Is youth the new political divide?

Written By: - Date published: 9:21 am, March 11th, 2018 - 44 comments
Categories: class, community democracy, Deep stuff, democratic participation, discrimination, election 2017, greens, jacinda ardern, journalism, labour, national, polls, same old national - Tags:

There was this fascinating recent panel discussion on Guardian Weekly where the panelists discussed where the political divide in the United Kingdom currently is.  The panelists claimed that notions of class politics they though were breaking down.  Brexit showed many working class areas, apart from Scotland, voting leave while more urban areas with younger populations such as London voted heavily to stay.  And the surge in Corbynmania was clearly because of young people getting out and voting.

From the introduction:

For most of the 20th century, British politics was a battle of left v right. There was a clear divide between those who favoured more state intervention and those who preferred freer markets. The parties tended to split neatly on the issue: Labour on the left, Conservatives on the right.

But things are no longer that simple, at least according to research from a new thinktank, Global Future. To understand the seismic convulsions of Brexit and last year’s general election, it says, you need to look at politics through a different lens: open v closed. That is, those who are open to immigration, new technologies and new ways of doing things versus those who are worried by those things.

But the one factor that clearly distinguished the group likely to vote Labour and the group likely to vote conservative was age.

This graph from YouGov says it all.

The tipping point was about the age of 47.  Below that and the younger voters were the more likely they were to vote progressive.  The older they were the more likely they were to vote conservative.

I am not sure if the discovery is so revolutionary.  The change itself is somewhat evolutionary.  It used to be that the demarcation lines for political support were based on class.  But continued attacks on the trade union movement in all western democracies have seen their power ebb and notions of class diminish.

But it is not as if the support has then been coopted by the right.  Rather support has been spread around many different movements, most of which are at least nominally progressive.  Just think of the LGBT movement and the environmental movement.  Think also about the surge in cultural pride and the acceptance even celebration of cultural diversity that occurs.  These are ideas and concepts that are traditionally associated with the left.  The right will embrace them as well, but only when it realises that political power depends on it.

What about in New Zealand.  Are we also seeing evidence of a Youthquake?

The evidence is mixed.  This is from an article from Newshub where the topic was discussed after the results for the 2017 election were published:

Fears of a ‘youthquake’ at this year’s election were unfounded, with young people no more likely to vote in 2017 than in 2014.

While turnout for 18 to 24-year-olds on the electoral roll jumped from 62.7 percent to 69.3 percent, there were actually fewer in that age group enrolled to vote in 2017 than in 2014.

“You have to remember the commission’s figures are a percentage of the enrolled voters,” Grant Duncan of Massey University’s School of People, Environment and Planning told The AM Show on Thursday.

“Of the 18 to 24-year old group, only 72 percent are actually enrolled – therefore only half of them voted.”

Combining the Electoral Commission’s data with population figures from Statistics NZshows only 47.6 percent of 18 to 24-year-olds voted in the 2017 election. In 2014, it was 47.4 percent – almost exactly the same.

Statistics NZ data shows in 2017 there were 483,940 people aged 18-24, with 333,164 enrolled; while in 2014 there were 447,880 people, but 338,269 enrolled.

The article does however miss the point that more young people voted and it also does not comment on how they voted.  And the rate of increase in the numbers of young people outstripped the overall population increase.  So an increasingly progressive vote can at least in part be put on the young.

And do young New Zealanders match their overseas equivalents?  It appears they do.  From a post by Bryce Edwards in the Herald just before the 2017 election:

The strongest evidence of a powerful age dynamic coming into the election campaign came out of the most recent 1News Colmar Brunton opinion poll for, which showed that “67 per cent of 18-34 are voting or intending to vote Labour” – see: ‘Something’s clearly going on here in terms of this idea of a youth quake’ – Corin Dann on huge new Colmar Brunton poll.

Labour’s incredibly success with youth is also shown in two other surveys that have just come out. Survey firm SSI was commissioned to run a poll for Newsroom, which also showed that 65 per cent of 18 to 24 year-olds intended to vote Labour, with only 14 percent of this group favouring National – see Tim Murphy’s Labour opens gap with women, young.

Inversely, National dominates amongst older age groups: “Labour’s lead reduces progressively as the age of respondents rises, but is still 57 percent to 22 among 25-34 year-olds, 45 to 26 for those 35-44 and 49 to 24 for those aged 45-54. Only from 55 to 64 does National pull ahead, by 39 to 34 over Labour, with a commanding lead of 53 to 27 for those aged 65 and above.”

The Horizon polling company also identifies a similar trend: “By age, Labour’s strongest support is coming from those aged 18-34. 52% of definite voters aged 18-24 support, Labour, 25% National. 47% of those aged 25-34 support Labour, 32% National. The parties each have 32% of those aged 35-44 years. National has more support among those aged 45+. Among those 65+ National has 52%, Labour 29%” – see: Main parties in dead heat.

Why young people tend to vote progressive is easy.  Progressive parties tend to think more carefully about the future.  They are more determined to address climate change and environmental disaster and these are issues that young people have a particularly keen interest in.  Progressive parties are not afraid of change of new ideas.  Nor are young people.  Conversely older people tend to resent change.

And progressive parties have always been at the forefront of the recognitions of diverse rights associated with race, creed, gender and sexual preference.  And young people also tend to relish these values.  On the other side conservatives resent change and have to be persuaded, over time, that respect for these rights is actually a virtue and not a threat.

The job for Labour and the Greens will be to continue to attract the support of young people, get them enrolled, and get them active and passionate about politics.  And the job of National will be to reach out to them while at the same time keeping its older support.

44 comments on “Is youth the new political divide?”

  1. The Fairy Godmother 1

    I find this data fascinating. One factor which could contribute to the high proportion of conservatives in the older age groups could be that wealthier more prosperous people live longer lives. That is working class people on lower wages who are more likely to vote Labour struggle more and die younger so skewing results in the older age groups.

  2. AB 2

    The downside of this is that young people get old.
    It would be preferable if the divide was based on awareness of who has power and who doesn’t . ‘Class’ in other words.

    • Tuppence Shrewsbury 2.1

      Stupidest suggestion ever. Moving away from empirical evidence of who is able to vote to a subjective “values“ approach will lead to greater disenfranchisement

      • AB 2.1.1

        My point was that if progressive parties are dependent for their support solely on the youth of voters, rather than their awareness of class, it is not really a very secure position to be in.
        Carolyn makes some interesting points below about how the importance of youth might, at least partially, be a constructed narrative with the whole purpose of de-emphasising class.

  3. Carolyn_Nth 3

    I do think that more young people are motivated to vote for change and that tends to diminish for some people as they get older.

    However, I also think this idea of a youth rather than a class divide is something the mainstream media political pundits want to talk up.

    When I looked at the stats for the 2014 election, it showed that Labour voters were far more likely to identify as working class than any other party voters. And the age differences were fairly negligible.

    As I recall, stats by electorate showed something a little different – ie by clumping together the total party results in low income vs high income electorates.

    I suspect that part of the difference between young and older voters has to do with low income people dying younger than high income people. So it’s not so much to do with people becoming more conservative as they get older, but of more conservative/right wing people living longer.

    UK newspapers have published some articles going back a decade or more, reporting stats that show there is an increasing divide between the life expediencies of low income vs high income people.

    The Guardian 2009: Life expectancy gap between rich and poor is widening

    The Independent 2014: A 25 year gap between the life expectancy of rich and poor Londoners is a further indictment of our unequal society

    The Guardian 2015: Life expectancy increases but gap widens between rich and poor

    The UK’s independent fact checking charity 2016:

    People born poor will die nine years earlier than others.

    This is partially correct. Boys born in some of the poorest areas in the UK are expected to live nine years fewer than those in the very richest areas. For girls the figure is seven years.

    this article quotes some research that shows,

    It found that the majority of areas with persistently low life expectancy during this time also had a high proportion of people earning low or no wages. It also found that the reverse was largely true.

    a number of other factors affected life expectancy, including deprivation in old age, housing deprivation, binge drinking, fruit and vegetable consumption and gender.

    UK Medical Express Feb 2018: Life expectancy diverges between England’s wealthiest and poorest neighbourhoods:

    Death rates for people aged 60-89 improved for all groups between 2001 and 2015. However, the improvement was greatest for the best-off.

    Differing improvement rates meant that by 2015, men aged 60-89 from the least advantaged fifth of the country were 80 percent more likely to die in any given year than those from the most advantaged fifth. This figure has climbed from 52 percent in 2001. The equivalent figures for women are 44 percent in 2001 and 81 percent in 2015.

    So, I think while there is some tendency for some people to become more conservative as they get older, I don’t think it’s any different than for previous generations. There are proportionally more high income older people as they age, with more low income people dying.

    I’d be wary of some MSM reports being influenced by a desire to undermine class differences.

    • Bill 3.1

      I’d be wary of some MSM reports being influenced by a desire to undermine class differences.

      Yes. Very.

      A “it’s just the yoof” narrative might lend itself to dampening political demands from across the rest of society by deliberately or otherwise obfuscating the actual state of affairs and subtly suggesting that older people ought not to follow their instinct if it accords with some “claimed to be” youthful extravagance or “passing phase”.

    • Siobhan 3.2

      Well put Carolyn_Nth.

      Incidentally it would be interesting to see a breakdown of the youth vote.
      In NZ and the UK, are these working class youths or the children of the upper middle classes that are becoming politically engaged. As they age these two groups/classes are going to have very different concerns. To be honest I don’t hear many working class voices on the Left any more.

  4. Bill 4

    Youth has got nothing to do with it per se.

    The radical centre (ie – the liberal status quo) that has encompassed both Tory and Labour Parties is basically done and dusted.

    UK Labour broke out of that dying space with Corbyn. The SNP broke out of that space. Trudeau pretended he was breaking out of that space. Trump claimed he would be a break. Sanders claimed he would represent a break.

    All of the above attracted far more of the vote than status quo loving liberal media predicted. That same media has tended to disparage any electoral challenge to the liberal or radical centre coming from either the left or the right.

    Curiously (sarc/) the ploy for countering a presence on the right is to simultaneously build them up in the public mind, but portray them as a threat – ie, the fear card designed to send people back to the safe hands/arms of the centre.

    A presence on the left is dealt with more by way of ridicule, dismissal and character assassination.

    So why this “youth” analysis? Because it ‘s a convenient red herring that avoids the obvious conclusion – the schism isn’t generational. The schism is between the radical centre (liberalism) and everything else, where “everything else” sits along authoritarian and non-authoritarian lines (so not strictly speaking “left and right”)

    Even when there is no political expression of an alternative, we can see how deep voter discontent runs.

    The establishment prefers “steady as she goes” European alignment? Give us Brexit. The establishment prefers “steady as she goes” Clinton? Give us Trump.

    But not Le Pen. After Mélenchon’s surge had been smothered, (in part by building up Le Pen as the bogey man) that was a step too far and an occasion to rush back to the centre.

    And where self harming options aren’t the only ones available, then like a succession of inevitable waves from an incoming tide, people are ending towards Sanders, UK Labour, SNP, 5 Star Movement or political autonomy (Scotland, Catalonia…)

    And in NZ we got Jaccinda Ardern. In the mould of Justin Trudeau. And a government now rushing off in the opposite direction from that which the rest of the world is about to go. I mean fuck, Trump just gifted the initiative to the left by pulling out of the TPPA and threatening the end of NAFTA. And in NZ, many people self identifying as “left”, clutch at their beads (pearls have been far too expensive for a few years now!) because an end to “free trade” might mean something not nice happens. 🙄

  5. KJT 5

    Some would like the “divide” to be over age, gender, race or anything else.

    So long as it distracts from the exponential accumulation of our wealth, by a few. Class!

    • RedLogix 5.1

      No question the extremes of wealth accumulation are a problem that demands real thought and the emergence of new ideas around how to best moderate this problem.

      But as you say, all these ‘divides’ that are being thrust upon us; well I’m over them. As a species we have so much potential, so many big real problems to solve if only we’d look to what we all have in common and have the courage to trust one another again.

      • greywarshark 5.1.1

        I am very careful who I trust these days after thinking that I understood some younger people to have good standards of respect for people and the environment, and found that it was mainly the environment they were concerned about; in their spiritual? economy people were an externality.

        And then trusting people’s goodness and care about community. It is slow to arise in normal situations, and requires something that achieves an outpouring of sentiment, a hopeless disease that might be cured overseas, a slow but terminal disease that the sufferer discounts arguing for the right to see their grand-children grow up through being given expensive medicine. Little children who can’t get simple health treatment to enable them to be healthy and grow and socialise in a normal fashion are again, externalities.

        Or people might turn out for a special occasion run by some socially accepted body, helping to build a habitat house or such, raising money for the rescue helicopter; if it was to help build a wet house for alcoholic men who were homeless and who didn’t get many jobs or even a basic living – well no.

        The scourge of selfish neo lib economics that teaches charity is a personal choice rewarding the giver with a feel-good satisfaction, leaves us with a situation where we may get little real kindness again. We can’t simply trust one another, and have to remain wary, but also don’t fall into a Me First or Us Separate, type of thinking. Ensuring that you get for yourself what is reasonable but that it is also available to all similar others, is a pinnacle that we must try to climb to, and then stay firm at that level.

        It isn’t possible to relax vigilance; those who are thinking of others and working on their behalf need to nurture their fellows, as it is a wearisome exercise and the really good people can become exhausted.

        • RedLogix

          Thoughtful as always gw; thank you. I’m tempted to turn this into a long, complicated comment, but really it condenses down to this; we’re a complex, incredibly adaptable, social species. Unlike all the other creatures we share this planet with, we alone have the capacity create our destiny.

          Ultimately we achieve what we aim at. This is true as BOTH individuals and collectively. Therefore we should be careful about what we want.

          The question is simple; are we more likely to have a better future on the basis of a society riven by divisions, deep mistrust and polarisations; or one that seeks to bring all of it’s diverse elements under a common dialog and unity of purpose?

  6. Enough is Enough 6

    “Why young people tend to vote progressive is easy. Progressive parties tend to think more carefully about the future. They are more determined to address climate change and environmental disaster and these are issues that young people have a particularly keen interest in.”

    That is true for the Green Party indeed.

    I can’t say the same for Labour after their antics in the past week, where they signed us up to the corporate trade deal negotiated by National.

  7. David Mac 7

    We grow more conservative as we gather stuff to conserve. Memories, kids, heirlooms. I feel it has little to do with politics and is more to do with our life cycle. We were all bullet-proof and going to change the world when we were 20.

    • Carolyn_Nth 7.1

      And many of us never stop wanting the world to change. We just become aware of how we, and the young, are far from bullet proof.

      And depressed at the power of the elites to resist change.

      I don’t see a lot of real change coming from 10 Bridges, or from team Ardern – National and National lite.

      • David Mac 7.1.1

        It’s probably the lazy path but I choose to be content. Things seem to go better for me when I get around with a smile on my mug, spring in my step and loving life in NZ.

        • Carolyn_Nth

          Yes. Well great for you! And also great that you are able to ignore the large numbers of people in the country struggling to get by.

        • David Mac

          People that make a difference seem to more often than not sport the attitude I’m pointing to.

          I was sitting in the waiting room of the Kaitaia Hospital recently. I had to fight the urge to stare at the guy that sat down beside me, his face rang a bell. We struck up a conversation, this guy had a fabulous charismatic zest for life, he was loving it. I was doing the best I could to engage with this dude on an undercurrent of ‘Who the hell are you?’

          Ricky Houghton picked up a certificate for his 100m Freestyle in the recent NZer of the Year awards. That joker has done more for housing the mighty folk of Northland than all of the commenters at this site put together. This guy loves his life and life in NZ. He’s trying to make it better, Share his joy.

          Mickey savage isn’t going to save any of our Kauri with a “You’re killing our Kauri you arsehole” approach. He needs to share his joy for the Waitakeres and ask people for their help, “Please love the tree without standing on it’s roots, it’s hurting.”

          Being pissed off and angry is a crap way to get new people onboard.

          • Molly

            Sometimes the angry and the pissed off are necessary for change, and oftentimes the angry and pissed off are that way for a moment, while they build up the energy to continue. There are people who have fought long hard battles and they become depleted and despondent.

            I think it is quite understandable for those who have been up against power and systems to become frustrated. The best you can offer to them is assistance, if you agree with what they are trying to do. Share the burden.

            It is often those branded ‘radical’s and ‘activists’ that bring matters to our attention, and garner mainstream attention and energy.

            If you dismiss them, I think you haven’t considered their journeys to get to where they are, and the benefit their stance has often given those who follow.

            When you meet someone like Ricky Houghton, they seem to epitomise the best way of doing things. But I’m sure that even he, will understand the stories of others frustrations, and no doubt would have experienced it himself.

          • Carolyn_Nth

            Some of us have tried nice. We’ve tried reason – more times than we can count. We’ve tried protests. We’ve tried it all over the years.

            And nothing gets any better. And for those already struggling, life just either keeps on keeping on being intolerable, or gets worse.

            People’s lives are being damaged and cut short – that’s ill and dying before their time. It’s been in the media often enough in the last couple of years.

            So when, in the face of all this, someone says, “I’m OK – life just keeps getting better for me – I don’t care about those struggling”… damn right I’m gonna get angry.

            • David Mac

              Hi Carolyn, yes sometimes getting vocal and angry about something is what it takes to make people take notice, I agree.

              That’s all it does. Attracts attention, like a neon sign. People like Ricky don’t make a difference by raising their voice and banging the table. Nobody does. They make a difference by calmly charming others into engaging with their ideas.

              I don’t adopt this outlook so I can dismiss the struggles of others. Yes it does make me feel good and love the life I lead. This is not a crime, nor my primary point. I’m better positioned to help others if I’m wearing this hat. I feel the bitter and angry are less likely to generate genuine support….I don’t like people getting angry in my face, most people don’t, we make excuses to leave.

          • RedLogix

            @ Dave Mac

            Absolutely. And a very pertinent story.

            Yet here is the thing; in his private moments we can be sure Ricky … like all of us … has to face down his own frustrations, resentments and pain. Yet he chooses a ‘zest for life’. And as you say, likely he has gotten way more DONE than all the angry pixels typed here will ever achieve.

            In my experience the only person worth getting angry with is myself; for my own laziness, stupidity and naivety. I try to harness that anger to push myself into doing better.

            • Molly

              Self-reflection is a useful tool to see whether you are acting in line with your values, instead of reacting to externals.

              But I get concerned about messages for ‘positivity’ if you want change. Mostly because it just seems to limit the ways people are expected to respond despite what they are concerned about. Another way of saying ‘I won’t listen’.

              The compassionate will always understand that frustration can come out as anger, and will accept that as a legitimate response. We have our fellow NZers being turned down for ACC, sanctioned from receiving already substandard benefits, reduced to living in cars. We have just had nine years of being lied to by our representatives, and a change of representation that has signed us up to the TPPA. Anger is not an inappropriate response. I am not condoning violence, which is an act of physical or mental harm, but I do support the right of people to feel and express their anger.

              • Carolyn_Nth

                I have little patience when someone comes to a political blog, joins in a discussion about the class divide, in a context where there is dicsussion about how too many are struggling, to crow about how great their comfortable life is.

                David mac’s second comment has more value in highlighting Ricky Houghton’s community work.

                But he then goes on to attack writers here for not being positive enough.

                I’m pretty sure Micky has had many positive things to say about the west and the Waitakeres in the past, and has done so often in his day and community work.

                This makes David mac’s comments as divisive as he is criticising others for being.

                • greywarshark

                  The only thing that David Mac’s comment is good for is to remember to spread some happiness when something good happens, to be pleased at some positive advantage or even preventing something detrimental happening. We should pass on advances for our group, and for the country. Otherwise I query his outlook.

                  A really good piece on Radionz this morning about alert medical people in an Auckland hospital and how their hospital has worked to reduce their carbon footprint by a good percentage. Go down to the black border at bottom of page and on left there is Latest Audio. Look through that.

                  • Carolyn_Nth

                    Thanks, grey.

                    There was also plenty of positive in Micky’s post above – about what can be, and has been achieved by progressive movements, and about how the enthusiasm of young people can contribute to further change.

              • RedLogix

                Fair enough Molly. Hell only knows I’ve had my own ‘highly angry motivated moments’ here at TS … only a fool or a liar denies their capacity for it. Nor am I suggesting anger is always a bad thing; certainly it’s roots lie in an evolved aggression that can serve to protect and project.

                But outward aggression is not a good long term tactic, it’s weak politically because it alienates and provokes unnecessary resistance. Plus it’s tough on the body if we sustain it too long.

                It’s a big complex topic to discuss and I’m not even going to try and pretend to have the last word on it. 🙂

                • Molly

                  The term “outward aggression” to me suggests violence, where anger and ‘pissed off’ do not. Maybe it is just a case of differing views of definitions, in that respect.

                  But I really think the request for positivity is both inane, and dismissive. It’s just another excuse for many to not listen to what is being said. We should have the capacity to listen to people who have been hurt or damaged or outraged without insisting on ‘tone’ beforehand.

                  • greywarshark

                    Molly positivity does not mean inane and dismissive if there is proper balance in attitudes. Just remembering to enjoy things when they go right, note changes for the better, while still going for a wider improvement! Balance is something to aim for I think, resist the human tendency to obsession and excess.

                    Quote – Life is what happens while you are making other plans. John Lennon said it, and he repeated it from soneone else. Good eh. Look what happened to John, so sad,
                    but he did lots and I think he enjoyed his time, was active in many things, made great music, explored the world and his own psyche, he planned protests and carried them out, was really alive and did more in his short time than most do in their extended odld age.

                    • Molly

                      greywarshark, I didn’t remark on positivity as an attitude – “But I really think the request for positivity is both inane, and dismissive.” – I was talking about the request, though more accurately, I should say, the implied insistence for positivity.

                      There needs to be space, within the progressive movement for both those who can move forward with positivity and those who force spaces open, sometimes with understandable anger and frustration. I’m not advocating for violence, just for a cessation of this method of shutting people up by telling them “…if only you had a better perspective….” then I would listen to you, support you etc.

                      How about listening to those that have been disenfranchised, without requiring them to make the best of their situation?

                      It may make us uncomfortable until we get used to it, but that does not give us the right to demand a certain tone before listening. This requirement adds to the suppression of voices, and I don’t agree with it at all.

                    • greywarshark

                      Okay Molly, the new government should be told all the problems and difficulties they should know asap so they can start making changes. Even prioritise things so they can start with cheaper policies that they don’t have to go on their needs to Treasury for.
                      Not long to the Budget so I would get the stories to them, so that
                      the song is ‘You are always on my mind’.

                      I won’t comment on disability again.

                    • Molly

                      Hi grey, I think we are talking at cross purposes. I have no idea why you are referencing the government and the budget, when I was just discussing David Mac’s need for positivity when asking for change.

                      I’ve been back over the thread, and can’t see where I’ve referenced the government or any specific instance, and not got into disability at all. Maybe leave it at that?


    It’s a good thing voting picture is the opposite way round or we old faŕts would probably deservedy stuffed by the young

  9. Stephen Bradley 9

    Yes there have been attacks on the union movement. But not only from the usual quarters of multi-national corporations, Farmers, rich domestic millionaires, and their glove puppets in the bureaucracy and professions, but also and critically from within the Labour Party. Let’s see if this Labour-led government can seriously reverse the anti-Labour trend of the last three decades.

  10. SPC 10

    Social conservatism/secure in property/advantaged by focus on low taxes.
    Progressive/insecure in property/need support to study and for family.

  11. bwaghorn 11

    “If you’re not a liberal at twenty you have no heart, if you’re not a conservative at forty you have no brain.” Winston Churchill

    • Incognito 11.1

      If you’re not a progressive you have no spine or guts.

      • bwaghorn 11.1.1

        I don’t want to be standing for half a day in the bread queue because some utopian halfwit got there way . that doesn’t make me anti progressive it just makes me value caution matched with a realistic understanding of how the world works

        • Incognito


          I just added to Churchill’s quote; it was not at all aimed at you personally and I’ll leave it at that.

  12. Jackel 12

    Old people have just gotten used to the mess and it has kinda grown on them. Young people haven’t. Nor should they.

  13. R.P. Mcmurphy 13

    this cohort will not get off their arses until their i-pods get taken away. The youf dat I see are petulant truculent and arrogant without having done anything to earn a vote or faced any sort of hardship whatsoever. if the writer sees them as just future consumers and voters for their own personal benefit then so be it.

  14. Doogs 14

    I think that one very important factor is being forgotten here, or possibly ignored, and that is the increasing trend for people to be more environmentally aware. I use environment here in a very broad way to encompass the atmosphere, the land, the oceans and the people.

    People, and young people in particular, are becoming more sensitised to the fact that everything is interlinked and all things depend upon each other. This is a concept which perhaps a majority of older folk and the well off seem incapable of understanding. Humans are products of their time, and the thinking of the 40s and 50s (my era) is so seriously outmoded in the current world scene that people who are steeped in that aura are out of step with what the world now needs.

    And here’s the kicker – these young people who are growing up with global environmental attitudes will maintain their views and continue them into the remainder of their lives as they age. Thus the shift in attitude will continue as the old, rigid and often selfishly dogmatic approach among older people will slowly die out. Truth to tell, if it doesn’t then it will be the world that will die out and all of us with it.

  15. Ovid 15

    Fears of a ‘youthquake’ at this year’s election

    Interesting phrasing in that newshub piece. If people wanted voter participation, they’d talk in terms of hopes of a youthquake.

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    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
    2 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
    2 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
    3 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
    3 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 ...
    3 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
    3 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
    3 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
    3 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
    4 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
    4 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
    4 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 ...
    4 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 ...
    4 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 ...
    4 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
    4 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
    4 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 ...
    4 days 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
    5 days 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
    5 days 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
    5 days 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
    5 days 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
    5 days 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
    5 days 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
    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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