Musings on Mana

Written By: - Date published: 10:49 am, December 7th, 2011 - 22 comments
Categories: greens, hone harawira, mana, maori party - Tags: , , , , ,

David Small has been a activist for social justice for a long time. Notably in the 1981 tour and getting raided by the SIS in 1996. He is currently a Senior Lecturer in Education at the University of Canterbury, in the US on Fulbright scholarship, and Barrister and Solicitor of the High Court of New Zealand. He offers his views on the Mana party effects on left politics in NZ.

Where to now for progressive electoral politics in Aotearoa?

When Hone Harawira parted ways with the compromised remnants of the Māori Party, some left-leaning activists, political figures and commentators were quick to seize on the possibility of building a political party around him that would advance the interests of Māori as well as the broader left. I was skeptical. I believed that while Hone’s agenda (that is the kaupapa on which the Māori Party was originally formed) overlapped with that of the broader left, it was not the same. I hoped that Hone would aim to forge ahead with a progressive Māori party that would win the Māori seats and eventually become the natural electoral vehicle of Māori.

I also had a number of concerns about the Māori/left mix that was being touted. For one, it seemed as though it was really serving as a shortcut to get a left-wing party up and running without doing the hard yards of building it from the bottom up. Hone’s seat would give the party a parliamentary presence which might be convenient in the short-term but could ultimately make it unsustainable. The experience of the Alliance showed both the benefits and the pitfalls of parties being dependent on the electorate seat of a single individual.

Bomber Bradbury (who defriended me over this) and others kept quoting electoral arithmetic that “proved” that the Māori/left party idea would produce the numbers to oust National. I always doubted the possibility and even the desirability of a government with Goff as PM. But I was more concerned at the medium/long-term impact such a party might have on the rest of the electoral landscape and in particular on the Greens.

The Greens are the only “third party” that has survived for the life of MMP without ever having the luxury of an electorate seat. And they have done so whilst undergoing a total change in leadership. I think their model of dual leadership and the historical accident of not having an electorate seat have contributed to their sustainability. (Labour may have done them a favour by refusing to cut them an inch of slack in the Coromandel all those years ago.) Also, notwithstanding the criticism leveled at the Greens for refusing to rule out a deal with National this year, they remain one of the most progressive Green parties in the world. My worry about the proposed Māori/left party was that it if it had a reasonable showing in November, it could have attracted enough votes from the Greens to pull them under the 5% threshold. I was also concerned that if too many progressive Green members and activists jumped ship to Mana, the Greens could drift to the right.

As it happens, I doubt that Mana took more than a few hundred votes off the Greens. Mana performed quite well in the Māori seats, with Hone holding Te Tai Tokerau, Annette Sykes coming a strong second in Waiariki and Angeline Greensill pushing the Māori Party into third place in Hauraki-Waikato. But the leading Pakeha candidates failed miserably.

Just 402 people or 1.7% of the voters backed John Minto in Manukau East. This was only 22 more than the Conservative Party candidate and half the support of the NZ First candidate. Sue Bradford did even worse in Waitakere coming sixth out of seven candidates with less than 1% support. The Conservative Party candidate got twice as many votes as Sue and even the legalise cannabis guy beat her. I have the greatest respect for John and Sue but, at three and four respectively on the Mana list, it would have been bizarre for them to have been carried into parliament with anything like that level of electorate support.

I think Mana’s future lies in the direction I always hoped Hone would take; building a strong progressive Māori party that can win and hold the Māori seats. And I think the non-Māori left who are interested in electoral politics can lend Mana some support but need to look elsewhere for our own political parties. Help to maintain the Greens as a progressive force. Use the opportunities presented by the rout of Labour to keep it true to its principles. Or start building a new left vehicle that might tap into the sort of inspiration that spawned the Occupy phenomenon and engage the disenfranchised into thinking and acting politically.

Just my two cents. Comments and conversation wanted.

David Small

22 comments on “Musings on Mana”

  1. Colonial Viper 1

    This demonstrates the need for parties on the left to sit down and seriously co-ordinate what they are doing and how they are positioning themselves in the electorate.

  2. alex 2

    Broadly I agree that Harawira is not that interested in building a left-wing party, but I think you have missed the point on Bradford. She was going out of her way to not get electorate seats because the broader left plan was to unseat the unpopular Paula Bennett, which meant people had to vote Sepuloni. Furthermore there was absolutely no way the Greens were ever going to slip under 5% this time around, even with a surging Mana party. They play to very different demographics. The real casualty of a strong Mana party could only have been Labour who might have lost their dominance over South Auckland.

    • gingercrush 2.1

      She didn’t get party votes for Mana either and to be honest the electorate votes she got would have been better had they gone to Sepouloni. In other words Sue Bradford didn’t actually help Sepuloni. Primarily, the problem lies with where you get your votes from. I don’t know why Bradford and Minto or any of the left outside Labour expect the unemployed and low-income to flock to them.

      You show your own ignorance in presuming South Aucklanders would actually vote for Mana. South Auckland were some of Mana’s best areas. Still less than 0.90%. But outside of the Maori electorates their best results were in Northland and Rotorua. Undoubtedly Harawira and Annette Sykes played a part in that.

      I still think if Mana persists on being more than a maori party then they will need capture votes in the urban swing seats where the Greens have done well. Taking a mere 1% from those electorates would be helpful. In addition provincial electorates such as Northland, East Coast, Rotorua, Taupo and Whangarei could be places where they could capture votes.

      • lprent 2.1.1

        It is a question about how you can bootstrap a party under MMP, and that is the question that David Small is asking.

        So far we have two moderately successful models that have survived to date and managed to go independent of a reliance on an electorate seat. The Greens and NZ First. 

        In both cases under MMP they used an electorate seat as a centre. The Greens in Coromandel and NZF in Tauranga. In both cases they survived losing that seat but managed to stay above 5%.

        Arguably (as David points out for the Greens) losing the seat was actually beneficial because it forced those parties off the dependence on defending an electorate seat. That appears to have caused several other parties to fail IMHO including Act, Progressives, and United Future. They spend so effort in those seats that they don’t build a constituency.

        Both NZF and the Greens have a nation-wide constituency and therefore a nationwide party organisation. While they had it before, they had to develop that further without a electorate seat. It makes their parties resilient.

        While NZF dropped below 5% in 2008, that is likely to be more because of the cynical campaign waged on NZF by NAct to cause their 4% vote to be redispersed giving National two extra seats in 2008 (see Hager’s excellent “I’ve just been internalising a really complicated situation in my head“. They certainly laid the ground work for their predicable (to me anyway) bounceback this last election.

        As you say, if Mana wants to survive long term, they really need to start building that wide constituency and plan on losing TTT.

         

        • marty mars 2.1.1.1

          “As you say, if Mana wants to survive long term, they really need to start building that wide constituency and plan on losing TTT.”

          Time is needed and it seems to me that they are working really well on building their voter base – but time is needed as it was for the Greens and NZF. Once people hop on the Mana waka I can’t imagine, barring some disaster, that they would leave. Losing TTT is always there but far too early to be thinking of that IMO – let’s get a few notches on the belt first.

          • Tiger Mountain 2.1.1.1.1

            I understand the point lprent is making, but Mana is already more than parliamentary numbers and strategy which a look at the the Mana FB presence shows. The place is bubbling with (albeit sometimes naive) enthusiasm. And it is cash strapped, it was bring a plate at Hone’s election night function. Hone’s re election was needed as a platform and resource to try and help build the base from at this early stage. What do you think other fledgling parties do? Parliamentary rules regarding docking of MPs pay for absence on sitting days are set to be changed i.e. increased, I would argue to give Mana a biff, as Hone as is his style, has said he will be out and about during the year.

            “There is more to a seat in parliament than sitting on your arse”… as the bard Bragg once sang.

            Way too early to give up on TTT just yet. There are Northland/Far North issues a plenty such as mining exploration off Oneroa a Tohe (90 mile Beach) and an unhelpful and some would say racist FNDC led by Mayor Wayne Brown.

            David Small tries to make a case for opportunism from the left involved with Te Mana Movement. Many of the marxists are actually quite diffident about Mana and have offered qualified but respectful support. Don’t forget the history with the likes of John and Sue being part of the 81 tour movement that kept the focus on racism in Aotearoa-our own back yard, once the thugby was over.

            • lprent 2.1.1.1.1.1

              it was bring a plate at Hone’s election night function

              When would it not be? Offhand I can’t think of a function in Mt Albert Labour that hasn’t been like that unless you’re paying for the food through a ticket. Money is there for campaigning and I always bring along a lot of change to any party function.

              Way too early to give up on TTT just yet.

              Oh I’d agree – but an analogy with the drugs that keep me alive (and others)….

              Mana activists really need to be aware that having a reliance on the electorate seat is like any drug. It leads to a dependency which when withdrawn causes withdrawal symptoms that may cause death. Even having it causes problems because you have to keep expending effort to keep it fulfilled that you cannot expend on more productive life extending activities.

              • Fair point Lyn – but that dependency comes from having the seat and keeping the seat – I look forward to the day when dependency with the seat is an issue – can’t see it at the moment, although the dependency attitude must always be watched out for.

                And I agree with TM that there are many many issues to be addressed and Mana will be addressing them I hope.

                Lets put it into perspective though – imagine a year or two ago – there was no Mana, no choice and no hope and now we have all three – not just for Māori but for all who value equality as a basic human right. These early years of the Mana Movement will form a nice early chapter in the history of the movement. The legends are being created as we speak.

        • Lanthanide 2.1.1.2

          I think Mana is a bit different from the other 1-seat wonders though, in that Mana has a real shot of taking 2 or 3 electorates once the MP fades.

          That in fact may put them in an even worse position, though: then no one gives you their party vote because it would be “wasted” and so you end up causing an overhang and never get any talented list candidates in.

          • Ari 2.1.1.2.1

            Depends, in some respects it’s actually easier to campaign for electorates, so potentially Mana could make some headway campaigning to get as many electorates as possible.

            There’s also the possibility that the MMP review will bump the threshold down significantly. At 2-4%, Mana could simply refuse to campaign outside TTT and go for the party vote to grow to the point they become a list party, and at the ideal .89-1% threshold, Mana would already be in the position to lose TTT.

    • Ari 2.2

      I don’t think you’re entirely right that Mana and the Greens play to entirely different demographics, as both tend to have support among very progressive Maori or very progressive Pakeha who are interested in politics of strong solidarity. I considered voting for Mana this election, (I gave my party vote to the Greens on the logic that it was far more likely to help an extra MP into parliament there) and I’m usually a Green voter, and I know a lot of people who would usually have voted Green actually DID vote for Mana. I think we just didn’t notice Mana convincing previous Green supporters to vote for them because of the strong surge in the Green Party vote anyway.

      There are of course audiences that Mana will appeal to that the Green Party won’t because of its pragmatic philosophy, and that’s fine, and hopefully will be enough for Mana to start convincing some disenfranchised Labour, former-Labour, or Maori Party voters into the fold.

  3. Jim Nald 3

    Key’s precedent with having cabinet ministers like Mr 0.61% Dunne and Mr 1.07% Banks means it should also be acceptable for a Government led by the Left to have Mr 1% Harawira as a cabinet minister ?

    *Percentages based on current prelim figures: http://www.electionresults.org.nz/electionresults_2011/partystatus.html

  4. Richard 4

    “The Greens are the only “third party” that has survived for the life of MMP without ever having the luxury of an electorate seat.”

    False. The Greens held Coromandel in 1999-2002. 

    • Lanthanide 4.1

      Correct, but the point is that they just barely scraped over the 5% threshold and therefore didn’t need the electorate seat anyway. And I believe they only won it because the previous incumbent left (or everyone was pissed at them) and Labour weren’t standing a strong candidate.

      I believe they’ve been a distant 3rd in Coromandel since.

  5. It is early days yet and Mana have proved that they are are a party where tino rangatiratanga and social justice are the kaupapa. Hone’s war on poverty line was deliberate, even though I don’t like the terminology personally.

    I have posted about a book I just finished reading about Miyamoto Musashi and the lessons from his legend that the Mana Party can follow. Such precepts as “keep you opponents waiting”, “learn other ways than just the sword” and that, as Musashi developed an innovative two sword technique that allowed him to defeat multiple enemies, so the Mana Party can learn to win against multiple opponents with their own innovative techniques. Hone and Mana must stay true to the kaupapa and disregard distractions from the right, centre and left.

    http://mars2earth.blogspot.com/2011/12/discussing-book-and-mana-party.html

  6. Tiger Mountain 6

    People often miss out the “Movement” part of Te Mana’s name. And that is the key to its future. Supra parliamentary. That is where left politics must regain traction.

    A number of young people are getting involved at branch and campaign level. Young are a major non voting apolitical sector, so that is a positive. To banish Hone back to some sort of a ‘left’ Māori party is continuing dead end identity politics. Mana is a hybrid, Māori led, weighted toward kaupapa Māori but inclusive of other opressed and exploited peoples in a post colonial country under the thumb of finance capital, with a bankster as PM.

    Mana contributes more of a class analysis than any other party in parliament. The other parties all claim to stand one way or another for “every New Zealander”, the reality of course being something different, Mana does not. Mana Movement may be a six month old aspiration but it is one worth retaining in the environment that ev and AFKTT point out here regularly.

    It may have been better not to stand in the general seats (this time round) on retrospect. The thinking was to try and snag some party vote. Bit tricky when Bennett would not even front up to debates in Waitakere. Mana will likely have more seats at the next election, particularly if the Māori Party attach themselves to the nats again.

    The left, parliamentary and non parliamentary, do need a lot more formal coordination as the fear and loathing has started already with this government before the specials have even been announced.

  7. fatty 7

    I still fail to understand why a party cannot be pro-equality and pro-Maori…to me it makes sense, and nobody has come close to justifying why…surely people realise that capitalism is the new colonialism

  8. randal 8

    faty fool.
    hone is his own man.
    he delivers and he understands the issues.
    identifying undiagnosed nicotine addiction in youth was a masterstroke.
    as long as he concentrates on health and education and votes against asset sales he will be right.

  9. BruceMcF 9

    “I believed that while Hone’s agenda (that is the kaupapa on which the Māori Party was originally formed) overlapped with that of the broader left, it was not the same.”

    Nor could any single party agenda be the same as the agenda of “the broader left”. That’s why its so hard to organize “the broader left” in the first place, since “the broader left” so rarely fits into a single agenda.

    It seems to me that the musings above skips a step. For the Mana Party, the question is whether a Maori-led progressive party has a long term future as a viable political party. For “the broader left”, the question is what impact a long-term viable Maori-led progressive party would have on “the broader left”. Before thinking about what impact a Maori-led progressive party might have, for good or ill, it bears musing on what the general shape of such a party would be.

    First, if its to be a Maori-led progressive party, rather than an exclusively-Maori progressive party, there has to be some reason for pakeha and Pasifika voters to join a party and a movement that is explicitly Maori-led. And for it to attract Maori-support as a Maori-led progressive party, it has to have a durable commitment to being and remaining Maori led.

    Thinking about it from both sides of that political equation, the Maori seats are the key. As long as the parliamentary party is anchored on the Maori seats, the political dynamics of contesting Maori seats ensures that it remains a Maori-led party. And in terms of what progressive pakeha members of a Maori-led party get out of joining a Maori-led party ~ its the Maori seats, and the promise of not being subject to the threat of electoral wipe-out in the event of vote slipping below the 5% threshold.

    If Maori seats are to be used in that way, it has to be done honestly to be viable over the long haul. Any cynical effort to use the Maori seats as leverage for what is a pakeha-led party behind the scenes would be sniffed out later if not sooner, and result in loss of the Maori seats ~ after all, the charge will be made in any event for a Maori-led party that campaigns for votes outside the Maori electorate, and the only way to stand against the charge over the long haul is for it to be fundamentally untrue..

    From that perspective, I agree that the position of the pakeha candidates on the party list needs some consideration. I wonder about the wisdom of having a party list for what has to be a Maori-led party to have ANY position down the list with a plurality of pakeha MP’s. A “Maori-led party with broader appeal” identity suggests that the first two candidates on the list should be Maori candidates and then from slot 3 on down, no more than one in two non-Maori candidates.

    In the New Zealand electoral system, for the party to be anchored on the Maori seats but not limited to the Maori seats means that it cannot be an “overhang” party. It has to aspire to attract a sufficient party list vote to bring members in from the party list. There are three sides to that. First, it has to win the party list votes of its electorate voters. In other words, it has to convince its electorate voters that it is not an “overhang” party and that a party list vote for the Mana Party is not a wasted party list vote. And second, it has to win split votes in the broader electorate, voting party list for the Mana Party and casting the electorate vote for the preferred LOTE among the serious contenders.

    Which kind of means its general electorate candidates are out there trying to win party list votes. It might even be useful to start out, “I’m not asking you to vote for me. I’m asking you to vote for the Mana Party,”, and then make the case for the Mana Party movement and the specific platform it is putting forward in that particular election.

    Third, it has to win party list votes from the Maori electorate outside of those who cast their electorate vote for the Mana Party candidate. In other words, it should aspire to reverse the current Maori Party split vote pattern, and have a stronger party list vote in the Maori seats than its electorate vote. Which means that the Maori seat candidate needs to find the way to express, one way or another, “I’m asking for your vote. And whether or not you vote for me, I’m asking you to support the Mana Party.”

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    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
    6 days 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
    6 days 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 ...
    6 days 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
    6 days 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
    6 days 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
    6 days 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
    6 days 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
    6 days 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
    7 days 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
    7 days 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week ago
  • Union solidarity with Ihumatao land occupation
    by Daphna Whitmore Every Sunday for the past two months unionists from First Union, with supporters from other unions, have set out to the Ihumatao land protest, put up gazebos and gas barbeques, and cooked food for a few hundred locals and supporters who have come from across the country. ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: The wrong kind of trees?
    Newsroom today has an excellent, in-depth article on pine trees as carbon sinks. The TL;DR is that pine is really good at soaking up carbon, but people prefer far-less efficient native forests instead. Which is understandable, but there's two problems: firstly, we've pissed about so long on this problem that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • No freedom of speech in Turkey
    Canan Kaftancioglu is a Turkish politician and member of the opposition Republican People's Party (CHP). Like most modern politicians, she tweets, and uses the platform to criticise the Turkish government. She has criticised them over the death of a 14-year-old boy who was hit by a tear gas grenade during ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Speaker: Tadhg Stopford: Why I’m standing for the ADHB
    Hi there, just call me Tim.We face tough problems, and I’d like to help, because there are solutions.An Auckand District Health Board member has nominated me for as a candidate for the ADHB, because her MS-related pain and fatigue is reduced with hemp products from Rotorua.  Nothing else helped her. If I ...
    1 week ago
  • Good little vassals
    The Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security has published their report on whether the SIS and GCSB had any complicity in American torture. And its damning. The pull quote is this:The Inquiry found both agencies, but to a much greater degree, the NZSIS, received many intelligence reports obtained from detainees who, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Who Shall We Turn To When God, And Uncle Sam, Cease To Defend New Zealand?
    Bewhiskered Cassandra? Professor Hugh White’s chilling suggestion, advanced to select collections of academic, military and diplomatic Kiwi experts over the course of the past week, is that the assumptions upon which Australia and New Zealand have built their foreign affairs and defence policies for practically their entire histories – are ...
    1 week ago
  • The Politics of Opposition
    For most of the time I was a British MP, my party was out of government – these were the Thatcher years, when it was hard for anyone else to get a look-in. As a front-bencher and shadow minister, I became familiar with the strategies required in a parliamentary democracy ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • More expert comments on the Canadian fluoride-IQ paper
    The Green et al (2019) fluoride/IQ is certainly controversial – as would be expected from its subject (see If at first you don’t succeed . . . statistical manipulation might help and Politics of science – making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear). Anti-fluoride campaigners have been actively promoting it ...
    1 week ago
  • The return to guerrilla war in Colombia
    by Gearóid Ó Loingsigh On August 29th a video in which veteran FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia) commander Iván Márquez announced that they had taken up arms again was released. There was no delay in the reaction to it, from longtime Liberal Party figure and former president Uribe, for ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Air New Zealand identifies this enormous plot of unused land as possible second airport site
    Air New Zealand couldn’t believe its luck that this seemingly ideal piece of real estate had so far gone entirely unnoticed. Air New Zealand’s search for a site to build a second Auckland Airport may have made a breakthrough this afternoon, after employees scanning Google satellite imagery spotted a huge, ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Redline on the Labour Party
    No-one on the anti-capitalist left in this country today puts forward a case that Labour is on the side of the working class.  There are certainly people who call themselves ‘socialist’ who do, but they are essentially liberals with vested interests in Labourism – often for career reasons. Nevertheless, there ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • New Fisk
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour’s failure
    When National was in government and fucking over the poor for the benefit of the rich, foodbanks were a growth industry. And now Labour is in charge, nothing has changed: A huge demand for emergency food parcels means the Auckland City Mission is struggling to prepare for the impending arrival ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Ardern attempts to vaccinate Clarke Gayford live on television to prove that it’s safe
    Gayford, pictured here on The Project, before things got wildly out of control. A bold public relations move by the Government to encourage parents to vaccinate their children has gone horribly wrong. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern appeared on tonight’s episode of Three’s The Project, where the plan was for her ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Has Mr. Whippy gone too far by parking on our front lawns?
    Mr. Whippy’s business model has driven it down a dark road of intimidation. Residents in major centres around the country are becoming disgruntled by the increasingly aggressive actions of purported ice cream company Mr. Whippy, who have taken to parking on people’s front lawns and doorsteps in a desperate attempt ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Cleaning up the water
    Today the government released its Action Plan for Healthy Waterways, aimed at cleaning up our lakes and rivers. Its actually quite good. There will be protection for wetlands, better standards for swimming spots, a requirement for continuous improvement, and better standards for wastewater and stormwater. But most importantly, there's a ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Fronting up
    Today I appeared before the Environment Committee to give an oral submission on the Zero Carbon Bill. Over 1,500 people have asked to appear in person, so they've divided into subcommittees and are off touring the country, giving people a five minute slot each. The other submitters were a mixed ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Politics of science – making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear
    Anti-fluoride activists have some wealthy backers – they are erecting billboards misrepresenting the Canadian study on many New Zealand cities – and local authorities are ordering their removal because of their scaremongering. Many New Zealanders ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Democracy – I Don’t Think So
    So, those who “know best” have again done their worst. While constantly claiming to be the guardians of democracy and the constitution, and respecters of the 2016 referendum result, diehard Remainers (who have never brought themselves to believe that their advice could have been rejected) have striven might and main ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    2 weeks ago
  • Government says it will now build just one really nice home
    Following publication of this article, the Ministry has requested it to be noted that this supplied image is not necessarily representative of what the final house will look like, and it “probably won’t be that nice.” As part of today’s long-anticipated reset of the Government’s flagship KiwiBuild policy, Housing Minister ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Imperialism and your cup of coffee
    Over the next week or two we will be running three synopses of parts of the opening chapter of John Smith’s Imperialism in the 21st Century (New York, Monthly Review Press, 2016).  The synopsis and commentary below is written by Phil Duncan. Marx began Capital not with a sweeping historical ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Still juking the stats
    The State Services Commission and Ombudsman have released another batch of OIA statistics, covering the last six months. Request volumes are up, and the core public service is generally handling them within the legal timeframe, though this may be because they've learned to extend rather than just ignore things. And ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Hard News: Time for a New Deal: 25 years on
    In 1994, I was editing an ambitious street mag called Planet, from a fabled office at at 309 Karangahape Road. The thirteenth issue of the magazine was published in the winter of that year and its cover embodied a particularly ambitious goal: the end of cannabis prohibition.I wanted to do ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Not impressed
    KiwiBuild was one of the Ardern government's core policies. The government would end the housing crisis and make housing affordable again by building 100,000 new homes. Of course, it didn't work out like that: targets weren't met, the houses they did build were in the wrong place, and the whole ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Solar beats coal
    As the climate crisis escalates, it is now obvious that we need to radically decarbonise our economy. The good news is that its looking easy and profitable for the energy sector. Wind is already cheaper than fossil fuels, and now solar is too:The levellised cost of solar PV has fallen ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago

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