Market forces

Written By: - Date published: 11:17 am, September 3rd, 2015 - 70 comments
Categories: business, capitalism, class war, im/migration, john key, Syria - Tags: , , ,

Rosemary McLeod has an excellent piece in stuff this morning. Partly it laments the travesty of the flag process, but it transitions into a general take on market forces:

We are sold market forces, and their friend branding, as rational things and therefore good. And with them comes that awesome thing, the printed business mission statement. You see it everywhere, stuck to the office wall while staff beneath it yawn and pick their noses.

Well, market forces made little kids chimney sweeps in the 19th century, because they’d work 15-hour days for next to nothing, and if they dropped dead it didn’t matter. Market forces had women crawling through mines half-naked to drag out the coal, and yet more tots employed to open and shut trap doors for the loaded coal carts.

Women were cheap labour. Even hookers earned peanuts, because there were so many desperate competitors. Starvation is a great motivator, as well as a great market force I dare say.

I’m on a roll now. Market forces had yet more small children crawling under giant looms in factories, untangling threads and gathering the falling lint while the machines whirred above them and they breathed in the dust that would eventually kill them. Kids were disposable. When they died there were lots of new ones.

Market forces had industrial cities swathed in toxic fog, and poisoned waterways with aniline dyes. They sent the poor from villages and countryside into cities to sell their labour, and die just as poor as they ever were. And this was all a fine thing, because it made a few people incredibly rich. That was a good idea, I can’t remember why. And then trade unions were invented. Briefly.

A pretty fair summary. In a searing piece at Dimpost today, Danyl Mclauchlan takes the refugee disaster and market forces straight to Key:

Key’s mother was a refugee from the Nazis though, and you’d think that if any politician could see the virtue of giving these families a new chance on the other side of the world and to sell that to the public it’d be him. But Key didn’t get to where he is today by empathising with and helping helpless people, even though he’s ultimately only here because someone else did that for his family. His instincts are to help those who can help him and then extract maximal benefits from the exchange. And this mentality works for him personally, obviously, but it points to the nihilism in the dark heart of the transactional politics Key is such a master of: impoverished refugees have nothing to offer him, so they get nothing.

Is this our New Zealand?



70 comments on “Market forces”

  1. Ad 1

    One of Key’s rare fully tone-deaf moments, and it will cost him.

    Sometimes, even a grand planetary alignment between the Flag and the All Blacks can be undercut by events.

    Fully agree with you Anthony.

  2. Paul 2

    On the first referendum, I think people should draw a box below’ tick it and write
    ‘I believe that $26 million would be better spent on helping refugees.’

      • Ad 2.1.1

        Every uniform and document and website that is changed as a result will now be effectively colonized by this Key branding initiative. It’s a true viral marketing miracle for the government.

    • ankerawshark 2.2

      Or in the first ballot vote for the Koru flag to split the vote and stuff it up for Key who wants the fern.

      It is a very good point about Key’s background and not helping more refugees. Shows how truly heartless and without empathy he is.

    • It’s not like the government couldn’t just admit it’s not getting back into surplus soon and just do both, IMO.

  3. Ad 3

    When you add a few things together, John Key is truly altering the character of New Zealand:

    – Changing the flag. Once in a generation debate and effect.
    – Be colder to poor foreigners, but help rich foreigners with land, capital investment, and legislative alterations.
    – Accept that we are a bulk commodity economy and there is no changing it, no matter what the risk.
    – Actively attack unions and seek to get rid of them.
    – Love Rugby above all else.
    – The public sector can achieve so little that it should be privatized.
    – We are international leaders in the UN on nothing.
    – There is no need for public ownership of anything, and there’s need for only the slightest monopoly regulation

    Much as I admire his tactical skill, he has diminished New Zealand by making us smaller.

    • maui 3.1

      I thought the graphic yesterday showing that we’re one of the worst contributors in helping refugees in the western world, together with being one of the worst contributors to climate change in the western world is appalling.

    • Tracey 3.2

      agree. we got onto security council. thats the biggest joke right now

  4. maui 4

    Wow, what a column by Rosemary. Gets to the heart of the issue alright.

  5. Bill 5

    Would be nice to see the thoughts of Rosemary McLeod embedded in the political analysis of news pieces instead of being momentary flashes passing through the relative ghetto of ‘opinion columns’.

    Still nice to see such thoughts reproduced in mainstream print media though.

  6. Ralf Crown 6

    Refugee crisis: Prime Minister John Key stands firm, media write sob stories

    Maybe you should also write about the other side of the mass immigration in EU. It is estimated that only 10% of the migrants are genuine refugees. They arrive after having paid 10, 000 to 50,000 dollars in fees to human traffickers, they arrive in Adidas designer clothes with new iPhones. And write about the resulting gun battles in the street, the hate racist campaigns against Jews, the beatings and robbing of pensioners, the regular stone throwing mobs, the daily burning of cars, how they throw hand grenades at the police, how women out jogging are gang raped by African mobs, give kiwis the full story, not only the sob story. You can find it all in web media.

    Ralf Crown
    Freelance correspondent
    The Correspondents in China

    • Bill 6.1

      It is estimated that only 10% of the migrants are genuine refugees

      Not possible. See, refugees and migrants are two entirely different sets of people. I’ll give you an example. I’m a migrant. I wasn’t fleeing for my life and hadn’t been bombed out of my home or any such.

      As for the rest of your rant – pfft.

    • Gabby 6.2

      Do you call yourself a journalist? Is that a sample of your style?

    • greywarshark 6.3

      Ralf
      It’s unfortunate that there is a half crown who writes here and for a sec I thought you were he and was surprised. I’m not sure what your point is.

      Males who have paid large amounts of money to get over the water, and into Europe, and there are a lot of them, with nothing but Adidas shoes etc? and nothing to lose, I think leads to trouble. They are coming from lands where they haven’t been leading peaceful orderly lives for years – well there will be outbreaks of bad behaviour.

      Thank you for bringing it to our attention, as it is the numbers and officials dealing with them and the dead bods that have to be processed and buried that we hear most about.

    • half crown 6.4

      He’s not me and to prove it this is my take on his opinion.

      ” And write about the resulting gun battles in the street, the hate racist campaigns against Jews,”

      Yeah agree, give kiwis the full story LIke the way the Jews have stolen the Palestinians land and how they bombed a so called UN “safe house” school in that biggest concentration camp called Gaza with banned White Phosphor bombs.
      Remind me again When was the grenade thrown, and where was it thrown? Wasn’t in Kiev in the Ukraine was it ? suspected by an ultra right winger was it ?

  7. esoteric pineapples 7

    I see Rosemary McLeod as one of those once talented young liberal journalist/opiners who in later life has become dry and cynical for no good reason, with a generally conservative view of mainstream New Zealand society. Raging against the machine now feels like too little, too late. At the very least, she should have been complaining about this government seven years ago. I’m not sure she won’t fall back into a comfortable slumber, writing columns full of generalisations about sections of society she doesn’t have anything to do with, and towns she hasn’t lived in for 50 years. Hopefully, I will be pleasantly surprised by a permanent about-face.

  8. Byrnz 8

    Hell! Was Rosemary on holiday? Did her account get hijacked??

  9. Heather Grimwood 9

    Truly wonderful pick-me-up to read Rosemary’e writing and thanks Anthony for bringing it to my attention. I’ve been so desolated today by reading of Maurice Williamson’s atrocious actions ( so revealing his underlying unfitness for belonging to Government) that I needed this ‘cheer’ !

  10. rhinocrates 10

    But wait, what does Hosking have to say on refugees?!

  11. Heyegg 11

    Helping refugees and social housing are goods in themselves, you don’t need to be a recipient to work that out.

  12. Chooky 12

    +100 Good Post….and when Rosemary McLeod’s writing is good she can be very, very perceptive and thought provoking.

  13. Lloyd 13

    John is right. We must keep the Ruth Keys out of the country. If we let these refugees into the country and give them housing they will breed and take over the country and sell it off………

  14. sabine 14

    priorities

  15. The lost sheep 15

    Rosemary attacks Market forces on the basis of conditions 100 years ago?
    So how does she explain the astonishing improvements in living standards, wealth, health, and general societal conditions in the meantime?
    It’s all been under Market forces hasn’t it?

    • vto 15.1

      ha ha ha ha, really? When in doubt fulla, don’t shout it out….

      Perhaps you could outline what has been the result of solely market forces ….. you might come up with plastic buckets but that would be about it.

      • The lost sheep 15.1.1

        Perhaps you could outline what has been the result of solely market forces

        Solely? You mean like Rosemary is stating above?
        That’s an extremely simplistic stance. It’s like saying that Communism was ‘solely’ responsible for the Russian Purges.

        I would think a more sophisticated view would be that market forces have been a central component of our economic system since the times Rosemary is talking about…and therefore have been a major component in ALL the changes that have occurred since.

        • vto 15.1.1.1

          so already dancing on the head of a pin ….

          but carry on … lets hear some example lost sheep

          • The lost sheep 15.1.1.1.1

            Well let’s take a single person like the inventor/entrepreneur Thomas Edison.
            Developed the electric Light, The phonograph, the motion picture camera, and rolled them all out using a purely commercial mass-production model in order to meet consumer demand for those products.
            Commercial developments that went on to spawn huge industries world wide that grew on and existed on a purely commercial basis to meet an insatiable demand for those products.
            How much wealth did those industries create that did not exist before VTO? And not just for those who got rich off them. How many JOBS for working class people have those market driven developments provided?
            And how much benefit do ALL of our lives gain from widely available inexpensive electricity, recorded sound, moving pictures?
            Just one man/one example…

            • One Anonymous Bloke 15.1.1.1.1.1

              If our nation can issue a dollar bond, it can issue a dollar bill.

              Thomas Edison comes out for printing money.

              This is not the champion of market forces you are looking for.

              • The lost sheep

                I must of made a good point. You are trying to obfuscate the discussion.

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  You failed to establish that the price of goods fostered Edison’s genius. I suspect it may have been his education. Do go on.

                  • The lost sheep

                    No doubt his education was crucial.
                    And that very same education was responsible for the fact that he was a business entrepreneur from a very early age and developed all his inventions on a classic capitalist model through the commercial market?

                    What evidence is there that he would have committed the time and resources to develop those inventions if there had been no prospect of making money out them by meeting consumer demand for them?

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      What evidence is there that he would have had customers at all were it not for the rule of law?

        • One Anonymous Bloke 15.1.1.2

          market forces have been a central component of our economic system

          So you’re saying that the price of, demand for, and availability of commodities are important factors in economics. And that’s your political banality philosophy.

          🙄

          • The lost sheep 15.1.1.2.1

            I’m going a bit further than that OAB. I’m saying that allowing those forces to play out to a large degree is a good thing.

            • One Anonymous Bloke 15.1.1.2.1.1

              Yes, you and Max Bradford can pay lip service to that, but why not buy a table at Cabinet Club anyway, just to be on the safe side.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 15.2

      Are you really so ignorant?

      • The lost sheep 15.2.1

        Have you got a point to make?

        • One Anonymous Bloke 15.2.1.1

          explain the astonishing improvements in living standards, wealth, health, and general societal conditions

          Um, let’s see, how about democratic government interventions in the marketplace? Education, universal suffrage, the welfare state.

          You keep on making this tired old assertion over and over again, and each time you get schooled in history and fail to learn a damn thing.

          • The lost sheep 15.2.1.1.1

            As i point out above OAB, it would be simplistic to claim (as Rosemary does) that one factor explained the human situation.
            So I agree that all the other factors you mention, and many more, are essential components, as are market forces.

    • half crown 15.3

      The lost sheep wrote @ 7.52am #15

      “So how does she explain the astonishing improvements in living standards, wealth, health, and general societal conditions in the meantime?
      It’s all been under Market forces hasn’t it?”

      No it hasn’t

      A lot of the conditions my friend was brought in after the second world war. When the western world politicians, and I include New Zealand politicians, good people like Sir Keith Holyoak, conservatives as well as socialist’s had a social conscience and created the likes of the Marshall plan which went one hell of a long way to get Europe on it’s feet, and in the UK bankrupted through the second world war, in 45 introduced very good housing policies that re housed a lot from bombed out districts as well as slum clearance, the National Health Service that overnight fixed nearly all the nations dental health problems something the working class’s suffered along with other health issues from inadequate dental & health care. Eliminated Rickets (a disease returning to the north of England along with child poverty and homelessness) The return of these 1800 scourges has been caused by the likes of Thatcher, Camoron, and our own Fucking Spiv, because they worship at the alter of this neo classic dogma that believes “the” (fucking greed and sod you jack) market can do it better. Biggest bit of bullshit going for dismantling these systems and selling off to their Spiv mates. It was not a perfect system nothing is and there were some mighty problems, and some mighty big disasters like the Labour governments “Ground Nut Scheme”. But it was certainly lot better than what we have now and McLeod is pointing out the fact that was the conditions under the “market Forces” Something we are returning to with the conditions I have already outlined.

      • The lost sheep 15.3.1

        Correct me if I am wrong, but during the era’s you refer to as examples of ‘strong social conscience’, market forces were still retained as a fundamental part of our economic system?
        So ‘market forces’ alone do not make it inevitable that children work as chimney sweeps or that you cannot build social housing?
        Human society is a bit more complex than that?

        Rosemary’s implication is one you see quite frequently here and one worth pointing out for the nonsense it is.
        If you removed Market Forces completely then suddenly self interest would disappear as a key human motivation and all societies would become nirvana’s of equality and communal altruism….

        Well it’s been tried innit? And it turn’s out there are a couple of small flaws in that theory.
        First is human nature. Love it or loath it, there it is. Bugger of a thing to change as it turns out.
        Second is the limitations of human ability to control complex situations. And the human economy is very complex indeed.

        So you can let those very complex interactions play themselves out freely, or you can attempt to control them completely, or you can find a balance between those poles.

        Which is what we do. Because although letting Market forces run completely uncontrolled is a very bad thing, experience has taught us that there is one thing that is even worse.
        And that is letting a human bureaucracy try to completely control them.
        Just doesn’t work at all.

        • One Anonymous Bloke 15.3.1.1

          Of course, on Earth, extolling the virtues of ‘market forces’ is a euphemism for “the private sector is always more efficient”. It’s a lie, cf: SERCO, Max Bradford, Stephen Joyce, etc. etc.

        • McFlock 15.3.1.2

          Ok, you’re wrong.

          Market forces alone, by themselves, make it inevitable that children will work as chimney sweeps. Or, indeed, burn to death in a factory that makes cheap pants for high-end clothing brands, if you want a more recent example.

          Market forces accompanied by human decency stop that from happening.

          • One Anonymous Bloke 15.3.1.2.1

            And the least efficient global manifestation of human decency apart from all the other ones that have been tried, is social democracy.

            • McFlock 15.3.1.2.1.1

              Although, back in the day, many pub hours were spent arguing the superiority of democratic socialism vs social democracy.

              I’d switch sides halfway through and see if anyone noticed 😉

          • The lost sheep 15.3.1.2.2

            Yeah, I believe I did say that leaving market forces completely uncontrolled would be a very bad thing, and that is why we control them as part of a complex system.
            So I think I got that bit right?

            But I did say that attempting to fully control them by a human bureaucracy was the worst option of all.
            Where do you stand on that point?

            • One Anonymous Bloke 15.3.1.2.2.1

              I’d like to see your evidence, and I’d like you to consider Stephen Pinker and Friedrich Schiller’s arguments in your response.

              • The lost sheep

                Evidence?
                The absolute lack of successful economies that have tried to complete eliminate market forces?

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  The list of societies that have tried to eliminate the price of goods is null.

                  • The lost sheep

                    Yeah, so no one has ever silly enough to think that completely eliminating prices was a good idea, and that’s not the question I posed.
                    But the list of countries that have tried to tightly control the price of goods and other market forces such as supply is quite long, and well documented, so surely you can find plenty of success stories among them?

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      Yes, I can.

                      PHARMAC and ACC era New Zealand, for example. The relative success of the “New Deal”, for example. I already cited Schiller and Pinker, so let’s add Piketty.

                      And in the abject failure corner, Hayek Greenspan Sachs Trump Key and Rand.

                • McFlock

                  Juxtaposed against the absolute lack of economies that had both:
                  A) unrestricted (or barely restricted) markets; and

                  B) any regard for the safety, dignity and longevity of workers (of any age).

            • McFlock 15.3.1.2.2.2

              I’d say that slavery in Brazil was just as bad as any society where markets were attempted to be banned/”fully” controlled.

              But then Rosemary McLeod never advocated “fully” controlling market forces, so your dichotomy is false. As usual.

              • The lost sheep

                I had this same discussion yesterday McFlock.
                For all the evils Rosemary names, she categorically states that ‘Market forces made‘ them, and she does not mention any other factor at all as being involved.
                But you want me to accept that what she was actually saying was that market forces were a ‘contributing factor’ to those evils?
                She’s a bright lady with a great control of language…if that’s what she meant why didn’t she say so?

                In the meantime, I’ll continue to comment on what people actually say, not how you want to interpret it when the discussion starts to make their original statements look a bit silly.

                I agree about slavery in Brazil. But once again you are talking about a situation that has dramatically improved in a world that has market forces?
                And you didn’t say where you stood on attempting to control them completely?

                • McFlock

                  Brazil only (moderately) improved after the slave market was controlled then eliminated. Left to its own devices, markets turn people into disposable goods.

                  And no, it’s not an argument about “contributing factors” vs “sole causes”. This is an argument about whether A, by itself, necessarily leads to B. Not whether B was caused by A, C and D.

                  Unrestricted markets always lead to people being treated as disposable commodities, because markets provide an inherent advantage to sociopaths. In an unrestricted market, shit floats to the top more quickly than cream.

                  That is why workers die in factory fires. That is why corporations sell products that do not work, or even are dangerous (or, in the case of bomb detectors sold for checkpoint use in Iraq, both). That is why companies go into liquidation because it’s cheaper than cleaning up their own chemical waste. That is why lead paint is used in kids toys. All of those happen to this day because the cost-cutting for short term gain provides an advantage over companies that want to provide good, safe products and services in a safe and decent manner over the long term. And then the owners of the cost-cutters simply move on to the next short term profit.

                  And you didn’t say where you stood on attempting to control them completely?

                  Oh, it’s bad. But it’s also completely irrelevant to anything Rosemary said, or indeed anyone here except you has said.

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  …which no-one has ever claimed is a goal, other than you. Mr. Strawman is on your dancecard, but he called in sick, and now you have no dancing partners.

          • half crown 15.3.1.2.3

            Thanks for that McFlock & OAB, I am a bit pissed off as I wanted to answer the lost sheep in depth. However you have said already said what I wanted to say in possibly better English and grammar than I could have said. Going off topic, I can now relax if you call it relaxing, and return to reading my book by Ayan Rand. What a heap of crap, the women was mental, she should have been locked up as a danger to society. I can only think how lucky we are that she was not an ambitious politician/dictator like Stalin, Hitler or Pinochet. If she was, Orwell’s 1984 would look like a paradise. These “libertarians” or right wing fuckwits who follow her preaching s should be sent to an island somewhere, where they can wank all day over her theorems whilst the rest of us try and get on and build a better society which will encompass everybody.

  16. les 16

    when will the Q.E money go round ,derivatives and ludicrous debt levels blow up?
    ‘ The Brown-Kaufman proposal to limit the size of banks was defeated, 60 to 31. Bank supervisors meeting in Switzerland did mandate minimum reserves that institutions will have to hold, with higher levels for the world’s largest banks, including the six biggest in the U.S. Those rules can be changed by individual countries.
    They take full effect in 2019.’

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

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