Looking tough, wasting money

Written By: - Date published: 9:06 am, December 23rd, 2009 - 55 comments
Categories: unemployment, welfare - Tags:

So Paula Bennett wants to force people on the dole to reapply after a year. At best, it’s a waste of money by adding more bureaucracy. At worst, it will leave people who are already in poverty destitute for weeks.

You can lose your dole already if you don’t meet the conditions. In particular, if you don’t apply for jobs you can lose the benefit. So, what is canceling someone’s dole and forcing them to reapply going to add to that? Nothing. If you don’t meet the conditions for getting the dole, you shouldn’t be getting it already. If you do meet the conditions for getting the dole, then you should continue to get it even if you are forced to reapply after a year. Under Bennett’s policy, the change in people getting the dole should be zero. Which doesn’t seem worth forcing the ministry to process thousands more dole applications a year.

It’s not a cheap process, approving a dole application. It takes at least three face to face meetings to get on the dole. The cost per application to the taxpayer will be in the order of hundreds of dollars. And it will all be for nought.

The other problem is that it can take weeks to get on the dole. If your dole is automatically canceled after a year and they then have to reapply and go through the meetings and stuff, you could be left without an income for a month or more. There’s a nice little kick in the guts for a person who is genuinely entitled to the dole, a month of destitution.

Let’s not forget we’re talking about a tiny amount of people. 6654 people out of 60,000 on the dole have been getting it for more than a year. Rather than expending effort and public money in a redundant attempt to look tough by targeting a few thousand people who are already subject to checks to ensure they are entitled to get the dole, Bennett should be working on creating work opportunities for the quarter of a million Kiwis who don’t have work but desperately want it.

But, as we well know by now, Key’s ministers aren’t interested in delivering policies that really matter. All they’re interested in is parading around, talking tough. Meanwhile, hundreds more Kiwis join the ranks of the unemployed every week.

55 comments on “Looking tough, wasting money”

  1. ieuan 1

    Firstly 11% (6635 out of 60,000) is hardly a ‘tiny’ amount, it’s a significant amount.

    Secondly a time limit on the dole might motivate people to look a bit harder for a job and that can’t be a bad thing.

    Our social welfare system should be a safety net and not a life style.

    • Chess Player 1.1

      I agree re the ‘safety net’ concept.

      Time for some tough love for some of these wasters. The folks that are genuinely down on their luck in the short term get a bad name from being lumped in the same bucket as these losers.

      • IrishBill 1.1.1

        Yeah because all those people out of work for years during the great depression were lazy and in the 90’s a whole lot of Kiwis just decided they didn’t want to work any more.

      • lprent 1.1.2

        So how does diverting resources from finding those short-termers work to making long-term unemployed help? Your statement makes no sense.

        Alternatively, much of the long-term unemployment is structural and related to

        • Location – if you live in an area with limited number of jobs – Northland and the area from Opotiki to Gisbourne come to mind.
        • Lack of employable skills
        • Incapacity of some kind – frequently mental illness

        Wouldn’t this money be better spent dealing with these issues? Of course that would cost more than making a pointless bureaucratic change and would require that Paula thinks – so it may be placed in the too hard basket.

        She is doing the third one. The growth in sickness benefits has been quite remarkable under her tenure. But that could have more to do with making the unemployment benefits numbers look better.

        • Chess Player 1.1.2.1

          If the problem is Location – move

          If the problem is Lack of employable skills – get some – there are massive resources pumped into training and education these days, and you don’t have to pay interest on the loans

          The problem is really that these people refuse to consider that they themselves have more control over their own destiny than they would like to admit – their sense of entitlement heavily outweighs their sense of responsibility.

          Not helped by folks such as yourself who keep making excuses for them. If you want to pay for people to stay on the dole for 25 years just because they won’t make some effort themselves, that should be your choice – but not forced on the rest of us, who do make an effort and take the necessary steps to deal with life,, whatever it throws at them.

          • Draco T Bastard 1.1.2.1.1

            What if the lack of employable skills is also a result of mental illness?
            What if people aren’t getting a better education because they can’t afford to? Yes, you can get student loans that don’t have any interest – but you can’t actually pay a mortgage or raise the kids on a student loan. They know exactly how much control they have over their own life – SFA. They quite often don’t have the resources available to them to do anything. Poverty be-gets poverty.

            You will always get people who will abuse the system, ie, Double Dipton. This doesn’t mean that you then go out on a pogrom on everybody using the system.

            • Chess Player 1.1.2.1.1.1

              “but you can’t actually pay a mortgage or raise the kids on a student loan.”

              So, some choices have to be made…..

              “Poverty be-gets poverty.”

              Only if you accept that that is the case…..

              • Draco T Bastard

                So, someone who wants to further themselves and has family and a home should just throw them away?

      • Pascal's bookie 1.1.3

        “I agree re the ‘safety net’ concept.”

        Glad to hear it. Safety nets are good.

        You know what makes a safety net suck? A bunch of things.

        Too much rigidity for one thing. Having people sized holes in it is another thing. Positioning it too close to the ground is yet another thing.

        All of these things make the safety net suck. If you are in favour of these things in a safety net, you are not really in favour of safety nets. If these things make the safety net cheaper, it is a false economy.

    • Bright Red 1.2

      Don’t know where you live, ieuan, but round these parts $200 a week doesn’t buy a ‘lifestyle’.

  2. Draco T Bastard 2

    All they’re interested in is parading around, talking tough.

    And, the most important point, lowering wages which such a policy will do as well.

  3. BC 3

    There is only so much motivation one can have without the skills to find and in turn gain employment. I would say that the majority of the 6635 out 60,000 who have been on the unemployment benefit for over a year are people who have fallen through the cracks of society.

    They would lack a number of simple skills that employers look for consequently making them unemployable. The self styled “solo mum westie” Bennett should be channelling the money towards up skilling and job schemes.

    Interesting how this story has followed yesterdays about the so called “dole families” collecting thousands p/week.

    Just shows that this is an orchestrated attempt to score dirty political points by targeting those most vulnerable and without a voice. Repugnant.

  4. Pete 4

    I hardly think that motivation is a factor for the majority of people looking for work (Ieuan). The reality is that UB is a paltry amount, and the stigma attached to receiving tax-payer funded support is not particularly great.

    While some will always abuse the system, we shouldn’t repond by being overly punitive to families and individuals who rely on this support to get by until a job can be sourced. Without understanding the fundamental reasons why people have been long-term beneficiaries we fail to recognise how we can prevent more of the same in the long-term.

    While I agree in principle that checks should be done, I’m also a bit confused in thinking that this already occurs, at least for people on UB.

    The major concern I have with this proposal is that people on an Invalid’s Benefit are likely to have to meet compulsary part-time work obligations. Isn’t the whole purpose of the Invalid’s Benefit that it supports people who are unable to work due to a long-term or unlikely to change medical condition or disability?

    If, and it’s a big if, the changes proposed recognise individual circumstances and are based on quantified and qualified evidence that they will reduce the ‘abuse’ without unduly impacting the needy then that’s fine, but it’s bound to be a lame work-around rushed through at the last minute without consideration for anything but what can be reported to the knee-jerk crowd on talkback et al.

    …then the MSM will report how well the government is faring in the latest horse-race polls *yawn*.

  5. prism 5

    Eddie makes good points. These ‘wasters’ probably on existence wages when they have work, are put through hoops already. They often have many problems which they need help with. In some cases having the responsibility of being a parent, and also finding a job that gives them time to do the basic parenting on their often existence wages, a happy life is nearly impossible. People in this situation who manage to cope well usually are those who have the help and backing of their family.
    Talking about unemployed people’s lifestyles as if they are having a great time is an error. Going to WINZ and getting some snotty person talking down to you with the attitudes of earlier comments here is a sort of purgatory and doesn’t help in getting a job.

  6. burt 6

    lprent

    Location if you live in an area with limited number of jobs Northland and the area from Opotiki to Gisbourne come to mind.

    Well then you move. Or did I miss the handout of the tokens that entitle me to live where I want supported by the govt when I can’t support myself ?

    • Draco T Bastard 6.1

      You may not have noticed burt but it costs to move. People who are @ less than subsistence level can’t afford to.

      • prism 6.1.1

        burt what are you talking about? The govt, either Nat or Labour already brought out a list of places where there are no jobs where they will not pay out unemployment benefit.

  7. tc 7

    This and other announcements about privatisation, SuperShity, Education, Tax reform etc are all timed to give the righteous right that fellgood about voting for NACT factor over the break.

    I don’t have an issue with Basher Bennett’s intent as long as the dole isn’t cut off as it’s such a piddly amount really and as usual the crooked/lazy few taint the genuine/deserving masses…..growing under this do nothing gov’t.

    As long as she’s annoying those who NACT traditionally despise….thumbs up from the party as she’s got a nice limo/office/package now and would you like some powers to abuse with that Ms Bennett……yes please Mr Key Sir, thank you.

    Her naivity an inexperience will see her lose her seat as she ‘represents’ the west not remuera……watch out and see if she moves up the list like Worth was.

  8. Press Release. 23.12.09.

    Prime Minister John Key announced plans today to cancel Paula Bennett after a year.

    Key said he was concerned about the benefit revelations. Though most Ministers needed their benefits and did not abuse the system, the Government would crack down on those who looked like a grinch at Xmas, because everyone knows that Snoopy rules the festive season.

    Other changes under consideration by the Government are understood to include work-testing for Deputy Prime Ministers whose youngest child has turned six, compulsory budgetary advice for ministers from coalition partners who claim frequent grants for overseas travel, and part-time work obligations for some old mates who know where the bodies are buried.

    The Prime Minister will shortly be taking a seasonal break from his fulltime position on the beach at Waikiki to spend a couple of weeks enjoying his new hobby of running New Zealand.

    • prism 8.1

      And after his break Key could go apple picking on contract. That’s real work. Or for a change he could pack them and see if he could keep up with the fast ones – view, pick with one hand toss to other, place in position in carton all in a flash then repeat, 50 average to a carton and hundreds? of cartons a day. You know you have done a day’s work there, not just jawed and feinted over and over when faced with important decisions.

  9. randal 9

    this argument is meat and drink to the wannabees from the gnats.
    they love nothing better than a fallacy of compostion to smear and besmirch everybody and anybody who does not have a job.
    this government is supposedly the government of business.
    why arent they creating new business and supplying new jobs.
    thats their job.
    why cant they do that?

  10. Olwyn 10

    There is something low and unpleasant about inviting people to act like pigeons, and rush to peck at the one who is bleeding, and sad about how readily some respond to this ghastly invite. Grab your pitchforks and go for the dole bludger, so you won’t notice when Rodney Hyde privatises the water, etc. And if you do notice, you won’t complain because otherwise you too will look like a povo. One thing everyone should have learned from nine years of Labour is that if people are employable they generally prefer to work. I also wonder at these suggestions being flung around at Christmas – so much for Good King Wenceslas.

  11. BLiP 11

    What? After yesterday? Yet more Christmas cheer and beneficence for the beloved underclass from our Basher Bennett and the government?

    Thanks National Ltd® – I’m lovin’ it. Y’all have a lovely Christmas too. Eat lots of cake.

  12. burt 12

    Draco

    You may not have noticed burt but it costs to move.

    Yep, getting the swimming pool shifted is pretty expensive. Also adds wear and tear to the new tyres you just put on the 2 year old car.

    • Draco T Bastard 12.1

      /facepalm

      Really, there’s no point in engaging you at all but I’ll try.

      Not every body is going to abuse the system.

    • prism 12.2

      burt you are green with envy. Give up trying to be a good hard working person, the odds are against you. Give up your job and go for the unemployment and live the easy life! You’ll notice how just trying to repair things runs up large GST payments, getting new things is probably better because the financial system has don’t pay for ………months, no interest for…..years etc. If you can just keep running, your momentum might carry you along and you won’t sink in the ordure.

  13. gitmo 13

    Why is there so much outrage asking people to reapply for the dole in return for receiving it over an extended period ?

    Surely it’s more outrageous that rorters like that family in Christchurch are continuing to be paid after 25 years when there’s very likely to be far more needy and deserving families in need ?

  14. ak 14

    No, what’s “outrageous”, git-for-brains, is a poll-driven tory administration dredging through files and releasing selected private details of a few individuals in a blatant attempt to garner pre-holiday season popularity by tarnishing the most unfortunate sector of society – at a time when examples of the most privileged sector having got away with literally millions of taxpayer funds are rampant; and ignored.

    What’s outrageous to the point of nausea is the sight of lazy press hacks who dare to profess the status of independent commentary, not only accepting this filthy, divisive propaganda without the slightest investigation or question, but repeating the breaches of privacy and disseminating it verbatim to the gormless cheer of rabid airheads such as yourself. Merry Christmas.

    • gitmo 14.1

      I thought the papers have been going after the frauds in the finance sector quite strongly – it’s a pity we don’t have regulation to take them to the cleaners ?

      But well done on your pointless little rant have you now finished fisting yourself up the shitter ?

  15. burt 15

    ak

    I’m happy to pay for that new fence around your pool, with the amount you drink it would be a shame if you staggered and fell into it while running around in circles defending your right to rort my taxes. I have no need for a fence as I don’t have a pool, I’m just a tax payer and I don’t deserve to have that level of luxury.

  16. Roger 16

    What a surprise, our vacuous Minister of Social Development and Employment gets out her bennie bashing stick in a populist move that will achieve nothing positive. I suspect that, as per usual, a crisis is being created where one doesn’t exist. But lets assume for a second that there is a problem that needs solving. If this new measure is to catch the people who are unemployed for over 12 months because they are not putting effort into their search, then looking at the conditions required to gain the unemployment benefit would be better. For example, if a person with drug/alcohol addiction is put into a rehab programme and doesn’t attend, they are cut off.

    If it is to catch out the abusers such as the Harris family, change the rules involving what is abhorrent about their claims. eg, a benefit recipient should be forced to sell any properties other than their residential address and live off the proceeds of that before even being able to have their claim looked into. Another option would be to investigate and weed these people out.

    If they are too dangerous to visit or investigate, a Machaeavellian approach would be to feign incompetence and ‘accidentally’ forget to pay his benefit one week, get the police down to the WINZ office before he comes storming in and when he makes threats, arrest him. Then investigate while he’s behind bars.

    This idea of making genuine people who are near unemployable reapply for the benefit after 12 months is really just a nuisance that will achieve nothing.

    • prism 16.1

      I don’t like the name Roger any more, but you put a shine on it again with your smart invention for drawing the real thieving bennies out of their hides.

      • Roger 16.1.1

        I know what you mean. It is hard being a guy named Roger who is interested in politics considering the reputation of previous ones.

  17. tc 17

    What papers do you read Gitmo ?

    I haven’t seen any of this ‘going after’ you mention and ak summed it up describing them as “lazy press hacks who dare to profess the status of independent commentary..” I have mates in Oz that are professionl journos and they piss themselves at what we have as a 4th estate and are jealous of all the juicy material they’d thrive on being swept under the ‘don’t criticise the govt’ carpet.

    Gaynor had a go and got hammered..but he’s a commentator….the blokes on TV business are sycophants chosen for looks and nodding agreement to anything.

    Your point about regulation’s a good one and a weakness in NZ where the cowboys like Hotchin will lay low and do it all again……Rebstock and Diplock lacked the tools/resources and probably ability.

    I was very critical of labor not regulating that industry……but then controlling business isn’t a labor strength…..it’s a weakness. TVNZ heels at NACT’s heels whereas it was a badly behaved SOE with Labor in charge…….daddy’s home so lets behave now.

    • gitmo 17.1

      You might be right – I tend to look out for stories about the “filthy few financiers” in the papers so may have overestimated the amount of coverage – I certainly enjoyed the piece on one of them being roughed up and asked to leave one of the eateries in Auckland.

      I think the job they’ve done on Hotchin on TV and in the media ain’t too bad and would be amazed if anyone ever invested with him again in NZ but it’s extraordinary how often these turds turn up again and the grey rinse brigade happily show them their life savings. … as for TVNZ I don’t think most of them give a toss who’s in power as long as the pay packet’s full – pack of rorters and gits.

  18. Sam 18

    This government really ran out of ideas after 2 months didn’t it?

  19. randal 19

    yes sam.
    they ran out of constructive ideas but the destructive ideas they have are just gathering force.
    they supposed to be the business party but when are they going to announce some new jobs.
    oh umm I forgot.
    2024, one year before brashs master plan takes effect.
    ho ho ho.

  20. The Chairman 20

    I can see the private prison operators rubbing their hands in anticipation of the increase in crime.

  21. The Chairman 21

    It’s a totally different tune up town.

    Is Christchurch’s City Council chief ex ecutive worth $470,400??

    An annual performance review, conducted by councillors in private last week, voted 10 to two to approve the increase.

    Only Councillors Yani Johanson and Sally Buck opposed the move.

    His pay has jumped $99,575 over the past two years.

    The package does not include undisclosed reimbursements for home telephone and personal professional fees.

    More here: http://tinyurl.com/yzwqajx

  22. tc 22

    Is Christchurch’s City Council chief executive worth $470,400?? indeed or recycling Rick Ellis at about 900k and then there’s the massive packages shelled out to a grumpy scotsman to sit atop a telco, a kanuck to mark time fronting the milk co-op, a power hungry smarmy lad to stride the NZX etc etc.

    Distribution of wealth….there’s only so much that can go around and the ruling class ensure they get as much as they possibly can regardless of climate…..year upon year upon year.

    It used to be said in the 80’s how can someone be worth 250k p.a objectively when all they really do is sit atop a machine and if they’re smart they don’t tinker too much(ralston), or too little(Gattung) and break the facade.

    This is how the rich keep getting richer….control and exploitation of markets/people pure and simple.

    Merry xmas

    • gitmo 22.1

      How about the rich that get poorer and the poor that get richer ?

      • Draco T Bastard 22.1.1

        Doesn’t happen in the real world, at least, not to a significant enough degree to be noticeable.

        • gitmo 22.1.1.1

          Bullshit it’s been happening for centuries and will continue to do so…… just doesn’t fit with your warped view of the world

          • Draco T Bastard 22.1.1.1.1

            Reality disagrees with you.

            Yes, it’s an assertion but it’s one that’s already been backed up by research linked to on this site.

            • rainman 22.1.1.1.1.1

              gitmo, there are 1000 billionaires, and 5 billion people making do on less than $10/day. This is a structural artefact of capitalism. There is some movement within these groups but the overall picture remains.

  23. Rex Widerstrom 23

    I’m nodding in agreement right up to the penultimate sentence, Eddie.

    All they’re interested in is parading around, talking tough.

    Actually I think it’s worse than that. There are some Ministers who’re doing an excellent job in their portfolios. Tim Groser and Chris Finlayson come immediately to mind. Rather than parade round talking tough, there are Ministers who are interested in quietly getting on with nailing down some achievements.

    But there’s a group that’s clearly out of their depth. And not just having a problem finding their feet but who’ve clearly been elevated to well beyond their level of competence. Head and shoulders above (below?) the others in this group is Paula Bennett, but there’s also Anne Tolley and Kate Wilkinson.

    Yet Key seems happy to float above the messes they’re making, presumably because it’s a good look to have women appearing on telly for the National brand, even if they’re woefully incompetent.

    Note I’m not suggesting all, or most, women are woefully incompetent politicians (there’s sufficient evidence to refute that on both Labour’s and National’s back bench right now, let alone if we look back at history).

    Merely that perhaps when gender equality (or any other sort of “equality”) becomes more important than competence, this is the result (Melissa Lee being a further example, if any were needed).

    There should be one factor and one factor only governing candidate selection and list ranking: the best person for the job. That it it not is nowhere better evidenced than in National’s current Cabinet.

    In short, if the only competent people National can attract happen to be middle aged white males then I for one would be more than happy to see a Cabinet composed entirely of such, rather than having diversity at the expense of competence.

    • prism 23.1

      I agree about the women politicians in Nat govt. Picking out what seem like soft subjects and giving them to the girls is not a good way of setting up to run the country.
      Social welfare is a big cost and needs to be run well, also education etc. neds somebody who hasn’t learned all they know by rote from their parents and teachers using tried and true old curriculums (ae) and certainties.

      • Bill 23.1.1

        Not looked at this closely, but if it is the case that Act policy is to be the pull on the National led government…allowing ostensibly right wing policy to be sold as moderate policy, then why would competent ministers be wanted in cabinet?

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    We surveyed candidates on their attitudes to issues facing the Western Bay Region, find out what they think: “Closing the Gap” Tauranga, one of the area groups of Income Equality Aotearoa NZ Inc., has surveyed all candidates in the three local body elections to discover attitudes to some basic issues ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    3 days ago
  • Project Nettie calls on scientists to defend biology
    Please spread widely, and sign, to support science and rationalism over the new irrationalism sweeping universities and institutions.  PROJECT NETTIE Sexual reproduction, the generation of offspring by fusion of genetic material from two different individuals, evolved over 1 billion years ago. It is the reproductive strategy of all higher animals ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    3 days ago
  • I’m glad I don’t live in Auckland
    Just when I was thinking that Palmerston North's mayoral race (which includes a convicted child molester / public wanker and a convicted child beater) was the worst in the country, Auckland mayoral candidate John Tamihere opened his mouth:Auckland mayoral candidate John Tamihere is being slammed for using the words "sieg ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Index of Power Update, 2018-19: China #2
    We reprint below an article from the excellent website the Economics of Imperialism by Tony Norfield This is an update of the statistics for my Index of Power, using data for 2018-19 and discussing what a country’s ranking reflects. The major change is that China’s rank has shifted up and ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    3 days ago
  • Climate Change: A history lesson
    Why is New Zealand climate change policy so crap? The Herald this morning has a long article on the twists and turns of climate change policy in New Zealand [paywalled / depaywall script], which shows where we've been. The short version is that the government first began worrying about this ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • What the All Blacks Mean to Us
    The All Blacks have been, for more than a century, arguably the most successful International sports team in the world. But they are more than that; even for those Kiwis who are immune to the charms of rugby (and there are more than a few), the All Blacks are ambassadors ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    3 days ago
  • No one is born into the wrong body
    A short and incredibly powerful speech from a young lesbian woman. No one is born in the wrong body. ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    4 days ago
  • Contempt
    Back in June, the UK Court of Appeal ruled that that country's continued arms sales to Saudi Arabia were unlawful. So you'd expect that the UK government stopped approving them, right?Of course not:The government has apologised for breaching a court ruling against the sale of weapons to Saudi Arabia that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Covering up the cover-up
    Yesterday NZDF officials were put on the stand about the lies they had told over Operation Burnham, making implausible claims that it was all a big mistake. But along the way, we learned they had already been put on the spot about it by a previous Defence Minister, who had ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Not as important as they think they are
    Farmers have been whining a lot lately, about the methane targets in the Zero Carbon Bill, about Canterbury's proposed nitrogen limits, and about the government's new proposals to stop them from shitting in our lakes and rivers. These policies are "throwing farmers under the tractor", they will force farmers off ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Behind Every Good Woman Should Stand – Another Good Woman.
    Alone, Alone, All, All, Alone: To argue that the Prime Minister is the victim of her advisers’ failure to keep her informed may offer Jacinda some measure of exoneration – but only at the cost of casting her as a hopeless political ingénue. A star-dusted muppet, whose only purpose is to ...
    4 days ago
  • Poor quality, poorly educated kiddie ‘Journalists’ spreading fake news
    In times of hysteria about the “World coming to an end” and “rising sea levels” so-called ‘Journalists’ who can barely spell words longer than four letters are having a ball! Though the majority of the Public have worked out that manmade climate change is nothing short of pseudo-science, and the ...
    An average kiwiBy admin@averagekiwi.com
    4 days ago
  • Chris Trotter on the BFD
    I don't want to give pblicity to certain parts of the internet that are better left to fester in their own irrelevance (I know, a bit like this place) but the listing of Chris Trotter as a 'author' on Cameron Slater's spinoff website, the BFD requires some explanation.Now, I don't ...
    5 days ago
  • Sex is not a spectrum
    The text below is a Twitter thread by Heather Heying that explains the essence of sexual reproduction and it long evolutionary history. She is an evolutionary biologist and a “professor-in-exile” after she and her husband, Bret Weinstein, stood up to supporters of an enforced “Day of Absence” for white staff and teachers ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    5 days ago
  • Climate Change: Trees, aviation, and offsets
    With crunch time for new Zealand climate policy approaching, most of the New Zealand media have got on board with a global reporting effort to cover the issue. There's one strand of stories today about polling and what it shows about changing public attitudes to the crisis, but the strand ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Pissing-Off The Israelis Is A High-Risk Strategy.
    Dangerous Foes: For those readers of Bowalley Road who feel disposed to dismiss any prospect of an Israeli destabilisation of New Zealand politics, the example of the United Kingdom repays close attention. Ever since the election of Jeremy Corbyn as leader of the British Labour Party, the Israelis have sanctioned, funded and ...
    5 days ago
  • Something to go to in Wellington
    Make It 16, the youth-led campaign to lower New Zealand's voting age, is holding an official campaign launch at Parliament this Friday from 16:30. If you'd like to attend, you can register using EventBrite here. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • A founding member responds to Peace Action Wellington
    by Don Franks It was a lovely sunny Wellington afternoon with blue skies above  the beaches.  In Courtenay Place, political activists packed out a stuffy upstairs room for an important meeting. The assembled pacifists, anarchists, communists and independent young radicals of Peace Action Wellington felt the need for a mission ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    5 days ago
  • “Mistakes and errors”
    Current and former NZDF top brass are being publicly grilled this week by the hit and run inquiry over their public responses to allegations of civilian casualties. Previously, they've claimed there were no casualties, a position which led them to lie to Ministers and to the public. Now, they're saying ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • “Homosexuality is same-sex attraction and relationships, not heterosexuals with delusions of gende...
    by Rafael D. Quiles (gender-critical gay man from Puerto Rico) The writing on the wall is right in people’s faces and people just don’t see it or don’t want to. What could actually possess a heterosexual male to want to feminize himself and claim that he is a lesbian? Because ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    6 days ago
  • Trump: “Where’s my favourite dictator?”
    From the Wall Street Journal:Inside a room of the ornately decorated Hotel du Palais during last month’s Group of Seven summit in Biarritz, France, President Trump awaited a meeting with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi. Mr. Trump looked over a gathering of American and Egyptian officials and called out in ...
    6 days ago
  • Magdalen Burns, 1983-2019, fighter for women’s liberation
    by the Redline blog collective At Redline we are very saddened to hear of the death of Magdalen Burns who passed away on the morning of Friday, September 13 (British time). Magdalen was a great fighter for the rights of women in general and lesbian women in particular, a defender ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    7 days ago
  • Parliament and the Executive
    The Brexit issue has certainly brought with it a series of apparently difficult constitutional issues, many of them concerning the respective roles of the executive and parliament. Most of them arise because of the unwillingness of MPs, despite their professions to the contrary, to be bound by a constitutional rarity ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • The Abigail Article; Martyn Bradbury’s Article, and My Response
    . . This blogpost is different to my usual format of reporting on issues… Since July 1011, I have blogged on a variety of political issues; near always political and/or environmental; mostly highly critical of the previous National Government. Other issues included Israeli occupation of Palestinian lands and repression of ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • Police will have to wear silly Buckingham Palace hats from now on, says Police Minister
    Those close to the Police Minister believe the initiative may be the result of Nash “seeing a great deal” on AliExpress. In a move that comes seemingly out of nowhere, Police Minister Stuart Nash announced this afternoon that he expects all frontline staff to don bearskin hats, famously worn by ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • A sensible crackdown
    The government has released its Arms Legislation Bill, containing the second tranche of changes to gun laws following the March 15 massacre. And it all looks quite sensible: a national gun register, higher penalties for illegal possession and dealing, tighter restrictions on arms dealers and shooting clubs, and a shorter ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • California bans private prisons
    Private prisons are a stain on humanity. Prison operators explicitly profit from human misery, then lobby for longer prisons terms so they can keep on profiting. And in the US, prison companies run not only local and state prisons, but also Donald Trump's immigration concentration camps. Faced with this moral ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Why PPPs are a bad idea
    When National was in power, they were very keen on Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) - basicly, using private companies to finance public infrastructure as a way of hiding debt from the public. They were keen on using them for everything - roads, schools, hospitals. But as the UK shows, that "service" ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • A Movement That No Longer Moves.
    Moving And Shaking: There was a time when people spoke matter-of-factly about the “labour movement” – a political phenomenon understood to embrace much more than the Labour Party. Included within the term’s definition was the whole trade union movement – many of whose members looked upon the Labour Party as ...
    1 week ago
  • NZ ‘left’ politically embracing extreme postmodernism
    by Philip Ferguson Much of the left, even people who formally identify as marxists, have collapsed politically in the face of postmodern gender theory of the sort pioneered by American philosopher Judith Butler. For Butler even biological sex is socially constructed. “If the immutable character of sex is contested, perhaps ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • The obvious question
    The media is reporting that the (alleged) Labour party sexual assaulter has resigned from their job at Parliament, which means hopefully he won't be turning up there making people feel unsafe in future. Good. But as with everything about this scandal, it just raises other questions. Most significantly: why the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The moment I found out that you found out, I acted swiftly
    By Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern I am every bit as angry as you are. I am every bit as disappointed as you must be. The people with power, oversight and the ability to do something about these processes within the Labour Party should be ashamed. Whoever those people are, I ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • This is why people hate property developers
    Property developers think there is an "oversupply" of houses in Auckland:High turnover rates and falling prices may be a sign that there are too many new houses going in to some parts of Auckland, commentators say. [...] Property developer David Whitburn said there was a "bit of an oversupply" in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Australia to Pacific: “Fuck you, you can all drown”
    World leaders are meeting in New York in two weeks for the 2019 Climate Action Summit, where they are expected to announce new and more ambitious targets to stop the world from burning. But the Australian Prime Minister won't be there, despite being in the USA at the time:Scott Morrison ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Implausible ignorance
    Labour Party president Nigel Haworth resigned yesterday over the party's sexual assault scandal. But while that's good news, its unlikely to take away the stench of a coverup. Because according to Paula Bennett in Parliament yesterday, pretty much everyone in the Prime Minister's office was involved as well:I have been ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Labour’s Fatal Flaw.
     Two-Faced? Labour insiders' commitment to the neoliberal status quo puts them at odds with their party’s membership; its trade union affiliates; and a majority of Labour voters, but this only serves to strengthen the perception they have of themselves as a special elite. Among the lesser breeds, they’ll talk up a ...
    1 week ago
  • Ten reasons the Tories do NOT want an election
    There has been a lot of talk about Boris Johnson wanting an election, and he has blustered with great gusto about 'chicken' Jeremy Corbyn refusing one, but I think there are many reasons why he is secretly glad he has been refused the opportunity:The Tories are an utter rabble,tearing themselves ...
    1 week ago
  • Prorogation Illegal, rule Scottish judges
    Scottish appeal court judges have declared that Boris Johnson’s decision to suspend parliament in the run-up to the October Brexit deadline is unlawful. The three judges, chaired by Lord Carloway, Scotland’s most senior judge, overturned an earlier ruling that the courts did not have the powers to interfere in the prime ...
    1 week ago
  • Let me explain what I meant by Everyday New Zealanders
    By Simon Bridges. The following is a press release from the office of Simon Bridges, leader of The National Party. Key ora, New Zealand. Happy Maori Language Week. Look, I’m writing to you today because I want to clear something up. There’s been a lot of kerfuffle around some things ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Yes, the SIS is subject to the Public Records Act
    I understand there's some stuff going round about how the SIS "was removed from the list of public offices covered by the Public Records Act in 2017". The context of course being their records derived from US torture, which will be disposed of or sealed. The good news is that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • An evidence-based discussion of the Canadian fluoride/IQ study
    Dr. Christopher Labos and Jonathan Jarry discuss the recent Canadian fluoride/IQ research. They provide an expert analysis of the paper and its problems. Click on image to go to podcast. The critical debate about the recent ...
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Australia in denial
    Australia is burning down again, and meanwhile its natural disaster minister is denying climate change:Australia’s minister responsible for drought and natural disasters, David Littleproud, has said that he doesn’t “know if climate change is manmade”. Clarifying earlier comments that the question is “irrelevant” when considering the Coalition government’s response to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Philippines activist speaking on the Duterte tyranny
    Auckland Philippines Solidarity is excited to host Professor Judy Taguiwalo for a speaking tour of NZ in September. She is a well-known activist in the Philippines and was a political prisoner under the Marcos dictatorship. Professor Taguiwalo briefly served as a Cabinet member under President Duterte but was forced from ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Disgust
    I have no special insights to offer on the Labour sexual assault coverup. All I have is disgust. Disgust that an organisation could fail its people so badly. Disgust that they punished the victims rather than the perpetrator. Disgust that its party hacks are apparently blaming the victims for demanding ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Speak Up for Women calls out Greens’ censorship
    This open letter to the Green Party was penned after an opinion piece by Jill Abigail, a feminist and founding member of the party, was censored by the Greens’ leadership. (Redline has reprinted her article here).The intolerance of the Green Party leaders and their acceptance of the misogyny of gender ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Member’s Day: End of Life Choice, part 3
    Today is a Member's day, and David Seymour's End of Life Choice Bill continues its slow crawl through its committee stage. They're spending the whole day on it today, though the first hour is likely to be spent on voting left over from last time. After that they'll move on ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Flight to Los Angeles turned back after passengers decide they don’t want to go anymore
    An ambitious plan to fly to Los Angeles petered out into a brief sight-seeing trip and a desire to return home and get some sleep before work tomorrow. Air New Zealand has confirmed a flight to Los Angeles last night was turned back about a quarter of the way into ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Indigenous Futures: defuturing and futuring – an analytical framework for policy development?
    There appears to be consensus – by omission – that the concept of indigenous futures should be accepted at face value. So I scavenged the internet to see if I could locate an academic descriptor or a framework around how we think about it as a concept, and whether it ...
    EllipsisterBy Ellipsister
    2 weeks ago
  • Cadbury rumoured to be releasing the Pineapple Trump
    Here’s another novelty chocolate to shove in your gob, New Zealand Cadbury could be seeking to make itself great again with a rumoured new release: Pineapple Trumps, a spin on its classic chocolate-encased pineapple treat and do-it-yourself tooth remover. The global confectionery manufacturer and bumbling “before” character in an infomercial, ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • The coming resource war.
    During my time in the Pentagon I had the privilege of sitting down with military leaders and defence and security officials from a variety of Latin American nations. Sometimes I was present as a subordinate assistant to a senior US defence department official, sometimes as part of a delegation that ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    2 weeks ago
  • Māori Language Week with The Civilian
    Kia ora, Aotearoa. It’s that magical time of year. Te Wiki o te Reo Māori. In English, the week that frightens talk radio. As you probably know by now, all your favourite media outlets are participating, some more successfully than others. Stuff has changed its name to Puna for the ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Will Horizons act on climate change?
    Local body elections are coming up next month. And it looks like all Palmerston North candidates for Horizons (the Manawatu-Whanganui Regional Council) want to take action on climate change:Climate change is set to be a key issue in Palmerston North for the next three years if those wanting to get ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • BORA reform is stalled
    Eighteen months ago, the government promised to strengthen the Bill of Rights Act, by explicitly affirming the power of the courts to issue declarations of inconsistency and requiring Parliament to formally respond to them. So how's that going? I was curious, so I asked for all advice about the proposal. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Corbyn and Brexit
    As the Brexit saga staggers on, the focus is naturally enough on the Prime Minister and his attempts to achieve Brexit “do or die”. But the role played by the Leader of the Opposition is of almost equal interest and complexity. The first problem for Jeremy Corbyn is that he ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    2 weeks ago
  • A ditch for him to die in
    Last week, English Prime Minister Boris Johnson boldly declared that he would rather die be dead in a ditch than delay Brexit. Unfortunately for him, the UK parliament accepted the challenge, and promptly dug one for him. The "rebellion bill" requires him to ask for and secure yet another temporary ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Warning! Warning! Danger Jacinda Ardern! Danger Marama Davidson! Warning!
    Lost In Political Space: The most important takeaway from this latest Labour sexual assault scandal, which (if I may paraphrase Nixon’s White House counsel’s, John Dean’s, infamous description of Watergate) is “growing like a cancer” on the premiership, is the Labour Party organisation’s extraordinary professional paralysis in the face of ...
    2 weeks ago

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