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Ralston sez: leave poor Johnny alone

Written By: - Date published: 5:45 pm, April 20th, 2008 - 61 comments
Categories: blogs, election 2008, john key, Media, slippery - Tags: , , , ,

In the Herald today, Bill Ralston sticks up for poor John Key who has been the subject of personal political attacks recently. Like Key, Ralston wonders what is “the cost of the Government using countless bureaucrats to endlessly scour records in an attempt to discover inconsistencies in any utterance [Key has] made”.

Ralston needs to stop parroting Key’s lines and think for a moment. Does he really believe there are “countless bureaucrats” tasked with trolling everything Key says? Of course there aren’t. In reality, you couldn’t keep any large number of people occupied looking at Key’s statements for inconsistencies: he doesn’t say much and when he does speak he usually sign-posts the lies and contradictions for you by starting to um and ah, a classic sign of a mind ill at ease. And, of course, it’s not “bureaucrats” who find Key’s stuff-ups it’s Labour’s research unit (which I understand is fewer than half a dozen people and does much more beside look at Key’s words), journalists, if they can be bothered keeping track of things, and bloggers.

I suspect that when others find inconsistencies, contradictions, and lies in what Key says they do it the same way I do: not by endlessly trawling the records but by relying on their own memory and political knowledge. For example, last week when we discussed DPB numbers I had a vague recollection of Key saying something about women ‘breeding for money’ or something equally as stupid. A few minutes on google later and I had found the quote “breeding for a business“. When Key lies and says New Zealand is growing slower than Australia, I remember looking at Reserve Bank statistics that prove the opposite is true, and can make a post accordingly. When Key said he would “love to see wages drop“, we knew that he was just saying what any business first/people second politician quietly believes. When Key lied about what was said we contacted people close to the story to get the truth. Showing Key as the slippery fellow he is child’s play. And it needs to be done. The man wants to be Prime Minster of New Zealand. Choosing him would be a major decision and his credentials for the job need to be examined, even if Ralston just wants to roll out the red carpet.

So, Ralston is wrong on both counts: the attacks are not personal and they don’t require a lot of work. In fact, Key is such a slippery figure that all you have to do is pay a bit of attention and the lies leap out at you. Sorry, Bill, that’s called journalism. You should try it sometime.

61 comments on “Ralston sez: leave poor Johnny alone”

  1. deemac 1

    I see Key’s fan club (not bureaucrats presumably) have leapt to his defence in the comments section of the Stuff website denouncing the article pointing out he bought a holiday home in Hawaii. The article just states the facts but the Key fan club react as if it were a vicious attack. He is obviously very thin skinned!

  2. higherstandard 2

    SP

    I thought Ralston’s article was pretty much spot on and the present government could do worse than to take note.

  3. James Kearney 3

    I’d be interested in seeing a comparison of a range of Bill Ralston’s columns with the National party spin of the previous week. Every time I read him it’s like he’s picked up a mishmash of National lines and talkback clutter and regurgitated it on a page.

    It’s a long time since we’ve seen any journalism out of Ralston and it’ll be longer yet before we see any original thought. It’s not that he’s necessarily biased towards National, he’s just too lazy to think for himself.

  4. big bruv 4

    Ralston is simply saying what the people of NZ think, the old tactic of labeling everybody who dares disagree with your corrupt leader as a “Tory” simply does not work any longer, it may have taken the people of NZ nine years to wake up but they now know the Labour party is corrupt, simply put Steve they have stopped listening to dear leader

    And yes Steve there are an army of “countless bureaucrats’ tasked with trolling everything Key says, you know it and so do I, the only one lying here is you.

    And speaking of lying………What have you got to say about Mike Williams now that he has been caught telling bare faced lies again?
    All this on top of the release of Wisharts book tomorrow..it is sure going to be a fun week.

  5. r0b 5

    I don’t have any time for Ralston these days. His “Life” column in The Listener is a self involved yuppie-fest, with very little relevance to the real lives of anyone I know.

    Even so, I’m a bit surprised to find Ralston running this line. After Key’s muzzling of a journalist and attempts to silence the EPMU, why would any “serious” media commentator still be giving him a free ride?

  6. You guys need some sort of medicine, you clearly have a bad case of Key Derangement Syndrome and it isn’t getting any better.

    I would have thought that you would have worked out by now the public don’t care what you say about John Key other than they get turned off Labour.

  7. Rich Prick 7

    I think you guys have a slightly bigger problem than Ralston on your hands today. And its of Labour’s el President’s own doing 😉

  8. And yes Steve there are an army of “countless bureaucrats’ tasked with trolling everything Key says, you know it and so do I, the only one lying here is you.
    ————————-

    He’s right guys, hellen keeps them in her secret subterrainian beehive lair, i hear the actual number of foriegn comunists being allowed in from china is 3000, the additonal are being sent to boost the numbers!

    All this on top of the release of Wisharts book tomorrow..it is sure going to be a fun week.
    ————————–
    Rent-a-rightie Ian wishart is a joke and a disgrace, he has no decency, no morality and no integrity, his work is a testament to this. This book is just a lame attempt at undoing the damage done by The Hollow Men, the difference being The Hollow Men is based upon facts eveidence and actual events, compared to Wisharts latest load of crap which is based upon lies, fabrications and whisfull thinking.

  9. Absolute Power 9

    I hope Miss Clark sleeps well tonight?

  10. KIllinginthenameof I’ll tell you what is patently clear, and that is you haven’t read either book.

    Quite a different story emerges from your spin. Wishart’s book s based upon fact, inconvenient facts like the electoral roll and Helen’s own words. There are no fabrications, all the events in the book happened and were in the news including Clark’s own words. and there is no wishful thinking at all.

    Suggest you read it before you open your mouth with slanderous claptrap.

  11. redbus 11

    Absolute Power, when is the book coming out and can I get a free copy?

  12. Absolute Power 12

    Tomorrow is the launch of the book. Go buy a copy for yourself redbus. You are a rich socialist.

  13. Hillary 13

    Big bruv, who are these “countless bureaucrats” ? Do you have any evidence to back up your claim?

    The latest TV 3 poll seems to refute claims that New Zealanders reject Clark -she is ahead of Key as preferred Prime Minister. And the gap between Labour and National has narrowed to a 10 point lead.

    Just out of interest, does this mean anything to National supporters, and if Labour wins the election will they accept the result?

  14. redbus 14

    What an interesting observation, though I’m neither rich nor a socialist.

    For one, I’m a social democrat.

    I will pop by my local bookstore tomorrow to consider purchasing it. I was informed of the book on Wednesday by one of my more literary-immersed friends. She spoke of you as a “trashy writer, but enjoyable enough to read.” Somewhat of a compliment considering her background.

    🙂

  15. redbus 15

    Hillary, thank you for pointing out the difference in the polls. I was astounded watching the news coverage from the two major networks.

    TV3 puts Labour ten points behind National – 38% and 48% respectively. With Helen substantially ahead as preferred Prime Minister. The Greens are above 5% there.

    TV1 puts Labour nineteen points behind National – 35% and 54% respectively. Key is ahead as preferred Prime Minister according to TV1. The Greens are on 3%.

    Massive differences.

    Couple TV1’s coverage with a scathing attack on Mike Williams and it seems like the bias of both stations are coming through. I’m not labelling TV1 as right-wing, or TV3 as left wing – but it does seem odd.

  16. Jay 16

    To ignore Ralston’s years of experience in journalism and politics would be foolish. I think it’s excellent that the standard is doing so and trying to shoot the messenger without carefully listening to what he has to say.

    In the end voter will not be swayed by an anti-labour op-ed in the Herald but by their high mortgage payments and inflated food bills.

    So, keep up the good work at the standard.

  17. RedLogix 18

    So all this boils down to:

    1. It’s OK for National to constantly attack the Govt and personally attack it’s senior members. (Because it seems that’s all they are capable of.)

    2. But it’s not fair if the Govt replies in kind. (Because they should be doing more important things?)

    It’s the same childish whine we get in blogland. The non-stop sewer of bile from the right is accepted as legitimate background noise, but the left is held to a much higher standard.

    Like all bullies, you’re happy to dish it out, but it’s a wholly different story when you’re on the receiving end.

  18. Absolute Power 19

    “but the left is held to a much higher standard.”

    So for a Labour Party President to be caught out lying is the acceptable standard around here ?Well I be darned. I didn’t know we had stooped so low.

  19. Monty 20

    Red Logic and all other Socialists….

    Why do you acuse the right of your own worst sins. It is Labour who have sustained a long and vicious attack against John Key – the National party to their credit have attacked Labour Policy but they have stayed well away from personal attacks. Certainly people such as myself are quite happy to get personal against Caustic Cullen and the Vile Lying Helen, but the National MPs certainly have not.

    You say that it is fair enough that the Government replies in kind – that would be fine – but as noted above National has stuck to policy.. Labour has acted like a sewer rat – Cullen’s “Rich Prick”, Mallard with his biffo, Helen with her hurrump hurrump cackle cackle then “diddums”

    The sewer is the bed the Labour MPs (usually senior) have made and now lie in.

    NZ is sick to death of Labour and they cannot make headway in the polls – the only thing you have left in your pathetic arsnel is personal attacks – and they have not worked either.

    [lprent: I’m still waiting for an apology for saying that you as a taxpayer fund this blog, when I do. You’ll stay in moderation until I get one or I get bored with adding these little notes]

  20. randal 21

    I really find it hard to believe that some comments poster has sufficient delusions of grandeur to imagine that the PRIME MINISTER is not going to sleep well tonight because of some barf they have posted on a blog…geta life!

  21. RedLogix 22

    “So for a Labour Party President to be caught out lying is the acceptable standard around here’

    Is that the best strawman you can grasp at?

    Or can we dig up JK’s being caught out lying about wanting to “drop wages” and then using his friends in the media to cover it up?

  22. Absolute Power 23

    The polls do the talking. Bye – bye.

  23. Monty 24

    Red-logix – it seems that the problems Mike Williams has is somewhat contagious. Please ensure you put the full quote of Jon Key in and in context.

    Mike Williams has been caught being a liar. That is a very serious charge and surely the president of the Labour Party should be held to the same standard as the rest of the Labour MPs.

    I think part of the reason that the polls have National sp far ahead is because Labour sustained attacks on him are back-firing. The public now think that Labouris happier making up silly songs and focusing all their attention on John Key instead of running the country.

    The attacks stink of desperation. And no one ikes a desperate Government.

    I’ll be looking forward to an interesting week ahead – especially how Labour spin the Mike Williams affair.

    [lprent: I’m still waiting for an apology for saying that you as a taxpayer fund this blog, when I do.
    Not that it really seems like you add anything substantive.]

  24. Sam Dixon 25

    And what the polls say is National falling. Well, the real polls. let’s not pretend colamr brunton is worth the time of day. their last poll before the 2005 election had national something like 5% ahead. what a joke.

    disappointing that Williams put his foot in it again. but that ‘issue’ boils down to whether or not the party president said an idea (that the PM has sense catagorically rejected) was a good idea during a session early on a sunday morning – not exactly watergate.

  25. reltih_a 26

    Liarbour = liars, Mile Williams comes to point.
    Pools are either way, but after a bad month (as we have been told) JK is doing ok.

  26. RedLogix 27

    And like all bullies… you are gutless wonders when confronted.

  27. voltaire 28

    Nothing like being in Wonderland…………the latest polls tell it all……..cabinet ministers singing ditties is the 2008 version of Nero

  28. Rich Prick 29

    [lprent: I’m still waiting for an apology for saying that you as a taxpayer fund this blog, when I do.
    Not that it really seems like you add anything substantive. Hackneyed lines.]

    Well, it is isn’t it? But so what – who cares. Your President has been caught out red-faced lying to the public of New Zealand about a plan to rort the taxpayer even more than in 2005 when your lot nicked $800k and got away with it.

    If $800k was the first window smashed what record is Labour looking to break this year?

    Honest and capable of being a government – I don’t think so. Even your president can’t keep his lies straight. If you are going to have a liar front for the party, put a plausable one on the stand. Cross exam over.

    Captcha: 13 dishonesty – unlucky number and Labour all over.

  29. r0b 30

    even more than in 2005 when your lot nicked $800k and got away with it.

    Tell a lie often enough and it becomes true eh RP? After the 2005 election campaign the leader of one major political party lost their job because of the disgusting tactics of their party during the campaign. Can you remember which one? Hint – it wasn’t Helen Clark.

  30. lprent 31

    RP – You are a pretty useless spinner.

    I was there when the suggestion was made at congress. It was an idea floated from the floor. Closer examination proved it to be unwise. As far as I’m aware it was never put into practice.

    Perhaps you should enhance your education on due process. Look at the the difference between actus reus and mens rea.

    As far as I can tell your preferred level of evidence to convict someone is rather low. All they have to do is to think. Doing an illegal act is not required. But to be charitable, perhaps you simply don’t understand the requirements of the law. So study up on it so you don’t look so much of an idiot.

  31. Rich Prick 32

    Who cares, believe your own spin, your president is out there as a proven liar (again) and its not looking good. Helen must be pissed.

    Oh, and please don’t direct me to wikipeia refereneces to actus rea and mens rea, I passed Laws 101 in 1986, well before the miricle of wiki, and have a much better understanding of criminal law than wiki or I suspect, you will.

    Why are you raising criminal law principles in a thread about Williams? Actually, what was your point?

  32. burt 33

    rOb

    Tell a lie often enough and it becomes true eh RP?

    So tell us rOb, are you saying Labour didn’t nick $800K of tax payers money because if they did they sure got away with it.

    They retrospectively validated it and paid no penalty, simply be allowed to repay the money when they were good and ready.

    Please tell us what part of what RP said was a lie?

  33. lprent 34

    Mike Williams described what happened. There are many people (including me) who can tell you that what he said was the exact truth. They have said that a number of times in multiple forums. However you persist in making the allegation.

    The allegation is about a ciminal matter if the act had been committed. As far as I can tell there has been no act. But you’re acting as if he’d been caught in the act, tried and convicted. This does not appear to have been the case.

    Therefore I have to conclude that you don’t follow the rule of law as I understand it. You seem to want to make up your own legal structure based on what people think rather than what they do. This reminds me of several instances in history. Sounds like you want to run witchhunts or become another McCarthy.

    It would appear that you didn’t pay as much attention in legal courses as I did.

  34. Rich Prick 35

    “diddums”. You clearly are not a very good lawyer, which would explain why you are a Labour Party supporter.

  35. Rich Prick 36

    In fact, Iprent, you were the first to in to invite principles of criminal law, do you fear your president has gone to far? Like that other Labour MP at the time of his alleged offending, Phillip Field, I don’t. But you raised it.

  36. Wayne 37

    Some angry righties out tonight…

  37. r0b 38

    Mike Williams didn’t remember something that he said. Not a good look I agree.

    But let’s talk about real lies. Let’s talk about John Key. Almost his first significant act in the NZ political scene was to lie. In 2003 when Brash challenged English or the leadership Key said he supported English but then he went and voted for Brash.

    Then there was the infamous smoking gun email, which Key said he never opened, yeah right:

    http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/HL0611/S00418.htm

    Mr Key when asked yesterday if he had been contacted last year with offers of campaign support by the Exclusive Brethren told the assembled media that he had not had any campaign support from the Brethren.

    Mr Key cut short the impromptu press conference press conference when asked for the second time whether he had received any offers of actual financial support from the Exclusive Brethren

    Radio New Zealand is now reporting that Mr Key says that he may have received the email but not opened it.

    John Key described global warming as a “complete and utter hoax”, in 2005 and then in 2006 he said “I firmly believe in climate change and always have”. Liar.

    Key lied about National’s position on Iraq. He lies and lies and lies. Even his usually faithful fan Audrey Young has had to tell Key off for lying.

    John Key, liar, wants to be our next PM.

  38. lprent 39

    I’m not a lawyer, I’m a programmer. But I did legal papers in two of my degrees.

    Like Mike Williams, I thought it was a good idea when it was raised. After finding out it would be illegal, I dropped the idea. Like Mike Williams, I couldn’t tell you exactly what I said to the person next to me when it was raised. In fact I can barely remember saying something about it being a interesting idea. Fortunately I wasn’t being taped. Presumably you also want to convict me in your court of mob justice.

    On Phillip Field. It looks like you’re preempting the court and prejudging their decision. The police have brought criminal charges against Phillip Field, and it is before the court at present. Why not do what everyone else does and wait for the decision of the court.

    Are you really as lawless as you sound?

  39. Hey Rick Prick – odd that you claim to understand the law and yet still threatened to suffocate me with a plastic bag. Are you some sort of sociopath?

  40. mike 41

    Interesting how whenever Labour and its allies ramp up the smear campaign against they drop further in the Polls.

    Perhaps you could graph this for us SP?

  41. Monty 42

    [deleted]

    [lprent: Monty – you still haven’t apologised to me for lying about how this blog is funded. I’ve given you enough time to find the notes I’ve been adding to your comments. You obviously don’t want to be here. So take 2 weeks off. I’m still expecting an apology.]

  42. Steve Pierson 43

    mike. the polls are rising for the left.

  43. mike 44

    “mike. the polls are rising for the left”

    Labour were dog tucker in TVNZ poll ,slightly better in the 3 news poll but still 15pt average to Nats.
    If you are happy with that your easily pleased.

  44. randal 45

    ralston sez lets do lunch…nuthin’ under a grand and its your shout!

  45. Monty 46

    Iprent

    I sent you an email this morning straight after that email.(using the contact address in contact us.)

    Yesterday was the first time I realised I was on moderation. Please reveiw the letter I sent and then advise if I am still banned for two weeks?

    thanks.

    [lprent: That is satisfactory. Looks like I missed the e-mail on my way to work. You’re unbanned.]

  46. Absolute Power 47

    “mike. the polls are rising for the left.”

    Steve what the hell are you smoking dude?

  47. Daveo 48

    Absolute Power: Are you Ian Wishart, or do you just wish you were?

  48. Mike Collins 49

    lprent,

    “After finding out it would be illegal, I dropped the idea.”

    It doesn’t have to be illegal to be wrong. The standard set here is not what is defined by legislation but what is ethical. Political mistakes are made all the time but often it is not the case that the law has been broken. You might need to reset your ethical compass methinks – and all those that applauded the idea.

    Also actus reus has little bearing here. The fact that the idea was countenanced at all and not immediately dismissed is the problem. Not that the idea was carried out. Although one is forced to ask the question, if this wasn’t picked up by the media would Labour have actually employed this strategy? It is a debateable point but it does seem like a case of “well you caught us but we were never going to do it anyway – please believe us”.

    As something slightly related I found it interesting that in the recording that Mike Williams said there will be generic material “once we work out the Electoral Finance Act”. Didn’t Labour write this law and vigorously defend it? Shouldn’t it have a deep understanding of its provisions? This coupled with Labour being the first party to break its own law shows just how flawed it actually is.

  49. r0b 50

    It doesn’t have to be illegal to be wrong.

    Good point. National’s use of front trusts to hide the identity of it’s major donors – not illegal but wrong. National’s use of the EB to run a parallel advertising campaign in the last election – not illegal but wrong. These actions not only cost Don Brash his political career, they also motivated the attempt to tighten up election financing laws via the EFA. Cheers National.

  50. Mike Collins 51

    r0b,

    Are you incapable of scrutinising the behaviour without trying to denigrate others in the process. I wouldn’t necessarily disagree with you on the points you raised. However it does seem like you are avoiding my points about the conduct of Labour by raising them. “But my opponents did this….” without discussing what I said is just another form of avoidance. At best you are suggesting that both are as bad as each other in the ethical stakes.

  51. TomS 52

    The most interesting aspect of the polls is that difference between them exceed both poll’s claimed margin of error of /- 3.5%. That should have both TV stations alarmed. OTOH, if the purpose of the polls is simply to give Duncan and Guyon something to prattle about then I suppose accuracy is a secondary consideration. But anyway, TV news is now so bad you think its a satire of Kent Brockman, not the other way round. It so bad that no one I know watches it for serious analysis or even credits it with much credibility anymore. They’ll watch it if the pictures are going to be interesting, but thats all.

  52. r0b 53

    Are you incapable of scrutinising the behaviour without trying to denigrate others in the process.

    Not at all, I just like to keep things in context and in proportion.

    I was in the room when this event occurred. It was a fairly informal policy session first up on a Sunday morning. The suggestion came up from the floor. Mike commented that it seemed like a damn good idea, and then moved on to his next point. Clearly, in retrospect, he should have given it more thought. But that’s it – no central master plan, no hidden agenda, just a spontaneous suggestion and a too hasty response.

    So I was actually very pleased to see you point out that something doesn’t have to be illegal to be wrong. Too often right wing types deny that National did anything wrong at the last election because “it wasn’t illegal”.

    I wouldn’t necessarily disagree with you on the points you raised.

    So it’s kinda refreshing to meet a right winger that can acknowledge this.

    At best you are suggesting that both are as bad as each other in the ethical stakes.

    No, I do think there is a significant ethical difference between an ill considered response to a suggestion and a sustained attempt to campaign dishonestly by evading the intent of electoral law.

  53. Mike Collins 54

    r0b,

    Thank you for a much more reasoned analysis in that post. I find people’s points tend to do better when they acknowledge those made by others before introducing their own debating points. Otherwise it looks like you are ignoring them, as they can be uncomfortable.

    I would agree with you that Mike Williams could have put more thought into his response (as could everyone who applauded), and had that been the end of the matter we would probably have been discussing something different today. As we know this has been inflamed by Mike Williams denials. What he should have said on Agenda was something like “look I made a bad call in saying the idea had any sort of merit. It is not appropriate to use government advertising for campaigning purposes. However it is important to note that this was a working group and we did not want to exclude any ideas then and there. The proper process we use is to consider each idea carefully later and I can assure you this would have been discarded.” Instead he got defensive and lied. Not the first time either.

    For the record while I was not terribly impressed with how the EBs conducted their campaign (false addresses etc giving an impression of deceit and something to hide), I don’t have a problem with them spending what they did. I would only argue that they should have properly complied with authorisation requirements so that the public could make an informed choice once discovering who was behind the campaign. Before the media dug it out. I have no problem with removing anonymous funding (and neither do many on the Right). It was strange then to see anonymous funding retained in the EFA – albeit only to levels of such funding Labour had received in the past.

  54. r0b 55

    What he should have said on Agenda was something like

    Well there we are in complete agreement.

  55. Phil 56

    TomS,

    I think thats an unfair view on polling. I have the highest respect for those companies and the work they do, having been loosely connected to market-research for a few years now.

    I don’t seen anything wrong with the results. In trend terms TV1 and TV3 are both showing the same broad themes, give or take a little sampling error, timing issues, and statistical methodology. Remember that statisticians reserve the right to be wrong 5% of the time!

    I suspect that the biggest part of the problem is that National was sitting above it’s hypothetical ‘real’ value in the previous polls, and came back down to what looks slightly less than it’s ‘real’ value this time.

    I note that Steve talks about the ‘rising’ left. Sorry buddy, but the numbers aren’t showing that at all. Since mid-07 the results have been stagnant on both sides. National hasn’t really moved from 47%, Labour’s on a fairly stable 35%. The Greens are probably going to be lucky to top 8% in any poll for the next few months. “Rising Left”… nope, it aint. But it ain’t falling either

  56. lprent 57

    Mike Collins:

    I don’t think that it is a moral issue.

    I still think it was a good idea, it just happens to be illegal to use the material from government departments. They were talking about policies like KiwiSaver, interest free student loans, Working For Families, etc that Labour members and MP’s worked to be made Labour policy and implemented over a long period of time.

    When Labour gets the corectly labelled material to disperse to voters, you can expect that that these policies will figure strongly. It would not even surprise me if we included information about how to access government department information.

    The EFA is like any new act from parliament. It takes time for the appropiate departments and courts to work through the implications of what is in the legislation. All legislation tends to be not particularly precise and requires interpretation. You tend to find that most lawyers have different ideas on exactly what the implications of a new act mean when put on a case by case basis.

    For instance at this blog, we would like to know what the electoral commission thinks about multi-author blogs. A wide (and unlikely)interpretation would have it has to be a distinct domain name owned by a single person. That would exclude blogs on wordpress.com. It is going to be interesting to see where they put the line.

  57. Mike Collins 58

    lprent,

    “I still think it was a good idea, it just happens to be illegal to use the material from government departments.”

    Well I suppose I should give you credit for sticking to your guns on this but I can not see it as anything but unethical (morals are different altogether). The government is looking to spend $100 million this year promoting it’s programmes. If utmost care is not taken to keep this as apolitical as possible then that’s effectively a $100 million advantage to Labour. I thought you guys were all against big money in elections.

    I have no problem with the Labour party putting out its own literature saying what it has achieved in government and even how to access the programmes it has worked to put into place. However that would be using its own private money not taxpayers which is a critical distinction.

    I find it troubling that you would see such an activity as campaigning with government department material as ethical if it weren’t illegal.

  58. Matthew Pilott 59

    Mike Collins,

    The argument against use of Government policy advertising is an interesting one. I have an alternate ethical viewpoint, in that since the advertising is the tangible results of a Party’s policy, it’s not unethical to use that advertising. If Labour are bad, and have been bad for the country, couldn’t National also had out WFF or Kiwisaver advertising, explain why it is bad, and why they voted against it?

    Couldn’t National find information about lowering the corporate tax rate, hand it out to businesses, explain why they think it was a bad move and why they voted against it?

    If National were in power, they could, for example, hand out information about involuntary boot camps and why they think it’s a good idea, or they could try their hand at explaining ot people how their 90-day bill had benefited people. Labour could then do the opposite – and use the same material to argue against those policies.

    The above is slightly tongue in cheek, of course, and there is a reason why I am against the idea – it should be politically neutral information and the purpose of the information is to help citizens access information about government services they are paying for. It is therefore a misuse of information in that it is for advertising a service and not for a party. If Labour was to reprint the material out of their own pockets, then I’d say go for it (it will have to be modified to indicate it is Labour Advertising material and copyright issues might need to be looked at…).

  59. Mike Collins 60

    Matthew,

    I agree with your last paragraph which seems to rebut the position posed by your first of an alternate ethical viewpoint. As you say government department advertising is supposed to be neutral and not cast opinion on whether a policy is good or bad. Simply to convey the programme is its purpose. Political parties should not be able to use this information for their own purposes. It is entirely appropriate however for them to use their own money for promotion of their goals.

  60. Matthew Pilott 61

    I pretty much tied myself up in knots there…

    I mean that the information in of itself isn’t a problem, just that that specific type of publication isn’t intended for that use.

    I’d love to see National try and campaign based upon its voting record over the last eight or so years…

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  • A squandered opportunity
    Late last year, in the face of economic bad news, the government announced a massive $12 billion infrastructure spending programme to keep the economy ticking over. Given shortages of housing and public transport, and the pressing need to decarbonise our economy, this could have been a massive opportunity to fix ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    20 mins ago
  • The coronavirus outbreak: what is R0?
    There are a few misunderstandings about the coronavirus outbreak from Wuhan getting around. Below is a short explanation of one of them: what is R0, and what does it mean. Current estimates for R0 centre around the mid 2s—call it 2.5 or thereabouts—not the higher values some are scare-mongering online. ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    6 hours ago
  • Global warming is happening here and now
    An excerpt from the book Cranky Uncle vs. Climate Change, released Feb 25. Signs of global warming are being observed all over our planet. Thermometers measure surface warming. Buoys sunk to ocean depths measure heat building up in our oceans. Ice is melting across our planet, with ice sheets crumbling and glaciers ...
    16 hours ago
  • Whiteness, class and the white working class
    This essay by Kenan Malik, on the controversy over the funding of scholarships for white working class boys, was originally published in the Observer on 5 January 2020, under the headline‘Bursaries don’t help when it’s not their colour that thwarts these boys’. There is a scene in Salman Rushdie’s The Satanic ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    18 hours ago
  • We have a date
    The Prime Minister has just announced the election date as 19 September. So, its a Suffrage Day election, and well before the Trump hits the fan in the US. The no-longer-new practice of announcing the election date well in advance is good, and puts everyone on a more even footing ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    22 hours ago
  • With the En-ROADS climate simulator, you can build your own solutions to global warming
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections Killer hurricanes, devastating wildfires, melting glaciers, and sunny-day flooding in more and more coastal areas around the world have birthed a fatalistic view cleverly dubbed by Mary Annaïse Heglar of the Natural Resources Defense Council as “de-nihilism“. One manifestation: An increasing number of ...
    1 day ago
  • The coronavirus outbreak in China: what a difference a week makes
    When it comes to emerging infectious diseases and outbreaks, so much can happen in a week. In the case of the coronavirus outbreak in China, I’ve gone from not being too alarmed, to thinking “oh, crap!”. But that still doesn’t mean we should all panic. As I’m writing this on ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    2 days ago
  • National cries wolf over Coronavirus
    Opposition MP Michael WoodhouseLast week, the current National Party leader, Simon Bridges, claimed that the Minister of Health wasn’t leading on ‘significant issues that matter to New Zealanders within his Health portfolio’ when commenting about the Government’s response to the Coronavirus outbreak.This silly comment was made despite David Clark working ...
    2 days ago
  • Fluoridation and sex steroid hormones – or the mouse that roared
    All the recent research anti-fluoride campaigners promote as “evidence” of harm from community water fluoridation amount to cherry-picking a very few statistically significant results from a large number of non-significant results. The whole exercise is a bit like the “Mouse that Roared.” Credit: The Mouse that Roared – TMTR Intro ...
    2 days ago
  • Leave Neve alone
    Neve Te Aroha Gayford at RatanaI’m sure I’m not the only one to notice that the Ratana birthday celebrations this year were a well-attended event that went off without much of a hitch. This is in stark contrast to previous years, where some form of controversy has usually taken centre ...
    3 days ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #4
    A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week, i.e., Sun, Jan 19, 2020 through Sat, Jan 25, 2020 Editor's Pick The companies that have contributed most to climate change Thought-provoking readings on those most responsible for the pollution. Sometimes, ...
    3 days ago
  • The swimming pool paradox
    It’s another warm day, but the breeze isn’t helping much, so off I go to the inviting outdoor swimming pool (banner picture) at the other end of campus. It’s an unheated pool (well, there’s no artificial heat source), which means one thing: It’s going to feel cold when I get ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    5 days ago
  • 100 seconds to midnight
    The Doomsday Clock is a tracker created by he Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists for how close we are to global destruction. Created in 1947, it got worse as the Cold War started, then improved as it cooled down, then got worse again as Ronald Reagan tried to confront the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • A multitude of drops: Social tipping points in climate action
    If you’re here, you probably know that the climate crisis is upon us, that it’s getting steadily worse, and that attempts to address it haven’t worked yet. People are still driving and even advertising SUVs with impunity, and oil companies are exploring like crazy, even in New Zealand. Politically, socially, ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert McLachlan
    5 days ago
  • The Thoughtful Mr Parker.
    Stunningly Wrong-Headed: So blinded are the “left-wing” believers in free markets and free trade (like Trade Minister, David Parker) that even when they are staring directly at the wreckage of the lives and communities which these “unconscionable freedoms” (to borrow Marx’s telling phrase) have left in their wake, they cannot ...
    5 days ago
  • What’s the problem with all science being “done” in English?
    I’ve been listening to a wonderful podcast this morning which left me thinking. The podcast was a 30-min well-spent break, in the company of Daniel Midgley and Michael Gordin.  You might know Daniel Midgley from the Talk the Talk linguistics podcast. Michael Gordin is the author of “Scientific Babel”, which ...
    SciBlogsBy Andreea Calude
    5 days ago
  • Snakeflu?! An intriguing source suggested for new Chinese coronavirus
    The whole world is on edge over a coronavirus outbreak that started in early December in Wuhan City, China. The virus is thought to have first infected people working at a seafood and live animal market. So what could the original source have been? There’s no official word yet, but ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    6 days ago
  • Simon’s Philippine jaunt: #LittleBoysPlayingToughguys
    Not too far back, Simon Bridges the Leader of the Opposition and National Party, went on an excursion to China. This was arranged not by MFAT (NZ’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade), but by their MP Jian Yang – a man who also just happened to “forget to mention” ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    6 days ago
  • Will Turia ever forgive Labour?
    Dame Tariana Turia with former PM John KeyWhat is it about Tariana Turia’s grudge against the Labour Party? Not content with attacking the Government over Whānau Ora funding, which was increased by $80 million in 2019, she has now made it personal by saying that Jacinda Ardern is out of her ...
    6 days ago
  • What are the recent fluoride-IQ studies really saying about community water fluoridation?
    Scaremongering graphic currently being promoted by Declan Waugh who is well known for misrepresenting the fluoride science This graphic is typical of current anti-fluoride propaganda. It is scare-mongering, in that it is aimed at undermining community ...
    6 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #3, 2020
    Biography of a policy metric Bård Lahn performs a sweeping literature review to present the history of our notion of a "global carbon budget" and how this number has come  to encapsulate a massive amount of scientific research into a useful, easily grasped tool in our policy skill set.  A ...
    6 days ago
  • Oxfam Report: Time to Care – Unpaid and underpaid care work and the global inequality crisis
    January 2020 Economic inequality is out of control. In 2019, the world’s billionaires, only 2,153 people, had more wealth than 4.6 billion people. This great divide is based on a flawed and sexist economic system that values the wealth of the privileged few, mostly men, more than the billions of ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    7 days ago
  • How to avoid being a cunt to hospo workers’
    Working hospo is hard mahi for many reasons, from long hours and gruelling high-volume weekends to customers who treat us as their servants. There are always lovely and polite customers who treat hospo workers with respect and kindness but, throughout my 15-years in the biz, I’ve collected a number of ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    7 days ago
  • 2019-nCoV (the new coronavirus): Should we be concerned, and will there be a vaccine?
    Probably yes to both but don’t panic yet. There is a plan. What is this virus? 2019 novel coronavirus, aka 2019-nCoV, belongs to a family of viruses called coronavirus. These are very common viruses that infect a wide range of animals including humans and can cause mild to severe disease, ...
    SciBlogsBy Helen Petousis Harris
    7 days ago
  • The Chinese coronavirus outbreak: what are the options for vaccines and treatments?
    By now you’ve probably heard of the coronavirus outbreak that started in Wuhan City, China. The number of cases is rising, up to about 300 with six deaths. Cases have been reported in several more Chinese cities, including Beijing and Shanghai, as well as in Japan, Thailand, and South Korea. ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    7 days ago
  • Educating New Zealand’s future workforce
    Judy Kavanagh Do you remember your first day at school? The education I received was for a very different world than the world of today. Along with huge social shifts there have been big changes in the New Zealand economy and the work people do. There are occupations unheard of ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    7 days ago
  • A casual attitude towards transparency
    Back in December, when the government was introducing new secrecy legislation on an almost daily basis, I posted about the Infrastructure Funding and Financing Bill. The Bill establishes a new class of public entity, "special purpose vehicles", which collect and spend public money and enjoy statutory powers. Despite this, they ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Against a carbon bailout
    If we are to avoid making the planet uninhabitable, we need to cut carbon emisisons fast. Which basicly means putting the fossil fuel industry - coal, gas, and oil - out of business. But this means that the banks and other lenders who have bankrolled the industry's environmental destruction will ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Still a criminal industry
    More evidence that the fishing industry suffers from pervasive criminality, with Forest & Bird highlighting some odd numbers in the annual statistics:The Annual Review Report For Highly Migratory Species Fisheries 2018/19 (Pg 4, Table 4) showed only 4% of commercial long lining trips for tuna and swordfish reported non-fish bycatch ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Controversy? Or Manufactroversy?
    A few days ago, New Zealand’s Minister of Education announced the wider release of a resource on climate change, which was initially trialled at a Christchurch school during 2018. According to the Minister, children will learn about “the role science plays in understanding climate change, aids understanding of both the response ...
    SciBlogsBy Alison Campbell
    1 week ago
  • The emerging coronavirus outbreak in China
    By now you’ve probably heard of the new virus causing an outbreak of severe pneumonia in China. The question on most people’s minds is, how worried should we be, especially as hundreds of millions of people will soon be travelling across China and beyond to visit family for the Lunar ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    1 week ago
  • How did climate change get so controversial?
    An excerpt from the book Cranky Uncle vs. Climate Change, released Feb 25. Our human brain is poorly equipped to deal with a threat like climate change. Over millions of years, we’ve evolved to avoid life-threatening dangers like predators jumping out of bushes. We’ve survived by quickly detecting and avoiding immediate, short-term ...
    1 week ago
  • Farmers are ruining Canterbury’s rivers
    Its summer, so people naturally want to go for a swim. But in South Canterbury, you can't, because the rivers are full of toxic goo:As of Monday, the Waihi River at Wilson Street footbridge, Geraldine, the Waihao River at Bradshaws Bridge, and three spots on the Opihi River - at ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Sack Shane Jones
    Late last year, NZ First was caught trying to enrich itself from public office, with a dodgy forestry company linked to a number of NZ First figures sticking its hand out repeatedly for government money. Regional Economic Development Minister shane Jones' "explanations" were patently unconvincing, and his recusal from deciding ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • BIG idea physics
    This morning I’ve been having a quick look through some documentation from The Ministry of Education on proposed changes to NCEA Level 1 Science. For those not familiar with the NZ secondary education system, a typical student would complete NCEA level 1 at the end of year 11.  In this ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    1 week ago
  • Revolution in New Zealand? Not Even Close!
    No Fires Thanks, We're Kiwis: For the moment, in those close-to-home places where revolutions are born, there may be tetchiness and resentment, frustration and complaint, but nowhere is anybody uttering the cry that will bring a New Zealand revolution into being: “We have found the way to make tomorrow better ...
    1 week ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #3
    Story of the Week... Editorial of the Week... Toon of the Week... Quote of the Week... Graphic of the Week... Coming Soon on SkS... Climate Feedback Claim Reviews... SkS Week in Review... Poster of the Week... Story of the Week... 'It's heart-wrenching': 80% of Blue Mountains and 50% of ...
    1 week ago
  • Britain exits the European Union and takes a sharp right turn
    by John Smith  Britain’s exit from the imperialist bloc known as the European Union (EU) is now irreversible. The crushing electoral defeat of the Labour Party has dismayed many workers and youth who had placed their hopes in Jeremy Corbyn, its left-wing leader. This article assesses these historic events, neither of which ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #3
    A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week, i.e., Sun, Jan 12, 2020 through Sat, Jan 18, 2020 Editor's Pick The Past and the Future of the Earth’s Oldest Trees Bristlecone pines have survived various catastrophes over the millennia, and they ...
    1 week ago
  • How climate change influenced Australia’s unprecedented fires
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections, and has been adapted into a new myth rebuttal on climate-wildfire connections with the short URL sks.to/wildfires Australia’s frightening bushfires, which kicked off an early fire season in September 2019, have already had cataclysmic effects, and the continent is still just in the early ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Gender Identity Ideology – A Partial Bibliography of Online Coverage
    This great resource has been contributed to Redline by Janie Doebuck. Janie made some notes on the bibliography: 1) It is by no means exhaustive. There are tons more gender critical posts, essays, articles, podcasts, youtube videos, etc. online. 2) There are links in the bibliography that are behind paywalls. There ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • About those biased Oscar Nominations
    There’s been a lot written about the 2020 Oscar Nominations and their apparent lack of diversity. It’s true, there are in fact no women nominated for the Best Director and very few nominees of colour across the board. But is this a result of a biased process or a symptom ...
    2 weeks ago
  • How New Zealand media reports chronic pain
    Hemakumar Devan Around three million New Zealanders access news media (both paper and online) every week. Yes, you heard that right! So, the potential for news media to shape public health beliefs is common sense. As chronic pain affects one in five New Zealanders, we wanted to find out how ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • Still Waiting For American Democracy.
    Unfinished Republic: Though the United States' crimes against democracy are legion, most Americans are blissfully unaware of them. The brutal realities of American life: the officially sanctioned violence; the refusal to hold racists accountable for their actions; the seemingly endless tragedy of African-American suffering; of which White America is the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • In Outrage Over Its Bunk Science, Goop Finds Fuel for Growth
    Michael Schulson For years, experts have said that Goop, the wellness and lifestyle brand founded by the actor and entrepreneur Gwyneth Paltrow, markets pseudoscience and overblown cures. And for years, despite the criticism, Goop has just kept growing. Now the company, which was valued at $250 million in 2018, ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • Tobacco Excise Taxes and the Smokefree 2025 Goal: Some Ways Forward
    Janet Hoek, Richard Edwards, George Thomson, Andrew Waa, Nick Wilson Debate over tobacco tax increases has intensified as research indicates potentially conflicting policy directions. On the one hand, excise tax increases continue to stimulate quit attempts among smokers yet, on the other hand, they may lead to financial hardship for ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    2 weeks ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #2, 2020
    Conflation and how to fix it VIa AMS,  Raul Lejano looks at what in a layperson's thinking would be called conflation— confusion and blending of entirely different topics— when people think about climate change. Ideology and the Narrative of Skepticism  (open access) starts with some arguably frightening false connections between the science and ...
    2 weeks ago
  • ‘Cranky Uncle’ smart phone game will show you how to disarm climate deniers
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Bud Ward (Image: Courtesy of John Cook) When it comes to climate change, it seems every family has its own version of the proverbial Cranky Uncle. An uncle, cousin, grandparent, in-law, neighbor, whatever. Just think back to the recent holiday season’s large ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Science in the ’20s – part 1
      Outrageous, immoral or downright dangerous. That’s a description of the lifestyle of women “flappers” in the 1920s. Could it apply to science (and scientists) in the 2020s? Actually, you could look back at the past decade and see those, or similar terms, used about some science and scientists. Sometimes ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    2 weeks ago
  • Postscript: Citizenship Granted.
    I am pleased to say that I have been granted NZ citizenship. I need to do the ceremony for things to be official, but the application was a success. I now join my son as a dual NZ-US citizen. To be fair, very little will change other than the fact ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    2 weeks ago
  • Hard News: Music: Morales is coming
    It will be no secret to longtime readers that I, Russell Brown, love the disco.   So I'm pretty excited by the fact that one of the greats of the game is returning this summer – and also pleased to say I have tickets to give away.Legendary mixer and DJ ...
    2 weeks ago
  • The WHO Vaccine Safety Summit – from someone who was actually there
    The conspiracy I saw a new conspiracy theory flying around the other day. According to the conspiracy (that seems to originate from Del Bigtree), the World Health Organization have been ‘caught on camera’ questioning the safety of vaccines. Gosh this sounds as though someone was a mole at a ...
    SciBlogsBy Helen Petousis Harris
    2 weeks ago
  • The timely death of the British Labour Party
    Below is an article submitted to Redline by Alec Abbott  At its inception, the British Labour Party was a vehicle for the propagation of racist and imperialist views within the working-class. Such views are still widespread in the party, as they are in Europe’s Social-Democratic parties, though, in the case of ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Mystery China pneumonia outbreak likely caused by new human coronavirus
    Connor Bamford, Queen’s University Belfast Since December 2019, there has been a cluster of 59 cases of pneumonia in Wuhan, eastern China. The pneumonia is associated with a previously unidentified coronavirus related to the deadly SARS virus. Seven of those cases are thought to be serious, and one person – ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • Yes, koalas are cute – but should we bring them to NZ? Errm, no
    It’s been hard to miss the extreme fires raging across Australia and the tragic plight of the animals – human and otherwise – affected by the fires’ insatiable spread. I know I’ve been captivated and concerned by the tales of how Australia’s famous wildlife has been coping. Koalas approaching cyclists ...
    SciBlogsBy Sarah-Jane O'Connor
    2 weeks ago
  • National’s negative campaigning
    Anybody who looked into the Dirty Politics saga knows all too well that honesty is often in short supply within the National Party. You would think that after the exposure the John Key government received over their untruthful attack politics, the National Party would learn from its "mistakes" and leave ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Ending the government’s charade over water
    For the past decade, the government has been responding to the obvious Treaty issues raised by water allocation with the mantra that "no-one owns water". But last year, the Waitangi Tribunal ruled that actually, Māori owned it, and that those rights had never been extinguished. They recommended that iwi bring ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Northern Ireland joins the civilised world
    Same-sex marriage has finally become legal in Northern Ireland. But not through any decision of the Northern Irish Executive or Assembly, which has only just reformed after a three year walkout by the DUP; instead, Westminster made that decision for them. I've talked before about the constitutional impropriety of this, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • I had an intense conversation at work today.
    Claire Cohen-Norris volunteers with Citizens Climate Lobby as a chapter founder and leader in rural New York. Her climate advocacy sprung from her drive to provide a secure, joyful and fulfilling life for her two wonderful children. It has become a life’s mission, shared with her like-minded husband and partner. Claire ...
    2 weeks ago
  • French transport workers take on Macron over pension reform
    by John Edmundson Starting on December 5th, 2019 workers in the Parisian rail network commenced an open-ended strike in opposition to French President Emmanuel Macron’s proposed changes to their pension scheme. Rail workers in the Metro Underground have, for decades, had retirement conditions that compensate them for the low wages, ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • What a difference the decimal point makes
    I’m back at work following a nearly three-week break over Christmas. We were fortunate to be offered a house to stay in for a week over Christmas, which enabled us to have a holiday in Dunedin and see the extended family reasonably cheaply. But the house came with a catch:  ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    2 weeks ago
  • Who’s Going To Stop Him?
    Blank And Pitiless: Having ordered the assassination of the Iranian General, Qasem Soleimani, President Donald Trump promised to reduce the cultural monuments of Iran’s 3,000 year-old civilisation to rubble if a revenge attack was mounted. A breach of international law? Certainly. A war crime? Indisputably. Who’s going to stop him? Nobody.WHAT ...
    2 weeks ago
  • A worker’s story
    This interview is from Aotearoa Workers Solidarity Movement (AWSM) and is the first of an ongoing series of interviews they plan to do with workers from various sectors who are having their well being and livelihoods damaged. They begin with an educator in Southland. Due to the attitude and actions ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #2
    A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week, i.e., Sun, Jan 5, 2020 through Sat, Jan 11, 2020 Editor's Pick Debunked Australian Bushfire Conspiracy Theories Were Pushed by Alex Jones, Murdoch Media   As unusually intense and widespread bushfires have ...
    2 weeks ago
  • J.K. Rowling, the Seattle Library, and the Issue That Must Not Be Named
    This article was submitted to Redline by Seattle-based activist Lucinda Stoan J.K. Rowling recognizes repression when she sees it.  That’s why the author of the wildly popular Harry Potter books recently tweeted in defense of Maya Forstater. Forstater lost her job for stating that sex is real and immutable. A judge ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    3 weeks ago
  • Rules of Empire: Laws simply do not apply and “National Security” excuses all else.
    Empires rise and fall, and the American Empire is absolutely no different. But while an Empire, in order to further the footprint, it seems to pay to do one primary thing above all else: project that everything – everything – is “simply for the good of the world” at large, ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    3 weeks ago
  • Indian lessons for NZ workers – the January 8 general strike
                    by Phil Duncan On Wednesday (January 8) another massive general strike took place in India.  Some 250 million industrial workers, white-collar workers, agricultural labourers struck against the government’s economic policies and attacks on the Muslim population through new proposed citizenship rules. This ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    3 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: The action that counts
    Over on Newsroom, Professor Jacqueline Beggs writes about the action she is taking on climate change. Its the usual list: reduce meat, don't fly, consume less. I'm doing some of this myself, and none of it hurts - but the way our economic system is constructed means the impact of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 weeks ago
  • Fossil fuel political giving outdistances renewables 13 to one
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Karin Kirk Corporations, special interest groups, and individuals inject billions of dollars into the American political system every year. Much of the financial support in politics is concealed from public view, as some rules – and loopholes – allow “dark money” and ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Animal response to a bushfire is astounding. These are the tricks they use to survive
    Dale Nimmo, Charles Sturt University Have you ever wondered how our native wildlife manage to stay alive when an inferno is ripping through their homes, and afterwards when there is little to eat and nowhere to hide? The answer is adaptation and old-fashioned ingenuity. Australia’s bushfire season is far from ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    3 weeks ago

  • FAQ – Everything you need to know about the Big New Zealand Upgrade
    Today, our Government announced the biggest infrastructure investment in a generation. We’re investing $12 billion to upgrade and build rail, roads, schools and hospitals across the country – modernising our infrastructure, preparing for climate change and helping to future-proof our economy. Find out everything you need to know about the ...
    26 mins ago
  • Week That Was: 2020
    We are back for 2020! From changes to Family Funded Care, to a record high number of Kiwis in construction in the trades - we're already back making progress on those long-term challenges. Read all about it and more ...
    5 days ago
  • Winston Peters: “Ihumātao deal still a long way off”
    Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters told Mike Hosking that a settlement deal regarding Ihumātao in Auckland is still a long way off. The Maori King's flag was lowered at the site near Auckland Airport yesterday, sparking suggestions an announcement of a deal could be made by Waitangi Day. Pania Newton, ...
    6 days ago
  • Winston Peters accuses Gerry Brownlee of ‘politicising’ Holocaust memorial
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters is accusing Gerry Brownlee of "politicising" a Holocaust memorial event after the National MP questioned the lack of Kiwi representation there. The Yad Vashem World Holocaust Remembrance Centre in Jerusalem, Israel, is holding the World Holocaust Forum on January 23 to mark 75 years since ...
    6 days ago
  • Provincial Growth Fund to help Waipukurau Pā sites attract thousands of tourists
    The Ngā Ara Tipuna - Waipukurau Pā Site Interpretation project is receiving $2.798 million from the Provincial Growth Fund. It is is expected to boost the town's employment and tourism, creating sixteen new jobs once completed and attract up to 15,000 visitors a year. Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development ...
    1 week ago
  • “Common sense will prevail, not extremism” Winston Peters backs Shane Jones’ pro-meat stance
    New Zealand First leader Winston Peters is backing his MPs who have spoken out against a new climate change teaching resource that advises students to eat less meat to save the planet. The new teaching resource, announced by Education Minister Chris Hipkins and Climate Change Minister James Shaw, tells students ...
    1 week ago
  • Violent assault on paramedic highlights need for law change
    Darroch Ball MP, Spokesperson for Justice Today’s horrific violent assault of an on-duty female paramedic which rendered her unconscious is truly unsettling. “Our thoughts are with the paramedic, her loved ones and the St John’s team at Warkworth Station,” says New Zealand First Justice Spokesperson Darroch Ball. “Harsher penalties for perpetrators ...
    1 week ago
  • Acting PM Winston Peters confirms NZDF troops in Iraq not hit by Iranian attacks
    Acting Prime Minister Winston Peters called for calm and diplomacy following Iranian missile strikes on bases housing United States troops in Iraq, but confirmed New Zealand's base in the country was not hit. The New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) was earlier today investigating claims New Zealand's base in Iraq had ...
    1 week ago
  • Kaikōura $10.88 million boost in tourism & business
    Fletcher Tabuteau MP, Parliamentary Undersecretary for Regional Economic Development The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is investing $10.88 million to boost business and tourism opportunities in Kaikōura, Parliamentary Undersecretary for Regional Economic Development, Fletcher Tabuteau announced today. As part of the Kaikōura Marina Development Programme, the following two projects will receive ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Delivering a stable water supply to Wairarapa
    Hon. Ron Mark, New Zealand First List MP based in Wairarapa The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is investing $7.11 million to create a sustainable water supply for the Wairarapa. The PGF will provide a $7 million investment to Wairarapa Water Limited to progress the Wairarapa Water Storage Scheme towards procurement, consenting, ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Housing consents hit highest level since 1974
    Housing consents have hit a 45-year high, as Statistics NZ data shows a total of 37,010 residential consents were issued in the year to November --- the first time they have breached the 37,000 mark since the mid-1970s. Statistics NZ said the trend had been rising since late 2011, when ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Darroch Ball MP: “Violence against first responders is a problem on the rise”
    New Zealand First MP Darroch Ball says that a paramedic being kicked unconscious last night in an attempted burglary in Warkworth, north of Auckland, is a symptom of a larger problem. "Incidents like this are becoming more and more frequent...and it’s getting worse," Mr Ball said. The MP is pushing for ...
    2 weeks ago

  • The New Zealand Upgrade Programme
    Rail, roads, schools and hospitals will be built and upgraded across the country under the new $12 billion New Zealand Upgrade Programme announced by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern. The programme: Includes investments in roads, rail, hospitals and schools to future-proof the economy Will give a $10 billion boost to New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 hour ago
  • School infrastructure upgrades ramping up
    The New Zealand Upgrade Programme is already underway, with schools busy getting building work started over the Christmas break. The Coalition Government announced just before the end of last year $400 million in new funding for most state schools to invest locally in building companies and tradies to fix leaking ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 hour ago
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