https://www.newsroom.co.nz/2018/03/27/100637/coffee-meeting-leaves-rnz-in-a-mess#

    • Graeme 4.1

      Maybe a management / board directive that only the CEO and Chair were to meet with the Minister or MPs. We haven’t heard much about the culture within RNZ, but I’m wondering what went on too.

  5. weka 5

    That’s a great photo. One of my favourites from the other day.

    • Carolyn_Nth 5.1

      This bit suggests that Thompson doesn’t want to go with Currran’s full plan, and is more in step with Griffin:

      Since the policy announcement both Thompson and RNZ’s chairman, Richard Griffin, have played down expectations of what RNZ+ will be – suggesting it is an extension of what they are already doing rather than something new.

      It’s possible that anything that Hirschfeld said to Thompson about Curran’s planned changes would be relayed directly to Griffin.

      • weka 5.1.1

        True, but we don’t know what the meeting content was, and the lie was about whether the meeting was planned or not. Why lie about that?

        • Carolyn_Nth 5.1.1.1

          Yep. It’s the lie that’s the problem. It may have been their way of trying to hold off the manipulations of Griffin. But, if so, it backfired and was not the best way to go about dealing with Griffin’s resistance.

          • weka 5.1.1.1.1

            if it had been formally planned then CH would have had to inform her boss?

            If your theory is correct then that’s even more damning of CH. I get it, but it was still a daft move. I had been thinking she had just told a stupid lie at the start and then needed to keep telling it, but if it was part of an intentional strategy that’s way worse.

            • Carolyn_Nth 5.1.1.1.1.1

              There’s always stuff going on behind the scenes that we don’t see.

              My impression is that there’s been a lot of right wing maneuvering behind the scenes to undermine public service media. I think that’s why Hirschfeld and Mihingarangi Forbes left Maori TV, and also probably why Forbes and Campbell left TV3. Their experience was probably of some pretty dodgy dealings.

              However, it sounds like the pre-meeting texts shows that Curran initiated the meeting. A better minister would have been more aware of what she would be leading CH into, and would have managed the whole situation better.

              Drawing a public sector employee into discussions that lead to self-destructive behaviour does nothing to help implement the changes Curran is after.

              • ianmac

                The Cabinet Manual tells what is expected of Cabinet Ministers. Claire Curran has done nothing wrong according to the Cabinet Manual. Its a beat-up like the Russian spy story.
                Australia with over 20millon people could find only 2. NZ with 4 million nil. And the members of the Five Nations agree and accept that.

                • Roflcopter

                  Except this part of the Cabinet Manual….

                  3.81
                  If an employee wishes to communicate privately with a Minister about a matter concerning the agency by which he or she is employed, the Minister should ensure that the employee has first raised the matter with the agency’s chief executive.

              • weka

                god, what a mess. A whole lot of behind the scenes stuff does make the most sense.

  6. Jilly Bee 6

    I’ve have been wondering to myself for the best part of the day about Jacinda Ardern’s comment about the general lack of Russian spies in Aotearoa presently. I would presume she is going on advice from – well, whom, exactly. If this advice has been proffered by the GSCB via the Five Eyes network are they bumbling nincompoops or deliberately undermining her.

    • ianmac 6.1

      2 in big Australia. Nil so far in NZ. She gets her information from the NZ SIS whose job it is to Know. She cannot just deport someone/anyone who looks Russian can she?

      And although it was a Russian missile that brought down the airliner, they are still trying to find out who fired it. An international Tribunal is still deciding.

    • Keepcalmcarryon 6.2

      On the other hand if we want to deport some Chinese spies, don’t go to the embassy, go to the National party office.

    • Brigid 6.3

      She’s getting advice from the spies that are not here. 🙂

      If there are any here anyway they’d be damned bored, albeit highly amused.

    • veutoviper 6.4

      “Jacinda Ardern’s comment about the general lack of Russian spies in Aotearoa presently.”

      She did not really say that but her wording was a bit off. The action taken to expel Russian “spies” by other countries is in relation to only one small category of intelligence operatives – namely what are known as “undeclared intelligence staff”.

      Andrew Geddis on Stuff and on the Pundit Blog has done the best job I have ever seen of explaining this category of intelligence operatives I have ever seen.

      Here is the link and an excerpt

      https://www.pundit.co.nz/content/my-spy-boy-told-your-spy-boy-im-gonna-set-you-flag-on-fi-yo

      And so the action that obviously was agreed behind the scenes was to kick out the “undeclared intelligence agents” that each country has identified as working out of its various Russian diplomatic posts. Exactly what is meant by an “undeclared intelligence agent” is then very important, as it is the key to why NZ acted (or, didn’t act) as it did.

      An undeclared intelligence agent is not an ordinary diplomat who gathers gossip, monitors news media and attends cocktail functions in order to report to their government at home what is happening in NZ. All diplomats do this – our embassy staff overseas just as much as Russian embassy staff here. So “collecting information for your government” does not make someone an undeclared intelligence agent.

      Instead, an undeclared intelligence agent is a member of a country’s secret service who pretends to be a diplomat in order to actually undertake covert operations in the country to which they are posted. They are really spies who are pretending to be diplomats so as to get the benefits of diplomatic immunity should they get caught spying.

      Because these two things are not the same, they are not viewed the same in diplomatic interactions. A country kicking out a diplomat because they actually are an undeclared intelligence agent is a lesser deal than is kicking out a diplomat proper, because the “diplomat’s” country knows that they’ve basically been rumbled misusing their diplomatic privileges.

      So, that’s the level of response that the UK’s various friends collectively decided was warranted – not kicking out “real” diplomats (which is a major step) but kicking out spies-in-diplomats-clothing (which is a lesser step). Which then is a problem for New Zealand.

      Because it appears that we don’t have any Russian undeclared intelligence agents on hand to kick out. This claim has, I know, been met with ridicule by many. I mean, it’s Russia! We all know they spy all the time on everyone!! And New Zealand is so very, very important that they must spy on us, too!!! Please? We need the validation … .

      Except – maybe there just aren’t any down here at the bottom of the world. And even if there is some undeclared intelligence agent kicking about in the Russian embassy, our SIS doesn’t know who it is. Nor do our overseas intelligence partners, apparently, because we asked them and they couldn’t finger anyone either.

      I hope that helps but I also suggest that you read the whole article to put the above into context.

  7. joe90 7

    Apparently the man directly responsible for the post invasion insurgency, the ongoing violence and the deaths of perhaps 100K or more Iraqis is much more at peace now.

    .
    Gradually, Bremer appears to have come to terms with the vitriol. “He still answers hate mail,” Francie told me. “People will say, ‘Do you consider yourself a war criminal?’ Or ‘Why don’t you go commit harakiri?’ Nice things like that. But I think he’s much more at peace now. We both are.”

    Still, it’s quite a comedown for a man who, back in the summer of 2003, was being talked up for a top cabinet post himself. At a high point of his CPA tenure, Bremer received a note from Colin Powell joking that he was probably measuring the drapes in the Secretary of State’s office. The viceroy’s reply: “‘When I get out of here — if I ever get out of here — I’m going to Vermont and I’m going to show you a Rip Van Winkle act like you’ve never seen,” he vowed. “I’m going to sleep for years.”

    https://taskandpurpose.com/paul-bremer-iraq-war-ski-instructor/

    https://taskandpurpose.com/paul-bremer-iraq-war-ski-instructor/

  8. Keepcalmcarryon 8

    Adern risks being a one term prime minister according to Hooton.
    Ominously possible but not for the reasons he is stating. This is death by a thousand cuts from every single branch of commercial media which is arrayed against the government. Relentless antigovernment propaganda.
    This has to be aggressively countered.
    If National can fund friendly media, shut down their detractors and stack boards then it’s time to get cracking.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=12022002

  9. One Two 9

    That photo is hyperbole…

    Managed hyperbole…

  10. Tamati Tautuhi 10

    There is obviously a clash of cultures at RNZ, an intelligent attractive indigenous woman vs an aged white man, ex National Party PR man, who is past his best b4 date ?

    • Anne 10.1

      In broad terms that imo is exactly what is happening and it explains why she felt she couldn’t tell him the truth.

      Veutoviper on open Mike (I think) had past dealings with Griffin and she described him – among other things – as a misogynist.

    • bwaghorn 10.2

      so brown woman breaks the rules and it’s a white mans fault , got any proof, or was she trying to climb the ladder behind his back ?

      • mpledger 10.2.1

        It would be interesting to know what CH thought the meeting was going to be about. She might have initially thought the meeting was about things besides RNZ – the minister wanted a run down on the media sector based on her experience or maybe she thought the minister was head hunting her for a job. She might not have thought she needed to get permission if those were the topics and it was only during/after the meeting that she found that she had been dropped into it. The only safe way was to lie because telling the truth would have got her fired sooner.

  11. Tamati Tautuhi 11

    I am just guessing but I would politely say “she has probably just had a guts full of working in a toxic environment with not particularly nice people” ?

    Hopefully the worms will come out of the woodwork ?

    MSM in NZ and Worldwide are a disgrace to journalism and accurate reporting, and that is a fact ?

    • Anne 11.1

      MSM in NZ and Worldwide are a disgrace to journalism and accurate reporting, and that is a fact.

      Hear, hear.

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    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 ...
    2 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
    2 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
    2 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
    2 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
    3 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 ...
    3 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
    4 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
    4 days ago
  • The Abigail Article; Martyn Bradbury’s Article, and My Response
    . . This blogpost is different to my usual format of reporting on issues… Since July 1011, I have blogged on a variety of political issues; near always political and/or environmental; mostly highly critical of the previous National Government. Other issues included Israeli occupation of Palestinian lands and repression of ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    4 days ago
  • Police will have to wear silly Buckingham Palace hats from now on, says Police Minister
    Those close to the Police Minister believe the initiative may be the result of Nash “seeing a great deal” on AliExpress. In a move that comes seemingly out of nowhere, Police Minister Stuart Nash announced this afternoon that he expects all frontline staff to don bearskin hats, famously worn by ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    5 days ago
  • A sensible crackdown
    The government has released its Arms Legislation Bill, containing the second tranche of changes to gun laws following the March 15 massacre. And it all looks quite sensible: a national gun register, higher penalties for illegal possession and dealing, tighter restrictions on arms dealers and shooting clubs, and a shorter ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • California bans private prisons
    Private prisons are a stain on humanity. Prison operators explicitly profit from human misery, then lobby for longer prisons terms so they can keep on profiting. And in the US, prison companies run not only local and state prisons, but also Donald Trump's immigration concentration camps. Faced with this moral ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Why PPPs are a bad idea
    When National was in power, they were very keen on Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) - basicly, using private companies to finance public infrastructure as a way of hiding debt from the public. They were keen on using them for everything - roads, schools, hospitals. But as the UK shows, that "service" ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • A Movement That No Longer Moves.
    Moving And Shaking: There was a time when people spoke matter-of-factly about the “labour movement” – a political phenomenon understood to embrace much more than the Labour Party. Included within the term’s definition was the whole trade union movement – many of whose members looked upon the Labour Party as ...
    5 days ago
  • NZ ‘left’ politically embracing extreme postmodernism
    by Philip Ferguson Much of the left, even people who formally identify as marxists, have collapsed politically in the face of postmodern gender theory of the sort pioneered by American philosopher Judith Butler. For Butler even biological sex is socially constructed. “If the immutable character of sex is contested, perhaps ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    6 days ago
  • The obvious question
    The media is reporting that the (alleged) Labour party sexual assaulter has resigned from their job at Parliament, which means hopefully he won't be turning up there making people feel unsafe in future. Good. But as with everything about this scandal, it just raises other questions. Most significantly: why the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • The moment I found out that you found out, I acted swiftly
    By Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern I am every bit as angry as you are. I am every bit as disappointed as you must be. The people with power, oversight and the ability to do something about these processes within the Labour Party should be ashamed. Whoever those people are, I ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    6 days ago
  • This is why people hate property developers
    Property developers think there is an "oversupply" of houses in Auckland:High turnover rates and falling prices may be a sign that there are too many new houses going in to some parts of Auckland, commentators say. [...] Property developer David Whitburn said there was a "bit of an oversupply" in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Australia to Pacific: “Fuck you, you can all drown”
    World leaders are meeting in New York in two weeks for the 2019 Climate Action Summit, where they are expected to announce new and more ambitious targets to stop the world from burning. But the Australian Prime Minister won't be there, despite being in the USA at the time:Scott Morrison ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Implausible ignorance
    Labour Party president Nigel Haworth resigned yesterday over the party's sexual assault scandal. But while that's good news, its unlikely to take away the stench of a coverup. Because according to Paula Bennett in Parliament yesterday, pretty much everyone in the Prime Minister's office was involved as well:I have been ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Labour’s Fatal Flaw.
     Two-Faced? Labour insiders' commitment to the neoliberal status quo puts them at odds with their party’s membership; its trade union affiliates; and a majority of Labour voters, but this only serves to strengthen the perception they have of themselves as a special elite. Among the lesser breeds, they’ll talk up a ...
    6 days ago
  • Ten reasons the Tories do NOT want an election
    There has been a lot of talk about Boris Johnson wanting an election, and he has blustered with great gusto about 'chicken' Jeremy Corbyn refusing one, but I think there are many reasons why he is secretly glad he has been refused the opportunity:The Tories are an utter rabble,tearing themselves ...
    7 days ago
  • Prorogation Illegal, rule Scottish judges
    Scottish appeal court judges have declared that Boris Johnson’s decision to suspend parliament in the run-up to the October Brexit deadline is unlawful. The three judges, chaired by Lord Carloway, Scotland’s most senior judge, overturned an earlier ruling that the courts did not have the powers to interfere in the prime ...
    7 days ago
  • Let me explain what I meant by Everyday New Zealanders
    By Simon Bridges. The following is a press release from the office of Simon Bridges, leader of The National Party. Key ora, New Zealand. Happy Maori Language Week. Look, I’m writing to you today because I want to clear something up. There’s been a lot of kerfuffle around some things ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    7 days ago
  • Yes, the SIS is subject to the Public Records Act
    I understand there's some stuff going round about how the SIS "was removed from the list of public offices covered by the Public Records Act in 2017". The context of course being their records derived from US torture, which will be disposed of or sealed. The good news is that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • An evidence-based discussion of the Canadian fluoride/IQ study
    Dr. Christopher Labos and Jonathan Jarry discuss the recent Canadian fluoride/IQ research. They provide an expert analysis of the paper and its problems. Click on image to go to podcast. The critical debate about the recent ...
    7 days ago
  • Climate Change: Australia in denial
    Australia is burning down again, and meanwhile its natural disaster minister is denying climate change:Australia’s minister responsible for drought and natural disasters, David Littleproud, has said that he doesn’t “know if climate change is manmade”. Clarifying earlier comments that the question is “irrelevant” when considering the Coalition government’s response to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Philippines activist speaking on the Duterte tyranny
    Auckland Philippines Solidarity is excited to host Professor Judy Taguiwalo for a speaking tour of NZ in September. She is a well-known activist in the Philippines and was a political prisoner under the Marcos dictatorship. Professor Taguiwalo briefly served as a Cabinet member under President Duterte but was forced from ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Disgust
    I have no special insights to offer on the Labour sexual assault coverup. All I have is disgust. Disgust that an organisation could fail its people so badly. Disgust that they punished the victims rather than the perpetrator. Disgust that its party hacks are apparently blaming the victims for demanding ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Speak Up for Women calls out Greens’ censorship
    This open letter to the Green Party was penned after an opinion piece by Jill Abigail, a feminist and founding member of the party, was censored by the Greens’ leadership. (Redline has reprinted her article here).The intolerance of the Green Party leaders and their acceptance of the misogyny of gender ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Member’s Day: End of Life Choice, part 3
    Today is a Member's day, and David Seymour's End of Life Choice Bill continues its slow crawl through its committee stage. They're spending the whole day on it today, though the first hour is likely to be spent on voting left over from last time. After that they'll move on ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Flight to Los Angeles turned back after passengers decide they don’t want to go anymore
    An ambitious plan to fly to Los Angeles petered out into a brief sight-seeing trip and a desire to return home and get some sleep before work tomorrow. Air New Zealand has confirmed a flight to Los Angeles last night was turned back about a quarter of the way into ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Indigenous Futures: defuturing and futuring – an analytical framework for policy development?
    There appears to be consensus – by omission – that the concept of indigenous futures should be accepted at face value. So I scavenged the internet to see if I could locate an academic descriptor or a framework around how we think about it as a concept, and whether it ...
    EllipsisterBy Ellipsister
    1 week ago
  • Cadbury rumoured to be releasing the Pineapple Trump
    Here’s another novelty chocolate to shove in your gob, New Zealand Cadbury could be seeking to make itself great again with a rumoured new release: Pineapple Trumps, a spin on its classic chocolate-encased pineapple treat and do-it-yourself tooth remover. The global confectionery manufacturer and bumbling “before” character in an infomercial, ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • The coming resource war.
    During my time in the Pentagon I had the privilege of sitting down with military leaders and defence and security officials from a variety of Latin American nations. Sometimes I was present as a subordinate assistant to a senior US defence department official, sometimes as part of a delegation that ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Māori Language Week with The Civilian
    Kia ora, Aotearoa. It’s that magical time of year. Te Wiki o te Reo Māori. In English, the week that frightens talk radio. As you probably know by now, all your favourite media outlets are participating, some more successfully than others. Stuff has changed its name to Puna for the ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Will Horizons act on climate change?
    Local body elections are coming up next month. And it looks like all Palmerston North candidates for Horizons (the Manawatu-Whanganui Regional Council) want to take action on climate change:Climate change is set to be a key issue in Palmerston North for the next three years if those wanting to get ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • BORA reform is stalled
    Eighteen months ago, the government promised to strengthen the Bill of Rights Act, by explicitly affirming the power of the courts to issue declarations of inconsistency and requiring Parliament to formally respond to them. So how's that going? I was curious, so I asked for all advice about the proposal. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Corbyn and Brexit
    As the Brexit saga staggers on, the focus is naturally enough on the Prime Minister and his attempts to achieve Brexit “do or die”. But the role played by the Leader of the Opposition is of almost equal interest and complexity. The first problem for Jeremy Corbyn is that he ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • A ditch for him to die in
    Last week, English Prime Minister Boris Johnson boldly declared that he would rather die be dead in a ditch than delay Brexit. Unfortunately for him, the UK parliament accepted the challenge, and promptly dug one for him. The "rebellion bill" requires him to ask for and secure yet another temporary ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Warning! Warning! Danger Jacinda Ardern! Danger Marama Davidson! Warning!
    Lost In Political Space: The most important takeaway from this latest Labour sexual assault scandal, which (if I may paraphrase Nixon’s White House counsel’s, John Dean’s, infamous description of Watergate) is “growing like a cancer” on the premiership, is the Labour Party organisation’s extraordinary professional paralysis in the face of ...
    1 week ago
  • Union solidarity with Ihumatao land occupation
    by Daphna Whitmore Every Sunday for the past two months unionists from First Union, with supporters from other unions, have set out to the Ihumatao land protest, put up gazebos and gas barbeques, and cooked food for a few hundred locals and supporters who have come from across the country. ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: The wrong kind of trees?
    Newsroom today has an excellent, in-depth article on pine trees as carbon sinks. The TL;DR is that pine is really good at soaking up carbon, but people prefer far-less efficient native forests instead. Which is understandable, but there's two problems: firstly, we've pissed about so long on this problem that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week 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
    1 week ago
  • Speaker: Tadhg Stopford: Why I’m standing for the ADHB
    Hi there, just call me Tim.We face tough problems, and I’d like to help, because there are solutions.An Auckand District Health Board member has nominated me for as a candidate for the ADHB, because her MS-related pain and fatigue is reduced with hemp products from Rotorua.  Nothing else helped her. If I ...
    1 week ago
  • Good little vassals
    The Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security has published their report on whether the SIS and GCSB had any complicity in American torture. And its damning. The pull quote is this:The Inquiry found both agencies, but to a much greater degree, the NZSIS, received many intelligence reports obtained from detainees who, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Who Shall We Turn To When God, And Uncle Sam, Cease To Defend New Zealand?
    Bewhiskered Cassandra? Professor Hugh White’s chilling suggestion, advanced to select collections of academic, military and diplomatic Kiwi experts over the course of the past week, is that the assumptions upon which Australia and New Zealand have built their foreign affairs and defence policies for practically their entire histories – are ...
    1 week ago
  • The Politics of Opposition
    For most of the time I was a British MP, my party was out of government – these were the Thatcher years, when it was hard for anyone else to get a look-in. As a front-bencher and shadow minister, I became familiar with the strategies required in a parliamentary democracy ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • More expert comments on the Canadian fluoride-IQ paper
    The Green et al (2019) fluoride/IQ is certainly controversial – as would be expected from its subject (see If at first you don’t succeed . . . statistical manipulation might help and Politics of science – making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear). Anti-fluoride campaigners have been actively promoting it ...
    1 week ago
  • The return to guerrilla war in Colombia
    by Gearóid Ó Loingsigh On August 29th a video in which veteran FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia) commander Iván Márquez announced that they had taken up arms again was released. There was no delay in the reaction to it, from longtime Liberal Party figure and former president Uribe, for ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Air New Zealand identifies this enormous plot of unused land as possible second airport site
    Air New Zealand couldn’t believe its luck that this seemingly ideal piece of real estate had so far gone entirely unnoticed. Air New Zealand’s search for a site to build a second Auckland Airport may have made a breakthrough this afternoon, after employees scanning Google satellite imagery spotted a huge, ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks ago
  • New Fisk
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks ago
  • Ardern attempts to vaccinate Clarke Gayford live on television to prove that it’s safe
    Gayford, pictured here on The Project, before things got wildly out of control. A bold public relations move by the Government to encourage parents to vaccinate their children has gone horribly wrong. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern appeared on tonight’s episode of Three’s The Project, where the plan was for her ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Has Mr. Whippy gone too far by parking on our front lawns?
    Mr. Whippy’s business model has driven it down a dark road of intimidation. Residents in major centres around the country are becoming disgruntled by the increasingly aggressive actions of purported ice cream company Mr. Whippy, who have taken to parking on people’s front lawns and doorsteps in a desperate attempt ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Cleaning up the water
    Today the government released its Action Plan for Healthy Waterways, aimed at cleaning up our lakes and rivers. Its actually quite good. There will be protection for wetlands, better standards for swimming spots, a requirement for continuous improvement, and better standards for wastewater and stormwater. But most importantly, there's a ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Fronting up
    Today I appeared before the Environment Committee to give an oral submission on the Zero Carbon Bill. Over 1,500 people have asked to appear in person, so they've divided into subcommittees and are off touring the country, giving people a five minute slot each. The other submitters were a mixed ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Politics of science – making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear
    Anti-fluoride activists have some wealthy backers – they are erecting billboards misrepresenting the Canadian study on many New Zealand cities – and local authorities are ordering their removal because of their scaremongering. Many New Zealanders ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Democracy – I Don’t Think So
    So, those who “know best” have again done their worst. While constantly claiming to be the guardians of democracy and the constitution, and respecters of the 2016 referendum result, diehard Remainers (who have never brought themselves to believe that their advice could have been rejected) have striven might and main ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    2 weeks ago
  • Government says it will now build just one really nice home
    Following publication of this article, the Ministry has requested it to be noted that this supplied image is not necessarily representative of what the final house will look like, and it “probably won’t be that nice.” As part of today’s long-anticipated reset of the Government’s flagship KiwiBuild policy, Housing Minister ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Imperialism and your cup of coffee
    Over the next week or two we will be running three synopses of parts of the opening chapter of John Smith’s Imperialism in the 21st Century (New York, Monthly Review Press, 2016).  The synopsis and commentary below is written by Phil Duncan. Marx began Capital not with a sweeping historical ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Still juking the stats
    The State Services Commission and Ombudsman have released another batch of OIA statistics, covering the last six months. Request volumes are up, and the core public service is generally handling them within the legal timeframe, though this may be because they've learned to extend rather than just ignore things. And ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago

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