Numerical illiteracy at the Herald

Written By: - Date published: 1:21 pm, April 29th, 2015 - 46 comments
Categories: David Farrar, Media, spin, you couldn't make this shit up - Tags: , , , ,

Today, we see a Herald ‘editor’ demonstrating exactly how useless they are at interpreting polls. Their editorial says 

The result of our poll today could suggest voters will forgive any foolish behaviour from this Prime Minister.

Huh? Ponygate only started late last week. When was the poll taken? Audrey Young says in her linked article

Half of the poll was conducted before the news broke that he had repeatedly pulled the ponytail of a waitress at a Parnell cafe despite her annoyance, and half of the poll was conducted after it.

And way way down the end of article

The poll of 750 eligible voters was taken between April 17 to 26.

A light dawns. We have people who either don’t understand polling or dates or someone wilfully covering their knowledge… I’m going to show you a public graph of the page views from The Daily Blog who broke the story covering those dates.

The first post at The Daily Blog was on Wednesday, after the poll had already been running for 3 week days and 2 weekend days.

The Daily Blog page views

So on Wednesday, the news was breaking after the story was in TDB in the morning. It was picked up by media through the day, but only really to people actively political and embedded in twitter. It wasn’t until the afternoon after journalists got confirmation from John Key about its essential accuracy that the story went wild.

You can see this in the figures from TDB. I observed that most of their page views for the 22nd were after the evening news on the 22nd. They nearly doubled their page views on the following day when people were reading it in their newspapers. Virtually all of the views were likely to be on the two posts that featured on those two days. The numbers of the otherwise useless “unique visits” almost equalled the number of page views. This indicates that almost all of the page views came direct from links from other sources like social media directly to a post, rather than via the front page of the site (as woudl happen if directed from print of visual media).

The boosted page views was almost entirely from social media if it was anything like our smaller bumped linkages for those three days.

Realistically most people in a poll would have only become aware of the story on the Thursday when they were still reacting to it and making up their minds. They immediately ran into a long weekend with many people leaving work and home on the Friday.

But even without the long weekend, the vast majority of the calls making up the poll would have been in the first half of the polling cycle before the story broke. Only a minority of calls in the sample would have been made in the final days of the poll.

The reason for this is because of the way that a statistical sample used in a poll (especially such a small sample) is either balanced against location (random sampling) or against the population demographics like age, gender, etc (quota) or on some combination between the two. This is to ensure that sample statistically is representative in some way to the population that is being sampled.

As Digipoll says

Gathering accurate data is only viable while using a sample that reflects a population. In a scientific survey every member of a population must have an equal opportunity to be questioned.

Companies using bought databases are neglecting this aspect, where as DigiPoll produces random numbers to be used in a sample.

With the emergence of new telephone providers it has become increasingly difficult to produce accurate samples. DigiPoll overcomes this problem by having continuously updated “telephone maps” of populations. Accurate maps are also vital for representing ethnic minorities and other hard to reach groups.

and

Weighting survey responses is designed to remove bias from a survey sample and make the results better project the target population. DigiPoll has formulated a weighting methodology that is applied to the raw data in order to reflect the demographic composition of the sample, which has been proven to be successful time and time again.

Almost all of the tail end of a poll is finding the final instances of the types of people who match the missing profile required by the sampling technique. This is the reason why most polls reflect public opinions towards the start of the polling period.

So when the Audrey Young writes

The ponytail-pulling antics of Prime Minister John Key appear to have had no immediate impact on his party or personal popularity, the latest Herald-DigiPoll survey suggests.

Half of the poll was conducted before the news broke that he had repeatedly pulled the ponytail of a waitress at a Parnell cafe despite her annoyance, and half of the poll was conducted after it.

What she is mostly suggesting to anyone with a brain is that she should get an education in basic statistics and polling sampling techniques

When that the anonymous editorial author states

The fact that his support from polled voters is undiminished by the disclosure of his penchant for pulling a young woman’s ponytail may have something to do with his response.

The only fact that they are demonstrating is that they are a politically ignorant jackass. Mind you they prove that by then stating

In the meantime, the unusually sustained popularity of the PM is causing intense frustration among his opponents, not so much in Parliament but outside it, on websites and in some academic circles where resentment has become extreme. These people are doing their cause no favours with their seething hatred of a political figure who everyone else knows to be an economic moderate and social liberal. They are not helping Labour’s recovery, still below 30 per cent in this poll, and the Greens remain around 10 per cent.

What a complete and utter dimwit. After running this very open, public, and largely uncensored webite (at least compared to the Herald) for so many years, I can testify that all social media is are people directly expressing their own feelings and reactions to political events. With a relatively few exceptions like David Farrar or Cameron Slater, they aren’t doing for a particular political party, they are doing it because they like expressing themselves clearly and accurately.

In mature social media channels authors or all kinds get checked in what they say by the many other people who also write around an write around an increasingly sophisticated social media communicating without the filter of various broadcast media like newspapers.

What the Herald is demonstrating is that the quality of the newspaper has descended to farcical levels of inaccurate and cloistered stupidity. But this isn’t exactly surprising after the events of last week.

At the Herald we saw the inexcusable lack of journalistic ethics displayed by editor Shayne Currie in trying to excuse the ghastly behaviour of the gossip ‘journalist’ Rachel Glucina.

How this Herald reporter got in contact with the owners of Hip Group and obtained a interview with Amanda Bailey under false pretences isn’t quite clear. Mainly because The Herald in all of their carefully worded ‘explanations’ seems to have resorted to lying by omission. They completely excluded the level of permission sought and gained from Amanda Bailey and if she even sighted the comments attributed to her.

But it is pretty clear that the interview was gained with deliberate deception and lying to Amanda Bailey by Rachel Glucina and probably her ex-employers in violation of any decent level of journalism or management ethics.

With their actions supporting the disgusting Rachel Glucina, the Herald editorial staff has actively condoned one of the most heinous violations of journalist ethics I have seen in NZ. Now they seem to be adding stupid inaccuracy to it as well.


 

If anyone wants to sue me over my words here, then I’ll be happy to publish any discoveries that I make during the court process.

 

 

 

46 comments on “Numerical illiteracy at the Herald”

  1. Karen 1

    Great post. I hadn’t thought about most of the data being collected in the first period of polling, but of course you are right. It also takes a while for these things to sink in.

    That said, Labour have been missing in action it seems to me, and with the Greens are absorbed by their leadership contest, I wasn’t surprised by the lack in improvement in their polling. Labour, in particular, need to do better.

    As for the ability for Glucina to get access to the Hip Group directors, I would say the fact her twin brother Henry has a mangerial position with them may have something to do with it.

    • Very difficult for Labour to comment aggressively, Karen. If Andrew Little had said anything while in Turkey with the NZ delegation, he would have been accused of politicising the ANZAC commemoration. Annette King did pretty well in his absence and of course Winston and the Greens also kicked in. But, as others have pointed out in the comments, the opposition have to tread a fine line between genuine outrage at what Key has done and being perceived as just trying to score political points. the latter is a turn off for voters.

      • Sacha 1.1.1

        Voters do not need much help understanding this soo long as the facts are reinforced for them. NGOs responded quickly. Reacting won’t help the political opposition parties, as noted.

      • Karen 1.1.2

        I didn’t mean commenting about Key harassing the waitress. Labour did as much as they needed to in response to that.

        My concern is that Labour MPs seem to be treating the parliamentary break as holiday. Now they may be beavering away, but if so, they are very quiet about what they are doing. It isn’t as if there isn’t a lot that needs addressing.

        I’d like to see some MPs getting together on some issues (there are plenty of them) and bombarding the media with material, rather than working individually. I’d also like to see them working with the Greens on some issues, but accept that won’t be happening until the new co-leader has been elected.

        • te reo putake 1.1.2.1

          Ah, sorry, should have picked that up, Karen. I do know that Labour are preparing for their regional conferences over the next few weeks and the MP’s are all involved with trying to make them a springboard for regenerating Labour’s electoral appeal by energising activists and members and working on the policy platforms that NZ needs.

    • Tracey 1.2

      The greens have made about 5 press releases in the last week. THAT the MSM don’t republish them is not indicative of their advocacy.

      The cafe owners said they knew Rachel Glucina

  2. Sabine 2

    you used the word stupid, but you should have used willful.

    _Now they seem to be adding “willful” inaccuracy to it as well_

    The opposition, regardless of the color of their party should stop using the word “stupid”.
    Nothing what national has done over the last years was stupid, it is short sighted, for short term monetary gain, for personal gratification, to get their due or what evs, but it is not stupid.
    And we should not give them a way out by using the word stupid, oh who would have thunk that they waitress does not like hair pulling, who would have thunk that the young mother on a benefit would have a hard time in her small village once Mrs. Bennett plasters her private details all over the media, who would have thought that this or that could go wrong etc etc etc. They don’t care, they have only their benefits and gratification in mind, and as i said in the Post about Audrey Young ‘I am so embarrassed by this hair pulling story”, she is only embarrassed because John Key was embarrassed. She will carry water for him, and she will willfully misrepresent polling numbers / data, knowing full well that most people that read the herald will not apply scrutiny to her words, less would the large majority of people know who, how, and with whom this poll was conducted.

    Not stupid, Willful deception of the public by our journalists who do nothing but cover their arses. One wonders what they have on them.

    • lprent 2.1

      I’m not that interested in why they do things. I’m more interested in what they do.

      Making such a silly mistake in a major newspaper when reporting their own poll, that they paid for, just looks completely stupid and outright insane to me.

      Just as their continued stupid support for Rachel Glucina, the arsehole of journalism, looks to me. She screwed over yet a another victim of her ‘interviewing technique’ . It isn’t the first time she has used deception and lies to get interviews in this kind of manner far outside the bounds of anything to do with public interest.

      • Bearded Git 2.1.1

        Is it stupid or outrageously biased journalism? I think the latter.

        The next Roy Morgan will be interesting.

      • lprent 2.1.2

        Yep. I wouldn’t expect precipitous shifts. It should start collecting in early May and run to mid-May (they appear to be running monthly at present).

        But I wouldn’t expect that we’d see a massive effect, just a moderate shift in government/opposition blocs. It takes a while (weeks and months) for the effects of this type of story to penetrate to polls. Even more before you can see a trend past the noise in this country with so few overlapping polls.

        • jenny kirk 2.1.2.1

          But during the May period when polling starts, or just before, there will be some massive publicity about something ShonKey is doing ……. when is Prince Harry due to come ? ? and that will screw the polling again .

  3. northshoreguynz 3

    I suspect they knew exactly what they were doing. Running the party line.

  4. John 4

    Just when you though it wasn’t humanly possibly to get more anally retentive about minutiae…………..

    Get a life.

    [lprent: I have a life. But I just don’t have your fascination with rectal mechanics. Perhaps you should get that checked out? You appear to have a blockage on that subject that most children get over before they go to school. ]

    • And yet, here you are, John, making the same comment on two different posts. Anally retentive about minutiae much?

    • Tracey 4.2

      the women and children of NZ thank you for your concern “John”.

      your namesake didnt consider that botching up the exit from NZ of a person accused of attempted rape serious enough for an apology , just minutiae wouldn’t you agree?

    • Sacha 4.3

      Cos history has taught us that journalistic ethics have no effect on democracy, eh.

    • swordfish 4.4

      …to get more anally retentive about minutiae….

      Ahhh, no. If you fire up the chemical interactions between your 2 remaining braincells for a minute, I think you’ll find that this “minutiae” actually goes right to the heart of whether or not Ponygate’s had any immediate impact on Key’s personal popularity and National’s party support. A fairly important issue, I would have thought.

      The Herald suggests the evidence is in and the answer is an emphatic ‘No’. 1Prent’s analysis says the evidence isn’t even remotely there and we’ll have to wait for the next series of polls.

  5. Tracey 5

    Given the “facts” that seem to be gleanable (new word) from the four versions of the Herald’s response to the allegation its reporter misled the waitress, the Herald is nOT impartial in wanting to see this issue die and quickly.l

  6. John 6

    Exactly – that’s a minute of my life wasted – better than hours and days and weeks though.

  7. vto 7

    It needs to be repeated repeatedly…

    the Herald is owned by some of the richest and most right wing people on the planet – what do you expect?

    the Herald is compromised to uselessness

    and by not declaring this it hides it from its readers in a deceitful fashion

  8. weka 8

    In mature social media channels authors or all kinds get checked in what they say by the many other people who also write around an write around an increasingly sophisticated

    Unfinished thought?

    Great post. What a bunch of numpties for those involved at the Herald, a hard place to work for others I suspect. Audrey Young’s headline is blatantly biased and misleading.

  9. One Anonymous Bloke 9

    To be fair, it’s no secret that many journalists are innumerate.

    That doesn’t excuse The Herald‘s incompetence.

  10. SHG 10

    Most of those pageviews will be TDB regulars posting and refreshing to see replies and replying and refreshing to see replies to the replies to the replies, over and over again.

    or, put another way, the Prime Minister’s approval rating is not affected by how often people post that he’s the Antichrist at TDB.

    • lprent 10.1

      Nope. You really didn’t understand the comment about unique visitors visits and page views did you?

      It is a pattern. Normally TDB runs at a page ratio of somewhere around 1.6 pages per visit using the statcounters version of unique visits. The Standard runs at about 2.2 on statcounter. Transportblog is ridiculously low at something like 1.1 because of their professional audience.

      These are stable even to a daily level. They are long term trends that all sites have, and they indicate the pattern that their readers have in reading the site. If you look at Open Parachute, you’ll find just how stable they are. It is only when a site manages to shift its audience (or in Whaleoil’d case when they change their cheat mechanism) that they change.

      Wednesday to Friday, TDB shifted abruptly to a pattern of 1.2-1.3, and during parts of the day went down as low as 1.1. That is a classic social media link pattern.

      What you are describing would have had the opposite effect, it would have increased the page counts per visit.

    • freedom 10.2

      SHG, on a post about numeric illiteracy you decided to live the dream huh

      Unique Visits
      mon 5.8 k
      tues 4.8 k
      wed 52.6 k -story broke
      thur 97.2 k

      or do just not understand what the word “unique” means

      • lprent 10.2.1

        Unique visits doesn’t mean unique visitors, which is the point that SHG was making.

        What it means is that at least once every half hour to a particular person of a browser, a page was served. But people who persistently frequent a site in the manner he was describing would usually refresh their page or look at a new page more than once during half an hour.

        SHG’s fallacy was that the behaviour he was suggesting would increase the average number of pages per visit (which is what we see when we get a hot commenting post), whereas in fact the pages per visit decreased (which is what we see when we get a hot social media post)

        Basically SHG was being as stupid and wilfully ignorant as the Herald editor who wrote that editorial today.

        • freedom 10.2.1.1

          lPrent, thanks, I did have the very misconception you noted.
          Big clutch of eggs on my face for sure.

          SHG, sorry, I’ll try to be more sure of my facts in future.

          • lprent 10.2.1.1.1

            My fault. I typo’ed on my comment. fixed now.

          • SHG 10.2.1.1.2

            Sites like the TDB (and this one, and Kiwiblog) are where people go to agree with each other. So a massive increase in traffic to TDB means that for a brief period of time there were more John-Key-hating people there than usual, all agreeing on how much they hate John Key. No-one who likes John Key would have visited TDB and come away hating John Key, and no-one who hates John Key would have come away liking him. TDB is not a site that changes people’s minds, no matter how much traffic it gets. It’s a site where people who have made up their minds go to be reassured that they’ve made up their minds in the right way.

            So I expect there to be no correlation between TDB traffic and the Prime Minister’s approval ratings at all.

            • lprent 10.2.1.1.2.1

              You forget one basic and obvious thing – social media.

              In all likelihood this influx of extra readers came almost entirely from a major burst of people coming in to read Amanda Bailey’s two posts. I would also take a further bet that 70% or more of them were women. I think that most came in from the non-political social networks directed by their mothers, sisters, daughters and friends. They certainly were here on those days, and we were just getting the sidewash.

              John Key has a major political problem. He has just had the most slow to move but intensely judgemental part of the NZ political system have a very good look at a woman describing what he is like when he is around his wife doing unwanted flirting and playing power games with a young woman. I suspect he had a moral judgement made against him.

              Bomber and most of the usual political crew at TDB had the good sense to stay out of it for the a crucial two days.

              Don’t you understand how electoral politics operates in NZ?

    • adam 10.3

      SHG, That’s an interesting analysis of John Key, via the daily blog (TDB). I find most Christians who leave comments on the TDB, never call Key the Antichrist. Most, would rather point out this is a very unchristian like government.

      The Antichrist is end of days hyperbole we constantly hear from the Christian right, who have very very many odd views. And quite frankly they don’t talk for all Christians. Like Christian socialist don’t talk for all Christians.

  11. Pat 11

    this is simply the Heralds way of telling the greater public how to view the events highlighted this past week….sadly it will be effective for a segment of their readership

    • Paul 11.1

      That’s why they did it.
      Sadly there are too many sheep in New Zealand.

      • Pat 11.1.1

        maaaah….that would be the way many would view it….the thing that far to many fail to understand is that not everybody has the same thought processes…strange but true

  12. Liberal Realist 12

    Fantastic analysis LP. Thank you.

  13. Incognito 13

    “DigiPoll general manager Nandan Modak says National dropped 0.7 percentage points in the second half of the polling while Mr Key dropped 0.8 points.”

    http://home.nzcity.co.nz/news/article.aspx?id=205883&fm=psp,tst

  14. Incognito 14

    The paragraph about the weighting bothers me, mainly because I don’t know what’s going on. In any case, it seems that the published “results” are not the raw data!?

    • Draco T Bastard 14.1

      Raw data is essentially useless. It has no context or pretty much anything else meaning that it can’t really tell you anything. Basically, it’s meaningless numbers and not information.

      To turn raw data into information requires work. In terms of polling that means ensuring that the people polled have the same demographic break down as NZ and then the results are then put through some formula that refines it even further.

    • lprent 14.2

      No they aren’t raw. Virtually no polling data is.

  15. Sable 15

    Is the Herald owned by the National party? You have to wonder……

  16. Old Mickey 16

    NZ Shite Daily (formerly NZ Herald) continues to sink to new lows. I bet editor Tim Murphy must be so proud…..

  17. Dave Head 17

    The only poll [pole] that I am interested in is the one that could be used as a petard to hoist some anal retentive person and his shonkey mate up on!

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    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
    4 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
    4 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 ...
    4 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
    4 days ago
  • Chris Trotter on the BFD
    I don't want to give pblicity to certain parts of the internet that are better left to fester in their own irrelevance (I know, a bit like this place) but the listing of Chris Trotter as a 'author' on Cameron Slater's spinoff website, the BFD requires some explanation.Now, I don't ...
    4 days ago
  • Sex is not a spectrum
    The text below is a Twitter thread by Heather Heying that explains the essence of sexual reproduction and it long evolutionary history. She is an evolutionary biologist and a “professor-in-exile” after she and her husband, Bret Weinstein, stood up to supporters of an enforced “Day of Absence” for white staff and teachers ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    5 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
    5 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 ...
    5 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
    5 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
    5 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
    5 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
    6 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 ...
    6 days ago
  • Magdalen Burns, 1983-2019, fighter for women’s liberation
    by the Redline blog collective At Redline we are very saddened to hear of the death of Magdalen Burns who passed away on the morning of Friday, September 13 (British time). Magdalen was a great fighter for the rights of women in general and lesbian women in particular, a defender ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    7 days ago
  • Parliament and the Executive
    The Brexit issue has certainly brought with it a series of apparently difficult constitutional issues, many of them concerning the respective roles of the executive and parliament. Most of them arise because of the unwillingness of MPs, despite their professions to the contrary, to be bound by a constitutional rarity ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    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 ...
    1 week ago
  • Prorogation Illegal, rule Scottish judges
    Scottish appeal court judges have declared that Boris Johnson’s decision to suspend parliament in the run-up to the October Brexit deadline is unlawful. The three judges, chaired by Lord Carloway, Scotland’s most senior judge, overturned an earlier ruling that the courts did not have the powers to interfere in the prime ...
    1 week ago
  • Let me explain what I meant by Everyday New Zealanders
    By Simon Bridges. The following is a press release from the office of Simon Bridges, leader of The National Party. Key ora, New Zealand. Happy Maori Language Week. Look, I’m writing to you today because I want to clear something up. There’s been a lot of kerfuffle around some things ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Yes, the SIS is subject to the Public Records Act
    I understand there's some stuff going round about how the SIS "was removed from the list of public offices covered by the Public Records Act in 2017". The context of course being their records derived from US torture, which will be disposed of or sealed. The good news is that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • An evidence-based discussion of the Canadian fluoride/IQ study
    Dr. Christopher Labos and Jonathan Jarry discuss the recent Canadian fluoride/IQ research. They provide an expert analysis of the paper and its problems. Click on image to go to podcast. The critical debate about the recent ...
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Australia in denial
    Australia is burning down again, and meanwhile its natural disaster minister is denying climate change:Australia’s minister responsible for drought and natural disasters, David Littleproud, has said that he doesn’t “know if climate change is manmade”. Clarifying earlier comments that the question is “irrelevant” when considering the Coalition government’s response to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Philippines activist speaking on the Duterte tyranny
    Auckland Philippines Solidarity is excited to host Professor Judy Taguiwalo for a speaking tour of NZ in September. She is a well-known activist in the Philippines and was a political prisoner under the Marcos dictatorship. Professor Taguiwalo briefly served as a Cabinet member under President Duterte but was forced from ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Disgust
    I have no special insights to offer on the Labour sexual assault coverup. All I have is disgust. Disgust that an organisation could fail its people so badly. Disgust that they punished the victims rather than the perpetrator. Disgust that its party hacks are apparently blaming the victims for demanding ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Speak Up for Women calls out Greens’ censorship
    This open letter to the Green Party was penned after an opinion piece by Jill Abigail, a feminist and founding member of the party, was censored by the Greens’ leadership. (Redline has reprinted her article here).The intolerance of the Green Party leaders and their acceptance of the misogyny of gender ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Member’s Day: End of Life Choice, part 3
    Today is a Member's day, and David Seymour's End of Life Choice Bill continues its slow crawl through its committee stage. They're spending the whole day on it today, though the first hour is likely to be spent on voting left over from last time. After that they'll move on ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Flight to Los Angeles turned back after passengers decide they don’t want to go anymore
    An ambitious plan to fly to Los Angeles petered out into a brief sight-seeing trip and a desire to return home and get some sleep before work tomorrow. Air New Zealand has confirmed a flight to Los Angeles last night was turned back about a quarter of the way into ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Indigenous Futures: defuturing and futuring – an analytical framework for policy development?
    There appears to be consensus – by omission – that the concept of indigenous futures should be accepted at face value. So I scavenged the internet to see if I could locate an academic descriptor or a framework around how we think about it as a concept, and whether it ...
    EllipsisterBy Ellipsister
    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
  • Warning! Warning! Danger Jacinda Ardern! Danger Marama Davidson! Warning!
    Lost In Political Space: The most important takeaway from this latest Labour sexual assault scandal, which (if I may paraphrase Nixon’s White House counsel’s, John Dean’s, infamous description of Watergate) is “growing like a cancer” on the premiership, is the Labour Party organisation’s extraordinary professional paralysis in the face of ...
    2 weeks ago

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