Polity: Herald on Labour

Written By: - Date published: 10:08 am, August 27th, 2014 - 69 comments
Categories: Economy, labour, Politics - Tags: , ,

Here is today’s New Zealand Herald’s editorial on Labour’s self-imposed fiscal haircut (well, it is more of a bread trim, but there you go…):

The Labour Party has broken new ground in election campaigns by announcing cuts to spending that it had not announced. Leader David Cunliffe and finance spokesman David Parker called a press conference to say they had shaved $300 million from their plans after seeing the Treasury’s pre-election fiscal update last week. They said they had dropped six of seven commitments they had been planning to announce during the campaign, but they would not now say what they were.

What are voters to make of that?…

How about that Labour, as it has done since at least 1999, is committed to running a tight economic ship and living within our means? Nothing really new about that. Ask Michael Cullen.

It is now more important to them to appear fiscally responsible than socially generous. That could mean they rate their chances of becoming a government rather higher than they did before they saw the full effect of “dirty politics”…

It may be true that the disgraceful material revealed in Dirty Politics may have taken the shine off National bit, but Labour knows the only way to win is to persuade people on policy. Fortunately, Labour has great policy, while National has on-again off-again tax cut packages / announcements and shiny looking housing schemes that don’t work.

Labour is committed to raising the top rate to 36 per cent and introducing a capital gains tax on residential rental property. It also wants to use surplus revenue to resume contributions to the NZ Superannuation Fund, which would boost domestic savings. Without more big spending announcements, its claim to fiscal responsibility is getting better by the day.

That is, I think, a true reflection of public opinion, even if Labour’s fiscal credentials are, in fact, already well established.

69 comments on “Polity: Herald on Labour”

  1. Ffloyd 1

    I saw some silly little girl on tv3 couple of nights ago reporting that Labour has had to do an embarrassing trimming of some of their policies temporarily because of possible lack of money in the kitty. Well!! Silly little girl it makes perfect sense to not promise what might not be achievable and budget accordingly. I applaud David Cunliffe for having the sensibility to do this.
    Not like our esteemed pm who is SORT OF promising tax cuts with no details about how they will be achieved until AFTER the election. Ask him now where he thinks the money might be coming from. Or just ask his office!! You will probably get more sense from the office. As long as it is not from a REAL PERSON in the office. And ask him how much the country owes from the last tax cuts. He won’t open his mouth to answer that one.

    • Lanthanide 1.1

      Yeah, some weird reporting on this: Labour are terrible because they have slightly changed some of their previously-announced policies so that they fit within the financial reality they find themselves in!!!!

    • And why on earth should Labour be embarrassed that this government’s fiscal position is worse than this government claimed it was at budget time?

    • Enough is Enough 1.3

      Rather than cut spending promises, promises that will benefit the most vulnerable in society, wouldn’t it better to have another look at the tax policy.

      Who in society will have a lower standard of living if the top 3% pay 40% on income over $140,000? Absolutley no one. The rich can afford to pay more. A lot more.

      Time to prove you are a real party for the people and workers of Aotearoa. Do not cut spending. Adjust your tax policy, if you can’t afford what you intended to promise.

  2. Tautoko Viper 2

    Meanwhile, Key is hinting Tax cuts!!!!

    • It’s the tax cut election promise you have when you don’t have a tax cut election promise.

      • Lanthanide 2.1.1

        I think Key and English are being deliberately confusing on this (even I couldn’t really follow what English was saying this morning on MR) because the average voter just hears “tax cut” and at some point there’ll be a mention of a dollar figure (either from National themselves, or the media will do the simple calculation themselves and report it), but National don’t have to actually promise that they’ll implement it, just have to give the wider voting public the idea that they will.

    • Tracey 2.2

      throwing money at first home buyers and dangling tax cuts, with a 80bn debt. If labour did this it would be recless lolly scramble.

  3. Michael 3

    I disagree with Michael Cullen and everyone else who says it is more important now that Labour appears fiscally responsible than socially just. It never is. Just last week, David Cunliffe made lavish spending promises to the people of Dunedin that I thought were neither fiscally responsible nor socially just: what will happen to those promises and does Labour seriously think they will recapture the Party Vote in Dunedin South after this performance? What Labour must do, if it wants to obtain votes from lower-income New Zealanders, who are largely alienated and disengaged from politics, is provide clear, simple and credible policies that it can afford to implement and that will have a tangible and positive effect on their lives. So far, there has been little sign of this and far too many weasel words.

    • Lanthanide 3.1

      “What Labour must do, if it wants to obtain votes from lower-income New Zealanders, who are largely alienated and disengaged from politics, is provide clear, simple and credible policies that it can afford to implement and that will have a tangible and positive effect on their lives. So far, there has been little sign of this and far too many weasel words.”

      Because any such clear and simple policies will be boiled down by the right and the media as “social welfare for bludgers”, which National has trained the middle-class (who ultimately decide elections, given their bulk) to vote against.

  4. Lefty 4

    Fiscal responsibility is simply another way of describing neo liberalism.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 4.1

      Really? No.

      • Rob 4.1.1

        and in one sentence, Lefty has outlined why large parts of the voting segment are shit scared of a far left Govt.

        • One Anonymous Bloke 4.1.1.1

          Meanwhile, National does its best to pretend that includes Labour and The Greens, further cementing its reputation as the smear party of no ideas.

    • DS 4.2

      Walter Nash, Arnold Nordmeyer, and Bob Tizard are neoliberals now, are they? The only Labour Minister of Finance who ran massive deficits was… Roger Douglas.

  5. Enough is Enough 5

    It is a disgrace that Labour is postponing some policies and cancelling others using the excuse that the economy can’t afford it.

    For fucks sake David Parker wake up. Stop pandering to the neo-liberal media and look to your left.

    The Greens have a comprehensive audited set of policies that do not involve cuts to key policies.

    All it requires is asking the top 3% to pay their fair share.

    Set some reasonable tax levels. 40% will not kill the rich elite, yet it will allow you to run a fairer society.

    I really fear for the incoming government if Parker is allowed to continue this bullshit.

    • Wayne 5.1

      Enough is Enough,

      Why berate Labour for their policy because it is not the Green policy? If you want the Green policy, just vote Green. And presumably make them the largest party of the Left.

      • Enough is Enough 5.1.1

        I think is fairly clear will my vote will be going.

        I am trying to let other people know the issue with Labour’s neo-liberal approach to the budget, in the hope they also vote Green.

      • crocodill 5.1.2

        Correct. Labour is as Labour does. They’ve been “shock horror” shocked to hear treasury tell them there is nothing in the kitty (that can be used to follow up their more “humanitarian” plans) since forever. It’s an old Labour excuse.

        Fiscal responsibility… committed to running a tight economic ship… and living within our means? Sounds remarkably like script from the National playbook.

        And it wasn’t 1999 that it started happening. Take a watch of the short film in the sidebar: In a Land of Plenty. They told it to the incoming government then and the solution was, you guessed it, Rogernomics.

        Yawn. Labour, you yawn yawns. How can anyone see through your complex subterfuge. Yawn. “Labour’s fiscal credentials are, in fact, already well established.” For anyone with a memory, they sure are.

      • Rob 5.1.3

        But Wayne, if Enough is Enough actually goes about your advice, how will he fill in his day without constant moaning about everyone he won’t be voting for. I mean this event only comes around every three years , he has to make the most of it.

  6. Roy 6

    Labour revised their policies to make promises they can actually keep? And that is supposed to be bad, why?

    • Puckish Rogue 6.1

      Because even the Greens don’t believe Labours numbers and want them independently audited?

      • One Anonymous Bloke 6.1.1

        The good thing about numbers is that anyone can check them. If there were problems with Labour’s numbers, someone numerate would have told you about it by now.

        Or perhaps you’ll be the first to spot the mistake. Think of the accolades. Funny, all you’re able to do is smear instead. Feeble.

  7. Tom Gould 7

    Weird how the editorial big-wigs in our largest newspaper are surprised to find out that Labour are prudent and careful stewards of the public purse when they ran nine surpluses in a row and set up the Cullen fund with billions in it, and paid government debt down to zero. In stark contrast to the Key administration which gave away billions in tax cuts to the top end and borrowed $70 billion when export prices and volumes boomed, and have yet to actually run a surplus? Could it be that their ideological blinkers mean they can only see the world as “Tory good” and “Labour bad”? Looks like it.

  8. Valleyman 8

    The picture that accompanies this article is a blatant smear from national painting David Cunliffe as “Antichrist”

  9. Tracey 9

    Fran has written a condemnation of kim dotcom and money to buy elections.

    Can someone link me to an article she has written berating key and hoots and farrar and lusk and bhatnagar?

    http://m.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11313057

  10. Man in a Barrel 10

    As I live far from the madding crowd I’ve never seen a copy of the Herald so can’t judge it. Thanks to Rural Mail even our local paper is a least a day out of date when I get it, and I get Tuesday’s on Friday and Friday’s the following Tuesday.

    But from the years I lived and worked as a journalist in the UK I would say that most people are capable of recognising propaganda and bias when they see it, and of making allowances. Indeed propaganda is far more insidious when it is a lot less blatant than it appears to be from the pic of the Herald’s front page on the Home page’s link to this article.

    In UK the “Daily Mirror” was Labour to a fault, the “Telegraph” was known affectionately as the Torygraph (tho’ IMHO it had the best crossword). The “Observer”, at least in my day, did try to float above it all and not take a view which meant that it took all the colour and most of the flesh off its reporting leaving only the bare bones which made it a very difficult and dry if informative read. The “Sun” of course was only interested in matters of the flesh, preferrably female and unclothed while the “Times” occupied another planet altogether, somewhere to the right of Narnia.

    Personally I doubt a newspapers weigh much on reader’s political opinions. They might confirm them but I don’t think they lead them to any great extent and that, in part, is because people allow newspapers to have a political slant and allow for it. They even expect it. No regular Mirror reader is ever going to decide to vote Tory after wading through the Telegraph for whatever reason while no Torygraph reader was ever going to rush out and vote for Labour just because he picked up a copy of the Mirror by mistake – in fact I suspect a lot of the men in suits I saw alighting from their first-class carriages in London’s railway stations in the morning with the Times ostentatiously under their arms had a copy of the Mirror or Sun in their brief-cases for purusal in the privacy of their offices.

    Far more insidious to me is political slant on TV and radio news. This should be impartial and people expect it to be, and so often aren’t confident they have seen it when they suspect they have. I don’t think this is entirely the fault of the free-to-air TV and RadioNZ – I do believe they try to be impartial. To the extent that it happens I think it’s at the door of the individual personalities, their awareness, their professionalism and their competence.

    God knows it’s difficult. You can’t expect these people to be monk-like in their political views and wherever you stand on the political spectrum you tend to see it as the centre which can make it hard to know what makes for ‘balance’. Personally I don’t think the current crop are demonstrating the kind of competence I’d personally hope for, but it’s a big ask for a small country to throw up the kind of exceptional person who can do it. I’d credit most of them with at least trying – the exception being Hoskins who appears to be falling for the PR of his own greatness.

    What is unforgivable to me is for a journalist to pull his punches for fear of losing access but no TV1 or TV3 or RadioNZ journalist properly supported by management should fear that as a politician turning his back on them is cutting off an arm in the election race.

    By-and-large my default setting is to take all politicians with a pinch of salt – in the hope they’ll respond the way slugs do to a pinch of salt – and use newspapers for lighting the fire. I’ve also ditched TV current affairs as apart from John Campbell I’ve little time for any of the current presenters, and that makes me wary of Campbell too in case he’s just better than the others at disguising the slant.

    For the rest it’s just a matter of caveat emptor.

  11. infused 11

    “[Labour] is committed to running a tight economic ship and living within our means?”

    hahahahahaha

    • BLiP 11.1

      Blinglish wasn’t laughing, in fact he had to eat a dead rat . . .

      . . . Bill English had to swallow the proverbial dead rat this morning and effectively acknowledge that Michael Cullen had done something right in his stewardship of the Government’s finances in the past nine years . . .

      In fact, listen hear as Radio New Zealand’s Mediawatch explains how the DominionPost has done exactly what the New Zealand Fox News Herald has done today: sought to inject a false reality into the public discourse.

      • infused 11.1.1

        Yes, but that didn’t cover the 50% increase in core govt spending, or the big spend up at the end of 2008.

        • BLiP 11.1.1.1

          . . . Having condemned his predecessor for many years for paying off debt too quickly, English said: “I want to stress that New Zealand starts from a reasonable position in dealing with the uncertainty of our economic outlook.”

          “In New Zealand we have room to respond. This is the rainy day that Government has been saving up for,” he told reporters at the Treasury briefing on the state of the economy and forecasts . . .

          ^^^ December 18, 2008

          Hmmm . . . so, was Blinglish lying then or are you lying now?

        • framu 11.1.1.2

          “Yes, but that didn’t cover the 50% increase in core govt spending,”

          you mean that increase from a point where the nats had screwed things so badly that we barely had the resources to run an election? – is that the increase you mean?

    • dv 11.2

      Current debt clock infused

      86,034,881,581

      • infused 11.2.1

        So? How does that affect you?

        • dv 11.2.1.1

          Interest payments!!!
          How does it affect you?

          • infused 11.2.1.1.1

            It doesn’t. It kept a lot of people in work.

            • dv 11.2.1.1.1.1

              So
              Tax cut removed revenue and then we had to borrow to keep people in work.

            • Tracey 11.2.1.1.1.2

              so we should borrow 1 trillion then?

              • Nic the NZer

                infused is right. The government debt has no recognizable effect on people and the government spending this money pushes unemployment down.

                “Interest payments!!! How does it affect you?”

                This could be dealt with by stopping the treasury from borrowing, giving the treasury an open overdraft with with the reserve bank, and then having the reserve bank do all the selling of debt to the inter-bank market (the reserve bank issues reserve bank bills but would have to issue a lot more under this scenario). Do you think the reserve bank is going to be short an interest payment?

                Actually the current arrangements work pretty much the same way in any case. There is no problem getting interest out of an agent which issues the currency, which the NZ government does, it just issues the interest on top.

                The Labour party announces an end to neo-liberal management of the economy, and the progressive movement throws the unemployed under a bus! Not impressive.

                • Mike S

                  The NZ government doesn’t issue the currency, only the notes and coins which are only around 3 to 5% of the total NZD money supply.

                  • Nic the NZer

                    The Reserve bank issues (or lends) all forms of high powered money (which is the only form used in the interbank system). If you are paying tax its a payment of high powered money to IRD. If its payment from government its high powered money to a bank in the interbank system. But yes commercial banks issue new bank credit which is counted in the broader money supply.

        • disturbed 11.2.1.2

          Infused,
          You are unbelievable,

          If you had some credibility before you just lost everything..

          $86,034,881,581 Billion in crown debt, and you shrug it off as “SO”.

          Can you be serious?

          USA is chocking on a large debt and though it prints money still takes it serious.

          But your NATZ Government should also, but instead as you do, it shrugs our overleveraged debt in the same way as O/K or “SO”!!!!

          Your kids kids and our will be spending their lives struggling with the interest on this huge Debt.

          How can you accept that. “SO”.

          Nat’s have simply shrugged this off by claiming we have a slight surplus!!! Surplus of what??

          Under National.

          Borrowed $350 million a week to keep us afloat say Nat’s

          Result Crown debt ratio to GDP went from 6% in 2008.

          Debt .2014 Crown Debt ratio is now 26% in 2014.

          Is this now your answer. “SO”.

          • RedLogix 11.2.1.2.1

            You miss the point disturbed.

            National debt = So what.

            Labour debt = End of the world.

            Keep that in mind and the rest becomes explicable.

          • Nic the NZer 11.2.1.2.2

            “Your kids kids and our will be spending their lives struggling with the interest on this huge Debt.”

            The last time that the country decided to pay down debt was while Cullen was finance minister. Don’t remember the country struggling though in fact unemployment was at a recent low. Why would the economy be struggling with government debt?

            “Nat’s have simply shrugged this off by claiming we have a slight surplus!!! Surplus of what??”

            That’s more like it, its a surplus of NZ$ tax credits, why people are giving the government plaudits for collecting more tax credits than it gave out some year is beyond me. The Wellington cake tin collects more rugby tickets than they gave out over the week of a Super12 match there. Does this mean anything? No. The week before the match they gave out (sold) more than they collected, are they going to run out of Super 12 tickets? No (though they might run out of seats).

            A government budget deficit is private sector savings! Notice the economy has been short of savings for about 2 decades, and the government running countless ‘savings working groups’ to try to explain it? Why do you want to reduce private sector savings? Especially why now?

            • Mike S 11.2.1.2.2.1

              Because reducing private sector savings means the private sector is spending more which means the economy is boosted?

              • Nic the NZer

                Hard to tell if this is serious. Tell us about all the extra spending you are doing next time you see a pay cut.

  12. M. Ross 12

    In response to Michael’s post about Cunliffe’s promises to Dunedin, this area is in dire need, having seen so many of our jobs sent overseas. The railway car project, that should have been given to Dunedin, was given to China, who sent us railway cars laden with asbestos (poison.) Now the Nats are having (more jobs) China fix the problem. Also, the employment policy adopted for the filming of the Hobbit has marginalized the status of employment to the point that Polson & Higgs fired several employees, some of 25 years, to export the jobs to lower wage countries. These office employees were deemed contractual labor, even though they’d worked for the company for long periods of time. These are only examples of the greater problem we face in Dunedin. If David Cunliffe can adjust policy to make it beneficial for employers to keep jobs in NZ, that would be a step in the right direction. Reopening the railway contract would not only employ people, it would help the esteem of our down trodden community. Cunliffe is a smart cookie. I’m sure that he will figure out how to balance the budget so that the super rich start paying some tax, and the poor families get much needed help. I suggest eliminating GST on essential food items, to make fresh veges, milk products, and bread more affordable. The capital gains tax is a great idea! If you can afford more than one house, put some of that money into the coffers to help the poor. Presently the poor are paying for the rich to get “welfare.” Give Cunliffe a break, we know he’s willing to set things right. I think he’s smart not to show his hand until he has a full defense set up. The Nats don’t play nice.

  13. indiana 13

    Does this revised spending include potential coalition partner spending as well? After all the coalition partners are going to wing a fair chunk of the votes and the people that voted for them have an expectation that their policy promises will be delivered, otherwise that it may be a wasted vote.

  14. greywarbler 14

    No vote is a wasted vote in the wider context. Each vote placed indicates that here is another person who feels they have a stake in the country, an idea of what sort of country it should be, and that person is not giving up on this simple task because they are too lazy or ignorant to accept their place and opportunity to be a citizen. And all it takes is ticking some things, while bearing in mind the vote isn’t a magic wand to immediate personal satisfaction. It’s just another drop of oil facilitating smoother running of democracy.

  15. Sable 15

    Personally I think the Herald is a revolting little rag bur then show me a MSM paper or site that isn’t a Tory lovefest….

  16. halfcrown 16

    Personally I think the Herald is a revolting little rag

    As I have said on many occasion, don’t buy or read the Herald or any Far Fetch papers as we prefer to use good quality shithouse paper that comes in rolls.

  17. Nic the NZer 17

    This is awful, the Heralds (and Nationals) and apparently also Labour’s notion of fiscal responsibility is nonsense.

    Its the governments role in the economy to maintain sufficient spending to ensure full employment. With unemployment at 5.6% that is a lot more spending, either the government should spend more or collect less taxes until unemployment falls much closer to around 2% (or less).

    Unemployment is unlikely to fall until the government figures out that its idea of ‘fiscal responsibility’ is keeping the population unemployed. On the other hand since the NZ$ is a tax credit to the government (in NZ$), it can always maintain full employment if it wants to do so. The main trick of neo-liberalism seems to be that they have some how convinced people that the NZ government is some how going to run out of NZ$. Its shameful that the electorate allows itself to be duped like this for so long.

    • Puckish Rogue 17.1

      Being that unemployment is falling and has been under National I see no reason why it won’t fall just a little bit more, there’ll always be those that simply don’t want to work though

      • Nic the NZer 17.1.1

        Question: What causes unemployment to fall?
        Answer: An increase in spending (that’s GDP) which is distributed to more workers creating additional jobs (and income).

        Question: Where is the additional spending coming from (at present)?
        Answer: Government budget deficit, private sector credit growth (a.k.a housing bubble, and ChCh rebuild) and trade surplus.

        So, if the government goes from deficit to surplus where is the extra spending to grow GDP going to come from? Is it the presently shrinking trade surplus? Or do you intend for the housing bubble to accelerate further (the ChCh rebuild will gradually peter out).

        If you think anything like 5.6% of the work force simply don’t want to work you are clearly deluded.

        • DS 17.1.1.1

          The problem isn’t the existence of a deficit as such. The problem is that the deficit was created by National’s tax cuts for the wealthy: as far as economic stimulation goes, it’s incredibly weak.

      • Enough is Enough 17.1.2

        The economy has peaked in this cycle. It probably did around the start of this year.

        Unemployment will only run in one direction from here. Up, up and up

  18. Vaughan Little 18

    I’m a two tick, rusted on Labour voter (except for when I voted Maori Party in 05 because Labour was trampling on article 2 of the Treaty) but the figure of 80 billion, or any other figure for that matter, has no meaning without the proper context. in this case the context has two dimensions: the government’s ability to pay for the debt, and the return on investment that the borrowing will generate. it’s only a bad idea to borrow if the borrowing is value destroying.

    what’s delicious, though, is that the national party is doing something so contrary to their randian image – pursuing an effectively Keynesian set of policies. i.e., when business is down, keep the economy going by ramping up public spending. pretty damn leftist…

    • DS 18.1

      Reagan did much the same (ran massive deficits through the 1980s). Though Reagan, like Key, ran deficits by cutting taxes on the rich. And the rich tend to save more of their tax cuts than poor people do, so it’s less beneficial if you want to stimulate growth.

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    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
    4 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
    4 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
    4 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, ...
    4 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 ...
    4 days ago
  • Candidate Survey: Western Bay of Plenty – Local Body Elections 2019
    We surveyed candidates on their attitudes to issues facing the Western Bay Region, find out what they think: “Closing the Gap” Tauranga, one of the area groups of Income Equality Aotearoa NZ Inc., has surveyed all candidates in the three local body elections to discover attitudes to some basic issues ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    4 days ago
  • Project Nettie calls on scientists to defend biology
    Please spread widely, and sign, to support science and rationalism over the new irrationalism sweeping universities and institutions.  PROJECT NETTIE Sexual reproduction, the generation of offspring by fusion of genetic material from two different individuals, evolved over 1 billion years ago. It is the reproductive strategy of all higher animals ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    5 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
    5 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
    5 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
    5 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
    5 days ago
  • No one is born into the wrong body
    A short and incredibly powerful speech from a young lesbian woman. No one is born in the wrong body. ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    5 days ago
  • Contempt
    Back in June, the UK Court of Appeal ruled that that country's continued arms sales to Saudi Arabia were unlawful. So you'd expect that the UK government stopped approving them, right?Of course not:The government has apologised for breaching a court ruling against the sale of weapons to Saudi Arabia that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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 ...
    6 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
    6 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 ...
    6 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
    6 days ago
  • Climate Change: Trees, aviation, and offsets
    With crunch time for new Zealand climate policy approaching, most of the New Zealand media have got on board with a global reporting effort to cover the issue. There's one strand of stories today about polling and what it shows about changing public attitudes to the crisis, but the strand ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Pissing-Off The Israelis Is A High-Risk Strategy.
    Dangerous Foes: For those readers of Bowalley Road who feel disposed to dismiss any prospect of an Israeli destabilisation of New Zealand politics, the example of the United Kingdom repays close attention. Ever since the election of Jeremy Corbyn as leader of the British Labour Party, the Israelis have sanctioned, funded and ...
    7 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
    7 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
    7 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
    7 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
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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 ...
    2 weeks 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 ...
    2 weeks 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 ...
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks ago
  • An evidence-based discussion of the Canadian fluoride/IQ study
    Dr. Christopher Labos and Jonathan Jarry discuss the recent Canadian fluoride/IQ research. They provide an expert analysis of the paper and its problems. Click on image to go to podcast. The critical debate about the recent ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: Australia in denial
    Australia is burning down again, and meanwhile its natural disaster minister is denying climate change:Australia’s minister responsible for drought and natural disasters, David Littleproud, has said that he doesn’t “know if climate change is manmade”. Clarifying earlier comments that the question is “irrelevant” when considering the Coalition government’s response to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Philippines activist speaking on the Duterte tyranny
    Auckland Philippines Solidarity is excited to host Professor Judy Taguiwalo for a speaking tour of NZ in September. She is a well-known activist in the Philippines and was a political prisoner under the Marcos dictatorship. Professor Taguiwalo briefly served as a Cabinet member under President Duterte but was forced from ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Disgust
    I have no special insights to offer on the Labour sexual assault coverup. All I have is disgust. Disgust that an organisation could fail its people so badly. Disgust that they punished the victims rather than the perpetrator. Disgust that its party hacks are apparently blaming the victims for demanding ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Speak Up for Women calls out Greens’ censorship
    This open letter to the Green Party was penned after an opinion piece by Jill Abigail, a feminist and founding member of the party, was censored by the Greens’ leadership. (Redline has reprinted her article here).The intolerance of the Green Party leaders and their acceptance of the misogyny of gender ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Member’s Day: End of Life Choice, part 3
    Today is a Member's day, and David Seymour's End of Life Choice Bill continues its slow crawl through its committee stage. They're spending the whole day on it today, though the first hour is likely to be spent on voting left over from last time. After that they'll move on ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Flight to Los Angeles turned back after passengers decide they don’t want to go anymore
    An ambitious plan to fly to Los Angeles petered out into a brief sight-seeing trip and a desire to return home and get some sleep before work tomorrow. Air New Zealand has confirmed a flight to Los Angeles last night was turned back about a quarter of the way into ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Indigenous Futures: defuturing and futuring – an analytical framework for policy development?
    There appears to be consensus – by omission – that the concept of indigenous futures should be accepted at face value. So I scavenged the internet to see if I could locate an academic descriptor or a framework around how we think about it as a concept, and whether it ...
    EllipsisterBy Ellipsister
    2 weeks ago
  • Cadbury rumoured to be releasing the Pineapple Trump
    Here’s another novelty chocolate to shove in your gob, New Zealand Cadbury could be seeking to make itself great again with a rumoured new release: Pineapple Trumps, a spin on its classic chocolate-encased pineapple treat and do-it-yourself tooth remover. The global confectionery manufacturer and bumbling “before” character in an infomercial, ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • The coming resource war.
    During my time in the Pentagon I had the privilege of sitting down with military leaders and defence and security officials from a variety of Latin American nations. Sometimes I was present as a subordinate assistant to a senior US defence department official, sometimes as part of a delegation that ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    2 weeks ago
  • Māori Language Week with The Civilian
    Kia ora, Aotearoa. It’s that magical time of year. Te Wiki o te Reo Māori. In English, the week that frightens talk radio. As you probably know by now, all your favourite media outlets are participating, some more successfully than others. Stuff has changed its name to Puna for the ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Will Horizons act on climate change?
    Local body elections are coming up next month. And it looks like all Palmerston North candidates for Horizons (the Manawatu-Whanganui Regional Council) want to take action on climate change:Climate change is set to be a key issue in Palmerston North for the next three years if those wanting to get ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • BORA reform is stalled
    Eighteen months ago, the government promised to strengthen the Bill of Rights Act, by explicitly affirming the power of the courts to issue declarations of inconsistency and requiring Parliament to formally respond to them. So how's that going? I was curious, so I asked for all advice about the proposal. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Corbyn and Brexit
    As the Brexit saga staggers on, the focus is naturally enough on the Prime Minister and his attempts to achieve Brexit “do or die”. But the role played by the Leader of the Opposition is of almost equal interest and complexity. The first problem for Jeremy Corbyn is that he ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    2 weeks ago

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