Open mike 03/02/2011

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, February 3rd, 2011 - 55 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

Open mike is your post.

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Comment on whatever takes your fancy.

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Step right up to the mike…

55 comments on “Open mike 03/02/2011”

  1. just saying 1

    I think more and more people are coming to sadly accept that the slo-mo train wreck that is New Zealand’s biggest mouthpiece for the left, really is happening, that it is unlikely that anything will stop it, and that the consequences for most New Zealanders will range from the catastrophic to the merely awful. Lew at kiwipolitico sums up his in latest blog:

    Perhaps it is not too late. Perhaps Key has overplayed his hand; perhaps Goff has a secret weapon. Perhaps a young Turk is fixing to roll Goff and his cadres and make a break for it. I do not think any of these are likely. So it may be that the one good electoral thing to emerge from 2011 is a heavy and humbling loss which would see the Labour party reduced to a meagre husk. An exodus of the lively and creative thinkers of the party to another vehicle; or the enforced retirement of the deadwood responsible for the present state of affairs; or both would clear the way for a thoroughgoing rejuvenation of the movement’s principles and its praxis and its personnel. While it would be cold comfort to the generation of New Zealanders who will bear the brunt of the Key government’s second and third-term policies, it would be a crucial and long overdue lesson in political hubris, never to be forgotten, and infinitely preferable to another narrow loss and the moribund hope that next time it’ll be different.

    • Perhaps brothers and sisters we need to avoid the doomsayers like Lew and do something that the left are much better at.

      Organise campaigns, do the hard analysis, show that the current policy direction is dangerous and damaging. Then get out on the street for your favourite progressive party whether it is Green or Red, knock on doors, enroll people to vote, hand out brochures, organise protests, and take our country back.

      As a starter what about a mass mobilisation for May day against privatisation.

      And lets avoid incessant analysis of Goff’s hair colour or Key’s top 5 list. And avoid endless debates about the qualities of the leaders. Politics should be about policies and outcomes, not personalities.

      It is clear to me that when we engage in politics in the way that the right want us to, that is concentrate on the banal and the idiotic, then we lose because they are much better than us at that. But when we engage in politics on our terms then the right have nothing to counter with.

      • orange whip? 1.1.1

        Micky, while I know you don’t speak directly for The Labour Party, you’re closer to them than many here.

        May Day is 4 months away. Don’t you think that’s a bit frickin late for “a starter”?

        Do you not see that sleepwalking into election year is exactly what’s making people on the left have serious doubts about Labour being up for it?

        ps it’s Goff who needs to stop engaging on his “top 5 list”. Another day another gormless blunder.

      • Colonial Viper 1.1.2

        Politics should be about policies and outcomes, not personalities.

        I’d argue that politics is about changing society for the better, for leading and generating that change. Policies and legislation are just some of the tools in that respect.

        • grumpy 1.1.2.1

          Hi CV, it’s the “changing society” bit that has people worried. Last time we had Labour in they certainly did their best to “change society” in ways they didn’t let on before the election.

          Labour needs to tell the country exactly what they will do and stick to it, the lies and hidden agendas of the Clark years turned the voters away – and Goff and King were part of that.

          • Colonial Viper 1.1.2.1.1

            Hey. Same could be said for the ‘secret’ direction NACT has been taking us in, could it not? A sink or swim society benefitting the Few in particular, not the many. Couched in terms of “individual responsibility”, “free choice”, “rewarding success” etc.

            Neither NAT or LAB want to scare the horses so what do we get? Creeping incrementalism one way or another.

            • grumpy 1.1.2.1.1.1

              If they get chucked out next election thay should well reflect on the causes. In this post we are looking at Labour and why they are “a train wreck”.

              either they learn from their mistakes or…….

              [lprent: It is OpenMike – we don’t enforce diversion restrictions here. ]

              • grumpy

                OK, while we at it, Labour’s new lineup looks like an improvement but still the same old ex Clark front bench (mainly). Goff could have done one thing to show he had thrown off the old guard and was serious about attracting mainstream NZ back – sack Dyson.

          • higherstandard 1.1.2.1.2

            How about we take it a step further and vote for policies completely removed from the party political process and then have a separate vote on thos people we’d like to implement those policies…….. I realise it’s too cumbersome and will never happen but it would be interesting to see a vote based on policy/bribes rather than personalities and historical party voting patterns.

            • Draco T Bastard 1.1.2.1.2.1

              We could do something like that. Vote in government as now but have online voting of direction/policies at the select committee stages. I’m pretty sure that NACT won’t have anything to do with such a broadening of democracy though being that they’re a bunch of psychopathic authoritarians.

              • KJT

                The Swiss have managed to do just that for centuries.
                Much easier with modern communications.
                It would be over the dead bodies of all stripes of politicians though.

          • the pink postman 1.1.2.1.3

            What lies and secret agenda ?. Labour under Clark was moving towards a decent society . Social Democracy was slowly but surely being put in place. Big business and the powerful rich did everything to stop Labour. The anti Labour groups that suddenly popped was scary . They had cash by the sackfull. The media campaigned full time for the Nats. So of course Labour lost. Now what have we got? where just a couple of years back we had the best employment records in the OECD we now have run away unemployment. The health and education budgets have been cut yet the rich have large tax cuts. Private schools that are amass with money now have a payout from the taxpayers of $35 million plus.
            Its sick and sad . The kid bashers have had their way , the fast junk food outlets are allowed to kill our kids, and because of the nuts like the Sensible Sentencing Trust the prison are overflowing.
            Its not true that Labour is not producing policies they are but they are certainly not going to reveal all just yet. Wait and see.

  2. NickS 2

    http://tvnz.co.nz/national-news/earthquake-commission-too-scared-criticise-victims-4011930

    What is it with former ACT MP’s and saying really dumb things? What might be a minor DIY thing for one person is often a lot more complex and expensive for another, especially if they lack the tools needed to pull off the job. And more so, some of the houses that could be fixed, probably also need more larger scale work on the piles and superstructure of the house to prevent a repeat in the next big quake. Basically Frank’s is full of shit as he hasn’t bothered weighing up the actual costs of repair compared to building/buying a new house, as well as a basic inability to show an empathy.

    Though that last thing is pretty universal amongst ACToids.

    • Deadly_NZ 2.1

      Not only that you start fixing things and then the insurance co says you have voided your policy somehow, Yeah right so much for the little DIY if it costs you your policy payout. And we all know how they insurance companies hate paying out.

  3. Lindsey 3

    I see Maggie Barry has her eye on a couple of other Auckland National held seats she thinks might be nice to try for. She is becoming a bit of a “garden bagger”.

  4. prism 4

    David Cameron is now talking about selling off England’s forests to make up for the excesses and failures of their financial system. He is thinking of selling off bits of the common weal and weald from those left after confiscating the commons in recent centuries. These no doubt represented the idea of Britain in the minds of WW2 fighters – my country, my place.

    But the wealthy are always willing to take more from the national assets when they can. It is interesting that some Brit politicians have been visiting here recently now we have a right-wing government. Mercury rolls together, shiny and poisonous, like right wing politicians, or terminators!

    • millsy 4.1

      What gets me is why Maggie, Geoff and Nigel didnt sell them. Didnt anyone tell them about the forests?

  5. Deadly_NZ 5

    Now watching TV3 news and they are saying that some schools are making laptops and net-books compulsory. This on top of the Purely voluntary fees of about 300 that if you don’t pay then your teen cant do some subjects. Then there’s Books and other stationary. It’s yet another expense. When I went to school Calculators were Banned. Now I can’t afford a laptop for my teen and she fights me about it, she has a desktop of her own that I built her. But now the Government says I have to no get a net-book for her education, and of course as I want the best for her I have to comply.

    • Treetop 5.1

      Requiring a lap top or a net-book to attend school has a downside. Watch the truancy rate go up for low income households and to replace the laptop or net-book when stolen or the cost of repairs. Transporting a laptop is not light work and it takes up room on the bus, neither is keeping it dry in wet weather. Are students still given a locker at school? Does the laptop have to run by battery?

      Some households are struggling just to put dairy products in the diet.

      • Lanthanide 5.1.1

        Yip, agree with all you’ve said above.

        The other interesting thing is apparently the schools are making it a requirement for year 9 students. If they’re specifically leaving out other years, it sounds to me like they’re expecting these laptops bought in year 9 to still be functioning by the time they get to year 13, which is a rather dubious expectation, especially if they’re promoting net-books which will really be showing their age by then (as they are, by-design, underpowered).

        Any schools implementing a one-laptop-per-child scheme *need* to also put in extra IT resources to ensure that the laptops stay in working order.

        • higherstandard 5.1.1.1

          Lunacy – if the schools MOE are going down this track you’d think they’d be best to decide on the specs required and then put out a tender for supply to all schools and screw the suppliers down as much as possible in relation to price and provision of servicing, upgrades etc

        • Deadly_NZ 5.1.1.2

          No that will be another expense put on the Parents, I’m lucky I can fix most little probs but a hardware failure in a laptop Oh dear thats not so easy.

    • Lanthanide 5.2

      Under the education act, schools are required to provide the same level of education to all, regardless of their socio-economic status. If they require laptops and some families can’t afford them, the school will have to pay for them.

      • Draco T Bastard 5.2.1

        I’m of the opinion that the school/government should be supplying them anyway. They don’t have to be top of the line/latest and they could run Linux to save on costs.

    • Vicky32 5.3

      Good heavens! I could never have afforded one for my son when he was at high school (he left in about 2005)…
      Deb

  6. Lanthanide 6

    Survey of Maori Party voters shows that only 48% of them believe the National-MP coalition has been beneficial.

    50% of all Maori voters interviewed think the government is going in the wrong direction.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10703853&ref=rss

  7. Pascal's bookie 8

    evanchill Someone here just landed a molotov on the overpass and a big cheer went up
    11 seconds ago · reply

    evanchill The protesters have set up their barricade just beyond the throwing reach of most of the pro govt crowd
    2 minutes ago · reply

    evanchill There’s a line of skirmishers in front of me throwing rocks with little cover, but the pro mubarak crowd is really thin
    5 minutes ago · reply

    AJELive The mood in Tahrir Square is “fatalistic” with anti-government protesters certain pro-Mubarak forces are “there to eliminate them” #Egypt
    8 minutes ago · reply

    evanchill The spectators have left the bridge, it seems, now its just rock throwers
    9 minutes ago · reply

    evanchill Ppl throw a rock, then yell allahu akbar, another calls for more of the exclamation, yelling ‘takbeer!’
    10 minutes ago · reply

    evanchill Crouched behind the varricade, a man throws a rock over my head, abother shuffles by offering water
    15 minutes ago · reply

    evanchill Just went live from tahrir on AJE. Reported the seriousness with which anti govt ppl r treating this showdown. Some worrying about dyinge
    20 minutes ago · reply

    AJELive AJE Web producer reports: A line of tanks in front of the national museum, facing the Tahrir Square #Egypt

    http://english.aljazeera.net/news/middleeast/2011/01/201112523026521335.html

  8. Draco T Bastard 9

    Was going to put this over here until I realised that most of the article was about taxes.

    Two-thirds of NZ want holidays ‘Mondayised’ – survey

    Over 65 percent of New Zealanders think public holidays which fall on a weekend should be transferred to a Monday, according to a Research New Zealand survey.

    That’s all it says about mondayising. All the rest of the article is about the tax changes that Labour have announced.

    “I suspect what’s going to happen is if there’s a Labour-Greens-NZ First government there’ll have to be a capital gains tax, and I suspect that’s what (NZ First leader) Winston Peters is signing up to with Labour and the Greens,” he said.

    “National won’t be putting on one.”

    So, NACT are saying that they will keep the economy imbalanced. Unfortunately;

    Mr Goff has said a capital gains tax isn’t on Labour’s agenda.

    So is Labour.

    “But I think retired New Zealanders can understand the position the country’s in. They understand that putting more debt on their children and grandchildren is not a good thing.

    For some strange reason John Keys words don’t marry up with his rhetoric as he’s presently borrowing billions just for the tax cuts he gave to himself and his rich mates.

    • Colonial Viper 9.1

      No CGT from Labour?!

      Oh that’s just great. Welcome to the NZ Moneyocracy.

    • Just in case we had any doubts, that line of Key’s that “putting more debt on their children and grandchildren is not a good thing” seals the question of whether or not Key and English will be running the ‘strategic deficit’ rhetoric all the way to the election. As Argin puts it:

      ‘Moreover, strategic deficits can enable opponents of public investments to sound compassionate — “We can’t steal from our children to pay for our short-term desires.”‘

      How about “We can’t steal from our parents – by selling off the assets they built up – to pay for our short term desires”? (i.e., wanting tax cuts). Those who inherit wealth always fritter it away.

    • ianmac 10.1

      joe. I thought that I was watching Onion by mistake. Amazingly weird stuff!

      • joe90 10.1.1

        Indeed Ian, bizarre, they seem to live on a different planet but following the real world at #Egypt has been heartbreaking.

        • higherstandard 10.1.1.1

          I’ve often thought that Glen Beck was the best new satire since the office……………… what’s that he’s serious ?

        • joe90 10.1.1.2

          Also, #Tahrir.

          • Pascal's bookie 10.1.1.2.1

            Wonder if Murray “present” McCully will update:

            http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PA1102/S00038/mccully-welcomes-a-new-beginning-for-egypt.htm

            I’m picking: nah.

            • Pascal's bookie 10.1.1.2.1.1

              Evan Hill (al-jazeera-english producer) seem to still be positive

              Most everyone else, not so much.

              This is a good backgrounder on the various power blocks that, whatever happens, will be seeking to fill the vacuum:

              http://bullybloggers.wordpress.com/2011/02/01/why-mubarak-is-out/

              • joe90

                Thanks PB, reads like the Dagestani wedding cable but with bells on.

                • Pascal's bookie

                  heh 🙂

                  I guess that’s the thing with authoritarian regimes. They look monolothic, especially to outsiders, because the regime needs it to look so. the ability to appear in control is its source of legitimacy. But to maintain power it also needs to semi-privately manage the lesser power blocks within society, using divide and rule, enemy lists, graft and all the rest of it. When the regime looks like it can no longer hold it all together, the bets are off and the groups need to renegotiate a power structure.

                  • joe90

                    http://wikileaks-a.blogspot.com/2011/01/blog-post_30.html?spref=fb

                    Google translation:

                    Wikileaks Arabic – revealed a close and we received and attributed to the overalls the Egyptian Interior Ministry of Egypt and developed a plan to spread chaos and looting during demonstrations Fri anger prompted the departure of the Egyptian regime, and that the Egyptian regime was betting on the fear demonstrators and retreating as a result to show the chaos of the country and the fall of the security.

                    The document, issued by the Office of the Egyptian Interior Minister; that the plan to deploy elements of subversive and exciting payment in return for acts of disorder in conjunction with the withdrawal of a deliberate and intended for police and security forces from the street.

                    Revealed as well as approved methods to broadcast rumors intensified through the media and the Egyptian Foreign Affairs on the looting and the decline of security, by Women’s Voices.

                    The number of different media have already been published during the period of time past since the events on Friday, news about the lawlessness since Friday night and the work of an attack on government facilities and the public, including the storming of the Egyptian Museum and the burning of a number of buildings, said one of those news that a number of the releasers fire on Saturday night they roam the streets with police cars in Egypt.

                    Despite the uncertainty of the authenticity of the document but the sudden emergence and rapid and the emergence of acts of sabotage by surprise in conjunction with continuing demonstrations opens at least the door to ask about the involvement of the Egyptian regime in the works in an effort to persuade the demonstrators to continue their careers and forcing them to retreat from their demands under the security considerations

                    Text of the document:

                    Ministry of the Interior:
                    Minister’s Office
                    Circular No. 60 / B / M
                    Secret and very important

                    Topic: Plan to address the mass demonstrations
                    Strategies

                    1 – Allow to pass demonstrations in the streets of cities and villages of the state as of the date. And non-objection to their careers and to exercise extreme caution in live fire, rubber bullets and tear gas Alabomr Ivlk of competent jurisdiction according to the table you have a blogger.

                    2 – employ a number of thugs and pay them amounts rewarding and meet with them in their role in the sites gatherings and in private by the elements authorized to do so without an official status, it and surrounding the deployment plan according to the attached table of the site entitled to 1 and tell them the time of the move and plan to wreak havoc scalability mentioned in the statement ,

                    3 – Control members of organizations and parties, and coordination with the printing presses and publishing houses and communication devices and the imposition of a complete record of messages and incoming and outgoing Almkalamat and clarify the content of the report of the direct case Tgaykm information.

                    4 – will be cut off means of communication (Mobile – Internet) As of six o’clock am on Friday, 28/1/12011 with services to keep the ground for it to be assigned to all officers and personnel the use of wireless communications devices, manual and make sure it is in the development of encryption.

                    5 – the planned deployment of police and detectives and security agents in civilian clothes, according to the annex, entitled B-2.

                    6 – Inventory march demonstrations on Friday, 28/01/2011 in public squares and major parts in the event of demonstrations and access to areas of the warning by the attached map entitled by 3.

                    7 – make sure to arm members of the civilian elements in civilian clothes with a wooden stick and sticks, iron small-scale (manual) for use in the arrest of the main elements present in the demonstration without showing any violence.

                    8 – firing rubber bullets and tear gas without the use of live bullets and a warning that unless absolutely necessary.

                    9 – show partial disability as of four o’clock on Friday afternoon said the police for demonstrating the superiority of the demonstrations and to allow penetration of the elements of item 2 to make a mess during the demonstration and limited according to the plan agreed with them to do so.

                    10 – a full withdrawal of police and security forces of the Central and wanted to organize the traffic and the guard and all categories of officers and individuals to protect government sites, businesses and institutions with the wearing of civilian attire and presence beside roads, around trees and engagement between the lines of the organizers of the demonstrations and the parking without interfering in any negative phenomena, and without revealing the identities their non-interference in the street until you tell you so.

                    11 – Empty the police stations of arms and ammunition and prisoners and transferred to the central prison and placed under heavy guard and the introduction of private security guards and security elements to the prisons, instead of them and the elements of the living and the members of the follow-up and criminal investigators, and collaborators from informants.

                    12 – broadcast the rumors through all the media, the existence of acts of looting and by contacting the elements of women at all different media with hearing the cases of strong panic and cry and plan according to broadcast rumors attached to you.

                    13 – broadcast messages directly through the personnel or indirect messages distributed leaflets to the media only external private located near events the existence of acts of looting and breaking of the banks and shops and police stations to coincide with the deployment plan thugs item 2, in order to broadcast a state of panic and terror in the street and the existence of a claim eligibility and the popularity of the presence of military and public security and public presence in these locations.

                    14 – Tips to issue directly and indirectly through the media of internal and external committees formed to protect the popular neighborhoods in order to guide members of the demonstration to go to their sites without the imposition of force by the army.

                    15 – send false rumors and false information through all means of media stations outside only be corrected by the local media stations in order to gain the confidence of the public to divert attention from these stations and discredit all incoming connections to the local media stations.

                    16 – strong rumors broadcast across all media, local and external existence of chaos and escape of prisoners and determining the number and big fake registrants, as well as the danger and they were seen within the residential areas.

                    17 – claims all the people across all media and the formation of popular committees watches day and night to protect the living and the composition of the claims by the voices of women members of the security as agreed in the meeting with you earlier.

                    18 – Follow-up situation on the ground by the security forces of civil and uploaded to us the approximate numbers of demonstrators and knowledge of their group to send item 2 to their neighborhoods until you absorb them and empty spaces of the demonstrators.

                    19 – extensive contacts and personal calls and the presence of all the media shows a marked improvement after a presence of the People’s Committees for the protection of neighborhoods and residential and commercial complexes.

                    20 – start to show solidarity with the leadership gradually after that show logos on time and according to what is to inform you of it

                    Genuine?, who knows.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Amazing shit. From a security apparatus experienced at manipulation and control.

                      All the media is are tools to be used by the powers that be – and interesting that womens’ voices are seen as more credible and hence also to be used by the (male) regime for the consolidation of their own power.

  9. Seti 11

    The vitriol spewed forth by many posters on this site about John Key finding a few certain celebrity women attractive is now notably absent with the revelations that Phil is also human.

    “Not wanting to be out-bloked, Goff joined in saying Hurley was also near the top of his list which would include Elle Macpherson, Julia Roberts, and his wife, Mary.”

    How do you spell retraction?

  10. Draco T Bastard 12

    I’m working my way through James Galbraith’s The Predator State and in the chapter labelled Corporate Crisis he has this paragraph (after discussing some of the issues with Enron):

    The same problem was also apparent at the end of the internet boom, when valuations collapsed overnight and the wreckage exposed the fantasies that had taken control of investors’ sensibilities while the going was good. Shortly after, it emerged (just for instance) that capital markets had financed fifty times the optical fiber cable that was actually required, a record that would have embarrassed a Hungarian central planner of the 1950s. The scandals, however, raise the issue in unmistakable form, posing a question that cuts to the heart of the system: Can financial market govern corporations? Are they suited to the power that they actually exercise over the future of business firms?

    So the capitalist markets instead of efficiently distributing limited resources it over supplied to one small sector of the economy and then the whole thing crashed.

    Why do we seem so intent upon following this failed model?

    • Colonial Viper 12.1

      Why do we seem so intent upon following this failed model?

      Because it allows small numbers of people to make stacks of (largely worthless) money in the form of profit and bonuses.

      That’s what this game has become. Its not about building information infrastructure for the future, its about getting the profits and bonuses you think that you deserve.

      • higherstandard 12.1.1

        We follow the failed model because no-one has come up with an alternative that has captured the public’s imagination and more importantly will allow them to accumulate the irrelevant clutter they need to feel fulfilled.

  11. M 13

    Self-immolation up

    http://www.africanaonline.com/2011/01/self-immolation-protests-in-egypt/

    Stop the austerity craze – the section on the mining company’s failure to rescue trapped miners in Chile is eerily similar to Pike River here.

    ‘But you don’t hear about that much, not outside of the subculture of anti-globalization protesters and fans of Naomi KIein’s reporting. Thanks to inane but heavily funded propaganda, Hayek’s experiment in Chile is constantly called a success story. When a private mining firm was too inefficient and corrupt to rescue its own trapped miners last year, the private company got the state mining company to bail its trapped workers out. Nevertheless, the story we Americans got through the Wall Street Journal was that the rescue of the miners was somehow “proof” that Hayek and Friedman’s free-market experiments that Generalissimo Pinochet tested out on Chile were somehow responsible for saving those trapped miners. The logic goes like this: The private company got their miners trapped and couldn’t rescue them; the state mining company rescued them; therefore, free unfettered markets rescued the trapped miners. It’s the logic Hayek used to argue that phantom Big Government New Dealers brought about the Nazis, rather than Bruning’s austerity measures.’

    http://www.alternet.org/economy/149659/stop_the_austerity_craze!_massive_budget_slashing_can_lead_to_economic_disaster,_violence_and_repression/?page=entire

  12. Shazzadude 14

    So how about today’s Roy Morgan poll?

    National 49%
    Labour 34.5%
    Greens 6.5%
    New Zealand First 5.5%
    Maori Party 3%
    ACT 1%

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  • This is why people hate property developers
    Property developers think there is an "oversupply" of houses in Auckland:High turnover rates and falling prices may be a sign that there are too many new houses going in to some parts of Auckland, commentators say. [...] Property developer David Whitburn said there was a "bit of an oversupply" in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Australia to Pacific: “Fuck you, you can all drown”
    World leaders are meeting in New York in two weeks for the 2019 Climate Action Summit, where they are expected to announce new and more ambitious targets to stop the world from burning. But the Australian Prime Minister won't be there, despite being in the USA at the time:Scott Morrison ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Implausible ignorance
    Labour Party president Nigel Haworth resigned yesterday over the party's sexual assault scandal. But while that's good news, its unlikely to take away the stench of a coverup. Because according to Paula Bennett in Parliament yesterday, pretty much everyone in the Prime Minister's office was involved as well:I have been ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Labour’s Fatal Flaw.
     Two-Faced? Labour insiders' commitment to the neoliberal status quo puts them at odds with their party’s membership; its trade union affiliates; and a majority of Labour voters, but this only serves to strengthen the perception they have of themselves as a special elite. Among the lesser breeds, they’ll talk up a ...
    4 days ago
  • Ten reasons the Tories do NOT want an election
    There has been a lot of talk about Boris Johnson wanting an election, and he has blustered with great gusto about 'chicken' Jeremy Corbyn refusing one, but I think there are many reasons why he is secretly glad he has been refused the opportunity:The Tories are an utter rabble,tearing themselves ...
    4 days ago
  • Prorogation Illegal, rule Scottish judges
    Scottish appeal court judges have declared that Boris Johnson’s decision to suspend parliament in the run-up to the October Brexit deadline is unlawful. The three judges, chaired by Lord Carloway, Scotland’s most senior judge, overturned an earlier ruling that the courts did not have the powers to interfere in the prime ...
    4 days ago
  • Let me explain what I meant by Everyday New Zealanders
    By Simon Bridges. The following is a press release from the office of Simon Bridges, leader of The National Party. Key ora, New Zealand. Happy Maori Language Week. Look, I’m writing to you today because I want to clear something up. There’s been a lot of kerfuffle around some things ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    4 days ago
  • Yes, the SIS is subject to the Public Records Act
    I understand there's some stuff going round about how the SIS "was removed from the list of public offices covered by the Public Records Act in 2017". The context of course being their records derived from US torture, which will be disposed of or sealed. The good news is that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • An evidence-based discussion of the Canadian fluoride/IQ study
    Dr. Christopher Labos and Jonathan Jarry discuss the recent Canadian fluoride/IQ research. They provide an expert analysis of the paper and its problems. Click on image to go to podcast. The critical debate about the recent ...
    4 days ago
  • Climate Change: Australia in denial
    Australia is burning down again, and meanwhile its natural disaster minister is denying climate change:Australia’s minister responsible for drought and natural disasters, David Littleproud, has said that he doesn’t “know if climate change is manmade”. Clarifying earlier comments that the question is “irrelevant” when considering the Coalition government’s response to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Philippines activist speaking on the Duterte tyranny
    Auckland Philippines Solidarity is excited to host Professor Judy Taguiwalo for a speaking tour of NZ in September. She is a well-known activist in the Philippines and was a political prisoner under the Marcos dictatorship. Professor Taguiwalo briefly served as a Cabinet member under President Duterte but was forced from ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    5 days ago
  • Disgust
    I have no special insights to offer on the Labour sexual assault coverup. All I have is disgust. Disgust that an organisation could fail its people so badly. Disgust that they punished the victims rather than the perpetrator. Disgust that its party hacks are apparently blaming the victims for demanding ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Speak Up for Women calls out Greens’ censorship
    This open letter to the Green Party was penned after an opinion piece by Jill Abigail, a feminist and founding member of the party, was censored by the Greens’ leadership. (Redline has reprinted her article here).The intolerance of the Green Party leaders and their acceptance of the misogyny of gender ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    5 days ago
  • Member’s Day: End of Life Choice, part 3
    Today is a Member's day, and David Seymour's End of Life Choice Bill continues its slow crawl through its committee stage. They're spending the whole day on it today, though the first hour is likely to be spent on voting left over from last time. After that they'll move on ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Flight to Los Angeles turned back after passengers decide they don’t want to go anymore
    An ambitious plan to fly to Los Angeles petered out into a brief sight-seeing trip and a desire to return home and get some sleep before work tomorrow. Air New Zealand has confirmed a flight to Los Angeles last night was turned back about a quarter of the way into ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    5 days ago
  • Indigenous Futures: defuturing and futuring – an analytical framework for policy development?
    There appears to be consensus – by omission – that the concept of indigenous futures should be accepted at face value. So I scavenged the internet to see if I could locate an academic descriptor or a framework around how we think about it as a concept, and whether it ...
    EllipsisterBy Ellipsister
    5 days ago
  • Cadbury rumoured to be releasing the Pineapple Trump
    Here’s another novelty chocolate to shove in your gob, New Zealand Cadbury could be seeking to make itself great again with a rumoured new release: Pineapple Trumps, a spin on its classic chocolate-encased pineapple treat and do-it-yourself tooth remover. The global confectionery manufacturer and bumbling “before” character in an infomercial, ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    5 days ago
  • The coming resource war.
    During my time in the Pentagon I had the privilege of sitting down with military leaders and defence and security officials from a variety of Latin American nations. Sometimes I was present as a subordinate assistant to a senior US defence department official, sometimes as part of a delegation that ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    5 days ago
  • Māori Language Week with The Civilian
    Kia ora, Aotearoa. It’s that magical time of year. Te Wiki o te Reo Māori. In English, the week that frightens talk radio. As you probably know by now, all your favourite media outlets are participating, some more successfully than others. Stuff has changed its name to Puna for the ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    5 days ago
  • Will Horizons act on climate change?
    Local body elections are coming up next month. And it looks like all Palmerston North candidates for Horizons (the Manawatu-Whanganui Regional Council) want to take action on climate change:Climate change is set to be a key issue in Palmerston North for the next three years if those wanting to get ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • BORA reform is stalled
    Eighteen months ago, the government promised to strengthen the Bill of Rights Act, by explicitly affirming the power of the courts to issue declarations of inconsistency and requiring Parliament to formally respond to them. So how's that going? I was curious, so I asked for all advice about the proposal. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Corbyn and Brexit
    As the Brexit saga staggers on, the focus is naturally enough on the Prime Minister and his attempts to achieve Brexit “do or die”. But the role played by the Leader of the Opposition is of almost equal interest and complexity. The first problem for Jeremy Corbyn is that he ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    6 days ago
  • A ditch for him to die in
    Last week, English Prime Minister Boris Johnson boldly declared that he would rather die be dead in a ditch than delay Brexit. Unfortunately for him, the UK parliament accepted the challenge, and promptly dug one for him. The "rebellion bill" requires him to ask for and secure yet another temporary ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Warning! Warning! Danger Jacinda Ardern! Danger Marama Davidson! Warning!
    Lost In Political Space: The most important takeaway from this latest Labour sexual assault scandal, which (if I may paraphrase Nixon’s White House counsel’s, John Dean’s, infamous description of Watergate) is “growing like a cancer” on the premiership, is the Labour Party organisation’s extraordinary professional paralysis in the face of ...
    6 days ago
  • Union solidarity with Ihumatao land occupation
    by Daphna Whitmore Every Sunday for the past two months unionists from First Union, with supporters from other unions, have set out to the Ihumatao land protest, put up gazebos and gas barbeques, and cooked food for a few hundred locals and supporters who have come from across the country. ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    6 days ago
  • Climate Change: The wrong kind of trees?
    Newsroom today has an excellent, in-depth article on pine trees as carbon sinks. The TL;DR is that pine is really good at soaking up carbon, but people prefer far-less efficient native forests instead. Which is understandable, but there's two problems: firstly, we've pissed about so long on this problem that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • No freedom of speech in Turkey
    Canan Kaftancioglu is a Turkish politician and member of the opposition Republican People's Party (CHP). Like most modern politicians, she tweets, and uses the platform to criticise the Turkish government. She has criticised them over the death of a 14-year-old boy who was hit by a tear gas grenade during ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Speaker: Tadhg Stopford: Why I’m standing for the ADHB
    Hi there, just call me Tim.We face tough problems, and I’d like to help, because there are solutions.An Auckand District Health Board member has nominated me for as a candidate for the ADHB, because her MS-related pain and fatigue is reduced with hemp products from Rotorua.  Nothing else helped her. If I ...
    7 days ago
  • Good little vassals
    The Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security has published their report on whether the SIS and GCSB had any complicity in American torture. And its damning. The pull quote is this:The Inquiry found both agencies, but to a much greater degree, the NZSIS, received many intelligence reports obtained from detainees who, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Who Shall We Turn To When God, And Uncle Sam, Cease To Defend New Zealand?
    Bewhiskered Cassandra? Professor Hugh White’s chilling suggestion, advanced to select collections of academic, military and diplomatic Kiwi experts over the course of the past week, is that the assumptions upon which Australia and New Zealand have built their foreign affairs and defence policies for practically their entire histories – are ...
    7 days ago
  • The Politics of Opposition
    For most of the time I was a British MP, my party was out of government – these were the Thatcher years, when it was hard for anyone else to get a look-in. As a front-bencher and shadow minister, I became familiar with the strategies required in a parliamentary democracy ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    7 days ago
  • More expert comments on the Canadian fluoride-IQ paper
    The Green et al (2019) fluoride/IQ is certainly controversial – as would be expected from its subject (see If at first you don’t succeed . . . statistical manipulation might help and Politics of science – making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear). Anti-fluoride campaigners have been actively promoting it ...
    1 week ago
  • The return to guerrilla war in Colombia
    by Gearóid Ó Loingsigh On August 29th a video in which veteran FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia) commander Iván Márquez announced that they had taken up arms again was released. There was no delay in the reaction to it, from longtime Liberal Party figure and former president Uribe, for ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Air New Zealand identifies this enormous plot of unused land as possible second airport site
    Air New Zealand couldn’t believe its luck that this seemingly ideal piece of real estate had so far gone entirely unnoticed. Air New Zealand’s search for a site to build a second Auckland Airport may have made a breakthrough this afternoon, after employees scanning Google satellite imagery spotted a huge, ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Redline on the Labour Party
    No-one on the anti-capitalist left in this country today puts forward a case that Labour is on the side of the working class.  There are certainly people who call themselves ‘socialist’ who do, but they are essentially liberals with vested interests in Labourism – often for career reasons. Nevertheless, there ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • New Fisk
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Labour’s failure
    When National was in government and fucking over the poor for the benefit of the rich, foodbanks were a growth industry. And now Labour is in charge, nothing has changed: A huge demand for emergency food parcels means the Auckland City Mission is struggling to prepare for the impending arrival ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Ardern attempts to vaccinate Clarke Gayford live on television to prove that it’s safe
    Gayford, pictured here on The Project, before things got wildly out of control. A bold public relations move by the Government to encourage parents to vaccinate their children has gone horribly wrong. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern appeared on tonight’s episode of Three’s The Project, where the plan was for her ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Has Mr. Whippy gone too far by parking on our front lawns?
    Mr. Whippy’s business model has driven it down a dark road of intimidation. Residents in major centres around the country are becoming disgruntled by the increasingly aggressive actions of purported ice cream company Mr. Whippy, who have taken to parking on people’s front lawns and doorsteps in a desperate attempt ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Cleaning up the water
    Today the government released its Action Plan for Healthy Waterways, aimed at cleaning up our lakes and rivers. Its actually quite good. There will be protection for wetlands, better standards for swimming spots, a requirement for continuous improvement, and better standards for wastewater and stormwater. But most importantly, there's a ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Fronting up
    Today I appeared before the Environment Committee to give an oral submission on the Zero Carbon Bill. Over 1,500 people have asked to appear in person, so they've divided into subcommittees and are off touring the country, giving people a five minute slot each. The other submitters were a mixed ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Politics of science – making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear
    Anti-fluoride activists have some wealthy backers – they are erecting billboards misrepresenting the Canadian study on many New Zealand cities – and local authorities are ordering their removal because of their scaremongering. Many New Zealanders ...
    1 week ago
  • Democracy – I Don’t Think So
    So, those who “know best” have again done their worst. While constantly claiming to be the guardians of democracy and the constitution, and respecters of the 2016 referendum result, diehard Remainers (who have never brought themselves to believe that their advice could have been rejected) have striven might and main ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    2 weeks ago
  • Government says it will now build just one really nice home
    Following publication of this article, the Ministry has requested it to be noted that this supplied image is not necessarily representative of what the final house will look like, and it “probably won’t be that nice.” As part of today’s long-anticipated reset of the Government’s flagship KiwiBuild policy, Housing Minister ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Imperialism and your cup of coffee
    Over the next week or two we will be running three synopses of parts of the opening chapter of John Smith’s Imperialism in the 21st Century (New York, Monthly Review Press, 2016).  The synopsis and commentary below is written by Phil Duncan. Marx began Capital not with a sweeping historical ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Still juking the stats
    The State Services Commission and Ombudsman have released another batch of OIA statistics, covering the last six months. Request volumes are up, and the core public service is generally handling them within the legal timeframe, though this may be because they've learned to extend rather than just ignore things. And ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Hard News: Time for a New Deal: 25 years on
    In 1994, I was editing an ambitious street mag called Planet, from a fabled office at at 309 Karangahape Road. The thirteenth issue of the magazine was published in the winter of that year and its cover embodied a particularly ambitious goal: the end of cannabis prohibition.I wanted to do ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Not impressed
    KiwiBuild was one of the Ardern government's core policies. The government would end the housing crisis and make housing affordable again by building 100,000 new homes. Of course, it didn't work out like that: targets weren't met, the houses they did build were in the wrong place, and the whole ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Solar beats coal
    As the climate crisis escalates, it is now obvious that we need to radically decarbonise our economy. The good news is that its looking easy and profitable for the energy sector. Wind is already cheaper than fossil fuels, and now solar is too:The levellised cost of solar PV has fallen ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • A Step Too Far.
    A Crown Asset? For reasons relating to its own political convenience, the Crown pretends to believe that “No one owns the water.” To say otherwise would re-vivify the promises contained in the Treaty of Waitangi – most particularly those pertaining to the power of the chiefs and their proprietary rights ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Where Money Comes From
    Most people would say, no doubt, that they have a pretty good idea of what money is. They live with the reality of money every day. It is what is needed to buy the necessities of life and to maintain a decent standard of living. You get money, they would ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    2 weeks ago
  • Banned by the Green Party leadership: Jill Abigail on women’s rights and trans rights
    The article below was an opinion piece that appeared in the Spring 2019 issue of Te Awa (the NZ Green Party’s newsletter) and on the Greens website.  In keeping with their policy of hostility to women defending women’s right to female-only spaces, Green bureaucrats have since removed the opinion piece.  ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • The fallacy of the proximity argument.
    Longer term readers may remember my complaining that, as a political scientist, it is burdensome to have non-political scientists wanting to engage me about politics. No layperson would think to approach an astrophysicist and lecture him/her on the finer details of quarks and black holes, but everybody with an opinion ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    2 weeks ago
  • Where We Stood: Chris Trotter Replies To Stevan Eldred-Grigg.
    Joining The Fight: Stevan Eldred-Grigg's argument for New Zealand staying out of the Second World War fails not only on the hard-headed grounds of preserving the country’s strategic and economic interests; and not just on the soft-hearted grounds of duty and loyalty to the nation that had given New Zealand ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Universities back the climate strike
    On September 27, School Strike 4 Climate will be striking for a future to pressure the government for meaningful climate action. This time, they've asked adults to join them. And now, Lincoln University and Victoria University of Wellington have signed on:Victoria University of Wellington has joined Lincoln University in endorsing ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Another constitutional outrage
    Another day, another constitutional outrage in the UK. This time, the government is saying that if parliament passes a law to stop Brexit before being prorogued, they may just ignore it:A senior cabinet minister has suggested Boris Johnson could defy legislation to prevent a no-deal Brexit if it is forced ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Ending dairy in Canterbury
    Environment Canterbury has finally proposed nitrogen limits to stop dairy farmers from poisoning Christchurch's water supply. And naturally, farmers are whining about it:A proposed move by Environment Canterbury (ECan) to protect Christchurch's drinking water by setting tough – some would say, draconian – nitrate reductions in the decades ahead and ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Is National the party of climate arson?
    The Zero Carbon Bill is currently before select committee. While its targets are weak, its a generally sensible bill that promises to establish a long-term framework to guide emissions reductions. But National hasn't made up its mind on whether it will support it - and according to Andrea Vance in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Experts warn Harold the Giraffe “well past” typical giraffe life expectancy, may not have long
    Dum-de-doo. Children across New Zealand have known him for generations as the lovable giraffe who tells them to exercise, hydrate and not to shove lit cigarettes up their nostrils. But a world renowned giraffe expert says we shouldn’t be getting attached to Life Education’s Harold the Giraffe, as he is ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • August ’19 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
    Image credit: 22 BLOGGERS WITH ADVICE FOR RESEARCHERS AND EVALUATORS, ILLUSTRATED I notice a few regulars no longer allow public access to the site counters. This may happen accidentally when the blog format is altered. If your ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Bye, bye to the collusion lie
    Sums it up, really. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Opinion: Treat your car by buying extra petrol to snack on while you aren’t driving
    By Mike Hosking. Yesterday morning, I waltzed into work, and as I walked past the drones aggressively typing out news on the computers I’ve repeatedly asked to be moved further away from, I caught a glimpse of the words “climate change”, and noticed that suspiciously they weren’t in condescending quotation ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago

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