Key and Shirtcliffe conspire against MMP

Written By: - Date published: 1:57 pm, September 26th, 2010 - 60 comments
Categories: democracy under attack, MMP - Tags: , ,

The Sunday Star Times has documents showing John Key’s Chief of Staff and anti-MMP campaigner Peter Shirtcliffe discussing how best to remove proportional representation from Kiwi votors.

According to the documents the two decided that STV wouldn’t attract people away from MMP:

Shirtcliffe prepared notes of the meeting outlining areas of agreement on how the issue should be handled, noting chief of staff Wayne Eagleson and Shirtcliffe agreed Key supported the SM option. “The feeling seems to be STV [Single Transferable Vote] does not meet the public wish for simplicity. There is… some merit in offering a format which reduces the House to 100 seats.”

While there were “a few National caucus members who want the whole thing to go away”, the document said, “Wayne does not believe they are any impediment to progress”.

Key’s press sec, Kevin Taylor is trying to claim it’s “ridiculous” to think that the Nat’s and Shirtcliffe would collude to get rid of MMP. Which begs the question; has anyone from Key’s office discussed the caucus position on MMP with pro-MMP campaigners?

Thought not.

Of course the end of MMP would suit the Nat’s as they would be likely to be able to govern despite a minority vote and thus be able to push through the kind of policy their big business backers are desperate to see. That would be the same big business backers that helped fund the anti-democratic attack on MMP last time:

60 comments on “Key and Shirtcliffe conspire against MMP”

  1. Draco T Bastard 1

    The authoritarian right plotting to get rid of democracy – who’d ‘ve thunk it.

    • Bored 1.1

      If Shirtcliffe had no money and no position in the hierachy of right wing organisations I know for a fact I would not have heard of him or his dislike of representative democracy. He would be what he is today, a nobody BUT more importantly an unheard nobody.

  2. outofbed 2

    Good to see Diana there
    Expect to see the same sort of thing again
    It a shame that there won’t be a level playing field around the advertising for the referendum

  3. Colonial Viper 3

    I hope ACT and the MP are keen to support National in gutting MMP 🙄

    • Lanthanide 3.1

      The MP get all their seats from the electorates, so getting rid of MMP would be in their favour, presuming that the Maori Seats stayed (which is a separate issue).

      captcha: suppose

      • Ari 3.1.1

        Not really, as it would be harder for the Maori Party to implement its goals with the way most disproportionate systems advantage right-wing parties like National.

        Not to mention that their closest allies on continued Maori representation are in the Green Party, which would be at least halved under SM, if not worse.

        • Lanthanide 3.1.1.1

          Yes, of course if National got majorities each time, they wouldn’t need coalitions with other parties.

          But obviously even with FFP you sometimes need coalitions (see England, Australia, current Canadian parliament) and under the last results, Act and United Future would have single seats, NZF and Greens wouldn’t get in at all, leaving Maori Party as the only minority party with any significant share of seats with which National could form a coalition with. I would suggest that a MP/National coalition would be stronger in favour of the MP than the current National/MP/Act/UF grouping is.

          • Pascal's bookie 3.1.1.1.1

            Why would Epsom voters have voted for Rodney absent MMP bringing an extra 4 mps on his coattails. That was his whole election campaign ffs. Likewise United. Dunne’s main claim is to keep the others sensible. That becomes a lot less meaningful when the chances of the others needing to give a shit about your opinion is reduced.

            Have a look at how often parliaments are hung under fpp and you’ll see how often the mP would be relevant in that system. That’s assuming the mP would even survive in an fpp system. Would their voters make the same calculations that they do now about the benefits of independence? Who knows? Not me.

  4. the sprout 4

    no surprise there mate.

  5. Draco T Bastard 5

    Grant Robertson has a post up about this over at Red Alert as well.

    This was of course a classic tactic to divert the debate away from the actual issue (the fact he is supporting Rodney Hide who covered up David Garrett’s actions) to try to make it about MMP.

    Spin and distraction – the only things we ever get from NACT.

  6. Tigger 6

    “Prime Minister’s Department spokesman Kevin Taylor said it was “ridiculous” to claim the memo showed the two men were working for SM.”

    Key likes SM? That’s the most interesting thing I’ve ever learned about him. Creepy, and understandable, but interesting.

  7. richard Bartlett 7

    Nicky Hagers “Hollow Men” demonstrated just how devious and hypocritical Key and Co really are.
    The media are playing their part lulling us into a totally false sense of security.
    The “No Brash…..no cash” gang prepared a bloodless coup for 2005, and were stopped only by the
    release of the emails and memos which revealed what their actual plans were. Don’t expect anything but lies from the “smiling assassin”. The advice from the spin doctors was don’t do anything to frighten the “punters in punterland” in the first term. That’s what they’re doing. They want FPP………..
    but then, so does Phil Goff.

    • IrishBill 7.1

      I would hope that Goff doesn’t support FPP. I know Grant Robertson is on record as an MMP supporter.

      • the sprout 7.1.1

        same. if he did that’d really burn some already rickety bridges

      • Anne 7.1.2

        @ richard Bartlett
        Phil Goff does not support FPP.

        I’m not sure who are the most dangerous: the RWNJs or those Lefties who have some sort of ‘hate’ fetish on Phil Goff. He may have fallen for the neo-liberals once (so did I – briefly) but that was nearly 25 years ago. For god’s sake give the man a break!

  8. outofbed 8

    Maybe the campaign for MMp should write to all the Mp’s to gauge their opinion and then publish the results That would be interesting
    I’d guess that white middle aged men would be the most anti MMP. Grant and Keith excepted

    • the sprout 8.1

      from what I’ve seen the highest positive correlates for being pro-FPP are age and being a National party voter

    • IrishBill 8.2

      Grant’s Middle aged? I’d always thought of him as young. Damn, I’m getting older every day.

    • Draco T Bastard 8.3

      I’d guess that white middle aged men would be the most anti MMP.

      That’s too much of a generalisation. Most middle aged men would remember the fiasco that was 1981 and 1993 where National got in with significant minorities. Now, if you’d said rich, white, middle aged men then I’d probably agree with you as they’d have the propensity to vote National who long for the days of having a minority dictatorship.

      • KJT 8.3.1

        This white middle aged man prefers MMP over FPP. I do not have fond memories of the exercise of absolute power by either Labour or National.

        NACT are now re-eNACTing the borrow for election bribes policies of the Muldoon minority Government era.

        • Macro 8.3.1.1

          this white “decrepit ol’ man also totally supports MMP (with perhaps minor amendments to lower the “cut off” of 5% vote to a smaller say – 2.5% of party vote – ie 3 + MP representation),
          and for much the same reasons.

  9. outofbed 9

    Labour leader Phil Goff said in the 1990s he had preferred first past the post but the problem with that system was that it did not allow small parties fair representation in Parliament.

    ”My personal support would be for the system that is fairest, I think MMP is fairest, but it does have the problem that the tail wags the dog and we have seen that in recent days,” Mr Goff said

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post/politics/3334329/MMP-referendum-question-released
    So yes Goff is on the fence, funny that

    • rosy 9.1

      One person’s tail wagging the dog is another person’s representative democracy.

      • locus 9.1.1

        The argument that “the tail wags the dog” when a small party is in coalition suggests a greater degree of influence than is really the case. The small party in the coalition “tugs the whiskers” rather than “wags the dog”.

        Ultimately the best thing about MMP is that people can vote for the party that represents their views best, in the knowledge that there’s a good chance their views will get an airing in parliament.

  10. locus 10

    I lived with FPP most of my life. Being ruled by a party that had gained around 30 percent of the vote totally sucked unless it was the party you voted for. Typically FPP led to wholesale policy and legislative change whenever the alternate ‘minority’ party gained power. The 30 percent of the electorate who never voted for the two larger minority parties were generally disenfranchised. Occasionally one of the small minority parties would start to poll well, but as it got closer to election time the pressure on people to switch their vote to one of the two larger parties was huge: better to have a party in power which you agree with 20% of the time than one you agree with 2% of the time. Neither of the two bigger parties had any real intention of changing the regime because they rather liked having 100% control when they were in power.

  11. Tanz 11

    List MPs are not voted in by the people and are often rejected, but get to stay, due to the silly list system. Key should be more open in his views, if he doesn’t like MMP, that is his right, his populist manner is just annoying. I would like to have a leader who has the courage of their convictions, rather than one who constantly tests the winds, and shifts their views accordingly.

    FPP is the better, more decisivie system, with all MPs elected by the people and answerable to the people (and not just their various party machinery).

    • millsy 11.1

      Are you an old white man who wants his privilige back?

      Please give me a detailed explanation why you want less gays, Maoris, women, etc in Parliament.

    • outofbed 11.2

      No FPP election are decided by a few marginal electorates it
      is a shocking system
      I want my vote to count thankyou very much
      in FPP I would be forced to vote Labour as my least worst option

    • Pascal's bookie 11.3

      List MPs are not voted in by the people and are often rejected, but get to stay, due to the silly list system.

      List mp’s are elected via the list vote, so even if an electorate rejects them then the people can put them in parliament by voting for the list they are on.

      You do know you two votes in MMP don’t ya tanz? And that they are different?

      You may not like Key, fair enough. But according to your preference for fpp that’s just tough shit. He’s an electorate mp so your opinion of him under fpp is worth precisely nothing unless you live in his electorate. Under mmp you get a list vote to help determine how much power Key gets, and that vote is separate and independent from your vote for the choice of your own electorate mp.

      Clearly one system is better than the other. Granted though, given you prefer decisiveness over representativeness or other factors then fpp is a marginally better choice. Better still of course for decisiveness would be a simple absolute monarchy.

      …with all MPs elected by the people and answerable to the people (and not just their various party machinery).

      As noted, all mps are elected by the people now, but if you think candidate selection for electorates isn’t just as partisan as list section, then you haven’t been watching fpp elections for the last few, I dunno, centuries.

    • Shazzadude 11.4

      And this is the flaw in your thinking. Electorate candidates are not rejected if they do not win their electorate, someone else just merely wins more votes, and that can often be based on the political climate in that electorate. Would Phil Goff win Clutha-Southland? No. Would John Key win Mangere? No.

  12. Tanz 12

    MMP has not delievered more MPs who represent minority groups, it just delivers more MPs who were not actually elected by voters. Don’t split hairs, Millsy, or do you like being represented by MPs who were not endorsed by the electorate? Is representation of minorities all that matters to you? That’s usually typical of the pro- MMP debate. MMP is not a democratic system, how can it be, it offers rejected MPs/Candidates an undeserved and unmandated lifeline. I am neither old, nor male. by the way.

    • Lanthanide 12.1

      “MMP has not delievered more MPs who represent minority groups”
      Yeah, because all those people who vote for a sustainable future, you know, the minority, aren’t represented by the Green Party in parliament under MMP. Oh wait, actually they are represented under MMP!

    • Pascal's bookie 12.2

      If you know of any mps who were not elected, you should inform the police.

    • the sprout 12.3

      MMP has not delievered more MPs who represent minority groups

      that is factually incorrect

    • Draco T Bastard 12.4

      I am neither old, nor male. by the way.

      Who cares, what you are is bloody stupid.

      http://publicaddress.net/6865

      Phillip Field – electorate MP, shown to be dishonourable stayed in parliament.
      Chris Carter – electorate MP, shown to be dishonourable stayed in parliament.
      Richard Worth – List MP, shown to be dishonourable got kicked out of parliament.
      Donna Huata – List MP, shown to be dishonourable got kicked out of parliament.
      David Garrett – List MP, shown to be dishonourable did the only thing he could and left because he had no mandate left.

      The more accountable MPs are the list MPs.

      BTW, when people vote for the party they are voting for the list that the party has put forward so those list MPs are voted for specifically, ergo, they are not rejected.

  13. tsmithfield 13

    I don’t really see why a fuss is being made about this.

    1. Key is entitled to have a view on the electoral system he prefers.
    2. It is open for anyone, pro or against MMP to lobby the government.
    3. There is going to be a referendum on the matter anyway. It is not like the government is going to impose a system on voters.

    Unless there is evidence of money being offered for a change in the electoral system, or some other form of corruption, then I don’t see where the problem is.

    • IrishBill 13.1

      So you’d expect the pro-mmp campaign to get an inside-running briefing from the PM’s chief of staff on the cabinet’s view of the electoral system?

      • tsmithfield 13.1.1

        I don’t see why that would be a problem.

        BTW, I assume you meant anti MMP.

        So long as the pro MMP people get the same treatment if they ask. Have they asked?

    • outofbed 13.2

      Er because big money is going to be used on an anti mmp ad campaign perhaps

      • tsmithfield 13.2.1

        Maybe. But that’s still a long way from corruption.

        I imagine they would be funding a big money campaign against MMP regardless of the views of the PM anyway. So I don’t see why it makes any difference at all.

        • Redlogix 13.2.1.1

          Corruption? Not in a strictly legalistic sense, but you only have to consider the almost total capture of the US Federal govt by corportate power to understand where that sort of thing leads you.

        • Draco T Bastard 13.2.1.2

          So I don’t see why it makes any difference at all.

          Considering the drive for profit of the MSM it means that the people who don’t have big money can’t get their message out. Ergo, we don’t have a level playing field for the campaigns.

        • Tanz 13.2.1.3

          It’s so typical of the Left to resort to name-calling tactics as soon as somone disagrees with their wonky views. So glad I sit on the right side of the fence, the more honest side. Grow up.

          • fraser 13.2.1.3.1

            “name-calling tactics”

            where? – all i see is a discussion where there are differing opinions.

            could you help us all out by identifying said name calling?

  14. Tanz 14

    MMP got voted in by a hair’s whisper, and I bet, it’ll get voted out again., but by a landslide. What a dog of a system it has been, with small parties having far too much say and sway, to say the very least. When a new system finally prevails, it can only be good for the country, and democracy in general. Bring it on, the champaigne is on ice.

    • the sprout 14.1

      I bet, it’ll get voted out again

      i’m keen to take you up on that bet Tanz

      • Tanz 14.1.1

        Okay, wanna bet five hundrend dollars? You’ll lose, though.

        • NickS 14.1.1.1

          $500? That’s a mite delusional in these economic times, but I guess you need more money for what ever hobbies you have. Or you could just be trying to be smart and make the other side drop teh ball by betting such a figure. Which given previous fun and games here, We’re somewhat sceptical that you’re good for it.

          Also, there’s more than enough people who remember the bullshit that went with FPP, and the subsequent lack of representation for anything outside the views of the two main parties. Which while we may have ended up with ACT and NZ first having a greater presence in Parliament, with all the subsequent fun and drama those two parties generate, the only reason they’re in there is because people voted for them for them in the first place. It isn’t perfect, some tweaking of thresholds might be an idea, but even then the over-representation of minority views does mean they can’t as easily be ignored by Parliament. Even if that means we get to see some horrible ideas come to the surface.

          Although in saying that, with some of the badly written legislation brought forward by ACT, the only reason it’s getting through is with help from National, despite rather large gapping goatse-like flaws in it. Or in the case of the student union bill, massive feedback from affect parties not in favour of it.

        • tea 14.1.1.2

          Dunno if you were watching. MMP was extremely popular. Then Shirtcliffe ran a Guantanamo paper bag MPs campaign and funnily enough introduced doubt.

          But hey so do the anti-climate change lobby.

  15. Tanz 15

    Plenty of mps were rejected and not elected, Pascal’s bookie. List MP’s may well be chosen by their party membership etc, but they were often not chosen by the wider electorate on election day. You would call white black, and black white, as the Left is known to do.

    • Redlogix 15.1

      Sorry Tanz but you’re living in total denial.

      Electoral MP’s are selected by the party…just the same as List MP’s. Under FPP you get less choice, because if you don’t like a candidate your only options are to vote for another candidate selected by another party…. or not vote at all.

      But you’re not fooling anyone here …democracy isn’t what you are interested in.

    • Pascal's bookie 15.2

      Real slow.

      If they are in parliament it is because they were elected. That is how people get into parliament. List mps are elected mps. Elected off the list. That’s what your list vote does.

      They were, in fact, precisely “chosen by the wider electorate”. They may not have won an electorate seat in a narrow geographic race, but they were elected by the broader electorate, the nation at large, via the list vote.

    • felix 15.3

      Fuck me sideways. What’s Brett Dale up to these days?

  16. AndrewK 16

    I would favour an MMP system with more electorates and more MPs and a lower threshold for allowing a party in without an electorate MP (at least .5% of the party vote would be ideal).

    So, say 200 MPs elected through the list and a further 200 MPs elected through an increase in electorate seats then cap all MP’s salaries at the national average wage, regardless of whether they sit in cabinet or not.

    With so many MPs it would be a lot more difficult for the domestic wealthy and foreign corporations to buy influence, representation would be more widely distributed. This is what a truly representative democratic system would look like.

    • Draco T Bastard 16.1

      That’s actually been bugging me. Electorate seats have gone up but the list seats have gone down to keep the 120 cap. The number of list seats should equal the number of electorate seats to help maintain proportionality.

  17. Irascible 17

    Key has already signalled that he and his party favour FPP over MMP. His comments about the Hide-Garrett-ACT fiasco clearly indicate that Key would rather be quit of the thorn of ACT and sees FFP as being the mechanism to do so.
    Key’s natural inclination is towards authoritarianism over democratic process because that’s how you manage the sort of business he has been involved with and understands.
    The alliance between National and Shirtcliffe is simply the obvious manifestation of his attitude.

  18. Bruce 18

    I like MMP and support it…I voted for it in the 90s due to being frustrated with major parties dictating to the population and it felt like there were only two parties to vote for. I feel it could use some tweaking to ensure that minor parties must cross a certain line more through their own popularity with voters. ACT hypocrites are not very popular and shouldn’t be part of the current government as a result (the party threshhold could be set lower than it is, and perhaps stop them from getting in through local politicians winning electorates) – I lean to the left and I’m saying that this should apply to both left, right, and the middle.

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    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
    6 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 ...
    6 days ago
  • NZ ‘left’ politically embracing extreme postmodernism
    by Philip Ferguson Much of the left, even people who formally identify as marxists, have collapsed politically in the face of postmodern gender theory of the sort pioneered by American philosopher Judith Butler. For Butler even biological sex is socially constructed. “If the immutable character of sex is contested, perhaps ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    6 days ago
  • The obvious question
    The media is reporting that the (alleged) Labour party sexual assaulter has resigned from their job at Parliament, which means hopefully he won't be turning up there making people feel unsafe in future. Good. But as with everything about this scandal, it just raises other questions. Most significantly: why the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • The moment I found out that you found out, I acted swiftly
    By Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern I am every bit as angry as you are. I am every bit as disappointed as you must be. The people with power, oversight and the ability to do something about these processes within the Labour Party should be ashamed. Whoever those people are, I ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    6 days ago
  • This is why people hate property developers
    Property developers think there is an "oversupply" of houses in Auckland:High turnover rates and falling prices may be a sign that there are too many new houses going in to some parts of Auckland, commentators say. [...] Property developer David Whitburn said there was a "bit of an oversupply" in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Australia to Pacific: “Fuck you, you can all drown”
    World leaders are meeting in New York in two weeks for the 2019 Climate Action Summit, where they are expected to announce new and more ambitious targets to stop the world from burning. But the Australian Prime Minister won't be there, despite being in the USA at the time:Scott Morrison ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 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
    7 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 ...
    7 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 ...
    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
    1 week ago
  • Disgust
    I have no special insights to offer on the Labour sexual assault coverup. All I have is disgust. Disgust that an organisation could fail its people so badly. Disgust that they punished the victims rather than the perpetrator. Disgust that its party hacks are apparently blaming the victims for demanding ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Speak Up for Women calls out Greens’ censorship
    This open letter to the Green Party was penned after an opinion piece by Jill Abigail, a feminist and founding member of the party, was censored by the Greens’ leadership. (Redline has reprinted her article here).The intolerance of the Green Party leaders and their acceptance of the misogyny of gender ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Member’s Day: End of Life Choice, part 3
    Today is a Member's day, and David Seymour's End of Life Choice Bill continues its slow crawl through its committee stage. They're spending the whole day on it today, though the first hour is likely to be spent on voting left over from last time. After that they'll move on ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Flight to Los Angeles turned back after passengers decide they don’t want to go anymore
    An ambitious plan to fly to Los Angeles petered out into a brief sight-seeing trip and a desire to return home and get some sleep before work tomorrow. Air New Zealand has confirmed a flight to Los Angeles last night was turned back about a quarter of the way into ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Indigenous Futures: defuturing and futuring – an analytical framework for policy development?
    There appears to be consensus – by omission – that the concept of indigenous futures should be accepted at face value. So I scavenged the internet to see if I could locate an academic descriptor or a framework around how we think about it as a concept, and whether it ...
    EllipsisterBy Ellipsister
    1 week ago
  • Cadbury rumoured to be releasing the Pineapple Trump
    Here’s another novelty chocolate to shove in your gob, New Zealand Cadbury could be seeking to make itself great again with a rumoured new release: Pineapple Trumps, a spin on its classic chocolate-encased pineapple treat and do-it-yourself tooth remover. The global confectionery manufacturer and bumbling “before” character in an infomercial, ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • The coming resource war.
    During my time in the Pentagon I had the privilege of sitting down with military leaders and defence and security officials from a variety of Latin American nations. Sometimes I was present as a subordinate assistant to a senior US defence department official, sometimes as part of a delegation that ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Māori Language Week with The Civilian
    Kia ora, Aotearoa. It’s that magical time of year. Te Wiki o te Reo Māori. In English, the week that frightens talk radio. As you probably know by now, all your favourite media outlets are participating, some more successfully than others. Stuff has changed its name to Puna for the ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Will Horizons act on climate change?
    Local body elections are coming up next month. And it looks like all Palmerston North candidates for Horizons (the Manawatu-Whanganui Regional Council) want to take action on climate change:Climate change is set to be a key issue in Palmerston North for the next three years if those wanting to get ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • BORA reform is stalled
    Eighteen months ago, the government promised to strengthen the Bill of Rights Act, by explicitly affirming the power of the courts to issue declarations of inconsistency and requiring Parliament to formally respond to them. So how's that going? I was curious, so I asked for all advice about the proposal. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Corbyn and Brexit
    As the Brexit saga staggers on, the focus is naturally enough on the Prime Minister and his attempts to achieve Brexit “do or die”. But the role played by the Leader of the Opposition is of almost equal interest and complexity. The first problem for Jeremy Corbyn is that he ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • A ditch for him to die in
    Last week, English Prime Minister Boris Johnson boldly declared that he would rather die be dead in a ditch than delay Brexit. Unfortunately for him, the UK parliament accepted the challenge, and promptly dug one for him. The "rebellion bill" requires him to ask for and secure yet another temporary ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Warning! Warning! Danger Jacinda Ardern! Danger Marama Davidson! Warning!
    Lost In Political Space: The most important takeaway from this latest Labour sexual assault scandal, which (if I may paraphrase Nixon’s White House counsel’s, John Dean’s, infamous description of Watergate) is “growing like a cancer” on the premiership, is the Labour Party organisation’s extraordinary professional paralysis in the face of ...
    1 week ago
  • Union solidarity with Ihumatao land occupation
    by Daphna Whitmore Every Sunday for the past two months unionists from First Union, with supporters from other unions, have set out to the Ihumatao land protest, put up gazebos and gas barbeques, and cooked food for a few hundred locals and supporters who have come from across the country. ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: The wrong kind of trees?
    Newsroom today has an excellent, in-depth article on pine trees as carbon sinks. The TL;DR is that pine is really good at soaking up carbon, but people prefer far-less efficient native forests instead. Which is understandable, but there's two problems: firstly, we've pissed about so long on this problem that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • No freedom of speech in Turkey
    Canan Kaftancioglu is a Turkish politician and member of the opposition Republican People's Party (CHP). Like most modern politicians, she tweets, and uses the platform to criticise the Turkish government. She has criticised them over the death of a 14-year-old boy who was hit by a tear gas grenade during ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Speaker: Tadhg Stopford: Why I’m standing for the ADHB
    Hi there, just call me Tim.We face tough problems, and I’d like to help, because there are solutions.An Auckand District Health Board member has nominated me for as a candidate for the ADHB, because her MS-related pain and fatigue is reduced with hemp products from Rotorua.  Nothing else helped her. If I ...
    1 week ago
  • Good little vassals
    The Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security has published their report on whether the SIS and GCSB had any complicity in American torture. And its damning. The pull quote is this:The Inquiry found both agencies, but to a much greater degree, the NZSIS, received many intelligence reports obtained from detainees who, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Who Shall We Turn To When God, And Uncle Sam, Cease To Defend New Zealand?
    Bewhiskered Cassandra? Professor Hugh White’s chilling suggestion, advanced to select collections of academic, military and diplomatic Kiwi experts over the course of the past week, is that the assumptions upon which Australia and New Zealand have built their foreign affairs and defence policies for practically their entire histories – are ...
    1 week ago
  • The Politics of Opposition
    For most of the time I was a British MP, my party was out of government – these were the Thatcher years, when it was hard for anyone else to get a look-in. As a front-bencher and shadow minister, I became familiar with the strategies required in a parliamentary democracy ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • More expert comments on the Canadian fluoride-IQ paper
    The Green et al (2019) fluoride/IQ is certainly controversial – as would be expected from its subject (see If at first you don’t succeed . . . statistical manipulation might help and Politics of science – making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear). Anti-fluoride campaigners have been actively promoting it ...
    1 week ago
  • The return to guerrilla war in Colombia
    by Gearóid Ó Loingsigh On August 29th a video in which veteran FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia) commander Iván Márquez announced that they had taken up arms again was released. There was no delay in the reaction to it, from longtime Liberal Party figure and former president Uribe, for ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Air New Zealand identifies this enormous plot of unused land as possible second airport site
    Air New Zealand couldn’t believe its luck that this seemingly ideal piece of real estate had so far gone entirely unnoticed. Air New Zealand’s search for a site to build a second Auckland Airport may have made a breakthrough this afternoon, after employees scanning Google satellite imagery spotted a huge, ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Redline on the Labour Party
    No-one on the anti-capitalist left in this country today puts forward a case that Labour is on the side of the working class.  There are certainly people who call themselves ‘socialist’ who do, but they are essentially liberals with vested interests in Labourism – often for career reasons. Nevertheless, there ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • New Fisk
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour’s failure
    When National was in government and fucking over the poor for the benefit of the rich, foodbanks were a growth industry. And now Labour is in charge, nothing has changed: A huge demand for emergency food parcels means the Auckland City Mission is struggling to prepare for the impending arrival ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Ardern attempts to vaccinate Clarke Gayford live on television to prove that it’s safe
    Gayford, pictured here on The Project, before things got wildly out of control. A bold public relations move by the Government to encourage parents to vaccinate their children has gone horribly wrong. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern appeared on tonight’s episode of Three’s The Project, where the plan was for her ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Has Mr. Whippy gone too far by parking on our front lawns?
    Mr. Whippy’s business model has driven it down a dark road of intimidation. Residents in major centres around the country are becoming disgruntled by the increasingly aggressive actions of purported ice cream company Mr. Whippy, who have taken to parking on people’s front lawns and doorsteps in a desperate attempt ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Cleaning up the water
    Today the government released its Action Plan for Healthy Waterways, aimed at cleaning up our lakes and rivers. Its actually quite good. There will be protection for wetlands, better standards for swimming spots, a requirement for continuous improvement, and better standards for wastewater and stormwater. But most importantly, there's a ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Fronting up
    Today I appeared before the Environment Committee to give an oral submission on the Zero Carbon Bill. Over 1,500 people have asked to appear in person, so they've divided into subcommittees and are off touring the country, giving people a five minute slot each. The other submitters were a mixed ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Politics of science – making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear
    Anti-fluoride activists have some wealthy backers – they are erecting billboards misrepresenting the Canadian study on many New Zealand cities – and local authorities are ordering their removal because of their scaremongering. Many New Zealanders ...
    2 weeks ago

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