Happy Birthday National

Written By: - Date published: 10:43 am, May 14th, 2008 - 54 comments
Categories: history, national - Tags: ,

Today is the 62nd anniversary of the founding of the National Party. So, it’s an opportune moment to reflect on the founding principles of the National Party and ask that age old question ‘why are they called National anyway?’

The political background to the founding of the National party is the conflict between the three great political ideologies of the modern age fascism, liberal capitalism, and socialism – which would soon reach a bloody climax in World War 2. New Zealand had the fascist New Zealand Legion, which had up to 100,000 members drawn from the bourgeois, the professional classes, and the farmers. This movement had taken numbers away from the old liberal capitalist power blocks, the Urban (formerly Liberal) Party whose power base was the urban business class and the Reform Party, whose base was farmers. The rise of fascism in New Zealand, as elsewhere, was partially in response to the rise of socialism among the working class and its political vehicle, the Labour party. A party much more radical than today’s Labour, it was truely social democratic, with the goal of public control of the means of production, distribution, and exchange written into its constitution.

The working class and Labour were winning. United and Reform, once fierce rivals, had been forced into a coalition, which was called the National Coalition (so-called because it was nationalist and opposed socialism which is internationalist by nature), to block the political ascendancy of the working class. The 1931 election had delivered a Parliament split between the Reform/United coaltion and Labour, with Labour having the most votes (34%) and fewer seats (24 of 80) than the combined coalition.

But the inevitable could only be delayed. In 1935, New Zealand had just elected its first Labour Government. It would institute a true social wage, whereby people would have free healthcare and education, and guaranteed an income if they couldn’t get work. The State would own core industries employing hundreds of thousands and exercise strong controls over the rest of the economy. It was hugely popular with the massive working class and the small intelligentsia.

For the first time in New Zealand’s history, the capitalists were not in control of the Government, which was not a situation they could permit to continue. Realising that while they were divided Reform and the Liberals could not hope to defeat Labour, they decided to form a united National party to protect the interests of the wealthy and powerful by opposing social democracy. Its founding principles were: ‘To promote good citizenship and self-reliance; to combat communism and socialism; to maintain freedom of contract; to encourage private enterprise; to safeguard individual rights and the privilege of ownership; to oppose interference by the State in business, and State control of industry.”

Right from the start, National was reactionary and fundamentally hollow standing against ordinary working New Zealanders who want a fairer society.

54 comments on “Happy Birthday National”

  1. higherstandard 2

    “Right from the start, National was reactionary and fundamentally hollow standing against ordinary working New Zealanders who want a fairer society.”

    Do you actually believe the cak you write Steve

  2. Yeah, history, huh? What’s that all about?

  3. Jeez HS – you’re really putting up the strong arguments today…

  4. James Kearney 5

    Maw doesn’t like the fact that politics is about competing power interests. Much nicer to talk about freedom and entrepreneurialism than face up to the reality that National is the bosses’ party.

  5. vto 6

    National is the bosses’ party?

    I think it simply may appear that way when the labour party is the unions party and one is embedded unblinkingly within it.

  6. higherstandard 7

    Sod

    It’s hardly worth arguing with an ass but to compare today’s National party with that of over 50 years ago is as fatuous as comparing Helen Clark with Michael Savage or Peter Fraser.

    Both parties are vastly different from what they were even 30 years ago.

  7. Billy 8

    “To promote good citizenship and self-reliance; to combat communism and socialism; to maintain freedom of contract; to encourage private enterprise; to safeguard individual rights and the privilege of ownership; to oppose interference by the State in business, and State control of industry.’

    Now, that’s soemthing I could vote for. If only it looked like they meant it.

  8. Happy Birthday National!

    Thanks for sticking up for whats right and not whats popular.

  9. If you don’t think that parties represent different power blocks and that in New Zealand the power block Labour represents is the organised working class and Natioanl represents the wealthy capitialists, you’re distached from reality – you need to go along to a National party conference and a labour party conference and see the people who are there, see what they do and what their backgrounds are.

    Politics is not pepsi vs coke – it is power blocks competing, via political parties, for control of the State.

  10. James Kearney 11

    National is the bosses’ party?

    Yes. Look at their policies and the social base from which they draw their membership and their funding.

    I think it simply may appear that way when the labour party is the unions party and one is embedded unblinkingly within it.

    You really don’t know how the NZLP works do you? Here’s some free advice: try not to rely on Audrey Young David Farrar for your information about how Labour works.

  11. Yeah, Brett, all those times Key has chosen to stand up for your definition of what’s right over what’s popular: anti-nuclear, climate change, four weeks leave, student loans, anti-child beating,…. the list of flip-flops where he has gone for what is popular over what National’s base thinks is right is endless.

  12. James Kearney 13

    Thanks for sticking up for whats right and not whats popular.

    This would be the New Zealand National Party you’re talking about Brett?

    captcha- dire Representatives

  13. higherstandard 14

    Steve

    Perhaps you should post a copy of the Labour parties founding principles from the thirties so they can highlighted vs Nationals of the same time..

    [I mentioned Labour’s in the post. There’s noting atypical in them – social democrats want the means of production supply and exchange in the hands of the people, not capitialists. Reactionary parites want to protect the status quo. That was the same the world over and it was the same in New Zealand. The neoliberal revolution and third way politics has dulled the differences but the fundemental difference in objectives remains. SP]

  14. DS 15

    There was a bit of debate in 1936 over what to call the new party. The problem with calling it National was that it made it very easy for Labour to tie it to the unpopularity of the depression-era government. One alternative that was considered was Unionist (i.e. a union of United and Reform), but that would have given the ‘wrong idea’. In the end, they went with National because they liked the implication that it was supposedly in the interests of the ‘nation’. It also tied in with the National Government in Britain at the time, which was ostensibly a Coalition, but in reality basically a Conservative Government.

  15. National is about Honesty, Steve. They put facts over public emotion, and if new research comes out they will change thier policies according to the new data.

    That is what you want from a government.

    Unlike the bigoted Government we have now, who advertise themselves as the saviors of the little people over the big bad white businessmen.

    “Ohh, look, Mr Key has a house in Maui, he has money, he doesnt love you, like Aunty Helen, here have a house, paid for by the tax payer, you didnt work for it, in fact you have never worked for it, but have a house anyway”

    Its in Labour’s best interest, if people remain poor. Its also gotton to a stage where certain sectors of society believe they should just be given a house, even though they havent worked for it.

    [‘National is about Honesty’ is the most naive thing I’ve read all year. Parties are about the interests of the part of society they represent. That’s why John Key said he would love to see wages drop (and then lied about it) – it’s in National’s base’s interest for wages to drop, but it’s not in their interest for people not to vote National because they know it.

    Incomes are up under Labour, they stagnated under National. The Left wants wealth to be shared among the people, the Right wants wealth to remain with the wealthy. SP]

  16. Tane 17

    Brett you’re even more blindly partisan than some of the Helen-worshipping Labour hacks I know. It’s not healthy brother.

  17. Billy 18

    As I mentioned the other day, if 59% of taxpayers earn less than $30k, and National is polling over 50%, being “wealthy and powerful” obviously isn’t what it used to be.

  18. Tane:

    No, your wrong, like most New Zealanders I voted labour all my life, including the last election, where I split my vote, Labour/NZFirst.

    Im voting National this year for the first time, and like a lot of kiwis have changed my politics from being centre left to centre right.

  19. Billy 20

    “I split my vote, Labour/NZFirst…”

    Often wondered who it was who wanted that government.

  20. Tane 21

    Billy, if it were that simple there’d be no need for PR in politics, parties would simply release their policies and let the public judge for themselves. But you know as well as I that’s not how it works, especially in the National Party.

  21. Rocket Boy 22

    Steve it is interesting that you see politics in such black and white dimensions; National is for the bosses and Labour is for the workers.

    You would probably get on well with a certain George W, he sees the world as divided into ‘good’ and ‘evil’.

    Trouble with your views Steve is that I’m a boss, I own a business, I employ people yet have voted Labour for the last couple of elections, how does that fit your ‘National is for the bosses’ view?

  22. Rocketboy:

    I’m obviously presenting a simplified analysis of a complicated picture because these are blog posts not theses.

    If you’re a boss and you vote Left that’s awesome, I know there are many who do because they see a wider, longer-term interest in a society with decent public service and decent wages. Your short-term economic interests are best met by voting National (tax cuts) but you see the wider picture. Good on you, me too.

    There are many people who are high earning themselves but still have a social conscience and vote Left. There are many people on low incomes who vote Right because of conservative ‘values’ when their economic interests are best served by voting Left. When voting, the economic classes aren’t cleanly split because of a whole range of factors but the power bases are different and divided and the parties do act in the interests of those bases.

  23. Phil 24

    Steve,

    Like your writing style, your political views are monochromatic.

    Your capacity to move beyond classifying political actors as ‘good’ and ‘bad’ is so miniscule and stunted by your narrow world view, that I’m starting to think you really do need some help to get over your bizzare little complex.

  24. Draco TB 25

    National hasn’t really changed in the last 60 years – they still support the status quo and resist change. The status quo that they support is a few people owning everything and everyone else being thankful to those owners that they have a job even if it is at starvation wages.

  25. j 26

    ” social democrats want the means of production supply and exchange in the hands of the people, not capitialists.”

    Would that be under the command of the revolutionary vanguard until the day the masses develop the appropreiate class consciousness?

    [not in the social democrat, as opposed to revolutionary, model. The Right have been trying to scare poeple into thinking that social democracy will mean no more elections since well-before the Dominion tried it on in 1938. Didn’t work then, either. SP]

  26. gobsmacked 27

    “Like most New Zealanders I voted labour all my life, including the last election, where I split my vote, Labour/NZFirst.”

    Putting aside your problems with arithmetic (have we had majority Labour governments lately, or ever?), was Labour your party vote?

    I actually voted for the National candidate in my electorate, but certainly would not call myself a “National voter” at all. I voted Labour. Did you?

  27. Tane 28

    Would that be under the command of the revolutionary vanguard until the day the masses develop the appropreiate class consciousness?

    You don’t understand social democracy.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_democracy

  28. higherstandard 29

    Draco aren’t your accusations regarding National exactly what Labour is doing with the nationalisation of Rail.

    captcha smart university – obviously not

  29. TomS 30

    National was founded by reactionaries in the Country and Reform parties primarily to oppose the program of the Labour Party. It doesn’t stand for anything, except maybe entrenching the privileges of private property. It only got elected after it accepted the new political landscape and adopted the welfare state, and until it was tossed out in 1972 then proceeded to run the country based on the red scare, access to British markets, and a do-nothing colonial complacency befitting a party that consisted mainly of representatives of the white settler squatocracy. National has never produced any great reformers or great leaders and has articulated a New Zealand based vision for the country. That’s been Labour’s preserve from Savage and Fraser through Kirk and Lange and now to Clark. Who have we had from National? Muldoon? Apart from three years from 1967-1984 Muldoon was minister of finance and he practically destroyed the economy. Nowadays National is little more than a collection of factions – a rump of 1990’s has-been ACT lite new right ideologues peddling populist conservatism; Power hungry members of the new elites with a screaming sense of self-entitlement and the remnants of left behind white settler class. But one strand has always been there – National is the party of people who see New Zealand primarily as a place to do business, Labour has always been the party of those who see New Zealand primarily as a place to live.

  30. Matthew Pilott 31

    HS – the “few people” Draco TB meant probably didn’t involve the state…

    And where does Labour’s railway buy-back call for starvation wages?

  31. higherstandard 32

    MP

    Yes I suspected that – his post however assumes that a government is a better employer and won’t look after their own at the high echelons of the company before they look after everyone else ….. incredibly naive

  32. j 33

    “You don’t understand social democracy.”

    I understand the language of class warfare though and this is what iprent is using. if lynn wants to be taken seriously as social democrat then quit sounding like a marxist.

  33. higherstandard 34

    J it’s not Lynn that’s putting in the comments it’s Steve

  34. Tane 35

    J, social democrats don’t deny there’s a class structure in society. It’s the reason they’re social democrats.

    Funny enough, it’s those who have the power and wealth who tend to get wound up whenever class is mentioned.

  35. Well, tane said what j’s quoting and I offered the definition of social democrat objectives.

    j. you need to realise that marxism is one train of broader socialist thought as is social democracy. Marxism differs from social dmeocratic thought in several important ways but not in the idea of social ownership of the means of production – people differ about means, forms of ownership or control and extent or depth of control/ownership but everyone who is a socialist (as opposed to a capitalist) believes that the means of production, distribution and exchange should, to some extent, be held under collective control, rather than in the hands of individual controllers of captial. That’s what socialism is.

  36. Billy 37

    It sounds so scary when you explain it like that, Steve.

  37. Ari 38

    HS- that would be different from the current employer who completely disregards their workers’ environment how? 😉

  38. higherstandard 39

    Sorry Ari you’ve lost me – problem with only looking at the thread while having a cup of tea you tend to loose track of what’s going on.

  39. Ari 40

    I should point out very quickly that there hasn’t really been a truly Marxist regime, in that they all got hijacked into authoritarian dictatorships during the revolutionary phase. (The closest thing to Marxism right now is Cuba. And they’re not there yet, either)

    I should also point out that as social democrats go, Labour is very invested in liberal capitalism. We don’t really have an extreme “leftist” party in New Zealand- just two different centre-left approaches from Labour and the Greens.

    Steve- I think “collective control” is confusing your audience, because they think that implies ownership all the time. Labour seems pretty clear that outside of infrastructure, this control is about regulatory interference in the market when it increases the welfare of the nation as a whole.

  40. Ari 41

    HS- sorry, hadn’t been a post between yours and mine while I was writing that. Heh.

    I was asking how the government promoting the interests of some workers over another would be any worse than a company that is actively hostile to the interests of all of its workers, not only shirking its own environmental responsibilities beyond the level of simple corporate opportunism, (ten years of subsidised emissions and grandfathering is not enough for them? Tough, that is so generous I’m surprised their eyes are still in their sockets) but also trying to open up the door for others to do so.

  41. higherstandard 42

    Ari

    Would you prefer a Troskyist version of Marxism in NZ rather than the centrist Labour or National government ?

  42. higherstandard 43

    Ari

    I think your view that there is no reason to believe the government is, or will be, a better employer than the private sector.

  43. Tim 44

    There is hardly any difference between National and Labour these days. It’s got to the point where National has said that if it gets into power it won’t make significant changes to the Employment Relations Act. The so-called bosses’ party isn’t going to significantly change the employment law of the so-called workers’ party. Both parties are equally lame in my opinion.

  44. different socialists differ on what level of intervention in the market is needed to ensure that the economy works in society’s interest – some would say you want regulation and little ownership, some would say you want ownership of key infrastructure, as we have now, some would say more, some would say own it all… the key is the idea that that society should collective benefit from the economy’s production of wealth, and ensure that production happens in a way that is compatible with society’s interests. Rather than having those decisions taken by indiviudals who happen to control capital based on their narrow self-interest.

    There are infinite shades between anarcho-communism and anarcho-capitialism with people arguing for various levels of state/social intervention in the economy.

  45. Ari 46

    HS- While I’d certainly agree with your assertion that I find both Labour and National inadequate in ways, I can’t agree that Marxism would be better in any form. While I essentially agree with Marxist principles, I think it’s a very unstable form of government and would require a very high level of economic efficiency or very low population (and therefore material excess) to stabilise. In short, it’s one of those utopian dreams that just won’t see the light in our lifetimes.

    I’d actually really like to see a coalition Government between the Green Party and a party of Social Liberals- (we currently don’t have any of those in New Zealand Parliament… think of what would happen if you took Act’s economic policy and spliced it with Labour’s social policy. Admittedly, Labour has been moving closer and closer to this position recently in its race to the centre) I think issues of social freedom are the one area where New Zealanders really agree in politics- we don’t like our governments authoritarian, and the backlash to Labour right now is mostly along those lines, which I find odd given that National has a much worse track record in that respect.

  46. Matthew Pilott 47

    …assumes that a government is a better employer and won’t look after their own at the high echelons of the company before they look after everyone else .. incredibly naive

    HS – you can’t have it both ways – aren’t public servants grossly overpaid for doing nothing but shuffle paper? (I doubt you’ve said that exclusively, but either the govt pays starvation wages, grossly overpays people, or perhaps the truth is somewhere in the middle. I couldn’t comment about what Toll has paid as of late).

  47. Lew 48

    What Ari says is the irony of all this. In the wider swathe of conventional left-right political-philosophic thought, National and Labour are like siblings. It’s like arguing over whether Poison or Def Leppard sold out the worst, or whether Apocalypse Now or Platoon is the better Vietnam War movie. Genuinely extreme regimes have been tried on both sides – and generally been rejected. What’s left to argue over is mostly nuance and posturing.

    This is thrown into clear relief by the `race to the centre’ both parties are currently running. I study symbolic politics. The major trend in attracting voter support is not so much the advancement of bold, radical policy as it was in the 1980s, but the struggle by both parties to normalise their policies or philosophies as `good management’ or `common sense’: to introduce them into the political orthodoxy of the day. To an extent this has always been the case, but I’d argue this strategy has partly displaced others in the past decade or so. Labour’s major achievement in that time has been in introducing policies like the ETS, interest-free student loans, Working For Families, etc. into the political orthodoxy – making them so accepted that National simply can’t afford to repeal them and retain electoral credibility. Ironically this might be the Clark government’s undoing, because Key’s National might well win the coming election on what looks very much like a traditional Labour ticket.

    L

  48. Great post SP, and accutely observed comment TomS.

    National’s uninspiring but unwavering promotion of the interests of capital over the first forty years of its existence (even under Muldoon) is plain to see.

    However, it’s difficult to pin down *exactly* what National stands for now as it nears superannuation entitlement age. After its nadir in 1999, the big corporate capital/neoliberal right tried to use the hollowed out carcase to sneak into power, but that having failed the pragmatic tendency seems to have reasserted itself. Clearly the default is still to favour capital. But as Chris Trotter pointed out recently, there’s not a lot that National’s offering right now that would appeal corporate capital in particular. Somebody mentioned employment law — the most likely change there is a 90 day period without PG cover, and that’s really aimed at the SME sector.

    Raises some important questions… How did they get to where they are? I guess the slow realisation that NZers generally don’t want neoliberalism is, er, key, there. And how stable are the current National policy preferences? What would it take to see them revert to form?

    (election year?) capthcha: Manufacturing honey

  49. Lew 50

    Good questions, jafapete. This is where I was headed, but the post was long-winded enough already.

    L

  50. Thanks Lew,

    Missed your post because of a break in the middle of drafting mine. I’d agree with what you say, except that I don’t think I’d call National’s “Labour Lite” platform a “traditional labour ticket”. More “Third Way.”

    All other things being equal, over time the differences of the two third way options will emerge ineluctably, just as they did over the post-war period as National administered the welfare state without a great deal of enthusiasm, and the welfare state gradually sank into the capitalist swamp.

    But a proper analysis is needed, that takes into account the changing nature of capitalism in NZ over the past little while, and rise (and fall?) of neoliberalism, amongst other factors. If only Bruce Jesson were here.

  51. Of course this is just arguments about statism. The so called “public” or “collective” control is political control, control by politicians, with bureaucrats marching alongside. It isn’t about the citizens, who get their incomes pilfered for whatever is deemed to be “public”, and can’t demand a refund, or accountability if they don’t get what is promised. If you don’t get your operation in hospital, tough you suffer or pay twice. If your kid’s school hires a bad teacher and you can’t convince it otherwise, you suffer or take your kid out and pay twice. If the “publicly owned” business gives you poor service or constantly demands your taxes, you can’t sell your shares in it, or stop paying for its failure to perform.

    That’s the statism of social democracy, the consumer of “public services” has no power except the vote every three years. Those who are wealthy can always pay more to get out of the trap, but the vast masses in the middle get their taxes taken and have to trust that the centrally planned social services might deliver when they want them. When they don’t, all the social democrats say “need more money”, instead of thinking that centrally planned monopolies where consumers have absolute no power deliver precious few incentives to perform.

    National and Labour play the same game, the same status quo and the same scaremongering that anything other than they managing these enormously important sectors would be “disaster”. Politicians and bureaucrats are, under social democracy, playing with large amounts of other people’s money with precious little to hold them to account for not delivering. That’s social democracy!

  52. And the Standard draws another libertarian. Surely there’s some kind of software that can screen out these loons. I know I’ve said this before but I vote we round them all up and put them on some kind of an island where they can live in a market utopia. We’re just not good enough to share the same country as these ubermenchen. They should be set free to embrace their greatness. Please. An island. Far, far away…

    [lprent: ‘sod I exclude on behavior – not religious belief. You should know that better than anyone. Please don’t try to start flames.]

  53. redbus 54

    No candles to blow out. The flame in that party faded out under English.

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    by Rafael D. Quiles (gender-critical gay man from Puerto Rico) The writing on the wall is right in people’s faces and people just don’t see it or don’t want to. What could actually possess a heterosexual male to want to feminize himself and claim that he is a lesbian? Because ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    3 days ago
  • Trump: “Where’s my favourite dictator?”
    From the Wall Street Journal:Inside a room of the ornately decorated Hotel du Palais during last month’s Group of Seven summit in Biarritz, France, President Trump awaited a meeting with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi. Mr. Trump looked over a gathering of American and Egyptian officials and called out in ...
    4 days ago
  • Magdalen Burns, 1983-2019, fighter for women’s liberation
    by the Redline blog collective At Redline we are very saddened to hear of the death of Magdalen Burns who passed away on the morning of Friday, September 13 (British time). Magdalen was a great fighter for the rights of women in general and lesbian women in particular, a defender ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    4 days ago
  • Parliament and the Executive
    The Brexit issue has certainly brought with it a series of apparently difficult constitutional issues, many of them concerning the respective roles of the executive and parliament. Most of them arise because of the unwillingness of MPs, despite their professions to the contrary, to be bound by a constitutional rarity ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    5 days ago
  • The Abigail Article; Martyn Bradbury’s Article, and My Response
    . . This blogpost is different to my usual format of reporting on issues… Since July 1011, I have blogged on a variety of political issues; near always political and/or environmental; mostly highly critical of the previous National Government. Other issues included Israeli occupation of Palestinian lands and repression of ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    5 days ago
  • Police will have to wear silly Buckingham Palace hats from now on, says Police Minister
    Those close to the Police Minister believe the initiative may be the result of Nash “seeing a great deal” on AliExpress. In a move that comes seemingly out of nowhere, Police Minister Stuart Nash announced this afternoon that he expects all frontline staff to don bearskin hats, famously worn by ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    6 days ago
  • A sensible crackdown
    The government has released its Arms Legislation Bill, containing the second tranche of changes to gun laws following the March 15 massacre. And it all looks quite sensible: a national gun register, higher penalties for illegal possession and dealing, tighter restrictions on arms dealers and shooting clubs, and a shorter ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • California bans private prisons
    Private prisons are a stain on humanity. Prison operators explicitly profit from human misery, then lobby for longer prisons terms so they can keep on profiting. And in the US, prison companies run not only local and state prisons, but also Donald Trump's immigration concentration camps. Faced with this moral ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Why PPPs are a bad idea
    When National was in power, they were very keen on Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) - basicly, using private companies to finance public infrastructure as a way of hiding debt from the public. They were keen on using them for everything - roads, schools, hospitals. But as the UK shows, that "service" ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • A Movement That No Longer Moves.
    Moving And Shaking: There was a time when people spoke matter-of-factly about the “labour movement” – a political phenomenon understood to embrace much more than the Labour Party. Included within the term’s definition was the whole trade union movement – many of whose members looked upon the Labour Party as ...
    6 days ago
  • NZ ‘left’ politically embracing extreme postmodernism
    by Philip Ferguson Much of the left, even people who formally identify as marxists, have collapsed politically in the face of postmodern gender theory of the sort pioneered by American philosopher Judith Butler. For Butler even biological sex is socially constructed. “If the immutable character of sex is contested, perhaps ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    6 days ago
  • The obvious question
    The media is reporting that the (alleged) Labour party sexual assaulter has resigned from their job at Parliament, which means hopefully he won't be turning up there making people feel unsafe in future. Good. But as with everything about this scandal, it just raises other questions. Most significantly: why the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • The moment I found out that you found out, I acted swiftly
    By Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern I am every bit as angry as you are. I am every bit as disappointed as you must be. The people with power, oversight and the ability to do something about these processes within the Labour Party should be ashamed. Whoever those people are, I ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    7 days ago
  • This is why people hate property developers
    Property developers think there is an "oversupply" of houses in Auckland:High turnover rates and falling prices may be a sign that there are too many new houses going in to some parts of Auckland, commentators say. [...] Property developer David Whitburn said there was a "bit of an oversupply" in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Australia to Pacific: “Fuck you, you can all drown”
    World leaders are meeting in New York in two weeks for the 2019 Climate Action Summit, where they are expected to announce new and more ambitious targets to stop the world from burning. But the Australian Prime Minister won't be there, despite being in the USA at the time:Scott Morrison ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Implausible ignorance
    Labour Party president Nigel Haworth resigned yesterday over the party's sexual assault scandal. But while that's good news, its unlikely to take away the stench of a coverup. Because according to Paula Bennett in Parliament yesterday, pretty much everyone in the Prime Minister's office was involved as well:I have been ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Labour’s Fatal Flaw.
     Two-Faced? Labour insiders' commitment to the neoliberal status quo puts them at odds with their party’s membership; its trade union affiliates; and a majority of Labour voters, but this only serves to strengthen the perception they have of themselves as a special elite. Among the lesser breeds, they’ll talk up a ...
    7 days ago
  • Ten reasons the Tories do NOT want an election
    There has been a lot of talk about Boris Johnson wanting an election, and he has blustered with great gusto about 'chicken' Jeremy Corbyn refusing one, but I think there are many reasons why he is secretly glad he has been refused the opportunity:The Tories are an utter rabble,tearing themselves ...
    1 week ago
  • Prorogation Illegal, rule Scottish judges
    Scottish appeal court judges have declared that Boris Johnson’s decision to suspend parliament in the run-up to the October Brexit deadline is unlawful. The three judges, chaired by Lord Carloway, Scotland’s most senior judge, overturned an earlier ruling that the courts did not have the powers to interfere in the prime ...
    1 week ago
  • Let me explain what I meant by Everyday New Zealanders
    By Simon Bridges. The following is a press release from the office of Simon Bridges, leader of The National Party. Key ora, New Zealand. Happy Maori Language Week. Look, I’m writing to you today because I want to clear something up. There’s been a lot of kerfuffle around some things ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Yes, the SIS is subject to the Public Records Act
    I understand there's some stuff going round about how the SIS "was removed from the list of public offices covered by the Public Records Act in 2017". The context of course being their records derived from US torture, which will be disposed of or sealed. The good news is that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • An evidence-based discussion of the Canadian fluoride/IQ study
    Dr. Christopher Labos and Jonathan Jarry discuss the recent Canadian fluoride/IQ research. They provide an expert analysis of the paper and its problems. Click on image to go to podcast. The critical debate about the recent ...
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Australia in denial
    Australia is burning down again, and meanwhile its natural disaster minister is denying climate change:Australia’s minister responsible for drought and natural disasters, David Littleproud, has said that he doesn’t “know if climate change is manmade”. Clarifying earlier comments that the question is “irrelevant” when considering the Coalition government’s response to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Philippines activist speaking on the Duterte tyranny
    Auckland Philippines Solidarity is excited to host Professor Judy Taguiwalo for a speaking tour of NZ in September. She is a well-known activist in the Philippines and was a political prisoner under the Marcos dictatorship. Professor Taguiwalo briefly served as a Cabinet member under President Duterte but was forced from ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Disgust
    I have no special insights to offer on the Labour sexual assault coverup. All I have is disgust. Disgust that an organisation could fail its people so badly. Disgust that they punished the victims rather than the perpetrator. Disgust that its party hacks are apparently blaming the victims for demanding ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Speak Up for Women calls out Greens’ censorship
    This open letter to the Green Party was penned after an opinion piece by Jill Abigail, a feminist and founding member of the party, was censored by the Greens’ leadership. (Redline has reprinted her article here).The intolerance of the Green Party leaders and their acceptance of the misogyny of gender ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Member’s Day: End of Life Choice, part 3
    Today is a Member's day, and David Seymour's End of Life Choice Bill continues its slow crawl through its committee stage. They're spending the whole day on it today, though the first hour is likely to be spent on voting left over from last time. After that they'll move on ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Flight to Los Angeles turned back after passengers decide they don’t want to go anymore
    An ambitious plan to fly to Los Angeles petered out into a brief sight-seeing trip and a desire to return home and get some sleep before work tomorrow. Air New Zealand has confirmed a flight to Los Angeles last night was turned back about a quarter of the way into ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Indigenous Futures: defuturing and futuring – an analytical framework for policy development?
    There appears to be consensus – by omission – that the concept of indigenous futures should be accepted at face value. So I scavenged the internet to see if I could locate an academic descriptor or a framework around how we think about it as a concept, and whether it ...
    EllipsisterBy Ellipsister
    1 week ago
  • Cadbury rumoured to be releasing the Pineapple Trump
    Here’s another novelty chocolate to shove in your gob, New Zealand Cadbury could be seeking to make itself great again with a rumoured new release: Pineapple Trumps, a spin on its classic chocolate-encased pineapple treat and do-it-yourself tooth remover. The global confectionery manufacturer and bumbling “before” character in an infomercial, ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • The coming resource war.
    During my time in the Pentagon I had the privilege of sitting down with military leaders and defence and security officials from a variety of Latin American nations. Sometimes I was present as a subordinate assistant to a senior US defence department official, sometimes as part of a delegation that ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Māori Language Week with The Civilian
    Kia ora, Aotearoa. It’s that magical time of year. Te Wiki o te Reo Māori. In English, the week that frightens talk radio. As you probably know by now, all your favourite media outlets are participating, some more successfully than others. Stuff has changed its name to Puna for the ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Will Horizons act on climate change?
    Local body elections are coming up next month. And it looks like all Palmerston North candidates for Horizons (the Manawatu-Whanganui Regional Council) want to take action on climate change:Climate change is set to be a key issue in Palmerston North for the next three years if those wanting to get ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • BORA reform is stalled
    Eighteen months ago, the government promised to strengthen the Bill of Rights Act, by explicitly affirming the power of the courts to issue declarations of inconsistency and requiring Parliament to formally respond to them. So how's that going? I was curious, so I asked for all advice about the proposal. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Corbyn and Brexit
    As the Brexit saga staggers on, the focus is naturally enough on the Prime Minister and his attempts to achieve Brexit “do or die”. But the role played by the Leader of the Opposition is of almost equal interest and complexity. The first problem for Jeremy Corbyn is that he ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • A ditch for him to die in
    Last week, English Prime Minister Boris Johnson boldly declared that he would rather die be dead in a ditch than delay Brexit. Unfortunately for him, the UK parliament accepted the challenge, and promptly dug one for him. The "rebellion bill" requires him to ask for and secure yet another temporary ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Warning! Warning! Danger Jacinda Ardern! Danger Marama Davidson! Warning!
    Lost In Political Space: The most important takeaway from this latest Labour sexual assault scandal, which (if I may paraphrase Nixon’s White House counsel’s, John Dean’s, infamous description of Watergate) is “growing like a cancer” on the premiership, is the Labour Party organisation’s extraordinary professional paralysis in the face of ...
    1 week ago
  • Union solidarity with Ihumatao land occupation
    by Daphna Whitmore Every Sunday for the past two months unionists from First Union, with supporters from other unions, have set out to the Ihumatao land protest, put up gazebos and gas barbeques, and cooked food for a few hundred locals and supporters who have come from across the country. ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: The wrong kind of trees?
    Newsroom today has an excellent, in-depth article on pine trees as carbon sinks. The TL;DR is that pine is really good at soaking up carbon, but people prefer far-less efficient native forests instead. Which is understandable, but there's two problems: firstly, we've pissed about so long on this problem that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • No freedom of speech in Turkey
    Canan Kaftancioglu is a Turkish politician and member of the opposition Republican People's Party (CHP). Like most modern politicians, she tweets, and uses the platform to criticise the Turkish government. She has criticised them over the death of a 14-year-old boy who was hit by a tear gas grenade during ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Speaker: Tadhg Stopford: Why I’m standing for the ADHB
    Hi there, just call me Tim.We face tough problems, and I’d like to help, because there are solutions.An Auckand District Health Board member has nominated me for as a candidate for the ADHB, because her MS-related pain and fatigue is reduced with hemp products from Rotorua.  Nothing else helped her. If I ...
    1 week ago
  • Good little vassals
    The Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security has published their report on whether the SIS and GCSB had any complicity in American torture. And its damning. The pull quote is this:The Inquiry found both agencies, but to a much greater degree, the NZSIS, received many intelligence reports obtained from detainees who, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Who Shall We Turn To When God, And Uncle Sam, Cease To Defend New Zealand?
    Bewhiskered Cassandra? Professor Hugh White’s chilling suggestion, advanced to select collections of academic, military and diplomatic Kiwi experts over the course of the past week, is that the assumptions upon which Australia and New Zealand have built their foreign affairs and defence policies for practically their entire histories – are ...
    1 week ago
  • The Politics of Opposition
    For most of the time I was a British MP, my party was out of government – these were the Thatcher years, when it was hard for anyone else to get a look-in. As a front-bencher and shadow minister, I became familiar with the strategies required in a parliamentary democracy ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • More expert comments on the Canadian fluoride-IQ paper
    The Green et al (2019) fluoride/IQ is certainly controversial – as would be expected from its subject (see If at first you don’t succeed . . . statistical manipulation might help and Politics of science – making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear). Anti-fluoride campaigners have been actively promoting it ...
    1 week ago
  • The return to guerrilla war in Colombia
    by Gearóid Ó Loingsigh On August 29th a video in which veteran FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia) commander Iván Márquez announced that they had taken up arms again was released. There was no delay in the reaction to it, from longtime Liberal Party figure and former president Uribe, for ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Air New Zealand identifies this enormous plot of unused land as possible second airport site
    Air New Zealand couldn’t believe its luck that this seemingly ideal piece of real estate had so far gone entirely unnoticed. Air New Zealand’s search for a site to build a second Auckland Airport may have made a breakthrough this afternoon, after employees scanning Google satellite imagery spotted a huge, ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Redline on the Labour Party
    No-one on the anti-capitalist left in this country today puts forward a case that Labour is on the side of the working class.  There are certainly people who call themselves ‘socialist’ who do, but they are essentially liberals with vested interests in Labourism – often for career reasons. Nevertheless, there ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • New Fisk
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour’s failure
    When National was in government and fucking over the poor for the benefit of the rich, foodbanks were a growth industry. And now Labour is in charge, nothing has changed: A huge demand for emergency food parcels means the Auckland City Mission is struggling to prepare for the impending arrival ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Ardern attempts to vaccinate Clarke Gayford live on television to prove that it’s safe
    Gayford, pictured here on The Project, before things got wildly out of control. A bold public relations move by the Government to encourage parents to vaccinate their children has gone horribly wrong. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern appeared on tonight’s episode of Three’s The Project, where the plan was for her ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Has Mr. Whippy gone too far by parking on our front lawns?
    Mr. Whippy’s business model has driven it down a dark road of intimidation. Residents in major centres around the country are becoming disgruntled by the increasingly aggressive actions of purported ice cream company Mr. Whippy, who have taken to parking on people’s front lawns and doorsteps in a desperate attempt ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Cleaning up the water
    Today the government released its Action Plan for Healthy Waterways, aimed at cleaning up our lakes and rivers. Its actually quite good. There will be protection for wetlands, better standards for swimming spots, a requirement for continuous improvement, and better standards for wastewater and stormwater. But most importantly, there's a ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Fronting up
    Today I appeared before the Environment Committee to give an oral submission on the Zero Carbon Bill. Over 1,500 people have asked to appear in person, so they've divided into subcommittees and are off touring the country, giving people a five minute slot each. The other submitters were a mixed ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Politics of science – making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear
    Anti-fluoride activists have some wealthy backers – they are erecting billboards misrepresenting the Canadian study on many New Zealand cities – and local authorities are ordering their removal because of their scaremongering. Many New Zealanders ...
    2 weeks ago

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