Questions

Written By: - Date published: 12:16 pm, August 24th, 2014 - 38 comments
Categories: accountability, democracy under attack, elections - Tags: ,

Would it not be a hallmark of a dictatorship if a government twisted systems of governance to discredit political opposition while simultaneously bending the very same systems in a different direction to protect its own?

Would it not the hallmark of a dictatorship if TV, radio and newspapers uncritically, routinely and increasingly, turned to a single, controlled source of information for their headlines, and ran stories that merely echoed or amplified the spin of that single source?

Would it not the hallmark of a dictatorship if individuals within a government could develop and run their own systems of patronage and revenge with apparent impunity?

And would it not be incumbent upon any population, no matter how mis-informed or ill-informed, to use, say a ballot box if one was available, to still-birth any such emerging trend before it became a normalised and entrenched feature of their country’s political landscape?

38 comments on “Questions”

  1. Olwyn 1

    Bill, I agree that the things you list are all hallmarks of dictatorship, but fear that many people will not heed the warning bell. New Zealand is a young country that has not endured sustained, destructive tyranny. Quite a few people tend to think that whatever suits them is democratic enough, and that political constraints only serve to protect the losers while inconveniencing the winners, with themselves of course counting among the winners. So, while I would like to think that your final question would be met with a resounding “yes” I am not holding my breath.

    • cogito 1.1

      “New Zealand is a young country that has not endured sustained, destructive tyranny”.

      Ironically, the Austrian mother of our current PM escaped from just such a tyranny…. and yet her son seems to be engaged in behaviours that lead to exactly that end.

      Interestingly, we also read today that our current PM is highly superstitious… just like a certain tyrant Adolf. http://www.nzherald.co.nz/election-2014/news/article.cfm?c_id=1503581&objectid=11313430

      How long before we find out that he consults soothsayers and mediums?

    • Daveosaurus 1.2

      New Zealand is a young country that has not endured sustained, destructive tyranny.

      The Tūhoe may wish to disagree with you on that point.

    • greywarbler 1.3

      @ Olwyn 1.30
      I think you have summed up the prevailing approach well. Thinking in those terms is an explanation for the odd complaisance as NZ slowly sinks in a pool of mud.

  2. Colonial Viper 2

    It’s a controlled democracy.

    I’m also familiar with Sheldon Wolin’s concept of “inverted totalitarianism” – a form of dictatorship where there isn’t the usual ‘strong man’ figure at the top (a Saddam Hussein, Noriega or Marcos) – but a relatively faceless elite corporate class of the 0.1% making decisions to benefit themselves.

    • I would differ. I would class it as “popular authoritarianism” in which the ruling elite and it’s hangers on retain power by co-opting a sufficient fraction of the population within the “us” faction so as to remove effective civil rights from the “them” faction. This is done by a mix of aspirational politics, appeal to greed and denigration of those who don’t “make the grade”. It’s a replacement of liberal democracy by simple majoritarianism.

      Hence, the ruling party and its agents are allowed to act with relative impunity as long as what they do doesn’t impact on others within the faction (the true elites have absolute impunity). Everyone else has civil rights that aren’t worth the paper they are printed on. That’s why the dirty politics thing won’t be as effective as it should be: there will be many who see National’s perfidy as a legitimate means of keeping the “wrong” people out of political power.

      It’s worse in the US. The ruling elite there act with absolute impunity and the disenfranchised are punished even when they don’t do anything (as Ferguson has demonstrated).

      Once more, if you really want to know what the right are up to, just look at what they are accusing others of doing. The right are the most accurate self-deceived, self-diagnosers in existence.

      • Colonial Viper 2.1.1

        I agree with everything you say, and as such don’t believe that we are poles apart.

        Once more, if you really want to know what the right are up to, just look at what they are accusing others of doing.

        Absolutely spot on – from the politics of envy to attacking people as “bludgers”

      • greywarbler 2.1.2

        @ Tom Jackson
        Thinking of the USA and their economic and political direction and how this has affected the people, and vice versa here is a piece I saved from some time back. The way that the economy works for all or a few is probably the biggest lever for those wanting to usurp power. The summary of the trend in the USA fits us well too I think.

        it’s obvious that the nonstop economic expansion that lasted from the end of World War II to the Arab oil embargo of 1973 was a historical fluke, made possible by the fact that the United States was the only country to emerge from that war with its industrial capacity intact. Unfortunately, the middle class – especially the blue-collar middle class – is also starting to look like a fluke, an interlude between Gilded Ages that more closely reflect the way most societies structure themselves economically.
        For the majority of human history – and in the majority of countries today – there have been only two classes: aristocracy and peasantry. It’s an order in which the many toil for subsistence wages to provide luxuries for the few.

        http://www.salon.com/2013/09/20/rip_the_middle_class_1946_2013/

        This economic summary seems to indicate that we will not be able to recapture the democratic practices and advantages that we had and need to bear the changed economics in mind when trying to fashion a political path forward.

        • Tom Jackson 2.1.2.1

          I’m not sure I buy that particular version of the argument. Other countries that were devastated by the war managed to sustain relatively egalitarian societies. However, Piketty’s work has given other reasons why the author of that article’s conclusion may be correct.

          For yet another alternative view, this is a good article (apologies, as I have linked to it previously).

          http://www.thebaffler.com/salvos/a-practical-utopians-guide-to-the-coming-collapse

          My own (not exactly precise) view is somewhat different from all of these. It’s that we had been moving for a very long time from societies where questions of distribution were solved by the exercise of political and economic power (i.e. whoever could bend things their way did so) to societies where the proper answer to those questions was thought to be evidence based – to be decided on the evidence rather than by personal interest and power. Communism and postwar social democracy were simply different ways of doing that.

          It’s pretty obvious who stood to lose out, and by 1970 they were obviously crapping themselves, so they took their opportunity to seize control and try to reverse the changes. Part of the project is to denigrate the idea of knowledge, so it’s no surprise that the postmodern society we live in is one where relativism and scepticism are lionised and promoted. That’s one of the reasons it is so hard to get any traction on climate change in a society where vaccination loonies get plenty of airtime.

          • greywarbler 2.1.2.1.1

            @Tom Jackson
            Interesting stuff thanks for the link. I’ve yet to partake – going to get a sandwich and multitask.

            • greywarbler 2.1.2.1.1.1

              @ TomJackson
              What an easy read and well explained argument by David Graeber. A way forward out of ‘bafflement’. And I like someone who can use irony. He sees as an unwritten policy that no alternative ideas or protests should ever be able to seem successful, and so threaten the hegemony of the present neo liberalism. And so anyone voicing a possible alternative faces the demand to prove that it is better. On the sharp questioning those who don’t accept TINA receive , he comments –

              Normally, when you challenge the conventional wisdom—that the current economic and political system is the only possible one—the first reaction you are likely to get is a demand for a detailed architectural blueprint of how an alternative system would work, down to the nature of its financial instruments, energy supplies, and policies of sewer maintenance.

              And I’ll just throw in as an aside a great costume drama around the battle between establishment and enlightenment in Denmark. Graeber refers to the spread of revolutions around the world as ripples of ideas which are ongoing and unstoppable because although the authorities may try and dumb down ideas and imagination he considers this is impossible. (I hope.)
              http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1276419/
              A Royal Affair In 1767, the British Princess Caroline is betrothed to the mad King Christian VII of Denmark,

              Just a thought. The Santa Fe Institute was I thought, set up to bring multi disciplinary approach to various problems. I don’t know whether their intellectual span is stretched as far as questioning neo liberalism et al but if they did, interesting ideas would come from there too.
              edited

  3. Rich 3

    Love the what do you think of the other guy from Cunliffe;

    “A smiling performer dedicated to his political craft.”

  4. crocodill 4

    “New Zealand is a young country that has not endured sustained, destructive tyranny”.

    Only if you don’t count what Pakeha led governments/systems have done/still do when they come across anything Maori.

    One of the incorrect presumptions of hardship is that it breeds good sense/intelligence/character/moral behaviour etc etc. Nothing is guaranteed or straightforward. I’m gonna go way out on limb and say, hey, you know if Pakeha weren’t so violently snatchy about who had final political say a certain while ago, maybe our systems would’ve been improved by the addition of Maori power/perspective and not so ruined now. Of course, that’s not really a nice thing to say, since it would be yet another form of appropriating something for colonial good at indigenous costs, but it might’ve worked out marginally better. Ah if only, if only… if only we weren’t such greedy selfish swine boo hoo hoo hoo.

    Olwyn is right, pretty much the common view now is that what is good for maintaining the position of the man who has power is also regarded as the definition of democracy and justice. Colonialism is in our blood and still alive, there’s nothing “post” about it.

    • Olwyn 4.1

      Hi Crocodil: I did actually think about what has been done to Maori, as well as other groups that have lacked or lack whatever is needed to bring the powerful to heel. But I said what I did because NZ has not experienced that kind of complete social and political breakdown that tyrannies bring about, that effects almost everyone, including many of the toffs and would-be toffs.

  5. disturbed 5

    How fitting as I read this blog on National’s tyranny as they sell this country from under our feet that a Merle Haggard song should come over HB Country radio singing how we feel.
    As Merle sings;
    “When you’re runin’ down our Country man your walkin’ on the fighin’ side of me.
    Runin’ down our Country our fighting men have fought & died to keep us free.”

    Says it all National you creeps. Look at this they are getting creamed with their stupid political projections by 2018.

    We wont have a country by 2018 if these merchants of sell-out are left to destroy our Country and leave us as tenants and slaves to their rich mates.

    https://twitter.com/johnkeypm/status/503031488909037568/photo/1

    • alwyn 5.1

      Hmm.
      Perhaps you would have done well to listen to the rest of the words to this song.
      When he wrote this song he certainly wasn’t speaking in favour of the left. He was in fact a lifelong Republican voter.
      I suggest you might like to glance at the attached article and have a look at the words of the song you quote and also the words of “An Okie from Muskogee”
      http://www.city-journal.org/html/rev2006-01-13hh.html

      • Colonial Viper 5.1.1

        Republicans used to be good union and working class supporting folk.

        • disturbed 5.1.1.1

          The National Party was for also the working man before they turned right hard to Corporate interests in the last 60yrs thank god Michael Joseph Savage and Walter Nash that come to the workers aid when National lost the plot.

          National means representing the people of the country. (The word)

          And they forgot what the word means.

          I worked in North America for twenty years when the republican Party was also for the working people then it also sold out to Corporations.

          Also when in Kentucky they still cling to the notion that the republicans are for their freedoms but we all know what the right is now all about so the worm has turned with their political ways not the people as happened also here with this criminal mob.

          Americans would be incensed if foreign interests gobbled up a quarter of their productive farmland and there would be an uprising but we have sat by as the Nat’s have just done this mostly themselves single handed. Of the eight million hectares we have the Nat’s’ in six years have sold of 1 million of it in six years. The other 1 million was sold in the 24 yrs.’ before Key arrived back.

        • SpaceMonkey 5.1.1.2

          Abraham Lincoln was a Republican.

    • Don’t be so quick to pin the blame on National. They would not be able to do this if there weren’t vast swathes of the general population who acted as enablers.

      Your real problem isn’t John Key – it’s the authoritarian asshole next door.

      • Rich 5.2.1

        Asshole? Who’s that then?

        • Tom Jackson 5.2.1.1

          The elderly men who say that people need to pull themselves up by their own bootstraps, who stole the boots of the people they are talking about, and were given free boots by the government when they were the same age.

          There are others in the bestiary.

          • alwyn 5.2.1.1.1

            “The elderly men …….. were given free boots by the government ”

            I presume from this comment you are talking about all the men who spent five years or so wearing army boots as they gave up a great chunk of their young lives serving New Zealand during the second war?

            • Tom Jackson 5.2.1.1.1.1

              Most of them are dead. I’m talking about their evil boomer kids (yes, of course they don’t think they are elderly, but they are officially old coots).

            • greywarbler 5.2.1.1.1.2

              @alwyn
              Deflecting the discussion on an emotional issue that isn’t at the centre of the discussion, again.

      • Colonial Viper 5.2.2

        our mainstream media and our lack of strong alternative media also wear a significant portion of blame.

        • Ffloyd 5.2.2.1

          2cv Pretty much all of the blame is how I see it. John key would not have amounted to a hill of beans without the support of the media. Support is not actually the word I am looking for but all I can think of at the moment. It was a whole lot more than that.

          I am however a strong believer in Karma and I think they will rue the day they put key into the position he is in today. …..Until recently that is.

        • Tom Jackson 5.2.2.2

          True, but people have to cast a ballot for them.

          A solid portion of the electorate are ignorant, pricks, or ignorant pricks. National would be nothing without their support.

          • Rich 5.2.2.2.1

            Yes but it’s really only the pricks that we should worry ourselves about. Ignorance can be overcome.

  6. Macro 6

    Yes.
    Yes.
    Yes, and
    Yes.

  7. A dictator is an absolute ruler; Key is no dictator.

    Twisted governance, control of media, and control of revenue streams can all be applied to a pseud-democracy.

    You can’t fix this problem by voting.

  8. Man in a Barrel 8

    In a true democracy the Government constantly acts in accordance with the will of the majority of those with a voice – none of this “If we’re elected there’ll be free false teeth for all” campaign promising which is conveniently deferred or explained away as suddenly unaffordable as soon as bums are comfortably ensconced on the Government benches for three years of unscripted reaction, expediency and graft -for which breach of promise the teethless demos must wait three or five or whatever years to be fobbed off and lied to all over again.

    And of course even true democracy contains no magical force of glinty-white goodness. Even in the original democracies women, slaves and a sizeable chunk of the population had no voice, and democracy by its very definition enables the oppression of the minority by the majority unless it is contrained by influences on it from outside – influences like religious or spiritual belief, a Written Constitution, long established conventions, free speech and a free press and pure historical myth expressed in our stories. In many ways an ideal Medieval King with true Christian beliefs and a real fear of God makes for at least as good if not better system of Government than any democracy. Is a benevolent dictator worse than a corrupt democracy?

    A democracy cannot be better than the society it speaks for and if we are seeing a crapification of our democracy as reflected in Parliament it is because of the crapification of society, the loss of a civic sense of duty and pride in our community as we each fight instead for our share of the cake with our eyes bigger than our stomachs.

    Things fall apart; the center cannot hold;
    Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
    The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
    The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
    The best lack all conviction, while the worst
    Are full of passionate intensity.

    WB Yeats.

    • UglyTruth 8.1

      “In a true democracy the Government constantly acts in accordance with the will of the majority of those with a voice”

      Actually not, what you have described is a mobocracy. When the majority wants to act against the law what you have is a conspiracy, not lawful government.

      mobocracy
      mɒbˈɒkrəsi/
      noun
      noun: mobocracy; plural noun: mobocracies
      rule or domination by the masses.
      “the court will never permit mobocracy to overwhelm the law of the land”

      The law of the land is based on the law of nature and on reason, not on the arbitrary whims of a mobocracy.

      • Man in a Barrel 8.1.1

        I don’t think we’re at odds. I would say a mobocracy is a democracy without the external constraints I refer to. Law is not enough – a mobocracy can pass any laws it likes perfectly legally, requiring the courts to bow to it. What is required to constrain a democracy is respect for those fragile and even ephemeral constraints on the abuse of power – conscience, integrity and honesty. A society which holds those things in high regard – such as by expecting the resignation of a Minister who abuses her power – can rest confidently on its democracy. A society which holds that the “vital issues about what the different parties are offering – such as monetary policy and how changes to the Reserve Bank might work in practice” are more important than the honesty and integrity of Ministers (see todays appalling opinion piece in Stuff *) gets the Government it deserves.

        *http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/opinion-analysis/10418739/Investors-in-limbo-as-election-looms

  9. One Anonymous Bloke 9

    National Party sources say: to get National back on track, National’s campaign manager Steven Joyce, late on Wednesday, ordered that all MPs, candidates, and those door-knocking for National, not to discuss the Dirty Politics book with anyone.

    Selwyn Manning at TDB.

    Let’s just say not all candidates are obeying these orders.

  10. greywarbler 10

    The things you mention Bill in your post are no doubt a feature of a dictatorship. But using the term of ‘abuse and perversion of democracy’ would probably be more apt.

    Commenters have pointed out that Republicans were for the working person at one time in the USA. Labour was for the working person in NZ until clever plotters manipulated their way into positions of power and turned the boat on another course. All done under the umbrella of ‘democracy’, and still using democracy’s trappings though these are getting patched and worn.

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    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
    7 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 ...
    7 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
    7 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 ...
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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 ...
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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

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