Open mike 31/01/2012

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, January 31st, 2012 - 54 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

Open mike is your post. For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose.

The usual rules of good behaviour apply (see the link to Policy in the banner).

Step right up to the mike…

54 comments on “Open mike 31/01/2012”

  1. The Chairman 1

    Is the local MSM and opposition giving this subject the coverage it deserves?

    The World Economic Forum has just named severe income inequality a top global risk.

    A recent OECD report showed the gap between New Zealand’s rich and poor is growing faster than any other developed nation, yet many in this country fail to comprehend the severity of the problem.

    There’s a widespread misconception that there has, and always will be, a divide between rich and poor, hence many believe there is no problem. Wrong.

    It’s not that there has always been a gap, it’s the fact that the gap is growing to unsustainable levels.

    This is having a dire effect on global economies.

    Another misconception is that the poor aren’t that bad off in New Zealand.

    However, it’s not the the poor aren’t that bad off, it’s the growing number of the working population lack the disposable income to sustain the demand local businesses require to survive.

    Businesses depend on the demand of the average wage earner to sell their goods.

    A lack of jobs and low wages equals low demand, which equals falling profits.

    Over the years, credit has come to fill that void and help boost demand, but the growing debt is now becoming critical.

    A recovery requires the benefits of new growth to be better shared, which will stimulate more growth and create a sustainable economy for all to prosper.

    Balancing inequality is vital to our economic recovery, but voters and Government seem to be overlooking this fact.

    It’s the media and oppositions job to inform the public and hold the Government to account.

    Are the local MSM and opposition sufficiently highlighting and pushing the importance of this issue?

    • mikesh 1.1

      The cost of credit card credit is very expensive in terms of interest, as also is hire purchase; though of course many retailers are now offering “interest free” terms. But as the cost cost of providing credit must be built into the selling price somewhere this probably means that we are all paying for it, whether or not we actually take advantage of “easy credit ” terms.

      • The Chairman 1.1.1

        Indeed .

        And easy credit is not the way to a ‘brighter future’, but will we ever learn?

        Credit demand spikes:
        http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/money/6318995/Credit-demand-spikes-among-young-and-old

        • Colonial Viper 1.1.1.1

          Capitalist owners build up their own capital by paying workers substandard wages.

          Capitalist owners can then take the capital they made from paying substandard wages, and loan that capital out as credit to workers who are on substandard wages.

          Capitalist owners can then charge those workers interest and fees, clawing back additional money from workers’ substandard wages.

          Brilliant system.

    • Colonial Viper 1.2

      The unsustainable “middle classes” (top earning quartile of the population) appear quite happy with the way income inequality is going. While the bottom quartile have given up on voting in their own best interests.

      I mean seriously, who does not vote for first $5K in income, tax free?

      • The Chairman 1.2.1

        Even the wealthy end up worse off in an unequal and divided society

        Bryan Gould sums it up nicely:

        All too often, the market’s apparent recognition of merit simply reflects the dominant position of those who walk away with the spoils. The best-paid people set each other’s salaries and they are adept at ensuring that, while the global economy demands that working people’s wages are driven down to third-world levels, it requires that top people are paid the huge salaries that are now the norm in the international marketplace.

        No one begrudges appropriate rewards for those whose efforts add to the general welfare. But many big earners do not create new wealth; they merely manipulate existing assets. Bankers, property speculators and even (dare one say) foreign exchange dealers cream their fortunes off the top of assets that others have created, thereby siphoning off wealth for themselves that might otherwise have been more fairly distributed.

        Growing inequality of course means that the wealthy lead quite separate lives, buying themselves out of life as the rest of us live it. We gain little from them and they know even less of us. While few now give credence to the “trickle-down” theory, the flipside of the market as moral arbiter – invariably rewarding the deserving – is the belief that the poor have no one to blame but themselves.

        Those who manipulate the market to their own advantage enjoy not only material rewards but a sense of moral superiority.

        What the apologists for inequality do not grasp is that we are all, including the wealthy, made worse off, not only because we live in a more divided and less cohesive society, but also because – by diverting so much national wealth into so few pockets – we thereby undervalue and make poor use of the productive potential of the rest of us, so that we produce less as a country than we should.

        http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=10778102

    • Draco T Bastard 1.3

      It’s not that there has always been a gap, it’s the fact that the gap is growing to unsustainable levels.

      The problem really is that there’s a gap – any gap is unsustainable). The poor are at subsistence level and can’t save (this isn’t the problem) while the better off can (which is). The problem that makes the gap unsustainable is the interest that’s paid on those savings which increases the gap by increasing the income of the better off and by decreasing the income of the poor.

      A recovery requires the benefits of new growth to be better shared, which will stimulate more growth and create a sustainable economy for all to prosper.

      The only problem with this is that we can’t afford any more growth. As Peak Oil progresses the economy will shrink. Growth requires resources and we just don’t have any more.

      • The Chairman 1.3.1

        To reward the various different inputs the labour force produce, and to provide a fiscal incentive for one to exceed, a gap of sorts is required.

        Interest on savings is largely offset by inflation and is taxed.

        Inflation coupled with population growth necessitates the need for growth.

        Limited resources is another challenge that the globe faces, but improved structures and new technologies will help.

        Nevertheless, our resources are secure for some time yet – and New Zealand itself is rather well placed for this mad max scenario – as long as we ‘own our own future’.

        • Draco T Bastard 1.3.1.1

          Money doesn’t motivate us to exceed – purpose does.

          Cancel interest, cancel inflation, keep the value of money static – no growth required.

          Population growth also needs to be cancelled.

          No amount of “improved structures and new technologies” will offset declining resources if population continues to grow.

          We’re quite well off if we rationalise our economy and only produce what we need rather than, as now, produce far more than we need.

          • Colonial Viper 1.3.1.1.1

            and only produce what we need rather than, as now, produce far more than we need.

            Speaking of the NZ economy, we need to build up the capability to produce virtually everything we will need in future. Many NZ factories were shut down in the 1980’s and 90’s – we now rely almost solely on foreign suppliers for some categories of goods.

            • Draco T Bastard 1.3.1.1.1.1

              …we now rely almost solely on foreign suppliers for some categories of goods.

              And the really stupid thing about that is that we export the raw resources to make the items which we then import.

  2. The Chairman 2

    While Fran was busy gloating, Brian gets into it.

    Brian Gaynor: Shareholders must battle inequality (highlights)

    Excessive executive remuneration and income inequality will continue to be major issues this year as they are at the heart of growing criticism of our capitalist system.

    The OECD advocates economic policies that have a strong emphasis on reducing income inequality as well as achieving economic growth.

    According to its chief economist “Rising inequality is one of the major risks to our future prosperity and security.

    The main challenge facing governments is implementing reforms that get growth back on track, put people to work and reduce the widening income gap.”

    Listed companies are major contributors to income inequality because there has been a significant transformation from owner capitalism to manager capitalism over the past few decades.

    By this we mean that managers, rather than owners, are controlling major enterprises and these managers are granting themselves huge pay increases. These then flow on to other organisations, including the public sector.

    The problem starts in the US, where income inequality is the greatest.

    The share registries of most large companies are dominated by institutions, many of which are short-term holders. The talking heads on CNBC – who buy, sell, and short shares on a daily basis – generally have no interest in monitoring these companies from an ownership point of view.

    Consequently, many US boards which have the same individuals as chairman and chief ex ecutive, overpay their chief ex ecutives and give them generous stock options.

    Thus there has been a big switch from owner capitalism to manager capitalism, mainly because boards are dominated by an ex ecutive chairman, the non-ex ecutive directors are acquiescent, and institutions are disinterested.

    The US sets a precedent for the rest of the world because boards of directors in other countries employ consultants to look at international salaries when assessing the remuneration of their senior ex ecutives.

    So US senior ex ecutive pay levels quickly set a precedent for the rest of the world because consultants take these into account when advising non-US boards.

    This process ratchets-up salaries in other countries, with Australia being a good example of this. As a result, income inequality across the Tasman, as defined by the OECD, has escalated dramatically over the past 30 years.

    Australian directors argue that they have to pay international salaries to keep their top ex ecutives and this means they follow US trends. In addition, the share registries of nearly all the major Australian companies are dominated by institutions, rather than individuals. Many of these institutions are not long-term owners, as demonstrated by their aggressive selling of shares in Billabong, Kathmandu, and other companies when these ASX-listed entities announced recent profit downgrades.

    New Zealand follows Australia and the remunerations of our senior ex ecutives are rapidly ascending as a result.

    A number of countries are looking at higher income tax rates for top earners as a solution to growing inequality. Greater shareholder vigilance is a much better option than higher taxes.

    It is extremely important that New Zealand shareholders, both individuals and institutions, exercise their full rights and wrestle control back from managers who have put themselves ahead of other stakeholders.

    Shareholders have a powerful role to play in reducing income inequality. This power needs to be used more aggressively as it is highly unlikely the New Zealand government will introduce the same reforms as were proposed in London this week.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=10781666

  3. tsmithfield 3

    According to our free trade agreement with China, it appears the government could have faced an international lawsuit if it hadn’t proceeded with the sale of the Crafar farms to Pengxin.

    Now, which government signed that free trade agreement? And which party is now belly-aching about the outcome? Hmmmm.

    • Lanthanide 3.1

      “The Government could not treat applications from Chinese investors differently from similar applications from other countries’ investors under what was known as the “most-favoured nation” of MFN rule.”

      The idea is that we don’t want any foreigners buying up this land. It doesn’t matter whether they’re Chinese or not.

      The proposed law by Labour, that all sales over 5 hectares to foreigners would have a default position of “decline”, wouldn’t breach the free trade agreement with China because it would apply equally to all foreigners.

    • Draco T Bastard 3.2

      http://labour.org.nz/news/government-wrong-to-blame-fta-for-crafar-sales

      “I was in the cabinet that approved the signing of the agreement, the negotiations for which were led by Phil Goff,” David Parker said. “I was Minister of Land Information at the time and recall specifically checking at the Cabinet Policy Committee that New Zealand’s ability to control land sales was not overruled by the terms of the FTA.

      The spin must be coming out of C/T as NAct realise just how much the people of NZ don’t want to sell our assets.

  4. The Chairman 4

    Great debate on BBC world the other night.

    World Debate Reinventing Capitalism.

    Bernard Hickey would have loved it and it’s the type of discussion this nation should be having.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/p00nb3cp/The_World_Debate_Reinventing_Capitalism#programme-info

  5. rosy 5

    Sarkozy is planning to introduce a financial transactions tax – with or without other European support:

    Nicolas Sarkozy has announced plans to impose a tax on financial transactions.

    The French president said a new 0.1% tax would come into force in August regardless of whether or not the European Union agrees to impose a ‘Tobin tax’ across the EU.

    When’s the presidential election?

    • Fortran 5.1

      If Sarkozy does impose a Financial Transaction tax as he proposes he will lose so many Billions to London and Frankfurt who will not bring such a tax.
      Frankly France cannot afford it, irrespective of the idea.

      • McFlock 5.1.1

        Maybe. But then France seeks to have real industries, not just be a tax haven,

      • Colonial Viper 5.1.2

        The City of London is a casino for legalised theft, scammers and ponzi schemes. Its lax regulation meant that its not a coincidence that the epicentre of problems at AIG, MF Global, Lehman Brothers and others was in their London operations.

  6. ianmac 6

    Spain has 25% unemployment and 50% for the 18- 25year olds. Spai Air has collapsed.The grim prospects must have a flow-on effect.
    What effect would there be for a New Zealand tourist visiting Spain?

    • happynz 6.1

      I heard those grim statistics this morning on the news. The report went on to tell of the enormous numbers of unemployed youth in Greece, Italy and France. May other European nations are struggling with this issue as well.

      However, in many of these countries there exists a huge shadow economy whereby goods and services are supplied, but are not taxed or regulated. A Financial Times report on 08/06/2011 illustrates how pervasive it is. Spain’s grey market economy is estimated to be nearly 20% of the nation’s GDP.

      It is this clandestine activity that helps to explain one of the more embarrassing economic mysteries of modern Spanish society: an extraordinarily high rate of official unemployment without much of the civil unrest and popular anger that such a problem would normally generate. If it were true that 4.9m people, or more than 21 per cent of the workforce, were jobless, Spain would not be as peaceful as, barring a few demonstrations, it has so far been, say economists and business leaders.

      It is an open secret that the Spanish jobless rate – double the European average – is a fiction. Hundreds of thousands of people claim unemployment benefit when they actually have some kind of work; millions are not registered as working, which means that neither they nor their employers are paying social security contributions. One proof, say employers, is that when unemployment fell to 8.5 per cent at the height of the boom in 2006-07, they could find no workers to hire. Yet that figure, the recent Spanish minimum, is high enough that it would be associated with a deep economic recession in almost any other industrialised country.

      Madrid would like to cut the jobless rate dramatically. But ministers are reluctant to do so by openly condemning Spaniards as cheats or dismissing their own statistics as unreliable, since that would undermine the country’s reputation further in the midst of an already damaging sovereign bond crisis. http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/efc3510e-9214-11e0-9e00-00144feab49a.html#axzz1kydt5Sfs

      I’d say that although the official figures are alarming (yikes! 1/2 of 16 to 24 year-olds are out of work), the reality is that as a New Zealand tourist you won’t be too inconvenienced.

      • ianmac 6.1.1

        That was great thanks happynz. And I suppose Tourism would be welcomed especially by the unregistered “unemployed.” And congratulations on your search skills.

        • Colonial Viper 6.1.1.1

          Here is one trend to look out for: as the “official” economy disowns more and more of the population, more and more of the population is going to disown the official economy. People are going to go grey market and black market to survive.

          Its already happening in NZ.

    • Colonial Viper 6.2

      Yep and youth unemployment in Greece is now over 45%.

      Frakking dangerous territory this is. The stuff of facism and white spremacy movements.

  7. fisiani 7

    Civic Square in Wellington is now the property of the 100% again. No trouble. No fuss. lets all move on to a brighter future.

    • The Chairman 7.1

      Most would love to move on to a ‘brighter future’, but the Government seem unwilling to play their part.

      For various reasons (that you should be aware of) the local private sector is unable to produce the national growth required.

      The high number of unemployed is just one example of the private sector (and this current Government’s) failure.

      The ‘Cycle Track’ was a feeble attempt that failed to cut it.

      We require Government to play a far larger role in commerce, increasing our offshore return. This will help fill the current market void and help stimulate the economy.

      The new wealth generated (being generated offshore and attained through Government) can be far better distributed to the local workforce and contractors employed.

      Sir Peter Gluckman: Science key to a richer country (highlights below)

      The government, while critical, cannot do it all: local government must take a major role.

      There is a need to promote, plan and incentivise an “innovation city”.

      It needs the development of technology parks, clustering academia, entrepreneurs and support services.

      It needs the hospitals, universities, technical institutes and crown research institutes to co-operate rather than compete.

      More here: http://www.nzherald.co.nz/economy/news/article.cfm?c_id=34&objectid=10779810

    • Draco T Bastard 7.2

      We’re trying to, unfortunately you RWNJs keep getting in the way and stealing all the wealth.

  8. Hilary 8

    I missed this Campbell Live account of the Occupy Wellington protest which aired last week. Unusually for mainstream media the reporter and cameraman both stayed overnight and tried to find out what it was all about. It is worth watching again in the light of the eviction this morning.
    http://www.3news.co.nz/Occupy-Wellington—behind-the-scenes/tabid/367/articleID/240960/Default.aspx

  9. Jackal 9

    Prepare for climate change

    It seems every few days we hear about more instances of flooding. South East Asia, Southern Pakistan, Northwestern Australia and Southern Brazil all experienced severe flooding in January this year alone… with the cost for such events often massive.

    • tc 9.1

      We’re far from done on that score this summer with the pattern pushing the wet systems up against others acting like a giant sponge over us.

      Golbal warming can’t be denied, debating why is neither here nor there, moisture goes up in ever larger volumes and comes down so you hardly need a Phd to figure out the impact on land and life.

  10. Lanthanide 10

    Probably about time to remove the electoral authorisation, Lynn?

    Only for the purposes of Electoral Act 1993, the Electoral Referendum Act 2010 and the Broadcasting Act 1989 everything on this page is:-
    Authorised by Lynn Prentice, 3/10 Rose Road, Grey Lynn, Auckland, New Zealand.
    Translation: If you want to whine about the site during this election campaign, then please contact me. As a blog site we don’t need this authorization. However I rather enjoy the notion of either verbally or in writing telling idiotic critics why, in my opinion, that they are such pathetic wee morons. In particular why their interpretation of the legalities governing blogsites is symptomatic of their general lack of intelligence and perseverance in reading the acts. I will also take a great deal of pleasure in publishing all correspondence received on the subject complete with my descriptions of the complainants failings in the fields of personality and politics.

  11. It seems that the Prime Minister did not end up talking to “someone important” at TVNZ over the Coronation Street scheduling issue last year.

    This is because, as his spokesperson clarifies:

    his comments were “light-hearted banter””

    And

    It is not appropriate for the Prime Minister to intervene in TVNZ’s programming decisions.

    It’s presumably far more appropriate that his electorate chair make such interventions, via NZOA. 

     

    • Lanthanide 11.1

      Remember too, that this was the single question that Key said was worth bothering to reply to. He hand-picked it and then made a promise to speak to someone about it.

      Given the context and the way he framed it, I don’t believe that “anyone listening to the programme would have realised his comments were “light-hearted banter”.”.

  12. The Voice of Reason 12

    The fight to stop the privatisation of the Port of Auckland just ratcheted up a notch. MUNZ will be taking limited strike action for a week, starting in the middle of February. They will be targeting the already casualised Conlinxx container delivery service.
     
    From the press release:
     
     
    Mr Parsloe says this is legal and protective action to protect jobs and family livelihoods from outsourcing and casualization.
     
    He says the industrial action was taken with reluctance, but was necessary as port management refused to negotiate.
     
    “It is aimed at getting management to negotiate rather than dictate. The Union is prepared to work through productivity and other issues but not under the type of threats the management are holding over its employees.”
     

  13. I’m a bit surprised, too, that the Prime Minister was – in a lighthearted, banterish sort of way – making a play for a demographic that he apparently believed to be, at least in part, “dying off”.

  14. Lynne Renouf 14

    Who’s paying for the cows that Labour Corp will need to buy when new overseas owners take over? NZ Tax payer?

    • Lanthanide 14.1

      Costs in running the business will be split between LandCorp and Pengxin. Presumably this would include startup capital such as diary herds. I believe that the farms are currently being operated as a going concern and will therefore likely come with some cows already.

      LandCorp is an SOE of the crown and the core part of the act is that SOEs must act as if they are purely commercial operations. The crown/taxpayers paying for cows for LandCorp would be no different than the bailout of any other privately-owned company, something that generally the government avoids doing at all costs.

      As far as I know, LandCorp runs at a profit. If you would like to provide information and sources that contradicts that, then please, go ahead.

  15. I’ll be talking about the tension around Iran and the possibility of engineered false flag attacks in the strait of Hormus to trigger an all out war with Iran on the Vinny Eastwood show at 1 PM for those open to some much needed education on what is really going on in he middle East!

  16. Pascal's bookie 16

    Whoopsadoodle:

    Maori Party could quit its support of Govt
    By: Lesley Deverall | Latest News | Tuesday January 31 2012 12:52

    The Maori Party says it may quit its support of John Key’s government over its asset sale plan.

    Tariana Turia and Pita Sharples say plans by the government to have no treaty clause in the SOE sale legislation is a deal breaker.

    The pair say maori are already contemplating a hikoi over the issue – and Mrs Turia has raised concerns that the issue may flare up at Waitangi celebrations this weekend.

    http://newstalkzb.co.nz/auckland/news/1151955745-Maori-Party-could-quit-its-support-of-Govt

    Might pull support, might not. Will kick up shit however; which is all good.

    • felix 16.1

      Just heard that on the news too.

      maori Party growing a spine. Oh dear.

    • Fortran 16.2

      Who really cares what the current Maori Party publically think. They are extinguishing themselves.
      They are ceasing to be relevant as a real Party, and by next election, when the two leaders retire, Hone will pick up their votes.

      • Draco T Bastard 16.2.1

        Probably NAct as the Maori Party leaving the coalition opens the way to a snap election due to loss of confidence.

  17. aerobubble 17

    SCOTUS declared companies were people with political rights.
    Well guess Campbell Live will be interviewing the civic grass for a comment on its victory for grass free expression.
    Public Grass Lawns has political rights too damn it.

  18. Draco T Bastard 18

    The Sky Is Rising!

    For years now, the legacy entertainment industry has been predicting its own demise, claiming that the rise of technology, by enabling easy duplication and sharing — and thus copyright infringement — is destroying their bottom line. If left unchecked, they say, it is not only they that will suffer, but also the content creators, who will be deprived of a means to make a living.

    What we found is that not only is the sky not falling, as some would have us believe, but it appears that we’re living through an incredible period of abundance and opportunity, with more people producing more content and more money being made than ever before. As it turns out… The Sky Is Rising!

    So, can we now tell the fuckwits who want to make it even harder to produce content to fuckoff?

  19. The Voice of Reason 19

    Well, well, flogging our future to Johnny Foreigner isn’t popular over the Tasman either. Dick Smith is rather pissed off at having an iconic Aussie brand sold to overseas owners.

  20. Anita 20

    Does anyone happen to know any of the background that leads Clare Curran to email Red Alert commenters asking them to verify their identity if they want to comment on Red Alert in future?

    • lprent 20.1

      I do that on the odd occasion when people are claiming to be specific people or have specific knowledge. Most recently when the lead communications person from the Ports of Auckland left comments. There are usually one or two a month where I check likelihoods using track backs and other technical means, and email checks maybe once every few months. That is mainly to allay flamewars about people’s identities.

      But that sounds like Red Alert should look at shifting to the login model with verified email addresses – like kiwiblog. That is automatic and tells you at least two things – that you have a valid email address, which means that you can track people back if you have to, and a login that you can disable requiring effort to get another. Alternatively to use one of the 3rd party verifications like Google or WordPress.

      I look at those periodically for here, but decide that it isn’t worth the effort. A robust immoderation policy tends to deter the really irritating people who can’t argue with their peers without a phrase book of keywords that they think are shared values. I find that giving them my personal attention amuses me and deters similar abuses of the concept of argument. And when I don’t have time (like now) there are other moderators, and helpful highlights by experienced commentators.

      But MP’s can’t do that. They really need to get a volunteer to moderate their blog or put in a gatekeeper of logins. The halfway house they are doing at present just provides munitions for idiots like Cameron.

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Simon Bridges: the 15 March Christchurch massacre and winning at any cost
    . . Just when you thought Simon Bridges couldn’t sink any lower – he has. After the March 15th  Christchurch terror attack, the (current) Leader of the National Party issued strong committments to support urgently needed gun law reform; “We will be ready and prepared to be constructive and to ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 day ago
  • Only the least intelligent students, with bad parents, will attend the nonsense climate strike
    We all know that bad parents simply don’t care about their children’s education. Most truants have loser parents, and grow up to be involved with crime, or in low paid employment usually like their parents. The nonsense so-called “climate strike” coming up will be attended mostly by the least intelligent ...
    An average kiwiBy admin@averagekiwi.com
    2 days ago
  • Professional Internet Trolls being used to push manmade climate change lies
    Is the terrorist Organisation Greenpeace and the loony Green parties around the World hiring professional internet trolls? I have noticed a trend lately where if you post research, news articles or even comments that show the manmade climate change scam to be just that, you are immediately attacked, often within ...
    An average kiwiBy admin@averagekiwi.com
    2 days ago
  • Climate Change: Strike!
    Today is the first day of the global climate strike. Led by schoolkids, people all around the world are going to protest to demand action on climate change. New Zealand isn't doing it till next Friday (join us!), but if you want to get active early, there's plenty to do ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Climate Change: Squandering our opportunity?
    The Herald has a story today about the 400 MW of wind power currently under construction. Good news, right? Except that none of it is being driven by policy (instead, its about replacing Contact Energy's Taranaki Combined Cycle gas-fired power plant, due to shut down in 2022), and most of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Protect The King!
    To Protect and Serve: When the Prime Minister finds herself enmeshed in the coils of a full-blown political scandal, her colleagues and party comrades have only one priority: to release her as swiftly – and with as little lasting injury – as possible. Is this what Jacinda Ardern’s colleagues and ...
    2 days ago
  • The rot at the top.
    When military leaders cover up and lie to elected civilian authorities, the foundation of democratic civil-military relations is undermined because it is those authorities who are entrusted to hold the military accountable to the public that they mutually serve. But this is only true if civilian political authorities take their ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    2 days ago
  • Challenging the voting age in court
    The Make It 16 campaign to lower the voting age is launching this afternoon, and they have already announced plans to challenge the law in court:The campaign, named "Make it 16" will launch at Parliament on Friday, with plans to take their case to the High Court, testing the rights ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Israel’s elections herald a long siesta
    by Daphna Whitmore The long years of Netanyahu’s reign are drawing to an end. For years he has epitomized reactionary zionism as he oversaw hundreds of thousands of Jewish settlers seize land in the West Bank. There are now 700,000 settlers, putting an end to the myth that Israel was ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 days ago
  • Petrol companies promise prices will come back down once peace is restored to the Middle East
    BP, Z and Mobil all insist that petrol price hikes are temporary, “in a very literal sense.” The nation’s major petrol providers are trying to allay customer fears over prices, promising that they’ll move to lower them again “immediately” when the Middle East is returned to its formerly peaceful state. ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    3 days ago
  • All Blacks unveil boat for Rugby World Cup 2019
    South African coach Rassie Erasmus says he has no idea what they’re going to do about the boat. In a highly anticipated press conference this afternoon, All Blacks coach Steve Hansen has finally unveiled the team’s boat for its Rugby World Cup 2019 campaign. In a press conference that went ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    3 days ago
  • An increasingly shoddy coverup
    The Operation Burnham inquiry continued to question senior NZDF staff today, and their shoddy coverup over their knowledge of civilian casualties continue to fall apart. If you recall, first, we were asked to believe that it was all a series of "mistakes and errors": a senior officer with multiple degrees ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • If we are to avoid making the earth uninhabitable, we need to rapidly decarbonise our civilisation, and cut emissions to zero as quickly as possible. This seems like an impossible task, but its not. Pushing hard on a few technologies and trends will let us halve emissions in a decade:Greenhouse ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • A further attack on transparency
    The Local Government Act 2002 Amendment Bill (No 2) had part of its committee stage yesterday. its a generally tedious bill about the nitty-gritty of local government reorganisation. But it includes a clause making the Local Government Commission subject to the Ombudsmen Act, and hence the OIA. Great! Except of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Ihumātao and Treaty settlements
    Yesterday Ihumātao's mana whenua reached a consensus that they would like their land back, and asked the government to negotiate with Fletcher's for its return. The government's response? Try and undermine that consensus, while talking about how doing anything would undermine existing Treaty settlements. The first is just more bad ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Protecting our history
    Its Suffrage Day, the 126th anniversary of women winning the right to vote (but not stand in elections) in New Zealand. And to celebrate, the government has bought Kate Sheppard's house in Christchurch:The government has bought Kate Sheppard's former home in Christchurch for more than $4 million. The Ilam villa ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Climate Change: Ostracising the coal-burners
    The UN climate summit is happening in new York next week, and unlike previous years, coal-burners and denier-states are not being invited to speak:Leading economies such as Japan and Australia will not be invited to speak at next week’s crunch UN climate change summit, as their continued support for coal ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Jojo Tamihere Salutes Herr Goff.
    Get Back Jojo! The elation in Mayor Phil Goff’s camp may be easily imagined as they watched social media light up in indignation at challenger John Tamihere’s "Sieg Heil to that" quip. Just when JT’s notoriously right-wing, sexist and homophobic stains were beginning to fade back into his ‘colourful’ past, ...
    3 days ago
  • Hard News: A fun but flawed weed documentary
    Patrick Gower is good value when he's high. Not that I've ever, you know, got stoned with him. But in the second part of his documentary Patrick Gower on Weed, he does what you'd expect in a modern weed documentary and immerses himself – first with a doctor, then a ...
    4 days ago
  • Candidate Survey: Western Bay of Plenty – Local Body Elections 2019
    We surveyed candidates on their attitudes to issues facing the Western Bay Region, find out what they think: “Closing the Gap” Tauranga, one of the area groups of Income Equality Aotearoa NZ Inc., has surveyed all candidates in the three local body elections to discover attitudes to some basic issues ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    4 days ago
  • Project Nettie calls on scientists to defend biology
    Please spread widely, and sign, to support science and rationalism over the new irrationalism sweeping universities and institutions.  PROJECT NETTIE Sexual reproduction, the generation of offspring by fusion of genetic material from two different individuals, evolved over 1 billion years ago. It is the reproductive strategy of all higher animals ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    4 days ago
  • I’m glad I don’t live in Auckland
    Just when I was thinking that Palmerston North's mayoral race (which includes a convicted child molester / public wanker and a convicted child beater) was the worst in the country, Auckland mayoral candidate John Tamihere opened his mouth:Auckland mayoral candidate John Tamihere is being slammed for using the words "sieg ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Index of Power Update, 2018-19: China #2
    We reprint below an article from the excellent website the Economics of Imperialism by Tony Norfield This is an update of the statistics for my Index of Power, using data for 2018-19 and discussing what a country’s ranking reflects. The major change is that China’s rank has shifted up and ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    4 days ago
  • Climate Change: A history lesson
    Why is New Zealand climate change policy so crap? The Herald this morning has a long article on the twists and turns of climate change policy in New Zealand [paywalled / depaywall script], which shows where we've been. The short version is that the government first began worrying about this ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • What the All Blacks Mean to Us
    The All Blacks have been, for more than a century, arguably the most successful International sports team in the world. But they are more than that; even for those Kiwis who are immune to the charms of rugby (and there are more than a few), the All Blacks are ambassadors ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    4 days ago
  • No one is born into the wrong body
    A short and incredibly powerful speech from a young lesbian woman. No one is born in the wrong body. ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    5 days ago
  • Contempt
    Back in June, the UK Court of Appeal ruled that that country's continued arms sales to Saudi Arabia were unlawful. So you'd expect that the UK government stopped approving them, right?Of course not:The government has apologised for breaching a court ruling against the sale of weapons to Saudi Arabia that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Covering up the cover-up
    Yesterday NZDF officials were put on the stand about the lies they had told over Operation Burnham, making implausible claims that it was all a big mistake. But along the way, we learned they had already been put on the spot about it by a previous Defence Minister, who had ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Not as important as they think they are
    Farmers have been whining a lot lately, about the methane targets in the Zero Carbon Bill, about Canterbury's proposed nitrogen limits, and about the government's new proposals to stop them from shitting in our lakes and rivers. These policies are "throwing farmers under the tractor", they will force farmers off ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Behind Every Good Woman Should Stand – Another Good Woman.
    Alone, Alone, All, All, Alone: To argue that the Prime Minister is the victim of her advisers’ failure to keep her informed may offer Jacinda some measure of exoneration – but only at the cost of casting her as a hopeless political ingénue. A star-dusted muppet, whose only purpose is to ...
    5 days ago
  • Poor quality, poorly educated kiddie ‘Journalists’ spreading fake news
    In times of hysteria about the “World coming to an end” and “rising sea levels” so-called ‘Journalists’ who can barely spell words longer than four letters are having a ball! Though the majority of the Public have worked out that manmade climate change is nothing short of pseudo-science, and the ...
    An average kiwiBy admin@averagekiwi.com
    5 days ago
  • Chris Trotter on the BFD
    I don't want to give pblicity to certain parts of the internet that are better left to fester in their own irrelevance (I know, a bit like this place) but the listing of Chris Trotter as a 'author' on Cameron Slater's spinoff website, the BFD requires some explanation.Now, I don't ...
    6 days ago
  • Sex is not a spectrum
    The text below is a Twitter thread by Heather Heying that explains the essence of sexual reproduction and it long evolutionary history. She is an evolutionary biologist and a “professor-in-exile” after she and her husband, Bret Weinstein, stood up to supporters of an enforced “Day of Absence” for white staff and teachers ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    6 days ago
  • Climate Change: Trees, aviation, and offsets
    With crunch time for new Zealand climate policy approaching, most of the New Zealand media have got on board with a global reporting effort to cover the issue. There's one strand of stories today about polling and what it shows about changing public attitudes to the crisis, but the strand ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Pissing-Off The Israelis Is A High-Risk Strategy.
    Dangerous Foes: For those readers of Bowalley Road who feel disposed to dismiss any prospect of an Israeli destabilisation of New Zealand politics, the example of the United Kingdom repays close attention. Ever since the election of Jeremy Corbyn as leader of the British Labour Party, the Israelis have sanctioned, funded and ...
    6 days ago
  • Something to go to in Wellington
    Make It 16, the youth-led campaign to lower New Zealand's voting age, is holding an official campaign launch at Parliament this Friday from 16:30. If you'd like to attend, you can register using EventBrite here. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • A founding member responds to Peace Action Wellington
    by Don Franks It was a lovely sunny Wellington afternoon with blue skies above  the beaches.  In Courtenay Place, political activists packed out a stuffy upstairs room for an important meeting. The assembled pacifists, anarchists, communists and independent young radicals of Peace Action Wellington felt the need for a mission ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    6 days ago
  • “Mistakes and errors”
    Current and former NZDF top brass are being publicly grilled this week by the hit and run inquiry over their public responses to allegations of civilian casualties. Previously, they've claimed there were no casualties, a position which led them to lie to Ministers and to the public. Now, they're saying ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • “Homosexuality is same-sex attraction and relationships, not heterosexuals with delusions of gende...
    by Rafael D. Quiles (gender-critical gay man from Puerto Rico) The writing on the wall is right in people’s faces and people just don’t see it or don’t want to. What could actually possess a heterosexual male to want to feminize himself and claim that he is a lesbian? Because ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    7 days ago
  • Trump: “Where’s my favourite dictator?”
    From the Wall Street Journal:Inside a room of the ornately decorated Hotel du Palais during last month’s Group of Seven summit in Biarritz, France, President Trump awaited a meeting with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi. Mr. Trump looked over a gathering of American and Egyptian officials and called out in ...
    7 days ago
  • Magdalen Burns, 1983-2019, fighter for women’s liberation
    by the Redline blog collective At Redline we are very saddened to hear of the death of Magdalen Burns who passed away on the morning of Friday, September 13 (British time). Magdalen was a great fighter for the rights of women in general and lesbian women in particular, a defender ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Parliament and the Executive
    The Brexit issue has certainly brought with it a series of apparently difficult constitutional issues, many of them concerning the respective roles of the executive and parliament. Most of them arise because of the unwillingness of MPs, despite their professions to the contrary, to be bound by a constitutional rarity ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • The Abigail Article; Martyn Bradbury’s Article, and My Response
    . . This blogpost is different to my usual format of reporting on issues… Since July 1011, I have blogged on a variety of political issues; near always political and/or environmental; mostly highly critical of the previous National Government. Other issues included Israeli occupation of Palestinian lands and repression of ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • Police will have to wear silly Buckingham Palace hats from now on, says Police Minister
    Those close to the Police Minister believe the initiative may be the result of Nash “seeing a great deal” on AliExpress. In a move that comes seemingly out of nowhere, Police Minister Stuart Nash announced this afternoon that he expects all frontline staff to don bearskin hats, famously worn by ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • A sensible crackdown
    The government has released its Arms Legislation Bill, containing the second tranche of changes to gun laws following the March 15 massacre. And it all looks quite sensible: a national gun register, higher penalties for illegal possession and dealing, tighter restrictions on arms dealers and shooting clubs, and a shorter ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week 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 ...
    2 weeks 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 ...
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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 ...
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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 ...
    2 weeks ago

No feed items found.