Once upon a time

Written By: - Date published: 7:44 am, June 4th, 2017 - 43 comments
Categories: climate change, Gerry Brownlee, global warming, national, us politics, useless - Tags: , , , , ,

Once upon a time this country stood up to America and said no to nuclear weapons. Now we dare not say yes to saving the planet.

43 comments on “Once upon a time”

  1. Ed 1

    Once upon a time New Zealand politicians were not slaves to neoliberalism and New Zealand was not a vassal state to large corporations.

    Once upon a time.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 1.1

      Your narrative needs work: after all, it was the first Neoliberal government (Lab4) that put the nuclear free policy in place.

      Lab5 foreign policy was to follow UN resolutions.

      You accusations certainly fit the National Party, for Labour it’s not quite so simple.

      • Ed 1.1.1

        Yet NZ Labour cannot or will not disavow neoliberalism.
        It might want to pay attention to what is happening in the UK. Advocating a socialist manifesto is popular.

        • One Anonymous Bloke 1.1.1.1

          Depends what you mean by neo-liberalism I suppose. UK Labour, for example, promotes itself as (among other things) fiscally responsible. NZ Labour intend a massive government intervention in the housing market.

        • Draco T Bastard 1.1.1.2

          Labour has always supported capitalism and has worked to save capitalism from itself. With this built in mindset it cannot do what’s needed – get rid of capitalism.

          • Stuart Munro 1.1.1.2.1

            It might be sufficient to remove the privilege presently enjoyed by financial institutions – these are behind most of the worst ‘reforms’ Douglas foisted upon us.

        • Adrian Thornton 1.1.1.3

          @ Ed+1
          Turn Labour Left!

  2. Glenn 2

    Lab3 got off their bums and showed the courage of their convictions….

    New Zealand was involved in ongoing protest over French nuclear testing from the mid-1960s, when France began testing nuclear weapons in French Polynesia. Mururoa (or Moruroa) Atoll became the focal point for both the tests and opposition to them. Greenpeace vessels sailed into the test site in 1972, and the following year the New Zealand and Australian governments took France to the International Court of Justice in an attempt to ban the tests. France ignored the court’s ruling that they cease testing.

    The third Labour government, led by Norman Kirk, responded by sending two navy frigates, HMNZS Canterbury and Otago, into the test area, with a Cabinet minister on board. Prime Minister Kirk put all his Cabinet ministers’ names into a hat and drew out the name of Fraser Colman, the minister of immigration and mines. He sailed from Auckland on 25 June aboard the Otago, which carried a crew of 242. A month later the ship was at Mururoa, and those on board witnessed the first atmospheric test. Fraser Colman transferred to the Canterbury when it arrived to relieve the Otago on 25 July, and he and the crew of the Canterbury saw the second French atmospheric test on Mururoa. These protests achieved some success: in 1974 the new French president, Valéry Giscard d’Estaing, ordered that the tests move underground. With testing continuing, however, Mururoa remained a focus of anti-nuclear protest
    https://nzhistory.govt.nz/politics/nuclear-free-nz

    I remember the ships leaving and even though I wasn’t Labour at the time felt proud that NZ was standing up and making it’s voice heard….even if other countries chose to ignore us.

  3. Weaklings will be weak and Gerry is a bully too so he’ll be scared of Don and rex. Bill is not with it – too slow, drawling and drooling, may as well put a sheep in.

    Once upon a time indeed

  4. Tony Veitch (not the partner-bashing 3rd rate broadcaster 4

    Oh for a government that would, to coin a phrase, ‘get some guts’ (now who on earth said that?) and tell Tillerson and Trump that this country, along with most of the rest of the sane world, do not agree with Agent Orange’s climate denial!

    In pixie land, maybe even refuse to meet the oil baron who speaks for the POTUS idiot?

  5. Incognito 5

    National and Brownlee will show the typical spineless spin that we have become so accustomed to, e.g. the long and deep ‘friendship’ between the two nations blabla. It will be more of ‘once upon time the poor primed the pump for the privileged’, i.e. steady as she goes – the election is getting closer.

  6. Tautoko Mangō Mata 6

    What is the reason for this visit by Tillerson? Gerry Brownlee is being PAID to be our representative.

    • Incognito 6.1

      Brownlee has not read his Job Description(s); he thinks he’s working (only) for National.

  7. They are quite different things.

    Saying no to nuclear weapons being brought on ships into New Zealand waters was a bit idealistic but it was a popular stand.

    The US is not trying to bring climate science ignorance here on ships. Or via Tillerson, who happens to have acted in support of the Pris agreement not long ago.

    Secretary of State Rex Tillerson signed an international declaration highlighting the importance of the Paris Agreement in tackling climate change Thursday, even as the Trump administration considers withdrawing from the agreement.

    The Fairbanks Declaration was adopted at the meeting by the members of the Arctic Council, which includes countries with territory in the Arctic such as the United States. It states that “the Arctic is warming at more than twice the rate of the global average, resulting in widespread social, environmental, and economic impacts in the Arctic and worldwide,” and points to “the pressing and increasing need for mitigation and adaptation actions and to strengthen resilience.”

    http://edition.cnn.com/2017/05/12/politics/tillerson-climate-change-fairbanks-declaration/

    Standing up to Trump’s ignorance is probably about as pointless and futile a stand a country like New Zealand could make.

    • Incognito 7.1

      You seem to be having the wrong end of the stick; it is not about ignorance

    • Ad 7.2

      What’s your measure for standing up to anything then?

      Is it: whether it affects you personally or not?

      Or: we’re too small to make a difference?

      Or: climate change doesn’t have any principles in it to defend?

      Or: I can’t currently detect brain stem activity?

      • New Zealand is a part of the Paris Accord along with most other countries, it’s a fairly weak stand on climate change but at least it’s positive.

        If a New Zealand government proposed to withdraw from the Paris Accord I’d make a strong stand, but I don’t think the NZ position will change markedly.

        Trump is withdrawing the US from the Paris Accord, something he apparently has the authority to do. That decision is nothing to do with New Zealand. There is nothing for us to make a stand against.

        There is no dispute between the US and NZ on this, we are now following different paths as is each country’s decision.

        The best thing we can do is let the US try to deal with it’s own climate policy mess, and I think that targeting Tillerson for protests is futile and a wast of time and an unnecessary distraction.

        What do you think New Zealand could achieve by ‘standing up’ to the US on this?

        • One Anonymous Bloke 7.2.1.1

          Among other things, self respect. You may have heard of it, or seen it from a distance.

          • Pete George 7.2.1.1.1

            Is that what one feels when one admits making a mistake claiming that increasing tax thresholds doesn’t amount to a tax cut?

            • One Anonymous Bloke 7.2.1.1.1.1

              Is that what I claimed? Funny, I could have sworn I pointed out that the normal usage of the term “tax cuts” does not apply when governments, of the left or right, change tax thresholds.

              No. wait, I did claim that. Anyone would a modicum of self-respect would be able to argue the point without lying.

              • I could have sworn you said:

                vote…for tax cuts

                Did I miss something? I heard they voted for changes to WFF and tax thresholds, not for the tax cuts.

                Link please.

                Andrew Little – Last Labour PM of NZ?

                From the budget:

                From 1 April 2018, the $14,000 income tax threshold will increase to $22,000, and the $48,000 threshold to $52,000.

                Increasing the bottom two tax thresholds provides greater rewards for low and middle income earners

                https://www.budget.govt.nz/budget/2017/family-incomes-package/changes-to-tax-thresholds-independent-earner-tax-credit.htm

                They’re not actually rewards, it means that the Government takes less tax off you. As a number of others pointed out to you, that effectively constitutes a tax cut – for anyone earning more than $14,000.

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  Yes, you boring petty unoriginal tosser. People have already said that.

                  Whereas the common usage of the phrase “tax cut” means that one or other of the rates of taxation changes.

                  Of course, that won’t stop tiresome gobshite like you parroting whatever lines you’ve sponged up from third parties, and so what.

                  • The common usage of ‘tax cut’ is a reduction in tax. Like:

                    Dr Cullen appears to be still stinging from the public’s reaction to his “chewing-gum tax cuts” of 2005, when he raised the income thresholds for taxation by such a tiny amount that the average worker received only 68c a week.

                    http://www.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post/news/politics/332828/Cullens-tax-cuts-smaller-than-Nats

                    And like:

                    The tax cut programme will deliver:

                    – A new low tax rate of 12.5 per cent
                    – A lifting of the 21 per cent threshold by $10,500 to $20,000
                    – A lifting of the 33 per cent threshold by $4,500 to $42,500
                    – A lifting of the 39 per cent threshold by $20,000 to $80,000
                    – A boost to the Family Tax Credit and an increase to the Working for Families Tax Credit income threshold from 1 October, worth $14 per week for a family with two young children on the average wage.

                    “This tax cut programme should hopefully provide some relief from the current increases in the cost of living, although for many families they will not compensate for them totally.

                    https://www.beehive.govt.nz/release/tax-cuts-all-workers-1-october

                    Overall rates of taxation are changed by either or both of changing thresholds or changing rates.

                    • Incognito

                      I think this should be taken to OM.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      More regurgitation of stuff Muttonbird and Karen already said. Do you think plagiarising them is going to add any weight to their arguments? On the contrary, the fact that you agree with them reduces their credibility by a considerable amount, because you are a petty boring tosser without a single original opinion of your own.

                      If you want a further response, simply read what I’ve already said on the matter, and append the words “you tiresome petty plagiarist trash” so as to add that personal touch you crave so desperately.

        • Ad 7.2.1.2

          OMG Pete.

          1. The US just pulled out of a really complex Treaty for which the rest of the world bar Syria and Nicaragua signed up to.

          We are a small rules-based nation and we survive on trade and diplomacy in this world.

          So that is worth protesting from the get-go.

          2. This is the second time in this US term the US President has pulled out of a massive agreement. LIke it or not like it, TPPA was the New Zealand government’s primary diplomatic effort for over seven years.

          So withdrawing out of another one is worth protesting about.

          3. I think you are old enough to recall the protests against the US VP in Vietnam in the late 1960s. On a global scale, the protests told against Johnson and against Nixon.

          It was worth protesting against damn stupid US policy then and it is now.
          It works.

          The people acting against climate change in NZ are part of a world wide movement. So no matter where Tillertson goes – large or small – he needs to feel the cost of being completely against the international climate change movement.

          Hell there’s more to the list but I have to get to a birthday.

          • Pete George 7.2.1.2.1

            “So withdrawing out of another one is worth protesting about.”

            Is the withdrawal from the first one also worth protesting about?

            Of course people here can protest about whatever they like, but I can think of a lot of other things that are more worthwhile of attention here in New Zealand – especially for New Zealand political parties.

            https://www.greens.org.nz/news/press-release/pm-must-confront-us-impact-climate-decision

            I really think Greens would be better to focus on things that may be able to be changed here.

            http://www.labour.org.nz/english_must_give_strong_message_to_us_secretary_of_state_on_climate_change

            And Labour.

            I’d be very surprised if a Foreign Minister in a future Labour-Green government would try to interfere in an independent decision of another country like this.

            • One Anonymous Bloke 7.2.1.2.1.1

              🙄

            • Ad 7.2.1.2.1.2

              On your first question, point 1 pertains no matter which party you support.

              On your point about Greens, it’s a global movement. That’s the point of a global movement. Obviously.

              On your point about Labour, the Pacific Forum will be providing very strong advice, which NZ will push with them.

              You need to wake up Pete.

          • adam 7.2.1.2.2

            Well said Ad. +1

          • RedLogix 7.2.1.2.3

            So no matter where Tillertson goes – large or small – he needs to feel the cost of being completely against the international climate change movement.

            Somewhere in my dim and flaky memory I recall something that Henry Kissinger wrote about Vietnam. When he visited Auckland there was quite a large anti-war protest at the Hotel Intercontinental (someone managed to climb the building and tap over the top of one of the ‘o’s). Kissinger recalled looking out the window from his penthouse suite and thought to himself, “If they’re protesting the war in a backwater town like this on the far side of the planet … the game is up”. At that point he realised there was no longer a moral mandate for the war and from then on it was only a matter of time before the US had to leave.

            Mind you Kissinger is great deal smarter than Trump.

            • Pete George 7.2.1.2.3.1

              It also looks like Tillerson is a lot smarter than Trump (not that that’s hard) and already understands the climate situation.

              In fact Trump may also acccept climate change is a valid issue (it’s hard to be sure what he thinks) but had backed himself into a corner over Paris Accord withdrawal, and he puts a priority on selfish and US interests over anything else.

              Trump’s ambassador to the United Nations gave a hint on Saturday, though: Nikki Haley said Trump believes the world’s climate is changing, and that man-made pollution is playing a role in that.

              Haley filled in some of the blanks on Saturday while defending the administration’s decision to exit the climate accord.

              Trump “believes the climate is changing. And he believes pollutants are part of that equation. So that is a fact. That is where we are,” Haley said in an excerpt from an interview to run in full on CNN’s “State of the Union” on Sunday.

              “Just because the U.S. got out of a club, doesn’t mean we aren’t going to care about the environment,” she said. The U.S. will “continue to be leader in the environment” but do so “under our terms.”

              https://www.bloomberg.com/politics/articles/2017-06-02/trump-s-views-on-climate-change-seem-a-closely-guarded-secret

              Trump pretty much doesn’t give a shit about the world outside the US and his ego.

              Protesting to Tillerson and Mattis (who have already publicly acknowledged concerns over climate change) in New Zealand looks futile to me.

              When Labour and the Greens posture in futility and at the same time can prioritise topical local issues like euthanasia and cannabis law reform (as in say they have positions on them but also maake clear they don’t see them as important enough to champion) then I really wonder whether they deserve support.

              • One Anonymous Bloke

                Speaking of futility 🙄

              • 808state

                Trump is a nationalist, he puts a priority on his support base’s interests.

                Ergo, torpedo the Paris Accord.

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  …he puts a priority on his support base’s interests…

                  😆

                  So much fail in so few words. How can Trump prioritise? He can barely read! By “his support base” do you mean Russian bankers or Horowitz alumni?

                  • 808state

                    No I mean that vast swath of white working class Americans ravaged by Globalisation for a generation+. Michael Moore was warning us about this starting back in the 90s when he was searching unsuccessfully for an interview with a particular CEO.

                    And you got to stop with the “Trump is just stupid!”. I have met plenty of people who are functionally illiterate but are raking in way more money than a Sociology or Media Studies grad.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      Newsflash: wealth is not evidence of intelligence. As for “just stupid”, the lead story on Stuff is far more eloquent.

                      A heartless, dull-witted thug.

                      This vast swathe of Americans, how’re their healthcare prospects looking?

  8. Muttonbird 8

    Gawd. As soon as I saw Pete George commenting on this thread I knew it would be about the pointlessness and futility of standing by our convictions.

    Literally, protest and popular change do not exist in Pete George’s world. Presumably all protest to date has been futile and pointless, and all popular change somehow happened for other reasons than public pressure.

    Reminds me of the final comment in the UK Labour campaign video posted yesterday:

    Power concedes nothing without demand…it never did, and it never will.

    Not in Pete’s world though…

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