Spin Bingo: Budget Edition

Written By: - Date published: 10:12 am, May 21st, 2008 - 56 comments
Categories: election 2008, national, spin - Tags: ,

Well it’s Budget day tomorrow and we’ve got our man Steve Pierson going to the lock-up so we can get you a good ol’ Standardista analysis ASAP.

But while we don’t know what’s going to be in the Budget we can take a fair guess at what National’s response will be. So we’ve decided to play spin-bingo again. The rules are you pick what vapid lines the Nats will attach to the budget and tomorrow afternoon we’ll give big ups to those who get closest.

In the meantime here are some of our picks:

“Labour’s had nine years to deliver tax cuts and is only doing them now because it’s election year”

“Labour has squandered the good years… nine years of lost opportunities… this is too little too late”

“This budget shows a government that is tired/out of touch/bereft of ideas”

“Labour has failed to provide meaningful relief”

“This budget does nothing for mainstream New Zealanders ordinary Kiwis”

“Michael Cullen can’t be trusted to deliver on tax cuts.”

Now you’ll note that none of these talking points have any substance and none show any alternative vision but that’s pretty much why we’re betting at least two of them are in there. You’ll also note that they will attack Cullen as they have focus tested people’s reactions to him and seen that there is an opportunity to fuel the perception that he is arrogant and out of touch.

We’ll also give bonus big-ups to whoever can pick the glib phrase National tries to attach to this Budget (previous attempts have included the “Bondi Budget” and the “Chewing Gum Budget”). This time we’re picking ‘Farewell Budget’ or something on that theme.

As an aside I’d also like to put up a challenge to all of the journos that read this site: If you feel yourself itching to angle a story as “National says…” just stop and have a wee think about whether National is actually saying anything.

56 comments on “Spin Bingo: Budget Edition”

  1. I sure some of your picks, glad to see that National is going to be telling the truth.

  2. Daveo 2

    You just don’t get it do you Brett?

    My pick’s on the “Last gasp budget”.

    I also agree they’ll try to pull out the “election bribe” line, as if offering twice as much is somehow not a bribe.

  3. r0b 3

    “This budget fails to address the crisis of rising costs facing Kiwi workers and will do nothing to stem the exodus to Australia”.

    “The Game Over budget”
    “Cullen’s Lament”
    “The Titanic budget” (“rearranging the deck chairs”)
    “Last roll of the dice”
    and so on.

    Say National, apart from Labour lite, what will you actually do . if you win office?

  4. Joker 4

    My entry is “the fudge it budget”

    And the line: “Maybe some of these promises would be more believable if Phill Goff was leader”

  5. r0b 5

    If someone gets the chance could they tidy up the bad closing tag for me – my old browser doesn’t let me do the edit thing. (I’ll have my real laptop/browser back real soon now – honest).

  6. Principessa 6

    I think they’ll use the words “Out of Control Social Spending,” but that’s because I personally hope the budget will deliver large amounts of public service, NGO and community spending.

  7. djp 7

    To be fair Daveo, its not like the Nats offering a tax cut is a surprise. Where as Cullen seems to be ideologically opposed to tax cuts

  8. Billy 8

    You can harldy blame National for telling the truth. Let’s see:

    Labour’s had nine years to deliver tax cuts and is only doing them now because it’s election year’

    Well, that’s obviously true.

    Labour has squandered the good years nine years of lost opportunities this is too little too late

    True again.

    This budget shows a government that is tired/out of touch/bereft of ideas

    They are tired and out of touch. The budget may or may not show this.

    Labour has failed to provide meaningful relief

    We don’t know until we see the budget.

    This budget does nothing for mainstream New Zealanders/ordinary Kiwis

    We don’t know until we see the budget.

    Michael Cullen can’t be trusted to deliver on tax cuts

    Obviously true. He has form.

  9. mike 9

    “Labour’s had nine years to deliver tax cuts and is only doing them now because it’s election year’
    I think there is a lot of substance to this statement.

    Even you guys must admit National have done a stella job making tax the defining issue this election.

  10. Archon 10

    “Labour’s had nine years to deliver tax cuts and is only doing them now because it’s election year’

    Most people believe this is true. The media believe it is true. But because you think it’s not true, it’s National party spin?

    Labour is doing this because to not do so would mean absolute electoral anihilation and we all know it. It’s a principle free zone.

  11. Archon 11

    Snap

  12. IrishBill 12

    Billy, yawn and yawn again. If you look at my post “Herald gets it right” you’ll see that Labour has announced comprehensive policy to make advances in business, the environment and society while National has pretty much just banged the “tax cut” drum. Someone is bereft of ideas but I don’t think it’s Labour. If fact if you look through the Standard’s posts you’ll see that all of this spin has been debunked at one stage or another. But I suspect you know that as you seem to appear on those threads to contribute your pithy one-liners (and unfortunately not much more).

  13. Billy 13

    Just say the word, IB, and I’m gone for good.

  14. Tane 14

    Billy, you’ll have to forgive IB. He’s a grumpy old bastard. I like having you around, and the Sod would be lost without you.

    [lprent: And even your one-liners don’t get up my nose. Besides I’m the grumpy old bastard around here. IB is still training 🙂 ]

  15. Labour will spend large amounts of money that other people earnt to bribe those who receive it to vote for them, on the basis that “Labour gave them something”, when it simply transferred from all taxpayers to a select group, then some taxpayers will get a little back because of politics.

    Governments can really do only two things in budgets, spend more money or return more money to those who it was in the first place. Labour will predominantly spend, and return a little. National would also spend more money, but would return a bit more. If the Greens were in charge, they would almost exclusively spend and probably tax more too, if ACT was, it would not spend more and would return a lot more tax.

    It’s hardly rocket science or exciting.

  16. No Billy – don’t go baby. You may not contribute much to the debate but you are fun. And that’s extremely unusual for a rightie (I mean look ad those dullards mike and Brett!)

    My pick for the budget is “Cullen’s last budget” – say it like fact and it gets reported as fact.

    As for lines? I really hope they crack out something new but I think they’ll stick with the good old tested one. They won’t want to be sending mixed messages.

    I only hope that when they bitch about stuff they are asked one question – “What would you do differently?”

  17. Felix 17

    Billy: I too find it difficult (near impossible) to imagine Dr Cullen announcing tax cuts in this way outside election year.

    As for the “9 years of wasted opportunities” comment being true – that only makes sense if tax cuts have been a high priority for 9 years. Otherwise it’s just 9 years of different priorities.
    I tend to think there have been far more important things for the gov to spend on.

    Others disagree of course.

    Rob: All brilliant, but perhaps a little too poetic for National spin.

  18. Archon 18

    That is true, LS.

    The Standard chaps are getting all frothy that National is not releasing their ideass yet. Are they surprised? Really??

    Why would National release all their policies yet. There is no need. Save them for when your opposition has no time to steal, hijack or manipulate them.

    The opposition gets to oppose the current government. There are no rules governing when they have to release their policy. Deal with it. .. Or not. Prehaps an amendment to the Electoral Finance Act that defines how close to an election, oposition policies have to be released? Yes. That is a fine idea. Openess and honesty and all that.

  19. r0b 19

    Ewww Errr – I want long shot odds on “Last Train to Clarksville”!

  20. Lew 20

    Archon has really hit the nail on the head here. Releasing policy before implementation essentially has one purpose: electoral advantage. National are doing just fine without releasing policy, so why would they reveal their hand early? Until the electorate demands it, the rational thing to do is to hold off and continue dealing in the broad-strokes and generalisations which seem to be working.

    Woe betide them if they can’t put up when required – but that’s a risk they’re apparently prepared to take.

    L

    Captcha: last begin.

  21. Lew – shut up. We all know what the “gameplan” is so stop trying to teach your grandmother to suck eggs. Your gameplan analysis is exactly what’s wrong with politics and political commentary but I get the feeling you are another one of these cosseted Wellington politico types that have forgotten that it’s actually about stuff like making sure people have enough to eat and have a future involving good jobs and a fair society. That’s what should be discussed and every time you endorse the PR model you take the discourse further away from the important stuff. Get a grip.

  22. Lew. Don’t you think the pople have a right to know what parties intend to do in government?

    Quite apart from whether it’s a successful strategy not to talk policy, is is a moral, just, or desirable one?

  23. alex 23

    National glib phrases:

    Cullen’s last stand
    Nanny-state budget
    Cullengate
    Cullen Calamity/Catastrophe

    Spin:

    Wreckless social spending at the expense of home owners and tax payers.

    The budget is electioneering in its worst form.

    We support it in principal, but we would have done it different. However, we have no alternative on paper at this stage.

  24. However, we have no alternative on paper at this stage.

    “Look, we’re not going to be pushed into discussing policy but we’ll certainly be addressing this in good time.”

  25. Lew 25

    Steve: Of course people have a right to know parties’ policy plans, and it’s my view that they should insist upon it before offering their votes. But they can’t be forced to and at the moment they’re not demanding policy. I think this is foolish and generally detracts from the quality of political discourse in NZ, but I only have one vote. I strongly support your and others’ efforts exhorting people to demand policy – but if they don’t want it, ultimately it’s their decision.

    Robinsod: I guess you’ve been working up to this for a while now. Congratulations, you grew a pair. Now it’s Fisking time.

    “Lew – shut up.”

    Go and fuck yourself.

    “We all know what the “gameplan’ is so stop trying to teach your grandmother to suck eggs.”

    What do you mean `we’, white man? I don’t play by your rules or share your views.

    “Your gameplan analysis is exactly what’s wrong with politics and political commentary”

    Without understanding the rules of the game, you can’t understand the game. Without understanding how policy positions are reached, it’s hard to understand their full implications.

    “but I get the feeling you are another one of these cosseted Wellington politico types that have forgotten that it’s actually about stuff like making sure people have enough to eat and have a future involving good jobs and a fair society.”

    Speculate as you like about my background and occupation, none of it is provable or disprovable anyhow. The sad thing is that I agree with you.

    “That’s what should be discussed and every time you endorse the PR model you take the discourse further away from the important stuff. Get a grip.”

    I’m not bound to your agenda. In addition, I’m not endorsing the `PR model’, just recognising it as a reality. You could do with a bit more reality and a bit less idealism, in my opinion.

    Perhaps we can discuss this at Drinking Liberally tonight; I’ll be the one with red hair in a topknot. But if you want me to buy you a beer you’ll have to stop being an obnoxious twat.

    L

  26. Tim 26

    Bureaucracy / PC / nanny state gone mad!

    Bob the Builder’s budget!

  27. Perhaps we can discuss this at Drinking Liberally tonight; I’ll be the one with red hair in a topknot. But if you want me to buy you a beer you’ll have to stop being an obnoxious twat.

    I’m not gonna be at drinking liberally because I don’t like people. I know the rules of the game better than most mate because I’ve lived and breathed them a long time. I can tell you this – The game bites. And it bites because it works to dumb-down politics and reduce its significance to people. If it’s a game why bother? Talking about it as such only further disengages people and that my friend it the reason a lot of people are going to vote without knowing what they are voting for.

    All you do when you engage in speculation about “the game” is endorse a view the right are happy to have people hold as it helps disenfrachise them and as you will know low turnouts favour the right.

    Good to see you telling me to Fu*k off though as it shows you are not a completely spineless liberal…

  28. gobsmacked 28

    National: “It is a cynical, feeble, irresponsible, shameful budget. So naturally we promise to keep everything in it.”

  29. erikter 29

    Some hard decisions need to be made on welfare.

    As a general rule, the sector of the population who use the vast majority of government services are the same people that contribute less to the tax collection, and mainly because of too many welfare benefits.

    Some of these people deserve assistance; others, and it may be a large number, do not.

  30. Pascal's bookie 30

    Some hard decisions need to be made on welfare.

    Don’t be so coy erik. Show us how brave you are and outline what those decisions should be.

    As a general rule, the sector of the population who use the vast majority of government services..

    Old people, the sick, and children you mean?

    …are the same people that contribute less to the tax collection,…

    Makes sense, what with them being old, sick, or children.

    …and mainly because of too many welfare benefits

    You skipped the part where you demonstrate that this actually follows from anything, or is true.

    Some of these people deserve assistance;…

    Glad to hear you say so.

    …others, and it may be a large number, do not.

    It may be a large number. It may not. At least it sounds like an empirical question though. What is not an empirical question is the ‘deserving’ part. That’s a political question the answer to which you might need to justify.

    Let’s agree that there are some indeterminate number of people that are getting some amount of support that they do not deserve.

    Can you fix that without cutting off the support from many who do deserve it? If you can there is possibly a Nobel prize in your future. If not, once again it becomes a political question about wether or not the costs of a few free riders are worth the benefits to society of the policies in question.

    Have at it.

  31. Lew 31

    Robinsod: “I’m not gonna be at drinking liberally because I don’t like people.”

    This is clear.

    “I know the rules of the game better than most mate because I’ve lived and breathed them a long time.”

    This is not clear.

    “I can tell you this – The game bites. And it bites because it works to dumb-down politics and reduce its significance to people. If it’s a game why bother? Talking about it as such only further disengages people and that my friend it the reason a lot of people are going to vote without knowing what they are voting for.”

    It’s not that it *is* a game; it’s that it *resembles* a game. It’s between two or more sides, it’s contested with a view to winning, and it’s governed by rules. How do you expect to win if you don’t understand the reasoning behind each move?

    “All you do when you engage in speculation about “the game’ is endorse a view the right are happy to have people hold as it helps disenfrachise them and as you will know low turnouts favour the right.”

    You say this as if it’s self-evident, but it’s not.

    “Good to see you telling me to Fu*k off though as it shows you are not a completely spineless liberal ”

    Happy to do so as often as you like.

    L

  32. uroskin 32

    “The next Labour Budget will be written by Michael Cullen at the IMF”.

  33. erikter. “Some of these people deserve assistance; others, and it may be a large number, do not.”

    eriker identifies an imaginary problem of a scale even he says he has no idea of. His solution? Throw the baby our with the bathwater

  34. and it’s governed by rules.

    Those rules are constantly shifting Lew, and the trick to winning is to make sure you are the one shifting them. National (or should I say Crosby Textor) has done a brilliant job at shifting them toward a situation where a rather dull comment by Goff can be a major scandal and where simply repeating “tired third term government” makes it seem so.

    I don’t know how old you are but these are not the same rules as five years ago (or even more recently) and when the left contents itself to play within them (as you do with your discussion of policy hold-back as admirable tactic) then they become further cemented as the only rules in town. Try paying attention to the way the discourse is shaped rather than just the discourse itself.

    Oh and Lew? Fu*k you too.

    [Sod, keep it civil. There’s no need to start a flame war]

  35. vto 35

    Iprent, Pierson, Irishbill, Pilott you guys abused me a few weeks ago for wasting time with supposedly empty, banal, hollow, vapid one-liners with no substance.

    Well congratulations, it appears you have created a whole thread out of such poop.

    Is that why this site gets termed the ‘double standard’ sometimes?

    [lprent: I just read the post. It isn’t about discussion, it appears to be about what one-liners we can expect from parties after the budget tommorrow. For authenticity, these should be small enough to fit into a newspaper or TV headline – ie a one liner. You can of course discuss the meaning of the value of this type of press release amongst journalists.
    But I do agree that it is shallow.]

  36. Lew 36

    Robinsod: I agree entirely on this point: that controlling framing and agendas is key. What we seem to disagree on is whether it’s a bad thing: you see it as something only the right does, or can do; I see it as a simple reality of How Things Are, a contest in which all sides try to gain the upper hand. I don’t think all sides necessarily should participate – there’s value in playing a `clean’ game after all – but I certainly don’t think it’s an unmitigated evil as you seem to.

    I didn’t say holding back policy was admirable – I said it was *rational*. If it results in electoral success, then I would say it was *effective*, but I don’t admire it except inasmuch as I can admire the handiwork of people who are masters of their craft. Did I mention that I consider Leni Riefenstahl to be one of the finest filmmakers of the 20th Century? Not because of the content of her work, but because of its quality. The two things can be split apart and analysed separately, as long as one is fully cognisant of the effects each has on the other. It’s not that I like National’s strategy – it’s that I recognise that it’s working. You seem to be stuck on whether it’s bad or good without realising that it’s not you who decides, it’s the electorate.

    It seems you want people to *just* debate policy. That’s a delightfully naive view, and I agree – wouldn’t it be nice? Unfortunately that’s not the way of things, and no amount of ranting is going to un-ring that bell or bring us back in time to a gentler age, because there was no gentler age. Instead of raging against the dying of the light I find more value in accepting things as they are and adapting to them. Carbon Trading is an example of this: using markets to curb some of the excesses caused by markets. It’s not `playing by their rules’ because the rules aren’t owned by entitlement – they’re owned by those with the best understanding of them. Unfortunately, those people are mostly working for National at the moment.

    I think the single biggest problem facing liberal politics in the ought-oughts is the prevalence of dogmatic idealist activism over political education and calculated, strategic action. I’d like that to change. Information is power.

    L

  37. r0b 37

    vto – it’s a whole thread about how empty and predictable such poop is. Kinda the same point that the editors made to you, but on a bigger scale.

  38. Matthew Pilott 38

    VTO – if you can’t see the point of this thread then you’re really wasting your time (c’mon, I know you can, why make such a comment…!).

    Come back the afternoon after the Budget with a few National Party press releases and NZ Herald stories at hand and see how many comments above hit the nail on the head. It’s a piss-take of National’s campaign thus far, and it’s certainly not condoning banal one-liners.

    ‘Sod – Lew seems to be saying what National are doing, not that he appreciates or condones it.

    My predictions –

    “Nothing in it for Mum and Dad who are struggling under Labour, and haven’t seen tax cuts in nine years.”

    Here’s a game to play: if you take three press releases from National, an article from The herald and an Audrey Young blog post you’ll get:

    “Tired”: 18 times
    “Too little too late”: four times
    “Nanny state”: six times
    Some glib comment about Labour knowing how to spend your money better that you: 12 times
    “Michael Cullen’s last Budget”: ten times
    A comment about what National would do better: … no such

  39. dave 39

    Interesting report that world-wide the big majority of people are against the widening wealth gaps. It is the rich prick minority that are the tiny.
    http://leninology.blogspot.com/2008/05/redistribute-wealth.html

  40. gobsmacked 40

    Key in the House just now: “block of cheese budget”.

    That’s your 6 pm news soundbite. With a pretty picture to help you understand.

  41. Tane 41

    Just watched Key’s speech. Looks like you nailed it Irish.

  42. IrishBill 42

    Damn. I started the “block of cheese” thing. Damn.

  43. bill brown 43

    “Key in the House just now: “block of cheese budget'”

    As picked up straight away by Espiner:

    http://stuff.co.nz//blogs/politics/2008/05/22/colby-tax-cuts-may-be-too-little-too-late

  44. IrishBill 44

    That is just depressing.

  45. gobsmacked 45

    Never underestimate a political journalist’s need to be spoon-fed. They have all the imagination and initiative of a sheep.

  46. r0b 47

    At least Colin James has his own soundbite – “The Snooker Budget”:
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/feature/story.cfm?c_id=1501935&objectid=10511820

  47. r0b 48

    John Armstrong too is not running any Key sound bite lines:
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/feature/story.cfm?c_id=1501935&objectid=10511835

    Good on James and Armstrong.

  48. gobsmacked 49

    Funny how whenever National oppose increases in the minimum wage, nobody says they’re denying poor people a piece of cheese.

  49. gobsmacked 50

    Jessica Mutch on One News, 4.30, dutifully parroted the cheese line. As you do.

  50. Tane 51

    gs – I think we may have to do a name and shame later on.

  51. Matthew Pilott 52

    Tane – $5 says you can add Duncan garner to your list – I don’t have to watch tonight to know you’d hear him paraphrase Key.

    God the media are cheesey. They take it whey too far.

  52. r0b 53

    MP – Critics of this budget should be forced to sit down with six copies of it and edam. We’d certainly see some un-feta’d blue language then! Could be enough to curdle the blood.

  53. gobsmacked 54

    Matthew, collect your five bucks. Duncan duly delivered on TV3, complete with supermarket checkout cheese in case anybody wasn’t listening.

    Do these people actually get paid for this crap? I mean, some bloke on a laptop, with zero qualifications (that’s me, folks) can write the Political Editor’s story, for free, and three hours before the bulletin.

    Duncan does look better than me in a suit, though.

  54. Vanilla Eis 55

    Is there anything Keith Ng can’t do?

    http://www.publicaddress.net/default,5045.sm#post5045

    Mods, feel free to make the link all pretty-like.

    [lprent: it is short enough. It is the ones that flow all over the page that are a problem]

  55. r0b 56

    Hah! Thanks VE, thanks Keith, good to end the day on a laugh.

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  • Pissing-Off The Israelis Is A High-Risk Strategy.
    Dangerous Foes: For those readers of Bowalley Road who feel disposed to dismiss any prospect of an Israeli destabilisation of New Zealand politics, the example of the United Kingdom repays close attention. Ever since the election of Jeremy Corbyn as leader of the British Labour Party, the Israelis have sanctioned, funded and ...
    3 days ago
  • Something to go to in Wellington
    Make It 16, the youth-led campaign to lower New Zealand's voting age, is holding an official campaign launch at Parliament this Friday from 16:30. If you'd like to attend, you can register using EventBrite here. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • A founding member responds to Peace Action Wellington
    by Don Franks It was a lovely sunny Wellington afternoon with blue skies above  the beaches.  In Courtenay Place, political activists packed out a stuffy upstairs room for an important meeting. The assembled pacifists, anarchists, communists and independent young radicals of Peace Action Wellington felt the need for a mission ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    3 days ago
  • “Mistakes and errors”
    Current and former NZDF top brass are being publicly grilled this week by the hit and run inquiry over their public responses to allegations of civilian casualties. Previously, they've claimed there were no casualties, a position which led them to lie to Ministers and to the public. Now, they're saying ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • “Homosexuality is same-sex attraction and relationships, not heterosexuals with delusions of gende...
    by Rafael D. Quiles (gender-critical gay man from Puerto Rico) The writing on the wall is right in people’s faces and people just don’t see it or don’t want to. What could actually possess a heterosexual male to want to feminize himself and claim that he is a lesbian? Because ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    4 days ago
  • Trump: “Where’s my favourite dictator?”
    From the Wall Street Journal:Inside a room of the ornately decorated Hotel du Palais during last month’s Group of Seven summit in Biarritz, France, President Trump awaited a meeting with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi. Mr. Trump looked over a gathering of American and Egyptian officials and called out in ...
    4 days ago
  • Magdalen Burns, 1983-2019, fighter for women’s liberation
    by the Redline blog collective At Redline we are very saddened to hear of the death of Magdalen Burns who passed away on the morning of Friday, September 13 (British time). Magdalen was a great fighter for the rights of women in general and lesbian women in particular, a defender ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    5 days ago
  • Parliament and the Executive
    The Brexit issue has certainly brought with it a series of apparently difficult constitutional issues, many of them concerning the respective roles of the executive and parliament. Most of them arise because of the unwillingness of MPs, despite their professions to the contrary, to be bound by a constitutional rarity ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    5 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
    5 days ago
  • Police will have to wear silly Buckingham Palace hats from now on, says Police Minister
    Those close to the Police Minister believe the initiative may be the result of Nash “seeing a great deal” on AliExpress. In a move that comes seemingly out of nowhere, Police Minister Stuart Nash announced this afternoon that he expects all frontline staff to don bearskin hats, famously worn by ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    6 days ago
  • A sensible crackdown
    The government has released its Arms Legislation Bill, containing the second tranche of changes to gun laws following the March 15 massacre. And it all looks quite sensible: a national gun register, higher penalties for illegal possession and dealing, tighter restrictions on arms dealers and shooting clubs, and a shorter ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • California bans private prisons
    Private prisons are a stain on humanity. Prison operators explicitly profit from human misery, then lobby for longer prisons terms so they can keep on profiting. And in the US, prison companies run not only local and state prisons, but also Donald Trump's immigration concentration camps. Faced with this moral ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Why PPPs are a bad idea
    When National was in power, they were very keen on Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) - basicly, using private companies to finance public infrastructure as a way of hiding debt from the public. They were keen on using them for everything - roads, schools, hospitals. But as the UK shows, that "service" ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • A Movement That No Longer Moves.
    Moving And Shaking: There was a time when people spoke matter-of-factly about the “labour movement” – a political phenomenon understood to embrace much more than the Labour Party. Included within the term’s definition was the whole trade union movement – many of whose members looked upon the Labour Party as ...
    6 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
    6 days 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
    7 days 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
    7 days 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
    7 days ago
  • Australia to Pacific: “Fuck you, you can all drown”
    World leaders are meeting in New York in two weeks for the 2019 Climate Action Summit, where they are expected to announce new and more ambitious targets to stop the world from burning. But the Australian Prime Minister won't be there, despite being in the USA at the time:Scott Morrison ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Implausible ignorance
    Labour Party president Nigel Haworth resigned yesterday over the party's sexual assault scandal. But while that's good news, its unlikely to take away the stench of a coverup. Because according to Paula Bennett in Parliament yesterday, pretty much everyone in the Prime Minister's office was involved as well:I have been ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Labour’s Fatal Flaw.
     Two-Faced? Labour insiders' commitment to the neoliberal status quo puts them at odds with their party’s membership; its trade union affiliates; and a majority of Labour voters, but this only serves to strengthen the perception they have of themselves as a special elite. Among the lesser breeds, they’ll talk up a ...
    7 days ago
  • Ten reasons the Tories do NOT want an election
    There has been a lot of talk about Boris Johnson wanting an election, and he has blustered with great gusto about 'chicken' Jeremy Corbyn refusing one, but I think there are many reasons why he is secretly glad he has been refused the opportunity:The Tories are an utter rabble,tearing themselves ...
    1 week ago
  • Prorogation Illegal, rule Scottish judges
    Scottish appeal court judges have declared that Boris Johnson’s decision to suspend parliament in the run-up to the October Brexit deadline is unlawful. The three judges, chaired by Lord Carloway, Scotland’s most senior judge, overturned an earlier ruling that the courts did not have the powers to interfere in the prime ...
    1 week ago
  • Let me explain what I meant by Everyday New Zealanders
    By Simon Bridges. The following is a press release from the office of Simon Bridges, leader of The National Party. Key ora, New Zealand. Happy Maori Language Week. Look, I’m writing to you today because I want to clear something up. There’s been a lot of kerfuffle around some things ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Yes, the SIS is subject to the Public Records Act
    I understand there's some stuff going round about how the SIS "was removed from the list of public offices covered by the Public Records Act in 2017". The context of course being their records derived from US torture, which will be disposed of or sealed. The good news is that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • An evidence-based discussion of the Canadian fluoride/IQ study
    Dr. Christopher Labos and Jonathan Jarry discuss the recent Canadian fluoride/IQ research. They provide an expert analysis of the paper and its problems. Click on image to go to podcast. The critical debate about the recent ...
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Australia in denial
    Australia is burning down again, and meanwhile its natural disaster minister is denying climate change:Australia’s minister responsible for drought and natural disasters, David Littleproud, has said that he doesn’t “know if climate change is manmade”. Clarifying earlier comments that the question is “irrelevant” when considering the Coalition government’s response to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Philippines activist speaking on the Duterte tyranny
    Auckland Philippines Solidarity is excited to host Professor Judy Taguiwalo for a speaking tour of NZ in September. She is a well-known activist in the Philippines and was a political prisoner under the Marcos dictatorship. Professor Taguiwalo briefly served as a Cabinet member under President Duterte but was forced from ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Disgust
    I have no special insights to offer on the Labour sexual assault coverup. All I have is disgust. Disgust that an organisation could fail its people so badly. Disgust that they punished the victims rather than the perpetrator. Disgust that its party hacks are apparently blaming the victims for demanding ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Speak Up for Women calls out Greens’ censorship
    This open letter to the Green Party was penned after an opinion piece by Jill Abigail, a feminist and founding member of the party, was censored by the Greens’ leadership. (Redline has reprinted her article here).The intolerance of the Green Party leaders and their acceptance of the misogyny of gender ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Member’s Day: End of Life Choice, part 3
    Today is a Member's day, and David Seymour's End of Life Choice Bill continues its slow crawl through its committee stage. They're spending the whole day on it today, though the first hour is likely to be spent on voting left over from last time. After that they'll move on ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Flight to Los Angeles turned back after passengers decide they don’t want to go anymore
    An ambitious plan to fly to Los Angeles petered out into a brief sight-seeing trip and a desire to return home and get some sleep before work tomorrow. Air New Zealand has confirmed a flight to Los Angeles last night was turned back about a quarter of the way into ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Indigenous Futures: defuturing and futuring – an analytical framework for policy development?
    There appears to be consensus – by omission – that the concept of indigenous futures should be accepted at face value. So I scavenged the internet to see if I could locate an academic descriptor or a framework around how we think about it as a concept, and whether it ...
    EllipsisterBy Ellipsister
    1 week ago
  • Cadbury rumoured to be releasing the Pineapple Trump
    Here’s another novelty chocolate to shove in your gob, New Zealand Cadbury could be seeking to make itself great again with a rumoured new release: Pineapple Trumps, a spin on its classic chocolate-encased pineapple treat and do-it-yourself tooth remover. The global confectionery manufacturer and bumbling “before” character in an infomercial, ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • The coming resource war.
    During my time in the Pentagon I had the privilege of sitting down with military leaders and defence and security officials from a variety of Latin American nations. Sometimes I was present as a subordinate assistant to a senior US defence department official, sometimes as part of a delegation that ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Māori Language Week with The Civilian
    Kia ora, Aotearoa. It’s that magical time of year. Te Wiki o te Reo Māori. In English, the week that frightens talk radio. As you probably know by now, all your favourite media outlets are participating, some more successfully than others. Stuff has changed its name to Puna for the ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Will Horizons act on climate change?
    Local body elections are coming up next month. And it looks like all Palmerston North candidates for Horizons (the Manawatu-Whanganui Regional Council) want to take action on climate change:Climate change is set to be a key issue in Palmerston North for the next three years if those wanting to get ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • BORA reform is stalled
    Eighteen months ago, the government promised to strengthen the Bill of Rights Act, by explicitly affirming the power of the courts to issue declarations of inconsistency and requiring Parliament to formally respond to them. So how's that going? I was curious, so I asked for all advice about the proposal. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Corbyn and Brexit
    As the Brexit saga staggers on, the focus is naturally enough on the Prime Minister and his attempts to achieve Brexit “do or die”. But the role played by the Leader of the Opposition is of almost equal interest and complexity. The first problem for Jeremy Corbyn is that he ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • A ditch for him to die in
    Last week, English Prime Minister Boris Johnson boldly declared that he would rather die be dead in a ditch than delay Brexit. Unfortunately for him, the UK parliament accepted the challenge, and promptly dug one for him. The "rebellion bill" requires him to ask for and secure yet another temporary ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Warning! Warning! Danger Jacinda Ardern! Danger Marama Davidson! Warning!
    Lost In Political Space: The most important takeaway from this latest Labour sexual assault scandal, which (if I may paraphrase Nixon’s White House counsel’s, John Dean’s, infamous description of Watergate) is “growing like a cancer” on the premiership, is the Labour Party organisation’s extraordinary professional paralysis in the face of ...
    1 week ago
  • Union solidarity with Ihumatao land occupation
    by Daphna Whitmore Every Sunday for the past two months unionists from First Union, with supporters from other unions, have set out to the Ihumatao land protest, put up gazebos and gas barbeques, and cooked food for a few hundred locals and supporters who have come from across the country. ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: The wrong kind of trees?
    Newsroom today has an excellent, in-depth article on pine trees as carbon sinks. The TL;DR is that pine is really good at soaking up carbon, but people prefer far-less efficient native forests instead. Which is understandable, but there's two problems: firstly, we've pissed about so long on this problem that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • No freedom of speech in Turkey
    Canan Kaftancioglu is a Turkish politician and member of the opposition Republican People's Party (CHP). Like most modern politicians, she tweets, and uses the platform to criticise the Turkish government. She has criticised them over the death of a 14-year-old boy who was hit by a tear gas grenade during ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Speaker: Tadhg Stopford: Why I’m standing for the ADHB
    Hi there, just call me Tim.We face tough problems, and I’d like to help, because there are solutions.An Auckand District Health Board member has nominated me for as a candidate for the ADHB, because her MS-related pain and fatigue is reduced with hemp products from Rotorua.  Nothing else helped her. If I ...
    1 week ago
  • Good little vassals
    The Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security has published their report on whether the SIS and GCSB had any complicity in American torture. And its damning. The pull quote is this:The Inquiry found both agencies, but to a much greater degree, the NZSIS, received many intelligence reports obtained from detainees who, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Who Shall We Turn To When God, And Uncle Sam, Cease To Defend New Zealand?
    Bewhiskered Cassandra? Professor Hugh White’s chilling suggestion, advanced to select collections of academic, military and diplomatic Kiwi experts over the course of the past week, is that the assumptions upon which Australia and New Zealand have built their foreign affairs and defence policies for practically their entire histories – are ...
    1 week ago
  • The Politics of Opposition
    For most of the time I was a British MP, my party was out of government – these were the Thatcher years, when it was hard for anyone else to get a look-in. As a front-bencher and shadow minister, I became familiar with the strategies required in a parliamentary democracy ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • More expert comments on the Canadian fluoride-IQ paper
    The Green et al (2019) fluoride/IQ is certainly controversial – as would be expected from its subject (see If at first you don’t succeed . . . statistical manipulation might help and Politics of science – making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear). Anti-fluoride campaigners have been actively promoting it ...
    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
  • Air New Zealand identifies this enormous plot of unused land as possible second airport site
    Air New Zealand couldn’t believe its luck that this seemingly ideal piece of real estate had so far gone entirely unnoticed. Air New Zealand’s search for a site to build a second Auckland Airport may have made a breakthrough this afternoon, after employees scanning Google satellite imagery spotted a huge, ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Redline on the Labour Party
    No-one on the anti-capitalist left in this country today puts forward a case that Labour is on the side of the working class.  There are certainly people who call themselves ‘socialist’ who do, but they are essentially liberals with vested interests in Labourism – often for career reasons. Nevertheless, there ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • New Fisk
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour’s failure
    When National was in government and fucking over the poor for the benefit of the rich, foodbanks were a growth industry. And now Labour is in charge, nothing has changed: A huge demand for emergency food parcels means the Auckland City Mission is struggling to prepare for the impending arrival ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Ardern attempts to vaccinate Clarke Gayford live on television to prove that it’s safe
    Gayford, pictured here on The Project, before things got wildly out of control. A bold public relations move by the Government to encourage parents to vaccinate their children has gone horribly wrong. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern appeared on tonight’s episode of Three’s The Project, where the plan was for her ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Has Mr. Whippy gone too far by parking on our front lawns?
    Mr. Whippy’s business model has driven it down a dark road of intimidation. Residents in major centres around the country are becoming disgruntled by the increasingly aggressive actions of purported ice cream company Mr. Whippy, who have taken to parking on people’s front lawns and doorsteps in a desperate attempt ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Cleaning up the water
    Today the government released its Action Plan for Healthy Waterways, aimed at cleaning up our lakes and rivers. Its actually quite good. There will be protection for wetlands, better standards for swimming spots, a requirement for continuous improvement, and better standards for wastewater and stormwater. But most importantly, there's a ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Fronting up
    Today I appeared before the Environment Committee to give an oral submission on the Zero Carbon Bill. Over 1,500 people have asked to appear in person, so they've divided into subcommittees and are off touring the country, giving people a five minute slot each. The other submitters were a mixed ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago

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