Labour and the Keytruda campaign

Written By: - Date published: 11:50 am, March 2nd, 2016 - 64 comments
Categories: Andrew Little, making shit up, Media, spin, you couldn't make this shit up - Tags: ,

Andrew Little backing the dream-3

The usual suspects are trying to manufacture a scandal over Andrew Little having dinner with some Medical Industry big wigs in September last year and because Labour more recently has supported the drug Keytruder being funded by Pharmac.

The “scandal” to use that word in its most loosest sense was broken by Stacey Kirk in the Dominion Post.  It may have well been written by Jonathan Coleman’s media advisors, such is the level of spin involved.

The headline to the story is “Andrew Little dines with drug company executives months before adopting Keytruda stance” which is correct at least in a temporal sense. The dinner occurred 6 months ago well before Little expressing interest in Keytruda as an issue.  As far as I can ascertain the issue only arose in December 2015 when Pharmac decided not to fund Keytruda and Labour then started to formulate a position.

But this did not stop Kirk drawing what was an exceedingly unlikely conspiracy theory.  From the article:

Drug company lobbyists were hosted at a special dinner by Labour leader Andrew Little, months before Labour announced its stance to override Pharmac and fund melanoma drug Keytruda.

Labour confirmed the dinner took place, understood to have been in Labour’s parliamentary offices, in September.

Organised by Pharma lobbying group Medicines NZ, the dinner also included representatives from Keytruda makers Merck Sharp and Dohme, Pfizer, Roche, Healthcare Logistics and Sanofi.

Little said he recalled a dinner, but was unsure of the timing.

“I’ve certainly met with health insurers, I’m not quite sure whether drug companies were represented there.”

His office clarified Little hosted both groups separately, late last year.

But Little said neither meeting had any influence on Labour’s current position, and there had “absolutely not” been any discussions around political donations from the drug companies.

“And I don’t get caught up in discussions about that, but I’m certainly not aware of any suggestions, hints at, offers of, contributions. It’s not the basis of which we would arrive at the position we’ve arrived at.”

The line of questioning was clearly of the “have you stopped beating your wife” variety.  And I understand the topic of conversation at the dinner was the potential effects of TPP on Pharmac.  Labour’s decision to oppose the TPP no doubt was upsetting to many of the attendees of the dinner.

Kirk also said this:

It’s understood there is deep disquiet within Labour, over the issue. It’s believed some MPs and wider party members are privately unhappy with the moves to interfere with Pharmac’s purchasing model.

She should have completed the first sentence and said that it was understood from Jonathan Coleman’s office that there is deep disquiet within the labour party.  No one has mentioned it to me as an issue and those I have communicated with are surprised and annoyed at the insinuation.  One day the media will stop running National smear lines against the Labour Party and start reporting on facts.  It is a shame we are not there yet.  Then to reinforce the effect Coleman gets to comment on how Labour is divided.

On social media the normal suspects on the right and those on the left who believe that Labour can do no good, no matter what, joined in.

If the media was really interested in the general issue of political influence it should ask how many times has John Key had dinner with industry representatives and then get him to deny that a change of policy is because of that dinner and that National has not received donations from that industry group.

Of course Little could refuse to meet with industry representatives.  Yes that is as ridiculous as it sounds.

There is an argument that Pharmac should be allowed to make decisions of its own volition without political interference.  In a perfect world perhaps.  But National in 2008 broke the mould with its decision to direct the funding of Hercepton.  So Labour should be  forced to fight political battles with a hostile media and one hand tied behind its back?

And besides the drug is approved for use in Australia and in the United Kingdom. And there are recent reports that National has squeezed funding to Pharmac to the tune of $40 million a year to bolster the health spend in other areas. This would be more than enough to fund use of the drug for a significant number of cancer sufferers.

National clearly is in a difficult situation with Keytruda.  What better way to minimise the damage than to get the media to run conspiracy theories about the Labour Party.

64 comments on “Labour and the Keytruda campaign”

  1. Anne 1

    Labour has to do something. This constant together with the irrational and insane hostile media attitude towards Labour has to be confronted – NOW. No more pussy footing around plaintively denying this is not true etc.

    Get on the front foot and roar like a lion Labour. If Winston Peters can do it so can you.

    For starters, how about a few local Wellingtonians (or mickysavage) fire off emails to the author of the article pointing out that… just because Jonathan Coleman’s office says there is disquiet in Labour doesn’t make it true.

    • Anne 1.1

      oops… after constant – should be ‘misrepresentation’. In a hurry.

    • Eyre 1.2

      No one is mentioning the elephant in the room. Who leaked this?

      • Anne 1.2.1

        I would say this came from the National Party – Jonathan Coleman’s office? I’m picking some right-wing prick (that choice of word is sure to upset some morally moribund rwnj) in the medical industry heard about the dinner in “the Office of the Leader of the Opposition” and told Coleman’s office. I’ve already been wrong once today so don’t take my word for it, but I very much doubt it was a Labour caucus leak. The L.C. is much more disciplined under Little’s jurisdiction.

        • Eyre 1.2.1.1

          Was Jonathan coleman there?. That would be a strange invitation. Bet he couldn’t believe his luck. I think you will find it came from with in labour. Who else knew. Why didn’t little come out and say, they were discussing tppa. Would say they weren’t.

          • mickysavage 1.2.1.1.1

            Were you there? I guess not. But you decided to pronounce as if you were. Why is that?

            • Eyre 1.2.1.1.1.1

              tell me who leaked it. Cunliffe?, Roberson?. Someone inside labour leaked it, knowing it wouldn’t make little look good

              • mickysavage

                The dinner was that secret it was held at Parliament … no leaking required.

            • Eyre 1.2.1.1.1.2

              Why was there 4 questions in the house from labour about pharmac on tuesday. One from little about keytruda. And none on Wednesday.

  2. Karen 2

    I don’t see anything wrong per se in Labour meeting with Medicine Net or any other industry groups. I do disagree with the government interfering with the Pharmac model because of a media campaign to get a particular drug paid for, however. I don’t care that National did it – they were also wrong.

    What Labour should be saying is that the health budget is inadequate overall, plus more money needs to be given to Pharmac directly so more drugs can be made available.

    James Dann has written a good piece about this:

    http://thespinoff.co.nz/02-03-2016/keytruda-pharmac-and-the-zero-sum-game/

    • McFlock 2.1

      I agree entirely

    • mickysavage 2.2

      I accept the interference argument is potent but the trouble is that National does it time and time again. Roads of National significance and Northland bridges are two examples. For very good reasons the NLTP system was set up to depoliticise decisions and to allow for funding decisions to be made on the merits but this has been turned on its head by this Government.

      • McFlock 2.2.1

        National are shit. We know that.

        But the electioneering lolly scramble divides society, alienates people against each other. So people drop out of the system.

        Copying National means Labour scrabbles for the remaining pieces of a rapidly shrinking and mouldering pie.

        Option B is to maybe be in a position to catch some of the perfectly good crumbs dropping off the pie. They’ll mount up, and they’re better than what will end up remaining on the plate.

    • Wainwright 2.3

      Commented in the wrong place before. He didn’t meet them, he wined and dined them. Big difference.

  3. McFlock 3

    Pharmaceutical funding is one of those things that, no matter what choice you make, people will suffer and die.

    These decisions need to be coldly calculated, otherwise “deserving” or “cute” patients (or those with the loudest publicists) get treatment ahead of their priority, increasing overall suffering and death.

    Increase pharmac’s budget by all means, but “National did it too” is just as degenerate an argument as “Labour did it too”.

    If behaving in a rational and principled manner is campaigning with ” one hand tied behind its back”, then so be it. Political parties should not leverage suffering into votes when no just government would alleviate the suffering being leveraged. Because that’s the sad situation at hand: increase overall suffering to get a photo-op with grateful queue-jumpers.

  4. Colonial Viper 4

    The TPP is going to hamstring pharmac.

    Labour is going to keep the TPP.

    Labour has just launched a social media campaign based on inadequate treatment for skin cancer sufferers.

    Big Pharma now states that government funding problems means dozens of new drugs are unavailable to Kiwis.

    Little meets with Big Pharma to socialise and talk business, Big Pharma the industry which wrote entire sections of the TPP.

    Labour supporters: nothing to see here, these things are not interconnected, move along.

    • McFlock 4.1

      yes dear.

    • Sabine 4.2

      I get it, what we need is the NZ answer to Donald Trump.

      Care to run CV?

      • Tim 4.2.1

        He fits the part doesn’t he? Gradually sounding crazier day by day..

        • adam 4.2.1.1

          Never critique the labour party, – they just call you crazy!

          Wow Tim, what a Tory scumbag you turned out to be.

          • McFlock 4.2.1.1.1

            Suggests name calling is tool to discredit valid opponents.
            Name-calls individual who you just implied uses said tool.

            lol

          • Colonial Viper 4.2.1.1.2

            Notice adam how the left think that uber clever wit decisively shuts down points of view that it doesn’t want to hear?

            It’s that kind of intellectual arrogance that electorates all around the world are growing weary of.

            Plenty of lefties on The Standard have been name calling and abusing Trump over the last few days. No one has called for that to stop.

            Oh yeah, moral hypocrisy is another thing that people notice about the political left.

            • McFlock 4.2.1.1.2.1

              who called for name calling to stop?

              I just found the immediately adjacent hypocrisy funny. dissonance much?

    • Johan 4.3

      Does Pharmac spend money purchasing the “new drugs” or does it wait ’till the generic brand comes out?

      • Colonial Viper 4.3.1

        AFAIK they use a complex cost/benefit analysis to figure out whether or not a new drug makes it.

  5. Ad 5

    The pharmaceutical industry is not a democracy, so I fully support Little seeing them. I hope he ordered the best wine on the menu.

    Coleman one the one hand admitted he and Key shouldn’t have folded on the breast cancer drug, but on the other hand bleated and pleaded to the camera like a lamb when finally shamed into meeting the petition-organisers. Pharmac was set up to avoid life-and-death medications done on political whim like this.

    Coleman is just being a politician.

    • Sabine 5.1

      but he is not Labour, and that makes it all good.

      Its only wrong or questionable if Labour does it. See how easy that is.

      Nevermind that there are people in NZ that will die before their time because we have an actual government not doing its job on principle cause small government, free enterprise and market and no regulations n shit.
      But we are not allowed to talk about that. That would be disrespectful or something.

      • Colonial Viper 5.1.1

        Its only wrong or questionable if Labour does it. See how easy that is.

        Not quite.

        It’s wrong or questionable.

        If its a National MP they get a pass. If its a Labour MP they don’t.

        Now, that’s clearly not a level playing field but it doesn’t stop it being wrong or questionable in either case.

        Nevermind that there are people in NZ that will die before their time because we have an actual government not doing its job on principle cause small government, free enterprise and market and no regulations n shit.

        Labour was underfunding hospitals in the 2000s leading to excess deaths. This was reported in various news media.

        Just saying.

        Of course, the NATs are somewhat worse in multiple ways.

    • Wainwright 5.2

      You hope he ordered the best wine on the menu? Generous of you, coz if you’re a Labour member you paid for it. This wasn’t the Skycity corporate box. It was fancypants dinner in his office after hours, with a bunch of corporate scum who were never going to help Labour out anyway and probably leaked the story to the tories next day.

      • Colonial Viper 5.2.1

        You hope he ordered the best wine on the menu? Generous of you, coz if you’re a Labour member you paid for it

        This sounds about right.

        Or the tax payer paid for it.

      • Ad 5.2.2

        Pharma lobbyists have excellent expense accounts

        • Wainwright 5.2.2.1

          Read the article, mate. The dinner took place in Labour’s parliamentary offices. Little wasn’t the guest, he was the host. He paid – you paid. ANd for what? Another bad headline.

          • mickysavage 5.2.2.1.1

            I don’t get it. If this was a secret dinner held at a private location then the conspiracy theories would have slightly more validity. But it was held in Parliament. Hundreds of people would have known what was going on.

            And are you saying that Little should never meet with any industry representative? Honest the suggestion is bizarre. Labour needs to reach out to all sorts of groups. It can’t go into a shell and meet with supporters only.

            • Herb 5.2.2.1.1.1

              ” Hundreds of people would have known what was going on.” you say ,but persist in blaming Johnathon Coleman.
              Even Vernon Small knows it was your own team

            • Wainwright 5.2.2.1.1.2

              Mate, from what I hear even senior Labour Party types didn’t know it was happening. But all the defenders keep saying “meet” like it was a business briefing. Just admit it sounds shady and hold our man to a higher standard.

  6. But National in 2008 broke the mould with its decision to direct the funding of Hercepton.

    They did indeed. That’s because they’re shit corporate weasels unfit to be put in charge of a picnic, let alone a country. Is Labour now considering that an aspirational goal?

  7. alwyn 7

    Did Little really say ” I’m not quite sure whether drug companies were represented there’.
    He must be in a bad way, mustn’t he? Just a few months ago and he only vaguely seems to remember the dinner and he can’t remember who was present.
    Early onset dementia by the sound of it. Such a shame for his family.

  8. Michael 8

    That’s right – Labour politicians never, ever sell out in return for a bit of corporate koha, as even a cursory glance at political history reveals. Any suggestion that Little and co would let themselves be bought by Big Pharma is absolutely scandalous and must be firmly eschewed. I’m off to watch “The COnstant Gardener” again.

  9. Keith 9

    National will fund Keytruda and it will be fronted by John Key to try and resurrect his flagging popularity.

    BUT the truly worrying thing is it will come at an awful cost. Expect a variety of smaller cuts to the health budget or other public service budgets that will cover the cost but with interest! This is National and as a government living off debt and tax cuts they are short of money and long on illusions!

    And I expect the likes of Little to be speaking with drug companies, why the hell not, its a major cost to NZ and a major savings if done right. I mean its not as if they are lepers like SkyCity!

  10. Tautoko Mangō Mata 10

    IT is time the finger is pointed at Big Pharma for being greedy. It annoys me greatly that Pharmac will have to justify their choices under TPP providing opportunities for litigation but the Big Pharma corporations don’t have to justify their profits or be accountable for the deaths caused by the unaffordability of some of the drugs. Sure, research is expensive but Big Pharma spend more money on advertising than research. Why can’t they spend less on advertising, give fewer freebies to doctors and cut their prices?

    • Michael 10.1

      “IT is time the finger is pointed at Big Pharma for being greedy.” – It won’t be a Labour Party finger that’s for sure: they’re all jammed in the feeding trough.

  11. mac1 11

    And in tonight’s paper, a piece from Tracy Watkins on using cancer sufferers as a political football.

    She says- “Nobody’s hands are clean in the Keytruda row.” She criticises Labour for coat tailing the plight of cancer patients to attack the government, the drug companies for attempting to leverage up the price to Pharmac , and National for doing the same over Herceptin but claiming the high moral ground.

    I simply ask Tracy Watkins, what is the role of the Opposition?

    Is it not pointing out the failings of Government? On our behalf? In a democracy?

    ‘Cos that is its traditional role, alongside the fourth estate, and we are not seeing enough of that happening from the media.

    Pharmac has underspent its budget by $30 million. No mention of that in Watkins article.

    I am glad that Labour is hammering on the government’s gates.

    ‘Cos it’s nor bein

    • miravox 11.1

      “Pharmac has underspent its budget by $30 million”

      Which brings me back to wanting some information about how pharmac interprets its own funding criteria in relation to approving drugs and what the new criteria will produce.

      Medicines New Zealand on Pharmac funding

      Also, was there a reason other than strict interpretation of criteria for underspending – a political directive maybe?

  12. Magisterium 12

    Sure, this isn’t as egregious as National’s Sky City deal, or sending our troops to Iraq so we can stay ‘part of the club’. But Key, Joyce et al have reasons for the questionable stuff they do. They have agendas. It’s deliberate; calculated. They have reasons! Labour just does random bewilderingly stupid shit for no comprehensible reason. All the time. People write columns about how Labour should ‘move to the center’, or the left or whatever, but addressing the bewildering stupidity issue should be their primary goal.

    Dim-post, Same As It Ever Was
    https://dimpost.wordpress.com/2015/02/17/same-as-it-ever-was/

    • mickysavage 12.1

      I like Danyl’s writing but he is a green. He is never going to praise Labour.

      • Colonial Viper 12.1.1

        Are Danyl’s criticisms of Labour and the Labour leadership not valid then?

        The performance we have seen to date suggests that some of the criticisms might be spot on.

  13. upnorth 13

    He dine with executives – end of subject

    Story ends

  14. Colonial Viper 14

    Question: what contact has Little and Labour had with Big Pharma execs since the well publicised dinner.

    • Flatulence 14.1

      More than that. Has any donation to Labour occurred since that meeting, from Big Pharma?

      Like any race, if you are behind you have to run faster. In politics I assume if you are behind, you have to be either cleaner, or more devious.

  15. Ben 15

    “I’ve certainly met with health insurers, I’m not quite sure whether drug companies were represented there.”

    But Little said neither meeting had any influence on Labour’s current position, and there had “absolutely not” been any discussions around political donations from the drug companies.

    So although he can’t remember if he actually met with the drug companies, he can categorically state what wasn’t discussed at the meeting(s) that he can’t remember. Is he taking a leaf out of JK’s book? Not sure that Little can pull that off. If this this was a National minister or MP the Left (and the media) would be unhinged with indignation. Instead we get the “move on, nothing to see here” line.

  16. tinfoilhat 16

    The stench of hypocrisy from both National and Labour and their respective supporters on the issues surrounding PHARMAC is quite pungent.

  17. Jester 17

    Im unsure why Mickey states that National broke the mould in regards to convention of non political interference into Pharmac funding.

Links to post

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Climate Change: Strike!
    Today is the first day of the global climate strike. Led by schoolkids, people all around the world are going to protest to demand action on climate change. New Zealand isn't doing it till next Friday (join us!), but if you want to get active early, there's plenty to do ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    8 hours ago
  • Climate Change: Squandering our opportunity?
    The Herald has a story today about the 400 MW of wind power currently under construction. Good news, right? Except that none of it is being driven by policy (instead, its about replacing Contact Energy's Taranaki Combined Cycle gas-fired power plant, due to shut down in 2022), and most of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    9 hours ago
  • Protect The King!
    To Protect and Serve: When the Prime Minister finds herself enmeshed in the coils of a full-blown political scandal, her colleagues and party comrades have only one priority: to release her as swiftly – and with as little lasting injury – as possible. Is this what Jacinda Ardern’s colleagues and ...
    10 hours ago
  • The rot at the top.
    When military leaders cover up and lie to elected civilian authorities, the foundation of democratic civil-military relations is undermined because it is those authorities who are entrusted to hold the military accountable to the public that they mutually serve. But this is only true if civilian political authorities take their ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    11 hours ago
  • Challenging the voting age in court
    The Make It 16 campaign to lower the voting age is launching this afternoon, and they have already announced plans to challenge the law in court:The campaign, named "Make it 16" will launch at Parliament on Friday, with plans to take their case to the High Court, testing the rights ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    11 hours ago
  • Israel’s elections herald a long siesta
    by Daphna Whitmore The long years of Netanyahu’s reign are drawing to an end. For years he has epitomized reactionary zionism as he oversaw hundreds of thousands of Jewish settlers seize land in the West Bank. There are now 700,000 settlers, putting an end to the myth that Israel was ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    13 hours ago
  • Petrol companies promise prices will come back down once peace is restored to the Middle East
    BP, Z and Mobil all insist that petrol price hikes are temporary, “in a very literal sense.” The nation’s major petrol providers are trying to allay customer fears over prices, promising that they’ll move to lower them again “immediately” when the Middle East is returned to its formerly peaceful state. ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 day ago
  • All Blacks unveil boat for Rugby World Cup 2019
    South African coach Rassie Erasmus says he has no idea what they’re going to do about the boat. In a highly anticipated press conference this afternoon, All Blacks coach Steve Hansen has finally unveiled the team’s boat for its Rugby World Cup 2019 campaign. In a press conference that went ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 day ago
  • An increasingly shoddy coverup
    The Operation Burnham inquiry continued to question senior NZDF staff today, and their shoddy coverup over their knowledge of civilian casualties continue to fall apart. If you recall, first, we were asked to believe that it was all a series of "mistakes and errors": a senior officer with multiple degrees ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • If we are to avoid making the earth uninhabitable, we need to rapidly decarbonise our civilisation, and cut emissions to zero as quickly as possible. This seems like an impossible task, but its not. Pushing hard on a few technologies and trends will let us halve emissions in a decade:Greenhouse ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • A further attack on transparency
    The Local Government Act 2002 Amendment Bill (No 2) had part of its committee stage yesterday. its a generally tedious bill about the nitty-gritty of local government reorganisation. But it includes a clause making the Local Government Commission subject to the Ombudsmen Act, and hence the OIA. Great! Except of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • Ihumātao and Treaty settlements
    Yesterday Ihumātao's mana whenua reached a consensus that they would like their land back, and asked the government to negotiate with Fletcher's for its return. The government's response? Try and undermine that consensus, while talking about how doing anything would undermine existing Treaty settlements. The first is just more bad ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Protecting our history
    Its Suffrage Day, the 126th anniversary of women winning the right to vote (but not stand in elections) in New Zealand. And to celebrate, the government has bought Kate Sheppard's house in Christchurch:The government has bought Kate Sheppard's former home in Christchurch for more than $4 million. The Ilam villa ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Climate Change: Ostracising the coal-burners
    The UN climate summit is happening in new York next week, and unlike previous years, coal-burners and denier-states are not being invited to speak:Leading economies such as Japan and Australia will not be invited to speak at next week’s crunch UN climate change summit, as their continued support for coal ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Jojo Tamihere Salutes Herr Goff.
    Get Back Jojo! The elation in Mayor Phil Goff’s camp may be easily imagined as they watched social media light up in indignation at challenger John Tamihere’s "Sieg Heil to that" quip. Just when JT’s notoriously right-wing, sexist and homophobic stains were beginning to fade back into his ‘colourful’ past, ...
    2 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 ...
    2 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
    2 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
    2 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
    2 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
    2 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
    2 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
    3 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
    3 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
    3 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
    3 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
    3 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 ...
    4 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
    4 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 ...
    4 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
    4 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
    4 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 ...
    4 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
    4 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
    4 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
    4 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
    5 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 ...
    5 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
    6 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
    7 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
    7 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
    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
    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
    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
  • 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks ago

No feed items found.