Re-run: Benefits, wages and anger

Written By: - Date published: 8:28 am, December 29th, 2009 - 44 comments
Categories: benefits, capitalism - Tags:

The recent furore about benefit levels has brought a lot of comments along the lines of “I don’t get it why should they?” out of the woodwork along with a lot of hardluck stories from low wage earners such as this one from Phoenix on Colin Espiner’s blog:

I am 6 months pregnant with my first child. 6 weeks into my pregnancy, my prick of a boss decided to make me redundant, forcing me into a position paying $5 an hour less than my normal rate of pay, I had to move to Chch from Auckland to keep my job, and whats more, he replaced me with someone else about 2 weeks after I had moved! (changed the name of the position of course, but it is the same blinkin job)

I have a partner, he got a job paying $38k a year (before tax), I now earn a pathetic $30k a year, and because of our two incomes, we are not eledgible for any government help.

I felt like I had to stay employed with this company as it would be very difficult to find a job when you are pregnant, especially at the moment with the recession and the lack of jobs out there.

What annoys me here, is I am battling to stay afloat, will be taking the least amount of maternity leave owing so we dont lose any income, and will have to put my child into child care to go back to work while these ladies earn a heck of a lot more than I do for sitting on the benefit.

Perhaps I should have a couple more kids and pretend I am single, to get more money?? Oh yeah, and I did 3 polytech courses, and have already paid back my student loan. No freebies there either….

Apart from the fact Phoenix would clearly have a strong case for a personal grievance which should include reinstatement and maternity leave (join your union!), this comment and the hundreds like it are a constant reminder of how low wages are in New Zealand.

The dark irony is that by calling for beneficiaries to have their entitlements cut, these low paid workers are effectively asking to have more pressure put on them to work harder for less because if they don’t there will be more people lined up to do their job for less. In fact in the 1990’s a constant refrain from bosses during negotiations was “if you don’t like the wages there’s hundreds of people who will.”

What astounds me is that so many people with these hard luck stories are willing to attack other people at the bottom of the pile rather than the people and policies that are oppressing them both.

I guess it shows how effective the New Right’s individualist agenda has been in that rather than see themselves as part of society these people see themselves only as individuals in competition with other individuals.

And while I’m at it there’s a second strain of comment that has come through during this debacle – the one where the commenter talks about how proud they are they are toughing it out and working for SFA. There’s a name for that kind of person and apparently there’s one born every minute.

44 comments on “Re-run: Benefits, wages and anger”

  1. “…the commenter talks about how proud they are they are toughing it out and working for SFA. There’s a name for that kind of person and apparently there’s one born every minute.

    People who take pride in working, being self-reliant and contributing are fools? It’s called having a work ethic. But that’s OK. Just so long as someone else has one you don’t need to. Your brand of morality explains why the welfare system is systematically abused.

    • felix 1.1

      Geez Lindsay if you’re going to make shit up and attribute it to someone else it’s probably best not to quote what they actually said or you’ll just look like a moron as well as a liar.

    • BLiP 1.2

      Where’s the morality in sneering at those in receipt of a benefit?

    • roger nome 1.3

      and swoosh – there goes he point, at stratosphere level over lindsay’s head. to bring it down to our level, the people that don’t have the politcal analysis to realise when they’re being systemically shafted are suckers. i mean, good on them for working hard, and making an honest living. you may be a good person, but you’re still a sucker.

  2. Ms X 2

    Well I dont think that $272 for a sole parent and $158 for a single person under 25 (sickness or unemployment benefits) is much. Frankly, I’m amazed anyone can survive on those levels. The supplements, Family Tax credits etc are add-ons and a lot of people not on benefit are entitled to one or more of those. I’m one of them. if we could separate fact from fiction just long enough for these people who are apparently prepared to forego their dignity, independence and chances of earning more for a “freebie” each week, they might have some surprises. Unhappily, the readily accessible facts of levels of benefits are never as good as a good headline-hitting whinge.

  3. The fruits of fucking up at school coming to fruitition here chaps, cry me a river and use contraception instead of whinging.

    • Roger 3.1

      As Phoenix mentioned about her education and qualifications, “Oh yeah, and I did 3 polytech courses, and have already paid back my student loan. No freebies there either”. Is this fucking up at school?

    • roger nome 3.2

      JR you punative idiot – how about i kneecap you and call it the fruits of your nasty rhetoric? bet you’d enjoy that.

  4. swimmer 4

    It’s just more beneficiary bashing. Those people should be grateful that they have jobs and get on with their lives and stop whinging about the people who are in the unfortunate position of having to live off a benefit.

  5. Anne 5

    It would be interesting to know how many of the beneficiary bashers who made comments on Espinor’s original blog (28 July 2009) have since been made redundant and are currently on a benefit.

  6. lenore 6

    I also don’t get it. Someone on a benefit has no connections, doesn’t have mummy and daddy to bail them out, give them the connections to the right job … oh and pay for them to go to uni while putting their money in a family trust so that it doesn’t get touched like the average worker paying taxes. I live in a suburb where the self employed get working for families tax credits to pay for their cleaner and where people know how to use the system legally to pay less. That is the way of the world and why the rich get richer etc. If I was phoenix, I would be more pissed off about how there are a few wealthy people out there who manage to worm themselves out of paying their share, rather than a few poor buggers who manage to cling onto staying on a benefit where lets face it, you are treated like shit.

  7. jcuknz 7

    It is a typical case of attacking others becuase you think they are getting more than you. But the basic point here is that a couple shouldn’t let the woman get pregnant if they cannot afford to have the child and maintain the standard of living they wish to have. Quite apart from arguments about the world has too many people already and bringing another life into the world is immoral.

    • BLiP 7.1

      Compulsory contraception until you are rich enough to have children?

      • Zorr 7.1.1

        One rule for the rich. Another rule for everyone else.

        Where have you been Blip? 😛

        • BLiP 7.1.1.1

          Heh! No doubt I’m still suffering a little culture shock. See, I’ve just got back from Planet Humanity – a strange and mysterious place where the members of society extend financial support to its weakest members yet withhold the right to pour scorn upon them, a place where providing as far as possible for the equitable distribution of health, education, and opportunity to children is dispensed by the state where required yet the recipient caregivers are still granted the respect due to those growing the future. Crazy, eh?

      • jcuknz 7.1.2

        Blip …. That does make sense, although I’m not sure that it should be complusory but rather intelligent choice. I have supported the concept of a responsible society for many decades now but mankind is swamping the world and to me it is preferable that the solution is by self discipline rather than by war and famine.

        So it is ‘not until you are rich’ but rather until the world population has stabilised at a sensible level to be self supporting in terms of its resources. There is nowhere else for mankind to go for all of NASA’s efforts.

        • prism 7.1.2.1

          jcuknz – These people are being people, following the human behaviour traits and you blame them? This is what people tend to do in a society that doesn’t have strict controls like China, they have sex and have babies. It’s traditional in more ways than one. Families where children have just come along without much attempt at birth control, tend to follow the same approach as their parents. It is quite an effort to control conception, and society often makes it quite hard also by putting various barriers in the way.

  8. jcuknz 8

    Zorr …. it has always been and always will be different if you are rich. But richness can come from satisfaction with what one has, contentment with what one has achieved in life.
    They choose for her to get pregnant, one way or another, an obvious lack of self discipline and appreciation of what it involves. Her rather stupid slagging off at her employer gains her nothing in my view. Why should the employer carry the bag for the couple’s lack of common sense. If the country wants another child then it should be our collective responsibility through state aid … but of course really the world doesn’t need yet another mouth to feed.

    • felix 8.1

      I totally get your point about overpopulation, and also about intelligent choices being far and away the most ideal means to tackle the problem.

      However the ability to make such choices presupposes a level of education and awareness which we as a society have failed to extend to the vast majority of the population, preferring instead to adorn ourselves with wasteful trinkets and casual luxuries.

      Where is the moral authority now to decide the fate of the mass?

    • Roger 8.2

      How is two full time workers deciding at a reasonable age to start a family a lack of self discipline and appreciation of what is involved. Are you saying that having your job taken away in dubious circumstances is a normal consideration of what is involved?

    • roger nome 8.3

      grinchnz: nz is not overpopulated – in fact if it were left to the rich we would b experiencing depopulation – and a higher ratio of retired people to working age people. anyhow – i don’t think the child should pay for their parents’ mistakes – none of us choose to be born in to poverty. so get off your high horse and come down to reality – where most of us live. that’s why we choose to live in a society that has a welfare state. i hear somalia doesn’t have much of a welfare state. perhaps you could move to that free-market paridise if you don’t like the way we do things in new zealand?

      • jcuknz 8.3.1

        It is possible that NZ is not overpopulated at the moment but just as with greenhouse gases what we do affects the world and what the world is doing affects us, so we should be doing something, perhaps like China with a one child family for a start, and ignore the foolish religious concepts that this violates..

        It is the parents decision, often becuase of ignorance, as to how a child is born.
        Th responsible parent ensures that they have enough to not only feed the child but raise it with some expectations. Otherwise the child and the parents are victims of the blind drive of nature to procreate. Nature does seem to be driving us to starvation and extinction and mankind fortunately has the brain, somewhat lacking in this forum I suspect, to do something about it. That the ‘rich’ are having small families merely illustrates that they have the brains to make their money and keep it, and in turn give their children a start in life.

        As I see it the problem in countries such as Roger Nome wishes to consign me is that without a welfare system the only hope for parents to enjoy their reitrement is to have plenty of children to look after them. If they were assured of an adequate superanuation they wouldnt need to have so many children. and they and the world would be a better place with a better future.

  9. jcuknz 9

    I would suggest that you lefties lift your heads out of the class war and get a glimpse of what is going on in the world with the mad march of capitalism, which you reflect with your desires and comments. For the responsible society [ Dr Bill Sutch] to work the people must act in a responsible way on a personal, national, and world level.

    • Roger 9.1

      In regards to acting responsibly, this case above shows that Phoenix has been acting responsibly. She was made redundant AFTER she was pregnant. If she works full time, a loss of $5 per hour down to $30,000pa suggests that when she was pregnant, she was earning $40,400pa, living happily in Auckland, and a partner on $38,000pa. She had 3 tertiary courses paid off so she is responsible with her money. Rather than telling us lefties to lift our heads out of the class war, you should join our ranks since it appears that dickhead bosses like the one above are the ones acting irresponsibly. On a personal level they do so by making people redundant through legally dubious avenues, on a national level through political parties that bash beneficiaries and help unscrupulous employers by eroding workers rights, and banks that evade tax, and a world level by outsourcing labour to places where workers can be exploited.

      • jcuknz 9.1.1

        If you but knew it I have been in your ranks for decades serving on staff committee etc at times, likely ever since I read Dr S’s book which made so much sense, but that was fifty years ago and while I still believe in a responsible society I have come to see that for it to work one must have a responsible populace to support it.otherwise it will not get off the ground. The left are largely dreamers trying the share out the cake before it is cooked. It didn’t work in the village society and it still doesn’t in our modern industrial world. The crops have to be harvested before food can be made.

        From what I learnt when I was on the dole for a short time I believe that the beneficiaries have to fight for every cent they get and the departments job was to try and see through the lurks and fiddles the bene’s tried to put over them … a form of warfare with a lack of responsibility on both sides. That was around 20 years ago when I was made redundant shortly before retirement age, I hope things are better now. Shipley and Richardson not running things now.

    • prism 9.2

      I think Dr Bill Sutch had more heart and humanity than you do jcuknz.

  10. prism 10

    This is having a work ethic? Have you any ethics at all – how would you know? People being worked into the ground and never able to improve their lot because they are only receiving survival wages, that is a recipe for a handy underclass to exploit. Especially if they accept the propaganda that they are superior to those out of work – working even for peanuts is heroic! Reminds me of an old story where pre-legal prostitution they in this city had a pecking order, the inside girls looked down on the street girls. In the end it is just a small degree of difference – they are exploiting themselves.

    George Orwell wrote about this problem in Down and Out in Paris and London after he was working in Paris as a plongeur – a low-paid kitchen hand working long hours in poor conditions for minimal pay. He made an interesting comment – that it was the sort of work that women would normally be given except they didn’t have the stamina for this job. It is interesting that this pregnant woman is trying to do paid work as well, she cannot prepare for her baby’s birth, and is not being paid the high wages that some women have as a reason for not relinquishing work at this time. She should be able to get assistance from a government that had any idea of how to support citizens and give parents and babies a good start in life.

    One of the ploys Orwell and his companions used as a survival technique after losing their jobs was to get out of a boarding house without paying rent due by lowering a suitcase out of the window so they could leave with the weemingly intending to return. Being on the edge can drive you into criminality so easily. Nothing superior and wonderful in being poor whether you are working or not.

    • prism 10.1

      Just remembered another bit from Orwells Down & Out – he said about working as a plongeur that there was a sort of pride in the men who did the job. It was such hard work and it sorted out the stayers and the others and they felt a pride in being such hardworking beasts who could survive in that work environment.
      Of course it was written in 1933 and was about the conditions of the Great Depression. That’s the period they made the film They Shoot Horses Don’t They – referring I think to when horses were worn out with work they got shot, and people going into marathon dance competitions for money often danced till they dropped like worn-out horses.

    • jcuknz 10.2

      Just to prove my heart and humanity PRISM I would tell you that I am glad to live in a country where prostitution is a legitimate and legal form of emplyment rather than as in the States and similar uncivilised countries where the women are hounded by police and crims with nobody to help them better themselves with the talents they were born with. Everybody ‘exploits’/ uses the skills they were born with/ learnt to earn their living. You demonstrate a rather limited concept of life and humanity with that comment..

      • prism 10.2.1

        Didn’t say that prostitution shouldn’t be legal. Its a hard business though, dealing with the public is always tiring, retail assistant, taxi driving for instance, but prostitution involves selling yourself for short periods and you would have to watch that you didn’t sell yourself short, and that there was something of you left over when you could live your own life and wanting to make your own emotional partnership. That applies to girls or rent boys I think they call them. If they can find the other talents that they were born with, and everybody has many just not realised, and then exploit those instead they are likely to be much better off in the long run.
        That’s the reality and can’t be denied. The truth can’t be glossed over by a veneer of superiority and liberal talk jcuknz.

  11. randal 11

    this person phoenix, if it is a real person and not just a figment of espiners imagination
    (has he been interviewing his own typewriter again) sounds just like a paula bennet impersonator.
    they will probably stand for national at the next election.

  12. prism 12

    It is possible that phoenix can rise out of the ashes, but when I looked on the IRD information online I find that it is short on direct answers. What is the income level for in-work tax benefit?? The top amount they will pay is stated but not the top amount that you can earn. Anyway mothers to be should be getting a maternal benefit – don’t they have one in Australia? They do in lots of other go-ahead countries. But of course we treat human pregnancy as a sort of farming activity.
    Then there are about three other benefits which you have to wade through details about. One has an abatement at about $36,000.
    You have to enter your info and the site will calculate it. IN the old days, there used to be pages of tax tables where you found out exact details by running along two columns, like you do with a road distance chart. Seeing is believing and understanding, not the doling out of information through a fog of words is needed.

  13. JD 13

    I sometines wonder if you’re a real person Randel as its hard to fathom how anyone could be so stupid.

  14. Jum 14

    – Did Phoenix vote for National in the last election? If so, serves her right; she obviously approves of that sort of treatment. NActM talked about the 90day probation bill. Surely everyone would know that’s NAct speak for ‘the employer has all the advantages’. Surely everyone knows what National and Act stand for. Many NZers voted for National against a female Prime Minister and now are suffering for their misogyny.

    Let’s see if by 2011 these now-suffering people have learned any lessons from voting for the National/Act/Maori/United Future parties that believe in cheap, desperate labour and growing the privatisation pie for the corporates.

    – Even an Act supporter I know admitted that the reason Working for Families existed was because employers were getting away with paying pittances for all these ‘hardworking’ New Zealanders the far right political parties are exploiting.

    Do I sound bitter – of course. New Zealanders are and have been selfishly inclined since the Douglas 80s and Richardson 90s. Clark tried to turn the tide but this country of men folk who hate strong women ruined a return to some form of civilized future for NZ. Now it’s all about privatisation and mining and brutish lives for animals and people, not necessarily in that order.

    • prism 14.1

      capcha – if
      jum What you say could all be right. But Labour now has a chance to rethink its priorities and get man and womanpower into action.
      The trouble with Helen was that she was omnipresent and appeared authoritarian without understandable explanation. If we as a country could have a two-term limit on Prime Ministers we would stop this concreting in of someone who is losing vision and value and allow for fresh and experienced replacements to come forward, without having to chuck out a whole government just to get the required change of leadership.

      • felix 14.1.1

        …omnipresent and appeared authoritarian without understandable explanation.

        I think Jum offered a pretty simple explanation actually.

  15. prism 15

    felix Do you mean jum saying that NZ hate strong women?

    • felix 15.1

      I think it’s more of a case of a small, vocal, and creepy minority of NZ men who hate strong women, and that their sentiment has been given a voice by the National and Act party, their bloggers, and their PR people in quite a strategic manner (at the higher levels) resulting in mindless repetition by the like of the drones who post here and elsewhere.

      I don’t recall regular people talking about Clark being “authoritarian” or “omniscient” for the past decade but reading the blogosphere and the newspapers you’d think that that was the generally held perception of her.

      It’s a top-down meme, not a bottom-up one. They chose a few years ago to attack Clark on her strengths rather than her weaknesses. As Karl Rove says, if you attack their strengths and do it right they have nothing left. Or something like that.

  16. Olwyn 16

    Well said Felix

  17. Sanctuary 17

    felix, whilst i agree with what you say, it should be remembered that it still important for the National party to keep up it’s laundered attacks on her. If these were to stop then the danger would be she would be seen as possibly our greatest PM since Fraser. That in turn would diminish the stature of the John Key. The formidable shadow of Helen Clark willl terrify the National party for a while yet.

    Oh yes and the righties are petrified she’ll end up the first President of the Republic of New Zealand, and with good reason IMHO. She would be a fantastic president after she finishes her stint as secretary general of the UN, around ten-fifteen years from now…

  18. prism 18

    Helen Clark was good but should not be canonised and criticism of her performance is as relevant as for other politicians. Don’t be paranoid, the Nats nicknamed her Helengrad which was unfair and unreasonable but leader worship should not get in the way of reasonable analysis.

    • prism 18.1

      capcha interests
      Why is a simple comment I made at 11 am/ish still awaiting moderation? And why, there’s no bad language or anything offensive in it. Just fair comment.

  19. al zhiemer 19

    Rodger ,Somalia has a welfare system,it’s called piracy and it pays a whole lot more than bennets benefit.

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    Back in June, the UK Court of Appeal ruled that that country's continued arms sales to Saudi Arabia were unlawful. So you'd expect that the UK government stopped approving them, right?Of course not:The government has apologised for breaching a court ruling against the sale of weapons to Saudi Arabia that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Covering up the cover-up
    Yesterday NZDF officials were put on the stand about the lies they had told over Operation Burnham, making implausible claims that it was all a big mistake. But along the way, we learned they had already been put on the spot about it by a previous Defence Minister, who had ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Not as important as they think they are
    Farmers have been whining a lot lately, about the methane targets in the Zero Carbon Bill, about Canterbury's proposed nitrogen limits, and about the government's new proposals to stop them from shitting in our lakes and rivers. These policies are "throwing farmers under the tractor", they will force farmers off ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 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 ...
    4 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
    4 days ago
  • Chris Trotter on the BFD
    I don't want to give pblicity to certain parts of the internet that are better left to fester in their own irrelevance (I know, a bit like this place) but the listing of Chris Trotter as a 'author' on Cameron Slater's spinoff website, the BFD requires some explanation.Now, I don't ...
    5 days ago
  • Sex is not a spectrum
    The text below is a Twitter thread by Heather Heying that explains the essence of sexual reproduction and it long evolutionary history. She is an evolutionary biologist and a “professor-in-exile” after she and her husband, Bret Weinstein, stood up to supporters of an enforced “Day of Absence” for white staff and teachers ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    5 days ago
  • Climate Change: Trees, aviation, and offsets
    With crunch time for new Zealand climate policy approaching, most of the New Zealand media have got on board with a global reporting effort to cover the issue. There's one strand of stories today about polling and what it shows about changing public attitudes to the crisis, but the strand ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Pissing-Off The Israelis Is A High-Risk Strategy.
    Dangerous Foes: For those readers of Bowalley Road who feel disposed to dismiss any prospect of an Israeli destabilisation of New Zealand politics, the example of the United Kingdom repays close attention. Ever since the election of Jeremy Corbyn as leader of the British Labour Party, the Israelis have sanctioned, funded and ...
    5 days ago
  • Something to go to in Wellington
    Make It 16, the youth-led campaign to lower New Zealand's voting age, is holding an official campaign launch at Parliament this Friday from 16:30. If you'd like to attend, you can register using EventBrite here. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • A founding member responds to Peace Action Wellington
    by Don Franks It was a lovely sunny Wellington afternoon with blue skies above  the beaches.  In Courtenay Place, political activists packed out a stuffy upstairs room for an important meeting. The assembled pacifists, anarchists, communists and independent young radicals of Peace Action Wellington felt the need for a mission ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    5 days ago
  • “Mistakes and errors”
    Current and former NZDF top brass are being publicly grilled this week by the hit and run inquiry over their public responses to allegations of civilian casualties. Previously, they've claimed there were no casualties, a position which led them to lie to Ministers and to the public. Now, they're saying ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • “Homosexuality is same-sex attraction and relationships, not heterosexuals with delusions of gende...
    by Rafael D. Quiles (gender-critical gay man from Puerto Rico) The writing on the wall is right in people’s faces and people just don’t see it or don’t want to. What could actually possess a heterosexual male to want to feminize himself and claim that he is a lesbian? Because ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    6 days ago
  • Trump: “Where’s my favourite dictator?”
    From the Wall Street Journal:Inside a room of the ornately decorated Hotel du Palais during last month’s Group of Seven summit in Biarritz, France, President Trump awaited a meeting with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi. Mr. Trump looked over a gathering of American and Egyptian officials and called out in ...
    6 days ago
  • Magdalen Burns, 1983-2019, fighter for women’s liberation
    by the Redline blog collective At Redline we are very saddened to hear of the death of Magdalen Burns who passed away on the morning of Friday, September 13 (British time). Magdalen was a great fighter for the rights of women in general and lesbian women in particular, a defender ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    7 days ago
  • Parliament and the Executive
    The Brexit issue has certainly brought with it a series of apparently difficult constitutional issues, many of them concerning the respective roles of the executive and parliament. Most of them arise because of the unwillingness of MPs, despite their professions to the contrary, to be bound by a constitutional rarity ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • The Abigail Article; Martyn Bradbury’s Article, and My Response
    . . This blogpost is different to my usual format of reporting on issues… Since July 1011, I have blogged on a variety of political issues; near always political and/or environmental; mostly highly critical of the previous National Government. Other issues included Israeli occupation of Palestinian lands and repression of ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • Police will have to wear silly Buckingham Palace hats from now on, says Police Minister
    Those close to the Police Minister believe the initiative may be the result of Nash “seeing a great deal” on AliExpress. In a move that comes seemingly out of nowhere, Police Minister Stuart Nash announced this afternoon that he expects all frontline staff to don bearskin hats, famously worn by ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • A sensible crackdown
    The government has released its Arms Legislation Bill, containing the second tranche of changes to gun laws following the March 15 massacre. And it all looks quite sensible: a national gun register, higher penalties for illegal possession and dealing, tighter restrictions on arms dealers and shooting clubs, and a shorter ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • California bans private prisons
    Private prisons are a stain on humanity. Prison operators explicitly profit from human misery, then lobby for longer prisons terms so they can keep on profiting. And in the US, prison companies run not only local and state prisons, but also Donald Trump's immigration concentration camps. Faced with this moral ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Why PPPs are a bad idea
    When National was in power, they were very keen on Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) - basicly, using private companies to finance public infrastructure as a way of hiding debt from the public. They were keen on using them for everything - roads, schools, hospitals. But as the UK shows, that "service" ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • A Movement That No Longer Moves.
    Moving And Shaking: There was a time when people spoke matter-of-factly about the “labour movement” – a political phenomenon understood to embrace much more than the Labour Party. Included within the term’s definition was the whole trade union movement – many of whose members looked upon the Labour Party as ...
    1 week ago
  • NZ ‘left’ politically embracing extreme postmodernism
    by Philip Ferguson Much of the left, even people who formally identify as marxists, have collapsed politically in the face of postmodern gender theory of the sort pioneered by American philosopher Judith Butler. For Butler even biological sex is socially constructed. “If the immutable character of sex is contested, perhaps ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • The obvious question
    The media is reporting that the (alleged) Labour party sexual assaulter has resigned from their job at Parliament, which means hopefully he won't be turning up there making people feel unsafe in future. Good. But as with everything about this scandal, it just raises other questions. Most significantly: why the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The moment I found out that you found out, I acted swiftly
    By Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern I am every bit as angry as you are. I am every bit as disappointed as you must be. The people with power, oversight and the ability to do something about these processes within the Labour Party should be ashamed. Whoever those people are, I ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • This is why people hate property developers
    Property developers think there is an "oversupply" of houses in Auckland:High turnover rates and falling prices may be a sign that there are too many new houses going in to some parts of Auckland, commentators say. [...] Property developer David Whitburn said there was a "bit of an oversupply" in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Australia to Pacific: “Fuck you, you can all drown”
    World leaders are meeting in New York in two weeks for the 2019 Climate Action Summit, where they are expected to announce new and more ambitious targets to stop the world from burning. But the Australian Prime Minister won't be there, despite being in the USA at the time:Scott Morrison ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Implausible ignorance
    Labour Party president Nigel Haworth resigned yesterday over the party's sexual assault scandal. But while that's good news, its unlikely to take away the stench of a coverup. Because according to Paula Bennett in Parliament yesterday, pretty much everyone in the Prime Minister's office was involved as well:I have been ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Labour’s Fatal Flaw.
     Two-Faced? Labour insiders' commitment to the neoliberal status quo puts them at odds with their party’s membership; its trade union affiliates; and a majority of Labour voters, but this only serves to strengthen the perception they have of themselves as a special elite. Among the lesser breeds, they’ll talk up a ...
    1 week ago
  • Ten reasons the Tories do NOT want an election
    There has been a lot of talk about Boris Johnson wanting an election, and he has blustered with great gusto about 'chicken' Jeremy Corbyn refusing one, but I think there are many reasons why he is secretly glad he has been refused the opportunity:The Tories are an utter rabble,tearing themselves ...
    1 week ago
  • Prorogation Illegal, rule Scottish judges
    Scottish appeal court judges have declared that Boris Johnson’s decision to suspend parliament in the run-up to the October Brexit deadline is unlawful. The three judges, chaired by Lord Carloway, Scotland’s most senior judge, overturned an earlier ruling that the courts did not have the powers to interfere in the prime ...
    1 week ago
  • Let me explain what I meant by Everyday New Zealanders
    By Simon Bridges. The following is a press release from the office of Simon Bridges, leader of The National Party. Key ora, New Zealand. Happy Maori Language Week. Look, I’m writing to you today because I want to clear something up. There’s been a lot of kerfuffle around some things ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Yes, the SIS is subject to the Public Records Act
    I understand there's some stuff going round about how the SIS "was removed from the list of public offices covered by the Public Records Act in 2017". The context of course being their records derived from US torture, which will be disposed of or sealed. The good news is that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • An evidence-based discussion of the Canadian fluoride/IQ study
    Dr. Christopher Labos and Jonathan Jarry discuss the recent Canadian fluoride/IQ research. They provide an expert analysis of the paper and its problems. Click on image to go to podcast. The critical debate about the recent ...
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Australia in denial
    Australia is burning down again, and meanwhile its natural disaster minister is denying climate change:Australia’s minister responsible for drought and natural disasters, David Littleproud, has said that he doesn’t “know if climate change is manmade”. Clarifying earlier comments that the question is “irrelevant” when considering the Coalition government’s response to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Philippines activist speaking on the Duterte tyranny
    Auckland Philippines Solidarity is excited to host Professor Judy Taguiwalo for a speaking tour of NZ in September. She is a well-known activist in the Philippines and was a political prisoner under the Marcos dictatorship. Professor Taguiwalo briefly served as a Cabinet member under President Duterte but was forced from ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Disgust
    I have no special insights to offer on the Labour sexual assault coverup. All I have is disgust. Disgust that an organisation could fail its people so badly. Disgust that they punished the victims rather than the perpetrator. Disgust that its party hacks are apparently blaming the victims for demanding ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Speak Up for Women calls out Greens’ censorship
    This open letter to the Green Party was penned after an opinion piece by Jill Abigail, a feminist and founding member of the party, was censored by the Greens’ leadership. (Redline has reprinted her article here).The intolerance of the Green Party leaders and their acceptance of the misogyny of gender ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Member’s Day: End of Life Choice, part 3
    Today is a Member's day, and David Seymour's End of Life Choice Bill continues its slow crawl through its committee stage. They're spending the whole day on it today, though the first hour is likely to be spent on voting left over from last time. After that they'll move on ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Flight to Los Angeles turned back after passengers decide they don’t want to go anymore
    An ambitious plan to fly to Los Angeles petered out into a brief sight-seeing trip and a desire to return home and get some sleep before work tomorrow. Air New Zealand has confirmed a flight to Los Angeles last night was turned back about a quarter of the way into ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Indigenous Futures: defuturing and futuring – an analytical framework for policy development?
    There appears to be consensus – by omission – that the concept of indigenous futures should be accepted at face value. So I scavenged the internet to see if I could locate an academic descriptor or a framework around how we think about it as a concept, and whether it ...
    EllipsisterBy Ellipsister
    2 weeks ago
  • Cadbury rumoured to be releasing the Pineapple Trump
    Here’s another novelty chocolate to shove in your gob, New Zealand Cadbury could be seeking to make itself great again with a rumoured new release: Pineapple Trumps, a spin on its classic chocolate-encased pineapple treat and do-it-yourself tooth remover. The global confectionery manufacturer and bumbling “before” character in an infomercial, ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • The coming resource war.
    During my time in the Pentagon I had the privilege of sitting down with military leaders and defence and security officials from a variety of Latin American nations. Sometimes I was present as a subordinate assistant to a senior US defence department official, sometimes as part of a delegation that ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    2 weeks ago
  • Māori Language Week with The Civilian
    Kia ora, Aotearoa. It’s that magical time of year. Te Wiki o te Reo Māori. In English, the week that frightens talk radio. As you probably know by now, all your favourite media outlets are participating, some more successfully than others. Stuff has changed its name to Puna for the ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Will Horizons act on climate change?
    Local body elections are coming up next month. And it looks like all Palmerston North candidates for Horizons (the Manawatu-Whanganui Regional Council) want to take action on climate change:Climate change is set to be a key issue in Palmerston North for the next three years if those wanting to get ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • BORA reform is stalled
    Eighteen months ago, the government promised to strengthen the Bill of Rights Act, by explicitly affirming the power of the courts to issue declarations of inconsistency and requiring Parliament to formally respond to them. So how's that going? I was curious, so I asked for all advice about the proposal. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Corbyn and Brexit
    As the Brexit saga staggers on, the focus is naturally enough on the Prime Minister and his attempts to achieve Brexit “do or die”. But the role played by the Leader of the Opposition is of almost equal interest and complexity. The first problem for Jeremy Corbyn is that he ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    2 weeks ago
  • A ditch for him to die in
    Last week, English Prime Minister Boris Johnson boldly declared that he would rather die be dead in a ditch than delay Brexit. Unfortunately for him, the UK parliament accepted the challenge, and promptly dug one for him. The "rebellion bill" requires him to ask for and secure yet another temporary ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Warning! Warning! Danger Jacinda Ardern! Danger Marama Davidson! Warning!
    Lost In Political Space: The most important takeaway from this latest Labour sexual assault scandal, which (if I may paraphrase Nixon’s White House counsel’s, John Dean’s, infamous description of Watergate) is “growing like a cancer” on the premiership, is the Labour Party organisation’s extraordinary professional paralysis in the face of ...
    2 weeks ago

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