Dirty politics vs accountability – you can’t be smeared with the truth

Written By: - Date published: 8:48 am, August 20th, 2014 - 49 comments
Categories: accountability, blogs, brand key, john key, spin - Tags: , , , ,

Nicky Hager has exposed the inner workings of the National Party’s attack politics machine – all the way up to the PM’s office – for all to see.

Key has tied his brand to the mess by refusing to disown it. The only (weak) defense he can run is that it is all a “left-wing smear campaign”, that the political left does exactly the same, that it’s just the way things are, or (if pressed further) just a shrug and “ahh well”. Pathetic.

You can’t be smeared with the truth. And the narrative told in Dirty Politics is being substantiated by the original material being released by the Whaledump hacker. When it’s the truth, it’s called accountability (a point well made by Pete Hodgson on Morning Report today). When it’s the truth, it is keeping our politicians in line, for the good of us all.

Opposition parties and the media (now days including blogs) exist to hold the government to account. It is nonsense to equate this, as John Key does, with leaking private information, hacking in to unsecured systems to attack ordinary party members and donors (no public interest defense there), manipulating the OIA process and SIS files for political gain, rooting round for sexual dirt on one’s opponents, etc, etc, etc.

Accountability is not dirty politics. You can’t be smeared with the truth. John Key’s lines are as worthless as his promises of ministerial accountability.

49 comments on “Dirty politics vs accountability – you can’t be smeared with the truth”

  1. Enough is Enough 1

    Welcome back r0b

  2. Tracey 2

    thanks rOb

    And discussing the use of the labour party members list on a cross check with sex offenders list, is not innocent as Key suggests.

    • Lanthanide 2.1

      Pretty silly thing to try and blow up into a story, anyway, isn’t it? Parties don’t exactly do background checks on everyone that donates to them, and frankly it would be very disturbing if they did.

      Then again, we did have the same sort of crap just recently with Cunliffe having his photo taken with someone who apparently is a sexual offender, although their identity is “suppressed”.

      Should the media be asking who played a part in publicising that particular story? Without having looked, I’d guess that Whaleoil has a post covering it, if not “breaking” the story originally.

      • Tracey 2.1.1

        Agree. It gives an insight into the type of person slater etc are, and key and collins are sullied by indirectly defending him.

        • Pasupial 2.1.1.1

          The creepy thing about Cunliffe photo is that it was a previously National-associated person who was the alleged sex offender. Given the methods on display in Hager’s Dirty Politics, I wouldn’t be at all surprised if later an email is released to show; that Nat had been directed to seek the photo with Cunliffe, just to give their black-ops dept a target for that week. So either the offender would not have known why the photo was desired by their RW associates (duped), or coerced into the task by compromising information (blackmailed).

          Speculation – no evidence, apart from the sewer modus opperandi to date.

          • alwyn 2.1.1.1.1

            “Speculation – no evidence”
            Perhaps we should speculate on the reasons why Cunliffe approached the man. Perhaps he wanted advice on how to attract young people?
            Just speculation of course. Like you there is no evidence at all.
            Unlike you I don’t suggest that anyone should believe it.

            • Pasupial 2.1.1.1.1.1

              Alwyn

              “Speculation – no evidence, apart from the sewer modus opperandi to date” is the full statement (though I did incorrectly spell; operandi). Also, I did not say that I believed it to be the case, just that; “I wouldn’t be at all surprised if later an email is released” to confirm my conjecture. The evidence is in; Slater’s eagerness to muck rake, and the fact that the alleged sex-offender was once known as a National Party supporter (but is certainly more suggestive than conclusive)

              Your attempted counter fails because; Cunliffe has no history of knowingly consorting with sex offenders, and the individual approached him during a public appearance; not the other way around.

  3. Lanthanide 3

    Pete Hodgson neatly avoided responding to Guyon’s questions about the H-fee scandal.

    • dv 3.1

      Two points
      The Hfee was an investigation to discover if there was truth to the gossip.

      I recall seeing a copy of a/the signed hfee? doc and remember thinking the signature did have a close resemblance to Keys.

      • Enough is Enough 3.1.1

        dv

        Blubber boy uses the same excuse. Just correspondence between friends to see if there is truth to gossip.

        Its bullshit, dirty and distracts from the real game

  4. geoff 4

    The long term solution to all these problems is transparency.

  5. disturbed 5

    Good stuff Rob,

    Like you I could not keep quiet about these undermined attempts to destroy our Democracy.

    I produced a rough transcription of “Nixon in the Den” a reflection of Key’s antics are now so please take it and remark about the possible relationship if you may, or others. Sure we don’t use tapes now but the surveillance issues and stolen labour Party Documents and emails are the same today as the intent to injure and subvert the course of justice was then, and possibly worse now.
    I posted it on the sister blog “Politics doesn’t have to be dirty” also. (hope I don’t get trolled for it I worked hard to make it up.)

    History channel screening 19/8/14 release of “Nixon in the den” history

    Transcribed from the following, hard transcribing it word for word unless you can add to it someone.

    (not all was exactly word for word)

    except the introduction called “Near the end in 1974”.

    Spot the similarities.?

    History channel screening 19/8/14 release of the Nixon history

    Nixon in the den. – History Channel Tuesday 19th August 2014. Excerpts

    1972-74.

    “I’m not a crook”. Nixon 30th July 1973 was described as someone who wouldn’t quit.

    “He couldn’t resign as it would be an admission of guilt”.

    “Near the end in 1974”.

    To save himself the president had had to sacrifice most of the Key Aid’s that had been at his side since the beginning.

    Alderman & Eichmann were forced out.

    And he was loosing all authority..

    Nixon constantly harried in press conferences, about the tapes the cover-ups, and even his personal finance.

    “People have got to know whether their President is a crook or not, “well I’m not a crook”

    Now the lone ranger really was alone.

    Forced to release the self incriminating tapes and face imminent conviction, Nixon finally resigned.

    In August 1974.

    He told his staff in a tearful rambling farewell,

    “Never be petty, always remember others may hate you,

    But those who hate you don’t win, unless you hate them, and then you destroy yourself”

    The ultimate irony with his hate had become the adrenalin of the Nixon Presidency.

    The ambition & ruthlessness that had driven Nixon to the top had spiralled into a consuming rage and mistrust of others,

    That had indeed destroyed him.

    Nixon wasn’t the first President nor will he be the last to end his tenure compromised.

    The relentless pressures of office drilled down to the venerable heart of the incumbent..

    Exposed it to the media’s remorseless gaze.

    END OF “Near the end in 1974”.

    Background of Richard Nixon.

    Described as “He was also a warm liable guy”

    Frank his father was a violent father, and mother showed no love, as a cold person so Richard grew up as a withdrawn person always desperate for success.

    Gloomy guy he was coined as at university.

    Nixon wanted to always make decisions in private.

    He wanted to remain as a leader of the world.

    Henry Kissinger was saying he didn’t enjoy people.

    Like as an extravert in an introvert body.

    Hard work was his forte.

    Gloomy guy he was coined as at University.

    He devoured History books.

    Loved Abraham Lincoln.

    He imagined he was a philosopher President, and he wanted to Shape the world.

    Nixon developed a relationship with USSR & China.

    He believed an opening to China was the way forward.

    The world cannot be safe with China on the outside.

    Nixon would on his first day in white house was to handwrite a plan to rewrite the future of the world with China included.

    “Nixon had early on learnt dirty tactics to win his first Presidential win”.

    “He was ruthless, and loathed East Coast rich establishment.”

    “Nixon’s background was to get his way because as a child he was left out of life with others”. .

    Nixon hated the media. He was going to screw over the press when he got into power.

    As a governor of California, he left on bad terms.

    He planned to come back and was then a ruthless mover to call himself as a saviour of the silent majority, when the Vietnam war becoming unpopular.

    He began a campaign as a nice guy but behind the scenes he arm-twisted any one to get his way he was using shady tactics to win.

    As president he had to resolve Vietnam then get on with China and Russia.

    Nixon was the key to success in politics’

    He engineered a backchannel, a spy network.

    Nixon was upset Kissinger was getting the limelight.

    Nixon used Backchannel operations and covert operations on everything he did as an advantage.

    Bugging and recording everyone, he ordered high security operations in1972.

    He was always with a smile and a tough talker but soft on face

    Kissinger went to Russia and arms and trade deal becoming first to break the cold war.

    1972 Nixon won the election after Kissinger’s plan for Russian deal and Nixon was upset because Kissinger got the credit.

    Nixon got resentful and paranoid so Nixon taped all calls, and eventually got himself in trouble for this.

    Then Nixon’s obsession with spying on everyone got him caught when after the election, the results of a court case in Washington revelled some plumbers were convicted.

    Five men were caught trying to bug the opposition Democratic Political Party’s headquarters offices.

    Nixon in response to the Democratic Party H.Q. break-in news break Nixon dismissed it as “Overzealous people always overdo things during election time!”

    Nixon had actually tried to cover it up it up. The tapes they found did place him as part of the plot.

    He may not have known Watergate at the time of the election.

    His response when they found the incriminating tapes was “We’ll get them on the fields and crush them.”

    The beginning of Nixon’s paranoia with taping everything begun after Nixon was paranoid that everyone was out to get him so Nixon in June 1972 ordered a tightening of security and surveillance was part of this plan.

    He was fending off the impeachment enquiry that tied him to the tapes showing he was part of the plan to bug the Democratic party’s HQ..

    His advisors found that we found Nixon was running himself down and drinking heavily.

    A fighter he ploughed on, and sealed his own fate with his crime with his own tapes.

    Nixon 30th July 1973 was described as someone who wouldn’t quit.” He couldn’t resign as it would be an admission of guilt”.

    • alwyn 5.1
      1. “Near the end in 1974.

        To save himself the president had had to sacrifice most of the Key Aid’s that had been at his side since the beginning.
        Alderman & Eichmann were forced out.”

      2. “As a governor of California, he left on bad terms.

      I thought this might be of interest but I wouldn’t take much notice of the quotes on it.
      I’ve just noted a couple of items, that jumped out as being wrong.
      1. Their names were Haldeman and Erlichman NOT Alderman and Eichmann and they resigned in April 1973, not 1974.

      1. Nixon was never Governor of California. He ran for the position in 1962 but lost (to the father of the present Governor incidentally).
      • disturbed 5.1.1

        alwyn,

        Thanks for the corrections .

        We will fix those as some words on transcript come muffled,,

        What was he in California, a senator or congressman?

        The recording said he stepped down there and vowed to return.

        • alwyn 5.1.1.1

          I didn’t read the whole thing. They were just a couple of items that jumped out.
          Nixon was a elected as a Congressman in 1946, re-elected 1948 and elected as a Senator in 1950. He was then Vice-President from 1953 to 1961 and was defeated for President in the 1960 election.
          He ran for Governor in 1962 but lost. At the time he lambasted the Press and announced that this was his last press conference. He then moved to New York. He was elected President in 1968, and re-elected in 1972. He was described by Haldeman as the “strangest man he had ever met” and by Kissinger as “the oddest man he had ever met”.
          Incidentally I think he was “Gloomy Gus” not “Gloomy guy” at college.
          He claimed to have been nicknamed “Iron Butt” in Law school for how long he spent studying in the Law Library.
          He was, whatever you thought of him, a truly fascinating character.

          • disturbed 5.1.1.1.1

            Alwyn,

            Me being 70 now I went to Canada in 1968 and saw a great deal of him as you could imagine with cable TV into US channels then I did learn a great deal abut his character and actually would as a human being warm and sensitive I took to him.

            Most interesting about him was the media I recall was always rabbiting on about whether he was aggressive and strong enough to run global affairs after Kennedy Johnston era and being from a Quaker family background many saw him too weak.

            I feel sorry when sitting there as the Watergate break-in permeated the hourly news like the latter O J Simpson murder case did.

            I truly did not think he was capable of what was written about him, but what bare we to believe today with very few watchdog agencies to watch the Government?

            N.Z is looking a lot like wild west politics nowadays to me, and if we are to save what our forefathers fought and died for surely we should clean up this dirty politics no matter which side it comes from.

            Before I leave this world I want to be remembered as a good steward of our precious democracy and freedom my past folks left for us.

            Time us gatekeepers pay it forward.

  6. Travis 6

    This entire episode will become notorious in the future. It will be the subject of many thesis and used as a case study by many as to strategic reactions to crises. JK ‘ s response is being shown daily to be dissapating into thin air. Strategically he has made a in all likelihood career ending cock up. Not just for himself but a fair few others. On the other side of the coin whoever obtained the info has shown a strategic mastery. Allowed a book to be published generally describing the content, then predictably Jk has responded as per standard, in effect callingout the content as lies and challenging the source. This has given the source the mandate (from Key himself) to then have no choice butto back up his claims with the raw evidence – the raw evidence will alwayslook far worse in actuality than the book would ever present. Theres a reason we allow silence to an accused – the raw ugly truth always looksworse than a sanitised description. And now 7 days in, the lead item on everynewsbulletin, on every hour, (and those half hourly updates) is leading with the latestturn of events on dirty politics. That is a lot of news bulletins. And by challenging the source jk now has to go to bed each night only wondering what will be the headline tomorrow in the herald….because each day for the next month there will be a new headline, and a new fire to put it out. A strategic blunder of epic proportionon one side, but a masterclass in strategy from the other. This reactive policy will be historically used by many as the exact example of not what to do.

    • cogito 6.1

      Assassins – even smiling ones – eventually have to face the music… and when they do, it’s not pretty, as Key has demonstrated.

  7. Tom Bradford 7

    For any among you still wondering why Key doesn’t hold Collins accountable and sack her, wake up and smell the sewage. Key can’t spend all his time claiming Hager’s book is just an insubstantial smear campaign and then give it credibility by sacking a senior minister because of it. He’s damned if he does and damned if he doesn’t, otherwise known as karma.

    Key is a narcissist. He is Prime Minister purely to serve his ego. Any service he provides for New Zealanders and New Zealand is purely a side-effect. Had there been a real possibility he might lose the election his ego would have required him to resign in order to ‘make way for a successor’ who could then take responsibility for the loss.

    Hager’s book has closed off that option. If he resigns now it will be seen as admitting its truth, yet if he loses the election now his ego will have to bear the responsibility for snatching defeat, and an ignominious and disgraceful one to boot, from what appeared to be the jaws of certain victory only a few days ago.. His ego would find that intolerable and so winning the election has become almost a life-and-death matter for Key, for to a narcissist the ‘ego’ is co-extensive with the ‘self’ and damage to Key’s ego is as painful to him as damage to his self. Expect him, therefore, to fight with every underhand means at his disposal, not for the National Party or because he believes he offers the better path for the Country’s future, but for his own-self image. It could get very nasty.

    And if he wins despite this set-back his already obscenely-inflated ego will only be re-inforced and further aggrandised – and I very much fear that instead of the fatherly, benevolent Augustus we’ve had for the last few years, we would find ourselves with a Nero. I sincerely hope (and suspect) there are some in the National Party who also see this, and who might not be above tapping him on the ankles during the next few weeks in order to bring him down and perhaps open the door on their own advancement at the cost of a term in opposition.

    Key will be hoping that four weeks is long enough for this to fade from the memories of the great New Zealand public and I wouldn’t bet against that given the support he still seems to have from the blinkered and the gullible, but hopefully Kim DotCom’s Great Revelation still to come will also serve to revive memories of this and make Key’s position untenable.

    • outofbed 7.1

      What he said

    • disturbed 7.2

      “We can legitimately call Key the Nixon factor” since Key resides also in the US state of Hawaii.

      Nixon 30th July 1973 was described as someone who wouldn’t quit.” He couldn’t resign as it would be an admission of guilt”

  8. Hami Shearlie 8

    Welcome back Mr Robbins!

  9. Tracey 9

    IMO this book is most likely to be seen impacting the undecided who intend voting.

  10. alwyn 10

    “You can’t be smeared with the truth”
    Why is Phil Goff so unhappy then? He goes on about how the Government, and Key in particular, were out to smear him regarding his denial that he had been briefed about the Israeli’s in Christchurch.
    When Key said that Goff had been briefed he denied it, and kept on denying it.
    He had of course had a proper briefing and evidence for this was released under Slater’s OIA request.
    Why is Goff therefore claiming foul play. After all, saying that the briefing took place was the truth and no smear of Goff ever happened.

    There was, of course a smear involving Goff. He claimed that Don Brash had told the US that the nuclear ship ban would “be gone by lunchtime”. The material in the WikiLeaks affair showed that it never happened as the US officials at the time said that no such comment was made. That was a smear of course as Goff simply made it up and it wasn’t the truth.

    • framu 10.1

      “Why is Phil Goff so unhappy then?”

      because the nats abused their positions of power to both expedite and direct the OIAs and chose their pet attack dog to out him instead of going through the proper channels.

      They used a public forum to attack him where he had no real right of reply

      do you really need that to be pointed out?

      • wtl 10.1.1

        Exactly. If alwyn had read the book, he would note that Hager does not call the attack against Goff a smear, in fact he doesn’t even make any judgment about whether or not Goff deserved the attack or not. He merely uses it as an example to show how the Key (the minister in charge of the SIS) is willing to use the likes of Slater to attack political opponents.

        • alwyn 10.1.1.1

          If you had read my comment you would have noted that I never actually mentioned Hager at all. I only commented on GOFF being all uptight on the matter.
          Apart from that I have included, just below this, a reference to the Director of the SIS saying that Key’s office had nothing to do with the release of the material.

          • wtl 10.1.1.1.1

            Meh, of course Goff is upset about the abuse of power by Key and others, framu already said this so didn’t feel the need to repeat it. I don’t really understand why you are trying to divert this thread to be about what Goff thinks.

            • alwyn 10.1.1.1.1.1

              I found the claim in the heading “you can’t be smeared with the truth” as being totally at odds with Phil Goff’s complaints that he IS being smeared when all that was released about him was the truth.

              • framu

                goff has been cosistantly clear about what has upset him – did you not hear the radio interviews?

      • alwyn 10.1.2

        You, along with Hager and Goff might like to claim this but the Director of the SIS, a very senior, respected and neutral public servant says it isn’t so.
        http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11310735
        Now just why do you refuse to believe her?

        • joe90 10.1.2.1

          Kitteridge wasn’t director at the time.

          • wtl 10.1.2.1.1

            As pointed out above, Kitteridge wasn’t director at the time. Therefore, she would only have information that is recorded in the official file, and no knowledge of any unofficial requests.

          • ScottGN 10.1.2.1.2

            Exactly.

        • Blue 10.1.2.2

          Probably because she didn’t even work for the SIS at the time.

          That ‘assurance’ by the SIS is funny, because if the SIS is claiming it was all them, Key had nothing to do with it, then that means the SIS is accusing themselves of leaking information to Slater.

          Slater somehow knew that his OIA would be approved, that it had been expedited, that it would hurt Goff and roughly when the information would arrive, all well before time.

          Someone fed him that information, and if the SIS is so intent on protecting Key, that means they are claiming it was them.

          • ghostwhowalksnz 10.1.2.2.1

            The GCSB made all sorts of assurances initially and the Inspector general backed them up: until it was found to be a crock of lies.

            But back to what the SIS have said: Kitteridge hasnt said anything its a “spokesman”

            This evening an SIS spokesman said the director was “responsible for NZ SIS Official Information Act responses and made the decision to release and what to release in this case”.

            “Under the no surprises convention the director or a representative would normally inform the minister’s office about what is being released under the OIA.

            “That’s what occurred in this case. Neither the PM or his office expressed a view as to whether the information should be released or to whom or when.”

            The real point is that the essence of the OIA came from the PMs office. This is not denied

            Slater was guided in what to ask and got a quick answer while others didnt. This is not denied.

            The interesting thing would be if Key himself ( verbally) asked Tucker was Goff briefed as it seems outside the convention to declassify something in order to embarrass an opposition MP.

            Everybody else, apart from Slater would have been told we dont release briefings on classified material

            • Blue 10.1.2.2.1.1

              The interesting thing would be if Key himself ( verbally) asked Tucker was Goff briefed as it seems outside the convention to declassify something in order to embarrass an opposition MP.

              That’s exactly what happened. Key went on Q&A and said “I personally didn’t brief him [Goff], but my understanding from the director of SIS, Warren Tucker, is that he was briefed and he was shown the same note and report that I saw.”

              http://tvnz.co.nz/q-and-a-news/john-key-interview-transcript-4321301

              Tucker’s letter back to Slater said they wouldn’t normally release such information, but they were making an exception because the existence of the briefing and some of the content was already in the public domain. The person who put that information in the public domain was Key. After speaking to Tucker.

              Trap was baited, all they needed was an OIA with the right wording. And they got it. Funny that.

            • alwyn 10.1.2.2.1.2

              “This is not denied” you say.
              I suppose I could say the Joe Bloggs (insert any politician’s name you like), has never denied that he is a paedophile. Presumably you would regard this as evidence that he is?

              Blue says
              “Trap was baited, all they needed was an OIA with the right wording. And they got it.”
              If Phil hadn’t lied about it he wouldn’t have had the slightest problem, would he.

              Actually Phil’s real problem was that he basically accused a public servant of breaching his statutory duty to brief the Leader of the Opposition. I don’t think any senior public servant would take kindly to being accused of not carrying out his duties.

        • framu 10.1.2.3

          you asked why goff was unhappy – all i did was explain why – he said as much in radio interviews

          everything beyond that is a different question answer process

          what were you saying about not reading comments again?

  11. disturbed 11

    Alwyn you said; “you along with Hager and Goff might like to claim this but the Director of the SIS, a very senior, respected and neutral public servant says it isn’t so.”

    Bollocks; No rose coloured spectacles please.

    Me thinks we all know now that the Nat’s were engaged in a campaign of backdoor smearing using any means possible to silence any one dissenting against any Nat’s policy.

    Same shit Nixon was involved in.

    We can imagine what they all felt like when any small anonymous email or tipoff came to any brave Journalist, civil servant or opposition M;P who dared to speak against what was seen by them to be wrongdoing.

    I wont elaborate but you all know what that word is for that form of coercion in a democracy right.

    Time for those to come out of the shadows and spill the beans now.

  12. KJS0ne 12

    An important point: Hager didn’t release a lot of information that was included in the emails. He states in the preface that he decided much of it wasn’t in the public interest, stuff about relationships and sexual relations etc. Stuff that would no doubt be embarrassing to those it was about. Here Hager has seperated himself from the mileau, shown journalistic integrity and a moral compass.

    Interesting that the same would most certainly not be the case had the shoe been on the other foot, the leak from Labour and the emails given to Slater – Who time and time again has thrown dirt on his enemies by digging into their history of sexual relations.

    • disturbed 12.1

      ++++++++20

    • ianmac 12.2

      No Right Turn says that the current drop of emails contain personal stuff and he hopes that part is not published. As opposed to Nicky’s wish that no personal stuff is published.

    • Alistair Connor 12.3

      KJS : Yes, but it’s possible that the whaledumper may not have exactly the same scruples as Hager. It’s really too early to tell, isn’t it? Perhaps if the situation warrants it, and there is something really ugly that can’t be revealed without crossing that line… This is what is keeping the Nats awake at night.

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    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    1 day 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
    1 day 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
    1 day 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
    1 day 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
    2 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
    2 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
    2 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
    2 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
    2 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
    2 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 ...
    3 days 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
    3 days 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 ...
    3 days 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
    3 days 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
    3 days 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 ...
    3 days ago
  • Something to go to in Wellington
    Make It 16, the youth-led campaign to lower New Zealand's voting age, is holding an official campaign launch at Parliament this Friday from 16:30. If you'd like to attend, you can register using EventBrite here. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • A founding member responds to Peace Action Wellington
    by Don Franks It was a lovely sunny Wellington afternoon with blue skies above  the beaches.  In Courtenay Place, political activists packed out a stuffy upstairs room for an important meeting. The assembled pacifists, anarchists, communists and independent young radicals of Peace Action Wellington felt the need for a mission ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    3 days ago
  • “Mistakes and errors”
    Current and former NZDF top brass are being publicly grilled this week by the hit and run inquiry over their public responses to allegations of civilian casualties. Previously, they've claimed there were no casualties, a position which led them to lie to Ministers and to the public. Now, they're saying ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • “Homosexuality is same-sex attraction and relationships, not heterosexuals with delusions of gende...
    by Rafael D. Quiles (gender-critical gay man from Puerto Rico) The writing on the wall is right in people’s faces and people just don’t see it or don’t want to. What could actually possess a heterosexual male to want to feminize himself and claim that he is a lesbian? Because ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    4 days ago
  • Trump: “Where’s my favourite dictator?”
    From the Wall Street Journal:Inside a room of the ornately decorated Hotel du Palais during last month’s Group of Seven summit in Biarritz, France, President Trump awaited a meeting with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi. Mr. Trump looked over a gathering of American and Egyptian officials and called out in ...
    4 days ago
  • Magdalen Burns, 1983-2019, fighter for women’s liberation
    by the Redline blog collective At Redline we are very saddened to hear of the death of Magdalen Burns who passed away on the morning of Friday, September 13 (British time). Magdalen was a great fighter for the rights of women in general and lesbian women in particular, a defender ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    5 days ago
  • Parliament and the Executive
    The Brexit issue has certainly brought with it a series of apparently difficult constitutional issues, many of them concerning the respective roles of the executive and parliament. Most of them arise because of the unwillingness of MPs, despite their professions to the contrary, to be bound by a constitutional rarity ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    6 days ago
  • The Abigail Article; Martyn Bradbury’s Article, and My Response
    . . This blogpost is different to my usual format of reporting on issues… Since July 1011, I have blogged on a variety of political issues; near always political and/or environmental; mostly highly critical of the previous National Government. Other issues included Israeli occupation of Palestinian lands and repression of ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    6 days ago
  • Police will have to wear silly Buckingham Palace hats from now on, says Police Minister
    Those close to the Police Minister believe the initiative may be the result of Nash “seeing a great deal” on AliExpress. In a move that comes seemingly out of nowhere, Police Minister Stuart Nash announced this afternoon that he expects all frontline staff to don bearskin hats, famously worn by ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    6 days ago
  • A sensible crackdown
    The government has released its Arms Legislation Bill, containing the second tranche of changes to gun laws following the March 15 massacre. And it all looks quite sensible: a national gun register, higher penalties for illegal possession and dealing, tighter restrictions on arms dealers and shooting clubs, and a shorter ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • California bans private prisons
    Private prisons are a stain on humanity. Prison operators explicitly profit from human misery, then lobby for longer prisons terms so they can keep on profiting. And in the US, prison companies run not only local and state prisons, but also Donald Trump's immigration concentration camps. Faced with this moral ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Why PPPs are a bad idea
    When National was in power, they were very keen on Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) - basicly, using private companies to finance public infrastructure as a way of hiding debt from the public. They were keen on using them for everything - roads, schools, hospitals. But as the UK shows, that "service" ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • A Movement That No Longer Moves.
    Moving And Shaking: There was a time when people spoke matter-of-factly about the “labour movement” – a political phenomenon understood to embrace much more than the Labour Party. Included within the term’s definition was the whole trade union movement – many of whose members looked upon the Labour Party as ...
    7 days ago
  • NZ ‘left’ politically embracing extreme postmodernism
    by Philip Ferguson Much of the left, even people who formally identify as marxists, have collapsed politically in the face of postmodern gender theory of the sort pioneered by American philosopher Judith Butler. For Butler even biological sex is socially constructed. “If the immutable character of sex is contested, perhaps ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week 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
    1 week ago
  • Philippines activist speaking on the Duterte tyranny
    Auckland Philippines Solidarity is excited to host Professor Judy Taguiwalo for a speaking tour of NZ in September. She is a well-known activist in the Philippines and was a political prisoner under the Marcos dictatorship. Professor Taguiwalo briefly served as a Cabinet member under President Duterte but was forced from ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Disgust
    I have no special insights to offer on the Labour sexual assault coverup. All I have is disgust. Disgust that an organisation could fail its people so badly. Disgust that they punished the victims rather than the perpetrator. Disgust that its party hacks are apparently blaming the victims for demanding ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Speak Up for Women calls out Greens’ censorship
    This open letter to the Green Party was penned after an opinion piece by Jill Abigail, a feminist and founding member of the party, was censored by the Greens’ leadership. (Redline has reprinted her article here).The intolerance of the Green Party leaders and their acceptance of the misogyny of gender ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Member’s Day: End of Life Choice, part 3
    Today is a Member's day, and David Seymour's End of Life Choice Bill continues its slow crawl through its committee stage. They're spending the whole day on it today, though the first hour is likely to be spent on voting left over from last time. After that they'll move on ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Flight to Los Angeles turned back after passengers decide they don’t want to go anymore
    An ambitious plan to fly to Los Angeles petered out into a brief sight-seeing trip and a desire to return home and get some sleep before work tomorrow. Air New Zealand has confirmed a flight to Los Angeles last night was turned back about a quarter of the way into ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Indigenous Futures: defuturing and futuring – an analytical framework for policy development?
    There appears to be consensus – by omission – that the concept of indigenous futures should be accepted at face value. So I scavenged the internet to see if I could locate an academic descriptor or a framework around how we think about it as a concept, and whether it ...
    EllipsisterBy Ellipsister
    1 week ago
  • Cadbury rumoured to be releasing the Pineapple Trump
    Here’s another novelty chocolate to shove in your gob, New Zealand Cadbury could be seeking to make itself great again with a rumoured new release: Pineapple Trumps, a spin on its classic chocolate-encased pineapple treat and do-it-yourself tooth remover. The global confectionery manufacturer and bumbling “before” character in an infomercial, ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • The coming resource war.
    During my time in the Pentagon I had the privilege of sitting down with military leaders and defence and security officials from a variety of Latin American nations. Sometimes I was present as a subordinate assistant to a senior US defence department official, sometimes as part of a delegation that ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Māori Language Week with The Civilian
    Kia ora, Aotearoa. It’s that magical time of year. Te Wiki o te Reo Māori. In English, the week that frightens talk radio. As you probably know by now, all your favourite media outlets are participating, some more successfully than others. Stuff has changed its name to Puna for the ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Will Horizons act on climate change?
    Local body elections are coming up next month. And it looks like all Palmerston North candidates for Horizons (the Manawatu-Whanganui Regional Council) want to take action on climate change:Climate change is set to be a key issue in Palmerston North for the next three years if those wanting to get ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • BORA reform is stalled
    Eighteen months ago, the government promised to strengthen the Bill of Rights Act, by explicitly affirming the power of the courts to issue declarations of inconsistency and requiring Parliament to formally respond to them. So how's that going? I was curious, so I asked for all advice about the proposal. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Corbyn and Brexit
    As the Brexit saga staggers on, the focus is naturally enough on the Prime Minister and his attempts to achieve Brexit “do or die”. But the role played by the Leader of the Opposition is of almost equal interest and complexity. The first problem for Jeremy Corbyn is that he ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • A ditch for him to die in
    Last week, English Prime Minister Boris Johnson boldly declared that he would rather die be dead in a ditch than delay Brexit. Unfortunately for him, the UK parliament accepted the challenge, and promptly dug one for him. The "rebellion bill" requires him to ask for and secure yet another temporary ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Warning! Warning! Danger Jacinda Ardern! Danger Marama Davidson! Warning!
    Lost In Political Space: The most important takeaway from this latest Labour sexual assault scandal, which (if I may paraphrase Nixon’s White House counsel’s, John Dean’s, infamous description of Watergate) is “growing like a cancer” on the premiership, is the Labour Party organisation’s extraordinary professional paralysis in the face of ...
    1 week ago
  • Union solidarity with Ihumatao land occupation
    by Daphna Whitmore Every Sunday for the past two months unionists from First Union, with supporters from other unions, have set out to the Ihumatao land protest, put up gazebos and gas barbeques, and cooked food for a few hundred locals and supporters who have come from across the country. ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: The wrong kind of trees?
    Newsroom today has an excellent, in-depth article on pine trees as carbon sinks. The TL;DR is that pine is really good at soaking up carbon, but people prefer far-less efficient native forests instead. Which is understandable, but there's two problems: firstly, we've pissed about so long on this problem that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • No freedom of speech in Turkey
    Canan Kaftancioglu is a Turkish politician and member of the opposition Republican People's Party (CHP). Like most modern politicians, she tweets, and uses the platform to criticise the Turkish government. She has criticised them over the death of a 14-year-old boy who was hit by a tear gas grenade during ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Speaker: Tadhg Stopford: Why I’m standing for the ADHB
    Hi there, just call me Tim.We face tough problems, and I’d like to help, because there are solutions.An Auckand District Health Board member has nominated me for as a candidate for the ADHB, because her MS-related pain and fatigue is reduced with hemp products from Rotorua.  Nothing else helped her. If I ...
    1 week ago
  • Good little vassals
    The Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security has published their report on whether the SIS and GCSB had any complicity in American torture. And its damning. The pull quote is this:The Inquiry found both agencies, but to a much greater degree, the NZSIS, received many intelligence reports obtained from detainees who, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks 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 ...
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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 ...
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks ago

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