Halting Dynamics and Shifting Inertias

Written By: - Date published: 5:20 pm, January 7th, 2013 - 43 comments
Categories: capitalism, class war, Economy - Tags: , ,

Like many, I’ve been somewhat bemused and not a little angered that austerity is touted as a pathway to economic recovery. Like many, I’ve come to view both austerity and bail outs simply as means to put public monies and the control of public institutions into private hands – all the while diminishing the power of citizens on both an individual and collective basis. And I’ve been particularly irked that the National led government has tried to hitch NZ to the austerity bandwagon.

But anyway,  why consciously destroy or abandon real economic activity in a quest for power or/and wealth? Why not continue to build on whatever ‘real economy’ bases of power you posses? Idle speculation might suggest a lust for power, y’know… power for power’s sake. Or a reaction to, or recognition of impending peak resources in a world of growing population.

Following that reasoning, if the real economy was deliberately shrunk to postpone resource peak dates, and if that was done in conjunction with shifting the basis for the accumulation of money (and power) to more abstract realms, then current elites could do more than simply hold on to their power – they could augment it.

Shrinking the total size of the ‘real economy’ would obviously require excluding increasing numbers of people from access to resources and productive goods. But that wouldn’t be an issue. The goal would be the retention of power – of market share. And market share, rather than total market size, is what determines levels of influence and power.

And exploring this scenario further – where  market participation recedes from people – social safety nets could be diminished and destroyed because such things are an unnecessary drain on the accumulation of power and wealth that corporations and financial institutions desire.

Too cruel? Too unimaginable?

Think of Africa then, and the recurring situations where people have died while the resources to save them (food, drugs) have sat all around yet out of reach due to a lack of purchasing power. And then cast an eye on Greece where people are increasingly unable to afford food (it’s being sold at prices determined by global market rates that put it increasingly out of reach); where 1/3rd of the population have no access to health care and where cancer sufferers are being given cortisone injections (if they can get anything at all) because hospitals have no drugs any more.

And look at the effects of austerity spreading across Spain or the UK and Italy, the US and elsewhere….increasing levels of homelessness, poverty, joblessness and suicide. And manufacturing continues to be closed down, unions attacked and social safety nets torn away. Meanwhile, financial and corporate entities are posting record profits on the back of speculative ‘investments’ and trading strange and wonderful financial abstractions amongst themselves. And when hic-ups and crashes occur, in rushes our increasingly ‘enabling’ governments…some, like Italy run by unelected technocrats… with injections of  public monies to bouy them up. And then social welfare provisions and real economic activity are wound down further as a consequence in a self reinforcing downward spiral.

And in the interests of finding some reason behind all this lop sided pain and gain maybe a certain philanthropy shot through with a dash of pragmatism could be considered.

Classical economists are pretty insistent that it isn’t possible to reduce CO2 emissions at rates science demands to avoid “dangerous” or “extremely dangerous” levels of global warming. At least, not without crashing the market.  So, in the interests of preserving power, saving the world and (of course) the economy, the idea might be to exclude ever growing numbers of people from market participation in the hope that the denuded real economy ( presided over by the lords of the new abstract economy) will then deliver big enough CO2 reductions.

And everyone gets to live.

Just some live a bit better than others. But that’s always been the way. However, just to make sure – maybe fall back on all those ‘war against terror’ inspired restrictions of political freedoms and the increased scope and power of repressive agencies to contain potential reactions. And maybe let all of this unfold at a fast-ish yet still ‘boiling frog’ pace, so that any realisation that might fuel a reaction arrives too late. Maybe pick off sections of the population one at a time – an incremental process of demonising and ostracising should do the trick.

Okay,  I’ll confess to not believing what I’ve written…well, not with regards the volition. There is no cabal or committee of shadowy bankers or whatever thinking their way through all of this and working hand in hand with governments to enact policies to further some devious master plan for world domination.

The principle of  Occams Razor demands we opt for the simple explanation. And that is simply that the institutions of the bankers and financiers and government encourage a certain degree of ineptitude, defensiveness and stupidity. It’s not that bankers, financiers and government personnel are necessarily cruel and stupid individuals – though I’ve no doubt that some are. But when you work or are involved with an institution, you become subject to ‘institutional capture’ – meaning that you put your personal sensibilities aside and behave and act on institutional sensibilities.

So for example, there can be no peak in resources from a market driven institutional standpoint – there are only resources and profits to be derived from them. And when there are no resources well, there will be no profits. And that’s the real loss from an institutional perspective. The same applies to global warming. Even when global warming is knocking us all for six, institutional foci will still be on profit and economic performance only. And this institutional blindness is something that any and all personnel must adopt as their own if they are to maintain their position.

Banking institutions and corporations accumulate and have no sentience; no moral compass. They are just market driven institutions. Meanwhile, governments are just further institutions that manage the market economy such that it enables banking institutions and corporations to accumulate. And that’s something that must be preserved. And to reiterate;- people within those institutions have to behave accordingly.

The effect is more or less the same as some cabal devising a grand conspiracy and acting out on it. But it’s not a conspiracy. That would be far too easy to counter and deal with.

So the banking bailouts and the austerity measures and the ‘national security’ measures alongside the denial of both peak resources and global warming : these things are going to continue. And they’ll continue, not because of bad or stupid people, but because that’s the inevitable trajectory of both market driven financial institutions and the government institutions whose task it is to manage and protect that same market economy.

And it seems we have few options should we wish to successfully challenge both detrimental  institutional dynamics and detrimental institutional inertias. Keeping within the bounds of orthodoxy, our only option is to pile pressure on government. And historically that has meant bringing government to the realisation that it has more to lose by not acceding to social demands than it has by continuing to defend the socially unacceptable status quo.

43 comments on “Halting Dynamics and Shifting Inertias”

  1. Andre 1

    To paraphrase. More selfishness ?….

  2. karol 2

    Excellent reflections, Bill.

    And I agree that it’s no so much a carefully orchestrated campaign by the elites. It’s more what they do to maintain their power and privilege, given the resources and systems they have access to. They will then use whatever arguments they can get away with, to justify their moves.

    This has been happening since the 70s/80s & the (so-called) “neoliberal” shift. The philosophy was “free-market” and “small government”, but they use regulation and government control whenever it’s needed to maintain their power and position. Those that care, probably really do believe the PR of things like “trickle-down” and “lifting all the boats”. Others just care about their own self-interest, and if such PR terms work to keep the masses quiet, they’ll use them.

    Then they resort to the use of the term “pragmatic” which makes them sound in touch with realities. But the realities are to do with whatever works for them. They need to resort to such “pragmatic” solutions, because they are trying to work with dwindling resources and various unknown results.

    So, beware of any politician or leader who says they are being “pragmatic”. It means they are not considering what is best for all, and planning accordingly. It means they are doing whatever it is easiest to do, without upsetting the powerful and wealthy elites.

    I agree we need to pile on pressure on the government. But we also need to develop an alternative set of policies and an approach that works for the many – as IrishBill aims to do.

    • Bill 2.1

      But we also need to develop an alternative set of policies…

      This is true. And why I think Irish’s initiative is a good one. If a parliamentary party breaks with the neo-liberal consensus, and offers up genuine and solid social democratic policies, it would be a good thing. Just not sure it would be enough given the massive ‘either/or’ issues that are building up around any and all market bound orthodoxies* and demanding our attention (like AGW and/or resource depletion).

      * (ie, not just neo-classical or neo-liberal economic approaches)

  3. Rogue Trooper 3

    Wow! great solid writing Bill

  4. Colonial Viper 5

    Nice one Bill.

    The elite wealthy 0.1% of the world appear to have minimal vision and strategy beyond trying to game the economic system to increase electronic numbers in their virtual bank accounts.

    The concept of trying to build a civilisation to be proud of, a civilisation worthy of surviving? Way beyond most of these people.

    And it seems we have few options should we wish to successfully challenge both detrimental institutional dynamics and detrimental institutional inertias. Keeping within the bounds of orthodoxy, our only option is to pile pressure on government.

    Keeping within the bounds of orthodoxy…I don’t think that’s going to work, even in the best case scenario. John Michael Greer recommends instead focussing time and energy on yourself, on your family and on your local communities to build resilience. The gap between what can probably be achieved electorally and politically, and what is required in terms of socio-economic movement over the next 15 years is just too huge.

    What would it take to reduce by 80% the number of vehicles on the road by 2028? To reduce the extraction of fossil fuels in NZ by 80% by 2028? To nationalise all key economic infrastructure by 2028? To achieve full employment by 2028?

    When you drill down into it, none of this is possible in this timeframe particuarly “within the bounds of orthodoxy”.

    The Roman, Assyrian, Hittite, Egyptian, Parthian, Babylonian civilisations all came and went, as did the Caliphates. Almost nothing but echoes of their knowledge and culture exist today. We’re basically headed the same way, at breakneck speed.

    World population of c.1B-2B by 2100. And listening to Guy McPherson’s presentation in Petone earlier this year, that could be optimistic.

    • Colonial Weka 5.1

      I largely agree, although I would note that Greer is commenting from a culture with very different political and social systems than ours.

      We also need to keep any eye out for the wild cards within the orthodoxy that may appear from time to time and prove useful tipping points.

    • weka 5.2

      I largely agree, although I would note that Greer is commenting from a culture with very different political and social systems than ours.

      We also need to keep any eye out for the wild cards within the orthodoxy that may appear from time to time and prove useful tipping points.

    • Bill 5.3

      Keeping within the bounds of orthodoxy…

      Maybe I should have phrased that along the lines of – “Keeping within the bounds of orthodoxy for the sake of this post…”

      I agree that we need to essentially crash (or crash land) the market economy and halt the burning of all fossil fuels in about 17 years from now. Or much sooner if we are in any way intelligent. But ‘we’ aren’t going to do that and so will have it crashed for us by climatic impacts. By which time run-away global warming may well have set in, if it hasn’t already, meaning temperatures are headed for…well, anybody’s guess really.

      I do have my doubts as to whether there will be any echoes of anything to do with us in the future. 400ppm CO2 hasn’t been seen for about 15 – 20 million years. And I just can’t imagine things being that flash…or even holding at that state given feedback loops.

      Meanwhile, I really do wish McPherson would present something a bit more informative than just a list of conclusions. But hey.

      • Colonial Viper 5.3.1

        Maybe I should have phrased that along the lines of – “Keeping within the bounds of orthodoxy for the sake of this post…”

        Ahh, thanks for the clarification, Bill.

      • Are you kidding? Four hundred essays at Nature Bats Last, about half of which deal with pragmatic aspects of relocalization, and you want “something a bit more informative than just a list of conclusions.” Will you be a little more specific, please?

        • Bill 5.3.2.1

          I’m referring to your presentation style as seen on a couple of youtube vids – not your website.

          For me, your presentations lack supportive background information.

          For example – You say that comparisons with Thoreau’s notes on plants from 1840 tell us that temperatures have increased by 2.5 degrees C (I noticed that in your Petone presentation you do offer a caveat that was absent from a previous presentation I watched on-line). Anyway, effectively you are saying plants are telling us something different to what direct scientific measurements are telling us. But you offer no explanation as to why that should or might be. And I’m curious.

          You also present the conclusions of various reports without presentiing anything of the argument contained in them or pointing to where various reports are or may be flawed. And again, I’d like some indication of what’s what.

          Y’know, why does one report conclude that temperature rise will be around 1 degree C by 2100 (IPCC) and within four years other reports range from that to 6 degrees C by 2035 (IEA)?

          And on the IEA report, I’m sure Kevin Anderson, from the same report, quotes the IEA’s chief economist (Birol) as concluding a 4.2 degrees above pre-industrial levels by 2040. Now Birol may be interpreting his own agency’s report incorrectly. But in that case, surely an indication of where and why he got it wrong is in order…simply making a bold counter statement and attributing it to the IEA anyway isn’t really helpful. (And given that 4.2 degees C is catastophic, I wonder as to why anyone would bother contradicting him rather than [as Anderson does] being simply quite clear on who is saying what.)

          http://www.bristol.ac.uk/cabot/events/2012/194.html

          As for essays dealing with pragmatic aspects of relocalisation – I’ll definately go and have a read since firstly, I have my own fairly well informed opinions on that front and secondly, am keen to reappraise assumptions and fill any ‘gaps’ in my knowledge/understanding.

          A broad take on that front /if/ And a desciptive post seeking to reform a previous community based living arrangement written before I became aware of the full extent of current AGW (so obvious modifications in light of new info apply) /trading-futures/

          • Guy McPherson 5.3.2.1.1

            Bill, I don’t have time or interest in walking through every projection and assessment. I’m hoping my presentations and writing will lead people to read the articles.

            However, as I often explain, more-recent assessments have access to more data and, importantly, increased computational power relative to older assessments. The IPCC Fourth Assessment from 2007 is irrelevant largely because of the latter factor.

            • Bill 5.3.2.1.1.1

              Hmm. Either the IPCC report and others (Hanson, Stern etc) resulted from a lack of computational power or (and it could be a combination of both) they quite conciously did not use available data.

              And I’ll come back to Anderson who unequivocably demonstrates that :-

              1 – they used very low p.a. increases of emission growth in their models in spite of having the actual data available. (1 – 1.5% p.a. instead of the 2.7% for the 20C and approx 3.5% for this century).

              2. they complied with the demands of classical economists to model for no more than a 4% p.a. reduction in emissions. (Larger reductions would, according to them, crash the market economy – no bad thing in my mind, but hey)

              3. (which follows on from 2) they employed unrealistic dates for the year of peak emissions in spite of knowing how infeasible they were being in setting down the years they did.

              4. they extrapolated from (unrealistic) ‘western’ emission scenarios and applied them globally ie, they ignored the (then) current emissions of China and the likely future emissions of China, India etc.

              And so on.

              Having said that, I’m aware that you attempt to cover much more ground than Anderson does in his Cabot presentation and so can’t do as thorough a ‘fisking’ as he did. And I can appreciate having neither the interest nor the time to go through every assessment in detail, but to better or more informatively signpost how unrealistuc assessments have come about would take a sentence or two – a moment.

              But in the meantime, thanks for taking the time out to comment on a relatively inconsequential blog from ‘the bottom’ of the world.

              • I’ve no doubt the IPCC willingly ignores abundant information. In addition. Moore’s Law indicates more than an eight-fold increase in computing power in five years.

                Thanks for your excellent point about adding a sentence or two about how unrealistic assessments come into the world. IPCC’s Fifth Assessment, already leaked, is another one that ignores important self-reinforcing feedback loops, as I indicate in my latest essay.

        • Colonial Viper 5.3.2.2

          Thanks as always for visiting NZ, Dr McPherson (and also The Standard!).

  5. Neoleftie 6

    Oh well said Bill.
    What I see is govt hamstrung by being caught up or simple a large actor within the embeddness of the current dogmatic economic system and it’s powerful and connected self focused influencers.
    What we need is a broadly connected social democratic entity guided by the left coalition with participants from organisation and individuals within society all focused on providing power and support to the left coalitions New Direction, it’s Next Way.
    CC opengovt on steroids.
    NZhui The Next Way. Open source, open involvement, creative, powerful inspirational that provides a build block, a focus and powerful connection across all streams of societial influencers.
    We need to counter the Tory imbeddness within society, the gradual creep to the dark side of this post investment capitalism. Time for labour to anti up.
    Time is now and ticking.

    • Bill 7.1

      You do know that was basically a critique of state communism, don’t you? Not saying some of the sentiments don’t apply, but she, great worshiper of the ‘free market economy’ wouldn’t have intended them to apply to our neo-classical market economy.

  6. Rusty Shackleford 8

    “And I’ve been particularly irked that the National led government has tried to hitch NZ to the austerity bandwagon.”
    How much did they cut the budget by?

    • Bill 8.1

      What area are you referring to? Public schools perhaps? Funding cut by $114 million.

      What non-austerity measures did or have the government released as policy?

      • Rusty Shackleford 8.1.1

        It’s a simple question. How much has the govt budget (ie. total govt spending) been cut by? “Austerity” would imply it has been cut by a lot.

  7. Rusty Shackleford 9

    “Classical economists are pretty insistent that it isn’t possible to reduce CO2 emissions at rates science demands to avoid “dangerous” or “extremely dangerous” levels of global warming.”
    Which ones? And why would you listen to an economist on climate science? That makes as much sense as listening to old Bill here talk about economics.

    • Bill 9.1

      Which one’s? Oh just all of the neo-classical school. They say that max reductions in CO2 emissions can’t be more than 4% p.a. without sending the economy into a tailspin. And that is why the compilers of major reports picked unrealistic peak years for emissions from out of someboy’s arse….to accomodate a 4% p.a. decrease in emissions. ( Apparently the only time country has had above 5% year on year reductions was the Soviet Union when it’s economy collapsed) And we need 40% before the end of 2015….according to the optimistic end of the science.

      Why were they listened to? Because the scientists they were talking at/to work on the cusp between scientists who collect data and government policy makers. And they felt they had to keep the policy guys (their pay masters) happy to keep the funding rolling and hold on to their positions. Or at least, that’s what some in the scientific community claim.

      • Rusty Shackleford 9.1.1

        Not a single name nor reference. Good to know.

        • Colonial Viper 9.1.1.1

          But what actual difference does it make to you Rusty if the top World Bank or IMF or OECD economist swore it were so?

  8. MrSmith 10

    Great piece Bill.

    And I wish I could share your hope, but lately see little hope, looking at our own behavior over the last 2000 years or so, then that should be enough to convince anyone we are are a nasty, selfish, conceited, hypercritical, greedy animal, and yes we can be kind, loving, charitable, forgiving, etc but deep down we mostly only want to protect and propagate our genes, like most other animals, but sadly we mostly still don’t even understand why we want to reproduce, let alone we are one of the animals.

    This doesn’t make me sad at all tho, in-fact I’m quiet happy watching it unfold, watching people dancing around praying for rain can be great fun and is cheaper than most other forms of entertainment.

    • Colonial Viper 10.1

      This doesn’t make me sad at all tho, in-fact I’m quiet happy watching it unfold, watching people dancing around praying for rain can be great fun and is cheaper than most other forms of entertainment.

      Especially if you have a comfy couch to perch from and beer in hand.

  9. Mike 11

    “There is no cabal or committee of shadowy bankers or whatever thinking their way through all of this and working hand in hand with governments to enact policies to further some devious master plan for world domination.”

    I’m not completely sure about that. For example:

    “Capital must protect itself in every possible way, both by combination and legislation. Debts must be collected, mortgages foreclosed as rapidly as possible. When, through process of law, the common people lose their homes, they will become more docile and more easily governed through the strong arm of the government applied by a central power of wealth under leading financiers.

    These truths are well known among our principal men, who are now engaged in forming an imperialism to govern the world. By dividing the voter through the political party system, we can get them to expend their energies in fighting for questions of no importance. It is thus, by discrete action, we can secure for ourselves that which has been so well planned and so successfully accomplished.”

    – Montagu Norman, Governor of The Bank Of England, addressing the United States Bankers’ Association, New York, 1924.

    • Colonial Viper 11.1

      😯

    • rosy 11.2

      Whoa. That’s wicked. Do you have a reputable source for that quote?

    • SHG (not Colonial Viper) 11.3

      That quote, or variations of it, has been bouncing around the nutty conspiracy circles since at least 1892. (“The Bankers’ Manifesto”). It popped up again in the thirties, and it has recently seen a resurgence thanks to rise of the Tea Party movement. BECAUSE IT’S ALL TRUE OF COURSE AND THE JEW-CONTROLLED MEDIA HAVE BEEN TRYING TO SUPPRESS IT.

      Seriously, if you believe that sort of thing you’re just the type of gullible moron who shouldn’t be voting anyway.

  10. venezia 12

    Good piece Bill. I clicked on the link for Spain in your article and discovered the action taken by the Locksmiths of Pamplona – not to cooperate in evicting people from their homes when banks foreclose on them. A small action which needs to be built on to stand up to the greed of these institutions.

    • Colonial Viper 12.1

      The entire machine stops when even a few of the small cogs decide to seize and jam. One of the messages of Fight Club.

  11. SHG (not Colonial Viper) 13

    I like the innovative way the thumbnail image for this story portrays a Jewish banker as a vampire, that’s a visual device that has never been used before, anywhere, ever.

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    Keir Starmer has hinted that Labour might vote in favour of the Johnson government's shoddy deal, with the proviso that a second referendum is attached:Speaking to BBC One’s The Andrew Marr Show, he said: “We will see what that looks like but it makes sense to say that by whatever ...
    3 days ago
  • Hard News: Dealer’s Choice, an oral history from Planet 1994
    In 1994, I was the editor for an issue of Planet magazine focused on cannabis, its culture and the prospects for the end of its prohibition. Part of that issue was an interview with 'Ringo', an experienced cannabis dealer.I recently posted my essay from that issue, and I figured it ...
    5 days ago
  • The invasion of women’s sports by men: some facts
    Dr Helen Waite, sports sociologist and former elite athlete, on the invasion of women’s sport by men and the anti-scientific and misogynist ideology used to rationalise it.   ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    5 days ago
  • Remainers starting to sound like fascists
    As Brexit comes to a grisly conclusion (perhaps) people on all sides are saying intemperate and uwise things.  Some, like the Daly Mail, have been doing it for years.People as normally level headed as Jon Lansman are calling for automatic deselection of MPs who vote against a (likely) Labour three ...
    5 days ago
  • Labour MPs supporting Johnson’s turd-sandwich deal?
    I find this unbelievable:
    I've got one source saying more Labour MPs than expected are mulling whether to vote for the deal - including names who were not on the letter to Juncker and Tusk— Emilio Casalicchio (@e_casalicchio) 17 October 2019 I've compiled a list of possible reasons why Labour ...
    6 days ago
  • Why do we need control orders again?
    On Wednesday, the government was loudly telling us that it needed to legislate to allow it to impose "control orders" - effectively a parole regime, but imposed without charge, prosecution, conviction or real evidence - on suspected terrorists because they couldn't be prosecuted for their supposed crimes. Today, it turns ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Bullshitting the Minister
    On Monday, the Hit and Run inquiry heard from NZDF's former director of special operations, who claimed that the defence Minister knew everything about the Operation Burnham raid. Today, the inquiry heard from that (former) Minister - and it turns out that he didn't know nearly as much as NZDF ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Speaker: Extinction Rebellion is not a cult (but ecstasy for the people)
    Yoga gurus and cult leaders – I’ve seen a few. Two weeks ago, I unknowingly joined an alleged new-age cult at the Kāpiti coast, together with a giant kraken and some neatly dressed pensioners who would make any book club proud.They were among the two hundred people of all ages ...
    6 days ago
  • We need to bring the police under control
    The last decade has seen a trend of increasing weapons availability to police. Assault rifles. Tasers on every hip. Guns in cars. And following the march 15 massacre, pistols on every hip, all over the country. At the same time, its also seen an increase in the abuse of force: ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • If you can’t measure it, does it exist?
    In the last couple of weeks, I’ve been busy preparing for our summer paper on Science Communication. Looking for something amusing about ‘risk’ in science, I came across this neat xkcd.com cartoon about why so many people come knocking on my door (or phoning me, or emailing me) desperately wanting ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    6 days ago
  • Swinson’s swithering
    Jo Swinson is doing even worse at this Being Sensible lark that I'd thought.  I've just become aware of the following utterance
    .@KayBurley presses Lib Dem leader @joswinson on whether she would agree to a #Brexit deal 'no matter how bad a deal it is' as long as it had ...
    6 days ago
  • Women’s rights, trans ideology and Gramsci’s morbid symptoms
    by John Edmundson The International Socialist Organisation (ISO) have recently reposted a February article, by Romany Tasker-Poland, explaining ISO’s position in the “trans rights” debate.  It is available on their website and on their Facebook Page.  The article sets out to explain why “socialists support trans rights”.  It reads more ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    7 days ago
  • We need to take guns off police
    Today's IPCA report of police criminality: a police officer unalwfully tasered a fleeing suspect who posed no threat to anyone:The police watchdog has found an officer unlawfully tasered an Auckland man who broke his ankle jumping off a balcony to escape arrest. [...] To avoid arrest, the man jumped over ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • “Bringing kindness back”
    "Auckland City Mission: 10% of Kiwis experiencing food insecurity", RNZ, 16 October 2019:About half a million people are experiencing food insecurity, according to new research from the Auckland City Mission. Food insecurity, or food poverty, is defined as not having enough appropriate food. The City Mission said over the last ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Press Release: “Fake News” from Auckland City Council CCOs Board Chairs re pay and performance b...
    Media Statement for Immediate Release 16th October 2019 “Fake News” from Auckland City Council CCOs Board Chairs re pay and performance bonuses for top managers Despite comments from Auckland City Council CCOs Board Chairs re pay and performance bonuses for top managers—Herald Newspaper Tuesday Oct 15th–there is very little evidence ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    7 days ago
  • Ever-So-Slightly Bonkers: Simon Bridges Plays To His Base.
    Would You Buy A Used Propaganda Video From This Man? Bridges and the National Party’s strategists have discovered that the ideas and attitudes considered acceptable by today’s editors and journalists are no longer enforceable. The rise and rise of the Internet and the social media platforms it spawned means that ...
    7 days ago
  • Asking for food
    There is plenty of evidence of the way the business mentality has permeated every level of society since the recrudescence of market liberalism 35 years ago. You only need to think of how citizens in need of help from their government, their state, their country, are now routinely described as ...
    Opposable ThumbBy Unknown
    7 days ago
  • Forty years of change in the jobs Kiwi do and the places they call home
    John MacCormick Over the last 40 years, New Zealanders – and people in other countries – have experienced big changes in the jobs they do and where they live and work. These changes include: a decline in manufacturing jobs an increase in jobs in ‘information-intensive’ industries (which are better paid ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    7 days ago
  • Protecting Fresh Waterways in Aotearoa/NZ: The Strong Public Health Case
    Nick Wilson, Leah Grout, Mereana Wilson, Anja Mizdrak, Phil Shoemack, Michael Baker Protecting waterways has the benefits of: (1) protecting water from hazardous microbes; (2) minimising cancer risk and other problems from nitrates in water; (3) avoiding algal blooms that are hazardous to health; (4) protecting mahinga kai uses (cultural ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • Massey University triggered to rebrand
    by The Council of Disobedient Women In a press release today Massey University announced it has decided to rebrand and reorientate after struggling to be a University for grown-ups. For some time the University has wanted to be a safe play space for wee-woke-misogynists who have been really badly triggered ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Swinson backing calls for a second referendum (again)
    After a brief dalliance with 'hard Revoke' it looks like the Lib Dems are changing ground on on Brexit, with leader Jo Swinson reverting to calling for a second referendum on Johnson's deal.The party has tabled an amendment to the Queen’s speech requesting that any deal brought back from Brussels ...
    1 week ago
  • An odious bill
    The government has decided that someone has done Something Bad. But despite their belief, there seems to be no evidence that they have actually broken the law. So the government's solution is to pass a retrospective law allowing them to be punished anyway, on a lower standard of proof. If ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • National is now the party of climate arson
    So, Judith Collins has done a Facebook rant about climate change, peddling the same shit National has been shovelling for the past twenty years: the impacts are overstated, there's no need to do anything about it, and its too hard anyway (oh, and its so unfair that people who peddle ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The environmental footprint of electric versus fossil car
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz There is a lot of discussion on the benefits of ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • “Manifest” by Andrew Bird – A Song For The Times.
    I came across this song quite by accident. If it isn't one of Greta Thunberg's favourites - it should be.Video courtesy of YouTube.This post is exclusive to Bowalley Road. ...
    1 week ago
  • Passing the buck
    Last month, NZDF's shoddy coverup of what it knew about civilian casualties in Operation Burnham began to fall apart, with the revelation that a report on the matter, which NZDF claimed not to have, had been sitting in an NZDF safe for the past nine years. Yesterday, the man responsible ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • India a major player in Earth observation satellites
    While many imagine that countries like the USA and Europe dominate space activities, in fact India is now a major player on this stage. It launches satellites for its own purposes and also commercially, and has constellations orbiting our planet and returning data of vital importance to that nation in ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    1 week ago
  • The rot at the top (2).
    Thanks to a report from the Acting Inspector General of Intelligence and Security following a complaint by Nicky Hager, we have come to find out that the SIS illegally spied on Mr. Hager on behalf of the NZDF after publication of Hager’s 2011 book, Other People’s Wars. The NZDF justified ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Common misconceptions about “Global Warming”
    COMMON MISCONCEPTIONS ABOUT GLOBAL WARMING MYTH 1: Global temperatures are rising at a rapid, unprecedented rate. FACT: The HadCRUT3 surface temperature index, produced by the Hadley Centre of the UK Met Office and the Climate Research Unit of the University of East Anglia, shows warming to 1878, cooling to 1911, ...
    An average kiwiBy admin@averagekiwi.com
    1 week ago
  • A climate of tyranny
    For the past week, Extinction Rebellion has been peacefully protesting in London to demand action on climate change. The British government's response? Ban their protests:Police have banned Extinction Rebellion protests from continuing anywhere in London, as they moved in almost without warning to clear protesters who remained at the movement’s ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Collins crushes climate
    An essay by Judith Collins MP reported on Carbon News yesterday seems to show an alarming shift in attitude within the National Party. Collins argues against the Zero Carbon Bill, the Paris Agreement, and downplays the magnitude of climate impacts. The Paris Agreement was adopted in December 2015 and ratified ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert McLachlan
    1 week ago
  • More disappointment
    When they were running for election, Labour promised to overhaul the Employment Relations Act and introduce fair pay agreements to set basic pay and conditions on an industry level, preventing bad employers from undercutting good ones. They followed this up by establishing a working group, which reported back in January ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • What do these mother-child studies really say about fluoridation?
    A list of indicators of bad science – many of these are found in articles promoted by anti-fluoride activists. Anti-fluoride activists have been pouring money into a scaremongering campaign warning pregnant women not to drink fluoridated water. They claim fluoride will lower the IQ of their future child. Fluoride ...
    1 week ago
  • Losing Labour’s Mills-Tone.
    Nothing Left To Say: Labour's pollster, Stephen Mills, remains swaddled-up in the comforting myths of the 1980s. As if the experience of Roger Douglas’s genuinely radical post-Muldoon policy agenda was literally a once-in-a-lifetime thing – as much as the party could possibly absorb for at least the next 50 years.MEMO ...
    1 week ago
  • Speaker: Disability and the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Historical Abuse
    The Royal Commission on abuse in care is very significant for the disability community. For many decades last century, thousands of disabled children, and adults who managed to survive, were locked away from families and communities. This was not for anything they had done, but for the perceived threat their ...
    1 week ago
  • Spain is not a democracy
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • UK Conservatives hate democracy
    With an unfair voting system, uneven electorates and an un-elected upper house, the UK's "democracy" is barely worthy of the name. But now the government wants to make it worse:The government has been accused of suppressing voters’ rights with the potential disenfranchisement of tens of thousands of people after plans ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • What is wrong with our building industry?
    Back in the 90's and early 2000's, the building industry was building leaky homes which should never have been granted consent. Now it turns out they've been building dodgy office blocks as well:New imaging technology has revealed hundreds of major buildings nationwide have defective or missing concrete or reinforcing steel. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Local bodies
    Local body election results were released over the weekend, to joy or despair depending on where you live. In Auckland, Phil Goff trounced John Tamihere, who is muttering darkly about running for Parliament again (but which party would want him?) Wellington is now a wholly-owned subsidiary of Weta Workshop, except ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • A future of government
      How could government evolve over the next decades? Reports of democracy’s imminent demise are greatly exaggerated.  However, satisfaction with political systems in many countries is low, so there is much to do for governments of all political stripes to improve relevance and trust. Digital technologies are seen as one ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    2 weeks ago
  • Speaker: Catalonia, interrupted
    Two years have now gone by since the Friday afternoon when my university-student son and I headed out of our Barcelona flat to a nearby primary school, designated as a polling station for the vote that was to be held the following Sunday: the referendum on Catalonia’s independence from Spain ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Sage Decisions Unwisely Over-Ruled.
    Overruled: The joint decision of Finance Minister, Grant Robertson (Labour) and his Associate Minister, David Parker (Labour) arguably the two most powerful ministers in Jacinda Ardern’s government, to grant OceanaGold the consents which Land Information Minister, Eugenie Sage (Greens) had earlier denied them, offers bitter proof of how hard fighting ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Government may ban voting in effort to get more people to do it
    More than double the number of people who will vote in this year’s local body elections have tried marijuana or urinated somewhere they shouldn’t have. As local elections look set for the lowest turnout in decades, with many regions falling well short of 40%, the Government is exploring a number ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Woman: Deleted.
    A Statement on Abortion Law Reform by the Council of Disobedient Women   On the eve of bringing an end to antiquated, anti-women abortion laws Green MP Jan Logie intends to write women out of the Bill. With a stroke of the pen, the woke are aiming for total erasure ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • The Hollowest of Men Ride Again… SURPRISE!
    Musings continue apace about “the experienced businessman!” soon to be taking up a National Party MP position. Or to be more accurate, being parachuted into a seat to shut down their former MP Jamie-Lee Ross, who despite his own shortcomings shed at least some more light on the inner workings ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    2 weeks ago
  • Barbaric
    The Ugandan government wants to murder gay people:Uganda has announced plans to impose the death penalty on homosexuals. The bill, colloquially known as “Kill the Gays” in Uganda, was nullified five years ago on a technicality, but the government said on Thursday it plans to resurrect it within weeks. The ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Is this study legit? 5 questions to ask when reading news stories of medical research
    Hassan Vally, La Trobe University Who doesn’t want to know if drinking that second or third cup of coffee a day will improve your memory, or if sleeping too much increases your risk of a heart attack? We’re invested in staying healthy and many of us are interested in reading ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • Fighting Monsters.
    Freedom Of Speech? The Säuberung (cleansing by fire) was the work of the German Student Union which, on 10 May 1933, under the watchful eye of the Nazi Reichminister for Propaganda, Joseph Goebbels, consigned 25,000 books to the flames in a ritual exorcism of “un-German thought”. According to the logic of the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • The next wave of kaupapa Māori politics: its constitutional, it must be.
      “There can be no such thing as kaupapa Māori political parties or politics in Aotearoa” (Willie Jackson, Labour Party (2017). Māori TV, General/List Election Special) I begin with that claim because at the time, I was confounded at first that it fell out of Willie Jackson’s mouth, and then ...
    EllipsisterBy Ellipsister
    2 weeks ago
  • Night lights of NZ from orbit
    New Zealand has prided itself for decades with regard to its lack of pollution, and all will be aware that the ‘100% Pure New Zealand‘ meme is under threat through land, water and air pollution of various causes. There is another type of contamination that the country also faces: light ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    2 weeks ago
  • Reporters deliver uplifting news to fleeing Japanese residents: they won’t miss any rugby
    New Zealand’s media is doing its part in Japan, reassuring those in the path of the storm that they won’t miss any rugby while away from their flooded homes. New Zealand sports reporters stationed in Japan for the Rugby World Cup have had the rare and heartwarming opportunity to inform ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Government in contentious discussions about whether to put surplus on red or black
    Regional Development Minister Shane Jones is the only Cabinet member in favour of putting it all on green. As Finance Minister Grant Robertson finds himself with an enormous $7.5 billion surplus, the Government has begun intense, at times contentious conversations about whether to put the money on red or black at ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Jordanian teachers’ successful strike has lessons for here
    by Susanne Kemp At the start of September close to 100,000 school teachers went on strike in Jordan.  They demanded a 50% pay rise.  A pay rise actually agreed to by the regime back in 2014. In early October, however, in the face of government repression and threats, the teachers’ ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago

  • More homes where they are needed
    More houses for homeless New Zealanders are being opened today in Tauranga by Associate Housing Minister Kris Faafoi. Six 2-bedroom quality units are being opened at 878 Cameron Road by Minister Faafoi and Accessible Properties, a local Community Housing Provider (CHP). Accessible Properties now provides more than 1,700 community housing ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    45 mins ago
  • Minister of Finance and Sport and Recreation to visit Japan and Vietnam
    Finance Minister Grant Robertson departs tomorrow for events and meetings in Japan and Vietnam.  While in Japan, he will discuss economic and fiscal issues including meeting with the Minister of Finance, Taro Aso, and Minister of Economic and Fiscal Policy, Yasutoshi Nishimura. He will meet with the Minister of Education, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    15 hours ago
  • Dashboard tracks housing progress
    The Government’s Housing Dashboard released today confirms record numbers of state houses are under construction and shows the Government build programme is gaining momentum.  “After nine years of inaction, and a hands-off attitude from the previous government we’re starting to see things move in the right direction for housing,” says ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    16 hours ago
  • Ministerial Statement on the International Convention Centre fire
    Mr Speaker, I wish to make a ministerial statement relating to the Auckland fire. The Government is closely monitoring the situation with the fire at the NZ International Convention Centre and is thankful that everyone is now safe. Firefighters are doing an incredible job managing the fire and bringing it ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    18 hours ago
  • Government invests in Te Reo, environmental data research
    The Government is investing in ambitious research that will digitise Te Reo, grow the low-carbon protein efficient aquaculture industry, help interpret environmental trends, and large data sets says Research, Science and Innovation Minister Megan Woods. The four projects range from teaching Siri to speak Te Reo to crunching large environmental ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    22 hours ago
  • Government announces next steps as part of a comprehensive plan to fix skills gap
    A new education-to-employment brokerage service to strengthen connections between local employers and schools. Funding for more trades focused ‘speed-dating’ events to connect schools with employers. Promotional campaign to raise profile of vocational education. The Government is taking action to increase the number of young people taking up vocational education and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Corrections Amendment Bill passes third reading
    A Bill to improve prison security and ensure the fair, safe, and humane treatment of people in prison while upholding public safety has passed its third reading. Corrections Minister Kelvin Davis says the Corrections Amendment Bill makes a number of changes to ensure the Corrections Act 2004 is fit for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Ngāi Tahu CEO appointed to NZ-China Council
    Minister for Māori Development, Nanaia Mahuta, has selected Arihia Bennett MNZM, Chief Executive Officer of Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu, as the Te Puni Kōkiri appointed representative on the New Zealand-China Council. The New Zealand-China Council (the Council) was established in 2012 as a New Zealand led and funded organisation ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Southern Response claims move to EQC
    Responsibility for processing the small number of Southern Response claims still to be settled will be transferred to EQC by the end of the year. “As claim numbers reduce, it no longer makes sense for the Crown to have two organisations processing the remaining Canterbury claims,” Grant Robertson says. “Since ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Bowel screening starts in Whanganui
    Health Minister David Clark is encouraging Whanganui residents to take up the opportunity for free bowel screening, which can detect cancer early when it’s easier to treat.   Over the next two years 12,000 Whanganui locals, aged 60 to 74 will be invited to participate in the National Bowel Screening ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Pacific Peoples Minister to attend Our Ocean Conference in Norway
    Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio, heads to Oslo today to represent New Zealand at the sixth Our Ocean Conference, which is being hosted by the Norwegian Government from the 23-24 October. “The Our Ocean Conference mobilises real action on issues like marine plastic pollution and the impacts of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government announces 27 percent increase in Trades Academy places
    Two secondary-school initiatives are being expanded as part of the Government’s plan to see more young New Zealanders take up a trade to help close the skills gap.   This includes the largest single increase in Trades Academy places in recent years. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Education Minister Chris ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Speech to the New Zealand Institute of International Affairs, Pacific Futures Conference: Connection...
    Session 4: Pacific Connectivity – Youth, Media and New Opportunities   Kia ora tatou katoa and Warm Pacific greetings to one and all. Representatives of Tainui, the local people of the land, or manawhenua – the indigenous peoples of this area – have welcomed you this morning in accordance with ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Methane reducing cattle feed one step closer
    The Government today announced its support for a project that could substantially reduce agricultural greenhouse gas emissions from cattle. The announcement was made as part of Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s and Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor’s visit to Nelson’s Cawthron Aquaculture Park. The Cawthron Institute will receive $100,000 from the Government’s ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Bill to refresh superannuation system passes first reading
    Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni has welcomed the first reading of the New Zealand Superannuation and Veteran’s Pension Legislation Amendment Bill. “Every New Zealander has a stake in New Zealand Superannuation and Veteran’s Pension,” says Carmel Sepuloni. “They are our most common form of social assistance – nearly 800,000 New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Government announces next steps in fight against measles
    Babies in Auckland aged six months and over can receive a free vaccination and children will all have access to vaccines, Associate Minister of Health Julie Anne Genter announced today at Papatoetoe High School.   The move comes as part of Government efforts to step up the fight against measles. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Speech to the New Zealand Institute of International Affairs, Pacific Futures: Connections, Identity...
    ***Check against delivery*** Good morning. It is a pleasure to be here, and to have the honour of opening this important conference on behalf of the New Zealand Institute of International Affairs. Let us take the opportunity to acknowledge all the people who have helped make today possible, including our special ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Police trial new response to high risk events
    Police Minister Stuart Nash says the safety of frontline officers and members of the public will be the focus of a new trial of specialist Police response teams in three of our largest urban centres. Police have this morning released details of an initiative to be trialled in Counties Manukau, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • New awards celebrate fisheries sustainability
    The Minister of Fisheries is calling for entries for a new public award to celebrate innovation in our seafood sector. “I have established the Seafood Sustainability Awards to recognise and celebrate those throughout industry, tangata whenua and communities who demonstrate outstanding dedication and innovation towards the sustainability of New Zealand’s ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • More progress for women and we can do more
    Minister for Women Julie Anne Genter welcomes leaders in the private sector taking action on closing their gender pay gaps to ensure a fairer workplace for all New Zealanders. Ms Genter today launched a new report, Addressing the gender pay gap and driving women’s representation in senior leadership, from the Champions for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Proposals to curb environmental damage help our coasts and the oceans
    Government Ministers today welcomed the release of a marine environment report highlighting the four key issues affecting our oceans, estuaries and coastlines.  The release underlines the importance of government proposals to combat climate pollution, ensure clean freshwater, protect biodiversity, make land use more sustainable, and reduce waste and plastic.    Environment ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • New mental health facility for Waikato
    The Government has approved funding for a new acute mental health facility for Waikato which will provide better care and support to people with mental health and addiction issues. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Health Minister Dr David Clark announced the $100 million project to replace the aging Henry Rongomau ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • 500 new te reo Māori champions in our classrooms
    The Government is making progress on its goal to integrate te reo Māori into education by 2025, with over 500 teachers and support staff already graduating from Te Ahu o te Reo Māori,  Associate Education Minister Kelvin Davis announced today. Kelvin Davis made the announcement at an awards ceremony in Waikanae today, for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Minister James Shaw welcomes 2018 Census first release
    Statistics Minister James Shaw has welcomed the first release of 2018 Census data. The first release of data today, 23 September, includes key data on population, regional growth, the number of homes and the size of different ethnic groups in New Zealand. Data from the 2018 Census will support the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Driving transparency, ethics and accountability in government use of algorithms
    Minister for Statistics James Shaw today announced a public consultation on a proposed algorithm charter for government agencies. The charter has been developed by the Government Chief Data Steward in response to growing calls for more transparency in government use of data. Computer algorithms – procedures or formulas for solving ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • New Zealand and the Netherlands working together on climate change
    Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor, Climate Change Minister James Shaw and visiting Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte co-hosted a business roundtable in Auckland this morning focused on working together to address climate change.  “The Netherlands is an important partner for New Zealand. We share a strong agricultural history. Sustainable agribusiness and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Protecting fairness for workers and businesses
    The Government is taking action to build an inclusive economy where more of us receive our fair share at work and businesses can compete on great products and services, not undercutting wages and conditions, Immigration and Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Iain Lees-Galloway says. Two consultations launched today seek feedback ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Indigenous Freshwater Fish Bill Passes
    The future for New Zealand’s threatened indigenous freshwater fish looks brighter with the passing of the Conservation (Indigenous Freshwater Fish) Amendment Bill in Parliament today said Minister of Conservation, Eugenie Sage. “Until now, our freshwater fish legislation has been 20 years out of date. We have lacked effective tools to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Kiwis to take part in world’s biggest earthquake drill
    At 1.30pm tomorrow, hundreds of thousands of Kiwis will join about 65 million people around the globe in ShakeOut, the world’s biggest earthquake drill. The annual drill is to remind people of the right action to take during an earthquake which is to Drop, Cover, Hold, and to practise their ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Rising wages and low inflation supporting Kiwis
    Kiwis are benefiting from higher wage growth and low inflation under the Coalition Government. Stats NZ data out today shows the rise in the cost of living remains low, as annual Consumers Price Index (CPI) inflation fell to 1.5% in September from 1.7% in June. “The low inflation comes as ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
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