Foss puts foot in it

Written By: - Date published: 1:22 pm, August 22nd, 2008 - 58 comments
Categories: education - Tags: ,

Craig Foss annoyed some students in Napier when he described early childhood teachers as “glorified babysitters”, according to a recent story in the Hawke’s Bay Today (sent in by a bemused reader). He admitted that he used the term “babysitting” yet also tried to argue he was taken out of context. Perhaps he realised his assumptions were not going down too well. Certainly National’s plans to boost the numbers of non-accredited early childhood staff lead me to think they do regard “child-minding” as more of a priority than education of toddlers.

58 comments on “Foss puts foot in it”

  1. Crank 1

    Then again his Party did not sack the local health board in an underhand and murky way so his majority after this statement has gone from “unbelivably freaking ginormous” to “landslide massive”.

  2. Crank. I’ve never heard anyone from hawkes bay bring up the dhb as an issue, let alone a deciding factor in a choice not to vote labour..

  3. Julie 3

    Classic attempt to derail the point of this post and start off the thread with your own talking point Crank.

    Thanks for pointing out Foss’s ridiculousness Dancer, I’ve picked up on your post and blogged about this too now.

  4. Crank 4

    Steve, my understanding is that there is a lot of people in the Hawkes Bay who are still hopping mad about the DHB thing but my take on this is probably as anecdotal as yours.

  5. higherstandard 5


    “I?ve never heard anyone from hawkes bay bring up the dhb as an issue”

    Ha best line I’ve heard all day !

  6. Dancer 6

    Thanks Julie – I think I feel outraged on the “soon to be teachers” behalf as I can’t think of many things as daunting as being surrounded by toddlers 5 days a week, 8+ hours a day, being in charge of growing young minds. Looking after my ones already drives me to distraction! So it sounds like a comment that is really out of touch with what the job and purpose of it really is.

  7. Somehow I feel obliged to apologise on behalf of Foss to the entire teaching profession. As the mum of two kids, I appreciate teachers at all levels very much. That’s a pretty blatant bit off misogyny – but then Foss is only saying what the rest of the Nats are thinking. It’s hard to argue that you value EC teachers while calling for employing less qualified ones.

  8. Smokie 8

    Foss’ comments tell us what he privately believes, and prove he’s been misleading in his public comments. Like the rest of the National Party, Foss can’t be trusted.

    What is with National MPs saying one thing in private and one thing in public. It’s disingenuous and takes New Zealanders for fools. No wonder that One News poll showed no one bloody trusted National.

  9. randal 9

    and I sure am glad I ‘ve got a chance to say a word about the music and the mothers in Nashville.

  10. Billy 10

    Early childhood teachers are stupid, they assume that because they are teaching young children they can get away with being mentally deficient. If you know many early childhood teachers you will know im right

  11. randal 11

    if I know the ones that know you then you will be right for you are mentally deficient but I dont so you are wrong.

  12. yl 12


    you are an idiot, what a stupid thing to say.

    you clearly do not know any ec teachers, and are just basing your views on walking past a child care center and peering in a window.

    You do not have any idea the dedication, knowledge, and planning that goes into being a ec teacher, or any teacher for that matter.

    They are an extremely under valued part of the education sector, and it is idiots like you that talk without knowing what you are talking about who slow down the progress of ec teachers by undermining them.

    get a life you dork.

  13. Smokie 13

    Billy – The only things that’re mentally deficient are National’s private plans for New Zealand. If they really believe that early childhood teachers are mentally deficient, then they should fucking well come out and say so. Stop being such little chicken shits, and say what you really mean.

  14. toms 14

    Crank your “understanding” is bullshit. I come from Napier, as has my entire family since the first Maori saw the first white person and thought, “hello, whats going on here then?”

    The DHB is all about a right wing wannabe oligarchy having a tanty over its cosy cronyism being found out.

    The local rag (run by a self-confessed reactionary and christian fundy) has shamelessly championed the anti-modern, Tolkienesque world view that the local squireocracy goes all misty eyed over, and whipped the locals up into an outrage over the invasion of their little Hobbit shire and the disruption of rule by noblisse oblige that marks when all is right with the world.

    Since then, the plainly lacking revelations that would prove the genteel rural oligarchs right and the outland lesbian-socialist Orcs wrong has led to more than a few to question what they’ve been told.

    Of course, as long as the local paper continues to be the propaganda arm of the Pinochet’s in the Hawkes Bay Club and as long as their local National Party candidate of choice can use his “Clarkson discount” to corruptly work his way around the electoral spending cap it’ll be hard for Labour to win the seat back, but it’ll happen.

  15. Sarah 15

    God what an absolute stupid issue to complain about.

    You really will use anything to attack national won’t you?

    Foss is like some back bencher. Plenty of labour’s back benchers have said and done things stupid.

    You’re all a bunch of labour party hacks who need to get over themselves and stop complaining.

    And don’t talk about transparency and honesty again. That is a complete sham. Labour is equally, if not more, bad.

    Smacking anyone? Paint-gate? Corn-gate? Speed-at-160km-and-hang-your-police-escorts-out-to-dry-gate?


    Thank god for freedom of expresion.

  16. Dancer 16

    ahh Sarah, I don’t think the woman in the article found it nothing. Are you saying she doesn’t have the right to be angry? Plus there’s a genuine issue here about how we value those who educate our children.

    And sure – you might find egs of MPs from other parties who’s said stupid things (can’t think of any recent Labour backbenchers off the top of my head tho’) – in fact the most recent example of someone saying something silly was…that’s right – Bill English, Lockwood Smith and Nick Smith saying one thing in private and another in public. Guess we should be grateful Foss at least said it in public. But then, if he says this in public what would he say in private anyway?

  17. insider 17

    IF you think Foss has put it’s foot in it, what about the independent union the EPMU – suspending someone for daring to stand for ACT without asking for permission.

    Reminds me of all those suppression of free speech of union members quotes aimed at David Farrar when he challenged the EPMU in court

  18. Julie 18

    Sure people say stupid things. But most people aren’t putting themselves up to run the country – when you are doing so then your utterances, particularly when you make them in the course of your job as a Member of Parliament, are open to scrutiny. We should be able to get a picture of what a person thinks about a matter based on what they say about it. Surely?

    Gosh it’s fascinating to see so many righty commenters trying to drag this thread off topic – can’t you talk about the acutal issue in this thread or did no one issue you any talking points on it today?

  19. Draco TB 19

    IF you think Foss has put it’s foot in it, what about the independent union the EPMU – suspending someone for daring to stand for ACT without asking for permission.

    The rules of his employment that he agreed to stated that he had to ask permission first before standing as a politician. He broke contract – do you think any other employer would do nothing if one of their employees broke contract?

    Sorry about the OTness but these idiots are starting to bug me.

  20. darryl 20

    “IF you think Foss has put it’s foot in it, what about the independent union the EPMU – suspending someone for daring to stand for ACT without asking for permission.”

    Actually Insider, this is the perfect opportunity for The Standard to show they are not associated with the EPMU by speaking out against this. The Standard are obviously not ACT supporters but have been vocal about human rights and this is obviously a clear breech of human rights and also a breech of what unions were set up for in the first place.

  21. Sarah 21

    You know what? Screw you.

    Labelling us as idiots just because we offer a different view is unreasonable and shows your true nature as a dodgy-dealing ill-informed labour party hack.

    He brought up a fair point. Yet you label him as an idiot and treat him like he’s some kind of lesser being just because he brings up a view that is contrary to your own.

    And what kind of contract is the Union putting forward in the first place if an employee is not allowed to voice their own opinion and own political view, and must instead follow line with the view put forward by the establishment without wavering. It really shows how prejudicial and biased these sort of unions are.

    Sure he made a mistake and didn’t let his employees know that he was running for the ACT party (and there are still dubious circumstances surrounding this — he claims that they told him from the outset that they would fire him if he tried to run for the Act party, but still. Shouldn’t a person have a right to run for whatever political party they want and stand up for their own view without being fired?

    Surely the members of this blog will stand up for the rights of this man like they havre done for the rights of all other workers throughout this blog’s history?

  22. The comments by Foss (if true) were unwise. Surely the nats have learnt by now that there will be vermin hiding under every table with a 10 buck dictaphone every time they speak.
    On the other topic that some threadjacker brought up.
    This is a very bad look for the epmu and an embarrassing one for some posters here. It must be difficult to decide whether to jump in and support your employer or man up and support a fellow employees human rights. it will be interesting to see which side of the morality fence some of you fall.

  23. sweetd 23

    Draco, EMPU contracts do not superseed the Human Rights legislation. So, question for you, do you support the Union or the Human Rights law? Rock and hard place for lefties.

  24. sweetd 24

    Also, makes me think the EMPU is just an extension of the Labour Party, and thus should not be able to register as a third party for election purposes. Afetr all, it seems like you can you can stand for any party you like at the EMPU as long as it is Labour.

    Question to the EMPU guys; how many EMPU staff have stood for another party other than Labour?

  25. There is doubt that early childhood education and education throughout primary and high school is at an all time low, there seems to be a system that doesn’t recognize the children that may be of higher intelligence than the rest, basically the smart kids are told to dumb down.

  26. monkey-boy 26

    I sugggested on kiwiblog that the EPMU would have a different view of Tan were he standing for Labour, and was informed that I was guilty of speculation. Here is my reponse to that allegation: –
    “You should stick to debating on facts rather then speculating on something with no base.’

    yes yl, and again I apologise for that assumption.

    However, I have to suggest that we are living in times when, if it is politically expedient, our political representatives have been known to re-invent themselves, and go against prior statements when the occasion demands it, so although I am speculating, I don’t think it is too long a bow to draw.

    Here are some other views on record, from sources you may trust more than ickle me;

    “You also forget the Clare Curran was the PR force behind the EPMU’s fair share campaign and still has very good links with the movement. Anyone who knew anything about how Labour and the unions work would know that Curran would have had the EPMU’s backing if her candidacy was serious.’ (Tane – kiwiblog 30th october 2007)

    ‘ see EPMU President Don Pryde has thrown his hat in the ring for the Dunedin South seat and has the full backing of his union. ‘ (Irish Bill The Standard Oct. 30th 2007)

    “Asked about whether he had discussed supporting Mr Pryde with party president Mike Williams, Mr Little said he had met to talk about the party rejuvenation in general and spoke on the need for new candidates.’ (Herald Oct 31st, 2007)

    On the other hand it is that case that Andrew Little has indicated that when he goes for Labour Party President/ ‘future’ PM job(?) he will ‘step down’ from the EPMU.

    So at least Little is showing a personal consistency. But, it is not too long bow a draw to suggest that the EPMU would ‘bless’ a prospective candidate for Labour were it expedient to do so.

    Now, that brings us to the sticky issue of consistency, and whether Tan has been treated differently by the EPMU, than say Curren, Pryde etc purely on the basis of the political views he has chosen to espouse. You may argue that his standing for ACT was without permission, therefore in breach of his contract, but if the EPMU seriously negotiates on behalf of its workers on the basis that the employer gets ‘carte-blanche’ to choose their employees’ ‘rights’ then it is about as useful as a union, as tits are on a snake.

  27. monkey-boy 27

    “You should stick to debating on facts rather then speculating on something with no base.’

    yes yl, and again I apologise for that assumption.

    However, I have to suggest that we are living in times when, if it is politically expedient, our political representatives have been known to re-invent themselves, and go against prior statements when the occasion demands it, so although I am speculating, I don’t think it is too long a bow to draw.

    Here are some facts;

    “You also forget the Clare Curran was the PR force behind the EPMU’s fair share campaign and still has very good links with the movement. Anyone who knew anything about how Labour and the unions work would know that Curran would have had the EPMU’s backing if her candidacy was serious.’ (Tane – kiwiblog 30th october 2007)

    ‘ see EPMU President Don Pryde has thrown his hat in the ring for the Dunedin South seat and has the full backing of his union. ‘ (Irish Bill The Standard Oct. 30th 2007)

    “Asked about whether he had discussed supporting Mr Pryde with party president Mike Williams, Mr Little said he had met to talk about the party rejuvenation in general and spoke on the need for new candidates.’ (Herald Oct 31st, 2007)

    On the other hand it is that case that Andrew Little has indicated taht when he goes for Labour Party President/ pM job(?) he will ‘step down’ from the EPMU.
    So on the case in fact, perhaps it is a long-bow to draw given that Little is showing a personal consistency. But, it is not too long bow a draw to suggest that the EPMU would ‘bless’ a prospective candidate for Labour were it expedient to do so.

  28. monkey-boy 28

    interesting – twice I have posted with historical evidence that the EPMU and even The Standard’s editorial team does support Labour candidates that originated from the EPMU and twice nothing has shown up on the page. If my posts are banned or disallowed, it would be nice for you to at least inform me, then I will not have to waste my time trying would I?

    [lprent: Both wound up in the spam trap. I cannot see exactly why – perhaps someone on another site has been tossing your messages into spam? So they got sent through when I got around to looking at the site. Given a choice between having occasional messages in spam and having to clean a large number of messages each day that get through recaptha… ]

  29. Steven 29

    What an absolute beat-up. If that’s the best this blog can come up with on a Friday afternoon then it’s safe to assume that the Labour Party and the Greenies are in deep trouble for the election, whenever that may be. I’m sensing a massive bribe on the way and I can’t wait to hear what’s being cooked up to sway the voters.

  30. Tim Ellis 30

    The EPMU are not part of the Labour Party Barnsley. They are a separate legal entity. They don’t meet the thresh-hold for using political grounds to exclude a person from employment.

    I find it interesting that some people say the fact that Shawn Tan agreed to this clause in his agreement means that he should stick by it. Are these the same people who would argue that an employment agreement where both parties agreed to something that is below the minimum wage, would be oppressive and unfair on the employee?

    The only issue for the EPMU is whether somebody can do their job. If Shawn Tan is spending all his time away from his workplace campaigning, or is campaigning using EPMU facilities, then fair enough, he should face disciplinary action. But there’s no evidence of that. He’s just been named as a candidate. Having to go and inform your boss that you’re standing as a political candidate beforehand is outrageous. It’s like having to go and inform your boss beforehand that you’re a lesbian, and asking their permission.

    There are lots of lawyers working in the EPMU. I don’t think they honestly believe that somebody can’t represent two different points of view. Your job representing employees in employment disputes isn’t undermined just because you’re a member of a political party that is against collective bargaining. I can’t see how the EPMU can get away with this. I’m not an Act party supporter, and I think Shawn Tan is probably a bit of a weirdo for switching from the Greens to Act in such a short time, but that doesn’t mean he can’t do his job properly.

  31. randal 31

    it looks like the tory provocateurs do not have the capacity to stick to the point which in this case is the idiotic foss calling early childhood teachers glorified babysitters. any connection between this assertion and the rules of the EPMU is contingent on being a glorified upstart tory looking to cause trouble by confabulating the argument into a grab bag of issues the tories care to insert to distract the voters from considering Mr Foss’s ludicrous and demeaning statements

  32. dave 32

    The rules of [Tan’s] employment that he agreed to stated that he had to ask permission first before standing as a politician. He broke contract – do you think any other employer would do nothing if one of their employees broke contract?
    Conversely, do you think an employee should sit and let his employer breach Human Rights legislation. His employer told him that if he was going to stand for ACT he should resign, implying that if he asked for permission, it would not be granted. It’s a shame he did not get that in writing because Andrew Little has admitted on Newstalk ZB that Mr Tan’s political party of choice is a factor.

    Somebody who wants to seek public office for a party whose philosophies and policies and interests are directly contrary to the interests of the union’s members would obviously be foolish to say that that would not have a bearing on any application for approval.

    Political opinion is a prohibited ground of discrimination, so even if Tan had tossed up whether to ask permission, he was unlawfully discriminated against even before he made the decision not to seek official permission.

  33. monkey-boy 33

    thankyou for the reply – given my own posts about ‘paranoia’ it is a bit rich coming from me to accuse you of censorship. I apologise.
    WOuld you please delete the second duplicate. And may I add this take on the Tan thing?
    I recently posted on the EPMU ‘Ticklist’. As I then wrote:
    “These calls to protect workers’ rights are laudable, I personally would endorse and support the following: “Wages Policy”, “A meaningful right to be in a union”, “Right to be treated fairly and with dignity”, “Right to a safe and healthy workplace”, “Decent minimum entitlements”, “Committment to ongoing training and learning”. ”
    The ‘Right to be Treated Fairly and with Dignity’? As much as I would probably wish to ‘suspend’ Tan myself, were I in the EPMU’s shoes, that does not mean that I should be able to. The EPMU appear to be a ‘Law unto themselves’. They ‘warmly endorse’ candidates who stand for Labour, but drum the poor sap who stands for ACT out of his job?
    Suspending Tan was a stupid reaction, borne of the above-mentioned arrogance that comes with thinking they are the supreme moral arbiters of what constitutes ‘worker’s rights’. Is Tan being treated ‘fairly and with dignity’ by the EPMU?
    You decide.
    Lee – monkey with typewriter

  34. higherstandard 34

    It’d be nice to have Tane and IB’s input on this.

  35. monkey-boy 35

    randal – too many big words mate.
    Since when did defending the BoRA make you a ‘Tory provacateur’? – oh yes, during the SC on the EFA, I remember now….

    Are we seeing a pattern emerging?

  36. monkey-boy 36

    HS see my above post

  37. randal 37

    too many big words mate…hey I am not your mate and do you or do you not own a dictionary. and it is it beyond your capacity to use it or do you prefer a kneejerk response to everything rather than calm consideration and rational deliberation?

  38. monkey-boy 38

    ok randal I stand corrected. I do have a tendency towards the eschatological when it comes to the whittling away of our Rights. Many apologies. You are right. I don’t own a dictionary, I just tend to widen my vocabulary by a kind of osmosis, if you like. have a look at my latest post in ‘Monkeys with Typewriters’ I thought that that was relatively rational and calm take on the subject.

  39. higherstandard 39

    randal I though you were busy starting another party for morons so NZ First voters would have another option ?

  40. randal 40

    higher standard all I have to say to you is a fool can ask more questions that a wise man can answer

  41. dave 41

    looks like the tory provocateurs do not have the capacity to stick to the point

    Well Done Randal, I guess they are trying to express the values and principles that underpin the broad labour movement , y’know, values such as human rights, which obviously the EPMU don’t share

    check this blogs About:
    It’d be fair to say that all of us share a commitment to the values and principles that underpin the broad labour movement and we hope that perspective will come through strongly as you read the blog.

    Its starting to come through in the comments, if not the posts.

  42. Draco TB 42

    Political opinion is a prohibited ground of discrimination,

    Why, so it is. But imagine this conversation:

    Shaun Sorry Rodney, can’t come to the caucus meeting today as I have a high level meeting at the union to attend.
    Rodney Oh?
    Shaun Yeah, we’re going to discuss the unions opposition to the proposed bill we just announced and the pamphlets that we’ll be handing out.
    Rodney Sounds interesting, let us know about it will you?
    Shaun Yeah, sure. I’ll give all the details at the meeting tomorrow as well as copies of the pamphlet if I can get hold of some. Gota go, Cya.
    Rodney Cya

    It’s not a human rights issue but a conflict of interests issue.

  43. randal 43

    well if that is the case dave start a thread about it…dont hijack someoneelses point of view and then complain because you are held up because you have nothing to say for yourself except writing a whole lot of rubbish about nothing

  44. dave 44

    Randal I cant start a thread here as its not my blog you dork. Piss off if you have nothing worthwhile to say or get your own blog as others of us have. Draco, it is a human rights issue as his employer didnt want him to have a choice as to whether he can stay at work and be involved in Act in his own time. The conflict of interests issue hasn’t arisen yet and in any case conflicts of issue is not a prohibited ground of discrimination, whereas expressing political opinions is.

  45. randal 45

    dave none of that made any sense whatsoever. SPAM 101.

  46. dave 46

    to others it would, but not to you, as you appear to lack basic comprehension skills. And not for the first time either.

  47. randal 47

    dave you are a troll. crawl back in your hole till you have somethng to say that does not involve an ad hominem argument or a mouthfull of nonsense put out to confuse people and waste their time..ciao

  48. Draco TB 48

    Dave, all that’s happened so far is that he broke a part of his employment contract put in there to, apparently, protect against such conflicts of interest as has now arisen with him becoming a high ranking member of ACT.

  49. randal 49

    no member of act is high ranking…they are all low type people.

  50. Wow, a hole day without one of the Standardistas putting up a post and I miss them already.

  51. Julie 51

    When I saw this thread had 50 comments I thought, great, people will have been talking about early childhood education as a profession, the stupid comments Foss made, the sexism underlying them, etc.

    Sadly I see that is not the case. Guess Mr Foss is pretty undefensible then?

    And barnsleybill I think the “vermin” with the tape recorder in this case are in fact the students that Mr Foss went to see and spoke directly to, no entrapment necessary (not that I think the recordings were entrapment anyway). I don’t think anyone has made any allegation that the students were politically motivated members of another party, but rather that they were surprised and annoyed to have their profession denigrated by an MP.

  52. Tane 52

    Hey HS, sorry I’ve just caught up with this thread. I’m friends with a lot of people who know Tan personally so I’d rather not comment on his employment issues, except to say I’m incredibly disappointed with his actions.

    All I’m seeing on this thread is a lot of misinformed commentary from people on the right who don’t know the full facts of the situation. Here’s a hint: responsible employers don’t go running to the media about their employment disagreements, opportunisitic political aspirants do.

  53. Are early childhood workers allowed to vote against the vile Miss Clark and her Absolute Power regime?

  54. randal 54

    stand for parliament d4juice and see how many votes you get.

  55. Hook yourself up to a lie detector randal and watch the lights go out across New Zealand you stupid nitwit cretin.

  56. higherstandard 56


    Can you save all of Randal’s and D4J’s comments at the very least there’s a short novella there, it’s like watching an old rerun of the odd couple – brilliant stuff.

  57. A Beautiful Distance 57

    How did this thread entwine itself in two issues?

    The remark of Mr Foss, if accurately reported, is insulting to early-childhood teachers and that’s all it is. Any suggestion that his view is representative of anyone else is fatuous. He’s a clown, FOSS is a four letter “F” word, see, you can learn things at kindergarten!

    The other issue, (employer permission for standing in an election) is pivotted on the terms of Mr Tan’s employment. It is a legal issue, not a political or human rights issue. Let the court deal with it. Personal and political opinions have nothing to do with it.

  58. Tim Ellis 58

    LP I don’t know if this feature exists, but it would be great to have it in the comments section and would save a lot of moderation time, and d4j and randal prove its worth. If you could have a karma feature like on kiwiblog, and a setting to mute the comments that fall below a karma level, like they have on youtube, then we wouldn’t have to waste time reading mindless trash from the likes of randal and d4j that doesn’t add anything to the debate. Inflammatory comments from both sides would self-moderate, too–people would be less likely to write inflammatory comments if their karma drops so low that nobody reads what they say.

    I don’t know if this kind of feature exists but if it does it would be great to integrate with this blog and knock out some of the childish behaviour.

    [lprent: I’ve thought about it. It doesn’t prevent outbreaks of stupid comments, it operates after the fact. The other factor is that it allows the formation of a self-perpetuating comment cabal. Effectively it rewards forming informal coalitions with others to drive people out. I could think of about 10 ways that I could use a system like that to do interesting things.

    To comment on here is a privilege not a right and subject to a perception by the moderators of reasonable behavior. The enforcement of the standards of behavior is fairly lax – most of the time we warn first on the offending comment(s). But when they are enforced, they tend toward the draconian.

    It is mildly arbitrary and not subject to appeal. That ensures that there is no lawyering introducing its own level of flames.

    In Rob’s case the real problem wasn’t what he was saying was so far off. It was that he was consistently inaccurate and appeared to seldom read the responses to his previous comments, either by moderators, or by other commentators. So why was he commenting at all ?

    Effectively he was writing a set of lines without interacting. To me that smacks of graffiti mindset. It was also taking too much of everyones times. My previous actions didn’t cause a sufficient change in behaviour – for instance putting his remarks into moderation.

    Eventually I got annoyed and banned him for a week for being a bloody nuisance to me. That is the least time I could do. But that is his last warning. ]

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  • 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
    2 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
    3 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
    3 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
    3 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
    3 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
    4 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
    4 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 ...
    4 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
    4 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
    4 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
    4 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
    5 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
    5 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
    5 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 ...
    5 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 ...
    5 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 ...
    5 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
    5 days 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
    5 days 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 ...
    5 days 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
    6 days 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
    6 days 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
    6 days 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
    6 days 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
    6 days 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
    6 days 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
    6 days 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
    6 days 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
    6 days 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
    6 days 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
    7 days 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
    7 days 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
    7 days 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
    7 days 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 ...
    7 days 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
  • Government says it will now build just one really nice home
    Following publication of this article, the Ministry has requested it to be noted that this supplied image is not necessarily representative of what the final house will look like, and it “probably won’t be that nice.” As part of today’s long-anticipated reset of the Government’s flagship KiwiBuild policy, Housing Minister ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Imperialism and your cup of coffee
    Over the next week or two we will be running three synopses of parts of the opening chapter of John Smith’s Imperialism in the 21st Century (New York, Monthly Review Press, 2016).  The synopsis and commentary below is written by Phil Duncan. Marx began Capital not with a sweeping historical ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Still juking the stats
    The State Services Commission and Ombudsman have released another batch of OIA statistics, covering the last six months. Request volumes are up, and the core public service is generally handling them within the legal timeframe, though this may be because they've learned to extend rather than just ignore things. And ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Hard News: Time for a New Deal: 25 years on
    In 1994, I was editing an ambitious street mag called Planet, from a fabled office at at 309 Karangahape Road. The thirteenth issue of the magazine was published in the winter of that year and its cover embodied a particularly ambitious goal: the end of cannabis prohibition.I wanted to do ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Not impressed
    KiwiBuild was one of the Ardern government's core policies. The government would end the housing crisis and make housing affordable again by building 100,000 new homes. Of course, it didn't work out like that: targets weren't met, the houses they did build were in the wrong place, and the whole ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Solar beats coal
    As the climate crisis escalates, it is now obvious that we need to radically decarbonise our economy. The good news is that its looking easy and profitable for the energy sector. Wind is already cheaper than fossil fuels, and now solar is too:The levellised cost of solar PV has fallen ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • A Step Too Far.
    A Crown Asset? For reasons relating to its own political convenience, the Crown pretends to believe that “No one owns the water.” To say otherwise would re-vivify the promises contained in the Treaty of Waitangi – most particularly those pertaining to the power of the chiefs and their proprietary rights ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Where Money Comes From
    Most people would say, no doubt, that they have a pretty good idea of what money is. They live with the reality of money every day. It is what is needed to buy the necessities of life and to maintain a decent standard of living. You get money, they would ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    2 weeks ago
  • Banned by the Green Party leadership: Jill Abigail on women’s rights and trans rights
    The article below was an opinion piece that appeared in the Spring 2019 issue of Te Awa (the NZ Green Party’s newsletter) and on the Greens website.  In keeping with their policy of hostility to women defending women’s right to female-only spaces, Green bureaucrats have since removed the opinion piece.  ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • The fallacy of the proximity argument.
    Longer term readers may remember my complaining that, as a political scientist, it is burdensome to have non-political scientists wanting to engage me about politics. No layperson would think to approach an astrophysicist and lecture him/her on the finer details of quarks and black holes, but everybody with an opinion ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    2 weeks ago
  • Where We Stood: Chris Trotter Replies To Stevan Eldred-Grigg.
    Joining The Fight: Stevan Eldred-Grigg's argument for New Zealand staying out of the Second World War fails not only on the hard-headed grounds of preserving the country’s strategic and economic interests; and not just on the soft-hearted grounds of duty and loyalty to the nation that had given New Zealand ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Universities back the climate strike
    On September 27, School Strike 4 Climate will be striking for a future to pressure the government for meaningful climate action. This time, they've asked adults to join them. And now, Lincoln University and Victoria University of Wellington have signed on:Victoria University of Wellington has joined Lincoln University in endorsing ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago

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