Nats bullying schools again

Written By: - Date published: 11:08 am, November 11th, 2010 - 58 comments
Categories: education, national - Tags: , , ,

The Nats have a long and dishonourable history of trying to gag those who would speak out against them. This includes multiple attacks on schools — threats against principals and school boards who were exercising their rights to free speech, threats to sack dissenting boards, threats of withheld funding. And these are just the threats that we know about.

Today we see further effects of this bullying:

Third of rebel schools appear to soften stance on standards

Nearly a third of the schools that said they had no confidence in National Standards have told the Ministry of Education they do in fact plan to implement the controversial scheme.

A group called Boards Taking Action Coalition said last week that the trustees from 225 schools around the country had issued a vote of no confidence in National Standards. As a result those schools would refuse to set student achievements targets for next year until the system was reviewed.

The next day the ministry starting contacting all of the protesting schools’ boards of trustees to check the claim.

The Ministry was not “checking on the claim”, they were working through their script of escalating threats against the schools. We know this because a senior official in the Ministry resigned refused to participate in protest at the unethical bullying tactics. Fortunately the Herald piece quoted above gives at least some attention to this side of the story:

Mr Rush said it was very hard to test the veracity of the information gathered by the ministry but he did know some board members were upset with the tone of the calls they received.

“Board chairs have inundated me with calls complaining at the tone of ministry questioning in recent telephone calls. Ministry officials seem to have been instructed to put the fear of God into board members.”

Some board chairs said the ministry callers implied they would be sacked if the standards were not implemented in full.

Schools are boycotting national standards in a last ditch attempt to protect children from a flawed system which is likely to do them nothing but harm. Because they are so utterly unable to listen to expert and professional advice, because they are so utterly ideologically obsessed with “victory” over teachers, the Nats are determined to press ahead. They are desperate to contain the current boycott. The only way they can do so is to continue their campaign of bullying threats against schools. Every school board threatened in this way should speak out loud and clear.

PS:

Anne Tolley Dec 2009:

Education Minister Anne Tolley says she will sack the boards of primary schools which allow teachers to boycott national standards, saying they would be refusing to obey the law.

Anne Tolley Nov 2010:

Education Minister Anne Tolley says she does not intend to dismiss school boards which fail to implement the new education standards. … “That has never been my intention,” she replied.

58 comments on “Nats bullying schools again”

  1. Joe Bloggs 1

    [post moved here from open mike — r0b]

    looks like the teacher unrest fomented by a few disaffected rebels in the education system is starting to be exposed for what it really is – mischief, hypocrisy and blatant lies.

    The Herald has learned 66 of the 225 coalition boards indicated their schools planned to implement the standards in full. A further 109 said they would take some form of action or were yet to decide if they would implement the standards in full. Fifty schools are yet to be contacted.
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/politics/news/article.cfm?c_id=280&objectid=10686820

    A group of rebel principals plotted to “quietly take over” an association representing 90 per cent of school boards in an effort to overwhelm the national standards debate, leaked emails suggest. An email exchange shows principals involved in a boycott of the standards discussed “dealing with” the New Zealand School Trustees Association. “The easiest way is for us to quietly take over regional organisations of NZSTA … Just imagine NZSTA run by principals!” an email written by Hora Hora School principal Pat Newman states.”
    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/education/4332146/Takeover-plot-by-rebel-principals

    That’s the same Pat Newman who aspires to be a Labour candidate for Whangarei in the next election. The words “self-serving” come to mind, and the evidence continues to grow that this boycott has been engineered by Labour. At the cost of our children’s educations.

    Great effort! That should keep Labour on the opposition benches for another 3 years.

    • Pascal's bookie 1.1

      Hey joe, where you going with that kiwiblog link in ya hand.

      I’m goin’ off to post shit at open mike

      an’ pretend I got a brain in my pan

      • Joe Bloggs 1.1.1

        can’t cope with the facts huh?

        • Pascal's bookie 1.1.1.1

          Cope with facts fine.

          One fact I find amusing is that when I see your name in the comments list, I can predict what you have to say by looking at farrar’s blog.

          You should get some self respect son.

          • Joe Bloggs 1.1.1.1.1

            thanks Mum, I’ll be sure to listen to your advice.

            In the meantime I’ve picked up a new word today – astroturfing

            An artificially-manufactured political movement designed to give the appearance of grass roots activism… Unlike natural grassroots campaigns which are people-rich and money-poor, an astroturf campaign tends to be the opposite, well-funded but with little actual support from voters.

            Describes the PPA/Labour intervention in education to a T

            • r0b 1.1.1.1.1.1

              Congratulations on learning a new word JB. I know how hard that must have been for you.

              Now that you know the word, you should be able to work out who is astroturfing, parents in the boards of schools all over the country, or the parents of “insert region here”.

              Grass roots and astroturf

              Ooops.

            • Pascal's bookie 1.1.1.1.1.2

              I’ll be sure to listen to your advice

              You do that, it’ll make you smarter.

      • grumpy 1.1.2

        For God’s sake, have a bit of class and leave Jimi out of this. Other than that, quite clever.

  2. ghostwhowalksnz 2

    How come emails with individuals names have been released to bloggers.?

    Farragoblog blats on about the OIA?

    The OIA normally blacks individual names but even then seems like Tolley and her staff are perusing the emails of selected principals who are using Education department servers.

    The OIA is just a smokescreen of course as farrar has previously used the OIA to get names of those seeking OIA material.
    This time he hasnt bothered , they are wholesale using government information to intimidate principals

    • grumpy 2.1

      Nah, as someone else has said, the emails were leaked by a disgruntled union employee, opposed to Phil Goff’s leadership of the Labour Party.

      • ghostwhowalksnz 2.1.1

        Cant be.
        They are Education department servers which have had a fishing expedition by Tolleys henchmen contradiction to privacy rules.

        What ‘union’ member sees emails from various principals.

        Thats just a ruse

  3. dave 3

    It’s unclear how many schools are boycotting National Standards. It is conceivable that some of the stated rebel schools are implementing National Standards in its entirety. Noone knows what each school has signed up to.

    More here

  4. Joe Bloggs 4

    speaking of hyperbole has anyone noticed this piece of blatant bullshit in the post?

    We know this because a senior official in the Ministry resigned in protest at the unethical bullying tactics.

    There has been no resignation. So much for coping with the facts…

    • Gosman 4.1

      Why hasn’t this senior official gone public with his/her resignation?

    • r0b 4.2

      There has been no resignation

      Well that’s your word vs Kelvin Smythe I guess. I know who I believe.

      • Gosman 4.2.1

        Why hasn’t this person gone public then? They resigned over a matter of principle and surely communicated that to the Education Ministry, (not to mention publicised it to Kelvin Smythe) so it therefore not a secret. This would be a great coup for the anti-National standards campaign so where is this mysterious resignee?

      • Joe Bloggs 4.2.2

        .

        Kelvin Smythe doesn’t mention anything about a resignation either. Here’s the link to Smythe’s hyperbole – check it for yourself

        http://www.networkonnet.co.nz/index.php?section=latest&id=262

        Do you also see the word unconfirmed in there? As in My unconfirmed information is that the regional head was away, and when the instruction was relayed to the deputies, one refused to act on the instruction

        So there has been no resignation – just a bit of Uri Geller-like spoon bending and a pinch of truth twisting…

        • r0b 4.2.2.1

          Gosman and Joe Bloggs are correct, Kelvin Smythe does not say that the official resigned, just that they “refused, on moral grounds, to take instruction from Karen Sewell to organise ministry officials to ring schools about their declared stance on national standards”. I assumed resignation but that is not stated. I will update the post.

          “Unconfirmed” refers to the regional head being away, not the revolt of this official.

          • grumpy 4.2.2.1.1

            It also refers to a “brave whistleblower”. If they were really brave they would have gone public, name and all!

          • Joe Bloggs 4.2.2.1.2

            you channelling Kelvin Smythe now?

            You’ve assumed and misinterpreted quite enough not to be going around muddifying up what Smythe was bleating on about.

            • r0b 4.2.2.1.2.1

              Read Smythe’s post JB. If you think you can draw any other conclusion from it you go right ahead.

              • Joe Bloggs

                Smythe is an unreconstructed neo-liberal who has a bone in his throat over the restructuring of education twenty years ago.

                He used the word unconfirmed because he, at least, still has some vestiges of moral fibre and can’t lie through his teeth to save himself. he does however do hysterical and outraged moderately well.

                Has a reasonable grasp of English although his sentence construction could use polishing.

                Tries hard, could try harder.

  5. Gosman 5

    So let me get this straight.

    Someone refused to do their job, the job they get paid for, the job that taxpayers pay tax so that civil servants carry out their jobs as instructed, and you think this is a good thing?

    If this person truly believed in their principles then they should have resigned. This action is essentially gutless if in fact it happened as is suggested. The person should be reprimanded for non-performance of duty.

    • r0b 5.1

      Someone refused to do their job, the job they get paid for, the job that taxpayers pay tax so that civil servants carry out their jobs as instructed, and you think this is a good thing?

      Yes.

      Now let me get something straight.

      Someone was being asked to participate in an action which, according to the best expert advice, is likely to cause harm to children. If they had gone ahead and “just followed orders”, do you think this is a good thing?

      • Gosman 5.1.1

        LOL!

        Gotta love the moral justification for refusing to implement an electoral mandate that the left has.

        So following your logic if a Tax expert stated that raising taxes was going to be damaging to the economic well being of the nation, (not to mention the poor wee little children), it would be entirely justified for people to not pay this tax even though it was voted for by the majority of the population at the previous election.

        I must remember that before the next election and advise the National Party to find an appropriate expert on taxation to make this pronouncement.

        Just goes to highlight the sort of contempt certain members of the left hold for democracy.

        • r0b 5.1.1.1

          You didn’t answer my question Gosman. Should officials implement actions that are likely to damage children?

          I answered your question Gosman – are you going to answer mine?

          • Gosman 5.1.1.1.1

            This was the opinion of a person not a FACT unless you are saying that the overwhelming consensus on this subject and EVIDENCE backs up that National Standards do actually harm children.

            Regardless of this we live in a society where policies affecting the population are generally made via the democratic process rather than imposed on us by “Experts”.

            If you want to live in a society where decisions like this are taken out of the hands of the electorate then by all means go ahead and push for this sort of society. I will have a hell of a lot of fun opposing that.

            • r0b 5.1.1.1.1.1

              You’re too chickenshit to answer the question aren’t you Gosman.

              Should officials implement policies that harm children – yes or no?

              Answer the question, then we can discuss the nature of the EVIDENCE.

              • Gosman

                It is bollocks question. You have evidence that National Standards “harm” children then present it and I’ll bother answering the question. I’m looking for evidence though not opinions.

                • r0b

                  I have plenty of evidence Gosman.

                  But all the evidence in the world is of no use, your kind doesn’t care about evidence.

                  You can’t even bring yourself to say that we shouldn’t harm children can you Gosman.

                  Last chance to answer the question – should we do things that harm children?

      • jcuknz 5.1.2

        It is only your opinion that it is l;ikely to harm children … true there are some others with the same opinion but … our elected representatives have made a decision and maybe, just maybe your folk can reverse it sometime in the future. Meanwhile our paid servants have a job to do and they should get on with it and stop bellyaching. … or resign.

        • r0b 5.1.2.1

          jcuknz I try to get through life without gratuitously insulting people, but in your case I’ll make an exception. You’re an idiot. You’re taking sides in a debate when you have not bothered to get yourself informed about the issues.

          Start here – follow the links. Read. Think. FFS.

          Listening to the evidence on national standards

          http://www.nzpf.ac.nz/national-standards

          • jcuknz 5.1.2.1.1

            Idiot or not I am entitled to take sides in a debate irrespective of what homework I may or may not have done and your comment Rob is about the same level as JK’s Secretary and what I read at Kiwiblog.
            It is a public servant’s job to do what they are told to do and if privately they don’t agree then they either resign or work, as I assume you are doing, for a change of government. I don’t believe for one moment that a testing system, one of many in use in schools, is going to harm children. I am sure most NZ teachers are doing a good job in a difficult situation so really have nothing to fear from NS, though maybe they can fear the media like all of us do when they get on a crusade looking for a whipping boy or girl..

            • r0b 5.1.2.1.1.1

              I am entitled to take sides in a debate irrespective of what homework

              Yes, you are perfectly entitled to take a position that is likely to result in harm to children without knowing the first thing about the issues. Free speech is grand that way. Just don’t expect anyone to respect such behaviour.

              I don’t believe for one moment that a testing system, one of many in use in schools, is going to harm children.

              You haven’t read the information in the pages linked to have you. And you won’t either, in case you have to deal with facts that upset you.

              • Pascal's bookie

                But r0b! He reckons!

                Shirley, that’s enough.

                And anyways, nice attempt with the distraction tactic, but the important point in this dispute is that Some People aren’t Doing As They’re Told! It’s outrage, and danger. This sort of thing can quite easily get out of hand you know. It starts of with small things like this but they snowball and grow, an asteroid on a slippery slope of rebel. And do you know what’s at the bottom of that slope? Care to guess? This is a play that has been played before you know. People not doing as they’re told and the next thing you know it’s men, men with their hair grown out! Right past the collar! People not giving Policemen their due. Ladies buying cakes. Disgusting. Black people. Children voicing opinions.

                It’s all the result of that music they listen to. It’s the drums and those jungle rhythms. It’s not right for civilised folk. Primal. I’ve seen them. Rooting in the bushes. Didn’t used to happen in my day. They need to bring back compulsory military training. And greco-roman wrestling in schools.

                • r0b

                  As Friday evening rants go — that’s a good ‘un!

                  • jcuknz

                    PB you forgot to mention corporal punishment. Which I experienced justly and ‘for the encouragement of others’, unjustly, in my youth. Regretably missing from the NZ Educational system.
                    But Rob is so pre-occupied with countering my feelings that NS will not hurt children he misses the main point of the NS debate. This is that teachers are afraid that league tables will upset their cosy situation where competence doesn’t get reward and as they serve their time so they move up the pay scale … or could that be another false impression I have got from Kiwiblog or my 30 years in the public service? That teachers are quite happy with NS but not with the results being published so they can keep parents in the dark. Otherwise they might vote for ACT and the voucher system. Is this right wing propaganda or the crux of the matter? Who is Rob to advise me? Or anyone else for that matter.

                    • r0b

                      he misses the main point of the NS debate. This is that teachers are afraid that league tables will upset

                      In your mind that’s the main point of the debate is it. Not whether or not national standards are good or bad for the welfare and education of children. Instead it’s some Kiwiblog domination fantasy about teachers.

                      Well that explains a lot.

          • jcuknz 5.1.2.1.2

            .I have visited the sites and without indulging myself by reading them, they look like the same message being regurgitated by many, an organised campaign of questionable merit by way of its seeming completeness.
            Your final para at 5.45 is grossly insulting … and typical of the desparation you obviously feel at people who appear to disagree with your firmly held views. Personally I have no position on the matter but sick of the bellyaching and name calling which gets us nowhere fast..

            • r0b 5.1.2.1.2.1

              an organised campaign of questionable merit by way of its seeming completeness.

              The experts are all in agreement so they must be wrong? Just listen to yourself.

              Your final para at 5.45 is grossly insulting

              It is completely accurate. Whether you are insulted, or instead moved to some kind of remedial action, is now up to you.

              • jcuknz

                Are they experts, a questionable title at best, or simply a chorus singing the union mantra? I simply do not know who to believe on this matter and I am put off by the antics of what I guess you would call the expert sources.
                Harping on a perceived danger to children strikes me as pushing a sob story because we all want to protect our children … highly suspect I think.

                • r0b

                  I’m persisting with this conversation because you have not previously struck me as an idiot, and therefore despite your totally blinkered views on this issue so far, I’m hopeful that your mind is open to new ideas.

                  Are they experts, a questionable title at best, or simply a chorus singing the union mantra?

                  Yes, a lot of people speaking out in this debate are educational experts. To deny that is simply to deny reality because you can’t face it. Are they singing a “union mantra”? Well let’s see, let’s look at just one expert. Prof John Hattie. He is Key’s hand picked education policy advisor. Do you think he’d sing a union mantra? Consider:

                  Hattie – Auckland University professor, student assessment expert and the man top politicians in this country see for advice about education … Ten days ago he was summoned to Prime Minister John Key’s Beehive office to explain what was going wrong with the Government’s grand plans for national standards in reading, writing and maths for all primary school children.

                  Education Minister Anne Tolley, stripped of her tertiary responsibilities the day before, attended the private meeting but it was Hattie that Key wanted to hear.

                  Both National and Labour have paid close attention over the last decade to this internationally recognised expertise on how to improve children’s learning. Bill English sought Hattie’s views when he originally developed the party’s national standards policy and Key took the same route, drawing inspiration from Hattie’s advice that a standards-based approach could work wonders in even the poorest schools. …

                  So it came as a shock when Hattie returned from a six-month study tour in the United States last July to tell the Herald that he was deeply concerned about the direction the Government’s policy had taken and worried that it could set back education 50 years.

                  In November he repeated his criticism, warning of a potential disaster with no improvement in children’s learning. A few weeks later he joined three other education academics in writing an open letter to Tolley, which pleaded with the Government to delay the introduction of the new system.

                  So what went wrong and where exactly does National’s education guru stand on the issue? Hattie says the Government didn’t consult him about the details, which were developed while he was out of the country. He adds that Key is right to say that he supports the idea but has concerns about its implementation.

                  But listening to his concerns (see story below), a different picture emerges. Hattie insists the system can work but admits if he had the choice, he’d drop it and start again from scratch. …

                  JOHN HATTIE’S ASSESSMENT

                  So does the Government’s favourite education adviser support national standards or not? Prime Minister John Key and many of Professor John Hattie’s ideological opponents claim he does, despite his strong public criticism.

                  Hattie replies that he supports the concept of standards-based learning but not the system the Government has introduced – in fact, given the chance, he’d scrap it and start again. These are his biggest concerns.

                  If it ain’t broke…

                  Hattie’s first point is that, despite sweeping claims of failure by Key and Education Minister Anne Tolley, the New Zealand school system is in good shape, especially compared with the rest of the world.

                  National standards, he argues, are usually the catchcry of countries where the education system is in serious trouble. They have been introduced in the US, Britain and Australia but none of these countries have been able to show any overall improvement in student achievement.

                  Hattie believes national standards may lift the performance of a few children at the bottom of the educational heap but says the average will not change because bright children will be neglected. He thinks the policy threatens to destroy one of the great strengths of New Zealand’s education system, which recognises that children of the same age have different academic abilities and allows them to learn at the level of their current ability.

                  Hattie is the Nats own education advisor, and he actually believes in standards (even though they haven’t worked in US, Britain and Australia). So he’s about as committed to standards as they come, and it’s simply ludicrous to suggest that he’s singing a union song. But even he says that National have fucked it up. They could set education in this country back 50 years.

                  Now, Hattie above was reporting in the American experience. Let’s look at what happened in the UK:

                  Tests blamed for blighting children’s lives

                  Landmark study of primary schools calls for teachers to be freed of targets

                  Children’s lives are being impoverished by the government’s insistence that schools focus on literacy and numeracy at the expense of creative teaching, the biggest review of the primary school curriculum in 40 years finds today. …

                  Children are leaving school lacking knowledge about the arts and humanities having spent too many years “tied to a desk” learning times tables, the head of the review, Robin Alexander, said.

                  “Our argument is that their education, and to some degree their lives, are impoverished if they have received an education that is so fundamentally deficient,” he said.

                  The report says schools should be freed of Sats and league tables to allow them to make more decisions about what and how they teach. …

                  Independent of the government and funded through charitable donations, the review is based on three years of academic research, 29 research papers and dozens of public meetings around the country. It marks 40 years since the last wholesale review of primary education and presents a blueprint for a curriculum that would give teachers control of 30% of their time to teach what they want.

                  Evidence, jc, evidence, from the UK and from America. Advice from Key’s own education advisor (not the unions). It’s all there if you can see it. Stop supporting the side that could set education in this country back by 50 years.

                  Harping on a perceived danger to children strikes me as pushing a sob story because we all want to protect our children … highly suspect I think.

                  Unless it’s true.

                  • jcuknz

                    The perceived danger, from reading your message, seems to be to the few gifted and bright students who will be neglected. While if the scheme is dropped the few ‘dumb asses’ will suffer.

                    It seems to me a case of throwing a few babies out with the bathwater so if we keep NS then special attention needs to be paid so that despite the tests the gifted will be encouraged. On the other hand if NS is scrapped then that attention needs to be devoted to the ‘dumb asses’.
                    It seems to be a ‘frying pan and fire’ situation.

                    ‘Setting back education 50 years’ strikes me as one of those hyper statements made for the media to trumpet. Actually it could partly correct how education has gone wrong since I was in school but that is not for discussion here.
                    If you know of a problem you can take measures to counter it, without throwing any of the babies out with the bath water, so common with political stances from both sides.

                    Thank you for making the effort to present some arguments for discussion.

                    I’m left still sitting on the fence because it seems to me that it doesn’t really matter which way we go so long as we take the necessary steps to avoid the perceived pitfalls and are prepared to take further steps as unperceived pitfalls arise. I know that is a hard ask in a nationwide beaurocracy but one can hope..
                    I think the idiots in this situation are those who are getting so hot and bothered, making rash and extreme statements, but that is common with the younger enthusiasts of society…

  6. grumpy 6

    Lesson here for the lefties. If you want to plot against the boss, don’t use his time, money or his computer.

    • Craig Glen Eden 6.1

      grumpy I think you have missed your calling, you should have been an advisor for that bloke Brash, he use to lead some brethren group I think?

    • Vicky32 6.2

      Cos bosses are always he and him, right?

    • jcuknz 6.3

      Very true Grumpy but these f’wits, to use a currently popular phrase, simply haven’t a clue it seems.

  7. KINTO 7

    I’m not so sure about todays electrol mandate line that the right have been instructed to run. We heard lots about how 1 in 5 kids leave school with no qualification (National voters), but not very much (if anything?) about national standards.

    See: http://www.google.com/trends?q=%22National+Standards%22&geo=nzl&sa=N

    • Gosman 7.1

      What???

      Are you trying to claim that National Standards were not part of the National party election manifesto in 2008?

      • Fabregas4 7.1.1

        I think he is saying that there has been a lot of rhetoric and sloganeering around standards but little actual information about them. This is important because simply asking if people ‘want standards’ of course leads to the inevitable positive response. But if the policy was more closely looked at (I’ve done this) and people see the flaws and lies then the answer changes. The mandate question is not really fair because the policy had (and many would say still does not) no substance. It is only when the actual policy is developed that the problems and bullshit become evident to people.

  8. Fabregas4 8

    By the way the Herald data simply cannot be accurate. They state:of the 225 original Boards who are opposed:

    66 plan to implement if full
    109 said they would take some form of action or were yet to decide if they would implement the standards in full.
    50 schools are yet to be contacted.

    Thats 225 schools. I can tell you my school who is on the list will not set targets against the standards (but will continue to use reliable assessments and set appropriate targets)

    And I can tell you that many schools have already committed to not implement any part of the standards.

    Sounds like Ministry playing tricks with numbers in an attempt to dissuade other school Boards from signing up.

  9. Pat 9

    Actully Ms Tolley is not my boss I am employed by my Board of Trustees who are elected by their community who totally are opposed to Nat Stds. As far as conspiracy theories, I am not trolling private facebook pages etc….

    Just as well cause Toilley in the House last week when under questioning to say she didnt understand… that she wasnt a teacher as a response to a fairly basic question…. great response from a Minister of Education!!!!! Some of us have been telling her she doesn’t understand fopr a long tme now…..

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    Patrick Gower is good value when he's high. Not that I've ever, you know, got stoned with him. But in the second part of his documentary Patrick Gower on Weed, he does what you'd expect in a modern weed documentary and immerses himself – first with a doctor, then a ...
    1 day 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
    2 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
    2 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
    2 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
    2 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
    2 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
    2 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
    3 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
    3 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
    3 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
    3 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 ...
    3 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
    3 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 ...
    4 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
    4 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
    4 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 ...
    4 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
    4 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
    4 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
    4 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
    5 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 ...
    5 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
    6 days ago
  • Parliament and the Executive
    The Brexit issue has certainly brought with it a series of apparently difficult constitutional issues, many of them concerning the respective roles of the executive and parliament. Most of them arise because of the unwillingness of MPs, despite their professions to the contrary, to be bound by a constitutional rarity ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    6 days 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
    6 days 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
    7 days 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
    7 days 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
    7 days 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
    7 days 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
    1 week 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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 ...
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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 ...
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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 ...
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks ago

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