Socialist football

Written By: - Date published: 1:16 pm, July 8th, 2010 - 31 comments
Categories: socialism, sport - Tags: ,

I’m interested in comparisons between systems that operate via “central command and control” vs. those that operate via “cooperation and emergent consensus”. A classic example is the comparison between a corporation like Microsoft and the Open Source movement (see “The Cathedral and the Bazaar”).

Football legend John Barnes cheekily claims the cooperative model for socialism. The following piece explores these ideas in the context of the beautiful game:

According to football legend John Barnes, England will never win a World Cup until our footballers embrace their inner socialist. “Players from other nations when they play for their country are once again a socialist entity, all pulling in the same direction,” he told the journalist Mihir Bose last week. Apart from citing Brazil and Argentina as role models seamlessly making their way to the World Cup final, he was spot on.

The best football teams are socialist in nature. They play for each other, and individual brilliance is often subservient to the common good. Even the language of team sport is socialist solidarity, unite, goal, come together. Why do you think the word United is so beloved by football people that 15 clubs in England’s top four division divisions have it in their title? Barcelona, possibly the world’s most successful club, are the living embodiment of our old clause four (remember that?) owned by the supporters for the supporters, they have indeed “secured by hand or brain the full fruits of their industry and the most equitable distribution thereof” as some of us used to say. …

Football’s greatest managers always knew how much the sport owed to socialism. Brian Clough, who gave tickets for Derby’s games to striking miners and agitated for a player walkout (admittedly after he had walked out on Derby), was once asked by the former Labour MP, Austin Mitchell, whether he was a superstitious man? “No, Austin, I’m not,” he answered. “I’m a socialist.” Sure he drove a Mercedes, but he wanted everybody to be able to drive a Mercedes. A slice of bloody cake for all, that was his philosophy.

Bill Shankly, possibly the greatest and wisest of them all, believed football and socialism were inseparable. “The socialism I believe in is everybody working for the same goal and everybody having a share in the rewards. That’s how I see football, that’s how I see life,” he said.

As for the World Cup, we should have known there was no chance of glory for the Three Lions with a Con-Dem coalition. After all, England has never won the World Cup under the Tories or the Liberals, or the Liberal Democrats, or New Labour. As Harold Wilson boasted in 1966: “Have you ever noticed how we only win the World Cup under a Labour government?”

31 comments on “Socialist football”

  1. Carol 1

    This is an interesting proposition, but I think it depends a bit on how socialism is defined. But to be truly socialist, wouldn’t there also be co-operation between all teams, undermining the need for a strong sense of competitiveness to win?

    I am very interested in the way human achievements require a mixture of co-operation and competition. In fact, I think capitalism includes a mixture of both. Welfare capitalism, IMO, keeps a reasonable balance between co-operation and competitiveness. I’m a leftie, but not sure how much of a socialist I am, or if there’s another better system outside the socialist-capitalist binary. I do favour a kind of Green New Deal at the moment, but am open to ideas.

    The kind of “neoliberal” dominance that we’ve seen in the last few decades privileges individual and corporate competitiveness. In so doing the balance between co-operation and competitiveness is distorted. However, it would not have been able to succeed as much as it has without some co-operation amongst the elite team of the wealthy and powerful.

    So, I ask, what is socialism? Are soccer teams, however co-operative the approach, only conceivable within a competitive capitalist framework?

    • burt 1.1

      Carol

      I just don’t like socialism, the rest of the stuff the great guru of socialist blibber-blabber John Barnes rabbits on about is purely team spirit. Team spirit transcends political ideology. Barnes is just confused, and with his past its easy to see how he might lose perspective. If the teams that routinely win are the teams where all players are paid the same mediocre salary appropriate for their country, which is the same as the management and the coaches; then he can say socialism wins the game.

      A star team should always kick ass against a team full of stars, that’s got stuff all to do with political ideology.

    • burt 1.2

      As for his romancing about the ‘United’ as in Manchester, he’s off beam big time.

      Wiki : Manchester United

      formed in 1878 as Newton Heath LYR Football Club, LYR as in Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway depot at Newton Heath.

      It goes on;

      In January 1902, with debts of £2,670 equivalent to £210,000 in 2010 the club was served with a winding-up order. Captain Harry Stafford found four local businessmen, including John Henry Davies (who became club president), each willing to invest £500 in return for a direct interest in running the club and who subsequently changed the name; on 24 April 1902, Manchester United was officially born.

      Well perhaps the Newton Heath LYR Football Club started socialist but it had to be bailed out by wealthy private investors which gave birth to Manchester United. (familiar theme for socialism…)

      Barnes might want to read Wiki, he might notice the ‘United’ kind of represents the mergers of teams that went on in the formation. Typical socialist, always re-writing history.

  2. Herodotus 2

    http://edition.cnn.com/2010/LIVING/worklife/06/07/cb.footballers.earn.what/index.html
    I heard on the radio (Cannot find links) that the English team were on a 180k sterling/week salary, and now they had escaped holidaying in S.A. with family. The socilist of 70’s (Liverpools Shankly) is a long way off where these players are now. The game may be followed by the socialist but is managed and owned by the elite and played by a very isolated privledged few on many millions of pounds per year, and this for a 20 something.
    R0b your comment is for me similar to the NZ lab party want was is not what they stand for now, sometimes it would be good to go back and regain some of the innocence and purity of the original idealisms. With NZ Lab we can only hope that this spirit is recaptured.
    http://www.independent.co.uk/sport/football/news-and-comment/163676000-the-average-salary-of-a-premiership-footballer-in-2006-473659.html
    http://www.soccer365.com/english_premiership/story_28410191410.php

    • burt 2.1

      Labour needs to do some serious naval gazing, harking back to what worked before they lost their way in the 80’s isn’t the answer. Re-nationalising everything and dominating the economy with state monopolies was 70’s and 80’s. It was Muldoon policy, before that it was great depression policy, it’s not todays solution. Till Labour stop pissing around with targeted vote winning strategies they will never win our hears and minds, they might win some votes but that’s not the spirit I think you are referring to.

  3. Bored 3

    Remember Guernica!!!!!

    PS That was deliberately inflicted, what the neo libs did was self inflicted.

  4. Olwyn 4

    I don’t think that the South American teams consistently live up to the socialist ideal, since they can be overly reliant on individual stars. Toward the end of the game this morning, Pedro made a fabulous break down the centre but apparently seeking glory for himself, failed to pass the ball to Torres and consequently lost it to a defender. The coach promptly took him off and replaced him. While it didn’t cost Spain the game, you might say that this little mishap resulted from Pedro’s failing to be socialist enough.

    • Carol 4.1

      I’m confused? Are you saying Spain is a South American team?

    • Lew 4.2

      I considered making this reflection on Pedro’s bad decision, but a Randroid would argue that he failed to act in his own self-interest. Setting up the freshly-substituted striker to score would have brought him almost much glory as scoring himself, and was a much surer thing.

      As tempting as arguments like this are, I don’t think they’re generally very valid at the player level. But in general I think the case does hold for the England team, which is a collection of individuals who barely train when they’re encamped together, and who were and usually are predominantly picked on star profile and club-level reputation rather than on raw merit. Brazil, who left out two of the most famous names in world football — Ronaldo and Ronaldinho — due to form slumps. England’s star players — like Beckham, Ferdinand, Owen — were left out due to injury. (not that brazil did all that much better than England, but they sure did look more convincing.)

      L

      • Fabregas4 4.2.1

        Nope, he acted in his own self interest – he had replaced Torres in the team and if he had passed to Torres, and he had scored, then he (Pedro) risked being left out for the final (probably will be anyway).

  5. Olwyn 5

    No. I should have added an “and” or a sentence separating the two statements. I do think the Sth Americans can rely too much on stars, and I also think that Pedro’s nano-second of individualism was a mistake, given that Torres, a brilliant striker, was right there and waiting for the ball.

  6. The Voice of Reason 6

    Great post! As a former member of the Auckland City Socialists Football Club I can tell you that a team with a common goal can often play well above the levels the individual skills suggest. Even if it’s just in the 4th Div of the Business House League.

    There have been experiments with democracy in clubs in recent times, including an internet based buyout of a small lower league English club a couple of year ago, where the fans also got a say on each weeks playing eleven. Barcelona is the most famous example of a fan owned club, but there are plenty of others. Sadly, most languish in obscurity for luck of funds. There are also plenty of clubs with left wing support bases, too, even if the ownership is private. The Italian team Livorno spring to mind.

    It beats me that a club like the wonderful West Ham United can’t be bought by the fans. Valued at less than 100 million pounds two years ago, when the then Icelandic owners were busy going bust, I would have thought that a kitty of say, 20 million quid, and some creative financing, would be enough to take control. That’s only 1000 each from the 20 thousand who turn up at Upton Park each home game.

    Two small points. Sir Alex Fergusson, despite the title, is a former watersider and proud unionist and remains a socialist to this day. And socialist is not the only left wing way to play. The Luther Blissett League is an anarchist take on footy, with 3 teams playing at the same time on the same field. You wouldn’t want to be the ref!

    • Herodotus 6.1

      Re the Hammers unfiortunately as far as I am aware no premier team makes money, so as a fan you pay your 1000 nicker then what happens as you continue to go down the debt trail. (as an aside I think the Green Bay Packers are also owned by the community) I think the bundesliga is the only substainable league financially, with the majority of the players being home grown and willing(?) to play for less than they could get elsewhere within Europe. Like the rest of the world the soccer clubs require a hugh shake up and to be brought back into reality how can Man City reportly afford 100 million quid for Kaka and be able to financially justify it.

    • uroskin 6.2

      If they played with two balls (and two teams) there would never be a dull moment. Action would be guaranteed somewhere on the field!

  7. Quoth the Raven 7

    I’m interested in comparisons between systems that operate via “central command and control’ vs. those that operate via “cooperation and emergent consensus’

    In other words the state vs civil society. The coercion and compulsion of the state vs the voluntary cooperation and emergent order of a free society.

  8. Bill 8

    Are people aware that the British Labour Party was going to legislate that fans of football teams going into receivership would become the owners through a mandated share option?

    I remember linking to it at the time on the grounds that if a government was able to envisage a fan takeover of a sports team, then they could have no excuse (in my book) for not legislating for worker takeovers of other, non-sporting companies going into receivership.

    Anyhow.

    Never had a problem with competition; not until it gets all cut throat which is what a capitalist/corporatist environment gravitates towards. That the system itself is bailed time and again, or that what are considered to be crucial parts are safe-guarded and bailed, is a sign of the failure of competition and the triumph of hypocrisy as a guiding principles.

    Co-operation does not preclude competition. Nor does it deaden individual talent and flair. What it does do is demarcate parameters of, or for competition (in part through rewards or lack thereof), in a way that competition does not become a zero sum game among players, but becomes a dynamic whereby overall results are enhanced and a generally harmonious environment maintained.

  9. SHG 9

    Manchester United, the most successful team in English soccer, is run as a dictatorship by Sir Alex Ferguson, the greatest manager in soccer history.

    That is to say ManU is operated along entirely socialist lines where everyone contributes, so long as he does what Ferguson tells him to do.

    • Fabregas4 9.1

      Anyone who played for Birkenhead United Over 35’s 2nd division would know one Brian Powell (Bonnie Ladd) who leads his (reasonably successful) teams by the Fergie or possibly Stalin like mantra of my way or the highway, but also embraced capitalism by charging every player $5 per week to play, and communism by leading the drinking every Tuesday and Saturday nights.

      Just to prove that football transcends all economic and political ideologies.

  10. Santi 10

    If so the All Whites under helen Clark should’ve been world champions. Good joke!

  11. Quoth the Raven 11

    On the comparison between “central command and control’ vs. those that operate via “cooperation and emergent consensus’ Kevin Carson’s recent piece The Thermidor of the Progressives Managerialist Liberalism’s Hostility to Decentralized Organization that looks at this area as he does so often (so read his other work if you’re interested in this) An excerpt

    The agenda of the Progressives (and of their British Fabian counterparts) initially had some anticapitalist elements, and inclined in some cases toward a paternalistic model of state socialism. But they quickly became useful idiots for corporate capitalism, and their “socialism” was relegated to the same support role for the corporate economy that Bismarck’s “Junker socialism” played in Germany. The New Class tended to expand its activities into areas of least resistance, which meant that its “progressive” inclinations were satisfied mainly in those areas where they tended to ameliorate the crisis tendencies and instabilities of corporate capitalism, and thereby to serve its long-term interests. And since genuine working class socialism wasn’t all that friendly to a privileged position for the New Middle Class, whatever form of “socialism” the latter supported tended toward an extremely managerialist model that left the old centralized corporate economic structure in place with “progressive” white collar managers running it “for the workers’ good.”

  12. uke 12

    Sport, at its deepest level, ultimately seems to work as a metaphor for War not for Society.

    Different codes are organised styles of warfare, played out in a relatively harmless and symbolic way. They less represent social systems, like socialism or capitalism, I would think, than warring tribes or nations.

    Nonetheless free-market capitalism does have an “eternal war” paradigm of constant competition, natural selection, boom and bust etc. etc. Life as an endless game of football with as many teams as individuals?

  13. marco 13

    So if two socialist teams play each other does that mean the result would be a draw? What on earth would the point of playing be?

  14. jcuknz 14

    I thought Spain goes on to the final becuase they had the octopus on side?

  15. burt 15

    If football was socialist then the outcome of the games would be decided before they took to the field. The rules would be changed on the fly while the game was progressing to try and constantly balance the game so the ball always stayed exactly in the middle of the pitch. There would be no winners and losers because by law the score would always be nill all. The teams would be picked on a rotation of people from the ‘wanting to play waiting list’ and while the game was being played the one and only TV channel provided by the state broadcaster would broadcast the game and there would be curfews to ensure everybody watched it.

    How fricken ridiculous, one of the worlds most competitive sports with the most highly paid players is socialist…. Where do people get this crap !

    • felix 15.1

      There would be no winners and losers because by law the score would always be nill all.

      Sounds remarkably close to actual football…

  16. Carol 16

    I just saw a report on Al Jazeera NewsHour on Triangle, about an alternative “world/people’s cup” being played in Cape Town. It looks like the games are being played in public parks, and is for poor people who feel they are left out of the World Cup.

    Some people interviewed complained that the amount of money spent on the WC would have been better spent on improving things for Sth Africans in poverty. They made comparisons with the kind of homes many poor live in, with the luxurious apartments/hotels provided for foreign visitors for the cup (though I guess they are bringing overseas funds into the country).

    On the other hand, some people interviewed claimed that the cup would have longer term economic benefits for all the country.

    Also questions were asked about whether the benfeits from income and the new soccer stadiums would mean poor people (boys) would ever get access to being professional footballers.

  17. Arsene Wenger the skilled, thoughtful and academic (he can speak and read three languages and has a Masters degree in Economics) Manager of Arsenal has been quoted (and I have a T-Shirt from philospohyfootball.com to prove it) as saying:

    “The Act of playing for the team makes every individual stronger”.

    Seems very Left, Socialist and ‘ahem’ correct to me.

    C’mon you Gunners!

    • The Voice of Reason 17.1

      Ha! I was wondering when you’d comment, Fab. I do think Wenger has an obvious faith in the system, rather than the individual, and he is clearly a good judge of talent, which is a marxist fundamental. From each according to his talents, to each according to his needs.

      No question that he’d have got a lot more out of the French national team than the wretched Domenech, who clearly couldn’t get his players to focus on the big picture. Any ways, bon chance for the coming season, I’ll be with the claret and blue battlers, blowing bubbles.

  18. “Bill Shankly, possibly the greatest and wisest of them all’

    was known for saying that “Football is not a matter of life or death it is much more important than that”

    until he was on this death bed and then he said

    “Shit, had that wrong”.

    (as the doctors and nurses ignored his heart failure choosing instead to watch a Carling Cup Third Round Replay between Doncaster and Scunthorpe on the telly in the corner).

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  • “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
    5 days ago
  • Trump: “Where’s my favourite dictator?”
    From the Wall Street Journal:Inside a room of the ornately decorated Hotel du Palais during last month’s Group of Seven summit in Biarritz, France, President Trump awaited a meeting with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi. Mr. Trump looked over a gathering of American and Egyptian officials and called out in ...
    6 days ago
  • Magdalen Burns, 1983-2019, fighter for women’s liberation
    by the Redline blog collective At Redline we are very saddened to hear of the death of Magdalen Burns who passed away on the morning of Friday, September 13 (British time). Magdalen was a great fighter for the rights of women in general and lesbian women in particular, a defender ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    7 days ago
  • Parliament and the Executive
    The Brexit issue has certainly brought with it a series of apparently difficult constitutional issues, many of them concerning the respective roles of the executive and parliament. Most of them arise because of the unwillingness of MPs, despite their professions to the contrary, to be bound by a constitutional rarity ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    7 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
    7 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
    1 week ago
  • A sensible crackdown
    The government has released its Arms Legislation Bill, containing the second tranche of changes to gun laws following the March 15 massacre. And it all looks quite sensible: a national gun register, higher penalties for illegal possession and dealing, tighter restrictions on arms dealers and shooting clubs, and a shorter ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • California bans private prisons
    Private prisons are a stain on humanity. Prison operators explicitly profit from human misery, then lobby for longer prisons terms so they can keep on profiting. And in the US, prison companies run not only local and state prisons, but also Donald Trump's immigration concentration camps. Faced with this moral ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Why PPPs are a bad idea
    When National was in power, they were very keen on Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) - basicly, using private companies to finance public infrastructure as a way of hiding debt from the public. They were keen on using them for everything - roads, schools, hospitals. But as the UK shows, that "service" ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • A Movement That No Longer Moves.
    Moving And Shaking: There was a time when people spoke matter-of-factly about the “labour movement” – a political phenomenon understood to embrace much more than the Labour Party. Included within the term’s definition was the whole trade union movement – many of whose members looked upon the Labour Party as ...
    1 week ago
  • NZ ‘left’ politically embracing extreme postmodernism
    by Philip Ferguson Much of the left, even people who formally identify as marxists, have collapsed politically in the face of postmodern gender theory of the sort pioneered by American philosopher Judith Butler. For Butler even biological sex is socially constructed. “If the immutable character of sex is contested, perhaps ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • The obvious question
    The media is reporting that the (alleged) Labour party sexual assaulter has resigned from their job at Parliament, which means hopefully he won't be turning up there making people feel unsafe in future. Good. But as with everything about this scandal, it just raises other questions. Most significantly: why the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The moment I found out that you found out, I acted swiftly
    By Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern I am every bit as angry as you are. I am every bit as disappointed as you must be. The people with power, oversight and the ability to do something about these processes within the Labour Party should be ashamed. Whoever those people are, I ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • This is why people hate property developers
    Property developers think there is an "oversupply" of houses in Auckland:High turnover rates and falling prices may be a sign that there are too many new houses going in to some parts of Auckland, commentators say. [...] Property developer David Whitburn said there was a "bit of an oversupply" in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Australia to Pacific: “Fuck you, you can all drown”
    World leaders are meeting in New York in two weeks for the 2019 Climate Action Summit, where they are expected to announce new and more ambitious targets to stop the world from burning. But the Australian Prime Minister won't be there, despite being in the USA at the time:Scott Morrison ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Implausible ignorance
    Labour Party president Nigel Haworth resigned yesterday over the party's sexual assault scandal. But while that's good news, its unlikely to take away the stench of a coverup. Because according to Paula Bennett in Parliament yesterday, pretty much everyone in the Prime Minister's office was involved as well:I have been ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Labour’s Fatal Flaw.
     Two-Faced? Labour insiders' commitment to the neoliberal status quo puts them at odds with their party’s membership; its trade union affiliates; and a majority of Labour voters, but this only serves to strengthen the perception they have of themselves as a special elite. Among the lesser breeds, they’ll talk up a ...
    1 week ago
  • Ten reasons the Tories do NOT want an election
    There has been a lot of talk about Boris Johnson wanting an election, and he has blustered with great gusto about 'chicken' Jeremy Corbyn refusing one, but I think there are many reasons why he is secretly glad he has been refused the opportunity:The Tories are an utter rabble,tearing themselves ...
    1 week ago
  • Prorogation Illegal, rule Scottish judges
    Scottish appeal court judges have declared that Boris Johnson’s decision to suspend parliament in the run-up to the October Brexit deadline is unlawful. The three judges, chaired by Lord Carloway, Scotland’s most senior judge, overturned an earlier ruling that the courts did not have the powers to interfere in the prime ...
    1 week ago
  • Let me explain what I meant by Everyday New Zealanders
    By Simon Bridges. The following is a press release from the office of Simon Bridges, leader of The National Party. Key ora, New Zealand. Happy Maori Language Week. Look, I’m writing to you today because I want to clear something up. There’s been a lot of kerfuffle around some things ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Yes, the SIS is subject to the Public Records Act
    I understand there's some stuff going round about how the SIS "was removed from the list of public offices covered by the Public Records Act in 2017". The context of course being their records derived from US torture, which will be disposed of or sealed. The good news is that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • An evidence-based discussion of the Canadian fluoride/IQ study
    Dr. Christopher Labos and Jonathan Jarry discuss the recent Canadian fluoride/IQ research. They provide an expert analysis of the paper and its problems. Click on image to go to podcast. The critical debate about the recent ...
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Australia in denial
    Australia is burning down again, and meanwhile its natural disaster minister is denying climate change:Australia’s minister responsible for drought and natural disasters, David Littleproud, has said that he doesn’t “know if climate change is manmade”. Clarifying earlier comments that the question is “irrelevant” when considering the Coalition government’s response to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Philippines activist speaking on the Duterte tyranny
    Auckland Philippines Solidarity is excited to host Professor Judy Taguiwalo for a speaking tour of NZ in September. She is a well-known activist in the Philippines and was a political prisoner under the Marcos dictatorship. Professor Taguiwalo briefly served as a Cabinet member under President Duterte but was forced from ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Disgust
    I have no special insights to offer on the Labour sexual assault coverup. All I have is disgust. Disgust that an organisation could fail its people so badly. Disgust that they punished the victims rather than the perpetrator. Disgust that its party hacks are apparently blaming the victims for demanding ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Speak Up for Women calls out Greens’ censorship
    This open letter to the Green Party was penned after an opinion piece by Jill Abigail, a feminist and founding member of the party, was censored by the Greens’ leadership. (Redline has reprinted her article here).The intolerance of the Green Party leaders and their acceptance of the misogyny of gender ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Member’s Day: End of Life Choice, part 3
    Today is a Member's day, and David Seymour's End of Life Choice Bill continues its slow crawl through its committee stage. They're spending the whole day on it today, though the first hour is likely to be spent on voting left over from last time. After that they'll move on ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Flight to Los Angeles turned back after passengers decide they don’t want to go anymore
    An ambitious plan to fly to Los Angeles petered out into a brief sight-seeing trip and a desire to return home and get some sleep before work tomorrow. Air New Zealand has confirmed a flight to Los Angeles last night was turned back about a quarter of the way into ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    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
    2 weeks ago
  • The coming resource war.
    During my time in the Pentagon I had the privilege of sitting down with military leaders and defence and security officials from a variety of Latin American nations. Sometimes I was present as a subordinate assistant to a senior US defence department official, sometimes as part of a delegation that ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    2 weeks ago
  • Māori Language Week with The Civilian
    Kia ora, Aotearoa. It’s that magical time of year. Te Wiki o te Reo Māori. In English, the week that frightens talk radio. As you probably know by now, all your favourite media outlets are participating, some more successfully than others. Stuff has changed its name to Puna for the ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Will Horizons act on climate change?
    Local body elections are coming up next month. And it looks like all Palmerston North candidates for Horizons (the Manawatu-Whanganui Regional Council) want to take action on climate change:Climate change is set to be a key issue in Palmerston North for the next three years if those wanting to get ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • BORA reform is stalled
    Eighteen months ago, the government promised to strengthen the Bill of Rights Act, by explicitly affirming the power of the courts to issue declarations of inconsistency and requiring Parliament to formally respond to them. So how's that going? I was curious, so I asked for all advice about the proposal. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Corbyn and Brexit
    As the Brexit saga staggers on, the focus is naturally enough on the Prime Minister and his attempts to achieve Brexit “do or die”. But the role played by the Leader of the Opposition is of almost equal interest and complexity. The first problem for Jeremy Corbyn is that he ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    2 weeks ago
  • A ditch for him to die in
    Last week, English Prime Minister Boris Johnson boldly declared that he would rather die be dead in a ditch than delay Brexit. Unfortunately for him, the UK parliament accepted the challenge, and promptly dug one for him. The "rebellion bill" requires him to ask for and secure yet another temporary ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Warning! Warning! Danger Jacinda Ardern! Danger Marama Davidson! Warning!
    Lost In Political Space: The most important takeaway from this latest Labour sexual assault scandal, which (if I may paraphrase Nixon’s White House counsel’s, John Dean’s, infamous description of Watergate) is “growing like a cancer” on the premiership, is the Labour Party organisation’s extraordinary professional paralysis in the face of ...
    2 weeks ago
  • 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
    2 weeks ago

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