Drug reform: makes a hell of a lot of cents

Written By: - Date published: 6:21 am, June 7th, 2011 - 48 comments
Categories: budget 2011, crime, drugs - Tags:

I’ve been thinking about the budget. Its economic vacuousness: borrowing and crossing fingers for strong growth, while keeping tax cuts for the rich. The bare-faced cheek of counting the asset sales in its projections and passing Kiwisaver cuts without getting a mandate. But also, the cuts to vital public services without a more imaginative and sensible solution: drug reform.

The Law Commission proved in its report earlier this year that all the money the government sinks on the ‘war on drugs’ each year is more or less wasted. And the amount poured into this blackhole is mind-boggling.

There’s the policing cost:

“In a report prepared for the New Zealand Police in 2008, economists Business and Economic Research (BERL) estimated that the cost of enforcing the law against illegal drugs amounted to a total of $303 million in 2005/06. Enforcement activity targeting illegal stimulants was estimated to account for 48 per cent of that sum and 257,140 of the 598,000 policing hours dedicated to illicit drug enforcement. Activities targeting cannabis comprised another 38 per cent, or $116.2 million of the total budget, and accounted for 333,684 policing hours.”

600,000 police hours is equivalent to nearly 300 cops employed full-time on drugs. Remember that next time they’re too busy to attend a burglary.

There’s also the cost of imprisoning people and other sentences. There are about 1,000 people imprisoned for drugs offences, at $100,000 per head. That’s $100 million a year to lock them up.Bill English calls prison a “moral and fiscal failure”, well stopping locking so many people up for drugs crimes would be a good first step in addressing it.

Then there’s another 4,000 on other sentences, at the cost of many more millions.

Add to that the cost of all the court cases, 25,000 charges a year.

Not to mention the lost tax take from sending such a large industry underground.

All up, the ALCP reckons that marijuana prohibition alone costs half a billion dollars. That may be on the high side but gives you an idea of the scale of money being wasted on trying, and failing, to stop people consuming drugs.

All of this money is spent for virtually no effect on drug consumption. The Law Commission report makes that clear, as does the fact that 400,000 New Zealanders are regular consumers of cannabis.

What the ‘war on drugs’ does do is force drug users into close association with the criminal underworld and make it harder to get medical treatment – both of which lead to more crime problems.

It’s not just direct fiscal costs that can be reduced from focusing on drugs as a health problem, not a criminal one:

“for every $1 spent on addiction treatment, there is a $4 to $7 reduction in the cost associated with drug-related crimes, and that for some non-residential programmes, total savings can exceed costs by a ratio of 12:1”

What many people don’t realise is that governments spending fortunes hopelessly trying to fight drugs is a recent invention. Until the 1940s, you could legally buy heroin in this country. Since the international ‘war on drugs’ began, it has shown no signs off success and each failure has been met with more funding, with the same results. The UN, which pushed countries into tougher and tougher drug laws at the US’s bidding last century, now admits: “global war on drugs has failed, with devastating consequences for individuals and societies around the world”

In my dream world, the Prime Minister would listen to his Law Commission report on drugs and change the law as the Commission suggests: remove the focus on prosecuting and punishing drug users and focus instead on productive areas – treating addiction as a medical problem and focusing on harm reduction.

And, on a very much related note, he would listen to the report he commissioned from his science adviser that concluded we need to start investing more in young children, rather than wasting it trying to scare young offenders straight with silly boot camps.

Unfortunately, that’s not going to happen with this Prime Minister, who launched his silly ‘War on P’ and seems determined to just keep pouring taxpayer money down the drain.

48 comments on “Drug reform: makes a hell of a lot of cents”

  1. Lanthanide 1

    So which drugs are you advocating should be decriminalised/legalised?
     
    Surely not all of them?

    • MikeE 1.1

      why not? why should someone be prevent from putting something inside their own body?

      Hard drugs only exist due to the economic incentives created due to prohibition. there would be no crack, p etc, if people were able to get cleaner, safer alternatives legally.

      I’m sure more than a fair share of readers on here have consumed all manner of class A, B and C substances recreationally with zero harm to themselves and others (while others have had negative consequences, but I’m guessing far more have had negative consequences due to drinking and crap food).

      Drug police doesn’t belong to the police. If it is *any* business of governemnts, surely its a health and taxation issue, not a criminal one.

      • Lanthanide 1.1.1

        “Hard drugs only exist due to the economic incentives created due to prohibition. there would be no crack, p etc, if people were able to get cleaner, safer alternatives legally.”
         
        I seriously, seriously doubt that. Alcohol is already legal, and all of the lesser drugs are generally available to anyone who is using the harder drugs (“gateway” drugs, dontchaknow), and yet they choose to use the harder drugs.

        • ZeeBop 1.1.1.1

          Agreed. I’m against legalization. I for semi-legalization for the old, for
          the sick, for the stupid. Take the fashion out of illegal drugs, make
          them a lifestyle choice of failures. Too often its the rich who can
          afford them, and should be in rehab not on our tv talking to us about
          ethics and morals. Drugs are something old people do. Government
          should farm and sell them to those who have a prescription from a doctor.
          Then drug screening for all professionals.

        • Rich 1.1.1.2

          Not the case.

          Meth is easy to make and hence is a lot more widely available then E, which needs a hard to get key ingredient and rather more difficult chemistry.

        • felix 1.1.1.3

          Err Lanth, I think you misunderstood that. Alcohol and tobacco aren’t clean or safe.

          • Lanthanide 1.1.1.3.1

            Mike’s statement seems to be on the basis that the only reason people do hard drugs is because economically you get more bang for your buck, and people don’t actually care about the type of high that they get. Which is just silly.

            His position makes even less sense if you legalise all drugs, because then the supposed economic difference he says makes people do hard drugs would be even more diminished.

    • Deadly_NZ 1.2

      http://ironwolf.dangerousgames.com/blog/archives/458

      Just the top 10 on the list OOPss there goes Alcohol and Tobacco.

      • Sonny 1.2.1

        If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em (safe option, I will look after you).

  2. Why not all of them? Horse riding is more damaging than dope according to the sacked health officer in the UK. So called hard drugs are only dangerous because of their illegality. The only control should be over drug use and driving etc that puts others at risk. But ultimately people will always use opiates in capitalist society, its a question of what is least damaging until we can build a society in which recreational drugs are not a heavy scene. We definitely shouldnt criminalise what is mass consumption in the working class, nor deliberately cultivate crime in breaking the prohibition. And that’s not even taking into consideration the opportunity cost of prohibition lost.

    • You think they should legalize all drugs???

      What are you, high??

      I can understand dope, I guess there is not a lot of crime caused by people who smoke dope.

      Surly you dont think P should be legal?? If it becomes legal it becomes legal to sell or course, I dont want to go down to the warehouse and while Im buying some dvds, walk past the P aisle.

      How would they market it too,

      Become brian dead, become violent, have some P only $9.99

      $9.99, you will be out of your mind.

      • zug zug 2.1.1

        “But new research on Portugal’s drug policy suggests that this isn’t necessarily so. Portugal decriminalized possession of all drugs in 2001. The outcome, after nearly a decade, according to a study published in the November issue of the British Journal of Criminology: less teen drug use, fewer HIV infections, fewer AIDS cases and more drugs seized by law enforcement. Adult drug use rates did slightly increase — but this increase was not greater than that seen in nearby countries that did not change their drug policies. The use of drugs by injection declined.”

        Read more: http://healthland.time.com/2010/11/23/portugals-drug-experience-new-study-confirms-decriminalization-was-a-success/#ixzz1OYVxTEh8

        Maybe if your opinions were actually based on facts, supported by evidence, overseas examples etc you would have a leg to stand on. At present your emotional knee-jerk answer is just ignorance and arrogance…

        http://www.leap.cc

  3. David 3

    Whilst I am slightly uneasy about the idea of legalising all drugs, I agree strongly with Eddie that this country needs drug law reform urgently.

    We are simply hurting ourselves more the longer we don’t have reform.

    Dave Brown, I highly recommend you look at the summary of the Law Commission’s report:

    LINK: http://www.lawcom.govt.nz/project/review-misuse-drugs-act-1975?quicktabs_23=report

    Personally, I’d rather have National in government but I think it’s a shame they stick so strongly to their rather old fashioned views on drugs.

    • Deadly_NZ 3.1

      Bugger the NATS they will sell anything that’s not bolted down.. As to the drug thing how hard would it be to legislate and distribute pot, make it cheaper and of a consistent quality Then No sale to under 18’s just like the other poisons on the market Alcohol and Nicotine. Allow a person at home to grow a couple of plants. etc etc I have mentioned this before on here and whoever said that $500K Per year was a lot to waste on the ‘enforcement’ (more like just burning cash) I actually think that $500k is light, way light. there would also be the untold millions that would be saved from not jailing every poor bastard that grows a weed. it would gut the gangs take as well if anyone can grow a bit for them selves, or who can go to an approved outlet or licensed Marijuana Cafe. And also violent crime should drop as well. I have NEVER seen an aggressive stoner yet and I don’t expect to. But a weekend in any main centre is like a bloody battleground sometimes because of Alcohol, so more savings there. Now to all those of you who will inevitably come out of the woodwork about psychosis, and other nasties. Get a life. You are happy to medicate anyone who is deemed to be ‘psychotic’ with a weird and wonderful cocktail of very strong chemicals, or even worse leave them out in public, to drink and take what ever. So who is to say a little pot won’t help rather than hinder. And I have not even touched on the other benefit of Marijuana. HEMP, Cheap and abundant.

      As to health read
      https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/Cannabis_%28drug%29

  4. David 4

    Brett, I think you know in your own mind that your comment is plain and simple hyperbole.

    You don’t walk past the smokes or piss aisle at The Warehouse do you?

    If we were all a bit more sensible about the idea of legalisation, control and treatment we’d all be a lot better off

    • I do at a supermarket, yeah there needs to be reform, but to legalize all drugs, is beyond belief, its the worst thing this country can do.

      • zug zug 4.1.1

        http://www.leap.cc

        So Brett Dale knows more about drugs than for former head of Narcotics at Scotland yard, and a growing list of retired judges, DEA agents and police officers does he?

        The experts say legalise yet you know better do you?

        If you got diagnosed with a medical condition I bet you give your 2 cents to the doctor too, cos y’know, what the fuck do experts know?

  5. Afewknowthetruth 5

    NZ society is addicted to oil. That ‘drug’ addiction is far more costly and far more damaging than all the others put together. ….. balance of payments, a daily toll of deaths and injuries, and long term environmental impacts likely to render most of the Earth uninhabitable.

    Oil addiction is sancrosanct, of course, since the boys and girls at the top are making far too much money out of it.

    • I doubt oil kills more people than tobacco.

      • Afewknowthetruth 5.1.1

        Tobacco is prett awful but addicts tend to kill themselves more than they kill other people. Oil tends to kill cyclists, pedestrians and 20-somethings.

        Oil addiction is in the process of killing the planet we live on. The effects take a long time to build up, but we are rapidly appeoaching the point of envionmental collapse [due to oil and coal] killing more people than anything else on Earth. Atmospheric is CO2 up again -now 394ppm.

        And, inrterestingly, oil addiction is slowly killing the NZ economy, along with most other economies. We may have 3 or 4 years before we reach a state similar to Greece now. .

  6. her 6

    Have you read the recent report

    http://www.globalcommissionondrugs.org/Report

    There are some great ideas from some of the most intelligent successful people of our time.

    To save that kind of money you’d have to sack a lot of public servants, every year.

  7. bbfloyd 7

    “are youout of your mind”… no, he’s just using a longer view than you are.

    this reaction is all too uncommom from the people who have yet to fathom that they are using the very logic that the drug dealers, who have been successfully framing the debate, would have us all believing..

    consider for one, the fact that the massive amoounts of money involved in the trade mean that there has to be involvement by people who inhabit the boardooms of our largest corporates. the task of laundering such vast sums can’t be done without their involvement…so a large percentage of illegal drug profits are going into government/corporate coffers.. (amounts to the same thing)

    you might be interested to know what mexico’s view on decriminalisation is, for instance.. it would cost their economy hundreds of millions of dollars at the least.. just one of many examples of why governments/corporates have a vested interest in keeping the laws,as they stand intact.

    in assuming a position according to the official wisdom, you do no more than allow the drug dealers to frame the debate to suit the maintainence of profits…

    drugs (alcohol, cannabis, opium, mescalin,etc) have been around, and used by humans for as long as there have been humans … we are letting laws passed in the thirties by a government who were simply trying to rid themselves of competition for jobs from(legal)immigrants fracture our society, and isolate us from our own…..

    time for the blinkers to come off.. prohibition has been proven over and over again to do harm without achieving any of it’s goals…..unless driving up profits is the aim of course…. then you could call the tactic a raging success.

    come to think of it, john key would probably approve of the increase in gdp that toughening the laws would cause.

  8. infused 8

    In my life I’ve taken Acid, E, smoked P once before I knew the hardfully effects, smoked a lot of pot.

    E and Acid were great fun.

    For some drugs, I don’t see what the issue is. More people die via alch problems.

    Acid: All you do is stare at how cool stuff is. That drug is a real eye opener.
    E: Just awesome fun
    Pot: Mellows me out and lets me focus/unwind.

    It’s a waste of time enforcing some of these, biggest one being pot imo.

  9. infused 9

    Hmm no comment? E and Acid are great. Let me know how many people have died on acid vs alch. Acid is an eye opener.

    • Deadly_NZ 9.1

      Umm how about E vs Alcohol and Tobacco??? E was 250 in 4 years vs 114,000 a year from tobacco and up to 40000 from Alcohol and that was in England only

      The tables further down make for interesting reading and this is just an English study, google up more if you don’t believe me, or this.

      http://www.drugscope.org.uk/resources/faqs/faqpages/how-many-people-die-from-drugs

      • Sonny 9.1.1

        Don’t leave me to fight alone???? I need you, I need an honourable man to fight for me, where are you? Where are you hiding, come out of hiding and show yourself!

        You have to make that choice- NOW!

  10. randal 10

    the problem with drugs is that the user always wants more and according to those who know the primary goal of addiction is to prevent the addict feeling their own true thoughts and feelings.
    address these problems and then there might be a way forward.

    • Lord Zealand 10.1

      The problem with you statement Randal is that you’ve used the words “drugs and addicition” when you should have used the words “money and Banker”.

  11. TightyRighty 11

    This is the one single policy that could tick all the boxes. Save the public purse, grow the public purse, protect the children, attack organised crime, otherwise sensible new zealanders not being locked up or having their ability to travel and work impaired due to the random fact they got caught. Imagine the tourism benefits? As Amsterdam taketh away, NZ giveth to all.

  12. Treetop 12

    Addiction is a health issue and stealing is a criminal issue. When a person commits a crime to feed their addiction the person may go to jail, which is not going to assist recovery for a health issue.

    I find it interesting that the government realises that an addict may require a medical benefit due to their addiction and on the other hand they are processed by the courts when caught stealing to fund their addiction. A balance has to be found on how best to manage the cost of being incarcerated, but not being rehabilitated due to the incarceration.

    Last night (while house sitting) I saw most of a National Geographic doco on how heroin addicts are being managed in Holland. Once or twice a day the person goes to a clinic and the addict administers their heroin. Stealing has reduced by 50 % and addicts are able to hold down limited employment, relationships are not as strained and they are not as shallow.

    In Holland addicts are being offered a solution to prevent commiting crime and drug dealers are finding business being slowed.

    NZ does have to take a look at decriminalising a person having a marijuana pot plant for their own use. Anything more than marijuana is not advisable. A true addict has a disease and their addiction makes them a criminal if they are stealing to feed their habit.

    No one can stop their addiction other than the person who is messing up their body and their life by taking drugs.

    • Lanthanide 12.1

      “on how heroin addicts are being managed in Holland. Once or twice a day the person goes to a clinic and the addict administers their heroin.”
       
      I’m betting this is probably methadone, not heroin. We have the same system in New Zealand already.

      • Blighty 12.1.1

        nah, it’s heroin. They do the same in Switzerland

      • Treetop 12.1.2

        Medical grade heroin, the bottle was shown and it is a clear liquid. There were about eight people on the room shooting up.

        I am unable to supply a reference as I do not have Sky but it was on at 10.30 pm.

        • bbfloyd 12.1.2.1

          the dutch, being sensible and clever, have noted the fact that methadone is more addictive than heroin… which has been one of the failings of nz’s programs.

          similar reasoning as introducing cane toads into australia to kill another imported pest… worked just like replacing one addiction with a stronger one would… ……not.

          • Lanthanide 12.1.2.1.1

            My sister has assisted a methadone addict while she was volunteering with Women’s Refuge. From her description of the whole procedure, I get the impression that a good part of the methadone system in place is specifically designed to dehumanise and punish the addicts.

      • Lord Zealand 12.1.3

        Anytime you want to use some facts feel free. Prohibition is bankrupting us both morally and spiritually as a country. There are many in high places that will fight any changes tooth and nail, not because of any thought for the children of today and tomorrow, but because of the money they are making feeding the masses their poisons! We need to i) Gain control of the drug market so we can ii) manipulate the drug market. At the moment we are letting the gangs look after it, this is unacceptable. We’ve almost missed the boat in hemp technologies, and the patents for the med side of things are comming in thick and fast from the big boys – Do we want a good economy were all the peasants are rich, happy and enjoying life for THEIR OWN PLEASURE? God dammit man, you’ve lost your mind! Happy People? For goodness sake noooo!

  13. Cin77 13

    Legalize pot, make it 18+ and the unlicensed sale is banned. As long as I can grow it at home I don’t really care about how they deal with the sale of the stuff. But that right there is the problem, most smokers are going to opt to grow their own; so less revenue for the government.

    There’s a place (somewhere, I don’t remember where but probably Australia) they were giving fines for pot possession like a driving offence, pay a fine, skip the conviction. I’d be into that.

    • felix 13.1

      Why should anyone be fined for possession of weed though? Sure, it’s not be as bad as locking people up but FFS it’s just as unjustified.

      • Cin77 13.1.1

        I agree, in a perfect world i’d be toking up hard from the half acre patch I’m growing with no recriminations.

  14. The Voice of Reason 14

    All you need to know about the war on drugs here and here. Ol’ Bill Lee was quite the straight shooter!

  15. Craig 15

    I certainly think that there’s a case for partially decriminalising pot, especially for palliative aid reasons, and having mere spot fines, as well as an R18 age of consent for smoking it. And perhaps too, penalties against distributing it to people living with schizophrenia, given that a subset will develop cannabis-related psychosis. I’d scrap the Class C section of the Misuse of Drugs Act altogether, trial supervised injecting facilities as is the case in Switzerland, the Netherlands, and Vancouver’s Insite programme, emphasise harm minimisation and risk reduction with Class B drugs like E.

    As for Class A, P/crystal meth is unlike the others. While there’s some leeway for dealing with pot, E and party drugs, that doesn’t apply to P. It’s in a different category altogether and traditional interdiction strategies are the best in that context. Added to which, in the States, meth labs have grown in proportion to Bush era welfare privatisation in poor rural and inner city areas.

    • dave brown 15.1

      So P is the new alcohol booster for poor youth? Like lots of other drugs that make alcohol cheaper.
      Prohibition of P doesnt work any more than prohibition for alcohol. All it does is create crime and uncontrolled destruction. Better to have it in the open and regulated, confronting social causes, not demonising individuals, and providing well funded support services until such time as the real cause capitalist poverty is eliminated.

      • dave brown 15.1.1

        End ‘war on drugs’ now
        Far more harm and social destruction has been caused by the West’s anti-drug laws than by the actual misuse of narcotics, says Eddie Ford

        By any measure, the 24-page report published on June 2 by the 19-member Global Commission on Drug Policy is a scathing indictment of the madness that is the current ‘war on drugs’, and especially the role played in it by the United States.[1] Far from reducing the supply and use of drugs, or curbing the power of organised crime, it has had the opposite effect – with total predictability, of course. Yet those who insist on conducting this ‘war’, as the report notes, know full well that it is a doomed venture, but pretend to the world that victory is within sight. [read more]
        http://www.cpgb.org.uk/article.php?article_id=1004423

  16. Craig 16

    I agree that addressing the destructive New Right social policies that led to the rise of our national P/crystal meth problem is neccessary beforehand, but I wasn’t suggesting ‘demonising’ P users. However, P/crystal meth is heavily implicated in domestic violence, unsafe sex and carries toxicity risks if children are present in meth labs. I’m sceptical that in this particular instance, harm minimisation and risk reduction measures that would work in the context of other drugs, actually do.

    What was it Phil Goff said- tough on crime and on the causes of crime?

    • Lord Zealand 16.1

      So you think that although it doesn’t work, lock up P addicts ’cause we need a scape goat? No way – how many kids will never try P because they smoked some legal weed , got the munchies and went to circle K for a slushy instead? Prohibition and criminalization are the drivers behind the harms of drug use. P addicts are a symptom of a wider problem, throwing them in jail only allows them to hook up with a really good network of non-narks. I know it’s hard to accept but the law is an ass, un-enforcable, unjust and against the will of the people.

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    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 ...
    3 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
    4 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
    4 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
    4 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
    5 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
    5 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
    5 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
    5 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
    6 days ago
  • The obvious question
    The media is reporting that the (alleged) Labour party sexual assaulter has resigned from their job at Parliament, which means hopefully he won't be turning up there making people feel unsafe in future. Good. But as with everything about this scandal, it just raises other questions. Most significantly: why the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • The moment I found out that you found out, I acted swiftly
    By Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern I am every bit as angry as you are. I am every bit as disappointed as you must be. The people with power, oversight and the ability to do something about these processes within the Labour Party should be ashamed. Whoever those people are, I ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    6 days ago
  • This is why people hate property developers
    Property developers think there is an "oversupply" of houses in Auckland:High turnover rates and falling prices may be a sign that there are too many new houses going in to some parts of Auckland, commentators say. [...] Property developer David Whitburn said there was a "bit of an oversupply" in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Australia to Pacific: “Fuck you, you can all drown”
    World leaders are meeting in New York in two weeks for the 2019 Climate Action Summit, where they are expected to announce new and more ambitious targets to stop the world from burning. But the Australian Prime Minister won't be there, despite being in the USA at the time:Scott Morrison ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Implausible ignorance
    Labour Party president Nigel Haworth resigned yesterday over the party's sexual assault scandal. But while that's good news, its unlikely to take away the stench of a coverup. Because according to Paula Bennett in Parliament yesterday, pretty much everyone in the Prime Minister's office was involved as well:I have been ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Labour’s Fatal Flaw.
     Two-Faced? Labour insiders' commitment to the neoliberal status quo puts them at odds with their party’s membership; its trade union affiliates; and a majority of Labour voters, but this only serves to strengthen the perception they have of themselves as a special elite. Among the lesser breeds, they’ll talk up a ...
    6 days ago
  • Ten reasons the Tories do NOT want an election
    There has been a lot of talk about Boris Johnson wanting an election, and he has blustered with great gusto about 'chicken' Jeremy Corbyn refusing one, but I think there are many reasons why he is secretly glad he has been refused the opportunity:The Tories are an utter rabble,tearing themselves ...
    7 days ago
  • Prorogation Illegal, rule Scottish judges
    Scottish appeal court judges have declared that Boris Johnson’s decision to suspend parliament in the run-up to the October Brexit deadline is unlawful. The three judges, chaired by Lord Carloway, Scotland’s most senior judge, overturned an earlier ruling that the courts did not have the powers to interfere in the prime ...
    7 days ago
  • Let me explain what I meant by Everyday New Zealanders
    By Simon Bridges. The following is a press release from the office of Simon Bridges, leader of The National Party. Key ora, New Zealand. Happy Maori Language Week. Look, I’m writing to you today because I want to clear something up. There’s been a lot of kerfuffle around some things ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    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 ...
    1 week ago
  • The return to guerrilla war in Colombia
    by Gearóid Ó Loingsigh On August 29th a video in which veteran FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia) commander Iván Márquez announced that they had taken up arms again was released. There was no delay in the reaction to it, from longtime Liberal Party figure and former president Uribe, for ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Air New Zealand identifies this enormous plot of unused land as possible second airport site
    Air New Zealand couldn’t believe its luck that this seemingly ideal piece of real estate had so far gone entirely unnoticed. Air New Zealand’s search for a site to build a second Auckland Airport may have made a breakthrough this afternoon, after employees scanning Google satellite imagery spotted a huge, ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Redline on the Labour Party
    No-one on the anti-capitalist left in this country today puts forward a case that Labour is on the side of the working class.  There are certainly people who call themselves ‘socialist’ who do, but they are essentially liberals with vested interests in Labourism – often for career reasons. Nevertheless, there ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • New Fisk
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour’s failure
    When National was in government and fucking over the poor for the benefit of the rich, foodbanks were a growth industry. And now Labour is in charge, nothing has changed: A huge demand for emergency food parcels means the Auckland City Mission is struggling to prepare for the impending arrival ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Ardern attempts to vaccinate Clarke Gayford live on television to prove that it’s safe
    Gayford, pictured here on The Project, before things got wildly out of control. A bold public relations move by the Government to encourage parents to vaccinate their children has gone horribly wrong. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern appeared on tonight’s episode of Three’s The Project, where the plan was for her ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Has Mr. Whippy gone too far by parking on our front lawns?
    Mr. Whippy’s business model has driven it down a dark road of intimidation. Residents in major centres around the country are becoming disgruntled by the increasingly aggressive actions of purported ice cream company Mr. Whippy, who have taken to parking on people’s front lawns and doorsteps in a desperate attempt ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Cleaning up the water
    Today the government released its Action Plan for Healthy Waterways, aimed at cleaning up our lakes and rivers. Its actually quite good. There will be protection for wetlands, better standards for swimming spots, a requirement for continuous improvement, and better standards for wastewater and stormwater. But most importantly, there's a ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Fronting up
    Today I appeared before the Environment Committee to give an oral submission on the Zero Carbon Bill. Over 1,500 people have asked to appear in person, so they've divided into subcommittees and are off touring the country, giving people a five minute slot each. The other submitters were a mixed ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Politics of science – making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear
    Anti-fluoride activists have some wealthy backers – they are erecting billboards misrepresenting the Canadian study on many New Zealand cities – and local authorities are ordering their removal because of their scaremongering. Many New Zealanders ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Democracy – I Don’t Think So
    So, those who “know best” have again done their worst. While constantly claiming to be the guardians of democracy and the constitution, and respecters of the 2016 referendum result, diehard Remainers (who have never brought themselves to believe that their advice could have been rejected) have striven might and main ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    2 weeks ago

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