Irony? Nah.

Written By: - Date published: 1:33 pm, May 17th, 2013 - 56 comments
Categories: colonialism, humour, im/migration, Media, uk politics - Tags: , ,

When a culturally driven desire for a degree of autonomy clashes with culturally driven intolerence, some interesting dynamics can be unleashed. And when the dominant culture seeks to report on it… well, it can all get a bit confusing for them.

The United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP) reportedly made big gains in the recent local elections held in England and Wales. And they thought they’d ride that wave of popularity north and into Scotland. Given the history of English based rascists attempting recruitment in Scotland, you’d have thought, as Mr Farage obviously didn’t, that a recruitment drive might not be the best of ideas. Anyway,  off he went to Edinburgh.

And this is where it gets interesting for me. The Guardian reports that some of the crowd who greeted Farange were “activists in the radical left pro-Scottish independence movement” –  as though those who opposed this lunatic’s presence were as lunatic and dangerous as himself and merely off across the other side of the political spectrum. Meanwhile the Independent headlined with “Angry Scottish mob…” Something of a radical mob then. And mobs, as we all know, are to be disdained and feared. While radicals, as we are encouraged to learn, are dangerous nutters. So, I dunno, maybe fascism is just a point of view –  a polite and civilised juxtaposition to those who form radical mobs?

I have ‘no idea’ why the press would exhibit any degree of consternation or confusion over Nigel Farange being told ‘where to go’ when he went to Scotland. Sure, south of the border he might be a bit popular. But that’s got nothing to do with anything. See, dominant cultures forever struggle to understand even the most basic sentiments and dynamics of the cultures they dominate. (Just look at NZ and the reporting on Maori concerns or issues or the way individual actions within Maoridom are twisted and turned by the media to be ‘dangerous’ or ‘unreasonable’)

Anyway, Farage made an incursion into the space of a subjugated culture carrying all the paraphenalia and historical baggage of the dominant culture with him. What the fuck did he expect? A nice sit down and a chat over a cuppa? Didn’t happen.

And as humourously reported in the otherwise somewhat confused Guardian piece –

“…, finally, the harassed and ill-prepared handful of officers were forced to push him back into the Canon’s Gait, slamming its front doors shut, as the demonstrators chanted: “Nigel, you’re a bawbag, Nigel you’re a bawbag, na, na, na, hey!” with gusto.

The etched sign above the Canon Gait’s door read: “Enjoy your visit.”

Ah, if only all politicians with racist policy platforms were afforded such welcomes everywhere.

56 comments on “Irony? Nah.”

  1. ghostrider888 1

    Long Live the ‘Bruce.

  2. Shane Gallagher 2

    It constantly shocked me how ignorant the English were about Scotland. They would arrive in Edinburgh (not the most Scottish of cities) and suddenly go into shock as they discovered that “it is different here! “I can’t understand the accent… ” was often the bewildered next comment. 🙂 They just didn’t get that it was a different country, a different culture.

    • Clockie 2.1

      By the same token the Scots don’t understand why Shetlanders view them the same way they view the English:

      Big fleas have little fleas,
      Upon their backs to bite ’em,
      And little fleas have lesser fleas,
      and so, ad infinitum.

      • Shane Gallagher 2.1.1

        Yes I knew a few Shetlanders in Edinburgh! There were so many internal divisions as well – lowlanders vs. highlanders, east coast vs. west coast, mainlanders vs. islanders, Edinburgh vs. Glasgow… it went on and on!

        • Clockie 2.1.1.1

          The Shetlanders were turned into feudal serfs by the Scots and forced to pay rent in cash or kind to the new lowland Scots “lairds” for land that they had held in their own right previously. They were cruelly exploited and oppressed by the new colonising power of the Scottish crown and it’s representatives, particularly the brutal Earl Patrick Stuart. They later had a system of enclosures forced on them which caused a major exodus in the late 1800’s. That’s why there is such a large number of people with Shetland ancestry in New Zealand relative to the original population. Some of the native Shetlanders still think of themselves as Shetlanders first, British second and grudgingly, Scottish a poor third because they have to admit that Shetland is currently a county of Scotland. 🙂

  3. tamati 3

    Are you confusing UKIP with the BNP?

    • The Al1en 3.1

      Same thing minus the skinheads.

      • Arfamo 3.1.1

        +1 🙂

      • Populuxe1 3.1.2

        Well no, nationalism doesn’t always equate to racisim.

        • felix 3.1.2.1

          Before you go off on one of your thread-derailing sanctimonious bashing-yourself-with-the-wrong-end-of-the-stick tangents, you might like to reflect on the fact that no-one – that’s no-one – said nationalism always equates to racism.

          I point this out so others can easily find the exact moment when you designed your mighty strawman opponent.

          • Populuxe1 3.1.2.1.1

            Before you pucker up your mouth like a cat’s bum, Felix, let us look at the thread:

            tamati: “Are you confusing UKIP with the BNP?”

            The Allen: “Same thing minus the skinheads.”

            The UKIP is a conservative nationalist Euro-skeptic party whereas the BNP actively campaigns against immigrants and contains a strongly racist component.

            I would hardly call that a straw man and I’m sorry you’re that pathetic.

            • felix 3.1.2.1.1.1

              Are you saying you genuinely don’t know the difference between saying “UKIP are racists” and saying “nationalism always equates to racism”?

              Serious question.

              • Populuxe1

                Oooh I can hear those lips puckering up like you were sucking an alum soaked lemon, Felix. The fact of the matter is you are the one picking a fight with a straw man here. I was alluding to the assumption that because the UKIP are a nationalist party that they are comporable to a bunch of racists like the BNP. I’m sorry to are tone deaf to nuance.

                • felix

                  I’m only responding to what you actually said, Pop. Instead of trying to insult me – which any fool can see is never going to work – how about you answer two very simple straight questions.

                  One is a matter of definition, the other is a matter of fact. If you’re correct, answering the questions will prove it.

                  1st, the matter of definition: If you argue against something that no-one has said, that’s a strawman. Do you agree or disagree?

                  2nd, the matter of fact: No-one here said anything about nationalism always equating to racism. Do you agree or disagree?

                  Each question is very straight and has only two possible answers.

                  In the case of the first, if you disagree the onus is on you to show why the definition is incorrect.

                  In the second, if you disagree the onus is on you to show where someone did make such a claim.

                  Ready? Go.

                  • felix

                    Yeah didn’t think so.

                    • Populuxe1

                      Sorry I didn’t jump straight on that, Felix, but it’s the weekend and I have a life.

                      “1st, the matter of definition: If you argue against something that no-one has said, that’s a strawman. Do you agree or disagree?”

                      No, technically a strawman argument is to misrepresent someone’s argument and argue against that – which I specifically did not do. Mine was a tangental or adjunct observation regarding the context.

                      “2nd, the matter of fact: No-one here said anything about nationalism always equating to racism. Do you agree or disagree?”

                      I was responding to the tacit implication in The Allen’s statement “Same thing minus the skinheads.”

                      Does that help, or should I translate it into Aspie?

                    • ghostrider888

                      wotta ’bout Esperanto?
                      😀

                    • felix

                      Well, we’re getting closer.

                      “I was responding to the tacit implication in The Allen’s statement “Same thing minus the skinheads.”

                      Are you saying that The Al1en’s statement suggests that nationalism is always racism or not? Straight answer please, either you are or you aren’t.

                      ghostie: English would be fine, but there’s fuck all chance of that.

                    • felix

                      ps Timestamps tell a different story about your life. You were all over the blog for hours yesterday after your last post in this thread.

                    • ghostrider888

                      hey felix me old china, some interesting reading I linked on O.M; same old same old 😀

                    • prism

                      Popgoestheweasel
                      “No, technically a strawman argument is to misrepresent someone’s argument and argue against that – which I specifically did not do. Mine was a tangental or adjunct observation regarding the context.”

                      Is that called white-anting then?

                    • felix

                      It’s just a distraction.

                      Fact is Pop either misrepresented the argument to make it seem as if someone was saying that nationalism always equates to racism, OR Pop genuinely doesn’t know how to visualise a Venn diagram with more than one circle.

                      There isn’t a third option available that would reconcile with all Pop’s comments in this thread (or if there is, Pop hasn’t thought of it yet.)

                      The short-range forecast is more bullshit, bluster, and personal abuse, all disappearing into a massive memory hole by tomorrow morning.

                    • Pascal's bookie

                      “1st, the matter of definition: If you argue against something that no-one has said, that’s a strawman. Do you agree or disagree?”

                      No, technically a strawman argument is to misrepresent someone’s argument and argue against that

                      I’ll just note, in passing, that technically there is no distinction being made here. If you argue against a misrepresentation of what was said, you are in fact arguing against something that ‘no-one has said’ in the conversation. Pop’s version is simply a subset of Felix’s.

                      Further, Pop is wrong. A strawman argument is one made against a man of straw that the speaker has raised up. It doesn’t have to be a misrepresentation of any particular person’s argument.

                    • Pascal's bookie

                      Also, of some relevance:

                      http://www.thisislincolnshire.co.uk/UKIP-members-Lincolnshire-County-Council-refuse/story-19015707-detail/story.html#axzz2TZGxL7kZ

                      But Chris Pain, leader of the county council’s UKIP group, the official opposition, told today’s annual meeting of the council: “I cannot support this document.
                      “It actually pushes forward the chance of multiculturalism, one of the fundamental things that’s wrong with our society.

                      So there is that.

            • Bill 3.1.2.1.1.2

              ..the BNP actively campaigns against immigrants

              So does UKIP.

              On the other hand, the SNP most certainly doesn’t. So, what was your point again?

        • The Al1en 3.1.2.2

          Same thing minus the skinheads.

  4. A bit like the ‘Men’s Movement’ trying to recruit from NOW.

    Like you say, Bill, a really strange situation, full of irony.

    According to the Guardian George Galloway of Respect (???), Lord Foulkes of Cumnock, a former Labour (???) Scotland Minister and Lord Forsyth of Trumlean, a former Tory Scottish Secretary all confirmed the ‘anti-English’ sentiment of the ‘cyber-nationalists’ and elements of the Scottish Nationalist movement.

    This, apparently, is the great sin. Being angry at a nation that has exploited your nation for centuries (often under cover of racist sentiment) is not good form. Much better to be polite. We are all Gandhians now, except …

    Being angry at such impoliteness – calling them “yobbo, fascist scum” – is perfectly understandable and, presumably, forgivable.

    This has all the hallmarks of a media stunt by Farage. Apparently, he appeared at the pub, without telling the publican he would be there, and held an unannounced press conference, yet there was a group of protestors ready to greet him.

    Farage warned that the protesters who forced him to flee a press conference in Edinburgh and seek police protection, had exposed a “pretty ugly” face of Scottish nationalism that is “akin to fascism”.”

    But Foulkes was highly critical of Farage for failing to prepare for his visit to Scotland. “He didn’t help. He came up, went into a pub without getting permission from the publican and held an impromptu press conference. There were students protesting and he dealt with them in a peremptory and unsympathetic manner.

    • Bill 4.1

      Like I said in the post, some ‘interesting’ dynamics start to play out in the dominant culture.

      So, now we have George Galloway and others of Labour or ex-Labour essentially offering backing to Farage who has branded those expressing anti-fascist sentiments “yobbo, fascist scum.” And, of course, by extention, the implication is that the SNP is fascist and that independence for Scotland is being driven by fascist tendencies that express themselves as a deep antipathy towards the English. (Note: antipathy towards the English establishment etc and antipathy towards English people are two entirely different things. The former is fairly widespread. The latter isn’t.)

      Meanwhile –

      Mike Shaw, president of Edinburgh University Students Association’s Socialist Society, tweeted: “Ukip protest yesterday branded as ‘anti-English’. As a proud Englishman, arrested yesterday for protesting, I dispute these claims.”

      And here be two videos of the whole debacle that, let’s face it, show that things weren’t exactly ugly or out of hand….which raises questions over the reactions coming from current and ex-Labour Party sources and the quarters of the ‘establishment press’.

      http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/video/2013/may/17/ukip-nigel-farage-protesters-edinburgh-video

      http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/ukip-leader-nigel-farage-hits-back-at-fascist-hecklers-in-edinburgh-pub-8619819.html

      But then, maybe it ought not to be forgotten that the UK Labour Party and the UK Conservative Party have formed an alliance to oppose any talk of independence and (it could be argued) squelch the democratic aspirations of ordinary people.

      • andyS 4.1.1

        I completely agree with your sentiments regarding the LibLabCon alliance to keep the UK in the EU.

        UKIP essentially represent a protest vote – they attract voters from across the political spectrum.
        In the recent South Shields By Election, the labour strong hold vacated by David Milliband’s departure to NY, UKIP picked up 24% of the vote.

        The Lib Dems got around 300 odd votes, half that of the BNP and marginally more than the Monster Raving Loony Party

        [I obviously expressed no such sentiment and if you ascribe things to me that I didn’t say again you’ll be enjoying a ban – Bill]

      • Puddleglum 4.1.2

        Thanks Bill for all the extra information. I was struggling to find evidence of the ‘near riot’ conditions implied by the headlines and commentary.

        It looked, so far as I could tell from the video I was looking at, a boisterous but non-violent affair. In the second video link you mention, one protestor explicitly states that it was the policies that were not welcome in Scotland.

        I’d like to hear how the commentators, Galloway et al. make their distinctions between ‘anti-English’ (i.e., racist) sentiment and ‘anti-English control’ (i.e., nationalism) sentiment.

  5. For all that the UKIP seems to consist of Little-England conservatives who’ve taken the concept of English eccentricity to a level easily confused with mental illness, the fact is that if you’re part of an angry mob hurling abuse at some guy in the street, you’re not the good guy – the scum present is actually you and your mates, not the bloke you’re screeching at.

    • Bill 5.1

      I think chanting “Nigel, you’re a bawbag, Nigel you’re a bawbag, na, na, na, hey!” is pretty funny and not at all screeching.

      And they did allow the press conference to proceed. They didn’t just shut it down, but asked questions of the guy and what not. (See the vid link above)

      • Psycho Milt 5.1.1

        I did see the video. As reported, it consists of a mob abusing this bloke Farage. Like I said, if you’re part of an angry mob shouting abuse at someone in the street, don’t try and kid yourself you’re the good guy in the scene – you’re so not.

        • The Al1en 5.1.1.1

          Surely that’s all relative. One man’s angry mob is another man’s act of defiance against a divisive bigot and a racist.
          The way I see it, the baw baggers, even though they’re shit at football, were good to the man.

    • Murray Olsen 5.2

      I’d say shouting at the bad guy doesn’t make you a bad guy at all. I don’t see much difference between the UKIP and the BNP. I have English friends who invest a lot of hope in the UKIP, mainly because of disillusion with the Tories of either tie colour. I think they’ll be sadly disappointed.

  6. andyS 6

    The Daily Mash almost got it right

    “Farage attacked by Scottish Farage”

    http://www.thedailymash.co.uk/politics/politics-headlines/farage-attacked-by-scottish-farage-2013051769143

    The Scot can’t see beyond their own dogma. They want independence from England but want to be part of the supra national state of the EU, where presumably they will turn into another Greece or Cyprus.

    Personally speaking, as a Brit, they can keep their country and provide us with our own little North Korea. Stuff them

    • Colonial Viper 6.1

      they can keep their country and provide us with our own little North Korea.

      That’s hilarious.

      I don’t blame the Scots for wanting to GTFO of your little Kingdom.

    • karol 6.2

      All natonalisms are not the same. the Scots anger comes from a position of being dominated and oppressed by the English. Farage’s motivation is to maintain the dominance of those of Anglo-Saxon-descent dominance in a multicultural England. England (and Britain) is still largely run by (and for) the wealthiest English classes.

      I guess there’s an attraction for Scotland to be able to appeal to the EU on social/national justice issues, rather than follow the Brit government with it’s stronger allegiance to “neoliberal” US government.

      It could be that it’s a case of a small independent country in a super-power world, wanting to choose allies that will be more sympathetic to their cause.

      • Colonial Viper 6.2.1

        As long as they stay out of the Eurozone they’ll be OK.

      • Bill 6.2.2

        If I can attempt to draw a parallel (which is kind of what I intended to do when I first thought of writing the post)

        Farange and UKIP kind of broadly equate with the mind sets of the likes of Don Brash and ACT – roughly.

        And the call for Scottish independence roughly equates with the call for tino rangatiratanga. And the press and establishment reacts in very similar ways in both locations when approaching issues of self determination – ie, fear monger, demonise and misdirect.

        • Colonial Viper 6.2.2.1

          Ahhhh Farage running his own Iwi/Kiwi campaign stunt.

          • Bill 6.2.2.1.1

            Farage (now that I’ve bothered to check how to spell his name) is all about Brits/Foreigners in his campaigning…foreigners/immigrants getting unfair and advantageous access to social provisions over ‘hard working, salt of the earth’ Brits.

            Sooo… yeah, basically the same shit.

            And he gets called on it and swathes of the establishment rush to condemn those who called him on it.

            And somewhat as an aside – note the fairly common mindset espoused by andyS that would have us believe that [choose between the following interchangable designations] foreigners/immigrants/scots/maori are lesser scum who never had it so good, couldn’t possibly manage their own affairs, should be grateful for the largess of the long suffering peoples of the dominant cultureand should therefore ‘quit their whining’ and/or fuck off to dystopia?

        • andyS 6.2.2.2

          [deleted ]

          [lprent: see /irony-nah/#comment-634795 ]

          • Bill 6.2.2.2.1

            Go read the principles their immigration policy is to be based on which, among all the misleading, scaremongering bullshit is this…

            UKIP would withdraw from the European Convention of Human Rights and the European Convention on Refugees. This would enable us to deport foreign criminal and terrorist suspects where desirable. UKIP would allow genuine asylum applications in accordance with our international obligations.

            Notice that they’re intent would be to withdraw from recognised frameworks that provide for international obligations and then allow asylum in accord with their own unilateral definition of their ‘international obligations’….ie, most likely none.

            • andyS 6.2.2.2.1.1

              [deleted]

              [lprent: currently banned – doubling the ban for leaving comments. Now 13th June. ]

        • ghostrider888 6.2.2.3

          ‘n that

    • Bill 6.3

      🙄

      And so adherence to the confused discourse of the dominant culture results in the demonisation of anti-fascists as….fascists…who would form a hard line communist state…within the auspices of the EU. Confused much?

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    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
    5 days 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
    5 days 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
    5 days 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
    5 days 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
    6 days 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
    6 days 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
    6 days 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
    6 days 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 ...
    6 days 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
    6 days 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
    6 days 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
    6 days 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 ...
    7 days 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
    7 days 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 ...
    7 days 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
    7 days 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
    1 week 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
    1 week ago
  • New Fisk
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week 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
  • Government says it will now build just one really nice home
    Following publication of this article, the Ministry has requested it to be noted that this supplied image is not necessarily representative of what the final house will look like, and it “probably won’t be that nice.” As part of today’s long-anticipated reset of the Government’s flagship KiwiBuild policy, Housing Minister ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Imperialism and your cup of coffee
    Over the next week or two we will be running three synopses of parts of the opening chapter of John Smith’s Imperialism in the 21st Century (New York, Monthly Review Press, 2016).  The synopsis and commentary below is written by Phil Duncan. Marx began Capital not with a sweeping historical ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Still juking the stats
    The State Services Commission and Ombudsman have released another batch of OIA statistics, covering the last six months. Request volumes are up, and the core public service is generally handling them within the legal timeframe, though this may be because they've learned to extend rather than just ignore things. And ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Hard News: Time for a New Deal: 25 years on
    In 1994, I was editing an ambitious street mag called Planet, from a fabled office at at 309 Karangahape Road. The thirteenth issue of the magazine was published in the winter of that year and its cover embodied a particularly ambitious goal: the end of cannabis prohibition.I wanted to do ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Not impressed
    KiwiBuild was one of the Ardern government's core policies. The government would end the housing crisis and make housing affordable again by building 100,000 new homes. Of course, it didn't work out like that: targets weren't met, the houses they did build were in the wrong place, and the whole ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Solar beats coal
    As the climate crisis escalates, it is now obvious that we need to radically decarbonise our economy. The good news is that its looking easy and profitable for the energy sector. Wind is already cheaper than fossil fuels, and now solar is too:The levellised cost of solar PV has fallen ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • A Step Too Far.
    A Crown Asset? For reasons relating to its own political convenience, the Crown pretends to believe that “No one owns the water.” To say otherwise would re-vivify the promises contained in the Treaty of Waitangi – most particularly those pertaining to the power of the chiefs and their proprietary rights ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Where Money Comes From
    Most people would say, no doubt, that they have a pretty good idea of what money is. They live with the reality of money every day. It is what is needed to buy the necessities of life and to maintain a decent standard of living. You get money, they would ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    2 weeks ago
  • Banned by the Green Party leadership: Jill Abigail on women’s rights and trans rights
    The article below was an opinion piece that appeared in the Spring 2019 issue of Te Awa (the NZ Green Party’s newsletter) and on the Greens website.  In keeping with their policy of hostility to women defending women’s right to female-only spaces, Green bureaucrats have since removed the opinion piece.  ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • The fallacy of the proximity argument.
    Longer term readers may remember my complaining that, as a political scientist, it is burdensome to have non-political scientists wanting to engage me about politics. No layperson would think to approach an astrophysicist and lecture him/her on the finer details of quarks and black holes, but everybody with an opinion ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    2 weeks ago
  • Where We Stood: Chris Trotter Replies To Stevan Eldred-Grigg.
    Joining The Fight: Stevan Eldred-Grigg's argument for New Zealand staying out of the Second World War fails not only on the hard-headed grounds of preserving the country’s strategic and economic interests; and not just on the soft-hearted grounds of duty and loyalty to the nation that had given New Zealand ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Universities back the climate strike
    On September 27, School Strike 4 Climate will be striking for a future to pressure the government for meaningful climate action. This time, they've asked adults to join them. And now, Lincoln University and Victoria University of Wellington have signed on:Victoria University of Wellington has joined Lincoln University in endorsing ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Another constitutional outrage
    Another day, another constitutional outrage in the UK. This time, the government is saying that if parliament passes a law to stop Brexit before being prorogued, they may just ignore it:A senior cabinet minister has suggested Boris Johnson could defy legislation to prevent a no-deal Brexit if it is forced ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Ending dairy in Canterbury
    Environment Canterbury has finally proposed nitrogen limits to stop dairy farmers from poisoning Christchurch's water supply. And naturally, farmers are whining about it:A proposed move by Environment Canterbury (ECan) to protect Christchurch's drinking water by setting tough – some would say, draconian – nitrate reductions in the decades ahead and ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Is National the party of climate arson?
    The Zero Carbon Bill is currently before select committee. While its targets are weak, its a generally sensible bill that promises to establish a long-term framework to guide emissions reductions. But National hasn't made up its mind on whether it will support it - and according to Andrea Vance in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Experts warn Harold the Giraffe “well past” typical giraffe life expectancy, may not have long
    Dum-de-doo. Children across New Zealand have known him for generations as the lovable giraffe who tells them to exercise, hydrate and not to shove lit cigarettes up their nostrils. But a world renowned giraffe expert says we shouldn’t be getting attached to Life Education’s Harold the Giraffe, as he is ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • August ’19 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
    Image credit: 22 BLOGGERS WITH ADVICE FOR RESEARCHERS AND EVALUATORS, ILLUSTRATED I notice a few regulars no longer allow public access to the site counters. This may happen accidentally when the blog format is altered. If your ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Bye, bye to the collusion lie
    Sums it up, really. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Opinion: Treat your car by buying extra petrol to snack on while you aren’t driving
    By Mike Hosking. Yesterday morning, I waltzed into work, and as I walked past the drones aggressively typing out news on the computers I’ve repeatedly asked to be moved further away from, I caught a glimpse of the words “climate change”, and noticed that suspiciously they weren’t in condescending quotation ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago

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