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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    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    5 days ago
  • Protecting Fresh Waterways in Aotearoa/NZ: The Strong Public Health Case
    Nick Wilson, Leah Grout, Mereana Wilson, Anja Mizdrak, Phil Shoemack, Michael Baker Protecting waterways has the benefits of: (1) protecting water from hazardous microbes; (2) minimising cancer risk and other problems from nitrates in water; (3) avoiding algal blooms that are hazardous to health; (4) protecting mahinga kai uses (cultural ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    5 days ago
  • Massey University triggered to rebrand
    by The Council of Disobedient Women In a press release today Massey University announced it has decided to rebrand and reorientate after struggling to be a University for grown-ups. For some time the University has wanted to be a safe play space for wee-woke-misogynists who have been really badly triggered ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    5 days ago
  • Swinson backing calls for a second referendum (again)
    After a brief dalliance with 'hard Revoke' it looks like the Lib Dems are changing ground on on Brexit, with leader Jo Swinson reverting to calling for a second referendum on Johnson's deal.The party has tabled an amendment to the Queen’s speech requesting that any deal brought back from Brussels ...
    5 days ago
  • An odious bill
    The government has decided that someone has done Something Bad. But despite their belief, there seems to be no evidence that they have actually broken the law. So the government's solution is to pass a retrospective law allowing them to be punished anyway, on a lower standard of proof. If ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • National is now the party of climate arson
    So, Judith Collins has done a Facebook rant about climate change, peddling the same shit National has been shovelling for the past twenty years: the impacts are overstated, there's no need to do anything about it, and its too hard anyway (oh, and its so unfair that people who peddle ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • The environmental footprint of electric versus fossil car
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz There is a lot of discussion on the benefits of ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    5 days ago
  • “Manifest” by Andrew Bird – A Song For The Times.
    I came across this song quite by accident. If it isn't one of Greta Thunberg's favourites - it should be.Video courtesy of YouTube.This post is exclusive to Bowalley Road. ...
    6 days ago
  • Passing the buck
    Last month, NZDF's shoddy coverup of what it knew about civilian casualties in Operation Burnham began to fall apart, with the revelation that a report on the matter, which NZDF claimed not to have, had been sitting in an NZDF safe for the past nine years. Yesterday, the man responsible ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • India a major player in Earth observation satellites
    While many imagine that countries like the USA and Europe dominate space activities, in fact India is now a major player on this stage. It launches satellites for its own purposes and also commercially, and has constellations orbiting our planet and returning data of vital importance to that nation in ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    6 days ago
  • The rot at the top (2).
    Thanks to a report from the Acting Inspector General of Intelligence and Security following a complaint by Nicky Hager, we have come to find out that the SIS illegally spied on Mr. Hager on behalf of the NZDF after publication of Hager’s 2011 book, Other People’s Wars. The NZDF justified ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    6 days ago
  • Common misconceptions about “Global Warming”
    COMMON MISCONCEPTIONS ABOUT GLOBAL WARMING MYTH 1: Global temperatures are rising at a rapid, unprecedented rate. FACT: The HadCRUT3 surface temperature index, produced by the Hadley Centre of the UK Met Office and the Climate Research Unit of the University of East Anglia, shows warming to 1878, cooling to 1911, ...
    An average kiwiBy admin@averagekiwi.com
    6 days ago
  • A climate of tyranny
    For the past week, Extinction Rebellion has been peacefully protesting in London to demand action on climate change. The British government's response? Ban their protests:Police have banned Extinction Rebellion protests from continuing anywhere in London, as they moved in almost without warning to clear protesters who remained at the movement’s ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Collins crushes climate
    An essay by Judith Collins MP reported on Carbon News yesterday seems to show an alarming shift in attitude within the National Party. Collins argues against the Zero Carbon Bill, the Paris Agreement, and downplays the magnitude of climate impacts. The Paris Agreement was adopted in December 2015 and ratified ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert McLachlan
    6 days ago
  • More disappointment
    When they were running for election, Labour promised to overhaul the Employment Relations Act and introduce fair pay agreements to set basic pay and conditions on an industry level, preventing bad employers from undercutting good ones. They followed this up by establishing a working group, which reported back in January ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • What do these mother-child studies really say about fluoridation?
    A list of indicators of bad science – many of these are found in articles promoted by anti-fluoride activists. Anti-fluoride activists have been pouring money into a scaremongering campaign warning pregnant women not to drink fluoridated water. They claim fluoride will lower the IQ of their future child. Fluoride ...
    7 days ago
  • Losing Labour’s Mills-Tone.
    Nothing Left To Say: Labour's pollster, Stephen Mills, remains swaddled-up in the comforting myths of the 1980s. As if the experience of Roger Douglas’s genuinely radical post-Muldoon policy agenda was literally a once-in-a-lifetime thing – as much as the party could possibly absorb for at least the next 50 years.MEMO ...
    7 days ago
  • Speaker: Disability and the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Historical Abuse
    The Royal Commission on abuse in care is very significant for the disability community. For many decades last century, thousands of disabled children, and adults who managed to survive, were locked away from families and communities. This was not for anything they had done, but for the perceived threat their ...
    7 days ago
  • Spain is not a democracy
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • UK Conservatives hate democracy
    With an unfair voting system, uneven electorates and an un-elected upper house, the UK's "democracy" is barely worthy of the name. But now the government wants to make it worse:The government has been accused of suppressing voters’ rights with the potential disenfranchisement of tens of thousands of people after plans ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • What is wrong with our building industry?
    Back in the 90's and early 2000's, the building industry was building leaky homes which should never have been granted consent. Now it turns out they've been building dodgy office blocks as well:New imaging technology has revealed hundreds of major buildings nationwide have defective or missing concrete or reinforcing steel. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Local bodies
    Local body election results were released over the weekend, to joy or despair depending on where you live. In Auckland, Phil Goff trounced John Tamihere, who is muttering darkly about running for Parliament again (but which party would want him?) Wellington is now a wholly-owned subsidiary of Weta Workshop, except ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • A future of government
      How could government evolve over the next decades? Reports of democracy’s imminent demise are greatly exaggerated.  However, satisfaction with political systems in many countries is low, so there is much to do for governments of all political stripes to improve relevance and trust. Digital technologies are seen as one ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    1 week ago
  • Speaker: Catalonia, interrupted
    Two years have now gone by since the Friday afternoon when my university-student son and I headed out of our Barcelona flat to a nearby primary school, designated as a polling station for the vote that was to be held the following Sunday: the referendum on Catalonia’s independence from Spain ...
    1 week ago
  • Sage Decisions Unwisely Over-Ruled.
    Overruled: The joint decision of Finance Minister, Grant Robertson (Labour) and his Associate Minister, David Parker (Labour) arguably the two most powerful ministers in Jacinda Ardern’s government, to grant OceanaGold the consents which Land Information Minister, Eugenie Sage (Greens) had earlier denied them, offers bitter proof of how hard fighting ...
    1 week ago
  • Government may ban voting in effort to get more people to do it
    More than double the number of people who will vote in this year’s local body elections have tried marijuana or urinated somewhere they shouldn’t have. As local elections look set for the lowest turnout in decades, with many regions falling well short of 40%, the Government is exploring a number ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Woman: Deleted.
    A Statement on Abortion Law Reform by the Council of Disobedient Women   On the eve of bringing an end to antiquated, anti-women abortion laws Green MP Jan Logie intends to write women out of the Bill. With a stroke of the pen, the woke are aiming for total erasure ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • The Hollowest of Men Ride Again… SURPRISE!
    Musings continue apace about “the experienced businessman!” soon to be taking up a National Party MP position. Or to be more accurate, being parachuted into a seat to shut down their former MP Jamie-Lee Ross, who despite his own shortcomings shed at least some more light on the inner workings ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    1 week ago
  • Barbaric
    The Ugandan government wants to murder gay people:Uganda has announced plans to impose the death penalty on homosexuals. The bill, colloquially known as “Kill the Gays” in Uganda, was nullified five years ago on a technicality, but the government said on Thursday it plans to resurrect it within weeks. The ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Is this study legit? 5 questions to ask when reading news stories of medical research
    Hassan Vally, La Trobe University Who doesn’t want to know if drinking that second or third cup of coffee a day will improve your memory, or if sleeping too much increases your risk of a heart attack? We’re invested in staying healthy and many of us are interested in reading ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • Fighting Monsters.
    Freedom Of Speech? The Säuberung (cleansing by fire) was the work of the German Student Union which, on 10 May 1933, under the watchful eye of the Nazi Reichminister for Propaganda, Joseph Goebbels, consigned 25,000 books to the flames in a ritual exorcism of “un-German thought”. According to the logic of the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • The next wave of kaupapa Māori politics: its constitutional, it must be.
      “There can be no such thing as kaupapa Māori political parties or politics in Aotearoa” (Willie Jackson, Labour Party (2017). Māori TV, General/List Election Special) I begin with that claim because at the time, I was confounded at first that it fell out of Willie Jackson’s mouth, and then ...
    EllipsisterBy Ellipsister
    2 weeks ago
  • Night lights of NZ from orbit
    New Zealand has prided itself for decades with regard to its lack of pollution, and all will be aware that the ‘100% Pure New Zealand‘ meme is under threat through land, water and air pollution of various causes. There is another type of contamination that the country also faces: light ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    2 weeks ago
  • Reporters deliver uplifting news to fleeing Japanese residents: they won’t miss any rugby
    New Zealand’s media is doing its part in Japan, reassuring those in the path of the storm that they won’t miss any rugby while away from their flooded homes. New Zealand sports reporters stationed in Japan for the Rugby World Cup have had the rare and heartwarming opportunity to inform ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Government in contentious discussions about whether to put surplus on red or black
    Regional Development Minister Shane Jones is the only Cabinet member in favour of putting it all on green. As Finance Minister Grant Robertson finds himself with an enormous $7.5 billion surplus, the Government has begun intense, at times contentious conversations about whether to put the money on red or black at ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Jordanian teachers’ successful strike has lessons for here
    by Susanne Kemp At the start of September close to 100,000 school teachers went on strike in Jordan.  They demanded a 50% pay rise.  A pay rise actually agreed to by the regime back in 2014. In early October, however, in the face of government repression and threats, the teachers’ ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Why some people still think climate change isn’t real
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz Why do people still think climate change isn’t real? David ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • The SIS unlawfully spied on Nicky Hager
    Back in 2011, journalist Nicky Hager published Other People's Wars, an expose on NZDF's activities over the previous decade of the "war on terror". NZDF didn't like this, and especially didn't like the fact that it was base don leaks from their own. So, they had the SIS investigate him ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • October 2019 – Newsletter
    https://mailchi.mp/7d9133add053/closing-the-gap-october-2019-newsletter ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    2 weeks ago
  • And they wonder why we think they’re environmental vandals…
    The Zero Carbon Bill is due back from select committee in two weeks, and will likely pass its final stages in November. So naturally, farmers are planning a hate-march against it. But they're not just demanding lower methane targets so they can keep on destroying the planet; they're also demanding ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: Paying the price in California
    Last year, California burned. This year, to stop it happening again (or rather, to stop themselves from being found liable if it happens again), Pacific Gas and Electric is cutting power to half the state for a week:Schools are closed. Traffic lights down. Tunnels dark. Businesses unopened. Hospitals running on ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Let’s Hear It For Up-Close-And-Personal, Hard-Copy Democracy!
    The Best Way: Missing from the on-line voting debate is any reference to the voting system that produces turn-out figures ranging from 77 to 93 percent of registered voters. The voting system used to collect and count the votes cast in our parliamentary elections. The system that involves citizens making ...
    2 weeks ago
  • 10/10: World Day Against the Death Penalty
    Today, October 10, is the world day against the death penalty. Out of 195 UN member states, 84 still permit capital punishment. Today is the day we work to change that. This year's theme is children. Having a parent sentenced to death or executed causes long-term trauma and stigmatization which ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Talking Freer Lives: a Marxist gender-critical perspective from Australia
    Among the great new bunch of political friends we have been making recently is the excellent Australian-based Marxist gender-critical site, Freer Lives.  So we asked the comrade who set up that blog to write something for Redline on the blog, himself, his analysis of the rise of gender politics and ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Government spin accepted by union leadership
    by Don Franks  The Auckland City Mission is struggling with a 40 percent increase in demand for food parcels this year. A total of 23,020 were needed by June. Last month Missioner Chris Farrelly told the Herald the “cupboards are bare” and without an emergency food drive, he can’t see ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Forbidden Thoughts
    by The Council of Disobedient Women   Massey Wellington Student Association had a sit-in today. Imagine a sit-in. On a campus. Against a women’s rights meeting. Did the ’60s really happen or did we fucking dream it? They gathered in the student square, an echo chamber. Sitting on soft pillows ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Much love to my loyal Ukrainian readership
    For some reasons, my post about the mystery message from inside the Downing Street bunker seemed to catch people's attention.  Quite a lot of hits from NZ (unsurprisingly) and the USA (a bit more puzzlingly, but hi there, USAians!!) and 76 views from the Ukraine.I've celebrated my Ukrainian readers in ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Another day of bonkers GNUmours (again, sorry)
    First, almost a score of Labour MPs seem to have sent a letter to the EU basically begging them to accept a deal - any deal - just so Britain can get the Heck on with Brexiting instead of being trapped in limbo:
    To avoid no deal, deliver on the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour vs working class immigrants – again!
    by Phil Duncan In 2016 the National-led government suspended the Parent Visa Category, through which migrants were able to bring their parents into New Zealand.  Since then over 5,700 people have been in immigration limbo, stuck on the visa wait list. Labour is now bringing back the scheme.  Well, sort ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Speak Up for Women press statement: on Massey University and Feminism 2020
    The following was released yesterday (Tues, October 8) by the women’s liberation organisation Speak Up for Women. On 23 September Speak Up For Women announced that we would be holding an event at the Massey University Theaterette in Wellington. The event is called Feminism 2020. The intention of the event ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Farmers support dirty rivers
    The government is currently consulting on plans to improve freshwater quality. So naturally, farmers oppose it:South Taranaki farmers are preparing to fight proposed national freshwater changes that some fear will bankrupt them. The Government's proposed National Environment Standard on Freshwater Management, released in September, rated the Waingongoro River as one ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • No-one cares about local government
    Yesterday was the last day for (reliably) posting your vote away in local body elections. Turnouts are mostly much lower than the equivalent time last year (Palmerston North is down 2.3%), and so naturally people are pushing their online-voting snake oil again. Because the online census worked so well, lets ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago

  • Pacific Peoples Minister to attend Our Ocean Conference in Norway
    Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio, heads to Oslo today to represent New Zealand at the sixth Our Ocean Conference, which is being hosted by the Norwegian Government from the 23-24 October. “The Our Ocean Conference mobilises real action on issues like marine plastic pollution and the impacts of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    11 hours ago
  • Government announces 27 percent increase in Trades Academy places
    Two secondary-school initiatives are being expanded as part of the Government’s plan to see more young New Zealanders take up a trade to help close the skills gap.   This includes the largest single increase in Trades Academy places in recent years. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Education Minister Chris ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    14 hours ago
  • Methane reducing cattle feed one step closer
    The Government today announced its support for a project that could substantially reduce agricultural greenhouse gas emissions from cattle. The announcement was made as part of Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s and Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor’s visit to Nelson’s Cawthron Aquaculture Park. The Cawthron Institute will receive $100,000 from the Government’s ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Bill to refresh superannuation system passes first reading
    Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni has welcomed the first reading of the New Zealand Superannuation and Veteran’s Pension Legislation Amendment Bill. “Every New Zealander has a stake in New Zealand Superannuation and Veteran’s Pension,” says Carmel Sepuloni. “They are our most common form of social assistance – nearly 800,000 New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government announces next steps in fight against measles
    Babies in Auckland aged six months and over can receive a free vaccination and children will all have access to vaccines, Associate Minister of Health Julie Anne Genter announced today at Papatoetoe High School.   The move comes as part of Government efforts to step up the fight against measles. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Speech to the New Zealand Institute of International Affairs, Pacific Futures: Connections, Identity...
    ***Check against delivery*** Good morning. It is a pleasure to be here, and to have the honour of opening this important conference on behalf of the New Zealand Institute of International Affairs. Let us take the opportunity to acknowledge all the people who have helped make today possible, including our special ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Police trial new response to high risk events
    Police Minister Stuart Nash says the safety of frontline officers and members of the public will be the focus of a new trial of specialist Police response teams in three of our largest urban centres. Police have this morning released details of an initiative to be trialled in Counties Manukau, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New awards celebrate fisheries sustainability
    The Minister of Fisheries is calling for entries for a new public award to celebrate innovation in our seafood sector. “I have established the Seafood Sustainability Awards to recognise and celebrate those throughout industry, tangata whenua and communities who demonstrate outstanding dedication and innovation towards the sustainability of New Zealand’s ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • More progress for women and we can do more
    Minister for Women Julie Anne Genter welcomes leaders in the private sector taking action on closing their gender pay gaps to ensure a fairer workplace for all New Zealanders. Ms Genter today launched a new report, Addressing the gender pay gap and driving women’s representation in senior leadership, from the Champions for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Proposals to curb environmental damage help our coasts and the oceans
    Government Ministers today welcomed the release of a marine environment report highlighting the four key issues affecting our oceans, estuaries and coastlines.  The release underlines the importance of government proposals to combat climate pollution, ensure clean freshwater, protect biodiversity, make land use more sustainable, and reduce waste and plastic.    Environment ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New mental health facility for Waikato
    The Government has approved funding for a new acute mental health facility for Waikato which will provide better care and support to people with mental health and addiction issues. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Health Minister Dr David Clark announced the $100 million project to replace the aging Henry Rongomau ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • 500 new te reo Māori champions in our classrooms
    The Government is making progress on its goal to integrate te reo Māori into education by 2025, with over 500 teachers and support staff already graduating from Te Ahu o te Reo Māori,  Associate Education Minister Kelvin Davis announced today. Kelvin Davis made the announcement at an awards ceremony in Waikanae today, for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Minister James Shaw welcomes 2018 Census first release
    Statistics Minister James Shaw has welcomed the first release of 2018 Census data. The first release of data today, 23 September, includes key data on population, regional growth, the number of homes and the size of different ethnic groups in New Zealand. Data from the 2018 Census will support the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Driving transparency, ethics and accountability in government use of algorithms
    Minister for Statistics James Shaw today announced a public consultation on a proposed algorithm charter for government agencies. The charter has been developed by the Government Chief Data Steward in response to growing calls for more transparency in government use of data. Computer algorithms – procedures or formulas for solving ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • New Zealand and the Netherlands working together on climate change
    Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor, Climate Change Minister James Shaw and visiting Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte co-hosted a business roundtable in Auckland this morning focused on working together to address climate change.  “The Netherlands is an important partner for New Zealand. We share a strong agricultural history. Sustainable agribusiness and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Protecting fairness for workers and businesses
    The Government is taking action to build an inclusive economy where more of us receive our fair share at work and businesses can compete on great products and services, not undercutting wages and conditions, Immigration and Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Iain Lees-Galloway says. Two consultations launched today seek feedback ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Indigenous Freshwater Fish Bill Passes
    The future for New Zealand’s threatened indigenous freshwater fish looks brighter with the passing of the Conservation (Indigenous Freshwater Fish) Amendment Bill in Parliament today said Minister of Conservation, Eugenie Sage. “Until now, our freshwater fish legislation has been 20 years out of date. We have lacked effective tools to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Kiwis to take part in world’s biggest earthquake drill
    At 1.30pm tomorrow, hundreds of thousands of Kiwis will join about 65 million people around the globe in ShakeOut, the world’s biggest earthquake drill. The annual drill is to remind people of the right action to take during an earthquake which is to Drop, Cover, Hold, and to practise their ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Rising wages and low inflation supporting Kiwis
    Kiwis are benefiting from higher wage growth and low inflation under the Coalition Government. Stats NZ data out today shows the rise in the cost of living remains low, as annual Consumers Price Index (CPI) inflation fell to 1.5% in September from 1.7% in June. “The low inflation comes as ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • NZ economy strong amid global headwinds
    New Zealand’s economic strength and resilience has been recognised in a major update on the state of the global economy. The IMF’s latest World Economic Outlook released overnight shows a reduced global growth forecast over the next two years as issues like the US-China trade war and Brexit take hold. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Keeping New Zealanders safer with better counter-terrorism laws
    Justice Minister Andrew Little has today introduced a new Bill to prevent terrorism and support the de-radicalisation of New Zealanders returning from overseas. The Terrorism Suppression (Control Orders) Bill gives the New Zealand Police the ability to apply to the High Court to impose control orders on New Zealanders who ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Improved succession and dispute resolution core of Ture Whenua changes
    A Bill that proposes targeted changes to simplify the processes for Māori land owners when engaging with the Māori Land Court has had its First Reading today. “The approach taken by the Government is to ensure that the protection of Māori land remains a priority as we seek to improve ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Speech to CTU Biennial Conference
    Let me first thank all the new unionists and members in the room. There is nothing more important to improving people’s working lives than people making the decision to care, to get on board and help, to take up the reins and get involved. Congratulations to you. You bring the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Minister ensures continued Whenuapai flight operations
    Minister of Defence Ron Mark has signed a certificate exempting the activity of engine testing at Whenuapai Airbase from the Resource Management Act 1991. The Act gives the Minister of Defence the power to exempt activities for the purposes of national security.  The certificate will mean the recent Environment Court ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • NZ joins Coalition of Finance Ministers for Climate Action
    Finance Minister Grant Robertson has announced New Zealand will join the Coalition of Finance Ministers for Climate Action while attending APEC meetings in Chile. The objective of the 39 member Coalition is to share information and promote action to tackle climate change. It was formed in April this year, in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Feedback Sought – Section 71 – Lyttelton Parking
    Feedback sought– Lyttelton commercial zone parking  The Associate Minister for Greater Christchurch Regeneration, Poto Williams, is seeking feedback on a proposal to remove on-site car parking requirements for new developments in the Lyttelton commercial zone.  The proposal, by Christchurch City Council, asks that powers under section 71 of the Greater ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Feedback Sought – Section 71 – Hagley Oval
    Hon Minister Poto Williams Associate Minister for Greater Christchurch Regeneration   MEDIA STATEMENT       Tuesday 15 October 2019 Feedback sought – Hagley Oval The Associate Minister for Greater Christchurch Regeneration, Poto Williams, is seeking feedback on a proposal about Hagley Oval. The proposal was developed by Regenerate Christchurch ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • CTU speech – DPM
    Ladies and gentlemen, NZCTU President Richard Wagstaff, members of respective unions – thank you for the invitation to speak to you today. This might be preaching to the choir, but the importance of trade unions in New Zealand’s historical arch is difficult to understate. And it is my belief that ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Police Association Annual Conference
    "Let’s start by acknowledging that it has been a huge year. " Police Association Annual Conference James Cook Grand Chancellor Hotel Wellington Nau mai, haere mai. Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, ka nui te mihi, ki a koutou katoa. President of the Police Association, Chris Cahill; Members of the Association and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • New Zealand announces a further P-3 deployment in support of UN sanctions
    Minister of Foreign Affairs Winston Peters and Minister of Defence Ron Mark have announced the New Zealand Government’s decision to again deploy a Royal New Zealand Air Force P-3K2 (P-3) maritime patrol aircraft to support the implementation of United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions imposing sanctions against North Korea. New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • New Zealand deeply concerned at developments in north-east Syria
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters says New Zealand continues to have serious concerns for peace and stability in north-east Syria. “Recent reports that hundreds of ISIS-affiliated families have fled from a camp are deeply concerning from a humanitarian and security perspective”, Mr Peters says. “While we acknowledge Turkey’s domestic security ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Government on high alert for stink bugs
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