Reviewing the ‘truck strike’

Written By: - Date published: 12:59 pm, July 4th, 2008 - 44 comments
Categories: slippery, transport - Tags:

As a piece of political theatre it’s good and people who walk to work, including myself, enjoyed the unusual sight and gave them a wave (some people stuck in traffic didn’t find it so fun, though). But just remember, this was a set-up – truck companies did not waste a whole morning and all that fuel protesting that they didn’t get a chance to game the RUC increases by buying up credits ahead of time (the smart companies brought up credits in June anyway). The RUC increase is a minute part of truck companies’ costs.

The Right needed a big show of ‘popular’ discontent with the Government and the Right has the problem that it’s not a mass movement so can’t get together decent sized marches. The truck companies were a good substitute, and the RUC increases just provided the excuse. If not for the RUC, they would have used fuel prices (which is what most people think it’s about anyway) or the regional fuel tax law or some other justification. The important thing was to have the protest.

[congrats to the people who put up some of the ‘let me on’ posters around Parliament, you’ve made the news (1) (2). Not bad for a cheeky idea conceived at 4:30 yesterday and posted at 5:00]

44 comments on “Reviewing the ‘truck strike’”

  1. higherstandard 1

    “As a piece of political theatre it’s good and people who walk to work, including myself, enjoyed the unusual sight and gave them a wave ”

    Now look you assured me sometime ago you didn’t want a job in politics but with this kind of duplicitous display clearly you are a natural.

    (Note to Lynn – teach me how to do smiley faces please)

    Moderation que?

  2. andy 2

    was good theatre but they came on for too many standing ovations! 🙂

    hs, colon and close bracket

  3. BeShakey 3

    It’d be interesting to know what most people believe the protest is actually about.
    It’d also be interesting to know how many of them would think it was reasonable if the situation was changed slightly. For instance, if the government told beneficiaries their benefits were going down, but that if they applied before the date they could rort the system for a while. I suspect the outroar would be so great we wouldn’t have to worry about whether or not they should get a second chance to rort the system. Of course the parallel isn’t exact, but I hope there are some righties here that are smart enough to get the gist.

  4. Oliver 4

    Very goo theatre, very popular theatre. But think about the actors, are they traditional National voters? Methinks not, so this does represent a big chunk of Labour votes that have gone walkabout and appear to be settling dwn under the blue canvas.

  5. lprent 5

    (Note to Lynn – teach me how to do smiley faces please)

    try colon followed by right round bracket 🙂
    try semicolon followed by right round bracket 😉
    try colon followed by capital D 😀

    urrggh I got my colons and semicolons mixed up. I was expecting the punctuation police to arrive. :] ~) *) 🙂

    There are others (quite a lot) – but that will give you an idea. I must complete that page this weekend for the FAQ

    captcha: School no
    school holidays have started? creepy.

  6. higherstandard 6

    Thanks Andy and Lynn

    Didn’t know you could do this on a computer as well as in surgery :]

  7. Daveo 7

    But think about the actors, are they traditional National voters?

    Yes. The main actors here are the trucking companies led by a former National cabinet minister. Most the guys in the trucks are being paid to be there as part of their job.

  8. Stephen 8

    Owner-operators?

  9. Lew 9

    Daveo: “Most the guys in the trucks are being paid to be there as part of their job.”

    Is there any evidence for this, or are you claiming it as a fact based on Friedlander’s prominence? Truck drivers are by and large owner-operators. If you can substantiate the fact that they’re being paid to take part in a protest action, that’d be big news.

    I don’t believe it, though. Most truckies are Labour’s core constituency (I have a bunch of family and friends in the industry). I’d suggest that any time Labour finds itself on the wrong side of these guys, they need to do some serious soul-searching.

    I think the truckies are generally in the wrong on this one – not in that they’re not entitled to protest; in that the nominal grounds for their protest is somewhat fallacious. I’m convinced they do cause more roading damage than they pay in RUCs, that they’re bad for the environment and unsafe compared to other modes of transport, that long–haul trucking in NZ is a sunset industry due to the cost of fuel, and also that the RUC increases are so small as to not be significant given that cost of fuel. However I think the actual genuine reason behind the protest is symbolic – that the government are seen to be acting in bad faith, with impunity, toward their base, and I think the government ignores them at its peril.

    L

  10. Lew 10

    HS: I look forward to the new non-humourless HS 🙂

    L

  11. Gustavo Trellis 11

    Completely with you L. This was by far and away not an ideal scenario, but King fired the first shot with the abrupt hike in RUCs. Businesses need to plan, and putting a timetable in place and sticking to it, as well as legislating out the possibility of RUC advances (which is what King promised in the first place) would have been fine. But that’s just how things seem to be – Kiwisaver was all of a sudden compulsory for employers, despite being completely voluntary during it’s discussion phase.

  12. Kevyn 12

    So which side has been more deceitful then, the truckies who have had the tiny price of a used car added onto their operating costs (ie$4,000 to $16,000 p.a.) for an 8-axle rig travelling 100,000 to 400,000 p.a) or the government who manipulated the RUC rates table to get percentages of 3% and 7% instead of 10% and 15%.

    The average increase for the fleet is 10% but, because the RUCs for caravans have been reduced by 50% the average for the rate table is only 7% increase. Caravans don’t actually have to pay RUCs but they are included in the rates tables along with all the other exempt light trailers.

    The 3% increase is for trucks/trailers running at the legal axle weight limit. Any trucky would be shot by their accountant if they bought a truck that runs at this limit all the time. It’s cheaper to pay for extra axles than to pay RUCs above 6 tonnes/axle.

    Contrary to the road damage argument, the oft quoted STCC study actually found that less than one-third of the cost of road maintenance is due to wear-and-tear from trucks and only one-tenth is caused by wear-and-tear by cars. Most of the damage is caused by growing old. So if the 10% increase in RUCs this year on top of the 10% last year is a cost recovery then why has there been 0% increase in the petrol tax?

    A classic case of political lies, damned lies, and statistcs.

    [the RUC went up because it hadn’t gone up in 19 years and, so had fallen way behind inflation. Petrol excise is automatically adjusted for inflation each year. But you knew that, you’ve got a site called Petrol Tax. You’re just trying to fool others. SP]

  13. Aj 13

    “It’d be interesting to know what most people believe the protest is actually about.”

    Most of them have no idea, including the drivers.

  14. J 14

    “Most of them have no idea, including the drivers.”

    Really? How many truck drivers did you speak to?

  15. Scribe 15

    I find it, at best, interesting to hear all the wailing and gnashing of teeth over a former National minister’s involvement in this protest in the same week that Labour picks a former National PM to head the board of Kiwi Rail.

    It seems the Labour constituents are more partisan than their heroes in the Beehive.

  16. fraser 16

    lew re: truckies being paid to attend.

    Dont know how true the statement is – and how it pans out re: contractors, employees and owner drivers. But the “fact” that the truckies were being paid was on national radio this morning.

    Doesnt make it true of course – just saying

  17. Tane 17

    I couldn’t give you a breakdown of how many, but it’s a fact that truck drivers were paid (you could argue ordered, given they’re employees) to attend.

  18. BeShakey 18

    “I find it, at best, interesting to hear all the wailing and gnashing of teeth over a former National minister’s involvement in this protest in the same week that Labour picks a former National PM to head the board of Kiwi Rail.”

    I think people are pointing to that as part of the reason (the smallest and least convincing in my opinion, although more convincing when seen as part of the whole picture) for believing that this is largely political theatre, rather than a real protest. The fact that many of those who support the protest don’t actually know what it is about says a lot (and I agree with Lew that among other things it says something bad for Labour).

  19. Lew 19

    Fraser: Ok, thanks, I’ll look it up.

    Tane: Since most are owner-operators, they’d be contractors, not employees. And what’s your source? Same as Fraser?

    L

  20. Scribe 20

    BeShakey,

    The fact that many of those who support the protest don’t actually know what it is about says a lot

    Is this a “fact”? And, not being the protestin’ type myself, is it unheard of for people who work in blue-collar industries like this to rally around a cause — because some guy said to — without really knowing why?

  21. Tane 21

    Lew, as I said, I’m not sure on the proportions, but the NDU has members who were required to take part in the protest today as a condition of their employment.

  22. Lew 22

    Tane: That makes it a bit clearer. Thank you.

    L

  23. Draco TB 23

    http://nzgames.com/forums/showthread.php?p=1584272#post1584272

    Their company wasn’t going to be involved but the media hype was too much for companies to ignore. Free advertising.

    my emphasis

    Apparently some of the truckers involved weren’t there for the protest.

  24. Matthew Pilott 24

    What a surprise – The Herald no longer makes mention of the posters mentioned above, within half an hour of it being mentioned here.

    Their bought-out editor must have shot the incompetant tool who ran an anti-protest line!

    Honestly, they’re not even pretending any more.

  25. ben 25

    Honestly, they’re not even pretending any more.

    Well, neither are you Matthew. Call it a dead heat.

  26. Matthew Pilott 26

    I never claimed neutrality, ben. Not a particularly good comparison.

  27. Swampy 27

    BeShakey,

    for all of Annette King’s reasons for not giving notice, any large company is likely to have already purchased RUCs in advance and therefore have a cushion and advantage. All that has been stopped is using the notice period to make further purchases, and contrary to the minister’s claims, the primary beneficiaries of a notice period are likely to be small companies who haven’t got a substantial reserve already held.

    There was actually a legal requirement for more notice that was removed by the government about three years ago.

    It is considered polite to give notice of a price increase and for the most part people do go out and buy goods at the old price to the max before the new higher price kicks in. An example was New Zealand Post which let people keep posting prepaid envelopes at the old rates of postage for some time afterwards.

  28. Swampy 28

    SP,

    the last time that RUCs went up was only last year, not 1989.

  29. John 29

    I’ve been a bit concerned about this, on Monday I received an email from a woman called Sandy asking for us to support a road transport protest that Friday. This was before Minister King even announced the RUC increase

  30. J Mex 30

    Colin Espiner has a good write up on his blog on this…

    Labours political nous does seem to have absolutely deserted them. They totally mishandled this one.

    “Labour has had a good laugh at National’s expense recently over its use of strategists. But judging by recent events, maybe Labour should be spending a bit more on external strategy too. Perhaps Labour ought to give Crosby Textor a call.”

    ….

    Is the captcha now reading minds! Got this one first time up…

    “their annete”

    Psychic captcha ver 2.0 now just needs to work on its spelling.

  31. Dilip 31

    SP say: “[the RUC went up because it hadn’t gone up in 19 years and, so had fallen way behind inflation. Petrol excise is automatically adjusted for inflation each year. But you knew that, you’ve got a site called Petrol Tax. You’re just trying to fool others. SP]”

    That is not true SP the road users charge went up last year I see you and lots of people say it has only gone up two times in nineteen year that is wrong it has gone up two times in twelve months.

  32. Ha! a wee break and all these new trolls (or old trolls with new user names). I must offer my congratulations to Tony for a good labour bad stunt. I’d be very interested in an EFA inquiry being made about this one. Just to see who was paying the bills of course…

  33. Kevyn 33

    SP, The petrol tax has only been indexed to inflation for three years so it hadn’t increased for until 2002. That increase was to fund PT so, according to the road cost allocation model, the cost had to targetted at the alleged beneficiaries – the urban motorist. The second petrol tax increase was again targetted at urban areas so again the bulk of the cost was apportioned to light vehicles.

    The two recent increases in RUCs might be justified in light of the increase in the construction price index but without knowing the ESAL split between steel and airbag suspension it is impossible to know to what extent increased airbag use has offset the cost increases. Which is why I asked if you knew where the road cost allocation study Annette referred to could be found.

    Perhaps you could ask Annette why road user charges for light trailers were reduced in the rates table when nobody is required to pay them. Or why the 3% increases only apply to the tiny minority of trucks that are always loaded to their weight limit and never need to buy supplementary licences. Or why petrol cars aren’t expected to meet their fair share of the 10% increase in maintenance costs?

    Having a website called petroltax does mean that I know that road maintenance spending had increased only in line with inflation despite huge increases in traffic volumes, especially truck traffic. More truck km equals more dollars paid in RUCs. For the numbers to end up the way they do Transit’s improved maintenance management techniques must have been reducing costs at least as fast as inflation was increasing them. The nett result was no need for any increase in the maintenance component of RUCs. In fact, thanks to Dr Brash and the flood of used cars revenue for the road fund increased faster than inflation simply because traffic growth rates finally outsrripped the rate of inflation, the exact opposite of what happened under the Muldoon miracle that got our highways into the mess they are still mostly in. Anyway, since revenue increased faster than traffic or maintence spending we were finally able to see some real progress on the crash reduction program begun by the National Road Board in 1985. It’s a pity Helen’s reaction to Banksie’s mayoral aspirations was to decide that Transit “has been spending too much on safety and not enough on congestion.” Alas, without that political decision overriding the wisdom of Steve Fitzgerald and the National Road Safety Committee there would be 1,000 empty graves by now.

    From the tone of your responses I suspect you are either a politician, an ex-politician or an aspiring politician. Or one of those very average people who hates information because it means they have to think instead of regurgitating someone elses opinions. I think one of the former is most likely because you do seem to think about your beliefs or at least you don’t sound like you’re parroting some “role model” or political hero.

    Me, I’m a system analysts. If the facts don’t fit then I’ll (grudgingly) admit it if provided with the source material so I can check the conclusions, methodology and assumtions for myself.

  34. Yawn – as my mate Karl Rove says – explaining is losing. Big explanation; big loser. How’s that working out for you Keyvn?

  35. Kevyn 35

    Robinsod, Is that an ass you’ve got for your picture or a mule. Either seems appropriate.

    I’ll reserve my decision on whether your one of those big ego-small brains types until I’ve seen more of your comments.

    Well at least you’ve given me one thing to be cheerful about – I’ve never met Carl Rove and don’t know or care who he is. Which fact I suspect will make him just as cheerful if you tell him.

  36. Doug 36

    Looks like we will have to employ the Indian truckers Union, at least they work for their members. Unlike union officials in little old New Zealand, who work for the Government?

  37. Felix 37

    Good to see you’re alive ‘sod, and yep, they’re mostly the same old trolls with new names.

    The new one’s aren’t very different either:

    Me, I’m a system analysts.

    Of course you are dear.

  38. bill brown 38

    I’ll reserve my decision on whether your one of those big ego-small brains types until I’ve seen more of your comments.

    Oh Kevyn, you have so much to learn.

  39. bill brown 39

    The new one’s aren’t very different either:

    Me, I’m a system analysts.

    Wow Felix, that was a good find, I doubt many made it that far!

  40. I think THIS cartoon summed up yesterday a bit more succinctly than the one on your post – enjoy!

    http://keepingstock.blogspot.com/2008/07/emmerson-squashes-clark.html

  41. Interesting thesis – that a group that are typically regarded as Labour voters put on a show of force at their own cost because the right need to have some sort of show of force against the government.

    Have I missed anything?

  42. Kevyn 42

    Perhaps if you folks broadened your interests you might have known what Friedlander’s ultimate objective is. The RTF’s mag is sold in supermarkets and its the only media outlet that has reported on Friedlander’s real objections to RUCs. If you’re all as smart as you think you are you can work out the consequences for the railways and average motorists without any more of my help.

  43. RedLogix 43

    Kevyn,

    I’ve been totally offline since last weekend. Been tramping slowly and very coldly in the Tararua’s this last week… my real love … and I’ve only been home a few hours, so I’ve missed all the fun. But not having immediate access to the RTF mag you mention above… let me guess. This protest was organised by the big trucking company OWNERS because they are worried that Labour will make rail competitive again.

    Nothing to do with their publically stated motives at all I should imagine.

  44. Swampy 44

    No Reddo,

    They are rightly concerned that Labour wants to muscle in on another sector of the economy and muscle the private sector out of it. Thereby reducing choice and increasing costs in the marketplace.

    Rail being in competition with roads has led us to the situation of now, which the government thinks they can “solve” by forcing the private company that runs it to come to the bargaining table and agree to sell at a very generous price, funded by the taxpayer, and now that the government has got a bit more muscle by doing this, they can then turn on the privately owned trucking companies and corner them the same way.

    There’s still a hard core of the Labour movement who believe in socialism and who believe that rail is part of a core Government function, and should be restored to the monopoly long-distance-freight common carrier status it historically held in NZ for many years. As well as the freight carriage, there was also a monopoly on long distance passenger bus travel in favour of the Road Services division of the Railways department. All those shuttles that run up and down the Island wouldn’t have been allowed back in the 1970s in this country.

    There’s also a lot of waffle about sustainability, and climate change, and a whole lot of other stuff that the government is not going to slit their political throats on, yet they still milk it for all it is worth. The only sustainability most of the government cares about is sustaining their time in office.

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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Australia to Pacific: “Fuck you, you can all drown”
    World leaders are meeting in New York in two weeks for the 2019 Climate Action Summit, where they are expected to announce new and more ambitious targets to stop the world from burning. But the Australian Prime Minister won't be there, despite being in the USA at the time:Scott Morrison ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Implausible ignorance
    Labour Party president Nigel Haworth resigned yesterday over the party's sexual assault scandal. But while that's good news, its unlikely to take away the stench of a coverup. Because according to Paula Bennett in Parliament yesterday, pretty much everyone in the Prime Minister's office was involved as well:I have been ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Labour’s Fatal Flaw.
     Two-Faced? Labour insiders' commitment to the neoliberal status quo puts them at odds with their party’s membership; its trade union affiliates; and a majority of Labour voters, but this only serves to strengthen the perception they have of themselves as a special elite. Among the lesser breeds, they’ll talk up a ...
    6 days ago
  • Ten reasons the Tories do NOT want an election
    There has been a lot of talk about Boris Johnson wanting an election, and he has blustered with great gusto about 'chicken' Jeremy Corbyn refusing one, but I think there are many reasons why he is secretly glad he has been refused the opportunity:The Tories are an utter rabble,tearing themselves ...
    7 days 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 ...
    7 days 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
    7 days 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
    7 days ago
  • An evidence-based discussion of the Canadian fluoride/IQ study
    Dr. Christopher Labos and Jonathan Jarry discuss the recent Canadian fluoride/IQ research. They provide an expert analysis of the paper and its problems. Click on image to go to podcast. The critical debate about the recent ...
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Australia in denial
    Australia is burning down again, and meanwhile its natural disaster minister is denying climate change:Australia’s minister responsible for drought and natural disasters, David Littleproud, has said that he doesn’t “know if climate change is manmade”. Clarifying earlier comments that the question is “irrelevant” when considering the Coalition government’s response to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Philippines activist speaking on the Duterte tyranny
    Auckland Philippines Solidarity is excited to host Professor Judy Taguiwalo for a speaking tour of NZ in September. She is a well-known activist in the Philippines and was a political prisoner under the Marcos dictatorship. Professor Taguiwalo briefly served as a Cabinet member under President Duterte but was forced from ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Disgust
    I have no special insights to offer on the Labour sexual assault coverup. All I have is disgust. Disgust that an organisation could fail its people so badly. Disgust that they punished the victims rather than the perpetrator. Disgust that its party hacks are apparently blaming the victims for demanding ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Speak Up for Women calls out Greens’ censorship
    This open letter to the Green Party was penned after an opinion piece by Jill Abigail, a feminist and founding member of the party, was censored by the Greens’ leadership. (Redline has reprinted her article here).The intolerance of the Green Party leaders and their acceptance of the misogyny of gender ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Member’s Day: End of Life Choice, part 3
    Today is a Member's day, and David Seymour's End of Life Choice Bill continues its slow crawl through its committee stage. They're spending the whole day on it today, though the first hour is likely to be spent on voting left over from last time. After that they'll move on ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Flight to Los Angeles turned back after passengers decide they don’t want to go anymore
    An ambitious plan to fly to Los Angeles petered out into a brief sight-seeing trip and a desire to return home and get some sleep before work tomorrow. Air New Zealand has confirmed a flight to Los Angeles last night was turned back about a quarter of the way into ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Indigenous Futures: defuturing and futuring – an analytical framework for policy development?
    There appears to be consensus – by omission – that the concept of indigenous futures should be accepted at face value. So I scavenged the internet to see if I could locate an academic descriptor or a framework around how we think about it as a concept, and whether it ...
    EllipsisterBy Ellipsister
    1 week ago
  • Cadbury rumoured to be releasing the Pineapple Trump
    Here’s another novelty chocolate to shove in your gob, New Zealand Cadbury could be seeking to make itself great again with a rumoured new release: Pineapple Trumps, a spin on its classic chocolate-encased pineapple treat and do-it-yourself tooth remover. The global confectionery manufacturer and bumbling “before” character in an infomercial, ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • The coming resource war.
    During my time in the Pentagon I had the privilege of sitting down with military leaders and defence and security officials from a variety of Latin American nations. Sometimes I was present as a subordinate assistant to a senior US defence department official, sometimes as part of a delegation that ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Māori Language Week with The Civilian
    Kia ora, Aotearoa. It’s that magical time of year. Te Wiki o te Reo Māori. In English, the week that frightens talk radio. As you probably know by now, all your favourite media outlets are participating, some more successfully than others. Stuff has changed its name to Puna for the ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Will Horizons act on climate change?
    Local body elections are coming up next month. And it looks like all Palmerston North candidates for Horizons (the Manawatu-Whanganui Regional Council) want to take action on climate change:Climate change is set to be a key issue in Palmerston North for the next three years if those wanting to get ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • BORA reform is stalled
    Eighteen months ago, the government promised to strengthen the Bill of Rights Act, by explicitly affirming the power of the courts to issue declarations of inconsistency and requiring Parliament to formally respond to them. So how's that going? I was curious, so I asked for all advice about the proposal. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Corbyn and Brexit
    As the Brexit saga staggers on, the focus is naturally enough on the Prime Minister and his attempts to achieve Brexit “do or die”. But the role played by the Leader of the Opposition is of almost equal interest and complexity. The first problem for Jeremy Corbyn is that he ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • A ditch for him to die in
    Last week, English Prime Minister Boris Johnson boldly declared that he would rather die be dead in a ditch than delay Brexit. Unfortunately for him, the UK parliament accepted the challenge, and promptly dug one for him. The "rebellion bill" requires him to ask for and secure yet another temporary ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Warning! Warning! Danger Jacinda Ardern! Danger Marama Davidson! Warning!
    Lost In Political Space: The most important takeaway from this latest Labour sexual assault scandal, which (if I may paraphrase Nixon’s White House counsel’s, John Dean’s, infamous description of Watergate) is “growing like a cancer” on the premiership, is the Labour Party organisation’s extraordinary professional paralysis in the face of ...
    1 week ago
  • Union solidarity with Ihumatao land occupation
    by Daphna Whitmore Every Sunday for the past two months unionists from First Union, with supporters from other unions, have set out to the Ihumatao land protest, put up gazebos and gas barbeques, and cooked food for a few hundred locals and supporters who have come from across the country. ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: The wrong kind of trees?
    Newsroom today has an excellent, in-depth article on pine trees as carbon sinks. The TL;DR is that pine is really good at soaking up carbon, but people prefer far-less efficient native forests instead. Which is understandable, but there's two problems: firstly, we've pissed about so long on this problem that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • No freedom of speech in Turkey
    Canan Kaftancioglu is a Turkish politician and member of the opposition Republican People's Party (CHP). Like most modern politicians, she tweets, and uses the platform to criticise the Turkish government. She has criticised them over the death of a 14-year-old boy who was hit by a tear gas grenade during ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Speaker: Tadhg Stopford: Why I’m standing for the ADHB
    Hi there, just call me Tim.We face tough problems, and I’d like to help, because there are solutions.An Auckand District Health Board member has nominated me for as a candidate for the ADHB, because her MS-related pain and fatigue is reduced with hemp products from Rotorua.  Nothing else helped her. If I ...
    1 week ago
  • Good little vassals
    The Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security has published their report on whether the SIS and GCSB had any complicity in American torture. And its damning. The pull quote is this:The Inquiry found both agencies, but to a much greater degree, the NZSIS, received many intelligence reports obtained from detainees who, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Who Shall We Turn To When God, And Uncle Sam, Cease To Defend New Zealand?
    Bewhiskered Cassandra? Professor Hugh White’s chilling suggestion, advanced to select collections of academic, military and diplomatic Kiwi experts over the course of the past week, is that the assumptions upon which Australia and New Zealand have built their foreign affairs and defence policies for practically their entire histories – are ...
    1 week ago
  • The Politics of Opposition
    For most of the time I was a British MP, my party was out of government – these were the Thatcher years, when it was hard for anyone else to get a look-in. As a front-bencher and shadow minister, I became familiar with the strategies required in a parliamentary democracy ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • More expert comments on the Canadian fluoride-IQ paper
    The Green et al (2019) fluoride/IQ is certainly controversial – as would be expected from its subject (see If at first you don’t succeed . . . statistical manipulation might help and Politics of science – making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear). Anti-fluoride campaigners have been actively promoting it ...
    1 week ago
  • The return to guerrilla war in Colombia
    by Gearóid Ó Loingsigh On August 29th a video in which veteran FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia) commander Iván Márquez announced that they had taken up arms again was released. There was no delay in the reaction to it, from longtime Liberal Party figure and former president Uribe, for ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Air New Zealand identifies this enormous plot of unused land as possible second airport site
    Air New Zealand couldn’t believe its luck that this seemingly ideal piece of real estate had so far gone entirely unnoticed. Air New Zealand’s search for a site to build a second Auckland Airport may have made a breakthrough this afternoon, after employees scanning Google satellite imagery spotted a huge, ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Redline on the Labour Party
    No-one on the anti-capitalist left in this country today puts forward a case that Labour is on the side of the working class.  There are certainly people who call themselves ‘socialist’ who do, but they are essentially liberals with vested interests in Labourism – often for career reasons. Nevertheless, there ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • New Fisk
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour’s failure
    When National was in government and fucking over the poor for the benefit of the rich, foodbanks were a growth industry. And now Labour is in charge, nothing has changed: A huge demand for emergency food parcels means the Auckland City Mission is struggling to prepare for the impending arrival ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Ardern attempts to vaccinate Clarke Gayford live on television to prove that it’s safe
    Gayford, pictured here on The Project, before things got wildly out of control. A bold public relations move by the Government to encourage parents to vaccinate their children has gone horribly wrong. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern appeared on tonight’s episode of Three’s The Project, where the plan was for her ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Has Mr. Whippy gone too far by parking on our front lawns?
    Mr. Whippy’s business model has driven it down a dark road of intimidation. Residents in major centres around the country are becoming disgruntled by the increasingly aggressive actions of purported ice cream company Mr. Whippy, who have taken to parking on people’s front lawns and doorsteps in a desperate attempt ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Cleaning up the water
    Today the government released its Action Plan for Healthy Waterways, aimed at cleaning up our lakes and rivers. Its actually quite good. There will be protection for wetlands, better standards for swimming spots, a requirement for continuous improvement, and better standards for wastewater and stormwater. But most importantly, there's a ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Fronting up
    Today I appeared before the Environment Committee to give an oral submission on the Zero Carbon Bill. Over 1,500 people have asked to appear in person, so they've divided into subcommittees and are off touring the country, giving people a five minute slot each. The other submitters were a mixed ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Politics of science – making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear
    Anti-fluoride activists have some wealthy backers – they are erecting billboards misrepresenting the Canadian study on many New Zealand cities – and local authorities are ordering their removal because of their scaremongering. Many New Zealanders ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Democracy – I Don’t Think So
    So, those who “know best” have again done their worst. While constantly claiming to be the guardians of democracy and the constitution, and respecters of the 2016 referendum result, diehard Remainers (who have never brought themselves to believe that their advice could have been rejected) have striven might and main ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    2 weeks ago

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