Death threats and dud deals

Written By: - Date published: 9:10 am, October 29th, 2010 - 77 comments
Categories: business, film, Media - Tags: , ,

Much like the ongoing earthquake aftershocks in Canterbury, the rumblings following on from the tumultuous Hobbit wrangling are going to echo on for some time yet. Today we learn just how extreme some of the anti-union nutters in our country are:

Death threats fly over Hobbit

Actresses and unionists have received threats, including some against their lives, during the heated row over The Hobbit movie. Police have been called and private security arranged for some of those targeted.

The worst threats appear to have been aimed at Australian union boss Simon Whipp and Actors’ Equity organiser Frances Walsh, although actresses Jennifer Ward-Lealand and Robyn Malcolm have also been abused. The threats have become so bad the union has hired a guard for its Auckland office.

The people making such threats are dangerous. They need to be found, and brought before the courts. I hope we hear soon of a sustained police effort to track down the perpetrators. Or are we as a country going to effectively condone these actions by ignoring them?

In other news — I’ve been surprised at some of the media coverage of the Hobbit deal. I was expecting a one way Key love-fest, with little consideration of how the PM’s incompetence has sold us down the river. In fact there is much more balance than I was expecting. Today’s Herald editorial was particularly stinging:

Editorial: Price to keep Hobbit in NZ is extortionate

At some point during the negotiations over The Hobbit, someone should have stepped back and asked how much it was actually worth to this country to keep the filming here.

The hyperbole and hysteria of recent weeks might have led to the assumption that it was a matter of vital importance. Significant enough for Government ministers to be talking to executives of Warner Bros, the project’s financial backer.

And important enough for New Zealand to jettison part of its workplace law and compromise its economic principles. The hyperbole was misplaced. These were places the Government should not have gone in order to secure two films whose benefits are more in the realm of the imponderable than the imposing. …

There was no question of The Hobbit being shot elsewhere before an industrial boycott – lifted before the negotiations began – involving actors wanting to bargain collectively. Warner Bros simply seized the chance to apply pressure on unrelated issues. In both instances, it should have been resisted. The Prime Minister, however, always seemed relaxed about amending the law to provide “clarity” in the film sector. …

At the start of the talks, Mr Key had seemed opposed to providing bigger tax breaks. Unfortunately, his resistance went only so far. Warner Bros should not have got a cent more than was already on the table. …

In any event, the image is already ingrained, and the extra boost that The Hobbit might provide did not justify a greater outlay of taxpayer funds or a workplace law change. Warner Bros is used to playing hard ball. The allure of Hollywood goes far in most corners of the world. It should not have gone so far here. Confirmation that The Hobbit will be shot in this country is welcome. But the cost should not have been anywhere near so extortionate.

As ever, a picture (Emmerson, from The Herald) is worth a thousand words:

Emmerson has pretty much nailed it – though for the last panel I’d have gone with a different Disney character. I’d have gone with Mickey Mouse.

77 comments on “Death threats and dud deals”

  1. The Chairman 1

    Let us not forget the Trades Hall Bombing was suspected to be aimed at a unionist.

    • Marty G 1.1

      nearly all the political violence in NZ’s history has been the right attacking left – Fredrick John Evans murdered by the police, massey’s cossacks, the special constables, Holland’s ‘state of war’ in 1951, the red squad, trade’s hall.

      violence and poverty – it’s how the elite keep the people down.

      • Daveosaurus 1.1.1

        Don’t forget the murder of Fernando Pereira in 1985 or the murder of Christine Clarke in 1999.

  2. Carol 2

    Yes, that Herald editorial was read from in the House debate this morning by a Labour Party member (Sue Moroney I think), and Hipkins and Grant Robertson. So it’s getting some mileage.

    The Labour Party has proposed an amendment for a sunset clause in the law (to expire on Nov 8). Meteria Turei has said the Greens will vote for the amendment. Turei said that ACT wants to extend the law to all workers. She also asked why the Maori Party is supporting the proposed law and spoke about the way the law will particularly hurt less well-off workers, especially Maori. She talked about how a film like Boy gave opportunities for young Maori actors who had few opportunities generally before that.

    Moroney talked about how other industries, that provide longer term employment than 2 films, could do with the money ($33mill?) . Among the examples whe gave was the racing industry. I’m not sure why she singled out this industry?

    Oh, Beaumont is saying the proposed Labour Amendment for a sunset clause on Nov 8, is appropriate because the NAct change to employment law is a Mickey Mouse one. And she read out & held up the Emerson cartoon with Key as Mickey Mouse.

    • millsy 2.1

      “..Turei said that ACT wants to extend the law to all workers..”.

      One wonders, Carol, if this could be the ultamite goal of this government – to turn every worker into an indenpendent contractor – dont have to sorry about overtime, ACC, sick pay, wages, payroll, even PAYE. Everything is outsourced to the worker. ECA on steriods. Not even Thatcher and Reagan went that far. This can totally do away with collective bargaining and unions. The Hobbit hysteria has certainly created a mood against the unions, and now this leglisation gives National an oppurtunity to smash the unions once and for all.

      The question is, would Key if he wins a second term, have the guts to extend this legislation to all workers. I think he might just have a go.

      Capcha: Bid.

  3. zimmer 3

    I am sure it will be investigated better than the Brash emails.
    I wonder in the old days were scabs threatened at all? I was in March/April 1985 while I worked in a hotel in Queenstown.

    • Gerorge 3.1

      You were probably threatened for being an arse. I see nothing’s changed.

      • zimmer 3.1.1

        no free choice in a union ah, follow the herd, [settle down — r0b].

        • NickS 3.1.1.1

          Well, you did have a choice not to break the picket line and find work elsewhere. As for the threats, definitely not acceptable, but not unexpected given that strikers are the ones putting their arses on the line for decent pay and working conditions, and are going to be fucked off to see others undoing their work.

          And personally, if I took a job off student job search etc, and found out I was going to be breaking a strike line, I’d probably tell the person hiring me to get fucked.

    • Marty G 3.2

      We all know who got the Hollow Men papers and gave them to Hager.

      He’s the Deputy PM.

      • luva 3.2.1

        Source Please……….?????????????????????

        • luva 3.2.1.1

          Your blog you can do what you like but lprent has written below

          [lprent: That is utter bullshit as far as I can see – like so many claims about the unions and unionists that I’ve seen recently.

          Provide a link to something credible (ie a quote from Kelly) where “Helen Kellys claim she was attacked by a lynch mob outside matterhorn” or withdraw it or face a ban for a unsubstantiated assertion of fact. ]

          Now where is something credible that says it was the Deputy PM….

          Over to you Marty G

      • lprent 3.2.2

        I’d have to agree with luva.

        I’ve never seen any definitive evidence that he was the culprit. He does appear to be the most likely source bearing in mind his motive and opportunity however.

        Nicky is probably the only person who could be definite about it, and he isn’t exactly willing to reveal sources.

  4. duh 4

    having seen the you tube footage of the ‘needed a police escort from the restaurant because of an angry mob’ – and it turning out to be just a couple of people politely (but repeatability) asking a simple question and no police in sight – it does make me wonder if this is just another lie trying to get sympathy for Robyn Malcom etc.

    IF its true – then I hope they catch the people – but as anything she says seems to be lies I really want to see proof first.

    • Colonial Viper 4.1

      but as anything she says seems to be lies I really want to see proof first.

      Oh so you’re part of the campaign of personal intimidation and abuse then.

      Shall we get her to forward the faeces mail to your home?

      • duh 4.1.1

        “Oh so you’re part of the campaign of personal intimidation and abuse then.”

        No Clare – thats a bit of a jump. IF it was true I would feel sorry for her and do not for a second support any idiot who would make death threats.

        BUT – like chicken little – you lie enough people stop believing you. And she holds very little weight about being honest.

        As for the “faeces mail” – she stirred shit – so I guess there is some irony in there somewhere.

        • Vicky32 4.1.1.1

          “As for the “faeces mail” – she stirred shit – so I guess there is some irony in there somewhere.”
          That comment makes you a completely offensive jerk. No argument.

        • Frank Macskasy 4.1.1.2

          It seems there is no bounds to the hysteria and vilification on this issue.

          Of course, “Duh”, it’s easy for you to be blase about hate mail, threats, faecal matter, etc, being sent to various people. Those people have stood up publicly to make their voices heard.

          Those who send offensive letters and material, or tacitly accept such cowardly behaviour, usually do so from the safety of anonymity.

    • Joe Bloggs 4.2

      I feel sorry for Malcolm and Jennifer Ward-Lealand in a strange way.

      Both of them have been pushed to the front where they’ve been hung out to dry by the unions.

      Naivety on their parts, maybe, although Malcolm has chosen to become more prominant of late as she eyes up a place on the Green Party list.

      But to get death threats for acting as glove-puppets for Simon Whipp and Helen Kelly? That’s over the top….

      …unless of course these death threats are yet more spin from the MEAA and CTU. The timing for turning villains into victims is awfully convenient. Who’s to know until we see the evidence.

      • Colonial Viper 4.2.1

        Honour to Malcolm and Ward-Lealand for standing tall and strong. They’ve been in the industry long enough to know the cause they are fighting for, even if the Right dismiss the concerns of workers out of hand.

        • Joe Bloggs 4.2.1.1

          You may laud Malcom and Ward-Lealand CV for standing tall and strong.

          But that’s what glove puppets do when the puppeteers have their hands in action. Take away the puppeteers and they return to being limp socks.

          • Frank Macskasy 4.2.1.1.1

            And ironically enough, those who support Warner Bros/Jackson/Key themselves seemed to have been stampeded by mass hysteria. Jackson lamented that we might lose “The Hobbit”, and a segment of society immediatly reacted with moral panic and outrage.

            As someone said, we’ve been “played like chumps”. And some New Zealanders still refuse to see the manipulation that was brought to play against us.

        • SHG 4.2.1.2

          I didn’t see Ward-Lealand standing strong and calling for a boycott on her HUSBAND’s production – the TV show Spartacus, a non-union shoot with conditions for employees far worse than those originally offered by the producers of The Hobbit.

          • Colonial Viper 4.2.1.2.1

            I give them respect for standing up to the big dollar boys from the US. They didn’t do well against them but they stood tall and firm and good on them for doing so.

          • Joe Bloggs 4.2.1.2.2

            that’s right – she didn’t… ‘nother one of those observations that have emerged about the nasty, backstabbing efforts of the unions to selectively destabilise the industry.

            OK, I call back feeling sorry for Ward-Lealand.

          • Bob Stanforth 4.2.1.2.3

            Ouch careful, those fact things really bite 😉

            • Colonial Viper 4.2.1.2.3.1

              No, just plenty of shonky Righty arguments. For starters SHG knows that most workers on both sets aren’t EMPLOYEES, which is a large part of the problem.

              Inconvenient facts huh.

              • Bob Stanforth

                And its a problem, because? Standard industry practice around the world, on any project based work – be it a film, or a large specialised IT project – lots of contract resource, some employees. And they all work side by side, quite happily.

                Well, until some idiot unionist institutes a black listing, and then claims all he wanted was to talk. Tui ad.

                And yet another very good summary of the inconvenient truths…

                http://dylanreeve.posterous.com/our-hobbit-overlords

                • Colonial Viper

                  Standard industry practice around the world, on any project based work – be it a film,

                  This is such an overgeneralisation it makes your statement untrue, BS.

                  Specifically, in successful first world film making countries (Australia, US, Canada, UK, Ireland), workers have much stronger union representation than in NZ. In those countries actors have much better access to collectively negotiated minimum terms and conditions.

                  And they don’t have producers who can simply get out of meeting and negotiating with the actors unions, SAG etc.

                  • Bob Stanforth

                    Did I say actors – you did, not me, doofus. The vast majority of people who work on films are contract resource, not union employees. Period. I see your BS, and raise you one talking arse. Which appears to be yours.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      The vast majority of people who work on films are contract resource, not union employees.

                      Ah but in those first world countries I mentioned, many are unionised even if they are not employees (don’t know where you got your figures from) and will have the protection of collectively negotiated minimum terms and conditions.

                      By the way, its not just actors who have unions in the industry – its many others including writers, film technicians; Jackson is a member of several himself.

                      I see your BS, and raise you one talking arse. Which appears to be yours.

                      Apologies I was just using your initials Bob, didn’t mean anything by it.

                      doofus.

                      I lol’d

    • Carol 4.3

      Doesn’t John Key have a hoard of minders escorting him everywhere so that no-one can get too close with a camera crew to ask him questions he doesn’t want to answer? At least Malcolm has appeared on a range of media lately to be interviewed and asked some tough questions.

      • SHG 4.3.1

        Yes, who can forget Malcolm’s awesome performance on Close Up.

        “There was never any boycott! And anyway, it was lifted over the weekend!”

    • ianmac 4.4

      I think you will find that two policemen on foot patrol happened to be walking past and walked with them to their car.

    • mcflock 4.5

      that video was the biggest load of crap I’ve seen in ages – the only audio of any level was the voice of the guy holding the camera, and it waggled between shoulders, sky and footpath.

      “No police in sight”? There could have been a gaoddamn ELEPHANT in the street and there’s only 50/50 that it would be identifiably in shot.

      • Lanthanide 4.5.1

        The guy sounded like a moron too, and it went on way too long and crossed the line from ‘making a point’ to harassment.

  5. Jim Nald 5

    hey rob

    agree that micKey would have been a better choice.

    whatta mighty mouse our Key proved to be! a chest-pounding tough-talking one.

    they played him and he danced to their looney tunes indeed.

    our shrewd wheeler dealer leader proved simply inept in the negotiations.

    failure to call their bluff and not using time that was on our side sealed the higher price we’ve paid.

    more tellingly, earlier and further upstream in the events, the government failed to keep an eagle eye on how things were unravelling, then tango-ed into the tangle, and now looks for scapegoat to distract and deflect.

  6. Colonial Viper 6

    The Herald took the piss out of John Key’s ‘relaxed’ meme. Frakkin amazing.

    Re: the death threats, abuse and intimidation. NZ is a much much nastier and red neck place in real life than many people imagine.

  7. Olwyn 7

    @Carol: I can see the sense in singling out the racing industry – there are NZers who are very good at breeding and rearing racehorses. This is an industry that involves specialist skills and attracts overseas buyers, so is well worth nurturing. Furthermore it is real, productive and ongoing.

    @ Jim Nald: while Mickey has the “key” factor, along with the pejorative “mickey mouse outfit,” etc, Mighty has the best and most apt slogan, “Here I come to save the day.”

    Overall: All this union-bashing in a low-wage, high cost country makes no sense.

    • Lanthanide 7.1

      Racing horses is a productive industry? Seems more like gambling to me and in the end doesn’t produce anything of enduring worth or value for society.

      • Olwyn 7.1.1

        It is not just gambling – non-New Zealanders buy our thoroughbred horses at yearling sales, and our horse breeders are highly regarded in Australia at least, and probably elsewhere.

      • Roflcopter 7.1.2

        Exactly, and when it can bring in $2b+ in overseas revenue, and keep 000’s gainfully employed, then they have a reason to come talking.

    • Jim Nald 7.2

      “Here I come to save the day” – out of Key’s mouth, that is false might.
      Doublespeak, double-tongue assurance.
      At best, cartoonesque.

  8. the tactics employed by the Govt, Jackson, Warners and other associated parties throughout this sorry saga have been both sobering and disgraceful.

    it’s a useful reminder to the left that our opponents are well capable of extreme tactics and willing to do whatever it takes, at any cost, to get their way.

    prepare for a vicious fight in 2011.

    • KJT 8.1

      “Why is everyone so up in arms about a, possibly, 200 mil benefit to NZ going after they happily waved goodbye to billions in employment and manufacturing over the last 30 years”.

      Where was the public outrage, to keep Skellerup, Firestone, Fisher and Paykel, boat building, coastal shipping, rail way and marine engineering, shoe making and all the other industries, as successive Governments did their best to remove employment and productive business from NZ.”

      Parnell could not have taken industrial action for an 8 hour day now, because industrial action of that kind is already illegal in NZ.

      • Colonial Viper 8.1.1

        This country is falling apart.

        Our high tech industries are worth $4.9B in exports per year and employ 24,000 people yet Cabinet spends a week on this foreign led debacle over a couple of hundred mill.

        • Jim Nald 8.1.1.1

          You raise memory of Yeat’s poem … (I’ll let others here google for it)

          Turning and turning in the widening gyre
          The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
          Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
          Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
          The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
          The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
          The best lack all conviction, while the worst
          Are full of passionate intensity.

          (harks back to Chinua Achebe’s book as well)

    • KJT 8.2

      Expecting truth and honesty from politicians is totally naive. Big business are totally unprincipled.

      Labour has now threatened the whole gravy train for the right.

      Expect the same sort of unprincipled, well financed and vicious opposition that every left leaning Government has had.

      We may not be invaded or have a forced Government change like Honduras, Guatemala, Indonesia or Chile as we are WASP’s also, but expect every sort of dirty dealing short of that.

  9. Nick C 9

    I’m sure these claims of death threats are about as credible as Helen Kellys claim she was attacked by a lynch mob outside matterhorn: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7RmzSlCY7_s

    [lprent: That is utter bullshit as far as I can see – like so many claims about the unions and unionists that I’ve seen recently.

    Provide a link to something credible (ie a quote from Kelly) where “Helen Kellys claim she was attacked by a lynch mob outside matterhorn” or withdraw it or face a ban for a unsubstantiated assertion of fact. ]

    • ianmac 9.1

      Nick. With such a pathetic case to present, you could get a job as fantasist in some obscure backroom. “Nick C Arrested for Drunken/drugged Raving on Blogsite.”
      It was reported that he was dragged away sobbing, “Nobody loves me!”

    • vidiot 9.2

      http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/industries/4261379/We-may-as-well-not-live-in-NZ

      “Actors including Outrageous Fortune star Robyn Malcolm were accosted by film workers riled up over The Hobbit stoush as they left Wellington’s Matterhorn restaurant.

      Malcolm, an Actors’ Equity committee member, was one of several actors dining with Council of Trade Unions president Helen Kelly and other union members on Wednesday night.

      Technical workers who had taken part in Wednesday’s Save the Hobbit march were also at the restaurant.

      It is understood the technical workers approached Matterhorn staff and asked if they could approach the group and interview them. They were told they could do so outside and were warned against jostling or threatening the group.

      The union delegates left to take part in a TV interview, leaving the actors behind. When they emerged later in the evening, they were surrounded by the angry film workers.

      CTU president Helen Kelly said a message went up on a Facebook page encouraging people to head down to the Matterhorn to “abuse Robyn and throw eggs at her”.

      Ms Kelly said the actors were “hassled and bustled” as they left the restaurant. “

      • Joe Bloggs 9.2.1

        I see the moderators have let your evil observations slide past so let me do the dirty:

        ‘hassled and bustled’ and ‘accosted’ do not equate “attacked”. The words are even spelled differently

        [Charged with Utter Bullshit – guilty as charged – banned for a week for an unsubstantiated assertion of fact that is completely and utterly different to all of the unsubstantiated assertions of fact coming from the Left – take the prisoner down]

        [lprent: I caught this morning… (eventually). Thanks for your attempted assistance. ]

    • Nick C 9.3

      My appologies: It was in fact the technical film workers led by Sir Richard Taylor who she labeled ‘in a lynch mob mood’

      But Council of Trade Unions president Helen Kelly said the crowd was “in a lynch-mob mood thanks to Richard Taylor, who has obviously wound them up like springs” and actors had to call the meeting off. “It was too dangerous.”: http://www.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post/news/4255536/Jackson-hits-back

      She merely claimed that she was abused and needed a police escort outside the matterhorn, as vidiot indicates below.

      Of course, neither of her claims is true.

      [I will assume for now that this satisfies lprent and remove the moderation – of course he might have a contrary view when he gets back to this – but for now good to go. — r0b]

      [lprent: Yep. I don’t mind opinion, but assertions of fact are different. In this case it was conflating two separate incidents together to come up with something completely different to anything that happened. Sounds like Whale bullshit. ]

      • Draco T Bastard 9.3.1

        Got any proof that neither of her claims were true?

        • Nick C 9.3.1.1

          Proof that Matterhorn police escort claim is not true: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7RmzSlCY7_s

          Whether or not the film technicians were a lynch mob is subjective, however here is a video of them: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eoqviKGAoJQ , it looks like a regular protest to me.

          Of course, it really should be up to her to prove her claims true than me to prove them false.

          • mcflock 9.3.1.1.1

            again, that clip is proof of nothing, given that most of the time it shows neither Malcolm nor Kelly.

            Heck, by your logic Hinkley never shot Reagan, and it’s doubtful Reagan was shot by anybody: it wasn’t in the footage so it didn’t happen.

          • Draco T Bastard 9.3.1.1.2

            Well, the first one proves that they were, as a matter of fact, hounded and probably proof of the lynch mob mentality as well. It doesn’t show any police but the focus was so tight it doesn’t actually show anything except the guys face so, no proof either way. I do note that there was some disturbance out of view. You can hear it briefly at one point.

            The second shows the protest march but doesn’t show the bit where they went to stand outside where the “Actors’ Equity members were to discuss their priorities for negotiations”. In other words, it doesn’t show the bit she was actually talking about.

  10. Anne 10

    When you have a govt. (and Prime Minister) who consistently panders to the lowest common denominator, then it isn’t surprising that the sick, the nasty and bigoted members of our society come out of the woodwork. I remember the Muldoon-led govt of the 1970s and the same thing happened. To give the old bastard his due, at least Muldoon didn’t present himself as ‘a wolf in sheep’s clothing’ like the present incumbent!

    • Tiger Mountain 10.1

      Indeed, and it was an insult to many a pig that their poor heads were carried on sticks at various marches protesting the squat gin swilling bully.

  11. Rob M 11

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10683889

    “Sequels to James Cameron’s blockbuster film Avatar look set to be shot in Wellington, with the acclaimed director in talks with Weta Digital.”

    Coincidence?

    • Colonial Viper 11.1

      Jackson knew that he was going to be making a shed load of new money with Avatar coming in, but wanted to screw the NZ tax payer for another $30M anyways.

      • Lanthanide 11.1.1

        I don’t think the $30M is going to Jackson…

        • Colonial Viper 11.1.1.1

          Might not go into his pocket personally although it will definitely go into his equation for the next round of contract negotiations with the studio, so he’ll get financial acknowledgement from the studio for it one way or another.

    • Colonial Viper 12.1

      Got a lot of time for Chris Trotter. Labour need to be faster on their feet, and more ferocious. The Battle for 2011 is real. We have to take the fight to them!

  12. gobsmacked 13

    Quick heads-up –

    TVNZ One News is running trailers saying they have a story on the death threats, at 6 pm.

    • gobsmacked 13.1

      And no surprise. Turns out abusive e-mails were sent by a couple of Pillars of Society, male and right-wing.

      But they weren’t named and shamed. Got off lightly, thanks to Helen Kelly’s generosity. She’s a lot classier than they are.

  13. BLiP 14

    Wouldn’t be too impressed with the New Zealand Fox News Herald – it waited until “game over” before saying anything. Where are the “Democracy Under Attack” banner headlines and astro-turf swast1ka carrying protesters with this one, eh?

  14. Carol 15

    So the Warners deal brokered by John Key includes an extra subsidy or tax break for actors and other Hobbit workers, if the films are successful:

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/industries/4288988/Extra-Hobbit-subsidy-will-be-staff-tax-break

    And would that have been part of the deal if there hadn’t been the internationally-supported action by AE? And …. maybe it’s a little early in the morning for me, but….why is the government paying it, not Warners?

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    The Herald has a story today about the 400 MW of wind power currently under construction. Good news, right? Except that none of it is being driven by policy (instead, its about replacing Contact Energy's Taranaki Combined Cycle gas-fired power plant, due to shut down in 2022), and most of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Protect The King!
    To Protect and Serve: When the Prime Minister finds herself enmeshed in the coils of a full-blown political scandal, her colleagues and party comrades have only one priority: to release her as swiftly – and with as little lasting injury – as possible. Is this what Jacinda Ardern’s colleagues and ...
    4 days ago
  • The rot at the top.
    When military leaders cover up and lie to elected civilian authorities, the foundation of democratic civil-military relations is undermined because it is those authorities who are entrusted to hold the military accountable to the public that they mutually serve. But this is only true if civilian political authorities take their ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    4 days ago
  • Challenging the voting age in court
    The Make It 16 campaign to lower the voting age is launching this afternoon, and they have already announced plans to challenge the law in court:The campaign, named "Make it 16" will launch at Parliament on Friday, with plans to take their case to the High Court, testing the rights ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Israel’s elections herald a long siesta
    by Daphna Whitmore The long years of Netanyahu’s reign are drawing to an end. For years he has epitomized reactionary zionism as he oversaw hundreds of thousands of Jewish settlers seize land in the West Bank. There are now 700,000 settlers, putting an end to the myth that Israel was ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    4 days ago
  • Petrol companies promise prices will come back down once peace is restored to the Middle East
    BP, Z and Mobil all insist that petrol price hikes are temporary, “in a very literal sense.” The nation’s major petrol providers are trying to allay customer fears over prices, promising that they’ll move to lower them again “immediately” when the Middle East is returned to its formerly peaceful state. ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    4 days ago
  • All Blacks unveil boat for Rugby World Cup 2019
    South African coach Rassie Erasmus says he has no idea what they’re going to do about the boat. In a highly anticipated press conference this afternoon, All Blacks coach Steve Hansen has finally unveiled the team’s boat for its Rugby World Cup 2019 campaign. In a press conference that went ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    5 days ago
  • An increasingly shoddy coverup
    The Operation Burnham inquiry continued to question senior NZDF staff today, and their shoddy coverup over their knowledge of civilian casualties continue to fall apart. If you recall, first, we were asked to believe that it was all a series of "mistakes and errors": a senior officer with multiple degrees ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • If we are to avoid making the earth uninhabitable, we need to rapidly decarbonise our civilisation, and cut emissions to zero as quickly as possible. This seems like an impossible task, but its not. Pushing hard on a few technologies and trends will let us halve emissions in a decade:Greenhouse ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • A further attack on transparency
    The Local Government Act 2002 Amendment Bill (No 2) had part of its committee stage yesterday. its a generally tedious bill about the nitty-gritty of local government reorganisation. But it includes a clause making the Local Government Commission subject to the Ombudsmen Act, and hence the OIA. Great! Except of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Ihumātao and Treaty settlements
    Yesterday Ihumātao's mana whenua reached a consensus that they would like their land back, and asked the government to negotiate with Fletcher's for its return. The government's response? Try and undermine that consensus, while talking about how doing anything would undermine existing Treaty settlements. The first is just more bad ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Protecting our history
    Its Suffrage Day, the 126th anniversary of women winning the right to vote (but not stand in elections) in New Zealand. And to celebrate, the government has bought Kate Sheppard's house in Christchurch:The government has bought Kate Sheppard's former home in Christchurch for more than $4 million. The Ilam villa ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Climate Change: Ostracising the coal-burners
    The UN climate summit is happening in new York next week, and unlike previous years, coal-burners and denier-states are not being invited to speak:Leading economies such as Japan and Australia will not be invited to speak at next week’s crunch UN climate change summit, as their continued support for coal ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Jojo Tamihere Salutes Herr Goff.
    Get Back Jojo! The elation in Mayor Phil Goff’s camp may be easily imagined as they watched social media light up in indignation at challenger John Tamihere’s "Sieg Heil to that" quip. Just when JT’s notoriously right-wing, sexist and homophobic stains were beginning to fade back into his ‘colourful’ past, ...
    5 days ago
  • Hard News: A fun but flawed weed documentary
    Patrick Gower is good value when he's high. Not that I've ever, you know, got stoned with him. But in the second part of his documentary Patrick Gower on Weed, he does what you'd expect in a modern weed documentary and immerses himself – first with a doctor, then a ...
    5 days ago
  • Candidate Survey: Western Bay of Plenty – Local Body Elections 2019
    We surveyed candidates on their attitudes to issues facing the Western Bay Region, find out what they think: “Closing the Gap” Tauranga, one of the area groups of Income Equality Aotearoa NZ Inc., has surveyed all candidates in the three local body elections to discover attitudes to some basic issues ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    6 days ago
  • Project Nettie calls on scientists to defend biology
    Please spread widely, and sign, to support science and rationalism over the new irrationalism sweeping universities and institutions.  PROJECT NETTIE Sexual reproduction, the generation of offspring by fusion of genetic material from two different individuals, evolved over 1 billion years ago. It is the reproductive strategy of all higher animals ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    6 days ago
  • I’m glad I don’t live in Auckland
    Just when I was thinking that Palmerston North's mayoral race (which includes a convicted child molester / public wanker and a convicted child beater) was the worst in the country, Auckland mayoral candidate John Tamihere opened his mouth:Auckland mayoral candidate John Tamihere is being slammed for using the words "sieg ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Index of Power Update, 2018-19: China #2
    We reprint below an article from the excellent website the Economics of Imperialism by Tony Norfield This is an update of the statistics for my Index of Power, using data for 2018-19 and discussing what a country’s ranking reflects. The major change is that China’s rank has shifted up and ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    6 days ago
  • Climate Change: A history lesson
    Why is New Zealand climate change policy so crap? The Herald this morning has a long article on the twists and turns of climate change policy in New Zealand [paywalled / depaywall script], which shows where we've been. The short version is that the government first began worrying about this ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • What the All Blacks Mean to Us
    The All Blacks have been, for more than a century, arguably the most successful International sports team in the world. But they are more than that; even for those Kiwis who are immune to the charms of rugby (and there are more than a few), the All Blacks are ambassadors ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    6 days ago
  • No one is born into the wrong body
    A short and incredibly powerful speech from a young lesbian woman. No one is born in the wrong body. ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    7 days ago
  • Contempt
    Back in June, the UK Court of Appeal ruled that that country's continued arms sales to Saudi Arabia were unlawful. So you'd expect that the UK government stopped approving them, right?Of course not:The government has apologised for breaching a court ruling against the sale of weapons to Saudi Arabia that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Covering up the cover-up
    Yesterday NZDF officials were put on the stand about the lies they had told over Operation Burnham, making implausible claims that it was all a big mistake. But along the way, we learned they had already been put on the spot about it by a previous Defence Minister, who had ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Not as important as they think they are
    Farmers have been whining a lot lately, about the methane targets in the Zero Carbon Bill, about Canterbury's proposed nitrogen limits, and about the government's new proposals to stop them from shitting in our lakes and rivers. These policies are "throwing farmers under the tractor", they will force farmers off ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Behind Every Good Woman Should Stand – Another Good Woman.
    Alone, Alone, All, All, Alone: To argue that the Prime Minister is the victim of her advisers’ failure to keep her informed may offer Jacinda some measure of exoneration – but only at the cost of casting her as a hopeless political ingénue. A star-dusted muppet, whose only purpose is to ...
    1 week ago
  • Poor quality, poorly educated kiddie ‘Journalists’ spreading fake news
    In times of hysteria about the “World coming to an end” and “rising sea levels” so-called ‘Journalists’ who can barely spell words longer than four letters are having a ball! Though the majority of the Public have worked out that manmade climate change is nothing short of pseudo-science, and the ...
    An average kiwiBy admin@averagekiwi.com
    1 week ago
  • Chris Trotter on the BFD
    I don't want to give pblicity to certain parts of the internet that are better left to fester in their own irrelevance (I know, a bit like this place) but the listing of Chris Trotter as a 'author' on Cameron Slater's spinoff website, the BFD requires some explanation.Now, I don't ...
    1 week ago
  • Sex is not a spectrum
    The text below is a Twitter thread by Heather Heying that explains the essence of sexual reproduction and it long evolutionary history. She is an evolutionary biologist and a “professor-in-exile” after she and her husband, Bret Weinstein, stood up to supporters of an enforced “Day of Absence” for white staff and teachers ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Trees, aviation, and offsets
    With crunch time for new Zealand climate policy approaching, most of the New Zealand media have got on board with a global reporting effort to cover the issue. There's one strand of stories today about polling and what it shows about changing public attitudes to the crisis, but the strand ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Pissing-Off The Israelis Is A High-Risk Strategy.
    Dangerous Foes: For those readers of Bowalley Road who feel disposed to dismiss any prospect of an Israeli destabilisation of New Zealand politics, the example of the United Kingdom repays close attention. Ever since the election of Jeremy Corbyn as leader of the British Labour Party, the Israelis have sanctioned, funded and ...
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week 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
    1 week ago
  • Parliament and the Executive
    The Brexit issue has certainly brought with it a series of apparently difficult constitutional issues, many of them concerning the respective roles of the executive and parliament. Most of them arise because of the unwillingness of MPs, despite their professions to the contrary, to be bound by a constitutional rarity ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • The Abigail Article; Martyn Bradbury’s Article, and My Response
    . . This blogpost is different to my usual format of reporting on issues… Since July 1011, I have blogged on a variety of political issues; near always political and/or environmental; mostly highly critical of the previous National Government. Other issues included Israeli occupation of Palestinian lands and repression of ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • Police will have to wear silly Buckingham Palace hats from now on, says Police Minister
    Those close to the Police Minister believe the initiative may be the result of Nash “seeing a great deal” on AliExpress. In a move that comes seemingly out of nowhere, Police Minister Stuart Nash announced this afternoon that he expects all frontline staff to don bearskin hats, famously worn by ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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 ...
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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 ...
    2 weeks 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 ...
    2 weeks 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 ...
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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 ...
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks ago
  • Flight to Los Angeles turned back after passengers decide they don’t want to go anymore
    An ambitious plan to fly to Los Angeles petered out into a brief sight-seeing trip and a desire to return home and get some sleep before work tomorrow. Air New Zealand has confirmed a flight to Los Angeles last night was turned back about a quarter of the way into ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Indigenous Futures: defuturing and futuring – an analytical framework for policy development?
    There appears to be consensus – by omission – that the concept of indigenous futures should be accepted at face value. So I scavenged the internet to see if I could locate an academic descriptor or a framework around how we think about it as a concept, and whether it ...
    EllipsisterBy Ellipsister
    2 weeks ago
  • Cadbury rumoured to be releasing the Pineapple Trump
    Here’s another novelty chocolate to shove in your gob, New Zealand Cadbury could be seeking to make itself great again with a rumoured new release: Pineapple Trumps, a spin on its classic chocolate-encased pineapple treat and do-it-yourself tooth remover. The global confectionery manufacturer and bumbling “before” character in an infomercial, ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • The coming resource war.
    During my time in the Pentagon I had the privilege of sitting down with military leaders and defence and security officials from a variety of Latin American nations. Sometimes I was present as a subordinate assistant to a senior US defence department official, sometimes as part of a delegation that ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    2 weeks ago

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