Savings based recovery nonsense

Written By: - Date published: 3:38 pm, November 18th, 2010 - 45 comments
Categories: bill english, Economy, national - Tags: , , ,

Bill English is always busy trying to put lipstick on the pig of our moribund economy. We’ve told him off before for fiddling his figures. But now he’s transcended mere lying with numbers. Now he’s invented a whole new economic theory:

English: Savings-Based Recovery Set To Pick Up In 2011

A sustainable economic recovery is underway and will pick up momentum next year as the Government continues to roll out its economic plan, Finance Minister Bill English says. … “This trend towards increased household saving creates a strong platform for faster economic growth in the medium and longer term. That is the only way we can create the jobs, higher incomes and the better living standards Kiwis deserve.

Savings based recovery? Savings based recovery? I’ve never heard of a savings based recovery — have you? I ran it through Google first thing this morning and the phrase generated exactly 5 hits. It’s generating more now (15) as coverage of English’s announcement spreads. In short, it looks like the double dipper has invented the whole notion of a “savings based recovery” all by himself.

I wondered if Google was being unfair to Bill, so I wandered off the check the academic literature with Google Scholar. A bit of messing round showed that phrases relating to X based or led growth or recovery were most productive, where X was replaced by various words of interest. (The exact queries entered, including quotes, were for example “export (based OR led) (growth OR recovery)”, “investment (based OR led) (growth OR recovery)”, and so on.) Here are the results:

  • export — 19,500 hits
  • private sector — 1,510 hits
  • investment — 1,500 hits
  • demand — 1,190 hits
  • knowledge — 1,110 hits
  • finance — 668 hits
  • trade — 515 hits
  • productivity — 330 hits
  • tourism — 249 hits
  • industry — 183 hits
  • savings — 8 hits

So – export based or led growth or recovery the clear winner. Private sector, investment, demand, knowledge, also seen as very important factors in the academic literature. Savings? Bill English’s new theory? Not so much. 8 hits. And most of those are reference to foreign savings. In other words, in terms of economic theory, English’s idea of a “savings based recovery” has a fan club of one.

What’s really going on here is another coat of lipstick. English is trying to make excuses for the fact that due to his brilliant handling of the economy, no one has any money to spend. Those that do have a bit of excess are desperately trying to pay down debt in these uncertain times. He’s tried such tactics before, arguing that anaemic growth and falling household spending on big ticket items are actually good things.

Enough with the lipstick. English needs to face up to his miserable economic record. And stop making empty promises. From the first quote:

A sustainable economic recovery is underway and will pick up momentum next year as the Government continues to roll out its economic plan…

What economic plan? What momentum? English has been promising “jam tomorrow” since before the election. He is never going to deliver.

45 comments on “Savings based recovery nonsense”

  1. Draco T Bastard 1

    The spin goes like this:

    1.) Point out the lower spending
    2.) Suggest, without any evidence, that this lower spending is from higher savings
    3.) ???
    4.) Profit

    So, what he’s trying to spin as good news is the falling wages which is the real cause of the lower spending. And I suppose it is from NACTs PoV – they did, after all, promise to lower wages. And, hey, at least the banks have record profits….

  2. Macro 2

    “And, hey, at least the banks have record profits….”
    and that’s all we need to know!

  3. Jeremy Harris 3

    I find the duplicity on this site curious to say the least…

    The message seems to be contradictary:

    1). Consumption is killing Mother Gaia – we must force people to stop
    2). English didn’t give tax cuts to people to consume – it’s his fault the economy is kaput

    I personally think introducing a tax free threshold was right move, not percentage based tax cuts – I think consumption is good – but seriously which is it; tax cuts should have been for consumption or Mother Gaia is dying..?

    • r0b 3.1

      Can I rephrase slightly?

      1). Overconsumption is killing Mother Gaia — we must convince people to change.
      2). Actually no I can’t rephrase 2, I can’t make sense of it.

      So big picture, yes, we need to change the fundamentals of the economy to something much greener and more sustainable. That’s what I want to see both major parties working towards. National are never going to do it. Labour I still have hope.

      But that’s a bigger topic than this post. The point of this post is that even by their own standards National are useless, and making excuses for being useless. Once we get rid of National we can start work on what the new, better standards on which we judge an economy should be.

    • Bunji 3.2

      One may not think that growth is the only way forward and indeed we need sustainability, but when the government’s only economic plan is:
      1) tax cuts
      2) ???
      3) Growth!

      it’s surely fair to point out that 1 & 2 aren’t working.

      I’d rather they worked on a sustainable, happy future for all of us (which may include some economic growth, but not growth in our consumption of resources), but if they can’t even give us their promised increased wealth with their consumption is the way to happiness philosophy I don’t think we should hold back from pointing that out.

    • Lanthanide 3.3

      I think it goes like this:

      National promised X. We don’t particularly agree with X, but National promised it. X comes at the expense of Y, which we actually wanted to keep and don’t like National cutting it. Now National are failing to deliver on X and have still slashed and burnt on Y as well, so all the pain for none of the gain.

    • Pascal's bookie 3.4

      Cites for either 1 or 2 would be nice. Presumably from the same poster, unless you think it is duplicitous for people to disagree with each other.

  4. Carol 4

    I think it became evident somewhere recently, that when the government talks about a savings-based recovery they tend to refer a lot to savings the government makes by cutting back on the public sector. But then they blur this kind of saving, with statistics about individuals saving more in their bank accounts etc.

  5. burt 5

    Yes it’s so much easier when Labour are in charge, Tax the rich pricks and stop them saving so the govt can have a surplus and spend it on…. middle class welfare for the people you tax so heavily they can’t save…. Oh yeah – churn baby churn. Churn our way into the hearts and minds of the people who have never saved – that will fix the economy.

  6. burt 6


    One more thing, remind me again how although NZ was in recession before the global crisis how it wasn’t Labour’s economic policies that caused the trouble we now have.

    • nzfp 6.2

      Hey burt – talking about when NZ went into the recession – have a look at Wikipedia – but be prepared to laugh your socks off.

      Wikipedia have an entry for “The Great Recession” under “Late-2000s recession”

      Wikipedia states:

      The late-2000s recession, or the Great Recession,[1][2] was a severe economic recession that began in the United States in December 2007[3] and ended in June 2009 (as determined by the U.S. National Bureau of Economic Research).[4]

      … “ended in June 2009” … what a laugh – tell that to the people going through FRAUDclosure, the QE2, the Irish bailout, the riots in France, Germany, UK, Portugal, Spain, Greece…

      However, all that aside it should be noted that according to the New Zealand Treasury Department:
      The recession in New Zealand began in the March 2008 quarter, before any OECD nation, as a result of domestic factors.

      Which is odd, because according to the OECD:

      The United States, along with 19 other countries, signed the Convention founding the Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development on 14 December 1960, thereby pledged its full dedication to achieving the Organisation’s fundamental aims.

      So someone is telling porkies, because according to a December 1, 2008 article by Bloomberg:

      The U.S. economy entered a recession a year ago this month, the panel that dates American business cycles said today, making this contraction already the longest since 1982.

      The declaration was made by a committee of the National Bureau of Economic Research, a private, nonprofit group of economists based in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The last time the U.S. was in a recession was from March through November 2001, according to NBER.

      Which means the US entered the recession well before we did, and since the gobal crisis was caused by Wall Street, that means the global crisis started before we went into the recession.

      • Pascal's bookie 6.2.1

        And we’ll not talk about how the US staved off recession for so long leading up to the downturn.

        What was fed reserve doing Burt?

    • roblyn 6.3

      Burt, you should stop looking to the past and think a bit more about the future. The global recession was exacerbated by the neo-liberal monetary consensus that existed prior to 2008. Labour was signed up to that consenus along with National. The challenge ahead of us however is moving away from that crisis prone paradigm to creating a more stable economic model. National is determined to try and replicate the failed model. Labour at least is prepared now to step away from the failure and debate what a better model must look like. That is why Labour represents a far brighter future than National can, unless it too is prepared to jettison failed neo-liberal ideology.

  7. Pascal's bookie 7

    Does anyone care to defend, or even explain Mr English’s ‘savings based recovery’?

    • Lanthanide 7.1

      There is a little bit of logic in it. That once households have paid back debt, they’ll be in a better position to increase consumption again. If you’re not paying $50 on CC interest any more, you can save $20 of that and spend $30 on a dinner out, for example.

      Of course if the economic environment isn’t right, people won’t spend that extra $30 on dinner, instead they’ll save it. That’s assuming they are still earning that $50 anyway – they might be down to $30 because of job loss.

      It seems more like firming up the foundation for future growth, but the not the impetus for growth itself, IMO.

      • r0b 7.1.1

        If it was genuine savings I would agree that it was a good thing — a useful contribution. But savings alone will never be enough to cause recovery or growth. For that the savings must be put to good, productive use, they must be part of a bigger economic picture, and that simply isn’t happening.

        Also, I’m not convinced that we are in fact saving. We’re not spending as much, but then we’re not getting as much income either. And as for debt reduction – a drop in the bucket. We’ll be many a long year if we wait for a “debt reduction based recovery”.

        I stick to my theory, we’re stalled, and English is looking for new ways to explain it away. We need a new, sustainable. green economy, and the Nats are never going to deliver it.

        • clandestino

          Are you advocating for people not to pay down debt, but to allow the government to take that money and invest on our behalf in…..?

    • Jeremy Harris 7.2

      Savings are important for productivity gains, a country where indivduals aren’t saving cannot increase productivity, efficiency or compete without selling assets (where we are now)…

      But a strategy for a quick recovery it is not… I think if this saving trend continues that’s great, Chinese residents save up to 40% of their salaries…

      • Colonial Viper 7.2.1

        There is a little bit of logic in it. That once households have paid back debt, they’ll be in a better position to increase consumption again.

        So somewhere between 5 and 10 years then? Another ‘lost decade’ in the making.

        (Sorry Jeremy this was supposed to be in reply to Lanth)

      • Maynard J 7.2.2

        Wow, Jeremy, I think you’re right.

        This is English’s new ’10 Year Plan’. Next he’ll tell us to melt down everything we own to make iron, and we’ll have a Smelting Based Recovery, followoed by a Great Leap Forward!

      • Jeremy Harris 7.2.3

        My spidy sense is picking up traces of sarcasm…

        I don’t think English meant for an increase in savings or that what he has done is a good plan or even a plan at all…

        So not really sure what your cheap dig is trying to prove… That English is a c*mmunist..? He maybe many things but c*mmie ain’t one of them…

        That savings are essential for future growth and prosperity shouldn’t really even be an issue for debate though, just an obvious truism…

  8. jcuknz 8

    Bill English may well be telling porkies, but it is in a good cause. If he can convince us to save more, that is either knocking down our credit card totals or actually putting some money in the bank or savings union if it is a small amount. I doubt if anyone in the country couldn’t save, even if only a few cents a week, by forgoing something that is not absolutely essential.

    Politicians often tell us what they hope is happening and sometimes it happens. It is disgusting that people have nothing better to do than make fun of those trying to lead the recovery.

    I think it is, or going to be, a hard row to hoe … the adjustment which keeps the consumption of earth’s resources down without putting even more people out of work. I doubt if capitalism will survive the process but it has got to happen if the human race is to survive. Other earth type planets are a long way away and could only be reached by a select few, so the rest of us have to learn to survive on Earth with what is here.

    • Colonial Viper 8.1

      It is disgusting that people have nothing better to do than make fun of those trying to lead the recovery.

      I think its OK to make fun of people leading us around the merry-go-round however.

      the adjustment which keeps the consumption of earth’s resources down without putting even more people out of work.

      Didn’t you notice? Capital markets have no interest in whether or not people are out of work. It is irrelevant as the only matter of importance is the rate of return on investment. If pushing more people out of work generates an improved return on investment and improves the financials, that is what the capitalist system will do.

      I doubt if capitalism will survive the process but it has got to happen if the human race is to survive.

      What a frakin joke, capitalism != human civilisation. Check out the Romans, the Greeks and the Mesopotamians for starters. Trading yes. Capitalism as a form of government, no.

    • r0b 8.2

      It is disgusting that people have nothing better to do than make fun of those trying to lead the recovery.

      How is English trying to lead the recovery jc? What is he doing? Economically, the Nats are a one trick pony. Tax cuts. They did it. Didn’t work. Now what? What are they doing?

      • jcuknz 8.2.1

        It is creating an attitude to life and it took me a long time to learn it despite it being ancient history and related in a popular book of a previous century with a Mr McKiber going own about “Income one pound … spend 19/6d is happiness, spend 20/6d is misery”. It is as true today as ever in history and other nations seem to have got the message while Kiwis are spendthrifts as ever. You don’t need a wage rise to correct matters just some self discipline.

        What is the point? capital gives one a feeling of security, and everything is relative to one’s position in society. A few cents over time becomes a few dollars which helps when one is at or near the bottom of the pile … been there … so save those idiot’s remarks about me being all dollars and no cents. Blogs are full of smart alex’s with limited intelligence.

        CV … I think you mis-read my comment, I had a feeling that some might.Try the other that we have to find a system that doesn’t include capitalism.

        • Draco T Bastard

          You don’t need a wage rise to correct matters just some self discipline.

          You do if the amount you’re getting isn’t enough to live on which is where most people in NZ exist. No amount of self-discipline can change that.

          But in that is the problem .. we don’t want more consumption, wasting earths resources. We have to work out a way of improving peoples lives without increasing consumption.

          This bit I agree with. I think a well defined Renewable Resource Base that everyone then has an equal say in how it’s used would be the best option.

      • jcuknz 8.2.2

        rOb … perhaps if you stopped to think for a moment about what I suggested you would appreciate that English is trying to lead New Zealand out of its spendthrift ways by suggesting something which may not be true but would be good if it were true and definitely doesn’t deserve your ridicule. But such is the stupidity and petty mindedness of our politicians and their lapdogs that it is the norm rather than exception. I’m sure that you got considerable enjoyment from your research and writing the article but you missed the final important stage of asking yourself was it reasonable to publish.

        While just about everybody got a tax cut, or an increase in their pension, it was not targeted to do the most good. To do this it should have been given to those with the least, because they would spend it quicker. But in that is the problem .. we don’t want more consumption, wasting earths resources. We have to work out a way of improving peoples lives without increasing consumption. I don’t know the answer but I hope others will find it, and it certainly isn’t by poking fun at Bill English which helps nobody.

        • r0b

          English is trying to lead New Zealand out of its spendthrift ways by suggesting something which may not be true but would be good if it were true and definitely doesn’t deserve your ridicule.

          That’s the lamest attempted rationalisation for incompetence that I’ve ever heard. Plus, Bill double dipping English is the last one to have any credibility preaching restraint. That hypocritical idiot deserves all the ridicule he gets.

    • Marty G 8.3

      you just can’t bear to hear the truth about the losers you worship.

    • pollywog 8.4

      I doubt if anyone in the country couldn’t save, even if only a few cents a week, by forgoing something that is not absolutely essential.

      dunno bout that eh…

      …and whats the point in saving a few cents a week ?

    • handle 8.5

      “make fun of those trying to lead the recovery”? Only if not doing anything counts as ‘lead’

  9. ghostwhowalksnz 9

    Looks like English will join Ruth Richardson and become a one term Finance Minister.

    And after all the trouble he went to to engineer Don Brashes downfall ( leaked emails ) and save his career, he wasnt up to the job and will get dumped by Key, who will give the job to Joyce

    • Marty G 9.1

      I think the govt’s agenda would grind to a halt without English. He does all the heavy-lifting for the half-wits like Tolley.

      Joyce is capable and English’s record on finance is awful but could Key really afford to lose English’s ability and leave him embittered on the backbenches (and talking to mates like Nick Smith)?

      For mine, the housing rort issue showed how indispensable English is. He got no reprimand at all for far worse than what got Wong the shove.

  10. roblyn 10

    I attempted to put the comments from English in some context, for my own understanding, this afternoon. English seems to trying to take claim that the govts tax cuts is moving us toward a ‘recovery based on savings and investment rather than borrowing and consumption, the present economic slow down was because people are moving from a consumption based phase to a saving based phase and that this switch to savings will provide higher economic growth’.

    That seems like a really desperate attempt from English to try and extract any good news out of a dire situation. I would strongly suggest that the present lack of spending is not due to savings but rather people paying down debt. This has little to do with what English has attempted and much to do with the high debt levels people have taken on.

    What the government has done is push through a round of tax cuts that will fill the pockets of high income earners but do not very much at all for lower income earners. That was the whole aim of the exercise, to cut taxes. Any perceived automatic flow on through to higher savings and higher growth is a matter of neo-liberal ideological faith rather than empirical fact. Treasury themselves state that any economic growth, as a result of the tax cuts, is margin of error stuff.

    If English seriously did want to move from a consumption based, speculative based economy to one based on savings there were a range of options he could have chosen such as a CGT and progressive improvements to Kiwisaver. Instead he wanted, for largely ideological reasons, reduce tax rates for the high income earners.

    The result is the government books in a worse state and borrowing for the tax cuts.

    • NickS 10.1

      You know it might be an idea to not use your email address as a user-name as even with a decent anti-spam system, you will still get swamped if the bots can find it. And screen-names are very, very visible…

      Not to mention ye olde flood of gay horse pr0n, lemon party (google not, since I wont give you eye bleach), [insert favourite shock image(s) here] as soon as someone takes a disliking to you* **…

      *welcome to the internet
      **I’m a bio-geek, and thus immune to even the all-glorious “offended” page, your reactions may vary though …

      [Agreed – tidied up the username(s) – thanks. — r0b]

  11. djp 11

    More savings means there is more capital available for “investment” in “private sector” “export” industries? (which ticks the top three in your google scholar list)

    • Colonial Viper 11.1

      There will be no more capital available for investment as you described UNLESS the banks get it into their heads to lend to startup businesses operating in the ‘real (tradeables) economy’ instead of always lending to people trying to build the next apartment block or flip an investment flat.

  12. prism 12

    I like to refer to my economics textbook by Blaumol and Blinder 4th edn – handy to keep grounded. In their section on the Paradox of Thrift –
    “This last example of multiplier analysis teaches us an important lesson. It shows that an increase in the desire to save will lead to a cumulative fall in GNP. And, because saving depends on income, the resulting decline in national income will pull saving down.”

    English must know this – wasn’t he the clever farm boy who got into Treasury. Cullen was always on about saving too. Neither of them seemed to care enough to back their empty words with encouragement like stopping double taxing on people’s savings, first on the original earnings and then from interest paid, taking even single cents from the miniscule amount that small savers manage to earn. Is it total wage taxing, first on a percentage of wages (say 20%) second on spending GST (15%), and third on interest if you have any left over with just a few items GST free. Seems quite heavy tax if you’re low waged.

    It’s not a simple solution to having more national investment. And when there has been investment by NZs’ with some wealth, the government haven’t had sufficient nous to encourage it to productive entities rather than consumer ones, with spectacular magic shows of disappearing money. It seems that more savings and liquidity may result in negative total investment and unhealthy growth for the economy because of spending on personal indulgences.

    I’m just a learner but experts don’t seem to make their theories work for our good so maybe my ideas are as valid as theirs.

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    5 days 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
    5 days 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
    5 days 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
    5 days 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
    5 days 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
    5 days 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
    5 days 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
    5 days 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
    6 days 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
    6 days 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
    6 days 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
    6 days 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 ...
    6 days 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
    6 days 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
    6 days 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
    6 days 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 ...
    7 days 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
    7 days 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 ...
    7 days 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
    7 days 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
    1 week 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
    1 week ago
  • New Fisk
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week 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
  • Government says it will now build just one really nice home
    Following publication of this article, the Ministry has requested it to be noted that this supplied image is not necessarily representative of what the final house will look like, and it “probably won’t be that nice.” As part of today’s long-anticipated reset of the Government’s flagship KiwiBuild policy, Housing Minister ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Imperialism and your cup of coffee
    Over the next week or two we will be running three synopses of parts of the opening chapter of John Smith’s Imperialism in the 21st Century (New York, Monthly Review Press, 2016).  The synopsis and commentary below is written by Phil Duncan. Marx began Capital not with a sweeping historical ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Still juking the stats
    The State Services Commission and Ombudsman have released another batch of OIA statistics, covering the last six months. Request volumes are up, and the core public service is generally handling them within the legal timeframe, though this may be because they've learned to extend rather than just ignore things. And ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Hard News: Time for a New Deal: 25 years on
    In 1994, I was editing an ambitious street mag called Planet, from a fabled office at at 309 Karangahape Road. The thirteenth issue of the magazine was published in the winter of that year and its cover embodied a particularly ambitious goal: the end of cannabis prohibition.I wanted to do ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Not impressed
    KiwiBuild was one of the Ardern government's core policies. The government would end the housing crisis and make housing affordable again by building 100,000 new homes. Of course, it didn't work out like that: targets weren't met, the houses they did build were in the wrong place, and the whole ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Solar beats coal
    As the climate crisis escalates, it is now obvious that we need to radically decarbonise our economy. The good news is that its looking easy and profitable for the energy sector. Wind is already cheaper than fossil fuels, and now solar is too:The levellised cost of solar PV has fallen ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • A Step Too Far.
    A Crown Asset? For reasons relating to its own political convenience, the Crown pretends to believe that “No one owns the water.” To say otherwise would re-vivify the promises contained in the Treaty of Waitangi – most particularly those pertaining to the power of the chiefs and their proprietary rights ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Where Money Comes From
    Most people would say, no doubt, that they have a pretty good idea of what money is. They live with the reality of money every day. It is what is needed to buy the necessities of life and to maintain a decent standard of living. You get money, they would ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    2 weeks ago
  • Banned by the Green Party leadership: Jill Abigail on women’s rights and trans rights
    The article below was an opinion piece that appeared in the Spring 2019 issue of Te Awa (the NZ Green Party’s newsletter) and on the Greens website.  In keeping with their policy of hostility to women defending women’s right to female-only spaces, Green bureaucrats have since removed the opinion piece.  ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • The fallacy of the proximity argument.
    Longer term readers may remember my complaining that, as a political scientist, it is burdensome to have non-political scientists wanting to engage me about politics. No layperson would think to approach an astrophysicist and lecture him/her on the finer details of quarks and black holes, but everybody with an opinion ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    2 weeks ago
  • Where We Stood: Chris Trotter Replies To Stevan Eldred-Grigg.
    Joining The Fight: Stevan Eldred-Grigg's argument for New Zealand staying out of the Second World War fails not only on the hard-headed grounds of preserving the country’s strategic and economic interests; and not just on the soft-hearted grounds of duty and loyalty to the nation that had given New Zealand ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Universities back the climate strike
    On September 27, School Strike 4 Climate will be striking for a future to pressure the government for meaningful climate action. This time, they've asked adults to join them. And now, Lincoln University and Victoria University of Wellington have signed on:Victoria University of Wellington has joined Lincoln University in endorsing ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Another constitutional outrage
    Another day, another constitutional outrage in the UK. This time, the government is saying that if parliament passes a law to stop Brexit before being prorogued, they may just ignore it:A senior cabinet minister has suggested Boris Johnson could defy legislation to prevent a no-deal Brexit if it is forced ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Ending dairy in Canterbury
    Environment Canterbury has finally proposed nitrogen limits to stop dairy farmers from poisoning Christchurch's water supply. And naturally, farmers are whining about it:A proposed move by Environment Canterbury (ECan) to protect Christchurch's drinking water by setting tough – some would say, draconian – nitrate reductions in the decades ahead and ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Is National the party of climate arson?
    The Zero Carbon Bill is currently before select committee. While its targets are weak, its a generally sensible bill that promises to establish a long-term framework to guide emissions reductions. But National hasn't made up its mind on whether it will support it - and according to Andrea Vance in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Experts warn Harold the Giraffe “well past” typical giraffe life expectancy, may not have long
    Dum-de-doo. Children across New Zealand have known him for generations as the lovable giraffe who tells them to exercise, hydrate and not to shove lit cigarettes up their nostrils. But a world renowned giraffe expert says we shouldn’t be getting attached to Life Education’s Harold the Giraffe, as he is ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • August ’19 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
    Image credit: 22 BLOGGERS WITH ADVICE FOR RESEARCHERS AND EVALUATORS, ILLUSTRATED I notice a few regulars no longer allow public access to the site counters. This may happen accidentally when the blog format is altered. If your ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Bye, bye to the collusion lie
    Sums it up, really. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Opinion: Treat your car by buying extra petrol to snack on while you aren’t driving
    By Mike Hosking. Yesterday morning, I waltzed into work, and as I walked past the drones aggressively typing out news on the computers I’ve repeatedly asked to be moved further away from, I caught a glimpse of the words “climate change”, and noticed that suspiciously they weren’t in condescending quotation ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago

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