Open mike 12/01/2024

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, January 12th, 2024 - 118 comments
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Open mike is your post.

For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose.

The usual rules of good behaviour apply (see the Policy).

Step up to the mike …

118 comments on “Open mike 12/01/2024 ”

  1. Dennis Frank 1

    I noticed Weka linked to this story (day before yesterday): https://www.scotsman.com/regions/edinburgh-fife-and-lothians/female-spaces-need-better-protection-after-trans-woman-sex-assault-on-girl-say-campaigners-140883

    Since it's the first incident brought to my attention that I've been expecting ever since the Greens censored an elderly feminist for warning everyone about the danger (in consequence of which I ditched my Greens membership again), I appreciate the info!

    So now the danger is real, and leftists remain too stupid to figure it out. Not all, you will claim, and you'd be right to. The point is that the generalisation reflects the broad effect of mass belief in the political arena. I noticed Weka wondering why this unsavoury status quo is persisting. I see it as merely due to the chronic slow-learning capacity of the left, collectively. Of course the right are even slower, but that's a red herring.

    The point is that public policy needs to be realistic – seen as such by most people usually works well. Any law privileging sickos who offend in women's toilets while pretending to be female is morally wrong. The left ought to promptly suss this out!

    • Molly 1.1

      The danger was always real, when statistical likelihood was considered.

      The breaking of single-sex provision was always non-consensual.

      All men – including those we trust and care for – are excluded from female single-sex provisions.

      And it is most often those men that we do trust that understand why, and support the protection of those provisions.

    • weka 1.2

      Unfortunately what happened to that girls is neither new, nor an isolated incident. The bigger immediate problem is the intentional policy of No Debate by gender identity ideology activists and TRAs (trans rights activists) whereby anyone not agreeing to TWAW (trans women are trans women) and taking that literally all the time, is ostracised in various ways and to various degrees.

      In the UK, women and men have lost jobs and careers when they've spoken out about this. There is nothing left wing about a movement that routinely advocates and acts on removing someone's ability to make a living.

      The original tweet I posted is now removed, because the account has been suspsended. Maybe it broke some serious twitter rules. Or maybe it was just saying stuff like this and the TRAs on twitter mass reported it (also not new, uncommon, or isolated). The account may get reinstated.

      Here's what it said,

      You’re a 10yr old girl. One day you decide to use the toilet while you’re at the market with your mom.

      You’re sexually assaulted at knifepoint by a man who’s six and a half feet tall.

      You’re told he’s a woman and they call him a her in court

      This is trans ideology

      https://www.scotsman.com/regions/edinburgh-fife-and-lothians/female-spaces-need-better-protection-after-trans-woman-sex-assault-on-girl-say-campaigners-140883

      https://twitter.com/FreyaManslayer/status/1744524603257422208

      That format in the tweet was being used using quote tweets, so each tweet was a reply to someone using that format and you could click through to see other examples. You can see the effect of No Debate, because all that work is no inaccessible to us, whereas a couple of days anyone here could have gone and read the examples.

    • Muttonbird 1.3

      Speaking of red herrings.

      If the left is slow learning, and the right even slower learning then, interpolating this scientific data, the sensible centre must be somewhere in-between.

      A bit slower than the left and slightly quicker than the right.

      • Dennis Frank 1.3.1

        Useful advocacy of rational reasoning. Could help to keep the 18th century enlightenment ethos alive a wee while longer… wink

    • David 1.4

      I'm not sure your framing of this is correct. Gender critical viewpoints find their voice across the spectrum of political views. They can come from a place of social conservatism just as comfortably as amongst feminist progressivism, which is why this issue often unites unlikely allies.

      The bigger problem is what Weka describes as the 'no debate' 'policy'. There has been a deliberate and coordinated targeting of those with gender critical views, from Maya Forstater to JK Rowling. This targeting takes many different forms, but it frequently attacks a persons career and income. In some cases, the targets of these attacks have the wherewithall to fight back, as eg Maya Fostater did. But I suspect that many just keep quiet. Thankfully not Holly Lawford-Smith, who wrote

      "Silencing women whose feminism is based in material reality is like silencing atheists because of the demands of a fringe religion. It is the suppression of competing ideas, masquerading as a civil rights moment."

      The Digital Deplatforming of a Gender-Critical Feminist – Areo (areomagazine.com)

      • Dennis Frank 1.4.1

        I agree with you that those other dimensions are part of the big picture. The mass psychodynamic will likely escalate until the reaction is sufficient to shift everyone toward a solution to the problem. Taken several years already, so I guess activists on this front aren't well-organised enough yet.

    • Anker 1.5

      Thank you Denis and those other men on this site who have realised the danger that the gender ideology movement represents to women.

      We don't know which men are sex offenders and people are often shocked when they find out that their friendly next door neighbour (just an example ) is. But the reality is that men in women's change rooms automatically enables and legitimizes two sex crimes , voyerism and flashing.

      • Dennis Frank 1.5.1

        Unfortunately politics usually requires human sacrifice (victims) before so-called progressives pull their finger out & actually eliminate a social problem. So I expect the trend to worsen before it gets better. Actual violent assaults seem necessary to shift activity in the neuronal spaghetti of (most) leftist brains.

        To some extent this is understandable though. There achieved notoriety in the 1960s something called the `it can't happen here' syndrome. Zappa & the Mothers did a cringeworthy song about it in '66. Oh, I see it originated 30 years earlier: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/It_Can%27t_Happen_Here

    • SPC 1.6

      So now the danger is real

      No, that risk of self ID was always a known.

      Supporters of gender ID, rather than sex based ID faced two roadblocks – the (risk of harm from) transition of minors and self ID (enabling predators and sporting grifters) creating safety issues for those of the female sex.

      To use a geo-political metaphor, MacArthur went to the Yalu and then American forces returned to the parallel. The political pendulum.

    • UncookedSelachimorpha 2.1

      You need to brush up your Late Latin obviously.

      https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/viscidus

      (admission – I had never heard it in my life, had to look behind the world of warcraft results to find it….what a weird word to use)

      Amusing it was used by a communications expert.

      • Robert Guyton 2.1.1

        I thought Wilson's SpellCheck had mangled "invidious" 🙂

        • Belladonna 2.1.1.1

          Suspect you are quite correct (although it may be a spellchecker at the Stuff end)

          However, the whole story is a beat-up by Wilson – with no added information.
          Self-promotion? (wanting to be in on the story-of-the-moment) Dirty politics? (desire to put the boot into the Greens) Who knows.

    • Dennis Frank 2.2

      Tricky would be my take. Tempting to wait for the cops to work through their process. However Joe & Josephine Public will be wondering why Golriz is refraining from telling folks what actually happened.

      I mean tell her parliamentary colleagues first, despite public interest. Then those Greens would have to decide whether to tell the people.

      Truth is often important in public life (tho some would point out it's as real as a unicorn). In our current low point in the media cycle, Golriz will be focus of media interest until something better comes up. Weka's point about the DP dimension is valid too – muckrakers get traction when folks toss them muck to rake…

      • Robin The Goodfellow 2.2.1

        How is it tricky?

        If it is a misunderstanding then just issue a statement saying what happened ie medical drugs made me forgetful, the silly season made me distracted, we've all been there (I mean I personally haven't but I can understand that things sometimes happen) and that they'll clear it up with Scotties

        The longer a statement takes to come the more theories people will come up with

        • Dennis Frank 2.2.1.1

          Yeah Robin, I share your common sense view. She may have made a mistake due to meds clouding her consciousness at the time – but that theory seems weak the longer she delays giving her side of the story. However she's a lawyer, right?

          So common sense isn't prevailing. The parliament/law interface will dictate how it all plays out. The establishment defeating common sense is the tricky bit. To allow, or not to allow? A Hamletesque question…

          • SPC 2.2.1.1.1

            Whether any explanation is made now, or not, has no bearing on what happened and why.

            The obvious problem with discussing the issue in public is, it is not the place of politicians to place pressure on complainants, or police.

          • Obtrectator 2.2.1.1.2

            Trained in the law, but doesn't currently hold a practising certificate, although she had one before entering politics. That's according to today's Post. (No link, sorry – only seems to be in the print edition.)

        • mpledger 2.2.1.2

          Her lawyers will be telling her to keep quiet. And if you think that is from a position of guilt watch this illuminating video from a defence lawyer who recommends never talking to the police even if you are innocent.

          (It's from an American perspective so it's over the top but the underlying sentiment holds.)

    • SPC 2.3

      Traditionally MP's are bound by the no bribery and corruption imperative and declaration of financial interests.

      There does not seem to any other specified ethical code for MP's, as per being drunk in a public place, accepting free gifts, being accused of shoplifting (leaving without paying) and the like.

      https://www.parliament.nz/mi/visit-and-learn/how-parliament-works/parliamentary-practice-in-new-zealand/chapter-4-members-conditions-of-service/

    • Anne 2.4

      Stuff appears to be the only major outlet to comment on the story today. It contains nothing new apart from a couple of reckons from two "experts". Their claims she should be talking ignores the fact she's overseas and might well be in a part of the world where communications are difficult and perhaps also dangerous – especially if she is in the Middle East.

      • Dennis Frank 2.4.1

        Any woman with a track record of political prominence is likely to seem a sitting duck in the ME so hope she hasn't ventured there!

        When I rejoined the Greens in 2014 & attended the provincial meetings she was female Co-Convenor & always did it well. However parliament imposes a warp factor onto character – toxic consequences are the potential…

        • Robert Guyton 2.4.1.1

          " However parliament imposes a warp factor onto character "

          Does it?

          Have you examples?

          • Dennis Frank 2.4.1.1.1

            Well some MPs get more warped than others, but I don't mean to imply that it differs from any other high-pressure social group. Some capitalists get more warped by their culture than others.

          • gsays 2.4.1.1.2

            Any examples?

            Judith Collins sometimes seems reasonable and nice.

      • Cricklewood 2.4.2

        Theres a second accuastion up on the herald now and a little bit more detail about the first. 15k in clothes since returned!

        https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/golriz-ghahraman-allegations-mp-allegedly-identified-in-second-shoplifting-incident/UR5V6VROWNGPDATS2FWVBVUXUA/

        Given the drip feed its definitly an organised hit job and looking more and more like a career ender. Im wondering if the lack of comment was down to a bit of cat and mouse to try a flush out any other accusations in the pipeline.

        • Robin The Goodfellow 2.4.2.1

          It'll turn out to be a sitcom like story of wacky mix ups and hilarious hijinx which we'll all laugh about later

        • Dennis Frank 2.4.2.2

          Almost as though some investigative journalism would be a good idea. Creating a scenario of repeat offending does seem like DP but no actual evidence of the earlier incident. Folks will wonder if she got addicted to bling fashion or something or has a negative personal attitude to the shop/ owners. Expect more media to jump on the story though…

        • Clyde Perkins 2.4.2.3

          A hit job? Shes alleged to have committed more than one crime (a minor crime) so the story isnt , this is a hit job, but how many current Green MP's knew she was stealing but kept quiet.

          • weka 2.4.2.3.1

            you need to pick one username and one email address and stick to it. Write them down if you need to. You’re commenting privileges will be withdrawn if you don’t reply to this comment acknowledging and agreeing.

          • Robin The Goodfellow 2.4.2.3.2

            Come on now, we don't know she was stealing, these are only allegations at the moment

            Until we hear something from the lady herself we should all refrain from thinking is there any more to come and let this run its course and for what is likely to be a perfectly reasonable explanation for all this

            Which I'm sure will be forthcoming

          • Cricklewood 2.4.2.3.3

            The accusations are one thing, the way theyve been presented reeks of a political hit job designed to create as much damage as possible.

            It seems very likely theyve waited till the accused is overseas so as to create a time lag in any communication between the green party leadship and Gohlriz which helps create a vacuum.

            Then drip feed details and other acusations to create further uncertainty and keep the story in the news cycle.

            Id imagine there is video footage from the store in someones hands as well.

            Assume Green party leadership havent seen it that creates further difficulties that probably leaks at some stage in the next week or so if theres not a fullsome mea culpa.

  2. SPC 3

    How the failure to heed and or protect whistleblowers led to Snowden being left with no other alternative.

    https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/may/22/how-pentagon-punished-nsa-whistleblowers

    • Muttonbird 4.1

      Interesting on many levels.

      Restoring Law and Order in handwritten, comic-sans like font, mixed caps and lower case. From a design choice point of view this says either they don't take restoring law and order seriously, or the statement is satire.

      Stock background image featuring justice bingo; a courtroom, a gavel, a law book, and the scales. Indicates we mean business! I hope they paid for the stock image.

      NZ First either claiming credit for this particular part of the coalition agreement, or distancing itself from it. Hard to know which.

      Coalition Commitments (underlined twice) has been formed into some sort of official looking logo at bottom right. If they are amending the Sentencing Act it is really a government order of business, not an order from this new body called Coalition Commitments (underlined twice).

  3. SPC 5

    A company shipped Iranian oil, despite sanctions, then got caught and agreed to send it onto the USA to be hand over the oil – forfeiture.

    Then it tried to use the ship to transport Iraqi oil to Turkey and this happened. I'd hate to be their insurer.

    https://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-67948119

  4. SPC 7

    Hooton vs Clark on international politics and the rules based order.

    On the particular, protection of freedom of the seas Hooton 1-0, but then he imagines that a rules based order is only possible where it is imposed by a unilateral imperial power and Clark's position is based in anti-americanism. So he loses 1-2. And this is before Clark makes any refutation.

    https://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/matthew-hooton-helen-clarks-anti-americanism-on-show/UTSVJNM2MVC5LADYQVMWQSN7GA/

    • Res Publica 7.1

      Rules based international orders have traditionally been maintained by hegemonic powers (think the mediterranean during the time of the Roman Empire, or the 19th century during the height of Britain's imperial pretensions), but you're correct that this doesn't necessarily need to be the case.

      However, we have a tiny sample size of two serious, legitimate attempts to build a truly global and multipolar rules based international system of trade and law: neither of which have been totally successful.

      The UN could be it, but is more or less impotent in the face of the veto wielded by the big 5.

      Someone or a collection of someones needs to have both the means and motivation to play policeman and back up the rules with force, otherwise the system will tend to collapse under the weight of everyone's contradictory interest.

      • SPC 7.1.1

        Rome never had an international order. Nor the British empire.

        The only serious effort has been since 1945 (the absence of the USA, USSR and the continuance of empire discounts the LON).

        Someone or a collection of someones needs to have both the means and motivation to play policeman and back up the rules with force, otherwise the system will tend to collapse under the weight of everyone's contradictory interest.

        A successful international organisation would not be compromised by a singular nation behaving like a coercive imperial power, or a cartel of regional hegemon's claiming to be an opposition to that doing the same.

        It needs some real good diplomats to prevent "fires".

        • Res Publica 7.1.1.1

          Rome never had an international order.

          Then what else would you call nearly 500 years of being the arbiter of disputes and de facto (Latin irony intended) policeman of the Mediterranean world?

          A successful international organisation would not be compromised by a singular nation behaving like a coercive imperial power, or a cartel of regional hegemon's claiming to be an opposition to that doing the same.

          It needs some real good diplomats to prevent "fires".

          I agree with you there SPC, but diplomacy sometimes need to be backed up. Even by force.

          It's important that those of us that support a rules-based order follow Thedore Roosevelts maxim of "Speak softly and carry a big stick."

          Otherwise, it's far too easy for bad-faith actors to simply ignore or subvert the system a la Japan, Italy and Germany in the 20s and 30s when they thumbed their noses at the League of Nations.

          In fact, you could argue the failure of the League came down to the lack of a strong enough power cough cough the US cough willing to back up the high-minded principles it was founded on.

          • SPC 7.1.1.1.1

            I was seeking to distinguish international (as in world) order from regional hegemon – there has never been been a world empire as such, only regional empires with their surrounding area of hegemony.

            Only since 1945 has there been a serious attempt at an international rules based order.

            • Res Publica 7.1.1.1.1.1

              I was seeking to distinguish international (as in world) order from regional hegemon – there has never been been a world empire as such, only regional empires with their surrounding area of hegemony.

              Depends on your definition of "world" and "empire" 😀

              But I can definitely see (and accept) your point!

              • Visubversa

                There were certainly Empires which established regional "order". The Great Khanate established the "Pax Mongolica" in the 13thC under which it was stated that "a Virgin seated on a sack of gold could travel from Sarai in the west to Karakorum in the east without molestation". This facilitated the travels of explorers and traders like Marco Polo who no longer had to deal with various warring tribes and bandits.

      • Dennis Frank 7.1.2

        More likely the charade will persist due to inertia. The control system is still effective. Allowing warfare here & there is traditional.

        Doesn't really matter that it makes the powers that be look like a bunch of clowns – we've had several decades of that already. Thank democracy for that, not god.

        However it remains theoretically possible for competent players to change the game at the top. The ball is in the court of younger generations (who seem adept at dodging it). The solution has long been obvious: the UN must adopt a method for SC over-rule. An agreed number of non-SC countries must be given the right to provide a positive alternative to SC failure to do what the UN was established to do!

        • Res Publica 7.1.2.1

          the solution has long been obvious: the UN must adopt a method for SC over-rule. An agreed number of non-SC countries must be given the right to provide a positive alternative to SC failure to do what the UN was established to do!

          So, convince turkeys to vote for Christmas and hope all three of our past and wannabe global hegemons suffer from a spontaneous outbreak of goodwill?

          I agree that's an entirely logical and desirable reform, but I can't see any of the big 5 letting it happen.

          • Dennis Frank 7.1.2.1.1

            They could terminate their UN membership, perhaps. Would freak the UN bureaucrats out but everyone else would adapt. Fun watching hegemon threatening would-be hegemon while the UN is irrelevant? Dunno. I suppose as usual it depends on the global level of disgust with the status quo – each passing crisis prods the tipping point but we ain't there yet.

            Consider humanity as a self-organising system: at the global level of complexity, state changes are always possible while being inherently indeterminate in timing. So a UN reform movement just needs to design the optimal solution to the problem & wait for the collective impetus to shift into it.

            • Res Publica 7.1.2.1.1.1

              Fun watching hegemon threatening would-be hegemon while the UN is irrelevant?

              You mean, what's happening now?

              The problem is that both the current Russian and Chinese regimes are pretty much immune to domestic public opinion, and the USA ran out of f$%*cks to give about what the rest of the world thought of its foreign policy sometime in the 60s.

              • Dennis Frank

                You're right, not that much different to now really – though I wouldn't discount the renegade factor since it would affect the mass psyche. Putin would be dead keen to see the US & China jump the UN ship – – `look, they're no better than me'. Moral parity due to lack of authority…

                Is global governance as charade better than a test for consensus on the basis of the common interest of nations? I doubt it.

    • Ad 7.2

      Helen Clark was right 20 years ago when GATT was fresh, the NZ-China FTA was a good thing, and the UN was still effective.

      But now, GATT and Fonterra have diminished this small state, the NZ-China FTA has been a siphon to suck us dry, and the UN is in decline.

      Only the weak and small need rules, and sadly New Zealand is weak small state in a world where international rules are falling apart.

  5. SPC 8

    Of course an international rules based order is one that nations can withdraw from supporting.

    Pat Buchanan whose foreign policy position informs that of Trump, suggests there is no no reason to aid Ukraine. And questions support for ex Warsaw Pact nations, or the Baltic states formerly of the USSR and even Finland and Sweden.

    https://www.creators.com/read/pat-buchanan

    https://www.newshub.co.nz/home/world/2024/01/us-would-never-help-if-europe-was-under-attack-donald-trump-reportedly-told-eu.html

    If this became the USA position, then of course it would take us back to 1950 and Dean Acheson (as per Korea). If the USA would walk away from NATO members (and their concerns as per Ukraine and them maybe next) why not its security alliance with Oz?

    The US backed international order would implode fast. So would the global dollar economy.

    NATO would become like the TPP, sans US membership. It would negotiate a European order with Russia. The post 1945 American dominance of international organisations would end. The UN would most likely find a new base. The US likely to leave and become the empire of 50 states – till it broke up. The world would do to the American tech monopolies something breaking bad and all their tax evasion would end.

    Maybe the basis of a novel to read next summer …

    • Ad 8.1

      Obama, Trump and Biden have all retreated from the uni-polar power position, and frankly COVID was a stronger test of global trade orders than the current wars are.

      NATO is not a trade deal; it is a defence pact. Trump's threats helped the defence ministries of many EU countries to wake up, gear up, forget previous neutralities, and prepare for the Russian invasion.

      So let's say Trump wins the White House this year.

      That does not mean that European retreat or even detente with Russia is inevitable. In fact it may even make EU military war with Russia more likely since the US is the handbrake.

      A Trump win would be a good thing for regional sovereignty. For example it would focus South East Asian military cooperation (including NZ and Au) to get very strong to protect sea lanes very quickly.

      And it will only take one military incursion into South Korea for the US to wake up to what its military bases are actually there for.

      • SPC 8.1.1

        NATO is not a trade deal; it is a defence pact

        And it might well be sans US membership, like TPP, if Trump wins.

        The EU (and UK) would continue NATO policy on support for Ukraine, but more as the basis for a negotiating position for talks with Russia. Russia wants the end of sanctions (over occupation of the Donbass and Crimea).

        A Trump win would be a good thing for regional sovereignty

        More a threat of a regional hegemony and some sort of subordinate co-existence. Could ASEAN deter the South Sea atolls as part of China claim?

        And it will only take one military incursion into South Korea for the US to wake up to what its military bases are actually there for.

        Why would POTUS Trump commit to the defence of ROK or Taiwan and not NATO nations? White race axis GOP?

        • Ad 8.1.1.1

          You should do a whole post.

          Certainly people like John Bolton are saying that Trump would actively collapse NATO.

          I would not dare to speculate further on the consequences of a Trump II presidency. It's too dark.

          • Morrissey 8.1.1.1.1

            NATO won't "collapse." It needs to be disbanded. If Trump and Bolton actually believed their own rhetoric, and did do something about pulling apart that warmongering coalition, then reasonable people would vote for them.

            • Res Publica 8.1.1.1.1.1

              So collective security is great, unless you actually organise it. Then it's warmongering. Because reasons?

              Riiiiiighhht.

              So, what should Europe do to contain Russian revanchism and expansionism and the multitude of other security threats facing Europe?

              Ask noted respecter of international and human rights law Vladimir Putin if he could pretty please stop interfering with and invading his neighbours out of the goodness of his heart?

              • Morrissey

                Provoking Russia by funding Nazis like the Azov Brigade, which the U.S. was doing even before the end of World War II, and by siting military bases all around Russia is not "collective security" except in the minds of madmen like John Bolton and the "neocons" who destroyed Afghanistan and Iraq.

                • UncookedSelachimorpha

                  "provoking Russia"…

                  russia "provokes" itself to invade various neighbours often, doesn't need any help. They invent whatever reasons suit them at the time.

                  • Morrissey

                    You seem to have mistaken Russia for the United States or Great Britain or Israel or France.

            • SPC 8.1.1.1.1.2

              No.

              If the USA chooses isolationism, NATO (the EU defence group + UK) would negotiate with Russia.

              If the USA chose to continue with multi-lateral collective security, the alternative to current arrangements would be for USA/Canada/UK Norway to be the residual of NATO and the EU block to have defence co-operation with NATO and Russia, once there was agreement on a post Ukraine war Europe.

              The sort of arrangement George Kennan would have advised in the 1990’s.

      • Res Publica 8.1.2

        A Trump win would be a good thing for regional sovereignty. For example it would focus South East Asian military cooperation (including NZ and Au) to get very strong to protect sea lanes very quickly.

        With what money? With who's army, navy and air assets?

        China has a massive and almost insurmountable head start in terms of military capability and technology that will take truly epic and lengthy investment to even start closing. Assuming it's even affordable.

        For example, look at the Australian nuclear submarine programme.

        They're anticipating maybe buying three Virginia class boats in the 2030s while waiting for their 8 subs to be delivered sometime in the 2050s and 60s. The cost? Something like $350 billion AUD.

        Whereas the PLAN already has 11 nuclear powered attack submarines, with at least 3 more under construction. On top of its already large conventional sub force. God only knows how many more they could construct by 2055 if they felt like they were in a regional arms race.

        In that scenario, we, along with much of your militarised ASEAN alliance, would be no better than passengers.

        Let's face it: as uncomfortable and frustrating as they are as allies, our security, and that of the rest of the region relies on the US maintaining the strength and will to counterbalance Chinese pretensions.

    • Corey 8.2

      The thing is most Americans don't want their government funding Ukraines or Israels military.

      Poor, young, working class, black and latino voters are particularly against money going out of their country while their public services and social safety nets are being cut…

      Funding these wars has made Joe Biden the most unpopular president in modern history.

      If Joe Biden continues funding Israel or Ukraine they might as well not have the election because Trump will win all three houses in a landslide because Trump now wins with young, black and Latino voters.

      You can't force Americans to pay for it.

      As for Nato, it's definitely well past time the other members all increased their military budgets to make up for the eventual American cut backs, the rules based order shouldn't rely solely on one country, it’s unfair to that one nation and it’s people.

      The EU really ought to start pulling its weight.

      • SPC 8.2.1

        NATO determined in 2014 to have its members meet a 2% GDP defence budget by 2024. While Obama was POTUS.

        America is not a large scale funder of the Israeli military – it is however an important consumer of American military supplies. What support it provides has stayed the same for decades (diminishing in real value over time) with a similar amount of aid to Egypt and Jordan. And the reason for it was to play the neutral peace broker – for diplomatic reasons.

        The GOP is stronger on support for Israel, than the party of Biden (albeit weird reasons, bible fundamentalists see Israel as proof of the fulfillment of prophecy and their hawks appreciate regional military allies).

        There is currently no large scale funding of Ukraine by the USA because it has been blocked by the GOP in Congress. The same GOP majority in Congress is not proposing any of that money in ways useful to the young, blacks or Hispanics. They are the party of public services and social safety nets being cut.

        • Morrissey 8.2.1.1

          America is not a large scale funder of the Israeli military…

          And thirty beheaded babies. And those hospitals deserved to be destroyed. And NATO is a "defence" alliance. Got it.

          • SPC 8.2.1.1.1

            So no evidence that the US is a large scale funder of the Israel military.

            • Morrissey 8.2.1.1.1.1

              You're not a serious person. I'm not going to waste any more time on your inane false statements.

      • UncookedSelachimorpha 8.2.2

        US aid to Ukraine was 0.33% of GDP in 2023, most of which was spent in the USA employing Americans. 11 other countries contributed more as percentage of GDP.

        US aid to Ukraine has little to no influence on the USA's ability to pay for public services etc – that is more to do with internal neoliberal policies. The "pay for services, not for Ukraine" narrative is an important russian propaganda point, heavily promoted by the russian disinfo machine.

      • Res Publica 8.2.3

        The thing is most Americans don't want their government funding Ukraines or Israels military.

        You could decently argue that far from being subsidised by US taxpayers, the Israelis are doing a fair bit to prop up the American military-industrial complex.

        • Morrissey 8.2.3.1

          They don't need U.S. financial and diplomatic support. And they're stabilising the region for us. Right.

    • mikesh 8.3

      The US backed international order would implode fast. So would the global dollar economy.

      The "global dollar" seems to be part of the problem. That's why a number of countries are endevouring to set up BRICS.

  6. Has Martyn Bradbury fallen out with Chris Trotter? Bomber seems fairly pissed about Trotter's alignment with NZ First. I agree with Bomber, it is pretty disappointing, but Trotter has a track record of inconsistency and going off the rails. Maybe in 2016 Winston First showed some support of meat and potatoes working class issues, but that's a faint memory now and Winnie has laid down with the conspiracy crowd, and gotten fleas.

    The Democracy Project’sresident NZ First apologist, Chris Trotter, argues this new hard right racist Government IS NOT hard right while other defenders of this new hard right racist Government bemoan ‘why can’t we be friends‘ because that’s the new game now […]

    Trotter argues that this is NOT a hard right Government so as to justify his support of NZ First.

    Why Right are suddenly frightened at the backlash to their hard right racist Government and how LINO incrementalists are helping them | The Daily Blog

    • Dennis Frank 9.1

      Leftists disagreeing with other leftists is classic leftism. The syndrome is well-documented as originating in the late 18th century, compounded internationally during the 19th century, raised to the status of political art in the 20th. You just spotted an attempt by a couple of late runners trying to keep up with the bunch.

      Ardern’s political rhetoric indicated a determination to “transform” New Zealand. Exactly what their country was to be transformed into was never made clear to New Zealanders. https://democracyproject.substack.com/p/where-the-people-walk?utm_campaign=email-half-post&r=ykmyv&utm_source=substack&utm_medium=email

      Seems accurate analysis, but punters may come up with proof to the contrary so I'll keep an open mind on his assertion. Reality is real hard to detect sometimes.

      It was the possession of this unassailable majority that spurred Labour’s Māori Caucus into action, and encouraged Labour’s social liberals to proceed as if their radical ideas enjoyed wide popular support.

      These misapprehensions: that New Zealanders were ready to become a Te Tiriti-based nation; and that the peculiar notions of the educated urban middle classes could be imposed upon the rest of the country without provoking passionate resistance; were what convinced Labour and the Greens that they could move sharply leftward without generating a significant conservative backlash.

      I don't blame them for their gamble – times are when we need progress. Will a semblance suffice? No, and that's where the Labour strategy went wrong. Substance is usually required. If they had common sense, they'd know that already.

      • roblogic 9.1.1

        No, Trotter's piece merely shows that the Atlas Network's propaganda campaign succeeded in portraying Labour a certain way and he's (eloquently) expressing the false impression that a couple of years of FUD and lies can produce.

        Trotter wallpapers over the rank misogyny of anti-Jacinda rhetoric and unabashed racism from anti-3W arseholes.

        And there’s no mention of the NAF coalition’s tolerance, or even tacit endorsement, of fringe theories about Covid and the WEF and 15-minute cities and global warming, etc

        Trotter makes the coalition of bullshitters and shysters seem reasonable, mainstream, moderate. That is a shame and a failure of journalism.

    • Ad 9.2

      Bradbury keeps complaining about the absence of 'broad church' activism, but doesn't have an answer for NZFirst getting 8 seats when three months before the election they were going to get nothing.

      There's 8 seats out there begging for the left to get.

      Far better to understand how to win them, than slag off commentators figuring it out.

  7. Morrissey 11

    Well, that should distract the public from the court case on Israeli genocide…

    https://www.middleeasteye.net/news/yemen-us-uk-launch-air-strikes-houthis-red-sea-shipping-attacks-gaza-solidarity

  8. Muttonbird 12

    I'd be interested in the relationship between Scotties owner Sonja Batt and Philip Crump/Thomas Cramer.

    And also between Sonja Batt and Gloriz Ghahraman.

    • Robin The Goodfellow 12.1

      Bet she wishes she'd shown the Scotties employee the contents of her bag that first time when asked

    • Muttonbird 13.1

      The capitalist economies of the West rely on uninterrupted trade to maintain their hegemonic and exploitative agenda. Suez and the Red Sea are strategic weak points in this house of cards and the self-appointed global police have been bound to act.

      Big ups to the Palestine freedom fighting Houthi rebels who have managed to focus attention on the injustices of colonialist powers.

      • tsmithfield 13.1.1

        Firing missiles and hijacking commercial ships is a bit different to marching down the street waving placards don't you think?

        • Muttonbird 13.1.1.1

          It sure is, but marching down the street waving placards is not going to force the issue of a Palestinian state and eject Israel out of the West Bank.

          Direct action is the only way to do this and direct action in that region is necessarily militant. No one listens otherwise.

    • Robin The Goodfellow 14.1

      Well I'd have to say that's cleared everything up, nothing more to see here

      • Robert Guyton 14.1.1

        What's the word that describes this style of commenting from Robin the Goodfellow?

        It's not "Obsequious", or "passive/aggressive/servile".

        It's something else.

        I've seen the same behaviour in a Tom & Jerry cartoon.

        Supercilious, maybe?

    • Anne 14.2

      The Herald's take had headline: Green Party knew of shoplifting against Golriz Gharaman last year. (My bold.)

      Yeah… 27th Dec 2023 when the news rooms were effectively shut down. They've changed it now to "last month", but the inference is the same… the Greens have been hiding the story from the public.

      This is one big effing dirty political cop out!

      https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/golriz-ghahraman-shoplifting-allegations-green-party-knew-of-claims-against-mp-last-month/IPWXRSTVANDSTEOMXILPDWA3EE/

      Edit. Someone closely associated with Scotties or works for them is supplying ZB Plus with the inside info.?

      • Dennis Frank 14.2.1

        Just to clarify:

        Green co-leaders Marama Davidson and James Shaw, in a joint statement issued on Friday afternoon, said they first became aware of an issue on December 27. But at that point, they said it was “not clear” what had happened. In the new year, on January 5, the co-leaders said they were told of a second allegation of shoplifting.

        By who? Doesn't say.

        Behind closed doors, Ghahraman agreed to step down from all her portfolios on January 5 – but that wasn’t communicated to the public until Wednesday.

        So the co-leaders are in touch with her. Seems like it was due to the 2nd allegation, making the issue more serious. So why have they not obtained an explanation from her?? If they have, why keep it quiet? It's in the common interest of the Greens to minimise damage to their brand.

        Experts in political communication say her silence will damage her credibility. But ultimately, as a lawmaker, the MP would be expected to prove her innocence to continue in the job.

        Gordon Campbell gets the point:

        The Greens brand is based on its claims to hold itself to a higher set of values, a fact now being reflected in some of the gleeful schadenfreude evident on social media about the incident. The perception of wrong-doing is already doing harm to the Greens, regardless of whether the shoplifting allegation is proven to have substance. At this interim stage a resignation might be taken as an admission of guilt, with implications for criminal liability. Yet whatever happens from here on, Ghahraman’s political career looks to be irretrievably damaged. http://werewolf.co.nz/2024/01/gordon-campbell-on-biden-v-trump-and-the-taiwan-election/

        Stonewalling a resolution of the impasse seems poor political strategy. Whether innocent or guilty, she ought to demonstrate competence in achieving a rapid exit from her situation. Parental advice would help. Nothing about her comedian partner in all this but if they're still together he could help her think it through too.

        • Dennis Frank 14.2.1.1

          Oh, the Newshub reporter just told us she's expected to return home in the next few days. So she'll front the thing personally then I guess…

        • Res Publica 14.2.1.2

          Stonewalling a resolution of the impasse seems poor political strategy. Whether innocent or guilty, she ought to demonstrate competence in achieving a rapid exit from her situation. Parental advice would help. Nothing about her comedian partner in all this but if they're still together he could help her think it through too.

          I thought her and Guy Williams broke up years ago?

          But totally agree with the sentiment. Irrespective of the facts of the case and the circumstances in which they've come to light, these allegations are incredibly damaging to both Golriz and the party.

          The longer it goes on, the more political capital the Greens will be forced to burn to defend her.

  9. Morrissey 15

    NATO, that infamous tool of U.S. agitation and provocation, is not just laughably paranoid and inept, but dangerous. Here are just two of the reasons it needs to be disbanded:

    Operation Gladio…

    and Operation Washtub…

    https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/mass-for-shut-ins-the-gin-and-tacos-podcast/id1341525125

    • Ad 15.1

      So you believe that NATO should be disbanded.

      Go right ahead and explain what happens next.

      • Morrissey 15.1.1

        Well, for a start, there'll be scores of neo-Nazi groups from Ukraine to Italy that will be sorely short of U.S. funding.

        • Ad 15.1.1.1

          Citation of those funding lines, or stop the bullshit.

          • Morrissey 15.1.1.1.1

            Certainly.

            American politicians, military and intelligence officers were highly likely to have had cooperation with the Azov Battalion, in order to foster extremist forces in Eastern Europe against Russia. …

            According to a Yahoo News article from January 2022, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) has been secretly training forces for Ukraine since 2015. The CIA has been overseeing a secret intensive training program in the US "for elite Ukrainian special operations forces and other intelligence personnel," the article quoted "five former intelligence and national security officials familiar with the initiative" as saying.

            The multi-week program includes training in firearms, camouflage techniques, land navigation, tactics like "cover and move," intelligence and other areas, said the former officials. In addition to the above-mentioned, the CIA also started "traveling to the front in eastern Ukraine to advise their counterparts there by 2015," Yahoo reported.

            Also in 2015, the US Congress removed a ban on funding neo-Nazi groups like Azov Battalion from its year-end spending bill, said an article by The Nation magazine in January 2016. In July 2015, two Congressmen drew up an amendment to the House Defense Appropriations bill that limited "arms, training, and other assistance to the neo-Nazi Ukrainian militia, the Azov Battalion," but the amendment was removed in November following "pressure from the Pentagon," an insider told The Nation.

            "Considering the fact that the US Army has been training Ukrainian armed forces and national guard troops, … Congress and the administration have paved the way for US funding to end up in the hands of the most noxious elements circulating within Ukraine today," commented the article's author James Carden, suggesting that the US military had also engaged in the training of NGU, which may include Azov Battalion members.

            Not surprisingly, observers reportedly saw American weapons in Ukraine "flowing directly to the extremists of Azov." In December 2017, Richard Vandiver of American weapon manufacturer AirTronic told VOA that its sales of lethal weapons to Ukraine were conducted in "very close coordination" with the US Embassy, the US State Department, the Pentagon and the Ukrainian government. Weeks later, the Atlantic Council's Digital Forensic Research Lab confirmed in a January 2018 report that Azov Battalion was a recipient of the transfer.

            More….

            https://www.globaltimes.cn/page/202203/1254217.shtml

          • Morrissey 15.1.1.1.2

            U.S. funding of fascist groups in Italy…

            Was the US involved in neo-fascist Italian terrorism?

            The Spectator, 12 Sept. 2021

            Last month, Italy’s Prime Minister Mario Draghi promised to declassify government documents involving two organisations: Gladio, an anti-communist paramilitary group linked to Nato and the CIA, and a masonic lodge known as P2. These two groups are believed by some to have been involved in the darkest moments of post-war Italian history.

            For much of the latter half of the 20th century, Italy had the unenviable position of being the epicentre of European terrorism. The blast at the Bologna train station in 1980, which left 76 people dead and more than 200 wounded, was at the time the bloodiest terrorist attack ever suffered by a European country. The bombing was pinned on a small neo-fascist militia called Armed Revolutionary Nucleus. But many Italians remain convinced that the attack emerged from a wider far-right network. Draghi’s decision to declassify the papers came on the 41st anniversary of the Bologna killings.

            Post-war Italian psychology was shaped by the overwhelming forces of the USSR stationed just a couple of hours drive from the north eastern border

            Post-war fascism in Italy was predicated on a ‘strategy of tension’. The term, coined by British journalist Neal Ascherson in the Observer in 1972, describes all sorts of plots, including assassinations and false flag terrorist acts, carried out with the aim — not of destabilising the country — but of consolidating power and justifying emergency laws. When I asked Senator Felice Casson, the prosecutor who headed the investigation into Gladio, what his opinion was of Draghi’s decision, he replied ‘Fuffa!’ — ‘just crap’. Casson explained: ‘It’s just an announcement. There is not the courage nor the will to disclose the involvement of foreign powers.’ In 2001, Guido Salvini, a judge involved in the Massacres Commission, claimed: ‘The role of the Americans was ambiguous, halfway between knowing and not preventing and actually inducing people to commit atrocities.’

            The truth of such claims — denied by the US State Department — remain unverified. ….

            https://www.spectator.co.uk/article/was-the-us-involved-in-neo-fascist-italian-terrorism/

        • SPC 15.1.1.2

          Good luck demonstrating a connection between NATO (a defence alliance) and the CIA.

          • Morrissey 15.1.1.2.1

            I've just furnished you with two pieces demonstrating the connection between NATO and the CIA.

            Now you need to do some reading.

            • SPC 15.1.1.2.1.1

              If that is all you have, then you failed. The USA is not NATO, it and the CIA operate independently of NATO, even within Europe.

  10. Muttonbird 16

    Anyone else find it embarrassing it is left to South Africa to put Israel in the dock?

    • Ad 16.1

      More embarrassing that South Africa has never been taken to the ICC for outrageous racist violence, mass deaths, and more, and for at least as long as Israel, but feels it's pure enough to take Israel to the ICC for the same thing.

      • Morrissey 16.1.1

        The apartheid state of South Africa, which was supported by Israel and the United States and Britain, is no more.

        This is a very different South Africa to the one which was responsible for "outrageous racist violence, mass deaths, and more."

    • aj 16.2

      A moment in history. Live streamed, I think, only by AJ News? Doesn't fit the narrative run by most western leaders.

      Supporters: Bolivia, Belgium, Brazil, Maldives, Venezuela and Namibia, Afghanistan, Albania, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Benin, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Brunei Darussalam, Burkina Faso, Algeria, Djibouti, Colombia, Chad, Indonesia, Morocco, Cote d’Ivoire, Palestine, Gabon, Gambia, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Guyana, Iraq, Iran, Cameroon, Qatar, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Comoros, Kuwait, Libya, Lebanon, Malaysia, Mali, Egypt, Mauritania, Mozambique, Niger, Nigeria, Uzbekistan, Pakistan, Senegal, Spain, Sierra Leone, Somali, Sudan, Surinam, Syria, Saudi Arabia, Tajikistan, Togo, Tunisia, Türkey, Turkmenistan, Uganda, Oman, Jordan and Yemen.

      • Morrissey 16.2.1

        Add to that list of supporters: The overwhelming majority of citizens in the United States, and in the other countries with governments afraid to stand up to the United States.

        https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2023/12/6/us-congress-support-for-gaza-ceasefire-lower-than-american-public

        Some 384 parliamentarians around the world have signed a joint statement calling for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza, urging their governments to seek accountability for “grave violations of human rights”.

        As Israel continues its assault in Gaza, the effort is being led by Ilhan Omar, a member of “the Squad” of progressive Democrats in the US Congress, and Sevim Dağdelen, a member of the German Bundestag for the BSW party.

        “We join together to call for an immediate, multilateral ceasefire in Israel and Palestine, the release of all the remaining Israeli and international hostages, and the facilitation of humanitarian aid entry into Gaza,” the statement says.

        “We further urge our own respective governments and the international community to uphold international law and seek accountability for grave violations of human rights.”

        The American signatories are the representatives Omar, Jamaal Bowman, Cori Bush, André Carson, Greg Casar, Jesús García, Hank Johnson, Summer Lee, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ayanna Pressley, Nydia Velázquez and Bonnie Watson Coleman.

        Omar, the first woman of color to represent Minnesota, and one of the first two Muslim-American women elected to Congress, said: “We can hold two things in our heads at once: that the attacks by Hamas on October 7 were a war crime, and that Israel has responded by committing crimes against humanity – crimes that the United States, and much of the West continue to let happen, despite our professed support for international law.

        “I am proud to lead this international effort to demand an end to this violence, to demand a release of the hostages who have now suffered for 133 days, and to condemn all violations of international law in this conflict.”

        The list also includes politicians from Austria, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Britain, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Cyprus, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ghana, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Mexico, the Netherlands, Norway, Peru, Portugal, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and Turkey.

        Among the British contingent are Jeremy Corbyn, a former leader of the Labour party, John McDonnell, a former shadow chancellor of the exchequer, and Shami Chakrabarti, a member of the House of Lords and former director of Liberty, a civil rights organisation.

        Their demand comes on the day that the international court of justice in The Hague is scheduled to hold hearings in a case brought by South Africa claiming that Israel’s war against Hamas militants in Gaza violates the 1948 genocide convention. Colombia and Brazil expressed support for South Africa late on Wednesday.

        https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2024/jan/11/ilhan-omar-gaza-ceasefire-joint-letter

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    Buzz from the Beehive A triumvirate of ministers – holding the Agriculture, Environment and RMA Reform portfolios – has announced the introduction of legislation “to slash the tangle of red and green tape throttling development in key sectors”, such as farming, mining and other primary industries. The exact name of ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    3 days ago
  • More National corruption
    In their coalition agreement with NZ First, the National Party agreed to provide $24 million in funding to the charity "I Am Hope / Gumboot Friday". Why were they so eager to do so? Because their chair was a National donor, their CEO was the son of a National MP ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Submit!
    The Social Services and Community Committee has called for submissions on the Oranga Tamariki (Repeal of Section 7AA) Amendment Bill. Submissions are due by Wednesday, 3 July 2024, and can be made at the link above. And if you're wondering what to say: section 7AA was enacted because Oranga Tamariki ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Reading the MPS numbers thinking about the fiscal situation
    Michael Reddell writes –  The Reserve Bank doesn’t do independent fiscal forecasts so there is no news in the fiscal numbers in today’s Monetary Policy Statement themselves. The last official Treasury forecasts don’t take account of whatever the government is planning in next week’s Budget, and as the Bank notes ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    3 days ago
  • Charter Schools are a worthwhile addition to our school system – but ACT is mis-selling why they a...
    Rob MacCulloch writes – We know the old saying, “Never trust a politician”, and the Charter School debate is a good example of it. Charter Schools receive public funding, yet “are exempt from most statutory requirements of traditional public schools, including mandates around .. human capital management .. curriculum ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    3 days ago
  • Paranoia On The Left.
    How Do We Silence Them? The ruling obsession of the contemporary Left is that political action undertaken by individuals or groups further to the right than the liberal wings of mainstream conservative parties should not only be condemned, but suppressed.WEB OF CHAOS, a “deep dive into the world of disinformation”, ...
    3 days ago
  • Budget challenges
    Muriel Newman writes –  As the new Government puts the finishing touches to this month’s Budget, they will undoubtedly have had their hands full dealing with the economic mess that Labour created. Not only was Labour a grossly incompetent manager of the economy, but they also set out ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    3 days ago
  • Rishi calls an Election.
    Today the British PM, Rishi Sunak, called a general election for the 4th of July. He spoke of the challenging times and of strong leadership and achievements. It was as if he was talking about someone else, a real leader, rather than he himself or the woeful list of Tory ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    3 days ago
  • Photo of the Day: GNR
    This post marks the return of an old format: Photo of the Day. Recently I was in an apartment in one of those new buildings on Great North Road Grey Lynn at rush hour, perfect day, the view was stunning, so naturally I whipped out my phone: GNR 5pm Turns ...
    Greater AucklandBy Patrick Reynolds
    3 days ago
  • Choosing landlords and the homeless over first home buyers
    The Government may struggle with the political optics of scrapping assistance for first home buyers while also cutting the tax burden on landlords, increasing concerns over the growing generational divide. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The Government confirmed it will dump first home buyer grants in the Budget next ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    3 days ago
  • Orr’s warning; three years of austerity
    Yesterday, the Reserve Bank confirmed there will be no free card for the economy to get out of jail during the current term of the Government. Regardless of what the Budget next week says, we are in for three years of austerity. Over those three years, we will have to ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    4 days ago
  • An admirable U-turn
    It doesn’t inspire confidence when politicians change their minds.  But you must give credit when a bad idea is dropped. Last year, we reported on the determination of British PM Rishi Sunak to lead the world in regulating the dangers of Artificial Intelligence. Perhaps he changed his mind after meeting ...
    Point of OrderBy xtrdnry
    4 days ago
  • Climate Adam: Can we really suck up Carbon Dioxide?
    This video includes conclusions of the creator climate scientist Dr. Adam Levy. It is presented to our readers as an informed perspective. Please see video description for references (if any). Is carbon dioxide removal - aka "negative emissions" - going to save us from climate change? Or is it just a ...
    4 days ago
  • Public funding for private operators in mental health and housing – and a Bill to erase a bit of t...
    Headed for the legislative wastepaper basket…    Buzz from the Beehive It looks like this government is just as ready as its predecessor to dip into the public funds it is managing to dispense millions of dollars to finance – and favour – the parties it fancies. Or ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    4 days ago
  • Why has Einstein Medalist Roy Kerr never been Knighted?
    Rob MacCulloch writes – National and Labour and ACT have at various times waxed on about their “vision” of NZ as a high value-added world tech center What subject is tech based upon? Mathematics. A Chicago mathematician just told me that whereas last decade ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    4 days ago
  • Contestable advice
    Eric Crampton writes –  Danyl McLauchlan over at The Listener on the recent shift toward more contestability in public policy advice in education: Education Minister Erica Stanford, one of National’s highest-ranked MPs, is trying to circumvent the establishment, taking advice from a smaller pool of experts – ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    4 days ago
  • How did it get so bad?
    Ele Ludemann writes – That Kāinga Ora is a mess is no surprise, but the size of the mess is. There have been many reports of unruly tenants given licence to terrorise neighbours, properties bought and left vacant, and the state agency paying above market rates in competition ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    4 days ago
  • How serious is an MP’s failure to declare $178k in donations?
    Bryce Edwards writes –  It’s being explained as an “inadvertent error”. However, National MP David MacLeod’s excuse for failing to disclose $178,000 in donations for his election campaign last year is not necessarily enough to prevent some serious consequences. A Police investigation is now likely, and the result ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    4 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on the privatising of state housing provision, by stealth
    The scathing “independent” review of Kāinga Ora barely hit the table before the coalition government had acted on it. The entire Kāinga Ora board will be replaced, and a new chair (Simon Moutter) has been announced. Hmm. No aspersions on Bill English, but the public would have had more confidence ...
    4 days ago
  • Our House.
    I'll light the fireYou place the flowers in the vaseThat you bought todayA warm dry home, you’d think that would be bread and butter to politicians. Home ownership and making sure people aren’t left living on the street, that’s as Kiwi as Feijoa and Apple Crumble. Isn’t it?The coalition are ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    4 days ago
  • Getting to No
    Politics is about compromise, right?  And framing it so the voters see your compromise as the better one.  John Key was a skilful exponent of this approach (as was Keith Holyoake in an earlier age), and Chris Luxon isn’t too bad either. But in politics, the process whereby an old ...
    Point of OrderBy xtrdnry
    5 days ago
  • At a glance – How does the Medieval Warm Period compare to current global temperatures?
    On February 14, 2023 we announced our Rebuttal Update Project. This included an ask for feedback about the added "At a glance" section in the updated basic rebuttal versions. This weekly blog post series highlights this new section of one of the updated basic rebuttal versions and serves as a ...
    5 days ago
  • Bryce Edwards: How serious is an MP’s failure to declare $178k in donations?
    It’s being explained as an “inadvertent error”. However, National MP David MacLeod’s excuse for failing to disclose $178,000 in donations for his election campaign last year is not necessarily enough to prevent some serious consequences. A Police investigation is now likely, and the result of his non-disclosure could even see ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    5 days ago
  • Get your story straight, buddy
    The relentless drone coming out of the Prime Minister and his deputy for a million days now has been that the last government was just hosing  money all over the show and now at last the grownups are in charge and shutting that drunken sailor stuff down. There is a word ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    5 days ago
  • A govt plane is headed for New Caledonia – here’s hoping the Kiwis stranded there get better ser...
    Buzz from the Beehive Foreign Minister Winston Peters has confirmed a New Zealand Government plane will head to riot-torn New Caledonia in the next hour in the first in a series of proposed flights to begin bringing New Zealanders home. Today’s flight will carry around 50 passengers with the most ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    5 days ago
  • Who is David MacLeod?
    Precious declaration saysYours is yours and mine you leave alone nowPrecious declaration saysI believe all hope is dead no longerTick tick tick Boom!Unexploded ordnance. A veritable minefield. A National caucus with a large number of unknowns, candidates who perhaps received little in the way of vetting as the party jumped ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    5 days ago
  • The Four Knights
    Rex Ahdar writes –  The Rt Hon Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, likes to trace his political lineage back to the pioneers of parliamentary Maoridom.   I will refer to these as the ‘big four’ or better still, the Four Knights. Just as ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    5 days ago
  • Could Willie Jackson be the populist leader that Labour need?
    Bryce Edwards writes –  Willie Jackson will participate in the prestigious Oxford Union debate on Thursday, following in David Lange’s footsteps. Coincidentally, Jackson has also followed Lange’s footsteps by living in his old home in South Auckland. And like Lange, Jackson might be the sort of loud-mouth scrapper ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    5 days ago
  • Unacceptable
    That is the only way to describe an MP "forgetting" to declare $178,000 in donations. The amount of money involved - more than five times the candidate spending cap, and two and a half times the median income - is boggling. How do you just "forget" that amount of money? ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Justice for Gaza!
    It finally happened: the International Criminal Court prosecutor is seeking an arrest warrant for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for war crimes in Gaza: The chief prosecutor of the international criminal court has said he is seeking arrest warrants for senior Hamas and Israeli officials for war crimes and ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Media Link: AVFA on the implications of US elections.
    In this week’s “A View from Afar” podcast Selwyn Manning and spoke about the upcoming US elections and what the possibility of another Trump presidency means for the US role in world affairs. We also spoke about the problems Joe … Continue reading ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    5 days ago
  • Web of Chaos, Secret Dolphins & Monster Truck Madness
    Hi,Two years ago I briefly featured in Justin Pemberton’s Web of Chaos documentary, which touched on things like QAnon during the pandemic.I mostly prattled on about how intertwined conspiracy narratives are with Evangelical Christian thinking, something Webworm’s explored in the past.(The doc is available on TVNZ+, if you’re not in ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    5 days ago
  • How Government’s road obsession is ruining Auckland’s transport plans
    “TL;DR: The reality is that Central Government’s transport policy and direction makes zero sense for Auckland, and if the draft GPS doesn’t change from its original form, then Auckland will be on a collision course with Wellington.” Auckland’s draft Regional Land Transport Plan (RLTP) 2024 is now out for consultation, ...
    Greater AucklandBy Connor Sharp
    5 days ago
  • Bernard’s Dawn Chorus and pick ‘n’ mix for Tuesday, May 21
    The Government is leaving the entire construction sector and the community housing sector in limbo. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The Government released the long-awaited Bill English-led review of Kāinga Ora yesterday, but delayed key decisions on its build plan and how to help community housing providers (CHPs) build ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • Climate change is affecting mental health literally everywhere
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Daisy Simmons Farmers who can’t sleep, worrying they’ll lose everything amid increasing drought. Youth struggling with depression over a future that feels hopeless. Indigenous people grief-stricken over devastated ecosystems. For all these people and more, climate change is taking a clear toll ...
    5 days ago
  • The Ambassador and Luxon – eye to eye
    New Zealand’s relationship with China is becoming harder to define, and with that comes a worry that a deteriorating political relationship could spill over into the economic relationship. It is about more than whether New Zealand will join Pillar Two of Aukus, though the Chinese Ambassador, more or less, suggested ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    6 days ago
  • Fast track to environmental degradation
    Been hoping we would see something like this from Sir Geoffrey Palmer. This is excellent.The present Bill goes further than the National Development Act 1979  in stripping away procedures designed to ensure that environmental issues are properly considered. The 1979 approach was not acceptable then and this present approach is ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    6 days ago
  • Leading Labour Off The Big Rock Candy Mountain.
    He’s Got The Moxie: Only Willie Jackson possesses the credentials to meld together a new Labour message that is, at one and the same moment, staunchly working-class, union-friendly, and which speaks to the hundreds-of-thousands of urban Māori untethered to the neo-tribal capitalist elites of the Iwi Leaders Forum.IT’S ONE OF THE ...
    6 days ago
  • Priority is given to powerlines – govt strikes another blow for the economy while Jones fends off ...
    Tree-huggers may well accuse the Government of giving them the fingers, after Energy Minister Simeon Brown announced new measures to protect powerlines from trees, rather than measures to protect trees from powerlines. It can be no coincidence, surely, that this has been announced at the same as Fisheries Minister Shane Jones ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    6 days ago
  • Climate Change: The question we need to be asking
    One of National's first actions in government was to dismantle climate change policy, scrapping the clean car discount and overturning the Government Investment in Decarbonising Industry, which had given us Aotearoa's biggest-ever emissions reduction. But there's an obvious problem: we needed those emissions reductions to meet our carbon budgets: ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Bryce Edwards: Could Willie Jackson be the populist leader that Labour need?
    Willie Jackson will participate in the prestigious Oxford Union debate on Thursday, following in David Lange’s footsteps. Coincidentally, Jackson has also followed Lange’s footsteps by living in his old home in South Auckland. And like Lange, Jackson might be the sort of loud-mouth scrapper who could take over the Labour ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    6 days ago
  • The Tikanga challenge for law schools, the rule of law – and Parliament
    Barrister Gary Judd KC’s complaint to the Regulatory Review Committee has sparked a fierce debate about the place of tikanga Māori – or Māori customs, values and spiritual beliefs – in the law.Judd opposes the New Zealand Council of Legal Education’s plans to make teaching tikanga compulsory in the legal curriculum.AUT ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    6 days ago
  •  The Huge Potential Benefits of Charter Schools
    Alwyn Poole writes –  In New Zealand we have approximately 460 high schools. The gaps between the schools that produce the best results for students and those at the other end of the spectrum are enormous.In terms of the data for their leavers, the top 30 schools have ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    6 days ago

  • Major investment in teacher supply through Budget 24
    Over the next four years, Budget 24 will support the training and recruitment of 1,500 teachers into the workforce, Education Minister Erica Stanford announced today. “To raise achievement and develop a world leading education system we’re investing nearly $53 million over four years to attract, train and retain our valued ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    9 hours ago
  • Joint statement on the New Zealand – Cook Islands Joint Ministerial Forum – 2024
    1.  New Zealand Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Rt Hon Winston Peters; Minister of Health and Minister for Pacific Peoples Hon Dr Shane Reti; and Minister for Climate Change Hon Simon Watts hosted Cook Islands Minister of Foreign Affairs and Immigration Hon Tingika Elikana and Minister of Health Hon Vainetutai Rose Toki-Brown on 24 May ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Middle East, Africa deployments extended
    The Government has approved two-year extensions for four New Zealand Defence Force deployments to the Middle East and Africa, Defence Minister Judith Collins and Foreign Minister Winston Peters announced today. “These deployments are long-standing New Zealand commitments, which reflect our ongoing interest in promoting peace and stability, and making active ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Climate Change Commission Chair to retire
    The Climate Change Commission Chair, Dr Rod Carr, has confirmed his plans to retire at the end of his term later this year, Climate Change Minister Simon Watts says. “Prior to the election, Dr Carr advised me he would be retiring when his term concluded. Dr Rod Carr has led ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Inaugural Board of Integrity Sport & Recreation Commission announced
    Nine highly respected experts have been appointed to the inaugural board of the new Integrity Sport and Recreation Commission, Sport & Recreation Minister Chris Bishop says. “The Integrity Sport and Recreation Commission is a new independent Crown entity which was established under the Integrity Sport and Recreation Act last year, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • A balanced Foreign Affairs budget
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters confirmed today that Vote Foreign Affairs in Budget 2024 will balance two crucial priorities of the Coalition Government.    While Budget 2024 reflects the constrained fiscal environment, the Government also recognises the critical role MFAT plays in keeping New Zealanders safe and prosperous.    “Consistent with ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New social housing places to support families into homes
    New social housing funding in Budget 2024 will ensure the Government can continue supporting more families into warm, dry homes from July 2025, Housing Ministers Chris Bishop and Tama Potaka say. “Earlier this week I was proud to announce that Budget 2024 allocates $140 million to fund 1,500 new social ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New Zealand’s minerals future
    Introduction Today, we are sharing a red-letter occasion. A Blackball event on hallowed ground. Today  we underscore the importance of our mineral estate. A reminder that our natural resource sector has much to offer.  Such a contribution will not come to pass without investment.  However, more than money is needed. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government sets out vision for minerals future
    Increasing national and regional prosperity, providing the minerals needed for new technology and the clean energy transition, and doubling the value of minerals exports are the bold aims of the Government’s vision for the minerals sector. Resources Minister Shane Jones today launched a draft strategy for the minerals sector in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government progresses Māori wards legislation
    The coalition Government’s legislation to restore the rights of communities to determine whether to introduce Māori wards has passed its first reading in Parliament, Local Government Minister Simeon Brown says. “Divisive changes introduced by the previous government denied local communities the ability to determine whether to establish Māori wards.” The ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • First RMA amendment Bill introduced to Parliament
    The coalition Government has today introduced legislation to slash the tangle of red and green tape throttling some of New Zealand’s key sectors, including farming, mining and other primary industries. RMA Reform Minister Chris Bishop says the Government is committed to  unlocking development and investment while ensuring the environment is ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government welcomes EPA decision
    The decision by Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) to approve the continued use of hydrogen cyanamide, known as Hi-Cane, has been welcomed by Environment Minister Penny Simmonds and Agriculture Minister Todd McClay.  “The EPA decision introduces appropriate environmental safeguards which will allow kiwifruit and other growers to use Hi-Cane responsibly,” Ms ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Speech to Employers and Manufacturers Association: Relief for today, hope for tomorrow
    Kia ora, Ngā mihi nui ki a koutou kātoa Tāmaki Herenga Waka, Tāmaki Herenga tangata Ngā mihi ki ngā mana whenua o tēnei rohe Ngāti Whātua ō Ōrākei me nga iwi kātoa kua tae mai. Mauriora. Greetings everyone. Thank you to the EMA for hosting this event. Let me acknowledge ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government invests in 1,500 more social homes
    The coalition Government is investing in social housing for New Zealanders who are most in need of a warm dry home, Housing Minister Chris Bishop says. Budget 2024 will allocate $140 million in new funding for 1,500 new social housing places to be provided by Community Housing Providers (CHPs), not ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • $24 million boost for Gumboot Friday
    Thousands more young New Zealanders will have better access to mental health services as the Government delivers on its commitment to fund the Gumboot Friday initiative, says Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters and Mental Health Minister Matt Doocey.  “Budget 2024 will provide $24 million over four years to contract the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Residential Tenancies Amendment Bill passes first reading
    The Coalition Government’s Residential Tenancies Amendment Bill, which will improve tenancy laws and help increase the supply of rental properties, has passed its first reading in Parliament says Housing Minister Chris Bishop. “The Bill proposes much-needed changes to the Residential Tenancies Act 1986 that will remove barriers to increasing private ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Montecassino Commemorative Address, Cassino War Cemetery
    Standing here in Cassino War Cemetery, among the graves looking up at the beautiful Abbey of Montecassino, it is hard to imagine the utter devastation left behind by the battles which ended here in May 1944. Hundreds of thousands of shells and bombs of every description left nothing but piled ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • First Reading – Repeal of Section 7AA of the Oranga Tamariki Act 1989
    I present a legislative statement on the Oranga Tamariki (Repeal of Section 7AA) Amendment Bill Mr. Speaker, I move that the Oranga Tamariki (Repeal of Section 7AA) Amendment Bill be now read a first time. I nominate the Social Services and Community Committee to consider the Bill. Thank you, Mr. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • First reading of 7AA’s repeal: progress for children
    The Bill to repeal Section 7AA of the Oranga Tamariki Act has had its first reading in Parliament today. The Bill reaffirms the Coalition Government’s commitment to the care and safety of children in care, says Minister for Children Karen Chhour.  “When I became the Minister for Children, I made ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • China Business Summit 2024
    Kia ora koutou, good morning, and zao shang hao. Thank you Fran for the opportunity to speak at the 2024 China Business Summit – it’s great to be here today. I’d also like to acknowledge: Simon Bridges - CEO of the Auckland Chamber of Commerce. His Excellency Ambassador - Wang ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Assisted depatures from New Caledonia
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has confirmed a New Zealand Government plane will head to New Caledonia in the next hour in the first in a series of proposed flights to begin bringing New Zealanders home.    “New Zealanders in New Caledonia have faced a challenging few days - and bringing ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Assisted departures from New Caledonia
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has confirmed a New Zealand Government plane will head to New Caledonia in the next hour in the first in a series of proposed flights to begin bringing New Zealanders home.  “New Zealanders in New Caledonia have faced a challenging few days - and bringing them ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government to rollout roadside drug testing
    The Coalition Government will introduce legislation this year that will enable roadside drug testing as part of our commitment to improve road safety and restore law and order, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says.  “Alcohol and drugs are the number one contributing factor in fatal road crashes in New Zealand. In ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Minister responds to review of Kāinga Ora
    The Government has announced a series of immediate actions in response to the independent review of Kāinga Ora – Homes and Communities, Housing Minister Chris Bishop says. “Kāinga Ora is a large and important Crown entity, with assets of $45 billion and over $2.5 billion of expenditure each year. It ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Pseudoephedrine back on shelves
    Associate Health Minister David Seymour is pleased that Pseudoephedrine can now be purchased by the general public to protect them from winter illness, after the coalition government worked swiftly to change the law and oversaw a fast approval process by Medsafe. “Pharmacies are now putting the medicines back on their ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • New Zealand-China Business Summit
    Tēnā koutou katoa. Da jia hao.  Good morning everyone.   Prime Minister Luxon, your excellency, a great friend of New Zealand and my friend Ambassador Wang, Mayor of what he tells me is the best city in New Zealand, Wayne Brown, the highly respected Fran O’Sullivan, Champion of the Auckland business ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • New measures to protect powerlines from trees
    Energy Minister Simeon Brown has announced that the Government will make it easier for lines firms to take action to remove vegetation from obstructing local powerlines. The change will ensure greater security of electricity supply in local communities, particularly during severe weather events.  “Trees or parts of trees falling on ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Wairarapa Moana ki Pouakani win top Māori dairy farming award
    Wairarapa Moana ki Pouakani were the top winners at this year’s Ahuwhenua Trophy awards recognising the best in Māori dairy farming. Māori Development Minister Tama Potaka announced the winners and congratulated runners-up, Whakatōhea Māori Trust Board, at an awards celebration also attended by Prime Minister Christopher Luxon and Finance Minister ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • DJ Fred Again – Assurance report received
    "On the 27th of March, I sought assurances from the Chief Executive, Department of Internal Affairs, that the Department’s correct processes and policies had been followed in regards to a passport application which received media attention,” says Minister of Internal Affairs Brooke van Velden.  “I raised my concerns after being ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • District Court Judges appointed
    Attorney-General Judith Collins has announced the appointment of three new District Court Judges, to replace Judges who have recently retired. Peter James Davey of Auckland has been appointed a District Court Judge with a jury jurisdiction to be based at Whangarei. Mr Davey initially started work as a law clerk/solicitor with ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Unions should put learning ahead of ideology
    Associate Education Minister David Seymour is calling on the Post Primary Teachers’ Association (PPTA) to put ideology to the side and focus on students’ learning, in reaction to the union holding paid teacher meetings across New Zealand about charter schools.     “The PPTA is disrupting schools up and down the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Craig Stobo appointed as chair of FMA
    Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Andrew Bayly today announced the appointment of Craig Stobo as the new chair of the Financial Markets Authority (FMA). Mr Stobo takes over from Mark Todd, whose term expired at the end of April. Mr Stobo’s appointment is for a five-year term. “The FMA plays ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Budget 2024 invests in lifeguards and coastguard
    Surf Life Saving New Zealand and Coastguard New Zealand will continue to be able to keep people safe in, on, and around the water following a funding boost of $63.644 million over four years, Transport Minister Simeon Brown and Associate Transport Minister Matt Doocey say. “Heading to the beach for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand and Tuvalu reaffirm close relationship
    New Zealand and Tuvalu have reaffirmed their close relationship, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters says.  “New Zealand is committed to working with Tuvalu on a shared vision of resilience, prosperity and security, in close concert with Australia,” says Mr Peters, who last visited Tuvalu in 2019.  “It is my pleasure ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand calls for calm, constructive dialogue in New Caledonia
    New Zealand is gravely concerned about the situation in New Caledonia, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.  “The escalating situation and violent protests in Nouméa are of serious concern across the Pacific Islands region,” Mr Peters says.  “The immediate priority must be for all sides to take steps to de-escalate the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand welcomes Samoa Head of State
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon met today with Samoa’s O le Ao o le Malo, Afioga Tuimalealiifano Vaaletoa Sualauvi II, who is making a State Visit to New Zealand. “His Highness and I reflected on our two countries’ extensive community links, with Samoan–New Zealanders contributing to all areas of our national ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Island Direct eligible for SuperGold Card funding
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