John Key’s disdain for democracy

Written By: - Date published: 9:02 am, July 3rd, 2013 - 42 comments
Categories: accountability, capitalism, copyright, greens, john key, national/act government, russel norman, slippery, Spying, telecommunications, us politics - Tags: , ,

Yesterday, hearings began on on the Bill amending the regulations related to the GCSB and surveillance.  John Key showed complete disdain for the process by failing to ask questions and only intervening to hurry people along.  There are good reasons to amend the regulations governing surveillance because their are murky areas.  However, it is a threat to democratic rights and processes to extend GCSB’s powers to spy on New Zelanders, especially in the light of revelations about the extent of invasive spying by NZ’s Echelon partner, the US spy agencies.

Yesterday at the Parliamentary hearing, John Key showed his disdain for democratic process, and exposed the fact that he intends for the Bill to be passed in spite of extensive and valid opposition:

Mr Key chairs parliament’s intelligence and security committee which is hearing from the public on a bill that will make it legal for the Government Communications Security Bureau to spy on New Zealanders on behalf of other agencies.

The committee’s other members are Labour leader David Shearer, Greens co-leader Russel Norman, cabinet minister Tony Ryall and ACT leader John Banks.

On Tuesday, they heard arguments from the Law Society, Human Rights Foundation, Council of Trade Unions, and the Environment and Conservation Organisation, who discussed the public’s privacy expectations, whether the law should extend to companies and whether metadata can be considered private communication.

Mr Key didn’t ask a single question, instead acting only as a timekeeper who told submitters when their speaking time was up, Dr Norman says.

“He was kind of sitting there, grinding his teeth but not engaging … He was just simply going through the motions and waiting for the time to be up,” he told Radio New Zealand.

Russell Norman explained the problem and related issues in a clear and reaosnable way.  Listen to the full  RNZ interview here:

http://podcast.radionz.co.nz/mnr/mnr-20130703-0715-greens_call_for_inquiry_before_gcsb_bills_passage-048.mp3

Yesterday in the NZ Herald, Paul G. Buchanan (“director of 36th Parallel Assessments, a geopolitical and strategic analysis consultancy“), provided a clear and knowledgeable assessment of the proposed Bill.

There is clearly a need to “tidy up” the legal framework governing GCSB activities on home soil because under the current act the role of the GCSB in domestic espionage is murky. But civil libertarians and privacy rights activists have legitimate reason to oppose the GCSB bill in its present form.

He argues against extending the GCSB powers in the terms of this Bill, which contains a dangerously vague definition of “threat to national security”, while providing poor oversight.  Added to this is the fact that the NZ intelligence agencies are over-stretched and It would enable

… mission-creep into common law enforcement and encroachments on individual and group privacy. For example, under the proposed legislation the GCSB could assist the Ministry of Primary Industries to spy on environmental activists on behalf of fishing, logging or mining interests if their protests were deemed injurious to the economic well-being of the nation, which can be construed as a threat to national security under current definition of the term.

Buchanan is also critical of the related Telecommunications (Interception Capability and Security) Bill , which he describes as being “more draconian than similar legislation under the US Patriot Act.”

Buchanan concludes that it is necessary to have a,

…a full inquiry into the New Zealand intelligence community is needed before any reforms are made to its legal architecture […]

There is some anticipation of Kim Dotcom providing a direct face-to-face and well-informed challenge to the PM at today’s hearing.    Gordon Campbell provides some background and 5 possible Dotcom questions to the hearing (as outlined at the link). Campbell explains,

Given the rogue nature of the agency in question, Dotcom might usefully explore some of the GCSB’s existing activities as well as its proposed new powers.

[…]

What I’m getting at is that there are a few matters of substance at stake tomorrow, beyond the sheer personal drama of Dotcom’s confrontation with Key. And yes, it is weird that it should fall to a wealthy German to uphold the kind of freedoms that a previous generation of Kiwis fought to defend between 1939 and 1945. I hope the elderly supporters of Winston Peters get that irony.

On TV3 News last night, it was stated that they will be streaming the hearing live today, and that Kim Dotcom is likely to front at around 5pm.

Will there be fireworks, procedural diversions and/or useful clarifications?

Or will John Key continue to use his slippery, spin-laden, corporate-backed, MSM-enabled, Prime Ministerial power to continue to subvert democracy?

[Update] TV3 Livestream, starts 3.30pm. [h/t CnrJoe]

[update] Kim Dotcom told today’s GCSB hearing that Key knew about him prior to the GCSB spying on him.  TVNZ article:

John Key, sitting as the Parliament’s Secretive Intelligence and Security Committee’s was chairing the meeting today when discussions became heated between the Prime Minister and the internet mogul.

Dotcom told the committee he believed Mr Key knew about him before the GCSB spying, when Mr Key replied, “no I didn’t”.

Dotcom then jibed, “why are you turning red, Prime Minister?”

“Why are you sweating?” Mr Key responded.

Dotcom said it was hot and that he was wearing a scarf.

 TV3 video

Dominion Post: Thursday 4 July 2013, p1:

key dotcom

42 comments on “John Key’s disdain for democracy”

  1. Rosetinted 1

    There was an unpleasant message on interview with Veitch on Radionz this a.m. He considers that spying on us is the plan du jour, and will continue to be done to requirements and legislated for later again. This dates back to the lack of readiness in the USA for 9/11. Yet we have heard that there was then and since, so much information that they were drowning in it.

    7.08 Morning Report – Govt urged not to rush spy law because of Dotcom embarrassment.
    http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/morningreport/audio/2560755/govt-urged-not-to-rush-spy-law-because-of-dotcom-embarrassment.asx
    An academic specialising in security studies predicts there will be increasing intrusions on people’s privacy.
    Jim Veitch, a defence and security academic, told Morning Report, that if law and order breakdowns in the Middle East move to South East Asia, New Zealand will be have to be prepared to deal with it.

    Centre for Strategic Studies Senior Fellows – School of History …
    http://www.victoria.ac.nz › … › People of the Centre‎
    May 23, 2013 – He regularly lectures at the New Zealand Defence Force Command and Staff College …. to various academic journals and collections in this subject area. … James (Jim) Veitch is Senior Lecturer, Security Studies at Massey …

    Also Newstalk ZB
    http://www.newstalkzb.co.nz/player/ondemand/1592738367-jim-veitch–the-ambiguousness-of–gcsb-laws

    But our authorities may decide to target an individual , or act to repress discussion, meetings, free speech about the political system. Of course we have had SIS burgle Aziz Choudry’s home in 1996. They had perceived some danger or just unhelpful actions from him, so justified their home invastion.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Zealand_Security_Intelligence_Service
    So we already have the security system, that can effectively operate outside government control, power and the paranoia set for the touch paper.

    So lie back and think of the USA foks, notable Brit Queen Mary said when she died the word Calais would be written on her heart . That may happen here in a modern form. The ultimate in spying would be to have a chip implanted so your sovereign power could check on you at will. Once you give up the idea that you are an individual with a soul and a place and life on this earth, it may be the least problematic way for an individual to manage his or her curtailed life, when the power structures of the world own the right to monitor citizens.

    Incidentally google is featuring Franz Kafka today. Coincidences!

    • Rosetinted 1.1

      Note micky savage comment at 8.15am No.8 Open Mike on Jim Veitch for more opinion on this interview.

    • Rogue Trooper 1.2

      Kafka featured on Wikipedia today also; it’s labyrinthine.

  2. izzy 2

    Veitch is a poseur and charlatan simply following his employer’s orders. He has fashioned himself first as a terrorism “expert” and now somehow as an intelligence expert but in fact his background is in religious studies (which he taught at Victoria U for several years). He has no background in counter-terorrism, military affairs, much less intelligence. What he did was parlay his interest in Islam after 9/11 into a media presence about Islamic extremism, then terrorism in general and now intelligence and military affairs. Massey hired him a few years ago to direct its Strategic Studies Department, which is funded by the NZDF. He regularly churns out bullshit posing as informed commentary, and his remarks to the Committee and to RNZ are nothing more than that.

    • Rosetinted 2.1

      izzy
      I was most confused when I looked at Veitch’s present persona as I remember him discussing religious studies matters and sounding sensible and principled combined, now he just sounds pragmatic and embedded. You explain his primrose path well though.

    • Macro_adder 2.2

      Well summed up izzy. He is now simply a mouth piece for the Hawks… Sad.

  3. Bearded Git 3

    Audrey Young is very good here on Key’s pathetic timekeeping.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/opinion/news/article.cfm?c_id=466&objectid=10894454

    • Veutoviper 3.1

      Was just about to put that link up as I was a little surprised at Young’s take on yesterday’s hearing. She is usually so pro-Key.

      This is also the only article I have seen that mentions that Penny Bright also appeared at the hearing.

      Bright started with a lecture about how Key does deals like the Sky City convention centre – “your deals over dinner, deals over the phone – that might be customary practice in how you do things as a foreign exchange dealer or the head of derivatives for Merrill Lynch but that is no way to run a country”.

      On the spy bill, she wanted him to open up all his trust accounts, bank accounts, Swiss bank accounts, tax havens. “Nothing to hide, nothing to fear, come on Prime Minister; you show me yours and I’ll show you mine.”

      Key looked like he really wanted to engage: “Okay Penny, thanks very much. Your time has expired.”

      I laughed at her direct approach – bold above is mine. Good on you, Penny.

    • Huginn 3.2

      So-o-o-o-o passive aggressive

  4. Rogue Trooper 4

    Thanks karol and Rosetinted; hope that you do not find yourselves “threats to national security”.
    As the paper by the School of Media Studies asserted, JohnKey is a ‘hollow cypher’.

  5. Rogue Trooper 5

    within every cloud.

  6. Macro_adder 7

    Key is acting like a dictator Napoleonesque in his attitude. When does he intent his coronation? And will he crown himself like his obvious idol?
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coronation_of_Napoleon_I
    Unfortunately for Key – we are not yet a Republic.

    • Winston Smith 7.1

      Thats funny, I thought it was the left that wanted NZ to become a republic?

  7. Rosetinted 8

    There’s a hole in the bucket dear John dear John
    There’s a hole in the bucket and democracy’s leaking out.

    With what shall I fix it dear Liza dear Liza.
    With a straw dear John dear John, with a straw.

    With what shall I cut it dear Liza dear Liza.
    With an axe dear John dear John.
    What a waste of time dear Liza dear Liza
    It’s an old bucket – I’ll smash it with the axe.

    Then what will we do with our democracy dear John, dear John
    How can we look after our democracy dear John.

    Put the bits on a fire dear Liza dear Liza
    There’s lots of paper in the law library dear Liza dear Liza
    We’ll go digital dear Liza dear Liza
    And we won’t remember democracy at all.

    • Tim 8.1

      What’s the chorus line?
      My bet is that it’ll be to do with masses uprising, Mussolini-like icons being strung up from lamp post cross members, and a heap of egotists screaming “it wasn’t me, it wasn’t me”.

      Let it rip – the sooner the better

  8. McFlock 9

    John Key might be a totalitarian little sociopath, but the courts seem to be re-enacting (excuse the pun) the friction between the Barons and King John. The issue? Smoking in prisons.

    In order to legitimise the DoCorrections ban on smoking in prisons after it had been declared illegal (sound familiar?), the government passed legislation in February to legalise the illegal practices of a department (sound familiar?), including a declaration that the regulations can’t be challenged in court (sound familiar?).

    But Justice Brewer said there was a public interest in the unlawfulness of the Government’s amendments.

    “The effect, or utility, of this declaration is subject to the Corrections Amendment Act 2013,” he said.

    “I do not in this judgment decide the competing submissions of the parties on how the ouster provisions of the Amendment Act should be interpreted.”

    In other words, Brewer chose to rule only on the actual case rather than just washing his hands of the affair, and if the crown want to go back to court and argue it was a judgement without utility, no worries mate.

    Or in other other words, not being allowed to call john key a dick is a separate issue from whether john key is, in fact, a dick.

  9. I have never felt more embarrassed for a politician yesterday than I did
    for Russell Norman, he reminded me of that little snot face kid in class,
    who thinks he hard done by, and thinks hes making a point by being a
    smart ass, while the rest of the class just roles their eyes.

    Unfortunately there is always one of two people, who love that sort of thing.

    • Yoza 10.1

      Yeah, right on Brett. I’m sure practically nobody cares about Key introducing a Stasi style secret-police surveillance apparatus apart from the usual band of left-wing extremists like the New Zealand Law Society.

    • One Anonymous Knucklehead 10.2

      Brett, learn to spell roll.

      Oh and, “Lovely, name calling, your (sic) the coolest kid in the 6th grade.” 😆

    • the pigman 10.3

      If “one of two people” love it, why does the whole class “role” their eyes?

    • Suitably Clueless 10.4

      Is this is general? Or has the hated Dr Watermelon said something else intelligent and reasoned, if so, which particular incident are you referring too?

  10. MrSmith 11

    And so the revolution and freedom we thought the internet and technology would bring us has enslaved us and is and will sensor our freedoms, our freedom to speak freely and express our opinions, our freedom to start a revolution.

    We thought we were so smart didn’t we, but again we never gave much thought.

    In the past we were uncomfortable knowing that some will have to die so we can live, but now it seems know-one can die and we can’t live without being watched.

  11. fear all 12

    Why the hell is Jo blow Banks on the intelligence committee his party representation in parliament is 1 member ?
    Where is democratic representation -uno -votes
    What a crock of uno what Where’s the military reps in all this and the police or is that undisclosed for security reasons?
    A few questions when we are being asked to lay wide all our personal communication because of the demands of t TPP U THINK

  12. Molly 13

    Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? Who watches the watchmen?

    Finally reading Nicky Hager’s “Other people’s wars” alongside this debacle, and I thank Terry Pratchett for introducing me to the phrase above. Seems appropriate for both situations.

    Perhaps a one sentence submission for the GCSB select committee.

    • McFlock 13.1

      now you’re just being juvenal. 🙂

      • Molly 13.1.1

        Brought me back to earth with a Thud!

        • McFlock 13.1.1.1

          I must say that his general vibe of guarding/public safety is spot on with some of my own experiences back in the day – there was even one team where they tried getting a sunday graveyard shift poker game running. Chips & everything.

          Probably from his days as a journo on the police beat.

      • lprent 13.1.2

        Groan… Please – no Latin satire.. Was bad enough reading those decades ago.

  13. Richard Christie 14

    Why did Key lay a complaint over the cup of tea recording?

    Nothing to hide nothing to fear, privacy doesn’t come into it.

  14. Sable 15

    Strikes me this is bigger than people think. These kind of totalitarian measures are being put in place in Australia, the UK and even Ireland.

    Makes me wonder if this is not a bloodless (thus far) invasion enacted by a small group of powerful people. I think really we are to become part of the US “Empire” with a Police state put in place to crush dissenters.

  15. Descendant Of Sssmith 16

    The new Xbox one has a camera so sensitive it can monitor your pulse and heartbeat.

    I feel a Max Headroom moment.

    The series is set in a futuristic dystopia ruled by an oligarchy of television networks. Even the government functions primarily as a puppet state of the network executives, serving mainly to pass laws — such as banning off switches on televisions — that protect and consolidate the networks’ power. Television technology has advanced to the point that viewers’ physical movements and thoughts can be monitored through their television sets; however, almost all non-television technology has been discontinued or destroyed. The only real check on the power of the networks is Edison Carter, a crusading investigative journalist who regularly exposes the unethical practices of his own employer, and the team of allies both inside and outside the system who assist him in getting his reports to air and protecting him from the forces that wish to silence or kill him.

    http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=EcwZxLMFDf0&feature=related

  16. Jenny 17

    A message aimed at President Obama.

    A message that John Key should heed.

    A message that other autocrats around the world who would set state agencies and spies and armed police and para-military against their own people would also do well to heed.

    A message that is for the people of the US and other Western democracies.

    A message that resonates with the people of Brazil, Egypt, Turkey and Greece beset as they are with elected dictatorships that on gaining office choose to ignore the popular will, in the interests of the powerful and privileged elites.

    “In the end the Obama administration is not afraid of whistleblowers like me, Bradley Manning or Thomas Drake.

    “We are stateless, imprisoned, or powerless. No, the Obama administration is afraid of you. It is afraid of an informed, angry public demanding the constitutional government it was promised — and it should be.”

    Edward Snowden

    • Jenny 17.1

      The above quote, is destined to become one of “the quotes” of history. Because it encapsulates the general uneasy mood of the time. A time when the legitimacy of the elites and the direction in which the world is heading is being questioned by millions of people.

      The message is universal and repeatable.

      Only Slightly reworded, this message would not be out of place, even on, the lips of an unlikely folk hero like Kim Dotcom.

      “In the end the Key administration is not afraid of people like Kim Dotcom.

      “We are stateless, imprisoned, or powerless. No, the Key administration is afraid of you. It is afraid of an informed, angry public demanding the constitutional government it was promised — and it should be.”

      Kim Dotcom

      (With apologies to Edward Snowden)

  17. Huginn 18

    Hi Karol,
    Sorry about the re-post from Open mike, but I thought you might be interested.

    Peter George has raised a concern that the GCSB was used for gathering the communications and security data of Peter Dunne and Andrea Vance.

    ‘And also of extreme concern is what data [to the Henry Investigation] was provided by the GCSB. Appendix Three of the Henry report states that the GCSB provided “substantial assistance, particularly in the gathering of records”.

    That rings alarm bells. What “authority” did Key give the GCSB to gather data? Whatever it takes? And what data did the GCSB gather, and from where?’

    http://yournz.org/2013/07/03/key-gave-henry-inquiry-extraordinary-authority-including-gcsb/

Links to post

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • No one is born into the wrong body
    A short and incredibly powerful speech from a young lesbian woman. No one is born in the wrong body. ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    3 hours ago
  • Contempt
    Back in June, the UK Court of Appeal ruled that that country's continued arms sales to Saudi Arabia were unlawful. So you'd expect that the UK government stopped approving them, right?Of course not:The government has apologised for breaching a court ruling against the sale of weapons to Saudi Arabia that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 hours ago
  • Covering up the cover-up
    Yesterday NZDF officials were put on the stand about the lies they had told over Operation Burnham, making implausible claims that it was all a big mistake. But along the way, we learned they had already been put on the spot about it by a previous Defence Minister, who had ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 hours ago
  • Not as important as they think they are
    Farmers have been whining a lot lately, about the methane targets in the Zero Carbon Bill, about Canterbury's proposed nitrogen limits, and about the government's new proposals to stop them from shitting in our lakes and rivers. These policies are "throwing farmers under the tractor", they will force farmers off ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 hours ago
  • Behind Every Good Woman Should Stand – Another Good Woman.
    Alone, Alone, All, All, Alone: To argue that the Prime Minister is the victim of her advisers’ failure to keep her informed may offer Jacinda some measure of exoneration – but only at the cost of casting her as a hopeless political ingénue. A star-dusted muppet, whose only purpose is to ...
    11 hours ago
  • Poor quality, poorly educated kiddie ‘Journalists’ spreading fake news
    In times of hysteria about the “World coming to an end” and “rising sea levels” so-called ‘Journalists’ who can barely spell words longer than four letters are having a ball! Though the majority of the Public have worked out that manmade climate change is nothing short of pseudo-science, and the ...
    An average kiwiBy admin@averagekiwi.com
    11 hours ago
  • Chris Trotter on the BFD
    I don't want to give pblicity to certain parts of the internet that are better left to fester in their own irrelevance (I know, a bit like this place) but the listing of Chris Trotter as a 'author' on Cameron Slater's spinoff website, the BFD requires some explanation.Now, I don't ...
    22 hours ago
  • Sex is not a spectrum
    The text below is a Twitter thread by Heather Heying that explains the essence of sexual reproduction and it long evolutionary history. She is an evolutionary biologist and a “professor-in-exile” after she and her husband, Bret Weinstein, stood up to supporters of an enforced “Day of Absence” for white staff and teachers ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    22 hours ago
  • Climate Change: Trees, aviation, and offsets
    With crunch time for new Zealand climate policy approaching, most of the New Zealand media have got on board with a global reporting effort to cover the issue. There's one strand of stories today about polling and what it shows about changing public attitudes to the crisis, but the strand ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • Pissing-Off The Israelis Is A High-Risk Strategy.
    Dangerous Foes: For those readers of Bowalley Road who feel disposed to dismiss any prospect of an Israeli destabilisation of New Zealand politics, the example of the United Kingdom repays close attention. Ever since the election of Jeremy Corbyn as leader of the British Labour Party, the Israelis have sanctioned, funded and ...
    1 day ago
  • Something to go to in Wellington
    Make It 16, the youth-led campaign to lower New Zealand's voting age, is holding an official campaign launch at Parliament this Friday from 16:30. If you'd like to attend, you can register using EventBrite here. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • A founding member responds to Peace Action Wellington
    by Don Franks It was a lovely sunny Wellington afternoon with blue skies above  the beaches.  In Courtenay Place, political activists packed out a stuffy upstairs room for an important meeting. The assembled pacifists, anarchists, communists and independent young radicals of Peace Action Wellington felt the need for a mission ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 day ago
  • “Mistakes and errors”
    Current and former NZDF top brass are being publicly grilled this week by the hit and run inquiry over their public responses to allegations of civilian casualties. Previously, they've claimed there were no casualties, a position which led them to lie to Ministers and to the public. Now, they're saying ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • “Homosexuality is same-sex attraction and relationships, not heterosexuals with delusions of gende...
    by Rafael D. Quiles (gender-critical gay man from Puerto Rico) The writing on the wall is right in people’s faces and people just don’t see it or don’t want to. What could actually possess a heterosexual male to want to feminize himself and claim that he is a lesbian? Because ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 days ago
  • Trump: “Where’s my favourite dictator?”
    From the Wall Street Journal:Inside a room of the ornately decorated Hotel du Palais during last month’s Group of Seven summit in Biarritz, France, President Trump awaited a meeting with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi. Mr. Trump looked over a gathering of American and Egyptian officials and called out in ...
    2 days ago
  • Magdalen Burns, 1983-2019, fighter for women’s liberation
    by the Redline blog collective At Redline we are very saddened to hear of the death of Magdalen Burns who passed away on the morning of Friday, September 13 (British time). Magdalen was a great fighter for the rights of women in general and lesbian women in particular, a defender ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    3 days ago
  • Parliament and the Executive
    The Brexit issue has certainly brought with it a series of apparently difficult constitutional issues, many of them concerning the respective roles of the executive and parliament. Most of them arise because of the unwillingness of MPs, despite their professions to the contrary, to be bound by a constitutional rarity ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    3 days ago
  • The Abigail Article; Martyn Bradbury’s Article, and My Response
    . . This blogpost is different to my usual format of reporting on issues… Since July 1011, I have blogged on a variety of political issues; near always political and/or environmental; mostly highly critical of the previous National Government. Other issues included Israeli occupation of Palestinian lands and repression of ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    3 days ago
  • Police will have to wear silly Buckingham Palace hats from now on, says Police Minister
    Those close to the Police Minister believe the initiative may be the result of Nash “seeing a great deal” on AliExpress. In a move that comes seemingly out of nowhere, Police Minister Stuart Nash announced this afternoon that he expects all frontline staff to don bearskin hats, famously worn by ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    4 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
    4 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
    4 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
    4 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 ...
    4 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
    5 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
    5 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
    5 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
    5 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
    5 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
    5 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 ...
    5 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 ...
    6 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 ...
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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 ...
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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
    7 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
    7 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
    1 week ago
  • The coming resource war.
    During my time in the Pentagon I had the privilege of sitting down with military leaders and defence and security officials from a variety of Latin American nations. Sometimes I was present as a subordinate assistant to a senior US defence department official, sometimes as part of a delegation that ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Māori Language Week with The Civilian
    Kia ora, Aotearoa. It’s that magical time of year. Te Wiki o te Reo Māori. In English, the week that frightens talk radio. As you probably know by now, all your favourite media outlets are participating, some more successfully than others. Stuff has changed its name to Puna for the ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Will Horizons act on climate change?
    Local body elections are coming up next month. And it looks like all Palmerston North candidates for Horizons (the Manawatu-Whanganui Regional Council) want to take action on climate change:Climate change is set to be a key issue in Palmerston North for the next three years if those wanting to get ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • BORA reform is stalled
    Eighteen months ago, the government promised to strengthen the Bill of Rights Act, by explicitly affirming the power of the courts to issue declarations of inconsistency and requiring Parliament to formally respond to them. So how's that going? I was curious, so I asked for all advice about the proposal. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Corbyn and Brexit
    As the Brexit saga staggers on, the focus is naturally enough on the Prime Minister and his attempts to achieve Brexit “do or die”. But the role played by the Leader of the Opposition is of almost equal interest and complexity. The first problem for Jeremy Corbyn is that he ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • A ditch for him to die in
    Last week, English Prime Minister Boris Johnson boldly declared that he would rather die be dead in a ditch than delay Brexit. Unfortunately for him, the UK parliament accepted the challenge, and promptly dug one for him. The "rebellion bill" requires him to ask for and secure yet another temporary ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Warning! Warning! Danger Jacinda Ardern! Danger Marama Davidson! Warning!
    Lost In Political Space: The most important takeaway from this latest Labour sexual assault scandal, which (if I may paraphrase Nixon’s White House counsel’s, John Dean’s, infamous description of Watergate) is “growing like a cancer” on the premiership, is the Labour Party organisation’s extraordinary professional paralysis in the face of ...
    1 week ago
  • Union solidarity with Ihumatao land occupation
    by Daphna Whitmore Every Sunday for the past two months unionists from First Union, with supporters from other unions, have set out to the Ihumatao land protest, put up gazebos and gas barbeques, and cooked food for a few hundred locals and supporters who have come from across the country. ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: The wrong kind of trees?
    Newsroom today has an excellent, in-depth article on pine trees as carbon sinks. The TL;DR is that pine is really good at soaking up carbon, but people prefer far-less efficient native forests instead. Which is understandable, but there's two problems: firstly, we've pissed about so long on this problem that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • No freedom of speech in Turkey
    Canan Kaftancioglu is a Turkish politician and member of the opposition Republican People's Party (CHP). Like most modern politicians, she tweets, and uses the platform to criticise the Turkish government. She has criticised them over the death of a 14-year-old boy who was hit by a tear gas grenade during ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Speaker: Tadhg Stopford: Why I’m standing for the ADHB
    Hi there, just call me Tim.We face tough problems, and I’d like to help, because there are solutions.An Auckand District Health Board member has nominated me for as a candidate for the ADHB, because her MS-related pain and fatigue is reduced with hemp products from Rotorua.  Nothing else helped her. If I ...
    1 week ago
  • Good little vassals
    The Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security has published their report on whether the SIS and GCSB had any complicity in American torture. And its damning. The pull quote is this:The Inquiry found both agencies, but to a much greater degree, the NZSIS, received many intelligence reports obtained from detainees who, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Who Shall We Turn To When God, And Uncle Sam, Cease To Defend New Zealand?
    Bewhiskered Cassandra? Professor Hugh White’s chilling suggestion, advanced to select collections of academic, military and diplomatic Kiwi experts over the course of the past week, is that the assumptions upon which Australia and New Zealand have built their foreign affairs and defence policies for practically their entire histories – are ...
    1 week ago
  • The Politics of Opposition
    For most of the time I was a British MP, my party was out of government – these were the Thatcher years, when it was hard for anyone else to get a look-in. As a front-bencher and shadow minister, I became familiar with the strategies required in a parliamentary democracy ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • More expert comments on the Canadian fluoride-IQ paper
    The Green et al (2019) fluoride/IQ is certainly controversial – as would be expected from its subject (see If at first you don’t succeed . . . statistical manipulation might help and Politics of science – making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear). Anti-fluoride campaigners have been actively promoting it ...
    1 week ago
  • The return to guerrilla war in Colombia
    by Gearóid Ó Loingsigh On August 29th a video in which veteran FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia) commander Iván Márquez announced that they had taken up arms again was released. There was no delay in the reaction to it, from longtime Liberal Party figure and former president Uribe, for ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Air New Zealand identifies this enormous plot of unused land as possible second airport site
    Air New Zealand couldn’t believe its luck that this seemingly ideal piece of real estate had so far gone entirely unnoticed. Air New Zealand’s search for a site to build a second Auckland Airport may have made a breakthrough this afternoon, after employees scanning Google satellite imagery spotted a huge, ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Redline on the Labour Party
    No-one on the anti-capitalist left in this country today puts forward a case that Labour is on the side of the working class.  There are certainly people who call themselves ‘socialist’ who do, but they are essentially liberals with vested interests in Labourism – often for career reasons. Nevertheless, there ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • New Fisk
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour’s failure
    When National was in government and fucking over the poor for the benefit of the rich, foodbanks were a growth industry. And now Labour is in charge, nothing has changed: A huge demand for emergency food parcels means the Auckland City Mission is struggling to prepare for the impending arrival ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Ardern attempts to vaccinate Clarke Gayford live on television to prove that it’s safe
    Gayford, pictured here on The Project, before things got wildly out of control. A bold public relations move by the Government to encourage parents to vaccinate their children has gone horribly wrong. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern appeared on tonight’s episode of Three’s The Project, where the plan was for her ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Has Mr. Whippy gone too far by parking on our front lawns?
    Mr. Whippy’s business model has driven it down a dark road of intimidation. Residents in major centres around the country are becoming disgruntled by the increasingly aggressive actions of purported ice cream company Mr. Whippy, who have taken to parking on people’s front lawns and doorsteps in a desperate attempt ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Cleaning up the water
    Today the government released its Action Plan for Healthy Waterways, aimed at cleaning up our lakes and rivers. Its actually quite good. There will be protection for wetlands, better standards for swimming spots, a requirement for continuous improvement, and better standards for wastewater and stormwater. But most importantly, there's a ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Fronting up
    Today I appeared before the Environment Committee to give an oral submission on the Zero Carbon Bill. Over 1,500 people have asked to appear in person, so they've divided into subcommittees and are off touring the country, giving people a five minute slot each. The other submitters were a mixed ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Politics of science – making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear
    Anti-fluoride activists have some wealthy backers – they are erecting billboards misrepresenting the Canadian study on many New Zealand cities – and local authorities are ordering their removal because of their scaremongering. Many New Zealanders ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Democracy – I Don’t Think So
    So, those who “know best” have again done their worst. While constantly claiming to be the guardians of democracy and the constitution, and respecters of the 2016 referendum result, diehard Remainers (who have never brought themselves to believe that their advice could have been rejected) have striven might and main ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    2 weeks ago
  • 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

No feed items found.