David Shearer’s second e-newsletter

Written By: - Date published: 1:30 pm, August 18th, 2012 - 47 comments
Categories: labour - Tags:

This week our MPs have been back in Parliament, holding National to account on the issues that matter to New Zealanders.

Education is top of our agenda. National is running down our public education system. They’re not ruling out increasing class sizes in future. And John Key says parents shouldn’t get ‘hung up’ on the fact their children may be taught by unqualified teachers in charter schools. The Prime Minister was out of the country this week, so I tackled Bill English on the issue in the House. It is incredible that the Minister and his colleagues think parents shouldn’t be worried about their children getting a quality education. Education is a priority for Labour. It’s the only way to make sure our children get the best start in life.

The Social Development Minster’s flippant attitude to the well-being of our children was exposed this week when she refused to quantify the problem of child poverty under questioning from Jacinda Ardern, Labour’s social development spokesperson. Paula Bennett simply doesn’t want to admit how bad the situation is or to expose her failure to deal with the issue. She has released submissions to her paper on vulnerable children but it shows she is ignoring key issues like poverty and poor housing.

Parliament will get a chance to debate child poverty after a bill was drawn from the members’ ballot to extend the universal in-work tax credit. Labour will support the bill through to select committee because we are committed to reducing child poverty and this is a useful opportunity to debate new ideas about how to help the 20% of children living in poverty in New Zealand. Extending the in-work tax credit was our policy at the last election. We are looking at a range of ways to address the issue but in the meantime we support all attempts to highlight the issue and the Government’s failure to do so.

We also took the Social Development Minister to task this week over her disgraceful attitude to privacy. Paula Bennett breached the privacy of a woman when she made details of her benefit payments public while trying to score political points. She’s refused to apologise and says she may do it again in future. Bill English has chipped in too saying that if people challenge the Government they can’t expect to have their privacy respected. That’s appalling and well below the standard I would apply to any of my Ministers. Clearly, your private information is not safe with this Government.

I’ve been getting plenty of feedback on my newsletter last week, so please keep it coming. As this week’s newsletter shows, we’ve renewed our focus on working as a team to highlight National’s dead-end approach for New Zealand and to say what Labour would do differently.

Thank you for your help too in getting the Labour message out to New Zealanders.

Warm regards,

David.

NEWS IN BRIEF

Congrats to our Olympians! They did a fantastic job bringing home 13 medals – six of them Gold. Our athletes have really done us proud. Click here to watch my speech about their tremendous efforts.

We’ve continued fighting for the issues that matter to our regions, focusing on transport. Phil Twyford has led the charge against the Government’s stripping of funding for local roads to spend on big city motorways that aren’t a priority. One Mayor has told us that tar-sealed back roads in his community are being returned to gravel because they don’t have the funding to maintain them. That’s just not on. The regions make a massive contribution to our economy and it’s not fair that residents miss out on decent roads and other services.

David Parker and David Cunliffe have had the Government on the ropes over its so-called ‘comprehensive exports plan’ which boils down to story-telling, branding and photo opportunities. In contrast, Labour has a strong plan to deliver real growth in exports by increasing our investment pool through boosting savings and pro-growth tax reform. You can see more of our ideas in David Parker’s speech to the EPMU here.

Darien Fenton is calling for a high-level inquiry into the exploitation of migrant workers. TVNZ’s One News has exposed cases of migrant workers being blatantly ripped-off. Some were being offered pay rates of just $8 an hour. That’s disgusting.

Our Women’s Affairs Spokesperson Sue Moroney confronted the Government over its lack of commitment to reducing violence against women. She grilled the Women’s Affairs Minister in the House about news that Rape Crisis has had to cut back its services in Wellington because of a funding cut.

Last week, I attended the memorial service for our two fallen soldiers who were killed in Afghanistan. Labour joins with their family and friends in mourning the loss of two dedicated young New Zealanders. I passed on our sincere condolences in Parliament.

47 comments on “David Shearer’s second e-newsletter”

  1. xtasy 1

    “The Prime Minister was out of the country this week, so I tackled Bill English on the issue in the House.”

    I heard this question when watching the repeat of question time on Parliament TV. That question re unqualified teachers in planned charter schools was answered by English in his usual, dismissive and distracting manner, but I had the impression he felt hardly “tackled” by the challenge.

    Also Nationals argument is that those “teachers” or other experts simply do not need to be “registered”, which is a bit different to “unqualified”.

    And that is the only question from David Shearer that I actually remember having been asked in the House last week.

    Good for attacking the government, where it happened, but I feel, that many readers and commenters here, same as in the traditional and prospective Labour voter base, and certainly also the wider public, would like to hear a bit more about the alternatives that a Labour led government could and would offer.

    And for: “Darien Fenton is calling for a high-level inquiry into the exploitation of migrant workers.”

    This is certainly NOT a new problem. It must be addressed, but a high level inquiry will not solve much. I know through wider associates that it is more widespread than many may think, and for a young, trendy and aspiring journalist from TVNZ to suddely “discover” this is absolut bull-shit journalism.

    There are stories I raised with MSM journos, but they were never interested before!

    • David H 1.1

      If s thats a good week then why am I so unimpressed. Where was Cunliffe ripping English a new one ? No, all we got was a luke warm utterance from Parker, a light weight compared to Cunliffe. And, hey Shearer! 2 questions DO NOT make a good week!

    • Karl Marx 1.2

      If parents don’t want their children to be taught by unqualified teachers, then they don’t have to send them there.

      A tertiary qualification does not instantly grant somebody the ability to perform. The fact of the matter is that many teachers who are qualified are complete shite. Another by-product of the 9 dark years and comrade Helen’s rule.

  2. gobsmacked 2

    This has been done before, better …

    http://www.compulink.co.uk/~stevemann/albion.htm

  3. QoT 3

    and to say what Labour would do differently.

    Except … he doesn’t. “Education is a priority”, “we’ll support a bill at first reading only” .. the closest he gets is “I would hold my Ministers to basic ethical standards”. Even given a plum opportunity to commit to funding Rape Crisis, he doesn’t, just says “Sue Moroney confronted the government” and leaves “what Labour would do differently” hanging.

    It’s all framed with such a boring set of basic madlibs (the opening sentence should theoretically apply to any week when the House is sitting, for starters). I guess it works if you assume the readership are already Labour supporters, but are they the people Shearer needs to be talking to right now?

  4. Sunny 4

    This email news letter is another epic fail and a sure and certain sign that nothing is changing over at the bats in the attic caucus. It’s dull, predictable, insincere, cringe making (soldiers aren’t ‘the fallen’. That romantic claptrap is designed to keep sending young men to their deaths for access to oil and gas) It’s stupid, out of touch and wouldn’t inspire me to follow the ‘leadership’ out of a wet paper bag. Get someone who can do the job or get the hell out! Now!

  5. Clashman 5

    If this weeks performance in Parliament by Labour is considered to be “tackling” and “taking to task” the Govt., then it looks like the Nats are gonna have two more easy years and another win at the next election.

  6. This newsletter is a lot sharper and more pointed than the first.  IMHO it is a significant improvement.  I think the Goffice (or is that now the Shoffice?) is listening.

    • seeker 6.1

      I agree mickey s.

      • Anne 6.1.1

        They are listening ms and seeker!

        I think that might be one of the reasons why a certain husband and wife team are currently very upset with The Standard. Mind you, I agree with IrishBill. A few commenters here have gone a bit over the top with their criticism. (ms not included.)

        • Colonial Viper 6.1.1.1

          Yep there was more of an edge to this email and I quite liked it. I had read it originally thinking it was going to be more soft PR cheese but it managed to be more substantial. As Carol suggests below, a pass grade.

  7. Carol 8

    Uninspiring summary of the week. C+

    Some of the general aims seem OK. But who’d want to read it other than the Labour faithful.

  8. cron 9

    This government is crazy. One minute they want to increase the quality of teaching (cut costs through raising class sizes) and next bring in untrained teachers. The underlining motive for National is to have an uneducated cheap labour force while cutting the overall expense of Public Education. Wait for it though- more money for Private Schools. Come on David you need to be even more vocal for the future of our children!

  9. Honestly, Labour should be writing for general audiences on their website regularly and just link to their articles via their newsletter, it works well for the Greens.

    • xtasy 10.1

      What Shearer should have done long ago is:
      Challenge TVNZ to give him a spot on Breakfast after the Prime Minister’s weekly chattery to the drivel hungry public. Also he should phone Radio Live and offer himself to do an hour a month free talk back with listeners. Maybe put a bit of pressure on by stating, that Labour may look at broadcasting standards and a boost for quality public broadcasting in the future, and if they do not offer him the same “privilege” as Key, they may be facing a new standards regime, that could cause major losses in listeners and viewers for them.

      And of course, it is due to hammer out a bit more of a plan now, it will soon be a year since the last election, heading for mid term of this government. So get cracking, Labour, ideally with a more charismatic, more aggressive and convincing leader. But that is for Labour members and caucus to sort, right?

  10. BM 11

    I like the way Labour are heading, finally back on track with David Shearer at the helm.

    Even I, some one who has never voted Labour may give the party some consideration at the next election.

    • Anne 11.1

      Oh dear…

      • Salsy 11.1.1

        Exactly Anne…

        • BM 11.1.1.1

          Why?, I prefer a more moderate, centre orientated Labour party.
          Hell of a lot more voters out there like me than there are of the type that’s found on here.

          • dancerwaitakere 11.1.1.1.1

            Because the Labour Party was not started to be a party of the center.

            It is the party of the workers and disenfranchised, for the workers and disenfranchised.

            • Colonial Viper 11.1.1.1.1.1

              And last seen acting as such around Kirk’s time…

            • BM 11.1.1.1.1.2

              Times change, have to move with them.
              National was started initially to represent farmers they’re now a hell of a lot broader that, you would be stunned how many blue collar/no collar workers vote National.

              • Colonial Viper

                But you notice how National has never abandoned its traditional farmer base? And in fact still goes out of its way to look after them, despite ongoing criticism of irrigation schemes etc.

                The Nats are smart – they know how to protect and enhance their core support.

                Times change, have to move with them.

                Stick with the tried and true, not the flavour of the month.

                • BM

                  The Nats are smart – they know how to protect and enhance their core support.

                  Do you think going hardcore socialist is going to enhance the core support of Labour.
                  I don’t.

  11. gobsmacked 12

    A suggestion for David Shearer:

    In the next newsletter, please give specific details for your diary (private/family matters aside).

    “On Monday I did ABC, on Tuesday I did XYZ”, etc.

    What the general public see is: Shearer asks a question in the House (that’s 5 minutes). Plus some regular media slots.

    But the news doesn’t stop. The media keep reporting the news – and the Labour leader isn’t there. Sometimes I do a search for “David Shearer” on Google News and … “Your search found no results.”

    Where are you? OK, maybe the MSM are all meanies and don’t report your many activities and statements (though they seem able to tell us what the Greens or Winston or Hone are up to). Well, this newsletter can directly by-pass the media.

    I am a politics junkie and I have no idea what the Leader of the Opposition (sic) did this week on Thursday, Friday, Saturday … and if politics junkies don’t, you can be damn sure those “swing voters” you’re after won’t have a clue.

    So, please tell us. Thanks.

    • xtasy 12.1

      gobsmacked:

      Shearer asked 2 questions during question time this week just gone. That is as far as I can count. It was question 1 on the 14th (to which he refers in his e newsletter), and a question 3 on the 15th. Correct me if I am wrong.

      Both were addressed within not that much time, as far as I can recall. See the parliamentary notes:

      http://www.parliament.nz/en-NZ/PB/Business/QOA/Default.htm?search=378174212

      Yes, I am a little bit of a “political junkie” too, I admit, and I tend to follow the news and more regularly, in NZ and overseas.

      So it is right, Shearer has his good moments and scores, but few bother to follow Parliament TV or radio, only some listen and watch the news, but most the media is regrettably “main stream”. They are manipulative, but as you say, they do at least now and then report on what certain pollies say or do, and they also have some interviews.

      Shearer could do well with some more media training and exposure, even though he likes to be just the ordinary nice guy from around the corner.

      Peters is good, and the Greens have also worked out how to use msm. I am sure that more can be done by Labour.

    • just saying 12.2

      On Monday I did ABC…
      Had to laugh.

  12. “Confronted the government”
    “Hold the nats to account”
    “On the ropes”
    “Took the minister to task”

    Is the above a desire or a reality?

    I watch parliament tv and have never seen any strong opposition
    appart from adern,cunliffe,robertson at times.
    At the time when there needs to be a statement to media on the
    absolute hypocrisy and absolute affront by the nats to the section
    of the community that labour are meant to look out for,there is
    nothing, we wait and wait and wait,still nothing.
    This newsletter i suspect has had more than one hand on it,
    more than one brain,more than one idelogical viewpoint and
    i am not buying in to labour’s attempt to appease those who
    have their hands on their own keyboard and can reply to such
    drivel.

    • xtasy 13.1

      To be honest, at present, I see Robertson as the best bet for a leader, NOT Shearer, and Cunliffe must improve his team and social skills, then we can talk! Ardern needs a few more years to grow into the role, she has potential though, same as too timid Hipkins, although he is trying and doing well at times. There is also some other hidden potential, but they ALL need LEADERSHIP and thus motivation.

      • Rhinocrates 13.1.1

        I wish you were right, but Robertson is my electorate MP and my impression of him is that of someone who is a competent party apparatchik who is a useful manager, but not leadership material. On a number of issues, he’s talked big and failed to follow through. That’s the kindest thing I could say about him and I think that ultimately, he’s more a part of the problem, not the solution. Keep him on maybe, but not as leader.

        • xtasy 13.1.1.1

          thanks for front line feedback! May need a bit more before further judgment!

          • Colonial Viper 13.1.1.1.1

            So, what’s the poison of the evening? 😛

            • blue leopard 13.1.1.1.1.1

              @ cv

              …oh gee! did you HAVE to say that CV?…I sense another batch of hysteria from Snake Oil blog spot welling…. 🙂

            • xtasy 13.1.1.1.1.2

              Poison should be: Palace Revolt! I am waiting for it! I t is there in abundance, just needs to be spilled!

  13. AmaKiwi 14

    “Paula Bennett breached the privacy of a woman . . . Bill English has chipped in too saying that if people challenge the Government they can’t expect to have their privacy respected. That’s appalling and well below the standard I would apply to any of my Ministers. Clearly, your private information is not safe with this Government.”

    NO! It’s not appalling, it’s criminal. They have declared war on our right to privacy. If I complain, they will publish my tax returns, health records, psychological evaluations, military record, school reports, police reports . . . anything and everything!

    Labour was mistaken to not DEMAND Paula Bennett be removed from office.

    This is a brazen criminal mentality.

    “National is the party of law and order. Yeah right!”

    Labour should also demand that EVERY government file on Paula Bennett be made public immediately.

    • blue leopard 14.1

      @ AmaKiwi

      agree

      Would it come under false advertising that this is found on the WINZ website:

      Listed under “what you can expect from us”

      You have the right to:
      be treated with courtesy and respect [FAILED]
      cultural sensitivity
      use any of our services
      be given information about the services we offer
      be given correct information and entitlements
      be listened to
      be given fair, non-judgemental service [FAILED]
      have your information kept private and confidential [FAILED]
      have any decisions we make explained to you
      have a support person there whenever you deal with us
      make a complaint or ask for a review if you disagree with us. [FAILED]

      http://www.workandincome.govt.nz/individuals/your-rights-and-responsibilities/our-service-charter.html

      What is the point of having service charters when they are not followed by the head of MSD?

    • xtasy 14.2

      National: “National is the party of law and order. Yeah right!”

      Yeah, it is the party of ORDER for some, for the privileged and who have their OWN kind of order. Law is dispensable, because everyone has a different interpretation of law and justice. So they just laugh about it. They are quite experienced at laughing about it, since they cut legal aid to make it so unattractive for lawyers, hardly any are left to work for that kind of pittance.

    • Murray Olsen 14.3

      It’s totalitarian mentality, where the government is not bound by the law. All opposition parties should be all over it. To my mind, it’s the most dangerous thing this regime has done. Bennett has no place in a decent society, let alone in parliament.

  14. xtasy 15

    Shearer for Minister of Education, full power, but NOT for Prime Minister, I am sorry!

  15. Gawd i watched a n—i programme on tv last night,it was hard watching but
    bought up how a certain power can target one section of a community and
    destroy it totally in the eyes of others,while retaining the premis that they
    deserved it and no-one stood up and said ‘thats wrong,its needs to stop’
    persecution of a certain section of nz’ers is under underway of being
    totally destroyed by a dictatorship here and those followers on the right
    and left, say’go ahead, make my day’
    Just what the hell has happened to nz when even the left and shearer can’t
    standup and protect those on sickness and invalids benefits? and publicly
    denounces them,doctors evaluations don’t count anymore either,just
    politicians views.
    No amount of e-newsletters will correct the feeling that labour has
    deserted the core vorters,it started in clark’s time and continues on
    in earnest.

  16. Tim 17

    at the time of trawling through all this, I was watching Dateline London on BBC World News. A commentary on the Mit and his mates. Some toff commented that Romney has now done the ultimate, and outsourced his brain.
    Shudda cudda wudda taken a look at NZ politics! Key outsourced his a long time ago and chose to live on persnil krisma, smiling and waving, and the esprayshnull hope (and knowledge) of a knighthood.
    I hope Shearer hasn’t done likewise though – just about now I suspect he may well have done – to a pair of “thoroughly nice Chardonay-drinking, sheep-raising, (and probably olive-picking) gorgeous people whose primary concerns seem to be a good surname (in the case of Josie), and that bloody awful traffic they have to encounter when negotiating some SUV type vehicle onto a perfectly adequate highway – presumably to deliver the offspring to unaffordable daycare-to most, or to (let’s slum it shall we? – some Kapiti Coast state skool)

    God I’m disappointed (so far) in Robertson – just for a start!
    I’ve been wondering how I could possibly vote for Labour ever again!. Adhern, Hipkins, Robertson and one or two others were BEGINNING to turn me around. But as is generally the case with Labour who have a habit of shooting themselves in the foot, they’ve so far FUCKED it royally!
    Get a fucking GRIP people!
    Why newter the very people that provide you with half a chance?
    I know – it must be the cheep wine and gorgeous little soirees and all that feigned concern for the underdog. Next thing you know, we’ll be hearing Shearer harp on about the benefits of philanthropy by the well-off ffs! And this cnut was supposedly in the UN in African territories?
    GIVE ME A FCKIN BREAK. I could give the guy stories about refugees here in NZ who have been separated from kith and kin travelling Ethiopian and Sudanese zomes whilst living on snakes and monkeys in order to survive and who NOW get regularly ripped off by empoyers DESPITE promises of a better life.

    GET WITH THE FUKN PROGRAM David! Jacinta, Chris, Grant (and quite a few others). As IF there wasn;’t enough evidence in order to embarrass this gubbamint into ekshun. Either that or go get a real job if its all too hard – I’m sure there’s a Pulla Bent (being a ploimint sultint) that could advoise

  17. AmaKiwi 18

    Here is what Shearer should have asked about privacy during question time:

    http://localbodies-bsprout.blogspot.co.nz/2012/08/norman-reveals-threats-to-privacy-and.html

  18. bad12 19

    Dear Dave,

    I find i am a little short this week what with bills and stuff to pay, do you think you might be able to manage to sweep a couple of extra Mango skins off of the table in my direction,

    Thanks,
    A sicknes bene…

    • Craig Glen Eden 19.1

      Yup theickness Beneficiary comment was the first sign that the illness is indeed terminal.The question becomes how long will it take to kill the Patient.

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    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
    5 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
    7 days ago
  • Disgust
    I have no special insights to offer on the Labour sexual assault coverup. All I have is disgust. Disgust that an organisation could fail its people so badly. Disgust that they punished the victims rather than the perpetrator. Disgust that its party hacks are apparently blaming the victims for demanding ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Speak Up for Women calls out Greens’ censorship
    This open letter to the Green Party was penned after an opinion piece by Jill Abigail, a feminist and founding member of the party, was censored by the Greens’ leadership. (Redline has reprinted her article here).The intolerance of the Green Party leaders and their acceptance of the misogyny of gender ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    7 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
    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
  • 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

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