Ounce of prevention, pound of cure etc etc

Written By: - Date published: 9:11 am, April 12th, 2012 - 43 comments
Categories: Economy, Parliament - Tags: ,

The government (at least, the National and Act parts of it) have signalled they’ll veto Sue Moroney’s bill to extend paid parental leave on the grounds that it would cost too much. (May I just say as an aside, GO SUE!)

Zetetic has shown that in the first place, compared to such fucking trainwrecks as the “Roads of National Significance” (coming soon to a negative-cost-to-benefit-ratio near you!) extended paid parental leave is fucking chump change.

But I’d like to address a second point: the rightwingers’ basic lack of understanding as to how this stuff works.

One of the arguments for things like paid parental leave (and early childhood education, and early intervention and rehabilitation of youth offenders, etc etc) is that, beyond just being a sign that your society is caring, compassionate, and supportive of not-traditionally-valued non-income-generating work (piff, socialism), it pays itself off. No, not in the current financial year, nor even in the current term of government, but within a generation (no long time if you actually care about things beyond your own net wealth balance sheet).

You pay parents to spend more time with their infants now, you get smarter, more connected, more caring, more “productive” adults later.

But the right don’t get that (and to an extent, I might argue Labour doesn’t get it either, given their usual willingness to fight battles on a right-determined field).

And given the right like to make stupid analogies about governmental budgets being like household budgets (wherein households can print their own money) etc, here’s one back at them:

Refusing to extend paid parental leave, ignoring the longterm benefits, on a household scale, is like crying “But I can’t afford to buy flour, sugar, and butter for $10 now! I have to cut my spending so I can buy a $30 cake on Saturday!”

Of course, to extend the analogy further, on Saturday they’ll no longer be running the household, having fucked off to the Wairarapa for a wine-tasting weekend, so why the fuck do they care if someone else has to buy $30 cake because there’s no ingredients in the cupboard? That $10 now could get them <5L of petrol!

-QoT

Note – for more QoT goodness head over to her blog: Ideologically Impure

43 comments on “Ounce of prevention, pound of cure etc etc”

  1. Draco T Bastard 1

    Of course, to extend the analogy further, on Saturday they’ll no longer be running the household…

    And, given the way that they are managing the “household budget”, that $30 will actually be -$30 due to them giving away the money to “special” people – the rich, consultants, etc.

  2. tsmithfield 2

    Claiming something is affordable but not knowing at what level it is unaffordable is illogical. Otherwise, claims about affordability can be made to infinity if there is no known boundary between affordability and unaffordability.

    I made this point yesterday, but got no satisfactory response. How can any claim be made about affordability if we don’t know where the unaffodability boundary is?

    • insider 2.1

      Sue Moroney said she doesn’t know how much it will cost and refused to put a number on it when asked on RNZ yesterday. Bizarre.

      • Pascal's bookie 2.1.1

        yeah, she should have followed the Min.Finance’s lead and just pulled a ‘guess’ out and claimed it was gospel.

        Doesn’t even have to be a ‘best guess’ for this government.

        But the cost is complicated, it’s pretty rough to expect her to have a number right now.

        You need to take into account the lower ECE costs, and the dole payments that would otherwise be paid to temp workers, and that’s just the short term immediate stuff.

        • insider 2.1.1.1

          If you’re putting forward a policy I think you look politically suspect if not able or unwilling to put some number around it, especially in these times. To have got a bill drafted you have to have put in some thought. If you don’t, it imediately leaves you open to attack that it is a blank cheque, out of touch blah blah. To pass it off to the select committee seemed naive and slightly shifty.

          • Colonial Viper 2.1.1.1.1

            If you’re putting forward a policy I think you look politically suspect if not able or unwilling to put some number around it, especially in these times.

            So pull a number out of your ass like English did?

            Or pull numbers out of thin air and have them be way out almost every single time, like Treasury does?

      • Dv 2.1.2

        Bit like guessing how much you will get from asset sales.
        Beat me to it pb

    • Pascal's bookie 2.2

      How long is a piece of string?

      Gosh.

      The way we usually decide, as a nation, that something is worth doing, ie, affordable, is through parliament.

      Obvioulsy folks are going to have different opinions. Which again, is why we have parliament.

      It appears though that the National Party is going to veto parliament on teh gopunds that thisthing is not affordable.

      It’s them doing the veto, it’s them pre-empting the debate, it’s them saying they know better than parliament; so it’s them that has to define the barrier they are using. Surely?

      Personally, I think they should stop subsidising certain groups for their ETS credits so much.

      In any case. 150M is a rounding error. If treasury got within 150M on a budget estimate they’d probably reward themselves a large chunk of it as a bonus.

      • tsmithfield 2.2.1

        OK. Still haven’t really answered the question. However, I will put on a socialist hat for a moment. Lets say that the government followed some of the suggestions I saw yesterday, and scrapped the roads of National significance, reversed tax cuts to the wealthy etc. They would then have a larger, but finite, pool of money. Presumably there would be sufficient cash to fund the extra paid parental leave out of that.

        However, the question should not be “is it affordable?”, but “is the best bang for the buck achieved in social results by spending in that area?” Why, for instance, should this extra funding not be spent on more state housing for low income families for example.

        • Colonial Viper 2.2.1.1

          cancel a RON or two and you can have 10,000 new state houses AND paid parental leave for years.

          Thats just how wasteful laying down that frakking bitumen is.

        • Pascal's bookie 2.2.1.2

          Dude, I explained why your question was retarded. Given its retardation, it’s about as good an answer as it’s going to get.

          There are no absolute answers to value based questions. People have different opinions on what the answer is. That’s natural, and correct, and human, and why we have parliament. It’s parliament that gets to decide which particular answer that we will put in place.

          National have said they are going to pre-empt parliament having a say.

          • tsmithfield 2.2.1.2.1

            National are the ones who actually have to spend the money, and take responsibility for the decisions. Labour et al. don’t. Thats the difference.

            • Pascal's bookie 2.2.1.2.1.1

              You spelt ‘parliament’ wrong.

              • prism

                And the word parliament is significant. It dates back to Old French parlement which comes from parler to speak (dictionary connects also to parley). In other words in our democracy we are supposed to talk about things not make regal decisions.

                Such as, no we can’t support families and our economic drive to build a strong, working NZ with support spending for the people, but yes we can pay for troops to Afghanistan and to play at deadly military games with the USA which will cost us money and lives for sure. But dying for a rich country’s machinations gives more esteem to the politicians who organise it than advancing people’s opportunities for a worthy, productive and happy life in our own country.

              • tsmithfield

                And National would be applying parliamentary rules by vetoing the proposal. So, where is your problem?

                • Draco T Bastard

                  It’s undemocratic and their reason for vetoing the bill is fictitious.

                  • tsmithfield

                    According to you.

                    Was the rule allowing them to veto the bill established undemocratically?
                    No one here has come up with any evidence of a level at what the change would become unaffordable. National says the proposed level is unaffordable. That gives them more credibility.

                    • felix

                      The onus is on National to say when it becomes unaffordable.

                      Not that it matters, because Bill English said the veto was going ahead “regardless” of the amount of money involved.

                      So it’s not about affordability, as any fool can see. It’s just the policy they don’t like.

                    • tsmithfield

                      Deleted

                  • tsmithfield

                    Well, they did say it is unaffordable.

                    Given there is a finite sum and an almost infinite ways it could be spent, and given you seem to think this is something the government should be spending on, am I right to assume that you rate putting money into extending the parental leave scheme as more meritorious than putting that money into more housing for the poor and homeless?

                    • Colonial Viper

                      this will be fun, tsmith trying to come up with a list of 100 more meritorious priorities now.

                    • tsmithfield

                      CV “This will be fun, tsmith trying to come up with a list of 100 more meritorious priorities now.”

                      Well, from a socialist point of view, there probably are. Which is why I am a little bemused as to why Labour is pushing this barrow rather than something else.

                      Or do you believe Maslov’s hierarchy of needs have been so well met at the most basic level by the current government that we can now go up a few steps to something that is a “nice to have” rather than an essential?

                      Then again, the weird sense of priorities from the left shouldn’t surprise me given all that extra funding HC gave to the arts a few years ago, rather than using that funding to help the impoverished.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      Well, they did say it is unaffordable.

                      NACT said it but that doesn’t make it true.

                      No, you’re not right to think that as there’s, as you point out, “an almost infinite ways it could be spent” which means that it’s not an either/or between PPL and state housing. Stopping the RoNS which have no economic viability would easily pay for PPL and more state housing. There is, of course, a hell of a lot more wasteful spending being done by this government as well that could be cut back to help pay for PPL. On top of that we could also put the tax brackets back to the way they were before NACT got into power and that would easily pay for them as well.

                      In other words, you’re full of shit as per usual as you try to defend NACTs incompetence through BS.

                    • tsmithfield

                      “which means that it’s not an either/or between PPL and state housing.”

                      But surely, from a socialist perspective, the most pressing needs should be met first. Hence, from a socialist perspective, shouldn’t you first satisfy yourself that the most pressing needs such as housing for the poor have been met before you worry about PPL?

                      “Stopping the RoNS which have no economic viability would easily pay for PPL and more state housing ”

                      You do seem to have a be in your bonnet about the RONS, don’t you.

                      I can’t speak for them all. But one of these is the Northern Corridor which will be very much needed in Christchurch given that since the earthquake many people are shifting out to satellite towns on the north such as Rangiora, Woodend, and the Pegasus development, north of Woodend. These people usually have jobs in the city, so will need the Northern Corridor to efficiently get in.

                      The current roads tend to be pretty much log-jammed at peak hour on that side already btw.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      But surely, from a socialist perspective, the most pressing needs should be met first.

                      I’m an anarchist, not a socialist. That said, it’s possible to meet more than one need at the same time due to the simple fact that they use different physical resources.

                      You do seem to have a be in your bonnet about the RONS, don’t you.

                      Yep, not a fan of stupidity.

                      These people usually have jobs in the city, so will need the Northern Corridor to efficiently get in.

                      Or they could do the more efficient thing and move the jobs out or take the train.

    • QoT 2.3

      Hey tsmith, I just want to say “thanks” for introducing a massive derail which had zip-fuck-all to do with my post, just so you could keep parrotting what you obviously think is a killer argument.

      Now, maybe your awesome point works if, say, we’re talking about a person who has $20 in their wallet and is shopping for a book. Obviously, if they only have $20 in their wallet and they only need to buy a book, a $21 book is “unaffordable”.

      Unfortunately, in the real world, there are ways to be flexible with money – credit cards, laybys, loyalty schemes – and lots of things to buy – books, shoes, cold beverages, tampons.

      So trying to bring everything down to “but when does this ONE thing, out of a gigantic government programme of dozens of things which are all interdependent and unfixed, become unaffordable? HA!” really just goes to show, once again, that it’s actually the right who have no fucking idea how budgeting works.

  3. Uturn 3

    “…You pay parents to spend more time with their infants now, you get smarter, more connected, more caring, more “productive” adults later.

    But the right don’t get that (and to an extent, I might argue Labour doesn’t get it either, given their usual willingness to fight battles on a right-determined field)…”

    I would suggest that they do get it. It’s not incompetence, or lack of interest, it’s deliberate. They do not want communities, families or connected caring adults – period. They want crime, social disintergration, division and slavery. It’s easier to rule when your people are on one hand scared and on the other locked up and it perpetuates business opportunities based in responding to the self created crisis. In a population of roughly 4 million and growing, how productive do people have to be in the future to support the wealth of the top 10%? Productive, schmoductive. Productive = “Be a good slave and keep me rich forever at your cost.”

    That is the theory. Of course, history shows us they eventually get taken down by the people. What Labour/Nats and others are banking on is that they will happily parasite a career off the population and then die before they have to face any real trouble – personal responsiblity, and all that.

    • Jackal 3.1

      Unfortunately you’re correct Uturn. People who are desperate are easier to control. It’s apparent from National’s plan to veto an extension to paid parental leave that the elitists are determined to undertake class warfare to ensure there is less opposition to their regime.

      This fits perfectly with their belief that only the wealthy should be allowed children and a proper education… they can only feel superior if there’s a deprived underclass after all.

      People who have a good education and have stability in their lives are more likely to fight for their rights. People who do not have a secure home, who do not know their rights and have already been abused are more likely to accept extortion, totalitarianism and a system that does not have everybody’s best interests at heart.

      The real stupid thing is that the capitalists actually make more money longterm when the place is run properly. The timeframe for inequality to eat into their bottom lines is now.

    • QoT 3.2

      I do agree to an extent, Uturn. Unfortunately when one actually gets blunt about these things (I did in a previous post here) suddenly it’s all “you’re just a meanie, you’re just bigoted, how dare you judge people by their actions and the obvious, repeated consequences of those actions.”

      Sometimes it’s easier to just pretend that they’re stupid.

    • rosy 3.3

      Helen Clark has a added another point about encouraging workplace participation. It will improve GDP. Something the NACT supporters should think about in terms of their opposition to PPL (and ECE) if improving outcomes for children just doesn’t make them feel all soft and gooey enough to support these policies.

      PPL can be justified in terms that are all about the money:

      She spoke about her nine years as prime minister, saying the wealth gap between this country and other richer countries was largely due low levels of labour force participation of New Zealand women here… The gap between New Zealand’s GDP per capita and that of Scandinavian countries owes a great deal to the lower level of labour force participation of women in New Zealand.

      That was one of the reasons why my government pursued work-life balance policies, like implementing the extra week of annual holidays and a right to paid parental leave… The universal right to twenty hours free early childhood education was established both because of its importance for children and because it made the option of paid work for both parents a realistic one,” Clark said.

      Typically NACT knee-jerk reaction is to decry short-term costs rather than thinking about long-term value.

  4. Rusty Shackleford 4

    Who actually pays for this? Is it the employer, or the govt? If it’s the employer, all that will happen is wages for ladies will grow at a slower rate than they would have as employers transfer the costs to workers. Then you lot will be back here in a few years bleating about how unfair it is ladies wages aren’t growing fast enough.

    Statists; ever blind to the unintended consequences of their good intentions.

    • framu 4.1

      the govt pays for it – so the rest of your comment is rendered pointless in this case

      Rusty; ever coming to a conclusion based on a question he didnt know the answer to 🙂

    • QoT 4.2

      wages for ladies

      Because it’s completely unthinkable men might want to (or it may be preferable for their household to) take parental leave, of course. It’s, um, just how things are, nothing to do with sexism at all. (Also, gay parents don’t exist!)

  5. Steve Wrathall 5

    “…more connected, more caring, more “productive” adults later.”

    What observation would falsify your theory that 3 extra months of staying home with Mum produces such personality trait manifestations?

    • Kotahi Tane Huna 5.1

      If you think you can adequately debunk attachment theory that challenge would be up to you. This isn’t your night school class and you are not the teacher setting assignments.

      Looks like you’ve got a lot of reading to do: behavioural and cognitive psychology, evolutionary theory, object relations theory, etc. etc.

      …’cos I can’t see anyone doing it for you.

      • Steve Wrathall 5.1.1

        Nice attempt to reverse the burden of proof.

        I am well aware of how social research is conducted. Unlike actual science where you have controls, treatments, double-blindness etc, SS uses the researcher’s self-chosen “framing” within a race, gender or class based context, and then uses this a priori conclusion as a prism through which the research question is studied.

        Again, what observation would be inconsistent with the your theory that 3 extra months of staying home with Mum produces more “connected” adults decades later?

        • Kotahi Tane Huna 5.1.1.1

          Do your own homework.

          • QoT 5.1.1.1.1

            Now now, KTH, we could at least do all the hard work of googling it for him.

            That being said, since he’s already quite clearly signalled that social science doesn’t count because it doesn’t have sufficiently masculine numbers, you’re probably on the right track with not bothering …

  6. Karl Sinclair 6

    National are average…. you see where they get there BS from…. The below just adds to the list educational genocide that is going on in our country… Dull, Dull, Dull…….

    I am truely bored with them…… they can’t even be creatively evil… they need to copy off another nation. JK, you’re average.

    http://www.democracynow.org/2011/8/26/poverty_is_the_problem_efforts_to

    As millions of students prepare to go back to school, budget cuts are resulting in teacher layoffs and larger classes across the country. This comes as the drive toward more standardized testing increases despite a string of cheating scandals in New York, Atlanta, Washington, D.C., and other cities. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan also recently unveiled a controversial plan to use waivers to rewrite parts of the nation’s signature federal education law, No Child Left Behind. We speak to New York City public school teacher Brian Jones and Diane Ravitch, the former assistant secretary of education and counselor to Education Secretary Lamar Alexander under President George H. W. Bush, who has since this post dramatically changed her position on education policy. She is the author of “The Death and Life of the Great American School System: How Testing and Choice Are Undermining Education.” [includes rush transcript]

  7. DH 7

    I think it’s a shame that issues like this get hijacked with emotional blackmail. This is nonsense…..

    “You pay parents to spend more time with their infants now, you get smarter, more connected, more caring, more “productive” adults later.”

    The logical corollary to that argument is that if you don’t pay parents to spend more time with their infants now you get dumber, less connected, less caring, less productive adults later. Doesn’t take much thought to see the fallacy in that argument.

    Good parents will bring their kids up right regardless of their circumstances, indeed they’ve been doing just that for thousands of years. PPL is a worthy goal to aim for when we can afford it but IMO the real effect would be a pound of prevention for a pound (or less) of cure.

    • QoT 7.1

      … I would ask if you understood that the point is the time spent with the infants, which the payment facilitates, but that would involve buying into your pathetic strawman.

      Pray tell, O wise logician, if “good” parents will be good regardless of the circumstances, is the “logical corollary” that we should forcibly sterilise those predetermined to be “bad” parents?

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    This open letter to the Green Party was penned after an opinion piece by Jill Abigail, a feminist and founding member of the party, was censored by the Greens’ leadership. (Redline has reprinted her article here).The intolerance of the Green Party leaders and their acceptance of the misogyny of gender ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    5 days ago
  • Member’s Day: End of Life Choice, part 3
    Today is a Member's day, and David Seymour's End of Life Choice Bill continues its slow crawl through its committee stage. They're spending the whole day on it today, though the first hour is likely to be spent on voting left over from last time. After that they'll move on ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Flight to Los Angeles turned back after passengers decide they don’t want to go anymore
    An ambitious plan to fly to Los Angeles petered out into a brief sight-seeing trip and a desire to return home and get some sleep before work tomorrow. Air New Zealand has confirmed a flight to Los Angeles last night was turned back about a quarter of the way into ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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
    6 days ago
  • Māori Language Week with The Civilian
    Kia ora, Aotearoa. It’s that magical time of year. Te Wiki o te Reo Māori. In English, the week that frightens talk radio. As you probably know by now, all your favourite media outlets are participating, some more successfully than others. Stuff has changed its name to Puna for the ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    6 days ago
  • Will Horizons act on climate change?
    Local body elections are coming up next month. And it looks like all Palmerston North candidates for Horizons (the Manawatu-Whanganui Regional Council) want to take action on climate change:Climate change is set to be a key issue in Palmerston North for the next three years if those wanting to get ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • BORA reform is stalled
    Eighteen months ago, the government promised to strengthen the Bill of Rights Act, by explicitly affirming the power of the courts to issue declarations of inconsistency and requiring Parliament to formally respond to them. So how's that going? I was curious, so I asked for all advice about the proposal. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Corbyn and Brexit
    As the Brexit saga staggers on, the focus is naturally enough on the Prime Minister and his attempts to achieve Brexit “do or die”. But the role played by the Leader of the Opposition is of almost equal interest and complexity. The first problem for Jeremy Corbyn is that he ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    6 days ago
  • A ditch for him to die in
    Last week, English Prime Minister Boris Johnson boldly declared that he would rather die be dead in a ditch than delay Brexit. Unfortunately for him, the UK parliament accepted the challenge, and promptly dug one for him. The "rebellion bill" requires him to ask for and secure yet another temporary ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Warning! Warning! Danger Jacinda Ardern! Danger Marama Davidson! Warning!
    Lost In Political Space: The most important takeaway from this latest Labour sexual assault scandal, which (if I may paraphrase Nixon’s White House counsel’s, John Dean’s, infamous description of Watergate) is “growing like a cancer” on the premiership, is the Labour Party organisation’s extraordinary professional paralysis in the face of ...
    6 days ago
  • Union solidarity with Ihumatao land occupation
    by Daphna Whitmore Every Sunday for the past two months unionists from First Union, with supporters from other unions, have set out to the Ihumatao land protest, put up gazebos and gas barbeques, and cooked food for a few hundred locals and supporters who have come from across the country. ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    7 days ago
  • Climate Change: The wrong kind of trees?
    Newsroom today has an excellent, in-depth article on pine trees as carbon sinks. The TL;DR is that pine is really good at soaking up carbon, but people prefer far-less efficient native forests instead. Which is understandable, but there's two problems: firstly, we've pissed about so long on this problem that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • No freedom of speech in Turkey
    Canan Kaftancioglu is a Turkish politician and member of the opposition Republican People's Party (CHP). Like most modern politicians, she tweets, and uses the platform to criticise the Turkish government. She has criticised them over the death of a 14-year-old boy who was hit by a tear gas grenade during ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Speaker: Tadhg Stopford: Why I’m standing for the ADHB
    Hi there, just call me Tim.We face tough problems, and I’d like to help, because there are solutions.An Auckand District Health Board member has nominated me for as a candidate for the ADHB, because her MS-related pain and fatigue is reduced with hemp products from Rotorua.  Nothing else helped her. If I ...
    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
    1 week ago
  • Redline on the Labour Party
    No-one on the anti-capitalist left in this country today puts forward a case that Labour is on the side of the working class.  There are certainly people who call themselves ‘socialist’ who do, but they are essentially liberals with vested interests in Labourism – often for career reasons. Nevertheless, there ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • New Fisk
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Labour’s failure
    When National was in government and fucking over the poor for the benefit of the rich, foodbanks were a growth industry. And now Labour is in charge, nothing has changed: A huge demand for emergency food parcels means the Auckland City Mission is struggling to prepare for the impending arrival ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Ardern attempts to vaccinate Clarke Gayford live on television to prove that it’s safe
    Gayford, pictured here on The Project, before things got wildly out of control. A bold public relations move by the Government to encourage parents to vaccinate their children has gone horribly wrong. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern appeared on tonight’s episode of Three’s The Project, where the plan was for her ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    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
  • A Step Too Far.
    A Crown Asset? For reasons relating to its own political convenience, the Crown pretends to believe that “No one owns the water.” To say otherwise would re-vivify the promises contained in the Treaty of Waitangi – most particularly those pertaining to the power of the chiefs and their proprietary rights ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Where Money Comes From
    Most people would say, no doubt, that they have a pretty good idea of what money is. They live with the reality of money every day. It is what is needed to buy the necessities of life and to maintain a decent standard of living. You get money, they would ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    2 weeks ago
  • Banned by the Green Party leadership: Jill Abigail on women’s rights and trans rights
    The article below was an opinion piece that appeared in the Spring 2019 issue of Te Awa (the NZ Green Party’s newsletter) and on the Greens website.  In keeping with their policy of hostility to women defending women’s right to female-only spaces, Green bureaucrats have since removed the opinion piece.  ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • The fallacy of the proximity argument.
    Longer term readers may remember my complaining that, as a political scientist, it is burdensome to have non-political scientists wanting to engage me about politics. No layperson would think to approach an astrophysicist and lecture him/her on the finer details of quarks and black holes, but everybody with an opinion ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    2 weeks ago
  • Where We Stood: Chris Trotter Replies To Stevan Eldred-Grigg.
    Joining The Fight: Stevan Eldred-Grigg's argument for New Zealand staying out of the Second World War fails not only on the hard-headed grounds of preserving the country’s strategic and economic interests; and not just on the soft-hearted grounds of duty and loyalty to the nation that had given New Zealand ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Universities back the climate strike
    On September 27, School Strike 4 Climate will be striking for a future to pressure the government for meaningful climate action. This time, they've asked adults to join them. And now, Lincoln University and Victoria University of Wellington have signed on:Victoria University of Wellington has joined Lincoln University in endorsing ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Another constitutional outrage
    Another day, another constitutional outrage in the UK. This time, the government is saying that if parliament passes a law to stop Brexit before being prorogued, they may just ignore it:A senior cabinet minister has suggested Boris Johnson could defy legislation to prevent a no-deal Brexit if it is forced ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Ending dairy in Canterbury
    Environment Canterbury has finally proposed nitrogen limits to stop dairy farmers from poisoning Christchurch's water supply. And naturally, farmers are whining about it:A proposed move by Environment Canterbury (ECan) to protect Christchurch's drinking water by setting tough – some would say, draconian – nitrate reductions in the decades ahead and ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Is National the party of climate arson?
    The Zero Carbon Bill is currently before select committee. While its targets are weak, its a generally sensible bill that promises to establish a long-term framework to guide emissions reductions. But National hasn't made up its mind on whether it will support it - and according to Andrea Vance in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago

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