“Confusing and might be taken the wrong way by some”

Written By: - Date published: 9:34 pm, May 21st, 2009 - 49 comments
Categories: crime, employment, mt albert - Tags:

Duncan Garner had to do a balance piece against David Shearer because he has been at the forefront of covering the implosion of Melissa Lee’s campaign. Garner says someone “deep within” Lee’s campaign pointed him to an interview where Shearer says keeping employment high, particularly among migrant communities is important because when people don’t have work it is more likely some will turn to crime. Except he didn’t put it that clearly.

Actually, he was very inarticulate, which is a strange trait for a man with his background to have.

As gotcha politics though, this fell pretty flat. Garner called it an attempt at “payback for Lee’s awful performance so far” (payback? they’ve got no-one to blame but Lee). Garner acknowledged what Shearer was trying to say is true, unemployment does lead to crime, but his “comments are confusing and might be taken the wrong way by some”.

Might! Some! Oh noes.

The important thing is that Shearer, unlike Melissa ‘crims from South Auckland can’t use off-ramps’ Lee, is actually right. Crime is a symptom of poverty. Unemployment is a prime cause of poverty. Check out the numbers from StatsNZ.

 

unemployment-and-crime-rate

0.92 correlation. I’m actually amazed it’s that high. (It also has some pretty worrying implications for crime if unemployment reaches 8%  during this recession).

Incidentally, I wanted to do a graph to test  Lee’s motorways stop crime claim but I couldn’t even think of a remotely sensible way to that.
Marty G

49 comments on ““Confusing and might be taken the wrong way by some””

  1. gobsmacked 1

    Certainly not much of a “gotcha” when Shearer had already put out a press release on the subject that day:

    http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PO0905/S00285.htm

    Duncan Garner somehow forgot to mention that in his report.

    Poor Nats. It’s OK to be desperate – but the trick is not to look desperate.

  2. Was this an excerpt from a Monty Python episode?

    Of course there is a link between unemployment and crime. Your calculated correlation shows this clearly.

    I am not sure what Norman was on. This is unfortunately a familiar feeling. Shearer’s comments may not have been dynamic sound bite stuff but they were accurate and a proper representation of the issue.

    Is this somehow balance? One person maligns whole geographical and ethnic sectors of our society, the other makes a perfectly appropriate comment based on decades of research and understanding.

    The real difference is that I do not know one person who is proud to be unemployed. I know plenty of proud South Aucklanders and Pacificans.

  3. Anita 3

    Correlation does not mean causation. They could both be caused by some third (ungraphed) factor.

    BTW thanks for at least allowing the possibility that some crime is not caused by unemployment and/or poverty.

    • Marty G 3.1

      You’re quite right, Anita, that correlation does not necessarily mean causation but I would be very interested to know what you think the third factor might be. I think its well understood that poverty increases the likelihood that a person will commit crimes.

      You’ll note that the intercept is above 0. That is, even if unemployment were 0, crimes per person would be about 0.8, assuming the relationship holds.

      I think though, that your particular angle is that domestic crime is not caused by unemployment. True, it’s not a sole cause but I would have thought that unemployment as a cause of poverty, depression, substance abuse etc is certainly a factor in a lot of domestic violence.

      Note, I’m not saying that there isn’t domestic violence in wealthy families.

    • Hi Anita

      It is a theoretical possibility but are you able to name one factor that could account for this (increased crime rate)?

      I guess the abundance of time and the complete lack of financial resources along with the harming of one’s sense of worth are the real cause of increased crime amongst unemployed and not being unemployed per se but the three factors follow unemployment so strongly that for all intents and purposes perhaps we should treat the situation (unemployment) and the consequences (time, lack of finances and lack of self worth leading to increased crime) as the same?

      I should try to write shorter sentences …

      • Anita 3.2.1

        1) I am not saying that there is no causal relationship (in fact let me state for the record that I think there is), simply complaining about your implicit “there is correlation therefore there is causality” argument.

        2) You have actually hypothesised unemployment –> poverty –> crime. I’m not sure the first pair are exactly correlated, so your argument appears to be:
        I believe B–>C
        I believe A–>B
        I can show correlation between A and C
        Therefore B–>C and A–>C

        3) I am pretty sure that one could show a correlation between motorways and crime. For a start it seems that crime has fallen and motorways have increased (in length and probably in total number of offramps). So if we got the total length of motorways in the greater auckland metropolis (or number of off ramps) and the total crime stats and cherry picked the date range and adjusted the axes I reckon it would look convincing.

        4) Are you arguing that poverty is the determining factor for the level of domestic violence? You would be way wrong.

        Oops, attached to wrong comment, actually a reply to Marty G’s comment.

        P.S. mickysavage, I should learn to writer shorter comments 🙂

        • Marty G 3.2.1.1

          “4) Are you arguing that poverty is the determining factor for the level of domestic violence?”

          No. A factor among others that increases the odds of domestic violence. Like I specifically said because I feared you would choose to read words other than what I wrote.

          3) Yeah but that only works when crime is going in one direction over the sample period.

          2) I think it’s a bit strange you choose to frame unemployment leads to poverty, poverty leads to crime in such disparaging tones. It’s hardly controversial.

          1) When there is strong correlation, a logical reason why there would be causation and no other apparent reason for the correlation Occam’s razor says we ought favour the notion there is correlation rather than choose to believe in mysterious unknown common causes or mere coincidence.

          Don’t confuse causation with X being the sole cause of Y. In just means that a change in X will lead to a change in Y. It doesn’t exclude that Z (and A and B and…) is also a causative factor.

          • SPC 3.2.1.1.1

            The thing is, if unemployment leads to poverty and poverty leads to crime why did crime not go up during the depression?

            Other factors such as a sense of continuing community togetherness (when many are in the same boat) and or egalitarianism (generous provision) also play a part (a protection against crime).

            This is why crime rates explode amongst minorities experiencing economic disadvantage – they feel a disconnect from the haves and no sense of community with them (this speaks to immigrant groups and is a separate issue though similar to Maori alienation after the land loss).

            Which speaks to the need “close the gaps” – where there are gaps there is a multiplier at work.

    • wtl 3.3

      I’m sure there are studies which look at this in more detail, and give a better handle on the causation/third factor issue (longitudinal studies maybe?). Anyone interested in looking into this?

  4. gingercrush 4

    I can’t stand how Garner frames arguments. I never have. One reason I don’t watch Tv3. Don’t have to put up with that smug twit. It doesn’t matter what he is reporting on or who he is reporting to. The guy is an ass.

    • Pascal's bookie 4.1

      yes.

    • Quoth the Raven 4.2

      Agreed. If there is one thing we can take from this story it is that Duncan Garner is mentally deficient, but that was quite clear already. I suppose it comes with being a journalist.

  5. funwithstats 5

    you’re using two different scales on the y axis.

    Which disguises the fact that while unemployment dropped 50%, crime only dropped 10%.

    Clearly unemployment is a possible factor but definitely not the major factor in all crime. Although Shearer seems to think it is with Polynesian and immigrant comunities.

    • Marty G 5.1

      Of course I’m using two different scales. Crimes per person is around 0.1. Whereas the unemployment rate is around 0.05. Crime varied about 16% for a change in unemployment of nearly 50%. Put them on the same scale and you don’t see the correlation.

      You know what correlation means don’t you? It measures the likelihood that for a given change in X there is a given change in Y. Those changes don’t have to be of the same magnitude. For instance, if for every 1% taller a person is they are always 3% heavier, that is a correlation of 1, the size of the changes are different but the link between them is perfect. In the crime/unemployment correlation, the relationship is not perfect but it actually amazingly close for a pair of social indicators (anything over 0.2 is usually regarded as indicative of some, perhaps causative, link in social indicators)

      I chose to show a line graph because people are more used to it but I’ll put in a link to the scatter graph for you too if you like.

    • Marty G 5.2

      I’m not sure where you get that interpretation of Shearer’s words. Care to quote him? Because in the video he says to Garner that unemployment leads to some people getting into crime. He doesn’t say all unemployed people become criminals or that unemployment is the only reason people become criminals.

    • Anita 5.3

      Of course the axes are different, what’s being measured is different.

      Of course the proportions are not the same, what’s being measured is different.

      There is a correlation (and causal relationship) between ambient air temperature and tomato plant growth. Does it matter that the temperature at which tomato plant growth reaches 0cm/day is not 0º (on any scale) and that one is distance/time and the other is degrees something? Nope! 🙂

      • funwithstats 5.3.1

        visual representation of data is as much a part of statistics as the maths. Any stats course would teach about taking care not to persent data in a misleading fashion.

        it would be less misleading to convert both data sets to percentages. Then overall trends could be compared.

        But to go back to the facts – unemployment dropped 50%, crime 10%.

        It’s probably because there are different types of crime commited by different types of people.

        Shearer has taken the view that Polyensians and immigrants are more susceptible to crime when unemployed. He didn’t produce any facts to back that up and I can see why some in those communities could take offense.

        • Pascal's bookie 5.3.1.1

          Shearer has taken the view that Polyensians and immigrants are more susceptible to crime when unemployed.

          Bullshit he does. He is saying that the some communities are more susceptible to becoming unemployed, and that we should do something about that.

          from the link:

          “Particularly amongst those unskilled workers, unfortunately some of our migrant communities, the pacific island community for example the unemployment rate for the last three months has gone up from 8 to 13 percent,’ Mr Shearer says.

          “When people don’t have jobs they become very desperate and they have time on their hands, it’s very important to have skills training and keep people employed, and keep employment levels high so people become desperate and they become involved in criminality as well.”

          He does not say what you claim he is saying. At all. Pretty shameless for someone that’s nitpicking about graph axis.

          • SPC 5.3.1.1.1

            The time on their hands comment is pertinent*

            Back in the 90’s* there was the advocacy of work for the dole (despite the cost of the programme people not on it found paid work more quickly) – so by the end of the decade people were advocating job club (which in its American origins was basically keeping a record and reporting in daily about it of the employers/businesses annoyed that day).

            Training is much more effective – the problem is the cost of retraining (which is why the Jobs Summit idea of a 10th day in paid traiing was abandoned). Also existing training providers cannot just rapidly expand places (invest money) and then retrench back to lower levels when the economy recovers (they lose their investment and possibly their original business). Which is why government funding is vital.

            PS* The only thing of value in being unemployed is having free time – which is why those who would operate a low minimum wage economy would also run work for the dole and job club (and if they could term limits to welfare) to maintain demand for work.

          • funwithstats 5.3.1.1.2

            So he just happend to talk about migrants and Polynesians being unemployed and then straight after talks about unemployment leading to crime – along with the “idle hands” theme. Where have we heard that one before.

            Obviously Shearer isn’t racist but he has strayed from his comfort zone and said something quite stupid. No motorway invloved but it’s much the same ill-informed and somewhat dangerous musing on ethnicity and crime.

            He should be pinged for it just as much a Lee. But just as there were some on the Right who denied there was any issue with Lee’s musings so it’s the same on the Left with Shearer.

          • gobsmacked 5.3.1.1.3

            FunWith Spin

            Have you read Shearer’s press release?

            There is no comparison with Lee’s blurt.

        • Marty G 5.3.1.2

          If I had converted the figures to percentages we would have lost the information about the levels of crime and unemployment, which are also of interest.

          It’s clear that the percentage changes are different. Anyone can see that and I did not argue otherwise.

          Next you’ll be insisting that an axis always start at zero, even when one is looking at trends in a value that doesn’t approach zero.

          • funwithstats 5.3.1.2.1

            “It’s clear that the percentage changes are different.’

            you just happened to choose the scales for the two sets of data so the graphs appeard to be on top of each other. Which gives no visual indication of the percentage changes.

            You keep avooiding the fact that while unemployment fell by 50% crime only fell by 10%. So the relationship bwteen the two is a little more complex.

            But it is true that unemployment increases some types of crime in some population groups. Shearer made the mistake of claiming unemployment led to higher crime in immigrants and Polynesians. Maybe he has evidence for that.

          • Maynard J 5.3.1.2.2

            “Shearer made the mistake of claiming unemployment led to higher crime in immigrants and Polynesians. Maybe he has evidence for that”

            It is the other way around.

            He said they are groups with increasing unemployment, and made the link with increasing unemployment and crime. There sure is evidence of that – unemployment and crime do have a clear link. that is what this post illustrates despite your best efforts to not see it because you do not understand what correlation is (for starters, you seem to insist that there must be a 1% change in one factor leading to a 1% change in the other factor for there to be a correlation. You know that if a 1% change in one factor always leads to a 10% change in another factor that there is still a very strong correlation? obviously not).

            For someone making a fairly irrelevant hair-splitting point about numbers, you play fast and loose with words. And you get it wrong with both.

  6. James 6

    WTF is Norman on? Why is he jumping into this kind of crap story? Loads of Green people I know hate the way he is conducting himself.

  7. gobsmacked 7

    Incidentally, if we’re on the subject of 3 News shoddy reporting, they told us the guy running off with 10 million bucks from Westpac is Korean. That’s false.

    As this story has got vastly more attention and interest from the public than anything David Shearer might say, I reckon Melissa Lee might want to lodge a complaint!

  8. Excellent post.

    The reason you can’t think of a remotely sensible way to test the proposition that motorways “stop crime”—I think the phrase you’re looking for is “alter the geographic distribution of crime”; that’s what Lee was talking about—is that it’s a *much* more subtle claim than positing an unemployment-crime link. It’s not _quite_ as implausible as many make it out to be: motorways alter the goegraphic distribution of almost all other economic activity; there’s no good reason property crime (burglary/home-invasion, theft) should be any different. Whether or not it actually trends in the same direction Lee said it does is another matter entirely.

    (Note: I stipulate that Lee’s comment was stupid. That doesn’t make the question any less interesting from a more academic point of view.)

    The difficulty is the implicit assumpon that there is fixed population of people called “criminals” who do all the crime. (It’s not as tautological as it sounds. How many crimes must you commit before you are a “criminal”? How long must you spend as a completely law-abiding citizen before you are no longer a “criminal” for these statistical purposes?) Correcting for this is not straightforward, but there have been—mainly inconclusive, mainly anecdotal—attempts to do it.

    There’s no simple test for the proposition: you need to borrow methods from criminology, epidemiology, economics, and probably even fluid dynamics (to model traffic flow of “criminals”). Even then, I doubt you’d find conclusive evidence either for the proposition or against it.

  9. SPC 9

    CraFarms the experts in dirty dairying show a link between business and crime.

    The Serious Fraud Office was established because of white collar crime.

    Is there any disparity in rates of spouse abuse between middle class Pakeha families and others (to the import of economic stress as a cause there might be some)?

    My point is that one can use correlation to negatively profile people based on employment status (or low wage levels) – from there one profiles the whole working class (higher skilled workers excepted) as a group associated with crime risk.

    Most poor people are as law-abiding as the rest of the community.

    That said, crime does rise when there is economic distress – finance companies fleece investors, people of the middle class put their hand in the till, attempts at fraud by well presented conmen increase. Businessmen try and lay off workers after they have diverted money for redundancy payments elsewhere … . Loan sharks move in, even on some of the middle class.

    It is true though as the FBI BSU showed with an international survey back in the 80’s
    1. there was no link between crime and adult porn.
    2. there was a link between crime and economic disparity disadvantage experienced by an ethnic minority (little crime in mono-cultural egalitarian community and presumably multi-cultural egalitarian community where this was achieved).

    Which is why when you have ethnic groups with higher unemployment, it is unwise to hold benefits down too low – and closing the gaps is wise policy.

  10. wtl 10

    “Incidentally, I wanted to do a graph to test Lee’s motorways stop crime claim but I couldn’t even think of a remotely sensible way to that.”
    Incidentally, there is research on the patterns of crime, and the relationship with roads and other geographic and architectural features. Have a look at this interesting read:
    http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg19826541.000-sin-cities-the-geometry-of-crime.html

    Of course these things are a lot more complicated then what was suggested by a certain MP, and don’t involve prejudice about where people are from.

  11. Cossack 11

    If this is the best that the Nats can come up with then Labour should be fine. “Sources deep in the National Party” seem to be saying that unemployment isn’t a factor in crime statistics, when it is. Dumb stuff.

  12. Chris G 12

    Desperation stuff innit.

    A great post.

  13. Zaphod Beeblebrox 13

    Shearer was spot on. Can’t see how anything he said was clumsy. A bit too honest maybe but not clumsy. Even my ten year old son could see that unemployment may contribute to crime doesn’t mean that by becoming unemployed makes you a criminal
    Garner did him a huge favour by mentioning the tip off from National- desperate was to word coming to mind

  14. the sprout 14

    Garner did a beat up on Shearer last night too when the one excerpt screened of Shearer speaking at Auckland uni was the one answer he gave poorly. Admittedly his performance wasn’t stellar, but Shearer did ok (Norman did slightly better but he was still pretty limp), certainly not as poorly as Garner’s piece implied.
    Once again Garner wants to be the man to manipulate New Zealand politics at the expense of his viewers.

  15. outofbed 15

    WTF is Norman on? Why is he jumping into this kind of crap story? Loads of Green people I know hate the way he is conducting himself
    Tthat sentiment is expressed a lot on this blog,
    However I know a huge amout of Greens and have never once heard it expressed
    and on the contary, are very supportive of Rusell I gueess iI’ll find out for sure at the conference the weekend after next.

    • Marty G 15.1

      I think he’s actually performing very well by far the most relaxed, confident and articulate candidate but he does have something new in Green MPs, a willingness to get into a dirty attack, like this one. I don’t know why he would choose to be part of a pile on against Shearer when he must surely agree with what Shearer was saying because it’s true.

      • SPC 15.1.1

        Why is questioning what Shearer said a “dirty” attack – consummate politicians would welcome the opportunity to clarify what they said – and if they did not want to highlight the issue and talk further about it, why would they have raised it?

        Its actually providing Shearer with an opportunity to become part of some interplay, so the centre and left can dominate the by-election agenda.

    • IrishBill 15.2

      I know some very senior Greens who have expressed this sentiment OOB. But you are right, the proof will be in the pudding. I would advise you to also take note of who turns up and who doesn’t.

  16. gobsmacked 16

    I love Garner’s reference to his source as “deep within” National.

    Actually, the original source is an interview on public television in Auckland. What Garner’s really saying is “Here at 3 News we can’t even be bothered to watch the candidates on TV, we just wait to be told about it by the party spin doctors.”

    What a joke.

    (if he had any interest in real journalism rather than waiting for his stories to be delivered on a plate, he’d follow up this issue with Ravi Musuku. Now that would be worth seeing).

  17. emmess 17

    Balance my fucken arse
    1) It was not a lead story
    2) He specifically says Pacific Islanders, Lee did not, only Cunliffe said that
    3) He says Lee had an awful performance – all he says about Shearer it is confusing
    4) While Lee stumbled once in five minutes, and Garner himself was unable to correct her it lead the news, he ignores Shearers almost constant waffling

  18. George D 18

    Where are the stats in the graph from?

  19. Tim Ellis 19

    Much has been said about Ms Lee’s communication skills.

    How about this deep perspective from Mr Shearer:

    “No well what I was saying is I mean umm people are employed and ahhh contribute to their to their to their economy ahhh contribute to their families then obviously that is going to mean there is ahhh crime and and and the issues around crime and the reasons for crime are actually reduced I mean it’s obviously I think ahhh something we’re all concerned about.”

    If anybody can successfully interpret what that means, then I think they deserve a medal.

    Mr Shearer seems to be making a habit of waffle and bland, nonsensical replies.

    • gobsmacked 19.1

      So let’s make him Prime Minister!

      • bilbo 19.1.1

        Or at the very least an MP ……. surely waffle and bland non-sensical replies is a prime requirement for question time and most addresses within the house.

  20. gobsmacked 20

    A quick update: despite the best efforts of the wingnut bloggers, this Shearer non-story has been ignored by all media except Duncan “Dubya liked my suit” Garner. No surprises there.

    And it’s about to be wiped clean off the radar by Melissa Lee’s extraordinary confession this morning that she “hopes to come second.”

    The media (and the Greens, and ACT, and the Bill and Ben Party …) are going to be all over that one.

    • the sprout 20.1

      yeah i heard that interview.

      what kind of complete fool says in a campaign they hope to come second? it’s mind blowing.

      and how profoundly incompetent are National’s minders and handlers that they keep letting a candidate behave like this? the depth of their stupidity is really quite stunning. where did they learn their craft – the John Key School of Allocution? The GW Bush School of Higher Thought?

      i can’t believe Key continues to employ these munters – they reflect very poorly on his judgement.

    • Fuzzy Dunlop 20.2

      The story is here:

      http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/2432518/Lee-hoping-for-second-place

      My computer illiteracy prevents me from embedding it. Cut ‘n’ paste, boys and girls.

  21. Fuzzy Dunlop 21

    Oh look, it did it for me. Cool.

  22. gobsmacked 22

    And what comes next? Yep, the “clarification” … a.k.a. more digging.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10573871

    Oh dear.

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    3 days ago
  • Candidate Survey: Western Bay of Plenty – Local Body Elections 2019
    We surveyed candidates on their attitudes to issues facing the Western Bay Region, find out what they think: “Closing the Gap” Tauranga, one of the area groups of Income Equality Aotearoa NZ Inc., has surveyed all candidates in the three local body elections to discover attitudes to some basic issues ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    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
    4 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 ...
    5 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
    5 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
    1 week 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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