Polity: Dotcom’s $3 million donation

Written By: - Date published: 12:25 pm, June 1st, 2014 - 132 comments
Categories: campaigning, democratic participation, election 2014, election funding, internet party, Politics - Tags: , ,

polity_square_for_lynnReposted from Polity.

via Stuff:

Kim Dotcom has shaken up the election with a claim his new Internet Party will have a $3 million war chest.

That pledge was revealed yesterday as the party confirmed its new leader was former Alliance leader Laila Harre.

Electoral records show Dotcom has already donated $250,000 to the Internet Party, which did a deal this week with Mana that could see it ride leader Hone Harawira’s coat-tails into Parliament.

The Internet Party founder told 3 News he was putting his money where his mouth was and putting up $3m for the election campaign.

That would give the new Internet-Mana alliance a war chest to rival its Right-wing opponents. National spent $2.7m in 2011 and was the biggest spender among the parties, followed by the Colin Craig-led Conservative Party.

The big questions are: is this kind of donation good for democracy, and are left-leaning campaigners hypocrites for accepting it?

On the first question, I think these donations are bad for democracy. I would rather New Zealand had partial public funding of democracy along with strict donation caps, at levels a long way below these. I know many others on the left, likely including Laila Harre, share similar views.

Having said that, I don’t get to make the rules. The rules allow these mega-donations (ha!), so are lefties like Laila Harre hyprocrites for accepting them?


There is a huge difference between “I think the rules should be X for everybody,” and “I’m going to do X even if nobody else does.” The difference is competitive fairness.

A politician’s job is to campaign within the rules as they stand. They owe it to their supporters to do everything legally in their power to win votes and influence, especially because their opponents are also doing everything within their power to achieve the opposite.

They owe no duty to provide their opponents with advantage by pre-emptively limit their own campaigns

Put it another way: Many in National oppose any state funding for election campaigns. Are we going to call them all hypocrites for accepting state funded TV time in September? Again, no.

132 comments on “Polity: Dotcom’s $3 million donation”

  1. JanM 1

    Chris Trotter’s article “L’État c’est Sue” on his Bowally Road site offers some very perspicacious views on this subject

    • Tracey 1.1

      Chris trotter wont be voting in september because he disagrees with every political party. Its his choice.

      He castigates sue for not abiding by the process of her party, but he castigated cunliffe, in a way, for being a beneficiary of the labour partys processes. He confuses me.

      Imp represents, to me, the understanding that no one likes every policy of any political party. Seemingly imp is taking certain policies they can both agree on, and campaign on them.

      • JanM 1.1.1

        It’s not the impression I get when I read his stuff on IMP – and frankly Sue’s behavior calls into question her motivation to do anything for anyone other than herself. All she has done, as I see it, is provide a really useful distraction for a right wing press

        • Tracey

          Who do you get the sense trotter will be voting for?

        • karol

          I don’t see why so many people are so down on Bradford. She stood by her principles and the way she sees it. Her withdrawal from Mana, is not going to get in the way of IMP following its aims. And she has provided a warning that we should remember.

          I thought Trotter’s piece was a bit of an own goal, and inadvertently presented an argument in support of Bradford’s position. Trotter said this:

          And, while he was at it, that commentator might also question why a person steeped in the writings of Karl Marx, Vladimir Lenin and Mao Zedong, and possessing an encyclopaedic knowledge of twentieth century revolutionary movements, should be so down on politically motivated millionaires.

          Was it not the Belarussian millionaire, Alexander Parvus, who bankrolled the Bolsheviks into power? And wasn’t it Parvus’s gold that paid for Lenin and 30 of his comrades to be spirited across Germany in a sealed train to join a Russian revolution that had had the temerity to start without them?

          JFK’s father, Joseph P. Kennedy once quipped to his son: “A man only needs three things to become President of the United States. The first is Money. The second is Money. And the third is … Money!” The same formula clearly works for revolutionary leaders.

          Now, many saw Lenin’s “vanguard party” as the beginning of the end for true socialism/communism in Russia. That idea of middle class interllectuals, etc, needing to form a party to lead the working classes or peasants to revolution, because it would take a long tme for the truly oppressed classes to be able to organise a revolution by and for themselves.

          So, instead of a society where ordinary people had a real say in their own lives, Lenin et al did it for them in the form of a centralised party. They succeeded in bringing about regime change. However, many say the vanguard opened the way to Stalin and his authoritarian abuse of centralised power – in short f@cism.

          And that is pretty much the sort of thing that Bradford is warning us about. The means can become the end.

          It’s a good thing that we have such warnings, and we should continue to take heed, when living through whatever happens next.

          • Tracey

            I am not down on bradford, and respect her decision and the roles she has played and will play.

            Colin craig may think his ad was clever, but by even talking about working with key he has sold his soul… We all just saw what happens when you

            A. Trust national at their word
            B. Treat the future of nz has a sale to the higgest bidder

            Just ask dunne.

    • Populuxe1 1.2

      More like a patronising and condescending screed that reeks of hypocrisy and mansplaining.

  2. Hamish 2

    The choice is simple, do you let the country be subjected to another 3 years of National , or do you fight?

    • Colonial Viper 2.1

      And if you want to fight, you have to resource a party and electorate machinery, and that costs MONEY

      • Tracey 2.1.1

        Yes and volunteer. Money plus volunteers. I will be pamphlet dropping again this year. Get the young voters in your families out voting… Bribe them with breakfast or a cuppa coffee and walk with them to the booth. It worked with my nephew last time… He wasnt going to vote but he enjoyed the walk, the chatter and the coffee afterwards. Have no idea who he voted for and dont care, he voted. Got two of them to rouse this year.

    • Treetop 2.2

      Unite and fight verbally like your life depends on it this time round, because it sure as hell is going to get ugly if the government is not sent packing.

  3. I disagree somewhat with the state-broadcasting-funding comparison.

    The difference between the left and right approaches to this issue are that the right promote an ideology which claims that individuals succeed on their own merits, and state taxation and support is coercive, unnecessary, and creates dependency. So when they accept state support for things like election broadcasting, they are being hypocritical, accepting something which they believe harms those who receive it and benefiting from the “theft” of tax revenue.

    To really stand by their principles, they would refuse all state support and “prove” that they can pull themselves into the Beehive with their own bootstraps. Because that’s what they say anyone can do right now, within the current system.

    On the other hand, the left opposition to large-scale private funding of political parties is an equity issue. Private funding distorts the playing field by giving more power to the powerful. So there is a question of the moral cleanness of accepting large donations from figures like Kim Dotcom, sure.

    But the left has never said that in our current political scene, anyone can succeed without private support. The fact that you do need external funding to run a successful political campaign is something which people on the left generally criticise because of the unfairness involved – but there’s no leftwing “pull yourself up by the government’s bootstraps” meme.

    TLDR: when the right take state support for their political movement, it is hypocrisy because they claim such support is unneeded and harmful. When the left take private donations for their political movement, it’s recognising the reality of our current circumstances, however much we want them to change.

    • Draco T Bastard 3.1

      The difference between the left and right approaches to this issue are that the right promote an ideology which claims that individuals succeed on their own merits, and state taxation and support is coercive, unnecessary, and creates dependency.

      That’s what they say. Their handouts of taxpayer money to WBros, Rio Tinto and others proves the lie.

    • alwyn 3.2

      “So when they accept state support for things like election broadcasting, they are being hypocritical, accepting something which they believe harms those who receive it and benefiting from the “theft” of tax revenue.”

      You don’t appear to understand how broadcasting in an election works.
      You are not allowed, BY LAW, to buy time for broadcasting TV ads in an election campaign.
      You appear to be claiming that, as you won’t allow right wing parties to accept the quota they get, that only the left wing are allowed to have any time on TV at all.
      Is that what you really believe?
      Alternatively will you propose changing the law so that anyone campaigning can buy all the TV time they want to?
      See the following

      • That’s a very interesting interpretation of my comment, alwyn.

        • alwyn

          I should possibly have included the next bit of your comment in the quote.

          “To really stand by their principles, they would refuse all state support and “prove” that they can pull themselves into the Beehive with their own bootstraps. Because that’s what they say anyone can do right now, within the current system.”

          What I am pointing out is that any party that does not use the state financed, and allocated, advertising time during an election isn’t allowed to have any at all.
          I don’t believe you could find any political party that would say what the second sentence in this bit of the quote from your comment says. That is because they would all say that they cannot win an election without having TV advertising and that refusing the “tax-payer funded” time means that they would not be allowed any at all.

          I don’t actually think you are proposing that parties of the right should not be allowed to have any TV time available. I just think that you may not have realised that giving up the tax-payer provided version for the time you pay for yourself is not a legal option in New Zealand.

  4. Colonial Viper 4

    IMP: do not spend more than $1M this election, invest the rest in assets and infrastructure

    This is my broken record appeal to IMP officials.

    Get creative and sharp around how you spend a limited $1M this campaign. Invest the remaining $2M in income generating assets and also electoral/party infrastructure (not salaries) which will help increase your competitiveness in 2017 and 2020.

    You’ve got to be in it for the long haul, you need to create financial independence from any single donor, and Kiwis hate the look of a minor political party splashing out on big spends (eg the Conservatives full page advertising).

    • Mary 4.1

      And keep Dotcom away from the limelight. He’s not a candidate. It’s not right that he sits up there alongside Hone and Laila for the photo ops. He’s got his own issues to deal with that are already very much in the public arena. It’d be strategic for a number of reasons not to have him front any of the IMP stuff. Keep him well away from all that.

      • greywarbler 4.1.1


      • Colonial Viper 4.1.2

        Yep. Have KDC attend party events occasionally but even at those he needs to be off stage from now on.

      • Except, as some people have noted, Laila Harre is known and respected for many things, but her advocacy of complex technical IT policy topics isn’t one of them. If the Internet Party is going to maintain itself as an entity it needs a geek voice – and right now that’s KDC. And I don’t think he’s really the worst person for the job:

        • Mary

          Yes, someone to do that job for IMP is needed but I think the perception people have of KDC is waning, particularly with the criminal charges and the ongoing litigation going on in New Zealand. He started off as a folk hero but that image of him is drying up. I wouldn’t think it was strategic to have the image of him plastered around with all things IMP, whether on publications or at meetings, press conferences, wherever. If he can do that job and stay out of the limelight then I’m sure he’d be fine. It’s use of his physical public presence that IMP must steer clear of.

          In any case, not only is he not a candidate hasn’t he stepped back from IMP policy development? In reality he’s really nothing more than a financial backer, and IMP would be very wise to regard him as that. Do you ever see members of the BRT who no doubt give personal donations to National sitting at press conferences alongside Key, and English?

    • Grantoc 4.2

      The long haul for imp is 6 weeks post election.

      There ain’t no long haul. There will be no policies, apart from reinforcing the rights of MoJ’s to overturn extradition decisions by the NZ judiciary.

      imp does not care or have any concern for the impoverished in this country.

      It is what it is; the purchasing of a political party and a bastardization of MMP to achieve the personal objectives of its ‘visionary’ dodgy German capitalist owner. It has nothing to do with the advancement of NZ society.

      To see it differently is to see it through rose tinted glasses.

      Its interesting to note that a spot poll by Stuff today found that 70% of those polled see harres move to become leader of imp as totally hypocritical.

    • The Lone Haranguer 4.3

      Do you genuinely think that IMP will be around by the next election regardless of whether it achieves its goal of nailing Key and his Government?

      DotCom and his chequebook are likely to ber tied up in the USA by 2017 in anycase

  5. Treetop 5

    It takes money and the right people with the right policy/strategy to win an election.

    The Internet Mana Party are a force to be reckoned with, for me they represent the loud left and they will fluke getting the novelty vote, (disenchanted voters attention). My only concern for Harre is that Cunliffe has to do a deal and not stand a candidate in Harawira’s electorate. Davis can go on the list and he deserves a winning spot. The numbers have to add up, starting with Labour on 35%.

    The goal of the center left has to be changing the government. Unless the government changes there will be more people living in substandard housing or worse, camping out in a tent or squeezed in a car which is already near unbearable for too many people.

    The list line up for Internet Mana is impressive and Harawira is so right about how Maori have gone backward due to being so under resourced under the Key government. Resources have to go to where they are needed and the squeaky wheel gets the oil.

    So what that Dotcom has financed 3 million. I am pleased that his assets have not been frozen because it is yet to be proved who the so called biggest crook/liar in NZ is. Dotcom is not at the top of my list either.

    Too many ego centric politicians IGNORING the basic needs of others is what will also give the election to National. People need something to get up to go to each day or do and when it comes to voting, people need to know what will get them to the polling booth.

    • Colonial Viper 5.1

      My only concern for Harre is that Cunliffe has to do a deal and not stand a candidate in Harawira’s electorate. Davis can go on the list and he deserves a winning spot. The numbers have to add up, starting with Labour on 35%.

      Hmmmm, this needs to be politically stage managed. Best that Davis still stand in Te Tai Tokerau so that Labour can say hand on heart it is contesting every single electorate and giving no one a free ride, but on the ground campaign for the party vote only and limit the budget to a $5K election spend (any surplus fundraising to go into the Labour nationwide pot). Labour party vote hoardings up but no signs up with Davis’ face or name.

      • Treetop 5.1.1

        I have just read Labour’s Mana Internet Party dilemma and read your comments there which I mostly agree with.

        Labour have a hard fight on their hands to win any Maori electorate seat in a general election. Until the Maori Party held a seat, the voters had no choice other than to vote Labour. With the Maori Party gone the Maori Party electorate seats will go to Harawira.

        The most undecided vote for the next election is the center/left party vote. To minimise Labour missing out on having a better chance of getting a higher party vote from Maori, Labour need to do a deal in some of the Maori electorates. I prefer certainty over a comedy of errors. The Internet Mana Party have emerged due to a comedy of errors, e.g. Key being slow on the uptake that the Internet Mana Party have a review clause. Harawira must be laughing as he knows there will be a handful of MPs beside him representing Maori. Harawira knows he can only do his best when in government with other parties who are alligned with his policies, the country know why he left the Maori Party.

        Has there ever been an independent Maori MP, if so what caused their demise?

        • Colonial Viper

          Cheers; and sorry I don’t know the history of the Maori electorates well enough to be able to answer that question.

        • Macro

          I was going to say “Alamein Kopu” but she was a list MP and didn’t win in her electorate in the subsequent elections.

        • weka

          “Has there ever been an independent Maori MP, if so what caused their demise?”

          Alamein Koopu? Not exactly what you meant, and her demise was due to her behaiour not her independence. But it did lead to the waka jupming legislation. Interesting read on wiki (if you can ignore some of the biased bits).


    • Draco T Bastard 5.2

      It takes money and the right people with the right policy/strategy to win an election.

      Strategy and policy could be determined by the party as a whole. And money is also easy for a group to raise – if they’re willing to put their money where their mouth is. That’s actually why we have parties.

  6. Cancerman 6

    I’m not really opposed/worried to Kim Dotcom’s funding but I do see a difference between his funding and say Alan Gibbs, Bob Jones, Colin Craig, Philip Mills etc as that the latter group have an idealogy to promote. As opposed to the potential that Kim Dotcom actually wants influence expressly for himself, although this is speculation. Personally I think Kim just wants utu against John Key and I find that more than acceptable.

    • Tracey 6.1

      I think your differentiation is splitting hairs.

      There is no proof that dotcom is being self serving, just assumption.

      Collins was self serving
      Key playing golf with shi for 50k is self serving
      Banks not reading his form so he couldnt “know” it was false is self serving
      Phillip morris want to sell a product, that is self serving, not an ideology
      Alan gibbs wanted to pay less tax and trained hide to be his mouthpiece, if he had a genuine ideology they would still campaign for a zero tax rate. They dont.

      • Cancerman 6.1.1

        Alan Gibb wanted lower taxes for himself but also for everyone.
        Kim Dotcom doesn’t want to be prosecuted but don’t think he believes in the end of private property. If he was a anarchist and did I would say far enough.

        I see a difference between want a law changed for everyone and wanting a law changed just for yourself. Note I know that a blocking of extradition isn’t a law change but I assume you get my drift.

        • Colonial Viper

          Alan Gibb wanted lower taxes for himself but also for everyone.

          LOL, mate why do you bother making saints out of these rip off artists?

          • Cancerman

            I”m not making a saint. I’m just saying he’s a libertarian. Philip Mills is an environmentalist.

            Kim Dotcom has yet to show any clear ideaology that the difference between his cash and others. I dont have a problem with this but I do see a difference.

            Thats my point.

            • Colonial Viper

              KDC is an internet libertarian, one who is willing to challenge the status quo. And it appears that the big corporates and Hollywood money despise him for it.

              • Cancerman

                He’s not as a liberterian as libertarian respect private property. I could accept if his position if he was an anarchist but he isn’t. He’s just greedy.

                • Tracey

                  The thing is, you have no proof of at least two things youve stated

                  Kdc is in imp to prevent his extradition
                  Alan gibbs wanted tax cuts for everyone

                  Alan gibbs might have thought the way to get them for himself, he needed to give them to everyone, but you have no proof that was his base motivation

                  Sorry for confusing phillip mills with phillip morris

                • Colonial Viper

                  KDC is pushing back against a huge government backed corporatocracy, one which is surveilling all of our personal lives, very prone to using excessive force and ignoring due process whenever it suits them.

                  So of course KDC is an internet libertarian. He upset some big corporate industries who enjoy monopolistic levels of control. The men in suits then decided to use big government powers to take him down with SWAT team tactics and command helicopters.

                  If you were a true libertarian you would understand these matters, and be demanding that the USA abide by their own Constitution and the Bill of Rights. But of course, you’re not.

                  Problem is, the old fashioned “private property rights is supreme above all else” form of libertarianism you talk of is very peculiar to the USA. It is capitalist/corporate in origin, belongs in the 19th century, and is seriously outmoded in the modern age.

          • Anne

            Alan Gibbs financed ACT into being… with the help of some business tycoon friends. It was part of a right-wing “conspiracy” to provide National with a coalition party after the successful referendum on MMP. They were the same business tycoons who, along with Shirtcliffe and co., spent a fortune on fighting against the adoption of the MMP voting system. There was nothing altruistic about their motivation. They were protecting their greedy, power hungry selves at the expense of the rest of the population.

            • Colonial Viper

              I never got that mindset. Having $10M is not enough it’s got to be $20M. Having $100M is not enough it’s got to be $200M. Etc.

              And instead of doing something useful in society with all that money, they just end up dealing in BS and manufacturing monuments to themselves.

            • Anne

              And as CV has pointed out, they were/are our equivalent to the big US-based corporates and Hollywood moguls who despise KDC because he represents a threat to their greedy domination of cyberspace and they want rid of him. The US is fast losing it’s super power status, and anyone who threatens them in any way is fair game.

              Simple as that.

            • greywarbler

              Monuments to rich men’s success. Greed narcissism self promotion and satisfaction.
              Abstract art works, an art fence, a personal Chinese wall that is a personal pet obssession with abstract art (a pity that living people the most wonderful amazing creatures on the planet do not please the art palate).
              Gibbs the Ozymandius of Aotearoa

              BOOK EXTRACT: Serious Fun – The Life and Times of Alan …
              The Life and Times of Alan Gibbs, by Paul Goldsmith ….. Meantime, in 1999 French Artist Daniel Buren’s Green and White Fence …

              • Populuxe1

                Artists gotta eat. Go fuck yourself.

                • Colonial Viper

                  And to eat, they have to submit to the tasteless self aggrandizing whims of their uber-wealthy patrons. Which I believe was Greywarbler’s point.

                  • Populuxe1

                    I’m not sure how you get “submit to the tasteless self aggrandizing whims” from buying an artist’s existing work or proposed work, but it’s been that way for half a millennium.

                • greywarbler

                  Luxury1 – is that your new name -drown yourself in champagne. Good on you if you can get a good commission from someone like Alan Gibbs. Keep trying, sucking up. Reading your drivel here it does seem that you have to have altered perceptions to be an artist. And you probably have bad table manners to match your bad language.

                  • Populuxe1

                    Art has nothing to do with luxury and everything to do with a diversity of human expression. That’s your second dismissal of artists. You sound like a trite old irrelevance gagging for revolution so you can inflict misery and payback on anything you lack the capacity to understand or appreciate.

    • weka 6.2

      “Personally I think Kim just wants utu against John Key and I find that more than acceptable.”

      Me too (although I disgree with the differentiation in your comment).

    • Wayne 6.3

      Cancerman, One word “Hypocrisy”.

  7. Yeah I’m not sure a left-wing conservative party model is the way to go. While I like the fact that Harre is leader, (finally some confirmation that the Internet Party intends to skew meaningfully left) the left has never done well from seeming too slick, we’ve done best when we’ve turned the language of business against the right and really campaigned where our values are. In short, we tend to win when we follow our principles, rather than just because we have a lot of advertising.

    While that level of funding won’t hurt in itself, if Internet-Mana rely on it too much, it could hurt their message, which has always been key for left-wing parties. That said despite my mixed feelings so far, I hope we get to welcome them to the tent of a genuinely left-wing government that truly represents people of all communities.

    • Tautoko Viper 7.1

      Some of the money could be used to help provide transport to the polling booth- laying on buses, providing crèche facilities/ child minders while people vote.

      Some funds could go for hall hire and bus transport for people to attend political meetings, with some paid entertainment used as drawcards particularly to attract the younger voters. Other funds could be used as wages for previously unemployed people to canvas in their areas to spread the message of how the people’s vote counts and to help organise transport for the voting.

      • That I fully support, although I’d actually rather see it not as a targetted party-by-party thing but a general initiative. He could’ve sounded a bit more modest announcing a million-dollar warchest and pumped $2mil on get out the vote, and still done just as good on altering which government gets in, as we all know National benefits more from the no-vote.

    • greywarbler 7.2

      we’ve done best when we’ve turned the language of business against the right and really campaigned where our values are.
      It would help if Labour sets the values and language of business to those which offer stability and prosperity and reasonable net returns that stay in the country.

      Get the unions into an agreement so that they are part of the business mix, and not going off on strike all the time to screw up their pay packets. The comment that the bosses have been making a lot of money and we want some too should not be heard. Bonuses for good years, and good outcomes, and decent salaries with no unreasonable hours say 8-12 hours in the hold of a ship in one shift should be legislated against.

      Let us have proper rosters, minimum hours, higher hourly rates for anyone working under 30 hours a week, time and a half for working on weekends etc. And shops open 10-4pm on Satuirdays and 10-2 on Sundays. So that people have time for themselves and their families, instead of being at the behest of warm machines tapping at cold ones. I think it is time that Labour developed into a well-rounded party, showing expertise and values in more than supplying welfare.

      • Colonial Viper 7.2.1

        Get the unions into an agreement so that they are part of the business mix, and not going off on strike all the time to screw up their pay packets

        You just time warped back 30 years.

        National made it impossible for workers to strike in support of each other and Labour kept it that way.

        Not sure when you think the last time workers were “going off on strike all the time” was.

        I think it is time that Labour developed into a well-rounded party, showing expertise and values in more than supplying welfare.

        When do you think this will happen? Labour is coming up to 100 years old now. It seriously regressed in the 1980’s, came back slightly but has been stuck in a centrist pro-capitalist mode ever since.

        • greywarbler

          Yes CV I am going back 30 years, with a view that we could pick up the good things left from there and move into the 21st century in a positive way. We would have a working agreement with unions and workers generally, and all together Labour would make the best with what industry we have left. That is what I want Labour to do, plus then go on and assist business to get more industry going. And tailor policies to ensure there are places at jobs for all people at all levels. Is that so wrong?

          I am not sure what else could be done straight away, to prepare for a different future but it would be a start. But feel free to tell me what the better next steps are for the workers and under employed and unemployed going slowly down. I probably have missed some great new idea.

          • Colonial Viper

            Your suggestions on bringing unions to the fore again are important. However I believe the future is in democratising the economy, including establishing workplaces and businesses which are not just employee (or customer) owned, but also democratically run.

            • greywarbler

              CV Are you thinking of Spain. The Mondragon iniative?

              • Colonial Viper

                Yes that is an example, the Co-Op outfit in UK as well. But we can create something with a distinctly NZ style.

                We expect democracy in local and central government, but in our day to day employment the boards of directors give the orders and everyone else is just expected to march in line.

      • Grey, unions know they’re a part of the business mix, they just want a fair share. Without strikes when employers go too far, workers who aren’t in high-demand positions have little bargaining power because they can be picked off individually. Strikers rarely ask for anything unreasonable, although I know National and their buddies like to think it happens all the time.

        I totally agree with what you’re saying though, and I think unions should also trumpet when their industries agree with them and take good action as much as they fight when their industries go too far. 🙂

        As for Labour not being well-rounded… well, I agree with you, but that’s because I think the transition to Cunliffe’s Labour is the closest we’ve had to not having National-lite since Roger Douglas came in. (or for that matter, Red National under Douglas’ watch…) It’s good to take onboard concerns of the business community and make policy work for them, but you can do it without being shills for so-called “free trade” corporate giveaways, and making laws that don’t provide sustainable jobs or a higher standard of living for the country because you’re too concerned about trying to look More Serious To Business than National.

        The fact is Labour will never look more serious to business than National, even though they’ve given away half the farm in every government and bended over backwards for surpluses, so they might as well listen to the sensible concerns, implement them, but focus on looking after ordinary people.

        • greywarbler

          Strikers rarely ask for anything unreasonable, although I know National and their buddies like to think it happens all the time.

          Rarely. Define. Don’t be too rosy.

          More commitment to their jobs and having a share in the good years would be a good way to go. But not to get great ideas about large wage rises, or we would price ourselves too high compared to the rest of the world. And the guy and girl on the floor should get what they deserve, a decent living wage. And the salaries of the strategists and managers should be controlled, and this could be encouraged by government, I think some countries have already introduced caps. And they could have a different company tax for high paid CEOs and directors. If there is so much money to pay at the top, the government that creates the conditions for the company to operate in should get more of the cream. That would be the argument.

          • Stephanie Rodgers

            Workers are committed to their jobs, greywarbler. And because of that commitment, they frequently accept the slimmest (or non-existent) pay increases in order to help their employers through bad times (when they have the opportunity to negotiate their employment agreements at all – many don’t. 46% of Kiwi workers received no pay rise last year.)

            I don’t think we’ll get anywhere if we start from an assumption that workers are lazy and greedy, which is what your comments seem to lean towards.

            • greywarbler

              Thanks for the homily Stephanie. I do know about workers and employers and jobs and how things are at present. I have been one myself.

              And I did say about wages –
              And the guy and girl on the floor should get what they deserve, a decent living wage.
              What we don’t need is more of the behaviour we used to get from the ferry workers, that was very obvious bad publicity for the unions to the suffering public. Commitment to the job, and not constantly pushing for more than wages worked on an agreed basis of percentage to profit would be a good idea.

              And CV I take your point about the wages (and conditions) dropping towards the lowest global level. But we need better right now recognising that there are restraints, and have to work within the present system. But we need, and I am sure, could do better but have to change things considerably. Retire Mr Groser with his gross enthusiasm for stripping us of the last vestiges of sovereignty for one.

              • greywarbler

                I should say concerning the above, I have been a worker at a number of different jobs, I have been an employer in a micro-business, I have been a member of a union and seen how that one operated.

          • Colonial Viper

            More commitment to their jobs and having a share in the good years would be a good way to go. But not to get great ideas about large wage rises, or we would price ourselves too high compared to the rest of the world.

            And what if NZ workers are expected, in this twisted globalised system, to “be competitive” with factory workers in China earning $100/week, with sweatshop labour in Bangladesh, or prison labour in the USA making US$1/hour.

            Why are you so accepting of the constraints of this system when the system is so blatantly skewed towards the interests of financial capital, and away from the interests of working men and women?

            If there is so much money to pay at the top, the government that creates the conditions for the company to operate in should get more of the cream. That would be the argument.

            In addition to that, workers should decide how the profits they generate are divvied up, democratically.

  8. fisiani 8

    Mana is the best party that money can buy.

    • Tracey 8.1

      National is the easiest government to buy

      • AncientGeek 8.1.1

        Cheaper too.

        • McFlock

          And ACT is the biggest waste of a dollar that can be found, even though it’s the cheapest party to buy…

        • The Al1en

          I’m currently running a cheaper version of the cabinet club.
          For only $50 anyone can come round my place, say hello, and eat beans on toast whilst looking at my sideboard. For an extra tenner I’ll even turn on the television.

          • greywarbler

            @The Allen
            Sounds good to me.
            Or you could follow an idea I saw in a cartoon. Throw a house-warming party – everyone brings a roll of insulation. When the job is done, have the kitchen cabinet conference, and the beans and beer (tea optional). Everyone would be warm and cheery and full of bonhomie, ideas (and beer). Which probably should be home-brewed. Asbestos-free certificate displayed.

            • The Al1en

              The more in the house, the less the spend on heating. I like it.

              Offering the full service, give me 20 bucks and I’ll ask a question, even if it’s just what the fu*k are you doing in my front room?

              I’ll tell the bank to expect lots of neatly folded notes in brown envelopes.

          • Hami Shearlie

            Will they be charged a “fart tax” on top of the $50?

      • Colonial Viper 8.1.2

        You’re both right.

    • Instauration 8.2

      Did you think through to the forseeable implications of your statement ? – “John Banks is the best mayoral candidate that money can buy” ?

      • Draco T Bastard 8.2.1

        I have seen no evidence to suggest that Fisiani can actually think. All he seems to do is parrot National Party attack lines and memes.

    • Mana has every right to do what it did, and voters will judge for themselves whether they want to reward that or not. John Key had the option to prevent this, and Labour and the Greens offered him the votes to do it, but he turned it down, so now that he’s made his bed he has to sleep in it.

      What’s really pissed off the Right is that someone else caught onto their dumb electorate-MP micro-party games, which come about because National and Labour were both too scared to go with fair thresholds for the party vote. If they lowered that we wouldn’t even care about electorates, and could hopefully hasten on our way to removing the stupid things.

  9. Lindsey 9

    At least we know who is funding the IMP. As opposed to 2005 where National was happy to collude with the Exclusive Brethren and their (supposed to be anonymous) spend of over $1million on lies and smears against the Green and Labour parties.

  10. Its naturally law 10

    Hi Guys,

    For whatever its worth, me and 4 of my friends, all of whom have never voted before (despite being eligible), will be voting for the first time, for the Internet Mana alliance. Hopefully this is a trend.

    • Chooky 10.1

      @ Its naturally law

      …my son who is a gamer big time will be joining you in this vote!…(and I am sorely tempted myself but I think i will stick to my greens)

      ….Go Internet Mana Alliance!….I particularly like your platform for young people and free university education!

  11. Dubya 11

    If we accept that the end(s) justify the means then it is simply perspective that determines whether an action is morally justifiable or not. If the moral reasonableness of the means is an issue then the end(s) can only be morally justified if the means to achieve that end(s) is.

    It would seem that in this case, as most cases of moral judgement, there is contest over whether the means matter or not. That wealthy private money (‘das capital’) is bank-rolling a political aspiration(s) appears to matter naught to some who have questioned the legitimacy of such action (‘rules of the game’ matter naught for what is moral). To me this is hypocritical. Does it matter? Only in so far as one wishes to retain their principles. Sue Bradford, rightly or wrongly, appears to wish to maintain hers. Kudos. Others may find loopholes, concessions, or truly believe that they have not gone against their ‘principles’. Others may not have had principles to begin with. In the end, voters will decide. Democracy, it ain’t what it used to be, it ain’t what ought to be.

    • Colonial Viper 11.1

      To me this is hypocritical. Does it matter? Only in so far as one wishes to retain their principles.

      KDC’s donation meets all the tests of legality and transparency. And he’s given the money with absolutely no preconditions in terms of power over IMP candidates and policies. Seems pretty principled to me.

    • Chooky 11.2

      @ Dubya …except that young New Zealanders have been used and exploited in recent years particularly in education, housing affordability , job skills training, employment…..and it is time they had a voice!…this takes money!( young people dont have any) …and if Dotcom is willing to supply it for a party to represent them then good on him!

      …after all National and Act have BIG BUSINESS MONEY bankrolling them!

      …and no use holding Sue Bradford as a paragon of moral virtue and reason…she was once a Maoist ( so I have recently learned ) this indicates a serious lack of judgment at least…just ask any Chinese who were victims of the Cultural Revolution…suggest you research this.

      I am sure Act would like your arguments …but they are spurious….and Act is the most morally questionable when it comes to DEMOCRACY for ordinary NZers and young people …ACT lobby for and represent BIG BUSINESS generally from outside New Zealand and Act people receive money from overseas companies to represent their interests…despite ACT only having 1% or less of the democratic NZ voter support .

    • Tracey 11.3

      I find it hard to believe, based on how she has chosen to spend her time on the planet to date, that Laila Harre is kdc’s lapdog and were her party to win seats, that she would lie over and let him tickle her belly while she voted for anything to help him circumvent nz law.

  12. Its naturally law 12

    Hey Guys/Ladies,

    I can only speak for my experiences interacting with law students (and my perception of the views of course), but to elaborate a little, i think that the Internet Mana Alliance (see what i did?) is brilliant among youth in tertiary education. We learn about the injustice the Maori people have suffered, not only historically, but in recent times, for example, the Foreshore and Seabed debacle, where the Labor Party passed legislation which extinguished the strides the Maori people made in the legal system (where the Court of Appeal granted a right to proceed with their claim proprietary rights per the Treaty of Waitangi).

    I can only speak for those i know: we strongly support internet freedom, independence from the USA and redress for our indigenous people. The Internet-Mana alliance is a perfect combination.

    ETA: The “we can’t go to the beach anymore!!” stuff was pure media / controlling class BS. The relevant parties made it absolutely clear that this wasn’t going to be the case, but they went ahead with pushing that line anyway, because it helped those with vested interests. Never mind all of those that currently own propriety rights to the foreshore and seabed (and deny access), they are okay! In this regard, Labor and National are on the same team #internetmana

    • Populuxe1 12.1

      Um, for all the talk of independence from the US, in New Zealand we spell it “Labour”. Also, you might want to update your, ahem, legal knowledge to include the little factoid that the New Zealand Foreshore and Seabed Act 2005 was repealed and replaced by the Marine and Coastal Area (Takutai Moana) Act 2011 under National (I would think that a law student at a New Zealand university would know this, it’s textbook) – the main reason the Maori Party went into coalition with National in the first place.

      Yes. Thank you for the lecture. Not unsurprisingly we knew that. A semantic and idiomatic analysis suggests you are American rather than a New Zealander (“BS”? Really?). There’s something “Hinkey” about you. I’m not quite so paranoid as to suggest something as silly as CIA, but has Mr Dotcom hired a consultant to plant memes in one of the more widely read political blogs?

      “I am his Highness’ dog at Kew;
      Pray tell me, sir, whose dog are you?”
      – Alexander Pope.

      • Its naturally law 12.1.1

        //Also, you might want to update your, ahem, legal knowledge to include the little factoid that the New Zealand Foreshore and Seabed Act 2005 was repealed and replaced by the Marine and Coastal Area (Takutai Moana) Act 2011 under National (I would think that a law student at a New Zealand university would know this, it’s textbook) – the main reason the Maori Party went into coalition with National in the first place.//

        Firstly, the original Foreshore and Seabed Act was passed into legislation in 2004.

        Secondly, it was passed by the Labor government.

        I am well aware of the Marine and Coastal Area (Takutai Moana) Act 2011 (however fail to see how this invalidates the claim that i made).

        • Its naturally law

          The Marine and Coastal Area Act was passed because the original Foreshore and Seabed Act (passed by Labor) was wildly unpopular among Maori. The Mana Party formed because Mr. Hariwara believed that this legislation did nothing of substance.

          So what is it that you are arguing again?

          • karol

            What is this “Labor” of which you speak? An Aussie party?

            • Colonial Viper

              Yep its the American spelling of “labor”, and the commentator does not even seem to realise that the English/NZ spelling differs, even though several clues were provided directly to them.

              • karol

                It’s also the Aussie spelling for their Labor Party.

              • Tracey

                over 50% of my students use american spelling in their first assignments. They have to be stupid to use it in their second 😉

        • Populuxe1

          Yes, 2004, a one-off typo, as opposed to consistent use of American spellings, idioms and grammatical structures. “Hinkey”

          You fail to see how it might be relevant to your narrative of declining Maori political and legal self-determination that the offending legislature was democratically overturned? Fascinating.

          The use of double slashes to indicate quotations is rather interesting – I’ve only ever seen it before used by Germans as a substitution for Anführungszeichen because the normal way might be interpreted by the software as code…

          • Its naturally law

            So you clearly have nothing in your toolbox (other than peddling conspiracies).

            • Populuxe1

              And you write like a German who learned American English, right down to the elaborate clausal structures of your sentences.

              • Colonial Viper

                clever work Pop1

                • Its naturally law

                  Insofar as character assassination and content evasion counts as “clever”.

                  • Populuxe1

                    I addressed your content and noted that you neglected to mention that the legislation in question had been democratically overturned by the successive government, largely through the work of Maori politicians. Your assertion was leading and couched. Otherwise I am merely objectively noting some peculiarities of your prose style – hardly character assassination.

                    I have never ever heard a young New Zealander use the expression “our indigenous people” before – it is assumed they are their own indigenous people and you have the strangest way of lampshading everything you dogwhistle as if you are trying to influence people but English is a second language. Well done correcting to English quote marks 🙂

                    You haven’t denied anything either, which is itself interesting…

                    • Its naturally law

                      “I addressed your content and noted that you neglected to mention that the legislation in question had been democratically overturned by the successive government, largely through the work of Maori politicians. Your assertion was leading and couched. Otherwise I am merely objectively noting some peculiarities of your prose style – hardly character assassination.”

                      My entire point was that the Labour party wronged the Maori people by passing the Foreshore and Seabed Act. I made this point to emphasize that the establishment has been unkind to their grievances, the only difference being a matter of scale. Your statement about the legislation later being repealed and replaced with another bill (under a completely different government) is completely irrelevant to this point.

                      I find it humorous that in the same post where you critiqued me for perceived factual inaccuracy, you demonstrated your lack of understanding of something so basic as the specific year in which the Foreshore and Seabed Act was passed.

                      “I have never ever heard a young New Zealander use the expression “our indigenous people” before – it is assumed they are their own indigenous people and you have the strangest way of lampshading everything you dogwhistle as if you are trying to influence people but English is a second language. Well done correcting to English quote marks 🙂

                      You haven’t denied anything either, which is itself interesting…”

                      More conspiracy theories designed to deflect attention from your failure to contribute any substance to this discussion.

                      I suggest a good starting point would be to simply concede that the Foreshore and Seabed Act was not in the interest of the Maori people. There is no argument over which party has historically been favorable to the Maori interest. The Foreshore and Seabed Act merely demonstrates a convergence of the two mainstream parties (with regard to certain policies) in recent times. The growing influence of the numerous smaller left wing parties are a testament to this.

                    • Populuxe1

                      Deflection eh? I struck the key next door by mistake and suddenly it means I don’t understand constitutional law? Well, you’re certainly cocky enough to be a law student, I’ll give you that.

                      Rather than just cutting and pasting what I’ve said verbatim, do you want to get to the point?

                    • Its naturally law

                      The point was made earlier on. The Internet Mana Alliance isn’t as unholy as is being portrayed by right wing commentators given that the internet savvy youth tend to be sympathetic toward the historical and contemporary treatment of the Maori people. The Foreshore and Seabed Act was raised as an example of the Maori people being mistreated by a party which has historically had their best interest at heart (to demonstrate a political crisis that they face, where the party that historically supported them seems to have at best, moderated its stance, and at worst, abandoned them altogether).

                    • Tracey

                      its naturally law

                      ”  the internet savvy youth tend to be sympathetic toward the historical and contemporary treatment of the Maori people. ”

                      unless you have some research I think you are making too big a leap from being internet savy to being sympathic to Maori.

                      the young folk I spend time with both personally and professionally seem largely oblivious to past plight of Maori let alone how that impacts issues for them and us now.

                    • Tracey

                      thats right pop cos only law students are cocky not academics like yourself with more than a dash of knowledge superiority.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      INL. Why are you accusing Pop1 of “conspiracy theories”? That’s a very boring and overused rhetorical technique to shut down discussion.

                      He’s merely being observant and following through with some basic inferences.

                      You’re only one person and one person does not a “conspiracy” make.

                    • felix

                      Heh. Interesting observations, Pop.

                    • Its naturally law

                      Hi Tracy,

                      That is a valid comment and i concede that i am guilty of making a generalization without evidence. I intended to present a hypothesis based on the supposition that educated youths are more likely to vote (than their uneducated counterparts) and that this demographic (by virtue of their education) tend to be more sensitive to injustices suffered by the Maori community than a random sampling of the general population. I concede that it is quite a reach.

                      Hi CV,

                      The implication is that i am on Mr. Dotcom’s payroll. In my understanding of the term, this fits a conspiracy theory. Furthermore, it dodges of the substance of my post (for an example of engaging, see what Tracy wrote above) while simultaneously attacking its credibility by theorizing about my motivations (“attacking the messenger”). I consider this to be poor form, however i understand that you disagree.

                    • Populuxe1

                      The excessive use of the Nebensatz or subordinate clause is very German.
                      The Internet Mana Alliance isn’t unholy per se, but it isn’t very natural for many of the reasons already outlined.

                      The Foreshore and Seabed Act was overturned by the Maori Party in coalition with National and this narrative you’re painting of Maori as a monolithic entity is reductive. I fail to see why IP might not be as unhelpful as the Fifth Labour Government was in that regard. You’re also overlooking (or ignoring) Labour V’s “Closing the Gaps” affirmative action policy.

                      “internet savvy youth”? Really? Um, yeah, I know how to use the Internet thanks. Dotcom’s 40 – hardly “youth” – is he not “savvy” then?

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Well yes I’d hate to be caught excessively theorizing based on unsubstantiated generalizations.

                      Or maybe Pop1 is just being astutely observant.

                    • Its naturally law

                      “The excessive use of the Nebensatz or subordinate clause is very German.
                      The Internet Mana Alliance isn’t unholy per se, but it isn’t very natural for many of the reasons already outlined.”

                      Will not respond to more baseless assertions (and ignore the fact that you seem to attach a negative value to people of American or German origin).

                      “The Foreshore and Seabed Act was overturned by the Maori Party in coalition with National and this narrative you’re painting of Maori as a monolithic entity is reductive. I fail to see why IP might not be as unhelpful as the Fifth Labour Government was in that regard. You’re also overlooking (or ignoring) Labour V’s “Closing the Gaps” affirmative action policy.”

                      I think that using the word “overturned”, while technically true, is practically inaccurate as the bill that replaced it contained most all the harmful provisions in the Foreshore and Seabed Act. The post-coalition Maori party are widely criticized for acting against the Maori interest. The Maori people are as diverse as people of any ethnicity and origin, however where instances of proprietary rights relating to their agreement per Te Tiriti are concerned, it is reasonable to treat them as one united entity that formed one half of the bi cultural foundation of this country (also of note is the fact that the notion of individual property rights was unknown to Maori per their system of governance prior to colonization).

                      On your affirmative action point, i have already stated that the Labour Party have traditionally acted in the Maori interest. There are examples of this in contemporary times. My point is that generally speaking, as evidenced by the Foreshore and Seabed Act, they have moved toward a more moderate stance, leaving a political vacuum where the mainstream representation of Maori interests are concerned.

                    • Populuxe1

                      Will not respond to more baseless assertions (and ignore the fact that you seem to attach a negative value to people of American or German origin).

                      LOL. That makes a change from people accusing me of being pro-American. And no – clearly I am not attaching any values at all. I am very fond of Germany, even Schleswig-Holstein. Have I hit a nerve? Moin.

                      You are cherrypicking in your attempt to discredit Labour’s commitment to Maori and you concede this when you acknowledge Closing the Gaps – but yes, Labour are neoliberal. So why would another neoliberal party be any better for Maori? More to the point, the attempt to hijack Mana’s mandate for Maori as being anything to do with IP other than in terms of financial support and coattailing in on the Maori seats is crude at best.

                      You keep trying to suggest that familiarity with the Internet somehow makes one pro-Maori. The sheer number of racist blogs out there would suggest otherwise.

                      Your appearance here in this forum, seems, shall we say, “timely” and very much agenda driven rather than dialectical. Your rhetoric is repetitive and talking point based. And you have not deigned so far to claim to not be working for the Internet Party or Dotcom.

                      “Curioser and curiouser” said Alice.

            • the pigman

              Just ignore Pop, he is full of shit (and has a very poorly-articulated justification for loathing Dotcom) as usual. He will cite Dotcom’s war-game dress-up as evidence of a deep-seated hatred of Jews, and keep shouting “HE DONATED TO JOHN BANKS!!!111!!” until you just give up arguing with him.

              AFAIK, Germans don’t learn American English. I lived with two in London for 2 years, and met many more while there. They spoke better BBC/Queen’s English than your average Londoner, that’s for sure. Same goes for their friends (when I later visited them in Germany).

              Whilst I can appreciate he feels threatened by an “uppity law student”, his criticisms are baseless. From what I can tell, you are towing the faculty line on the circumstances surrounding the Foreshore and Seabed Act very nicely – exactly as Jane Kelsey explained it to my class in 2003 😉

              • Populuxe1

                Actually I will do no such thing – I have cited Dotcom’s dressups as evidence of singularly poor taste and poor judgement, much as it was in the case of Prince Harry.
                So is John Banks ok now? Ok, memo received. I will start on love letters to him immediately.
                While the EU standard for translation is British, American colloquial idiom has become dominant because of media, particularly internet-based gaming. Gosh, you don’t suppose that living in London might have had any effect do you?

                • the pigman

                  GOSH, so in between your cute John Banks strawman, you are making your assumptions about German English based purely off interactions online…! What, in MMORPGs I suppose? Or have you been playing Battlefield/Call of Duty with some GERMANS?! (If so, can you be trusted, since keeping company with Germans is a telltale hallmark of an astroturfing paid shill?) chuckles Gosh, it’s worse than I thought…

                  Like I said, I visited them in Germany and met their friends. And casting my anecdotal evidence aside (and yours aside too, apparently gleaned from internet gaming culture as it is), I think something more empirical is called for.

                  Usually I wouldn’t indulge in this kind of pedantry, but since you are an arch-pedant and a bully with it, we can keep this up.

                  • Populuxe1

                    Bring it.

                    How is John Banks a straw man? It’s not as though his vileness is any great secret – he says the most horrendous things quite openly, and I wouldn’t be giving large sums of money to people without checking them out thoroughly.
                    Are you now saying that John Banks is politically acceptable? Simple logic: Is John Banks a very bad reactionary conservative fundamentalist borderline-fascist politician? Yes. Would you give a hefty sum of money to the Mayoral campaign of someone you hadn’t even spent ten minutes Googling? No. Do you disagree with either of these conclusions? Ergo: something stinks.

                    Yeah, what would I know about Germany apart from years studying the language and extended periods living there. I will defer to your obvious anecdotal expertise.

    • Tracey 12.2

      When i was a law student from 84-89 labour and left voters were rare. The people i mostly hung with were labour, but we were nowhere near 50% of the students in our year.

      Are you saying that has changed substantially? I do get that there are more voting options.

      In what law paper would seabed type legislation be textbook, and is the paper compulsory?

      • Populuxe1 12.2.1

        Gosh, do you mean there might have been new and rather significant constitutional New Zealand laws enacted since the late ’80s!

      • the pigman 12.2.2

        Same Tracey. Law school in early 2000s was largely populated by toff-nosed Kings and Grammar boys and the kind of “feckless women who tolerate them” (h/t Chris Trotter).

        The only law students with vaguely left-wing views tended to be the Maori and PI “quota students” (the acute awareness of this section of the law school population speaks to what a fucked up RW environment it was). And a select few in the faculty, like Jane Kelsey.

        I would be amazed if it’s changed. But maybe it’s different outside of Auckland. shrug

  13. Richard Christie 13

    That’s 120 twentyfive thousand dollar cheques.

    It would make a hoot of a PR stunt to write all 120 out.

  14. karol 14

    So, am I correct in reading Bomber as saying that he is the main mover behind the IP-Mana alliance?

    Now I appreciate I’m not everyone’s cup of tea and that my setting up of political parties to provide parliamentary math game changers annoys some in the established left and has the Wellington Twitternati in constant fits of rage, but I don’t think I’ve ever suggested tactics that would see the country plunged into a fucking civil war.

    Or is he just saying he has been a major cheerleader for it?

    • veutoviper 14.1

      Personally, I doubt that Bomber was behind it. He might like to think so, but IMO if he was, I believe that we would have heard him stating this loud and clear days ago. I haven’t seen anything for months that suggested that he was involved in IP since the leaking of the proposal he wrote.

      Incidently, the early results of the TDB June poll alongside that article was interesting with Internet Mana votes leading all other parties! Unlikely, but made me laugh.

      • karol 14.1.1

        Well, who knows the difference between what Bomber thinks, and what is reality/

        Anyway, he also claimed in an earlier post, that it was him that recruited Sue Bradford by Mana. So he does seem to see himself as being a significant player.

      • Tracey 14.1.2

        so, he and dotcom met through gcsb protest rallies and bomber suggested a party to kdc, not entirely out of the question?

    • Populuxe1 14.2

      It’s probably more accurate to say that in his mind he is.

    • Murray Olsen 14.3

      Friends who were at the last Mana conference described Bomber’s involvement as being more that of a hanger on than one of the main players. The photos I saw were consistent with this. He reminds me of a vaguely left wing Paddy Gower.

  15. Weepu's beard 15

    Leave him alone. Bradbury does a lot of good work. He’s on our side after all!

  16. Ennui 16

    That’s the funniest thing I have seen for a while. This blog subscribes to the idea of participatory democracy, we all argue under the democratic principle.Yet absolutely nothing we do or say, whether “in power” or “out of power” makes an iota of difference. We are bought up, paid up, in the financial clutches of an oligarchy of .001 per-centers. So we then debate that one of these people (KDCom) gives “our side” megabucks as he goes rogue against his class. Wow, aren’t we clever.

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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 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
    2 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
    2 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
    3 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
    3 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
    3 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
    3 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
    4 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
    4 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
    4 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
    5 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 ...
    5 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
    5 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
    5 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
    5 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 ...
    6 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 ...
    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
    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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