National are lighting political dumpster fires while the Amazon burns

Written By: - Date published: 7:15 am, August 27th, 2019 - 46 comments
Categories: Abuse of power, climate change, disaster, farming, Free Trade, national, Politics, trade - Tags: , , ,

I laughed grimly when I saw the imagery of National’s tweet and how neatly it mirrored what is happening in Brazil. It’s not funny of course. They’re fools of the highest order. They either don’t understand what climate change is (in which case they’re unfit to govern), or they do and they don’t care (in which case they’re very dangerous and should be stopped at all costs).

I don’t know yet what to say about the Amazon fires, mostly because I feel overwhelmed by the sheer scale and complexity of the situation and the deluge of information from the past week as the English speaking world wakes up. I am noticing a few things. People watching from outside are scared and angry. I can only imagine what it’s like being there on the ground. There’s something about the immediacy of fire (unlike say, slowly blighting your rivers over several decades). Imagine if the Ureweras were on fire. Or Fiordland National Park. And the government encouraged it. And the world stood by and watched.

I’m also seeing a fair amount of confusion online about what is going on. Why are the fires there, who is to blame, what can we do? It’s complex. The Brazilian situation is largely down to a right wing fascist government, but there are serious fires in socialist Bolivia that are also human generated and due to government policy. Clearing land for beef production is a factor in both countries, but this is not a personal consumption issue for the West (who mostly don’t buy Brazilian beef). The causes are political and ideological. Stop eating beef and something else will be grown.

There is more chaos of information than usual on social media, which I think is driven by panic. Irrespective of whether these fires are within the 15 year norm (god knows why that’s a negating argument given the timeframes of climate change), we can’t say that about the multiple bushfires along the coast of New South Wales and ACT that shouldn’t be happening at all at this time of year. Or the Arctic melt. There are more fires right now in Angola and the Congo than South America.

People understand intuitively what is going on and the symbolic nature of the Amazon burning is in our faces and in our hearts. We are at another social and political tipping point. Watch change happen faster.

There’s a good explanation here of the ecology involved in the fires and why they matter. The good news is that many of the fires are preventable and even with changes due to climate there is much mitigation work that humans can do.

The bad news is that Brazil has the worst people in charge at the worst possible time. I cannot think of a single reason why the world should not step up now and do whatever political and economic action is necessary to hold the Bolsonaro government to account.

The really bad news is that deforestation leads to less rain and more fires, which then feed climate change. It can take decades to approach the carbon sink capacity of a mature forest. This is runaway climate change in action, and it’s always humans stoking that fire. It’s a matter of the greatest urgency.

Things I would like to know: what is it about the global economy that is enabling Brazilian and Bolivian farmers and politicians to burn the rainforest? What trade agreements are fueling this? What blind eyes are being turned to the timber coming out of illegal forestry in Brazil? Why are Western governments not acting for the human rights of indigenous people’s that are under threat?

We’re complicit. We can rightly finger point at Bolsonaro, but the West is still not taking appropriate action on climate change and GHG emission reduction despite knowing the seriousness of the situation and being a main cause. New Zealand can barely rouse itself to protect our waterways.

So, here we are. National are climate denying, Trump-invoking dangerous fools who are the poster boys for late stage capitalism’s dying throes, our very own timid gods of death. Next year there will be a test for NZ with the election, which path are we going to choose? I don’t think we can afford to wait until then.

Things we can do now:

As always, Indigenous peoples have been doing the key mahi and leading the way. Now is a good time to learn about the people that live in the Amazon, what their issues are, and what they understand needs to be done. Indigenous rights, land rights and environmental protection are intertwined.  Sept 5th is a Global Day of Action for the Amazon.  

There are two other global climate action events in the next few months:

  • One is the School Strike For Climate on the 27th of September. This is an intergenerational general strike, which means all of us can be involved. SS4C is active in NZ and building momentum.
  • The other is Extinction Rebellion UK’s next round of actions 7 – 19 October. These are large, very well organised actions with specific intentions beyond protest. They include plans to shut down major city functions to force governments to act. In the last year ER have been one of the key movers globally of awareness of the urgency of climate action. This is largely about tipping points and support here is one of our few hopes for radically shifting the West’s response to climate change.  

Front page image from Banksy.

46 comments on “National are lighting political dumpster fires while the Amazon burns”

  1. Sanctuary 1

    To paraphrase Upton Sinclair on the National party –

    It is difficult to get a political party to understand something, when their funding stream depends upon their not understanding it. 

     

  2. Rapunzel 2

    Just any? One that is most despised by builders, painters etc is the costly, timewasting one for "scaffolding". People should take a look at the now 63 pages and more on the companies register for scaffolders, the majority it looks like in just a recent few years under the National Party, good little earner, big time waster – time is money.

    • Sacha 2.1

      Gee, wonder if the number of deaths and serious injuries on building sites might have sparked that regulation. Protection can be inconvenient, even to those it protects.

      • weka 2.1.1

        it's almost like there's a correlation between neoliberalism, poor worker protections and the subsequent increase in regulations. If people in positions of power can't self regulate, then the state will have to regulate harder.

      • Rapunzel 2.1.2

        My understanding is that they have ended up "scaffolding" everything for the sake of it, sure dismiss excessive overkill, it actually it reminds me of the "P" testing. Of course safety is prime but even that suffers when it is done for the sake of it or because people are "scared" into rather than commonsense, obviously I failed to make that clear when making reference to doing something just for the sake of it and the true meaning of safety.

        • greywarshark 2.1.2.1

          Good point Rapunzel.    Bringing in draconian regulations can cover up the fact that there are so many breaches of good and responsible practice going on behind the scenes.    

          One for instance, if a competent, reliable, and committed and ethical engineer had designed and monitored the Christchurch collapsible building then a large number of people trusting in our good standards (heh) would not be dead.   And the engineer doesn't seem to be held responsible legally for the disgraceful lack of care and skills.   He seems to be able to continue in business.   And wasn't there fraud through false documentation along the way?

        • Anne 2.1.2.2

          Yes, I have some sympathy with your contention Rapunzel. A few years ago, I needed some small repair jobs to my roof and guttering. I was informed that it would be necessary to set up scaffolding before the job could be undertaken. The cost of the scaffolding was going to be more than double the amount of work to be done.

          Fortunately a relative with some expertise in this area took on the job and he brought along an extention ladder which he proceeded to run up and down as he progressed. The job was completed in less than two hours.

          • Rapunzel 2.1.2.2.1

            Having plenty of "relatives" in the building sector and until recently a husband – well I still have him, I'm sure you get the picture – in infrastructure the many ways time and money are wasted via a "middle-man" scenario are many. The "scaffolding" issue was one often raised the paying for, the waiting for, the putting up and down often weather dependent, seemed, like the "P" testing to have been taken to extremes. Commonsense, making sure people are safe, actually safe not just being able to say you "met" the guidelines are, or should be a natural part of "business". 

            The oversell and scaremongering by the middlemen paid to "sell" the product goes hand in hand with insurance sold, often with clauses that preclude payment ever happening – especially where a claim leads to higher premiums ongoing. 

            A lot of it is soft "fraud" and some of the selling is not real service.

            • Sacha 2.1.2.2.1.2

              Commonsense, making sure people are safe, actually safe not just being able to say you "met" the guidelines are, or should be a natural part of "business". 

              If it was actually common enough, there would be no need for protective regulations. And people would not die at work.

              • KJT

                In my "real job" good training, adequate manning levels  and experience requirements, have been replaced by endless, laws, regulations policies and procedures, more than you can read and digest in your lifetime, designed to cover the arse of regulators and management. So they are not responsible, when the inevitable accidents, from poorly trained, poorly resourced, overworked and semi skilled staff, occur.

                Needless to say, the accident and injury rate has gone up.

                Safety has become another make work for producers of bs paperwork, just like the other bs job, HR.

                • KJT

                  Useless arse covering laws, and laws restricting workers freedom to withdraw their labour, including for safety issues, won't be the ones removed, however.

        • AB 2.1.2.3

          No doubt that happens. Capitalism excels at scams, because the thing it is supposed to be good at (creating new/better products and services through innovation) is extremely difficult. So most operators make a crust by other means. 

    • KJT 2.2

      If the goal was safety, and not making a business opportunity for someones crony, safety harnesses would be allowed in lieu of scaffolding.

  3. WeTheBleeple 3

    Trade tariffs have seen American soy rot in grain silos so corporations have stepped in to turn the Amazon into a factory to feed China's pigs – and those deluded vegans who haven't yet grasped what food miles or eating sustainably actually mean.

    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-trade-china-grains/harvesting-in-a-trade-war-us-crops-rot-as-storage-costs-soar-idUSKCN1NQ0GA

    "But Beijing slapped a 25 percent tariff on U.S. soybeans in retaliation for duties imposed by Washington on Chinese exports. That effectively shut down U.S. soybean exports to China, worth around $12 billion last year. China typically takes around 60 percent of U.S. supplies."

    https://pulitzercenter.org/reporting/how-soybean-boom-threatens-amazon

    "This year, [2016] Brazil harvested around 100 million tons of soybeans from 33 million hectares (82 million acres), making it the second-largest soybean producer in the world after the United States."

    The issue has been there a while. Trump and Bolsonaro have exacerbated the problems significantly through petty brinkmanship, deregulation, empowering of dodgy players, and blatantly not giving a fuck.

    As for Bridges and his deregulation bonfire – a complete and utter tosser, a joke of a man, a Trump sycophant – what worse possible thing could a person be in today's climate than a wannabe Trump.

     

    • greywarshark 3.1

      And USA the land of the free-to-do-anything we want, put him in a leader's position and seems hamstrung from getting rid of this ham-fisted man-of-the-people hamming it up for all of the citizens to see.    Yet they are the continual actors in a real 'folk tale', The Emperor's New Clothes.

      Perhaps in the USA the majority have swept away any values of importance that they had been forced to take on over the years of striving by many and the sacrifices that went with those efforts.

      "The Emperor's New Clothes" (Danish: Kejserens nye klæder) is a short tale written by Danish author Hans Christian Andersen, about two weavers who promise an emperor a new suit of clothes that they say is invisible to those who are unfit for their positions, stupid, or incompetent –
      (Call me stupid go on!)
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Emperor%27s_New_Clothes

  4. Robert Guyton 4

    "We are at another social and political tipping point. Watch change happen faster."

    Yes, I believe so too. Choppy seas though, squalls and tempests, not smooth sailing into a safe harbour. It takes a lot to plant and manage a forest to maturity but very, very little to burn one down. The National Party's choice of a bonfire to rally around, is telling.

    • weka 4.1

      I think the timing of very high profile fires with the global actions over the next few months (there's actually four I am aware of within the space of 6 weeks) is a real opportunity. Lots of potential for awareness raising, not just about the climate crisis but what we can do. Maybe we should run an event on TS to coincide with some of those, a kind of 'how to get there' blog party.

    • mike 4.2

      national would double down and invest in sun set industries and miss the boat as other countries gain a competive march as much as climate change is a disaster its also a catalist for r and d and new jobs .

  5. Leaps 5

    Sadly this simplistic drivel appeals to many unthinking voters. 
    The world is a little more complex than this. There's a reason why regulations exist. In fact given how the free market is not delivering in many areas (e.g. the environment) we need more rules and regulations not fewer.

  6. Formerly Ross 6

    Don’t diss Simon, he is Labour’s biggest asset.

    • Robert Guyton 6.1

      Dissing him cements him in his role; he regards the feedback as encouraging. 

      Diss on.

    • bwaghorn 6.2

      I would bet my last beer that a few Democrats said that about trump . It's strange times we live in 

  7. Agora 7

    Trump Administration Plans to Open U.S. Consulate in Greenland
    https://time.com/5660363/trump-wants-greenland-consulate/

    • greywarshark 7.1

      Diplomacy Quotes (from Brainy Quotes)

      • Diplomacy is the art of saying 'Nice doggie' until you can find a rock. Will Rogers.
      • Diplomacy, n. is the art of letting somebody else have your way. David Frost. …
      • To say nothing, especially when speaking, is half the art of diplomacy. Will Durant. ..
      • Agora 7.1.1

        .. and Kashmir: “India’s unilateral abrogation of the autonomous status of Kashmir, previously guaranteed by the Indian Constitution, is but a first step toward nations around the world taking steps to seize higher altitude land as global warming and sea-level rise increasingly cascade in intensity. Warming oceans, melting permafrost, glaciers, and ice sheets are rapidly affecting sea levels, especially during high tides.”

        https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2019/08/16/kashmir-the-fight-for-the-high-ground-has-started/

      • soddenleaf 7.1.2

        Trump the developer fails to buy Greenland, Trump the gotcha tv star gets rating spike in ditching Denmark visit, Trump President of the U.S…. …well the U.S. making friends in the world right…

    • Dukeofurl 7.2

      Virtually no  US visitors there  or Trade with US.

      Likely just to be a NSA or FBI spybase. After  the antics of the madman Trump , I would think the local  government of Greenland  will say NO

  8. Wayne 8

    I am surprised at the vehemence of the recent items on The Standard about Simon and National.

    It seems the Left strategy is to try and paint National as being in the same domain as Trump. All Left commentators are using the same meme. That National has become an extreme right wing party completely divorced from New Zealanders. I assume that this is an agreed political strategy, even if not explicitly, certainly implicitly. Both Labour and Green activists are taking a common approach on this.

    I wonder if it will work? Will middle New Zealand (those that can go between each party) buy it? Will it backfire as being too extreme a characterisation?

    I guess we will soon know, by the reaction of polls. 

    • weka 8.1

      I'm assuming the Greens have an explicit strategy on this, going off what Shaw has been saying. To me that looks like people responding sensibly to what they perceive as real danger.

      I guess the party activists could be networking on this. But generally I think what National are doing is just obvious and various people are reaching the same conclusions.

      Can't see TS authors and commentors being organised around a strategy though, lol.

      I doubt it will be reflected much in the polls immediately. Apart from Shaw I don't think there's been much change on the left that's extreme or vehement, not that the polled public will be influenced by. The influence is more from increasing concern about climate change and people starting to think about what that means politically. People are scared and it's clear that climate change is affecting NZ already, not some vague time in the future. I think National have shot themselves in the foot with their denier stance.

      The next election will tell us much. The mythical middle NZ voter aside, I think the issue is going to be what happens to NZF, and whether Labour will go hard for those votes. How NZF position themselves in relation to National will be very interesting. With National going right, NZF may pick up some soft National voters. Damn.

      • Ian 8.1.1

        It's all about expectations and performance mate. This government set the parameters during the last election campaign  using their spin docters and those hidden persuaders. 

        The results are there for all to see. A spectacular failure that is destroying the business of NZ inc.

        • marty mars 8.1.1.1

          yeah nah ian – take your shades off mate – our great country isn't always dark.

    • Robert Guyton 8.2

       "Vehemence"?

      Hardly. More "disbelief", I'd say.

    • tc 8.3

      yes dear and love the generalist use of ‘the left’ how very DP of you wayne keeping those memes alive.

    • Stuart Munro. 8.4

      I suppose you'd prefer us to be quiet while your pet party goes off the rails on the crazy train, but I don't want Trump lite thank you very much, or any other kind of Trump. Your party was not always the unmitigated disgrace it is today; it behooves citizens to point out its innumerable shortcomings in the interests of securing better governance.

    • It seems the Left strategy is…

      Do you also believe the Right is a monolithic entity with a unified strategy, rather than a bunch of people and groups with a range of very different agendas?

    • Incognito 8.6

      What a strange comment; it feels like deliberate counter-spin.

      Personally, I don’t feel “[t]hat National has become an extreme right wing party completely divorced from New Zealanders.” However, I do feel that they have dropped all pretence of being firmly rooted in reality and verifiable facts with their propaganda and that they have become distinctly more populistic. Their use of Facebook is a case in point with their targeted attacks on Julie Anne Genter, for example.

      The more extreme National’s messaging is, the more extreme the criticism becomes, obviously. This might be a deliberate strategy by National. Quite possibly, they are thinking that they have more to gain than to lose in this war of escalating populist propaganda. Quite possibly, they might be right.

      Will the criticism backfire in the polls? How can you tell if a strategy works or a counter-strategy backfires? The only thing that matters is whether the numbers for National go up. Which is why I think it is entirely deliberate and National is trying to double-cross public opinion. In other words, it is cynically manipulating us, the NZ voters.

      Why do I get the feeling that you know this and you quite happily play along if not play your part in it here on TS? I used to think you were genuine but I’m not so sure anymore after reading this comment of yours.

    • KJT 8.7

      Come on Wayne. We even have a National MP using cut and pasted Trump supporter statements, about climate change.

      And National's recent propensity to lie, spin and attack to get back in power. It was always there, but currently National have abandoned all ethics.

    • KJT 8.8

      Are you trying to say National is not an extreme right wing party.

      Haven't you been following their latest policy announcements. Their real position on climate change is the same as Trumps.

  9. soddenleaf 9

    2040? So those born after 1974? will have to wait two more years for a pension, and this will fund tax cuts to — well those who pay lots of taxes — older kiwis who still own stuff. Last rich boomer gasp for govt largess? Older pensioners, like Winston get a tax cut! paid for in 20 years by pension age being put up.

  10. weston 10

    The upping of the super payment age seems not exactly a winner for the nats i guess their base is so well off they dont care about those that arnt same old story .The throwing out of two regs for every new one dreamt up though is pure genius imo in fact you gotta wonder if they thought of it themselves ??!! Talk is cheap of course and i cant imagine the two for one promise is anything other than a cheap cynical populist type dog whistle to a very big slice of the community that perceives itself deluged with excess regulation .I seem to remember national promising to appoint an anti pc minister or something a few years back but it was all bullshit of course and after the election of the time the idea evaporated much like a fart .National imo isnt gonna be making hamburgers out of any born again sacred cows like health an safety etc etc etc because its just as terrified of those agencys champions as any other political party and besides they generate huge amounts of business just think how much the traffic safety sector makes for example …laughing all the way to the bank would be an understatement !!

  11. KJT 11

    I doubt they are going to take away the regulations against the right to strike. When they restore industries, "freedom" to pollute.

    Even though, a party for "individual responsibility and freedom" if they are ethically consistent?

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    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
    5 days 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 ...
    6 days 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 ...
    6 days 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 ...
    6 days 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
    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
    7 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
    1 week 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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