More Armstrong bullshit

Written By: - Date published: 5:38 pm, September 10th, 2011 - 67 comments
Categories: education, election 2011, labour, privatisation, tax - Tags:

It was galling to see John Armstrong slam Labour for not having released its Christchurch recovery policy having just refused to cover Labour’s skills package or its mining policy.  It’s like the Left can’t win with the guy. Labour releases policy and he turns a blind eye. Labour holds back announcing policy, which after all can’t be enacted until after the election, on an issue that, in case you missed it John, is still developing rapidly and he gets his knickers in a twist.

Now, Armstrong is demanding that Labour abandon its principles.

Goff needs to stop living in the past. On state asset sales, welfare reform, the restructuring of the public service and national standards, Labour is trying to summon the ghosts of the free market reforms of the 1980s and 1990s to frighten voters. Most voters under the age of 40 have no memory of this.

Don’t we John? Actually, we grew up in the years of Rogernomics. We saw exactly what it did because we were the ones feeling the most direct results. Armstrong seems to forget that Labour’s most popular policy is introducing a capital gains tax rather than selling assets and that policy is particularly popular with younger people who have had to deal with the results of privatisation all their lives, don’t remember the supposed downsides of a publicly-owned Telecom etc, and have been locked out of the property market by middle-aged speculators.

If Labour was really smart, the party would have outflanked Key by not only adopting national standards, but arguing for league tables showing how individual primary schools are performing compared with others in their decile.

League tables are a tool of the Right to break the public education system and national standards are the first assault. How does it work?

First, gather some really simple, really simplistic, statistics that are based on ‘norms’ in one aspect of educational achievement. Don’t ask whether Sally is developing problem solving, lateral logic, empathy, creativeness, just ask if she can do 7 times 6 in her head real quick.

Second, use these statistics to rank schools. You’re a bad school if your kids aren’t good at rote learning and, no, we don’t care if their is a fantastic community in your school that is creating new leaders, new explorers, people determined to lead their communities in a better direction because not enough of them can spell ‘ridiculous’. Naturally, parents will want to send their kids to ‘good schools’ and you start getting segregation – ethnic, economic, and cultural – with inevitable long-term results for society

Third, pay teachers based on how good their kids are at jumping through these arbitrary hoops. Less for teachers whose kids are ‘failures’, more for teac… actually, just the same or teachers whose kids are doing well. What happens then? Teachers refuse to take jobs in the very schools that need good teachers the most and the negative feedback loop continues. We know this happens because we can look overseas and see it happening.

Hell yeah teachers oppose that policy because these are people who have chosen to make a career of educating kids. They don’t want to go down a path that is destined to worsen the education of those kids who already have the shittiest prospects in our unequal society.

But Armstrong, seemingly on a whim, thinks Labour should adopt this policy just to gain a march on National.

Goff needs to stop lashing the well-off for not paying their fair share of tax in tough times. The politics of envy are unlikely to impress middle-income voters who aspire to becoming better off as they get older. They do not want to be made to feel guilty about it.

Again, Armstrong is simply guessing here and in defiance of the polls showing that people favour Labour’s tax package over National’s asset sales. The days when the Right could get away with running on a policy of ‘tax cuts tax cuts tax cuts’ and dismiss any opposition as the ‘politics of envy’ are over. You’re seeing the backlash against those policies all over the Western World where poor people and billionaires are all calling for more tax instead of service cuts and more debt.

What the re-institution of the 39% tax rate does is close of the open-ended nature of National’s tax cuts. Under National, the more you earn the larger your tax cut . Labour has said it will close off that open-ended tax cut and close the biggest tax loophole in the system, and balance that by fair and equitable tax cuts – the first $5,000 tax-free and GST off fresh fruit and vegetables. It’s clear that Labour didn’t make these decisions lightly. It’s a carefully weighted package that Labour genuinely believes it the right thing to do.

I think that Armstrong just doesn’t get it. Parties of the Left pick and swap policies on a whim. Armstrong wants Labour to do things that are really bad ideas just because he thinks it will catch the Nats’ napping. That’s all politics is to this old cynic, a game of out-maneuvering your opponents to the cheers of the spectators – the press gallery. Not that Armstrong would actually praise Labour even if it did exactly what he demands. You could hear him clinching his teeth in the couple of articles he deigned to write on capital gains tax.

Can’t the Herald find someone better? Someone who actually investigates and reports, rather than awarding points on behalf of the public whether the politicians are providing a good show? Someone who’s not completely out of touch and who hasn’t forgotten that politics has a purpose and the decisions our politicians make real impacts on people’s lives?

67 comments on “More Armstrong bullshit”

  1. IrishBill 1

    I’m always amazed at how in column after column Armstrong, a man who never steps foot outside the precinct, so confidently espouses what “ordinary New Zealanders” think.

    I suspect this stupendous self-delusion is due to the fact he’s validated as one of the gang by every other inward-focused political insider (particularly the Nat ones). What a weird wee world filled with weird wee folk the beltway is.

    • Sam 1.1

      You know before the 2008 elelction, John Armstrong was seen to be the Labour party puppet on the NZHerald.
      Now he is the National party puppet?
      Could it be that he is actually saying out loud what jsut about everybody in NZ, outside of Labour, is thinking and saying?
      That Labour cannot win with Phil Goff?

      The RWC is a hiatus in the political world.
      Imagine how Labour would fare under Shane Jones on October 26th.
      He is about the only person in the Labour caucus who could match John Key in public speaking, someone who can “sell” the CGT and other Labour policies. He is a natural speaker, not some apparatchick from the sausage factory production line that is the Labour party hierachy.
      Goff cannot come out and effectively “sell” these policies, he has far to much baggage of the “flip-flopping” kind. This will come back to haunt him, especially after the write-ups in the Sunday Herald a few weeks ago when these flip-flops were highlighted.
      Goff cannot sell Labour policies, unfortunate for him but disastrous for Labour.
      There are lots of people who like the policies, including me, but are turned off by Goff.
      No matter how good the product, if the salesman is useless it won’t get sold.

  2. Chris 2

    Armstrong’s like an amateur PR man. Always offering free advice to politicians.

    • Blighty 2.1

      I wonder if Hoots will be pleased or insulted to be compared to Old man Armstrong?

      • ghostwhowalksnz 2.1.1

        The Herald does have an alternative voice- David Farrar

        Yet strangely Farrar has columns in both Fairfax and APN.

        Ive never heard of that happening before. Normally writing for the opposition would be a sackable offence.

        It sure is strange times we live in.
        A political columnist seem to come recommended by the governing party, an offer you cant refuse

  3. Phaedrus 3

    Your comments on education and national’s standards are so accurate. There is a wealth of information from overseas that makes several things very clear. The most glaringly obvious is the link between socio-economics / poverty and children’s learning progress at school. This is indisputable, so when we look at the growing equality gap in New Zealand, there is only one possible conclusion to draw: government policies that are increasing this equality gap are therefore directly responsible for issues with children’s education. There is no other possibility, and that regardless of whatever sticks the government chooses to use to beat schools and teachers over their collective heads, the answer lies elsewhere. As in overseas jurisdictions, particularly the USA, from where this educational nonsense originates, the government will not admit that their policies are responsible, and, again following the USA model, seek to divert attention by using schools and teachers (and if re-elected, the teacher unions) as scapegoats. There is nothing original about the government’s national standards policies, which have nothing to do with education and plenty to do with politics and business. This is easily substantiated by a little research online, so anyone who wants to take issue with this interpretation would be advised to use facts, not prejudice and belief. Interestingly (sadly?) correspondents like Armstrong, and all other pro-national standards advocates, never use research and evidence based data to support their arguments. One could speculate why that is?

    One thing that is crystal clear from overseas evidence (and again easily substantiated from some internet research) is that the standards/achievement movement is used to justify ‘school reform’, which by some amazing coincidence involves bringing in the corporate sector.

  4. Afewknowthetruth 4

    ‘Now, Armstrong is demanding that Labour abandon its principles.’

    Labour abandoned its principles decades ago. It morphed into a ‘me too’ pro-corporate party that promotes the agendas of global corporations and insane economists.

    The fact is, both Armstrong and the Labour Party are living in the past and both will become increasingly irrelevant, unless they change radically -which is something both appear to be completely incapable of.

    The industrial age is rapidly drawing to a close. We are living in a post peak oil world in which all past economic arrangements are rapidly disintegrating and all paradigms associated with mainstream economics are redundant. Not only that, we are also living in the age of environmental consequences [of industrialism], which are getting worse by the month. Economic meltdowns, nuclear meltdowns, drought meltdowns and ice meltdowns (the ice in the Arctic Sea has reached the lowest level recorded in all of history: and this is just the start!!)

    Most people still refuse to accept reality and most are going to learn the hard way, taking their own progeny down with them in an orgy of denial and stupidity. The RWC is a prime example of denial and stupidity occuring right now.

    • The Baron 4.1

      Oh hai AFKTT – isn’t the world meant to be in meltdown, ah, right now? Or has the timetable changed again?
      If there is no meltdown in September/October, will you please stop hijacking every single thread with your family radio style apocalyptism? Or will we just get a new timeframe, based on your undoubtedly excellent research and 30 years experience?

    • Deadly_NZ 4.2

      “The sky is falling, the sky is falling” Chicken Little.
      “The Dam is leaking, the dam is leaking” Some young kid.
      “Economic meltdowns, nuclear meltdowns, drought meltdowns and ice meltdowns ” Afewknowthetruth

  5. Eddie 5

    I’ve just seen Blue sent through a similar guest post:

    A media blackout on politics during the Rugby World Cup might be just what Labour needs, says the Herald’s chief Tory commentator http://www.nzherald.co.nz/politics/news/article.cfm?c_id=280&objectid=10750712.

    I agree, but not for the reasons Armstrong sets out.

    His column today clearly demonstrates just how much of a Tory shill he really is. He looks at the world through blue-tinted spectacles, and has no shame in that because everyone he knows probably wears them too.

    Armstrong admonishes Goff for opposing National Standards, saying that league tables ‘are what parents want’. He claims that the ‘politics of envy’ will not impress “middle-income voters who aspire to becoming better off as they get older.”

    In Armstrong’s world, the only people who oppose National Standards and league tables are teacher unions. All middle-income voters aspire to become wealthy tax-dodgers.

    What a world he lives in.

    Let me introduce him to the world that the rest of NZ lives in.

    Many parents wouldn’t even look at league tables if they did exist. They send their child to their local school. End of.

    They want a good education for their kids, and they trust their local school to provide it. They’re not insecure social climbers who insist little Johnny must to go to a ‘superior’ school, because if he doesn’t he will never grow up to be a currency trader at Merrill Lynch.

    Their idea of tax-dodging is doing a cash deal with a tradesman or taking money under the counter, not setting up a fancy trust and hiring a clever accountant.

    They don’t need to avoid the top tax rate, because they’re not on it.

    Apparently, Goff should also stop ‘being negative’ and admit that “National has got it right on some things.”

    What those might be is anyone’s guess. If you’re a Tory, then yes, you will wholeheartedly believe that National has got it right, and be licking your lips in anticipation of what Key will deliver in his second term.

    But if you have something of a ‘socialist streak’, it’s hard to think of anything National has done right.. And there’s the cold fear of what they will do it they get another term.

    Armstrong appears to be encouraging Labour to become ‘National-lite’ to win the election.

    I think all Labour really needs is a break from worthless media ‘commentary’.

    We could do without Armstrong and his ilk, who love to publish the flimsiest of rumours about Labour’s ‘leadership battles’, despite knowing full well that there will be no change of leader before the election. We could certainly do without the useless hacks who refused to even report Labour’s youth employment policy.

    Roll on the blackout. Long may it continue.

    – Blue

    • Thanks Eddie and thanks very much Blue.

      Whatever happened to the idea that politics was a contest over ideas, values and principles?

      How can Armstrong consider himself a political journalist when he is so blatantly complicit in sucking politics dry of any import?

      • Blue 5.1.1

        Unfortunately that is exactly what political journalists are there for, Puddleglum. To suck politics dry of anything that matters. To turn it into merely a game.

        I don’t know how they can hold their heads up with any sense of pride these days, when half of what they write is fluffy trivia, and the other half consists of telling the public what the public think.

        It seems to be up to the business writers and commentators to produce anything of substance with regard to what’s really going on.

        Ultimately it’s the last thing you would expect from a journalist, to find one that seems to genuinely believe that everyone thinks the same way he does. Most have more self-awareness than that, a necessary consequence of having to interact with a wide range of people. But that’s what Gallery hacks lack, I suppose. They interact only with a very narrow subset of people.

    • Rob 5.2

      Eddie comments that

      “Let me introduce him to the world that the rest of NZ lives in.

      Many parents wouldn’t even look at league tables if they did exist. They send their child to their local school. End of.”

      Many parents do in fact read everything they can about their childrens schools. ERO reports are downloaded and fully scrutinised. Many parents do not just end up sending their children to the local school. End of.

  6. marsman 6

    Armstrong is yet another ‘journalist’ with little brain telling us what should happen to and in our country. What a cretin!

  7. Advocate 7

    While disagreeing with most of what Armstrong espouses, he raises some good points. The current Labour Party is yesterdays “Nationals” in too many areas. It’s time to start again and return to the basics, to clearly lay out points of difference. But judging by the reactions here, that isn’t something the more extreme left will even accept has happened, let alone change. Is Labour really still the Workers Champions or have the workers decided otherwise and abandoned them. Clarity, change, progress and leadership is needed for the future

    • Eddie 7.1

      In an MMP world, the sides divide into vanguards and centrists. It’s the job of Mana and the Greens to pull the debate leftwards. Labour’s job is to bring the centre along with more moderate leftwing policies.

      • Sam 7.1.1

        The cente don’t necessarily want moderate left wing policies if that means these come with the Greens and Mana radicalism attached.

  8. big bruv 8

    Oh poor babies.

    Not happy with somebody expressing an opinion that you do not agree with?

    Still keen on silencing free speech are you?

    Suck it up guys, Armstrong is centre left at best (if not a screaming bloody pinko) and if he thinks Labour are out of touch then you would do well to listen to the man.

    But then….you guys only want cheerleaders.

    • Eddie 8.1

      No, i’m not trying to quash free speech. I’m expressing my own in criticism to Armstrong’s. That’s how debate in a democratic society works.

      You seem to be saying that I’m not allowed to contradict Armstrong because that’s an attack on his rights. Sounds like, by your logic, that you’re trying to silence my free speech.

    • Big Bruv…

      Cool! Silly Questions!

      Excellent! I get to practice my Silly Answers!!

      Rule #1: “Not happy with somebody expressing an opinion that you do not agree with?”

      Oh no, we’re bloody ecstatic, mate!

      Rule #2: “Still keen on silencing free speech are you?”

      Yes, hence why you’ve posted here. Oh, wait…

      Rule #3: “Suck it up guys, Armstrong is centre left at best (if not a screaming bloody pinko) and if he thinks Labour are out of touch then you would do well to listen to the man.”

      Yes! Yes! We should adopt all of National’s policies; take on all their MPs; and have John Key as our Dear Leader.

      But… hang on… doesn’t that make us a National duplicate? Hmmm, seems a bit redundant… Why not just morph into National? And going by your suggestion, why have any other parties at all?! We could just have a One Party State.

      But then, doesn’t Rule #3 conflict with Rules 1 and 2?

      How can we have free speech and opinions we differ with, as you’ve suggested – and still follow Armstrong’s Thought Command to adopt National’s policies?

      Damn, Asimov’s Three Rules of Robotics were so much simpler.

      Rule #4: But then….you guys only want cheerleaders.

      As opposed to… John Key’s cheerleaders?

      Can we choose any cheerleaders we want? Or do we have to run it past you and Armstrong to see if it’s “NC” (Nationally Correct).

      Just checking, Bruv. We proles await your dictat… *winks*

  9. RedBaron 9

    I think what this is really saying, is that the detailed polling/focus groups are showing a lot of resistance to Nat policy. He is hoping to tar Labour with the same policy brush as the Nats, a sort of “Nat’s Lite brand” (the reverse of the last election) so that it then frames the election in terms of “personality politics” and photo-ops for Key.

    Message to Labour, keep putting out policy!

    • big bruv 9.1

      Yes!!

      Please keep putting out policy, we can all do with a good laugh.

      • AAMC 9.1.1

        You won’t be laughing by the end of Nat’s second term BB. When poster boy retires and we’re left with his legacy, economically crippled and taking it up the arse from our new owners.

    • Georgecom 9.2

      My thoughts exactly, Armstrong is wanting Labour to be more like National rather than staking an alternative position. If winning this election is about being more like National then its going to be a bugger to lose, but so be it. The country actually needs a fairly different approach to what National offers. Labour, at least, is starting to develop some serious alternatives. Not a job cmpleted yet but some serious thinking is taking place. So really, if all Mr Armstrong has to offer is ‘be more like National’ then he offers very little in terms of positive solutions to our current and future problems. We don’t need more smile and waving Mr Armstrong, we need more future focused solutions. Little of what Mr Armstrong sets out seems to have a use by date extending beyond November 26.

  10. Hilary 10

    Has anyone noticed that there are a large number of grey aging white male journalists who all just adore John Key? Simple psychology suggests that they aspire to be like him with his power and wealth, but mainly envy his supreme personal self-confidence. So they imagine that they are him, and then of course have to praise his every move and by extension his government.

    • HC 10.1

      Maybe they are just the group of remaining, aged court jesters that follow the emperor and compete for his favourable wave and smile? Senility sets in at some stage, so they seek the company of the crazy emperor who can think and communicate at their reduced and limited level.

  11. RedBaron 11

    Hey Big Bruv did you get the short straw of minding the blogs whilst the rest of the old boy network
    went off to the rugby without you?

    Couldn’t agree more Hilary, except I don’t think the aging males are confined just to occupational class “journalist”. What I would like to know is whether this belongs to the same class of pe**le extension as “buying a sports car?”

  12. SHG 12

    As a parent I love national standards and league tables. Love em.

    • IrishBill 12.1

      Good lord. The trolls are breeding.

    • Policy Parrot 12.2

      I bet its the same reason you love John Key.

      All gloss and no substance. Just a pretty picture which actually means nothing. More interested in airtime received than results achieved.

      • SHG 12.2.1

        Moved my son to a private school with stellar ratings in every category. Couldn’t be happier.

        • Dv 12.2.1.1

          But private shools dont do national standards, so how you know how your kids are doing?

          • Eddie 12.2.1.1.1

            I think you just broke SHG’s brain, Dv.

            • QoT 12.2.1.1.1.1

              Nah, it’s easy, Eddie. We all know people with more money are better than people with less, ergo private schools are superior.

          • SHG 12.2.1.1.2

            Never said I chose a school in New Zealand.

            • Dv 12.2.1.1.2.1

              My question still stands!

              • SHG

                I live in a country where all schools, public and private, operate under a national standards system and can be ranked and compared against each other by a range of criteria. Figured that was self-evident.

                I chose the school I considered to be the best according to the things that I felt were most important for my child based on the information available. Happened to be a private school.

                • rd

                  So that country MUST be higher in the educational rankings than NZ?

                  HOW do you know that the Standards are consistent and reliable?

                  HOW do you know the evaluations are not scammed?

                  Can you describe the system of national standards that are used to see if you are comparing like with like.

                    • rd

                      Thank you for that
                      That answers the questions asked I had BUT the NAPLAN is NOT the same as the NZ National Standards. There is an attempt to have sort of national consistency and reliability.

                      From the referenced web site.
                      >assesses students using common national tests in Reading, Writing, Language Conventions (Spelling, Grammar and Punctuation) and Numeracy.

                      That implies a written test

                      >NAPLAN tests are developed collaboratively by the States and Territories, the Australian Government and the non-government school sectors. Experts in assessment and educational measurement provide technical advice in the development of the tests.

                      Thats different to NZ too. Many experts have panned the NZ Standards.

                      >exemption from NAPLAN tests. These include students from a non–English-speaking background who have been in Australia for less than one year and students with severe intellectual or functional disabilities

                      I dont believe there are any exemptions in NZ

                      >A test administration authority in each State and Territory is responsible for the administration and delivery of NAPLAN tests, support for schools and delivery of reports. National protocols for test administration ensure consistency in administering the tests by all test administration authorities and schools across Australia.

                      This implies a rigorous moderation. Not present in NZ standards.

                      Many of the issues and problems in the NZ standards could have been sorted by a trial.

                      The NZ standards are neither National Nor are they consistent reliable standards.

    • Jum 12.3

      SHG

      Then you obviously didn’t do your homework on what a complete mess they made of people’s lives in American schools.

    • AAMC 12.4

      As a parent I love my local multi cultural multi economic school who don’t support the national Standards.

      Previously my kids went to a Montessori in the tory hotbed of eastern Auckland. Great way to learn, pity about the vacuous monoculture. And so we moved and put our kids in the local primary where the Polynesian mums give their time for free, where they all learn about each others cultures and traditions. And my kids are nit only succeeding academically but are also developing a rich and open worldview. Previously they just aspired to swimming pools and overseas trips like their classmates.

      • Descendant Of Smith 12.4.1

        The high school my kids went to has the best results in the area for taking kids from the level at which they enter the school, often with poor literacy and numeracy and lots of other issues such as drugs, to leaving school with some qualifications.

        Unfortunately league tables don’t show this improvement – they only show the final qualifications they have when they left – often leaving to do seasonal work to help support the family they come from.

        Does the school’s (effectively teachers) ability to improve where people’s performance make them a better or worse school?

        The school also takes those kids kicked out of other schools and gives them another chance to learn. Most take that opportunity.

        The school does this with no old boys network to raise funds, the loss of income under this government from removing adult classes, not large numbers of overseas students to generate income.

        Based on league tables the school under performs – based on what they get coming in the gate they perform much better than schools that often won’t take these students.

        My daughter thought about going to a more white middle class school but having paid it a visit couldn’t get over the shallowness of the students there and the lack of ethnic diversity. Sure one visit a summer does not make but it was enough to put her off completely.

        Happy with her education but much more happy that she has grown up in a mixed diverse culture where she understands what it is to struggle and how to be generous and help and support others. Where there is a sense of community and we’re in this together.

        Sure their has been some bullying etc but far less than I experienced at boarding school – but then I was a scholarship kid – my mum and dad didn’t own a business or have lots of money, my name wasn’t put on the waiting list when I was born,

        I did learn a lot however about abuse of power – including by the teachers who condoned much of the behaviour.

        There’s more to education than reading, writing and ‘rithmetic. There’s more to education than becoming cannon fodder for employers.

  13. tc 13

    Armstrong is a joke of a political journo and constantly comes across as a nat shill who never actually analyses anything just puts forward his opinion.
    Credibility comes from playing the issues like commenting on policy but he continually goes goff goff goff like the compliant media poodle and sideshow fanboy he is folowing the CT handbook but hey it’s the herald after all.

  14. Phaedrus 14

    Isn’t it wonderful how the moment an opening appears for ignoramuses to spout off, they appear. You’ll notice that no one has bothered to argue the case for national standards on the basis of research and evidence. Instead the usual personal attacks, insults and red herrings appear.

  15. peterlepaysan 15

    SHG. How can you love something you have never had?

    Like a real education that encouraged you to use logic and judgment?

    Perhaps this is difficult if the ability to exercise logic and judgment is missing in the first place.

    This probably explains your ridiculous post.

    Go back and crawl under you national party rock.

  16. randal 16

    The question is ‘cant the herald find someone better’ and the answer to that is yes. they just dont want to. they prefer a thing like armstrong carping from the sidelines without ever contributing anything. thats what you get from a tory press with no balls.

  17. RedBaron 17

    Does anybody log the quantity and volume of right wing trolling activity? Personally, I think they come out onto the attack when they think the right wing is losing ground, and I may be wrong but I think the quantity is steadily growing.

    • Jum 17.1

      Red Baron,

      You are absolutely correct. They were out early after the fiasco last night, trying to spin the blame belonging to Joyce and Barnett, Key and Hide, on to Brown, yet we all know that Len Brown is hated by this government and they have done everything they could through the tactics of Joyce as transport minister and Barnett as business contact to prevent public transport becoming a truly useful part of Auckland’s business and leisure lifestyle.

      Money must be the reason why. So who is getting paid for stopping public transport being progressed faster, who is paying that bribe and where are those corrupt persons getting the money from? Judging by the SCF rort, it will be the New Zealand taxpayer.

    • tc 17.2

      Yup and some posts they don’t touch as they can’t mount a decent troll attack as CT don’t have any lines for them to trot out.
      it’s a well resourced full time activity as the nat party are loaded…..best financial shape ever thanks to some very happy hollow men backers.
      Can’t have any healthy debates now can we, not part of their agenda and this excellent blog is heavily targeted as they know the truth and use every trick to stifle it.

    • The Baron 17.3

      Not sure where you get the idea that the right is losing ground… How much did Labour fall in the last set of polls again?
      Too much wakky bakky pal – the paranoia is setting in. Seems to me that the stupider the commentary, the more people come online to point out how stupid it is. Isn’t that a more logical solution than some secret right wing email list commanding the loyal to comment on the #5 political blog in NZ?

  18. big bruv 18

    Notice how the crowd cheering for John Key when he spoke at the rugby?

    The people love the man.

    • Draco T Bastard 18.1

      Damn, it’s only been a day and the RWNJs are already trying to rewrite reality.

      Lastly I couldnt believe the bad reception Key got from the downtown crowd people booing and screaming all sorts of negative stuff the young folk really seem to be seeing through John the con. People started yelling vote Labour get rid of this dick.I have to say that made the night even more special.

      Must be truly upsetting when reality doesn’t conform to your most dearly held beliefs.

      • The Baron 18.1.1

        Reality = a comment on a posting on the standard, Draco? My, this explains so much about your particularly vain catch phrase then.

        So the bar for reality really has got lower. Laughing hard at you right now.

      • big bruv 18.1.2

        Reality is that Key has a 70% approval rating.

        I know how much that annoys you, I know that Labour could only ever dream of such levels of support and I know that in your heart you are aware that the coming election will be a blood bath for Labour.

        All that makes me smile.

        • Colonial Viper 18.1.2.1

          Reality is that Key has a 70% approval rating.

          Only in Epsom and Remmers.

          • the pink postman 18.1.2.1.1

            Way back in the 1920/30s one Adolf Hitler had 98 % approval rating. Among the British aristocracy Mussolini was almost a god. The majority lived ,if they lived, regreted their support. Im sure that the NZ public is going to regret being conned by Key .Very much so .

    • “Reality is that Key has a 70% approval rating.”

      “The people love the man.”

      “I want to be his man-wife.”

      What were you saying about “cheerleaders”, Bruv (10 Sept, 7.58)? Really, you need to reign in that fawning. The Ninth Floor have phoned and said your sycophancy is putting them of their Bellamy’s fish and chips…

  19. RedBaron 19

    And Big Bruv, according to the right wing blogs, polls and the Herald the right were going to win Auckland too……

    However, good of you to confirm that you have been left minding the blogs whist the “boys”go to the rugby. It’s what the inadequate do to try to curry favour with those they see as their “betters”.

  20. Zaphod Beeblebrox 20

    What did Dirty Harry say about opinions? Everybody has them.

  21. Oligarkey 21

    Good post. Though you got the title wrong. Should have been “Armstrong wrestles with Labour, gives hand-job to Key”.

  22. newbie 22

    maybe he was just writing it to see if anyone was still reading or if he could write anything!

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  • 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
    23 hours 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
    1 day 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
    1 day 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
    2 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
    2 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 ...
    3 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 ...
    5 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
    5 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
    6 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 ...
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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

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