Open mike 27/10/2010

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, October 27th, 2010 - 43 comments
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43 comments on “Open mike 27/10/2010”

  1. Note that, in the Herald today, we are told a) that Warner needs more subsidy and b) above all, they want a chnage in the law on contractor status and c) Mr Key, who is beginning to look like an idiot on this, can’t understand why the issue of contractor status is so important for Warner now, when the relevant Supreme Court case was in 2005. As we move into banana republic status, we are being done like a turkey by a combination of local anti-union business (Messrs Jackson and Taylor), international Capital (Warner etc) and a compliant, craven government. This is truly embarrassing.

    • Bored 1.1

      Robert, you forget the idiot population as well in this embarrassing mess. Public opinion reflects a total lack of support for unions and craven compliance to the calls of the bosses. What a sick little nation twenty five years of neo liberalism has built.

      • Lazy Susan 1.1.1

        Also forgotten is the idiot media that has dutifully published the Jackson, Warner’s spin without any critical analysis. That’s been left to IrishBill here and Gordon Campbell on Scoop. Of course weakening the union movement and trashiing employment law could suit the MSM very nicely thankyou.

  2. M 2

    ‘Of course weakening the union movement and trashiing employment law could suit the MSM very nicely thankyou.’

    Until of course the law is used as a blunt instrument against them.

  3. ZeeBop 3

    Actors equity is a global union so nothing National do to stop them getting to the table will help National because Actors Equity will just boycott NZ until National get a gripe of themselves.

    Its interesting, its like the recent tourist killed washing her teeth by the illegal spotlighting shooter. The driver of the car and the person holding the light choose the location next to the campsite and where the shooter would fire. Its has the same sense about it, the old adage that those who have most to gain, most able to solve the problem, most capable of providing the solution are the best to solve the problem. i.e. the government. The problem is we want a movie industry, the government has the money and legislation, the government has most to gain for the nation. So if the government writes a law that forces global equities hand and a global boycott of NZ movies, and consequently consumer boycott, then what is the government thinking! I mean Warner Brothers also makes movies elsewhere, its doesn’t care if the government here give them a once off windfall, they are unlikely to need to base any future movies here, and they also get to take a movie production competitor (NZ) out of the global market as Actors will be boycotting the NZ industry. It was never a good thing anyway, our dollar is higher, our wages aren’t a relatively low any more, and foriegn govts will stump up more to get jobs and their economies working again.

    So yeah, we get the Hobbit, but it was surely likely we won’t have an movie industry.

    • Lazy Susan 3.1

      What does this mean?

      • ZeeBop 3.1.1

        What do you mean?

        If National need to save the Hobbit it probably means its not worth saving. If the local movie industry is incapable of adapting in the current global entertainment boom then we should go back to growing wool. Big maybe holding back our talented to support a Titanic like director. Is Jackson the Hubbard of movies?

        • Colonial Viper 3.1.1.1

          OK, so the NATs seem to have thrown the idea of free-trade and industry competitiveness without Government intervention right out the window, along with their neo-con ‘principles’.

          I know plenty of high tech and export industries in NZ, worth several $B per annum (real export income, not Hollywood accounting funny money – I for one want to know how much the wages budget for extras etc are for the Hobbit, bet you its less than 0.5% of the quoted US$500M value of the film), who at this point will be plenty ***ked off with this Govt for fawning all over Jackso and co. for the last two weeks when the Govt has essentially ignored their existence.

          • Draco T Bastard 3.1.1.1.1

            so the NATs seem to have thrown the idea of free-trade and industry competitiveness without Government intervention right out the window, along with their neo-con ‘principles’.

            They never had them. Free trade destroys profits so they don’t want that and they most definitely want government intervention as that can be used to prevent competition. For NACT it’s all about throwing taxpayer money at the rich as they have to try and maintain the illusion that it’s the rich that produce wealth and not everybody else.

    • Bored 3.2

      I have some concerns that the whole movie industry in its present form does not stack up financially. I heard somewhere that the direct costs of LOTR exceeded the income to NZ for the film (as opposed to tourist publicity etc). Can anybody confirms this?

      My take is that the whole movie industry if we are to have one needs to be scaled to what we can afford (which if targeted might mean more off shore income). What is obvious is that when times are tough we cannot give movie funding preference over real long term income generation for those who have the least.

      • ZeeBop 3.2.1

        I don’t know, but we already won by making NZ middle Earth. Having a second Hobbiton in the UK
        won’t hurt the Hobbiton in Matamata because if the fans want more they are going to have to come here.
        Its like a mall that has anchor shops that attract enough consumers that the owners of the mall can then
        on sell the passing traffic to other retailers as higher rents.

        I totally agree that we need income generation jobs, and althought I can’t stand the prick on TV he
        did have a point, that if we lose the big hitters, like Jackson and the movies he makes, then we
        lose the underlying talent and resources that make such movies possible. Though he did exaggerate
        a bit since we are now moving into a more entertainment industry globally, where smaller media
        companies can quickly go viral spreading making huge profits for themselves. Movies might be seen
        like the large cruise liners, they have their place in a niche but other boating and flight have long since
        expanded the underlying industry to not have to worry about government’s backing the movie industry.

        So if we lose all movies and never have another made, all that equipment and talent might get
        released into a huge new economic windfall to NZ in producing fast, stunning media products
        and services. Is Warner Brother the great Northern Irish Chip Builder of the past economy?
        And Key just the British government trying vainly to drum up more work for them?

        Are 3D movies the titanic of that by gone era?

        • Lanthanide 3.2.1.1

          Except this time they’re talking about making the Hobbiton set more permanent – last time they gutted it after filming.

          So losing out on that, potentially to have it recreated permanently in the UK with a much greater tourism market (all of continental europe), could dry up tourism at the shell of Hobbiton that we have in Matamata.

      • prism 3.2.2

        Key made a comment on the line that NZ hadn’t made anything from govts past investment in film and I think he meant LOTR. But I don’t remember the exact comment and the question he was replying to. It is possible that the multiplier effect hasn’t been added in. With tax deductions at each level of money circulation each $ still goes on to provide a portion for three further transactions. He can’t afford to be relaxed about this project and the very worthwhile jobs and skills it carries.

        Also of course there is consciousness raising and profile of NZ in the world. We can do pr stunts like shearing a sheep on an iceberg which was amazing. But we need to be known for more than farm animals. And the sheep industry did not receive a magic boost to prosperity and stability from the iceberg stunt, it is taking hard work and thinking to pump up this industry. Key needs to attend to encouraging and getting behind more businesses than just farming and monopoly money.

        An item on Radionz about French businesses shedding workers over 50 points out that the lack of jobs for this age group means a scary gap before reaching retirement pension age. Businesses must not be thought of like weeds that arise from every bit of bare earth. They need nurturing like trees so they will grow strong and last for decades at least.

      • Draco T Bastard 3.2.3

        If the government wanted to boost our movie making capability then what they’d do is print the necessary money and buy up the rights, hire the right people (PJ etc) and then let them make the movie. Similar deal to what Warner Bros has for the employees and the government (us) is the one that gets the multi-billion dollar profits. These profits can then be fed back into the industry and elsewhere (say another few hundred million into R&D).

        We don’t need Warners Bros or anyone else to produce movies in NZ. We’ve already proved that we have the talent now it’s just putting in the needed resources and we have those as well.

      • Bill 3.2.4

        How about the creativity of talented storytellers gets encouraged rather than proponents of necessarily expensive hi-tech candy coated plastic (c.c.p.) fx guys?

        Good stories told through visual formats such as film can be extraordinarily entertaining without any need for hi-tech c.c.p. If visual trickery is required, then imaginative creative strategies far surpass the ‘realist’ efforts of current computer efforts. And all the current computer efforts in the world cannot disguise the fact that most of the stories being told are either crap or are good stories that we have heard before simply being expensively repackaged…in Jacksons case, King Kong, LOTR, Hobbit…

        Is it only me who would rather something new above remixed, remade, remodelled, really yawn repeats?

        • prism 3.2.4.1

          We had a clever smart capable knowlegeable wildlife film entity here doing NZ stuff well and didn’t it get sold off. NZ government – sells off the family silver for what they hope is magic beans.

          • Bill 3.2.4.1.1

            To Murdoch of all people, from memory.

            • Bored 3.2.4.1.1.1

              Bloody typical….sell off the non commercial stuff and watch it asset stripped and sent to the wall.

              Putting on my company managers hat the most important thing about running my businesses is to provide some degree of stable continuity in a sea of discontinuity (the market). To date I have been successful in that I try at all times to ensure that our major advantages are amplified to the customer base and that we dont take on work that exposes our ability to deliver to our core strengths. Where ever possible we have either an annuity revenue base OR in the straight sales area a continuity of new products to market.

              When I question the set up of the NZ film industry the above criteria appear somewhat absent, it seems (from a distance) very boom bust, anybody out there who has a contrary view?

  4. Update on the Kevin Brackens stand on 911, Afghanistan and the military industrial complex.

    When Kevin burst on the stage last week with his views on 911 and the need for a new and independent investigation the MSM, Prime Minister of Australia, Julia Gillard and every Tom Dick and Harry from all over the political spectrum who had access to the MSM were quick to dismiss him as a fringe conspiracy nutter but the reality is as follows: In the OZ Herald poll more than 75% of the voters agreed with him. It also turns out that the Victoria labour council had voted in 2008 for a new and independent investigation of the events of 911 making Kevin a far less isolated individual than the MSM wanted to paint him.

    Here is a link to an interview with the man himself in which he get a proper stage to inform us of his ideas and the interview makes clear rather than being a wild eyed Conspiracy nut Kevin Bracken is an intelligent well informed individual worthy of the support he was able to generate for himself as a labour leader and his drive for a new and independent investigation of the events of 911 as shown in this statement:

    Hello all,

    For the record on the 28th of March 2008 the Victorian Trades Hall Council passed this motion after lengthy debate supporting a thorough and independent inquiry of the terrorist attacks on 9/11. From the minutes of the meeting on the 28th of March 2008;

    “That this meeting of VTHC Executive Council calls for a thorough, independent enquiry into the tragic terrorist attacks of September 11.

    The events of that day have been used to start pre-emptive wars “that will not end in our lifetime”. They have been used to attack civil liberties and legal principles that have been the cornerstone of civilized communities.

    There is an urgent need to reassess the way we view the world after September 11 and we call for proper investigation into the events around that day.”

    While I agree that they have not officially supported any theory around the events of 9/11 they do agree a new investigation is warranted!

    It might be prudent to remind the VTHC and the media of this fact!

    Victorian Trades Hall Council

    Telephone: (03) 9659 3511
    Fax: (03) 9663 2127
    Email: hatkinson@vthc.org.au

  5. prism 5

    A collection of inconvenient and unsavoury facts about police standards from Dominion Post, the first relating to a woman JP, who is a Pacific Islander, wrongly accused of arson and the findings against the police involved, and the new senior appointments they have been endowed with. Below an interesting link relating to a report not released by the IPCA independent police conduct? authority –
    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/crime/4266201/Shamed-cop-given-plum-London-job

    1 Mrs Teokotai, a respected member of the Pacific Island community, lost her job at the St Lukes Tamariki and Mokopuna learning facility when police told them she was being investigated. (This about 2005.)
    The police case collapsed when no evidence was produced and the charge against her was dismissed. Tokoroa woman Odile Johnson-Ackerman was jailed for the arson.
    The IPCA said Mr Smith, former Bay of Plenty police professional standards boss, Garth Bryan, and former Taupo area commander Bob Burns, totally mismanaged a complaint by Mrs Teokotai’s son-in-law, Dave White, about the botched investigation and arrest. The report said by failing to alert Commissioner Broad and the IPCA to the complaint, Mr Smith and Mr Bryan acted unlawfully. The IPCA did not release the report, saying it did not believe it was of public interest.
    In December 2007 Mr Bryan was made investigation and review officer at Police National Headquarters and in December 2008 Mr Burns was appointed Southern police district commander.
    Deputy Commissioner Rob Pope, a leading contender to take over from commissioner Howard Broad, chaired the panel that rewarded Mr Smith with the promotion.
    Police said the panel that appointed Mr Smith was aware of a report that found Mr Smith acted unlawfully and totally mismanaged a string of complaints into the unlawful arrest of Tokoroa justice of the Peace Mii Teokotai.
    Six senior police applied for the two-year London posting, including at least two other superintendents but police said Mr Smith was the preferred candidate. (So what has Tokoroa got for leverage over the leading chief police?)

    Police said the review into their appointments process was being done at the top levels of the police hierarchy. The review was “ongoing” and “will be the subject of discussion with the wider police executive”. (What effect will top level overview have when they seem complacent and relaxed about serious behaviour in some officers and assist them into sinecures after leaving the Force? I don’t think we can say that the Force is with us.)

    2 It comes after revelations in August that police promoted Detective Inspector Dave Archibald to head the investigations and intelligence school at the Royal New Zealand Police College.
    Four years earlier Mr Archibald was caught accessing the police computer for information for a private investigator working for convicted rapist Brad Shipton during the Mt Maunganui pack rape trial.

    3 In July [2010] it was revealed Deputy Commissioner Viv Rickard, another senior officer who could have been in the running for Mr Broad’s job, was a referee for disgraced former police professional standards boss Jon Moss.
    Mr Moss resigned from police while under investigation for having an affair with a junior officer but went straight into a top taxpayer-funded investigator’s job in the justice sector.
    When first asked whether he was a referee, Mr Rickard declined to answer, saying: “We need to get our ducks in a row in this place [Police National Headquarters].”
    Mr Broad announced a criminal inquiry into Mr Moss after it was revealed that a senior government official received a death notice as Mr Moss allegedly stalked her when he was applying for a job with the Real Estate Agents Authority paying at least $150,000.
    The name Rickard seems to be concerned in many police and justice matters.
    So much coming from the central North Island. Hmmm

    Could be that this is a time for importing a police officer of high reputs from another country to break these collegial connections.

  6. The Chairman 6

    Rates rises appear likely to help cover the looming cash crisis, assets could be sold, and millions could be added to the council’s debt.

    New mayor Celia Wade-Brown said she was keen to involve the community to find a solution to leaky homes funding besides rates [increases] and borrowings.

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/4275109/Jobs-on-line-as-Wellington-council-cuts-costs

  7. prism 7

    Transparency international put us high on the low corruption list. I wonder. After all it is based on the perceptions of the people they poll. Perhaps it is growing around our ankles and not noticed by NZ with a put up or shut up mentality.

    A sound clip from a Kaiapoi meeting of people concerned about their living conditions and their future and little things like that had an ending that stayed in my mind. A older man spoke in measured tones to bring his idea of commonsense to the whole proceeding and said that the authorities were doing the best they could and should be allowed to get on with it. And received agreeing claps. What?

    Some NZs haven’t got enough interest in other people’s difficult conditions or are in such a torpor that they believe that voicing dissatisfaction about legitimate problems matches unreasonable complaint. People like that would accept corrupt practices as the norm, mustn’t complain, be grateful, she’ll be right. If we have corruption in the police would we recognise and name it?

  8. joe90 8

    After reading America – The Grim Truth I’m more than happy that old “smile n wave” and whether or not a fucking movie is made here is all we’ve got to wind us up.

    • Colonial Viper 8.1

      Both true and at the same time completely depressing. Mojito’s anyone?

      • joe90 8.1.1

        Aye, the glass is half full CV but watching Nactional smirking their way through question time, that is depressing although this evenings piece of pig*, done in the Weber to accompany the coldies, will certainly help ease the malaise.

        *home grown

    • Draco T Bastard 8.2

      The Handmaid’s Tale
      Awesome book and bloody scary as you can see how the US (and NZ because we’re following the US) is on the path to the society described in the book.

    • Bored 8.3

      Fekk. Its is real worry when the words of Wormtongue are laid bare, and Theodenexposes in true words the corrupt state of Edoras (to use a LOTR analogy)…great article.

    • KJT 8.4

      That is what we are heading for unless our Government is made to wake up and work for us.

  9. Draco T Bastard 9

    Ian Fletcher: Free trade theories based on dubious assumptions

    Unfortunately for free traders, it is riddled with holes, some of which even Ricardo acknowledged. If they held true, the hypothesis would hold water. But because they often don’t, it is largely inapplicable in the real world.

    And, as those assumptions don’t hold, the free-market is irrational

    • Colonial Viper 9.1

      Now, what the hell is Granny Herald playing at. It may have started with Hickey, but all of this is looking far too much to be simple coincidence.

      • KJT 9.1.1

        Well they could not really apologise and say they got things wrong. Maybe this is the mea-culpa for giving NACT too much ammunition.

    • Jim Nald 9.2

      The time is nigh for us Kiwis to re-evaluate and firmly close the chapter on unthinking laissez-faire policies.

      To risk a pun and a rhyme, laissez-faire policies are leaving us lazy & bare … in terms of economic strategies and financial base.

  10. bobo 10

    Any idea why Matt McCarten is going to stand as an independent in the Mana bi-election and possibly split the left vote?

  11. Pascal's bookie 11

    Any lawyers in the house want to help me get my head around some international law stuff?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Third_Geneva_Convention

    For starters it would seem that torture is illegal under the Geneva conventions in ways that apply to the recent wikileaks stuff in iraq. Specifically an order given to coalition troops in June 04 that allegations of Iraqi on Iraqi ‘abuse’ not be investigated. Beyond that there are the various conventions on tirture and domestic laws both here and in the US based on international treaties.

    Given that the current US admin is not investigating these issues where there is clear evidence to warrant such investigation, and given the treaties require such investigation, what are our obligations under the treaty re the forthcoming visit by the US Secretary of state?

    Any?

    • KJT 11.1

      The US has vetoed any attempt in the UN to make their troops subject to international law. Including this one.

  12. KJT 12

    The Parnell story today.

    Mr Parnell. “I am going to refuse to work more than an eight hour day and the other tradesmen and labourers are going to support me with a similar refusal. Anyone who breaks ranks will be ducked in the harbour”.

    Employer. “If you do that I will get a fit of the pip and use it to threaten to take my ball away, as an excuse to get a bigger subsidy/Labour laws changed so you have to negotiate singly/longer working day legislated”.

    Paul Holmes et al. “The sky is falling”.

    Labour and the Greens. “We believe in freedom of association and the right to withdraw your labour for better wages and working conditions, but do not ever do it because the media will run around like headless chooks, and the public will blame us”.

    Legal expert. “Independent contractors’ cannot band together talk to each other about prices or working conditions. It is illegal”.

    Labourer. “How come contracting workers in other countries are allowed to negotiate collectively, while we cannot”.

    CTU. “We tried to get both parties to come to an amicable solution (which is our job) but after a deal was made the other party publically stabbed us in the back”.

    JK. “Thanks for the union bashing opportunity. Now we will reward employers, with some more anti worker legislation and with some more taxpayer dollars, for helping with our election campaign”.

    Onlooker. “Why is everyone so up in arms about a, possibly, 200 mil benefit to NZ going after they happily waved goodby to billions in employment and manufacturing over the last 30 years”.

    Where was the public outrage, to keep Skellerup, Firestone, Fisher and Paykel, boat building, coastal shipping, rail way and marine engineering, shoe making and all the other industries, as successive Governments did their best to remove employment and productive business from NZ.

    • Draco T Bastard 12.1

      Where was the public outrage, to keep Skellerup, Firestone, Fisher and Paykel, boat building, coastal shipping, rail way and marine engineering, shoe making and all the other industries, as successive Governments did their best to remove employment and productive business from NZ.

      Buried in irrationality?

  13. Bored 13

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post/news/world/4277113/More-species-slide-to-extinction

    The good old Dim Post runs a prop up the adverts story…this should be front page everywhere. We all rent our hair at ethnic cleansing in Serbia, the concentration camps in Nazi germany, Gulags, Cambodian killing field etc etc. The deliberate killing of homo sapiens.

    Meanwhile through our own wanton actions species become extinct, and its not news. Is it not equivalent to homicide / genocide?

  14. jimmy 14

    Excellent analysis of the private prison rort,

    http://werewolf.co.nz/2010/10/profiteering-from-prisons/

    Just the blocking of information due to ‘commercial sensitivity’ is enough to make the whole justification for public private partnerships fall to bits.

  15. Draco T Bastard 15

    Innovation just a “buzzword”

    The question of just what is being referred to, and measured, is problematic. The problem is not just one of definition, but is inherent in the topic itself. As noted in the key OECD Oslo Manual, “the complexity of the innovation process itself makes it difficult to establish absolutely precise guidelines.”

    So, innovation is a meaningless term used to make something sound good. Gotcha

    Bruno was burned at the stake in 1600 for championship of Copernicus, and Galileo was forced to retract his advocacy of Copernican theory by the Inquisition.

    It is no different today. The major scientific – and indeed existential – question of our time is the overcrowding of the planet, the massive use of resources by humanity, the destruction of other species and the subsequent threat to modern civilisation and humanity. That issue is far more serious and much more important than any of the past. The question is not philosophical and religious – it is one of survival.

    Such interdisciplinary science is denied in New Zealand by the scientific establishment. The mission of the major funding agency (FoRST) is “Actively growing value for New Zealand by investing for results from research and development”.

    So, the biggest questions of our time aren’t being addressed by our scientific community because of the ideological need for growth.

    Welcome to Hell where reality is dismissed in an endless search for higher profits.

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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • California bans private prisons
    Private prisons are a stain on humanity. Prison operators explicitly profit from human misery, then lobby for longer prisons terms so they can keep on profiting. And in the US, prison companies run not only local and state prisons, but also Donald Trump's immigration concentration camps. Faced with this moral ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Why PPPs are a bad idea
    When National was in power, they were very keen on Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) - basicly, using private companies to finance public infrastructure as a way of hiding debt from the public. They were keen on using them for everything - roads, schools, hospitals. But as the UK shows, that "service" ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • A Movement That No Longer Moves.
    Moving And Shaking: There was a time when people spoke matter-of-factly about the “labour movement” – a political phenomenon understood to embrace much more than the Labour Party. Included within the term’s definition was the whole trade union movement – many of whose members looked upon the Labour Party as ...
    4 days ago
  • NZ ‘left’ politically embracing extreme postmodernism
    by Philip Ferguson Much of the left, even people who formally identify as marxists, have collapsed politically in the face of postmodern gender theory of the sort pioneered by American philosopher Judith Butler. For Butler even biological sex is socially constructed. “If the immutable character of sex is contested, perhaps ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    5 days ago
  • The obvious question
    The media is reporting that the (alleged) Labour party sexual assaulter has resigned from their job at Parliament, which means hopefully he won't be turning up there making people feel unsafe in future. Good. But as with everything about this scandal, it just raises other questions. Most significantly: why the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • The moment I found out that you found out, I acted swiftly
    By Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern I am every bit as angry as you are. I am every bit as disappointed as you must be. The people with power, oversight and the ability to do something about these processes within the Labour Party should be ashamed. Whoever those people are, I ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    5 days ago
  • This is why people hate property developers
    Property developers think there is an "oversupply" of houses in Auckland:High turnover rates and falling prices may be a sign that there are too many new houses going in to some parts of Auckland, commentators say. [...] Property developer David Whitburn said there was a "bit of an oversupply" in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Australia to Pacific: “Fuck you, you can all drown”
    World leaders are meeting in New York in two weeks for the 2019 Climate Action Summit, where they are expected to announce new and more ambitious targets to stop the world from burning. But the Australian Prime Minister won't be there, despite being in the USA at the time:Scott Morrison ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Implausible ignorance
    Labour Party president Nigel Haworth resigned yesterday over the party's sexual assault scandal. But while that's good news, its unlikely to take away the stench of a coverup. Because according to Paula Bennett in Parliament yesterday, pretty much everyone in the Prime Minister's office was involved as well:I have been ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Labour’s Fatal Flaw.
     Two-Faced? Labour insiders' commitment to the neoliberal status quo puts them at odds with their party’s membership; its trade union affiliates; and a majority of Labour voters, but this only serves to strengthen the perception they have of themselves as a special elite. Among the lesser breeds, they’ll talk up a ...
    5 days ago
  • Ten reasons the Tories do NOT want an election
    There has been a lot of talk about Boris Johnson wanting an election, and he has blustered with great gusto about 'chicken' Jeremy Corbyn refusing one, but I think there are many reasons why he is secretly glad he has been refused the opportunity:The Tories are an utter rabble,tearing themselves ...
    6 days ago
  • Prorogation Illegal, rule Scottish judges
    Scottish appeal court judges have declared that Boris Johnson’s decision to suspend parliament in the run-up to the October Brexit deadline is unlawful. The three judges, chaired by Lord Carloway, Scotland’s most senior judge, overturned an earlier ruling that the courts did not have the powers to interfere in the prime ...
    6 days ago
  • Let me explain what I meant by Everyday New Zealanders
    By Simon Bridges. The following is a press release from the office of Simon Bridges, leader of The National Party. Key ora, New Zealand. Happy Maori Language Week. Look, I’m writing to you today because I want to clear something up. There’s been a lot of kerfuffle around some things ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    6 days ago
  • Yes, the SIS is subject to the Public Records Act
    I understand there's some stuff going round about how the SIS "was removed from the list of public offices covered by the Public Records Act in 2017". The context of course being their records derived from US torture, which will be disposed of or sealed. The good news is that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • An evidence-based discussion of the Canadian fluoride/IQ study
    Dr. Christopher Labos and Jonathan Jarry discuss the recent Canadian fluoride/IQ research. They provide an expert analysis of the paper and its problems. Click on image to go to podcast. The critical debate about the recent ...
    6 days ago
  • Climate Change: Australia in denial
    Australia is burning down again, and meanwhile its natural disaster minister is denying climate change:Australia’s minister responsible for drought and natural disasters, David Littleproud, has said that he doesn’t “know if climate change is manmade”. Clarifying earlier comments that the question is “irrelevant” when considering the Coalition government’s response to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Philippines activist speaking on the Duterte tyranny
    Auckland Philippines Solidarity is excited to host Professor Judy Taguiwalo for a speaking tour of NZ in September. She is a well-known activist in the Philippines and was a political prisoner under the Marcos dictatorship. Professor Taguiwalo briefly served as a Cabinet member under President Duterte but was forced from ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    6 days ago
  • Disgust
    I have no special insights to offer on the Labour sexual assault coverup. All I have is disgust. Disgust that an organisation could fail its people so badly. Disgust that they punished the victims rather than the perpetrator. Disgust that its party hacks are apparently blaming the victims for demanding ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Speak Up for Women calls out Greens’ censorship
    This open letter to the Green Party was penned after an opinion piece by Jill Abigail, a feminist and founding member of the party, was censored by the Greens’ leadership. (Redline has reprinted her article here).The intolerance of the Green Party leaders and their acceptance of the misogyny of gender ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    6 days ago
  • Member’s Day: End of Life Choice, part 3
    Today is a Member's day, and David Seymour's End of Life Choice Bill continues its slow crawl through its committee stage. They're spending the whole day on it today, though the first hour is likely to be spent on voting left over from last time. After that they'll move on ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Flight to Los Angeles turned back after passengers decide they don’t want to go anymore
    An ambitious plan to fly to Los Angeles petered out into a brief sight-seeing trip and a desire to return home and get some sleep before work tomorrow. Air New Zealand has confirmed a flight to Los Angeles last night was turned back about a quarter of the way into ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    7 days ago
  • Indigenous Futures: defuturing and futuring – an analytical framework for policy development?
    There appears to be consensus – by omission – that the concept of indigenous futures should be accepted at face value. So I scavenged the internet to see if I could locate an academic descriptor or a framework around how we think about it as a concept, and whether it ...
    EllipsisterBy Ellipsister
    7 days ago
  • Cadbury rumoured to be releasing the Pineapple Trump
    Here’s another novelty chocolate to shove in your gob, New Zealand Cadbury could be seeking to make itself great again with a rumoured new release: Pineapple Trumps, a spin on its classic chocolate-encased pineapple treat and do-it-yourself tooth remover. The global confectionery manufacturer and bumbling “before” character in an infomercial, ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    7 days ago
  • The coming resource war.
    During my time in the Pentagon I had the privilege of sitting down with military leaders and defence and security officials from a variety of Latin American nations. Sometimes I was present as a subordinate assistant to a senior US defence department official, sometimes as part of a delegation that ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Māori Language Week with The Civilian
    Kia ora, Aotearoa. It’s that magical time of year. Te Wiki o te Reo Māori. In English, the week that frightens talk radio. As you probably know by now, all your favourite media outlets are participating, some more successfully than others. Stuff has changed its name to Puna for the ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Will Horizons act on climate change?
    Local body elections are coming up next month. And it looks like all Palmerston North candidates for Horizons (the Manawatu-Whanganui Regional Council) want to take action on climate change:Climate change is set to be a key issue in Palmerston North for the next three years if those wanting to get ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • BORA reform is stalled
    Eighteen months ago, the government promised to strengthen the Bill of Rights Act, by explicitly affirming the power of the courts to issue declarations of inconsistency and requiring Parliament to formally respond to them. So how's that going? I was curious, so I asked for all advice about the proposal. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Corbyn and Brexit
    As the Brexit saga staggers on, the focus is naturally enough on the Prime Minister and his attempts to achieve Brexit “do or die”. But the role played by the Leader of the Opposition is of almost equal interest and complexity. The first problem for Jeremy Corbyn is that he ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • A ditch for him to die in
    Last week, English Prime Minister Boris Johnson boldly declared that he would rather die be dead in a ditch than delay Brexit. Unfortunately for him, the UK parliament accepted the challenge, and promptly dug one for him. The "rebellion bill" requires him to ask for and secure yet another temporary ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Warning! Warning! Danger Jacinda Ardern! Danger Marama Davidson! Warning!
    Lost In Political Space: The most important takeaway from this latest Labour sexual assault scandal, which (if I may paraphrase Nixon’s White House counsel’s, John Dean’s, infamous description of Watergate) is “growing like a cancer” on the premiership, is the Labour Party organisation’s extraordinary professional paralysis in the face of ...
    1 week ago
  • Union solidarity with Ihumatao land occupation
    by Daphna Whitmore Every Sunday for the past two months unionists from First Union, with supporters from other unions, have set out to the Ihumatao land protest, put up gazebos and gas barbeques, and cooked food for a few hundred locals and supporters who have come from across the country. ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: The wrong kind of trees?
    Newsroom today has an excellent, in-depth article on pine trees as carbon sinks. The TL;DR is that pine is really good at soaking up carbon, but people prefer far-less efficient native forests instead. Which is understandable, but there's two problems: firstly, we've pissed about so long on this problem that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • No freedom of speech in Turkey
    Canan Kaftancioglu is a Turkish politician and member of the opposition Republican People's Party (CHP). Like most modern politicians, she tweets, and uses the platform to criticise the Turkish government. She has criticised them over the death of a 14-year-old boy who was hit by a tear gas grenade during ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Speaker: Tadhg Stopford: Why I’m standing for the ADHB
    Hi there, just call me Tim.We face tough problems, and I’d like to help, because there are solutions.An Auckand District Health Board member has nominated me for as a candidate for the ADHB, because her MS-related pain and fatigue is reduced with hemp products from Rotorua.  Nothing else helped her. If I ...
    1 week ago
  • Good little vassals
    The Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security has published their report on whether the SIS and GCSB had any complicity in American torture. And its damning. The pull quote is this:The Inquiry found both agencies, but to a much greater degree, the NZSIS, received many intelligence reports obtained from detainees who, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Who Shall We Turn To When God, And Uncle Sam, Cease To Defend New Zealand?
    Bewhiskered Cassandra? Professor Hugh White’s chilling suggestion, advanced to select collections of academic, military and diplomatic Kiwi experts over the course of the past week, is that the assumptions upon which Australia and New Zealand have built their foreign affairs and defence policies for practically their entire histories – are ...
    1 week ago
  • The Politics of Opposition
    For most of the time I was a British MP, my party was out of government – these were the Thatcher years, when it was hard for anyone else to get a look-in. As a front-bencher and shadow minister, I became familiar with the strategies required in a parliamentary democracy ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • More expert comments on the Canadian fluoride-IQ paper
    The Green et al (2019) fluoride/IQ is certainly controversial – as would be expected from its subject (see If at first you don’t succeed . . . statistical manipulation might help and Politics of science – making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear). Anti-fluoride campaigners have been actively promoting it ...
    1 week ago
  • The return to guerrilla war in Colombia
    by Gearóid Ó Loingsigh On August 29th a video in which veteran FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia) commander Iván Márquez announced that they had taken up arms again was released. There was no delay in the reaction to it, from longtime Liberal Party figure and former president Uribe, for ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Air New Zealand identifies this enormous plot of unused land as possible second airport site
    Air New Zealand couldn’t believe its luck that this seemingly ideal piece of real estate had so far gone entirely unnoticed. Air New Zealand’s search for a site to build a second Auckland Airport may have made a breakthrough this afternoon, after employees scanning Google satellite imagery spotted a huge, ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Redline on the Labour Party
    No-one on the anti-capitalist left in this country today puts forward a case that Labour is on the side of the working class.  There are certainly people who call themselves ‘socialist’ who do, but they are essentially liberals with vested interests in Labourism – often for career reasons. Nevertheless, there ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • New Fisk
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour’s failure
    When National was in government and fucking over the poor for the benefit of the rich, foodbanks were a growth industry. And now Labour is in charge, nothing has changed: A huge demand for emergency food parcels means the Auckland City Mission is struggling to prepare for the impending arrival ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Ardern attempts to vaccinate Clarke Gayford live on television to prove that it’s safe
    Gayford, pictured here on The Project, before things got wildly out of control. A bold public relations move by the Government to encourage parents to vaccinate their children has gone horribly wrong. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern appeared on tonight’s episode of Three’s The Project, where the plan was for her ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Has Mr. Whippy gone too far by parking on our front lawns?
    Mr. Whippy’s business model has driven it down a dark road of intimidation. Residents in major centres around the country are becoming disgruntled by the increasingly aggressive actions of purported ice cream company Mr. Whippy, who have taken to parking on people’s front lawns and doorsteps in a desperate attempt ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Cleaning up the water
    Today the government released its Action Plan for Healthy Waterways, aimed at cleaning up our lakes and rivers. Its actually quite good. There will be protection for wetlands, better standards for swimming spots, a requirement for continuous improvement, and better standards for wastewater and stormwater. But most importantly, there's a ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Fronting up
    Today I appeared before the Environment Committee to give an oral submission on the Zero Carbon Bill. Over 1,500 people have asked to appear in person, so they've divided into subcommittees and are off touring the country, giving people a five minute slot each. The other submitters were a mixed ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Politics of science – making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear
    Anti-fluoride activists have some wealthy backers – they are erecting billboards misrepresenting the Canadian study on many New Zealand cities – and local authorities are ordering their removal because of their scaremongering. Many New Zealanders ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Democracy – I Don’t Think So
    So, those who “know best” have again done their worst. While constantly claiming to be the guardians of democracy and the constitution, and respecters of the 2016 referendum result, diehard Remainers (who have never brought themselves to believe that their advice could have been rejected) have striven might and main ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    2 weeks ago
  • Government says it will now build just one really nice home
    Following publication of this article, the Ministry has requested it to be noted that this supplied image is not necessarily representative of what the final house will look like, and it “probably won’t be that nice.” As part of today’s long-anticipated reset of the Government’s flagship KiwiBuild policy, Housing Minister ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Imperialism and your cup of coffee
    Over the next week or two we will be running three synopses of parts of the opening chapter of John Smith’s Imperialism in the 21st Century (New York, Monthly Review Press, 2016).  The synopsis and commentary below is written by Phil Duncan. Marx began Capital not with a sweeping historical ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Still juking the stats
    The State Services Commission and Ombudsman have released another batch of OIA statistics, covering the last six months. Request volumes are up, and the core public service is generally handling them within the legal timeframe, though this may be because they've learned to extend rather than just ignore things. And ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Hard News: Time for a New Deal: 25 years on
    In 1994, I was editing an ambitious street mag called Planet, from a fabled office at at 309 Karangahape Road. The thirteenth issue of the magazine was published in the winter of that year and its cover embodied a particularly ambitious goal: the end of cannabis prohibition.I wanted to do ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Not impressed
    KiwiBuild was one of the Ardern government's core policies. The government would end the housing crisis and make housing affordable again by building 100,000 new homes. Of course, it didn't work out like that: targets weren't met, the houses they did build were in the wrong place, and the whole ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Solar beats coal
    As the climate crisis escalates, it is now obvious that we need to radically decarbonise our economy. The good news is that its looking easy and profitable for the energy sector. Wind is already cheaper than fossil fuels, and now solar is too:The levellised cost of solar PV has fallen ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago

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