Decline & fall of the odd-spot PM

Written By: - Date published: 10:59 am, February 18th, 2011 - 55 comments
Categories: brand key - Tags:

Yesterday, the Government had something of a panic moment. Under fire for its failure to deliver jobs, for its plan to sell assets to pay for tax cuts for the rich, and the gross hypocrisy of the BMW debacle, it released five press releases less than two hours trying to spin its way out of trouble. It didn’t work and nor has the smile and wave routine.

The NBR calls this John Key’s ‘Wile E Coyote moment’ (not online). Everything has seemed to be going so well, to observers it has appeared certain he will catch the Roadrunner (a second-term and the deliver of hard-right policies that would result). But now he’s run off the cliff to momentarily, as NBR puts it: “hang there, legs spinning, before plunging into the abyss”.

We’re used to Key getting away with everything, fucking up but being forgiven with a smile and a wave. That’s Brand Key, or what Lyndon Hood memorably calls “A loveable clown, with all the gravitas of a helium balloon. A comic vacuum cleaner salesman”.

Now, suddenly, he’s gone from being Teflon John (someday someone in the media is going to have to work out where those new PMs are getting their Teflon) to being a guy who looks like he can’t be stuffed with the work of actually governing let alone convincing the public that it should go against its instincts and support privatisation – watch the frustration as Key gently pounds his desk 2.25 minutes in to Question Time on Wednesday as he, once again, reels off excuses for privatisation that he doesn’t himself believe – he just can’t be arsed.

The BMW debacle may be a small thing in terms of government spending but it is a microcosm of everything his government has done. In helping himself and his mates to more public money while threatening to take it away from others, and lying about it when caught, Key’s standard modus operandi has been captured in a single simple story that is resonating through the public and will affect how they interpret all his actions in the future. In particular, his wish to sell our public assets, which will be a central feature of the coming election.

It’s about now that the Crosby/Textor script calls for Key to do something quirky and win back our hearts. His antics have made him into the ‘Odd-spot’ PM, that’s the only column he appears in in the international news, and they have worked on the public – until now. The BMW story, the asset sales, the out of touch foodbank comments, every story and every lie has worn away the Teflon until, now, it’s gone. Key’s clowning around has gone from being the adorable actions of a harmless guy to being unconvincing attempts to shift attention from the unpopular, unwanted things his government is doing and wants to do. An asset is now a liability. The Trans-Tasman (not online) chimes in:

“it wasn’t just the mince down the catwalk, which was a walk a little too close to the wild side for some, not to say confusing. It came a week after he said Liz Hurley was “hot”. (Those who have suggested Key is a bit much “all things to all people” just got a bit more ammo). The Liz Hurley comment also got the PM into the UK and Aust tabloids – and the last time this happened was when he said he’d has a vasectomy … anyone see a certain theme emerging here?”

Yeah, I’m seeing one. If the media won’t reproduce Brand Key for him faithfully anymore but, instead, turn it against him, what then for National? Can they hold the numbers till November if their one asset, Key, is compromised? Can Key be bothered trying?

55 comments on “Decline & fall of the odd-spot PM”

  1. Janice 1

    A planned diversion for the MSM was lost with JK’s planned flight to Antarctica with the Erebus families, and so they are (unusually) focussing on what Key is saying/doing. When the Air New Zealand trip for the Erebus families was originally announced JK said that he thought he would go to help support them (and for the photo ops). At the time I thought how mean to deprive other family members from the trip just to accommodate him and his media contingent. Unfortunately for him the Australian PM popped in for a visit and he couldn’t go at the last minute. Suddenly Air New Zealand found they had another 24 places on the aircraft, was this coincidence or am I correct? I would have thought that the flight numbers would have been well sorted out beforehand. Anyone have any facts, or am I just a suspicious old woman?

    • ianmac 1.1

      One of the passengers interviewed said that it was a pleasant surprise to get a seat as it was after the ballot had been finalised. Yes. Probably could have been a save for Key as to have gone and taken up family places with multiple bodyguards in case he was challenged by penguins, and by the Tracey Watkins of the sympathetic media, could have become a disaster.

  2. Colonial Viper 2

    He was an idiot for not picking a July election.

    Although it will be quite enjoyable waterboarding the NATs for the full 9 months, before giving birth to a true Left/Progressive coalition Govt of the people, by the people, for the people.

    • Jum 2.1

      Colonial Viper

      JKeyll has been cunning, and particularly nasty in that by the time the 2011 election is over, New Zealand’s future will be over – the TPPA will have been signed in November and we will no longer have sovereignty over our own lives and our own country.

      Then he’ll wander off to America with his knighthood in one pocket and pats on the back from the business rotundtable. In the other pocket will be the portfolios of shares in New Zealand assets sold by him and Hide beforehand.

      This guy was trained by the very corporates that will gain from the TPP Agreement.

      • Drakula 2.1.1

        Jum: You must have read my mind I was just about to comment on TPPA this evening I just recieved a circular from Prof. Jane Kelsey exposing Key’s duplicitious behaviour over the CER chats with Gillard and TPPA.

        I wish I could get a link.

        Anyway the article is titled “Key Use of CER to Bypass Opposition to Forreign Investment Laws; a foretaste of a TPPA.”

        We need to do a little Egypt before these maniacs get out of control!!!!!!

        • noeleftie 2.1.1.1

          well if we had a labour party that was more connected to the core electorate and societal ‘actors’ and represented the views and ideals of the grassroot members of labour then we might have a chance both to realect labour and also to generate meaningful change.
          The Tories simply represent a unfettered free market economic system that while it will ‘float the boats’ of all members of scociety, it really co-ops and controls the majority to benefit a very small minority. Once in this country 100k household income in real adjusted terms signified you had reached a stratum where you could afford anything now only the millionaires have the ablity to be determined as ‘free’ from the constraint of a under-leveraged economy.

          So roll on november and roll on the ‘actors’ within society who can provide a simulius or voice to the masses.

        • Deadly_NZ 2.1.1.2

          http://tppwatch.org/2011/02/17/key%E2%80%99s-use-of-cer/
          Media Release: Professor Jane Kelsey. Friday 18 February, 2011

          This do???

  3. ak 3

    Lechin’ with Vietchy was a big mistakey. Overnight the golden wee lad-next-door morphs into greasy, perving masturbater. Only middle-aged, with a lovely wife and nippers.

    And that name, “Bling-bling”: yuppie accessory and shades of the ancient “handbag” – neanderthal genes oozing out of the slime. To meet synthetic ego; in repulsive, mincing bloom.

    The gels are confounded, and the chaps confused. Recipe for rejection.

    • ianmac 3.1

      Wonder at the origin of her Bling Bling name? A phone? Gold earrings? Blink blink? She is a really nice person I believe. Deserves a more gracious nick-name.

      • Deadly_NZ 3.1.1

        He actually calls her Bing Bing But somehow a mysterious L sneaked in there.

        • The Voice of Reason 3.1.1.1

          Maybe it was me?

          John Key’s Memoirs

          Mind you, I also thought I was the first to use Prime Mincer only to find David Slack came up with that epiphet two years ago. I long to hear MP’s using it during question time, too. Can you imagine the fun if Lockjaw Smirk has to ask opposition members to stop calling the PM the Prime Mincer?

      • Drakula 3.1.2

        I wouldn’t believe there is a big difference between nice and charming!!!!

  4. kultur 4

    Key is in my opinion, a soulless construct. he is like a zombie – animated only by the animalistic urges of a dying neo liberal cabal. The last corpse to be raised from the dead by the neo liberal shamans …. trying to enact the old voodoo of far right wing new economics on people – then blaming the global financial crisis (created largely by their philosophies and practices) … well Johnnie boy … we let the markets find their own “mojo” and guess what – the “markets” rounded on us and shoved a giant spiky pineapple up the collective public arse.

    So – i’m personally off to kill a chicken over running water and attempt to conjure the evilly motivated puppet that is John Key back into his grave. Knowing him though – his death-animated corpse will probably arrive in a new 7 series BMW and step out with a mincing gait – clutching an award from an obscure magazine for “man of the year” ….

    • Shona 4.1

      Between you and ak I ‘ve just hadmy most entertaining read of the week as I sip my afternoon cuppa. Thanks. So gratifying to see things getting wobbly can’t wait till the wheels fly off all together.
      captcha : excellent .
      How does it know????

    • noeleftie 4.2

      Kultar who know what JK is about really – anyway with an ounce of luck and some connectiveness amongst the proles we might just never find out who the real john key is since he will be outa office come november.

  5. Draco T Bastard 5

    I am soooo looking forward to the next Roy-Morgan. Will we see another 6% drop in NACTs support?

  6. kultur 6

    Here is footage of the Botany electorate debate … Michael Wood is a clear winner – so much for the media coverage and reporting and certain bloggers views as well. The National Candidate came off looking as though they were on the backfoot.

    judge for yourselves

    • ianmac 6.1

      Tried to watch it with an open mind. Michael Woods connected and personable and very electable. The National candidate was repetitive and really the opposite in personality and content. In a marginal electorate he would not be electable (or delectable!) Couldn’t National find a more attractive rep?

    • Deadly_NZ 6.2

      While watching that i sort of carried on and watched this

      A question is asked 2.09 in about Key profiting from our indebtedness. You should listen very carefully to his answer as it starts “sadly no i am not” and starts to fade out, answer is about 2.21 in. And also I must say he looked like he was doing a Muldoon but instead of Red wine it was Vodka in the glass. So he is sad he does not profit from NZ’s indebtedness

      • Kevin Welsh 6.2.1

        “sadly, no I am not”

        Says it all really. He never gave a fuck about the New Zealand economy when he played at the forex casino and now he is disappointed he is not profiting at our indebtedness.

        • marty mars 6.2.1.1

          Thanks deadly, that video shows the key to key – he is two faced and he let slip his mask – revealling the emptyness – more people should see this.

          And good luck to Penny Bright – awesome.

      • ianmac 6.2.2

        Deadly. An expert in body talk would say that John Key was embarrassed. So much so that he sweated and needed a glass of water.
        He might see a headline, “Prime Minister Profits From New Zealand’s Indebtedness to the Bank of America.”
        or “John Key Profits from the Misery of New Zealanders!”

        • Deadly_NZ 6.2.2.1

          But now it can be
          John Key is sad that he does not profit from New Zealands indebtedness.
          Embarrassed?? NO. More like a Thomas Beckett line “Will no one rid me of this turbulent woman” The look on his face said it all.

      • Mac1 6.2.3

        Interesting to notice the amount of applause the questioner got, as well.

        • ianmac 6.2.3.1

          That strangely dressed woman appeared in the Election Forum Botony Bay as a candidate in video supplied above by kultur http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gxysy74K5f8

          • Jum 6.2.3.1.1

            Penny Bright is That Woman, Ianmac, and she has done more to try to bring this government to account than most New Zealanders.

            She has called the government to account on their privatisation of water; she is a corruption watchdog and she pulls no punches about calling JKeyll to order in any meetings with the public. He looked very uncomfortable last time she asked him a question. Her biggest beef is with councils that do not give transparency in their use of rates. She wanted ratepayers in Auckland to pay their rates into an official fund which meant they had paid and could not be prosecuted but the council could not use their money until they promised transparency.

            Sadly it did not come off.

            • ianmac 6.2.3.1.1.1

              Does Penny Bright represent a Party?

              • Jum

                She represents all of us, m’dear. She is running for Mayor of Botany and also will use this platform to highlight government misuse of powers. She hates privatisation of any kind by any party. She has also been thrown out of John Banks’ council meetings when attempting to defend vulnerable people’s rights.

                I have a huge amount of respect for what she stands for (strange clothing or otherwise). Wonderful way to be noticed, though, eh Ianmac?

              • Lanthanide

                She’s actually posted on here a couple of times in the comments, once specifically raising the bank of America shares issue, probably about the same time that she filed the OIA request.

              • lprent

                More of an institution in her own bright (queue groaning). She is pretty well known around Auckland and ranges between the extremely sensible and extremely weird – but always interesting….

                A unique individual, and somehow I suspect that no party could constrain her.

    • Weizguy 6.3

      Was that really the ACT candidate? Are they really that hard up for talent?

      captcha: represent

      • Draco T Bastard 6.3.1

        The prime requisite for being an Act candidate is to have no critical thinking capability. If they did then they’d realise that their ideology just doesn’t work.

        • Salsy 6.3.1.1

          Not wanting to judge people on face value, but she totally terrified me, she’s like a tall dwarf – Hide-ish but taller and way more angry…

  7. randal 7

    key is already starting to look careworn.
    in his heart he knows three more years will finish him off.
    he wasnt built for this.

    • ianmac 7.1

      Yeah randal. After all 3 years is a long time to keep it shiny. Change your car, change the figurehead.

  8. M 8

    The Wile E motif is brilliant for King Schlemiel but it’s wearing thin fast.

    Can’t wait to see the end of this panty sucker.

    • mcflock 8.1

      “panty sucker”?

      I’d probably respect conservatives a bit more if I could imagine them doing anything at all interesting.

      Practically speaking, a politician with a good honest peccadillo – better than hair dye and toupee, but not so far as Berlusconi – would at least be able to create spin and distraction that doesn’t come from the Yes Minister Playbook (Kindergarten Edition)(tm).

  9. Leo 9

    The PM looks extraordinarily stressed and anxious. As if he isn’t sleeping well. Altogether the opposite of his usual carefully-controlled persona.

  10. Craig Glen Eden 10

    I think he is nervous because he is has started to be held to account on issues. He is no longer getting away with sorry I have to go, the journos are following him and calling him on his scripted lines,when he is confronted about actual policy he is very poor.

    Key cant think on his feet he struggles to give a speech with out reading it word for word lets face it other than his media smile and wave persona he has nothing.

    Goff needs to let Cunliffe of the leash on the economy this will bring English into the frame and once the public see Mr what was it 23% and Key (Mr Panic pants) its game over.
    King needs to crank it up on Bennett because she will crumble actually.
    The Nat’s have nothing but Keys image and once that image is gone its burger time for National.

    • Draco T Bastard 10.1

      Goff needs to let Cunliffe of the leash on the economy…

      Sometimes I don’t think it’s so much as letting him off the leash as telling him to get out there and bite.

      PS, this applies to all opposition MPs.

  11. Drakula 11

    We need to step up the pressure and keep our foot firmly on his throat!!!!!! and as Craig suggests let Cunliffe off the leash to deal with English. Catherine Delahunty and Sue Bradford can deal with Bennett and then there is big boy from Fendalton; Any suggestions?

    • Deadly_NZ 11.1

      Well I did e-mail that video of JK saying he’s sad he not making money of kiwis, to him lets see if he knows about it or uses it, or even watches it. but it’s a start, if we have to reload the odd question gun for them then lets hope they read the E-mails.

  12. Jum 12

    Any suggestions Drakula?

    A banana, sideways? Smiling of course.

  13. Neoleftie 13

    From my close labour sources from the mainland everything is falling into place. The four year prediction or re-election plan hinges on three elements
    1) woeful economic indicators and no bailout money since lab locked it all up and Bill English wasted the rest on tax cuts to the elite.
    2) The three way national faction’s splinters as JK loses control to the right and the public rapture with JK is diluted by reality that another electoral mandate would bring, once again, radical change.to the NZ system.
    3) Goff and the team ( and the greens ) sit quiet and united and does nothing odd to upset the critical swing voter.

    The base economic indicators would suggest that time is ripe for a neo keysian approach along with a few new style marco-economic levers to be implemented by the returning centre left block parties. The massive daily influx and turn around of ‘hotmoney’ cause too many monetary fluctuation impacting on the money supply for one. Guess the billion’s in ‘casino’ money that impact upon our ever fluctating currency on a daily basis?

    This is the final hour for a centre left / left leaning party block to seize and bring some correction into our marco economic system. The ‘catch all party’ of labour now has some factional balance and just might stablise the economy if the are bold enough.
    Look to the new bright 2008 intake to provide some resolve.

  14. In a recent documentary, “The love of Money” Allan Greenspan says the credit crises
    was caused by a complete lack of morals by the money makers.
    These people can be as moral as they like in their private lives but they leave their morals at home as they go to work, that is the secret to becoming a millionaire money trader.

    John Key is obviously used to saying whatever he wants to get whatever he wants.

  15. Possibly part of the reason why shonky John Key was so uncomfortable when I asked whether he was profiting from NZ’s growing indebtedness – was because he knew full well that I had taken a private prosecution against him before the 2008 election over Tranz Rail.

    I had first made a complaint to the Police and the Serious Fraud Office over John Key’s attempt to flush out commercially sensitive information about Tranz Rail while it was an ‘item of business’ before the House, at a time he had an undisclosed shareholding.

    When they did nothing – I took a private prosecution against John Key under s 228 of the Crimes Act – attempt to use a document for pecuniary gain.

    Although I was effectively accusing John Key of a ‘corrupt practice’ – (misusing public office for private gain?) – and kept the media informed at all stages – there was not ONE sentence in the NZ Herald about my complaints to the Police, SFO or my private prosecution.

    Meanwhile – there were continuous ‘MAN ON THE MOON’ headlines against Winston Peters and NZ First in a concerted corporate media campaign to prevent them reaching the 5% party vote threshold.

    That’s why I want to get elected in the Botany by-election.

    To act as an INDEPENDENT ‘Public Watchdog from INSIDE the House, and to continue to ask the hard questions no one else is, and to find out where EXACTLY our public monies are being spent and who is benefiting.

    Auckland Council Howick Ward representative ‘Independent ‘ Sharon Stewart, beat Jami-Lee Ross
    by over 4000 votes – so those who think that an Independent candidate has no chance in the Botany by-election should perhaps reconsider?

    By-elections are unpredictable creatures.

    Last one I stood in, as a Water Pressure Group candidate – the Auckland City Council Avondale Mt Roskill by-election in 2000 – I got nearly 6,500 votes. (Only 700 votes behind Noelene Raffills) -on a ‘single issue’ – opposition to water privatisation and calling for a campaign of civil disobediance – boycotting (then) Metrowater’s wastewater ‘user-charges’.

    I was also an Auckland Mayoral candidate: http://www.pennybright4mayor.org.nz – totally opposed to the Auckland $upercity corporate takeover, which has set up a bigger public trough for bigger private snouts.

    For more information – check out http://waterpressure.wordpress.com

    Penny Bright
    Media Spokesperson
    Water Pressure Group
    Judicially recognised Public Watchdog on Metrowater, water and Auckland regional governance matters.
    “Anti-corruption campaigner”
    Independent candidate Botany by-election

  16. Neoleftie 16

    Nice addition margaret.
    The growth or production in speculative money creation is so complex that even the players them selves let alone the federal regulutors havent a clue what actual is involved. Once again the poor schmuck who holds a morgage in the USA face forclosure due to the collapse of some upstream speculative money creating scheme and the courts uphold the bank’s foreclosing not due to replayment issue but cause the original loan was relent out and basically that original money is nolonger there.

  17. Craig Glen Eden 17

    Heck just watched John Campbell’s interview of John Key in 2008 “slippery as a snake” on you tube watching that interview, Key has failed and lied a number of times. Key finishes with NZers should trust National and that they will manage the economy better and get growth, history has shown otherwise. It will certainly be a different election campaign this year, cant pull the you can trust me Im honest John shit this time.

  18. kriswgtn 18

    They (Nacts) lied to get in and kiwis believed them.

    Dont quite think that is the case now from what I am hearing on the street.

    Labour and the Greens and other potential MMP partners really have to get off their butts and start laying into this Govt.

    Produce good policy because what I am also hearing , is that alot of people cantr be bothered voting again
    I know alot who dont

    These are the voters who above said parties need to re connect with

    Being silent just isnt cutting it

  19. Jim Nald 19

    Re video clip – why is Key talking so fast?
    Where is he going?



    I need to view the clip again to follow him. Is Key good at distracting us from Key?

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    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
    4 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
    4 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
    4 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
    4 days ago
  • Flight to Los Angeles turned back after passengers decide they don’t want to go anymore
    An ambitious plan to fly to Los Angeles petered out into a brief sight-seeing trip and a desire to return home and get some sleep before work tomorrow. Air New Zealand has confirmed a flight to Los Angeles last night was turned back about a quarter of the way into ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    5 days ago
  • Indigenous Futures: defuturing and futuring – an analytical framework for policy development?
    There appears to be consensus – by omission – that the concept of indigenous futures should be accepted at face value. So I scavenged the internet to see if I could locate an academic descriptor or a framework around how we think about it as a concept, and whether it ...
    EllipsisterBy Ellipsister
    5 days ago
  • Cadbury rumoured to be releasing the Pineapple Trump
    Here’s another novelty chocolate to shove in your gob, New Zealand Cadbury could be seeking to make itself great again with a rumoured new release: Pineapple Trumps, a spin on its classic chocolate-encased pineapple treat and do-it-yourself tooth remover. The global confectionery manufacturer and bumbling “before” character in an infomercial, ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    5 days ago
  • The coming resource war.
    During my time in the Pentagon I had the privilege of sitting down with military leaders and defence and security officials from a variety of Latin American nations. Sometimes I was present as a subordinate assistant to a senior US defence department official, sometimes as part of a delegation that ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    5 days ago
  • Māori Language Week with The Civilian
    Kia ora, Aotearoa. It’s that magical time of year. Te Wiki o te Reo Māori. In English, the week that frightens talk radio. As you probably know by now, all your favourite media outlets are participating, some more successfully than others. Stuff has changed its name to Puna for the ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    5 days ago
  • Will Horizons act on climate change?
    Local body elections are coming up next month. And it looks like all Palmerston North candidates for Horizons (the Manawatu-Whanganui Regional Council) want to take action on climate change:Climate change is set to be a key issue in Palmerston North for the next three years if those wanting to get ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • BORA reform is stalled
    Eighteen months ago, the government promised to strengthen the Bill of Rights Act, by explicitly affirming the power of the courts to issue declarations of inconsistency and requiring Parliament to formally respond to them. So how's that going? I was curious, so I asked for all advice about the proposal. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Corbyn and Brexit
    As the Brexit saga staggers on, the focus is naturally enough on the Prime Minister and his attempts to achieve Brexit “do or die”. But the role played by the Leader of the Opposition is of almost equal interest and complexity. The first problem for Jeremy Corbyn is that he ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    5 days ago
  • A ditch for him to die in
    Last week, English Prime Minister Boris Johnson boldly declared that he would rather die be dead in a ditch than delay Brexit. Unfortunately for him, the UK parliament accepted the challenge, and promptly dug one for him. The "rebellion bill" requires him to ask for and secure yet another temporary ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Warning! Warning! Danger Jacinda Ardern! Danger Marama Davidson! Warning!
    Lost In Political Space: The most important takeaway from this latest Labour sexual assault scandal, which (if I may paraphrase Nixon’s White House counsel’s, John Dean’s, infamous description of Watergate) is “growing like a cancer” on the premiership, is the Labour Party organisation’s extraordinary professional paralysis in the face of ...
    6 days ago
  • Union solidarity with Ihumatao land occupation
    by Daphna Whitmore Every Sunday for the past two months unionists from First Union, with supporters from other unions, have set out to the Ihumatao land protest, put up gazebos and gas barbeques, and cooked food for a few hundred locals and supporters who have come from across the country. ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    6 days ago
  • Climate Change: The wrong kind of trees?
    Newsroom today has an excellent, in-depth article on pine trees as carbon sinks. The TL;DR is that pine is really good at soaking up carbon, but people prefer far-less efficient native forests instead. Which is understandable, but there's two problems: firstly, we've pissed about so long on this problem that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • No freedom of speech in Turkey
    Canan Kaftancioglu is a Turkish politician and member of the opposition Republican People's Party (CHP). Like most modern politicians, she tweets, and uses the platform to criticise the Turkish government. She has criticised them over the death of a 14-year-old boy who was hit by a tear gas grenade during ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Speaker: Tadhg Stopford: Why I’m standing for the ADHB
    Hi there, just call me Tim.We face tough problems, and I’d like to help, because there are solutions.An Auckand District Health Board member has nominated me for as a candidate for the ADHB, because her MS-related pain and fatigue is reduced with hemp products from Rotorua.  Nothing else helped her. If I ...
    6 days ago
  • Good little vassals
    The Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security has published their report on whether the SIS and GCSB had any complicity in American torture. And its damning. The pull quote is this:The Inquiry found both agencies, but to a much greater degree, the NZSIS, received many intelligence reports obtained from detainees who, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Who Shall We Turn To When God, And Uncle Sam, Cease To Defend New Zealand?
    Bewhiskered Cassandra? Professor Hugh White’s chilling suggestion, advanced to select collections of academic, military and diplomatic Kiwi experts over the course of the past week, is that the assumptions upon which Australia and New Zealand have built their foreign affairs and defence policies for practically their entire histories – are ...
    6 days ago
  • The Politics of Opposition
    For most of the time I was a British MP, my party was out of government – these were the Thatcher years, when it was hard for anyone else to get a look-in. As a front-bencher and shadow minister, I became familiar with the strategies required in a parliamentary democracy ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    6 days ago
  • More expert comments on the Canadian fluoride-IQ paper
    The Green et al (2019) fluoride/IQ is certainly controversial – as would be expected from its subject (see If at first you don’t succeed . . . statistical manipulation might help and Politics of science – making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear). Anti-fluoride campaigners have been actively promoting it ...
    1 week ago
  • The return to guerrilla war in Colombia
    by Gearóid Ó Loingsigh On August 29th a video in which veteran FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia) commander Iván Márquez announced that they had taken up arms again was released. There was no delay in the reaction to it, from longtime Liberal Party figure and former president Uribe, for ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Air New Zealand identifies this enormous plot of unused land as possible second airport site
    Air New Zealand couldn’t believe its luck that this seemingly ideal piece of real estate had so far gone entirely unnoticed. Air New Zealand’s search for a site to build a second Auckland Airport may have made a breakthrough this afternoon, after employees scanning Google satellite imagery spotted a huge, ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Redline on the Labour Party
    No-one on the anti-capitalist left in this country today puts forward a case that Labour is on the side of the working class.  There are certainly people who call themselves ‘socialist’ who do, but they are essentially liberals with vested interests in Labourism – often for career reasons. Nevertheless, there ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • New Fisk
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Labour’s failure
    When National was in government and fucking over the poor for the benefit of the rich, foodbanks were a growth industry. And now Labour is in charge, nothing has changed: A huge demand for emergency food parcels means the Auckland City Mission is struggling to prepare for the impending arrival ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Ardern attempts to vaccinate Clarke Gayford live on television to prove that it’s safe
    Gayford, pictured here on The Project, before things got wildly out of control. A bold public relations move by the Government to encourage parents to vaccinate their children has gone horribly wrong. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern appeared on tonight’s episode of Three’s The Project, where the plan was for her ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Has Mr. Whippy gone too far by parking on our front lawns?
    Mr. Whippy’s business model has driven it down a dark road of intimidation. Residents in major centres around the country are becoming disgruntled by the increasingly aggressive actions of purported ice cream company Mr. Whippy, who have taken to parking on people’s front lawns and doorsteps in a desperate attempt ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Cleaning up the water
    Today the government released its Action Plan for Healthy Waterways, aimed at cleaning up our lakes and rivers. Its actually quite good. There will be protection for wetlands, better standards for swimming spots, a requirement for continuous improvement, and better standards for wastewater and stormwater. But most importantly, there's a ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Fronting up
    Today I appeared before the Environment Committee to give an oral submission on the Zero Carbon Bill. Over 1,500 people have asked to appear in person, so they've divided into subcommittees and are off touring the country, giving people a five minute slot each. The other submitters were a mixed ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Politics of science – making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear
    Anti-fluoride activists have some wealthy backers – they are erecting billboards misrepresenting the Canadian study on many New Zealand cities – and local authorities are ordering their removal because of their scaremongering. Many New Zealanders ...
    1 week ago
  • Democracy – I Don’t Think So
    So, those who “know best” have again done their worst. While constantly claiming to be the guardians of democracy and the constitution, and respecters of the 2016 referendum result, diehard Remainers (who have never brought themselves to believe that their advice could have been rejected) have striven might and main ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • Government says it will now build just one really nice home
    Following publication of this article, the Ministry has requested it to be noted that this supplied image is not necessarily representative of what the final house will look like, and it “probably won’t be that nice.” As part of today’s long-anticipated reset of the Government’s flagship KiwiBuild policy, Housing Minister ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Imperialism and your cup of coffee
    Over the next week or two we will be running three synopses of parts of the opening chapter of John Smith’s Imperialism in the 21st Century (New York, Monthly Review Press, 2016).  The synopsis and commentary below is written by Phil Duncan. Marx began Capital not with a sweeping historical ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Still juking the stats
    The State Services Commission and Ombudsman have released another batch of OIA statistics, covering the last six months. Request volumes are up, and the core public service is generally handling them within the legal timeframe, though this may be because they've learned to extend rather than just ignore things. And ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Hard News: Time for a New Deal: 25 years on
    In 1994, I was editing an ambitious street mag called Planet, from a fabled office at at 309 Karangahape Road. The thirteenth issue of the magazine was published in the winter of that year and its cover embodied a particularly ambitious goal: the end of cannabis prohibition.I wanted to do ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Not impressed
    KiwiBuild was one of the Ardern government's core policies. The government would end the housing crisis and make housing affordable again by building 100,000 new homes. Of course, it didn't work out like that: targets weren't met, the houses they did build were in the wrong place, and the whole ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Solar beats coal
    As the climate crisis escalates, it is now obvious that we need to radically decarbonise our economy. The good news is that its looking easy and profitable for the energy sector. Wind is already cheaper than fossil fuels, and now solar is too:The levellised cost of solar PV has fallen ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • A Step Too Far.
    A Crown Asset? For reasons relating to its own political convenience, the Crown pretends to believe that “No one owns the water.” To say otherwise would re-vivify the promises contained in the Treaty of Waitangi – most particularly those pertaining to the power of the chiefs and their proprietary rights ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Where Money Comes From
    Most people would say, no doubt, that they have a pretty good idea of what money is. They live with the reality of money every day. It is what is needed to buy the necessities of life and to maintain a decent standard of living. You get money, they would ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    2 weeks ago
  • Banned by the Green Party leadership: Jill Abigail on women’s rights and trans rights
    The article below was an opinion piece that appeared in the Spring 2019 issue of Te Awa (the NZ Green Party’s newsletter) and on the Greens website.  In keeping with their policy of hostility to women defending women’s right to female-only spaces, Green bureaucrats have since removed the opinion piece.  ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • The fallacy of the proximity argument.
    Longer term readers may remember my complaining that, as a political scientist, it is burdensome to have non-political scientists wanting to engage me about politics. No layperson would think to approach an astrophysicist and lecture him/her on the finer details of quarks and black holes, but everybody with an opinion ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    2 weeks ago
  • Where We Stood: Chris Trotter Replies To Stevan Eldred-Grigg.
    Joining The Fight: Stevan Eldred-Grigg's argument for New Zealand staying out of the Second World War fails not only on the hard-headed grounds of preserving the country’s strategic and economic interests; and not just on the soft-hearted grounds of duty and loyalty to the nation that had given New Zealand ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Universities back the climate strike
    On September 27, School Strike 4 Climate will be striking for a future to pressure the government for meaningful climate action. This time, they've asked adults to join them. And now, Lincoln University and Victoria University of Wellington have signed on:Victoria University of Wellington has joined Lincoln University in endorsing ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Another constitutional outrage
    Another day, another constitutional outrage in the UK. This time, the government is saying that if parliament passes a law to stop Brexit before being prorogued, they may just ignore it:A senior cabinet minister has suggested Boris Johnson could defy legislation to prevent a no-deal Brexit if it is forced ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Ending dairy in Canterbury
    Environment Canterbury has finally proposed nitrogen limits to stop dairy farmers from poisoning Christchurch's water supply. And naturally, farmers are whining about it:A proposed move by Environment Canterbury (ECan) to protect Christchurch's drinking water by setting tough – some would say, draconian – nitrate reductions in the decades ahead and ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Is National the party of climate arson?
    The Zero Carbon Bill is currently before select committee. While its targets are weak, its a generally sensible bill that promises to establish a long-term framework to guide emissions reductions. But National hasn't made up its mind on whether it will support it - and according to Andrea Vance in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Experts warn Harold the Giraffe “well past” typical giraffe life expectancy, may not have long
    Dum-de-doo. Children across New Zealand have known him for generations as the lovable giraffe who tells them to exercise, hydrate and not to shove lit cigarettes up their nostrils. But a world renowned giraffe expert says we shouldn’t be getting attached to Life Education’s Harold the Giraffe, as he is ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • August ’19 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
    Image credit: 22 BLOGGERS WITH ADVICE FOR RESEARCHERS AND EVALUATORS, ILLUSTRATED I notice a few regulars no longer allow public access to the site counters. This may happen accidentally when the blog format is altered. If your ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Bye, bye to the collusion lie
    Sums it up, really. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Opinion: Treat your car by buying extra petrol to snack on while you aren’t driving
    By Mike Hosking. Yesterday morning, I waltzed into work, and as I walked past the drones aggressively typing out news on the computers I’ve repeatedly asked to be moved further away from, I caught a glimpse of the words “climate change”, and noticed that suspiciously they weren’t in condescending quotation ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago

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