PM loses a mate

Written By: - Date published: 4:53 pm, August 15th, 2008 - 55 comments
Categories: helen clark, labour - Tags:

The death at just 59 of alpine legend Gottlieb Braun-Elwert will be greatly mourned around the Tekapo community, and much further afield too. Braun-Elwert was one of those Europeans who came here and found our great outdoors intoxicating. He arrived in his 20s on a hitch-hiking tour, fell in love with the country’s natural splendour, and so made New Zealand his home. Some years ago Helen Clark was a client of his very successful alpine adventure company, and the two developed a close friendship. Clark’s love of the great Kiwi outdoors saw her head south annually, to ski and climb in Braun-Elwert’s alpine ‘backyard’. The locals certainly appreciated her frequent visits and support of a local venture. A family friend told TVNZ News today that Elwert-Braun and Clark shared a love of the outdoors, and had similar interests and principles. The efforts of the PM and her companions in trying to save the mountain guide’s life yesterday are being strongly appreciated. Tekapo Police have paid tribute to the extremely good job the stricken party did, and a Search and Rescue spokesman said the experience had shown the PM to be a ‘remarkable woman’. Despite what her jaundiced critics say, Clark has long demonstrated a commitment to this country and what it has to offer. Her regular visits to the Tekapo backcountry, and other wilderness areas, underline that.

55 comments on “PM loses a mate”

  1. vto 1

    Despite her politics in my eyes, I agree she is certainly a “remarkable woman”. Sad times for all involved.

    (Tillerman, last sentence undid all your previous sentences. )

  2. higherstandard 2

    You use the sad occasion of a good man’s death to score a cheap political point – hang your head in shame.

  3. Quoth the Raven 3

    HS – you should look at the kiwiblog right or whaleoil.

  4. Rocket Boy 4

    Why do you have to politicise this?

    Isn’t it bad enough that the rabid dogs over at DPF’s blog have worked themselves into a frenzy over the ‘wrong person’ dying now you use this to criticise John Key holidaying in Hawaii!

    Sad, very sad, and on the 1 year anniversary of setting up a blog that (mostly) provides an intelligent forum for left wing views and debate.

    Do yourself a favour and delete that last sentence.

  5. r0b 5

    The Kiwiblog thread on this topic brought out all the worst in some of the right wing commenters (which DPF, to his credit, tried to stomp on hard).

    I very much hope that the same thing doesn’t happen here, but the last sentence of the post is almost an invitation to politicise a very non political event (for almost the first time ever I agree with vto!). So please folks, resist the temptation to head down that path.

    Our thoughts should be with Braun-Elwert’s family at this time, and with the members of the group who went through what must have been a horrifying experience for them all.

  6. Tim Ellis 6

    That is a shameful last sentence. You really do yourself no favours by that, or even making it about Helen Clark. I know Helen Clark reasonably well, and she would never try and make herself the center of attention over this. She’s far too graceful for that. Sadly, you aren’t.

    This is not the time to be either talking up Helen Clark, or making shameful political points. As somebody else said, go and hang your head in shame over that. Absolute disgrace.

  7. Matthew Pilott 7

    I just fired a few shots at the tools on Stuff for criticising Helen in this case – the same goes for attacking Key.

    Not cool at all.

    (incidentally, around comment 20 on stuff is a comment from one “John Key”, telling people off for making cheap shots at Helen. Wonder if it’s THE John Key. Full credit if it is – we are all human, whether we realise it or not.)

  8. Premature death is always sad, but particularly in somebody who is an icon within alpine groups in NZ and has led an exciting and adventurous life.
    Now then, while you manage to keep batting a 100 at drawing john key into every post on this blog can you at least acknowledge that your PM is a big hypocrite following her sanctimonious comments about Key and English taking a couple of days break with their families in light of her doing the same?

  9. Tim Ellis 9

    I agree r0b. I never met Mr Braun-Elwert, but clearly he was a remarkable character. This story should be about that, not what remarkable deeds others did around him. Certainly not about politics. I saw some of the shameful comments on Kiwiblog and the ones at Whaleoil and was frankly shocked. Tillerman’s post here is of that standard.

  10. Matthew Pilott 10

    BB – just a quick question – were they gone during parliamentary recess?

  11. Matthew, have a listen to Clark’s sanctimonious comments about being too busy for holidays and then snide comments about short weeks and lots of leave. Punctuated nicely with that creepy laugh at the end.
    And does the country only need a functioning govt when the playpen is sitting?

  12. r0b 12

    BB, great, there goes the neighbourhood. Hey BB, “sanctimonious comments”, what a beat up.

    Clark never directly mentioned Key’s family holiday, but he claims she was attacking his decision to spend time with his wife and kids. Clark says it was never personal.

    “I’m totally supportive of people having their family time,’ says Clark. […]

    This is an interesting attack by Key. In many ways, he has turned it personal – it was Key who mentioned his wife and kids, not Helen Clark.

    This kind of debate is exactly what should not have happened on this thread. Goodbye.

  13. the debate was launched in the original post.

  14. CMR 14

    Where and when people choose to holiday is their business exclusively subject only to domestic considerations. Nobody ever laid on his/her death-bed wishing they’d taken less vacations!

    I note that on a recent visit to South Canterbury where the tragedy occurred, Ms Clark couldn’t depart rapidly enough, ie at 160kms per hour with a police escort.

    The Southern Alps region has sadly lost a true champion. One can only hope his family are left to mourn quietly, I believe Ms Clark has a role to play to ensure this!

  15. I’m disgusted. Yet again, a writer for this site decides that a personal tragedy is simply an opportunity to attack John Key.

  16. “One cannot help but contrast that with her main political rival’s preference for holidaying at his $1 million beach house in Hawaii.”

    Sick comment from lefty scum~~!!

    Bad luck – shit happens – diddums – get over it.
    Mountains are dangerous play grounds.

  17. Tane 17

    Last sentence deleted.

    I don’t think it’s appropriate to politicise the death of a human being.

    George: Two things,

    1) Please address the author in question, not the site.

    2) When you’re always angry it lessens the effect in a time like this when you actually have genuine reason.

    Tillerman: What the fuck are you on?

  18. Ari 18

    Yeah, I’d say this was in bad taste, too- better taste than some other posts on the matter, but still bad taste. Unless they wanted a political message to accompany their life or death, we should leave politics out of this sort of thing.

  19. CMR 19

    I do not agree with much of what comes out of Clark’s fetid mouth, nor with the bulk of the posts on this blog, but Dad you are pathetic! (I use pathetic in its antique traditional context!) Today is a sad one for a person whose passing is only in the media due to his acquaintanceship with Clark, leave off!

    If all “Dads” were as you appear to be, we’d all yearn for orphanhood!

  20. Anita 20

    Tane,

    You restore my faith (again).

  21. Sarah 21

    The man who wrote this should be disgusted with himself. This issue, of all issues, should not be associated with some cheap political attack. A man is dead for christ sake. It shows the agenda of this blog pretty clearly.

    Attack JK at whatever the cost.

    Where is your morality?

  22. Zutroy 22

    Mmmm. A holiday home in Hawaii bad. But a home in London is ok?

    Nevertheless, good job on deleting the last line.

  23. Tim Ellis 23

    Good for you to show some common sense Tane. In looking at it, only half of the post is about Mr Braun-Elwert. The second half is entirely a Helen Clark post. Such as:

    “Clark’s love of the great Kiwi outdoors saw her head south annually, to ski and climb in Braun-Elwert’s alpine “backyard’. The locals certainly appreciated her frequent visits and support of a local venture. A family friend told TVNZ News today that Elwert-Braun and Clark shared a love of the outdoors, and had similar interests and principles. The efforts of the PM and her companions in trying to save the mountain guide’s life yesterday are being strongly appreciated. Tekapo Police have paid tribute to the extremely good job the stricken party did, and a Search and Rescue spokesman said the experience had shown the PM to be a “remarkable woman’. Despite what her jaundiced critics say, Clark has long demonstrated a commitment to this country and what it has to offer. Her regular visits to the Tekapo backcountry, and other wilderness areas, underline that.”

    I don’t think that adds anything other than trying to make the issue about Helen Clark. It isn’t, and it’s quite distasteful. One of her close friends passed away in her company, and along with the rest of her group, she tried valiantly to save him. I would like to think that everyone in that position would do likewise. It shows to some of the more rabid commenters that she is human. But that act isn’t the point, in this, is it?

    Our sympathies should go to Mr Braun-Elwert’s family and friends. We shouldn’t be trying to adulate a politician, or attack others.

  24. “but Dad you are pathetic!”

    Your opinion matey.Say what you like internet coward.

  25. Tane 26

    Yeah I think we’ll have to reassess the way we do this. You’ll notice the posts that get up people’s noses for all the wrong reasons tend to be from posters who aren’t regulars. I’m fine with people posting on an irregular basis, but not if it’s shit like this that just tars all the hard work of the regulars.

    [Besides, it’s not even sensible behaviour. Bad taste aside, all you’re doing by posting that kind of thing is pissing people off, including your own allies.]

  26. Edosan 27

    Since this is a political blog I can understand why Helen is at the centre of the post, after all this will invariably become a political issue (sadly), everything is political, especially when the PM is involved.
    Still, I completely agree with Tim’s sentiments. Maybe the issue itself should have been left off this blog? In many ways it was kinda inviting trouble no?

  27. Matthew – short answer – yes. The comments about Key and English were made during the Parliamentary recess coinciding with the July school holidays. Realistically, it was the last opportunity for ANY MP with schoolage children from ANY party to have time as a family before the election.

    Meantime, I’ve done my own post on this, refraining from any political comment

    http://keepingstock.blogspot.com/2008/08/condolences.html

    And Tane – I had to go as far as Dad’s post to see what the objectionable phrase that Tillerman used. I know it’s your blog and all that, but I disagree with your decision to delete the comment which has generated so much response. Your intentions may be honourable, but it comes across as an attempt to sanitise The Standard.

  28. Anita 29

    Tane,

    Yeah – it’s a difficult place for you all to be in. From the outside it’s very easy to think of you as a tight unit, to think that you have the same views, that there is an editorial collective mind.

    As I think I said the last time someone posted something that offended me you also claim, at least to some reading :), to speak on behalf of the Labour movement. So I not only react to posts not only to attribute them to all of you, but as if you claim to be speaking on my behalf.

    By and large that’s working for you, but moments like this mean you’re going to get hammered by your friends as well as your enemies, and that we’re going to want to see you holding each other to account (just as you hold commenters to account).

    I don’t know how you all can manage it, but I reckon some QA/QC wouldn’t go amiss. Plus an awareness that you might feel like a loose collective to insiders, but you look like a tight team to outsiders.

  29. Anita 30

    Reading Inventory2’s comment, I wonder if it would be better to add a moderator’s note about the deletion to the original post, as you would have if it’d been me making a dick of myself in the comments.

    As it stands it looks a little like rewriting history.

  30. Tane 31

    IV2: the line is still there in the comments. I’ve had a long fucker of a day and the last thing I need is to log onto The Standard and have to fight fires. It’s the second time something like this has happened, and I just know some right-wing dickwad’s going to link back to it every time one of us talks about improving standards or criticises scum like your mate Whale. Frankly, I’m running out of patience.

    Anita: Yeah. I think the site’s rules have to evolve as the site itself does. Just as having no moderation worked when we first started, it eventually became unworkable and made this place unpleasant for some. As a result we had to start clamping down. Maybe the same goes for posts, maybe not. I’ll have to consult with my fellow posters and get back to you on that one.

  31. Tane – I sympathise with you. I guess the benefit for me being a one man blogging band is that I have editorial control over myself, and if it all turns to custard, I have only myself to blame!

  32. Rex Widerstrom 33

    Tane: I’ve always respected your opinions on things and the way you present them, but your calling of Tillerman on this pass-the-bucket hagiography masquerading as a eulogy to a fine man lifts you even further in my eyes. By the way, come back to Kiwiblog occasionally, it’s always good to have a mix of sensible lefties and righties to engage with 🙂

    Tillerman: Words fail me. I don’t know Helen Clark as well as Tim Ellis but I’ve met her often enough to agree with Tim that her reaction upon reading your pathetic attempt to crawl up her bum in the midst of a tragic time will be to hang her head in embarrassment. Still, thanks for descending – albeit in a different way – to the depths displayed by some on the right. Some of the stuff on The Standard was beginning to tilt my perceptions… now I can return to a healthy contempt for the blinkered acolytes on both sides of the equation.

  33. johndoe 34

    Hey, it’s a fair call to say that Helen’s critics accuse her of not really understanding the lives of ordinary New Zealanders but why are they “jaundiced” for doing so? Why can’t you just keep the bitterness to yourselves, just this once. Would be a much better look. And she did well, very well. No need to talk about her critics at all, “jaundiced” or not. It was a good show. Let it speak for itself.

  34. Fair comment johndoe. Unless any of us have been in the situation that the PM found herself yesterday, we have no way of predicting how we would react.

  35. lprent 36

    Damn. Both Helen and Peter will be upset. They’ve been taking trips with the guy for quite a while.

    Doing CPR on your friends is not something that I’d like to do, especially for 2 odd hours.

    I’d agree with Tane (and for that matter DPF) about politicking this.

    However it is the nature of how we have structured the ability for posters to put in posts on their own behalf.

  36. dave 37

    Tane: The last thing I need is to log onto The Standard and have to fight fires.
    Tane, its simple. Get rid of the people who are lighting the matches. Like “Tillerman”. Ban him for a month. Like you do with comment makers who say things a lot less offensive.

  37. Will be interesting to see what the PM has to say (was unable to catch the 6pm news).

  38. dave 39

    People wonder why this blog gets picked on when sone of the right wing blogs spout filth

    The answer is simple. Because in the right wing blogs the filth is in the comments. In this blog the filth is in the posts. Simple as that.

  39. NX 40

    This is probably the nicest post I’ve ever read on The Standard; it seems genuine and heartfelt.

    This of course is in contrast to the hundreds of negative John Key attack posts.

    Instead of attacking all the time, why doesn’t this blog take a positive tact and praise Labour ministers?

  40. lprent 41

    Anita:

    From the outside it?s very easy to think of you as a tight unit, to think that you have the same views, that there is an editorial collective mind.

    It is why we keep emphasizing that we do operate largely independently. I hammer anyone in notes on their comments that do suggest that we run an cohesive editorial policy. That is for exactly the reasons that showed up today.

    The Standard is a place for people on the left and especially around the labour movement to be able to post. It is also a place for the non-rabid politically aware people to engage.

    Everything is subject to moderation. There hasn’t been a lot done on the posts, simply because there hasn’t been a need to. There has been moderation on comments, simply because there was a problem with the comments section descending into a schoolyard lowest common denominator level.

    Even then, there isn’t a agreed moderation / banning policy apart from the outlines we have in policy. Each moderator does what they feel is required. Generally it works pretty well. Certainly doesn’t seem to reduce the rate of increase in the number of quality comments

  41. T-Rex 42

    Ease up a little people, it wasn’t a very well thought through comment but it’s not like Tillerman ate a baby or anything. Personally i think it does speak well of Clarks affection for the character of the country that she spends a fair bit of her leisure time out exploring it; but she’s probably been on holiday to Hawaii too in her life, and Key’s got a bach up wherever the hell it is so he’s clearly got some interest in chilling here in his spare time too.

    Tillerman – I think your last comment, which has been deleted, was basically a bit weak and terribly timed, but it’s hardly the end of the world. The rest of your post was good. Build a bridge people.

    I’d like to make a point here though. Using this event to illustrate Clarks affection for the country and behaviour in a high stress scenario is NOT ‘politicisation of a mans death’. Every time something like this happens people fall overthemselves to out-righteous oneanother. There’s this stupid perception that anything involving death should be above analysis, and it’s basically crap. Sure, analysis should be done with due regard for the sensitivities of involved parties.

    Handy quick reference scenarios:

    1) Some guy (lets call him J Key…. no wait, that’s too obvious… we’ll go with John K) is to have disposed of a whole bunch of poisons into a river, resulting in the deaths of a schoolbus full of children or something. And yes, I’m sure Key’s never done any such thing, but come on – me pass up an easy simpsons reference? nah. But anyway, what’s wrong with saying “Key’s terrible judgement and disregard for the consequences of his actions killed 30 children – this calls into question his fitness to govern our country”.
    Answer to rhetorical question – nothing is wrong with that, in fact NOT saying that would be reprehensible. But if you tried saying it you’d have commentators (probably from both camps) lining up to proclaim how inappropriate they think such comments are at a time when we should be demonstrating some solidarity and that the manipulation of a childs death for political gain is disgusting.

    2) An NZ soldier is killed in east timor while peacekeeping on a UN sanctioned mission. Some tosser from the opposition (whichever side might be in power) starts asking retarded questions about just exactly what we were doing in east timor anyway and how the governing parties militaristic ambitions have resulted in the death of a man. Lots of closeups are used of the mans wife and children.
    THAT is manipulation of a mans death for political gain (although in any intelligent society political gain would not result – rather an invitation to take a long walk off a short pier).

    3) A politician displays sounds judgement and poise in a high stress situation in which someone, tragically and through no fault of said politician, dies. Saying “So-and-so displayed sound judgement and poise in an extremely high stress situation” is not heartless politicisation of a death, but perfectly reasonable politicisation of an event.

    Clark sounds as though she conducted herself admirably in a terrible situation, both in terms of the general environment and the element of personal tragedy. I think it speaks very well of her, and I’ve no problem with it being used to illustrate her strength of character in a political environment.

    Obviously it DOES become objectionable when you add a postscript of “unlike that f*cker Key, who probably would have stopped CPR 5 minutes in to go and count his money” (which, while not what Tillerman did is in a similar vein) but I think after 40 comments of condemnation we can perhaps move beyond that and back onto what the rest of the post is about.

    In summary:

    Gottlieb – rest in peace, you sound like you were a bloody top guy and the world will be a worse place without you in it; I’ll climb a mountain for you this weekend.

    Helen – Really sorry you’ve lost a friend. You sound like you did everything you possibly could, and despite the fact that you’re probably totally gutted I think you can look the world in the face. You behaved like I’d like the person running my country to behave. I’m happy to call you prime minister.

  42. T-Rex 43

    p.s. Same goes for the rest of whoever was in the group – Clark sure as hell didn’t do CPR for two hours by herself! And finally, just to avoid accusations of deplorable partisanship, I’ll add that I imagine if Key was there he’d probably have done the same thing.

    .

    .

    .

    I mean he wouldn’t have been there, because he’s not cool enough to be a mountaineer, but that doesn’t mean he wouldn’t have tried to save a life. Just that he’s not cool. Unlike Clark. Who is cooler than him.

    Protip – Summit photos involving iceaxes make you cooler. Write it down now, thank me later.

  43. Daveski 44

    Good on you Tane

    Attempts by idiots on the left and right to politicise the death of a friend of a politician does no one any favours.

  44. T-Rex – getting a bit confused there buddy. Maybe the analogy with Key would be if he was on the beach with friends and one of them drowned. But as I said earlier, until any of us is in that situation, it’s pure speculation as to how we’d react. God willing, we won’t find out.

  45. Every day above ground is a good day.

  46. Lew 47

    Coming to this excellent discussion late as I do, I’m now only curious as to the contents of the sentence removed 🙂

    L

  47. Lew – here ’tis

    “One cannot help but contrast that with her main political rival’s preference for holidaying at his $1 million beach house in Hawaii.’

  48. Anita 49

    I’ve been thinking about Gottlieb Braun-Elwert and Helen Clark over the last couple of days and each has encouraged me to make a separate commitment.

    Gottlieb Braun-Elwert – I will find a way to spend more time doing what I love and what matters. When I die I would like it to be doing something wonderful.

    Helen Clark – I will learn CPR (and other basic first aid). If a friend were to have a heart attack in my presence I would like to have the skill to help, I want to know I would be able to do everything possible to help them live.

    I know this sounds sappy, but I was thinking today about all the political point scoring going on and wondered what I could do to make his death make the world better rather than worse.

  49. r0b 50

    Good on you Anita. (Now that you mention it, my First Aid is years out of date – note to self…)

  50. lprent 51

    Yep. I have kind of let my CPR skills lapse since I was a army medic ~25 years ago.

  51. r0b 52

    You have had a varied background Lynn! CPR theory has changed a bit too, with new guidelines released in 2005 or thereabouts. More emphasis on compressions and less on breathing I think.

  52. Sad, to see any friend of anyone’s die. My sympathies to the man’s family and the Prime Minister.

    Try not to over blow the news value and importance of it though.

  53. Billy 54

    I see Barak Obama has just had a holiday in Hawaii. I expect Tillerman will be running up a post condemning him accordingly.

    [Obama was born in Hawaii and it’s a US state and he’s a candidate in the election, it wasn’t a holiday. Plus, we’re not really focussed in that kind of detail on the US elections. Nonetheless, if a US candidate was going around making vague promises to lift wages without providing any policy and then buggering off on a luxury holiday, yup I expect that would be condemned. SP]

  54. lukas 55

    And Trav

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    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
    3 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 ...
    3 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
    3 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 ...
    4 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
    4 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
    4 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 ...
    4 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
    4 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
    4 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
    4 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
    5 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 ...
    5 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
    6 days 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
    6 days 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
    6 days 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
    7 days 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
    7 days ago
  • California bans private prisons
    Private prisons are a stain on humanity. Prison operators explicitly profit from human misery, then lobby for longer prisons terms so they can keep on profiting. And in the US, prison companies run not only local and state prisons, but also Donald Trump's immigration concentration camps. Faced with this moral ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Why PPPs are a bad idea
    When National was in power, they were very keen on Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) - basicly, using private companies to finance public infrastructure as a way of hiding debt from the public. They were keen on using them for everything - roads, schools, hospitals. But as the UK shows, that "service" ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • A Movement That No Longer Moves.
    Moving And Shaking: There was a time when people spoke matter-of-factly about the “labour movement” – a political phenomenon understood to embrace much more than the Labour Party. Included within the term’s definition was the whole trade union movement – many of whose members looked upon the Labour Party as ...
    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 ...
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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 ...
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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 ...
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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 ...
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks ago

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