International reaction to our spying

Written By: - Date published: 8:37 am, March 28th, 2015 - 77 comments
Categories: Abuse of power, accountability, International, Spying - Tags: , , , ,

How are other nations going to react to our spying on them? Key’s response when the question arose in Korea was very typical of him – bullshit and bluster:

Mr Key says the Koreans simply do not care, “because they wouldn’t give a monkey’s and they probably wouldn’t believe it”.

Korea may or may not care, they have kept their cards to themselves. But Brazil cares:

NZ ambassador hauled before Brazilian foreign minister

New Zealand’s ambassador to Brazil, Caroline Bilkey, has been called upon to explain leaked documents showing New Zealand’s Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB) spied on rival candidates for the top job at the World Trade Organisation (WTO).

And Fiji cares:

Fiji to take action against phone tapping

This comes in the wake of allegations made against the New Zealand government of listening in on Fiji’s military, police and government calls made on a particular network.

Mr Natuva says the government would not be writing to New Zealand on allegations about it spying on Fiji.

Latin America cares:

WTO spy revelations blow to NZ’s image

Repercussions likely in Latin America where New Zealand is attempting to build new trading relationships

The notion that New Zealand – a member of the “Anglo-Saxon” camp – had employed the US secret service (this is how it is being written up in San Paulo) to try and foil the Latin American emerging countries bloc from achieving its rightful elevation in geo-trade relationships will take a while to settle.

Whether they say so or not, it seems likely that other nations will care as well – to suggest otherwise is breathtaking arrogance. What will be the long term cost?

77 comments on “International reaction to our spying”

  1. Tracey 1

    But…but… BUUUUUUUUUUUT look!

    Blackcaps in the word cup final

  2. felix 2

    The reality is, at the end of the day, my statement that other countries don’t care about us spying on them needs to be understood in its full context, which is that what I akshully meant was that white people don’t care.

  3. mickysavage 3

    The Brazilian response was well up there in terms of showing diplomatic displeasure. To summons the diplomat for a please explain session AND to put out a press release shows how peeved off they are.

    And the Government’s only excuse (repeated in the Herald) is that the spying is legal. They should have a read of the Vienna Convention on diplomatic relations before passing judgment. I am no expert but article 40.3 may apply. It requires third party states to accord to official correspondence and other official communications in transit the same freedom and protection as is accorded by the receiving State. So anything sent to a Brazilian embassy in, for instance, the United Kingdom should not be spied on.

    http://www.corpsdiplomatique.cd/VIENNA_CONVENTION_1961_ON_DIPLOMATIC_RELATIONS.pdf

    • Paul 3.1

      Maybe Key’s solution is for us to join America as the 51st state.
      Unbelievably dumb foreign policy.
      No wonder the civil servants are so disaffected.

    • Tracey 3.2

      in the corporate world you are at war with everyone. everyone is your enemy. your friends are enemies that havent shafted you yet. spying in the corporate world is R and D. Despite your dislike for government regs you love that they will be your anti virus and competition eliminator for you.

      This is why you need a benign dictatorship. cos those idiots with votes dont even recognise we are at war.

    • Draco T Bastard 3.3

      And the Government’s only excuse (repeated in the Herald) is that the spying is legal.

      Pretty sure that we would find that spying on those countries is not legal in those countries.

      As an example the Israeli attempts to get NZ passports. It’s illegal in NZ but obviously legal in Israel.

    • Macro 3.4

      I made this comment on another thread – but it is equally pertinent here:

      Objectives of the GCSB

      Objective of Bureau

      The objective of the Bureau, in performing its functions, is to contribute to

      (a) the national security of New Zealand; and

      (b) the international relations and well-being of New Zealand; and

      (c) the economic well-being of New Zealand.

      http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/2003/0009/latest/DLM187828.html?search=ta_act_G_ac%40ainf%40anif_an%40bn%40rn_200_a&p=1

      Yep! Seems like the GCSB have done amazingly well at contributing to the international relations of NZ. Well done them.

    • Murray Rawshark 3.5

      My lay opinion is that it’s totally illegal. Brazil will be filthy about this, and just when a few people had done some good work in bettering relations with them. I can imagine the Polícia Federal selecting a few Kiwi tourists for a bit of a going over at airports as well. They have a unique manner of expressing diplomatic displeasure.

      The argument that our regime made is that it’s legal because foreigners aren’t Kiwis. Our country is a joke appendage of the US and A. Bugger that.

  4. vto 4

    John Key’s government is clearly a cavalier and loose unit running amok with decades of NZ hard-earned reputation and action.

    Poor. Very poor.

  5. The Chairman 5

    Can anybody point me to where the Koreans have actually been asked for comment?

    • Sable 5.1

      Do they need to be?

      • The Chairman 5.1.1

        @ Sable

        Of course they do.

        Key doesn’t officially speak for South Korea .

        The allegations were they were spied upon, therefore comment from them should have been sought.

        • emergency mike 5.1.1.1

          SK kisses US butt harder than 100 John Keys. They are a country where democracy is just a few decades old – their media makes ours look very good. “Today the government said this, the government said that…” The chances of them kicking up any kind of stink about a US five eyes partner operation are low. When Key says the Krns don’t care he means that the Krn public will never know, and the Krn government doesn’t care – they are corrupt and self-serving and the FT deal will somehow benefit them and their rich mates directly. I.e. these are John ‘deals over dinner’ Key’s kind of people.

    • Tracey 5.2

      no. despite being in their country our press corp couldnt bring themselves to ask. i think they would have to leave the comfort of the 5 star hotel.

      • Macro 5.2.1

        And the answer might not have been one that would have supported “dear leader”.. so best not to ask.

  6. Sable 6

    Given China plans to spend millions in Latin America in the coming years in light of amoungst other things its mineral resources Keys behaviour amounts to yet another example of economic suicide for NZ.

    The US is defunct. Its 18 trillion in debt projected to blow out to 25 trillion in the next five years. Its time we stopped being the US’s puppet/stooge and stood up for our own people before we are dragged down to their level.

    • Paul 6.1

      Spying on China, Vietnam and other South East Asian countries for the Americans when we rely on selling dairy products to their countries.
      Now that’s a plan, Mr Key!

      • Sable 6.1.1

        Yes. Take the most vibrant country with the most prosperous economy in the world and poke it with a stick. Keys is an utter plonker.

        • Paul 6.1.1.1

          Or worse…
          The definition of treason.

          trea·son (trē′zən)
          n.
          1. The betrayal of allegiance toward one’s own country, especially by committing hostile acts against it or aiding its enemies in committing such acts.
          2. The betrayal of someone’s trust or confidence.

          • saveNZ 6.1.1.1.1

            @Paul

            In my view John Key and those who have aided him are guilty of treason. He has done nothing for the long term interests of NZ citizens and us as a country. He has instead gambled and speculated our assets and sovereignty away for games of golf, and being part of an ‘in’ group and future job prospects and wealth.

            Soon he will be in his new cushy job probably related to his current job of chairing the The International Democrat Union (IDU) is a conservative international alliance of political parties. Headquartered in Oslo, Norway.

            The IDU provides a forum in which political parties holding similar beliefs can come together and exchange views on matters of policy and organisational interest. From this, they act cooperatively, establish contacts, and present a unified voice toward the promotion of centre-right policies around the globe.

            My view is that John Key is more interested in furthering the centre right interests of International Democrat Union than actually do anything for NZ citizens.

        • tc 6.1.1.2

          He’s not a plonker, he’s a puppet of US interests with the Machiavellian skills and deviant behaviour perfected in merchant banking to a fine art.

          Underestimate him at your peril the force is strong in that one.

          • Draco T Bastard 6.1.1.2.1

            +1111

            Precisely. Key knows exactly what he’s doing and the damage and poverty that it will cause NZ but he’ll get another few million out of it so he just doesn’t care.

      • Chooky 6.1.2

        +100

      • Macro 6.1.3

        But – but – but… Key was not responsible for the GCSB! His office is – or was.

        No Key had nothing to do with any spying. EVER!

        He knows nothing about it. And if he ever did – he can’t remember.

  7. Pasupial 7

    That Fiji quote accuses the; “New Zealand government of listening in on Fiji’s military, police and government calls made on a particular network”. It’d be good to know what network, though my guess would be:

    Vodafone, one of the world’s largest mobile phone groups, has revealed the existence of secret wires that allow government agencies to listen to all conversations on its networks, saying they are widely used in some of the 29 countries in which it operates in Europe and beyond…

    The company said wires had been connected directly to its network and those of other telecoms groups, allowing agencies to listen to or record live conversations and, in certain cases, track the whereabouts of a customer…

    In about six of the countries in which Vodafone operates, the law either obliges telecoms operators to install direct access pipes, or allows governments to do so…

    Governments count warrants in different ways and New Zealand, for example, excludes those concerning national security.

    http://www.theguardian.com/business/2014/jun/06/vodafone-reveals-secret-wires-allowing-state-surveillance

  8. Olwyn 8

    This might be a weird or naive question, but are we paid to do this spying? I ask because it looks comparable to a bar that gets pokies in. The pokies provide a fixed income that covers a percentage of the costs, protecting the bar owner to some extent from the variability of food and drink sales. I wonder if our spying follows a similar pattern. If so, we are committing offences against other countries in order to pay our bills.

    • saveNZ 8.1

      @Olwyn

      My impression is that the NZ taxpayers pay for the spying, but the information goes directly offshore to the US. It is processed and stored in places unknown.

      So not only do NZ taxpayers pay for it, we actually don’t even do if for ourselves but for the club. My understanding is that the NZ GCSB then has to request it back so NZ does not have any control over the information that the NZ taxpayers pay to collect.

      If you have some country like NZ doing your bidding and you just have to have a few rounds of golf with the PM, and then set him up in some sort of cushy job later via connections and ‘help’ him get re elected to keep the gravy train rolling, why wouldn’t you?

      Not ethical in my view or a good way for the NZ citizens who are being told they can’t afford social spending but can afford to enrich and dubiously spy on individuals and neighbours.

      Before the Internet, they used to have the Stasi who did a similar thing.

      Is this Kiwi values?

  9. The government cannot say that it was not warned. Here is a little blast from the past: http://www.nzherald.co.nz/world/news/article.cfm?c_id=2&objectid=11165857

      • Ad 9.1.1

        I agree with your points – sorry should have read them earlier.

        But I don’t think you are arguing against state-sponsored spying for economic defense purposes.

        I think you are more arguing against clumsy spying for economic defense purposes. It’s quite defensible, so long as you don’t get caught. That’s the only problem here.

        • I think that threats to economic security are worth including among the intelligence community’s concerns (for example, beyond what Bill mentioned below at 12.2.1 as a defense against physical threats to critical infrastructure, to include spying in defense of NZ corporate secrets against outside cyber attack, against corporate sabotage or in defense of trade negotiation strategies that are being spied on by foreign governments). But I draw the line on things such as spying on rival candidates of a Kiwi for an international economic organisation position or spying on allies or trade partners just to secure economic advantage. Of course it is done by many other nations as well, but few of them proclaim so loudly about having an independent and autonomous foreign policy or acting as honest brokers in international affairs. And if only some countries are spying in pursuit of trade advantage, then that is not really allowing market forces to prevail is it?

          The focus of the two articles that I linked to is that what is done is done and NZ better have prepared contingency plans for the inevitable backlash that is coming its way. We have no seen the end of it by a far stretch.

          Via the likes of Glenn Greenwald and Nicky Hager, Mr. Snowden has opened a window of opportunity for the NZ public and political class to debate the nature and intent of NZ’s role in Western espionage circles. With a parliamentary review coming up, perhaps this is the time for a full reconsideration of the how and why of NZ’s spying with an eye towards redrawing the terms and conditions governing it.

          And then there is the issue of domestic surveillance…

    • r0b 9.2

      Prescient – full marks.

  10. ianmac 10

    Surprised?
    “John Roughan: Spying on WTO justified by economic ambitions……
    Keeping tabs on candidates for director general job the best way to protect New Zealand, and the world’s trade interests….
    The revelation that New Zealand has used its external intelligence agency to tap the communications of candidates for the top job at the World Trade Organisation posed the question: is this a proper use of spies? The answer, I think, is hell yeah.”
    What happened to our mana ?

  11. greywarshark 11

    I like that term for Key’s approach Anthony – bullshit and bluster. Neat, precise, says it all.

  12. Ad 12

    The question a future government will have to commit to, is the purposes of the relevant Acts that enable collection for this purpose in the first place.

    In this case, the purpose for protecting the “economic interests” of New Zealand have proven a gate big enough for a semi truck-and-triler unit. This is where it turns.

    A future government must commit to reviewing not just the operations of the intelligence agencies, but the purposes for which they are set up to spy in the first place: the law itself.

    They need to be cut off at this primary source by deleting the “economic interests” clause in its purpose, because it is no longer possible to trust them to reform on simply an operational basis.

    If a progressive government is not prepared to do that, then they have implicitly opened up a whole ‘economic nationalism’ argument for the continued use of this legal purpose that goes fairly fast down the French route of explicit ties between the military system, the innovation system, and state entities. Not sure we are ready for that.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 12.1

      Neo-liberalism is against New Zealand’s economic interests. Why no GCSB attacks on the National Party?

    • Ad: Very good points and well worth debating when the parliamentary review of the intelligence community begins later this year. But the issue extends further. Not only does the scope of intelligence collection need to be reviewed, but the very definition of threats to national security also needs reappraisal. As things stand today in NZ threats to the “economic well-being” of the nation are defined as national security threats. That means that under the law someone sitting in a tree to protect it from commercial export logging can be classified as a threat to national security (if not a terrorist) and treated accordingly. Likewise for opponents of the TPPA, which is one reason why Jane Kelsey gets the run around on “national security grounds” every time she files an OIA requesting release of any files held on her by the intelligence services.

      • Bill 12.2.1

        I’m guessing – only guessing, mind – that the “economic well-being” was originally intended to refer to any disabling, eg – blowing up of – pipelines, electricity supply lines etc, and that the term has suffered from ‘interpretation creep’ so that it no longer merely refers to threats to ‘economic well-being’ occasioned by the knobbling of basic infrastructure?

        • Paul G. Buchanan 12.2.1.1

          That is a generous interpretation that could well be correct. However, as far as I can tell the broad definition of national security and the intelligence agencies’ scope of responsibilities (as per section 7 of the GCSB Act) were introduced post 9/11 (when both the SIS and GCSB Acts were amended and the new definition of threats to national security introduced). I am not sure if there was anything on “economic well-being” before that. Whatever the case, we need to debate the necessity and strict meaning of economic security as an intelligence priority.

          • Tracey 12.2.1.1.1

            Outside of critical infrastructure (what qualifies btw?) do you support taxpayers being the de facto anti virus/web security and R and D for corporations big enough to get in Government’s ears but essentially driven by the profit motive and a requirement to return money to select shareholders?

            • Paul G. Buchanan 12.2.1.1.1.1

              In short: No.

              But that is why public debate is needed. If the majority of the informed public accept the argument that the majority of of NZ’s GDP is derived from the export/import sector, and if it is accepted that the benefits accrued “trickle down” to derivative and tangental industries as well as to the general public through corporate taxation, then an argument might be made that it is in the national interest to offer intelligence support to the private firms involved in such a strategic part of the national economy.

              I have my doubts about such rationales but I can see them offered as a defense that is accepted by many. Ad at 12.2.2 offers some plausible others.

              • Tracey

                My problem is the profit of such companies. Some doesn’t come to NZ society via profits (e.g. Banks) and in addition making billions. I have no idea whether our data trawling is of advantage to banks, or not. Just using that as an example. Our critical infrastructure is well on the way to full privatisation, so again, the best way to preserve that infrastructure is to have it 100% n public hands and then any GCSB resource used to its benefit can be justified?

                Public debate is only of use if all cards are on the table. But under this government that is unlikely. While it will declassify at its convenience and leak at its convenience it blocks anything to query its preferred agenda, main public debate difficult.

                This government seems to live by the mantra made famous by Ms Gattung

                “the chief executive admitting to the company “not being straight up” with customers.

                “Think about pricing. What has every telco in the world done in the past? It’s used confusion as its chief marketing tool. And that’s fine,” said Gattung in a speech recorded on March 20.

                “You could argue that that’s how all of us keep calling prices up and get those revenues, high-margin businesses, keep them going for a lot longer than would have been the case.”

      • Ad 12.2.2

        And just to open that debate up just a fraction, if I were a government arguing to keep that “economic interest” threat, I would go like this:

        1. New Zealand will remain for the foreseeable future reliant on just a handful of domiciled bulk-commodity exporters. Our entire exporting and Balance of Payments situation is utterly vulnerable to their performance. That degree of national interest intersection means the state should seek their advantage with state interests, overt and covert.

        2. It’s not enough to depend on the rule of inter national law. We are so small that we have to play by the rules of international trade, and encourage more of those rules to proliferate. But it is precisely New Zealand’s vulnerability in trade to the rule of international law that means we need to have that Plan B. That Plan B is to know what our competitors are doing.

        3. China and India will keep New Zealand’s export economy afloat with their receipt of our export goods, for decades. They are both only making slow steps to obey common trade rules. We’ve made good steps with them, but our competitors are gaining traction where we once had advantage. We need to use the state’s instruments to sustain that advantage as long as possible, even knowing it is being eroded. Our competitors sure the hell don’t hold back when stuff-ups occur.

        Finally, Five Eyes is at base a thin and deeply unequal alliance for New Zealand, which will not protect our economic interests. We need to use our spy network, because for economic purposes, we are completely on our own, and we are a weak, small state and economic force in every way imaginable.

        • Tracey 12.2.2.1

          fair points but ultimately whatever our spy capability, our bigger trading partners will have the same or better…

          • Ad 12.2.2.1.1

            All the more reason to get into it.
            They brought sabers, so don’t jump into the fight with a stick.

            • Tracey 12.2.2.1.1.1

              you get the world you deserve Ad, in small ways and big. The problem with secret services is they are, well secret. the deal in lies and duplicity. Assessing their value therefore, is a quagmire.

              • Ad

                Sadly government is not a binary information world.

                The idea of a day/night open state v “deep state” is a myth. There is of course always a sliding scale – as there must be.

                New Zealand is already one of the most open and transparent democracies in the world. The intelligence gathering services that we have are well and truly small by any stretch of the imagination.

                And no, this is not the world we deserve. We should always expect more.

    • Macro 12.3

      The main problem with this whole sorry event is that it had nothing to do with advancing NZ economic interests but everything to do with advancing the career prospects of Tim Groser.

      That is simply CORRUPTION, and that is why the GCSB cannot be trusted.

  13. freedom 13

    Here is a ssdd piece that got buried soon after being published yesterday afternoon,
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11424168

    and a ssdd follow up this a.m.
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11424409

  14. outofbed 14

    http://www.seek.co.nz/job/28395513?pos=17&type=standout
    Manager, Intelligence Coordination pm’s office

    • Tracey 14.1

      PM’s office doesnt have anything to do with Intelligence. Literally or figuratively, he abdicated responsibility, remember?

  15. emergency mike 15

    “What will be the long term cost?”

    For us? Our image is tarnished in certain countries, those stains don’t come off.

    For John Key? Not much. When his political time is up in NZ, he’ll just pack his bags and move on the the next corporate money making scheme.

  16. fisiani 16

    Nobody who matters cares. Just another petty post desperately trying to discredit Honest John yet again. When will the Left ever learn that repeating the same mistake over and over will only result in the same outcome.
    I will concede that once Honest John chooses to retire after perhaps six terms in office people may well have forgotten how truly awful is was during the Helengrad years and repeat the error of having a Labour government. When Chris Bishop becomes leader in 2025 the Left may have a chance.
    Who then will remember this storm in a D Cup?

  17. dave 17

    brazil is a huge market in a time when our exports are falling this town clown wreaks relations the Americans lost multi billion dollar fighter deal because of spying John key is a stupid ass he is wreaking this economy.

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    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
    4 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
    4 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 ...
    5 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 ...
    6 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 ...
    7 days ago
  • Prorogation Illegal, rule Scottish judges
    Scottish appeal court judges have declared that Boris Johnson’s decision to suspend parliament in the run-up to the October Brexit deadline is unlawful. The three judges, chaired by Lord Carloway, Scotland’s most senior judge, overturned an earlier ruling that the courts did not have the powers to interfere in the prime ...
    7 days ago
  • Let me explain what I meant by Everyday New Zealanders
    By Simon Bridges. The following is a press release from the office of Simon Bridges, leader of The National Party. Key ora, New Zealand. Happy Maori Language Week. Look, I’m writing to you today because I want to clear something up. There’s been a lot of kerfuffle around some things ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    7 days ago
  • Yes, the SIS is subject to the Public Records Act
    I understand there's some stuff going round about how the SIS "was removed from the list of public offices covered by the Public Records Act in 2017". The context of course being their records derived from US torture, which will be disposed of or sealed. The good news is that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • An evidence-based discussion of the Canadian fluoride/IQ study
    Dr. Christopher Labos and Jonathan Jarry discuss the recent Canadian fluoride/IQ research. They provide an expert analysis of the paper and its problems. Click on image to go to podcast. The critical debate about the recent ...
    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

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