Focus on suicide

Written By: - Date published: 9:02 pm, March 17th, 2008 - 28 comments
Categories: health - Tags:

The Government has launched a new suicide prevention action plan. Suicide is a tragedy that has touched several Ministers personally and it is good to see them putting more effort into confronting it. The aim of the strategy is to improve mental and social well-being for at risk people as well as providing more effective intervention following suicide attempts.

In many ways suicide, like crime, is a symptom of a society in trouble. The reforms of the 1980s and 1990s caused wages to fall and unemployment to rise. As a result, both suicide and crime increased, peaking in the late 1990s, as many people, especially young adults, found themselves unemployed with no prospect of finding a job to give their lives purpose. When National left power and the Government enacted its policies of high employment, wage growth, and better social services, both suicide and crime started to fall; some of the underlying causes of suicide and crime – unemployment, social disconnection, and a sense of worthlessness – were reduced. As a result of these policies, the Government has already been enormously successful in reducing suicide, in 2002-2004 (figures are released for three year periods) there were 13.1 suicides per 100,000 people, down 19.6% from the peak period, 1996-1998.
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Now that those socio-economic causes of suicide have been reduced it is time for the Government to deliver more specialised resources for those particularly at risk. It is difficult and often traumatic work for the social workers and other public servants involved. We should offer them every support in their efforts.

[Update: see the graph on page two here [PDF], for how the reforms increased suicide by young males, and remember that leap represents 70 real human beings each year]

28 comments on “Focus on suicide”

  1. I’d say if you mapped the youth suicide rate (I think it’s 15-25) you’d find it tracked pretty closely to the youth unemployment rate. I had a few friends and friends of friends who killed themselves or tried real hard to in the 90’s. We’d been promised lives like our boomer parents and instead we got 40% youth unemployment, shitty temp jobs, a social welfare system that was geared towards making your life as hard as it could be and a health-care system that pushed you out the door as fast as possible to free-up a new bed, oh and food-banks, glue ear for our kids and overcrowding. Hearing that cunt Douglas talk about wasted opportunities under Labour on morning report today enraged me. He and his mates took and damaged so many lives. They should be tried for murder. We can not go back.

  2. Dean 2

    Your understanding of statistics isn’t getting any better, Steve. I also find it highly amusing that you link economic factors as the primary symptom, ignoring all evidence to the contrary.

    In fact it’s worse than amusing, it’s actually sickening that you’re so far gone that you’re playing politics with this matter.

  3. James Kearney 3

    Do you have an actual response there Dean? Or are you trying the false moral outrage card because the facts don’t fit your politics? I thought Steve’s post was very measured and thoughtful.

  4. higherstandard 4

    Steve

    Perhaps you should forward this to the NZ Medical Journal they need a good laugh

  5. it’s actually sickening that you’re so far gone that you’re playing politics with this matter

    Do you really think suicide sits outside of politics? That it happens in a socio-economic vacuum? It’s the right’s attempts to morally ringfence the uncomfortable truths of the human suffering their ideology inflicts upon people that is sickening.

  6. I can hear the cries of “correlation doesnt equal causation” coming in the distance already…

    Well done Steve(and Labour) for making a stand on a difficult topic that all to often is the elepahnt in the room.

  7. higherstandard 7

    Steve from a friend in mental health

    Suicide is more likely among young people if a parent commits suicide or there is a history of mental illness in the individual and their siblings

    Socioeconomic risk factors seem to be less important

    Preventive strategies should be aimed at the early recognition and optimal treatment of mental illnesses

  8. Socioeconomic risk factors seem to be less important
    Ah but they are still very important at the (large) margins. I agree with you that we need preventative strategies. Mental health services were cut with the rest of the health system in the 90’s. I repeat: This shit does not happen in a vacuum.

  9. higherstandard 9

    I wasn’t aware that Mental health services were cut during the 90.s Rob I though the converse was true – I accept you’re more likely to have the figures on that than me so can’t debate the issue at present. Perhaps after I’ve got the first round of patinest out of the way.

  10. Steve Pierson 10

    We’re social beings, traumas that occur on a social level affect individuals and increase the chance that individuals will act in ways we might term dysfunctional.

    There’s no doubting opportunities were closed down to a generation of young people during the reform era, 40% inflation, fewer work rights, expensive education. It’s also clear that crime and suicide increased during that time. What the graph i’ve copied above doesn’t show is how dramatically the youth male suicide rate increased when the reforms started (as did the crime rate) see page two here http://www.moh.govt.nz/moh.nsf/ea6005dc347e7bd44c2566a40079ae6f/b64dd5922acf8776cc256bb5000cf632/$FILE/ysf20001.pdf

    Does that mean this is the only cause of crime and suicide? of course not.

  11. Vic 11

    In the 90s I watched a friend of mine try to establish a life for himself away from his schizophrenic mum and bipolar dad. In the genetic stakes he was dealt a spectacularly crap hand, but pretty much everything conspired to makes things worse. The way the benefit system was structured he had to prove he was financially independent from his parents every single year of university. Administrative delays every year meant that he went without income for weeks and even, on one occasion, more than a month. He couldn’t pay rent, couldn’t buy food at times and ended up being dependent on his mates, which was bad for all of us. It was impossible for him to get work that paid more than $8 an hour. There were suicide attempts, periods in hospital and times when he went without any help of any kind because the public system didn’t have a bed. To anyone who thinks that mental illness is solely a medical issue and that not being able to get work or income to get out of a family which is unstable due to parental mental health issues, or being repeatedly made to feel that society has no use for you has nothing to do with it, I’d say, simply, that you’re full of shit. I’d also add that I’ve seen other, less fortunate friends slip through the cracks more recently because the public system is severely under-resourced, even now. And when I say slipped through the cracks I mean they’re dead. This is something that needs to be addressed with as much as we can throw at it.

  12. r0b 12

    Thanks to posters above who remind us all of some of the personal stories that lie behind the statistics that we endlessly debate.

    A new and worrying dimension to youth suicide is the intersection of the old problem of bullying and the new dimension of technology. “Cyber-bullying”, no escape now, 24 7.

    (As an aside, a lot of the aggressive rubbish posted on blogs is on the same continuum as cyber-bullying. Be an advocate of better manners on line.)

  13. higherstandard 13

    Steve

    Does that mean this is the only cause of crime and suicide? of course not.

    glad you have acknowledged this

    Og interest in the report in question the authors explicitly state

    In terms of the increased suicide rate…

    We don’t really know why. There are many factors that may have some level of influence, such as
    increasing rates of depression and alcohol and drug abuse, rising rates of violence and abuse,
    cultural alienation, changes in family structure and in society as a whole, reduced influence of
    religion, high unemployment, and trends towards a more risk-taking and individualistic society.
    There is also a greater awareness of suicide and suicide is portrayed in the media more than
    before. Some argue suicide has become “normalised’ and is regarded by some as an “acceptable’
    solution to an emotional crisis.

  14. So tell me HS – what were you doing in the 1990’s? And what have you got to say about Irish’s analysis of the mental health reforms of the nineties? Any effect on suicide rates d’ya think?

  15. higherstandard 15

    RS

    I’ve been working in the Health Sector for a very long time.

    Irish’s analysis is fairly accurate.

    Regarding the economic effect on suicide rates refer to my previous post (there is no compelling evidence – sorry but my medical background makes me biased towards having a proven effect)

    What is interesting is to look at rates across different countries and cultures where certain countries one would expect to have high or low suicidality scores have just the opposite.

    I would add from my colleagues perspective as a psychiatrist (I am in surgery so don’t see many mentally ill patients) that the reasons for siucide and attmepted suicide are many and varied.

  16. burt 16

    I can’t take anything Jolly Jim has to say about drug policy and suicide prevention as being credible.

    The graph invites some easy correlation between benefit/employment levels and suicide rate. If the relationship was indeed that simple then pumping a few billy more in welfare while we have low unemployment seems like a small cost to almost eliminate suicide completely.

    Go Jim! Nothing skewed about them figures is there – No Coroners badgered to not report deaths as suicide… no surely not Coroners resigning over it….

  17. r0b 17

    I can’t take anything Jolly Jim has to say about drug policy and suicide prevention as being credible.

    I think it’s safe to say that he knows more about it than you do Burt.

    The graph invites some easy correlation between benefit/employment levels and suicide rate.

    So it does Burt.

    Nothing skewed about them figures is there – No Coroners badgered to not report deaths as suicide no surely not Coroners resigning over it .

    So let me get this straight. Instead of an obvious correlation between quality of life and suicide, Burt’s explanation is that the government has put pressure on people to skew the figures to make themselves look good. Have I got it Burt? Is that your argument? Just checking…

  18. burt 18

    rOb

    I’m simply pointing to real issues surrounding suicide reporting. Both families and political pressure come to play here. A graph from a man who has long been critical of suicide reporting is something that should be taken for what it is – dots and lines on a page.

    See here: http://www.kiwisfirst.co.nz/index.asp?PageID=2145845343

    27 August 2007
    Late in July 2007 it was revealed that Auckland High Court Justice Paul Heath ruled last December – more than a year after Robert Fardell QC (right) fell to his death from the 15 metre high Takapuna Head cliffs into the rocky surf at high tide – that the Auckland Coroner’s findings and the evidence into the bizarre circumstances of Fardell’s death would be largely suppressed. This Court ruling by Heath J followed prominent barrister Harry Waalken QC obtaining a restraining order in July 2006 preventing the Coroner from releasing his written report while the family sought a judicial review designed to censure and obscure the Coroner’s findings.

    Now who was it that most recently fired a Wellington Coroner over his refusal to change his decision to Accident from Suicide ?

  19. r0b 19

    I’m simply pointing to real issues surrounding suicide reporting

    I’m so relieved to hear it Burt. For a moment there I thought you had such a deeply pathological need to deny anything that looks like evidence of improving social indicators under Labour led governments that you were prepared to argue that there was no relationship between improving quality of life and declining suicide rates.

    A graph from a man who has long been critical of suicide reporting is something that should be taken for what it is – dots and lines on a page.

    Ooops – no – there you go again. Shooting the messenger because you want to deny the message. Burt, any tiny effort on your part to look in to this data for yourself would have found multiple sources of support for the claims. Try this:

    http://www.chmeds.ac.nz/newsevents/articles/suicidedecline.htm

    Although we still have a relatively high suicide rate overall compared to other developed countries, with 460 self-inflicted deaths a year, there have been some very positive trends emerging over the last decade which are not being picked up by the media and some support agencies. […]

    However, it is totally incorrect and of concern in 2005 to continue to give the impression that we have disastrous suicide rates in this country, and that there has been no improvement over the last decade […]

    This embarrassing ignorance about falling suicide rates is of concern to me as a researcher in this very sensitive area, because of the dangers that false perceptions and unbalanced stories can run the risk of normalising suicide and encouraging “copycat’ suicidal behaviour amongst vulnerable members of the community.

    So Burt, please stop perpetrating this destructive myth. And please don’t expect to be taken as anything other than the worst kind of conspiracy nutcase if you argue, based on some tiny percentage of disputed cases, that falling suicide rates arise from political interference in the stats.

  20. burt 20

    rOb

    Cullen sacks Coroner Garry Evans

    I would have linked back to the original stuff article but it’s gone.

    Mr Evans’ failing from the Government’s point of view, no doubt, is that he fell foul of Associate Health Minister Jim Anderton, who is not a man to turn the other cheek. Mr Evans is a supporter of making public more details after someone takes his or her own life. He accepts that silence about the epidemic of young, and not so young, men and women who decide life is no longer worth living has simply fostered an environment in which we have one of the world’s highest rates of suicide. Mr Anderton does not agree.

    Mr Evans has done Wellington and its citizens a service by ripping strips off Capital and Coast District Health Board and its mental health services, which he deemed had let too many people down too often, as well as Transit NZ when it put money ahead of lives. No more.

    So, are you saying political interference is not a factor? Because I’m not saying it’s a conspiracy, I’m just reviewing some history on the players and making my own judgment on the factors – how about you?

  21. burt 21

    The other thing you could conclude from that graph is that when Labour were hell out reforming the suicide rate was declining. About the same time that David Lange took his tea break and banned the American ships it all turned to custard. We still haven’t got it as low as when we were under one of the most right wing govt’s this country has ever seen.

    Go the ACT party – the suicide prevention party!

  22. burt 22

    What I find most alarming from the report is the Maori suicide rates.

    • The average rate of suicide for Māori was 17.1 deaths per 100,000 population in 20022004. This is a 13.2% increase from 20012003 (15.1 per 100,000 population), but a 17.9% decrease from 19961998.
    • In 20022004 the average suicide rates for Māori males and females were 26.9 and 7.9 deaths per 100,000 population respectively, and for non-Māori males and females, the rates were 18.4 and 5.9 deaths per 100,000 population respectively.
    • The disparity between the average suicide rates of Māori and non-Māori males in 20022004 is the widest it has been in the previous eight years.

    There is a lot of work to be done here.

  23. burt 23

    Later in the report

    New Zealand research has found that the overwhelming majority of those who die by suicide or make suicide attempts were experiencing mental health problems, which are often accompanied by other sources of life stress and difficulty.

    Now what was I2 saying about the timing of the Helen Clark (minister of health) reforms over on the mental health thread ?
    see: http://www.thestandard.org.nz/?p=1425#comment-23598

    Late 80’s thru early 90’s ummm. Yep can see that impact.

  24. r0b 24

    So, that was truly vintage Burt ladies and gentlemen. A full U turn from “the government cooks the stats” to the significance of mental health and “other sources of life stress and difficulty” in the space of about 5 posts. Make of it what you will…

  25. burt 25

    rOb

    Are you going to answer the question, are you saying political interference is not a factor in reporting?

    Additionally, do you agree the graph presented shows the lowest suicide rate was during the time of significant reforms, IE an ACT style govt? And do you agree that it shows that when Helen Clark was minister of health de-institutionalising the mental health service the rate climbed quite sharply?

    Are you concerned that Maori suicide rates are so high and that the Maori suicide rate appears to be falling at a much slower rate than non Maori? This suggests to me that Labour’s policies are not working well for Maori people. What makes this particularly alarming are the claims that the suicide rate fall is socioeconomic improvement under the Labour led govt. Not for Maori I guess, and hopefully the Maori party can make some head way with these salient points.

    In an effort to say the declining suicide rate is entirely rated to the presence of a Labour led govt and it’s policies are you simply accepting the other consequences as a cost of having an overall downward trend?

    Thanks for the “vintage” tag, it’s great to explore a very complex issue, rather than claim one factor is the controlling factor or sanitise it because it’s not expedient to explore the detail.

  26. r0b 26

    Are you going to answer the question, are you saying political interference is not a factor in reporting?

    Ahhh – which question Burt? You’re all over the place mon ami. I’m happy to assert that “political interference” is not a significant factor in reporting (especially in a statistical sense).

    aditionally, do you agree the graph presented shows the lowest suicide rate was during the time of significant reforms, IE an ACT style govt?

    Yes and no Burt. It’s the lowest individual point at the start of that period before the “reforms” kicked in, and it increases sharply during that period.

    And do you agree that it shows that when Helen Clark was minister of health de-institutionalising the mental health service the rate climbed quite sharply?

    Yes I agree, but recall that this graph is of rates in the whole population. The subset of the population using mental health services is not large. So while there may or may not have been an increase in suicide rates in that subset population at the time, this graph doesn’t tell us anything about it (the effects are subsumed by the overall trend).

    Are you concerned that Maori suicide rates are so high and that the Maori suicide rate appears to be falling at a much slower rate than non Maori?

    Of course I’m concerned Burt. At least they are falling, but of course it could be better. I’d be very interested to here National’s proposals for addressing this issue. I wonder if the social upheaval caused by abolishing Maori seats will help at all?

    In an effort to say the declining suicide rate is entirely rated to

    Don’t be silly Burt, there is no single factor which “entirely” controls these things.

    Thanks for the “vintage’ tag

    Why you’re welcome Burt.

    it’s great to explore a very complex issue, rather than claim one factor is the controlling factor or sanitise it because it’s not expedient to explore the detail.

    So glad to see your recent conversion to rational debate. Such a change from how you entered this thread: “Go Jim! Nothing skewed about them figures is there – No Coroners badgered to not report deaths as suicide no surely not Coroners resigning over it “.

  27. randal 27

    keep it simple stupid…depression is anger turned inward and suicide is the desire to harm someone else turned inward and that person is usually the parent of the same sex. its all very well taking the durkheimian view that suicide can be plotted on a graph but in the end it comes down to child rearing practice and the prevailing culture. what is it about our culture that fosters parental ttitudes alientaing them from their children…that is the nub and either we do something about it or we do the ostrich dance because it is too painful to our carefully constructed externally referenced existence and infantilised ego’s.

  28. Oh my god we’ve got some kind of Lacanian here…

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    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 ...
    6 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
    6 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 ...
    7 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
    7 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
    7 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 ...
    7 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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 ...
    2 weeks 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 ...
    2 weeks 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 ...
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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 ...
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks ago

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