Kansas ANZUS.

Written By: - Date published: 9:14 am, February 5th, 2017 - 45 comments
Categories: defence, International, us politics, war - Tags: , , ,

The world has changed. As Dorothy said in ‘The Wizard of Oz’ …”Toto, I’ve a feeling we’re not in Kansas any more”

Yet again we’re seeing someone with a penchant for totalitarianism rise to power off the back of popular discontent with a political establishment. Lenin, Mussolini and Hitler all pulled the same shit. So now that the US is run by a nutter, or a cabal of nutters, is it legitimate to suggest pressure be put on the NZ government to withdraw from ANZUS?

See, Steve Bannon, Donald Trump’s Chief Political Strategist said in March 2016 – “We’re going to war in the South China Sea in five to 10 years, there’s no doubt about that. They’re taking their sandbars and making basically stationary aircraft carriers and putting missiles on those…”

Taking him at his word, I’m asking how we wanna go down folks?

Presently, NZ  only has a partial involvement in the alliance – making it all the easier to can it – pull the plug and be done with it.

 

 

45 comments on “Kansas ANZUS.”

  1. weka 1

    If Bannon is still around in 5 – 10 years, I think ANZUS will be the least of our worries. Good question though. Knowing what advantages there are to ANZUS would be useful.

    Nice title btw.

    • Bill 1.1

      It’s not just Bannon though. And sure, it would be nice to think they’re all on a short trip to political oblivion. But they might not be. And governmental level pressure (from various governments and on various fronts) could help shove them down some short path to a cliff edge.

      Seeing as how we live in NZ, the question over how best to use our political clout has to be asked. It’s difficult to find a way to impact on a country half way around the world. But if our government can be pressured to take actions that would have consequences for the US, then I think they have to be considered.

      • weka 1.1.1

        Good point. Kind of like NZ standing up on the nuclear-free thing. National won’t, but putting pressure on them for the rest of the year will help L/G take a principled stand.

        (I don’t think Bannon and co are on a short trip to oblivion, I think it’s just as likely they will entrench power and then bets are off on how far they get to go down the totalitarian track. But they might not retain power, and you are right, every little bit of resistance is important).

  2. millsy 2

    I thought ANZUS was bascially defunct and that we effectively withdrew with the while nuclear free thing?

    • Chris 2.1

      Even despite Clark’s opposition ANZUS is what tied us in to Afghanistan and Iraq, wasn’t it? I think Australia’s treatment of refugees, and NZers for that matter, are better reasons to drop ANZUS than Trump. And if ipredict was still around I’d put a hundred bucks on Trump going before the term ends anyway.

  3. Skeptic 3

    If anyone is interested, take a look at the numerous Protocols and Memoranda of Understandings that make up what is commonly termed the “ANZUS Treaty” (they’re freely available online). You’ll see there are various items covered that are only indirectly related to defense. Some of these relate to Antarctica, some to the electronic surveillance bases, some to supply arrangements etc. A lot of these were suspended as a result of the nuclear ships row, but most were quietly reinstated over the subsequent decades. The mutual defense pact was never removed. Regardless of which idiot is President, it’s the American people we will come to the aid of if mutual defense is invoked, just like we have for forest fire and earthquakes. In the big picture, there’s politicians (with fantasies) and there’s reality where real people help each other.

    • Bill 3.1

      …it’s the American people we will come to the aid of if mutual defense is invoked..

      Aye. But if the alliance means that NZ could be ‘leaned on’ in the event that the US ramps up some military confrontation with China on China’s doorstep and “a million miles” away from the US…

      NZ doesn’t have to be in any military alliance to offer help to people when and where needed.

      • Skeptic 3.1.1

        Not necessarily, Bill – our assistance in the Gulf Wars was limited to medical and special forces and we always have the option of declining – except where there is a direct attack on US mainland. The point I was making was that ANZUS differentiates between a particular regime (like the current abortion of one) and the long term relationship that survives. Read the documents – it’s all in there.

        • Bill 3.1.1.1

          Well, could you link to the documents please? (I’ll have a swatch.) But even if what you’re saying is accurate and all fine and reasonable, does that preclude withdrawing to send a signal? Does it preclude us using our energies to pressure our government and sending a signal?

          When you say (that bar a direct attack on the US or Australian mainland) the NZ government can decline. Are we to believe that just ‘happens’ (that all NZ governments would be sensible in that regard) and that no pressure is exerted to make declining disappear as an option?

          • Skeptic 3.1.1.1.1

            No, of course not – many other political considerations are taken into account, in fact most of NZ past involvement has been part of a quid pro quo – usually very favourable to us (especially when we wangle favourable trade deals in exchange). The link is one I had in the 90s, so I don’t know the current one, but it involves a search of NZ govt o/seas treaties, conventions and commitments through various Govt Depts. Nicky Hager’s book is an excellent reference source.

    • Anne 3.2

      Skeptic @ 3
      Yep. Apart from American Muslims and Mexicans, the other victims of this nightmare are the millions of decent and rational Americans who are not responsible for this electoral outcome. It could well be that many of them become the next flood of refugees if the Trump admin. is allowed to proceed along the path they have chosen.

      I agree with Chris. Trump will be gone before this term expires. But what to do with the “cabal of nutters” who surround him? Can they send them packing too? And who wants a fundamentalist nutter in the White House?

      Bill might be right. It could end up being a case of sacking America or going down the gurgler with them. I prefer the former option.

      • Anne 3.2.1

        Btw Bill. That’s the most succinct synopsis of the current situation that I’ve read. Thanks. 🙂

      • Skeptic 3.2.2

        Tend to agree with that Anne – a Pence admin will be so fundamentalist Christian, that I think even the Bible Belt will reject them in 2020, not to mention just about every other minority, liberal and democrat. Long term, I think the GOP is in for a substantial re-think on it’s alliances and power base – especially when it gets hammered at the next US election.

    • Whispering Kate 3.3

      If Australia got concerned and shitty enough over Trump as Canada is, then it might be a good thing if us (NZ), Australia and Canada mutually agree to pull out of the five eyes spying surveillance jointly and that might make Trumpy have a few thoughts about his lunatic behaviour. It will leave the US vulnerable to the machinations of China which will worry them hugely. If we can refuse nuclear ship visits in the way back then I can’t see how we could not withdraw from their spying machine. None of us wanted to be part of the Five Eyes only the ex PM. The US just exploit and use their allies and couldn’t give a toss about us anyway.

      • Skeptic 3.3.1

        Problem with the Echelon system is that NZ benefits hugely from it (as do the other countries sharing the intel). Just think of all the electronic traffic being soaked up and analysed – why would we want to give it up?

        • Incognito 3.3.1.1

          Sarc??

        • Whispering Kate 3.3.1.2

          The Five Eyes network is far more important to the US as firstly it is a paranoid country and suspicious of everybody and everything for very good reason and secondly it has made a lot of enemies through its meddling with other States’ affairs and destabilizing their governments therefore it has good reason to want its back protected. NZ, Australia and Canada jointly would have clout and might be able to defuse this nutjob if it declared it did not want to be part of their foreign policies anymore by enabling the US to use our networks.

          Why can’t this country for once in its life grow some guts and autonomy over our lives and stop grovelling to anybody and everybody as is happening here everyday. Peter Thiel is a good example of somebody who has insulted our generosity of citizenship over his sweetheart deal he achieved and which we allowed to happen.

          • Skeptic 3.3.1.2.1

            Come on guys – read Nicky Hager’s book. You’d have to be pretty naive to think only military stuff was being swept up. The vast majority of it is commercial and NZ as an island trading nation needs all the advantages it can get. Stop thinking “military” and “political” and start thinking “useful” and “advantageous”. So much gets swept up they have to use keywords to filter out the useless stuff. Who gets to enter which keywords? Who gets to see the unfiltered data first? Who decides how much of just what we (NZ) really passes on and under what circumstances. Although there’s precious little written down, do you really think Kiwis working at GCHQ don’t put our country first? or the Canadians and Aussies who operate their sectors of the network? Work out the “trust” obligations and options available, then factor in the human element.

            • Incognito 3.3.1.2.1.1

              Well, I am sceptical Skeptic of your claim that “NZ benefits hugely”, be it military or commercially. For example, who receives this commercially “useful” and “advantageous” intel so that they can then act upon it without asking questions or questions being asked. Let me ask you a question that you or anybody else for that matter won’t be able to answer anyway: are these benefits of this intel to our GDP on par with the projected benefits of the late TPPA?

              • Skeptic

                Sorry mate – can’t do your thinking for you. Can only ask you to do your research then consult the six wise men – who? what? when? where? how? and why? – Good Luck.

                • Incognito

                  You made a claim and I asked for details. Did Nicky Hager name any beneficiaries of said intel or did he (just) hint at it? I don’t have Mr Hager’s skills or connections. Why do you fob me off?

            • Anne 3.3.1.2.1.2

              Agree 100% Skeptic. To cut off the intel sharing completely would be like cutting off our noses to spite our face.

  4. garibaldi 4

    We got sucked in to the American debacle in Vietnam via Anzus and it would be wise to not let history repeat itself. I would be impressed if we could say “No” to the American war machine and stay independent.
    Our underfunded Forces are only a token gesture anyway.

    • greywarshark 4.1

      Small though we are, we encourage the others by staying in, touching our forelocks and sending our token forces off to participate and share the shame not of our own making in the first place.

      Our defence force is inclined to want to get into whatever scrap after training for so long, be blooded and versed in the real thing not the theory. When we joined in to the Middle East attack, when Clark was in, she said she set limits on our engagement. But the word came out that over there she wasn’t in charge, the USA was, and in the field of engagement NZ was included in the available resources to advance the fighting and couldn’t bring themselves to disobey or refuse the orders of the leaders of the fighting force they were subsumed in.

    • Skeptic 4.2

      Vietnam was a different era of history – it happened during the Cold War more or less straight after Korea and Malaya (and Indonesia) and before the social revolution known as “The Sixties”. Nowadays we pick and choose which conflicts we get involved and in how far we go. You’re dead right about our “underfunded forces” – for as long as the current tax structure remains, our Defense Forces (and all our Public Services) will remain underfunded and under-resourced – that’s why NZDF is still know as “General Freyberg and his 40,000 thieves” – our forces are world renown as 1st class liberators.

  5. Jenny Kirk 5

    It would be an extremely foolish NZ govt to join up with America if it goes to war with China. Too many Chinese people who are now citizens in NZ, and wouldn’t our trade ties get with China get in the way of any war-mongering ?

  6. Glenn 6

    Better Red than dead imho.

  7. UncookedSelachimorpha 7

    Even before Trump, America’s war-mongering, use of torture, detention without trial, killing of civilians etc…already gave plenty of reason for NZ to have nothing to do with them, militarily.

    • Chris 7.1

      That’s right. Something will happen that stops Trump doing what he’s doing. Impeachment or whatever the heck it is he’ll be stopped. It’ll probably come from the Republicans and involve some kind of widespread mutiny from some sort of breakdown in international trade with the US but that’s not really the point. Trump won’t be tolerated and his ego won’t let him stop so he’ll be biffed. Then it’ll be back to status quo nuts like Pence and Carson et al and everyone will feel normal again.

      • Anne 7.1.1

        Trump won’t be tolerated and his ego won’t let him stop so he’ll be biffed. Then it’ll be back to status quo nuts like Pence and Carson et al and everyone will feel normal again.

        God you’re so right. Won’t feel much like a victory then. 🙁

      • Bill 7.1.2

        Then it’ll be back to status quo nuts like Pence and Carson et al and everyone will feel normal again.

        So that’s a bit of the bigger picture. I’d include Democrats in that list of “status quo nuts”. But seeing as how we now know what avenues that status quo opens up, we can’t allow stuff to default back to that position. (Partly why I get a wee disquietened when the focus doesn’t seem to move away from or beyond Trump)

        As for ‘normal’…people won’t just sit back mollified if the status quo gets reasserted. We’ve already rejected it. I’d pick that any move to ‘go back’ will be met with utter rage that’s been intensified by the sense of betrayal that’ll be coming Trump’s way.

        And yes, in case you’re wondering, I don’t ‘hate’ people who voted for Trump. And I don’t harbour ridicule for people who voted for Trump. They took the only option they saw as being available to register their discontent at the ballot box.

        That Trump was that option isn’t shit that sits with them or at their feet. That shit belongs with Obama, with Bush, with Clinton …they tilled the soil that Trump took root in. And it was they (the structural powers they represent) that weeded Sanders out.

        I’m also aware that like Trump, Sanders would have been constantly running up against road-blocks and subject to various media “pile ons” if he’d tried to implement his perfectly sane social democratic programme.

        Which leads me on to all of the shenanigans splashed over the newspapers and TV screens. I think we’d do wise not to be misled into believing that when the establishment (in whatever configuration or guise) rails against Trump that it’s got anything to do with a sense of ‘right and wrong’ – it’s all about power.

        Which comes back to our power and how we’re going to gather it and direct it….

        • Chris 7.1.2.1

          “As for ‘normal’…people won’t just sit back mollified if the status quo gets reasserted. We’ve already rejected it. I’d pick that any move to ‘go back’ will be met with utter rage that’s been intensified by the sense of betrayal that’ll be coming Trump’s way.”

          I don’t really disagree with anything you’ve said. The Democrats ran through my mind when thinking about who the nuts are. And putting Trump in was more than a message people aren’t happy. I guess I just don’t share your level of hope that that message will translate into real change. The election result sent the message all right, and as you say that was the only way dissent could be registered. But now the US is lumbered with Trump, which means the next task is removing him, and sooner rather than later. Trump was collateral damage that now needs to be repaired, but there’s still nothing good to replace him with. Sure, when Trump’s gone there’ll still be anger, and the Republicans will try to placate those who were concerned enough to use the ballot box to protest, but we’re still going to end up with Pence and those of his ilk proclaiming to be protectors of the ‘American way’ and that ousting Trump was just part of that. And because the American way is saturated in greed and power not much will change, in fact, for precisely the reasons you’ve correctly pointed out why Sanders would’ve had an extremely rough ride if elected.

          What will be different is that Trump will be gone and everyone will feel thankful America has been brought back from the brink of disaster, that is, everyone will feel ‘normal’ again.

          • Bill 7.1.2.1.1

            What will be different is that Trump will be gone and everyone will feel thankful America has been brought back from the brink of disaster, that is, everyone will feel ‘normal’ again.

            So poppyfields. And we’ve got to organise in ways that avoids or neutralises any impending stupor?

  8. halfcrown 8

    “a cabal of nutters,”

    I like it. How bloody true.

  9. Sanctuary 9

    New Zealand taxpayers will not – yet – stomach the cost of leaving the protection of the United States and adopting an armed neutrality.

    • JanM 9.1

      Are you sure about that with Trump on the loose?

      • Sanctuary 9.1.1

        Well, let’s consider the cost. To quote Pablo over at kiwipolitico, to be properly neutral, “…NZ would need to have an air and naval dominant defensive force structure that put it’s main emphasis on anti-access/area denial capabilities over our littoral waters and sea lines of communication…”

        This would be backed up by an strong citizen militia capable of defeating anything but the strongest amphibious assault force.

        Now our existing armed forces, even in a period of low prosperity for the traditional recruitment classes of lower income New Zealanders, cannot meet either it’s absolute or crucial skilled recruitment and retention goals. The army can just about field one of it’s two battalions at full TOE and the navy can’t crew over half it’s ships and, along with the airforce, has a crippling shortage of specialists who tend to quit for the private sector as soon as possible after their training. In other words, we can’t persuade enough people in our country of around 2 million 15-49 year olds to adequately supply the manpower needs of even a tiny military of around 13,000 (including the territorials).

        So the only way we could create a credible force would be the conscription of 18 year olds for two or up to three years of service. Since conscription must be without exceptions to be accepted by the voting public (voters will not accept conscription if it allows shirkers) that means calling up, clothing, feeding, equipping and training armed forces of between 140,000-200,000 strong. Let’s work on the lower figure of 140,000, based on a two years call up for all men and women starting from their 18th birthday.

        The army would take the great bulk of recruits, at least 100,000 of them. currently has about one and half battalions backed by a couple of thousand territorials of patchy readiness. It has no tanks, no heavy anti-armour weapons, is deficient in artillery of all types (rocket, rifled and mortar) and has only rudimentary air-defense weapons. it has 105 LAVs, for which it can only find enough qualified drivers and fitters for and fund the up-keep of perhaps two dozen. Creating a strong citizen militia would require the formation of 2-4 full divisions of regulars, completely equipped with hundreds of the latest armoured fighting vehicles, tanks, self-propelled artillery, coastal rocket forces, air defence missile batteries… None of which is cheap. It would be backed by the reserves (let’s say a six year reserve requirement) of around 350,000, who would also need equipping and would require many of the same weapons as the regular force.

        Then the Navy – it would need to have at least a five frigate/corvette force, probably the same number of advanced submarines, and you could triple the number of IPV and OPVs which would double as minesweepers. All would cost a shitload to buy and maintain.

        But the real eye-watering cost would be the airforce, because the airforce would be the main ship killing defender. It would needs hundreds of supersonic anti-ship missiles and 70-100 advanced jet attack aircraft to carry them. It would need lots of ASW and maritime surveillance capability (read: P-8 Neptunes, lots of them) and it would need drones and expensive ELINT and targeting platforms, as well as transport and helicopters (possibly including expensive gunships) for the Navy and army.

        it would cost billions upon billion upon billions.

        Or, we could suck Uncle Sam’s dick and just pay to equip and send out a couple of dozen SAS guys to fight in the Middle East, like we do right now. Changing that current policy needs a lot of debate, because of the costs.

        • GregJ 9.1.1.1

          New Zealand’s defence spending as a % of GDP has declined quite steeply since 1988 (2.1%) to it’s current level 1.18%. Strangely enough though the decline pretty much is mirrored in a decline in the amount the world spends – despite it feeling like defence spending has increased worldwide.

          NATO guidelines are for members to spend 2% of GDP on defence although France, Germany, Canada, Italy & Turkey all spend below that (I imagine Trump will be sending them a letter).

          NZ would have to probably look at somewhere between 2-2.5% to maintain a credible independent military – even then we would want Australia as a strong regional partner. I’d say a tripling of Naval Strength, increasing aerial surveillance over our maritime borders (probably looking at some large scale drone technology and even a few of our own satellites). Switzerland spends 0.711 on Defence (of course doesn’t have a navy) – a decline since 1988 from 1.569%. I’d also add some increased amphibious capability – say a reinforced Marine Commando/Battalion with the appropriate Naval Support ships.

          It would take a lot of new infrastructure to support an expansion – new bases, new transport links plus other infrastructure spending. We’d have to be innovative and look for partners to help build the structures of a new military though.

  10. greywarshark 10

    Bill
    Although you are busy writing and moderating, I thought I’d ask if you would like to join in this reading circle that is getting going from Sunday 12/2 where a group of us are going to read one book over a month and then have a whack at its good points or not on one post at the end. We are doing first E F Schumacher Small is Beautiful: Economics as if people mattered. Even the title sounds interesting. Have you time?

    [I saw the idea being mooted greywarshark. And although I’m reckoning it’s a good one, the reality is that I just don’t read very many books…that I’m not a big reader]

    • greywarshark 10.1

      Thanks Bill you are welcome to input on our discussion anyway, at the end, and throw some different light on the positions.

  11. One Two 11

    ‘Perpetual conflict’ is not a recent strategy…

  12. Keith 12

    We need to lead the world here, not piss about. I think Trump’s government should be reviewed after 6 months and if it is going the way it looks like its going, then pull our ambassador and cut diplomatic ties.

    Honestly the US government is bordering on insane and very dangerous. Such a move by a pip squeak country like NZ would be purely symbolic but leadership is needed. Just don’t expect it from National.

    • Whispering Kate 12.1

      + 100 Keith – I have just posted above 3.3.1.2 exactly your thoughts but more about the Five Eyes agreement – cutting diplomatic ties is a great idea – the US has become mad, bad and dangerous. I have family over there and I worry a lot about them, the further we can distance ourselves diplomatically from them the better off we will be. They are a country which is losing its civility and are becoming an outlaw unstable country.

  13. reason 13

    Bill English has the ‘conservative’ racism of a white pseudo-Christian … He’s quite relaxed about bigotry with Muslims right up on his hit list …

    Wayne Mapp, a fellow tory racist, who acted as a warmongering fog-horn during his time in parliament …. .wayne likes illegal wars ,,,which he sees as a test of ones guts …. and great blood money trade opportunities

    Being prepared to ignore war crimes and suffering of children being his barginning strengths https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8veOzd39VWI

    One of John Made-offs* acts as prime minister was to impose sanctions …. in support of fascism and destabilization ….. https://www.youtu'be.com/watch?v=YMMuOdyl1iY

    NZ is supporting nazis ……………

    But National are very comfortable with the very worst of people ……

    mfat web page:….. “New Zealand enjoys a strong relationship with Indonesia, ” ……. “We work with the Indonesian defence force through activities such as joint officer training, non-combat training,”……………….. “we’re natural partners.

    HHHmmmmm Joshua Oppenheimer: “our first film, ‘‘The Act of Killing,’’ was a portrait of the perpetrators of the 1965 Indonesian genocide, in which perhaps a million people suspected of being Communists were killed. ”

    …”.It was as if I’d wandered into Germany 40 years after the Holocaust, only to find the Nazis still in power. ”

    ” because the perpetrators have not been removed from power, they coat these bitter, rotten memories in the sweet rhetoric of the victor’s history. They boast about the grisliest details”

    https://www.nytimes.com/2015/07/12/magazine/joshua-oppenheimer-wont-go-back-to-indonesia.html?_r=1

    *key

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    3 days ago
  • Hard News: A fun but flawed weed documentary
    Patrick Gower is good value when he's high. Not that I've ever, you know, got stoned with him. But in the second part of his documentary Patrick Gower on Weed, he does what you'd expect in a modern weed documentary and immerses himself – first with a doctor, then a ...
    3 days ago
  • Candidate Survey: Western Bay of Plenty – Local Body Elections 2019
    We surveyed candidates on their attitudes to issues facing the Western Bay Region, find out what they think: “Closing the Gap” Tauranga, one of the area groups of Income Equality Aotearoa NZ Inc., has surveyed all candidates in the three local body elections to discover attitudes to some basic issues ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    3 days ago
  • Project Nettie calls on scientists to defend biology
    Please spread widely, and sign, to support science and rationalism over the new irrationalism sweeping universities and institutions.  PROJECT NETTIE Sexual reproduction, the generation of offspring by fusion of genetic material from two different individuals, evolved over 1 billion years ago. It is the reproductive strategy of all higher animals ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    3 days ago
  • I’m glad I don’t live in Auckland
    Just when I was thinking that Palmerston North's mayoral race (which includes a convicted child molester / public wanker and a convicted child beater) was the worst in the country, Auckland mayoral candidate John Tamihere opened his mouth:Auckland mayoral candidate John Tamihere is being slammed for using the words "sieg ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Index of Power Update, 2018-19: China #2
    We reprint below an article from the excellent website the Economics of Imperialism by Tony Norfield This is an update of the statistics for my Index of Power, using data for 2018-19 and discussing what a country’s ranking reflects. The major change is that China’s rank has shifted up and ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    3 days ago
  • Climate Change: A history lesson
    Why is New Zealand climate change policy so crap? The Herald this morning has a long article on the twists and turns of climate change policy in New Zealand [paywalled / depaywall script], which shows where we've been. The short version is that the government first began worrying about this ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • What the All Blacks Mean to Us
    The All Blacks have been, for more than a century, arguably the most successful International sports team in the world. But they are more than that; even for those Kiwis who are immune to the charms of rugby (and there are more than a few), the All Blacks are ambassadors ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    4 days ago
  • No one is born into the wrong body
    A short and incredibly powerful speech from a young lesbian woman. No one is born in the wrong body. ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    4 days 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
    4 days 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
    4 days 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
    5 days 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 ...
    5 days ago
  • Poor quality, poorly educated kiddie ‘Journalists’ spreading fake news
    In times of hysteria about the “World coming to an end” and “rising sea levels” so-called ‘Journalists’ who can barely spell words longer than four letters are having a ball! Though the majority of the Public have worked out that manmade climate change is nothing short of pseudo-science, and the ...
    An average kiwiBy admin@averagekiwi.com
    5 days ago
  • Chris Trotter on the BFD
    I don't want to give pblicity to certain parts of the internet that are better left to fester in their own irrelevance (I know, a bit like this place) but the listing of Chris Trotter as a 'author' on Cameron Slater's spinoff website, the BFD requires some explanation.Now, I don't ...
    5 days ago
  • Sex is not a spectrum
    The text below is a Twitter thread by Heather Heying that explains the essence of sexual reproduction and it long evolutionary history. She is an evolutionary biologist and a “professor-in-exile” after she and her husband, Bret Weinstein, stood up to supporters of an enforced “Day of Absence” for white staff and teachers ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    5 days ago
  • Climate Change: Trees, aviation, and offsets
    With crunch time for new Zealand climate policy approaching, most of the New Zealand media have got on board with a global reporting effort to cover the issue. There's one strand of stories today about polling and what it shows about changing public attitudes to the crisis, but the strand ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Pissing-Off The Israelis Is A High-Risk Strategy.
    Dangerous Foes: For those readers of Bowalley Road who feel disposed to dismiss any prospect of an Israeli destabilisation of New Zealand politics, the example of the United Kingdom repays close attention. Ever since the election of Jeremy Corbyn as leader of the British Labour Party, the Israelis have sanctioned, funded and ...
    5 days ago
  • Something to go to in Wellington
    Make It 16, the youth-led campaign to lower New Zealand's voting age, is holding an official campaign launch at Parliament this Friday from 16:30. If you'd like to attend, you can register using EventBrite here. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • A founding member responds to Peace Action Wellington
    by Don Franks It was a lovely sunny Wellington afternoon with blue skies above  the beaches.  In Courtenay Place, political activists packed out a stuffy upstairs room for an important meeting. The assembled pacifists, anarchists, communists and independent young radicals of Peace Action Wellington felt the need for a mission ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    5 days ago
  • “Mistakes and errors”
    Current and former NZDF top brass are being publicly grilled this week by the hit and run inquiry over their public responses to allegations of civilian casualties. Previously, they've claimed there were no casualties, a position which led them to lie to Ministers and to the public. Now, they're saying ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • “Homosexuality is same-sex attraction and relationships, not heterosexuals with delusions of gende...
    by Rafael D. Quiles (gender-critical gay man from Puerto Rico) The writing on the wall is right in people’s faces and people just don’t see it or don’t want to. What could actually possess a heterosexual male to want to feminize himself and claim that he is a lesbian? Because ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    6 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 ...
    6 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week ago
  • Ten reasons the Tories do NOT want an election
    There has been a lot of talk about Boris Johnson wanting an election, and he has blustered with great gusto about 'chicken' Jeremy Corbyn refusing one, but I think there are many reasons why he is secretly glad he has been refused the opportunity:The Tories are an utter rabble,tearing themselves ...
    1 week ago
  • Prorogation Illegal, rule Scottish judges
    Scottish appeal court judges have declared that Boris Johnson’s decision to suspend parliament in the run-up to the October Brexit deadline is unlawful. The three judges, chaired by Lord Carloway, Scotland’s most senior judge, overturned an earlier ruling that the courts did not have the powers to interfere in the prime ...
    1 week ago
  • Let me explain what I meant by Everyday New Zealanders
    By Simon Bridges. The following is a press release from the office of Simon Bridges, leader of The National Party. Key ora, New Zealand. Happy Maori Language Week. Look, I’m writing to you today because I want to clear something up. There’s been a lot of kerfuffle around some things ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Yes, the SIS is subject to the Public Records Act
    I understand there's some stuff going round about how the SIS "was removed from the list of public offices covered by the Public Records Act in 2017". The context of course being their records derived from US torture, which will be disposed of or sealed. The good news is that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • An evidence-based discussion of the Canadian fluoride/IQ study
    Dr. Christopher Labos and Jonathan Jarry discuss the recent Canadian fluoride/IQ research. They provide an expert analysis of the paper and its problems. Click on image to go to podcast. The critical debate about the recent ...
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Australia in denial
    Australia is burning down again, and meanwhile its natural disaster minister is denying climate change:Australia’s minister responsible for drought and natural disasters, David Littleproud, has said that he doesn’t “know if climate change is manmade”. Clarifying earlier comments that the question is “irrelevant” when considering the Coalition government’s response to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Philippines activist speaking on the Duterte tyranny
    Auckland Philippines Solidarity is excited to host Professor Judy Taguiwalo for a speaking tour of NZ in September. She is a well-known activist in the Philippines and was a political prisoner under the Marcos dictatorship. Professor Taguiwalo briefly served as a Cabinet member under President Duterte but was forced from ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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 ...
    2 weeks ago

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