Priorities

Written By: - Date published: 10:33 am, December 19th, 2011 - 24 comments
Categories: climate change, debt / deficit, Deep stuff - Tags:

Trillions have been plowed into bailing out banks, investors, and whole countries during the economic crisis. The cost easily exceeds total investment in tackling climate change. Is it, as George Monbiot argues, that elites just look out for themselves, or are humans just incapable of perceiving the danger of large, slowly-building problems?

Monbiot writes:

“capping climate change would cost around 1% of global GDP, while sitting back and letting it hit us would cost between 5 and 20%. One per cent of GDP is, at the moment, $630bn. By March 2009, Bloomberg has revealed, the US Federal Reserve had committed $7.77 trillion to the banks. That is just one government’s contribution: yet it amounts to 12 times the annual global climate change bill. Add the bailouts in other countries, and it rises several more times.
This support was issued on demand: as soon as the banks said they wanted help, they got it. On just one day the Federal Reserve made $1.2tr available – more than the world has committed to tackling climate change in 20 years……

Much of this was done both unconditionally and secretly: it took journalists two years to winkle out the detail. The banks shouted “help” and the government just opened its wallet. This all took place, remember, under George W Bush, whose administration claimed to be fiscally conservative.

But getting the US government to commit to any form of bailout for the planet – even a couple of billion – is like pulling teeth. “Unaffordable!” the Republicans (and many of the Democrats) shriek. It will wreck the economy! We’ll go back to living in caves!

I’m often struck by the wildly inflated rhetoric of those who accuse environmentalists of scaremongering. “If those scaremongers have their way they’ll destroy the entire economy” is the kind of claim uttered almost daily, without any apparent irony.

No legislator, as far as I know, has yet been able to explain why making $7.7tr available to the banks is affordable, while investing far smaller sums in new technologies and energy saving is not……..

………So why is it so easy to save the banks and so hard to save biosphere? If ever you needed evidence that our governments operate in the interests of the elite, rather than the world as a whole, here it is”

I wonder if there isn’t more parallel between the reactions to the two situations. Governments were actually warned through-out the 2000s that the house-booming/credit explosion was unsustainable but their short-term interest was in growth and happy voters. So, they let it slide until it all came tumbling down and even partial fixes have been enormously expensive. Is it the same with climate change? We could act now at relatively low cost. But we seem determined to ignore the problem until it becomes so big that facing it will be an all-consuming battle.

In many ways, we’re just hairless chimps – our minds just aren’t built to understand and rationally react to big, long-term issues. What we do understand is short-term fight or flight, and how to fight over who has power.

24 comments on “Priorities”

  1. queenstfarmer 1

    Governments were actually warned through-out the 2000s that the house-booming/credit explosion was unsustainable but their short-term interest was in growth and happy voters

    Well that certainly describes Labour during the “boom times” of the 2000s. Sadly some elements within Labour seem not to have learned too much from those events, and still criticise the Govt for not continuing Labour’s profligacy funded on short-term unsustainability.

    • Bored 1.1

      Governments were actually warned through-out the 2000s….. Where exactly QS does it say right wing OR left wing governments?

      Rather than attacking “Labours profligacy” which may or may not be true (who cares, it is irrelevant), you might answer the real charge: the current system does not, will not and is incapable of tackling climate change. All it does seem capable of (as Monbiot charges) is spending the cash on bail outs for banks and ignoring the danger.

      Is that the case, do you agree or disagree?

      • queenstfarmer 1.1.1

        Where exactly QS does it say right wing OR left wing governments?

        It refers to the housing bubble of the 2000s. NZ had a left wing government for most of that time (’99 through to late 2008, just after the bubble burst).

        you might answer the real charge: the current system does not, will not and is incapable of tackling climate change

        I would agree with that, largely because it is probably impossible to get any meaningful agreement on what “tackling” would involve. I would add some further questions such as: Should it? What will happen if it doesn’t? What are the alternatives? etc

    • fmacskasy 1.2

      You keep referring to Labour’s “profligacy” as if it were true…?

      Hard to reconcile that with the surpluses that Cullen kept making; the paying down of the massive debt incurred by National in the 1990s; whilst at the same time implementing targetted tax cuts through WFF.

      Even John Key referred to the benign state of the economy that National inherited from Labour, as the global banking crisis turned into a recession.

      • queenstfarmer 1.2.1

        The facts are that National inherited from Labour a country in recession, a crashed property and financing sector, and years of projected deficits. There was nothing very benign about the economy that National faced coming into office.

        • fmacskasy 1.2.1.1

          Not at all. Cullen was posting surpluses – the largest about $8 billion by the end of 2007. Check it out yourself;

          http://www.nzherald.co.nz/opinion/news/article.cfm?c_id=466&objectid=10471235

          In fact, Labour’s economic track record – according to Treasury, the IMF, OECD, Reserve Bank, et al, was quite remarkable, according to the data;

          https://fmacskasy.wordpress.com/2011/11/16/labour-the-economic-record-2000-2008/

          As for a crashed property market; even if true, property prices rise and fall like the proverbial tides. That’s part of your precious free market – the “invisible hand” working as you reckon it should. http://www.rbnz.govt.nz/speeches/0139558-1.jpg

          Since when are property prices supposed to be controlled from the Ninth Floor?

          That’s… marxism, isn’t it?! Communism!! Socialism even!!

          *tsk, tsk*

          Interesting… New Zealand is supposedly the SIXTH most open economy in the world – http://www.nzherald.co.nz/economy/news/article.cfm?c_id=34&objectid=10487077 – and you neo-liberals still aren’t satisfied! You still blame market falls on governments even when Friendmanite systems are operating!

          Of course, when the tables are reversed – it’s never the fault of Right Wing guvmints, eh? Remind us who was in power in the US when Wall Street practically collapsed in 2007/08?

          Ah yes… George W Bush.

          • queenstfarmer 1.2.1.1.1

            Cullen was posting surpluses – the largest about $8 billion by the end of 2007

            Yes, on the back of the housing and finance bubble. I’m sure that Bernie Madoff’s clients had record surpluses around the same time.

            But then came the pre-election PREFU, which showed the reality underlying the huge surpluses and “economic growth” of the preceding few years – in reality, it was a house of cards and the main “growth” being recorded was from runaway spending public sector spending.

            Since when are property prices supposed to be controlled from the Ninth Floor? That’s… marxism, isn’t it?! Communism!! Socialism even!!

            Oh yes they could have and should have done something. The fact is that Labour did *nothing* about the runaway property bubble for 9 years. Why? Because Cullen was too happy to reap the tax surpluses it artificially generated (and for which you are still strangely claiming as some sort of success).

            Compare that with the current Govt, who in its first 3 years:
            – Revised the tax rules – or tax rorts – to remove some key tax advantages of property
            – Overhauled the securities sector
            – Massively increased the IRD’s prosecution rate, with great results by the way
            – Removed Labour’s stupid misalignment of the personal income tax and the trust tax rate, which almost singlehandedly created an army of trust accountants and lawyers to exploit that loopholes for their wealthy clients

            And the punchline is that in the election, Labour suddenly decides that a CGT is a great idea – while in the same breath claiming it was so successful at running the economy because of … (ahem) the surpluses it generated off the back of those illusory capital gains. Not to mention the fact that the capital gains horse has largely bolted for at least 10 years.

            Of course, when the tables are reversed – it’s never the fault of Right Wing guvmints, eh?
            No – it surely is their fault. The great thing about being an independent is that you are not committed to defending any particular side. You can call it as you see it, not as you are required to see it.

            • Draco T Bastard 1.2.1.1.1.1

              Overhauled the securities sector

              IIRC, the previous government were looking at it when the shit hit the fan and then the election happened. Again, it was the way it was due to the no regulation BS of the free-market.

              Massively increased the IRD’s prosecution rate…

              The government can’t actually do that and, as such cases can take years to be put together and gotten through the courts, the prosecutions probably had nothing to do with this government. In fact, as this government has cut IRD personnel I think we can look forward to less cases and prosecutions in the near future.

              Removed Labour’s stupid misalignment of the personal income tax and the trust tax rate…

              The misalignment is more due to the vagaries of laws that are designed to benefit the rich. This is proved by this government “alignment” being a massive tax cut for the rich and tax increases (GST) for everyone else. In other words, they rewarded the thieves for being thieves rather than holding them to account.

              • queenstfarmer

                IIRC, the previous government were looking at it when the shit hit the fan

                “Looking at it”? I’m sure they were. What they weren’t doing was doing something about it. In stark contrast, Simon Power was a powerhouse on this.

                The government can’t actually do that…I think we can look forward to less cases and prosecutions in the near future.

                Oh really?

                Leap in cases as IRD boosts war on tax evasion
                The taxman has hammered fraudsters and dodgers this year – with the number of successful prosecutions already eclipsing last year’s count.

                And plenty more coming down the tracks. Again, Labour was quite happy to turn a relatively blind eye as long as the money kept rolling in to fund its massive spending habit.

                The misalignment is more due to the vagaries of laws that are designed to benefit the rich

                What nonsense. You do realise that the misalignment was created by Labour? They set up the trust rate to be lower than the personal rate – a move that would only benefit those with trusts (mainly well-to-do sorts). Why was that? And then they stood back as NZ became the “trust capital of the world”. Again, why?

        • lprent 1.2.1.2

          And almost all of that happened between the budget at the start of the year, and the PREFU before the election. However there was also virtually no government debt.

          So with all of that sitting in prospect, any prudent government would have realized that there was a going to be rising unemployment and reduced revenues. So why did the Key government not only push through expensive modified tax cuts, but also announced further tax cuts that they had to later cancel?

          So now we have rapidly rising government debt because of an enormous hole between expenditure and revenue, largely from a reduced tax take and increased welfare. We also have a government that is restricted on cutting the major costs in benefits because that is likely to cause a recessionary spiral. They are kind of jammed because of their tax cuts. Eventually they will have to reverse them.

          • RedLogix 1.2.1.2.1

            So why did the Key government not only push through expensive modified tax cuts, but also announced further tax cuts that they had to later cancel?

            Just in case no-one else has mentioned it … apparently tax cuts are no longer a priority.

            But missing will be plans for wide-scale tax cuts – after placing tax cuts at the forefront of his new Government’s plans three years ago, and implementing some tax cuts during National’s first term, Mr Key said further reductions were no longer affordable.

            Nor apparently was the public sector all that ‘bloated’ either:

            In 2000, just after Labour got into office, there were about 28,000 state employees and that number peaked at 45,000.

            Under National it had only dropped back to 44,000, despite several billion dollars in savings made across the board.

            Funny how the real work of having to run government tends to tone down the rhetoric and ideology a bit.

  2. Uturn 2

    We are hairless chimps when we choose self interest and reactive fear based thinking over the hard effort of conscious decisions.

    First lets get something straight. There are the “elite” who are sitting at the top of an economic system. They are amassing rather than climbing and aspiring. They are concerned with maintaining that system. You could call them emperors, empire builders or empirialists.

    Then there are aspiring people in the upper middle class down. They are climbing and the thing that links them strongly to the empirialism of the elite is they want to be elite in some way. They are a larger group than the elites, and have greater potential (sadly, usually destructive) power.

    The problem is not that people genrally can’t think ahead, emperialism proves we do – if in a destructive way – it’s that we struggle to think ahead constructively; for fear, for comfort, for lack of imagination, for ignorance. Lots of ideas sound fantastically good, as a way of life for everyone, before you start to inspect their basis.

    Chimps, and some other creatures of limited offspring, possess the intellect to consider evolutionary altruism: they do what’s best for the herd, to sustain the herd. How they sustain the herd is not important. Their animal brains cannot go that far. Rape, murder, bullying, barbaric punishments – from a human perspective – are all valid ways of supporting and ensuring the continuation of the herd. It is also true that a certain style of charity, child support, welfare and environmenntal restraint exists. But these things are not moral choices, they are similar to a utilitarian outlook – one of the herd is only worth something in it’s potential ability to improve the chances of the herd’s survival.

    Some humans think this is the only option we have, too. But clearly we don’t, our brains can form concepts, question established patterns and experiment freely. The so-called elite do not control the power of the larger group of aspirant people. All they need do is utter a few slogans of growth and the people snap to attention – because the people want to believe the fairytale. They provide the energy to the ideas, not the elites. The elites are just using them to build empires. It’s been going on so long, if the elites said the game was over, that there is no more growth, the aspirant people still wouldn’t believe it and would push the elite aside to build their own elite. Like the chimps, they’ll do whatever is necessary to keep the herd alive. But unlike the chimps, they cannot truthfully say there was no choice and the chimps, lacking the firepower, can only wipe their own species out.

    When Joe Average places his parents legacy with an investment firm, he may think he is Joe Average, digging holes for a living, but he has becomes Aspirant Joe. He sustains a corrupted system and justifies it any way he needs to, for the good of the herd. The money he was given was gained by sustaining the same corrupted system, over a lifetime. Until Aspirant Joe figures that out that the problems he wants to fix – like Global Warming or poverty – are sustained by acts of industrialisation – like investing with big business – he’s part of the destructive cycle. Aspirant Joe, when he places his money, doesn’t think how it comes back as more. He just takes the cash and thinks he was prudent. But his whole existence is based on destructive acts, regardless of the peaceful nature of his life. Aspirant Joe needs to learn to think ahead constructively, if he wants his herd to remain in his little corner of the forest, called the “bio-sphere”.

    • Brett 2.1

      Ain’t never going to happen.
      You try to take that away from Aspirant Joe and he will tear you a new one and fair enough too.

      • Bored 2.1.1

        You are right Brett, but he wont tear hard when he is starving, wondering where the dole went and at the inability to get a doctor for his dying child. Aspiring till the moment he expires. Sad commentary really on the human condition.

        • Colonial Viper 2.1.1.1

          Aspirant “Top 10%” Joe is going to learn the true realities of capitalist life as the top 0.1% in society steals everything he has.

  3. vto 3

    “So why is it so easy to save the banks and so hard to save biosphere? ”

    Because if the banks fail then the current politicians in power will get thrown out of office, and if the biosphere fails no current politicians in power will get thrown out of office.

    Simple.

  4. In Vino Veritas 4

    “So why is it so easy to save the banks and so hard to save biosphere? ”

    Because the science the climate change proponents would have us rely on may not be reliable. Theres and old saying “if it ain’t broke, why fix it?”

    I would also point out that of the vast sum’s provided by the Federal Reserve to banks, large sums have been paid back already, with interest. So perhaps Monbiot should look at updated figures that show exposure, not gross amounts lent.

    • Macro 4.1

      “Because the science the climate change proponents would have us rely on may not be reliable”
      So you consider that quantum physics is a load of old crock?? You have an alternative physics – could be worth a Noble Prize.
      And as for the Climate Science projections – at what point after 95% certainty would you consider the conclusions “reliable”.
      You should also bear in mind that in the 5 years since the last IPCC report in 2007 the science is even certain, and the projections of that report are proving to be highly conservative. The most recent observations and data sets are showing the Earth to be heating far more rapidly than even considered in 2007.

    • vto 4.2

      “I would also point out that of the vast sum’s provided by the Federal Reserve to banks, large sums have been paid back already, with interest”

      This is supposed to be relevant how? The vast sums are just electronic money printed at the time under the guise of the world’s biggest ponzi scheme. In addition, how would you know it has been repaid? And with what? Do you trust this giant scamming cartel? You sound suckered in.

    • fmacskasy 4.3

      Is NASA part of the “unreliable science”? Are their satellites beaming back “unreliable data”?

      Perhaps plate tectonics and continental drift is “unreliable science” as well…?

      And may e doesn’t equal mc2!

    • McFlock 4.4

      So economic predictions (i.e. if you don’t bail out the banks a collapse many times worse will happe) are more reliable than climate predictions? Got any evidence to support that?
        
      thought not.

  5. hoom 5

    Rapa Nui was our test environment, we’re eagerly replicating the response to signs of problems & heading to the same outcome on the global scale.

  6. David H 6

    Maybe if we are lucky, the whole rotten stinking mess will crash and burn, and the lazy bankers will have to scrabble to feed themselves, then see what their millions are worth.

    • Colonial Viper 6.1

      Uh, in terms of “crashing and burning” that’s been in progress for the last 4 years…and the next four are going to be the decidedly rough ones.

Links to post

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • 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 ...
    8 hours 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
    15 hours 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
    16 hours 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
    16 hours 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
    18 hours 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
    20 hours 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
    22 hours 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
    2 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
    2 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
    2 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
    2 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 ...
    2 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
    2 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 ...
    2 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
    2 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
    3 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 ...
    3 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
    3 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
    3 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
    3 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
    3 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 ...
    4 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
    4 days ago
  • Parliament and the Executive
    The Brexit issue has certainly brought with it a series of apparently difficult constitutional issues, many of them concerning the respective roles of the executive and parliament. Most of them arise because of the unwillingness of MPs, despite their professions to the contrary, to be bound by a constitutional rarity ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    5 days ago
  • The Abigail Article; Martyn Bradbury’s Article, and My Response
    . . This blogpost is different to my usual format of reporting on issues… Since July 1011, I have blogged on a variety of political issues; near always political and/or environmental; mostly highly critical of the previous National Government. Other issues included Israeli occupation of Palestinian lands and repression of ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    5 days ago
  • Police will have to wear silly Buckingham Palace hats from now on, says Police Minister
    Those close to the Police Minister believe the initiative may be the result of Nash “seeing a great deal” on AliExpress. In a move that comes seemingly out of nowhere, Police Minister Stuart Nash announced this afternoon that he expects all frontline staff to don bearskin hats, famously worn by ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    5 days ago
  • A sensible crackdown
    The government has released its Arms Legislation Bill, containing the second tranche of changes to gun laws following the March 15 massacre. And it all looks quite sensible: a national gun register, higher penalties for illegal possession and dealing, tighter restrictions on arms dealers and shooting clubs, and a shorter ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • California bans private prisons
    Private prisons are a stain on humanity. Prison operators explicitly profit from human misery, then lobby for longer prisons terms so they can keep on profiting. And in the US, prison companies run not only local and state prisons, but also Donald Trump's immigration concentration camps. Faced with this moral ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Why PPPs are a bad idea
    When National was in power, they were very keen on Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) - basicly, using private companies to finance public infrastructure as a way of hiding debt from the public. They were keen on using them for everything - roads, schools, hospitals. But as the UK shows, that "service" ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • A Movement That No Longer Moves.
    Moving And Shaking: There was a time when people spoke matter-of-factly about the “labour movement” – a political phenomenon understood to embrace much more than the Labour Party. Included within the term’s definition was the whole trade union movement – many of whose members looked upon the Labour Party as ...
    6 days 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
    6 days ago
  • The obvious question
    The media is reporting that the (alleged) Labour party sexual assaulter has resigned from their job at Parliament, which means hopefully he won't be turning up there making people feel unsafe in future. Good. But as with everything about this scandal, it just raises other questions. Most significantly: why the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • The moment I found out that you found out, I acted swiftly
    By Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern I am every bit as angry as you are. I am every bit as disappointed as you must be. The people with power, oversight and the ability to do something about these processes within the Labour Party should be ashamed. Whoever those people are, I ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    7 days ago
  • This is why people hate property developers
    Property developers think there is an "oversupply" of houses in Auckland:High turnover rates and falling prices may be a sign that there are too many new houses going in to some parts of Auckland, commentators say. [...] Property developer David Whitburn said there was a "bit of an oversupply" in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Australia to Pacific: “Fuck you, you can all drown”
    World leaders are meeting in New York in two weeks for the 2019 Climate Action Summit, where they are expected to announce new and more ambitious targets to stop the world from burning. But the Australian Prime Minister won't be there, despite being in the USA at the time:Scott Morrison ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Implausible ignorance
    Labour Party president Nigel Haworth resigned yesterday over the party's sexual assault scandal. But while that's good news, its unlikely to take away the stench of a coverup. Because according to Paula Bennett in Parliament yesterday, pretty much everyone in the Prime Minister's office was involved as well:I have been ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Labour’s Fatal Flaw.
     Two-Faced? Labour insiders' commitment to the neoliberal status quo puts them at odds with their party’s membership; its trade union affiliates; and a majority of Labour voters, but this only serves to strengthen the perception they have of themselves as a special elite. Among the lesser breeds, they’ll talk up a ...
    7 days ago
  • Ten reasons the Tories do NOT want an election
    There has been a lot of talk about Boris Johnson wanting an election, and he has blustered with great gusto about 'chicken' Jeremy Corbyn refusing one, but I think there are many reasons why he is secretly glad he has been refused the opportunity:The Tories are an utter rabble,tearing themselves ...
    1 week ago
  • Prorogation Illegal, rule Scottish judges
    Scottish appeal court judges have declared that Boris Johnson’s decision to suspend parliament in the run-up to the October Brexit deadline is unlawful. The three judges, chaired by Lord Carloway, Scotland’s most senior judge, overturned an earlier ruling that the courts did not have the powers to interfere in the prime ...
    1 week ago
  • Let me explain what I meant by Everyday New Zealanders
    By Simon Bridges. The following is a press release from the office of Simon Bridges, leader of The National Party. Key ora, New Zealand. Happy Maori Language Week. Look, I’m writing to you today because I want to clear something up. There’s been a lot of kerfuffle around some things ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Yes, the SIS is subject to the Public Records Act
    I understand there's some stuff going round about how the SIS "was removed from the list of public offices covered by the Public Records Act in 2017". The context of course being their records derived from US torture, which will be disposed of or sealed. The good news is that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • An evidence-based discussion of the Canadian fluoride/IQ study
    Dr. Christopher Labos and Jonathan Jarry discuss the recent Canadian fluoride/IQ research. They provide an expert analysis of the paper and its problems. Click on image to go to podcast. The critical debate about the recent ...
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Australia in denial
    Australia is burning down again, and meanwhile its natural disaster minister is denying climate change:Australia’s minister responsible for drought and natural disasters, David Littleproud, has said that he doesn’t “know if climate change is manmade”. Clarifying earlier comments that the question is “irrelevant” when considering the Coalition government’s response to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Philippines activist speaking on the Duterte tyranny
    Auckland Philippines Solidarity is excited to host Professor Judy Taguiwalo for a speaking tour of NZ in September. She is a well-known activist in the Philippines and was a political prisoner under the Marcos dictatorship. Professor Taguiwalo briefly served as a Cabinet member under President Duterte but was forced from ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Disgust
    I have no special insights to offer on the Labour sexual assault coverup. All I have is disgust. Disgust that an organisation could fail its people so badly. Disgust that they punished the victims rather than the perpetrator. Disgust that its party hacks are apparently blaming the victims for demanding ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Speak Up for Women calls out Greens’ censorship
    This open letter to the Green Party was penned after an opinion piece by Jill Abigail, a feminist and founding member of the party, was censored by the Greens’ leadership. (Redline has reprinted her article here).The intolerance of the Green Party leaders and their acceptance of the misogyny of gender ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Member’s Day: End of Life Choice, part 3
    Today is a Member's day, and David Seymour's End of Life Choice Bill continues its slow crawl through its committee stage. They're spending the whole day on it today, though the first hour is likely to be spent on voting left over from last time. After that they'll move on ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Flight to Los Angeles turned back after passengers decide they don’t want to go anymore
    An ambitious plan to fly to Los Angeles petered out into a brief sight-seeing trip and a desire to return home and get some sleep before work tomorrow. Air New Zealand has confirmed a flight to Los Angeles last night was turned back about a quarter of the way into ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Indigenous Futures: defuturing and futuring – an analytical framework for policy development?
    There appears to be consensus – by omission – that the concept of indigenous futures should be accepted at face value. So I scavenged the internet to see if I could locate an academic descriptor or a framework around how we think about it as a concept, and whether it ...
    EllipsisterBy Ellipsister
    1 week ago
  • Cadbury rumoured to be releasing the Pineapple Trump
    Here’s another novelty chocolate to shove in your gob, New Zealand Cadbury could be seeking to make itself great again with a rumoured new release: Pineapple Trumps, a spin on its classic chocolate-encased pineapple treat and do-it-yourself tooth remover. The global confectionery manufacturer and bumbling “before” character in an infomercial, ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • The coming resource war.
    During my time in the Pentagon I had the privilege of sitting down with military leaders and defence and security officials from a variety of Latin American nations. Sometimes I was present as a subordinate assistant to a senior US defence department official, sometimes as part of a delegation that ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Māori Language Week with The Civilian
    Kia ora, Aotearoa. It’s that magical time of year. Te Wiki o te Reo Māori. In English, the week that frightens talk radio. As you probably know by now, all your favourite media outlets are participating, some more successfully than others. Stuff has changed its name to Puna for the ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Will Horizons act on climate change?
    Local body elections are coming up next month. And it looks like all Palmerston North candidates for Horizons (the Manawatu-Whanganui Regional Council) want to take action on climate change:Climate change is set to be a key issue in Palmerston North for the next three years if those wanting to get ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • BORA reform is stalled
    Eighteen months ago, the government promised to strengthen the Bill of Rights Act, by explicitly affirming the power of the courts to issue declarations of inconsistency and requiring Parliament to formally respond to them. So how's that going? I was curious, so I asked for all advice about the proposal. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Corbyn and Brexit
    As the Brexit saga staggers on, the focus is naturally enough on the Prime Minister and his attempts to achieve Brexit “do or die”. But the role played by the Leader of the Opposition is of almost equal interest and complexity. The first problem for Jeremy Corbyn is that he ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • A ditch for him to die in
    Last week, English Prime Minister Boris Johnson boldly declared that he would rather die be dead in a ditch than delay Brexit. Unfortunately for him, the UK parliament accepted the challenge, and promptly dug one for him. The "rebellion bill" requires him to ask for and secure yet another temporary ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Warning! Warning! Danger Jacinda Ardern! Danger Marama Davidson! Warning!
    Lost In Political Space: The most important takeaway from this latest Labour sexual assault scandal, which (if I may paraphrase Nixon’s White House counsel’s, John Dean’s, infamous description of Watergate) is “growing like a cancer” on the premiership, is the Labour Party organisation’s extraordinary professional paralysis in the face of ...
    1 week ago
  • Union solidarity with Ihumatao land occupation
    by Daphna Whitmore Every Sunday for the past two months unionists from First Union, with supporters from other unions, have set out to the Ihumatao land protest, put up gazebos and gas barbeques, and cooked food for a few hundred locals and supporters who have come from across the country. ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: The wrong kind of trees?
    Newsroom today has an excellent, in-depth article on pine trees as carbon sinks. The TL;DR is that pine is really good at soaking up carbon, but people prefer far-less efficient native forests instead. Which is understandable, but there's two problems: firstly, we've pissed about so long on this problem that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • No freedom of speech in Turkey
    Canan Kaftancioglu is a Turkish politician and member of the opposition Republican People's Party (CHP). Like most modern politicians, she tweets, and uses the platform to criticise the Turkish government. She has criticised them over the death of a 14-year-old boy who was hit by a tear gas grenade during ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Speaker: Tadhg Stopford: Why I’m standing for the ADHB
    Hi there, just call me Tim.We face tough problems, and I’d like to help, because there are solutions.An Auckand District Health Board member has nominated me for as a candidate for the ADHB, because her MS-related pain and fatigue is reduced with hemp products from Rotorua.  Nothing else helped her. If I ...
    1 week ago
  • Good little vassals
    The Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security has published their report on whether the SIS and GCSB had any complicity in American torture. And its damning. The pull quote is this:The Inquiry found both agencies, but to a much greater degree, the NZSIS, received many intelligence reports obtained from detainees who, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Who Shall We Turn To When God, And Uncle Sam, Cease To Defend New Zealand?
    Bewhiskered Cassandra? Professor Hugh White’s chilling suggestion, advanced to select collections of academic, military and diplomatic Kiwi experts over the course of the past week, is that the assumptions upon which Australia and New Zealand have built their foreign affairs and defence policies for practically their entire histories – are ...
    1 week ago
  • The Politics of Opposition
    For most of the time I was a British MP, my party was out of government – these were the Thatcher years, when it was hard for anyone else to get a look-in. As a front-bencher and shadow minister, I became familiar with the strategies required in a parliamentary democracy ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • More expert comments on the Canadian fluoride-IQ paper
    The Green et al (2019) fluoride/IQ is certainly controversial – as would be expected from its subject (see If at first you don’t succeed . . . statistical manipulation might help and Politics of science – making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear). Anti-fluoride campaigners have been actively promoting it ...
    1 week ago
  • The return to guerrilla war in Colombia
    by Gearóid Ó Loingsigh On August 29th a video in which veteran FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia) commander Iván Márquez announced that they had taken up arms again was released. There was no delay in the reaction to it, from longtime Liberal Party figure and former president Uribe, for ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Air New Zealand identifies this enormous plot of unused land as possible second airport site
    Air New Zealand couldn’t believe its luck that this seemingly ideal piece of real estate had so far gone entirely unnoticed. Air New Zealand’s search for a site to build a second Auckland Airport may have made a breakthrough this afternoon, after employees scanning Google satellite imagery spotted a huge, ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Redline on the Labour Party
    No-one on the anti-capitalist left in this country today puts forward a case that Labour is on the side of the working class.  There are certainly people who call themselves ‘socialist’ who do, but they are essentially liberals with vested interests in Labourism – often for career reasons. Nevertheless, there ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • New Fisk
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour’s failure
    When National was in government and fucking over the poor for the benefit of the rich, foodbanks were a growth industry. And now Labour is in charge, nothing has changed: A huge demand for emergency food parcels means the Auckland City Mission is struggling to prepare for the impending arrival ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Ardern attempts to vaccinate Clarke Gayford live on television to prove that it’s safe
    Gayford, pictured here on The Project, before things got wildly out of control. A bold public relations move by the Government to encourage parents to vaccinate their children has gone horribly wrong. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern appeared on tonight’s episode of Three’s The Project, where the plan was for her ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Has Mr. Whippy gone too far by parking on our front lawns?
    Mr. Whippy’s business model has driven it down a dark road of intimidation. Residents in major centres around the country are becoming disgruntled by the increasingly aggressive actions of purported ice cream company Mr. Whippy, who have taken to parking on people’s front lawns and doorsteps in a desperate attempt ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Cleaning up the water
    Today the government released its Action Plan for Healthy Waterways, aimed at cleaning up our lakes and rivers. Its actually quite good. There will be protection for wetlands, better standards for swimming spots, a requirement for continuous improvement, and better standards for wastewater and stormwater. But most importantly, there's a ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Fronting up
    Today I appeared before the Environment Committee to give an oral submission on the Zero Carbon Bill. Over 1,500 people have asked to appear in person, so they've divided into subcommittees and are off touring the country, giving people a five minute slot each. The other submitters were a mixed ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Politics of science – making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear
    Anti-fluoride activists have some wealthy backers – they are erecting billboards misrepresenting the Canadian study on many New Zealand cities – and local authorities are ordering their removal because of their scaremongering. Many New Zealanders ...
    2 weeks ago

No feed items found.