Some random thoughts on the Northland result

Written By: - Date published: 9:51 am, March 29th, 2015 - 62 comments
Categories: Andrew Little, by-election, labour, national, national/act government, nz first, same old national, winston peters - Tags:

Stephanie Rodgers has covered the implications of the Northland election result well but I thought I would add a few comments.

Firstly I am not aware of such a significant swing ever occurring in a New Zealand election.  To go from a 9,300 majority to lose the seat by 4,000 votes is unheard of.

Secondly the turnout was huge.  Usually by election turnout figures are well down on general election turnout figures for the seat.  I have compared previous by election total vote figures since 2008 and calculated as a percentage the by election total vote compared to the previous general election vote in the seat.  The calculations are set out in this table:

Prev election By election %
Mount Albert 35,219 20,943 59.5%
Mana 34,759 23,314 67.1%
Botany 31,733 15,421 48.6%
Te Tai Tokerau 20,455 12,339 60.3%
Ikaroa Rawhiti 18,732 11,268 60.2%
Christchurch East 28,977 13,726 47.4%
Northland 35,707 28,468 79.7%

There are still 1,528 special votes to be counted but as you can see already the turnout as a proportion of the previous general election’s votes is significantly higher than any other recent by election.  Locals were clearly motivated to vote.

National looked messy despite all of the resources poured into the seat.  Use of multiple Ministers in taxpayer funded limousines may have been a big turnoff.

As for Labour Bomber Bradbury is trying to paint this result as some sort of negative for Andrew Little.  He needs to rethink his views.  On the back of polling that has improved from 25% last election to the low 30s and with Labour looking more and more united Little has had a dream start to his leadership.  His handling of the by election messaging was adept.  While at the same time respecting local candidate Willow-Jean Prime he managed to get a significant number of Labour supporters to hold their noses and vote Winston.  And he did this in such a way that did not stampede straying National voters back into supporting their usual party.

On the right the blame game and finger pointing is heating up.  Cameron Slater reported yesterday that he had been asked by the Electoral Commission to take down some historical posts.  I suspect elements associated with National may have been behind the complaints.

As for the future I suspect that New Zealand First will struggle to hold the seat.  By elections provide a perfect opportunity for people to express their concern or dissent and clearly this is what happened here.  I would expect next time if not the time after for the seat to revert back to National even if the rumours are true and Shane Jones runs next election for New Zealand First.

62 comments on “Some random thoughts on the Northland result”

  1. The Fairy Godmother 1

    Yes the result is a wonderful result for the left. As for Bomber’s nonsense I have just unliked TDB on Facebook.

    • tc 1.1

      Bradbury is rapidly losing what little credibility he has and becoming the slater of the left.

    • Upnorth 1.2

      how can you say that 94% went to the centre right and right parties NZF and National

      Labour became irrelevant

  2. Skinny 2

    “As for the future I suspect that New Zealand First will struggle to hold the seat. By elections provide a perfect opportunity for people to express their concern or dissent and clearly this is what happened here. I would expect next time if not the time after for the seat to revert back to National even if the rumours are true and Shane Jones runs next election for New Zealand First.”

    I disagree and am going too pull you up there Mickey. Very simple clean out deadwood
    within Labour place Prime in a high enough position on the party list so Peters retains Labour supporters candidate vote. While we are at it, oh what may have been right now if Davis got one of the deadbeat males list placing instead of a backdoor placing.

    As for Jones I pinned him down on that last night, he is keeping his options open, obviously he wants the leadership, but would have to line up internal party support outside Peters. But yeah slotting in as 2ic is highly likely.

    • Pasupial 2.1

      Jones would certainly be a better fit with NZF than he ever was in Labour. The way he accepted money from Nat MPs to run his leadership campaign and then fled to a created-just-for-him governmental job when that was revealed!

      I do have to feel for Tracey Martin if the turncoat Jones does get the #2 slot as heir apparent to the NZF throne. She has put in a lot of hard work and is extremely competent. To have risen so high in such a blokish party is testament enough to her political skills.

      • Skinny 2.1.1

        I was actually surprised Jones was so cordial to me considered the lambasting I’ve previously given him for being so f..ing useless, and sellout grief he copped.

        Yes i really rate Tracey Martin it was really nice finally meeting her, knew she was the most left of their tory lot. I had a wider grin then Peters when Pita introduced me to her and the other MPs, she said oh wow your ???? Geez really nice to meet ya and out come their cards lol. My partner didn’t miss a trick, see your not just a legend in your own mind LOL.

        The one prick i ‘d watch is Peters chief of staff, I took an instant dislike last time we met, so this time I devoted a bit of time seeing how he ticks. I don’t like the beat one bit, very suspect on Labour, just like the last prick Peters had, Tory through and through. Anyway I will target Martin got her back over Jones.

    • ghostwhowalksnz 2.2

      With MMP they can easily vote National on party vote and Winston on electorate next time round.

      Now, if only Labour can really do a deal with the greens, so they stop playing musical chairs game they cant win and drop completely the electoral vote and stick to party vote only.
      That means the white urban liberals have only one choice for the green vote when they tell their stories round dinner tables. getting up to 14-15% should be achievable them

      • Pasupial 2.2.1

        gwwnz

        It is difficult to secure Party vote when you are unwilling to contest electorates. There is little chance of the GP refraining from running in as many electorate seats as their party organisation can support. Selected areas may choose to not run electorate campaigns (eg Northland byelection, Te Tai Tokerau & Waiariki last election) but there would have to be a significant potential advantages to the party for that to happen. Labour are unwilling to be seen as doing a deal, and; given previous events, the GP is unlikely to trust them to reciprocate fairly for any un-negotiated action (or inaction).

        What might boost the left vote is if; Labour concentrated on Electorate Vote, while letting the GP increase their Party Vote. This is supremely unlikely, however; so why should the GP aid another party who has never lifted a finger to help them? (oops – forgot about Fitzsimons in Coromandel, but that was a long time ago and only the once)

        Skinny

        I get that it would be advantageous if; Davis and Prime, could be higher on the LP list. But who of; Parker, Ardern, Cosgrove, Morony, or Little, do you think is going to accept demotion to enable this?

        • Tracey 2.2.1.1

          Mt Roskill will be available for a new Labour MP.

        • Karen 2.2.1.2

          I don’t think Cosgrove will be anywhere as high as he was last time on the Party list, and certainly not ahead of Davis.

        • Skinny 2.2.1.3

          Cosgrove, out gone history. Parker reprogrammed, brain chipped, he is real solid had a very enlightening chat with during the leadership bid. I would get him back near the top quickly before he crosses to NZF. Moroney gets a life line if she goes on list only and out of Hamilton West. She is very solid union wise and that lec is a brick outhouse on left thinking.however Sue should never have stood there, it is a Labour seat and we want it back big time. It is a mans seat, I was always told this and after 3 failed bids by Sue I agree, so did Tracey Martin who is Hamilton based, no offense sisters and I not prepared to debate it. DC out, Shearer too join Goff and leave. And keep cutting the deadwood, I dislike Clark for today’s woes in Labour.

  3. Grantoc 3

    Its too early to say whether or not Peters/NZ First will hold the seat in 2017.

    Some factors that may influence this include:

    i. The extent to which he can deliver good outcomes for Northland. To a large extent he’ll have to rely on National to be able to do this (they hold the purse strings). If so this may mean a stronger relationship with National.

    ii. The quality of National’s candidate in 2017. They won’t make the same mistake as they did this time. Along with this the quality of their local campaign will also be better.

    iii. The fact that this was a by election whereas in 2017 it will be a general election; therefore quite different psychological dynamics will come into play.

    iv. Peter’s motivation. This by election was a kind of utu for him on National. That may not be so strongly felt by him in 2017. He’ll be older. He may even want to move on from politics. If this happens, any other NZ First candidate will struggle, simply because they are not Winston Peters.

    As I say there are too many variables to make confident predictions for 2107.

    • Pasupial 3.1

      v. Years of drinking alcohol and late nights may finally catch up on Peters. He still has the charisma to beguile his target demographic. Even the MSM couldn’t catch him on more than the occasional slip-up (eg the hastily retracted musing on a cannabis referendum). But; “The candle that burns twice as bright, burns half as long…”.

    • Tracey 3.2

      If he cant deliver outcomes for Northland it will be because National renegs. This might push a repeat at election time to try and uproot National from Government entirely. Nats need to deliver on their promises even more now, cos they will need the seat in 2017.

      • alwyn 3.2.1

        “cos they will need the seat in 2017”
        Why will they need the seat? It will be a General Election then and all that will happen if they don’t happen to win the electorate is that they will get another List MP. They will end up with exactly the same number of MPs either way. So will New Zealand First, regardless of the result in the electorate. (Assuming they get over 5%)
        The only reason that a party “needs a seat” is if they aren’t going to get 5% of the party vote. Can you really claim that will be the case for National?
        In other ways it is often better for a Party not to hold any electorates. That way they cannot lose one of their quota of MPs if there is a by-election.

        “If he cant deliver outcomes for Northland it will be because National renegs”.
        You can only say this about things that National promised. Then it will be National that will deliver, and not Winston. There is also no way he can deliver the things that only he promised, of which there was an expensive little list. National don’t have to help him there.
        National may be able to apply a little coercion to Winston. Say they nominate that they will need his vote to amend the RMA, and that without amendment it will be impossible to build something that Winston wants. They don’t have to do anything. They can put a proposal forward and then, when someone opposes it, simply lose the case. Then he will cop the flak, won’t he?

        • tracey 3.2.1.1

          if their party vote drops significantly, they will need the seat… to lose a very safe seat such as this may well be a harbinger of things to come. Remember English and 20.something per cent. In that case they may well find their electorate seats are their best bet.

          “In other ways it is often better for a Party not to hold any electorates. ”

          Are you really saying national won’t stand any electorate candidates or are you just surmising about possible permetations in he future?
          National don’t need Winston but that wont make Winston cop flak cos the electorate knows he is not in government.

          Anyone who voted for Winston thinking he could bring the government down would be foolish and probably voted ACT in northland.

          • alwyn 3.2.1.1.1

            “if their party vote drops significantly, they will need the seat”.
            Rubbish. That would be to assume that they were going to get some overhang seats, and that has only ever happened with the Maori Party getting 3 electorates when their party vote would have only got them 2 MPs or Peter Dunne in the current Parliament.
            Labour might have got close to an overhang situation under Cunliffe but they still got list seats.

            “Are you really saying national won’t stand any electorate candidates”.
            Of course I am not saying that. What I am saying is if you are going to lose an MP, for any reason, it is better that it be a list MP rather than and electorate one.
            Remember when young Master Hughes, a Labour list MP, blotted his copybook in 2011? Don’t you think that when he had to resign that Labour were much happier that he had been a list MP rather than an electorate MP for Otaki? Imagine having to have had to have run a by-election and to try and hold the seat when your party member had had to resign after what, although it was never prosecuted, looked dreadfully like a nasty case of sexual assault. Far better that he just vanish and someone else comes straight in off the list.

    • Murray Simmonds 3.3

      Absolutely agree with your analysis, Grantoc.

      Peters is variable in his performance – sometimes good for the country or the region, other times, useless.

      He may well have got elected on the basis of his “loveable old rogue” image this time around (laugh if you like, but thats how I perceive him), but that persona is unlikely to work on any future occasion.

      Certainly not if he fails to deliver for Northland.

  4. Penny Bright 4

    Very karmic for Winston Peters and NZ First – remembering the 2008 General Election, and the unprecedented mud-slinging campaign to help ensure NZ First didn’t make the 5% MMP threshold.

    Why?

    Because our system of ‘democracy’, in my considered opinion, works according to the ‘Golden Rule’ -ie: those who have the gold make the rules, and we get the government that the majority of BIG business want us to have.

    In 2008, the majority of BIG business CEOs did not want Winston Peters / NZ First to be part of ANY coalition government.

    In 2008, when I filed in the Auckland District Court, a private prosecution against John Key over his shareholding in TranzRail (after the Police and SFO refused to act on my complaint ) there was not ONE sentence in the NZ Herald.

    Yet when Rodney Hide made a complaint about NZ First to the SFO, there were MAN ON THE MOON headlines in the NZ Herald.

    This complaint was not upheld by the SFO – but the mud stuck.

    Penny Bright

  5. In my view, Andrew Little and Willow-Jean Prime, showed the political nous required in this Northland buy-election, and helped achieve this significant political result, without and ‘deal’ with NZ First.

    In my view, Martyn Bradbury, on this matter, doesn’t know what he’s talking about.

    I’d say this directly to him on his Daily Blog – but like Cameron Slater – he has banned my from commenting.

    Like Cameron Slater – Martyn Bradbury ‘can’t handle the TRUTH’?

    Penny Bright

    • Karen 5.1

      Martyn Bradbury is an idiot. No idea who he is working for these days but it doesn’t appear to be the left.

      • tc 5.1.1

        he works for that awesome brilliant and never wrong chap who looks at him from the mirror.

  6. RedBaronCV 7

    And what about the Nacts. I guess there will be some factional infighting over this.
    But dragging all those cabinet ministers up there gave the locals an eyeful of what they had actually been voting for compared to what they though they had been voting for.
    Out in the provinces I’m guessing they rarely see more than their local MP. A lot of the blues ( and for that matter other colours) see some one who sorta looks like them so they vote accordingly. But in their mind they are also voting for local farmers/ business owners circa 1980. (when toyota corollas used to be 1200cc).

    Maybe this showed them that the NAct party “owners” are very different from them and what they think they are voting for but instead are multi national wide boys – a very different brand from what they envisage. ( 2L Corollas).

    Nact now has to contend with NZF which resembles where Nact used to be 20+ years ago parked up with 12 odd seats on the left of them. Do they have to move left to start taking them out? If NZF gets in some name politico’s ( Shane Jones?) into the party Nact may have to contend with some real voting splitting in the provinces next election?

    • Scintilla 7.1

      Out in the provinces I’m guessing they rarely see more than their local MP.

      We had a Presidential style visit from JK a year or two ago, at the local high school. He was very friendly, chatty and intent on coming across as “a real nice bloke”. He did a major walkabout lasting a couple of hours and connected with many students who were all outside showcasing their talents in various ways. The response to him was astonishing. Lots of cheering and waving and wanting to touch the Overlord’s hand. His office followed up cards and letters from students with personally signed cards, photos and little badges. You know, like those old-style, signed photos of film stars.

      As far as I know, this style of visit is common throughout the country – he does put in the groundwork to carry off that good bloke image. If he’s been doing this for the last 7 years, I daresay that has paid off in terms of drumming up new supporters who are conditioned to associate National with that Good Bloke.

      • Draco T Bastard 7.1.1

        His office followed up cards and letters from students with personally signed cards, photos and little badges. You know, like those old-style, signed photos of film stars.

        So he followed, to the letter, the How To Manual on how to become a successful used car/insurance salesman.

        Where he’s failing, of course, is in how to run a country.

        • Scintilla 7.1.1.1

          Indeed he did. It was very interesting to see this Cult of Celebrity in action and how smoothly it went down – an insight into how The Face of the party operates with the citizenry. I personally found it very creepy indeed.

          • repateet 7.1.1.1.1

            I’d comment about the creep doing creepy stuff on Thursdays but we aren’t allowed to refer to the absence of members from the House. Creepy Thursdays!

  7. ghostwhowalksnz 8

    The national partys return of election expenses will be interesting exercise in fantasy.

    Will be able to see the difference between what Sabin claimed for a benign campaign where he won, and what was spent by Joyce on Osbournes behalf in a desperate campaign to haul backs Winstons lead

  8. Treetop 9

    Not vote splitting is an individual choice. Winston is a true centre/middle politician who likes to beat the odds. A cheeky win from a charismatic believer.

  9. greywarshark 10

    While at the same time respecting local candidate Willow-Jean Prime he managed to get a significant number of Labour supporters to hold their noses and vote Winston. Holding their noses…. Lol.
    The business with the large cars and pork-barrel promises probably gave visual images and a reality to the strong background murmuring that complaints about UNACTS though heard vaguely, had been dismissed or ignored by many conservatives.

    If things can be achieved by Winston that NZF can point to, and Shane Jones steps up with realistic scenarios, and promises continuing commitment to fight for infrastructure and planned improvements for Northland’s capacity to handle and grow business which have jobs in NZ attached to them, then I think NZF would have a fighting chance at the next election. I think that Labour would be helped by this. It would have to prove itself as a Party with grunt and commitment also, to be able to measure up to a NZF candidate like Shane if he has real mental muscle and determination to be of value.

    People in Northland have combined in anger at the continuing neglect of the electorate. And many have noticed the extractive nature of the businesses which leave little advantage and permanent ongoing enterprise behind. At preent they have logs being cut, trucked out and sent overseas in large numbers. ‘Teeth being pulled out from the gum without care to the patient’s woes.’ The people living alongside the poor quality roads where the forest is being sawn have industrial noise of trucks passing at all hours, are covered in dust continually, their houses, gardens and health affected, feel unsafe on the roads when they venture to use what they thought was their own amenity, and are just terrorised by the whole machinery of the enterprise. Plus they had problems with their roads and properties after very heavy floods a while back, which they still had not recovered from.

    The name Tammany Hall came to me while thinking about the Northland situation and how the unsatisfactory state of things there is reflected in all areas of the country, to some extent or other. Reasonable needs and actions are left undone, while the politicians happily go on their way with policies that are prioritised on which brings the most benefit to the individual MP and the UNACT Party.

    Tammany Hall was an organisation that grew up in New York City mainly of like-minded Irish Catholics who helped their people and their immigrants. It became a monster. And I think its story is an apt a description of NZ National Party.and its present lack of commitment to the general citizens and the country’s good policies for now and the future. Read and learn the lesson from New York and perhaps its progress and demise will give us an example of how to change our falling comet trajectory before we hit rock bottom.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tammany_Hall

    Well into its regime it was a very efficient machine for graft and power.
    Tammany’s control over the politics of New York City tightened considerably under Tweed. In 1858, Tweed utilized the efforts of Republican reformers to rein in the Democratic city government to obtain a position on the County Board of Supervisors (which he then used as a springboard to other appointments) and to have his friends placed in various offices.
    From this position of strength, he was elected “Grand Sachem” of Tammany, which he then used to take functional control of the city government. With his proteges elected governor of the state and mayor of the city, Tweed was able to expand the corruption and kickbacks of his “Ring” into practically every aspect of city and state governance.

    Although Tweed was elected to the State Senate, his true sources of power were his appointed positions to various branches of the city government. These positions gave him access to city funds and contractors, thereby controlling public works programs. This benefitted his pocketbook and those of his friends, but also provided jobs for the immigrants, especially Irish laborers, who were the electoral base of Tammany’s power.[30]

  10. Seems that Derryn Hinch made a few random comments about the Northland by-election …..

    Penny Bright

    • Potato 11.1

      I see he has a post called ‘A Kiwi Conspiracy’ which has a warning that it is illegal to access in NZ. Not sure about that ? But it would be illegal to repeat anything he said. Anyhow, I’m sure he doesn’t say anything we don’t already know.

  11. hoom 12

    So we get to go back to hating on Winston now right?

  12. Brendon Ross 13

    Was really surprised at tdb/Bomber totally not understanding how well Little played the bye-election. I feel for Ms Jean-Price, but as she is a very smart lawyer I’m sure she totally got what Little was doing. I thought she ran a great campaign, esp. As she could have been forgiven for kicking back into cruise mode.
    A number of people have argued with me about Labour standing a candidate rather than just ceding the electorate to Peters… that is the sort of stuff NZer’s seem to hate about MMP. Voters must have the choice… the Party and activists can then suggest, as Little et al. did, that they not need feel beholden to their traditional Party.
    Brilliant first election under Little… 2017 stars now!

    • Tracey 13.1

      Didnt Labour announce WJ Prime before Winston announced he was standing?

    • Draco T Bastard 13.2

      that is the sort of stuff NZer’s seem to hate about MMP.

      This is the type of comment that proves that the people making them don’t understand our electoral system.

      An electoral vote is not an MMP vote. It’s not even preferential. It is FPP and that means that there’s two possibilities for winners. That’s it, two. Increasing the number of people to vote for decreases the possibilities of winning for one of them. It’s this nature of FPP that had us changing to a proportional system after being stuck with the duopoly of National/Labour for so long.

      Now, what people hate about our present system is the coat-tailing where one party can give up a seat to another party and have that other party bring in more MPs despite other parties with higher voter support being locked out because of our unrealistically high threshold.

      • Brendon Ross 13.2.1

        I think you may have misunderstood my point, which reflects badly on my writing, so I will try to clarify.
        I understand that yesterday was FPP, not an MMP election; that said, for Labour to have not run a candidate would have been seen as an MMP style move, forcing Labour voters into a decision. I believe that NZers have, in Elections past, not reacted well to these sortt of back-room deals.
        The coat tailing is also so etching that angers people… why would you assume people cannot be angered by two or more things at a time?
        I hope this 2nd post clears up our minor misunderstanding.
        Faithfully, Brendon Ross.

        • Sacha 13.2.1.1

          “these sortt of back-room deals”

          What did Labour get in return? Go on.

          • Brendon Ross 13.2.1.1.1

            What did Labour get in return? What????
            I don’t believe I indicated that I thought they (actually, we, as I am a member) did.
            I will once again try to clarify,
            I think it would have been foolish for Labour to either have not run a candidate, or to have stood the candidate down… actually one more, to have blatantly shafted their candidate (I recall a brutal scene in a doco on Wellington Central covering the first MMP race… and YES I understand bye-elections are FPP… where Nat candidate heard Bolger tell Nat voters to back Pebble for their electorate vote over the radio. A crappy thing to do!)
            This is the sort of behaviour I think annoys voters, when they precieve back-room deals have been done, forcing them to vote a certain way.
            So ONCe AGAIN my point was aimed at the deft way Andrew Little played his politics. There was NO deal.
            I will endeavour in the future to construct my arguments with far more clarity to save us all valuable time.
            Yours faithfully, Brendon Ross Coromandel, member#1064824

            • Sacha 13.2.1.1.1.1

              “when they precieve back-room deals have been done … There was NO deal.”

              Glad we cleared that up then.

              • Brendon Ross

                Cool… I went and looked at my originl post and it wasn’t well expressed.
                Regards, Brendon.

  13. Draco T Bastard 14

    Former hairdresser in line to become MP
    My bold.

    And the MSM attacks begin. IMO, if it had been a National candidate stepping into the position vacated by Winston the headline would’ve been Former business woman.

    • hoom 14.1

      Can we call Key ‘former financial whizz’

    • tracey 14.2

      Winston says they may not take on an extra MP

      • Draco T Bastard 14.2.1

        That’d be silly of him and would indicate that he’s kowtowing to National.

    • jenny kirk 14.3

      Meanwhile the MSM called Osborne a “businessman” when all it was was doing his wife’s hairdressing (beauty salon?) business’ accounts !! Definitely double standards!

  14. SMILIN 15

    of course the fault to watch out for now in this first attack on the established order of things in the electorates is Key and his master weapons the ability to sell bullshit to farmers when buying milk aka their vote and also all his discretely donated revenue for the the party, Keys money go round, if the authorities ever get it figured out as I believe Dirty Politics alluded to, it will be a red letter day for national which they deserve for misleading the voters of this nation

  15. weka 16

    Interesting discussion on NZF, whether Peters will step aside from his list position, and who might be next in line. (There was also a tweet from a journo earlier that Peters might choose to not step aside).

    • tracey 16.1

      herald or stuff online carried an article earlier today

      • Skinny 16.1.1

        Yeah the NZH article was written by crafty Clare T, unlike MSM TV news, my little pony’s. Her skills last night was to float around the party with her ear to the ground eavesdropping on conversations. The penny dropped when I zoomed in on the face in her article, very tricky jurno reading that negative head line grabbing spin, certainly fools a few mugs.

  16. Olwyn 17

    I think the most interesting question, following on the Northland result is whether it tells us anything about where the most telling battle line now lies. If it does, then the significant battle line lies with representation and sovereignty. That is, the willingness to act on behalf of the people who vote for you, and having the power to do so.

    Look at it this way. In the seventies/early eighties the battle line was drawn between conservatism and liberalism. The liberals’ delight at winning inadvertently helped to allow neo-liberal economics to slip in below the radar. In 2008 it was the GST, when people were convinced by National that they shouldn’t risk what they had gained during the 2000’s being spent on people who they thought should be looking after themselves.

    At the moment a lot of people who thought they were among National’s “good guys” are finding themselves being asked to use up what remains of their families’ wealth in maintaining family members who are locked out of proper jobs and/or housing. Moreover the TPPA and the GCSB give the impression that this state of affairs is soon to be locked in.

    If the battle line does lie where I think it does, then the centre-left is posed with some very hard questions. Most New Zealanders would fear being cast out of the western club, but in order to benefit from it, we have to develop alternatives if we are to have much leverage within it.

    • Olwyn 17.1

      That was meant to be the GFC not GST – I wrote it last night while keeping an eye on cooking pots at the same time.

  17. millsy 18

    Moral of the story:

    1) Any election is winnable, with the right candidate and the right conditions.
    2) Labour needs to (i) not stand a candidate in Epsom and tell everyone to vote for Goldsmith and (ii) start getting their shit together and embracing tactical voting.

    National/Key are not invincible.

    And given I called this before anyone else, even those who knew better, I am going to call Shane Jones and possibly John Tamihere to stand for NZ First in 2017. The reason why I pick JT, is because if Jones signs up then our favourite homophobe may be tempted to join him.

  18. sirpat 20

    hmmmm so this result does what for the average joe who used to vote labour last election to bring them back on side??……how does one communicate THAT to the average folks who will read all the intellectual discussions I read here?…..

  19. Scintilla 21

    the significant battle line lies with representation and sovereignty. That is, the willingness to act on behalf of the people who vote for you, and having the power to do so.

    Agreed. I think there is a huge number of eligible voters who either don’t vote or “float” because they never feel well-represented. As if it does not matter which party they vote for, because it will just be more of the same no matter what campaign promises have been made. As you say, Olwyn, reality has bitten hard for many families as it becomes so much harder to get by – and “getting by” is all we do. If the TPP goes through, we will be slaves in our own country. In my Orwellian vision there will be an influx of rich refugees from the rest of the disintegrating planet who will buy up as much of NZ as they can and impose their own rules.

    • Olwyn 21.1

      Peters’ biggest victory up north was in his making representation look possible again. This is no mean feat, and he was able to get away with it because he went unmarked until it was too late to stop him. Let’s just hope the idea now starts to gain broader momentum.

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    South African coach Rassie Erasmus says he has no idea what they’re going to do about the boat. In a highly anticipated press conference this afternoon, All Blacks coach Steve Hansen has finally unveiled the team’s boat for its Rugby World Cup 2019 campaign. In a press conference that went ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    10 hours ago
  • An increasingly shoddy coverup
    The Operation Burnham inquiry continued to question senior NZDF staff today, and their shoddy coverup over their knowledge of civilian casualties continue to fall apart. If you recall, first, we were asked to believe that it was all a series of "mistakes and errors": a senior officer with multiple degrees ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    13 hours ago
  • If we are to avoid making the earth uninhabitable, we need to rapidly decarbonise our civilisation, and cut emissions to zero as quickly as possible. This seems like an impossible task, but its not. Pushing hard on a few technologies and trends will let us halve emissions in a decade:Greenhouse ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    14 hours ago
  • A further attack on transparency
    The Local Government Act 2002 Amendment Bill (No 2) had part of its committee stage yesterday. its a generally tedious bill about the nitty-gritty of local government reorganisation. But it includes a clause making the Local Government Commission subject to the Ombudsmen Act, and hence the OIA. Great! Except of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    15 hours ago
  • Ihumātao and Treaty settlements
    Yesterday Ihumātao's mana whenua reached a consensus that they would like their land back, and asked the government to negotiate with Fletcher's for its return. The government's response? Try and undermine that consensus, while talking about how doing anything would undermine existing Treaty settlements. The first is just more bad ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    19 hours ago
  • Protecting our history
    Its Suffrage Day, the 126th anniversary of women winning the right to vote (but not stand in elections) in New Zealand. And to celebrate, the government has bought Kate Sheppard's house in Christchurch:The government has bought Kate Sheppard's former home in Christchurch for more than $4 million. The Ilam villa ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    20 hours ago
  • Climate Change: Ostracising the coal-burners
    The UN climate summit is happening in new York next week, and unlike previous years, coal-burners and denier-states are not being invited to speak:Leading economies such as Japan and Australia will not be invited to speak at next week’s crunch UN climate change summit, as their continued support for coal ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    20 hours ago
  • Jojo Tamihere Salutes Herr Goff.
    Get Back Jojo! The elation in Mayor Phil Goff’s camp may be easily imagined as they watched social media light up in indignation at challenger John Tamihere’s "Sieg Heil to that" quip. Just when JT’s notoriously right-wing, sexist and homophobic stains were beginning to fade back into his ‘colourful’ past, ...
    23 hours ago
  • Hard News: A fun but flawed weed documentary
    Patrick Gower is good value when he's high. Not that I've ever, you know, got stoned with him. But in the second part of his documentary Patrick Gower on Weed, he does what you'd expect in a modern weed documentary and immerses himself – first with a doctor, then a ...
    1 day ago
  • Candidate Survey: Western Bay of Plenty – Local Body Elections 2019
    We surveyed candidates on their attitudes to issues facing the Western Bay Region, find out what they think: “Closing the Gap” Tauranga, one of the area groups of Income Equality Aotearoa NZ Inc., has surveyed all candidates in the three local body elections to discover attitudes to some basic issues ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    2 days ago
  • Project Nettie calls on scientists to defend biology
    Please spread widely, and sign, to support science and rationalism over the new irrationalism sweeping universities and institutions.  PROJECT NETTIE Sexual reproduction, the generation of offspring by fusion of genetic material from two different individuals, evolved over 1 billion years ago. It is the reproductive strategy of all higher animals ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 days ago
  • I’m glad I don’t live in Auckland
    Just when I was thinking that Palmerston North's mayoral race (which includes a convicted child molester / public wanker and a convicted child beater) was the worst in the country, Auckland mayoral candidate John Tamihere opened his mouth:Auckland mayoral candidate John Tamihere is being slammed for using the words "sieg ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Index of Power Update, 2018-19: China #2
    We reprint below an article from the excellent website the Economics of Imperialism by Tony Norfield This is an update of the statistics for my Index of Power, using data for 2018-19 and discussing what a country’s ranking reflects. The major change is that China’s rank has shifted up and ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 days ago
  • Climate Change: A history lesson
    Why is New Zealand climate change policy so crap? The Herald this morning has a long article on the twists and turns of climate change policy in New Zealand [paywalled / depaywall script], which shows where we've been. The short version is that the government first began worrying about this ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • What the All Blacks Mean to Us
    The All Blacks have been, for more than a century, arguably the most successful International sports team in the world. But they are more than that; even for those Kiwis who are immune to the charms of rugby (and there are more than a few), the All Blacks are ambassadors ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    2 days ago
  • No one is born into the wrong body
    A short and incredibly powerful speech from a young lesbian woman. No one is born in the wrong body. ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    3 days ago
  • Contempt
    Back in June, the UK Court of Appeal ruled that that country's continued arms sales to Saudi Arabia were unlawful. So you'd expect that the UK government stopped approving them, right?Of course not:The government has apologised for breaching a court ruling against the sale of weapons to Saudi Arabia that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Covering up the cover-up
    Yesterday NZDF officials were put on the stand about the lies they had told over Operation Burnham, making implausible claims that it was all a big mistake. But along the way, we learned they had already been put on the spot about it by a previous Defence Minister, who had ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Not as important as they think they are
    Farmers have been whining a lot lately, about the methane targets in the Zero Carbon Bill, about Canterbury's proposed nitrogen limits, and about the government's new proposals to stop them from shitting in our lakes and rivers. These policies are "throwing farmers under the tractor", they will force farmers off ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Behind Every Good Woman Should Stand – Another Good Woman.
    Alone, Alone, All, All, Alone: To argue that the Prime Minister is the victim of her advisers’ failure to keep her informed may offer Jacinda some measure of exoneration – but only at the cost of casting her as a hopeless political ingénue. A star-dusted muppet, whose only purpose is to ...
    3 days ago
  • Poor quality, poorly educated kiddie ‘Journalists’ spreading fake news
    In times of hysteria about the “World coming to an end” and “rising sea levels” so-called ‘Journalists’ who can barely spell words longer than four letters are having a ball! Though the majority of the Public have worked out that manmade climate change is nothing short of pseudo-science, and the ...
    An average kiwiBy admin@averagekiwi.com
    3 days ago
  • Chris Trotter on the BFD
    I don't want to give pblicity to certain parts of the internet that are better left to fester in their own irrelevance (I know, a bit like this place) but the listing of Chris Trotter as a 'author' on Cameron Slater's spinoff website, the BFD requires some explanation.Now, I don't ...
    3 days ago
  • Sex is not a spectrum
    The text below is a Twitter thread by Heather Heying that explains the essence of sexual reproduction and it long evolutionary history. She is an evolutionary biologist and a “professor-in-exile” after she and her husband, Bret Weinstein, stood up to supporters of an enforced “Day of Absence” for white staff and teachers ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    3 days ago
  • Climate Change: Trees, aviation, and offsets
    With crunch time for new Zealand climate policy approaching, most of the New Zealand media have got on board with a global reporting effort to cover the issue. There's one strand of stories today about polling and what it shows about changing public attitudes to the crisis, but the strand ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Pissing-Off The Israelis Is A High-Risk Strategy.
    Dangerous Foes: For those readers of Bowalley Road who feel disposed to dismiss any prospect of an Israeli destabilisation of New Zealand politics, the example of the United Kingdom repays close attention. Ever since the election of Jeremy Corbyn as leader of the British Labour Party, the Israelis have sanctioned, funded and ...
    4 days ago
  • Something to go to in Wellington
    Make It 16, the youth-led campaign to lower New Zealand's voting age, is holding an official campaign launch at Parliament this Friday from 16:30. If you'd like to attend, you can register using EventBrite here. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • A founding member responds to Peace Action Wellington
    by Don Franks It was a lovely sunny Wellington afternoon with blue skies above  the beaches.  In Courtenay Place, political activists packed out a stuffy upstairs room for an important meeting. The assembled pacifists, anarchists, communists and independent young radicals of Peace Action Wellington felt the need for a mission ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    4 days ago
  • “Mistakes and errors”
    Current and former NZDF top brass are being publicly grilled this week by the hit and run inquiry over their public responses to allegations of civilian casualties. Previously, they've claimed there were no casualties, a position which led them to lie to Ministers and to the public. Now, they're saying ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • “Homosexuality is same-sex attraction and relationships, not heterosexuals with delusions of gende...
    by Rafael D. Quiles (gender-critical gay man from Puerto Rico) The writing on the wall is right in people’s faces and people just don’t see it or don’t want to. What could actually possess a heterosexual male to want to feminize himself and claim that he is a lesbian? Because ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    4 days ago
  • Trump: “Where’s my favourite dictator?”
    From the Wall Street Journal:Inside a room of the ornately decorated Hotel du Palais during last month’s Group of Seven summit in Biarritz, France, President Trump awaited a meeting with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi. Mr. Trump looked over a gathering of American and Egyptian officials and called out in ...
    5 days ago
  • Magdalen Burns, 1983-2019, fighter for women’s liberation
    by the Redline blog collective At Redline we are very saddened to hear of the death of Magdalen Burns who passed away on the morning of Friday, September 13 (British time). Magdalen was a great fighter for the rights of women in general and lesbian women in particular, a defender ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    5 days ago
  • Parliament and the Executive
    The Brexit issue has certainly brought with it a series of apparently difficult constitutional issues, many of them concerning the respective roles of the executive and parliament. Most of them arise because of the unwillingness of MPs, despite their professions to the contrary, to be bound by a constitutional rarity ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    6 days ago
  • The Abigail Article; Martyn Bradbury’s Article, and My Response
    . . This blogpost is different to my usual format of reporting on issues… Since July 1011, I have blogged on a variety of political issues; near always political and/or environmental; mostly highly critical of the previous National Government. Other issues included Israeli occupation of Palestinian lands and repression of ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    6 days ago
  • Police will have to wear silly Buckingham Palace hats from now on, says Police Minister
    Those close to the Police Minister believe the initiative may be the result of Nash “seeing a great deal” on AliExpress. In a move that comes seemingly out of nowhere, Police Minister Stuart Nash announced this afternoon that he expects all frontline staff to don bearskin hats, famously worn by ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    6 days ago
  • A sensible crackdown
    The government has released its Arms Legislation Bill, containing the second tranche of changes to gun laws following the March 15 massacre. And it all looks quite sensible: a national gun register, higher penalties for illegal possession and dealing, tighter restrictions on arms dealers and shooting clubs, and a shorter ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • California bans private prisons
    Private prisons are a stain on humanity. Prison operators explicitly profit from human misery, then lobby for longer prisons terms so they can keep on profiting. And in the US, prison companies run not only local and state prisons, but also Donald Trump's immigration concentration camps. Faced with this moral ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Why PPPs are a bad idea
    When National was in power, they were very keen on Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) - basicly, using private companies to finance public infrastructure as a way of hiding debt from the public. They were keen on using them for everything - roads, schools, hospitals. But as the UK shows, that "service" ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • A Movement That No Longer Moves.
    Moving And Shaking: There was a time when people spoke matter-of-factly about the “labour movement” – a political phenomenon understood to embrace much more than the Labour Party. Included within the term’s definition was the whole trade union movement – many of whose members looked upon the Labour Party as ...
    7 days ago
  • NZ ‘left’ politically embracing extreme postmodernism
    by Philip Ferguson Much of the left, even people who formally identify as marxists, have collapsed politically in the face of postmodern gender theory of the sort pioneered by American philosopher Judith Butler. For Butler even biological sex is socially constructed. “If the immutable character of sex is contested, perhaps ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • The obvious question
    The media is reporting that the (alleged) Labour party sexual assaulter has resigned from their job at Parliament, which means hopefully he won't be turning up there making people feel unsafe in future. Good. But as with everything about this scandal, it just raises other questions. Most significantly: why the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The moment I found out that you found out, I acted swiftly
    By Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern I am every bit as angry as you are. I am every bit as disappointed as you must be. The people with power, oversight and the ability to do something about these processes within the Labour Party should be ashamed. Whoever those people are, I ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • This is why people hate property developers
    Property developers think there is an "oversupply" of houses in Auckland:High turnover rates and falling prices may be a sign that there are too many new houses going in to some parts of Auckland, commentators say. [...] Property developer David Whitburn said there was a "bit of an oversupply" in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Australia to Pacific: “Fuck you, you can all drown”
    World leaders are meeting in New York in two weeks for the 2019 Climate Action Summit, where they are expected to announce new and more ambitious targets to stop the world from burning. But the Australian Prime Minister won't be there, despite being in the USA at the time:Scott Morrison ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Implausible ignorance
    Labour Party president Nigel Haworth resigned yesterday over the party's sexual assault scandal. But while that's good news, its unlikely to take away the stench of a coverup. Because according to Paula Bennett in Parliament yesterday, pretty much everyone in the Prime Minister's office was involved as well:I have been ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Labour’s Fatal Flaw.
     Two-Faced? Labour insiders' commitment to the neoliberal status quo puts them at odds with their party’s membership; its trade union affiliates; and a majority of Labour voters, but this only serves to strengthen the perception they have of themselves as a special elite. Among the lesser breeds, they’ll talk up a ...
    1 week ago
  • Ten reasons the Tories do NOT want an election
    There has been a lot of talk about Boris Johnson wanting an election, and he has blustered with great gusto about 'chicken' Jeremy Corbyn refusing one, but I think there are many reasons why he is secretly glad he has been refused the opportunity:The Tories are an utter rabble,tearing themselves ...
    1 week ago
  • Prorogation Illegal, rule Scottish judges
    Scottish appeal court judges have declared that Boris Johnson’s decision to suspend parliament in the run-up to the October Brexit deadline is unlawful. The three judges, chaired by Lord Carloway, Scotland’s most senior judge, overturned an earlier ruling that the courts did not have the powers to interfere in the prime ...
    1 week ago
  • Let me explain what I meant by Everyday New Zealanders
    By Simon Bridges. The following is a press release from the office of Simon Bridges, leader of The National Party. Key ora, New Zealand. Happy Maori Language Week. Look, I’m writing to you today because I want to clear something up. There’s been a lot of kerfuffle around some things ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Yes, the SIS is subject to the Public Records Act
    I understand there's some stuff going round about how the SIS "was removed from the list of public offices covered by the Public Records Act in 2017". The context of course being their records derived from US torture, which will be disposed of or sealed. The good news is that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • An evidence-based discussion of the Canadian fluoride/IQ study
    Dr. Christopher Labos and Jonathan Jarry discuss the recent Canadian fluoride/IQ research. They provide an expert analysis of the paper and its problems. Click on image to go to podcast. The critical debate about the recent ...
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Australia in denial
    Australia is burning down again, and meanwhile its natural disaster minister is denying climate change:Australia’s minister responsible for drought and natural disasters, David Littleproud, has said that he doesn’t “know if climate change is manmade”. Clarifying earlier comments that the question is “irrelevant” when considering the Coalition government’s response to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Philippines activist speaking on the Duterte tyranny
    Auckland Philippines Solidarity is excited to host Professor Judy Taguiwalo for a speaking tour of NZ in September. She is a well-known activist in the Philippines and was a political prisoner under the Marcos dictatorship. Professor Taguiwalo briefly served as a Cabinet member under President Duterte but was forced from ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Disgust
    I have no special insights to offer on the Labour sexual assault coverup. All I have is disgust. Disgust that an organisation could fail its people so badly. Disgust that they punished the victims rather than the perpetrator. Disgust that its party hacks are apparently blaming the victims for demanding ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Speak Up for Women calls out Greens’ censorship
    This open letter to the Green Party was penned after an opinion piece by Jill Abigail, a feminist and founding member of the party, was censored by the Greens’ leadership. (Redline has reprinted her article here).The intolerance of the Green Party leaders and their acceptance of the misogyny of gender ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Member’s Day: End of Life Choice, part 3
    Today is a Member's day, and David Seymour's End of Life Choice Bill continues its slow crawl through its committee stage. They're spending the whole day on it today, though the first hour is likely to be spent on voting left over from last time. After that they'll move on ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Flight to Los Angeles turned back after passengers decide they don’t want to go anymore
    An ambitious plan to fly to Los Angeles petered out into a brief sight-seeing trip and a desire to return home and get some sleep before work tomorrow. Air New Zealand has confirmed a flight to Los Angeles last night was turned back about a quarter of the way into ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Indigenous Futures: defuturing and futuring – an analytical framework for policy development?
    There appears to be consensus – by omission – that the concept of indigenous futures should be accepted at face value. So I scavenged the internet to see if I could locate an academic descriptor or a framework around how we think about it as a concept, and whether it ...
    EllipsisterBy Ellipsister
    1 week ago
  • Cadbury rumoured to be releasing the Pineapple Trump
    Here’s another novelty chocolate to shove in your gob, New Zealand Cadbury could be seeking to make itself great again with a rumoured new release: Pineapple Trumps, a spin on its classic chocolate-encased pineapple treat and do-it-yourself tooth remover. The global confectionery manufacturer and bumbling “before” character in an infomercial, ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • The coming resource war.
    During my time in the Pentagon I had the privilege of sitting down with military leaders and defence and security officials from a variety of Latin American nations. Sometimes I was present as a subordinate assistant to a senior US defence department official, sometimes as part of a delegation that ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Māori Language Week with The Civilian
    Kia ora, Aotearoa. It’s that magical time of year. Te Wiki o te Reo Māori. In English, the week that frightens talk radio. As you probably know by now, all your favourite media outlets are participating, some more successfully than others. Stuff has changed its name to Puna for the ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Will Horizons act on climate change?
    Local body elections are coming up next month. And it looks like all Palmerston North candidates for Horizons (the Manawatu-Whanganui Regional Council) want to take action on climate change:Climate change is set to be a key issue in Palmerston North for the next three years if those wanting to get ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • BORA reform is stalled
    Eighteen months ago, the government promised to strengthen the Bill of Rights Act, by explicitly affirming the power of the courts to issue declarations of inconsistency and requiring Parliament to formally respond to them. So how's that going? I was curious, so I asked for all advice about the proposal. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Corbyn and Brexit
    As the Brexit saga staggers on, the focus is naturally enough on the Prime Minister and his attempts to achieve Brexit “do or die”. But the role played by the Leader of the Opposition is of almost equal interest and complexity. The first problem for Jeremy Corbyn is that he ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • A ditch for him to die in
    Last week, English Prime Minister Boris Johnson boldly declared that he would rather die be dead in a ditch than delay Brexit. Unfortunately for him, the UK parliament accepted the challenge, and promptly dug one for him. The "rebellion bill" requires him to ask for and secure yet another temporary ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Warning! Warning! Danger Jacinda Ardern! Danger Marama Davidson! Warning!
    Lost In Political Space: The most important takeaway from this latest Labour sexual assault scandal, which (if I may paraphrase Nixon’s White House counsel’s, John Dean’s, infamous description of Watergate) is “growing like a cancer” on the premiership, is the Labour Party organisation’s extraordinary professional paralysis in the face of ...
    1 week ago
  • Union solidarity with Ihumatao land occupation
    by Daphna Whitmore Every Sunday for the past two months unionists from First Union, with supporters from other unions, have set out to the Ihumatao land protest, put up gazebos and gas barbeques, and cooked food for a few hundred locals and supporters who have come from across the country. ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: The wrong kind of trees?
    Newsroom today has an excellent, in-depth article on pine trees as carbon sinks. The TL;DR is that pine is really good at soaking up carbon, but people prefer far-less efficient native forests instead. Which is understandable, but there's two problems: firstly, we've pissed about so long on this problem that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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 ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Good little vassals
    The Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security has published their report on whether the SIS and GCSB had any complicity in American torture. And its damning. The pull quote is this:The Inquiry found both agencies, but to a much greater degree, the NZSIS, received many intelligence reports obtained from detainees who, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Who Shall We Turn To When God, And Uncle Sam, Cease To Defend New Zealand?
    Bewhiskered Cassandra? Professor Hugh White’s chilling suggestion, advanced to select collections of academic, military and diplomatic Kiwi experts over the course of the past week, is that the assumptions upon which Australia and New Zealand have built their foreign affairs and defence policies for practically their entire histories – are ...
    2 weeks ago
  • The Politics of Opposition
    For most of the time I was a British MP, my party was out of government – these were the Thatcher years, when it was hard for anyone else to get a look-in. As a front-bencher and shadow minister, I became familiar with the strategies required in a parliamentary democracy ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    2 weeks ago
  • More expert comments on the Canadian fluoride-IQ paper
    The Green et al (2019) fluoride/IQ is certainly controversial – as would be expected from its subject (see If at first you don’t succeed . . . statistical manipulation might help and Politics of science – making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear). Anti-fluoride campaigners have been actively promoting it ...
    2 weeks ago
  • The return to guerrilla war in Colombia
    by Gearóid Ó Loingsigh On August 29th a video in which veteran FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia) commander Iván Márquez announced that they had taken up arms again was released. There was no delay in the reaction to it, from longtime Liberal Party figure and former president Uribe, for ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago

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