GCSB Bill: & Dotcom versus FBI, “NZ Intelligence Community” et al

Written By: - Date published: 10:21 am, May 8th, 2013 - 45 comments
Categories: accountability, activism, capitalism, copyright, democracy under attack, john key, nz first, slippery, Spying, telecommunications, us politics, winston peters - Tags:

You’ve got to hand it to Kim Dotcom for his great choice of timing and ability to make the MSM headlines. John Key is leading the House into unnecessary, and politically motivated urgency to push through his anti-democratic Big brother GCSB surveillance Bill.  Meanwhile, Dotcom’s lawyers have released a 39 page white paper making a range of allegations.

Dotcom’s arrest and the subsequent legal proceedings have set in motion activities that Key has opportunistically used to legally increase the state’s ability to spy on activities of any individual or organisation within the country that they choose.

john key trust me

People should take heed of Chris Trotter’s well-considered warnings; ones based on past evidence of NZ state authorities spying on Kiwis, sometimes for politically and/or commercially motivated reasons.

Using the enhanced powers of surveillance bestowed upon it by the new legislation, and operating entirely within the expanded legal parameters it establishes, the “New Zealand Intelligence Community” (as Rebecca Kitteridge calls it) will very soon have the authority to spy upon organisations as old as the trade unions and as new as the groups determined to prevent New Zealand signing the Trans-Pacific Partnership free-trade agreement. Greenpeace’s latest campaign against deep-sea oil exploration could also be targeted. The grounds? That it poses a direct threat to “the economic well-being of New Zealand”.

Protecting the economic well-being of the nation has been one of the New Zealand Security Intelligence Service’s (NZSIS) objectives for nearly two decades. We simply do not know how many times it has been used to secure interception warrants directed at the activities of fair trade and environment activists. (The release of such information would, of course, prejudice New Zealand’s national security!)

my_big_brother_loves_me_sticker

Meanwhile, another clever political operator, who knows how to get his lines into the MSM, Winston Peters, holds his cards close to his chest.  Will he or won’t he support Key’s Stazi-style Spy Bill?  He has said that the law needs to be amended quickly.  However, he is publicly snubbing key’s request for a meeting, by which Key would aim to get Peters’ support for his Bill.

“Why would I do that? We can work this through on the facts and on the legislation, we don’t need to have to go and have a private sitdown like some parties want to do every five minutes.”

He said NZ First had also been offered a briefing on the bill from officials, but said: “Those are the same people who screwed it up in 2003 and screwed it up in 2009 and onwards so we don’t think that’s going to be very helpful.

“It’s better we just work our way calmly through the legislation ourselves and say what we think.”

However, this Bill is too important to rush through quickly.  I don’t understand why Peters sees it as so urgent?  And his suggestions for strengthening oversight of the intelligence services look to be inadequate – papering over some cracks.

The White Paper released by Kim Dotcom’s lawyers today, makes accusations against the FBI, the US motion picture industry bosses, Obama, and the “NZ Intelligence Community.”  This shows how much NZ’s domestic and external intelligence services are cordinated with US state surveillance services.  NZ’s economic, social and political sovereignty is also at stake here.  David Fisher in today’s NZ Herald reports,

Kim Dotcom has called for an investigation into the FBI case against Megaupload in a legal review which accuses Prime Minister John Key of being misled by the United States.

The “White Paper” released by Mr Dotcom last night also alleges the illegal spying by the GCSB went on for 10 days longer than the spy bureau has previously admitted. …

It calls for investigations by US Senate oversight committees, linking the motives for the prosecution to Hollywood studios’ political contributions and support for President Barack Obama….

Dotcom alleges that Obama influenced the proceedings against Megaupload, because the president aimed to,

“… mollify the motion picture industry in exchange for campaign contributions and political support”.

Well, Dotcom probably supports the values of “neoliberal” capitalism, and is no great (US style) Democrat.  So the detailed White Paper, and its legal and political implications need careful consideration.  But so too do any changes to the laws responsible for the gathering of “intelligence” by NZ state authorities.  Note also that Trotter indicates there’s another related Bill on the table:

If you think I’m being alarmist, just take a look at the Government’s next brick in the “national security” wall: the Telecommunications (Interception Capability and Security) Bill.

In an earlier post, Trotter exposed how Key has been working towards the amalgamation of NZ’s intelligence services under his sole authority since 2009.  This is evident from the Kitteridge Report in which:

The first clue Ms Kitteridge supplies is her reference to something called the New Zealand Intelligence “Community” (NZIC). This new kid on the national security block is the sum arrived at by adding the parts known as The NZ Security Intelligence Service, The GCSB and the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet (DPMC).

Professors Kevin P Clements and Richard Jackson of the National Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies at the University of Otago express their concern over the proposed Spy Bill.

This is no time to be complacent.  We need to keep watching the watchers, and to actively support those that resist Key’s blatant disregard of democratic processes!

[Update:]

The first reading of the GCSB amendment Bill began in the House this afternoon.

In his speech in the House, Peters appeared to be aiming at a statesmanlike position bringing both sides of the House together. He claims to want adequate security for Kiwis against nasty “terrorists” but also wants adequate insurance that Kiwis’ privacy won’t be breached. He said NZ First will vote against the bill at this stage.

Later today Peters released a statement:

New Zealand First has accused the Government of “bully boy” tactics in trying to stampede the Government Communications Security and Related Legislation Amendment Bill through Parliament. …

“We received a copy of the legislation and a letter from the Prime Minister yesterday morning.

“We studied the legislation, listed our concerns and made a constructive response to the Prime Minister today.

“Our response was ignored – except for a brief phone call – and the legislation was introduced under urgency. It is flawed, draconian and unacceptable in a free, open and democratic society.

“We believe the legislation has been drafted in haste and it should go back to the drafting office before proceeding any further,” says Mr Peters.

45 comments on “GCSB Bill: & Dotcom versus FBI, “NZ Intelligence Community” et al”

  1. As has been mentioned by Gordon Campbell (http://gordoncampbell.scoop.co.nz/2013/05/07/gordon-campbell-on-the-gcsbs-enhanced-role/) this is the ultimate bare knuckled steel bar jack booted example of nanny state that you could ever imagine.

    It puts some of Farrar’s hyperbole into perspective. He apparently said:

    “First they came for our light bulbs, and then they came for our showers!! Is there no limit to the nanny state?”

    Well based on National’s behaviour apparently not.

    • Colonial Viper 1.1

      Yeah I trust Farrar will be attacking this proposed expansion of state powers any day now. He knows better than most what increased surveillance, interception and recording of internet traffic means.

    • AmaKiwi 1.2

      @ mickysavage

      You are a lawyer. I am not.

      How great is the risk that Kim Dotcom can sue New Zealand for the destruction of his $1 BILLION company?

      • mickysavage 1.2.1

        I am sure he will think about it although the US Government looks like it is in his sights at this stage.

      • King Kong 1.2.2

        He will have more on his mind than suing NZ when he is someones girlfriend in a federal penitentiary.
        The man is a thief and it really amuses me that those on the left are championing a stealing billionaire. Any enemy of John Key…

        • karol 1.2.2.1

          Dotcom is no more a “thief” than other neoliberal capitalist. He’s just a bit out of step with the dominant capitalists in the way he has found entrepreneurial opportunities via the Internet.

          And, as I said in my post, I do not see Dotcom as a leftie or US style Democrat.

  2. joe90 2

    Perhaps we’re already there.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2013/may/04/telephone-calls-recorded-fbi-boston

    “All of that stuff” – meaning every telephone conversation Americans have with one another on US soil, with or without a search warrant – “is being captured as we speak”.

    • muzza 2.1

      NSA have been working inside of companies like AT&T for a very long time, thats well documented.

      NSA are also building the worlds largest data centres, all for your safety course.

      Amazing how many *conspiracy theories*, are turning into conspiracy reality!

      Problem, Reaction, Solution!

      • Ben 2.1.1

        Thank god for AES encryption.

        As far as is currently known there’s no way to break it in a meaningful period of time, but as touched on in the referenced article, this may be changing very quickly.

        I’m seeing a need for a method of encrypting all communication with AES very soon, because if it’s encrypted when it’s captured, it’s likely to stay that way for the foreseeable future. Applying that to SMS and regular email, etc, may prove problematic, and there’s still the problem of protecting the key.

        • Colonial Viper 2.1.1.1

          Yeah except you’ll be flagged quick smart if you start using strong encryption on a regular basis.

          • infused 2.1.1.1.1

            As far as I know, it’s legal here. It’s not legal in the us to use anything above 128bit.

          • Ben 2.1.1.1.2

            In my view that’s basically another way of saying “nothing to fear, nothing to hide.” I take my privacy a lot more seriously than that. To suggest everyone who uses encrypted email must be guilty of something is bordering on paranoid.

            I encrypt most of my data because it’s sensitive *to me*, not because it’s illegal (to be abundantly clear, it isn’t illegal – it’s family pictures etc which, if I lost the device, I wouldn’t want anyone else to have access to). To me it’s no different to having a lock on your front door, or your diary.

            I know there are laws about exporting certain types of encryption technology outside US borders – I’ve come up against it with various distributions of Linux. I don’t know the exact details, but I’ve never been in a situation where AES simply isn’t available.

            Now if governments were to make encryption itself illegal, that would be very interesting indeed.

            • Colonial Viper 2.1.1.1.2.1

              Uh, my comment had nothing to do with the contents of your communications, your reasons for using encryption or the legal status of your communications.

              All I said was that if you use encrypted communications on a regular basis, it will be noticed.

      • Paul 2.1.2

        The words ‘conspiracy theory’ are used to stop dissent, by linking perfectly reasonable and rational questioning of the official stories presented to extreme positions and ideas without any rational evidence to back them up.

  3. Intelligence gathering based on telephone traffic was part of Israel’s espionage activities when the 9/11 attacks took place.

    http://whatreallyhappened.com/WRHARTICLES/spyring.php

    What Israel has done in return was to set up government subsidized telecommunications companies which operate here in the United States. One of these companies is Amdocs, which provides billing and directory assistance for 90% of the phone companies in the USA. Amdocs’ main computer center for billing is actually in Israel and allows those with access to do what intelligence agencies call “traffic analysis”; a picture of someone’s activities based on a pattern of who they are calling and when. Another Israeli telecom company is Comverse Infosys, which subcontracts the installation of the automatic tapping equipment now built into every phone system in America.

    • AmaKiwi 3.1

      I return to my previous question to micky savage (and anyone else out there with professional legal knowledge):

      “How great is the risk that Kim Dotcom can sue New Zealand for the destruction of his $1 BILLION company?”

      If Dotcom can sue us (NZ) for destroying his business, this is the elephant in the room. Dotcom won’t mention it because he wants to remain popular with the NZ public and judges.

      If it is a possibility, this is part of the conversations between governments today. “We pulled off this stunt to get your president re-elected. It has put us in deep political shit with our voters and we could have a huge budget blow-out. Why? Because we did your dirty work for you. Make us an offer or we do a deal with Dotcom now.”

      • veutoviper 3.1.1

        Dotcom is currently on a Live Chat hour on the Herald online and this is the answer to a question on this very issue:

        “When you are acquitted, are you still adamant that you will not seek compensation at the expense of the NZ taxpayer?

        The US and Hollywood are responsible for what happened. Our expectations is that down the road there will be lawsuits filed in the US. But of course I also have legal bills in the millions in NZ and will seek orders here to be able to pay those. I don’t want to burden the NZ taxpayer and anything that is awarded to us in NZ (beyond legal fees) will go to charities like Starship Children Hospital which I have supported in the past.

        The Live Chat (still going on) can be viewed here

        http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10882223

        • AmaKiwi 3.1.1.1

          Please pause for a moment of prayer:

          “We pray Dotcom does not change his mind.”

          Amen

      • Ugly Truth 3.1.2

        “Make us an offer or we do a deal with Dotcom now.”

        NZ politicians are in no position to threaten the US. Key’s “misstatement” about the Christchurch earthquake being man-made is significant given the US officials who were visiting at the time.

        http://www.guerillamedia.co.nz/content/was-christchurch-earthquake-terrible-natural-disaster-or-was-it-terrible-man-made-disaster

        • One Anonymous Knucklehead 3.1.2.1

          🙄

          • Ugly Truth 3.1.2.1.1

            1. 9 members of US Congress were in Christchurch for a summit meeting on Feb 21 & 22 but left Christchurch 2.5 hours before the earthquake hit and relocated to Wellington even though the meeting was not due to finish until the evening of Feb 22nd. (http://chemtrailsnorthnz.wordpress.com/2011/02/24/report-nine-us-congressmen-left-christchurch-right-before-quake-hit/)
            2. The US Secretary of Homeland Security, Janet Napolitano, was supposed to be visiting Christchurch and speaking at the summit meeting on Feb 22, but on Feb 18 announced she was cancelling her visit
            3. The Deputy Administrator of FEMA (US Federal Emergency Management Agency), Timothy Manning, just happened to be in Christchurch at the time with a US delegation. (http://voices.washingtonpost.com/federal-eye/2011/02/fema_official_in_new_zealand_w.html) All of the rest of the delegation left Christchurch shortly before the quake hit except for Mr Manning who stayed behind, and then after the quake hit he assisted with directing the emergency response. Exactly the same thing happened with FEMA delegates with the Haitiearthquake. In Haiti , the FEMA delegates just happened to be there at the time conducting training exercises for responding to major earthquakes.
            4. Recently retired US Admiral Thad Allen just happened to be in Christchurch at the time of the earthquake. Admiral Allen directed the US federal response to Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, and the Gulf Oil disaster. (http://chemtrailsnorthnz.wordpress.com/2011/02/24/admiral-thad-allen-in-christchurch-at-time-of-earthquake/)
            5. 116 members of the Singapore army just happened to be in Christchurch at the time for training exercises and were also able to assist with the response operation
            6. Venezuela President, Hugo Chavez stated on Fox News shortly after the Haiti earthquake in 2010 that ‘the United States apparently possesses an earthquake weapon that set off the catastrophic quake in Haiti’ and also said that ‘the Haiti quake was caused by a US test of an experimental shockwave system that can also create weather anomalies which cause floods, droughts, and hurricanes (our Australian and Queensland cousins may be interested in that last piece of information)
            7. Following the Haiti earthquake, Venezuelan news also reported ‘the US government’s HAARP program may also be to blame for the 7.8 earthquake in China in 2008’, and said ‘the cataclysmic ruin in Haiti was only a test run for a much bigger game: the coming showdown with Iran’

            http://chemtrailsnorthnz.wordpress.com/2011/03/04/was-the-christchurch-earthquake-a-terrible-natural-disaster-or-was-it-a-terrible-man-made-disaster/

            • One Anonymous Knucklehead 3.1.2.1.1.1

              We’re having trouble sourcing really high quality drivel, but this is just the thing.

              More drivel please.

              • Born in Belgrade, Yugoslavia, Nicola Tesla is one of this century’s greatest scientists. A prodigious inventor of electronic devices and pioneer of free energy, Tesla never gained the recognition he deserved because his scientific breakthroughs were deemed to ‘sensitive’ by the ruling corporate and government powers of the day. Thus much of his research was suppressed and stolen.

                In a book entitled Tesla – The Lost Inventions, a section is titled “Man-Made Earthquake”. It discloses Tesla’s fascination with the power of resonance and he experimented with it not only electrically but on the mechanical plane as well. In his Manhattan, USA lab, Tesla built mechanical vibrators and tested their powers. One experiment got out of hand.

                Tesla attached a powerful little vibrator driven by compressed air to a steel pillar. Leaving it there, he went about his business. Meanwhile, down the street, a violent quaking built up, shaking down plaster, bursting plumbing, cracking windows, and breaking heavy machinery off its anchorages.

                Tesla’s vibrator had found the resonant frequency of a deep sandy layer of subsoil beneath his building, setting off a small earthquake. Soon Tesla’s own building began to quake. It is reported that just as the police broke into his lab, Tesla was seen smashing the device with a sledge hammer, the only way he could promptly stop it.

                In a similar experiment, on an evening walk through the city, Tesla attached a battery powered vibrator, described as being the size of an alarm clock, to the steel framework of a building under construction. He adjusted it to a suitable frequency and set the structure into resonant vibration.

                The structure shook, and so did the earth under his feet. Tesla later boasted he could shake down the Empire State Building with such a device. If this claim was not extravagant enough, he went on to say a large-scale resonant vibration was capable of splitting the earth in half.

                An article from the 11 July, 1935 issue of the New York American entitled ‘Tesla’s Controlled Earthquakes’, stated Tesla’s “experiments in transmitting mechanical vibrations through the earth – called by him ‘the art of telegeodynamics’ – were roughly described by the scientists as a sort of controlled earthquake.”

                The article quotes Tesla as stating:

                The rhythmical vibrations pass through the earth with almost no loss of energy. It becomes possible to convey mechanical effects to the greatest terrestrial distances and produce all kinds of unique effects. The invention could be used with destructive effect in war…

                http://globalresearch.ca/articles/JEF401A.html

                • infused

                  That stuff about Tesla was actually pretty interesting.

                • Murray Olsen

                  Tesla was a very interesting guy, who was responsible for a number of breakthroughs. Almost none of the rubbish on the internet about him has any relation to anything he actually did.

                • Clockie

                  I’m a sure any vibratory device that can “make the earth move” as much as that has a real commercial future. Coming to an adult store near you soon.. 🙂

                  • ghostrider888

                    that was a long the lines of my thoughts Clockie, although…

                    • Clockie

                      although.. might be a bit much? 🙂

                    • ghostrider888

                      i do value Tesla’s contributions, buy other people? not so much 😀 (although U T can be Infectious sometimes).

                • One Anonymous Knucklehead

                  Now mention the Templars.

      • Colonial Viper 3.1.3

        “How great is the risk that Kim Dotcom can sue New Zealand for the destruction of his $1 BILLION company?”

        I hear that the Crown very recently gained a billion or so, so maybe it could go to Dotcom.

    • McFlock 3.2

      Similar allegations have been made about Huawei, and of course Roosevelt got his buddies (not even govt services) to read trans-atlantic signals via the exchange pre-US involvement in WW2.

      Your focus on Israel and 9/11 seems a bit random.

      • Ugly Truth 3.2.1

        The reason that I focus on Israel is because of the strong role of religion within terrorist activity. The Zionist state of Israel was largely a product of WW2, both from Hitler’s overt support of Zionism and from the Balfour Declaration in response to Nazi judenhass. Hilter was nominally a Catholic, and Germany was predominantly a Christian nation.

  4. js 4

    The Waihopai appeal is going on as well today. Cases linked.
    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/8647335/Spy-base-trio-use-Dotcom-defence

  5. BLiP 5

    Whew! John Key has had a busy week and its only Wednesday . . .

    – Wellington City is dying.

    – the GCSB has been prevented from carrying out its functions because of the law governing its functions

    – because the opposition is opposed to the GCSB law ammendments, parliamentary urgency is required

    – the increasing number of cyber intrusions which I can’t detail or discuss prove that the GCSB powers need to be extended to protect and work with private enterprise

    – it was always the intent of the GCSB Act to be able to spy on New Zealanders on behalf of the SIS and police

    – National Ltd™ is not expanding the activities of the GCSB with this new law

    – National Ltd™ has been working on a number of things with New Zealand First one of which has a financial component but I can’t talk about it

    – the best way to get growth in the economy is to reduce public debt

    . . . moar items for the list. Keep it up, John, I’m lovin’ it.

  6. karol 6

    The first reading of the GCSB amendment Bill began in the House this afternoon.

    Peters’ speech was delivered with gravitas, and with strong rhetorical emphasis on some points.

    He appears to be aiming at a statesmanlike position bringing both sides of the House together. He pointed out the parts of the Bill he doesn’t agree with, to do with inadequate oversight of the GCSB. He stressed what he wants to see in the Bill and said that, at this stage NZ First would be voting against the Bill.

    He claims to want adequate security for Kiwis against nasty “terrorists” but also wants adequate insurance that Kiwis’ privacy won’t be breached.

  7. Paul 7

    So the GCSB and the police will start trawling through the Standard and other threats to the free market.

    • Anne 7.1

      @ Paul
      What makes you think the GCSB (especially under the present Director, Ian Fletcher who answers personally as well as professionally to John Key) hasn’t already charged his minions with the task of checking us all out. After all we are far left (Johnny boy says so) and therefore dangerous subversives in the making. 🙂

  8. fear all 8

    the worst I suppose that can happen to any offending Kiwi is death by some US agency hopefully it will only be our money and lively hood
    I WILL CHECK my bank balance in the next 24hrs and wait for a raid by some govt agency
    Yes enough reason to be worried

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    We reprint below an article from the excellent website the Economics of Imperialism by Tony Norfield This is an update of the statistics for my Index of Power, using data for 2018-19 and discussing what a country’s ranking reflects. The major change is that China’s rank has shifted up and ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    4 days ago
  • Climate Change: A history lesson
    Why is New Zealand climate change policy so crap? The Herald this morning has a long article on the twists and turns of climate change policy in New Zealand [paywalled / depaywall script], which shows where we've been. The short version is that the government first began worrying about this ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • What the All Blacks Mean to Us
    The All Blacks have been, for more than a century, arguably the most successful International sports team in the world. But they are more than that; even for those Kiwis who are immune to the charms of rugby (and there are more than a few), the All Blacks are ambassadors ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    4 days ago
  • No one is born into the wrong body
    A short and incredibly powerful speech from a young lesbian woman. No one is born in the wrong body. ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    5 days ago
  • Contempt
    Back in June, the UK Court of Appeal ruled that that country's continued arms sales to Saudi Arabia were unlawful. So you'd expect that the UK government stopped approving them, right?Of course not:The government has apologised for breaching a court ruling against the sale of weapons to Saudi Arabia that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Covering up the cover-up
    Yesterday NZDF officials were put on the stand about the lies they had told over Operation Burnham, making implausible claims that it was all a big mistake. But along the way, we learned they had already been put on the spot about it by a previous Defence Minister, who had ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Not as important as they think they are
    Farmers have been whining a lot lately, about the methane targets in the Zero Carbon Bill, about Canterbury's proposed nitrogen limits, and about the government's new proposals to stop them from shitting in our lakes and rivers. These policies are "throwing farmers under the tractor", they will force farmers off ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Behind Every Good Woman Should Stand – Another Good Woman.
    Alone, Alone, All, All, Alone: To argue that the Prime Minister is the victim of her advisers’ failure to keep her informed may offer Jacinda some measure of exoneration – but only at the cost of casting her as a hopeless political ingénue. A star-dusted muppet, whose only purpose is to ...
    5 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
    5 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 ...
    5 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
    5 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
    6 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 ...
    6 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
    6 days ago
  • A founding member responds to Peace Action Wellington
    by Don Franks It was a lovely sunny Wellington afternoon with blue skies above  the beaches.  In Courtenay Place, political activists packed out a stuffy upstairs room for an important meeting. The assembled pacifists, anarchists, communists and independent young radicals of Peace Action Wellington felt the need for a mission ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    6 days ago
  • “Mistakes and errors”
    Current and former NZDF top brass are being publicly grilled this week by the hit and run inquiry over their public responses to allegations of civilian casualties. Previously, they've claimed there were no casualties, a position which led them to lie to Ministers and to the public. Now, they're saying ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • “Homosexuality is same-sex attraction and relationships, not heterosexuals with delusions of gende...
    by Rafael D. Quiles (gender-critical gay man from Puerto Rico) The writing on the wall is right in people’s faces and people just don’t see it or don’t want to. What could actually possess a heterosexual male to want to feminize himself and claim that he is a lesbian? Because ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    7 days ago
  • Trump: “Where’s my favourite dictator?”
    From the Wall Street Journal:Inside a room of the ornately decorated Hotel du Palais during last month’s Group of Seven summit in Biarritz, France, President Trump awaited a meeting with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi. Mr. Trump looked over a gathering of American and Egyptian officials and called out in ...
    7 days ago
  • Magdalen Burns, 1983-2019, fighter for women’s liberation
    by the Redline blog collective At Redline we are very saddened to hear of the death of Magdalen Burns who passed away on the morning of Friday, September 13 (British time). Magdalen was a great fighter for the rights of women in general and lesbian women in particular, a defender ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    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
    1 week ago
  • The obvious question
    The media is reporting that the (alleged) Labour party sexual assaulter has resigned from their job at Parliament, which means hopefully he won't be turning up there making people feel unsafe in future. Good. But as with everything about this scandal, it just raises other questions. Most significantly: why the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The moment I found out that you found out, I acted swiftly
    By Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern I am every bit as angry as you are. I am every bit as disappointed as you must be. The people with power, oversight and the ability to do something about these processes within the Labour Party should be ashamed. Whoever those people are, I ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • This is why people hate property developers
    Property developers think there is an "oversupply" of houses in Auckland:High turnover rates and falling prices may be a sign that there are too many new houses going in to some parts of Auckland, commentators say. [...] Property developer David Whitburn said there was a "bit of an oversupply" in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Australia to Pacific: “Fuck you, you can all drown”
    World leaders are meeting in New York in two weeks for the 2019 Climate Action Summit, where they are expected to announce new and more ambitious targets to stop the world from burning. But the Australian Prime Minister won't be there, despite being in the USA at the time:Scott Morrison ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Implausible ignorance
    Labour Party president Nigel Haworth resigned yesterday over the party's sexual assault scandal. But while that's good news, its unlikely to take away the stench of a coverup. Because according to Paula Bennett in Parliament yesterday, pretty much everyone in the Prime Minister's office was involved as well:I have been ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Labour’s Fatal Flaw.
     Two-Faced? Labour insiders' commitment to the neoliberal status quo puts them at odds with their party’s membership; its trade union affiliates; and a majority of Labour voters, but this only serves to strengthen the perception they have of themselves as a special elite. Among the lesser breeds, they’ll talk up a ...
    1 week ago
  • Ten reasons the Tories do NOT want an election
    There has been a lot of talk about Boris Johnson wanting an election, and he has blustered with great gusto about 'chicken' Jeremy Corbyn refusing one, but I think there are many reasons why he is secretly glad he has been refused the opportunity:The Tories are an utter rabble,tearing themselves ...
    1 week ago
  • Prorogation Illegal, rule Scottish judges
    Scottish appeal court judges have declared that Boris Johnson’s decision to suspend parliament in the run-up to the October Brexit deadline is unlawful. The three judges, chaired by Lord Carloway, Scotland’s most senior judge, overturned an earlier ruling that the courts did not have the powers to interfere in the prime ...
    1 week ago
  • Let me explain what I meant by Everyday New Zealanders
    By Simon Bridges. The following is a press release from the office of Simon Bridges, leader of The National Party. Key ora, New Zealand. Happy Maori Language Week. Look, I’m writing to you today because I want to clear something up. There’s been a lot of kerfuffle around some things ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    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
  • 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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 ...
    2 weeks ago

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