Laissez faire capitalists think that India’s labour laws are too protective

Written By: - Date published: 2:09 pm, May 20th, 2014 - 53 comments
Categories: Privatisation, Unions, workers' rights - Tags: ,

Narendra Damodardas Modi

From the I do not believe what I am reading file.

The right think that the solution to all of society’s woes is more market freedom.  Problems are evidence of a restriction of the free operation of markets.  Whether it is failing education standards, diminishing environmental protection, declining terms of trade or faltering growth the cause always is a failure to adhere sufficiently to a neoliberal market model.

An element of this is the right’s hatred of trade unions.  Making sure that ordinary workers’ families can live in dignity is an anathema to the free market model.  It is only when ordinary workers struggle and fight each other for sufficient resources to look after their families that the benefits of the free market are unlocked.  Workers get less and less and the owners of capital become richer.  What could possibly be wrong with this?

I always thought that the undermining of the trade union movement was a particularly first world problem.  But recent news from India suggests that capitalists are eternally vigilant and eternally active.

India, the world’s largest democracy and the home of an ancient and intensely sophisticated culture, has recently had an election.  Superficially the results are impressive.  Narendra Modi’s Bharatiya Janata party is in line to win 282 of the 543 directly elected seats in India’s lower house.  Allies’ wins will drive the figure of supporting MPs to over 340.

But the result is a clear example of why MMP is a far superior electoral system.  Bharatinya Janata won 31% of the vote but over half of the seats.  The previously dominant Congress Party, the party of Mahatma Ghandi, won only 19% of the vote.  But despite getting about a fifth of the popular vote it is in line to win only 42 seats which is less than a tenth of the seats on offer.  Why is it that Commonwealth nations tend to have the most barbaric of electoral systems?

The aspect of the election that really struck me is that Modi campaigned on labour market reform.  In one of the poorer countries in the world he advocated for a reduction in union protection so that market forces could operate in a “cleaner” environment.

As the leader of the Gujarat State Modi has been responsible for the establishment of areas reminiscent of a Chinese Special Economic Zone where businesses could rely on a quick decision on investment and tailored infrastructure and a migrant labour force to support business growth.

As an example of his thinking there is this transcript of comments that he made at a recent meeting:

Among labour issues, one industrialist raised the issue of the manufacturing sector incurring losses due to the national rural jobs guarantee scheme, MGNREGS. “We feel India’s productive labour has become unproductive. What do you have to say?” asked S K Poddar, chairman of the Adventz Group. In his response, Modi said, “When liberalisation was being talked about, labour law reforms should have been talked about, too, but we lost that chance.  Today, there is a need for the next generation of NREGS, which should focus on asset creation. China says it wants to create jobs. I believe India should focus on job creation, too.”

No doubt Modi’s win will have international capital flooding to India in search of even cheaper labour.  But this shows how broke the system is.  When countries decide to compete against each other by reducing the quality of return for their employees the winner will be whoever is able to smash their workforce over sufficiently to make sure that their workers will accept any sort of employment conditions just so they can have the dignity of feeding their families, well sort of.  And the mantra is growth.  If we just consume even more then all of our woes will be taken care of.  We may trash our environment and make a misery of the lives of those at the bottom of the heap but at least the corporate balance sheets will appear to be healthy.

And the formula for success is interesting.  You just have to get someone that the right wing media will crown as a charismatic leader and fund his campaign.  Then anything is possible, even if the actual proposals are ludicrous.

India may be in for a difficult time.  Although its wealthy may think that nirvana has arrived.

53 comments on “Laissez faire capitalists think that India’s labour laws are too protective”

  1. Colonial Viper 1

    The neoliberal right wing continue to play their little game of pro-corporate international wage arbitrage. They enjoy using the threat of corporate/capital walkouts to get their way over entire societies.

    NB 600M Indians still defecate in open air situations. But I don’t think that includes many of the 56 or so Indian billionaires. Inequality much?

    • Yes i agree with your first paragraph.

      I wonder if pooing in open air situations may actually be better for everyone in the long run. For a start the issue will not be behind closed doors and therefore out of mind, and it will not require water to flush thus reducing the use of water for this, and the flushings will not, in the ever frequent storms, be sent to sea without treatment. Sure someone will have to clean up – but guess what maybe the pooer (ouch, too close to poor that one) can clean their own poo up just like doggie poo, and place it in conveniently positioned council approved receptacles for transference to the council run humanure stations.

        • Colonial Viper 1.1.1.1

          Thanks for this joe90. I think I might skip eating tonight.

        • marty mars 1.1.1.2

          Yep joe thanks for that link – I’m sure i read that one when you posted it last time – good to read it again – it made me angry and upset again. Inequality? Read the link to understand it.

          It was also good to read that my thoughts have good company.

          “The eradication of manual scavenging was a recurrent theme throughout Gandhi’s life. He called the practice “the shame of the nation.” He wrote, “Evacuation is as necessary as eating; and the best thing would be for everyone to dispose of his own waste.””

          The caste system solidifies inequality as effectively as the class system.

        • mickysavage 1.1.1.3

          Thanks Joe. Grim, grim reading.

          I wonder if the Employment of Manual Scavengers and Construction of Dry Latrines (Prohibition) Act is one of those pesky pieces of legislation that Modi is talking about?

        • greywarbler 1.1.1.4

          The book I read – the Indian women who were untouchable had to defecate in an open field early in the morning before others were up. Then it was raked over. During the rest of the day it wasn’t easy for them to relieve themselves as they have so little space which they can use privately.

          In this book if they want water they have to wait at the well till someone who isn’t in their untouchable group will draw water for them. They cannot handle anything or it becomes ritually dirty, their shadow falling on a higher caste means that person has to go through a ritual to clean the result of this invasion of their pure bubble.

          I don’t feel warm to the Hindu religion.

      • Huginn 1.1.2

        No Marty, pooing in the open air is definitely not better for everyone.

        Women and girls are massively disadvantaged. The lack of secure toilet facilities means that girls don’t go to school after a certain age; women can’t find work, and women and girls in general are confined to their homes.

    • Markymark 1.2

      CV you don’t know jack about the Indian economy. Stop pretending you do.

      Also please provide links for your claim about the lack of toilets.

  2. Once was Tim 2

    India will be in for a difficult time. I was hoping for a better showing of the third tier (such as Samajwadi et al).
    HOWEVER ….. if Modi thinks he’s able to progress some severe right wing agenda that pisses a variety of minorities off (and a sizable proportion of the mainstream that voted for him), then I suspect he’s in for an even bigger surprise than that somebody called Tarn Yabbit in Australia got.

    One can draw parallels across borders – such as the sense of entitlement amongst NZ Labour’s ‘old guard’ – propping up the fading neo-lib agenda, and the fact that Congress DESERVED to get a routing.

    However (and especially in India) – if he thinks this outcome gives a divine right to bulldoze the downtrodden in order to progress the extremities of his belief system, I’m afraid the guy is in for a very rude surprise.
    In some ways – given I’m running out of life, I lament the lack of protest and expedient means of expressing the silent majority’s plight has been lost in the little South Pacific backwater we know as Aye Tea Roar New Zill

    • Once was Tim 2.1

      Ekshly…. there’s a real lesson for NZ Labour in all of this – hopefully they have the smarts to catch on (tho’ somehow I doubt it)

  3. djp 3

    Im most concerned about what effect his Hindu Nationalism will have on minorities :/

  4. DS 4

    It is truly amazing, isn’t it. Just a few years after the greatest crisis of capitalism since the 1930s, when, for the first time in living memory, the deep state briefly had to drop the façade, the world has wall-to-wall right-wing governments. The Presidents of the US and France (as limited as they are), and the Prime Minister of Denmark are islands in a sea of global conservatism.

    • Once was Tim 4.1

      Yup @ DS. One wonders how it could have happened. I think the best explanation is ‘Fear’.

      It’s not all bad though – there are parts of the world that are waking up, and that are ahead of the game. Unfortunately we have a government, and a populace who either prefer to bury their heads, or sign up to the religion of ‘aspiration’ – for which incredible indebtedness is the price they’ll pay (that is of course right up until the shit hits the fan in their little whare)

    • Gosman 4.2

      President of France is now adopting more business friendly policies as his more left leaning proposals failed to make a blind bit of difference to the economic decline France is experiencing.

      • Colonial Viper 4.2.1

        Of course it made no blind bit of difference, France’s socialist president softened up his left wing agenda the moment he took office and then news of his affair was blasted out to weaken him further. France remains tied to the deadweight Euro, and French banks including Societe Generale, BNP Paribas and Credit Agricole are all part of the bankster cartel and up to their eyeballs in liabilities.

        The more money you suck out from local communities, the worse it will get for France.

        • Gosman 4.2.1.1

          I find it funny that leftists can’t accept blame for the failure of their policies. It is always someone elses fault. Often times it is the result of some ‘dark’ conspiracy to thwart the ambitions of some left wing politician who is forced to ditch their populist policies once in power.

          • Colonial Viper 4.2.1.1.1

            All I know is that the wealth of the billionaires of this world have been increasing steeply for several years now, exactly the way you like and want it. But seriously, the most you are ever going to get from them is drippings from their dining table, don’t you find that demeaning?

          • Colonial Viper 4.2.1.1.2

            Oh look BNP Paribas about to be criminally charged in the USA

            http://dealbook.nytimes.com/2014/04/29/u-s-close-to-bringing-criminal-charges-against-big-banks/?_php=true&_type=blogs&_r=0

            I find it funny that leftists can’t accept blame for the failure of their policies.

            I find it funny that you understand full well that the power-elite clique of billionaires wields the most influence of any group in modern western society yet you aim to deflect due blame from them.

            • Gosman 4.2.1.1.2.1

              I haven’t denied the influence of rich and powerful companies and indiciduals at all. I have stated they have less ability than implied by people like C.V. They certainly don’t force politicians top ditch policies by contructing elaborate honey traps such as that implied in relation to Francois Hollande.

              • Colonial Viper

                It’s not an elaborate honey trap (although those have been used very many times in the past). Your emails and txts are all open book to the intelligence services, if you’re having an affair they will know about it immediately. It’s pretty simple

                • Gosman

                  The question is so what? It isn’t as if Hollande’s love life was so shocking that it’s revelation has forced him to ditch his economic plans. He is French for goodness sake!

          • framu 4.2.1.1.3

            i find it funny that you think the EU has no effect on what france does

            theres no dark conspiracy – just a powerful bunch of people and institutions who are able to leverage things for their own benefit at everyone elses expense

            It doesnt actually matter how much detail and nuance others uses in their responses to you does it – you will keep sticking to your binary idiocy.

            “some left wing politician who is forced to ditch their populist policies once in power.”

            totally ignoring the fact that this has actually happened many times in many countries of course.

            for a trool – your a really bad one

            • Gosman 4.2.1.1.3.1

              Who is the EU in this equation? Basically it is driven by the Franco Germany axis. If France is forced to modify it’s economic policies then it really is the fault if the French for allowing that sorry state if affairs to get to that stage.

              • McFlock

                “Basically” you’re full of shit. You might want to actually research the politics of the EU before being a moron.

    • minarch 4.3

      Dude…..

      Uruguay

      Seriously !

  5. Gosman 5

    There is a law in India requiring companies employing more than 100 workers to seek government approval before they can fire employees or close down. Is there anybody here willing to defend that?

    • Colonial Viper 5.1

      Germany has one better where if a corporation is going to close down and move production overseas, the unions must be informed several months in advance.

    • Colonial Viper 5.2

      Better still, if any company or corporation decides to close down a factory, workers should be legally prioritised to buy the entire operation for scrap value and start a worker co-op.

      • Gosman 5.2.1

        If you like. I have no problems with this in principle. However informing Unions of job losses is compltely different to getting permission from government to shed workers. Do you think that is a good law?

        • Colonial Viper 5.2.1.1

          I haven’t read the law, I wouldn’t know if it was well drafted or if it managed to achieve the intentions of the legislators.

          I’m sure foreign corporates want it scrapped ASAP though, for their own convenience. Am I right?

          • Gosman 5.2.1.1.1

            Why should government have to agree to allow firms to retrench staff or to even go out of business entirely? Governments don’t usually involve themselves in the decision of businesses to hire staff. Not in well developed market economies they don’t anyway.

            • Colonial Viper 5.2.1.1.1.1

              Well I think it’s crucial that if company executives and directors break the law of the land, that they are held culpable to the full extent of the law of the land.

              • Gosman

                I am sure you do. You’re the sort of person who most likely supports the prosecution of business owners and them being thrown in jail for daring to raise prices above government set maximum levels like has happened in places like Venezuela.

                Regardless of that the question remains whether the law should be repealed or not. Do you see a reason why there should be a law that companies should get permission to retrench staff?

                • McFlock

                  the negative externalities of sudden increases in unemployment.

                • Tracey

                  have the companies received direct or indirect taxpayer assistance through tax deductions, subsidies or other?

                  do you consider companies are a part of society or apart from society?

  6. Markymark 6

    Greg it is hard to take you seriously, when you write such bullocks.

    To begin with, India’s market reforms (initiated in 1991 by the center left Congress Party) have resulted in a booming economy with stunning economic growth rates and huge poverty reduction.

    After adopting capitalism is 1991, India has literally pulled hundreds of millions out of poverty and into an aspirational middle class (currently estimated at 300-400million people). Yet there remains still large amounts of poverty in India (the remaining 600million Indians are destitute).

    The economic reforms contrast with pre 1991 India, where the country was run in as a Socialist country with decades of 1% growth and grinding poverty (which kept close to 100% of the population and hundreds of millions, destitute). This decades long stagnation was famously refereed to as the ‘hindu rate of growth’.

    When economists talk of labour market reform in India, they talk of removing some of the most archaic and restrictive labour market regulations that dont exist anywhere in the developed world. For example, in India a worker cannot be fired, without approval of the government in each case!

    Lastly, Mahatma Gandhi has no relation to Rahul Gandhi or the Nehru-Gandhi dynasty. It is misleading to catergorise the Congress political party as the same pre independence movement of Mohandas Gandhi.

    • Tracey 6.3

      you wrote

      “After adopting capitalism in 1991…”

      Really? You might like to read Dr Tirthankar Roy is Professor in LSE’s Department of Economic History.

      India in the World Economy
      From Antiquity to the Present

      Part of New Approaches to Asian History

      Author: Tirthankar Roy

      Date Published: June 2012

      “The book charts how two very different capitalist traditions evolved in India from ancient times until early in the Second Millennium CE. One of these formed along the coasts, lived on overseas trade, and usually operated from small coastal states. The other one formed in the land-locked interior, served overland trade, and took part in moving the taxes that sustained vast, powerful empires. The empires emerged in the fertile plains of the Ganges and the Indus, and lived on land taxes. The ruling classes understood the value of the seaboard, but could not easily take control of that zone. Roads connecting inland empires to the coast were few, and road-building was costly because of the uplands, forests, and numerous rivers.

      A major turning point in this history was the rise of the Indo-Islamic empires, and the spread of their power from the Indus-Ganges plains to the south (the Deccan Plateau), the east (Bengal), and the west (Gujarat). In the 1500s, the land-based states did establish a foothold in some places on the coast, notably, Surat in Gujarat, Masulipatnam in the southeastern coast, and Hooghly in Bengal. Their established reputation as business hubs attracted not only Indian merchants, but also European merchant companies, including the Dutch and English East India companies. The English East India Company later acquired three port sites on the coasts, in Bombay (now Mumbai), Calcutta, and Madras, but these towns initially had little significance beyond the Company’s own transaction and could not rival Surat or Hooghly.

      And yet, Bombay, Madras, and Calcutta became pivotal during a second turning point in the story. As the Mughal Empire collapsed in the 1700s, hordes of Indian businesses migrated to the Company cities, starving the interior of money and talent whereas Indo-European partnerships flourished in the ports. An even more extraordinary development was the rise of a seaboard state ruled by the East India Company, a body of merchants with tacit support from Indian merchants. Never before in Indian history had the coast acquired so much political and economic power.”

  7. tas 7

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Licence_Raj

    India has a history of having a highly regulated economy run on socialist principles. It has been a disaster that has fostered widespread poverty and corruption. Since 1991, India has gradually instituted free market reforms.

    Modi’s human rights record is troubling, but criticising his economic policies is silly. The status quo is clearly not working in India.

    • Tracey 7.1

      Dr Tirthankar Roy is Professor in LSE’s Department of Economic History.

      India in the World Economy
      From Antiquity to the Present

      Part of New Approaches to Asian History

      Author: Tirthankar Roy

      Date Published: June 2012

      “The book charts how two very different capitalist traditions evolved in India from ancient times until early in the Second Millennium CE. One of these formed along the coasts, lived on overseas trade, and usually operated from small coastal states. The other one formed in the land-locked interior, served overland trade, and took part in moving the taxes that sustained vast, powerful empires. The empires emerged in the fertile plains of the Ganges and the Indus, and lived on land taxes. The ruling classes understood the value of the seaboard, but could not easily take control of that zone. Roads connecting inland empires to the coast were few, and road-building was costly because of the uplands, forests, and numerous rivers.

      A major turning point in this history was the rise of the Indo-Islamic empires, and the spread of their power from the Indus-Ganges plains to the south (the Deccan Plateau), the east (Bengal), and the west (Gujarat). In the 1500s, the land-based states did establish a foothold in some places on the coast, notably, Surat in Gujarat, Masulipatnam in the southeastern coast, and Hooghly in Bengal. Their established reputation as business hubs attracted not only Indian merchants, but also European merchant companies, including the Dutch and English East India companies. The English East India Company later acquired three port sites on the coasts, in Bombay (now Mumbai), Calcutta, and Madras, but these towns initially had little significance beyond the Company’s own transaction and could not rival Surat or Hooghly.

      And yet, Bombay, Madras, and Calcutta became pivotal during a second turning point in the story. As the Mughal Empire collapsed in the 1700s, hordes of Indian businesses migrated to the Company cities, starving the interior of money and talent whereas Indo-European partnerships flourished in the ports. An even more extraordinary development was the rise of a seaboard state ruled by the East India Company, a body of merchants with tacit support from Indian merchants. Never before in Indian history had the coast acquired so much political and economic power.”

  8. Philj 8

    xox
    Grossman, you said that TS was a site for lefties, or words to that effect. What are you doing here?

    • Gosman 8.1

      I don’t believe I stated that it was for leftists only. It certainly caters to this audience mainly but so what?

  9. Phil 9

    John Oliver (you’ll know him from The Daily Show and The Bugle Podcast) has a brilliant interview with Fareed Zakaria, on the outcome of the election, the platform Modi ran on, and what his mandate is expected to produce.

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    Nothing Left To Say: Labour's pollster, Stephen Mills, remains swaddled-up in the comforting myths of the 1980s. As if the experience of Roger Douglas’s genuinely radical post-Muldoon policy agenda was literally a once-in-a-lifetime thing – as much as the party could possibly absorb for at least the next 50 years.MEMO ...
    3 days ago
  • Speaker: Disability and the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Historical Abuse
    The Royal Commission on abuse in care is very significant for the disability community. For many decades last century, thousands of disabled children, and adults who managed to survive, were locked away from families and communities. This was not for anything they had done, but for the perceived threat their ...
    3 days ago
  • Spain is not a democracy
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • UK Conservatives hate democracy
    With an unfair voting system, uneven electorates and an un-elected upper house, the UK's "democracy" is barely worthy of the name. But now the government wants to make it worse:The government has been accused of suppressing voters’ rights with the potential disenfranchisement of tens of thousands of people after plans ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • What is wrong with our building industry?
    Back in the 90's and early 2000's, the building industry was building leaky homes which should never have been granted consent. Now it turns out they've been building dodgy office blocks as well:New imaging technology has revealed hundreds of major buildings nationwide have defective or missing concrete or reinforcing steel. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Local bodies
    Local body election results were released over the weekend, to joy or despair depending on where you live. In Auckland, Phil Goff trounced John Tamihere, who is muttering darkly about running for Parliament again (but which party would want him?) Wellington is now a wholly-owned subsidiary of Weta Workshop, except ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • A future of government
      How could government evolve over the next decades? Reports of democracy’s imminent demise are greatly exaggerated.  However, satisfaction with political systems in many countries is low, so there is much to do for governments of all political stripes to improve relevance and trust. Digital technologies are seen as one ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    6 days ago
  • Speaker: Catalonia, interrupted
    Two years have now gone by since the Friday afternoon when my university-student son and I headed out of our Barcelona flat to a nearby primary school, designated as a polling station for the vote that was to be held the following Sunday: the referendum on Catalonia’s independence from Spain ...
    6 days ago
  • Sage Decisions Unwisely Over-Ruled.
    Overruled: The joint decision of Finance Minister, Grant Robertson (Labour) and his Associate Minister, David Parker (Labour) arguably the two most powerful ministers in Jacinda Ardern’s government, to grant OceanaGold the consents which Land Information Minister, Eugenie Sage (Greens) had earlier denied them, offers bitter proof of how hard fighting ...
    6 days ago
  • Government may ban voting in effort to get more people to do it
    More than double the number of people who will vote in this year’s local body elections have tried marijuana or urinated somewhere they shouldn’t have. As local elections look set for the lowest turnout in decades, with many regions falling well short of 40%, the Government is exploring a number ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    7 days ago
  • Woman: Deleted.
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    RedlineBy Daphna
    7 days ago
  • The Hollowest of Men Ride Again… SURPRISE!
    Musings continue apace about “the experienced businessman!” soon to be taking up a National Party MP position. Or to be more accurate, being parachuted into a seat to shut down their former MP Jamie-Lee Ross, who despite his own shortcomings shed at least some more light on the inner workings ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    1 week ago
  • Barbaric
    The Ugandan government wants to murder gay people:Uganda has announced plans to impose the death penalty on homosexuals. The bill, colloquially known as “Kill the Gays” in Uganda, was nullified five years ago on a technicality, but the government said on Thursday it plans to resurrect it within weeks. The ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Fighting Monsters.
    Freedom Of Speech? The Säuberung (cleansing by fire) was the work of the German Student Union which, on 10 May 1933, under the watchful eye of the Nazi Reichminister for Propaganda, Joseph Goebbels, consigned 25,000 books to the flames in a ritual exorcism of “un-German thought”. According to the logic of the ...
    1 week ago
  • The next wave of kaupapa Māori politics: its constitutional, it must be.
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    EllipsisterBy Ellipsister
    1 week ago
  • Night lights of NZ from orbit
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    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    1 week ago
  • Reporters deliver uplifting news to fleeing Japanese residents: they won’t miss any rugby
    New Zealand’s media is doing its part in Japan, reassuring those in the path of the storm that they won’t miss any rugby while away from their flooded homes. New Zealand sports reporters stationed in Japan for the Rugby World Cup have had the rare and heartwarming opportunity to inform ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Government in contentious discussions about whether to put surplus on red or black
    Regional Development Minister Shane Jones is the only Cabinet member in favour of putting it all on green. As Finance Minister Grant Robertson finds himself with an enormous $7.5 billion surplus, the Government has begun intense, at times contentious conversations about whether to put the money on red or black at ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Jordanian teachers’ successful strike has lessons for here
    by Susanne Kemp At the start of September close to 100,000 school teachers went on strike in Jordan.  They demanded a 50% pay rise.  A pay rise actually agreed to by the regime back in 2014. In early October, however, in the face of government repression and threats, the teachers’ ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Why some people still think climate change isn’t real
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz Why do people still think climate change isn’t real? David ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • The SIS unlawfully spied on Nicky Hager
    Back in 2011, journalist Nicky Hager published Other People's Wars, an expose on NZDF's activities over the previous decade of the "war on terror". NZDF didn't like this, and especially didn't like the fact that it was base don leaks from their own. So, they had the SIS investigate him ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • October 2019 – Newsletter
    https://mailchi.mp/7d9133add053/closing-the-gap-october-2019-newsletter ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    1 week ago
  • And they wonder why we think they’re environmental vandals…
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Paying the price in California
    Last year, California burned. This year, to stop it happening again (or rather, to stop themselves from being found liable if it happens again), Pacific Gas and Electric is cutting power to half the state for a week:Schools are closed. Traffic lights down. Tunnels dark. Businesses unopened. Hospitals running on ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Let’s Hear It For Up-Close-And-Personal, Hard-Copy Democracy!
    The Best Way: Missing from the on-line voting debate is any reference to the voting system that produces turn-out figures ranging from 77 to 93 percent of registered voters. The voting system used to collect and count the votes cast in our parliamentary elections. The system that involves citizens making ...
    1 week ago
  • 10/10: World Day Against the Death Penalty
    Today, October 10, is the world day against the death penalty. Out of 195 UN member states, 84 still permit capital punishment. Today is the day we work to change that. This year's theme is children. Having a parent sentenced to death or executed causes long-term trauma and stigmatization which ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Talking Freer Lives: a Marxist gender-critical perspective from Australia
    Among the great new bunch of political friends we have been making recently is the excellent Australian-based Marxist gender-critical site, Freer Lives.  So we asked the comrade who set up that blog to write something for Redline on the blog, himself, his analysis of the rise of gender politics and ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Government spin accepted by union leadership
    by Don Franks  The Auckland City Mission is struggling with a 40 percent increase in demand for food parcels this year. A total of 23,020 were needed by June. Last month Missioner Chris Farrelly told the Herald the “cupboards are bare” and without an emergency food drive, he can’t see ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Forbidden Thoughts
    by The Council of Disobedient Women   Massey Wellington Student Association had a sit-in today. Imagine a sit-in. On a campus. Against a women’s rights meeting. Did the ’60s really happen or did we fucking dream it? They gathered in the student square, an echo chamber. Sitting on soft pillows ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Much love to my loyal Ukrainian readership
    For some reasons, my post about the mystery message from inside the Downing Street bunker seemed to catch people's attention.  Quite a lot of hits from NZ (unsurprisingly) and the USA (a bit more puzzlingly, but hi there, USAians!!) and 76 views from the Ukraine.I've celebrated my Ukrainian readers in ...
    1 week ago
  • Another day of bonkers GNUmours (again, sorry)
    First, almost a score of Labour MPs seem to have sent a letter to the EU basically begging them to accept a deal - any deal - just so Britain can get the Heck on with Brexiting instead of being trapped in limbo:
    To avoid no deal, deliver on the ...
    1 week ago
  • Labour vs working class immigrants – again!
    by Phil Duncan In 2016 the National-led government suspended the Parent Visa Category, through which migrants were able to bring their parents into New Zealand.  Since then over 5,700 people have been in immigration limbo, stuck on the visa wait list. Labour is now bringing back the scheme.  Well, sort ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Speak Up for Women press statement: on Massey University and Feminism 2020
    The following was released yesterday (Tues, October 8) by the women’s liberation organisation Speak Up for Women. On 23 September Speak Up For Women announced that we would be holding an event at the Massey University Theaterette in Wellington. The event is called Feminism 2020. The intention of the event ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Farmers support dirty rivers
    The government is currently consulting on plans to improve freshwater quality. So naturally, farmers oppose it:South Taranaki farmers are preparing to fight proposed national freshwater changes that some fear will bankrupt them. The Government's proposed National Environment Standard on Freshwater Management, released in September, rated the Waingongoro River as one ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • No-one cares about local government
    Yesterday was the last day for (reliably) posting your vote away in local body elections. Turnouts are mostly much lower than the equivalent time last year (Palmerston North is down 2.3%), and so naturally people are pushing their online-voting snake oil again. Because the online census worked so well, lets ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The political ghosts of eugenics may matter more than the genetic
    This essay, on the political legacy of the eugenics movement, by Kenan Malik was originally published in the Observer on 6 October 2019, under the headline ‘The spirit of eugenics is still with us, as immigrants know to their cost’. Birth control. Intelligence tests. Town planning. Immigration controls. It’s striking how ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • “Surplus” again
    Another year, and the government has announced another enormous government "surplus". And just like last year, its nothing of the sort. When we have people homeless and sick and hungry, when we have schools and hospitals still falling down, when we have underpaid public servants and infrastucture unmaintained or unbuilt, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Inside the Downing Street bunker
    James Forsyth at The Spectator (I know, I know) has tapped one of his contacts inside Number Ten for an insight into the Johnson administration's thinking and strategy.It is fascinating, unsettling and quite, quite mad.  Some key points:Negotiations have stalled and the Johnson administration are keen to blame the EU: ...
    1 week ago
  • Taking Control Of The Nation’s Story.
    Fatal Contact: With the arrival of captain James Cook in October 1769, the islands of what would become New Zealand ceased to be the preserve of Polynesian navigators and settlers and became a part of both the world’s map and the world’s history.THE MAORI NATIONALIST assault upon the historical meaning ...
    1 week ago
  • Are GNUs extinct?
    Another round of tactical talks about forming a Government of National Unity have come to nothing with the Liberal Democrats still refusing countenance putting Jeremy Corbyn into Downing Street:Opposition talks on Monday made little headway over when to try and vote down Boris Johnson's government and who might succeed him as ...
    1 week ago
  • Labour chickens out again
    When the government was elected, it promised to lead the way on electric vehicles, and specifically to make the government vehicle fleet emissions-free where-practicable by 2025.They lied:There are 15,473 vehicles in the government fleet and only 78 are electric. When the coalition Government came into power in late 2017, the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Transgender extremism, violence at work against feminist meeting at British Labour Party conference
    by Nick Rogers The debate around the meaning of sex and gender made an appearance at this year’s British Labour Party conference in Brighton. Women’s Place UK – an organisation that questions the demand that biological males who self-identify as woman should have access to women’s spaces, to all-women shortlists, ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Rebelling in Wellington
    Yesterday I went down to Wellington to participate in the Extinction Rebellion protest. Its part of the latest global wave of XR actions, with actions happening all over the world. Some of those protests are massively disruptive: in Canada, XR is blocking major bridges, stopping people from getting to work. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • ‘The Workshop’ – Report: Talking about Poverty and Welfare Reform: A Guide to Strategies that ...
    The Workshop is a charitable trust for public good. The Workshop undertake research to find ways of communicating that will build support for the solutions that work to solve complex social and environmental problems. See their Report on Talking about Poverty and Welfare Reform below. ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    2 weeks ago
  • Exclusive language
    What is language? We generally assume that it a facility unique to humans, allowing us to share what’s in and on our minds. We can tell of our plans, our past exploits, our knowledge. It also allows us to lie. And yet there are vast numbers of people we can’t ...
    SciBlogsBy Michael Corballis
    2 weeks ago
  • April 2018 – Submission to the NZ Govt Tax Working Group
    You can read our submission HERE ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    2 weeks ago
  • 2018 – Submission to the NZ Government Tax Working Group
    Read our submission here ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    2 weeks ago
  • Guardian: Poll shows DISASTER for Corbyn and the End of Times
    The Guardian - ever eager to forewarn of doom and disaster on the left - are leading with a new poll from Opinium, which puts the Conservatives 15% clear of Labour.Con 38% +2Lab 23% -1Lib Dem 15% -5Brexit 12% +1Green 4% +2This isn't good news, and it would be very ...
    2 weeks ago
  • How prostitution became the world’s most modern profession
    Being and Being Bought (Spinifex Press, 2013) by Kajsa Ekis Ekman  A synopsis and commentary of Chapters 1-2 by Daphna Whitmore Ekman, a Swedish journalist and critic, brings together a Marxist and feminist analysis of prostitution and surrogacy in this groundbreaking book She opens the discussion with a definition of ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago

  • Methane reducing cattle feed one step closer
    The Government today announced its support for a project that could substantially reduce agricultural greenhouse gas emissions from cattle. The announcement was made as part of Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s and Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor’s visit to Nelson’s Cawthron Aquaculture Park. The Cawthron Institute will receive $100,000 from the Government’s ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    21 mins ago
  • Bill to refresh superannuation system passes first reading
    Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni has welcomed the first reading of the New Zealand Superannuation and Veteran’s Pension Legislation Amendment Bill. “Every New Zealander has a stake in New Zealand Superannuation and Veteran’s Pension,” says Carmel Sepuloni. “They are our most common form of social assistance – nearly 800,000 New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 hours ago
  • Government announces next steps in fight against measles
    Babies in Auckland aged six months and over can receive a free vaccination and children will all have access to vaccines, Associate Minister of Health Julie Anne Genter announced today at Papatoetoe High School.   The move comes as part of Government efforts to step up the fight against measles. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 hours ago
  • Speech to the New Zealand Institute of International Affairs, Pacific Futures: Connections, Identity...
    ***Check against delivery*** Good morning. It is a pleasure to be here, and to have the honour of opening this important conference on behalf of the New Zealand Institute of International Affairs. Let us take the opportunity to acknowledge all the people who have helped make today possible, including our special ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 hours ago
  • Police trial new response to high risk events
    Police Minister Stuart Nash says the safety of frontline officers and members of the public will be the focus of a new trial of specialist Police response teams in three of our largest urban centres. Police have this morning released details of an initiative to be trialled in Counties Manukau, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 hours ago
  • New awards celebrate fisheries sustainability
    The Minister of Fisheries is calling for entries for a new public award to celebrate innovation in our seafood sector. “I have established the Seafood Sustainability Awards to recognise and celebrate those throughout industry, tangata whenua and communities who demonstrate outstanding dedication and innovation towards the sustainability of New Zealand’s ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 hours ago
  • More progress for women and we can do more
    Minister for Women Julie Anne Genter welcomes leaders in the private sector taking action on closing their gender pay gaps to ensure a fairer workplace for all New Zealanders. Ms Genter today launched a new report, Addressing the gender pay gap and driving women’s representation in senior leadership, from the Champions for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    10 hours ago
  • Proposals to curb environmental damage help our coasts and the oceans
    Government Ministers today welcomed the release of a marine environment report highlighting the four key issues affecting our oceans, estuaries and coastlines.  The release underlines the importance of government proposals to combat climate pollution, ensure clean freshwater, protect biodiversity, make land use more sustainable, and reduce waste and plastic.    Environment ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    21 hours ago
  • New mental health facility for Waikato
    The Government has approved funding for a new acute mental health facility for Waikato which will provide better care and support to people with mental health and addiction issues. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Health Minister Dr David Clark announced the $100 million project to replace the aging Henry Rongomau ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • 500 new te reo Māori champions in our classrooms
    The Government is making progress on its goal to integrate te reo Māori into education by 2025, with over 500 teachers and support staff already graduating from Te Ahu o te Reo Māori,  Associate Education Minister Kelvin Davis announced today. Kelvin Davis made the announcement at an awards ceremony in Waikanae today, for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Minister James Shaw welcomes 2018 Census first release
    Statistics Minister James Shaw has welcomed the first release of 2018 Census data. The first release of data today, 23 September, includes key data on population, regional growth, the number of homes and the size of different ethnic groups in New Zealand. Data from the 2018 Census will support the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Driving transparency, ethics and accountability in government use of algorithms
    Minister for Statistics James Shaw today announced a public consultation on a proposed algorithm charter for government agencies. The charter has been developed by the Government Chief Data Steward in response to growing calls for more transparency in government use of data. Computer algorithms – procedures or formulas for solving ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • New Zealand and the Netherlands working together on climate change
    Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor, Climate Change Minister James Shaw and visiting Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte co-hosted a business roundtable in Auckland this morning focused on working together to address climate change.  “The Netherlands is an important partner for New Zealand. We share a strong agricultural history. Sustainable agribusiness and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Protecting fairness for workers and businesses
    The Government is taking action to build an inclusive economy where more of us receive our fair share at work and businesses can compete on great products and services, not undercutting wages and conditions, Immigration and Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Iain Lees-Galloway says. Two consultations launched today seek feedback ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Indigenous Freshwater Fish Bill Passes
    The future for New Zealand’s threatened indigenous freshwater fish looks brighter with the passing of the Conservation (Indigenous Freshwater Fish) Amendment Bill in Parliament today said Minister of Conservation, Eugenie Sage. “Until now, our freshwater fish legislation has been 20 years out of date. We have lacked effective tools to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Kiwis to take part in world’s biggest earthquake drill
    At 1.30pm tomorrow, hundreds of thousands of Kiwis will join about 65 million people around the globe in ShakeOut, the world’s biggest earthquake drill. The annual drill is to remind people of the right action to take during an earthquake which is to Drop, Cover, Hold, and to practise their ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Rising wages and low inflation supporting Kiwis
    Kiwis are benefiting from higher wage growth and low inflation under the Coalition Government. Stats NZ data out today shows the rise in the cost of living remains low, as annual Consumers Price Index (CPI) inflation fell to 1.5% in September from 1.7% in June. “The low inflation comes as ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • NZ economy strong amid global headwinds
    New Zealand’s economic strength and resilience has been recognised in a major update on the state of the global economy. The IMF’s latest World Economic Outlook released overnight shows a reduced global growth forecast over the next two years as issues like the US-China trade war and Brexit take hold. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Keeping New Zealanders safer with better counter-terrorism laws
    Justice Minister Andrew Little has today introduced a new Bill to prevent terrorism and support the de-radicalisation of New Zealanders returning from overseas. The Terrorism Suppression (Control Orders) Bill gives the New Zealand Police the ability to apply to the High Court to impose control orders on New Zealanders who ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Improved succession and dispute resolution core of Ture Whenua changes
    A Bill that proposes targeted changes to simplify the processes for Māori land owners when engaging with the Māori Land Court has had its First Reading today. “The approach taken by the Government is to ensure that the protection of Māori land remains a priority as we seek to improve ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Speech to CTU Biennial Conference
    Let me first thank all the new unionists and members in the room. There is nothing more important to improving people’s working lives than people making the decision to care, to get on board and help, to take up the reins and get involved. Congratulations to you. You bring the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Minister ensures continued Whenuapai flight operations
    Minister of Defence Ron Mark has signed a certificate exempting the activity of engine testing at Whenuapai Airbase from the Resource Management Act 1991. The Act gives the Minister of Defence the power to exempt activities for the purposes of national security.  The certificate will mean the recent Environment Court ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • NZ joins Coalition of Finance Ministers for Climate Action
    Finance Minister Grant Robertson has announced New Zealand will join the Coalition of Finance Ministers for Climate Action while attending APEC meetings in Chile. The objective of the 39 member Coalition is to share information and promote action to tackle climate change. It was formed in April this year, in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • CTU speech – DPM
    Ladies and gentlemen, NZCTU President Richard Wagstaff, members of respective unions – thank you for the invitation to speak to you today. This might be preaching to the choir, but the importance of trade unions in New Zealand’s historical arch is difficult to understate. And it is my belief that ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Police Association Annual Conference
    "Let’s start by acknowledging that it has been a huge year. " Police Association Annual Conference James Cook Grand Chancellor Hotel Wellington Nau mai, haere mai. Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, ka nui te mihi, ki a koutou katoa. President of the Police Association, Chris Cahill; Members of the Association and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New Zealand announces a further P-3 deployment in support of UN sanctions
    Minister of Foreign Affairs Winston Peters and Minister of Defence Ron Mark have announced the New Zealand Government’s decision to again deploy a Royal New Zealand Air Force P-3K2 (P-3) maritime patrol aircraft to support the implementation of United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions imposing sanctions against North Korea. New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New Zealand deeply concerned at developments in north-east Syria
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters says New Zealand continues to have serious concerns for peace and stability in north-east Syria. “Recent reports that hundreds of ISIS-affiliated families have fled from a camp are deeply concerning from a humanitarian and security perspective”, Mr Peters says. “While we acknowledge Turkey’s domestic security ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government on high alert for stink bugs
    Biosecurity Minister Damien O’Connor is warning travelling Kiwis to be vigilant as the high-season for the crop-eating brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB) is under way. “We’re on high alert to stop BMSB arriving in NZ. The high season runs until April 30 and we’ve strengthened our measures to stop stink ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Better protections for students in halls of residence
    The Government is moving swiftly to change the law to improve the welfare and pastoral care of students living in university halls of residence and other tertiary hostels. Cabinet has agreed to several changes, including creating a new mandatory Code of Practice that sets out the duty of pastoral care ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New trapping guide for community and expert trappers alike
    The Minister for Conservation Eugenie Sage has launched a new comprehensive trapping guide for community trappers to help them protect our native birds, plants and other wildlife, at Zealandia in Wellington today. ‘A practical guide to trapping’, has been developed by the Department of Conservation (DOC), and was launched during ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Widening Access to Contraceptives Welcomed
    Associate Health Minister Julie Anne Genter welcomes PHARMAC’s move to improve access to long-acting reversible contraception (LARCs). PHARMAC has today announced it will fund the full cost of Mirena and Jaydess for anyone seeking long term contraception, lifting previous restrictions on access to Mirena. “I welcome women having greater choices ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Major upgrade for Taranaki Base Hospital
    The Government has approved the next stage of a major redevelopment of Taranaki Base Hospital, which will deliver new and improved facilities for patients. Health Minister Dr David Clark has announced details of a $300 million dollar project to build a new East Wing at the New Plymouth hospital. It ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Extra support for rural families
    Extra funding will allow Rural Support Trusts to help farming families, says Minister for Rural Communities and Agriculture Damien O’Connor. “I know that rural families are worried about some of the challenges facing them, including the ongoing uncertainty created by the Mycoplasma bovis outbreak. “Those concerns sit alongside ongoing worries ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Howard Leaque Beekeeper programme graduation
    Thank you for the opportunity to be here to present certificates to the 16 graduates who have completed a beekeeping course delivered by the Howard League.  Let us start by acknowledging Auckland Prison’s Deputy Prison Director Tom Sherlock, and Acting Assistant Regional Commissioner of Corrections Northern Region Scott Walker - ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Finance Minister to attend APEC meetings
    Finance Minister Grant Robertson leaves this weekend to attend the APEC Finance Ministers meeting in Santiago, Chile. Discussions between APEC Finance Ministers at the meeting will include the effects of the current global economic uncertainty, risks for APEC economies and sustainable development of the region. While at APEC Grant Robertson ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Pacific languages are a source of strength, they ground us and build confidence
    The Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio says for Pacific people, language can be a source of strength. It can help ground us and give us confidence. When we speak them, our languages provide us with an immediate and intimate access to our identity and our story - and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Major boost to support disabled people in sport and recreation
    The Coalition Government has announced an action plan to improve the wellbeing of disabled New Zealanders by addressing inequalities in play, active recreation and sport. The initiative includes training to develop a workforce that understands the needs of children and young people with a range of impairments, advocacy for fit ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • More prefab homes to be built as red tape cut
    The construction sector is being freed up to allow more homes to be built more quickly as the Government cuts through some of the red tape of the Building Act.  “Every New Zealander deserves a warm, dry, safe home and old inefficiencies in the Building Act make building slow and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Further details of Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall visit to New Zealand
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has welcomed further details on the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall’s visit to New Zealand next month. Their Royal Highnesses will visit New Zealand from 17-23 November – their third joint visit to New Zealand and first in four years. They arrive in Auckland ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • O’Connor in Thailand to push for RCEP deal
    Minister of State for Trade and Export Growth and Minister of Agriculture, Damien O’Connor, heads to Thailand today to attend the final Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) Ministerial meeting, as negotiations enter their final stages. “The RCEP Agreement would anchor New Zealand in a regional agreement that covers 16 countries, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago