Does John Key still want us to emulate Ireland?

Written By: - Date published: 8:40 am, November 24th, 2010 - 33 comments
Categories: Economy, john key - Tags:

Reading the news on the current plight of the Irish with a economy in a tailspin and a tottering government. I can but reflect that it was a bloody good thing that the National party wasn’t in power after 1999.

For instance, John Key as recently as 2008 was praising the fragile economic model that Ireland followed. Quite simply acting as a service industry center for Europe is something that can be shut down and moved when the business slows. Anything reliant on that type of business also shuts down. This is why the number of real estate people rises and falls depending on the state of the main economy. It is also why Ireland is in the shite.

Personally I’d prefer NZ to be in businesses that actually make things or have a serious level of intellectual property involved in their businesses. The income doesn’t tend to go up as spectacularly being a real estate agent or other similar service economies. But it also doesn’t get cut back the way that the Irish economy has been when their customers aren’t spending on luxuries.

Unlike Irish government, NZ under Labour kept building the capabilities of our economy to its current state of resilience. Of course NACT are in power now and they prefer the short-term solutions of being real estate agents rather than doing the hard work. I wonder what disaster their tugboat is dragging us to.

Here is Steve Pierson on the John Key and his evident idiocy of the recent past.

Key’s plan for NZ to require lots of tug-boats

From Key’s speech to the NZ Institute of Foreign Affairs on emulating the “Celtic Tiger”:

Thirty years ago, Ireland was a total basket case. Today, it has all of the trappings of a considerable economic success story, including the capacity to attract and retain smart, educated, enterprising people.
three key policy initiatives which were critical to this success:

  • They got the tax rates down to really competitive levels.
  • They got infrastructure, especially communications infrastructure, up to an impressive standard, and
  • They made sure the educational institutions were turning out graduates of the high standard demanded by the sectors that were seen as their areas of competitive advantage.

But the most important point is this: all these initiatives were deliberately targeted at leveraging off their most important strategic asset their location on the edge of the European Union.
Leave aside some of the EU subsidies that someone will mention if I do not the secret to Ireland’s success was location, location, location
And that, surely, must be the key to New Zealand’s economic success in the years ahead.

Ok first, you can’t “leave aside” the fact that Ireland’s had EU injections of several billion euros per annum into its infrastructure for 30 years, they’re worth 5% of Irish GDP each year.

But, more importantly, is Key really saying we should emulate Ireland by being on the edge of the EU? To be fair, he’s what he’s saying isn’t that stupid, its more so:

..If we, sitting on the rim of the fastest growing region on the planet, cannot turn that geographical advantage into a significant economic success story, we have only ourselves to blame.
Ireland made much of its location on the edge of Europe to fuel the economic revolution we have seen there, and I believe New Zealand can do much the same in relation to its proximity to Asia

But we are not proximate to Asia like Ireland is to Europe. It’s 10806 bloody kilometres to Beijing. And guess what? It’s only 8275km from Dublin to Beijing.

Key’s a fool if he thinks we are in a position analogous to Ireland. Without its massive advantages in EU subsidies and proximity to markets, adopting Ireland’s high expenditure/low revenue model doesn’t make sense. We should not run our economic policy based on other country’s conditions. What does Key plan to do, move New Zealand closer to China?

33 comments on “Does John Key still want us to emulate Ireland?”

  1. prism 1

    I have an Irish relation. Talking to him about the present problems there his reaction was that he was proud of the benefits and the standard of living that the Irish people have achieved. I mentioned the input from the EUs agricultural policy but he was dismissive saying that was decades ago. The incentives to businesses to locate there, which may be revealed to be fair-weather friends, and the familiar speculative boom in housing were worth a mention also, but I didn’t bother. I don’t waste time arguing with people whose minds are closed on a subject.

    When things are booming along it seems that there aren’t too many questions about the sustainability even from people who are self-employed and consider themselves wise in business matters and the world as he does. His answer on where to point the finger was that the banks were at fault.

    • lprent 1.1

      The major problem is that the economy there has a lot less diversity in its earnings than NZ has. Most of the recent businesses appear to be service industries for European businesses – mostly based around service call centres from what I can see. At least that is what my Irish contacts are saying.

      The problem with those for a country is that they are on the first round of cuts in a recession. Not a particularly good thing to be reliant on. The pattern of failure in Ireland looks a lot like what happens to our real estate companies whenever the recession hits.

  2. john 2

    http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article26799.htm
    http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article26888.htm
    http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article26889.htm
    http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article26890.htm
    http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article26872.htm
    http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article26855.htm
    http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article26856.htm
    Above are very good articles on the incredible Irish Financial mess.From what I have read,living standards really did increase when foreign companies,including manufacturing moved to Ireland so as to get special benefits to trade with the EU due to placement within the EU.Irish workers got much higher wages. Like here people think the road to wealth is property investment and the private banks went berserk borrowing money at interest and lending it out for a property boom bubble which went to crazy heights with a house for example increasing over 500% in just 10 years! As Irish wages increased manufacturing (Good ole NeoLiberal economics!) started relocating to cheaper wage level areas such as Poland! At a point no one could pay the crazy prices for property anymore and the whole shebang collapsed and the speculators couldn’t(Stashed money overseas or in the wife’s account and declared bankrupt!) or wouldn’t pay the banks what they owed. The foreign investors are guilty too for oversupplying the Paddies too much financial Guiness causing them too get plastered out of their skulls and eventually to wake up with a massive morning after hangover–the foreign money suppliers should pay for their irresponsibility!
    But more disaster, The Irish Government(Members of whom) were probably cashing in on the property drunken fiesta of all time got really stupid and betrayed their own people by guaranteeing the private banks private speculative debt (Which was all about getting rich as quick as a Leprechaun(Government being the hapless Leprechaun here!) will show the pot of Gold location when you put the squeeze on him!) owed to other speculators overseas who should now be taking a haircut–This is the immoral side,Why should ordinary people have to pay for the get rich speculators when they fall off their trolley!!? Answer they shouldn’t!
    They could still default and get out of the euro and tell the IMF(financial Nazi squad)and Eu lending bailout agency to leave Ireland pronto:they should!

    • john 2.1

      More comment on Ireland’s NeoLiberal unregulated greed driven high speed financial crash which Patrick Paddy will have to pay for!

      Government’s destruction of Ireland is complete
      http://www.sbpost.ie/commentandanalysis/governments-destruction-of-ireland-is-complete-52951.html

      We were bought and sold for Europe’s gold
      http://www.sbpost.ie/commentandanalysis/we-were-bought-and-sold-for-europes-gold-52972.html
      the dogma of individualism began eradicating Irish society’s old communal ties and, increasingly buffeted by hurricane-force free-marketism, we began to shrink our society until it became a mere economy. On the way down, citizens became mere consumers as the marketers grew increasingly arrogant in their demands.
      Look at what happened in a single generation to Irish obesity levels and look at the profound alcohol crisis that has been inflicted on our society.

      The constituency office of a senior Irish minister was targeted by vandals overnight.
      Several windows were smashed and the word “TRAITORS” was written with red spray paint across the front of the premises of Transport Minister Noel Dempsey.
      http://www.independent.ie/national-news/dempseys-office-vandalised-2432456.html

      • john 2.1.1

        Ireland’s NeoLiberal Train Wreck leads to following consequences:

        A direct and inevitable consequence of this catastrophe will be deepening inequality and, as a direct consequence, the premature deaths of many people.

        I am not talking about merely suicide and mental illness; I am talking about the phenomenon where, in unequal societies, people in the lower echelons of the social pyramid die prematurely – in Ireland’s case, about 5,000 of them annually.
        Of course, there will be more suicides and more terrible tragedies arising from the conscious neglect of the mental health services. The public refusal to acknowledge the consequences of an unequal society is part of the denial that is endemic to our political culture.
        Elsewhere the front gates of the Irish parliament were blocked by a cement truck in September as politicians returned after their lengthy summer recess. The words “Toxic Bank Anglo” were written in red letters along the barrel of the truck.
        Here is an example of capitalism, not just bankrupting us, but killing us off as well.

        • Colonial Viper 2.1.1.1

          You better tell it to people who give a damn, the capitalist system has no place on the ledger to tally for avoidable deaths, just for return on capital invested.

    • prism 2.2

      They would be afraid to do that John. I would anyway and worry that I wouldn’t even have a potato to bless myself with.

      • Draco T Bastard 2.2.1

        Then they need to ask the simple question: Can they feed themselves? If they can then defaulting on their debt isn’t actually a problem.

    • john 2.3

      http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article26909.htm
      http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article26910.htm
      Ireland being sucked off into IMF and EU debt Peonage.
      Answer!? Irish taxpayers should not bail out corrupt Irish banks and money grubbing Brit and German Banks who need desperately a BIG financial haircut!!! The PEOPLE must not pay for CAPITAL’s Casino bets gone wrong!!!

  3. James Stephenson 3

    Luckily NZ under Labour didn’t have a currency to adopt that was dominated by economies completely out of step with our own.

    It’s instructive to look back at the warnings that UK opponents of the Euro gave and see how they’ve come to pass in Ireland.

    • Bright Red 3.1

      I haven’t seen a single source that blames this on the Euro. The UK’s in nearly as deep shit, it’s just lucky its banks didn’t take such huge bad bets as the Irish ones did.

      • James Stephenson 3.1.1

        Here’s one from back at the beginning of October (seeing as how you probably wouldn’t accept anything said by a conservative politician):

        http://www.cityam.com/news-and-analysis/allister-heath/how-the-euro-caused-ireland%E2%80%99s-crisis

        • Zorr 3.1.1.1

          That guys argument boils down to “because we couldn’t control our own currency it made our high growth unstable”

          No you frakkin moron. Your unsustainable high growth made your high growth unstable. The Euro just compounded this.

        • Bright Red 3.1.1.2

          the ECB rates didn’t cause the credit to flood into Ireland. We had one here too because our rates were high relative to the rest of the world, and an Ireland with the Punt would have had the same problems as we had.

          No, what caused Ireland’s problems was a lack of controls on the finance sector and lending that allowed banks to use all that cheap capital to create the mother of all housing bubbles, which was pricked by the oil price spike.

          • Colonial Viper 3.1.1.2.1

            Hot highly liquid capital inflows made it easy for Irish banks to borrow big and borrow cheap from overseas, which they did, and with those stashes of hard currency they could push that hot money onto the Irish population in the form of lots and lots of ill-considered loans, credit cards, etc which they did.

            Yeah then it was only a matter of time, each layer of cards built on the house convinced the punters that another layer of debt could be put on.

          • Jeremy Harris 3.1.1.2.2

            ECB/EMU, Irish Banks, Borrowers, Politicians…

            Plenty of blame to go around…

            • Colonial Viper 3.1.1.2.2.1

              Yeah plenty of blame to go around but at the end of the day we are looking at a group of less than 100 key decision makers (at a guess), who have fraked a whole country.

  4. Colonial Viper 4

    Ireland’s massive growth masked huge asset bubbles, financial risk taking and a culture of cronyism verging on corruption.

    I know a friend who saw the writing on the wall for Ireland, left a lucrative high tech job and made the decision to return to NZ in 2009.

    And now what is happening? The masses of ordinary Irish people are being made to suffer and pay for the foolishness and stupidity of their extremely highly paid and incentivised politicians, business leaders, economists and bankers.

    Prism: yes the banks were at fault but of course that is only looking at the crash site. The banks were working in a system where bigger profits every year were the only thing which mattered (not how that might be achieved), and whose executives wanted a bigger bonus this quarter than the last, frak sustainability or what the country needed to build robustness against future shocks. So the champagne flowed, and ordinary Irish didn’t question things when their home values doubled and tripled and their leaders told them the good times would last.

    Irish bond holders like the US, UK and big foreign banks who were willing to sell Ireland such catastrophic amounts of debt are also hugely culpable. Ireland is now being charged 8% on their debt. A rate as bad as you and I would be given on a personal loan. Borrow a billion dollars on that rate and you have to pay ~$90M in interest per year.

    Basically the entire country is now paying for the bad judgement of their ‘leaders’.

    • prism 4.1

      I remember reading about a US port and manufacturing town (on the east side I think) left in the doldrums by shifts in industry (bit like Flint of Michael Moore film study) that succeeded in going bankrupt which I didn’t think could be legally done. Could a country like Ireland do that? Business has been given the right to fail and pay cents in the dollar if anything. Are countries and their taxpayers and citizens to be the patsy that has to pay all under the thrall of some ‘dark lords and ladies’ because of a spurious legal contract that is destructive in its performance?

      I remember reading how far organisations will go when insisting on their legal contract fulfilment. In a book on disasters I saw a painfully thin black family in I think Bengal. They had a bad drought. The main food sources of the area had been contracted to feed the British Army. The contract was filled and the people starved.

      The Irish famine had some similarities to that. There was an unreasonable rush by British authorities to withdraw food and support machinery from that country, put in place to assist with a previous year’s famine conditions. A better year’s growth of corn (which wasn’t all available as food for the people anyway) encouraged legalistic, rigid officials to abandon aid for ordinary Irish people’s needs. The way that powerful people will turn away from affordable and proper actions that alleviate, if not solve, people’s real problems surprises as it contrasts with the comforting moral positives we are taught.

      • Colonial Viper 4.1.1

        Ireland could default on its foreign debt like Argentina did.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Argentine_debt_restructuring

        The problem with Ireland is that it has already accumulated a shit tonne of debt and given all the money to the banks. Like you taking on a second mortgage and then giving all that money to your ex-girlfriend. Sorta stupid.

        By defaulting, Ireland could get no new loans and it would have a huge amount of difficulty obtaining foreign goods and paying Government workers. Ireland would probably have to start printing its old currency again for use as it would simply run out of Euros.

        • Bright Red 4.1.1.1

          i think there are probably EU rules against defaulting.

          • Lanthanide 4.1.1.1.1

            Probably, which means it’s up to the EU to create some sort of solution, or kick Ireland out.

          • Colonial Viper 4.1.1.1.2

            Rules? Written on bits of paper? While there is a ~30% unemployment/underemployment rate, homeless people begging on the streets and children starving as the bankers get their billions?

            What is Brussels going to do, invade?

  5. prism 5

    Just read Olwyn in Mike with good link on Ireland’s options to the Guardian.

  6. Don 6

    John, I have to agree with almost everything you’ve said. The Irish (and I am one, so I should know) behaved like knackers who had won the lottery, buying second houses, third cars and fourth mortgages to show off how well they were doing. Then of course the bill arrived…

    However: “Look at what happened in a single generation to Irish obesity levels and look at the profound alcohol crisis that has been inflicted on our society.”

    The Irish have been eating shit food for years, I grew up on fry-ups, literally. And I don’t think you can blame Ireland’s drinking culture on the past 15 years. The booze culture was well entrenched when I left in 1987 and the country was even poorer then than it is now.

    • john 6.1

      Hi Don
      I’m Irish descent myself (Parents were from the South) which gave me the confidence to work in some humour on a grim situation. On the drink I remember when I was 7 with my Mother being in a farm house,part of a party, where two younger men went out to get some drink to socialise with and returned with 4 bottles of what looked like water and one of them tipped a bottle up and drank from it as if it were just water but of cause it was Potcheen. Potcheen was used also as a Flu curative mixed with sugar and hot water and then you’d sweat the condition out hopefully. I remember being in my Uncles farm house in Cork in the 50s,he’d just got a TV for the first time, it sat on top of a chest of drawers and we looked at it like an alien ufo just landed! It was rumoured my uncle Paddy had his own Potcheen still somewhere,it was freely available!

      It’s a shame Ireland fell into the trap of highly risky borrowing and secondly the government should not have put the Irish taxpayer behind bailing out the banks! That’s what bankrupt means surely!?The Euro has been blamed because,apparently, the Irish Government could not put up interest rates to choke off the lending by the banks for property,which concluded rising property prices here.

      Another time getting an inexpensive lift in a postoffice van into Cork which was delayed while an escaped Bull moved out of the road!

      My favourite beer over there was Celebration Ale, probably discontinued by now!

  7. Jeremy Harris 7

    Our current monetary system strikes again, plus the ridiculous government bailout, even the Madhatter of Alice fame as MoF would have chucked that one out…

  8. RobertM 8

    Yes, but it is not just the financial crisis and the international bankers who are the Irish problem. possibly they wanted to have it both ways- an open market, but highly priced agriculture and high priced cities in terms of drink and food. Certaily they lived like kings in the l990s and early in the 21C. Aucklands backpackers and bars were full of the young southern Irish at that time. Some spent a month running wild in Aucklands bars before anyone thought about moving away from 24 hour opening. mariane Faithfull moved there and Pallenburg doubtlessly thought of doing so. Nevertheless U2 and the boomtown Rats were from the distant past and I’m not really shore Ireland wasn’t going out of fashion anyway- because it was a bit too pricy and a bit too catholic and local. When I talk about the need for a more liberated society I’m not talking mainly about the economics but the need for a 24 hour party society in Auckland to appeal to tourists on their OE and it being somewhat more hetro and bi amd modern and less a Suva +.

  9. moni 9

    At a time when many Wall St banks are closing proprietary trading desks

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Proprietary_trading

    http://wallstfolly.typepad.com/wallstfolly/2008/11/jp-morgan-will-reportedly-be-shutting-down-a-global-prop-trading-desk-firing-some-employees-shifting-others.html

    http://www.businessinsider.com/another-prop-trader-leaves-goldman-2010-4

    due to the growth of supercomputer based
    algorithmic trading

    http://www.google.co.nz/search?hl=en&q=wikipedia+algorithmic+trading&btnG=Search&aq=f&aqi=g1&aql=&oq=&gs_rfai=

    many former prop traders are reinventing themselves as trading coaches

    http://www.tradersnarrative.com/list-of-proprietary-trading-firms-735.html

    Now we have one of these firms advertising locally for the desperate and the gullible, with an example of a person who has doubled his pension trading forex.

    http://knowledgetoaction.com.au/training-programmes/free-forex-seminar/index.html

    Their IP (79.125.24.18) is in Ireland.

    What is MSD policy on this ?

    90% of proprietary traders are said to lose their capital in the first year.

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    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
    5 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
    5 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 ...
    6 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
    7 days ago
  • The obvious question
    The media is reporting that the (alleged) Labour party sexual assaulter has resigned from their job at Parliament, which means hopefully he won't be turning up there making people feel unsafe in future. Good. But as with everything about this scandal, it just raises other questions. Most significantly: why the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    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
    1 week ago
  • Who Shall We Turn To When God, And Uncle Sam, Cease To Defend New Zealand?
    Bewhiskered Cassandra? Professor Hugh White’s chilling suggestion, advanced to select collections of academic, military and diplomatic Kiwi experts over the course of the past week, is that the assumptions upon which Australia and New Zealand have built their foreign affairs and defence policies for practically their entire histories – are ...
    1 week ago
  • The Politics of Opposition
    For most of the time I was a British MP, my party was out of government – these were the Thatcher years, when it was hard for anyone else to get a look-in. As a front-bencher and shadow minister, I became familiar with the strategies required in a parliamentary democracy ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • More expert comments on the Canadian fluoride-IQ paper
    The Green et al (2019) fluoride/IQ is certainly controversial – as would be expected from its subject (see If at first you don’t succeed . . . statistical manipulation might help and Politics of science – making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear). Anti-fluoride campaigners have been actively promoting it ...
    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
  • Air New Zealand identifies this enormous plot of unused land as possible second airport site
    Air New Zealand couldn’t believe its luck that this seemingly ideal piece of real estate had so far gone entirely unnoticed. Air New Zealand’s search for a site to build a second Auckland Airport may have made a breakthrough this afternoon, after employees scanning Google satellite imagery spotted a huge, ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Redline on the Labour Party
    No-one on the anti-capitalist left in this country today puts forward a case that Labour is on the side of the working class.  There are certainly people who call themselves ‘socialist’ who do, but they are essentially liberals with vested interests in Labourism – often for career reasons. Nevertheless, there ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago

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