If only smiles were dollars

Written By: - Date published: 10:26 am, May 15th, 2011 - 38 comments
Categories: budget 2011, debt / deficit, tax - Tags: ,

The minor party debate on Q+A was very interesting. Rahui Katene was self-contradictory and vague, like the Maori Party always is. Peter Dunne was pathetic. Roger Douglas slammed the government’s borrowing as did Russel Norman, who pointed out the other three had all voted for National’s debt-increasing tax cuts for the rich.

I might put up some of the transcript once it comes through, but the important points on National’s economic failure were also hit by Bernard Hickey and the Herald editorial today.

Hickey says that National will try to take focus off the record deficit by pointing to strong growth projections:

New Zealand will probably avoid a downgrade in our credit rating because the Budget’s economic growth figures for the next three to four years will look extraordinarily strong.

They will argue the Christchurch earthquake rebuild and a historic boom in commodity prices will power GDP growth to more than 4 per cent over the next two years.

This seems sensible until you look at the track record of these forecasts in the past three years since the global financial crisis.

Every economic forecast by the Treasury underestimated the impact of an epic change in the way New Zealanders think about debt and spending.

In May 2008, Treasury forecast growth rates for the next three years of 1.5 per cent, 2.3 per cent and 3.2 per cent. Instead, we got -1.1 per cent, -0.4 per cent and -0.1 per cent.

That’s why we should all take Thursday’s growth forecasts – and Key’s smiling confidence – with a grain of salt.

Granny’s patience with Key’s bland smiles and big promises is wearing thin too:

In an interview John Key gave to the BBC when he was in London for the royal wedding, Key smiled a lot and insisted that the expert independent commentary about the crises we face was “just people’s opinions”.

That’s a politician’s job – to put a brave face on it. Deep down, Key knows the shape we’re in. But he seems to lack the political will to do anything about it.

Act leader Don Brash, whose public pronouncements have so far been conspicuously devoid of specific policy, got one thing right in his open letter to Key this week: the PM, he said, is frittering away “the greatest reserves of prime ministerial popularity in New Zealand history”.

It’s not too late for Key to prove him wrong. But time is certainly running out.

Borrowed from a comment by Blighty

38 comments on “If only smiles were dollars”

  1. ZeeBop 1

    The GST hike won’t pay for itself, the tax take dropped!
    Petrol and food spikes worsen kiwis spending positions.
    But what’s shocking is the worse their price of petrol, or
    cost of food, milk, etc, the longer the tax changes will
    pay for themselves. But this still did not stop National
    putting the boot in, instead of lowing the cost of
    living, the National party build more roads.

    But its worse. Kiwisaver is getting another renovation!
    Saving for the future has never been more uncertain
    as the government again alter the kiwisaver scheme.

  2. ianmac 2

    From my lowly understanding about how it all works, isn’t the GDP boosted by expenditure such as in the Christchurch rebuild? If so build more prisons and catch and process more crims and this will also boost GDP – er wouldn’t it?

    • Eddie 2.1

      yup. So does paying someone to dig a ditch and fill it in again.

      One of the big problems with GDP is the G – gross. It doesn’t account for destruction of wealth, only its creation. And it measures value by what we pay for stuff.

      • Jim Nald 2.1.1

        Ah, hence the logic with donkey digging a big economic hole for us and then their ‘mum and dad’ cronies and their mates filling in.

        • terryg 2.1.1.1

          I read an article a while back (alas forget where) in which this was pointed out (paraphrasing):

          Economists only consider “Goods” and “Services”.

          to an economist, the ChCh earthwuake is a GOOD thing – look at all the goods and services required afterwards. yay earthquakes (OK I added that bit).

          But they completely fail to even consider the existence of “Bads” and “Disservices”. failure of nuclear powerplants, earthquakes, mass human tragedies are BAD things that do a DISSERVICE to economies. Yes they require a lot of expenditure to fix, but that IS NOT a good thing.

  3. Russel Norman, who pointed out the other three had all voted for National’s debt-increasing tax cuts for the rich.

    Alas Norman doesn’t understand that for the ponzi savings scam HE voted for, the government must maintain growth be it by increasing NZs productivity (failing) or by propping up this totally fucked system to the tune of $380 million a week. If the clown didn’t borrow to fill the gap, we would be living in an entirely different world, picture Greece 😉
    I said 2.5 years ago John Key will be the most hated prim minister NZ has ever had, god I hope they win the next election, just watching them all with egg on their faces will be so funny, including all the fools that think voting will change things lol
    Welcome to my world

  4. joe90 4

    I thought Douglas made sense when he talked about the need to settle on a super scheme and to somehow prevent future governments tampering with it.

  5. Bill 5

    Anyone else hear Key (on Radio NZ yesterday) claim he didn’t know what he’d said during the ‘Hard Talk’ interview because he hadn’t seen it yet?

    • Pascal's bookie 5.1

      Classic.

      • Jim Nald 5.1.1

        It is difficult to keep track of what you say to who when you’re bullshitting all over the show.

    • ianmac 5.2

      Really Bill? That would be very funny. 🙂
      I mean sometimes I say to my wife,”What’s wrong?”
      “Nothing,” sniff.
      “Is it something I said?”
      “You should know,” she yells.
      ” What did I say?”
      “Ah-ha!” she says. “So you don’t know what you say. You’re just as bad as John Key!”
      ” Yeah maybe, but I’m just an ordinary bloke and not a Prime Minister,” I whine.
      “Very true.” She forgives me. (But what the hell did I say that was so wrong?)

    • Bill 5.3

      From memory, it was on the ‘Week in Politics’ slot and in response to a question (by Russel Norman?) in Parliament about the state of NZ rivers.

      • todd 5.3.1

        Key claimed he could not recall what he said in the BBC Hardtalk interview, the day after it had occurred. FFS! Surely New Zealand deserves better.

    • felix 5.4

      Yeah I heard that.

      I can’t help wondering if he really doesn’t know what Hard Talk is, and doesn’t realise that they don’t edit out all the stupid bits.

      • Irascible 5.4.1

        I’ve seen the interview three times on BBC news. I can attest that John Key was present in each screening of the programme. The lips moved and the speech slurred in mispronounced and mangled English so it can’t have been a card board cut out.

    • happynz 5.5

      Funny as can be…

  6. Zaphod Beeblebrox 6

    Hickey seems like the only economist so wound up in the ra-ra optimism of ‘just wait for the 4% growth/a recovery is inevitable/all we need to do is BS S&P until things turn in our favour’ line that Key is running at the moment.

    Question for Key- What happens to the budget deficit if we don’t get 4% growth? What does he do then? He could start slash and burn but that will probably just make things worse. Or he could just put taxes back up to where they were- with very little pain to 95% of the population (come to think of it- he could do that now!)

    • ianmac 6.1

      ZB. Wasn’t that the sort of thing promised at the last budget but now it has slid off the debate? The promise then, was that because the economy was going to improve hugely due to the English magic that all good things would flow on over the current year. But the reverse happened.

      • Zaphod Beeblebrox 6.1.1

        Supposedly what didn’t happen this year is going to happen next. This despite record high oil prices and a $800 mill reduction in government spending. Hickey seems to be the only journalist willing to ask the question.

        • Colonial Viper 6.1.1.1

          No net growth in the NZ economy if petrol remains over $2/L.

          What is it today? Around $2.20/L. So the answer is: there will no net growth. Easy 🙂

    • Carol 7.1

      Is this today’s one where Nornman towered over the three Nat flunkies?… literally. I somehow kept noticing that Norman is taller than I had previously realised.

      • felix 7.1.1

        Yeah he towered over them in more ways than one.

        And it’s four Nat flunkies counting Smeagol Holmes.

      • Jum 7.1.2

        Yes, me ‘two’. He won that debate on presentation alone. His comments just added to it.

  7. Rich 8

    Waving scary debt levels and using them to cut spending is a big con.

    Simple Keynesian economics – you borrow in a recession and pay it back in a boom (the last government did a good job on the latter). Our public debt levels are middling for the OECD, and we’ve had a big earthquake, which not all other developed countries have. (besides Japan and Spain, of course). So we should expect to borrow.

    If the government does this, the recession will be shallower and the next boom will be less pronounced, so more people will keep their jobs. The downside of this is that the rich won’t make as much money, because they won’t do as well in the boom and use the recession to sack workers.

    So I understand why National would want to avoid borrowing at the moment (to help their rich mates). But Russell Norman?

    • deservingpoor 8.1

      “Simple Keynesian economics – you borrow in a recession and pay it back in a boom”

      That’s what I find so desperately frustrating about the entire recession debate. There really shouldn’t need to be any debate about that. We know it works, its been done before, its what got the world out of the great depression and kept it out of depression until it became trendy to reject Keynsian economics.

      Instead now we have smile & wave and Don Brash arguing the same slash and burn solutions that Herbert Hoover tried and failed miserably with in the 30’s. We know those policies failed, they’re what made the great depression great and they’re what pushed unemployment up to 15% here in the 90s.

      It will be a happy day when the NZ public finally wake up and cry bullshit.
      I’m not holding my breath.

      • Colonial Viper 8.1.1

        This is worth viewing

        Governments used to take from the wealthy + go into debt during slow downs to spend it on public works and direct public employment. This would boost the whole economy.

        These days governments have been co-opted by corporations and banks.

        When governments go into debt now to rescue the economy they firstly take from the poor and the middle class, then spend the resources gained on banks, corporations, and the wealthy, not on the public.

        That’s the reality of our modern capitalist world today.

    • rosy 8.2

      The same effect on the other side of the world – Germany and France are surging ahead while the UK is in the doldrums

      Germany has enjoyed a rapid recovery from its worst recession since the second world war and has clawed back lost ground, with GDP now at the level it was at before the financial crisis.

      In contrast, the UK economy remains smaller than before the downturn began, and the latest Bank of England forecasts suggest that Britain’s economy will not reach its pre-recession size until the second quarter of 2012.

      …contrary to widespread perceptions, “the German story is not one of export-led growth. Ever since the start of the Lehman crisis, German domestic demand has performed much better than net exports”.

      • Jum 8.2.1

        All this proves, Rosy, is that those government’s, including ours, planned it that way – Germany and France to go ahead, Ashcroft’s UK and NZ to be ground down ready for the plucking.

        • Colonial Viper 8.2.1.1

          is that those government’s, including ours, planned it that way – Germany and France to go ahead

          French socialist movements and union movements, and German workers unions are far more powerful than anything similar we have here or they have in the UK.

          I believe that explains why those countries have come out of this better. Bear in mind that unions and corporations working together in Germany have been one of the roots of ongoing German economic strength, even after the very hard years of reunification.

          That and the fact that Germany has engineers and scientists throughout the upper echelons of their government. In fact Angela Merkel is a PhD qualified nuclear researcher.

          • Zaphod Beeblebrox 8.2.1.1.1

            Don’t have to look that far. have a look accross the ditch! Never went into recession and will not have any federal deficit in 2013 (not that they need to pay it down that quick).

            NZ has really missed the boat on this and now has the worst of all worlds. Increasing deficits, negative real growth, a de-skilling workforce, increasing inflation, crumbling infrastructure. Just dumb.

            • rosy 8.2.1.1.1.1

              Yes. The short-sighted will only look at the current conditions in Australia and say ‘mine more’. But Australia never bought into the neo-liberal agenda in the same way as the US, UK and NZ. And they voted out the PM that tried to tamper with their union rights. I don’t understand why we’re so madly believing in policies that have no record of success when alternatives are staring at us.

              • Jum

                Greed, my dear Rosy, greed, but I’m sure that

                ‘we’re so madly’

                does not include you and me.

                • rosy

                  You’re right, of course Jum. A collective ‘we’ for the prevailing national mood.

  8. seeker 9

    @ Rosy and Jum 8 02pm and 11 04pm (well said)

    “I don’t understand why we’re so madly believing in policies that have no record of success…”
    “Greed, my dear Rosy, greed, ”

    “That nice Mr Key is rich and National, he must surely understand money and will make us rich too,” said the short sighted, ‘inividualistic,’ shallow thinking voter with extrinsic aspirations.
    Unfortunately that voter might have to wise up to the fact that “John Key couldn’t organise a piss up in a brewery- but he sure can promise one.”

    So glad Blighty’s pertinent comment has hit the widescreen (brilliant Eddie)- I think it should go global throughout NZ.

  9. deemac 10

    but Rosy, those policies worked very well – if you are rich! to hell with the rest of us…

  10. randal 11

    Thomas Carlyle in the 19thc said England had become a nation of fools but we seem to have become a nation of imbeciles.

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Candidate Survey: Western Bay of Plenty – Local Body Elections 2019
    We surveyed candidates on their attitudes to issues facing the Western Bay Region, find out what they think: “Closing the Gap” Tauranga, one of the area groups of Income Equality Aotearoa NZ Inc., has surveyed all candidates in the three local body elections to discover attitudes to some basic issues ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    6 hours ago
  • Project Nettie calls on scientists to defend biology
    Please spread widely, and sign, to support science and rationalism over the new irrationalism sweeping universities and institutions.  PROJECT NETTIE Sexual reproduction, the generation of offspring by fusion of genetic material from two different individuals, evolved over 1 billion years ago. It is the reproductive strategy of all higher animals ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    7 hours ago
  • I’m glad I don’t live in Auckland
    Just when I was thinking that Palmerston North's mayoral race (which includes a convicted child molester / public wanker and a convicted child beater) was the worst in the country, Auckland mayoral candidate John Tamihere opened his mouth:Auckland mayoral candidate John Tamihere is being slammed for using the words "sieg ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    8 hours ago
  • Index of Power Update, 2018-19: China #2
    We reprint below an article from the excellent website the Economics of Imperialism by Tony Norfield This is an update of the statistics for my Index of Power, using data for 2018-19 and discussing what a country’s ranking reflects. The major change is that China’s rank has shifted up and ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    9 hours ago
  • Climate Change: A history lesson
    Why is New Zealand climate change policy so crap? The Herald this morning has a long article on the twists and turns of climate change policy in New Zealand [paywalled / depaywall script], which shows where we've been. The short version is that the government first began worrying about this ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    11 hours ago
  • What the All Blacks Mean to Us
    The All Blacks have been, for more than a century, arguably the most successful International sports team in the world. But they are more than that; even for those Kiwis who are immune to the charms of rugby (and there are more than a few), the All Blacks are ambassadors ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    13 hours ago
  • No one is born into the wrong body
    A short and incredibly powerful speech from a young lesbian woman. No one is born in the wrong body. ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 day ago
  • Contempt
    Back in June, the UK Court of Appeal ruled that that country's continued arms sales to Saudi Arabia were unlawful. So you'd expect that the UK government stopped approving them, right?Of course not:The government has apologised for breaching a court ruling against the sale of weapons to Saudi Arabia that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • Covering up the cover-up
    Yesterday NZDF officials were put on the stand about the lies they had told over Operation Burnham, making implausible claims that it was all a big mistake. But along the way, we learned they had already been put on the spot about it by a previous Defence Minister, who had ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • Not as important as they think they are
    Farmers have been whining a lot lately, about the methane targets in the Zero Carbon Bill, about Canterbury's proposed nitrogen limits, and about the government's new proposals to stop them from shitting in our lakes and rivers. These policies are "throwing farmers under the tractor", they will force farmers off ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • Behind Every Good Woman Should Stand – Another Good Woman.
    Alone, Alone, All, All, Alone: To argue that the Prime Minister is the victim of her advisers’ failure to keep her informed may offer Jacinda some measure of exoneration – but only at the cost of casting her as a hopeless political ingénue. A star-dusted muppet, whose only purpose is to ...
    2 days ago
  • Poor quality, poorly educated kiddie ‘Journalists’ spreading fake news
    In times of hysteria about the “World coming to an end” and “rising sea levels” so-called ‘Journalists’ who can barely spell words longer than four letters are having a ball! Though the majority of the Public have worked out that manmade climate change is nothing short of pseudo-science, and the ...
    An average kiwiBy admin@averagekiwi.com
    2 days ago
  • Chris Trotter on the BFD
    I don't want to give pblicity to certain parts of the internet that are better left to fester in their own irrelevance (I know, a bit like this place) but the listing of Chris Trotter as a 'author' on Cameron Slater's spinoff website, the BFD requires some explanation.Now, I don't ...
    2 days ago
  • Sex is not a spectrum
    The text below is a Twitter thread by Heather Heying that explains the essence of sexual reproduction and it long evolutionary history. She is an evolutionary biologist and a “professor-in-exile” after she and her husband, Bret Weinstein, stood up to supporters of an enforced “Day of Absence” for white staff and teachers ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 days ago
  • Climate Change: Trees, aviation, and offsets
    With crunch time for new Zealand climate policy approaching, most of the New Zealand media have got on board with a global reporting effort to cover the issue. There's one strand of stories today about polling and what it shows about changing public attitudes to the crisis, but the strand ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Pissing-Off The Israelis Is A High-Risk Strategy.
    Dangerous Foes: For those readers of Bowalley Road who feel disposed to dismiss any prospect of an Israeli destabilisation of New Zealand politics, the example of the United Kingdom repays close attention. Ever since the election of Jeremy Corbyn as leader of the British Labour Party, the Israelis have sanctioned, funded and ...
    2 days ago
  • Something to go to in Wellington
    Make It 16, the youth-led campaign to lower New Zealand's voting age, is holding an official campaign launch at Parliament this Friday from 16:30. If you'd like to attend, you can register using EventBrite here. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • A founding member responds to Peace Action Wellington
    by Don Franks It was a lovely sunny Wellington afternoon with blue skies above  the beaches.  In Courtenay Place, political activists packed out a stuffy upstairs room for an important meeting. The assembled pacifists, anarchists, communists and independent young radicals of Peace Action Wellington felt the need for a mission ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 days ago
  • “Mistakes and errors”
    Current and former NZDF top brass are being publicly grilled this week by the hit and run inquiry over their public responses to allegations of civilian casualties. Previously, they've claimed there were no casualties, a position which led them to lie to Ministers and to the public. Now, they're saying ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • “Homosexuality is same-sex attraction and relationships, not heterosexuals with delusions of gende...
    by Rafael D. Quiles (gender-critical gay man from Puerto Rico) The writing on the wall is right in people’s faces and people just don’t see it or don’t want to. What could actually possess a heterosexual male to want to feminize himself and claim that he is a lesbian? Because ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    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 ...
    3 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
    5 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
    5 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
    5 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
    5 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
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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
    1 week ago
  • Air New Zealand identifies this enormous plot of unused land as possible second airport site
    Air New Zealand couldn’t believe its luck that this seemingly ideal piece of real estate had so far gone entirely unnoticed. Air New Zealand’s search for a site to build a second Auckland Airport may have made a breakthrough this afternoon, after employees scanning Google satellite imagery spotted a huge, ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    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
  • Democracy – I Don’t Think So
    So, those who “know best” have again done their worst. While constantly claiming to be the guardians of democracy and the constitution, and respecters of the 2016 referendum result, diehard Remainers (who have never brought themselves to believe that their advice could have been rejected) have striven might and main ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    2 weeks ago

No feed items found.