Newspeak

Written By: - Date published: 11:37 am, August 22nd, 2014 - 54 comments
Categories: brand key, democracy under attack, john key, making shit up - Tags:

John Key’s reaction to the revelations in “Dirty Politics” is straight out of Orwell’s classic 1984. Orwell however got one thing wrong – describing the principles of Newspeak he says “It was expected that Newspeak would have finally superseded Oldspeak (or Standard English, as we should call it) by about the year 2050.”  In Key’s National government, it’s here already.

So when Warren Tucker in 2011 wrote – “I notified the Prime Minister,” “I advised the Prime Minister.” “I informed the Prime Minister,” we are asked to believe he didn’t mean he actually spoke to the Prime Minister. When Beverley Wakem’s deputy signed her letter where she says Tucker had “discussions with the Prime Minister” she has now clarified that she didn’t actually mean that  Tucker discussed the release with the Prime Minister. And now we hear from the PM’s spokesperson that when the Prime Minister said that Tucker “discussed the release with me, as he had to under the no surprises rule” he didn’t actually mean that they spoke to each other!!!

Unbelievable – but scary.

Orwell’s prescient warning to the perils facing democracy is why the issues revealed in Hager’s book, and even more in these political and official reactions, are so important. If we cannot rely on the absolute impartiality of the final arbiter on what may be revealed as official information in the Chief Ombudsman, and the political neutrality of the keeper of the secrets in the Director of the SIS, then our democracy is indeed under threat.

Juvenal wrote “Quis custodiet ipsos custodes” (Who will watch the watchmen?)” in his famous Satires. Eddie wrote about it here in 2011, ironically in relation to Key’s comments on another of Nicky Hager’s books, Other People’s War. Some quotes:

Mr Key did not deny the report existed. “I have no recollection of reading it,” he said….He was totally confident the departments were following Government policy. “I have no reason to believe otherwise.”….So, on what basis does Key dismiss Hager’s book. “He said his officials had read the book and advised him.”

Eddie finished:

Hmm. Anyone else see a pattern here?

We can but hope that Rebecca Kitteridge now heading the SIS, and Cheryl Gwyn now investigating the release of Tucker’s briefing notes to Cameron Slater but not to other media are cut from different cloth. We need some independent and  courageous watchers. And to hang on to Oldspeak.

 

 

54 comments on “Newspeak”

  1. Craig Glen Eden 1

    I agree Mike Smith this is very serious stuff, I know you are a bit older than me but Im wondering if you have seen anything as big that rivals this since you have been alive in a political sense. I would exclude big Norms death I am more referring to the challenge to our democracy and political Governance when I say this is very serious stuff.Just asking?

  2. vto 2

    Meaning of “discuss” ….. talk about (something) with a person or people

    Pinnokeyo’s nose is growing at an alarming rate ha ha ha ha ha ha the man has become a joke.

  3. Tigger 3

    Nicely put, Mike. I’m concerned to see the politicisation of neutral posts. The speed of Bev’a reply in this case shocked me. I always regarded her with respect but this was a major misstep.

    Who watches the watchmen? Who watches the Ombudsman? If the office is now politicised then what use is it?

    • ghostwhowalksnz 3.1

      She could have at least waited till “the end of the day”

    • mickysavage 3.2

      The other odd thing is that the person who wrote the original letter from the Ombudsman’s office was Leo Donnelly. I do not understand how Wakem could claim to know what Donnelly was referring to. Maybe he did intend to mean what his words clearly say.

  4. clashman 4

    ffs. you’d think english wasnt his first language. Maybe we need all his pronouncements translated.
    I think from now on every time he says “I” or anyone from the nats says the “prime minister” , the journos should interrupt and ask if they are referring to Jon Key or the prime ministers office.

    • ianmac 4.1

      He used to say My Government and My Ministers. Does he still?

    • Once Was Tim 4.2

      “Maybe we need all his pronouncements translated.”
      Funny (hahaha) you should say that. Back in 2008 I could hardly understand the prick – and I remember reading some of his former ‘banker’ colleagues remarking on his mumble slurring.
      I suspect he’s had some speech lessons over the past 6 or so years. When he’s bullshitting its really quit noticeable (which of course is a lot of the time)
      Lazy speech, lazy mind.
      What we’re seeing now though is what gets most egotistical malignant narcissists. They’ve told so much bullshit, they’ve forgotten which lies were which.

      If it wasn’t so serious it’d be funny as a fart

  5. ianmac 5

    In my numerous decades I know of nothing to equal this. It may have been possible in the past but this time it is the wonders of IT that have changed the risk of exposure. Spoken words just disappeared previously and now Google it, and the words that you spoke are there to haunt you.
    The irony is that Key said last week, “The words that I say are the words that I mean.” Newspeak? (His interview posted today by the Herald in his 4 person interview.)

    This will be catostrophic not least because the World will judge NZ on the integrity of our Government, should the inevitable become proven.

    And remember that Kim Dotcom has something lined up 5 days before the election.

  6. philj 6

    xox
    NZ 100 per ceng PURE!
    Not a good look for NZ Inc. , or our media.

    • Once Was Tim 6.1

      It’s Johnky we’re talking beart goan forwid. What ja mean 100% pure.
      Its hunrid piss end poor your.
      Well you ken prar aid yoose stistuks (Steven Sucka), bit oi ken pra aid yoose jizz ez men eek ken show othwoise.

      Btw Moik – with all this Newspeak, zzzzztheir arse etta fnetuks ta go withut?
      Shoodin bee rock soince ta put sumthing eart. Edge Kay Shun crik you lum could beyunda rivyou. Hoe pflea oik get Heck Yea on toot

  7. Dialey 7

    “As societies grow decadent, the language grows decadent, too. Words are used to disguise, not to illuminate, action: ‘you liberate a city by destroying it’. Words are to confuse, so that at election time people will solemnly vote against their own interests.”
    Gore Vidal

  8. Tracey 8

    Does this mean when the pm speaks to obama, its just someonefrom his office and when he plays golf with obama its not really him?

  9. emergency mike 9

    Who would have thunk that the PM’s office was such a powerful entity in it’s own right, separate from the PM. Does anyone know who these people are that are making such decisions about which OIA requests regarding the SIS they will or won’t share with the PM?

    There was me thinking that the PM’s office was just, you know, the PM’s office.

    • Macro 9.1

      At the end of the day — what we will find is that Warren Tucker went to the PM’s office. There was no one there — in other words he was vacant — so Tucker discussed the matter with the office (i.e. the PM) and that was that! Simple really.

  10. RedLogix 10

    Nothing new here. This is how people like Key speak all the time. Forms of words that can be unpacked in several different ways so as they always have route to weasel out.

    Now all politicians do this to an extent – it’s in the nature of the game to give yourself some options to cover the unknowns. Things go wrong and it’s unwise to paint yourself into too tight a corner.,

    But Key has crossed the line between political maneuvering and outright lying to cover up his involvement in a criminal act.

    This is not a one off. Long time readers here at The Standard know that Key lied on his CV about exactly what he was doing in the 80’s in the early days of his banking career. We know that he lied about his exact role at Merrill Lynch, we know that from BLip’s infamous list that the government Key leads is routinely deceptive and economical with the truth.

    We know that Key has been remarkably ‘lucky’ politically – to the extent that many of us suspected he was misusing his role as Prime Minister to source information about his political opponents to his advantage. Yet it is in the nature of these things that ‘smoking gun’ evidence is a rare thing – until today.

    Now we have plain evidence that John Key, and the office whose actions he is accountable for, has been involved in misusing his powers as Prime Minister. And has now lied in an attempt to cover this up. We have the smoking gun evidence on this specific matter – that this is how Key is prepared to act. That on this matter he had no scruples.

    If he has been caught out in this matter then the next question is – what else has been going on? Because at this point there is no reason to give Key the benefit of the doubt. The matters uncovered in Dirty Politics are not uncharacteristic of Key. On the contrary they are entirely consistent with everything else we know about him – smooth, plausible and charming on the surface – and cunning, ruthless and amoral behind the curtain.

    The curtain now has a rip Key can no longer obscure. We have now a plain glimpse of a small portion of what is behind it – and that glimpse alone confirms what many of us could only surmise up until now.

    The question now is – how many New Zealanders are prepared to look?

    • Colonial Viper 10.1

      I was going to tweet a link out to your comment above. Would that be OK by you, RL?

    • Macro 10.2

      The question now is – how many New Zealanders are prepared to look?

      That is the question – and I regret to say not many on the Right are prepared to look. Perhaps the scene is just too awful. Never the less there is a chink in the armour. The constant drip of information backing up the Hager book from the Whaledump is whittling away at the perceived strength of the Right. I do sense a left govt – but it will be tight.

  11. An English word that is abused on a regular basis is ‘steal’, which properly describes unlawfully depriving somebody of possession of something, but is incorrectly used to describe the copying of information.

    • North 11.1

      Oh Ugly Truth…….that is a howler !

      And your PlanetKey name is akshilly ‘Pretty Lies’ is it ? According to Trip Advisor – “Planet Key where EVERY word does NOT have the meaning we’ve relied on forever.”

      Worship does not require you make a fuck of yourself every time you open your mouth you know.

      Cuppa tea and a lie down mate…….that’s what I suggest. Remember – “die from embarrassment” is just a figure of speech.

      • UglyTruth 11.1.1

        Oh Ugly Truth…….that is a howler !

        So many idiots, so little time.

        What is LARCENY?

        In criminal law. The wrongful and fraudulent taking and carrying away by one person of the mere personal goods of another from any place, with a felonious intent to convert them to his (the taker’s) use, and make them his property, without the consent of the owner.

        (Black’s Law Dictionary)

        Conversion: Any unauthorized act that deprives an owner of personal property without his or her consent.
        http://legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/conversion

      • Gareth 11.1.2

        https://yourlogicalfallacyis.com/ad-hominem

        Regardless of your opinion of UglyTruth and their beliefs, and despite the ad hominem attacks, I completely agree with UglyTruth on that one point.

        “Stealing” and “Theft” are terms that are abused and misused to describe copyright infringement.

        They are used to make copyright infringement sound more serious and damaging than it is, as well as being an intellectually lazy way to describe it to people unfamiliar with the concepts. Copyright infringement is a crime, but it is not the same as depriving someone else of their property.

        In a discussion about the twisting of language it does appear to have a tangential relevance.

        You seem to be going off a bit half-cocked there.

        • Gareth 11.1.2.1

          Anyone wanting to play a fun game, have a look at the website I used in my previous post and try to count how many of the logical fallacies have been used by John Key in the last week and a half.

          I counted 13.

          https://yourlogicalfallacyis.com

        • UglyTruth 11.1.2.2

          Copyright infringement does not include fair use of copyrighted material. The problem is that the US doctrine of fair use describes a more restrictive meaning than the natural meaning of fair use. Since the US doctrine is not part of NZ law, the local meaning of copyright infringement is not the same as the meaning in the US, where ordinary copying of copyrighted material is deemed to be a crime called theft.

          • Gareth 11.1.2.2.1

            I don’t agree that there is such a thing as a “natural” meaning of fair use. Not as it relates to copyright law anyway.

            Copyright is an artificial monopoly granted by the state. Exceptions to the monopoly are likewise granted by the state.

            There are certainly different interpretations of fair use in different country’s laws. For example, format shifting is counted as fair use in NZ. In the UK, it is not.

            Legally, even in the US, the crime is not called theft. Only media reporting and press releases by major copyright holders call it that. The courts call it copyright infringement. All courts, including the US Supreme Court, have made the distinction between the two. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Copyright_infringement#.22Theft.22

            • UglyTruth 11.1.2.2.1.1

              The natural meaning of fair use is use that is consistent with the principles of equity, since what is fair falls within the realm of equity. IMO the reason the state has a problem with descriptions of fair use is because matters of equity relate to conscience, and the state doesn’t have a functional conscience.

              P.S. Thanks for clearing up the distinction between the media’s description and the court’s description in the US

        • ianmac 11.1.2.3

          Apparently data theft is not illegal because data off a computer is not property in law. Funny that but the finer points were discussed by the legal experts including I think Andrew Geddis or some experts.

          • UglyTruth 11.1.2.3.1

            An essential quality of property is exclusive possession. As soon as data is copied from the original source to another party it is no longer property.

  12. ianmac 12

    Here we are. Panic over.
    “Prime Minister John Key says nothing has changed after a video emerged from 2011 appearing to contradict his claim he was never told by the SIS it intended to release politically sensitive secret documents to Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater.
    Speaking to media outside Mt Roskill Grammar school this afternoon, Mr Key denied the video was a contradiction.”

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11312794

  13. rob 13

    There is a book called Doublespeak :Why nobody means what they say any more by William Lutz. I am beginning to think they must have this as their cabinet manual, and thrown the real one out.

  14. McFlock 14

    I have heard that when some leaders start to lose touch with reality they begin to refer to themselves in the third person. “Caesar did this”, “the Prime Minister will do that”, and so on.

    But I have never heard a politician refer to his office in the first person before.

    The only thing close is one or two mentions of feudal lords referring to each other by realm, rather than personal name, back in the middle ages. “York vexes me”, “France has sent an emissary”, that sort of shizzle.

    It seems that dunnokeyo has gone beyond dictatorial, and into medieval – which probably explains his contempt for the due process that has its roots in the Magna Carta.

  15. Wht NEXT 15

    Roll Up the greatest bull session since Keys lot became the govt
    The first act The Hair Splitting -what will we say
    The second act No one can touch the Teflon PM
    admissions to the show there will be none just like what will come of any inquiry relating to Dirty Politics
    Vote for the good of Democracy

  16. Wht NEXT 16

    Roll Up the greatest bull session since Keys lot became the govt
    The first act The Hair Splitting -what will we say
    The second act No one can touch the Teflon PM
    admissions to the show there will be none just like what will come of any inquiry relating to Dirty Politics
    Vote for the good of Democracy

  17. lurgee 17

    I suppose one positive is that it means it is impossible to claim Phil Goff knew anything, since if Mr Tucker says he briefed the Leader of the Opposition, it could mean whatever anyone wants it to mean.

  18. North 18

    National Party Conference update – John Key speaking to delegates:

    ” [MyOffice] welcome you to the eighth annual conference of the New Zealand National Party which [MyOffice] have addressed as your leader – the sixth since [MyOffice] was elected prime minister.

    You and [MyOffice] have heard all the tedious lies from the Left about [I] and [MyOffice] The Left says it looks like [MyOffice] told Dr Tucker to release Oil to the Whale and when the job was done [MyOffice] was briefed by Dr Tucker confirming mission completed. You and [MyOffice] know the truth. It was not [MyOffice] who was briefed by Dr Tucker. No ! [MyOffice] was in Hawaii at the time. Dr Tucker briefed [I] and [MyOffice] knew nothing about it. Good People of the New Zealand National Party……..
    [MyOffice] swear !

    Well……..[MyOffice]’ll be fucked ! How petty can they get ? Everyone makes mistakes sometimes – even [MyOffice].”

    Delegates respond with l-o-o-o-o-o-n-g s-l-o-o-o-o-o-w clap.

  19. Once Was Tim 19

    You can be sure that one of them is (i.e cut from a different cloth). She has my sympathy even having to get involved with these arseholes’ antics. I hope she has people looking out for her but I’m pretty sure she won’t take shit and will deserve every penny of her salary.

    There are some real fucking cowards running this junta IMO

  20. FunnyCunny 20

    If John Key died, would that mean that his whole office died and he was actually alive? I’d hate to be in charge of writing the autopsy.

  21. Penny Bright 21

    FYI – this was published on the NBR.

    http://www.nbr.co.nz/article/national-key-take-knock-post-hager-digipoll-ck-161236#comments

    For the public to have confidence in Government at the highest levels, we must have genuine transparency, accountability and the ‘highest ethical standards’.

    The FACTS that have been revealed through Nicky Hager’s ‘Dirty Politics’ prove that New Zealand’s ‘perceived’ status as the ‘least corrupt country in the world’, is meaningless garbage.

    In my considered opinion, the party political, unregulated Office of the Prime Minister, is completely out of control.

    In my considered opinion, and clear understanding, it’s the supposedly apolitical, impartial DEPARTMENT OF THE PRIME MINISTER AND CABINET (DPMC) that should be handling OIA requests/ replies and dealing with the SIS – NOT the Office of the Prime Minister.

    Why is no one else focusing on this pivotal issue?

    Where is the ‘Rule of Law’ / regulations / protocols and procedures that are supposed to guide how things are to be done in a proper way at the highest levels of Government in New Zealand?

    How are Ministers to be held accountable to the ‘highest ethical standards’, by the Prime Minister (as set out in the Cabinet Manual), when the moral compass of John Key is apparently stuck on Wall Street?

    ie: No laws / rules / regulations/ ethics / morals – just unbridled free-market casino capitalism at its most debauched?

    How does Prime Minister John Key who has come directly from that Wall Street banker environment, detoxify, and transmogrify into a decent, honorable Statesman, committed to serving the public and the public interest?

    It appears that he doesn’t / hasn’t – and now our New Zealand has been contaminated at the highest levels with these ‘Wall Street’ ways.

    Time for a HUGE clean out?

    I think so.

    Penny Bright

    • FunnyCunny 21.1

      Penny, your the best! Wish you were Prime Minister!

    • UglyTruth 21.2

      Why is no one else focusing on this pivotal issue?

      IMO it is because they don’t like the implications of institutional corruption, particularly that which originates from conservative tradition.

      Where is the ‘Rule of Law’ / regulations / protocols and procedures that are supposed to guide how things are to be done in a proper way at the highest levels of Government in New Zealand?

      The rule of law is not a set of regulations, protocols, or procedures, but is rather the principle that the relationships between free will, ethics, and consequences conform to discovered principles of nature and are not defined by social convention. These relationships are typically expressed as maxims which are known as the maxims of the common law.

      The rule of law is what sets true democracy apart from the UN doctrine that “the will of the people shall be the basis of the authority of government”.

  22. Chooky 22

    +100 Penny…and Selwyn Manning has this to say:

    ‘Government’s Own Guidelines Show John Key Would Have Been Informed Of SIS Release To Whaleoil’

    By Selwyn Manning / August 21, 2014

    “SSC-GuidelinesINFORMATION THAT I HAVE ACQUIRED, sourced from the State Services Commission, states in black and white the tight guideline requirements that must be followed whenever the SIS informs a Prime Minister of any pending release of sensitive intelligence information.

    The official guidelines further cast doubt over the Prime Minister John Key’s version of events that the Prime Minister was not made aware that intelligence documents were being declassified and prepared for fast-track release to Cameron Slater.

    Those guidelines show that it is virtually beyond belief that John Key, as the Minister in charge of the SIS, did not know highly sensitive information was being prepared for release, and to whom it was being released to.

    As such, the Prime Minister’s insistence that he did not know, now looks difficult to believe…The Government’s Consultation Requirement:
    The Government’s State Services Commission (SSC) is the authority that ensures a minister is informed of a pending or potential release.

    The SSC guidelines titled: Release Of Official Information: Guidelines for Co-ordination (ref.) state clearly:

    The Official Information Act has not removed the duty on a public servant to keep the relevant Minister fully informed. It is important to consult with Ministers where release is likely to lead to public comment on a political issue. Consultation over an Official Information Act request gives a Minister an opportunity to comment on any political issues or matters relating to government management.

    It would be appropriate for departments to consult their Minister when:

    requests are received from the Opposition, the Opposition Research Unit, recognised interest groups or the news media especially where the information is particularly sensitive;

    the subject matter is controversial and likely to lead to questions of Ministers;

    facts, opinions or recommendations in the information are especially quotable or unexpected;
    the information reveals important differences of opinion among Ministers or agencies.
    (ref.)

    Beyond this, the Government’s guidelines are promulgated, or formally declared, by the Prime Minister’s office itself.

    The State Services requirement stipulates:

    “Attention is drawn to the guidelines promulgated by the Prime Minister’s office on consultation between Ministers’ offices. Essentially these provide for the Private Secretaries and Press Secretary in each office to be responsible for the managed release of Official Information Act requests by Ministers’ offices.”

    The Government guidelines do not allow a lackadaisical approach to the consultation process, but rather create a REQUIREMENT for all public servants of ministries, departments and intelligence agencies to be bound by.

    While it is customary for politicians to refer to this consultation as a no-surprises “convention” as the Prime Minister recently said, this is a far too relaxed an interpretation of the reality.

    The reality is that the director of the Security Intelligence Service was REQUIRED to consult and inform the Minister, who is John Key, on the release of the intelligence information. No surprises politeness, friendly observance to a convention, does not come into it.

    The communication channels between officials and minister vary from ministry to ministry, department to department. But every public servant dealing with Official Information is provided with their own “procedures for such consultation” as developed by the ministry, department or agency.

    It is known that some ministries, departments, agencies have tight protocols expanding to around 74 pages long.

    There are consequences if a public servant does not follow those guidelines, and ministers are not left in the dark.

    Obviously, departments take this incredibly seriously.

    As the SSC guidelines state: “NOTE: Communication is the key factor which will assist in consultation.”

    Consultation Between SIS and PM’s Office:

    Consultation between the SIS and the Prime Minister’s office follows a strict protocol. It informs the chief of staff Wayne Eagleson, the chief press secretary, the press and political advisor (at the time Jason Ede), and the Minister himself, John Key.

    For John Key to not be informed of this controversial sensitive intelligence information is beyond belief.

    In checking out the practise of public servants observing the SSC guidelines the consensus is:

    This is what public servants do. They build in consulting and no surprises in accordance with SSC guidelines. All departments develop and apply their own procedures for such consultation.

    Minister’s offices frequently push back on information releases, but the department gets itself into trouble with the Ombudsman if it doesn’t apply the OIA correctly and fairly.

    It is usual for those requesting information to become impatient, and for the proceed to take up to 20 working days minimum. And it is usual for the consultation period between the public service and a minister will take at least five days.

    During this period, especially when information is sensitive, it is clear a robust exchange is in evidence between department, ministry, agency and minister.

    Public servants say this period elevates the biggest risk in a delay.
    It is therefore preposterous that a minister would not be informed about sensitive releases.

    Damage Control:

    Furthermore, the consultation period empowers a minister or department to try and get on top of any damage that the release of information may cause.

    Departments often proactively release the information and then referring requestors to the official website.

    With regard to this specific release of intelligence information, it would be fair to conclude that a reasonably minded New Zealander would believe it likely that Whaleoil blogger Cameron Slater was used as a part of the Prime Minister’s office damage control strategy, designed to create a hit on the then leader of the opposition, Phil Goff.

    The SIS Director’s Revelations:

    OIA-SIS-Felix Marwick-9-Nov-2011On the back of this, the New Zealand Herald this morning released an official letter from the then SIS director Dr Warren Tucker to Newstalk ZB journalist Felix Marwick, where Dr Tucker states: “I notified the Prime Minister… that I was going to release redacted documents in response to the request from Mr Slater.”
    Dr Tucker goes on to state: “I informed the Prime Minister that I had informed Mr Goff of my decision to release the information.”

    Release By SIS Director To Selwyn Manning:

    In a report by Nick Grant in the National Business Review this week (ref.)
    I confirmed that I had received the same information as Cam Slater albeit a few days after he received it.
    I had telephoned the SIS’s open phone line as a prelude to making an Official Information Act (OIA) request for both John Key’s and Phil Goff’s briefings.
    As I told the NBR: “My interest was, if I got the PM’s briefing and I got the one presented to the leader of the opposition, I’d be able to compare the two and get a pretty good idea of whether they were the same or different – even if they were heavily redacted.”
    “What I wanted was pretty specific … From that conversation I understood they were preparing information and that the request would probably be successful.”
    I submitted my OIA request on 29 July 2011 and received a heavily redacted copy of Mr Goff’s briefing on 8 August 2011.
    I remember at the time that was highly unusual. I had had dealings with the SIS previously and written extensively about the SIS and my experience suggested it would be customary, if lucky, to receive a response around 20 working days.
    I received the response only one week later. I was Intrigued by a phrase in the covering letter from Dr Tucker that suggested I was well aware of Mr Slater’s parallel OIA request.
    I later contacted Cameron about the issue. I put it to Cam: did he get a tip-off and if so who from. He denied having been tipped off.
    What added to the mystery was that other journalists representing mainstream media were refused the information.
    As I said to the NBR: “As I understand it, the Dominion Post put in one that was very closely worded [to mine] but didn’t get a response.”
    I am left to consider whether my OIA request was in some way used to legitimise the security information drop to the Whaleoil site.

    In Conclusion:

    If there is a public interest element intensifying to this current state of affairs, it would suggest the Inspector General of Intelligence and Security give considered urgency to her inquiry into this matter and deliver her findings well ahead of the September 20 General Election.

  23. Alistair Connor 23

    Funniest thing I’ve read today : This little throwaway line
    Key denies video was a contradiction – Election 2014 – NZ Herald News

    Mr Key said he was “100 per cent confident” a member of his office hadn’t leaked the information to Slater, and he said he was prepared to go under oath on the issue.

    Key is prepared to go under oath to say… let’s see… “I don’t actually know what was going on in my office during that period because I was in Hawaii and nobody tells me anything, honestly, it’s hard to get good help these days, but I solemnly swear that none of them spoke to Slater”

  24. disturbed 24

    How can the Prime Minister be trusted by all NZ now if he lies, or can’t control his own highest ministerial office in the land, The office of the Prime Minister?

    The bungling of IOA procedure , and the leaking of information and collusion came from there or him, so he can’t have it both ways, so he is between a rock and a hard place.

    Penny & chooky both of your blogs are great information blogs. Hang em high.

    Price of freedom & democracy is constant vigilance Mr Key missed that point here.

  25. twistarilli 25

    This article was ++good. Thanks for that.

  26. soon as I heard this new interpretation from our prime mincer ….. it totally reminded me of when
    Bill Clinton, while being questioned about Monica Lewinsky, brilliantly sends the questioning in a new direction. To determine the meaning of the word “is”.

    Here’s what Bill Clinton said to the grand jury about why he wasn’t lying when he said to his top aides that with respect to Monica Lewinsky, “there’s nothing going on between us.” How can this be? Here’s what Clinton told the grand jury (according to footnote 1,128 in Starr’s report):

    “It depends on what the meaning of the word ‘is’ is. If the–if he–if ‘is’ means is and never has been, that is not–that is one thing. If it means there is none, that was a completely true statement….Now, if someone had asked me on that day, are you having any kind of sexual relations with Ms. Lewinsky, that is, asked me a question in the present tense, I would have said no. And it would have been completely true.”

  27. venezia 27

    So Mr Key keeps talking past the interviewers and repeating the same old spin. His Orwellian explanations on the Slater/SIS OIA issue are truly extraordinary.

  28. aerobubble 28

    One aspect of Newspeak was the shrinking dictionary.

    This is what I found in my old dictionary for propaganda…
    …organized dissessemtion of information…
    …sound exactly what the Office of the Prime Minister was doing,
    organizing the OIA request quickly to Slater to produce favorable
    propaganda.

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    . . Just when you thought Simon Bridges couldn’t sink any lower – he has. After the March 15th  Christchurch terror attack, the (current) Leader of the National Party issued strong committments to support urgently needed gun law reform; “We will be ready and prepared to be constructive and to ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 day ago
  • Only the least intelligent students, with bad parents, will attend the nonsense climate strike
    We all know that bad parents simply don’t care about their children’s education. Most truants have loser parents, and grow up to be involved with crime, or in low paid employment usually like their parents. The nonsense so-called “climate strike” coming up will be attended mostly by the least intelligent ...
    An average kiwiBy admin@averagekiwi.com
    2 days ago
  • Professional Internet Trolls being used to push manmade climate change lies
    Is the terrorist Organisation Greenpeace and the loony Green parties around the World hiring professional internet trolls? I have noticed a trend lately where if you post research, news articles or even comments that show the manmade climate change scam to be just that, you are immediately attacked, often within ...
    An average kiwiBy admin@averagekiwi.com
    2 days ago
  • Climate Change: Strike!
    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
    2 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
    3 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
    3 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
    3 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, ...
    3 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
    4 days ago
  • What the All Blacks Mean to Us
    The All Blacks have been, for more than a century, arguably the most successful International sports team in the world. But they are more than that; even for those Kiwis who are immune to the charms of rugby (and there are more than a few), the All Blacks are ambassadors ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    4 days ago
  • No one is born into the wrong body
    A short and incredibly powerful speech from a young lesbian woman. No one is born in the wrong body. ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    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 ...
    5 days ago
  • Poor quality, poorly educated kiddie ‘Journalists’ spreading fake news
    In times of hysteria about the “World coming to an end” and “rising sea levels” so-called ‘Journalists’ who can barely spell words longer than four letters are having a ball! Though the majority of the Public have worked out that manmade climate change is nothing short of pseudo-science, and the ...
    An average kiwiBy admin@averagekiwi.com
    5 days ago
  • Chris Trotter on the BFD
    I don't want to give pblicity to certain parts of the internet that are better left to fester in their own irrelevance (I know, a bit like this place) but the listing of Chris Trotter as a 'author' on Cameron Slater's spinoff website, the BFD requires some explanation.Now, I don't ...
    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
    7 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 ...
    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
    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 ...
    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
  • A ditch for him to die in
    Last week, English Prime Minister Boris Johnson boldly declared that he would rather die be dead in a ditch than delay Brexit. Unfortunately for him, the UK parliament accepted the challenge, and promptly dug one for him. The "rebellion bill" requires him to ask for and secure yet another temporary ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago

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