Relief?

Written By: - Date published: 3:23 pm, October 18th, 2007 - 31 comments
Categories: labour - Tags:

mike2.jpgLook Mike, I know you know about the polls and I know you’re probably thinking about what you can do to turn things around. Well, I’ve got one little idea. Stop using their language.

It’s pretty simple really – I mean it’s not gonna win the game or anything but it’d be a damn good start if you stopped talking about ‘Tax Relief” and “Tax Burden” (f’crisskes!) ‘cos y’know that’s kinda what the right want it to be called. Here’s Lakoff on the issue:

The phrase “Tax relief” began coming out of the White House starting on the very day of Bush’s inauguration. It got picked up by the newspapers as if it were a neutral term, which it is not. First, you have the frame for “relief.” For there to be relief, there has to be an affliction, an afflicted party, somebody who administers the relief, and an act in which you are relieved of the affliction. The reliever is the hero, and anybody who tries to stop them is the bad guy intent on keeping the affliction going. So, add “tax” to “relief” and you get a metaphor that taxation is an affliction, and anybody against relieving this affliction is a villain.

Now I’m not a great big fan of framing but this seems pretty elementary to me and when I see stuff like the press release you put out today (and you’re doing it nearly every friggin day):

“We also know that the report does not take into account the billions of dollars of tax relief that are being delivered through the Working for Families programme.

I just wanna scream. But bro, you are the Minister for Finance so perhaps you know better. If you are running some super-smart reverse-psychology game plan then I can only offer this advice – when referring to the surplus call it “my overtax loot”, when discussing Working For Families call it “the middle-class welfare scheme” oh and you might want to start referring to National as “the natural party of government” while you’re at it… “Tax Burden”? Sheesh…

31 comments on “Relief?”

  1. JamesK 1

    You’re right. It’s bad enough hearing the right repeat those hackneyed lines day after day, let alone someone who’s supposed to be on our side. It’s not like the ‘tax relief’ thing is even unknown – it’s like he’s literally read Lakoff and then gone for the very worst thing he could possibly say. Come on Mike, you can do better.

  2. Wodger 2

    What is so wrong with calling a spade a spade? Is taxation not a burden? I assume you would support Cullen taking ‘increased taxes on the rich’ instead, Bill?

    BTW are you gents getting a promotional grant from Berkeley to run this website, or are you just googling overtime today? Honestly, you might want to update yourselves. After all 2003 is *so* yesterday.

    Maybe you should pick up a copy of your hero’s books?

    http://www.amazon.com/Dont-Think-Elephant-Debate-Progressives/dp/1931498717/

    Of perhaps those looking for a more balanced view should check out this review of the latest book

    “If the American Left believed in sainthood, they would have resolved to beatify George Lakoff by now. They adore the Berkeley linguist as an intellectual hero”

    “It would be wrong, for example, to say that Lakoff lacks the freedom to write an insightful book about politics. What he lacks is the ability.”

    http://article.nationalreview.com/?q=YmM4OWNjZDg1MjVlMDk0MGJjYzVkZjdlMzYyYjgyY2Q=

    PS I’m waiting for the next blog post – it will probably be on this illuminating study from (drum roll) UC Berkeley!

    http://www.berkeley.edu/news/media/releases/2006/03/23_block.shtml

  3. LFC 3

    I hear Mike’s got a new press sec – perhaps he’ll pick up his game.

  4. JamesK 4

    Ah, Wodger, I think Bill explicitly said he wasn’t a fan of Lakoff, but that it was a good point. Pays to read the posts properly before commenting.

  5. IrishBill 5

    Wodger: “I’m not a big fan of framing” Can you read? I think what Lakoff says is broadly right but that his thought is not new. All Lakoff does is take pragmatic political thought and overlay it with budget brand continental theory. Why I quoted him is that he uses the exact phrase “tax burden” as a (very famous) example of what not to do. I don’t consider tax a burden. I kinda like having public services. And your sarcasm is the most dated thing on this site (like, so ’90s man.)

  6. if this is the fault of a new press sec somebody take them aside for a wee chat.
    tax is an investment, a means of redistributing wealth, not a burden, and not something that requires ‘relief’.
    ffs

  7. r0b 7

    I’ll repeat my request from an earlier thread. It’s my impression that every survey that asks the NZ public to choose between tax cuts and improved social services, we choose improved social services every time. But as I said, that’s only my impression. If anyone can confirm, or of course disprove this claim, please post details?

    By the way Wodger, thanks for the useful link. Glad to see you’re getting into the spirit of things.

  8. Wodger 8

    Bill/Sprout/James

    You may not be a big fan, but you post a link to a fawning interview conducted at the “Free Speech Movement Cafe” (!)

    I take it from your responses that an increase in the top rate from 39 to 45 so that *even more* investment and redistributing could be conducted would be something you would support?

    Also, you do realise that ‘tax relief’ is official Labour policy from at least 2005, right?

    http://www.labour.org.nz/policy/families/2005policy/taxrelief/index.html

    I think you need to work on more than a few more press secretaries….

    And apologies for the multiple posting.

  9. JamesK 9

    Wodger – yes, Labour is utterly hopeless at spin. National kicks them all over the place with their lines. They need to lift their game. But wasn’t that the point of Bill’s post?

  10. IrishBill 10

    That link is the result of a quick google search. As Lakoff has used the example many times I could’ve offered another one I’m sure. I hadn’t realised the term was in use for so long but it seems to be popping up a lot lately. And yes, I’d like to see the top rate increased but not at the current threshold. I’ve always been a bit of a fan of the Alliance’s old eight step tax system.

  11. i support that IB

  12. all_your_base 12

    Hey Wodger, cheers for that link.

    This month we’re giving all contributors some surplus Berkeley coffee mugs we have left over. Flick us your address and I’ll get one in the mail.

    Easily victimized, easily offended, indecisive, fearful, rigid, inhibited and relatively over-controlled and vulnerable? Gosh, that sounds horrible. Go easy on the caffeine.

  13. burt 13

    Well done, lets change some more of his language while we are at it.

    Surplus. All bad, it sounds like he has taken too much tax. Lets try Reserves as in The thieving Govt hasn’t given any tax relief in 8 years so there is a massive reserve for funding election bribes so Labour can con people with their own money.

    Taxation. It’s a negative term through and through, lets try – The price you pay for the joy of working. The price you pay for working is always increasing under Labour so that Labour can build massive reserves to fund election bribes so it can can people with their own money.

    Hidden taxation. A subtle version of taxation… Lets try The price you pay for living. As in – Labour are constantly increasing the price you pay for living so it can build a massive reserve so that it can con people with their own money.

    You guys are going to make NZ’s first retrospectively validated Prime Minister very proud of you.

  14. John 14

    A Treasury trained poodle perhaps? Treasury writes the press release you know. Why Labour continues to turn the high ground on taxes over to National, I will never understand. You’d think that they sailed through in 2005, but sadly they didn’t. Hope they learn or Treasury will be very very happy with the new masters! Nothing would make those shallow so and so’s happier. Hope Treasury is disappointed in 2008, but then again if Labour continues to follow the Treasury line they get what they deserve.

  15. Robinsod 15

    Burt – you sound very angry. Have you been drinking again?

  16. burt 16

    Robinsod

    No I jsut watched the video of you beating your wife again !

  17. Robinsod 17

    “jsut”? (hic) And now your watching bumfight vids? Jeez Burt you’re really going down in my opinion…

  18. burt 18

    Robinsod

    It’s refreshing to see that Labour supporters can differentiate between the message and the messenger when they want to. You seem to have broken the pattern of denigration you use for National.

    If John Key said tax relief it’s Tax relief bad, John Key – Bad. If Dr. Cullen says tax relief it’s – Tax relief bad, Dr. Cullen – Good.

    You guys are not really as stupid as you normally make yourselves look.

  19. Nih 19

    I was just thinking that it was refreshing that you weren’t calling everyone within earshot names during your supposed insights. Everything has to end sometime I guess.

  20. burt 20

    This thread brings up a valid point. Cullen’s language on tax reduction is facing a heavy challenge. He has denied the country any form of tax cuts (relief, chewing gum, threshold increases, threshold adjustments, fairness etc.) for so long that he needs to change his language regularly to stop him sounding like a broken record.

    The problem is this. More and more people slip into the top bracket. The top bracket was elected into place as a ‘top 5%’, a policies of envy tax. The voting public were happy to see rich bastards paying extra tax to fix health and education, why shouldn’t they, the rich always have too much money. This is where Labour’s support in the polls is sliding. Many ‘party loyalists’ (of either major party) don’t give a second thought to yesterday political news, but when they are now paying the rich tax….

    So who’s calling for tax cuts?

    The people who voted for an envy tax and now are being whipped by it or it’s their children leaving Uni into a first job, student loan & rich bastard tax to pay.

    Are people fresh out of Uni with a student loan rich? Are these the people the ‘rich tax’ was aimed at?

    The lot the policy clobbered clobbered from 1999 have got quite well use to it. The biggest “targets” simply put their salaries up or managed them better to provide the same net pay and moved on.

    Many had no choice and became rich somewhere between 1999 and now but still don’t seem to have a hell of a lot. These people are pretty pissed as well.

    The threshold should lift to $120K. It should be indexed to the same percentage of the tax base as the policy (tax law) states. Adjusted every year.

    Now, if that rate is fairly and openly indexed all your daily hassle about tax cuts goes away. It’s not rocket science. You can shut down debate about taking more and more tax when you can honestly say you are taking the same proportion as when people voted for the tax policy.

    Why $120K. The WFF threshold. The current situation just shows some kinda double speak on rich and poor, it’s not doing the Govt any favours. Defenders of this situation always make a hash of it, which is inclined to happen when defending something that’s defies logic and reason.

  21. burt 21

    Just to clarify, I think all income tax thresholds should be indexed and reviewed in accordance with a method clearly stated in the policy and the legislation, not just the top threshold.

    Tax revenue is best increased through economic growth, bracket creep (stealth) always upsets voters.

  22. r0b 22

    “The problem is this. More and more people slip into the top bracket.”

    I agree that tax bracket creep needs to be looked at.

    “The top bracket was elected into place as a ‘top 5%’, a policies of envy tax”

    But while we’re speaking of language – ‘politics of envy’ is a phrase that has always annoyed me. Should we call the opposing views – ‘politics of greed’?

    “This is where Labour’s support in the polls is sliding.”

    I disagree. Yes the polls are down for Labour, but I don’t know that tax is the reason. Last election was the referendum on tax. Labour won. Despite National still beating that drum (because they seem to have nothing much else to say) I don’t think that they have any more traction with it than they did last election.

  23. ak 23

    Good on you burt – you’ve found some more words to put in bold and repeat four trillion times. Top man.
    Here’s an idea burt: why don’t you paste all those words (in bold of course – even colour if you like) on one of those bhuddist prayer-wheel thingies and just spin it around and around while you watch “Days of our lives”? That way you’ll have the same effect and you’ll be able to follow the conversation much better.
    You see burt, no matter how much you and your wee cobbers go on and on and on about “tax cuts”, the average Joe Bloggs knows that they’re just an offer to buy his vote. He also knows that if there’s money there to buy his vote, then it’s because Labour’s been careful with our money (not National burt, they’re the ones that put everyone out of work and sold everything and then we had to buy it back remember?).
    See out in the real world burt, people run their own households and know that if they mortgage the house to get another 20 or 30 dollars a week to spend on lollies, it’s not a good idea in the long run. Otherwise they’d do it burt.
    You follow burt?
    And believe it or not burt, most people aren’t so full of hate and rage that they stew in front of a computer all day trying to get attention. They actually like life (true – ask someone burt). They don’t actually think those government people are evil monsters either – heck, some of them even think they’re not too bad, seeing as how there’s heaps more jobs now and more money in their pockets. That’s why they voted them in three times in a row. And if another bribe is all the tories can offer, they’ll probably do it again burt.
    So go on burt: watch the telly, take the pills that Dr Robinsod gave you and do try to relax. It’ll all be over again this time next year.

  24. Wodger 24

    “And believe it or not burt, most people aren’t so full of hate and rage that they stew in front of a computer all day trying to get attention.”

    Wow, you better talk to Sonic, Tane, and Sam then!

  25. Robinsod 25

    Hey Wodg – you forgot me. Oh and you.

  26. Murray M 26

    Deport Cullen to England

  27. Robinsod 27

    Isn’t he from there originally?

  28. Murray M 28

    Yep

  29. Robinsod 29

    I’m sure we can get a refund then?

  30. Murray M 30

    They probably wouldn’t have him back

  31. Robinsod 31

    never mind – Maybe we can send Key back to wall-street?

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Petrol companies promise prices will come back down once peace is restored to the Middle East
    BP, Z and Mobil all insist that petrol price hikes are temporary, “in a very literal sense.” The nation’s major petrol providers are trying to allay customer fears over prices, promising that they’ll move to lower them again “immediately” when the Middle East is returned to its formerly peaceful state. ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 hours ago
  • All Blacks unveil boat for Rugby World Cup 2019
    South African coach Rassie Erasmus says he has no idea what they’re going to do about the boat. In a highly anticipated press conference this afternoon, All Blacks coach Steve Hansen has finally unveiled the team’s boat for its Rugby World Cup 2019 campaign. In a press conference that went ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    3 hours ago
  • An increasingly shoddy coverup
    The Operation Burnham inquiry continued to question senior NZDF staff today, and their shoddy coverup over their knowledge of civilian casualties continue to fall apart. If you recall, first, we were asked to believe that it was all a series of "mistakes and errors": a senior officer with multiple degrees ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 hours ago
  • If we are to avoid making the earth uninhabitable, we need to rapidly decarbonise our civilisation, and cut emissions to zero as quickly as possible. This seems like an impossible task, but its not. Pushing hard on a few technologies and trends will let us halve emissions in a decade:Greenhouse ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    8 hours ago
  • A further attack on transparency
    The Local Government Act 2002 Amendment Bill (No 2) had part of its committee stage yesterday. its a generally tedious bill about the nitty-gritty of local government reorganisation. But it includes a clause making the Local Government Commission subject to the Ombudsmen Act, and hence the OIA. Great! Except of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    9 hours ago
  • Ihumātao and Treaty settlements
    Yesterday Ihumātao's mana whenua reached a consensus that they would like their land back, and asked the government to negotiate with Fletcher's for its return. The government's response? Try and undermine that consensus, while talking about how doing anything would undermine existing Treaty settlements. The first is just more bad ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    13 hours ago
  • Protecting our history
    Its Suffrage Day, the 126th anniversary of women winning the right to vote (but not stand in elections) in New Zealand. And to celebrate, the government has bought Kate Sheppard's house in Christchurch:The government has bought Kate Sheppard's former home in Christchurch for more than $4 million. The Ilam villa ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    14 hours ago
  • Climate Change: Ostracising the coal-burners
    The UN climate summit is happening in new York next week, and unlike previous years, coal-burners and denier-states are not being invited to speak:Leading economies such as Japan and Australia will not be invited to speak at next week’s crunch UN climate change summit, as their continued support for coal ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    14 hours ago
  • Jojo Tamihere Salutes Herr Goff.
    Get Back Jojo! The elation in Mayor Phil Goff’s camp may be easily imagined as they watched social media light up in indignation at challenger John Tamihere’s "Sieg Heil to that" quip. Just when JT’s notoriously right-wing, sexist and homophobic stains were beginning to fade back into his ‘colourful’ past, ...
    17 hours ago
  • Hard News: A fun but flawed weed documentary
    Patrick Gower is good value when he's high. Not that I've ever, you know, got stoned with him. But in the second part of his documentary Patrick Gower on Weed, he does what you'd expect in a modern weed documentary and immerses himself – first with a doctor, then a ...
    1 day ago
  • Candidate Survey: Western Bay of Plenty – Local Body Elections 2019
    We surveyed candidates on their attitudes to issues facing the Western Bay Region, find out what they think: “Closing the Gap” Tauranga, one of the area groups of Income Equality Aotearoa NZ Inc., has surveyed all candidates in the three local body elections to discover attitudes to some basic issues ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    1 day ago
  • Project Nettie calls on scientists to defend biology
    Please spread widely, and sign, to support science and rationalism over the new irrationalism sweeping universities and institutions.  PROJECT NETTIE Sexual reproduction, the generation of offspring by fusion of genetic material from two different individuals, evolved over 1 billion years ago. It is the reproductive strategy of all higher animals ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 day ago
  • I’m glad I don’t live in Auckland
    Just when I was thinking that Palmerston North's mayoral race (which includes a convicted child molester / public wanker and a convicted child beater) was the worst in the country, Auckland mayoral candidate John Tamihere opened his mouth:Auckland mayoral candidate John Tamihere is being slammed for using the words "sieg ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • Index of Power Update, 2018-19: China #2
    We reprint below an article from the excellent website the Economics of Imperialism by Tony Norfield This is an update of the statistics for my Index of Power, using data for 2018-19 and discussing what a country’s ranking reflects. The major change is that China’s rank has shifted up and ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 day ago
  • Climate Change: A history lesson
    Why is New Zealand climate change policy so crap? The Herald this morning has a long article on the twists and turns of climate change policy in New Zealand [paywalled / depaywall script], which shows where we've been. The short version is that the government first began worrying about this ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • What the All Blacks Mean to Us
    The All Blacks have been, for more than a century, arguably the most successful International sports team in the world. But they are more than that; even for those Kiwis who are immune to the charms of rugby (and there are more than a few), the All Blacks are ambassadors ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    2 days ago
  • No one is born into the wrong body
    A short and incredibly powerful speech from a young lesbian woman. No one is born in the wrong body. ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 days ago
  • Contempt
    Back in June, the UK Court of Appeal ruled that that country's continued arms sales to Saudi Arabia were unlawful. So you'd expect that the UK government stopped approving them, right?Of course not:The government has apologised for breaching a court ruling against the sale of weapons to Saudi Arabia that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Covering up the cover-up
    Yesterday NZDF officials were put on the stand about the lies they had told over Operation Burnham, making implausible claims that it was all a big mistake. But along the way, we learned they had already been put on the spot about it by a previous Defence Minister, who had ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Not as important as they think they are
    Farmers have been whining a lot lately, about the methane targets in the Zero Carbon Bill, about Canterbury's proposed nitrogen limits, and about the government's new proposals to stop them from shitting in our lakes and rivers. These policies are "throwing farmers under the tractor", they will force farmers off ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Behind Every Good Woman Should Stand – Another Good Woman.
    Alone, Alone, All, All, Alone: To argue that the Prime Minister is the victim of her advisers’ failure to keep her informed may offer Jacinda some measure of exoneration – but only at the cost of casting her as a hopeless political ingénue. A star-dusted muppet, whose only purpose is to ...
    3 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
    3 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 ...
    3 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
    3 days ago
  • Climate Change: Trees, aviation, and offsets
    With crunch time for new Zealand climate policy approaching, most of the New Zealand media have got on board with a global reporting effort to cover the issue. There's one strand of stories today about polling and what it shows about changing public attitudes to the crisis, but the strand ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Pissing-Off The Israelis Is A High-Risk Strategy.
    Dangerous Foes: For those readers of Bowalley Road who feel disposed to dismiss any prospect of an Israeli destabilisation of New Zealand politics, the example of the United Kingdom repays close attention. Ever since the election of Jeremy Corbyn as leader of the British Labour Party, the Israelis have sanctioned, funded and ...
    3 days ago
  • Something to go to in Wellington
    Make It 16, the youth-led campaign to lower New Zealand's voting age, is holding an official campaign launch at Parliament this Friday from 16:30. If you'd like to attend, you can register using EventBrite here. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • A founding member responds to Peace Action Wellington
    by Don Franks It was a lovely sunny Wellington afternoon with blue skies above  the beaches.  In Courtenay Place, political activists packed out a stuffy upstairs room for an important meeting. The assembled pacifists, anarchists, communists and independent young radicals of Peace Action Wellington felt the need for a mission ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    3 days ago
  • “Mistakes and errors”
    Current and former NZDF top brass are being publicly grilled this week by the hit and run inquiry over their public responses to allegations of civilian casualties. Previously, they've claimed there were no casualties, a position which led them to lie to Ministers and to the public. Now, they're saying ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • “Homosexuality is same-sex attraction and relationships, not heterosexuals with delusions of gende...
    by Rafael D. Quiles (gender-critical gay man from Puerto Rico) The writing on the wall is right in people’s faces and people just don’t see it or don’t want to. What could actually possess a heterosexual male to want to feminize himself and claim that he is a lesbian? Because ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    4 days ago
  • Trump: “Where’s my favourite dictator?”
    From the Wall Street Journal:Inside a room of the ornately decorated Hotel du Palais during last month’s Group of Seven summit in Biarritz, France, President Trump awaited a meeting with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi. Mr. Trump looked over a gathering of American and Egyptian officials and called out in ...
    4 days ago
  • Magdalen Burns, 1983-2019, fighter for women’s liberation
    by the Redline blog collective At Redline we are very saddened to hear of the death of Magdalen Burns who passed away on the morning of Friday, September 13 (British time). Magdalen was a great fighter for the rights of women in general and lesbian women in particular, a defender ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    5 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
    6 days ago
  • The Abigail Article; Martyn Bradbury’s Article, and My Response
    . . This blogpost is different to my usual format of reporting on issues… Since July 1011, I have blogged on a variety of political issues; near always political and/or environmental; mostly highly critical of the previous National Government. Other issues included Israeli occupation of Palestinian lands and repression of ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    6 days ago
  • Police will have to wear silly Buckingham Palace hats from now on, says Police Minister
    Those close to the Police Minister believe the initiative may be the result of Nash “seeing a great deal” on AliExpress. In a move that comes seemingly out of nowhere, Police Minister Stuart Nash announced this afternoon that he expects all frontline staff to don bearskin hats, famously worn by ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    6 days ago
  • A sensible crackdown
    The government has released its Arms Legislation Bill, containing the second tranche of changes to gun laws following the March 15 massacre. And it all looks quite sensible: a national gun register, higher penalties for illegal possession and dealing, tighter restrictions on arms dealers and shooting clubs, and a shorter ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • California bans private prisons
    Private prisons are a stain on humanity. Prison operators explicitly profit from human misery, then lobby for longer prisons terms so they can keep on profiting. And in the US, prison companies run not only local and state prisons, but also Donald Trump's immigration concentration camps. Faced with this moral ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Why PPPs are a bad idea
    When National was in power, they were very keen on Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) - basicly, using private companies to finance public infrastructure as a way of hiding debt from the public. They were keen on using them for everything - roads, schools, hospitals. But as the UK shows, that "service" ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • A Movement That No Longer Moves.
    Moving And Shaking: There was a time when people spoke matter-of-factly about the “labour movement” – a political phenomenon understood to embrace much more than the Labour Party. Included within the term’s definition was the whole trade union movement – many of whose members looked upon the Labour Party as ...
    7 days ago
  • NZ ‘left’ politically embracing extreme postmodernism
    by Philip Ferguson Much of the left, even people who formally identify as marxists, have collapsed politically in the face of postmodern gender theory of the sort pioneered by American philosopher Judith Butler. For Butler even biological sex is socially constructed. “If the immutable character of sex is contested, perhaps ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    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
    1 week ago
  • Indigenous Futures: defuturing and futuring – an analytical framework for policy development?
    There appears to be consensus – by omission – that the concept of indigenous futures should be accepted at face value. So I scavenged the internet to see if I could locate an academic descriptor or a framework around how we think about it as a concept, and whether it ...
    EllipsisterBy Ellipsister
    1 week ago
  • Cadbury rumoured to be releasing the Pineapple Trump
    Here’s another novelty chocolate to shove in your gob, New Zealand Cadbury could be seeking to make itself great again with a rumoured new release: Pineapple Trumps, a spin on its classic chocolate-encased pineapple treat and do-it-yourself tooth remover. The global confectionery manufacturer and bumbling “before” character in an infomercial, ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • The coming resource war.
    During my time in the Pentagon I had the privilege of sitting down with military leaders and defence and security officials from a variety of Latin American nations. Sometimes I was present as a subordinate assistant to a senior US defence department official, sometimes as part of a delegation that ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Māori Language Week with The Civilian
    Kia ora, Aotearoa. It’s that magical time of year. Te Wiki o te Reo Māori. In English, the week that frightens talk radio. As you probably know by now, all your favourite media outlets are participating, some more successfully than others. Stuff has changed its name to Puna for the ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Will Horizons act on climate change?
    Local body elections are coming up next month. And it looks like all Palmerston North candidates for Horizons (the Manawatu-Whanganui Regional Council) want to take action on climate change:Climate change is set to be a key issue in Palmerston North for the next three years if those wanting to get ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • BORA reform is stalled
    Eighteen months ago, the government promised to strengthen the Bill of Rights Act, by explicitly affirming the power of the courts to issue declarations of inconsistency and requiring Parliament to formally respond to them. So how's that going? I was curious, so I asked for all advice about the proposal. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Corbyn and Brexit
    As the Brexit saga staggers on, the focus is naturally enough on the Prime Minister and his attempts to achieve Brexit “do or die”. But the role played by the Leader of the Opposition is of almost equal interest and complexity. The first problem for Jeremy Corbyn is that he ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • A ditch for him to die in
    Last week, English Prime Minister Boris Johnson boldly declared that he would rather die be dead in a ditch than delay Brexit. Unfortunately for him, the UK parliament accepted the challenge, and promptly dug one for him. The "rebellion bill" requires him to ask for and secure yet another temporary ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Warning! Warning! Danger Jacinda Ardern! Danger Marama Davidson! Warning!
    Lost In Political Space: The most important takeaway from this latest Labour sexual assault scandal, which (if I may paraphrase Nixon’s White House counsel’s, John Dean’s, infamous description of Watergate) is “growing like a cancer” on the premiership, is the Labour Party organisation’s extraordinary professional paralysis in the face of ...
    1 week ago
  • Union solidarity with Ihumatao land occupation
    by Daphna Whitmore Every Sunday for the past two months unionists from First Union, with supporters from other unions, have set out to the Ihumatao land protest, put up gazebos and gas barbeques, and cooked food for a few hundred locals and supporters who have come from across the country. ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: The wrong kind of trees?
    Newsroom today has an excellent, in-depth article on pine trees as carbon sinks. The TL;DR is that pine is really good at soaking up carbon, but people prefer far-less efficient native forests instead. Which is understandable, but there's two problems: firstly, we've pissed about so long on this problem that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • No freedom of speech in Turkey
    Canan Kaftancioglu is a Turkish politician and member of the opposition Republican People's Party (CHP). Like most modern politicians, she tweets, and uses the platform to criticise the Turkish government. She has criticised them over the death of a 14-year-old boy who was hit by a tear gas grenade during ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Speaker: Tadhg Stopford: Why I’m standing for the ADHB
    Hi there, just call me Tim.We face tough problems, and I’d like to help, because there are solutions.An Auckand District Health Board member has nominated me for as a candidate for the ADHB, because her MS-related pain and fatigue is reduced with hemp products from Rotorua.  Nothing else helped her. If I ...
    1 week ago
  • Good little vassals
    The Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security has published their report on whether the SIS and GCSB had any complicity in American torture. And its damning. The pull quote is this:The Inquiry found both agencies, but to a much greater degree, the NZSIS, received many intelligence reports obtained from detainees who, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Who Shall We Turn To When God, And Uncle Sam, Cease To Defend New Zealand?
    Bewhiskered Cassandra? Professor Hugh White’s chilling suggestion, advanced to select collections of academic, military and diplomatic Kiwi experts over the course of the past week, is that the assumptions upon which Australia and New Zealand have built their foreign affairs and defence policies for practically their entire histories – are ...
    2 weeks ago
  • The Politics of Opposition
    For most of the time I was a British MP, my party was out of government – these were the Thatcher years, when it was hard for anyone else to get a look-in. As a front-bencher and shadow minister, I became familiar with the strategies required in a parliamentary democracy ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    2 weeks ago
  • More expert comments on the Canadian fluoride-IQ paper
    The Green et al (2019) fluoride/IQ is certainly controversial – as would be expected from its subject (see If at first you don’t succeed . . . statistical manipulation might help and Politics of science – making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear). Anti-fluoride campaigners have been actively promoting it ...
    2 weeks ago
  • The return to guerrilla war in Colombia
    by Gearóid Ó Loingsigh On August 29th a video in which veteran FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia) commander Iván Márquez announced that they had taken up arms again was released. There was no delay in the reaction to it, from longtime Liberal Party figure and former president Uribe, for ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago

No feed items found.