Nats hollow excuses on poverty

Written By: - Date published: 6:59 am, August 30th, 2012 - 90 comments
Categories: jobs, poverty - Tags:

National has a line on child poverty to allow them to oppose actually doing anything: ‘Jobs! Jobs are the solution to poverty, not more assistance for poor kids. National is about jobs, not handouts! And we’ll get more jobs with mining!’ But their record doesn’t match the rhetoric … There are 65,000 more unemployed under National and hundreds of mining jobs are being lost.

90 comments on “Nats hollow excuses on poverty”

  1. Tracey 1

    “OOOPS, mining isnt the job Panacea, Steven, let’s get some oil rigs in here”

    • Bill 1.1

      Or mine the ore and ship it abroad via a multi-billion road network and casualised ports, where the ore can be extracted and oil rigs fabricated and delivered back via the same casualised ports and multi billion dollar road network…into private hands of course. Who can import their own skilled up labour to operate the things and export any resulting resources and monies back over the horizon again. Thousands of jobs will thus be created, as NZ has an abundance of over-qualified ticket clipping parking attendants whose ticket clipping skills could surely be utilised in such a brave, new and innovative NZ.

    • David H 1.2

      but how many rigs would you need to hire just 10% of the unemployed? How many people work on a rig???

      • Tracey 1.2.1

        Suddenly windfarms wouldnt look so “visually offensive”

        • aerobubble 1.2.1.1

          We can feed the world, its a distribution problem that means billions move in and out of starvation. Clearly neo-liberalist concerned solely on the delivering the supply side (and so
          dictating demand by cheapening limited resources and undervaluing oil) is not working.
          Its a total game, build sprawl, push demand up for oil, exploit even more expensive
          hard to get oil, create more pollution, less sustainability, and not even deliver on the
          basics of health, poverty abatement, even feeding the world. We know sparwl is
          expensive, oil is best left in the ground, and the world needs food certainty, yet we
          continue to have this dig it, sell it cheap, activity for activity sake economy.

  2. Poission 2

    The only responsive industry that can increase wealth for NZ at present ( read jobs) is the agriculture sector in the short term.

    The formidable constraint is the exchange rate,mostly fueled by the cash and carry trade,and the AK property bubble.

    Agriculture and its downstream industries situated in the heartland,do not have the transport or high cost housing problems that are driving the asymmetry in the NZ economy (wish lists) and have readily available underutilized capacity.

    The overemphasis on the so called high value jobs in both training and education have led to the increased disparity in wealth distribution.

    The schools,hospitals all still exist in the provinces as do ports,railheads etc,as do the infrastructure support services such as small engineering.

    Grow the heartland and it will feed the economy,

    • mike e 2.1

      poison agriculture is on a downward slide

      • Poission 2.1.1

        Dairy is up on volume and slightly on price in july (being a record value in 2011-2012

        Meats down on value ,average on volume,

        Fruits up on value as is wine.

        Logs up on volume down in value.

        The values are sensitive to the exchange rate.

        • mike e 2.1.1.1

          poison no one wants to live in isolated rural hick towns wages are are poor employment conditions are poor workers are forced to work long hours with no pay for ovetime.
          Until a real leap foward in adding value to these products.
          Farmers will just carry on taking advantage of workers who are isolated under paid and abused in ther work place.
          read bellow!

          • Poission 2.1.1.1.1

            A 10% decrease in the exchange rate would inject 5 billion into the NZ economy.The increased profits would increase the job supply,reduce debt and increase import substitution.

            The positive feedbacks would then entrain ( modelock) the economy in a sustainable system

            • Draco T Bastard 2.1.1.1.1.1

              The increased profits would increase the job supply,reduce debt and increase import substitution.

              No, they won’t. In fact, they’re likely to do the exact opposite.

              The positive feedbacks would then entrain ( modelock) the economy in a sustainable system

              Yeah, that’s what we’ve been told for the last century or so – hasn’t happened yet.

              Insanity: Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.

            • mike e 2.1.1.1.1.2

              poison the price of fuel, fertilizer other inputs will undo your dream. before it starts.
              A giant leap forward is required and with national fucking up research by cutting and partially reinstating 3 years later it has undone years of good research .
              ie wool research at Lincoln university was completely undermined by National. South Africa Snapped up these researchers a developing country smart investment.
              National Dumb And Dumber.

    • rosy 2.2

      I heard there were a few jobs going in Christchurch, but instead of training people up, they imported them (bar 25, or something).

  3. tc 3

    Hollow excuses from the Hollowmen.

  4. Carol 4

    I was quite disgusted at the use of the term bleeding hearts used by one or two Nat speakers in the general debate yesterday to describe people who wanted something done about child poverty.

    Part of the Orwelian NAct universe where people who care about others and want a relatively even and secure playing field for all children are denigrated.

    http://hubpages.com/u/25200_f260.jpg

    http://theintelhub.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/09/2011-09-30_2323.png

    • Dr Terry 4.1

      Carol. Unfortunately such a phrase from the National Government is no surprise, only to be expected.
      That is how low they stoop. People who use such words are themselves in poverty, that is, poverty of sensitivity, ethic, spirit, and soul. They are the most damnable human beings in existence.

      • mike 4.1.1

        “Help us NAct spin doctors, this child poverty report doesn’t look good what can we do?”
        Bleeding hearts
        “Yep. That’s good. That’ll work.”

        The word is sociopath.

    • Roy 4.2

      Some of us take ‘bleeding heart’ as a compliment. Hearts are supposed to have blood in them, after all. Better a bleeding heart than a heart of stone, or no heart at all.

    • Tracey 4.3

      Yes, fancy wanting to help folks like this?

      ” Living in one of the poorest parts of Porirua, Mrs Masoe and her husband are both cleaners earning just above the minimum wage at $13.85 an hour, supporting their youngest son in his final year of high school and four grandchildren under 5.

      The family does not own a refrigerator because the electricity bill to run it would be too expensive.

      Lunch has been laid out on the table: sandwiches of white bread stuffed with cold tinned spaghetti and meat balls. She feeds the entire family of seven on just over $3 a day per person.

      Their pay-as-you-go power account often runs out before the next pay day rolls around, so they have no choice but to spend a day without any electricity.

      Mrs Masoe, 52, begins to cry as she speaks about how she cleans up other people’s vomit and scrubs human waste from toilet bowls for her meagre living.

      She spends her weekends working two 12-hour shifts. “:

      • Carol 4.3.1

        Ah, but Chancellor Gerry explained it all on behalf of the PM today. His Lordship Gerry praised the family for being so hard working and working hard to improve their lives. He said it was unfortunate for them that they had been picked up by unscrupulous politicians like Turei, who were just using the family for political ends. He also said that Turei would be better to give the family advice on how they can supplement their family with the government’s generous benefits.

        See, there’s always a perfectly good explanation. No family in NZ need be in poverty.

        PS: I think the family in question is the one Micky refers to below.

      • Draco T Bastard 4.3.2

        Just work hard we’re told and you to can be rich. It’s shit like this that proves the lie about working hard getting you anywhere.

        As I was told when in Amway, working hard will never make you rich, to become rich you need to have lots of other people working for you. In other words, to become rich you need to be a ticket clipper. There is no other way and those having their ticket clipped, like those cleaners, are always poor.

        • TheContrarian 4.3.2.1

          “It’s shit like this that proves the lie about working hard getting you anywhere.”

          Not quite a lie. I came from a once middle class broken family (which made things financially difficult), flunked out of school and worked in hospitality until I decided to do something else
          I worked damned hard and am now relatively comfortable with a pretty good future ahead of me if I keep it up.

          Doesn’t work for everyone but I wouldn’t call it a lie. 

          • Carol 4.3.2.1.1

            Statistics I saw a while back in the UK showed that children of mothers who had been middle-class, but dropped down the socioeconomic ladder, were most likely to rise from the lower class/es to the middle-class.

            I guess it has a lot to do with cultural capital, and/or personal connections and/or knowing how to work with the system, and/or having the support at home and know-how re-being successful in the education system.

            But I think, with fewer jobs around these days, it maybe harder for even those once-were-middle-class children.

          • Draco T Bastard 4.3.2.1.2

            Thing is, it doesn’t work for the majority. It also doesn’t apply to the top ~1% who don’t have to work at all having inherited their wealth. A few people might make it through but they’re a distinct minority.

            • TheContrarian 4.3.2.1.2.1

              “Thing is, it doesn’t work for the majority.”

               That isn’t necessarily true either – when NZ did have a robust middle class working hard still got you somewhere. maybe not is much anymore, but a good work ethic and some ambition can work to ones advantage. If I hadn’t have worked to get where I am today I know I wouldn’t be as happy and comfortable as I am today.
              McFlock once tried to convince me it was all done to luck but if I had sat around and waited for luck I wouldn’t be the successful person I am now.

              Besides which, what is the better lesson to teach “Work hard for what you want” or “don’t bother because it’s a lie”?

              • Te Reo Putake

                I’m not that keen on prying into poster’s backgrounds, TC, but seeing as you raised it, just how comfortable are you? I seem to recall from an earlier comment of yours that you have no significant assets and that you rent your home. If that is the case, then you are just like the majority; only a payday or two away from financial catastrophe.

                • “no significant assets and that you rent your home.  If that is the case, then you are just like the majority; only a payday or two away from financial catastrophe.”

                  While I have no house or car I have no debt – absolutely no debt, credit card, HP’s, loans, nothing.
                  My wife and I have significant savings and if either one of us lost our job for whatever reason there wouldn’t be cause for concern.
                  Plus I have youth and am on a great career path.
                  My wife and I could buy house tomorrow if we wanted but we are happy where we are.

                  It isn’t luck that we decided to save and pay off debt instead of buying assets like a house or car. It was a lifestyle choice which has paid off fortunately.

                  But it take many years of living hand to mouth to get here and there were several instances where I nearly collapsed financially.
                   

                  • Te Reo Putake

                    Cheers, and good luck to you and your missus. If you genuinely have a few hundred grand in the bank, then, yes, that would be my definition of comfortable. Still not sure how paying money to a landlord fits in with your ‘no debt’ philosophy. Surely the rent is a debt you’d be better off without?

                    • Yes we are comfortable but once a house has been bought and child is on the way the savings will be eaten up rather quickly! As I said it is lifestyle decision that paid off.

                      As to rent, well that’s a cost of living and a lifestyle choice as opposed to a debt as far as I see it. And unlike a debt it is something I could stop paying at anytime of my choosing by moving out.
                      I also get something from it, it pays the rates and maintenance. My rent is actually really really cheap for where I live. My landlord is a very lovely person who wants someone to take care of the place while she is overseas as opposed to being in it for profit.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Any financial advisor will tell you that you do not sink a huge sum of capital and get into major debt to purchase a house to live in, if financial advantage is your main goal. You go ahead and do it for family and emotional reasons.

                    • I have a good adviser who has given us many things to think about.

                      I am trying not to rush into anything. I take personal finance seriously. 

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Not more seriously than I.

              • fnjckg

                “work hard etc..” Reformation distortion

              • McFlock

                Touched you remember.
                   
                Pity your recollection is warped – I never suggested your success was all down to luck, just that a major part of anyone’s success is due to luck.
                      
                Which only the most obtuse egotist would disagree with.
                 

          • felix 4.3.2.1.3

            “Doesn’t work for everyone but I wouldn’t call it a lie. “

            Ah but the lie is that it does apply to everyone, which is absurd as soon as you look beyond any individual case.

            • McFlock 4.3.2.1.3.1

              Actually, I’d say that any individual case shows the effect of luck, if you look closely. Whether the individual recognises this, on the other hand, is a different matter.

        • Plastic Tolstoy 4.3.2.2

          “Just work hard we’re told and you to can be rich. It’s shit like this that proves the lie about working hard getting you anywhere.”

          I’ve often wondered if people who use that line really do believe that the person working three jobs just to make ends meet simply isn’t working hard enough. I came to the conclusion that a lot of very wealthy people must have a different definition of “hard work” than what it means to most of us.

          I’ve also often wondered if those same people touting that line have any idea about ecology, as they seem to believe there are enough natural resources in existence that everyone could get as rich as them if they just worked hard enough. They just can’t seem to comprehend that their gain will almost always be someone else’s loss.

  5. If you want to read something really chilling this Stuff article describes a typical week for Peniata Endermann who not only attends school full time but works 25 hours a week as a cleaner to keep his family afloat.  His mother and him both work as cleaners to provide for his three siblings.

    And if you want to read something really disgusting then have a look at the comments.  There is an overwhelming stench of beneficiary bashing amongst the comments and a clear sense that they see themselves as superiors over the less fortunate amongst us.  Paula Bennett would be proud.

    • just saying 5.1

      Some people I know in the faux-food franchises bizz (in low socio-economic areas) tell me that the young people who work for them always ask when there is a (rare and meagre) payrise be given the extra in cash because their entire paypackets go toward supporting their families, and they wish for a little pocket-money for themselves.

    • Roy 5.2

      I am particularly contemptuous of the commenters who say “Oh well I did the same thing when I was a teenager!” What is it with some people that if they had a rough time they think everyone else should suffer as they did? The same ugly thinking comes to the fore when there is any talk of increasing maternity leave, a whole lot of mean older women start saying “I didn’t have maternity leave when I had my kids so why should they?”

      • bbfloyd 5.2.1

        Are these the generation of women who had their families before it became impossible to raise a family on one income adequately?

        • Roy 5.2.1.1

          Probably!

          • Colonial Viper 5.2.1.1.1

            Those who set themselves up through the 1960’s, 1970’s and 1980’s had the opportunity to do so in a NZ very different to now, during times of constant economic growth and energy availability.

      • Carol 5.2.2

        Kind of similar to the the proxy minister’s response to the question as to whether Paula Benefit had asked her cleaner what it was like living on the minimum wage. The reply was that Ms Benefit had been a single mother on a low income and and knew what it was like.

    • tc 5.3

      ‘There is an overwhelming stench of beneficiary bashing amongst the comments and a clear sense that they see themselves as superiors over the less fortunate amongst us.’

      It is Stuff mickey, just another NACT friendly MSM outlet under direction of it’s masters, ensuring the bene bashing tone is maintained. Fairfax is stuffed (probably in no small part to amounts paid by capt kirk for TradeMe) and under siege to become a formal voice of big business, Gine reinhart styles.

      Love the pinup picture in Stuff of Kaye on the alcohol bill piece when it probably should be the memorial notice for that Kings College student who drank himself to death…bias , move along people.

    • Tracey 5.4

      bloody bleeding hearts

  6. Mr Burns 6

    When are you $ocialists going to realise that the wealthy do not give a damn about poverty. The only thing the right is interested in is making sure that enough ordinary voters are fooled into supporting the right even though it is against their interests. If the right campaigned honestly they would never win an election and then where would the world be?
     
    It would resemble Sweeden with all of its fancy ideas of universal health and social welfare benefits. The place would be an absolute mess.

  7. Dr Terry 7

    Mr Burns, in a strange kind of way, I think you make a point here. What I question is your scoffing at Sweden on account of universal health and social welfare benefits, describing something highly desirable as “fancy ideas” (which appears to put you in company of people like Brownlie and co). Are these only “ideas”, or are they actualities?

  8. kiwi_prometheus 8

    Well another mine is retrenching. The workers will probably head to Aussie – though things are on the turn there as well – iron ore price is a massive bubble, China’s stratopheric gdp phase is over.

    So no chance of mining saving the country any more than gay ‘marriage’.

  9. Roy 9

    Child poverty solved by mining? So they are going to send the kids down the mines? It has been done before…

  10. What did you expect?

    They are the hollow men.

  11. Olwyn 11

    The difficulty with addressing poverty is that our system actively demands it. We are effectively a vassal state in which wealth is not produced beyond farming, but is instead sucked upwards and and outwards. The rich get to clip the tickets of the infrastructure as it disappears, and the middle class get to manage the wealth outflow, along with the chance to cling to overpriced domestic property. While the poor subsist on resources that are seen as a cost to the rest, to be kept as low as possible.

    Given our lack of industry, the middle class hate the poor because under the circumstances, to take the poor seriously is to risk ceasing to be middle class. Then there are people like tradies, who are traditionally middle class but can no longer rely on getting a foothold in that group, who feel the need to blame someone.

    That is why I put this question to Labour on Open Mike, 27/08/12: “If push comes to shove, how far are you willing to go to defend your constituency against the system? Are you willing to employ your imagination, you wiles and your courage on behalf of ordinary people? Or are you more likely to employ PR people so as to get away with shafting them on the system’s behalf?” There is no point in putting such a question to National. They are incapable of hearing it, let alone answering it.

    • Bored 11.1

      Olwyn, your last paragraph sums the whole thing up vis a vis Labour. The whole issue is systemic.

      On a personal basis I have managed corporate operations (it is a bit like a form of schizophrenia being part of something that you fundamentally disagree with, however there were children to house, clothe, feed). I now manage smaller concerns but the same issue occurs. I have people asking for pay rises, the market is deeply in recession and the ledger running very close to the wind. Some roles will get retrenched, there is no money for rises. The bosses / owners make cash out of profit, there is little of that so nothing to glean there. In my experience business owners are not scrooges per se, they don’t like hungry children anymore than joe average (note the schools doing breakfasts get major support from local businesses). And prices for all go up.

      So the scenario is a deeply squeezed small business community, costs at home rising rapidly whilst income is static and falling. People can only cut back so far, then they are forced to make choices: who goes hungry?

      The system is so close to insolvent that it has to be considered cancerous at best…I note however that death notices for capitalism are somewhat premature (much as we would like to attend the funeral), it has some resilience that expresses itself in the form of hungry children.

      As I have said the Labour guiding principles if stuck to form a good framework, what is lacking is any stated direction to address the mess. And that is because labour like National are committed to resuscitation of the current mess rather than posing a viable alternative that starts by feeding the children first.

      • Tracey 11.1.1

        The small business owners I know wrestle with the possibility of laying off workers and do everything they can to avoid it. To be frank I believe the problem is in the bigger, more faceless businesses where everything is driven by shareholder (read dividend) demand and justification and rationalisation of unethical behaviour is rife. I include banking in this.

    • Tracey 11.2

      Olwyn – I believe one of Labour’s fundamental problems is that they believe everyone in the “middle” who they seem to want to pander to, are self interested, self absorbed money-hungry idiots. They’r e not. Some of them actually want to live in a society where children are safe and fed and sheltered at night… bene bashing, faux law and order etc etc is just grist to the mill…

  12. Olwyn 12

    Bored and Tracey: I am not blaming anyone for responding to their own needs, nor am I claiming that the people in the middle are defined by the exasperations that some of them have. I am saying that you cannot really make a dent in poverty without tackling the system that produces it. And it can probably be tackled to a limited degree. However you can choose your targets carefully and put up a fight. You can see what needs to be done and do it, rather than meekly do what you are told.

    The British Empire run into difficulties when they put a mixture of lard and beef tallow on bullets, and then expected Muslim and Hindu soldiers to bite them. They found it unthinkable to bite those bullets, despite the great empire’s assumptions. When we are able to defend our core values with similar conviction, then maybe we can make the system accommodate us to some extent, including our desire not to have hungry children in damp, crowded, insecure housing. The squeeze will go on until we say “enough.”

    • Bored 12.1

      Olwyn, I am saying that you cannot really make a dent in poverty without tackling the system that produces it. And it can probably be tackled to a limited degree. 100% correct.

      Cant fault the diagnosis, my problem is what to replace it with, have been reading Schumacker (Small Is Beautiful) for some inspiration on solid state economics (i.e resource constrained and non growth orientated). Its going to happen and it needs Labour to embrace (if they dont they will be a totally historic irrelevance). In between times we find a way to feed the children first. Top priority.

      • Olwyn 12.1.1

        If I have read Small is Beautiful, it is a long time ago. But I agree with you as to feeding the children first. We need to have such priorities, and structure things, or pressure existing structures, with a view to actually achieving them. We presently seem to treat obedience to international financial structures as necessary and the viability of our people contingent, which we need to reverse. While I do not think we can ignore international financial structures, we can have our own set of “musts” to bring to the table, as opposed slavish obedience in exchange for career opportunities for those at the top.

      • Draco T Bastard 12.1.2

        A resource based, democratic economy is the only option but one that both Labour and National will oppose as it goes against the economic theory that they believe.

  13. Fortran 13

    I have just heard that BHP has shelved a multi billion dollar operation in South Australia, and other projects elsewhere, and it was been suggested that anybody from New Zealand being tempted (forced) to got to Australia may find short pickings.
    In recent days the mining boom of Australia has come to a sudden halt – this was however predicted some time ago, but not expected so suddenly.
    BHP say they are looking for cheaper labour in the SE Asia mining facilities there. There appear to be many countries worthy of new exploration in mining eg Myanmar (Burma) was mentioned.

  14. captain hook 14

    hey bugger the kids.
    we need highways of national significance so we can drive around looking at nothing.

    • starlight 14.1

      I agree with you,its incredible that $14 billion is going to be spent on roads
      when the books are climbing to 72b in debt,children are living in poverty and
      the nacts use the gfc and ch ch to mask their economic incompetence,they
      have turfed people out of jobs and that continues,then legislate drug testing
      for beneficiaries,at least the nact supporters will have another chardonnay
      and salmon on a cracker while they click their glasses together with glee
      at nacts actions,while in the real nz, children suffer because the top 20%
      are the ‘prefered’ section of the community.
      At least labour has a ‘planet’ the nacts have a space craft and are still
      searching for a resting place.

  15. tracey 15

    Olwyn, i was agreeing with your post

    • Olwyn 15.1

      Sorry Tracey: I did not mean to sound combative, but I thought I may have given the impression that I was decrying the middle class in my previous post, and wanted to make it clear that I was not.

      • Bored 15.1.1

        Lots of us might get categorised as “middle class” now…most of us did not come from there (much as we might pretend otherwise). As they say about the wonderful Rachel Hunter, you can take the girl out of Glenfield but you cant take …etc. There is something comforting in being aware of your origins.

        • tracey 15.1.1.1

          I am not attacking the middle class i am attacking the tactic of pandering to a stereotype of the middle class

          • Olwyn 15.1.1.1.1

            Yes I got that and I agree with you. The roof painter was a classic example of pandering to prejudices that are attributed to the “struggling middle class” stereo type.

  16. tracey 16

    I chuckle at slater going to town on the lie of the roofer while bennett and others constantly create strawmen

  17. xtasy 17

    Poverty in NZ is pre programmed and WANTED! There is NO doubt about it, because any country that has the level of natural resources as NZ has, that has an abundance of milk, dairy products, meat, cereals, vegetables and fruit grown locally, that has NO excuse to have 20 or more per cent of children live in poverty. NZ is on a lying and losing streak, that is the truth. What we have is the bloody result of corporate decisions, and that involves the dairy giant Fonterra, same as the Turners and Growers and others.

    They are all focussed to export, and they admittedly have a struggle ahead to beat the high currency level, but they still manage.

    Now how can a country, rich in dairy, sundry food production allow that about a fifth of children, and I dare say, also adults, to live in poverty, especially food poverty?

    It is a human CRIME. It is disgusting as such, and I would expect a bit more from MPs I expect more of. But it is NOT happening. We have tit for tat little battles in Parliament every day. What about the personalities to take to heart what really matters to people? I see NONE, which includes ALL parties. So maybe the Standard thinks things will change, I cannot see it, keep me informed, thanks.

    • Roy 17.1

      I agree that poverty is pre-programmed and wanted, so that people will accept jobs with rotten pay and rotten working conditions. Teenagers too exhausted from work to learn at school are also wanted, because it is easier to deceive the ill-educated.

  18. xtasy 18

    Not only the Nats have excuses, so did Labour for years and employed a “Principal Advisor” to WiNZ thinking this:

    http://www.gpcme.co.nz/pdf/2012/Fri_DaVinci_1400_Bratt_Medical%20Certificates%20are%20Clinical%20Instruments%20too%20-%20June%202012.pdf

    http://www.gpcme.co.nz/pdf/2012/Fri_DaVinci_1400_Bratt_Medical Certificates are Clinical Instruments too – June 2012.pdf

    http://www.google.co.nz/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=Dr+David+Bratt+ppt&source=web&cd=3&ved=0CE0QFjAC&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.rgpn.org.nz%2FNetwork%2Fmedia%2Fdocuments%2FConference2011%2FD-Bratt.ppt&ei=pOMqUNyqF–QiQee4oGgBQ&usg=AFQjCNFEdYN_dDW9BAZvZo_cQpC2rFyelg&cad=rja

    Poverty is based on “benefit dependency”, right? Or is it “benefit dependency” that is the same as “drug dependency”? I think something along the lines goes his argument.

    Anyway, it is all fine, all right, we are in good hands, our leader is looking after us, hail our leader , blessed be him – so Hone Key, we love ya, we are there for ja, and we will follow thee unto death! Hail!

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    Today is the first day of the global climate strike. Led by schoolkids, people all around the world are going to protest to demand action on climate change. New Zealand isn't doing it till next Friday (join us!), but if you want to get active early, there's plenty to do ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Climate Change: Squandering our opportunity?
    The Herald has a story today about the 400 MW of wind power currently under construction. Good news, right? Except that none of it is being driven by policy (instead, its about replacing Contact Energy's Taranaki Combined Cycle gas-fired power plant, due to shut down in 2022), and most of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Protect The King!
    To Protect and Serve: When the Prime Minister finds herself enmeshed in the coils of a full-blown political scandal, her colleagues and party comrades have only one priority: to release her as swiftly – and with as little lasting injury – as possible. Is this what Jacinda Ardern’s colleagues and ...
    2 days ago
  • The rot at the top.
    When military leaders cover up and lie to elected civilian authorities, the foundation of democratic civil-military relations is undermined because it is those authorities who are entrusted to hold the military accountable to the public that they mutually serve. But this is only true if civilian political authorities take their ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    2 days ago
  • Challenging the voting age in court
    The Make It 16 campaign to lower the voting age is launching this afternoon, and they have already announced plans to challenge the law in court:The campaign, named "Make it 16" will launch at Parliament on Friday, with plans to take their case to the High Court, testing the rights ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Israel’s elections herald a long siesta
    by Daphna Whitmore The long years of Netanyahu’s reign are drawing to an end. For years he has epitomized reactionary zionism as he oversaw hundreds of thousands of Jewish settlers seize land in the West Bank. There are now 700,000 settlers, putting an end to the myth that Israel was ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    3 days ago
  • Petrol companies promise prices will come back down once peace is restored to the Middle East
    BP, Z and Mobil all insist that petrol price hikes are temporary, “in a very literal sense.” The nation’s major petrol providers are trying to allay customer fears over prices, promising that they’ll move to lower them again “immediately” when the Middle East is returned to its formerly peaceful state. ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    3 days ago
  • All Blacks unveil boat for Rugby World Cup 2019
    South African coach Rassie Erasmus says he has no idea what they’re going to do about the boat. In a highly anticipated press conference this afternoon, All Blacks coach Steve Hansen has finally unveiled the team’s boat for its Rugby World Cup 2019 campaign. In a press conference that went ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    3 days ago
  • An increasingly shoddy coverup
    The Operation Burnham inquiry continued to question senior NZDF staff today, and their shoddy coverup over their knowledge of civilian casualties continue to fall apart. If you recall, first, we were asked to believe that it was all a series of "mistakes and errors": a senior officer with multiple degrees ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • If we are to avoid making the earth uninhabitable, we need to rapidly decarbonise our civilisation, and cut emissions to zero as quickly as possible. This seems like an impossible task, but its not. Pushing hard on a few technologies and trends will let us halve emissions in a decade:Greenhouse ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • A further attack on transparency
    The Local Government Act 2002 Amendment Bill (No 2) had part of its committee stage yesterday. its a generally tedious bill about the nitty-gritty of local government reorganisation. But it includes a clause making the Local Government Commission subject to the Ombudsmen Act, and hence the OIA. Great! Except of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Ihumātao and Treaty settlements
    Yesterday Ihumātao's mana whenua reached a consensus that they would like their land back, and asked the government to negotiate with Fletcher's for its return. The government's response? Try and undermine that consensus, while talking about how doing anything would undermine existing Treaty settlements. The first is just more bad ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Protecting our history
    Its Suffrage Day, the 126th anniversary of women winning the right to vote (but not stand in elections) in New Zealand. And to celebrate, the government has bought Kate Sheppard's house in Christchurch:The government has bought Kate Sheppard's former home in Christchurch for more than $4 million. The Ilam villa ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Climate Change: Ostracising the coal-burners
    The UN climate summit is happening in new York next week, and unlike previous years, coal-burners and denier-states are not being invited to speak:Leading economies such as Japan and Australia will not be invited to speak at next week’s crunch UN climate change summit, as their continued support for coal ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Jojo Tamihere Salutes Herr Goff.
    Get Back Jojo! The elation in Mayor Phil Goff’s camp may be easily imagined as they watched social media light up in indignation at challenger John Tamihere’s "Sieg Heil to that" quip. Just when JT’s notoriously right-wing, sexist and homophobic stains were beginning to fade back into his ‘colourful’ past, ...
    4 days ago
  • Hard News: A fun but flawed weed documentary
    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 ...
    4 days ago
  • Candidate Survey: Western Bay of Plenty – Local Body Elections 2019
    We surveyed candidates on their attitudes to issues facing the Western Bay Region, find out what they think: “Closing the Gap” Tauranga, one of the area groups of Income Equality Aotearoa NZ Inc., has surveyed all candidates in the three local body elections to discover attitudes to some basic issues ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    4 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
    4 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
    4 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
    4 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
    5 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
    5 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
    5 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
    5 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
    5 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
    5 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 ...
    6 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
    6 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 ...
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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 ...
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week ago
  • Magdalen Burns, 1983-2019, fighter for women’s liberation
    by the Redline blog collective At Redline we are very saddened to hear of the death of Magdalen Burns who passed away on the morning of Friday, September 13 (British time). Magdalen was a great fighter for the rights of women in general and lesbian women in particular, a defender ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Parliament and the Executive
    The Brexit issue has certainly brought with it a series of apparently difficult constitutional issues, many of them concerning the respective roles of the executive and parliament. Most of them arise because of the unwillingness of MPs, despite their professions to the contrary, to be bound by a constitutional rarity ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • The Abigail Article; Martyn Bradbury’s Article, and My Response
    . . This blogpost is different to my usual format of reporting on issues… Since July 1011, I have blogged on a variety of political issues; near always political and/or environmental; mostly highly critical of the previous National Government. Other issues included Israeli occupation of Palestinian lands and repression of ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • Police will have to wear silly Buckingham Palace hats from now on, says Police Minister
    Those close to the Police Minister believe the initiative may be the result of Nash “seeing a great deal” on AliExpress. In a move that comes seemingly out of nowhere, Police Minister Stuart Nash announced this afternoon that he expects all frontline staff to don bearskin hats, famously worn by ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • A sensible crackdown
    The government has released its Arms Legislation Bill, containing the second tranche of changes to gun laws following the March 15 massacre. And it all looks quite sensible: a national gun register, higher penalties for illegal possession and dealing, tighter restrictions on arms dealers and shooting clubs, and a shorter ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • California bans private prisons
    Private prisons are a stain on humanity. Prison operators explicitly profit from human misery, then lobby for longer prisons terms so they can keep on profiting. And in the US, prison companies run not only local and state prisons, but also Donald Trump's immigration concentration camps. Faced with this moral ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Why PPPs are a bad idea
    When National was in power, they were very keen on Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) - basicly, using private companies to finance public infrastructure as a way of hiding debt from the public. They were keen on using them for everything - roads, schools, hospitals. But as the UK shows, that "service" ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • A Movement That No Longer Moves.
    Moving And Shaking: There was a time when people spoke matter-of-factly about the “labour movement” – a political phenomenon understood to embrace much more than the Labour Party. Included within the term’s definition was the whole trade union movement – many of whose members looked upon the Labour Party as ...
    1 week ago
  • NZ ‘left’ politically embracing extreme postmodernism
    by Philip Ferguson Much of the left, even people who formally identify as marxists, have collapsed politically in the face of postmodern gender theory of the sort pioneered by American philosopher Judith Butler. For Butler even biological sex is socially constructed. “If the immutable character of sex is contested, perhaps ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • The obvious question
    The media is reporting that the (alleged) Labour party sexual assaulter has resigned from their job at Parliament, which means hopefully he won't be turning up there making people feel unsafe in future. Good. But as with everything about this scandal, it just raises other questions. Most significantly: why the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The moment I found out that you found out, I acted swiftly
    By Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern I am every bit as angry as you are. I am every bit as disappointed as you must be. The people with power, oversight and the ability to do something about these processes within the Labour Party should be ashamed. Whoever those people are, I ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • This is why people hate property developers
    Property developers think there is an "oversupply" of houses in Auckland:High turnover rates and falling prices may be a sign that there are too many new houses going in to some parts of Auckland, commentators say. [...] Property developer David Whitburn said there was a "bit of an oversupply" in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Australia to Pacific: “Fuck you, you can all drown”
    World leaders are meeting in New York in two weeks for the 2019 Climate Action Summit, where they are expected to announce new and more ambitious targets to stop the world from burning. But the Australian Prime Minister won't be there, despite being in the USA at the time:Scott Morrison ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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 ...
    2 weeks 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 ...
    2 weeks 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 ...
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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 ...
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks ago
  • Flight to Los Angeles turned back after passengers decide they don’t want to go anymore
    An ambitious plan to fly to Los Angeles petered out into a brief sight-seeing trip and a desire to return home and get some sleep before work tomorrow. Air New Zealand has confirmed a flight to Los Angeles last night was turned back about a quarter of the way into ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Indigenous Futures: defuturing and futuring – an analytical framework for policy development?
    There appears to be consensus – by omission – that the concept of indigenous futures should be accepted at face value. So I scavenged the internet to see if I could locate an academic descriptor or a framework around how we think about it as a concept, and whether it ...
    EllipsisterBy Ellipsister
    2 weeks ago
  • Cadbury rumoured to be releasing the Pineapple Trump
    Here’s another novelty chocolate to shove in your gob, New Zealand Cadbury could be seeking to make itself great again with a rumoured new release: Pineapple Trumps, a spin on its classic chocolate-encased pineapple treat and do-it-yourself tooth remover. The global confectionery manufacturer and bumbling “before” character in an infomercial, ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • The coming resource war.
    During my time in the Pentagon I had the privilege of sitting down with military leaders and defence and security officials from a variety of Latin American nations. Sometimes I was present as a subordinate assistant to a senior US defence department official, sometimes as part of a delegation that ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    2 weeks ago
  • Māori Language Week with The Civilian
    Kia ora, Aotearoa. It’s that magical time of year. Te Wiki o te Reo Māori. In English, the week that frightens talk radio. As you probably know by now, all your favourite media outlets are participating, some more successfully than others. Stuff has changed its name to Puna for the ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Will Horizons act on climate change?
    Local body elections are coming up next month. And it looks like all Palmerston North candidates for Horizons (the Manawatu-Whanganui Regional Council) want to take action on climate change:Climate change is set to be a key issue in Palmerston North for the next three years if those wanting to get ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • BORA reform is stalled
    Eighteen months ago, the government promised to strengthen the Bill of Rights Act, by explicitly affirming the power of the courts to issue declarations of inconsistency and requiring Parliament to formally respond to them. So how's that going? I was curious, so I asked for all advice about the proposal. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Corbyn and Brexit
    As the Brexit saga staggers on, the focus is naturally enough on the Prime Minister and his attempts to achieve Brexit “do or die”. But the role played by the Leader of the Opposition is of almost equal interest and complexity. The first problem for Jeremy Corbyn is that he ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    2 weeks ago

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