Open Mike 22/12/2016

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, December 22nd, 2016 - 146 comments
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146 comments on “Open Mike 22/12/2016”

  1. Carolyn_nth 1

    It’ll be interesting to see how frequently the TV1 and TV3 political polls are done and/or reported on next year. The thing about such polls, is not so much are the figures, as in how the journos spin them.

    • Cinny 1.1

      Morena Beautiful, what delightful news to read this morning about the polls. Isn’t it interesting that the media appears to be keeping hush about the polls. I’m a bit of a news junkie and haven’t heard boo about this poll apart from here on The Standard.

      On the first day of solstice nature gave to me
      A declining National Party.

      On the second day of solstice nature gave to me….
      I’m yet to find out what that will be…. 😀

      • Pedant 1.1.1

        I think National should be rendered in apostrophes – thus .. ‘national’.
        They are anything *but* national !

  2. The Chairman 2

    Labour lacks voter trust. Therefore, is it wise for them to run an election campaign touting tax changes to be announced after the election?

    Moreover, while Little reaffirmed his opposition to raising the retirement age, he failed to rule out other options such as changes to the current indexing (which links super to wage rates) no doubt leaving a number of voters feeling skeptical.

    With such low voter trust, can Labour risk going into an election while leaving voters with such uncertainty?

    • My gut says it is all there to lose for Labour if they get it wrong and I hope they don’t because that ratpack of gnats is not very bright and don’t deserve to be ministers imo.

      • The Chairman 2.1.1

        My gut says this approach (leaving so much uncertainty) is extremely risky, thus increases their rate of failure at the polls.

        They still have time to re-examine this approach, rebuild voter trust by telling voters what they plan to do.

        They are really pushing it if they expect people to race out and vote for the unknown.

        • Rosemary McDonald

          “…..rebuild voter trust by telling voters what they plan to do.”

          A perfect way to begin the day’s discussion.

          (And what that young fella Toby Morris was saying the other day on the wireless….)

          • The Chairman

            Labour’s menu is looking rather bare.

            I’ve been told Labour don’t want to startle the horses, well uncertainty startles voters.

            Expecting voters to vote for change is one thing but expecting them to vote for uncertain change is a step too far.

            Labour needs to bring voters along, not leave them out in the dark.

            • Jim

              The Chairman
              In general Labour goes into elections with detailed policy which is outlined on the labour website in the months leading up to the election, not earlier so as not to allow Labour light copying by National. Conversely National generally goes into elections with little detailed policy. Many policy changes such as the increasing of GST after the 2008 election are not anounced prior to the election. Pot calling kettle much!

              • The Chairman

                To date, out of the small number of policies Labour have announced, a number of them are lacking, therefore could and should be improved.

                Nevertheless, National can decide to adopt Labour policy at any given time, thus the argument for Labour keeping their powder dry doesn’t stack up.

                Until recently, National had brand Key. A brand voters seemed to trust, thereby that political appeal allowed National to get away with more or less as the case may be.

                Labour doesn’t carry such voter goodwill, therefore their approach must differ.

                • Sacha

                  “National can decide to adopt Labour policy at any given time, thus the argument for Labour keeping their powder dry doesn’t stack up.”


                  • The Chairman

                    It’s not nonsensical, it’s the reality Labour face.

                    Regardless of when Labour announce policy, National can decide to adopt it or elements of it.

                • Under Privileged

                  All I and my family want is a living wage, an adequate home, affordable doctors visits, some hope for my children, and a government that cares. Good by Blue team, you haven’t delivered, and your not capable.

                  • The Chairman

                    While National has shown they can’t deliver your desires, a change of Government is pointless if they are also unable to deliver.

        • Gabby

          They should wait until Bingles announces his policy instead of letting him flog theirs as usual.

          • alwyn

            That isn’t a problem that Labour has.
            Their real problem is their leader. He doesn’t have any real opinions at all on anything except that everyone should contribute to the Unions so that they can finance his election campaign.

            Little, Andrew bases his policy on a very simple system. Whatever National announce he will insist on the opposite. If National haven’t announced their policy he is helpless. His mouth opens and shuts but nothing emerges.

            Look at the flag debate. Labour went into the last election with a firm policy of having a new flag. When National went ahead with the idea he flipped.

            Labour went into the last election with a firm policy of raising the age for super. When Bill wouldn’t commit to the same thing Andrew flipped. He has currently come to the right approach but not for the right reason. If National were to announce that there is no need to raise the age Angry will do a double back flip with twist and adopt the other line again.

            The man is a fool. Probably due to his original legal training he has no principles or firm beliefs about anything. He will argue either side of the debate, based merely on what pays him the most..

            • Robert Guyton

              But what Andrew Little isn’t is a cut-and-runner, like Key. Little’s here for the contest. Captain Key’s abandoned ship, leaving his crew flailing wildly in rough seas; Bilge-water Bill at the wheel, fool steam ahead, damn the torpedoes housing crisis!

              • alwyn

                Andrew Little leave voluntarily?

                You really must be dreaming. Here is a man who has reached his 50s but who hasn’t, in spite of the good “rich prick” salaries he has been receiving for many years, apparently not been able to pay of his mortgage and who has accumulated neither savings nor investments.
                At least according to his Parliamentary return of pecuniary interests.

                Now he has got a job that pays him around $300,000/annum.
                Leave? He’s in heaven. He will be like Walter Nash if he can and will be carried out at the age of 86.

                • Andrew Little, Prime Minister till he’s 86!!
                  Alwyn! You dark horse, you!
                  All your previous cantankerousness, a front, a facade for your true pro-Labour position! You had us going, you ol’ scally-wag!

                  • alwyn

                    You do remember Walter Nash, do you?

                    Apparently not. Perhaps Andrew will emulate Walter. If he did it would make him PM in 2040 at the age of 75. He would keep the job for 3 years and then be dumped. They would even kick him out of his leader of the Labour Party in 2045. He would then revert to the back benches and die, still in harness, in 2051.

                    Possible? I suppose so but do you really think that Grant wouldn’t stab him in the back sometime in the next 24 years while Andrew remains Leader of the Opposition? If you do you clearly have more faith in Grant’s patience than I do.

                    • Walter Nash was before my time, alwyn, and I’m no historian specializing in the Labour Party, as you appear to be and it’s good to have someone with a long memory on board the Good Ship T.S. In fact, I’m not a Labour man, though I certainly enjoy this site. Younger than you and more forgiving, me. I don’t think I’ve ever big-noted Labour or her MPs, but I certainly have sung the praises of some principled politicians at times. You seem not to believe in such creatures. I’ve met a number of them and while I understand the problems with holding a position of political responsibility and making decisions on behalf of a varied population (I’m a local body politician) I am able to forgive those who find themselves in impossible situations or wrongfully portrayed by punters such as yourself (and others – sorry to see Stunned Mullet’s untimely departure from today’s debate 🙂
                      I didn’t like Key though. I met him personally and felt he was untrustworthy. From my point of view, he seemed to be deceiving us all. I reckon my radar is pretty sound. Misleading, misdirecting; they are signs to give a person a very wide berth, in my opinion. Sadly, we had to tolerate him for a long time. Gone now though. Very Good Thing.

                • Pedant

                  Grow up son. Mortgage, savings, and investments ?
                  Go travel in India. Broaden your perspectives ..

                  • Pedant

                    Alwyn .. +1

                    • alwyn

                      Perhaps you are right.
                      Looking at Andrew Little he does remind me of the statue of Mahatma Gandhi near the Wellington Railway station. Same haggard look and tatty clothing.
                      He is probably as intelligent as the statue, although not of course the real person.
                      I hope he has a better taste in what he drinks than the real Mahatma of course.

                    • Agora

                      Ad-hominem (i.e. personal) attacks will get you nowhere, alwyn.
                      People have long memories and Aotearoa has a relatively small politically active community.

            • Robert Guyton

              “Look at the flag debate. Labour went into the last election with a firm policy of having a new flag.” Indeed. A new flag. One chosen by the people of New Zealand. Not Key’s Personal corporate branding rag. You gotta admire Labour for winning that contest, despite Key having tens of millions of taxpayer dollars to waste on his attempt to impose his desire on us. And I suspect you do.

              • alwyn

                “One chosen by the people of New Zealand”.
                And precisely how was that going to happen?
                It would have been done in exactly the same way as was actually chosen. What alternative was there?

                Why do you bother to waffle on about it being “Key’s Personal rag”. Are you really as stupid as you seem? Key didn’t “choose” it did he.
                Probably yes, you really are that stupid. Anyone who thinks Little is Prime Ministerial material clearly must be pretty thick.

                If you can’t come up with an argument that at least has a little bit of a connection to reality I don’t think I will waste any more of my time on responding to your dribbling. If you come up with something at least remotely corresponding to reality I may give your education some more of my time.

                • Am I really as stupid as I seem? If I seem stupid, I’d be stupid to claim otherwise. Regarding the flag, Key certainly appeared to favour one particular option, guided the selection of it, promote it heavily through his comments and wearing it on his lapel, so yes, Key chose a flag but failed to get his choice accepted widely enough to have it replace the existing flag. What alternative to the process Key chose for the selection of a new flag? May I ask you a question in response that that, alwyn? Did you not read anything, any where on the topic of alternative approaches the Government might have taken to the choosing of a flag? If you were and are completely unaware of any discussion around the process, I’m not sure what sort of person you might be – some would say you’d have to have been living under a rock to have missed that debate, but as I’m not in favour of usingad hominem techniques in a debate, (though I note you have no such compunction) I won’t suggest that applies to you. I feel confident that you live in a house, though perhaps you don’t receive a newspaper and maybe your computer only sends, not receives.

            • Jim

              The press,national party people,and trolls like yourself always rubbish the current labour leader. Remember the nanny state cat call against Helen Clark and apologising for men’s violence toward women by David Cunliff as apologizing for being a man.This angry Andy thing is just one in a long line of personality bashing and to me shows that the blue machine must be really worried.

            • Johan

              To alwyn:
              The only fool here is you alwyn. You have been continually trying to knee-cap Andrew Little as leader of the opposition, just to voice your hatred for Labour.
              Bill English is hardly solid leadership material, I would give Little a head-start in that department.
              “He will argue either side of the debate, based merely on what pays him the most..” very immature of you alwyn.

    • greywarshark 2.2

      The Chairman
      I remember a few decades ago, Labour held conferences around the country talking to the people and asking what they thought was important. Would that up their profile, and bring them closer to a range of NZrs?

      • Rosemary McDonald 2.2.1

        In 2014 there were “Meet the Candidates” sessions in various centres to discuss disability issues.

        We attended the one in Hamilton and the one in Kaitaia. Notice was taken on who turned up and what they had to say. Looking back, NZ First fielded folk with the best working knowledge of the issues while some of us took the opportunity to put the National candidate in Hamilton on the griddle, and I understand some rather difficult questions were asked of Te Ureroa Flavell at the meeting in Wellington.

        I admit that many of us “veterans” went into those meeting resigned to the fact that it would be SSDD…having expectations of anything getting better in the near or distant future is asking for disappointment.

        If there were to be meetings such as you suggest greywarshark, they would have to be open to everyone…not just paid up party members.

      • The Chairman 2.2.2

        @ greywarshark

        There are a number of ways a Party can put their finger on the pulse of public opinion.

        Holding conferences around the country tend to only attract the truly interested.

        As well as rebuilding trust, Labour require to get more people interested, they need to create a buzz.

  3. Will Chester Borrows have a merry Christmas?
    His front-seat passenger/shot-gun rider seems to be happy enough.
    I wonder if anyone’s asked Paula for her version of events?

    • Jenny Kirk 3.1

      Paula will be like the three monkeys on this occasion, Robert G – see no evil, speak no evil, hear no evil. She probably had her eyes closed while Chester Borrows kept driving into those protestors.

      • Stunned Mullet 3.1.1

        Waste of court time and money.

        Chester should be wrapped over the hand with a wet bus ticket give the appropriate apology and that should be the end of it.

        • KJT

          Another one who thinks we should have open season on running people over/ Assualt with a deadly weapon it is properly called.

          A young brown person who ran over someones toe is still in Ngawha.

          • Stunned Mullet

            Are you still [deleted] KJT ?

            Chester should have stopped, let the protestors make dicks of themselves and allowed the police to remove them.

            That he drove slowly forward and managed to make them make even larger dicks of themselves was stupid, however, no one was seriously hurt.

            So as I said Chester should be wrapped over the hand with a wet bus ticket give the appropriate apology and that should be the end of it.

            Without knowing the circumstances of the incident you’re quoting it is difficult to offer any comment.

            [I’m taking that as a face value accusation. And banning you for two weeks off the back of it. It should probably be longer, but hey, it’s the season of good will and cheer.] – Bill

            • Robert Guyton

              “should have” agreed, Stunned Mullet, should have. “Legally obliged to” is another way of saying it. “No one was seriously hurt”, you say and that’s a good thing, but “not seriously hurt” is no legal defense against assault. So there it is and Chester and those of us interested in the case, await the judge’s decision. I wonder if Paula will be required to give evidence; What Paula Saw – or What Paula Said, would be interesting to know. We can speculate, for fun.

              • Stunned Mullet

                ..and the protesters are legallly obliged to not block the footpath Robert…

                Don’t you thing the courts have better things to waste their time on ?

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  Let’s face it, it just wouldn’t be fair to expect a National MP to show some personal responsibility, now would it: far better to have some Stunned Lickspittle minimise and deflect instead.

                • There was a consequence for the protester (injured foot) and there should be one for Chester as well – the judge will decide. Better things for the courts to do? No doubt. Many cases would fall into that category, however, the courts are there for the purpose of issues great and small. This is a case that interests me and others. If you have no interest in the issue, perhaps you could concern yourself with those “better things”, Stunned.

      • alwyn 3.1.2

        Politicians are like that.
        Remember the former Labour Party leader we had who claimed she never realised that he car night, just might, have been travelling at about twice the speed limit?
        Concentrating on important papers she said. The other MP present said he was close to terror at the speed they were travelling.

        • Robert Guyton

          The other MP wasn’t concentrating on important papers, plus, he was not a cool-as-a-cucumber Prime Minister.
          In any case, alwyn-of-the-long-and-bitter-memory, that was then, this is now. Chester was at the wheel and can’t claim to be “concentrating on important papers”…can he? Maybe that’s his defense! Or perhaps Paula had just dropped the “Key’s doing a runner and I’m gunna be Deputy” bombshell and he lost control of his foot.

          • alwyn

            Yes, it was a long time ago. It is of course just as long since we had a competent leader of the Labour Party.
            Keep the faith brother. Someday those glory years will return.
            I’m not going to hold my breath while I wait for them though.

            • Robert Guyton

              I thought, judging by some of your blue-faced comments, that you were.

            • Johan

              Why has Key been labelled a popular leader and what has he really done for New Zealand? Probably bugger all!

              • Agora

                People justified Hitler by saying he had them in some mystical thrall. Key projected confidence, that’s all. I could be more direct but I would probably get banned from this forum.

  4. Eyes closed and squealing? I doubt it. She’s no shrinking violet. She’d have been egging Chester on. Whatever it was she said, she’ll be keeping it close to her Chest.

  5. Radio blearing Baubles Bangles and Beads,–heard nothing, your honor.

  6. Brigid 6

    “A French court on Monday convicted International Monetary Fund chief Christine Lagarde of “negligence” for her role in a controversial €400 million payout to a French tycoon in 2008 while she was finance minister.

    The Court of Justice did not hand down a sentence, a decision welcomed by her lawyer, Patrick Maisonneuve, as a “partial” victory.
    “We wanted a complete acquittal, instead we got a partial one,” said Maisonneuve. “The court has decided not to penalise her – in fact, the court even decided this should not go on Madame Lagarde’s criminal record.”

    The executive board representing the IMF’s 189 member countries reaffirmed its full confidence in Lagarde’s ability to lead the crisis lender, hours after the verdict was issued.

    Media in France seized on the guilty-without-punishment verdict, voicing indignation in editorials Tuesday morning. In the left-leaning daily Libération, Laurent Joffrin wrote, “The ordinary person answerable to the law, less apt to be handled with kid gloves, will draw from this the notion that the ordinary fellow, who doesn’t enjoy an ‘international reputation’, to quote the decision, will not be able to benefit from similar indulgence.””

    “…will not be able to benefit from similar indulgence.” Indeed!

    • Wensleydale 6.1

      Having influential friends makes all the difference. It’s nice to be reassured that justice isn’t blind, just mentally defective.

      • Draco T Bastard 6.1.1

        Have we ever got justice from our justice system?

        This letting the rich and famous off while hammering the poor has been going on for a long time.

  7. Draco T Bastard 9

    Celebrity isn’t just harmless fun – it’s the smiling face of the corporate machine

    The rise of celebrity culture did not happen by itself. It has long been cultivated by advertisers, marketers and the media. And it has a function. The more distant and impersonal corporations become, the more they rely on other people’s faces to connect them to their customers.

    Corporation means body; capital means head. But corporate capital has neither head nor body. It is hard for people to attach themselves to a homogenised franchise owned by a hedge fund whose corporate identity consists of a filing cabinet in Panama City. So the machine needs a mask. It must wear the face of someone we see as often as we see our next-door neighbours. It is pointless to ask what Kim Kardashian does to earn her living: her role is to exist in our minds. By playing our virtual neighbour, she induces a click of recognition on behalf of whatever grey monolith sits behind her this week.

    Why do people become obsessed with others in the MSM? Why do they allow themselves to be so overtly manipulated?

    • Paul 9.1

      Monbiot is one of my favourite writers.

      Here’s my list of commentators I enjoy.
      I’d love to hear other people’s suggestions….

      New Zealand
      Rachel Stewart
      Bryan Bruce
      Rod Oram
      Frank Macskasy
      Laila Harré
      John Minto

      Robert Fisk
      John PIlger
      George Monbiot
      George Galloway
      Owen Jones
      Patrick Cockburn
      Peter Hitchens ( my right wing entry)

      • Nick 9.1.1

        Jimmy Dore on YouTube I enjoy.

      • Carolyn_nth 9.1.2

        So there aren’t any international women commentators of note?

        I’d also include Jane Kelsey & Sue Bradford in NZ.

        And Naomi Klein internationally.

        Probably some others, too.

        oh, yeah – Morgan Godfery…

        tired this evening.

        and don’t really want to add some sort of celebrity worship of the above.

    • Siobhan 9.2

      Not wishing to derail the conversation;)

      For myself not a day goes by where I don’t question the ‘why’ of the masses. If its any consolation the existence of Bernie, Corbyn and Brexit (oh God, and Trump) are the first real cracks in the Manufacturing of Consent in the ‘West’.

    • Carolyn_nth 9.3

      Before celebrity culture, there was the Star system – Hollywood stars also performed a role within capitalism from the 1920s -1950s/60s.

      They were larger than life, glamorous fronts for US capitalist culture of individualism, the US dream, consumer products, and allegedly an egalitarian culture where individuals could speak out about their concerns. They were part of a magical world on the big screen, that took people out of their everyday lives and worries.

      Celebrity culture arose with shifts in both capitalism (to neoliberalism and corporate transnational dominance) and media/communications technologies.

      Celebrities appear on small screens, and started to arise in the 1980s with video technologies – where everyone could own movies in their own homes.

      Celebrities inhabit more of our everyday world, and are part of more interactive communications – people can phone/txt in their votes for reality TV celebs. And the rise of mobile technologies, and social media, shifted the celebrity culture even more into people’s everyday lives.

      I think the percentages of cultural coverage quoted, comparing early & later 20th century with 21st century, are misleading. Media and communications had changed. Late 20th century and 21st century media and communications saturate our lives in ways they never did earlier in the 20th century.

      Both Hollywood stars of past times, and more recent celebrity culture, sell a version of capitalism to the general population – albeit different versions.

  8. Rosemary McDonald 10

    The day is fast approaching when Hamilton and Auckland will be joined in a vast, sprawling megalopolis.

    Hamilton City Council has just released it’s Housing Accord…a la Auckland and Tauranga….

    …with the promise to free up more land for development and fast track consents.

    There may even be something in there to give hope to those seeking affordable housing….cue, Tui slogan.

    So, while huge tracts of fertile Waikato farm land is being subsumed into housing expansion, with the very real possibility that these developments will join up with the huge tracts of fertile South Auckland horticultural land also being converted….will the new inhabitants of these housing areas have the best vegetable gardens in New Zealand?

    There may very well be a silver lining here….

  9. Rosemary McDonald 11

    And from the ‘nothing better to do with their time’ file…our Friend Wayne, you know,
    Wayne ‘New Zealand’s never been in better shape’ Mapp is participating in a belated conversation over on Kiwibog about the Legatum Institute report putting NZ at the top of the most prosperous nation pile.

    And obviously because the discussion over on Kiwibog is so predictably formulaic, Friend Wayne has to share with the Kiwiboggers what Standardnistas are thinking about the economic state of the nation.

    I guess he thinks more of this site than I thought.

    • Paul 11.1

      ‘Legatum Limited, also known as Legatum, is a private investment firm headquartered in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. With a long-term perspective, Legatum invests proprietary capital in global capital markets.
      The Legatum Institute Foundation was established in 2007 as an independent non-partisan charitable public policy think-tank that seeks to understand what drives and restrains national success and individual flourishing. ‘

      So an extreme neo-liberal think-tank reckons we are great.

      We should be worried, not flattered.

      Pity the corporate media does not do a back check on these dodgy organisations.

      No wonder people don’t trust the msm any more.

    • KJT 11.2

      Notice bullshit Wayne actually starts by talking about GDP per capita, where we have got way behind Australia since our 80’s “reforms.

      But he fudges by using total GDP as an indication of our gains over Australia. As this is the result of immigration earthquakes and housing speculation. It is nothing to be proud of.

    • Jilly Bee 11.3

      Out of curiosity I had a look at Kiwiblog, held my nose and read the preceding comments to Wayne Mapp’s contribution. My initial reaction to these were ‘Wow, just wow’ – the ‘names’ of some of the commenters, to me are simply sickening and their comments are obviously par for the course of a blog of that nature. The vitriol, hostility, and contempt towards comments from those who vote other than for Act/National, unions and their members, women (including of course Helen Clark – still after all this time) was quite mind blowing and any moderate comments disagreeing with the theme got the big thumbs down. I felt quite sullied after a few minutes and got out of there. I realise that some of TS commenters are pretty robust at times but the clear majority are sensible and thought provoking. I noticed that a few of the commenters have cropped up on other blogs (including TS), I sometimes read and while they are forthright in their views they are not in the same league as the bile they feel at liberty to spew forth over at KB.

      • Rosemary McDonald 11.3.1

        Yep, Farrar’s little cesspit of barely veiled hate -speechers is an eye opener alright.

        Kiwibog, the home of the always, always right.

        It’s almost as if Farrar has taken it upon himself to keep hate alive.

        I think that actually there is Farrar, his disabled person hating mate Garrett and our mutual friend Wayne Mapp who are actually real individuals. The rest, I’m pretty sure are made up personas that enable Farrar to really let down what’s left of his hair on full noise slander and slagging.

        I could be wrong.

        Now watch one of the Standard mods step in and give me a ticking off for bald shaming. 😉

  10. Paul 12

    Peter Hitchens on Syria.
    Listen from 1:37:40

    • Paul 12.1

      And more from Hitchens.

      Peter Hitchens argues for Aleppo and Mosul as equivalent, says terrorists are being defeated in both.

      “To me the extraordinary thing about this [the events in eastern Aleppo City] is the attitude we have towards it. We still take a ‘something must be done’ view of Aleppo, when in fact what is happening is that the very, very nasty al-Nusra Front—the kind of people who a few years ago we were denouncing as al-Qaeda and regarding as hopelessly impossible Islamists—are being defeated. And that city [Aleppo] is finally going to come to the point where there will at least be peace. The only mercy in war is a swift victory and there hasn’t been a swift victory. But after seven—nearly seven—years of war in Syria it looks as if we might be reaching the point where Saudi Arabia, and us [Britain], and the French are going—and the Americans—are going to give up trying to overthrow a government, and people can at last begin to rebuild the country. …

      Our sources for this [that the pro-Assad coalition is systematically destroying civilian infrastructure] are people inside eastern Aleppo. There hasn’t, as far as I know, been a single, independent, Western journalist in eastern Aleppo. We rely entirely on propaganda sources, on pictures which always show wounded children being carried by noble, unarmed men in heaps of rubble. And we rely on this and we take it as read. You never see any of this kind of reporting from Mosul or from Fallujah, where similar things have happened, which have been done by our side. This blackening of the Russians just seems to me to be particularly ridiculous. The thing is nearly over. We should be pleased at least that they can start rebuilding.”

      The reality is that al-Qaeda in Syria, now rebranded as Jabhat Fatah al-Sham (JFS) and ostensibly severed from al-Qaeda, had at most 900 fighters inside Aleppo City when this assault began, about 11% of a total insurgent force of 8,000, which has always been dominated in this area by nationalists.

      • Paul 12.1.1

        Amid the bombs of Aleppo, all you can hear are the lies.
        Peter Hitchens

        An excerpt

        In the past few days we have been bombarded with colourful reports of events in eastern Aleppo, written or transmitted by people in Beirut (180 miles away and in another country), or even London (2,105 miles away and in another world). There have, we are told, been massacres of women and children, people have been burned alive.

        The sources for these reports are so-called ‘activists’. Who are they? As far as I know, there was not one single staff reporter for any Western news organisation in eastern Aleppo last week. Not one.

        This is for the very good reason that they would have been kidnapped and probably murdered. The zone was ruled without mercy by heavily armed Osama Bin Laden sympathisers, who were bombarding the west of the city with powerful artillery (they frequently killed innocent civilians and struck hospitals, since you ask). That is why you never see pictures of armed males in eastern Aleppo, just beautifully composed photographs of handsome young unarmed men lifting wounded children from the rubble, with the light just right.
        The women are all but invisible, segregated and shrouded in black, just as in the IS areas, as we saw when they let them out.

        For reasons that I find it increasingly hard to understand or excuse, much of the British media refer to these Al Qaeda types coyly as ‘rebels’ (David Cameron used to call them ‘moderates’). But if they were in any other place in the world, including Birmingham or Belmarsh, they would call them extremists, jihadis, terrorists and fanatics. One of them, Abu Sakkar, famously cut out and sank his teeth into the heart of a fallen enemy, while his comrades cheered. This is a checked and verified fact, by the way.

        Sakkar later confirmed it to the BBC, when Western journalists still had contact with these people, and there is film of it if you care to watch. There is also film of a Syrian ‘rebel’ group,

        Nour al-din al Zenki, beheading a 12-year-old boy called Abdullah Issa. They smirk a lot. It is on the behalf of these ‘moderates’ that MPs staged a wholly one-sided debate last week, and on their behalf that so many people have been emoting equally one-sidedly over alleged massacres and supposed war crimes by Syrian and Russian troops – for which I have yet to see a single piece of independent, checkable evidence.

        When I used to travel a lot in the communist world, I especially hated the fact that almost every official announcement was a conscious lie, taunting the poor subjugated people with their powerlessness to challenge it.

        I would spend ages twiddling dials and shifting aerials to pick up the BBC World Service on my short-wave set – ‘the truth, read by gentlemen’ – because it refreshed the soul just to hear it. These days the state-sponsored lies have spread to my own country, and to the BBC, and I tell the truth as loudly as I can, simply because I cannot hear anyone else speaking it. If these lies go unchallenged, they will be the basis of some grave wrong yet to come.

        Read the whole article here.

        Amid the bombs of Aleppo, all you can hear are the lies

        • Paul

          So let’s review the situation….

          The following independent journalists have all questioned the propaganda being disseminated by the mainstream western media about Aleppo.

          Patrick Cockburn
          Peter Hitchens
          Robert Fisk
          John Pilger
          Peter Oborne
          Eva Bartlett

          Yet pm, Jenny, Peter Swift and others on this site disagree with them.
          What do they know that the 6 journalists above do not know?

          • Psycho Milt

            Peter Hitchens is a right-wing authoritarian (who would voluntarily describe themselves as a “Burkean conservative,” for fuck’s sake?) who works for the Daily Mail, so if you’re quoting him you should maybe re-think what you’re doing. Eva Bartlett is a Syrian regime shill. John Pilger’s a has-been with an obsession that everything bad that happens is somehow the work of the US government. The others actually are proper journalists but don’t appear to share your enthusiasm for the Assad regime.

            Also, you’re arguing from authority again. It doesn’t become less of a logical fallacy the more it’s repeated, you know.

            • Paul

              There’s more propaganda than news coming out of Aleppo this week
              The foreign media has allowed – through naivety or self-interest – people who could only operate with the permission of al-Qaeda-type groups such as Jabhat al-Nusra and Ahrar al-Sham to dominate the news agenda.

              Patrick Cockburn

            • Paul

              There is more than one truth to tell in the heartbreaking story of Aleppo

              But it’s time to tell the other truth: that many of the “rebels” whom we in the West have been supporting – and which our preposterous Prime Minister Theresa May indirectly blessed when she grovelled to the Gulf head-choppers last week – are among the cruellest and most ruthless of fighters in the Middle East. And while we have been tut-tutting at the frightfulness of Isis during the siege of Mosul (an event all too similar to Aleppo, although you wouldn’t think so from reading our narrative of the story), we have been willfully ignoring the behaviour of the rebels of Aleppo.

              Robert Fisk


            • Paul

              For the past few weeks, British news-papers have been informing their readers about two contrasting battles in the killing grounds of the Middle East. One is Mosul, in northern Iraq, where western reporters are accompanying an army of liberation as it frees a joyful population from terrorist control. The other concerns Aleppo, just a few hundred miles to the west. This, apparently, is the exact opposite. Here, a murderous dictator, hellbent on destruction, is waging war on his own people.

              Both these narratives contain strong elements of truth. There is no question that President Assad and his Russian allies have committed war crimes, and we can all agree that Mosul will be far better off without Isis. Nevertheless, the situations in Mosul and Aleppo are fundamentally identical. In both cases, forces loyal to an internationally recognised government are attacking well-populated cities, with the aid of foreign air power. These cities are under the control of armed groups or terrorists, who are holding a proportion of their population hostage.

              A further double standard concerns the reporting of Russian and Syrian atrocities. Much has — rightly — been made of the so-called barrel bombs dropped on Aleppo by the Russians. Yet rebel commanders in eastern Aleppo use equally hideous weapons. Last April, fighters from Jaish al-Islam, backed by Saudi Arabia and considered moderate enough that American diplomats retain relations with them, admitted to using chemical weapons against the Kurds in Aleppo. This attack received almost no attention from the media, and failed to generate the faintest outrage in Britain.

              Jaish al-Islam employ a so-called ‘hell cannon’ to fire gas canisters and shrapnel weighing up to 40 kilograms into civilian areas. These are every bit as murderous as the barrel bombs. Reports in the western press have suggested that hell cannons are examples of the engineering ingenuity of plucky rebels. Few journalists have dwelled on the fact that these improvised weapons have been deliberately used to kill hundreds of Aleppo civilians.

              Yet another double standard applies to the destruction of hospitals. When I was in Aleppo, I interviewed Mohamad El-Hazouri, head of the department of health, at the Razi hospital. He told me that when rebel groups entered the city they put six of the 16 hospitals out of service, as well as 100 of the 201 health centres, and wiped out the ambulance service.


              Peter Oborne

              • And your point is?

                • Paul

                  You can’t work it out?


                  All 3 of these independent journalists have all questioned the propaganda being disseminated by the mainstream western media about Aleppo.

                  • They’ve all pointed out that the rebel forces in east Aleppo include some very unpleasant people, yes. Which actually hasn’t been concealed from us by our media, because we all knew about it before we read Fisk et al’s pieces on it. You keep quoting them and posting excerpts from their work as if they’d somehow proved that it’s actually OK for the Assad regime and its patrons to be carrying out indiscriminate bombardment of rebel-held cities, but they haven’t proved anything of the kind, or tried to prove it, and would probably be horrified that you’re trying to misrepresent their work in that way.

            • Paul

              John PIlger is a proper journalist by anyone;s standards – except yours.
              Here is is most recent film.
              The Coming War on China.

            • Paul

              Peter Hitchens may be right wing and he may right for the Mail. I disagree with him on most things, like George Galloway does.
              However, he is not an establishment figure on several issues.
              A great deal more independent thinker than the establishment corporate media you get your ideas from.

              Clearly you did not watch this or if you did, you did not understand what he was saying.

              • Well, sure. Famous right-wing authoritarian Peter Hitchens shares your enthusiasm for authoritarian nationalist dictatorships. That’s not something to be proud of.

          • Paul

            Eva Bartlett appears brave and independent to me.
            And seems to have the authority of the United Nations behind her at this press conference.
            Here she schools a mainstream journalist about their biased coverage.

            • Psycho Milt

              Eva Bartlett appears brave and independent to me.

              That’s your problem in a nutshell. Someone who’s plainly a regime shill, embarrassingly-obviously so, appears to you “brave and independent.” It explains the risible propaganda you post to this blog every day all by itself.

          • Jenny

            Opinion is still opinion no matter how ilustrious the source. It pays to try and discuss the facts. Contest them if you can.

            What I find with most Assad supporters is that instead of defending or challenging the facts I put up, they tend to talk right past or simply just ignore them if it dosen’t fit their narrative.

  11. Draco T Bastard 13

    Found out why RWNJs always try to rewrite history:

    On 11 August 2015, the popular gonzo news site VICE published a story about a conspiracy theory surrounding the children’s storybook characters the Berenstain Bears. The theory went like this: many people remember that the bears’ name was spelt “Berenstein” – with an “e” – but pictures and old copies proved it was always spelt with an “a”. The fact that so many people had the same false memory was seen as concrete proof of the supernatural.

    “Berenstein” truthers believe in something called the “Mandela Effect”: a theory that a large group of people with the same false memory used to live in a parallel universe (the name comes from those who fervently believe that Nelson Mandela died while in prison). VICE’s article about the theory was shared widely, leading thousands of people to r/MandelaEffect, a subreddit for those with false memories to share their experiences.

    Yep. They’re all from a different dimension. 😈

  12. joe90 14

    Dude spent three years writing a chapter by chapter review of the book without orcs.

    Atlas Shrugged


    A Novel for the 1% (March 22, 2013)
    Atlas Shrugged is more popular than ever among economic conservatives, precisely because it offers a full-blown defense of rapacious, predatory capitalism in a time of vast inequality.

  13. Fisiani 15

    Celtic 14 points clear. National 14 points ahead. It’s going to be a great 2017.

    • mac1 15.1

      Was that an answer to a question?

      • Fisiani 15.1.1

        Celtic and National are always the right answer.

        • joe90

          Celtic, huh

        • Draco T Bastard

          So, what you’re saying is that I should embrace my Celtic heritage and go medieval on your heinie right?

        • mac1

          So the answer to a question about, say, had you been asked one of course, which no-one would do since you never ever answer awkward questions, house prices along the lines of, oh I dunno, try “Why are there insufficient builders, fisiani?”, then the answer would be Celtic and National?

          Well, bugger me. you’re half right. It is National’s fault that the number of apprentices has fallen by nearly half since 2008, and that this is al;so the answer to why there are insufficient builders.

          Yay, fisiani. At last a true answer. Well done!

          The other answer, Celtic, is also true because of the number of Irish builders brought into the country after the failure of the Celtic Tiger.

          100% accuracy, fisiani.

    • swordfish 15.3

      Fisi “Celtic 14 points clear. National 14 points ahead. It’s going to be a great 2017”

      Here you go, sweetness …

      Nats take a plunge on the Roy Morgan roundabout

      Compared to last Election, Lab+Green up 7 points, Opposition Bloc up 5, Right Bloc down 5. Nat’s lead over Lab+Green slashed from 11 points to a mere 2.

      Incidentally, my little Tory cheerleader, one minute your implying you’re of Noble Black African birth*, next moment you’re apparently a Catholic Glaswegian from Pollokshields , immersed in the Old Firm Rivalry (“See you, Wee Jimmy“).

      Whit are ye daein ya dobber !, Make your mind up, ya wee dunderheed.

      * /john-keys-housing-announcement/#comment-959169

  14. Paul 16

    ‘Listening to the voices’: UK priest goes to Aleppo to ‘see what’s really going on’

  15. Draco T Bastard 18

    Globalization Doesn’t Make as Much Sense as It Used To

    It has been largely forgotten that one of the key objectives of postwar free-trade policy was to maintain a roughly balanced trade account—a goal that the country is likely about to pursue anew and that will likely affect its policies touching on not just trade, but investments, currency, technology, and labor as well.

    Which, of course, is why we have floating currencies but they’ve been set to float incorrectly being based upon demand rather than actual trade-weighting. This has resulted in a huge misalignment in the economy and such action as the 1987 attack on our own currency by Kreiger and our own John Key.

    Trade-weighting would have to take into account the actual balance of trade, the balance of payments, working conditions, the minimum wage and other factors. In other words, all the things that are ignored by present FTAs.

  16. Paul 20

    ‘Fake News’ in America: Homegrown, and Far From New
    Chris Hedges

    The media landscape in America is dominated by “fake news.” It has been for decades. This fake news does not emanate from the Kremlin. It is a multibillion-dollar-a-year industry that is skillfully designed and managed by public relations agencies, publicists and communications departments on behalf of individuals, government and corporations to manipulate public opinion. This propaganda industry stages pseudo-events to shape our perception of reality. The public is so awash in these lies, delivered 24 hours a day through electronic devices and print, that viewers and readers can no longer distinguish between truth and fiction.

    There are established journalists who have spent their entire careers repackaging press releases or attending official briefings or press conferences—I knew several when I was with The New York Times. They work as stenographers to the powerful. Many such reporters are highly esteemed in the profession…..

    ……The corporations that own media outlets, unlike the old newspaper empires, view news as simply another revenue stream. Revenue streams compete inside a corporation. When the news division does not make what is seen as enough profit, the ax comes down. Content is irrelevant. The courtiers in the press, beholden to their corporate overlords, cling ferociously to their privileged and well-compensated perches. Because they slavishly serve the interests of corporate power, they are hated by America’s workers, whom they have rendered invisible. They deserve the hate they get…….

    ……….The object of fake news is to shape public opinion by creating fictional personalities and emotional responses that overwhelm reality. Hillary Clinton, contrary to how she often was portrayed during the recent presidential campaign, never fought on behalf of women and children—she was an advocate for the destruction of a welfare system in which 70 percent of the recipients were children. She is a tool of the big banks, Wall Street and the war industry. Pseudo-events were created to maintain the fiction of her concern for women and children, her compassion and her connections to ordinary people. Trump never has been a great businessman. He has a long history of bankruptcies and shady business practices. But he played the fictional role of a titan of finance on his reality television show, “The Apprentice.”……………

    …….Images, which are how most people now ingest information, are especially prone to being made into fake news. Language, as the cultural critic Neil Postman wrote, “makes sense only when it is presented as a sequence of propositions. Meaning is distorted when a word or sentence is, as we say, taken out of context; when a reader or a listener is deprived of what was said before and after.” Images do not have a context. They are “visible in a different way.” Images, especially when they are delivered in long, rapid-fire segments, dismember and distort reality. The condition “recreates the world in a series of idiosyncratic events.”………..

    ………..A populace divorced from print and bombarded by discordant and random images is robbed of the vocabulary as well as the historical and cultural context to articulate reality. Illusion is truth. A whirlwind of emotionally driven cant feeds our historical amnesia.

    The internet has accelerated this process. It, along with cable news shows, has divided the country into antagonistic clans. Members of a clan watch the same images and listen to the same narratives, creating a collective “reality.” Fake news abounds in these virtual slums. Dialogue is shut down. Hatred of opposing clans fosters a herd mentality. Those who express empathy for “the enemy” are denounced by their fellow travelers for their supposed impurity. This is as true on the left as it is on the right. These clans and herds, fed a steady diet of emotionally driven fake news, gave rise to Trump.

    Trump is adept at communicating through image, sound bites and spectacle. Fake news, which already dominates print and television reporting, will define the media under his administration. Those who call out the mendacity of fake news will be vilified and banished. The corporate state created this monstrous propaganda machine and bequeathed it to Trump. He will use it.

  17. Paul 21

    ‘This is a huge waste of taxpayer money’
    Families are facing a bleak Christmas in cramped motel rooms that are costing taxpayers thousands of dollars each week.

  18. Paul 22

    There is a complete Bias in the Western Media
    Press Conference at the United Nations against propaganda and regime change, for peace and national sovereignty.

  19. Paul 23

    East Aleppo residents tell of living under al Qaeda rule.
    Interview by Vanessa Beeley, December 2016

  20. Paul 24

    Eva Bartlett spoke in Santa Cruz, California on December 14, 2016.
    Her speech contextualizes and demystifies the mainstream media portrayal of current events happening on the ground in Aleppo, Syria.

  21. Paul 25

    The BBC has form on bias.
    Just ask the Scots.

  22. Agora 26

    Hey Psycho, that is a ‘Hakenkreuz’ .. broken cross .. any way you cut it.
    Symbols have meanings. It may be very ‘post-modern’ to play with them, but you will still get strong emotional reactions. I’m off to bed ..

  23. Draco T Bastard 27

    This is the type of manufacturing that 3D printing will be replacing first.

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    The following was released yesterday (Tues, October 8) by the women’s liberation organisation Speak Up for Women. On 23 September Speak Up For Women announced that we would be holding an event at the Massey University Theaterette in Wellington. The event is called Feminism 2020. The intention of the event ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Farmers support dirty rivers
    The government is currently consulting on plans to improve freshwater quality. So naturally, farmers oppose it:South Taranaki farmers are preparing to fight proposed national freshwater changes that some fear will bankrupt them. The Government's proposed National Environment Standard on Freshwater Management, released in September, rated the Waingongoro River as one ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • No-one cares about local government
    Yesterday was the last day for (reliably) posting your vote away in local body elections. Turnouts are mostly much lower than the equivalent time last year (Palmerston North is down 2.3%), and so naturally people are pushing their online-voting snake oil again. Because the online census worked so well, lets ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The political ghosts of eugenics may matter more than the genetic
    This essay, on the political legacy of the eugenics movement, by Kenan Malik was originally published in the Observer on 6 October 2019, under the headline ‘The spirit of eugenics is still with us, as immigrants know to their cost’. Birth control. Intelligence tests. Town planning. Immigration controls. It’s striking how ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • “Surplus” again
    Another year, and the government has announced another enormous government "surplus". And just like last year, its nothing of the sort. When we have people homeless and sick and hungry, when we have schools and hospitals still falling down, when we have underpaid public servants and infrastucture unmaintained or unbuilt, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Inside the Downing Street bunker
    James Forsyth at The Spectator (I know, I know) has tapped one of his contacts inside Number Ten for an insight into the Johnson administration's thinking and strategy.It is fascinating, unsettling and quite, quite mad.  Some key points:Negotiations have stalled and the Johnson administration are keen to blame the EU: ...
    1 week ago
  • Taking Control Of The Nation’s Story.
    Fatal Contact: With the arrival of captain James Cook in October 1769, the islands of what would become New Zealand ceased to be the preserve of Polynesian navigators and settlers and became a part of both the world’s map and the world’s history.THE MAORI NATIONALIST assault upon the historical meaning ...
    1 week ago
  • Are GNUs extinct?
    Another round of tactical talks about forming a Government of National Unity have come to nothing with the Liberal Democrats still refusing countenance putting Jeremy Corbyn into Downing Street:Opposition talks on Monday made little headway over when to try and vote down Boris Johnson's government and who might succeed him as ...
    1 week ago
  • Labour chickens out again
    When the government was elected, it promised to lead the way on electric vehicles, and specifically to make the government vehicle fleet emissions-free where-practicable by 2025.They lied:There are 15,473 vehicles in the government fleet and only 78 are electric. When the coalition Government came into power in late 2017, the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Transgender extremism, violence at work against feminist meeting at British Labour Party conference
    by Nick Rogers The debate around the meaning of sex and gender made an appearance at this year’s British Labour Party conference in Brighton. Women’s Place UK – an organisation that questions the demand that biological males who self-identify as woman should have access to women’s spaces, to all-women shortlists, ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Rebelling in Wellington
    Yesterday I went down to Wellington to participate in the Extinction Rebellion protest. Its part of the latest global wave of XR actions, with actions happening all over the world. Some of those protests are massively disruptive: in Canada, XR is blocking major bridges, stopping people from getting to work. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • ‘The Workshop’ – Report: Talking about Poverty and Welfare Reform: A Guide to Strategies that ...
    The Workshop is a charitable trust for public good. The Workshop undertake research to find ways of communicating that will build support for the solutions that work to solve complex social and environmental problems. See their Report on Talking about Poverty and Welfare Reform below. ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    1 week ago
  • Exclusive language
    What is language? We generally assume that it a facility unique to humans, allowing us to share what’s in and on our minds. We can tell of our plans, our past exploits, our knowledge. It also allows us to lie. And yet there are vast numbers of people we can’t ...
    SciBlogsBy Michael Corballis
    1 week ago
  • April 2018 – Submission to the NZ Govt Tax Working Group
    You can read our submission HERE ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    1 week ago
  • 2018 – Submission to the NZ Government Tax Working Group
    Read our submission here ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    1 week ago
  • Guardian: Poll shows DISASTER for Corbyn and the End of Times
    The Guardian - ever eager to forewarn of doom and disaster on the left - are leading with a new poll from Opinium, which puts the Conservatives 15% clear of Labour.Con 38% +2Lab 23% -1Lib Dem 15% -5Brexit 12% +1Green 4% +2This isn't good news, and it would be very ...
    1 week ago
  • How prostitution became the world’s most modern profession
    Being and Being Bought (Spinifex Press, 2013) by Kajsa Ekis Ekman  A synopsis and commentary of Chapters 1-2 by Daphna Whitmore Ekman, a Swedish journalist and critic, brings together a Marxist and feminist analysis of prostitution and surrogacy in this groundbreaking book She opens the discussion with a definition of ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Clever legal fellow on Scottish challenge to Brexit
    I make no claims to having much legal knowledge,  so I defer to those trained in this area.I am very much enjoying this twitter stream from m'learned friend in Edinburgh, deciphering the legal arguments around the Scottish court challenge to Boris Johnson, based on the charmingly obscure principle of Nobile ...
    2 weeks ago
  • An Open Letter From Closed Minds.
    Ivory Folly? The University of Auckland’s Vice-Chancellor, Professor Stuart McCutcheon, upheld the right of the radical nationalist group, Action Zealandia to exercise their freedom of speech – not matter how distasteful that speech might be. A wiser community of students and scholars would have nodded their agreement and moved on. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Extinction Rebellion members want to “eat babies”
    If you are not convinced terrorist Organisation ‘Extinction Rebellion’ is very, very dangerous – watch this video at one of their recent meetings. Not only is this obviously mentally ill Woman begging the other terrorists to promote killing and “eating” babies and children, if you watch carefully other members nod ...
    An average kiwiBy
    2 weeks ago
  • The government needs to tell people about the OIA
    The Ombudsman has been surveying people about their knowledge of the OIA and the right to information. Unfortunately, it doesn't seem that widespread:The Chief Ombudsman says too many New Zealanders were in the dark over their right to access official information. Peter Boshier said an independent survey released yesterday on ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: Join the rebellion
    In the wake of last Friday's climate strike, Peter McKenzie had an article in The Spinoff about protest strategies. The school strike movement is "polite" and cooperates with those in power because that's its kaupapa - its led by schoolkids who understandably don't want to risk arrest. But there's more ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Jermey Corbyn, I don’t like GNU (sorry)
    So, the latest ruminations on the gnews from Westminster (Again, sorry; I'll stop making that pun right now).  This follows on from, and likely repeats bits of, my last post, on the suggestion that a Government of National Unity (GNU) should be set up and then oversee a referendum before ...
    2 weeks ago
  • New Fisk
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • About time
    New Zealand likes to think of itself as not a racist country (despite being founded on the racist dispossession and subjugation of Maori). But for years, we've had a racist refugee policy, which basicly excludes refugees from Africa and the Middle East unless they already have relatives here. Now, the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Legal Beagle: Vexation, or Something Too Long for Twitter
    Several people have asked me whether a particular repeat litigant could be declared a vexatious litigant, in light of their recent decision to appeal an adverse High Court ruling. My nascent tweet thread was getting ridiculously long, so it became this blog post instead.The short answer is: no. The particular ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Zealandia’s Lost Boys.
    Appealing To The Past: Action Zealandia, like so many of the organisations springing up on the far-Right, across what they call the “Anglosphere”, is born out of the profound confusion over what a man is supposed to be in the twenty-first century and, more importantly, what he is supposed to do.THE STATUE OF ...
    2 weeks ago
  • British trade union and political activists defend women’s right to speak, organise
      The attempts of anti-democratic transactivists to (often violently) disrupt women’s rights organising is largely ignored by those sections of the left most prone to misogyny and authoritarianism in New Zealand.  In Britain, however, scores of trade union and left activists added their names to a letter in July, defending ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Turning their back on justice
    The Justice Committee has reported back on the Criminal Cases Review Commission Bill. The Bill would establish an independent, quasi-judicial body to investigate and review potential miscarriages of justice, and refer them back to the Court of appeal if required. It would be a vital backstop to our judiciary, help ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • US imperialism’s 40 years of war on the Iranian people
    by The Spark On September 14, a total of 22 drones and cruise missiles struck two oil installations in Saudi Arabia, the Abqaiq processing facility and the Khurais oil field. Abqaiq is the largest oil production facility in the world. For a few days afterwards, Saudi Aramco, the Saudi national ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • $47 billion
    How much will NeoLiberal irregulation of the building sector and subsequent leaky homes crisis cost us? $47 billion, according to a new book:The total cost to fix all of New Zealand's leaky homes would be $47 billion, probably. The estimate comes from a new book, Rottenomics written by journalist Peter ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago

  • Kiwis to take part in world’s biggest earthquake drill
    At 1.30pm tomorrow, hundreds of thousands of Kiwis will join about 65 million people around the globe in ShakeOut, the world’s biggest earthquake drill. The annual drill is to remind people of the right action to take during an earthquake which is to Drop, Cover, Hold, and to practise their ...
    3 hours ago
  • Rising wages and low inflation supporting Kiwis
    Kiwis are benefiting from higher wage growth and low inflation under the Coalition Government. Stats NZ data out today shows the rise in the cost of living remains low, as annual Consumers Price Index (CPI) inflation fell to 1.5% in September from 1.7% in June. “The low inflation comes as ...
    5 hours ago
  • NZ economy strong amid global headwinds
    New Zealand’s economic strength and resilience has been recognised in a major update on the state of the global economy. The IMF’s latest World Economic Outlook released overnight shows a reduced global growth forecast over the next two years as issues like the US-China trade war and Brexit take hold. ...
    5 hours ago
  • Keeping New Zealanders safer with better counter-terrorism laws
    Justice Minister Andrew Little has today introduced a new Bill to prevent terrorism and support the de-radicalisation of New Zealanders returning from overseas. The Terrorism Suppression (Control Orders) Bill gives the New Zealand Police the ability to apply to the High Court to impose control orders on New Zealanders who ...
    5 hours ago
  • Improved succession and dispute resolution core of Ture Whenua changes
    A Bill that proposes targeted changes to simplify the processes for Māori land owners when engaging with the Māori Land Court has had its First Reading today. “The approach taken by the Government is to ensure that the protection of Māori land remains a priority as we seek to improve ...
    7 hours ago
  • Speech to CTU Biennial Conference
    Let me first thank all the new unionists and members in the room. There is nothing more important to improving people’s working lives than people making the decision to care, to get on board and help, to take up the reins and get involved. Congratulations to you. You bring the ...
    7 hours ago
  • Minister ensures continued Whenuapai flight operations
    Minister of Defence Ron Mark has signed a certificate exempting the activity of engine testing at Whenuapai Airbase from the Resource Management Act 1991. The Act gives the Minister of Defence the power to exempt activities for the purposes of national security.  The certificate will mean the recent Environment Court ...
    7 hours ago
  • NZ joins Coalition of Finance Ministers for Climate Action
    Finance Minister Grant Robertson has announced New Zealand will join the Coalition of Finance Ministers for Climate Action while attending APEC meetings in Chile. The objective of the 39 member Coalition is to share information and promote action to tackle climate change. It was formed in April this year, in ...
    10 hours ago
  • CTU speech – DPM
    Ladies and gentlemen, NZCTU President Richard Wagstaff, members of respective unions – thank you for the invitation to speak to you today. This might be preaching to the choir, but the importance of trade unions in New Zealand’s historical arch is difficult to understate. And it is my belief that ...
    1 day ago
  • Police Association Annual Conference
    "Let’s start by acknowledging that it has been a huge year. " Police Association Annual Conference James Cook Grand Chancellor Hotel Wellington Nau mai, haere mai. Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, ka nui te mihi, ki a koutou katoa. President of the Police Association, Chris Cahill; Members of the Association and ...
    1 day ago
  • New Zealand announces a further P-3 deployment in support of UN sanctions
    Minister of Foreign Affairs Winston Peters and Minister of Defence Ron Mark have announced the New Zealand Government’s decision to again deploy a Royal New Zealand Air Force P-3K2 (P-3) maritime patrol aircraft to support the implementation of United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions imposing sanctions against North Korea. New ...
    1 day ago
  • New Zealand deeply concerned at developments in north-east Syria
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters says New Zealand continues to have serious concerns for peace and stability in north-east Syria. “Recent reports that hundreds of ISIS-affiliated families have fled from a camp are deeply concerning from a humanitarian and security perspective”, Mr Peters says. “While we acknowledge Turkey’s domestic security ...
    1 day ago
  • Government on high alert for stink bugs
    Biosecurity Minister Damien O’Connor is warning travelling Kiwis to be vigilant as the high-season for the crop-eating brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB) is under way. “We’re on high alert to stop BMSB arriving in NZ. The high season runs until April 30 and we’ve strengthened our measures to stop stink ...
    1 day ago
  • Better protections for students in halls of residence
    The Government is moving swiftly to change the law to improve the welfare and pastoral care of students living in university halls of residence and other tertiary hostels. Cabinet has agreed to several changes, including creating a new mandatory Code of Practice that sets out the duty of pastoral care ...
    2 days ago
  • New trapping guide for community and expert trappers alike
    The Minister for Conservation Eugenie Sage has launched a new comprehensive trapping guide for community trappers to help them protect our native birds, plants and other wildlife, at Zealandia in Wellington today. ‘A practical guide to trapping’, has been developed by the Department of Conservation (DOC), and was launched during ...
    2 days ago
  • Widening Access to Contraceptives Welcomed
    Associate Health Minister Julie Anne Genter welcomes PHARMAC’s move to improve access to long-acting reversible contraception (LARCs). PHARMAC has today announced it will fund the full cost of Mirena and Jaydess for anyone seeking long term contraception, lifting previous restrictions on access to Mirena. “I welcome women having greater choices ...
    2 days ago
  • Major upgrade for Taranaki Base Hospital
    The Government has approved the next stage of a major redevelopment of Taranaki Base Hospital, which will deliver new and improved facilities for patients. Health Minister Dr David Clark has announced details of a $300 million dollar project to build a new East Wing at the New Plymouth hospital. It ...
    3 days ago
  • Extra support for rural families
    Extra funding will allow Rural Support Trusts to help farming families, says Minister for Rural Communities and Agriculture Damien O’Connor. “I know that rural families are worried about some of the challenges facing them, including the ongoing uncertainty created by the Mycoplasma bovis outbreak. “Those concerns sit alongside ongoing worries ...
    4 days ago
  • Howard Leaque Beekeeper programme graduation
    Thank you for the opportunity to be here to present certificates to the 16 graduates who have completed a beekeeping course delivered by the Howard League.  Let us start by acknowledging Auckland Prison’s Deputy Prison Director Tom Sherlock, and Acting Assistant Regional Commissioner of Corrections Northern Region Scott Walker - ...
    5 days ago
  • Finance Minister to attend APEC meetings
    Finance Minister Grant Robertson leaves this weekend to attend the APEC Finance Ministers meeting in Santiago, Chile. Discussions between APEC Finance Ministers at the meeting will include the effects of the current global economic uncertainty, risks for APEC economies and sustainable development of the region. While at APEC Grant Robertson ...
    5 days ago
  • Pacific languages are a source of strength, they ground us and build confidence
    The Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio says for Pacific people, language can be a source of strength. It can help ground us and give us confidence. When we speak them, our languages provide us with an immediate and intimate access to our identity and our story - and ...
    5 days ago
  • Major boost to support disabled people in sport and recreation
    The Coalition Government has announced an action plan to improve the wellbeing of disabled New Zealanders by addressing inequalities in play, active recreation and sport. The initiative includes training to develop a workforce that understands the needs of children and young people with a range of impairments, advocacy for fit ...
    5 days ago
  • More prefab homes to be built as red tape cut
    The construction sector is being freed up to allow more homes to be built more quickly as the Government cuts through some of the red tape of the Building Act.  “Every New Zealander deserves a warm, dry, safe home and old inefficiencies in the Building Act make building slow and ...
    5 days ago
  • Further details of Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall visit to New Zealand
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has welcomed further details on the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall’s visit to New Zealand next month. Their Royal Highnesses will visit New Zealand from 17-23 November – their third joint visit to New Zealand and first in four years. They arrive in Auckland ...
    5 days ago
  • O’Connor in Thailand to push for RCEP deal
    Minister of State for Trade and Export Growth and Minister of Agriculture, Damien O’Connor, heads to Thailand today to attend the final Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) Ministerial meeting, as negotiations enter their final stages. “The RCEP Agreement would anchor New Zealand in a regional agreement that covers 16 countries, ...
    5 days ago
  • Young Pacific people can access earning and learning opportunities in Hawke’s Bay, Otago and South...
    Pacific young people living in the Hawke’s Bay, Southland and Otago regions will have access to support services that have proved successful in helping young people find new earning and learning opportunities. “Tupu Aotearoa is about changing Pacific young peoples’ lives. Our young people are talented, they are smart, they ...
    6 days ago
  • Protecting wellbeing – ACC HQSC Trauma Forum
    Introduction As the Minister for ACC I thank you all for the work that you do supporting New Zealanders in their literally most vulnerable moments. From those who hold people’s lives in their hands, to the people who research technique, technology and trends, your work is highly valued. A special ...
    6 days ago
  • NZ economy in good shape – notes prepared for speeches in Christchurch
    Notes prepared for speeches in Christchurch – Wednesday 9 October 2019 Today’s topic, “trends and opportunities for the New Zealand economy,” is certainly one getting a great deal of commentary at the moment. Looking across the media landscape lately you’ll notice we aren’t the only ones having this discussion. There ...
    6 days ago
  • World Mental Health Day a reminder of the importance of mental health work
    Minister of Health Dr David Clark and Associate Minister of Health Peeni Henare say this year’s World Mental Health Day theme is a reminder of why the Government’s work on mental health is so important. “This year the World Federation for Mental Health has made suicide prevention the main theme ...
    6 days ago
  • Cultural Ministers Meeting
    Associate Arts, Culture and Heritage Minister Carmel Sepuloni will represent the government at Australia’s Meeting of Cultural Ministers in Adelaide this week. “This year’s meeting is special because New Zealand is expected to become an International Member of the Meeting of Cultural Ministers at this Australian forum,” Carmel Sepuloni said. “The meeting is an opportunity to ...
    7 days ago
  • 608 claims resolved by GCCRS in first year
    The Greater Christchurch Claims Resolution Service has resolved 608 insurance and EQC claims in its first year in operation, Minister Megan Woods has announced. The government service, which celebrates its first birthday today, provides a one stop shop to help Cantabrians still battling to get their homes repaired or rebuilt ...
    1 week ago
  • NZ economy in good shape
    Today’s topic, “trends and opportunities for the New Zealand economy,” is certainly one getting a great deal of commentary at the moment. Looking across the media landscape lately you’ll notice we aren’t the only ones having this discussion. There has been an increasing amount of attention paid to the outlook ...
    1 week ago
  • NZTA to refocus on safety following review
    The Government is acting swiftly to strengthen NZTA’s regulatory role following a review into the Transport Agency, and Ministry of Transport’s performance as its monitor, Transport Minister Phil Twyford said today. An independent review by Martin Jenkins has found NZTA failed to properly regulate the transport sector under the previous ...
    1 week ago
  • Joint Cooperation Statement on Climate Change between the Netherlands and New Zealand
    The Netherlands and New Zealand have a long-standing and close relationship based on many shared interests and values. We value the rule of law, our democracies, and multilateralism.  And we value our environment – at home and globally. Right now there are major global challenges in all of these areas – ...
    1 week ago
  • Government putting right Holidays Act underpayment in Health
    The Government is putting right a decade’s worth of underpayment to nurses, doctors and other health workers, says Health Minister Dr David Clark.  Initial sampling of District Health Boards payroll records has found that around $550-$650 million is owed to DHB staff to comply with the Holidays Act. It’s expected ...
    1 week ago
  • Government accounts show strong economy
    A strong surplus and low debt show the economy is performing well, and means the Government is in a good position to meet the challenges of global economic uncertainty. “The surplus and low levels of debt show the economy is in good shape. This allows the Government to spend more ...
    1 week ago
  • Ministers approve application to expand Waihi mine
    New applications from mining company OceanaGold to purchase land in Waihi for new tailings ponds associated with its gold mines have been approved. Minister of Finance Grant Robertson and Associate Minister of Finance David Parker considered the applications under the Overseas Investment Act. Earlier this year, applications from OceanaGold to ...
    1 week ago
  • Tuia 250 Voyage flotilla launches with tribute to tangata whenua
    New Zealanders in Tūranganui-a-Kiwa / Poverty Bay will witness Māori, Pākehā and Pacific voyaging traditions come together today as the Tuia 250 Voyage flotilla assembles for the first time, Māori Crown Relations: Te Arawhiti Minister Kelvin Davis says. “Tuia 250 is a national commemoration and an opportunity for honest conversations ...
    1 week ago
  • Visit to advance trade agenda with Europe and the Commonwealth
    Minister for Trade and Export Growth David Parker leaves tomorrow for Dubai, London and Berlin for a series of meetings to advance New Zealand’s trade interests.  In Dubai he will visit New Zealand’s Pavilion at Expo 2020 where construction is underway.  There he will meet Minister of State for International Cooperation, Her ...
    1 week ago
  • More cancer drugs confirmed – even more on horizon
    Confirmation that PHARMAC will fund two new cancer drugs is further evidence of the good progress the Government is making to improve the treatment of New Zealand’s leading cause of death, Health Minister David Clark says. From 1 December PHARMAC will fund alectinib (Alecensa) for ALK positive advanced non-small cell ...
    1 week ago