Es ist mein teil

Written By: - Date published: 12:46 pm, February 9th, 2009 - 28 comments
Categories: economy, workers' rights - Tags:

This year, the economy will shrink (at least) 1%. At the same time, the population will grow 1% (at least, growth may be stronger due to expats fleeing the UK). So, there’s going to be at least 2% less to go around (on top of a 2% reduction in GDP per capita last year). Now, a very important question arises as a result – who is going to become poorer?

Despite all the post-ideological claptrap one hears these days it is an inherent fact of our capitalist economic system that the products of economic activity are shared between two groups with competing and often contradictory interests. There are those who own the means of production (capital) and those employed to work using the capital (there’s also about 10% of people – superannuitants, beneficiaries – whose main income is government payments). Quite rationally, these two groups are always attempting to increase both the size of the economy (cooperatively) and their share of it (competitively). When the economy is shrinking, as it is now, this conflict is more obvious because it’s worse than a zero-sum game – if capital or labour doesn’t increase its share of the economy, the total economic production it can consume (and, therefore, standards of living) will fall. Naturally, each group attempts to maintain the size of their slice, necessarily, to the cost of the other. So who will bear the cost fo the recession the most? Will it be the workers, through wage cuts, reduced working hours, worse conditions, less secure employment, and layoffs? Or will it be the capitalists through smaller dividend payments and cuts to the pay for directors, CEOs, and management?

All signs to date are it is going to be the workers that get shafted. After all, it’s the capitalists’ party that’s in power, and they didn’t spend millions campaigning for them with everything from the Herald’s campaign to the Sensible Snetencing Trust to the truck strike for nothing. So far, they’ve cut work rights and delayed any decision on the minimum wage, while cancelling tax cuts for most working people and giving massive tax cuts to the wealthy. And, as Fran O’Sullivan notes: ‘there is no suggestion that boards of directors presented with ‘restructuring plans’ should ensure management does its bit. No sign either of any proposal to ask shareholders to take reduced dividends to help secure the long-term viability of their enterprise and its employees.’

Those who already have the largest slices of the pie will not take a cut during this recession. The self-proclaimed heroes of our society, the ‘wealth creators’ as they call themselves, will not let themselves suffer any of the cost of a recession that has largely been caused by the unrestrained greed of the capitalists. Instead, they will use their power to put that burden on the ordinary workers, those least able to afford it.

As a worker, you have to ask yourself whether you are being forced to make all the sacrifice and whether that is fair. And, then, you have to ask yourself what you and your fellow workers are going to do to protect your interests, and make sure the costs of the recession are borne by the capitalists too.

28 comments on “Es ist mein teil”

  1. Pat 1

    Was that last paragraph straight from the Russian revolution?

  2. No. There’s nothing extreme about saying ‘stand up for yourself, don’t roll over and let yourself be screwed’.

    Pat. I know your instinct is to reject this kind of analysis because if one admits that the power of capital in our society is inequitable or even that there is a conflict between the interests of thsoe few who own capital and the rest of us then one must ask how to address that inequity, which leads to thoughts of social democracy and worse, but how about stretching yourself and offering a substantive criticism. If you can’t, perhaps you need to reconsider your underlying premises. At least, that’s how I approach political debate.

  3. ieuan 3

    Complete crap.

    In a recession we are all going to suffer to a greater or lesser extent and the more you are exposed to ‘the market’ the bigger the fall in income you are going to see, just look at dairy farmers.

    If you are forced to lay off workers or reduce hours that means your business income is down and therefore your profits are down. I think a lot of businesses will attempt to ride out the storm and that will mean retaining staff, remembering how difficult it was to get them in the first place in the hope that things pick up sooner rather than later.

    Just try reading the business pages in your paper and you will see how hard business is being hit.

    The role of unions at this time is to understand the pressures businesses are under and to work to help retain jobs, not to point the finger and say ‘we are protecting our own interests – stuff you’.

  4. Pat 4

    Well SP, you haven’t provided any actual solutions. But I guess they would be:

    – Join a union.
    – Vote Labour next time.

    The trouble with such scare-mongering prose about evil capitalists, is that I suspect most people aren’t exactly sure who you are talking about. Perhaps you should name and shame a few, so we know the sort to keep an eye out for.

    .

  5. BeShakey 5

    I’ve got to line up with the right wingers who are calling out ‘bullshit’ on this one. I thought most of us had managed to dispatch the idea that everyone acts rationally and out of self-interest (and that they should do so). I don’t know about you, but my voting is based on what I think is morally right, and what I think will have the best effects for the country even if (as at this election) my self-interests would have been better served by voting differently.
    The idea that theres a ‘capitalists party’ (and therefore labour is anti-capitalism?) also sounds like rubbish. While their support may come largely from those who own the means of production, it only requires an extremely basic analysis of voting patterns to see that support isn’t split anywhere near as neatly as that.
    It’s probably a bit of a waste of time pointing out all the problems with this post, I imagine the right wingers will do so much more completely, and vociferously than me. At least it’ll be interesting to see whether you actually debate them or not.

  6. Felix 6

    “evil capitalists”, Pat? I must have missed that part.

    It’s about conflicting vested interests, not good and evil. It’s about people trying to hold onto what they’ve got and get a bit more, and that’s just the reality of our society whether you like it or not.

  7. Peter Johns - bigoted troll in jerkoff mode 7

    SP – what has fair got to do with it? Tell me what fair is, go ahead define it in monetary terms?

    Capitalism has worked much better than communism. This is a rough patch we are going thru and there will be losers from all sides. Most employers are good people who will do their best for their workforce as they do care about them. Also, small employers will take salary sacrifices to help keep THEIR companies afloat and keep as much staff as possible, but there will be carnage coming to a place near you soon.

    I know of at one trucking company where everyone has taken a 5% pay cut to keep the company afloat and there was acceptance by the workforce for this as they know they would rather keep their jobs and get paid less than be on a benefit. Ironically, the burden was lower for employees with families as this increased their WFF allowance so the pay cut was lower than 5%!

    In the end Steve, workers want to keep their jobs and taking a 5% pay-cut was fighting for their jobs.

  8. Pat. I’m not saying capitalists are ‘evil’ I’m saying they are acting to protect their interests, as we should expect. The problem is that, in a shrinking economy, one person’s protected wealth comes at the cost of someone else losing more. All we hear at the moment is that there have to be job cuts and wage freezes, the burden is to be put on workers, while business gets tax relief. It is telling, however, that you find the idea that the owners of capital would defend their interests first ‘evil’, so much so that you don’t want to believe it’s true.

    Beshakey. National is the party of big business and farmers – the two largest capitalist groups in our country – always has been. That doesn’t mean that Labour is anti-capitalist, it is for what Blair called ‘capitalism with a human face’ using the undoubted wealth generating capacity of capitalism but trying to see the wealth produced spread more equally – the Workers’ Party, they’re anti-capitalist.

    There are two major economic blocs in society and two major parties, each set up by those groups to promote their interests – the Labour Party by the labour movement in 1916 and the National Party by business and the farmers in 1936 (with an express goal of keeping Labour out of power and maintain the pro-capital status quo). They were set up to promote their groups interests and they still do. Of course voting patterns don’t split perfectly along class lines, there is such a thing as false consciousness after all (we see a lot of it on this blog), and National, in particular, works hard to make elections about things other than the distribution of wealth – but that doesn’t change the fact that the parties have a core economic constituency whose interests they were set up to promote. I’m sorry if you disagree but this is not a radical analysis, it’s a very dull, mainstream one.

  9. Ag 9

    The National Party isn’t just the capitalist party, it is also the authoritarian party, such as New Zealand has one. Plenty of poor people who are more interested in religion, Maori bashing or combating the “homosexual agenda” vote National.

    Fortunately for the rest of us, New Zealand isn’t really very authoritarian, so that side of the party doesn’t dominate as once it did.

  10. Quoth the Raven 10

    Pat – What’s wrong with joining a union? Your anti-market, hence pro-capitalist attitude is shining through here. Unions are part of the market. Unions are constrained by anti-market regulations. I think you, as with most on the right, love market interference on behalf of the elite.

  11. Pat 11

    Quoth – There is nothing wrong with joining a union. A assume that was the point of SP’s post, when he calls on workers to “stand up for themselves”.

    Maybe I have assumed too much. Certainly you have, if you think you have described me.

  12. Quoth the Raven 12

    Pat – That’s good. It just appeared by the tone of your comment that you were implying that.

  13. BLiP 13

    Your piece is a timely call to arms.

    As the capitalists’ running dog, the current government needs to be monitored closely. National has already started breaking election promises but, in this instance, the one that worries me most is privatisation, especially in areas relating to the provision of social welfare.

    Thanks to National, we now have a generation of workers who have grown up without knowing the benefit of having a union alongside when push comes to shove. The power has shifted greatly in favour of the bosses and there is little doubt the dole queues are going to quickly lengthen – the plight of the unemployed will, even more quickly become dire if the government starts a piece-meal process of contracting out its services. Not only will the unemployed have lost thier jobs due to capitalists’ greed, they will also have their unemployment controlled by the capitalists’ greed.

    The UK experience with this has started falling to pieces but they are already a long way down the track. So much for Tony Fucking Blair. So much for the UK Labour Party

    As well as workers having to learn to look after themselves and restore the union culture, the rest of us have to maintain an active resistance to any moves by National to start feeding its mates the tidbits off the top of the pie. Disguising these moves as PPP’s or one-off contracts or whatever else nonsense their marketeers and spin doctors try to sell them to the public as.

    Its not so much as matter of standing up as taking back.

  14. QoT 14

    SP, if that’s a Rammstein reference in the title, I may have to form a small crush on you. That being said, the T of “Teil”, should be capitalized as it’s a noun. 😛

  15. Dean 15

    “Or will it be the capitalists through smaller dividend payments and cuts to the pay for directors, CEOs, and management?”

    Or will they wear top hats and smoke cigars? Your analysis is purile to say the least. You’re harking back to the days when such extremes were believed.

    “Beshakey. National is the party of big business and farmers – the two largest capitalist groups in our country – always has been. That doesn’t mean that Labour is anti-capitalist, it is for what Blair called ‘capitalism with a human face’ using the undoubted wealth generating capacity of capitalism but trying to see the wealth produced spread more equally – the Workers’ Party, they’re anti-capitalist.”

    Do you really think the sucessive ministers of small business Labour put up really understood what it was to be capitalist-friendly? I mean, come on. Rick Barker was probably the worst but the rest weren’t exactly sympathetic. Labour weren’t at all unfriendly to the top hat wearers, but they weren’t exactly courting their votes. Unless you count what happened to you-know-who BEFORE he spilled the beans about Winston.

    You’re on a hiding to nothing on this line, SP. Good job for you there’s a sympathetic echo chamber surrounding you or you just might see exactly how wrong you were, and that would never do.

    “Beshakey. National is the party of big business and farmers – the two largest capitalist groups in our country – always has been.”

    Strangely enough it’s also the party that won Auckland Central the last election. As well as most of the other electorate seats.

    How long has it been since National won Auckland Central previous to the last election, SP?

  16. Capitalism is a producer, too. It makes capital.

    So where’s the argument?

  17. QoT. thank god someone got the reference – chocolate fish for you.

    I wasn’t sure about the ‘t’ in teil – my german is worse than awful. I thought it might be with a capital but the references I saw online didn’t have it, my bad

  18. Felix 18

    SP my german is worse than awful

    I’m going to resist the obvious cheap shot here Steve, but I am thinking it.

  19. RedLogix 19

    So I had to google Rammstein…. ah very, very quirky.

    This I can love about the net, I may live in on a cultural archipeligo, made of my age and temperament, but now and then a crack opens up and something wholly unexpected seeps through.

    “We all live in Amerika….vunderbar”… indeed. Watch that without cracking.

    Thanks SP. (Yeah I know I’m wholly a decade or two dated.)

  20. infused 20

    Oh yes they will,

    Like my one client who has, last year, paid out over 800k in wages to 8 other staff and only been paying himself $500 a week and is about to go under. Yes these rich scum, they all need to be shot.

    After 8 years, paying 4m in total wages and paying himself around 300k in that time, he is going under. Losing a house, has split the marriage (and kids) and he is very depressed and suicidal.

    And you’re still bitching about the workers. What about these many small to medium business owners who have put everything in to these businesses and hired a number of staff?

    You know what? He can’t even get assistance from WINZ.

    I bet your thinking it’s the fault of the business, well yes and no. For the 8 years business has grown from a 1 man band to the 8 full time, 15 part time. The recession stopped the business in its tracks. Nothing can be done. There’s no work out there. People are *buying* work. They are losing money just to create cash flow. Retarded.

    Many of these people who made these businesses like myself just made them to be a little better off. And why not, after all the work you have to put in to a small business, I really think you lot have no idea. All of this just to get shat on by Labour.

    This is one of 6 businesses I know of in just the past two months that are in similar situations. And you guys want to raise the minimum wage to 13-15 and hour? What planet are you on?

    How about all you lefties get off your high horses for once and look at the big picture here.

  21. Felix 21

    Two quick things, infused:

    1. Anyone paying paying their staff 100k per year is not going to be hit with a bigger wage bill just because the minimum wage goes up 50 cents (9 real cents) per hour.

    2. It’s National in government, not Labour.

  22. RedLogix 22

    Infused,

    I too am pretty close to a company very similar to the one you describe. Your typical SME owner is a very courageous and decent individual who works very hard in his business, and is very, very loyal to good staff… who are often more like family than employees. This downturn will hit these good folk harder than anyone else.

    But as much as these people are nominally business owners, I wonder if they are really capitalists? Sure they may well be owners of the means of production, but the reality is that they are also workers in their business, equally as much as their employees. The capital they have invested is often a secondary consideration to the fact that the business only exists because of their skill, knowledge and the enormous commitment of time and energy they put into it.

    The real capitalist is a rather more removed creature, someone whose participation in the productive process is one almost entirely of a monetary/predatory nature.

  23. Quoth the Raven 23

    Didn’t get the Rammstein reference. One thing about those guys whether you like the music or not you’ve got to admit they can actually put on a show a concept completely lost on many of your contemporary bands. I’m partial to a bit of Japanese noise music myself – now Hanatarash they knew how to put on a show. We must lament what rock music has become, with a few bright exceptions. Some of these people nowadays wouldn’t even know a how to die of a drug overdose or a destroy a stage – for shame.
    Just to be off-topic.

  24. Steve,

    Teil means just that mein teil=my share but with a capital as in “Teil” it means “my dick” as in reference to the Rammenstein song in which cannibal guy and his consenting intended victim (true story) eat the private parts of said victim before cannibal guy kills victim.

    Don’t worry RedLogic I had to google it too, not the German but the reference.

    QtR. So true. LOL. I did grow up next to Germany though and their weird sense of over the top hard rock and I mean HARD rock never made it across the border other than in some backwater rural black holes (precious few left in Holland, it’s mostly one city now) close to Germany where extremely bored 18 year olds got pissed while head banging to them in the local barn just to piss off their parents who still hated the Germans.

    Come to think of it, I think German hard rock bands where mostly kids who started to play hard rock just to piss of their parents too who still hated all things American. LOL.

    Ah, ain’t that nice.Hard rock unites. LOL.

    Infused,

    If your client only pays himself $ 500,- while paying his staff $100.000,- a pop he deserves to go under because he clearly doesn’t know how to play the Capitalist’s game (which is when you run a business you get the biggest cut for taking the trouble. At least that’s their argument).

    That doesn’t mean he is not a nice guy but he should really reconsider his priorities.
    I’ve run a business for twenty years together with my husband and we paid our staff consistently more than we got out off it and we finally had to admit that we just did not want to be in that world, we were no good at parasiting on other people’s labour (and we had a million dollar business) and we had to find a life that agreed with our temperament and one that would makes us just simply happy.

    I bet you your guy is a nice, loving self sacrificing guy who worked his ass off for his people, his wife and his kids and he doesn’t get why he is being so royally screwed.

    I suggest you get him to go through bankruptcy as fast a possible and into therapy to deal with his feelings of inadequacy which got him in this mess in the first place.

    You might yet save his life and get him into one that will allow him to live simpler and more balanced and perhaps even find a wife who doesn’t need the world and just wants to be with him for loves sake.

  25. RedLogic,

    That’s the nice way of saying it.

  26. It thought it was a pretty good title myself. 🙂

    In the chorus, the two men are arguing over who gets to eat part of the ‘part’ – “Es ist mein Teil – nein” – appropriate, jah?

    Rammstein are great – their subject matter is often quite horrific but they don’t take it too seriously, they’re not some kind of dumb death metal band, there’s quite an element of parody to their work, at least, that’s how I see it.

    I love that line in Amerika ‘this is not a love song’

  27. Peter Johns,

    Capitalism has worked much better than communism. This is a rough patch we are going thru and there will be losers from all sides.

    Would it be helpful for me to point out that the suffering and sufferance of your term “going through” has little to do with capitalism. And a great deal more to do with eliminating the lunacy of leverage… that unscrupulous players derived as credit from mindless deregulation of the financial sector.

    So as not to confuse you understand..

  28. QoT 28

    RAMMSTEIN ARE GODLIKE WONDERS. Ahem. Any band with not one but TWO songs based on poems by Goethe do it for me.

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Hard News: A fun but flawed weed documentary
    Patrick Gower is good value when he's high. Not that I've ever, you know, got stoned with him. But in the second part of his documentary Patrick Gower on Weed, he does what you'd expect in a modern weed documentary and immerses himself – first with a doctor, then a ...
    8 hours ago
  • Candidate Survey: Western Bay of Plenty – Local Body Elections 2019
    We surveyed candidates on their attitudes to issues facing the Western Bay Region, find out what they think: “Closing the Gap” Tauranga, one of the area groups of Income Equality Aotearoa NZ Inc., has surveyed all candidates in the three local body elections to discover attitudes to some basic issues ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    15 hours 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
    16 hours 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
    16 hours 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
    18 hours 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
    20 hours 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
    22 hours 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 ...
    2 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
    2 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 ...
    2 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
    2 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
    3 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
    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
    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
    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
    7 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
    7 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
    7 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
    7 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
    7 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 ...
    7 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 ...
    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 ...
    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
    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
  • 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

No feed items found.