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London riots

Written By: - Date published: 9:19 am, August 9th, 2011 - 201 comments
Categories: class war, police, uk politics - Tags: ,

The focus of international attention has been on the markets and the wobbles in the financial system after America’s credit downgrade. But there’s another big story going on – the London riots. Last night (our time) The Guardian was reporting:

London riots spread south of Thames

Violence, vandalism and looting spread beyond Tottenham and Enfield to reach Brixton, leaving 35 police injured

There has been a second night of rioting across London, with violence erupting in several of the capital’s boroughs, from Brixton in the south to Enfield and Islington in the north and Walthamstow to the east.

What police are calling “copycat criminal activity” – some of it apparently part of an orchestrated plan – has so far resulted in 100 arrests.

Sunday night’s rioting followed disturbances on Saturday night in Tottenham, which came after the fatal shooting by police of Mark Duggan, 29, on Thursday.

The Duggan shooting has all the hallmarks of another fatal police stuff up:

Doubts emerge over Duggan shooting as London burns

Initial ballistics tests suggest bullet lodged in officer’s radio during incident in Tottenham was police issue

Doubts have emerged over whether Mark Duggan, whose death at the hands of police sparked the weekend’s Tottenham riots, was killed during an exchange of fire.

The Guardian understands that initial ballistics tests on a bullet, found lodged in a police radio worn by an officer during Thursday’s incident, suggested it was police issue – and therefore had not been fired by Duggan. …

Initial reports from the IPCC were that during an apparent exchange of fire police officers from C019 fired two shots and Duggan died at the scene. The suggestion was that officers could have come under fire from a minicab carrying Duggan. Much of this assumption came from the fact that a bullet had lodged in a police radio worn by an officer at the scene – raising speculation he might have been fired at from the vehicle. A non-police issue handgun was also recovered at the scene where Duggan was shot dead in Ferry Road.

The latest developments come as one community organiser suggested the handgun recovered was found in a sock and therefore not ready for use. It is likely to fuel anger on the streets of Tottenham and elsewhere in London if it provides evidence that officers were not under attack at the time they opened fire on Duggan.

Unfortunately for the police they have no credibility when it comes to convincing the public of their side of the story (see Ian Tomlinson and Jean Charles de Menezes).

England has always been prone to riots, born of the frustrations of the permanent underclass and the bleak housing estates. Of these current events a Guardian editorial noted “There is every indication, as unemployment climbs and cuts are made, that the sense of alienation will burgeon”.  As austerity measures cut in all over Europe such riots will almost certainly become more common and more widespread.  The chickens of the public bail out of the financial sector coming home to roost.  Don’t worry though – the market will fix it.

Update: And this morning it is still getting worse. Check out the front page of The Guardian.

201 comments on “London riots”

  1. Tiger Mountain 1

    • Tiger Mountain 1.1

      Should have added this to link above, it is 60 second vid of the gone but not forgotten Clash-“London’s Burning”.

      • joe90 1.1.1

        Bob Marley: Burnin’ and Lootin’ LA HAINE (‘The Hate’)

        This morning I woke up in a curfew;
        O God, I was a prisoner, too – yeah!
        Could not recognize the faces standing over me;
        They were all dressed in uniforms of brutality. Eh!

        How many rivers do we have to cross,
        Before we can talk to the boss? Eh!
        All that we got, it seems we have lost;
        We must have really paid the cost.

        (That’s why we gonna be)
        Burnin’ and a-lootin’ tonight;
        (Say we gonna burn and loot)
        Burnin’ and a-lootin’ tonight;
        (One more thing)
        Burnin’ all pollution tonight;
        (Oh, yeah, yeah)
        Burnin’ all illusion tonight.

        Oh, stop them!

        Give me the food and let me grow;
        Let the Roots Man take a blow.
        All them drugs gonna make you slow now;
        It’s not the music of the ghetto. Eh!

        Weeping and a-wailin’ tonight;
        (Who can stop the tears?)
        Weeping and a-wailin’ tonight;
        (We’ve been suffering these long, long-a years!)
        Weeping and a-wailin’ tonight
        (Will you say cheer?)
        Weeping and a-wailin’ tonight
        (But where?)

        Give me the food and let me grow;
        Let the Roots Man take a blow.
        I must say: all them – all them drugs gonna make you slow;
        It’s not the music of the ghetto.

        We gonna be burning and a-looting tonight;
        (To survive, yeah!)
        Burning and a-looting tonight;
        (Save your baby lives)
        Burning all pollution tonight;
        (Pollution, yeah, yeah!)
        Burning all illusion tonight
        (Lord-a, Lord-a, Lord-a, Lord!)

        Burning and a-looting tonight;
        Burning and a-looting tonight;
        Burning all pollution tonight.

        • Ianupnorth

          White Riot – Strummer and Jones

          White riot – I wanna riot
          White riot – a riot of my own
          White riot – I wanna riot
          White riot – a riot of my own

          Black people gotta lot a problems
          But they don’t mind throwing a brick
          White people go to school
          Where they teach you how to be thick

          An’ everybody’s doing
          Just what they’re told to
          An’ nobody wants
          To go to jail!

          White riot – I wanna riot
          White riot – a riot of my own
          White riot – I wanna riot
          White riot – a riot of my own

          All the power’s in the hands
          Of people rich enough to buy it
          While we walk the street
          Too chicken to even try it

          Everybody’s doing
          Just what they’re told to
          Nobody wants
          To go to jail!

          White riot – I wanna riot
          White riot – a riot of my own
          White riot – I wanna riot
          White riot – a riot of my own

          Are you taking over
          or are you taking orders?
          Are you going backwards
          Or are you going forwards?

          30 years old and still pertinent!

          Or, Armagideon Time

          stay around don’t play around
          this old town and all
          seems like i got to travel on

          a lot of people won’t get no supper tonight
          a lot of people won’t get no justice tonight
          the battle is gettin hotter
          in this iration, armagideon time

          a lot of people runnin and a hiding tonight
          a lot of people won’t get no justice tonight
          remember to kick it over
          no one will guide you – armagideon time


          Who needs remote control
          From the Civic Hall
          Push a button
          You gotta work an’ you’re late

          It’s so grey in London town
          With a panda car crawling around
          Here it comes
          Eleven o’clock
          Where can we go now?

          Can’t make a noise
          Can’t get no gear
          Can’t make no money
          Can’t get outta here

          Big business it don’t like you
          It don’t like the things you do
          You got no money
          So you got no power
          They think you’re useless
          An’ so you are – puuuuuuunnnnnk!

          They had a meeting in Mayfair
          They got you down an’
          They wanna keep you there
          It makes them worried
          Their bank accounts
          That’s all that matters
          And you don’t count

          Can’t make no progress
          Can’t get ahead
          Can’t stop the regress
          Don’t wanna be dead

          Look out’ those rules and regulations

          Who needs the Parliament
          Sitting making laws all day
          They’re all fat and old
          Queuing for the House of Lords

          Repression – gonna start on Tuesday
          Repression – gonna be a Dalek
          Repression – I am a robot
          Repression – I obey

  2. Herodotus 2

    There is comment regarding the riots being fueled by a 17 yr old girl being battoned by a police officer at the march so don’t take for truth all you hear regarding the riots

    • freedom 2.1

      what are you trying to say Herodotus?

      A march to voice concerncs about a Police shooting, which is now in serious dispute as to its legality, was disrupted by over-zealous Police who once again used violence to provoke a situation that was not violent. The inevitable occured and now is spreading like windswept embers through a parched forest.

      I have a good friend who lives in the area where the riots began and they are very clear as to who purposefully provoked the event to escalate into violence. It was not those marching asking for justice.

      What is now occurring is more to do with dissaffected people in a society that has thrown them into the bin and does not want to deal with the fermenting waste it has produced.

      • Bob 2.1.1

        Remember Blair Peach , another victim of an overzealous bunch of thugs .. AKA the Metropolitan Police Special Patrol Group..
        The Metropolitan Police reports into the death of Blair Peach were finally released to the public April last year .

      • Tombstone 2.1.2

        You’re bang on the mark with that and I have said a number of times that the next great war will be one waged by the common people who are no longer willing to allow the rich and powerful to suck up all the wealth for themselves whilst leaving everyone else to pick up the tab when things go wrong. This I fear is the beginning of that war but it’s a war that I believe was a long time coming. You can only push people so far before they break. If you have nothing left then you have nothing to lose. That’s how it is for millions around the world, while the elite continue to live lives of opulence beyond our wildest imaginings we are all being asked to tighten our belts while being forced to watch our jobs being farmed out to foreign countries where large global corporations continue to exploit slave wage economies. It’s obscene. What is now unfolding in London doesn’t surprise me in the least to be quite honest.

  3. The Voice of Reason 3

    The interesting thing for me is the copy cat aspect of the second and third day’s looting. While there may have been some reason for the initial riot, what has happened since is the use of technology to organise secondary events which have no political or social significance beyond the fun of getting a new telly for free. The London coppers have left a moral vacuum after the disgrace of their involvement in the phone hacking scandal and have little ability to do anything about what is happening. Of course, the real victims of this mindless and selfish criminality are the poor of the suburbs being attacked, who are left homeless and the small business owners who have lost both home and work.

    The death of the gangster that prompted the original ruck certainly needs investigating, but I won’t be shedding any tears for him. Live by the gun, die by the gun.

  4. Bill 4

    A couple of points.

    England has always been prone to riots…

    , No more so than other countries. And for a variety of reasons. (Poll Tax, Miners strike, aggressive and racist policing….) The current riots in London are because of the police. If you ever lived there you will know that they are generally regarded (for bloody good reason) as bad bastards and that from time to time things blow up in their faces.

    As austerity measures cut in all over Europe such riots will almost certainly become more common and more widespread.

    An obvious characteristic of public resistance to governments complicity with the banking/financial centers is that they are by and large peaceful. The media tends to pick up on incidences of violence or report on the violence occuring in states designated as ‘official enemies’ (eg Libya, Syria) while ignoring events in ‘friendly’ states (Bahrain, Egypt) and under report persistant but peaceful movements (eg Spain, Israel).

    And while we would be led to believe that the media portrayal of events in one country are synonymous with events in others or precursors of what will unfold in others, it’s just not the way it is.

    For example, I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. A question mark hangs over the nature of the unrest in Lybia (nowhere else was a ‘Transitional Council’ up and running within days of unrest. And nowhere else was a group of internationally connected politicians etc claiming to speak for the people). So while a nascent movenment may have stirred on the streets of Lybia, it was pretty quickly hi-jacked by a coterie of business men, military types and politicians who sought and are seeking ascendancy within the current state apparatus. This is a marked departure from what appears to be happening elsewhere.

    And in London there appears to be neither a movement nor a bid for power by ‘would be’ elites. As one rioter, Jamal, told Channel 4 News in the UK : ‘We’re here to tell the police they can’t abuse us, harass us. We won’t put up with it. This is just the beginning, this is war, and this is what you get – fire.’

    So anyway. Events in Lybia, London and Egypt, just to pick three examples, are on different trajectories and are not unfolding for the same reasons in all three instances. As events unfold in different countries, it’s inevitable that the media will seek to have us believe that Lybian or Syrian scenarios are an inevitability. And if people are brought to believe that by standing up and stepping forward bloody confrontations will eventuate, then people will step back and sit down.

    So please, a little care and discretion before rushing to lump disparate happenings together.

  5. These riots are disgusting, are they just going to stand back and allow this to happen? Why do we have an army, and why don’t they sort it out?

    • Colonial Viper 5.1

      You are under the misapprehension that the authorities and the elite have the power to control this the way they wish.

      • McFlock 5.1.1

        and that they particularly care one way or the other.

        lawlessness =
        “give the police more powers and equipment” =
        everything from ASBOs to antiterror detention to “it may harm your defense if you not mention something now that you later rely on in court” can be used as punishment for “contempt of cop, AKA you have a funny face and/or fashion sense” with little or no judicial interference (in the few cases where judicial complicity doesn’t exist).

        • Ianupnorth

          I remember doing a criminology paper and how the lecturer, an ex-cop, basically told us policing was out of control many years ago, largely due to the funding and technicalisation of police work; once upon a time the police had two feet and a whistle; the crooks got cars, so the cops had to have better cars; when the crooks got faster cars the cops got helicopters – very expensive and did not bring the same return on investment – crime still went up, but forces competed to see who could have the biggest and best fleet of helicopters, Range Rovers, Jags, BMW’s, etc.
          Rather than serving their community they saw themselves as controllers of their communities.

        • McFlock

          I’m actually a bit of a cop supporter myself – I think every society needs the equivalent. 

          From my perspective the difficulty is that the technology gets in the way of actual policing:
          the car separates the officer from the community,

          the gps tag means they can’t have a cup of tea and a chat with the local dairy owner without good reason for some micro-managing superior,

          GIS and computer stats get imposed as performance indicators rather than analysis assistants  (I saw a good example in the street a few years back – a 2-officer police car pulled a vehicle over for red light infringement. One officer wrote the ticket while the other stopped every car that came past and checked their driver’s licence, with a little tally sheet in his hand. Obviously the regional or even shift-level traffic activities were down, probably because they’d been busy catching burglars), 

          “less lethal” zap guns and sprays mean the officer doesn’t have to try to understand a distressed/disturbed person, firearms escalate the situation by their very presence,
          and so on.


    • lprent 5.2

      Because armies are only used as a last resort in riot situations. They aren’t trained for suppressing a situation, they are trained to kill people and are losuy in almost every urban control situation unless people are shooting.

      Incidentally every soldier (with any brains) in every army dislikes armchair warrior wankers like yourself. It is so seldom that we see wee jerkoffs like yourself actually doing the work of cleaning up the bodies and dealing with the downstream costs. Instead your type of pathetic little dipshit just struts around with weapon fetish substituting for your balls.

    • freedom 5.3

      No, HH, grow a reality gland.

      starving billions of people from a deecent life to promote the theft of natural resources to give wealth and power to a microscopic volume of people, that is disgusting

  6. Afewknowthetruth 6

    It is well to remember that these riots are occuring during the ‘good times’, i.e. when oil is still cheap, food is still cheap and easy to come by in western nations, and there is still quite a lot of employment within the industrial economy.

    And as the economic system slowly implodes we will see a transition from opportunistic stealing of electrical goods to opportunistic stealing of food.

    The other elephant in the room ‘no one’ wants to talk about is gross population overshoot, of course: 10 million people living on a land area that will sustainably support maybe 100,000 is not a recipe for future social stability.

    It will be when the rioters decide to target wealthier districts we will start to see bloodbaths. Presumably the police will be charged with maintaining the wealth gap.

    • Lanthanide 6.1

      “The other elephant in the room ‘no one’ wants to talk about is gross population overshoot, of course: 10 million people living on a land area that will sustainably support maybe 100,000 is not a recipe for future social stability.”

      Cities are always unsustainable if you tried to have everyone living there work the land. The whole point of cities is that they allow more efficient use of resources.

      As the cost of transporting goods into cities goes up with the price of oil, the efficiency gain of the city may start to be outweighed by the cost of transport. But when you consider other parts of modern infrastructure such as telecommunications and electrical grids which people are still going to demand (and cost significantly more to roll out on lightly populated areas), I really don’t see cities vanishing as entirely as you think they should.

      • Colonial Viper 6.1.1

        Cities are always unsustainable if you tried to have everyone living there work the land. The whole point of cities is that they allow more efficient use of resources.

        Only in a very very theoretical sense. Because as the efficiency of resource use goes up, the gross magnitude of resource use rockets up.

        btw there are no jobs in provincial areas. No one is moving anywhere.

  7. Gosman 7

    There is already a capital gains tax as well as a top rate of 50 pence in the pound on incomes over 150,000 pounds in the UK. On top of this they have a number of VAT exemptions and lower rates for various goods.

    These are all very similar to policies that the NZ Labour party is currently advocating as being central to their next election campaign. Yet for some reason there are riots there because of alienation but not here.

    It’s a funny world, ain’t it, where countries with more left wing economic policies have greater alienation of the under classes?

    • Ianupnorth 7.1

      Go away Troll – they have a Tory government that has slashed jobs, public spending and treated specific groups like crap – you are talking out of your arse again! VAT is 17.5% and few things are exempt; they also pay NI – national insurance towards their super and sick pay. These riots are a result of YEARS of under investment in people.

      Try living in those areas – I have – it isn’t easy even when you have a job

      • Gosman 7.1.1

        Ummmmm… you haven’t adressed any of the points I made.

        Doesn’t the UK have a Capital Gains tax, a high tax rate for top earners, and exemptions of Sales tax for many goods deemed “politically correct” and aren’t these the key policy planks for the NZ Labour Party?

        • Ianupnorth

          So what, they are not the cause of the riots are they? Even with their taxation they cannot fund an obese, under skilled and demanding populus can they? You are comparing apples with pears mate; they have nearly 70 million population, including hundreds of thousands of immigrants on benefits and receiving state housing. They have an aging population, they have lots of people with complex health needs, they have a massive infrastructure, largely built in the Victorian era, all of which is starting to collapse and is difficult to repair due to the geographical constraints of their cities. They (unfortunately) are also the second biggest force in Iraq and Afghanistan – which again doesn’t come cheap.
          You are alone in thinking CGT isn’t a good idea – you, as a Tory, should acknowledge you need to invest to achieve a positive gain. CGT is being suggested as a means of funding future investment.

          • Gosman

            Whatever makes you think that Iam against the concept of a CGT?

            I’m still waiting to see what you would suggest is the solution given the fact that the British have largely followed policy prescriptions over the past 10 years plus which the NZ Labour Party is now advocating.

            • Lanthanide

              “I’m still waiting to see what you would suggest is the solution given the fact that the British have largely followed policy prescriptions over the past 10 years plus which the NZ Labour Party is now advocating.”

              You seem to be implying that because they are having trouble in the UK, we shouldn’t apply policies here?

              You do realise they’re a different country, right? With a significantly different culture, right? In a different part of the world, right?

              You seem to be suggesting that when Labour implemented policies in the UK, suddenly all their history and culture was brushed aside and is completely irrelevant to social outcomes. Bizarre.

              • freedom

                Lanthanide, it is just simpler to ignore him. Poke occassionally for fun but ultimately a troll is a troll is a troll and in the couple of years i have been reading The Standard i have yet to see anything productive or constructive from Gosman. Plenty of bru-ha-ha and bashing of benes but bugger all banter against the bankers.

                Gosman’s reality is whatever the Herald/the Guardian/the Washington Post etc says it is. Remember in his Universe that the world is and always has been a perfect balanced utopia where all have the same opportunities and it is only the lazy bludgers that fail. No hard working person ever got left behind in the world of Gosman.

                It has been repeatedly shown any number of times in Gosman’s posts that nothing will disrupt the dissemination of truth, especially the truth.

                • Ianupnorth

                  Suggest you replace The Guardian with the Daily mail, Times or telegraph. The Guardian are to the left and are the ones nailing the Murdochs and NOTW

                  • freedom

                    All Newspapers are all the same these days and to convince oneself otherwise is not healthy.. None are any more left or right than another when it comes to actually being honest with their readers. The Guardian tows the elitist line and is as guilty as any other member of the ‘free press’.

                    The occassional ‘we wouldn’t bug phones’ distraction piece or mentioning a book by a critic of the Empire does not make the Guardian a bastion of free speech and champion of the common man. They get their orders and follow them like all the other lapdogs laying prone at the Banker’s feet.

                  • AAMC

                    Although this from the Telegraph seemed to hit the nail on the head.


                    • freedom

                      On the first read it appears almost balanced. Then her phrasing starts to consolidate itself and she ultimately throws blame squarely at the feet of the rioters ignoring the substance of the issues with nary a syllable of disdain for her masters.

                      “..if there are no jobs for today’s malcontents and no means to exploit their skills…” just the focus of her vocabulary chills the spine. ‘exploit’ instead of employ, ‘malcontents’ instead of youth.

                      And the big one for game point. “The Tottenham summer …is an assault not on a regime of tyranny but on the established order of a benign democracy.” If benign is what passes for describing Democracy today then we are really up the creek without paddles or lifejackets or a canoe.

        • rosy

          They also have 20 percent youth unemployment and I suspect that it will be worse in deprived areas and

          A quarter of those from deprived backgrounds believed they would achieve few or none of their life goals, with a similar proportion expecting to end up on benefits for at least part of their life.

          Inner London is also deeply divided with the highest proportion of people on low incomes as well as the highest proportion of people on high incomes. People with no jobs and no income are living within a financial centre where people taking home multi-million pound bonuses.

          I really don’t think young rioters in the inner city are sitting at home saying a CGT should have fixed this, nor do I think it will be the answer to NZs inequality, but it will go some way towards improving it given our reliance on housing for wealth creation. Do you know if the top tax earners pay their 50% rate? Take a look at the UKuncut site sometime.

          How about a reverse question… National has the same policies as the Conservaties – incentivising the top earners to encourage growth *cough* and reducing public services to hold down the deficit. What sort of outcome do you think these will have on the poorest groups in NZ? Especially when criminality is used by the poor to increase their ‘take-home’ pay and policing may become more robust (for want of a better word).

          • Gosman

            The Conservatives have been in power a little more than a year. It is hard to place the blame on them for the conditions that may, or may not, have led to these riot’s.

            Please tell me why the massive increase in social spending under UK Labour between 2001 and 2008 doesn’t seem to have made a blind bit of difference to all this social dislocation?

            • rosy

              Have you paid any attention at all to the severity of the cuts and the fast increase in unemployment? ‘New’ Labour certainly didn’t do enough to improve the lot of poor black youth, but there was some progress in ensuring communication and agreement on police operations in these areas. There was some progress in improving facilities and education. This has all gone by the wayside and these riots have happened in exactly the same circumstances as the 1980s riots.

        • mik e

          They’ve had to bail out ponzi scheming banks and print money to get these fraudulent banksters back into lending,pay to invade Irag and afganistan, bombing of libya bailing out Ireland Iceland poatugal and greece. Gooseman no one believes your propaganda BS.

      • Gosman 7.1.2

        So are you claiming that the last Labour Government in the UK didn’t massively increase social spending over the last seven or eight years it was in power?

        By the way where is all this money meant to come from for this ‘investment’ when they already plonked on a top rate of 50 percent on top earners?

        • The Voice of Reason

          Er, Gooseman, I thought the major problem with the NewLabour ‘third way’ was that it didn’t massively increase social spending and instead chose the more Murdoch compliant neo liberal solutions that have helped stuff every country that have tried them, NZ included.

        • Ianupnorth

          Check the tax rates during their first few years – they REDUCED taxes you muppet!
          Remember a fair bit of social spending was following EU protocols too.

          • Gosman

            I lved in the UK in the early 2000’s. After the election in 2001 and again in 2005 the Labour Party started to massively increase spending in key areas of social services. I am sure you can find the statistics if you bothered to look for them.

            • millsy

              Actually Gosman, the Blair-Brown Labour Government threw millions of pounds at the private sector in the hope that they would build a school or hospital or two. Blair (who completely destroyed the Labour Party and turned it into the Conservative-lite Party) planned to use the private sector to deliver things like education, the NHS, welfare, etc. Millions were wasted as the private sector clipped the ticket, and services went downhill. Now Cameron and Clegg are finishing off where Blair started.

              So youre half right.

              • Ianupnorth

                And Mr. Troll – find me your mythical 50% on here http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20090909205015/http://hmrc.gov.uk/rates/it.htm
                Remember the first 5000+ is all tax free – like Labour are proposing here – far fairer!

                • freedom

                  Ian the figure is far higher than that

                  “This tax year (2011-12) the basic Personal Allowance – or tax-free amount – is £7,475”

                  that is $14,989.96 NZD, almost three times the pittance we are being offered. I have personally been asking for a $10,000 allowance for years and everyone i speak to says it is a good practical figure. Everyone except politicians and bankers that is.

                  The first $10,000 of anybody’s income goes towards living costs and that generally is in their local economy. I hope the allowance is introduced but regardless of how good the spin is, a $5,000 NZD allowance is still a bit of an insult to the lower wage workers it is designed to help. Especially when you consider that those on the same low wage income in the land of our Queen get three times that much.

                  • Ianupnorth

                    They were the old figures as Gossy said the tax rates were 50% – they were when Blair came in in 1998, but he soon reduced them to 38p in the pound.

                    • Gosman

                      You have heard or read of the top rate of 50 pence in the pound over 150,000 income haven’t you?


                    • freedom

                      1998 the basic allowance was 4,195 British Pounds, which at the time makes an equivalent NZD $11,934 with change and that over a decade ago.

                      $5,000 in 2011 is pathetic for an allowance we should have had decades ago. It is almost like Government doesn’t want people to live relatively comfortable productive family-time orientated lives. This is NZ after all. We have far too many ways to relax and enjoy life, given the opportunity that is. We must be held against the rail as the favourite sweeps by on the outside line.

                      Imagine a decade ago if most NZ workers had an extra eleven thousand dollars. Might have been good for property, might have been bad for property. A few more TV’s probably. The new car trade for middle NZ and the holiday package for the top dogs all would have gotten a shot in the arm.

                      What it would have been fundamentally healthy for though is rural NZ and the thousands of small business owners who closed their doors because of growing pressure on the lower wage population that dominated their community. The bookshops and the sandwich shop. The local tailor. The furniture restorer and the trader’s post. The herb lady and the guy at the Hardware store who kept it all running. All replaced with big brand junk that the small shop could never compete in price with. $11,000 in everyone’s pocket a decade ago would have saved a lot of NZ businesses.
                      $5,000 in everyone’s pocket today is hardly going to keep the power on.

            • Ianupnorth

              here’s another clue Gosman as to why tax monies were needed….
              As you have said before taxes started to increase in 2001 – coincidence?
              4.5.billion quid by 2006 just for Iraq, Afghanistan probably double that.

      • Andrew Scobie 7.1.3

        “VAT is 17.5% and few things are exempt”

        VAT was increased to 20% in January. There are loads of exemptions. Food in general is exempt, unless you are dining in, in which case you get charged VAT.


        • Gosman

          As you point out to our leftist friends, the UK has even bigger exemptions on a sales tax than the one proposed by NZ Labour. Yet those poor benighted underclasses are still not happy. Go figure eh?

          • Colonial Viper

            can’t expect the underclasses to be happy when the banksters who caused the mess are back to million quid bonuses and government declares that it is the masses of people who should pay for the problem.

            • Gosman

              Million quid bonuses which are then taxed at 50 percent. I presume you are happy with this as it goes into the Government coffers or do you want to go to a command style economy where the State sets what is a ‘fair’ wage?

              • freedom

                bonuses for what, doing their job of destroying any opportunities for a stable economy. Developing unbelievably stupid systems of financing so abysmally corrupt that the world is on the verge of major civil disasters that will allow the institution of a martial Law Oligachy controlled by those very same bankers.

                yeah i guess that’s worth a few million in bonuses.

                pity your grandkids are going to get rifle butts in the face as they queue for bread

              • Ianupnorth

                Show me the link to the 50% please, I am still waiting! (I’ve found you proof they were lower) – it did not come in until the last year of the labour government!

                Alistair Darling announced in the 2009 budget (22 April 2009) that, from April 2010 there would be a new 50% income tax rate for those earning more than £150,000.

                BTW – the things that are exempt from VAT should be the same here for GST, namely education, health and essential items such as heating, lighting and public services like rates – why should you be taxed on a tax?
                Funny how UK taxation mirrored the EU, funny how it went up from 1997 until 2001 when it started to decrease…http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:U.K.-Tax-Revenues-As-GDP-Percentage-%2875-05%29.jpg

                • Gosman


                  There you go. It’s at the bottom. Hope you don’t have too much trouble comprehending it.

                  • Ianupnorth

                    2009 mate – just before the Tories took over!!
                    See above!!

                    • Gosman

                      Ummmmmm…. I think you will find, if you bother to read up about the subject, that the Conservative/Liberal Democrat coalition Government in the UK has left in place this 50 pence in the pound limit.

                      I don’t know sometimes about the intelligence of some of you lefties. You provide me with a link that shows that a 50 pence in the pound limit was imposed in 2010 and yet you somehow think it isn’t in effect. Weird.

                    • Ianupnorth

                      No you tit! You said that labour had increased taxes – they cut them in 1997 when they came in as well as increasing the personal tax allowance (what you get untaxed) to 5000 quid, then it was 10p from 5001 to about 10000 – I can’t remember the exact figures, but I was living there, so know!
                      Yes they increased taxes following 2001 – once engaged in a war in Afghanistan – Tornado’s and C130’s cost a lot to fuel, as do munitions and death grants.

                      You said they brought in a 50p in the pound rate – yes in 2009, just before the Tories took over.

                      You fail to see ANY correlation between their plight and the increased spending – e.g. the several billion spent on a war, the several billion spent having to nationalise banks, the several billions spent on immigrants, legal or otherwise.

                      Your arguments are like Swiss cheese – full of holes; you continue to compare the UK to here – there is simply no comparison – can’t you dumb tories actually understand that?

                    • Gosman

                      Ummmmm…. no I didn’t claim that at all. Where is the evidence that I stated that Labour only ever raised tax rates?

                      I did state the the UK currently has in place policies which form a key policy plank of the NZ Labour party. In fact they go beyond what Labour is putting forward. This includes a top rate of Tax of 50 percent.

                      All I have seen in response is leftists trying to argue against me my producing links which support my whole point.

                      Some of you guy’s are truly intellectually warped.

                    • Ianupnorth

                      I’ll save my breath, clearly wasted on the likes of you!

                    • Gosman

                      Clearly wasted on me because I pointed out what a plank you were for supporting my point about the top rate of tax being set at 50 percent???

                      As I stated, truly, truly weird thinking on your part.

    • Lanthanide 7.2

      1. The UK is a heavily class-based and regimented society.
      2. The gap between the poorest and richest in the UK is significantly greater than it is here. London is one of the financial centres of the world, you know.

      • Gosman 7.2.1

        Have you worked in the City recently at all? I’d suggest not judging by your last comments.

        • Lanthanide

          No, I haven’t worked in The City, ever.

          But if you’re trying to suggest that it isn’t a financial centre of the world and that some bankers there aren’t (still) making mega bucks, you haven’t done a very convincing job.

          • freedom

            The City of London, the real one,
            is the home to the core Central Banking Institutions of the planet .

            What is your planet’s address.
            Are you sure you have the correct dimension code? Because there are times i swear you are yelling through the Twilight Zone

            • Gosman

              I was responding to Lanthanide claims that the UK is a “heavily class-based and regimented society”. If you ever work in the actual area which most of you are decrying here with such leftist fervor, finance in The City you will notice that it is highly merit based. I worked with English guys who came from working class as well as upper middle class alongside Indians, Americans, Antipodeans, Africans and of course other Europeans.

              • freedom

                So what? None of your words above deny the existence of either class based or regimented social norms. People have come and gone through the classes since Thug Cringle first paid a flint to Mungo Limm to carry his share of the kill. The class system is as strong if not as obvious, as it has ever been and as for being regimented, they still have a House of Lords for Jiminy’s sake and i bet you didn’t meet too many White’s members at the local pub either.

              • Gosman, I’d be interested to hear your theory of why increased government spending on health, education and welfare leads to riots – which was the import of your ‘funny world’ comment @7.

                My own view is that ‘alienation‘ goes well beyond money in the pocket – though the availability of jobs tends to keep the lid on the increasing alienation. Alienation is primarily a sense that one is marginalised or excluded from pivotal processes of control, decision making and power. For a Marxist, it involves alienation from work (e.g., through division of labour), the products of work and from much of the physical world via the notion of ‘private property’.

                For others it also involves a distancing from direct relationship with others and, at the psychological level, from oneself. In fact, most psychological disorders demonstrate some form of dissociation of various psychological functions from each other. In effect, the ‘centre will not hold’ in the totality of the person.

                Supporting the idea of these latter forms of alienation are the well-documented increasing rates of depression and anxiety disorders (e.g., linked with increasing ‘external locus of control’ feelings over the past 80 years – at least).

                This has been happening apace over the past several decades since neoliberal policies became the elite’s choice of economic prescription, but they appear to be processes that are part and parcel of modern life in an industrialised (or ‘post-industrial’, as some prefer to call the latest variant) world.

                If you really want to understand the mind-set of British youth and – increasingly – working class adults, you might want to listen to the lyrics to Pulp’s ‘Common People’ song. There’s a refrain that goes:

                “You’ll never live like common people,
                you’ll never do what common people do,
                you’ll never fail like common people,
                you’ll never watch your life slide out of view,
                and dance and drink and screw,
                because there’s nothing else to do.” 

                Put yourself in that powerless mindset and you’ll understand what alienation is, and you’ll understand a good part of what has led to the tinder-dry social setting that periodically erupts in this way.

                And, no, we don’t have riots here – just a massive binge-drinking culture. Read those lyrics again: We’re well on our way. 

                • Here’s the lyrics to an ‘extra’ verse, if you’re actually interested in understanding. Same point, really:

                  “Like a dog lying in a corner,
                  they’ll bite you and never warn you.
                  Look out.
                  They’ll tear your insides out.
                  ‘Cause Everybody hates a tourist,
                  especially one who thinks
                  it’s all such a laugh.
                  Yeah, and the chip stains’ grease
                  will come out in the bath.
                  You will never understand
                  how it feels to live your life
                  with no meaning or control
                  and with nowhere left to go.
                  You’re amazed that they exist
                  and they burn so bright,
                  while you can only wonder why.” 

                • rosy

                  Puddlegum, I love that I can rely on you write what I want to say when social exclusion topics come up and do it so much more coherently than me. Thanks.

                • Colonial Viper

                  part and parcel of modern life in an industrialised (or ‘post-industrial’, as some prefer to call the latest variant) world.

                  de-industrialising world is next up.

                  As resource and energy constraints, quite apart from financial constraints, make it untenable to maintain that complex networks of technology, logistics and other systems that we take for granted today.

                  Then there’s gonna be some serious unrest.

                  Suicide, self harm and child abuse and neglect are massive further symptoms of alienation in NZ.

                • Gosman

                  What a load of bollox. I especially laughed at your Marxist psycho babble nonsense.

                  Please tell me how exactly people are powerless in Western Democracies?

                  What area of their life do they lack power over beyond the usual list that has been a mainstay of the Human condition for as long as History has been recorded?

          • rosy

            Gosman have you ever noticed that ‘the city’ is where the tall, white masters of the universe work. Take a look in one of their after work haunts, then keep in mind what sort of people you see, then take the tube out to a pub in North London and compare. Yes, I have worked in the city and done exactly that.

            • Gosman

              Funny because when I worked in The City my work colleagues were a mix bunch of people of all different races and cultures. Yes Europeans predominated but given the fact that they make up up to 90 percent of the population of the UK why wouldn’t they?

              • rosy

                Thanks for your estimate of 90 percent in The City. I’d say it’s more like 95 percent in London – and I’m being generous. However ….

                According to 2007 estimates, 31.0 per cent of London’s population is from an ethnic minority (defined as non-white) and 42.3 per cent belong to groups other than white British

                • Gosman

                  Ummmmmmm…. you do realise that The City doesn’t draw it’s workers from London but from a much wider catchment area? Many of the British people I worked with came from as far as field as Northern Ireland and Scotland.

                  Why should an international financial hub have to reflect the racial make up of the small geographic area that it is based in anyway?

                  I’m pretty sure if you go to places like Dubai, Singapore, and Hong Kong there will be a disproportionate number of Europeans working in the Finance industry compared to the locals. I don’t see those places whining about it do you?

                  • rosy

                    “Why should an international financial hub have to reflect the racial make up of the small geographic area that it is based in anyway?”

                    That suggests it should have an even greater ethnic mix. I think you need to find some info about Dubai, Singapore, and Hong Kong before you suggest what their ethnic mix in financial centres might be.

    • Blighty 7.3

      unless you’re suggesting that cgt causes riots or that anyone promised cgt stops riots, you’re jsut trolling

  8. Ianupnorth 8

    The Guardian has a live feed http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/blog/2011/aug/08/london-riots-third-night-live and there are also several blogs that have been set up reporting individual towns/cities
    It isn’t just London, the Bullring centre, Birmingham’s biggest mall has been trashed and there have been incidents in Chapeltown in Leeds, another deprived area with a history of race fueled conflict.
    I wouldn’t call any of those place as being in ‘good times’ – these are very disenfranchised groups. There was research several years ago that indicated having a postcode in one of those areas lowered your chance of finding work, regardless of qualifications.

  9. freedom 9

    An image from the Telegraph that pretty much says it all


  10. Bored 11

    Its the old story of idle hands…and it’s companion malady, inclusiveness.

    We run the same risk as London here in NZ. I heard on the BBC that in the areas affected the under 25 population had unemployment at 1 in 2 (we do 25% here). They see no future, no prospects, no vision of inclusion. There is absolutley nothing mindless in their response, lets face it what have they got to lose. They dont think Left or Right, only a sort of inverse inclusiveness. It is “lets poison the pie because we dont get a slice, now the rest of you can starve with us”.

    Hardly positive, but when you have no positive upside negative is just as good. Coming to NZ, be warned.

  11. Bill 12


    All up and down this thread people are attempting to tie the riots to government policy and austerity measures. Why?

    The police allegedly executed (another) member of the public. Then, according to a number of witnesses, they battoned a 17 year old woman at a peaceful demonstration held in the aftermath of that murder.

    Subsequently, some members of the public (who normally skitter around and away from the police, at least in London) decided to engage in some form of response.

    The response might not be of a type that some people approve of. Fighting fire with fire might not be the most intelligent tactic. But where there is an undercurrent of general intimidation; where the authorities have shown again and again that they are willing to excuse (sometimes murderous) police actions, frustration and anger inform ‘lashing out’.

    And some members of the public in Birmingham or wherever, who may or may not be subject to the same chronic atmosphere of police antagonism, will take the cue that the time is right for them to lash out too.

    What’s so difficult to understand about that? (sigh) Why all the casting around for an explanation predicated on austerity measures etc?

    • The Voice of Reason 12.1

      It’s not the austerity, it’s the games. No, not the Olympics, the computer games
      ps, mentioned this on Open Mike yesterday, but worth repating. The Clash may be long gone, but London Calling, London’s Burning, Career Opportunities, White Riot and Guns of Brixton all say more about what is going on here and now in Britain than any number of tut tutting pollies and journo’s ever will.

      • Tiger Mountain 12.1.1

        True Voice! I have most of their records (Sandanista on vinyl) and DVDs and never stopped playing them over the years. One of the few older groups that can be viewed and listened without embarrassment bar the high waisted jeans. Love the berets though.

        Working for the clampdown! Complete Control!

        • The Voice of Reason

          You’re on to it, Tiger! If you get the chance, check out Strummer’s last band, the Mescaleros. Lots of great vids on youtube. There is also film of his last gig, the brief reunion with Mick Jones at a benefit for striking London firemen. Glad you’ve got the vinyl, you can hear the snarl better when it’s not digital!
          I always remember these verses from White Man in Hammersmith Palais:
          The new groups are not concerned
          With what there is to be learned
          They got Burton suits, ha, you think it’s funny
          Turning rebellion into money

          All over people changing their votes
          Along with their overcoats
          If Adolf Hitler flew in today
          They’d send a limousine anyway
          Disses frivolous pop, the wilful ignorance of voters and the vicious nature of tabloid journalism in 8 simple lines. Turning rebellion into money. Yep, there it is, right there.

    • Afewknowthetruth 12.2



      Derrick Jensen put it this way:

      Premise Four: Civilization is based on a clearly defined and widely accepted yet often unarticulated hierarchy. Violence done by those higher on the hierarchy to those lower is nearly always invisible, that is, unnoticed. When it is noticed, it is fully rationalized. Violence done by those lower on the hierarchy to those higher is unthinkable, and when it does occur is regarded with shock, horror, and the fetishization of the victims.

      • Ianupnorth 12.2.1

        Bill, I’d say they are not mutually exclusive; without the policing policies, without the financial climate, without the external stimuli (greed, envy, globalisation, cultural – such as movies, DVD’s, music, computer games) the likelihood of these happening would be far lower.

        • Bill

          I’m not saying they are mutually exclusive. But I don’t see the point in elevating a socio-economic argument when it is abundantly clear that the immediate reason for the riots was the actions of the police.

          • fatty

            wake up bill

            • Bill

              What the fuck is that meant to mean fatty?

              In case you missed it, the people themselves say they are reacting to the actions of the police.

              If economics was playing any part in their reasoning for rioting, then they would be fucking well saying so.

              Which is not to say that socio-economic factors are not feeding in at some level. (It’s poor people and black people who get dicked over by the police afterall; not the nice white middle class types.)

              But to reiterate. People are rioting because of police actions. Fucking simple.

              Analysing broader socio-political contexts, while worthwhile on a theoretical level, is not going to alter the reasons people have for rioting.

              People in London are not doing what they are doing for the same reason that people in Egypt are doing what they are doing, or for the same reasons that people in Spain are doing what they are doing.

              There are similarities in the broader situation present in Spain and England. But the broader context isn’t informing the actions in both London and Spain. And the actions and aspirations of people taking action in both places are very, very different.

              Or do you inhabit a world of stupor where the actions undertaken by people in different countries fit the same neat little blue print? Where due to laziness, bending reality to fit preconceived notional explanations is excusable and preferable to actually understanding and acknowledging the sometimes unique dynamics present in different places?

              • freedom

                Bill, look at it this way, a drunk driver is usually dead from reacting poorly to an incident and that causes them to hit the lamppost at a hundred and twenty. It does not excuse the Alcohol as a factor and it sure as hell does not make it the lamppost’s fault.

                • Bill

                  The police are seen as being ‘a law unto themselves’. They are known to commit criminal acts against members of the public and it’s known that they generally get away with it.

                  This time around people are reacting. And that evidently includes setting cop cars on fire and kicking back against perceived symbols of authority…which encompasses the high street that the police are meant to ‘manage’.

                  And if a free TV or whatever can be grabbed in the process, then hey, why not?

                  There have been anti-cuts actions in the UK. Those have been informed by economic policy/ prescriptions of austerity. And they included a far broader spread of people in terms of background and age etc.

                  The current riots are informed by police criminality; a criminality that is usually focussed on the poor etc (as said above). The TV or whatever else that is looted on the side is a welcome but incidental bonus.

                  They are not overtly fucked off at government economic policy, austerity measures or any of the rest of it and so while (as I said before) underlying socio-economic factors have a part to play, I don’t see the point in ascribing those factors as the motivation for people partaking in the riots.

                  People in this instance are fucked off with the police, the shit they do and the fact that they usually get away with it

                  • joe90

                    In 2010-11 26 people died following police contact.

                    Edit: http://www.iantomlinsonfamilycampaign.org.uk/

                    • Bill

                      26 died in London

                      Would love to see the breakdown of the ratio of “Black& Asian” versus “Others” figures minus the fudging effect of police ‘inspired’ traffic fatalities.

                  • Ianupnorth

                    I remember once having to drive a neighbour to his works Xmas do – he was a cop; he did 60 – 70 mph through a town centre; he then gave me his car to drive home and told me not to worry, the blue eagle sticker (the emblem of the Police Federation) meant I would not be stopped if I drove in the same manner because

                    we look after our own


                  • Bill, you’re right.

                    But also, as you say, explanations aren’t mutually exclusive. Whether the prevailing state of affairs in many Londoners’ lives is called alienation, oppression or whatever, the hierarchical response has always been to meet the marginalised and alienated on a daily basis with routine state violence and harrassment.

                    The reason the Met are like they are is that they are the authoritarian vanguard against a disempowered, systematically marginalised and fundamentally alienated working class and black and Asian population. 

                    This is not just anger at some contextless instance of police killing. Though that will bring it to a head. The rioters – penny to a pound – get the message every day of their lives from the police and other ‘officials’ that their marginal status and alienated lives are perceived with visceral fear and loathing. They know they’re hated and despised, and not just by the police.

                    It’s actually all about fear – the fear of both those in charge and of the middle classes, that they might get the predictable ‘blowback’ from the kind of society they have organised and benefit from. The police, increasingly, exist to alleviate just that fear.

                    • Bill

                      Not. Saying. That. There. Is. No. Political. Context.

                      What I’m saying (have been saying all bloody day) is that the rioters motivation does not appear to include a conscious acknowledgement of that context you or I might articulate.

                      If I take heroin because it makes me feel good, then that’s the reason I’m taking heroin. That’s my context.

                      It might be ill informed. It might be limited. But it’s legitimate.

                      And someone attempting to ascribe other reasons to, or for me and my actions is missing the point…and delegitimising me in the process…alienating me…patronising me…disempowering me.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      The smart kids in the riot, uneducated as they may be and lacking the vocab but damn smart nonetheless, will be able to see very clearly the interplay of power dynamics, violence and authority.

                      They may couch it in rap, gang language or ghetto language, but I’m pretty certain that they get at least some aspects of it.

                    • vto

                      That’s right cv, people ignore at their own peril.

                      Also, is it not a thing of fascination that power is being restored to the people by means of this new strange thing called social media, of which ‘authority’ has no control.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Social media is a weapon which cuts both ways unfortunately; I’m very confident that British Intelligence has full access to Twitter, GMail and FaceBook content. Live and in real time.

                      The authorities will also likely have ‘kill switches’ for those sites, something akin to the Great Firewall of China. One thing that Tehrir Square taught. You need old fashioned methods of communication.

                    • vto

                      Well you may be right. But I suspect the horses have bolted and the drawbridges are being raised.

                    • rosy

                      I agree it’s all about the police in the most obvious way, but I also think they do have conscious acknowledgement of their own exclusion, and this is payback. Their own communities ascribe the wider social and political context. From the the Guardian’s live blog:
                      Lara Oyedele of Odu-Dua housing association, who lives in Tottenham, looks at the motivation of the rioters.

                      The looting doesn’t surprise me: it’s entertainment, something to keep young people busy. It’s not right, but those are the facts. Simply, if they had to go to work this morning they wouldn’t have been rioting last night. They’re disaffected, unhappy and upset, and they are looking at the likes of me, saying: you need to give me something, I need a job, I need you to help me.

                      Perhaps Haringey council would like to explain why our street in Tottenham – which was filled with looting rioters from the retail park all saturday night – has not seen a cleanup (we did it ourselves on Sunday but there’s still a lot of rubbish lying around, it just keeps coming from somewhere) and perhaps the Met would like to explain why they didn’t come out to our road despite tens of phonecalls from residents.

                      We’ve not even seen any PCSOs checking people are OK, and there are some elderly people too scared to go out. Obviously there’s a lot going on. Obviously. But the parts of the community that weren’t alienated from the police before are rapidly becoming so.

                      Well worth reading is “If rioting was a surprise then people weren’t looking”

                      On Saturday, instead of imploding and turning inward and violent among themselves, as they have been doing for the past decade, the youths exploded. The trigger may well have been the killing of Mark Duggan and the insensitive treatment of his family, but this has been brewing for some time. The government cuts – especially the withdrawal of EMA; the new barrier of tuition fees; and rising youth unemployment have all added to their sense of isolation and lack of a stake in society.

              • fatty

                It means exactly what is says…wake up.

                I never said anything about comparing to Spain and Egypt

                “Or do you inhabit a world of stupor where the actions undertaken by people in different countries fit the same neat little blue print?”

                3 major cities are experiencing riots and you consider it to only be a reaction to a cop killing someone…FFS, why did I even reply to you.

                Bill, you obviously came to your conclusion “due to laziness, bending reality to fit preconceived notional explanations is excusable and preferable to actually understanding and acknowledging the sometimes unique dynamics present in different places”…..yawn

                • Bill

                  You stated that in NZ ‘we’ don’t mind getting ‘fucked up’ by capitalism, implying that events in London are a reaction to getting ‘fucked up by capitalism’…just like in Eqypt or Spain or Israel etc.

                  But in London as well as other (so far only English) cities a lot of youth are motivated and reacting because they are fucked off getting fucked up by the police.

                  • Ianupnorth

                    This from the Guardian today (their Tuesday) http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2011/aug/08/london-riots-mps-toxic-mix?intcmp=239

                    James Clappison, a Conservative member of the committee, said: “I would support any moves to take evidence about what has taken place – to ventilate the issues. I don’t want to rush to judgment without knowing all the facts. But obviously there would be a concern that lawlessness on this scale has broken out. We would want to look at how this came about and what can be done to prevent a recurrence. It is worrying.”
                    The London mayor, who faced criticism for refusing to cut short his holiday, will return to London by lunchtime today to tour the scenes of violence. Kit Malthouse, the deputy mayor, defended Johnson’s decision not to return earlier.
                    “Boris has been doing media where he can, he has been constantly in touch on the phone,” Malthouse told Channel 4 News. “He realised the time had come for him to come back and show solidarity with the communities affected.
                    David Cameron was on Monday night still refusing to cancel his family holiday in Tuscany, where he is embarking on a second week of tennis lessons at his rented villa. The PM is due to return home next Monday.

                    Good to see Cameron is more interested in his serve and his backhand than his people!

                    • Vicky32

                      Good to see Cameron is more interested in his serve and his backhand than his people!

                      As I heard about in on the radio this morning, I thought “Cameron reaps what he has sown”…

                  • fatty

                    Again, I never compared protests in Spain or Egypt (or Israel) to Britain…they are all different , each country has different issues and problems.
                    That other post you mentioned I was talking of why in NZ there will never be real protests…there were in 1981, but we had a collective mentality then

                  • RobertM

                    Graham Greene said it is the dangerous edge of things that are interesting. And I wouldn’t doubt that a small but significant element of the pakistan and west indian descendant youths had experienced harrasment and strife from the police and that in the past the SUS laws were a source of bitterness and possible unfairness.
                    I find it very interesting that the places that are burning like the blitz are the places like Croydon, Birmingham and what Sheffield next were the most generous efforts at social intergration and inclusion have been made and are as always the places were billions have being spent on putting in and marketing light rail to the wrong demographic.
                    In terms of Egypt the problem is Islam, Religion, the military, etc. In spain its an issue of unemployment and probably too much moral conservatism and guilt.
                    So I don;t know if their’s hope in those parts of London that are burning and I don’t know if there should be hope in those parts. I think the US Rpublicans Nixon and Reagan got a significant breakthru when Watts burned in 66 in LA, so I would think more votes for Borris and Dave Cameron.

                  • AAMC

                    I admire your disgust at police brutality Bill. I’m assuming you’ve reconsidered the lack of a socio economic undercurrent given the spread through the country.

                    “Tottenham is among London’s poorest boroughs, with 10,000 people claiming jobseeker’s allowance and 54 applicants chasing every registered job vacancy.”
                    “Today, Britain is less equal, in wages, wealth and life chances, than at any time since then. Last year alone, the combined fortunes of the 1,000 richest people in Britain rose by 30 per cent to £333.5 billion.”

                    The fact that these mobs are burning the neighbourhoods the inhabit speaks volumes about the sense of total detachment from and lack if opportunity and piwer within their community.

                    • Bill

                      I never said there was no environmental factors. What I said was that the understandable immediate conscious reason or rationale was a reaction to police action.

                      The police in London are particularily brutal. I’ll make a safe call. There are areas of Glasgow that are at least as impoverished as areas of London…where people are at least as alienated and powerless. If people are reacting only to the socio economic undercurrents, there will be riots in Glasgow.

                      There won’t be riots in Glasgow.

                    • fatty

                      Bill you can’t just say if these are class riots, there must therfore be class riots in other states/countries.
                      Glasgow is a perfect example, they have class issues, but more so the class difference between Scotland and England.
                      The most likely cause of a riot in Glasgow will probably be triggered by a bad referee call at a celtic rangers game
                      There are historical issues involving religion which would be the main reason for any violence. Glaswegians are far more likely to riot amongst themselves rather than with police.
                      So you are right, there probably won’t be riots in Glasgow…..apples and oranges

                    • Bill

                      There are no ‘class’ differences between Scotland and England. The differences are based on identity…race, culture etc and antagonism towards the British (English) establishment. A product of colonialism.

                      Anyway that aside, your right that it was an unfair example and that sectarianism is a more likely cause of strife. Except that there are major historical examples of overt class conflict in Glasgow.


                      Maybe the rioters just reckoned that if the police can do as they want, then why shouldn’t they just do as they want too? I mean ‘fair’s fair’, right? So ‘doing what I want’ (just like the police do) involves ‘ruling the streets’. But that’s not very exciting. So ‘doing what I want’ quickly slips over to ‘getting what I want’. “I’m thirsty. Okay, lets smash in that supermarket window and get us some fizzy drink. Fancy a kebab with that?”

                      For years the police have harrassed and on occasion killed people. And nothing is/was done. If a middle class person experiences police harrassment, they can go to their lawyer and basically things are ‘sorted out’.

                      But that’s not an option for people on estates. They don’t have lawyers. The police only show up to ‘do’ people or intimidate them. They don’t offer protection….response time for a middle class suburb is minutes versus ‘never’ for on the estates. And besides, no-one on the estates would think to ring or appeal to the police. It’s just not how things are sorted out. (Sure. In the case of a murder the police will be involved, but not for robberies or assaults etc)

                      All the buzz words and catch phrases such as ‘alienation’ and ‘disenfranchised youth’ etc although true, just doesn’t ‘talk’ to the poeple rioting or their motivation. Their context or understanding is different….you might say less informed or just more immediate. But it’s theirs and it’s legitimate.

                      And to impose more comprehensive ‘explanations’ from the outside is just another example of alienating and disenfranchising. Like I tried to say above, if my context for taking heroin is one of pleasure, then that’s your starting point…the one you must accept as a legitimate motivation, if your intention is to move me away from heroin use by helping me become more aware of other underlying factors and empowering me to address them.

                      In the London context, that might mean a process of re-introducing solid political analysis into the lives of people. And empowering them. And that would begin by acknowledging what they say and building on it, developing it. But that’s not going to happen.

                      So there will be pointless hand wringing and extra police powers. (Oh, maybe a ‘youth project’ or two and some ‘community building’ via the usual heirarchical non-empowering means…containment strategies) And then a next time around.

          • Blighty

            “It’s been building up for years. All it needed was a spark,” said E. Nan, a young man in a baseball cap surrounded by other youths in Hackney in east London. “We ain’t got no jobs, no money … We heard that other people were getting things for free, so why not us?”

            I guess he should stop elevating the socio-economic argument and realise the real reason he is taking that TV is because some guy he never met got shot.

            Trying to explain events as one-offs without socio-economic context and meaning is what the Right does, Bill.

            • Bored

              Thanks Blighty, I mentioned the alienation, the lack of inclusion. See what the man said, “We ain’t got no jobs, no money … We heard that other people were getting things for free, so why not us?”…..straight from the horses mouth.

              If no bugger is listening to you, and you cant get anywhere and you get put upon by those who have the lot, why not riot? Its sort of empowering. Notice the buggers are taking notice now.

              • Gosman

                What do you mean no bugger listening, the whole of the last UK Labour Government’s last 7 or 8 years in power was supposedly about listening to and responding to these people. Unless of course you think it is the role of Government to magic jobs out of thin air for poor people. Oh, that’s right I forgot you are lefty so you do think that is what Government should do.

                • Bored

                  Jeez Gos you really can be a fuckwit. They were calling you troll before..how about fuckwit troll.

                  • Bored

                    PS Gos….assuming I am a lefty…how many jobs have you created? How many have you employed? Have you created and run lasting companies? Its what I do, theres no magic to it.

                    • Gosman

                      I don’t know about the number of jobs I personally have created other than it is more than one.

                      I do know that the amount of personal Tax I am paying is more than enough to fund several families on welfare.

                      You are appreciative of people paying taxes aren’t you Bored, or are you one of these lefties who thinks that all money earnt is really the Governments anyway and we should be grateful if they allow us to have any back at all?

                    • Bored

                      Gos, you are a total pillock. Am I a lefty? If you are representative of what the Right can offer I guess sitting in any other camp is preferable. You might want to strain your startlingly limited brain power with the concept that left and right are insufficient labels. So fekkin stop labeling me.

                      My turn to label. On the subject of tax and money you sound like one of those Cro Magnon Randian types who resents anybody in society having anything at all: it all belongs to Atlas as he shrugs and children go hungry because he and Ayn have cornered the money supply. Tax is the price I pay for the bits my company (and the sweat I burn in it) needs but cant do. Like infrastructure, legal systems, regulation against usurous and unsafe practices, educating my staff, keeping the poor consuming and able to participate as they are required etc etc etc . You on the other hand are the ultimate Ebeneezer Scrooge, a miserly myopic fuckwit

                      PS I just had a hard day keeping people employed. They dont necessarily deserve it but I profitted… pay tax on that too. You dont get anything for nothing. Get used to it.

    • Blighty 12.3

      people aren’t setting fire to buildings and taking things just because some guy got shot. It’s clear that the fuel was already there, the shooting was just a spark.

  12. Afewknowthetruth 13

    The only reason London exists at all in its present form is because of all the cheap coal that was avaialble in the past and cheap oil which is presently facilitating the transport of large quantites of resources, including food, into the city.

    Global extraction of conventional oil peaked over 2005-2008 and is on its way down. The fall in global extraction may be temporarily masked by so-called unconventional oil but the prognosis is quite clear. As time goes on most people will have declining access to fossil fuel energy and the food that is brought to them via fossil fuel energy.

    Right at this moment the partial collapse in confidence in the global economy has generated enough demand destruction for oil prices to fall. That is sufficient to fool the uninformed into thinking the energy crisis is over when it reality is has only just begun and every day that passes the predicament gets worse.

  13. fatty 14

    We will never have the same riots here in NZ, we are the same as USA, an individualised country. When capitalism fucks us up we blame ourselves, not the system. That’s why the French love a good riot.
    In NZ we love getting fucked by capitalism, that’s why we vote for the same old shit and then tell Hone he is crazy when he offers us another option. Britain would have the same problems if they had that Milliband nob in now.
    We only protest if you take away individual rights, such as the right top inflict pain on our children.

    • Ianupnorth 14.1

      +1 – hardly a more true sentiment.

    • freedom 14.2

      If the USA did not expect riots in their future they would not be leaders in the development of crowd control technologies

      Want a trip to the world expected by the dark side? Type the following words into Google and ask yourself why these weapons exist and who they are designed to be used upon.

      Google: usa crowd control devices

      Every device on these pages and the ones they will lead you too are now in full production and have seen Military and Civilian service in the past five years. Including the Directed Energy weapons, the Long Range Acoustic Device and the Pulsed Energy Projectiles. Some have been used on American citizens on American soil.

      I have also heard on te grapevine that US bases in England have received numerous heavy vehicle flights in the last twentyfour hours and i strongly expect some if not all of this equipment will be seen within fortyeight hours if the situation worsens. If the situation does worsen the drive will be to disperse without bloodshed. Property is lost and that is accepted but the line of blood is not one the Government will be willing to cross if it can use alternatives. Step in the NON-Lethal livery of the USA

      • Ianupnorth 14.2.1

        First Tazers, now these, sheesh….

        • freedom

          the focused microwave emitters are particularly disturbing as they can be scaled up to frightening levels

          • Colonial Viper

            They won’t have time to train UK personnel to use this advanced new equipment.

            Therefore those transports will also be bringing in American law enforcement special units or military special forces dressed as civilian law enforcement.

            Fraking scary shit.

            Mind you, the Brits got rid of the Roman Empire so *shrug*. Game on.

    • Vicky32 14.3

      We will never have the same riots here in NZ, we are the same as USA, an individualised country.

      Quoto al 100%!

      • FLASH 14.3.1

        Bullshit! Where were you ;

        Riot in Downtown Los Angeles after Lakers win the Championship
        University of Minnesota campus riots
        Benton Harbor Riot
        Ohio State University, Second Chittfest block party riot

        Just a few from the last few years. Corporate media won’t broadcast real news!

  14. jackal 15

    London’s Burning

    The blame game has already started regarding the England riots. Some say that it’s just people taking advantage of the situation to loot and the rioters deserve to be shot. But the real reason behind England’s most recent social disorder is far more relevant to New Zealand’s societal make up. It’s time to take a hard look at policies that drive social disintegration and not ignore the potential for a similar occurrence here in Gods own…

  15. millsy 17

    Agree with a poster above that this is more in response to police conduct than the government’s austerity measures.

    While there are a few legitamite protesters there, it seems to me that there were a lot of people who decided to use the events as an excuse for criminal behaviour, and or to cause a fight, fuck the cops, smash a few windows, set a few cars on fire, stuff like that.

    All this will really do is give the establishment and the bring-back-the-birchers an excuse to just clamp down harder on them

    I dont see any winners from this.

  16. ak 18

    Well golly gosh. Who would’ve expected this? Spend thirty years in the relentless pursuit of transferring wealth to a tiny privileged percentage by employing every guise, wile and hatemongering method of opinion manipulation to bully and mesmerise the unwitting public into accepting and adopting a greedy, nihilistic “dog-eat-dog” attitude to their fellows, and what happens?

    Damned shame innit. Glad Maggies’s still with us to witness the inevitable fruit of her miserable, diseased loins.

  17. FLASH 19


  18. freedom 20

    reply to Gosman

    London riots

    “I do know that the amount of personal Tax I am paying is more than enough to fund several families on welfare.”

    several is always three or above, so let us take it as three

    ‘three families’ ascribes the statement to a DPB.

    Minimum with 1 child approximately $338 a week
    Even though i suspect you worked off a higher average i will keep mine based in figures many outside of urban centers have to survive on. ( base of $278 + $a 60 accommodation allowance)

    so you are implying you pay $52,728 a year in tax ,
    ( figures off ird chart for ACC exclusive rates )
    tax — income
    1,470 — 14,000 — up to 14k
    6,650 — 38,000 — up to 48k
    6,660 — 22,000 — up to 70k
    37,948 — 114,982 — over 70k

    52,784 — 188,982 — totals

    so what you are really saying Gosman is that you have trouble living a fair and happy life with 136 thousand dollars a year in your back pocket. You got issues man.

    • Gosman 20.1

      “so what you are really saying Gosman is that you have trouble living a fair and happy life with 136 thousand dollars a year in your back pocket.”

      Ummmmm….. where have I ever stated this???

      Do you have any quotes which would suggest this is my view or have you decided in your leftist wisdom to ascribe views to me just because that is what lefties like you want to do?

      • freedom 20.1.1

        you never stated that precisely, no, its just that overall you seem really angry that people who are in need, get help from the Government. This view usually comes from people who are unhappy and if having money doesn’t make you happy and willing to contribute to a society then obviously there is something else bothering you.

  19. vto 21

    The lands and people are tinder dry.

    The sparks in the middle east will link with the sparks in Greece will link with the sparks of riot in London will link with sparks about to fire the US wil link with tiny sparks about to be thrown at adidas here in godzone.

    The world of debt, so apparently unsustainable some years ago, was collapsed into governments arms who sought to save their own power bases by transferring the debt to the people, which was never going to make it, leading to a further meltdown when their arms sagged in dry and parched weakness, awaiting the spark . . .

    • RedLogix 21.1

      Yes… my father always said that the Tories owed a huge debt of gratitude to the unions of the 1930’s who in response to the Great Depression backed left wing govts into reforming the worst excesses of capitalism… thus ironically forestalling full-scale revolution.

      But roll forward 80 years and the unions aren’t going to play that role again… and marxism isn’t the intellectual force it was. My fear is that the reactionary, fascist right-wing forces have little to oppose them…

      • dad4justice 21.1.1

        Excuse me RedLogsick – I do believe many of the reactionary hard left wing thugs are in on the action. FFS you losers are always so quick to fire the right wing hit. Facts before bullshit boyo!

        • Mick

          Some women get up your nose? They must be “lefties” too. Looked at your site…very unpleasant. Foul stench.

        • Colonial Viper

          Don’t be a &$%*tard.

          RedLogix is not talking about the few burnt down police stations and wrecked shops of this week. Maybe lift your head up a little so you can see down the road beyond your shoes.

        • RedLogix

          Not excused.

          London’s riots are not the Tupperware troubles of Greece or Spain, where the middle classes lash out against their day of reckoning. They are the proof that a section of young Britain – the stabbers, shooters, looters, chancers and their frightened acolytes – has fallen off the cliff-edge of a crumbling nation.


          These are not ‘political’ riots in the usual sense.

          • Bill

            Been trawling through UK political activist web sites. And it appears that activists are as ‘at sea’ on this as anyone.

            There does appear to be a broad consensus that this is not political in the ‘normal’ sense (as you commented).

            Although I got a fair bit of stick for this today, I’ll hold to my argument that its essentially a visceral reaction to being fucked over by the police. There are underlying social factors, but they aren’t recognised by the people involved. The dynamics or effects of exclusion and alienation have become normalised to the point of invisibility. They’ve dropped from any world view they might have; have become unexpressable.

            Fuck, start talking politics and if you’re lucky you’ll just get looked at sideways. If you’re a bit unlucky you’ll get twatted.

            It’s about getting back at the police who’re the physical presence that’s fucked them and their mates over time and time again. And isn’t it understandable that takes the form of ‘taking over their turf’ for a while (the high street)…and maybe doing a bit of bargain hunting on the side?

            The aftermath and the slew of legislation that will follow is what gives me – half a world away – cause to pause. The met already (last week) put out flyers urging people to report on their neighbours if they thought their neighbours were anarchists. And on the back of this? Nothing good is in store for those involved in political activity in the UK.

  20. rosy 22

    Toxteth Riots – 1981, under Thatcher
    Brixton Riots – 1981
    Brixton Riots – 1985
    Tottenham Riots – 2011, Cameron

    All in times of austerity, all with a police grievance in a setting of deprived, mainly black, youth with 20% + unemployment and withdrawing investment in social services in the inner cities. All with the middle classes furious about criminality and refusing to look at underlying causes. However, when people have no stake in society this is entirely predictable.

    • Gosman 22.1

      Who hasn’t gt a stake in society?

      • rosy 22.1.1

        Clearly not the politicians that have returned from Italy, North America and where-ever else tell those who have to ‘holiday’ in London that they’re greedy. But I know, that just makes me sound envious (although I’m not).

        From Bored’s open mike link

        …. after decades of being ignored and marginalised and harassed by the police, after months of seeing any conceivable hope of a better future confiscated, they are finally on the news. In one NBC report, a young man in Tottenham was asked if rioting really achieved anything:

        “Yes,” said the young man. “You wouldn’t be talking to me now if we didn’t riot, would you?”

        “Two months ago we marched to Scotland Yard, more than 2,000 of us, all blacks, and it was peaceful and calm and you know what? Not a word in the press. Last night a bit of rioting and looting and look around you.”

        Eavesdropping from among the onlookers, I looked around. A dozen TV crews and newspaper reporters interviewing the young men everywhere.

        There are communities all over the country that nobody paid attention to unless there had recently been a riot or a murdered child. Well, they’re paying attention now.

        • Gosman

          Paying attention to what exactly? What are these rioters wanting exactly other than high end sport apparrel and wide screen televisions?

          • rosy

            Yeah you’d thing they’d just go buy some eh? How about you read some commentary to find out why they didn’t.

            • Gosman

              So you can’t answer my question. What are people meant to be paying attention to?

              That a bunch of under educated youth can’t find decent jobs where they live?

              Shock horror!

              • Colonial Viper

                Go study the French Revolution dickhead. The message of the mob isn’t meant for you. It’s meant for your Masters.

              • rosy

                Oh I could have a good stab at answering your question, I just know it’s not worth my time – given how many links to news items are available to you that you clearly can’t be bothered reading or understanding.

                Sweeping one-liners don’t constitute discussion or an argument.

              • RedLogix

                Sorry Gos …but wilful refusal to pay attention does not count.

                That a bunch of under educated youth can’t find decent jobs where they live?

                Yes actually… in the long run it does become ‘shock horror’. Or to quote the last para from the Guardian link above:

                This is unadulterated, indigenous anger and ennui. It’s a provocation, a test of will and a hamfisted two-finger salute to the authorities.

                Or do you have so little imagination that you cannot conceive of what happens to young people when they’re long-term jobless and with little hope of a future?

                • Gosman

                  Well perhaps they should have taken advantage of the massive increase in Education spending under the last Labour Government in the UK then.

                  I have no sypathy for youths in Western nations complaining that they can’t find jobs because they aren’t qualified.

                  I do have more sympathy for those who are qualified who can’t find jobs but then again it isn’t the role of Governments in Western Democracies to create jobs as much as leftists would like to be.

                  • RedLogix

                    I have no sympathy for youths in Western nations complaining that they can’t find jobs because they aren’t qualified.

                    As I thought… no imagination. You really are incapable of seeing anything from anything but you’re own narrow perspective.

                    • freedom

                      Gosman has money so doesn’t feel he has a need to understand anything…..
                      Funny thing is, i always thought those with the money had the most understanding of how things worked, then i learned to read and started school.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    Wow…”education”, “qualifications” for what? More student debt?

                    Because there aren’t jobs in the UK for highly qualified engineers, town planners, physiotherapists or production managers.

                    The social contract in the UK is breaking down, and governments who don’t give a shit about that (and jobs with decent incomes is a core element) will get their ass handed to them.

                  • Zaphod Beeblebrox

                    Funny did not hear you saying the same things about the riots in Tunisia, Egypt, Syria or Lybia? People are a product of their circumstances they are not inherently evil or sinster from birth,

                    • Gosman

                      What do you mean ou didn’t hear the same from me about the people in Libya and other places like that?

                  • mik e

                    Now your talking rubbish Gooseman thats ideological claptrap again from you.I say Singapore to you countries which don’t plan their economies have higher unemployment.

              • joe90


                Britain is undergoing an enormous demographic shift – the consequences of which few people yet understand.
                There are a million more 15-24 year olds in Britain today than a decade ago, and it’s striking that those taking part in these riots are almost all in this age cohort.
                Bear in mind that the last time this group was so large was in the early 1980s (in fact it was actually a million people higher at that point).

          • Colonial Viper

            Their message is loud and clear mate. But if you can’t hear it, it’s obviously not yet loud enough for you.

            It will be.

            • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell

              Their message is loud and clear mate.

              I am hearing it. “Give me a Bang and Olufsen tele for nothing!”

              • freedom

                no Gormless, like Gosman you very obviously are choosing not to listen. All you are hearing is the buzzing of wasps and weevils. Listen more closely, there is a slow continuous tapping behind it, it is the angry army ants of the destitute. Sticks in hand and stones aplenty they watch the war budgets grow as their local hangouts get cut. They see bailouts to bankers as their brother gets redunduncy. They see Stadiums go up as Schools get closed. When you have nothing and that gets taken as well, there is no longer the need for rules. Is that justification to defend the lawlessness?
                The 21st Century has a brand new catch 22 to understand.

                • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell

                  I think this is how Behring Breivik got there as well. Were you listening to the tapping behind his buzzing? Or did you discount it on the grounds that he was mad?

                  • freedom

                    I am not at all convinced he is mad. He is a fucking idiot who deserves to be drawn and quartered but violence solves nothing. He made an horrific decision but one he can obviously justify to himself and for that decision i hope he is incarcerated and spends a long long time living with his crimes. He made an ignorant and self-justified decision to kill, much the same way as America justifies killing over a million civilians in a foreign country to take their Oil. Madness is a very loose and chameleonic phrase when describing the choice to take lives. Your attempt to distract the dialogue is noted, it’s a fail for irrelevant content but hey at least you show that ignoring the reality of a suituation is still one of your strengths.

                    • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell

                      But surely your point is that, wherever there is anger, no matter how irrational or irrelevant, it is the responsibility of those not causing the violence to fix the “problems” of the perpetrators of the violence.

                • Gosman

                  You say the war budget continues to grow yet I posted a link, (twice it must be stated), which showed Defence expenditure in the UK hardly moved in real terms between 2001 and 2008 yet that for Social spending increased immensely.

                  These underclass people are hard to please.

                  • mik e

                    Gooseman thats just a Narcissistic comment.There were years of under investment in education under tory govts which decimated British industry, while other countries that planned their economies during the neo liberal onslaught did much better.Laissez fair is ideological BS just like Communism.Any country today that is growing sustainably has dumped Neo liberalism and communism.Narcissistic arrogance has lead to these problems

  21. freedom 23

    live on BBC this morning, about 2am. Lord Mayor Boris Johnson returns from holiday and heads to Clapham to talk to a group of calm and articulate residents and shop owners. A minute or two into the live broadcast an individual got near the front and asked the Mayor directly to say what was being done about the Mark Duggan inquiry and the Mayor got very agitated very quickly and one of his handlers pulled him out stating that he had an interview for SkyTV to get to. It was a bad look. Have these people learnt nothing the last few days?

    here’s hoping that calm returns and level heads prevail.

    • Colonial Viper 23.1

      The crowd can sense moral cowardice in the authorities and the political leadership.

      Given that the social contract with masses of British youths has been broken for years, and hatred of the police is overwhelming who can be surprised at this event.

      And imagine the youths’ surprise in the last few weeks when their long held negative views on the police were confirmed on nationwide TV via the Murdoch phone tapping scandal: that the Metropolitan police are a corrupt and untrustworthy organisation with corrupt and untrustworthy officers and leaders.

  22. Flash AARHH!! 24

    Interesting comments here but there’s something some of you just don’t get? Stop trying to rationalise what is happening. The opportunity has presented itself to those in society that have been dealt to by Cameron’s Austerity measures and quite simply it isn’t going to stop till he’s gone! Get rid of the idiot!! We’ve got an idiot just like him here in NZ too!

  23. infused 25

    This isn’t about an underclass. You’re fucking stupid if you think this is anything more than people being opportunists.

    • Colonial Viper 25.1

      The Tories and the city bankers being pure opportunists? They sure have been for the last couple of years. And see what it’s delivered them.

    • freedom 25.2

      an opportunist acts because of need
      in this case the need to inflict damage
      damage is always in response to a threat

      so ask yourself what threatens these kids?

      for starters, throughout their entire disaffected lives built of poverty, joblessness, poor schools and few alternatives, there has been mass consumerism bombarding them every minute. Police brutality, 24/7 CCTV surveillance & searches just for walking on a street and being black? These are simple, often stated, undeniable factors contributing to the unrest. The kids did not and do not create this situation. Yes they have charges to face and penalties to pay for the crimes committed but do not let that forgive those whose real crimes are yet to be written in the ledger of human development.

      The kids did not and do not create this situation.
      They have only brought it home, slapping the carcass of the Capitalist illusion on the kitchen table

      • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 25.2.1

        What do you think a starving kid in Africa would make of a hooded youth smashing in the front of a Bang & Olufsen store to get a big tele as a solution to his terrible disafftected life of poverty?

        Nothing probably. He’ll probably be too busy with the business of being actually deprived.

        • freedom

          and it is the same bankers depriving the kids in Africa who have their HQ in London

          The blocking of the building of roads, the endless supply of weapons, the restrictions on access to medicine. Where do you think the decisions for these actions get made you fool.

          There is plenty to feed and house and employ everybody on this planet. You have to decide if that is what you want to happen. If it is you know how to do that. If you don’t then stay with the status quo and enjoy the fireworks. Because any one with half a brain will see this for what it is. The shape of things to come. The scenes in London, Birmingham, Liverpool, these are not isolated incidents that are occuring outside of the political maelstrom we exist in. They are and will be seen as the beginning of a shift in awareness. There will be months of quiet, then some other innocuous event will spark another, then another and as the batons come down and the laws go up we will see our choice more plainly. A shift towards complete fascism or a shift to reclaim the foundations of freedom.
          The choice as always is yours.

          • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell

            But I do not want to be housed and fed. I want luxury consumer goods.

            • freedom

              even your sarcasm unmasks your intent to blame the perps in isolation, and not acknowledge the corrupt system that drives the violence.

              and in response to your earlier comment
              “it is the responsibility of those not causing the violence to fix the “problems” of the perpetrators of the violence.”

              basically , yeah. it is up to everyone to acknowledge the problems we face and work together towards a solution to poverty greed and corruption. An apparently futile task but that does not downgrade its importance.

              If we choose to continue with the way things are, nothing will improve. That is not a statement that can be argued against. That is common sense.

              • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell

                even your sarcasm unmasks your intent to blame the perps and not acknowledge the corrupt system that drives the violence.

                OK. Only, I never made any attempt to mask it.

                Just so I understand completely, your position is that, when someone commits violence the onus is on the victim to solve the problem that the person committing the violence says is causing him to be violent?

                So, say, a beaten wife needs to get to the bottom of the problem causing her husband to beat her? Norwegians need to work out why Behring Breivik is so upset and fix the problem he perceives (in his case, this would require them to persecute Muslims)? As a Tutsi was having his hand hacked off, presumably, he should have been directing his attention at solving his Hutu assailant’s problems, instead of just standing there bleeding?

                This is brilliant.

                Anything I want I can get just by behaving incredibly badly.

                • RedLogix

                  Yeah and in your world there is never a reason, just blame. When bad things happen you’ll froth and vent… and reach for vengance it it’s within your grasp… but there’ll always be a next time because there never is any lesson to be learnt, nothing ever needs to change and the world is perfect the way it is.

                  No-one here is excusing the rioters. They are responsible for their actions. What they are doing is deplorable and is hurting other innocent people. It would be really good if it stopped and now.

                  At the same time there is a reason why these riots are happening. And every serious commentator knows it. And unless and until we are willing to acknowledge that reason, and act to change it, then all you are committed to is an escalating police response, meeting violence with more violence. Force is the only solution you have.

                  Unless you know WHY these riots are happening, you will remain powerless to stop them.

                • freedom

                  to Gormy the Gimp, go stick your head in a barrel of sump oil.

                  i quote myself….
                  “it is up to everyone to acknowledge the problems we face and work together towards a solution to poverty greed and corruption”

                  How you take that statement as a basis for your reply is beyond me and is an insult to the victims of the very real violence in our society. A Society is made up of individuals yes, but i have not said and have never said that the individual is alone .

                  i include a parting comment from a kid called boxxy

      • infused 25.2.2

        What bullshit. There is no need for what they are doing. How about you go to liveleak and actually see what’s really going on there.

        • Colonial Viper

          Here’s an interesting idea. It’s not for you to define or limit what their needs and aspirations are.

          • infused

            Here’s an idea: Get a clue instead if posting the rambling shit you are so accustom to.

            The new thread about this actually admits that: /london-riots-a-guest-post/

            “It seems pretty clear that there are strong opportunistic elements involved in the looting – it’s certainly no heroic insurrection of the working class”

            Pull your head out of your ass once in awhile.

  24. freedom 26

    a BBC interview that highlights how the media is still not listening,

    • freedom 26.1

      the really interesting point of this video is that this video is perhaps the only interview that attempts to ask the actual question about what is going on but is not one of the five or six interviews that are on high rotation on BBC today. mmm BBC obvious as always

    • Bill 26.2

      – heh – That’s fucking classic!

      “Quick. Quick! Slam the lid on! He says he’s not shocked for christ sakes! He’s talking common sense and imparting some home truths! Discredit him. For fucks sake DISCREDIT him!! Oh, fuck. Cut!….CUT!!!”

      And now moving on to “the huge knock on effect to life in the capital.”

      And the biggest ‘knock on’ effect? The really important stuff? England v Holland at Wembley cancelled. – ffs

  25. Rosebytes 27

    Power to the People!!!!! The revolution is now!!

  26. JK 28

    How vulnerable the UK is now to Al Qaeda … lets hope they do us all a favour! Then we’d have a chance of winning the rugby world cup! Haha Allah! – John Key NZ PM

  27. I think this is worth consideration…

    “Create a society that values material things above all else. Strip it of industry. Raise taxes for the poor and reduce them for the rich and for corporations. Prop up failed financial institutions with public money. Ask for more tax, while vastly reducing public services. Put adverts everywhere, regardless of people’s ability to afford the things they advertise. Allow the cost of food and housing to eclipse people’s ability to pay for them. Light blue touch paper.” – Andrew Maxwell, Irish comedian

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  • Those people deserve a flat white
    The pandemic has shown us how effective our public service is. They've pulled together a massive policy response, from a lockdown to economic support to healthcare to planning how to keep everything running when this is over, and done it in next to no time. They are heroes, who have ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    12 hours ago
  • Halfway there (maybe)
    New Zealand is now officially halfway through its first 4-week lockdown period. The good news is that it seems to be working - people staying at home has reduced the potential for the virus to spread, and we've had steadily decreasing numbers of new cases over the last few days ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    13 hours ago
  • A pandemic Peter Principle.
    In 1968 Canadian sociologist Laurence Peter coined the phrase “Peter Principle” as a contribution to the sociology of organisations. It explains that in complex organizations people rise to the level of their own incompetence. That is, they get promoted so long as they meet or exceed the specified criteria for ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    13 hours ago
  • Hard News: Music is coming home
    The practice and business of music has been one of the sectors most gravely impacted by the virus sweeping the world. The emphatic nature of our government's response, necessary as it was, has slammed the industry and the people who work in it.There are New Zealand artists – Nadia Reid, ...
    14 hours ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 14
    . . April 8: Day 14 of living in lock-down… The good news first: the downward trajectory of new cases appears to be a real thing. In the last four days, since Sunday, new infections have been dropping: Sunday: 89 new cases Monday: 67 Tuesday: 54 Today (Wednesday): 50 The ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    16 hours ago
  • Anti-fluoridation propaganda now relies on only four studies. 5: Don’t censor yourself
    The anti-fluoride movement wants to restrict your reading to “just four studies.” They actively ignore or attempt to discredit other relevant studies. Image credit: Censorship in media. For earlier articles in this series see: ...
    20 hours ago
  • “Lord, give us Democratic Socialism – but not yet!”
    Not Now, Not Ever, Never! The problem with Labour's leading activists is that there is never a good time for democratic socialism. Never. They are like Saint Augustine who prayed to the Almighty: “Lord, give me chastity and self-control – but not yet.” In the case of Labour "junior officers", however, ...
    21 hours ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #14, 2020
    22 hours ago
  • The Few are on the run, again, it still won’t stop reality catching up…
    We are seeing what has been termed “a greater challenge than the crash of 2008” by a growing number of economists and more rational, sane commentators, because whilst that was a shocking exposure of the levels to which hubris had sunk, right down to the blank cheque given those who ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    1 day ago
  • Speaker: Locked down in Jersey City
    I am a Kiwi living in Jersey City, New Jersey. Jersey City is the second-largest city in the state and is located directly across the Hudson River from downtown Manhattan. Locals call it New York’s sixth borough. More than 350,000 New Jersey citizens, including myself, commute to New York daily ...
    2 days ago
  • Expanding houses
    It’s  a beautiful autumn afternoon, we need to get out of the house, and so our bubble sets off on a bike ride around our local neighbourhood, Cambridge Park. The bikes come out of the garage, and, being really certain we have a front door key, close the garage door ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    2 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 13
    . . April 7: Day 13 of living in lock-down… and unlucky for those who are superstitious. A day when there was a ray of sunshine from an otherwise bleak day of worrying signs. Today, as RNZ reported; Director-General of Health Ashley Bloomfield reported 54 new confirmed and probable cases ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    2 days ago
  • A UBI in Spain
    So far, universal basic income policies, which see people given a regular income without any conditions, have been trailed only on a small scale. But now, Spain is introducing one nationwide as a response to the pandemic: Spain is to roll out a universal basic income (UBI) “as soon as ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Anti-fluoridation propaganda now relies on only four studies. 4: Till et al (2020)
    Paul Connet, head of the anti-fluoride propaganda group, Fluoride Action Network, claims that the IQ of children bottle-fed in fluoridated areas drops by 9 points. But he misrepresented the research. There is no observable effect. For earlier articles in this series see: Part 1: Anti-fluoridation propaganda now relies on only ...
    2 days ago
  • The Role of Government
    The Queen’s coronavirus broadcast, with its overtones of Winston Churchill and Vera Lynn, prompted me to reflect on the tribulations my parents’ generation suffered during the Second World War – and I imagine that those parallels, given her own wartime experience, were very much in the Queen’s mind as she ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    2 days ago
  • The irreversible emissions of a permafrost ‘tipping point’
    This is a re-post from Carbon Brief by Dr Christina Schädel Across vast swaths of the northern hemisphere’s higher reaches, frozen ground holds billions of tonnes of carbon.  As global temperatures rise, this “permafrost” land is at increasing risk of thawing out, potentially releasing its long-held carbon into the atmosphere. Abrupt permafrost ...
    2 days ago
  • How to complain about MDC’s unreasonable LGOIMA charging regime
    Back in February, the Marlborough District Council increased the mount it charges for LGOIMA requests. I used the LGOIMA to poke into this, and it seems the case for increased charges is unjustified: the supposed increase in request volumes it rests on is an artefact of the Council suddenly deciding ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 12
    . . April 6: Day 12 of living in lock-down… Another day of a near-empty Park N Ride carpark; . . And another day of near-empty Wellington streets; . . . Light traffic on the motorway. No apparent increase in volume. Commercial vehicles sighted; a gravel-hauling truck; McAuley’s Transport; a ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    3 days ago
  • A Lamentable Failure of Imagination.
    Imagination By-Pass: Had the Communications Minister, Kris Faafoi (above) taken a firm stand with Bauer, reminding them of their obligations to both their staff and the wider New Zealand public, then a much more favourable outcome may well have ensued. He should have made it clear to the Bauer board ...
    3 days ago
  • Simon Bridges can’t connect
    We all know that Simon Bridges has, at the best of times, an intermittent relationship with the truth. However you would think that during a pandemic and economic crisis the current opposition leader would pull his head in and start to do the right thing.Obviously leading by example should be ...
    3 days ago
  • Anti-fluoridation propaganda now relies on only four studies. 3: Riddell et al (2019)
    Connett promotes Riddell et al (2019) as one of the only four studies one needs to read about fluoridation. But he misunderstands and misrepresents the findings of this study. Image credit: Fluoride Action ...
    3 days ago
  • Could the Atlantic Overturning Circulation ‘shut down’?
    This is a re-post from Carbon Brief by Dr. Richard Wood and Dr. Laura Jackson Generally, we think of climate change as a gradual process: the more greenhouse gases that humans emit, the more the climate will change. But are there any “points of no return” that commit us to irreversible ...
    3 days ago
  • The biggest challenge for a generation ahead – covid-19. Defeat and Recovery
    Last month I wrote my blog on covid-19 pointing out the in our pre Alert Level 4 days that a subject no one had heard here months ago was now dominating the media. An amazing feature of this crisis is how quickly it has swept every other issue aside worldwide. ...
    PunditBy Wyatt Creech
    4 days ago
  • Testing for COVID-19 in NZ to Achieve the Elimination Goal
    Nick Wilson,1 Ayesha Verrall,1,2 Len Cook,3 Alistair Gray,3 Amanda Kvalsvig,1 Michael Baker,1 (1epidemiologists, 2infectious disease physician, 3statisticians) In this blog, we raise ideas for how New Zealand might optimise testing to both identify cases in the community as part of the COVID-19 elimination strategy, and to confirm when the virus ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    4 days ago
  • Should we all be wearing face masks to prevent Covid-19 spread?
    Maybe you’ve seen the graph that says those countries where everyone wears a mask are the ones that have managed to keep Covid-19 under control? The first thing to say about that claim is that those countries also did lots of other things, too – they acted fast, with intense ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    4 days ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #14
    Story of the Week... Editorial of the Week... Toon of the Week... Coming Soon on SkS... Climate Feedback Claim Review... SkS Week in Review... Poster of the Week... Story of the Week... North Atlantic's capacity to absorb CO2 overestimated, study suggests Research into ocean’s plankton likely to lead to ...
    4 days ago
  • The Americans are trying to kill us all again
    The Treaty on Open Skies is one of the most effective mechanisms for preventing war curently in force. By letting countries make surveillance flights over each others' territory, it eliminates fears that they are secretly preparing for war. So naturally, the US is planning to withdraw from it: The Trump ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 11
    . . April 5: Day eleven of living in lock-down… My one day of rest for the week, and an opportunity to mow my lawns – which I’d been delaying for about three weeks. (On the plus side, the damp micro-climate in my back yard yielded three lovely fresh mushrooms ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    4 days ago
  • Now we know what the rules are
    As the lockdown has gone on, disquiet about what the rules were and the police's enforcement of them has grown. On Friday, Police admitted that they were abusing routine traffic stops to effectively set up illegal checkpoints, and on Saturday Stuff revealed internal police advice saying that they actually needed ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Anti-fluoridation propaganda now relies on only four studies. 2: Green et al (2019)
    Paul Connett is putting all his eggs in one basket. He says “you only have to read four studies” to find community after fluoridation harmful. Image credit: Fluoride Action Network newsletter. For part 1 of this series see Anti-fluoridation propaganda now relies on only four studies. 1: Bashash et al (2018). Paul Connett, ...
    4 days ago
  • Hard News: Splore Listening Lounge 2020: the road to a “yes” vote
    As far as anyone can say, New Zeaand still has a general election scheduled for September 19 this year. The election will be accompanied by two referenda, one of which will ask voters:Do you support the proposed Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill?The official campaign period for the cannabis referendum begins ...
    4 days ago
  • Obituary for The New Zealand Listener (1939-2020)
    The vast majority of tributes to the Listener hearken back to its glory days, with little reflection on the magazine as it was at its end.I wrote for it, for half the Listener’s life; I have known personally all the editors except the first (mythical) three. From 1978 to 2014 ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    4 days ago
  • Universal income – a challenge to capitalism or a crutch?
    As the world economy slides rapidly towards deep recession there are growing calls for a Universal Benefit coming from some leftists and rightists. Now Finance Minister Grant Robertson is saying it is on the table.  This article by a French party Workers Struggle provides analysis of various forms of universal ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    4 days ago
  • Anti-fluoridation propaganda now relies on only four studies. 1: Bashash et al (2018)
    This is the advice from the very top of the anti-fluoride movement – Paul Connett, director of the Fluoride Action Network (FAN). Don’t worry about reading  up on all the scientific information “You only have ...
    5 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 10
    . . April 4: Day 10 of living in lock-down… I wake up to a fine Saturday morning which normally would be like an early Christmas. But it’s Day 10 of Level 4 Lock Down. What  will my fellow New Zealanders be doing on a day like this – staying ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    5 days ago
  • Redline reaching out to more writers & readers
    Some time during the night we went over the 850,000 views mark. We might have had our millionth view by the end of this year – certainly by early next year. Most of the people involved in Redline spent years and years producing various small left-wing papers and selling them ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    5 days ago
  • Keir Starmer elected
    Comfortably, in the very first round, with an impressive 56% of the votes.I wonder, did members of the Shadow Cabinet start tweeting their resignations during Starmer's victory speech, or is that only a trick the right pull?It is odd how all the talk of how the next leader "needs to ...
    5 days ago
  • Hard News: Michael Baker and the Big House
    One of the key voices in this extraordinary time in which we live is that of University of Otago epidemiologist Professor Michael Baker. Philip Matthews did an an excellent job this weekend of capturing the way he became the man for this moment in a profile for The Press.But one ...
    5 days ago
  • New Zealand Gives up on Trying to Save Daylight
    New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern addressed the nation today about the decline in daylight New Zealand has been experiencing over the previous few months. She said “As many of you will notice, our attempts to stem the dwindling of the daylight over the last few months have been completely ...
    Can of wormsBy Can of Worms, Opened
    5 days ago
  • A bulletin from Greece
    Redline received this article from the KOE a Marxist party in Greece Our friends in the KOE describe here the mounting crisis in Greece and tensions on the Turkish border. As desperate people flee from their homelands which have been ruined after decades of imperialist wars and interventions the people ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    5 days ago
  • And God spake all these words, saying
    As the first week of Level Four lockdown unfolded, mounting questions grew as to just what was (and was not) allowed under its “rules”. Partly these were driven by some apparently contradictory messages from different authority figures and explanations carried in the media. Partly they reflected a somewhat sketchy legal basis ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    6 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 9
    . . April 3: Day 9 of living in lock-down… Another late-start to my work day. Everything is temporarily upended as clients are shuffled around so we can minimise our “bubble” by reducing the number of people we help. One of my colleagues has been removed from his clients; his ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    6 days ago
  • Death to our lockdown enemies!
    We must root out the traitors among us! ...
    Imperator FishBy Scott Yorke
    6 days ago
  • Climate Change: The benefits of electrification
    In order to meet our 2050 carbon target and do our bit to avoid making the Earth uninhabitable, New Zealand needs to decarbonise our economy, replacing fossil fuels with electricity in the energy, industrial and transport sectors. The good news is that it will mean cheaper power for all of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 8 (sanitised version)
    For those folk who find my other Lock-Down Diary versions too “negative” or otherwise unpalatable… Here’s a photo of a pretty flower, .   . Better? Tomorrow’s Sanitised Version: a cute animal video. . . . =fs= ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    7 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 8
    . . April 2: Day eight of living in lock-down… Today, my work day starts late. Our rosters and clients have been dramatically changed, lessening (theoretically) the number of people in our work “bubble”.  If just one of us catches covid19 the impact could be considerable as Grey Base Hospital ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    7 days ago
  • A note on apartments and bubbles
    As Aotearoa enters week two of lockdown, it’s clear we’re all still working out what our “bubbles” look like and how to stay in them to stop the spread of Covid-19. New to the government’s Covid-19 website is some good guidance for people living in apartment blocks. Recent decades have ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    7 days ago
  • Getting in futures shape 
    “There are decades where nothing happens; and there are weeks where decades happen.” Lenin Don’t we all know that feeling now.

    Prospect Magazine alerted me to this particularly apt quote. It is a much more evocative quote than Hemingway’s “gradually then suddenly” which is also doing ...

    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    7 days ago
  • Maybe axing Clark would be unfair. But what about any of this is fair?
    Yesterday was the day the consequences of the lockdown suddenly got very real for many. Firms have been closing and laying people off since the outset of the quarantine but this has mostly been happening out of the public eye. The mass closure of a number of iconic New Zealand ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    7 days ago
  • Might a ‘Coasean’ social contract mitigate overall societal harm from COVID-19?
    Brian Williamson1, Prof Nick Wilson2 (1Economic consultant, UK; 2University of Otago Wellington) In this blog, we outline how a win-win social contract could be forged to address the major dimensions of response to the COVID-19 pandemic when using a mitigation strategy: the particular need to protect older people from high ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    7 days ago
  • Returning To “Normalcy”.
    Resuming Normal Service: The Republican Party's nominee for in 1920, Warren Harding, promised the American people: “not heroics, but healing; not nostrums, but normalcy; not revolution, but restoration”. If she wishes to remain our prime minister, then Jacinda Ardern will offer New Zealanders the same.HOW EDUCATED AMERICA snickered when the ...
    7 days ago
  • New Zealand’s Government Must Save New Zealand’s Media.
    No Free Society Without A Free And Functioning News Media: If we are to surrender our civil rights to the broader cause of defeating Covid-19, then foreign corporations must, likewise, surrender their right to inflict immense economic and cultural harm on New Zealanders simply because it improves their bottom line.I’M ...
    7 days ago
  • Corona fevers and the madness of models
    by Daphna Whitmore A third of the world is under lockdown and a clear assessment of this measure to curb the spread of COVID-19 is urgently needed.  With any high-stakes decisions it has to be asked what are we dealing with here? Are the measures warranted? Will they achieve their ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Lockdown day 8
    I haven’t done a huge amount in the last few days. I’m reading The Poppy War and I’ve sort of poked at a couple of games – I started SOMA but I’m a wimp and I quit while in the first room after the brain scan. I might try it ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    1 week ago
  • Backstage and Theatre
    The swan politicians may be gliding on the water, occasionally snapping at one another. Meanwhile, as the Covid19 crisis illustrates, the officials are desperately paddling below providing the real locomotion. One of the most fatuous recent grandstanding comments (of about a week ago), adding to the public’s anxieties, was ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    1 week ago
  • Legal Beagle: Waiver, the singular Crown and the conduct of Crown legal business
    Much has been written about the importance of discretion in an emergency situation, and the concerns raised by the potential for it to be exercised arbitrarily. Given the quality of the discussion, there seemed little point in adding to it at any length. In particular, I point to the evidence ...
    1 week ago
  • Highlights from Bauer Media’s science-related reporting
    Today has felt surreal. I was all set to touch base online with my science communication students when a colleague shared the news that Bauer Media would be shutting down its publications immediately. The first link I saw implied it was Woman’s Weekly affected, and even that shocked me. But ...
    SciBlogsBy Sarah-Jane O'Connor
    1 week ago
  • Outsiders.
    Bogeymen, Real And Imagined: Is the number of psychopathic and sociopathic individuals in any given society truly as vanishingly small as we like to tell ourselves? Isn’t it more likely that the mass-shooters and serial-killers filling the headlines represent only the tip of a much, much larger iceberg of frightfulness? ...
    1 week ago
  • We have a right to know the rules we are expected to obey
    Outgoing Police Commissioner Mike Bush appeared before the Epidemic Response Committee today, who asked him for the rules police are using to enforce the lockdown. He refused:Police Commissioner Mike Bush has admitted the advice given to Kiwis about what they're able to do during the lockdown hasn't been clear enough. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 7 (sanitised version)
    For those folk who find my other Lock-Down Diary versions too “negative” or otherwise unpalatable… Here’s a photo of my cat, . . Better? Tomorrow’s Sanitised Version: a pretty flower. . . . =fs= ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 7
    . . April 1: Day seven of living in lock-down… This morning I had a brief chat with one of my neighbours, “D” (social distance between us, a good three or four metres). I learned he had resigned from his previous job and had been hired by another company – ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • RIP The Listener, New Zealand’s pioneering voice
    Funnily enough, my thought as I start this post is whether it will be well written enough. Or should that be well enough written? Because so much of what I know about good writing came from my two stints at The Listener, which this morning was shut down due to ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    1 week ago
  • OK, Britney: stop sniping at National for doing its job
    With normal democratic procedures in abeyance, there were two ways to go. First, it was open for the government to dissolve itself and invite the National Party to join a ministry of national salvation. That would have lessened the democratic deficit of the times by having a team of rivals without ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    1 week ago
  • Helpful tips for parents during lockdown
    Dr Kirsty Ross Children and young people can respond differently in times of distress. This also varies by age and developmental stage, with younger children having more magical and imaginative thinking, and older children having more awareness and knowledge of the issues our communities are facing (which brings up ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #13, 2020
    1 week ago
  • Hungary is now a dictatorship
    Hungary has been a virtual dictatorship for a decade now, as Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has gradually eroded its democracy. But now, its official, with the passage of an indefinite emergency law allowing rule by decree:Hungary’s parliament has passed a new set of coronavirus measures that includes jail terms for ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • A new Ministry of Works
    While the economy is on pause under lockdown, the government is beginning to plan how to cope with the post-lockdown, post-tourism, post-export education world we will eventually find ourselves in. They're planning a lot of infrastructure spending as economic stimulus, and have asked for proposals which can start the moment ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Capture: Well spaced out
    It's my distraction,  setting up tiny scenes to photograph.  I've got stuck on the Babushka dolls for now.  Something about their bubble shape.  Something about their never changing, smiling features, suggesting persistent equanimity.  Can we get through everything that is being thrown at us and keep at least a tiny ...
    1 week ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 6
    . . March 31: Day six of living in lock-down… This time I managed to sleep a little longer and the alarm woke me at the pre-set time: 6.55am. Then remembered I was working a later shift and could’ve slept in. Oh well, there are things to do at home. ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • March ’20 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
    Image credit: Diamond Harbour School Blogs I notice a few regulars no longer allow public access to the site counters. This may happen accidentally when the blog format is altered. If your blog is unexpectedly missing or ...
    1 week ago
  • Hard News: Poll Pot and the partisans
    Yesterday's Horizon poll showing support for a "Yes" vote in this year's cannabis referendum sliding into the majority for the first time in a year looked like good news for reformers – and it probably is. But the result warrants some scrutiny.The poll is the fifth in a series commissioned ...
    1 week ago
  • Why those bubbles are so important
    For almost a week now, every one of us who isn’t an essential worker has been confined to their bubble. We are allowed to go shopping for groceries, to visit the doctor, and to get a bit of exercise if we stay local. The reason we are doing this is ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    1 week ago
  • A Government System That Works
    The Covid-19 saga will no doubt produce many twists and turns for us before it is finally brought to an end. But one thing it has shown us – and what comfort it should bring us – is that our country’s government is in good hands. I am not thinking ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • Smashing down the barriers: Where are we at with COVID vaccines?
    In the absence of a vaccine or a cure for a deadly disease, staying home in your bubble is what you do, the concept is not new.  To the best of my knowledge last time we did this in NZ was for polio, in the years before a vaccine came ...
    SciBlogsBy Helen Petousis Harris
    1 week ago
  • National Network on Cuba (USA): “Cuban medical solidarity is a pillar of its society and is founde...
    The following statement was released on March 28 by the National Network on Cuba, a coalition of 40 groups, based in the United States. In recent weeks, Cuba has deployed hundreds of medical providers to over a dozen countries in Europe, Asia, as well as to their neighbors in Latin ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago

  • Decisions made on urgent turf maintenance
    The Sport and Recreation Minister Grant Robertson has announced that urgent maintenance of turf and care for plants in non-plantation nurseries will soon be able to go ahead under Level 4 restrictions. “The Government has agreed that urgent upkeep and maintenance of biological assets will be able to go ahead ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    13 hours ago
  • Acknowledging an extraordinary te reo champion
    E tangi ana a Taranaki iwi, e tangi ana te ao Māori, otirā e tangi ana te motu. Mōu katoa ngā roimata e riringi whānui ana, mōu katoa ngā mihi.   E te kaikōkiri i te reo Māori, e Te Huirangi, takoto mai. Takoto mai me te mōhio ko ngā ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    13 hours ago
  • Prime Minister’s remarks halfway through Alert Level 4 lockdown
    Today is day 15 of Alert Level 4 lockdown. And at the halfway mark I have no hesitation in saying, that what New Zealanders have done over the last two weeks is huge. In the face of the greatest threat to human health we have seen in over a century, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    16 hours ago
  • Licenses, WoFs and regos extended under lockdown
    All driver licences, WoFs, CoFs, and some vehicle certifications, that expired on or after 1 January 2020 will be valid for up to six months from 10 April 2020, Transport Minister Phil Twyford has announced. “People shouldn’t have to worry about getting fined for having an expired document if driving ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    18 hours ago
  • Inquiry report into EQC released
    The Government has today released the report from the Public Inquiry into the Earthquake Commission chaired by Dame Silvia Cartwright.  Minister Responsible for the Earthquake Commission Grant Robertson says the Government wants to learn from people’s experiences following the Canterbury earthquakes and other recent natural disasters. “Dame Silvia’s report documents ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    19 hours ago
  • More time for health workers and elderly to get flu vaccine
    The Government has extended by two weeks till April 27 the amount of time priority groups, such as health workers and those aged over 65, have to get their flu vaccine before it is made available to the wider public. This year’s vaccination campaign is a key component of the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    21 hours ago
  • Communities step up to help New Zealanders stay connected and fed during lockdown
    Communities stepping up to help New Zealanders stay at home to break the transmission of COVID-19 and save lives have received Government support, said Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni. “Delivering groceries for the elderly who can’t shop online, providing data packs for low income families to keep them connected, and being ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • 120 COVID-19 testing centres now operating
    Across New Zealand 120 sites are taking samples to be tested for COVID-19.   68 community based assessment centres (CBACs) have been established to take samples from people with COVID-19 symptoms. Alongside this, 52 other centres including designated general practices, swabbing centres, and mobile clinics are now testing people for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Covid19: Government moving quickly to roll out learning from home
    The Ministry of Education is working with partners to develop a package of options so that students can learn at home when Term 2 begins on 15 April, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. Supports are also being prepared for households with children under five, to help parents and whānau ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Making learning from home accessible to Māori learners and whānau
    Māori Television to begin educational te reo programmes Ki te Ao Mārama – a new online learning space Thousands of hard copy learning packs ready for distribution Helpdesk and advice service for kōhanga, kura and wharekura Television, the internet and hard copy learning packs are some of the ways whānau ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New Zealand to provide assistance to Vanuatu following Tropical Cyclone Harold
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters has announced an initial package of support to help the people and the Government of Vanuatu respond to the impact of Tropical Cyclone Harold. “Our Pacific neighbours have been hit by a Category 5 Cyclone at the same time as dealing with the economic impacts ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Planning for the future of tourism
    Tourism New Zealand to lead work reimagining the way tourism operates in post-COVID-19 world. Ministers to review International Visitor Conservation and Tourism Levy investment plan. The Government, industry and business are working together to develop a plan for how tourism will operate in a post-COVID-19 world, Tourism Minister Kelvin Davis ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • NZ horticulture sector feeding Kiwis and the world during COVID-19
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  • A million workers supported by Govt wage subsidy
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  • Statement from the Prime Minister on Dr David Clark
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  • COVID-19 Hospital Preparation Well Advanced
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    6 days ago
  • Further measures to support businesses
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  • State of National Emergency extended
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