Owen Jones’ and the Guardian’s Corbyn mea culpa

Written By: - Date published: 2:30 pm, June 11th, 2017 - 57 comments
Categories: International, Jeremy Corbyn, labour, the praiseworthy and the pitiful, uk politics, you couldn't make this shit up - Tags:

I like the Guardian.  There are few progressive MSM media organisations in the world.  Compared to Murdoch’s press they are enlightened, intellectual and interesting.  But for some reason they have chosen to attack Jeremy Corbyn pretty well ever since he became UK Labour’s leader.

Owen Jones has posted a mea culpa.  Good on him.  I enjoy his writing but have bristled against his and the Guardian’s opposition to Corbyn.  He starts off with this outstanding passage:

This is one of the most sensational political upsets of our time. Theresa May – a wretched dishonest excuse of a politician, don’t pity her – launched a general election with the sole purpose of crushing opposition in Britain. It was brazen opportunism, a naked power grab: privately, I’m told, her team wanted the precious “bauble” of going down in history as the gravediggers of the British Labour party. Instead, she has destroyed herself. She is toast.

She has just usurped the title of “worst prime minister on their own terms” since David Cameron, who himself took it from Lord North in the 18th century. Look at the political capital she had: the phenomenal polling lead, almost the entire support of the British press, the most effective electoral machine on earth behind her. Her allies presented the Labour opposition as an amusing, eccentric joke which could be squashed like a fly which had already had its wings ripped off. They genuinely believed they could get a 180-seat majority. She will leave No 10 soon, disgraced, entering the history books filed under “hubris”.

But he does something that many in the media have not done, and given Corbyn the credit for an outstanding campaign.

[T]his [campaign] was about millions inspired by a radical manifesto that promised to transform Britain, to eliminate injustices, and challenge the vested interests holding the country back. Don’t let them tell you otherwise. People believe the booming well-off should pay more, that we should invest that money in schools, hospitals, houses, police, and public services, that all in work should have a genuine living wage, that young people should not be saddled with debt for aspiring to an education, that our utilities should be under the control of the people of this country. For years, many of us have argued that these policies – shunned, reviled even in the political and media elite – had the genuine support of millions. And today that argument was decisively vindicated and settled.

Well said.

He then has a blast at the Blairites:

Do we really think that Corbyn’s previous challengers to the leadership – and this is nothing personal – would have inspired millions of otherwise politically disengaged and alienated people to come out and vote, and drive Labour to its highest percentage since the famous Blair landslide? If the same old stale, technocratic centrism had been offered, Labour would have faced an absolute drubbing, just like its European sister parties did.

And he considers the Corbyn model to be one that progressives in other countries should emulate.

Social democracy is in crisis across the western world. British Labour is now one of the most successful centre-left parties, many of which have been reduced to pitiful rumps under rightwing leaderships. And indeed, other parties in Europe and the United States should learn lessons from this experience.

Then comes the mea culpa:

I came to believe that, yes, indeed Labour was heading for a terrible defeat which would crush all the things I believed in: that’s what all the polling, by-elections and the local elections seemed to say. I thought people had made their minds up about Corbyn, however unfairly, and their opinion just wouldn’t shift. I wasn’t a bit wrong, or slightly wrong, or mostly wrong, but totally wrong. Having one foot in the labour movement, and one in the mainstream media, undoubtedly left me more susceptible to their groupthink. Never again. Corbyn stays and – if indeed the Tories are thrown into crisis as Brexit approaches – he has an undoubted chance of becoming prime minister, and a fine prime minister he would make too.

And he finishes with this call to arms:

Now that I’ve said I’m wrong – perhaps one of the sweetest things I’ve had to write – so the rest of the mainstream commentariat, including in this newspaper, must confess they were wrong, too. They were wrong to vilify Corbyn supporters – from the day he stood – as delusional cultists. They were wrong to suggest Corbyn couldn’t mobilise young people and previous non-voters. They were wrong to suggest he couldn’t make inroads in Scotland. They were wrong to suggest a radical left programme was an automatic recipe for electoral catastrophe. No, Labour hasn’t formed a government. But it is far closer than it has been for a very long time. The prospect of a socialist government that can build an economy run in the interests of working people – not the cartel of vested interests who have plunged us into repeated crisis – well, that may have been a prospect many of us thought would never happen in our lifetime.

Meanwhile the usual suspects amongst the Labour Party still do not comprehend what has happened.  Or that they are an active hindrance to the progressive movement.

A classic example is the public comment by Labour MP Chris Leslie who claims that Corbyn missed an open goal by failing to win.  Way to bring everyone down Chris.  He has form.  He described Corbyn’s policies as being starry eyed hard left when Corbyn first campaigned to become leader.  His wife Nicola Murphy is a founder of Labour Tomorrow, an organisation which funds and supports groups that oppose Jeremy Corbyn as Labour leader.

Someone should have a discussion with him about copulation and direction.

Or how about this from someone who is the local media’s go to person for comment on the progressive movement?

The time for the civil war to end was after Corbyn was selected for the second time as Labour’s leader if not the first.  The UK MPs need to decide if they are part of the movement or part of the problem.

57 comments on “Owen Jones’ and the Guardian’s Corbyn mea culpa”

  1. the pigman 1

    Morgan Godfery said it best on twitter. Before the election the Blairites all shrieked that May was the most popular PM since ww2 and Labour were heading for a 1931-beating defeat. Since the election they’ve changed their tune, claiming she was wobbly and awful and Corbyn failed to capitalise and what a disaster it is.

    They still don’t fucking get it.

    What a bearded and unapologetic Cunliffe could have achieved if he’d taken an actually socialist manifesto to the electorate.

    • aspasia 1.1

      No Jonathon Pie says it best (at 1.23)

      • WILD KATIPO 1.1.1

        The man speaks honestly at 1.23 and could just as well have been speaking directly to the Labour party neo liberal caucus of NZ when they aided in backstabbing David Cunliffe….

        These destructive political moles deserve no pity nor encouragement whatsoever.

    • Tuppence Shrewsbury 1.2

      He’d Probably have done worse. this belief that imported policies will work in New Zealand is very colonialist. The societies are different so the policy mix must be differentl

  2. Siobhan 2

    Your opening entire paragraph….doesn’t that seem like a contradiction in terms. Has it not occurred to you that they don’t really want REAL change?.

    “The Guardian didn’t get it “wrong”. It is the mouthpiece of a liberal elite that is financially endangered by a socialist program. — Matt Kennard, investigative journalist (@KennardMatt)”

    http://theguardian.fivefilters.org/?v1

  3. The decrypter 3

    Pretty complicated the whole mess? schemes? winners /losers. English thinks May has done a good -job -of things.–that’s the main thing? Bills stamp of approval seals the whole saga.

    • roadrage 3.1

      Brexit won! Tories had no plan! Tories overwhemly like trade, lower trade barriers, and could hold their noses at the sausage defns etc coz trade is good for them. And truth be told when May finalises the agreement nowt much will have changed. May did not lose, May was just the patsy the Tories needed to take the odium of their voters ire that Tories had no plan in event of a lose. A loss brought on by the Murdoch press wanting to kick the EU. Its all a farce, UK Labour invokes Foot years just when change is ratterling the doors, no moderate loathsome politician wants to be in the limelight right now. Trump, May, its just run by second raters because the big money rightly is screwed. However they are screwed anyway, locked in a debt spiral that sees quality, quantity, value all lowered in order to pay the interest payments on debt. That’s why the banks have effective negative rates. NZ only gets by coz its housing still attracts foreign money from those winning off the debt spiral. We need a banking reset as money is dying up, citizens can’t afford food, housing, health, babies! The monster financial system was put on full throttle, locked in gear by neolib look no hands types, and nobody has the balls to stick their heads up over the parapet for fear media finance will target them.

  4. Good post.

    Which goes to vindicate somewhat I and many , many others have been saying for years about the situation here in NZ. Along with all the RWNJ’s , National , Act et all – and the neo liberals in the Labour party caucus who have neutralized that party since the treacherous 1984 Roger Douglas ideological coup.

    And all we ever got from those neo liberals in the Labour party was TINA – There Is No Alternative.

    Bullshit there isn’t.

    And Corbyn’s just proven that fact – along with the mass mobilization of the youth vote and the disenchanted with politics vote.

    I am giving the Labour party my vote this September – after 3 long decades of being absolutely disgusted by them. And I , … and again ,… many , many others expect to see much , much more from them about actually doing something and changing the direction of this country away from neo liberalism and back to the fundamental core that Labour once held – that being one of democratic socialism.

    And also a word to those right wingers who often comment on this post , ex Nat MP Wayne included – who also stated recently that I was a ‘radical’ – and by implication so were the scores of others who have been advocating EXACTLY the same sort of things as Jeremy Corbyn .

    You were wrong.

    Just like the UK pollsters, just like the UK MSM , just like the UK Conservative party.

    This revulsion against the politics / ideology of greed is growing and set to cast its influence far and wide throughout the western world as others pick up on the notion it can be done. A new generation is coming through that will not settle for being told ‘this is as good as it can get’. Being fobbed off like that is no longer a viable tactic.

    So prepare , yourself , mon….. this is truly dread…

    King Willie Death Scene – Predator 2-(1990) Movie Clip Blu … – YouTube
    Video for king willy prepare yourself youtube▶ 2:58

    • mickysavage 4.1

      + 1

    • Bill 4.2

      Why would the current Labour caucus do much more from them about actually doing something and changing the direction of this country away from neo liberalism?

      It ain’t going to happen WILD KAPITO, and there’s no avenue for any influx of members to force it either.

      Cast your vote and then drop to your knees to…beg for mercy, pray for change and wail at the injustice of it all before the sneering downturned faces of your liberal overlords.

      (Too much?)

      • WILD KATIPO 4.2.1

        ” Why would the current Labour caucus do much more from them about actually doing something and changing the direction of this country away from neo liberalism ” ?

        ………………………………………….

        Quite easily, and the reason being is this :

        We have time on our side. That’s one thing. Corbyn has been around for a long time. He didn’t just appear from nowhere.

        Second thing is a society can only take too much strain before it demands change and the political pressure starts to grow. Populism starts to take root , – which is a fancy right wing term used by them to describe the sentiments of the voters they wish to ignore.

        We see that now with the ludicrous claims made by polls, political forecasters , by both right wing and right wing lite politicians , and by thier George Soros and Murdoch inspired MSM. They are progressively looking more and more out of touch. As if they have something to hide/ make ‘ propaganda’ about… and if they are… then ‘who’ are they trying to ‘ propagandize ‘ ?

        The public, and if so … just what sector?… and if another sizable sector start to gain traction… proving the ‘ propaganda’ was wrong from the get go , that it was only there to serve the best interests of a select few rather than all participants in a democracy in an equitable and healthy way…

        Can you not imagine the calls for change growing?

        And … the UK sets a precedent for NZ politics whether we like to admit it or not.

        If Labour under Corbyn wins in the UK ,… next election , … and starts to undo and undermine all the lies we have been led to believe about how good it is under neo liberalism and its exponents here and in the UK , such as the current Bill English / National party ,… can you not also foresee just what a powerful motivator that will be for the NZ Labour party ?

        They already have been accused as being National Lite as it is ,… how much moreso when Corbyn wins ( and he will , no doubt about it ) and demonstrates that the Mont Pelerin lie called neo liberalism has been a con job all along to subvert democracies, and shift wealth and power back into the hands of the elites and nothing more ?

        Staying as Labour is currently will in time become more and more untenable as time goes on. Its inevitable.

        • Bill 4.2.1.1

          Ah, okay. So from my reading of your comment, their change or shift is sitting somewhere between the never-never and the long finger.

          I don’t have “time” on my side and neither do many, many others. If change is to come from NZ Labour, it’s going to have to be forced. And it can’t be forced for as long as caucus retains that 40% control over crucial party decisions.

          So, if not from NZ Labour, then from where? I don’t have a ready answer to that right now, but opportunities have a habit of arriving unexpectedly from ‘left field’

  5. Bill 5

    There was no Guardian ‘mea-culpa’ micky. That was from Owen Jones.

    The Guardian has never been left wing and will be resuming its attacks on Corbyn soon enough. Probably just after the DUP/Tory thing gives way to a Tory /LibDem thing 😉

    I can see the tone of the editorials now….

    Look how the LibDems have saved us from 1690 throwbacks and look how we’ll get a soft BREXIT now! God bless the Liberal Democrats!!

    • dukeofurl 5.1

      Polly Toynbee manages to rejoice in labours result- hardly mentioning Corbyn

      But she did enjoy the schadenfreude of the Daily Mails relentless anti Corbyn line ?

      Let’s whoop at the failure of May’s miserabilism. Optimism trumped austerity
      https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/jun/09/theresa-may-elections-fail

      • Stuart Munro 5.1.1

        Polly, like all oracles, has proven fallible. Unhappily for her she is not in a position to blame it on substandard chickens. History treats appeasers harshly.

        • WILD KATIPO 5.1.1.1

          ”THERE WILL BE PEACE IN OUR TIME !!! ” ….

          A little bit like ” WE ARE ON THE CUSP OF A BRIGHTER FUTURE !!! ”…

          Both being liars hackneyed descriptions of the REAL conditions .

          • Stuart Munro 5.1.1.1.1

            I think Chamberlain cops a bit much flak on that one in fact – he couldn’t really imagine what Hitler’s regime was like, and thus signed a treaty with someone who was lying to his face. Strategically it was disastrous however, though the spy side, traditionally linked with the navy in Britain at that time, had begun preparations somewhat before the official onset of hostilities. Chamberlain was trying to fairly represent the anti-war sentiment that had arisen from the Great War.

            • WILD KATIPO 5.1.1.1.1.1

              I guess, however some believe he was mildly sympathetic… or so I’ve been told.

              • KJT

                I understand that Chamberlain was simply trying to avoid a repeat of the horrors of WW1.
                As was the Vichy Government.

                Probably not comprehending the depth of Hitlers, and Germans, determination to reverse the humiliation of their defeat.

                Most historians consider the Second world war was almost an inevitable consequence of the reparations, and poverty, inflicted on Germany after WW1. Hence the Marshall plan.

            • DS 5.1.1.1.1.2

              Actually, Chamberlain knew full well war was coming. He was doing it to buy time for Britain to re-arm. It was really Stanley Baldwin who was the villain.

    • Grey Area 5.2

      Absolutely Bill. I was thinking “hang on, this is just Owen Jones, not The Guardian” and then I followed Siobahn’s link which confirmed it.

    • mickysavage 5.3

      You might be right. I might be overly generous to the paper as a whole although I mean what I said about Jones.

      • Grey Area 5.3.1

        Interesting comparison with Hosking I think. One person who appears to think about issues and admit when they were wrong as opposed to Hosking.

      • Karen 5.3.2

        I agree with you about Owen Jones, Mickey. At least he had the good grace to say he was wrong about Corbyn’s chances, unlike some of the others on the Guardian. And, in spite of his recent doubts about Corbyn, he worked really hard to increase the vote throughout the campaign.

  6. Muttonbird 6

    God, I can’t stand centrists.

  7. I see a direct parallel with Labour in New Zealand. We have a right-wing news media that takes every opportunity to denigrate both the Labour Party and it’s leader. Andrew Little has taken plenty of insults from the political elite and their fawning commentators. The polls here trumpet the superiority of the numbers for national, lower case absolutely intended! We all need to do our bit over the next few months to get young people involved in politics!!

  8. Glenn 8

    Monbiot…before the election…alas can’t find anything since.

    : a Labour win is no longer an impossible dream. It is certainly a dream, for those of us who have been waiting, longer than my adult life, for a government beholden only to the people, rather than to the City or the owners of newspapers. But it is now a plausible one.

    And why not? On policy after policy, the Labour manifesto accords with what people say they want. It offers a strong and stable National Health Service, in which privatisation is reversed, clinical budgets rise and staff are properly paid. It promises more investment in schools, smaller class sizes, and an end to the stifling micromanagement driving teachers out of the profession. It will restore free education at universities. It will ensure that railways, water, energy and the postal service are owned for the benefit of everyone, rather than only the bosses and shareholders. It will smoke out tax avoidance, and bring the banks under control.:
    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/jun/06/vote-jeremy-corbyn-labour-leader-policies

    And where is the message from NZ Labour? Not that the media would publish it.

  9. Ed 9

    This is just one more example of how bad the mainstream, corporate establishment neoliberal media is in New Zealand.

    Even after Brexit
    Even after Trump
    Even after Corbyn

    They still believe what they hear in their own echo chamber.

    Louise Wallace actually says that Corbyn’s ideas had no influence on the election result and that it was a reaction to Brexit.
    Is she not aware that the SNP and the Liberal Democrats are the most pro-European parties in the UK? If she is correct, why didn’t people in England flock to the Lib Dems?

    So is Louise Wallace really that ignorant?
    Or is she just lazy and repeats whats she hears from right wing media sources in the UK?

    I sense both.

    http://www.radiolive.co.nz/home/audio/2017/06/environews—whio—blue-duck-/sunday-brunch–louise-wallace—david-slack.html

  10. Glenn 10

    Jeremy Corbyn vows to oust Theresa May ‘within a matter of days’ after spectacular election result….

    http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/politics/jeremy-corbyn-vows-oust-theresa-10601306

    Will be an interesting few weeks.

  11. KJT 11

    After all the pundits, including many in the Standard, and our Parliamentary Labour party, repeatedly claimed that voters will never again go for truly left wing Labour Government policies.

    Corbyn just proved them wrong.

    The more voters found out about his policies, the higher UK Labour’s vote rose.

    For once i am going to gleefully gloat, and say, “I told you so”.

    • weka 11.1

      😀

      I found the use of the word ‘shock’ odd. Especially after Brexit. It’s not like Corbyn’s Labour rose the day before the election, there was a steady trend of increasing support.

      • WILD KATIPO 11.1.1

        And so all the negative spin about Corbyn has been seen for just that – negative spin.

        Of course the so called average Joe and Joe -ess are going to be interested in core policy’s of a true Left democratic social govt , after all ,… its the height of civility and advancement for human beings,generally,.. whereas the barbarous economics and political ideas of much of the 19th century regurgitated under neo liberalism with all its social degradation’s is a complete turn off for those poor Joe’s and Joe -esses.

        And lets not forget that it was under that system ( Keynesian based democratic social govts ) post WW2 that saw most of the west in its most prosperous and equitable period in history to date.

        Then along came Ronnie, Margret and Milton …. and Douglas…

  12. weka 12

    Oh dear.

    The Guardian‏Verified account @guardian

    How the rightwing tabloids got it wrong

    • KJT 12.1

      Well. The Guardian got it wrong too.

      But. As part of the UK establishment, they don’t want a change from the Neo-liberal tweedledum and tweedledee, any more than the Tories do.

      Parallels with our own ABC faction, and the united front both Labour and National presented to any upsetting “pretenders” to the political class, like Hone and Mana.

      • WILD KATIPO 12.1.1

        ” Parallels with our own ABC faction, and the united front both Labour and National presented to any upsetting “pretenders” to the political class, like Hone and Mana.”

        Grrrrr… how so very well I remember that – as I voted for IMP .

        But when Corbyn wins in future – THERE WILL BE NO EXCUSE for the NZ Labour party to accommodate those neo liberals anymore. The ABC’s and the XYZ’s and all the other cretins that make up their number will not have a leg to stand on once the transformations starts in the UK , and they will have to take their TINA excuse and shove it where the sun doesn’t shine.

    • Ed 12.2

      The Guardianf got it wrong big time.

      http://theguardian.fivefilters.org/?v1

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

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