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On Navel Gazing and Looking Out.

Written By: - Date published: 2:38 pm, October 6th, 2014 - 63 comments
Categories: labour, Left - Tags: , ,

The British Labour Party isn’t so dissimilar to the NZ Labour Party.

Both have embraced or accommodated neo-classical economic orthodoxy to various degrees at various junctures, these past 30 years . Both have had fairly extended periods in government pursuing ‘third way’ policies associated with neo-classicism. Consequently, both have uprooted their traditional socialist leanings, and both are in the electoral doldrums right now, in spite of being in opposition to governments that peddle unpopular policies.

Within both parties, a struggle between those who would seek to win over the so-called middle ground (that has drifted rightwards in recent decades), and those who would reconnect with traditional socialist tinted, social democratic values, is taking place.

And this is where the situation of the British Labour Party, in both Britain and Scotland, could prove instructive for the NZ Labour Party.

In Britain, it’s the same Labour Party that operates in two quite distinct political environments. In England and Wales (first past the post electoral system), it struggles to compete with a governing right wing Tory party (Con 36% Lab 34% as at 4th Oct 2014). And in Scotland (electoral system predicated on proportional representation) , it struggles to compete with a governing left wing SNP. (SNP 42% Lab 27% – Oct 2014).

I could waffle a bit, but in short, the British Labour Party, that has similar characteristics to those of the NZ Labour Party, struggles far more where governments enact more left wing and popular social democratic policies than it does where governments enact so-called centrist and unpopular policies.

Before drawing your conclusions on which direction the NZ Labour Party should take, it’s maybe worthwhile noting that the Tory presence in Scotland has been more or less obliterated, and that Scotland has hitherto been the traditional heartland of Labour Party support.

63 comments on “On Navel Gazing and Looking Out.”

  1. Tom Gould 1

    They could return the promise to nationalise the means of production, distribution and exchange to the party constitution? That might work?

    • Bill 1.1

      Or they could simply promise and deliver some solid social democratic policy that resonates with people.

      Policies like free education, aged care provided by the state…policies the SNP have enacted, that have seen it elected with an absolute majority in a proportional system, and that the Scottish Labour Party has struggled with, given its ‘neither here nor there nor this nor that’ stance, as informed, or maybe dictated, by a British Labour Party being pragmatic and chasing the mythical ‘middle England’ vote.

    • That’s not going to work in the foreseeable future, either politically or economically. If either Labour party wants to do anything worthwhile ever again, they need to change the discussion about taxation. The population tend to believe the right’s simple but erroneous claims about the morality and role of taxation. The sooner that money is directed away from pointless competitive consumption towards things that actually improve people’s welfare, the better.

    • Michael 1.3

      No it wouldn’t. All that would do is condemn the two parties to political oblivion. The era of globalised capitalism seems here to stay, even though it will remain volatile. It is the response of governments to that volatility that is the big question of our time. FWIW, I think the NZ Labour Party should prioritise fairness as its key value: ensuring, as far as possible, that the machinery of government treats people fairly in ways that respects their dignity as human beings, while providing the necessary resources to achieve that aim. I’ll support anyone who adopts that principle and I don’t care what label they stick on it.

      • Bill 1.3.1

        So, could I be correct in reading that as a suggestion that the NZ Labour Party have a look at the successful policies of the likes of the SNP? The ones that the British Labour Party finds itself in opposition to? The type that the British Labour Party and the NZ Labour Party dumped and ran from some years ago in the interests of pragmatism?

      • Colonial Viper 1.3.2

        The era of globalised capitalism seems here to stay, even though it will remain volatile.

        No its not. The system is on its last editions of ‘pretend and extend.’ The strength and importance of the US dollar is steadily diminishing, and with it, US global and corporate power.

        And you shouldn’t argue in favour of the global capitalists, because they have zero loyalty to NZ or to the wellbeing of NZers.

      • RedBaronCV 1.3.3

        I too think globalised capital is drifting off. As the centre of power draws further and further away from people they feel some freedom to ignore or campaign against it. Frankly Cameron & co didn’t seem to see the “yes” vote coming stuck in their own little world. Cameron looked like a bloke who had looked out his window to discover that the peasants building the fence where doing it to keep him in not them out.

  2. The Lone Haranguer 2

    So why doesnt the British Labour party do an alliance type deal with SNP and between them they can win?

    Its all about winning after all.

    • Bill 2.1

      The British Labour Party did do an alliance type deal… with the Tories and LibDems over the independence referendum. They won that one.

      Meanwhile, the SNP, Greens and Scottish Socialist Party doubled and tripled their respective membership numbers off the back of their referendum loss.

      I’ll put it this way. Where once the SNP were branded ‘the tartan tories’, Labour in Scotland is now referred to as the ‘red tories’. That’s how far they’ve drifted in the public eye. And for what?

      For all -or I’d argue – because of their supposed pragmatism, they’re struggling to be relevant in England and Wales. NZ Labour is looking down that same barrel.

      It has to choose between adopting a managerial approach and hoping to be liked more than the other lot, and being relevant in the eyes of the voting public. The SNP have demonstrated that left wing social democratic policies can be pursued successfully in an environment awash with media driven neo-classical ‘TINA’ tosh.

      • adam 2.1.1

        What looking down the barrel Bill – they walked in front of that bus 30 years ago. This, there is ‘hope for labour’ is a pipe dream, one concocted by people on to many pharmaceuticals. I know you know some history of this place – look at the history of the liberal party, before it dissolved. So from about 1916-1939 – we are seeing a similar replay of history. A strong, well organised and subtally authoritarian right wing and a so called left party in disarray.

        After it’s passing, some of the members joined the labour party and the bulk formed the nationalist.

        The nationalist must be laughing their collective heads off – in both cases the left is fighting a small well funded faction of liberals, who they don’t know how to attack without giving up what they believe to be left wing values.

        It’s simple really, and you allude to it above – it’s economics, it’s economics, it’s economics. Social democrats need to wake up to the reality that liberalism, is antithetical to any form of socialism.

        It is the main reason why I have said since the election labour are dead. Or a dead weight take your pick. They will limp on for a while, they may even morph into a true liberal party. But a party which represents working people and their economic desires, it is not.

        • Bill 2.1.1.1

          You might be right Adam, Labour may well be dead as a political vehicle.

          Just for the record btw, I’m only using the SNP as a comparison – of what’s possible vis a vis social democratic policy in a neo-classical framework.

          My question, very limited in scope then, is why aren’t Labour pursuing similar social democratic policies to those so favoured by the Scottish electorate and that have proved so successful for the SNP?

          There’s no long term ‘answer’ to the mess the working class have been placed in any of that. Social democracy was never, ever going to lead to any type of socialism.

          But you know, half decent policies informed by social democratic ideas do at least have the potential to make the lives of many, many people far more tolerable.

  3. Ad 3

    There is no evidence Labour’s collective ego has been able to learn lessons from the last 3 elections. It will take a further weakening of Labour in 2017 to 20-22% for Labour’s remaining caucus to give up their collective ego as the default government in waiting. Labour has a whole term to go before they reach bottom.

    Therefore New Zealand will have no effective alternative government until a true coalition is tested in 2020. The New Zealand government will not have forgiven Labour’s disunity by 2017, nor will a government-in-waiting appear.

    As each election loss and leadership contest burn off more post-40 activists, Labour will begin the handover to a newer generation that National started 2 terms ago. Good souls who can hibernate six years, stock up your caves. Those under 35, Labour’s future is yours.

    With no alternative government or opposition, the NZ horizon will be run by National, without political check or balance as far as the eye can see.

    • NeutObserver 3.1

      Amen!

    • Oh no. The last thing we need is a bunch of kids who won’t pay attention in parliament because they’re too busy checking Facebook on their phones or posting cat pictures to Twitter.

      • That kind of kneejerk stereotyping of the next generation is just sooooooooo helpful. I wonder why voter turnout among younger adults is so abysmal? 🙄

        • greywarbler 3.2.1.1

          @ Stephanie R and
          ad
          Don’t let your supply of humour run too low. It’s a sort of oil that keeps buoyancy.
          Edited

          • Stephanie Rodgers 3.2.1.1.1

            Accusing people who call out sneering stereotypes for not having a sense of humour, we’re plumbing the depths of originality today. 🙄

          • Ad 3.2.1.1.2

            Buoyancy is decreasing – Labour are in a fully Lifeboat Ethics period.

            Humour as a response to political cannibalism, purging, and desperate careerist violence is not appropriate, unless you’re from Whaleoil and like to watch caged dogs fighting.

        • Tom Jackson 3.2.1.2

          wonder why voter turnout among younger adults is so abysmal?

          Um.. because they’re too busy using their phones to watch videos of stupid pet tricks?

      • Ad 3.2.2

        What you sneer at is the only communication alternative to contest the MSM. And that is no longer in your control.
        It is with those under 35 who have grown up with it and master it.

        When it forms, that will be the new opposition.

        • Tom Jackson 3.2.2.1

          Do you have any more warmed over 60s counterculturalism to contribute?

          You are Rick from The Young Ones and I claim my five pounds.

          • Colonial Viper 3.2.2.1.1

            I think Ad is essentially right and for the right reasons; the chances of Labour forming a strong 2 or 3 term govt in 2017 is minimal. It may, through the quirks of MMP be able to form a cobbled together left wing government with a small majority. Which I would not expect to last more than 1 term.

            More likely though is a 4th Key/English term. At least, that is how it will start out.

      • Murray Olsen 3.2.3

        I thought that was quite funny. I am probably a terrible person, but I laugh a lot. The people around me do too.

  4. just saying 4

    Telling the truth. Maybe a crazy, impossible dream in our political system.
    I still think it shouldn’t be dismissed out of hand and is worth a try. Who knows what would or wouldn’t work, but playing the tories at their own game plays out according to the tories plan and always will.

    If truth leads to divorce, that’s a good thing isn’t it? Staying together under the same roof, despite irreconcilable differences doesn’t work. I suspect a few of us here have personal experience of that particular scenario…

    • Bill 4.1

      Ah….I finally think I ‘get’ your comment. A major party simply standing up and telling it like it is? I guess stranger things have happened 😉

      I also reckon they could more or less clean up if they did.

      • just saying 4.1.1

        If you read the speeches from the “glory” days of the party, they were extremely specific and clear about what they believed and what they intended to do.
        We’ve had nothing but weasel words from Labour for 30 years and everyone knows they are too scared to say what they really think. Their apirational mission statement thingy is about as sincere as those you see framed on corporate walls

        • David Cunliffe had the greatest popularity when he was making clear, defiant speeches about what was wrong with our society/economy and what needed to happen to change it.

          • Ad 4.1.1.1.1

            agreed.
            he also did best when he was in a packed hall with no speech notes, and just let rip.
            the speech-polishing of 2014 added little, and took much away.

            ah well. sic transit gloria mundi

        • just saying 4.1.1.2

          Just to add that I think they should tell the truth about everything, The shit we are already in and the mega-shit we are facing. It was sickening watching the Labour Party during the campaign pretending that the recession is over and we’ve done soooo well, and now we’re in recovery. Even repeatedly thanking Key for what a great job he’d done steering us through.

          Just Tell the Fucking Truth

          • Colonial Viper 4.1.1.2.1

            They’re deathly afraid of the immediate firestorm of opprobrium which would immediately be launched from every institution of the Right, and the very muted and inadequate responses from the weakened/non existent institutions of the Left.

          • weka 4.1.1.2.2

            “Just Tell the Fucking Truth”

            This.

  5. Chooky 5

    putting working class gal, ex- beneficiary, Paula Bennett into a top economics portfolio makes the Nactional Party look more authentically Labour than the Labour Party (with Jacinda as the top female Labour cat at the helm in opposition)

    ….sigh…lets face it….the uncoordinated, factional infighting, careerist Left Parties and coalition were outsmarted and outmanouevered by the Right ..dirty PR tricks and all …and the msm have been bought

    …it is going to be an uphill battle to win the next Election

    • Bill 5.1

      Well, yes. So Labour could (should) enact a radical departure and stop trying to compete with the Nats on their own terms. (I think js was saying similar at #4).

      Shearer and whoever else within Labour can wank on about the need to win the center in modern politics all they want. The SNP and Labour experiences in Scotland gives the lie to that particular line though.

      • Chooky 5.1.1

        yes I was very sorry the Scots did not win that vote for independence …

        • The Al1en 5.1.1.1

          The scots did win that vote for independence.

          • Chooky 5.1.1.1.1

            ? ….”The independence referendum question, which voters answered with “Yes” or “No”, was “Should Scotland be an independent country?” The “No” side won, with 55.3% voting against independence. The turnout of 84.6% was unusually high for a ballot in the United Kingdom”

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scottish_independence_referendum,_2014.

            • The Al1en 5.1.1.1.1.1

              55.3% of scots voted to remain in the UK and thus won the vote for independence.

              • Chooky

                either splitting semantic hairs or you are on a d….y something…”The “No” side won, with 55.3% voting against independence”.

                • The Al1en

                  I don’t know what an “a d….y something…” is, but it’s not really being semantic to point out that it was scots who voted to stay in the UK, winning the independence referendum, so “very sorry the Scots did not win that vote for independence” is a bit at odds with reality of the matter.

                  If you mean I’m sorry the yes vote didn’t win, after the fact and against the will of the people, then that would make more sense.

        • Bill 5.1.1.2

          k – this post isn’t about the Scottish referendum. People living in Scotland voted to remain in the UK. End of.

          This post is about the (obviously failed) approach of a Labour Party when confrnted with a right wing government and the fact that the exact same party is failing even more spectacularly when opposing a left wing government.

          Now, given that the NZ Labour party is so close to the British Labour Party in its make up, ‘character’, policy prescriptions etc, I’d suggest there are lessons for it to learn if it’d look at UK Labour’s ongoing failures given the unique dual environments UK Labour is operating in.

          • Chooky 5.1.1.2.1

            @ Bill (agreed it inadvertently got hijacked) …and agreed

            ..”Labour could (should) enact a radical departure and stop trying to compete with the Nats on their own terms.”

          • Colonial Viper 5.1.1.2.2

            Worthwhile noting that the Scottish Labour Party is now more fucked than ever, due to #IndyRef and particularly, the aftermath of it.

    • putting working class gal, ex- beneficiary, Paula Bennett into a top economics portfolio makes the Nactional Party look more authentically Labour than the Labour Party (with Jacinda as the top female Labour cat at the helm in opposition)

      If Paula Bennett is ever made actual minister of finance, I will start to believe that this is all a bad acid trip.

      • Wensleydale 5.2.1

        Finance is far too dry for a harpy like Bennett. There just aren’t enough opportunities to really put the boot into anyone who isn’t as smug and obnoxious as she is. The hair, the clothes… it’s like the second coming of Jenny Shipley. If she starts tag-teaming with Maggie Barry and Anne Tolley, it’ll be like a scene from Hitchcock’s ‘The Birds’.

    • miravox 5.3

      Working for two years in low paid jobs doesn’t make Bennett a working class ‘gal. That’s a cloak she wore for purposes of winning an election.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paula_Bennett#Early_life

  6. Chooky 6

    lol…me too

  7. NeutObserver 7

    Rejuvenation is what Labour needs. Unfortunately, it is not going to happen with the likes of Mallard, King, and Goff in Parliament, who show no intention of retiring whatsoever.

    New faces associated with the Labour Party are needed now, now in three years.

    • lurgee 7.1

      I think people need to move on from the continual plaint that “X, Y and Z need to retire.”

      It is hardly advancing the ‘unity’ message. guess what! Party unity is achieved when you accept differences, not when you purge it. Because another purge is always necessary as more ‘ideologically incorrect running dogs’ are discovered.

      The MPs listed above are also hard working, capable, popular MPs with a degree of recognition. Get rid of them, and it is likely the party will be hurt.

      (If it is conceivable for it to be more hurt than it is.)

      The alternative is: increase the party vote = more mps.

      • Ad 7.1.1

        The purges are invited precisely by Labour’s constitutional reforms for leadership changes, which explicitly sets out the power blocs. We are in for blood, purging, bullying and further fractionalisation for many months at Labour – and the process has been going for weeks if you hadn’t noticed.

      • Bill 7.1.2

        If the alternative (the solution?) was simply more mps off the back of a larger vote, then maybe you’d care to explain how a Labour Party, not a million miles distant to the NZ Labour Party, is able to simultaneously hemorrhage votes in both scenarios outlined – ie when in opposition to a right wing government and when in opposition to a left wing government?

      • Colonial Viper 7.1.3

        “Unity” is fucking overrated, especially when everyone has known for years that it’s little more than kabuki theatre.

        As JS says. Just Tell the Fucking Truth.

  8. I said some years ago Little was the best leader for Labour. The workers have to take the party back from the academics, queers and progressives whose mental home is the Wellington beltway.

    • Bill 8.1

      There are no queer workers, progressive workers or academics who come from and identify as working class?

      • Redbaiter 8.1.1

        Identifying is one thing. Actually being one is another.

        I don’t see many of that kind in any of the working locations I’m at. Too much dirt, dust, grease, wind and weather.

        • Bill 8.1.1.1

          I get, given your description of your workplace, that none of your workmates are academics. But none of your workmates are queer? And none of them harbour progressive political thoughts? Really?!

          Anyway. Since the post was about NZ Labour having the ability to view a set of (unique?) circumstances that could point to the consequences of any future direction, and not about short, fat, thin, tall or whatever people…

          • Redbaiter 8.1.1.1.1

            “that none of your workmates are academics.”

            That’s right Bill, they are not. I work in a productive area of the economy. There’s no room for ivory tower dreamers more fitted to curtained staff rooms than wind rain and sun.

            I don’t know if any are queer or not. Given there’s only about 2 chances in a hundred its not likely, and they’re too busy working to focus on identifying themselves by their sexuality anyway.

            If they’re progressive they keep it to themselves. They frequently complain about tax rates though. I say that’s to pay for the government they want. Then they say they don’t want it.

            They don’t like Greenies much either.

  9. NeutObserver 9

    Beltway? You have been watching too much American television, Redbaiter.

  10. SeanExile 10

    There is a few things thats factually debatable in this article. While SNP is deemed to be leftwing and further to the left than Labour this is troubling.
    SNP is a centre/left party. Shaped in the socialdemocratic form that we see in Scandinavia etc. That is a socialist state with a liberal economy. Scandinavia has charter schools for example, something Labour NZ fights against for reasons unbeknowned to most socialdemocrats like me.

    Assuming that Labour in the UK and Labour in Scotland is the same on policy is also questionable. With that said, in Scottish elections I havent come across anyone who think SNP is way more left wing than Labour. I disagree with that.
    I say that in Scotland SNP is the centre/left and with the political spectrum there differing substantially from that of England, the right is infact liberal and Labour is the old socialist party. But with so much of Scotland being about nationalism the left/right scale isnt as applicable there as it is in many other territories.

    However what I think is important to read from this is that if you want success, run a traditional centrist socialdemocratic policy. Liberal economy, with a large public sector that takes an active role in shaping society. Dont move way off to the left so that you scare the centrist voters away.
    Labour in the UK did this during the 1980ies and that gave the Tories 15 years of rule. Neil Kinnock and his men cost us a nation. They will never be forgiven for what they did. It wasnt until Blair came and moved the party to centre/right that Labour could take power again. But by then the Thatcher economy was already engraved and nothing could be done to change the new Britain. Not that Blair ever would have tried…
    We dont need a centre/right man like Blair but we could sure do with a centre/left popular and genuine bloke like Salmond. Labour NZ went to the election with a left/left man in Cunliffe and that led us to the worst election since 1922.

    Salmond is a wise man. He put his party ahead of his ego and stepped aside after the loss. he knew his party didnt need a loosing face come next election and come governing. I think someone, no names but he led us to the worst election result since 1922 could learn alot from Alex Salmond when it comes to dignity and putting the party ahead of your ego.

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    Judy Kavanagh Do you remember your first day at school? The education I received was for a very different world than the world of today. Along with huge social shifts there have been big changes in the New Zealand economy and the work people do. There are occupations unheard of ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    6 days ago
  • A casual attitude towards transparency
    Back in December, when the government was introducing new secrecy legislation on an almost daily basis, I posted about the Infrastructure Funding and Financing Bill. The Bill establishes a new class of public entity, "special purpose vehicles", which collect and spend public money and enjoy statutory powers. Despite this, they ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Against a carbon bailout
    If we are to avoid making the planet uninhabitable, we need to cut carbon emisisons fast. Which basicly means putting the fossil fuel industry - coal, gas, and oil - out of business. But this means that the banks and other lenders who have bankrolled the industry's environmental destruction will ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Still a criminal industry
    More evidence that the fishing industry suffers from pervasive criminality, with Forest & Bird highlighting some odd numbers in the annual statistics:The Annual Review Report For Highly Migratory Species Fisheries 2018/19 (Pg 4, Table 4) showed only 4% of commercial long lining trips for tuna and swordfish reported non-fish bycatch ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Controversy? Or Manufactroversy?
    A few days ago, New Zealand’s Minister of Education announced the wider release of a resource on climate change, which was initially trialled at a Christchurch school during 2018. According to the Minister, children will learn about “the role science plays in understanding climate change, aids understanding of both the response ...
    SciBlogsBy Alison Campbell
    7 days ago
  • The emerging coronavirus outbreak in China
    By now you’ve probably heard of the new virus causing an outbreak of severe pneumonia in China. The question on most people’s minds is, how worried should we be, especially as hundreds of millions of people will soon be travelling across China and beyond to visit family for the Lunar ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    1 week ago
  • How did climate change get so controversial?
    An excerpt from the book Cranky Uncle vs. Climate Change, released Feb 25. Our human brain is poorly equipped to deal with a threat like climate change. Over millions of years, we’ve evolved to avoid life-threatening dangers like predators jumping out of bushes. We’ve survived by quickly detecting and avoiding immediate, short-term ...
    1 week ago
  • Farmers are ruining Canterbury’s rivers
    Its summer, so people naturally want to go for a swim. But in South Canterbury, you can't, because the rivers are full of toxic goo:As of Monday, the Waihi River at Wilson Street footbridge, Geraldine, the Waihao River at Bradshaws Bridge, and three spots on the Opihi River - at ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Sack Shane Jones
    Late last year, NZ First was caught trying to enrich itself from public office, with a dodgy forestry company linked to a number of NZ First figures sticking its hand out repeatedly for government money. Regional Economic Development Minister shane Jones' "explanations" were patently unconvincing, and his recusal from deciding ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • BIG idea physics
    This morning I’ve been having a quick look through some documentation from The Ministry of Education on proposed changes to NCEA Level 1 Science. For those not familiar with the NZ secondary education system, a typical student would complete NCEA level 1 at the end of year 11.  In this ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    1 week ago
  • Revolution in New Zealand? Not Even Close!
    No Fires Thanks, We're Kiwis: For the moment, in those close-to-home places where revolutions are born, there may be tetchiness and resentment, frustration and complaint, but nowhere is anybody uttering the cry that will bring a New Zealand revolution into being: “We have found the way to make tomorrow better ...
    1 week ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #3
    Story of the Week... Editorial of the Week... Toon of the Week... Quote of the Week... Graphic of the Week... Coming Soon on SkS... Climate Feedback Claim Reviews... SkS Week in Review... Poster of the Week... Story of the Week... 'It's heart-wrenching': 80% of Blue Mountains and 50% of ...
    1 week ago
  • Britain exits the European Union and takes a sharp right turn
    by John Smith  Britain’s exit from the imperialist bloc known as the European Union (EU) is now irreversible. The crushing electoral defeat of the Labour Party has dismayed many workers and youth who had placed their hopes in Jeremy Corbyn, its left-wing leader. This article assesses these historic events, neither of which ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #3
    A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week, i.e., Sun, Jan 12, 2020 through Sat, Jan 18, 2020 Editor's Pick The Past and the Future of the Earth’s Oldest Trees Bristlecone pines have survived various catastrophes over the millennia, and they ...
    1 week ago
  • How climate change influenced Australia’s unprecedented fires
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections, and has been adapted into a new myth rebuttal on climate-wildfire connections with the short URL sks.to/wildfires Australia’s frightening bushfires, which kicked off an early fire season in September 2019, have already had cataclysmic effects, and the continent is still just in the early ...
    1 week ago
  • Gender Identity Ideology – A Partial Bibliography of Online Coverage
    This great resource has been contributed to Redline by Janie Doebuck. Janie made some notes on the bibliography: 1) It is by no means exhaustive. There are tons more gender critical posts, essays, articles, podcasts, youtube videos, etc. online. 2) There are links in the bibliography that are behind paywalls. There ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • About those biased Oscar Nominations
    There’s been a lot written about the 2020 Oscar Nominations and their apparent lack of diversity. It’s true, there are in fact no women nominated for the Best Director and very few nominees of colour across the board. But is this a result of a biased process or a symptom ...
    2 weeks ago
  • How New Zealand media reports chronic pain
    Hemakumar Devan Around three million New Zealanders access news media (both paper and online) every week. Yes, you heard that right! So, the potential for news media to shape public health beliefs is common sense. As chronic pain affects one in five New Zealanders, we wanted to find out how ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • Still Waiting For American Democracy.
    Unfinished Republic: Though the United States' crimes against democracy are legion, most Americans are blissfully unaware of them. The brutal realities of American life: the officially sanctioned violence; the refusal to hold racists accountable for their actions; the seemingly endless tragedy of African-American suffering; of which White America is the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • In Outrage Over Its Bunk Science, Goop Finds Fuel for Growth
    Michael Schulson For years, experts have said that Goop, the wellness and lifestyle brand founded by the actor and entrepreneur Gwyneth Paltrow, markets pseudoscience and overblown cures. And for years, despite the criticism, Goop has just kept growing. Now the company, which was valued at $250 million in 2018, ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • Tobacco Excise Taxes and the Smokefree 2025 Goal: Some Ways Forward
    Janet Hoek, Richard Edwards, George Thomson, Andrew Waa, Nick Wilson Debate over tobacco tax increases has intensified as research indicates potentially conflicting policy directions. On the one hand, excise tax increases continue to stimulate quit attempts among smokers yet, on the other hand, they may lead to financial hardship for ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    2 weeks ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #2, 2020
    Conflation and how to fix it VIa AMS,  Raul Lejano looks at what in a layperson's thinking would be called conflation— confusion and blending of entirely different topics— when people think about climate change. Ideology and the Narrative of Skepticism  (open access) starts with some arguably frightening false connections between the science and ...
    2 weeks ago
  • ‘Cranky Uncle’ smart phone game will show you how to disarm climate deniers
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Bud Ward (Image: Courtesy of John Cook) When it comes to climate change, it seems every family has its own version of the proverbial Cranky Uncle. An uncle, cousin, grandparent, in-law, neighbor, whatever. Just think back to the recent holiday season’s large ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Science in the ’20s – part 1
      Outrageous, immoral or downright dangerous. That’s a description of the lifestyle of women “flappers” in the 1920s. Could it apply to science (and scientists) in the 2020s? Actually, you could look back at the past decade and see those, or similar terms, used about some science and scientists. Sometimes ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    2 weeks ago
  • Postscript: Citizenship Granted.
    I am pleased to say that I have been granted NZ citizenship. I need to do the ceremony for things to be official, but the application was a success. I now join my son as a dual NZ-US citizen. To be fair, very little will change other than the fact ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    2 weeks ago
  • Hard News: Music: Morales is coming
    It will be no secret to longtime readers that I, Russell Brown, love the disco.   So I'm pretty excited by the fact that one of the greats of the game is returning this summer – and also pleased to say I have tickets to give away.Legendary mixer and DJ ...
    2 weeks ago
  • The WHO Vaccine Safety Summit – from someone who was actually there
    The conspiracy I saw a new conspiracy theory flying around the other day. According to the conspiracy (that seems to originate from Del Bigtree), the World Health Organization have been ‘caught on camera’ questioning the safety of vaccines. Gosh this sounds as though someone was a mole at a ...
    SciBlogsBy Helen Petousis Harris
    2 weeks ago
  • The timely death of the British Labour Party
    Below is an article submitted to Redline by Alec Abbott  At its inception, the British Labour Party was a vehicle for the propagation of racist and imperialist views within the working-class. Such views are still widespread in the party, as they are in Europe’s Social-Democratic parties, though, in the case of ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Mystery China pneumonia outbreak likely caused by new human coronavirus
    Connor Bamford, Queen’s University Belfast Since December 2019, there has been a cluster of 59 cases of pneumonia in Wuhan, eastern China. The pneumonia is associated with a previously unidentified coronavirus related to the deadly SARS virus. Seven of those cases are thought to be serious, and one person – ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • Yes, koalas are cute – but should we bring them to NZ? Errm, no
    It’s been hard to miss the extreme fires raging across Australia and the tragic plight of the animals – human and otherwise – affected by the fires’ insatiable spread. I know I’ve been captivated and concerned by the tales of how Australia’s famous wildlife has been coping. Koalas approaching cyclists ...
    SciBlogsBy Sarah-Jane O'Connor
    2 weeks ago
  • National’s negative campaigning
    Anybody who looked into the Dirty Politics saga knows all too well that honesty is often in short supply within the National Party. You would think that after the exposure the John Key government received over their untruthful attack politics, the National Party would learn from its "mistakes" and leave ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Ending the government’s charade over water
    For the past decade, the government has been responding to the obvious Treaty issues raised by water allocation with the mantra that "no-one owns water". But last year, the Waitangi Tribunal ruled that actually, Māori owned it, and that those rights had never been extinguished. They recommended that iwi bring ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Northern Ireland joins the civilised world
    Same-sex marriage has finally become legal in Northern Ireland. But not through any decision of the Northern Irish Executive or Assembly, which has only just reformed after a three year walkout by the DUP; instead, Westminster made that decision for them. I've talked before about the constitutional impropriety of this, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • I had an intense conversation at work today.
    Claire Cohen-Norris volunteers with Citizens Climate Lobby as a chapter founder and leader in rural New York. Her climate advocacy sprung from her drive to provide a secure, joyful and fulfilling life for her two wonderful children. It has become a life’s mission, shared with her like-minded husband and partner. Claire ...
    2 weeks ago
  • French transport workers take on Macron over pension reform
    by John Edmundson Starting on December 5th, 2019 workers in the Parisian rail network commenced an open-ended strike in opposition to French President Emmanuel Macron’s proposed changes to their pension scheme. Rail workers in the Metro Underground have, for decades, had retirement conditions that compensate them for the low wages, ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • What a difference the decimal point makes
    I’m back at work following a nearly three-week break over Christmas. We were fortunate to be offered a house to stay in for a week over Christmas, which enabled us to have a holiday in Dunedin and see the extended family reasonably cheaply. But the house came with a catch:  ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    2 weeks ago
  • Who’s Going To Stop Him?
    Blank And Pitiless: Having ordered the assassination of the Iranian General, Qasem Soleimani, President Donald Trump promised to reduce the cultural monuments of Iran’s 3,000 year-old civilisation to rubble if a revenge attack was mounted. A breach of international law? Certainly. A war crime? Indisputably. Who’s going to stop him? Nobody.WHAT ...
    2 weeks ago
  • A worker’s story
    This interview is from Aotearoa Workers Solidarity Movement (AWSM) and is the first of an ongoing series of interviews they plan to do with workers from various sectors who are having their well being and livelihoods damaged. They begin with an educator in Southland. Due to the attitude and actions ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #2
    A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week, i.e., Sun, Jan 5, 2020 through Sat, Jan 11, 2020 Editor's Pick Debunked Australian Bushfire Conspiracy Theories Were Pushed by Alex Jones, Murdoch Media   As unusually intense and widespread bushfires have ...
    2 weeks ago
  • J.K. Rowling, the Seattle Library, and the Issue That Must Not Be Named
    This article was submitted to Redline by Seattle-based activist Lucinda Stoan J.K. Rowling recognizes repression when she sees it.  That’s why the author of the wildly popular Harry Potter books recently tweeted in defense of Maya Forstater. Forstater lost her job for stating that sex is real and immutable. A judge ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Rules of Empire: Laws simply do not apply and “National Security” excuses all else.
    Empires rise and fall, and the American Empire is absolutely no different. But while an Empire, in order to further the footprint, it seems to pay to do one primary thing above all else: project that everything – everything – is “simply for the good of the world” at large, ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    3 weeks ago
  • Indian lessons for NZ workers – the January 8 general strike
                    by Phil Duncan On Wednesday (January 8) another massive general strike took place in India.  Some 250 million industrial workers, white-collar workers, agricultural labourers struck against the government’s economic policies and attacks on the Muslim population through new proposed citizenship rules. This ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    3 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: The action that counts
    Over on Newsroom, Professor Jacqueline Beggs writes about the action she is taking on climate change. Its the usual list: reduce meat, don't fly, consume less. I'm doing some of this myself, and none of it hurts - but the way our economic system is constructed means the impact of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 weeks ago
  • Fossil fuel political giving outdistances renewables 13 to one
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Karin Kirk Corporations, special interest groups, and individuals inject billions of dollars into the American political system every year. Much of the financial support in politics is concealed from public view, as some rules – and loopholes – allow “dark money” and ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Animal response to a bushfire is astounding. These are the tricks they use to survive
    Dale Nimmo, Charles Sturt University Have you ever wondered how our native wildlife manage to stay alive when an inferno is ripping through their homes, and afterwards when there is little to eat and nowhere to hide? The answer is adaptation and old-fashioned ingenuity. Australia’s bushfire season is far from ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    3 weeks ago
  • Should I ditch my fossil-fueled car?
    Yes. Reducing the number of cars in your household, or switching from petrol/diesel to electric, will dramatically reduce your greenhouse gas emissions. It’s one of the easiest and highest-impact climate steps you can take. New Zealand is being flooded with cars The New Zealand vehicle fleet is increasing rapidly. In ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    3 weeks ago
  • Speaker: Planet History: Taking Tea with Quentin
    This interview with Quentin Crisp is part of a series of articles republished from Planet, the independent magazine I edited in the early 90s from a base at 309 Karangahape Road, along with Grant Fell, Rachael Churchward, Fiona Rae, David Teehan, Mere Ngailevu and others.Inevitably, you forget things, and over ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #1, 2020
    Supply Side How are we doing with CO2 emissions? It's an important question, increasingly posed to a mixed bag of CO2 contributors who may or may not provide accurate reportage. Liu et al present a new, additional means of measurement based on satellite observations of nitrogen dioxide co-emitted from ...
    3 weeks ago

  • Week That Was: 2020
    We are back for 2020! From changes to Family Funded Care, to a record high number of Kiwis in construction in the trades - we're already back making progress on those long-term challenges. Read all about it and more ...
    4 days ago
  • Winston Peters: “Ihumātao deal still a long way off”
    Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters told Mike Hosking that a settlement deal regarding Ihumātao in Auckland is still a long way off. The Maori King's flag was lowered at the site near Auckland Airport yesterday, sparking suggestions an announcement of a deal could be made by Waitangi Day. Pania Newton, ...
    6 days ago
  • Winston Peters accuses Gerry Brownlee of ‘politicising’ Holocaust memorial
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters is accusing Gerry Brownlee of "politicising" a Holocaust memorial event after the National MP questioned the lack of Kiwi representation there. The Yad Vashem World Holocaust Remembrance Centre in Jerusalem, Israel, is holding the World Holocaust Forum on January 23 to mark 75 years since ...
    6 days ago
  • Provincial Growth Fund to help Waipukurau Pā sites attract thousands of tourists
    The Ngā Ara Tipuna - Waipukurau Pā Site Interpretation project is receiving $2.798 million from the Provincial Growth Fund. It is is expected to boost the town's employment and tourism, creating sixteen new jobs once completed and attract up to 15,000 visitors a year. Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development ...
    6 days ago
  • “Common sense will prevail, not extremism” Winston Peters backs Shane Jones’ pro-meat stance
    New Zealand First leader Winston Peters is backing his MPs who have spoken out against a new climate change teaching resource that advises students to eat less meat to save the planet. The new teaching resource, announced by Education Minister Chris Hipkins and Climate Change Minister James Shaw, tells students ...
    1 week ago
  • Violent assault on paramedic highlights need for law change
    Darroch Ball MP, Spokesperson for Justice Today’s horrific violent assault of an on-duty female paramedic which rendered her unconscious is truly unsettling. “Our thoughts are with the paramedic, her loved ones and the St John’s team at Warkworth Station,” says New Zealand First Justice Spokesperson Darroch Ball. “Harsher penalties for perpetrators ...
    1 week ago
  • Acting PM Winston Peters confirms NZDF troops in Iraq not hit by Iranian attacks
    Acting Prime Minister Winston Peters called for calm and diplomacy following Iranian missile strikes on bases housing United States troops in Iraq, but confirmed New Zealand's base in the country was not hit. The New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) was earlier today investigating claims New Zealand's base in Iraq had ...
    1 week ago
  • Kaikōura $10.88 million boost in tourism & business
    Fletcher Tabuteau MP, Parliamentary Undersecretary for Regional Economic Development The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is investing $10.88 million to boost business and tourism opportunities in Kaikōura, Parliamentary Undersecretary for Regional Economic Development, Fletcher Tabuteau announced today. As part of the Kaikōura Marina Development Programme, the following two projects will receive ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Delivering a stable water supply to Wairarapa
    Hon. Ron Mark, New Zealand First List MP based in Wairarapa The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is investing $7.11 million to create a sustainable water supply for the Wairarapa. The PGF will provide a $7 million investment to Wairarapa Water Limited to progress the Wairarapa Water Storage Scheme towards procurement, consenting, ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Housing consents hit highest level since 1974
    Housing consents have hit a 45-year high, as Statistics NZ data shows a total of 37,010 residential consents were issued in the year to November --- the first time they have breached the 37,000 mark since the mid-1970s. Statistics NZ said the trend had been rising since late 2011, when ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Darroch Ball MP: “Violence against first responders is a problem on the rise”
    New Zealand First MP Darroch Ball says that a paramedic being kicked unconscious last night in an attempted burglary in Warkworth, north of Auckland, is a symptom of a larger problem. "Incidents like this are becoming more and more frequent...and it’s getting worse," Mr Ball said. The MP is pushing for ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Minister Ron Mark asks NZDF to conduct fire risk assessment from defence point of view
    Defence Minister Ron Mark said there was nothing to prevent similar large-scale bushfires seen in Australia from also happening in New Zealand, and has asked the New Zealand Defence Force to conduct a nfire risk assessment from a defence point of view. The defence assessment would help prevent a disaster ...
    3 weeks ago

  • PM announces election date as September 19
    The 2020 General Election will be held on Saturday 19 September, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced today. “I will be asking New Zealanders to continue to support my leadership and the current direction of the Government, which is grounded in stability, a strong economy and progress on the long term ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    9 hours ago
  • Provincial Growth Fund supports Waikato youth into constructionProvincial Growth Fund supports Waika...
    Two projects focussed on supporting Waikato youth into the construction industry have been given combined funding of just over $1 million from the Te Ara Mahi allocation of the Provincial Growth Fund, Undersecretary for Regional Economic Development, Fletcher Tabuteau announced today.  The two Te Ara Mahi PGF projects announced are: ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    14 hours ago
  • Provincial Growth Fund supports Waikato youth into construction
    Two projects focussed on supporting Waikato youth into the construction industry have been given combined funding of just over $1 million from the Te Ara Mahi allocation of the Provincial Growth Fund, Undersecretary for Regional Economic Development, Fletcher Tabuteau announced today.  The two Te Ara Mahi PGF projects announced are: ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    14 hours ago
  • New Zealand to support Pacific Public Sector Hub
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters today announced New Zealand’s support for a Pacific-led hub that will strengthen public services across the region. “Strengthening public services is a core focus of New Zealand’s Pacific Reset, as efforts to improve democratic governance in the Pacific contributes to a strong, stable and more ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    15 hours ago
  • Minister pays tribute to journalist, author and broadcaster, Gordon McLauchlan
    The Minister of Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media, Kris Faafoi, has paid tribute to well-known New Zealand author, journalist and broadcaster, Gordon McLauchlan, following Mr McLauchlan’s death today. “Gordon held a statesman-like place in New Zealand’s media, which was fittingly acknowledged in last year’s Queen’s Birthday Honours, when he was ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Minister wishes best of luck to those heading back to school
    As Kiwi kids and teachers return to classrooms over the coming weeks, the families of around 428,000 students will feel a bit less of a financial pinch than in previous years, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “The Government’s decision to increase funding for schools that don’t ask parents for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Health staff to meet flights from China as precautionary measure
    Public health staff will begin meeting flights from China from tomorrow, to actively look for signs of the novel coronavirus and provide advice, information and reassurance to passengers. Health Minister Dr David Clark says the additional measures are being taken following the arrival of the disease in Australia, via flights ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • National Yearling Sales 2020
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government and construction industry to build big, lift productivity with Transformation Plan
    Delivering the workforce and productivity gains required to build the houses, schools, roads, rail and hospitals New Zealand needs will become easier with the Government-industry Construction Sector Transformation Plan launched today, Minister for Building and Construction Jenny Salesa says. “The action plan launched today delivers on the Government’s Construction Sector ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Log trains to begin on Wairoa-Napier line
    Log trains are about to start running between Wairoa and Napier following Provincial Growth Fund investment to reopen the rail line, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones says. The Government invested $6.2 million to reopen the mothballed rail line which was closed after significant storm damage in 2012. “With PGF ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Minister of Defence concludes successful visit with his US counterpart
    Minister of Defence Ron Mark met with United States Secretary of Defense Mark Esper today. “This was an excellent opportunity to meet with one of our closest security partners,” Ron Mark said. “The main focus of the meeting was to discuss challenges that New Zealand and the United States share ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New Zealand acknowledges ICJ decision on Myanmar
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters today acknowledged the ruling of the International Court of Justice in relation to the Rohingya people in Myanmar. The ruling ordered the Government of Myanmar to take all measures within its power to prevent the commission of acts of genocide in relation to members of the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • NZ’s trade aims advanced at Davos meetings
    A proposal to cut “trade and production-distorting subsidies” in the agricultural sector by 2030 has set out important measures to ensure a fair agricultural trading system.  Speaking after attending meetings of trade ministers in Davos, Switzerland, Minister for Trade and Export Growth David Parker welcomed the joint proposal from the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Great news for New Zealanders with cystic fibrosis
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says he is delighted that PHARMAC has struck a provisional deal to fund Kalydeco – a medicine which is set to improve the quality of life for about 30 New Zealand children and adults with cystic fibrosis. “While rare, cystic fibrosis is an awful inherited ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New Zealand least corrupt country in the world
    New Zealand has regained its position as the least corrupt country in the world for the second time under this Coalition Government, says Justice Minister Andrew Little. “New Zealanders can be proud that our reputation as one of the least corrupt countries in the world has been restored,” says Andrew ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Boost for Rēkohu/Wharekauri/Chatham Islands Community Conservation
    Community conservation in Rēkohu/Wharekauri/the Chatham Islands is receiving a boost, with grants to support local projects announced today by Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage. “Rēkohu/Wharekauri/ the Chatham Islands are home to 20 per cent of New Zealand’s threatened bird species and 11 per cent of New Zealand’s threatened plant species. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Rātana Pā goes high-tech with UFB
    Iwi, hapu and visitors to Rātana Pā near Whanganui now have access to ultra-fast broadband following its connection, completed in time for annual Rātana celebrations, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones says. The connection and associated hardware were funded from the Provincial Growth Fund’s $21 million Marae Digital Connectivity programme, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Govt’s strong financial management acknowledged
    The Government’s strong financial management and plan to future proof the economy with new infrastructure investment has gained further recognition from an international ratings agency. Credit rating agency Fitch has upgraded one of its main metrics assessing the Government’s books, lifting its foreign currency AA rating outlook to ‘positive’ from ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Boost in Whānau Ora funding to keep changing lives
    Whānau throughout New Zealand are set to benefit from an extra three million dollars that will go directly to Whānau Ora Commissioning Agencies, the Minister for Whānau Ora Peeni Henare announced today.  Including previous funding boosts, the Agencies will now receive $87 million this year between them.  In Budget 2019 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • More people getting into work
    The December quarter benefit numbers released today show the Government’s plan to get people off the benefit and into work is starting to pay off,” Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni said.   “Nearly 19,000 people cancelled their benefit and went into work in the last few months of the year – ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Wairoa gets up to $6.1m to rebuild heart of CBD
    The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is investing up to $6.1 million to revitalise business and tourism opportunities in Wairoa, Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher Tabuteau announced today. The PGF is funding: Up to $4.8 million for the Wairoa Integrated Business and Tourism Facility Up to $960,000 for the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Major Events support for creative and cultural events
    Creative and cultural events that highlight New Zealand’s diverse culture and build national pride are set to get a funding boost through the Major Events Fund, Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford said today. The new Creative and Cultural Events Incubator, which is funded through the Major Events Fund, will open ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Classroom internet in hundreds of schools to get a boost
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