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Swings

Written By: - Date published: 11:26 am, May 1st, 2015 - 41 comments
Categories: International, uk politics - Tags: , ,

Some commentary has suggested a clean sweep for the SNP in Scotland in the UK General election. That would entail the party winning 59 seats next week, up from 6 seats in 2010. So, is the Labour Party in Scotland about to be euthanased?

Well, the constituency of Coatbridge, Chryston and Bellshill has returned a Labour mp to Westminster since 1932. In 2005 the it received 64.5% of the constituency’s vote on a 59.4% turnout. In 2010 it received 66.6% of the constituency’s vote on a 59.4% turnout. As constituencies go then… safe as houses.

And yet a January poll by Lord Ashcroft put Labour 3% behind the SNP in the constituency while, importantly, a poll by Populus has found that 75 per cent of Scots polled are “absolutely certain” they will vote in the general election, compared with an average of 53.75 per cent across the rest of the UK.

For a sense of what it feels like ‘on the ground’ you might do worse than view this latest short video essay from the constituency that John Harris has compiled for The Guardian.

 

41 comments on “Swings”

  1. Sable 1

    Is there a reason why this is relevant? Personally I say good luck to the SNP and good riddance to so called Labour.

    • Bill 1.1

      The relevancy?

      Hmm, let me see. NZ Labour more or less mimics UK Labour in terms of policy etc. And NZ Labour’s popularity more or less echos UK Labour’s popularity (low 30%, give or take).

      And NZ Labour scratches it’s institutional head and can’t figure why it’s mired?!

      Meanwhile, at least in Scotland, along comes a party that grafts itself onto Labour’s abandoned roots and…

      You seeing the relevancy yet?

      • Tracey 1.1.1

        Bill

        Who, in trms of policy would SNP equate most closely to here?

        • DoublePlusGood 1.1.1.1

          No-one. The point is that Scotland has a constituency that has been abandoned by Labour policies and has sought out a party that represents Labour’s roots – and that no party has yet done that here. As a result, there is an opportunity for a political party in New Zealand to represent a similarly abandoned constituency here.

        • Bill 1.1.1.2

          I guess you’d have to indulge in a bit of time travel on that one 😉 As I say above, the SNP has grafted itself onto the roots that UK Labour abandoned…and is, not surprisingly, reaping immense ballot box rewards. The NZ Labour Party has also abandoned those roots. The difference here is that no-one has ‘taken up the cudgel (sorry to mix metaphors).

          Maybe Mana were coming the closest. But then, as UK Labour has attempted to do to the SNP and the Greens in the UK, the Labour Party here snuffed them out.

          Could something come from Maoridom if NZ Labour refuses to (a-hem) cut the crap? I dunno.

          edit – Damn. I was reading your comment somewhat back to front. The SNP come closest to pre-neoliberal Labour here. Essentially the same as their positioning in the UK on that front.

          • Phil 1.1.1.2.1

            the SNP has grafted itself onto the roots that UK Labour abandoned…and is, not surprisingly, reaping immense ballot box rewards.

            Correlation does not equal causation. The SNP has not fundamentally shifted their policy positions from the previous election.

            The SNP’s polling vaulted up immediately after the independence referendum. It’s a much more compelling narrative that 45-ish percent of Scottish voter,s who are pro-independence, see SNP-representation as the best alternative available to them at this election.

            • Bill 1.1.1.2.1.1

              I guess I see it in terms of the referendum getting people politically engaged. And once people are engaged and thinking things through instead of just meekly accepting that ‘this is the way things are’…

            • McFlock 1.1.1.2.1.2

              The SNP has not fundamentally shifted their policy positions from the previous election.

              But party support is not only about policy. Building respect, trustworthiness, reputation for delivering, and other factors all count too.

        • Murray Rawshark 1.1.1.3

          My worry is that NZ First is starting to fill the void left by the tendencies of Labour governments here since 1984. Labour can be seen as adopting the same anti-sovereignty policies as NAct, with their support for the free market and foreign “investment”, plus their USA friendly spy policies. I’m not sure there is enough class consciousness for enough people to realise that Working For Families and Accomodation Allowances are actually to help employers and landlords, doing nothing for workers. Therefore they will tend to look to the nationalism of Winnie rather than a more class based party.

          Mana was beginning to fill the gap, but for various reasons hasn’t yet. The Greens also have a lot of potential, but can’t quite shake off the idea that they should be a bit bluish. I can’t see anything very promising on the horizon and I don’t even know how promising the SNP is. If it aligns behind Scots money, it’s not.

          • Sable 1.1.1.3.1

            Yes guys Labour are, as I have said repeatedly, right wing sell outs. They have been since the appalling Lange government. The SNP have stepped in and created a truly socialist party that represents peoples needs and wants. To say they are grafted from Labours rotten roots is something of an insult. They are unique in their own way.

  2. mickysavage 2

    Sorry Bill I had a go at making the video link work and seemed to make it worse. If you can find a youtube version this will link cleanly.

  3. dukeofurl 3

    Gee, a clean sweep ?

    Thats after the same polls were saying independence vote would be ‘close’- it was a 10% difference.

    A range of polls give SNP from 47 seats. The maximum? I dont think so. There is active talk in Scotland of tactical voting on the tory side ( for the LIb Dems).

    Then Bill is known for his posts having poll beatups. But no mention this time of CNDs little survey.

    A clean sweep for SNP pushes up the chance that Cameron and the Tories will cling to power after the election.

    It mirrors what happened in 1919 in Scotland

    “George Square, Glasgow, is humming to the frenzy of thousands of protestors and campaigners, waving strange standards that are not the Union Flag. An unpopular coalition government is in power, with Conservatives and Liberals publicly turning on each other, uncertain how to contain a surging fringe movement and prevent wider civic discord.
    The year is 1919, not 2015, and Glasgow is under general strike. The strange flags flying are not the Saltire – there would be nothing strange about that in the streets of Glasgow – but the Red Flag, heralding the nascence of ‘Red Clydeside’.

    Electorally, the strike capped a permanent change in Scottish politics. 29 Labour MPs swept into the House of Commons at the next election, whilst the Liberals foundered, splitting into two parties. The ‘Labourisation’ of Scottish politics was to hold for several generations.
    may2015.com

    • Ovid 3.1

      Labour looks set to sweep London. I think things are firming up to a Labour-SNP coalition. Ed Miliband said Labour would put up a Queen’s speech, effectively saying take-it-or-leave-it to the SNP to vote in support of it. But if Labour ends up forcing fresh elections when there’s a clear coalition option open to them, they will suffer. And they’re sure to know this. I don’t think they’re that foolhardy.

      • Tracey 3.1.1

        Rather than offering to have discussions with them? Or a queen’s speech offered after they have consulted?

      • Bill 3.1.2

        There will be no coalition or confidence and supply arrangement. Neither the SNP nor Labour want either.

        The SNP have already said they would vote down a Tory Queens Speech and support a Labour one. Labour could be really fucking stupid and put Trident renewal or some such in their Queens Speech.

        Or, they could present a neutral Queens Speech and get on with being the UK government. The Fixed Term Parliaments Act means they don’t even fall should they fail to pass their budgets. Of course, they’d have to jiggle any failed budget and submit it again to secure 50%+ support…

        • Ovid 3.1.2.1

          They may even need the support of Plaid Cymru too, which would be interesting.

          • Bill 3.1.2.1.1

            And the Greens if Labour back off from trying to bury Caroline Lucas in Brighton.

  4. Tracey 4

    SNP on Affordable Housing


    Our record:

    Invested a record £675 million invested in affordable housing in 2009-10, and 8,663 affordable homes approved, a record number.
    Allocated £80 million to 23 local authorities to support the construction of 3,300 new council homes.
    Seen over 1,300 council houses started in the past three years, more than twice the number in the previous eleven years combined.
    Scrapped the right-to-buy for new council houses therefore encouraging building of new affordable homes and safeguarding homes for the future.”

  5. Tracey 5

    SNP on Economy

    “Scotland’s Economy

    Creating more jobs here in Scotland is a top priority for the SNP. Our policies include:

    Supporting Scotland’s Small Businesses – We will protect the Small Business Bonus, ensuring £450 million of support for the small businesses that form the lifeblood of local economies. The small business bonus has saved jobs in the downturn and create jobs in the recovery.

    Action on Youth Unemployment – We will provide support for 125,000 modern apprenticeships over the lifetime of the Parliament and a commitment that every 16-19 year old in Scotland not in work, part of a Modern Apprenticeship scheme or receiving education is offered a learning or training opportunity.

    Growing the Green Economy – Scotland is leading the world in offshore renewable technologies and the SNP will continue to support the rapid growth of this sector. The National Renewables Infrastructure Fund will help leverage private investment into Renewables, part of over £200 million of investment in Renewables.

    Improve Connectivity – we will invest in the electrification of the central Scotland rail network, reducing journey times between Glasgow and Edinburgh to just over 30 minutes. And our plans include the rapid expansion of high-speed broadband so Scots can take full advantage of our new digital age.

    Protecting family budgets – At a time of inflation, higher VAT and sky-high fuel prices we will continue to protect family budgets here in Scotland by freezing the Council Tax. We have also removed prescription charges, saving people with long-term health conditions £180.”

    • Bill 5.1

      Might pay to differentiate what the SNP government in Holyrood has done from what they want to achieve in Westminster. 😉

      The numbers change and some policies are possible in a Westminster context that aren’t possible in a Holyrood context due to the Scottish government having no borrowing powers, no tax take etc.

      • Tracey 5.1.1

        Thanks for the heads up…

        They seem to have a decent mix of Green policies

      • dukeofurl 5.1.2

        Gee Bill, you should really keep up

        “A new Scotland Bill, published by the Government, extends Holyrood’s powers to allow MSPs to set their own rates of income tax and stamp duty and borrow up to £2.7 billion. That was in 2012

        • Bill 5.1.2.1

          Uh-huh. And maybe you should stop with the uncritical echoing of the Daily Telegraph type nonsense? Any monies borrowed would then be deducted from the block grant (The Barnett Formula)…same with any tax rate changes. In other words, there’s no net gain in terms of either monies nor power…and the Barnett Formula gets trashed out to boot.

          I believe it’s correct to say that borrowing powers haven’t been used and that what I’ve sketched out is the reason why.

  6. dukeofurl 6

    It looks like its not all rosy in Scotland under the SNP

    “Fewer Scottish school children are good at reading and writing than in 2012, a report into literacy has shown.

    Results from the 2014 Scottish Survey of Literacy and Numeracy, which focused on literacy and was published today, show performance in reading dropped in primary schools between 2012 and 2014 – as well as in the second year of secondary school. Some levels also showed a drop in standards of writing.

    http://www.holyrood.com/articles/news/falling-literacy-scottish-schools

    I suppose those in Westminister are to blame ? Or should it be those in Edinburgh

    Luckily Scottish Universities have traditionally offered a 4 year undergraduate degree, so the students can ‘catch up’. LOL

    • Tracey 6.1

      what is the percentage drop between 2102 and 2014?

    • Bill 6.2

      And it rains a lot. Bloody tricksy SNP with their bright yellow colours promising 24/7 sunshine!

      • dukeofurl 6.2.1

        I get the impression you dont really know a lot about Scotland that is relevant.

        The SNP is some sort of talisman of a socialist government for you.

        Im familiar with people like this whos parents were great believers in Mao, and grandparents fervent supporters of Stalin.
        A lot of hope and very little reality.

        The best you hope for now is SNP.

        Sure they can play cat and mouse with labour if the tories dont cling to power.
        However SNP has its own election in Scotland next year and if it stuffs up things in Westminister the voters could sweep them out on its home turf in Edinburgh

        Seperatism is a bit fake cause here. If its the only real policy you have then it has limited appeal and will die out.

        • Bill 6.2.1.1

          Bwah – ha – ha!

          I mean, you do know that my political leanings are way to the outside of representative governing structures, yes? And you also know that I have nothing but short thrift for the authoritarian left, yes? On reflection, your knowledge of my political leanings are probably on a par with your knowledge of anything else sitting right under your nose. Nose nuffin.

          Moving on. All the SNP has to do at Westminster is play a straight game. Not difficult and they have given every indication this is what they intend to do.

          Separatism has got absolutely nothing to do with the Westminster elections. I believe I’ve heard Sturgeon explaining the ‘triple lock’ on any further referendum three or four times now.

          As for the SNP being a one trick pony, you might want to read their manifestos in relation to Holyrood where they are the government and Westminster where they will be a sizable minor party promoting anti-austerity policies. But – just a suggestion – print them off so you can hold them out above and in front of you rather than having them positioned in any proximity to the underside of your nose, or you probably won’t understand any of it.

          • Grant 6.2.1.1.1

            *short shrift*

            • Bill 6.2.1.1.1.1

              oops 🙂

              • Grant

                Short shrift is a good phrase to use in this instance. It’s meaning comes from the notion of giving a condemned man the minimum time possible to be shriven by a priest before execution.

  7. lurgee 7

    As a Scot, I’m still struggling to get my head around this. It seems impossible that the polls are right. But, unless every polling company working in Scotland is getting it spectacularly wrong, it looks like the SNP are going to have a very very good day next week. Ironicaly, even if their support does recede slightly (and Labour have been hoping that is going to happen for what feels like forever now), the horrors of First Past the Post should still see them trounce the other parties. It’s a democratic farce – the party that regularly polled 25% in elections and only got 10% of seats suddenly getting 80-90% of the seats on 40-50% of the vote.

    It is bizzare.

    Incidentally, Bill, I have to advise I May Have Been Wrong in a recent argument we had over the possible implications of the SNP refusing to support Labour over Trident. You’ll recall I was arguing they could trigger a fresh election (in which the TOries would almost certainly prosper) if they voted down a Labour bill on the Trident weapons system. The backbone of my argument was the understanding that budget bills were de facto confidence motions, and if the government could not pass a spending bill, it was expected to resign. I’ve always thought this was the case in Britain, but digging about I’m unable to find verification. Even a Parliamentary research paper from the 90s (!) seems to be a bit uncertain about it:

    A confidence motion is a device which directly tests that confidence. If the result demonstrates that the Government has indeed lost the confidence of the House, and cannot therefore continue to govern effectively, it must resign or seek a dissolution of Parliament (on which choice, see the following section). No other parliamentary event requires such an outcome, and suggestions that various obviously important occasions such as, say, the Queen’s Speech or the second reading of the Finance Bill, are tantamount to confidence motions must, in modern
    circumstances, remain speculative.

    So even the people you’d expect to know seem unsure about the conventions. The Fixed Term Parliaments Act does seem to imply, however, that there needs to be an explicit No Confidence vote, using specific wording, to trigger the 14 day dissolution clause.

    So the SNP could (if this thinking is right) nix Trident and then (rather disingenuously) immediately support Labour on a separate confidence vote, creating the intriguing possibility of a government being in office but effectively unable to allocate money.

  8. Bill 8

    Also a Scot, but unlike yourself finding the shift very easy to comprehend.

    The confidence vote thing becomes almost moot with the Fixed Parliaments Act. As an illustration of how it plays out, I’ve taken your part about Trident and substituted budget.

    So the SNP could (if this thinking is right) nix the budget and then (rather disingenuously) immediately support Labour on a separate confidence vote, creating the intriguing possibility of a government being in office but effectively unable to allocate money.

    So Labour fails to get the 50%+ to pass its budget due to (say) austerity measures within it. They have a choice. Appeal to the Tories and Libdems who both favour austerity, on the likely understanding that both those parties would want something inserted into the budget in return for their support. The dreaded ‘kiss of death’ Labour possibly receives for forming an, albeit temporary, ‘Grand Alliance’ comes into play. Or they could take out the austerity measures and get the 50%+ they need from SNP, Plaid Cymru and Green support.

    With Trident, they put it up and rely on Tory support. Trident goes through…unless it was written into the budget that the Greens, SNP and Plaid Cymru would vote against on principle and then they’re back to weighing the options above.

    The only way the Labour government falls, given that it requires 3/4 of members to vote ‘no confidence’, is if their own mps vote a vote of no confidence.

    • lurgee 8.1

      I think your muddling the no confidence rules and the early dissolution clause written into the FTPA.

      The Labour government can fall on a 51% no confidence vote; parliament can only dissolve if 2/3rds vote for an early dissolution, or 14 days pass with confidence in a government being passed by 50% of MPs.

      But it looks like Labour will be able to finess this – they can put up a Queen’s Speech that the SNP can vote for, but it won’t include anything about Trident, as that is subject to a defence review as per the Labour manifesto. So that will get them past the first hurdle. When the defence review comes back, Labour will probably support it, especially if it indicates Labour’s ‘3 boat’ strategy is viable. I can still see how the Tories may choose to play politics with it, arguing that a reduced deterrent is not worth supporting, in the hope of up-ending the government. I can see them being read to fight a second election quite quickly, with a new leader and loudly claiming that the children have made a mess and the adults have to tidy it up.

      Interesting times!

      • Bill 8.1.1

        Way I’m seeing it is that the ‘no confidence’ has to be a discrete vote. And the SNP are not going to vote ‘no confidence’ in a Labour gvernment and follow up with a vote for dissolution. They’ll vote against, and then, hopefully manage to alter some of Labour’s motions though. At least where Labour needs their support and doesn’t feel able to turn to the Tories for support instead.

  9. Disraeli Gladstone 9

    I still think it’s nigh-impossible that the Orkneys will vote for anyone but the Liberals. They still think they’re voting for the ghost of Jo Grimond.

    • Northsider 9.1

      So you would like to lay a wager?

    • swordfish 9.2

      Don’t leave the Shetlands out !

      But, yeah, if the Lib Dems hold on to any seat in Scotland, It’ll be Orkney and Shetland.

      • Grant 9.2.1

        Please guys, it’s Orkney or Shetland not the Orkneys or the Shetlands… 🙂 No Islander uses those terms.

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    The following statement was released on March 28 by the National Network on Cuba, a coalition of 40 groups, based in the United States. In recent weeks, Cuba has deployed hundreds of medical providers to over a dozen countries in Europe, Asia, as well as to their neighbors in Latin ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    4 days ago
  • Alarming decrease in calves increases fears for endangered Hector’s dolphin
    This has been a terrible summer for Hector’s dolphins. The first indication was very low numbers of dolphin sightings during late spring and early summer. The Otago University Marine Mammal Research Team has carried out routine dolphin surveys at Banks Peninsula for more than 30 years. In all that time, ...
    SciBlogsBy Otago Marine Science
    4 days ago
  • Time for Grant Robertson to reveal package #2?
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    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    4 days ago
  • Saving lives
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 5
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    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    4 days ago
  • Speaker: Les Gray: the man who told the truth
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    4 days ago
  • Why now? Historical specificity and the perfect storm that has created trans identity politics
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    5 days ago
  • Time for a living wage for supermarket workers
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Hard News: MUSIC: Lockdown Grooves
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    5 days ago
  • A place of greater safety?
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    5 days ago
  • The police and public trust
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 4
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    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    5 days ago
  • COVID-19 vs New Zealand
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    5 days ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #13
    Story of the Week... Toon of the Week... Coming Soon on SkS... Climate Feedback Claim Review... SkS Week in Review... Poster of the Week... Story of the Week... ‘Misinformation kills’: The link between coronavirus conspiracies and climate denial   Grist / Rob Kim / Stringer / CSA Images  Scientific ...
    5 days ago
  • Rāhui day 4
    The kids did surprisingly well today – meltdown count was about 3, and mostly fairly short ones. (And a fourth while I was writing.) Game-wise I had a go at Fell Seal: Arbiter’s Mark. It’s a fairly standard RPG with turn-based combat and what they call a “mature storyline” (it ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    6 days ago
  • Letter to a friend
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    RedlineBy Daphna
    6 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 3
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    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    6 days ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #13
    A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week, i.e., Sun, Mar 22, 2020 through Sat, Mar 28, 2020 Articles Linked to on Facebook Sun, Mar 22, 2020 In Just 10 Years, Warming Has Increased the Odds of Disasters by Chelsea Harvey, ...
    6 days ago
  • Rāhui day 3
    I’m here in lockdown with my flatmate and her two girls (6 and 2) and it. is. a time. They’re usually really active so to start with the only boardgame in the house is the copy of Guess Who that the 6 year old got for her birthday. Flatmate commented ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    7 days ago
  • A test of civil society.
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    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    7 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 2
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    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • How Do You Feel? What Do You Think?
    Fortune's Children: Under extraordinary pressure, the leader of the Government and the leader of the Opposition will each show us what they are made of. Have they been blessed with intelligence, grace, wit, poise, toughness, empathy and humour – and in what measure? More importantly, to what extent have they ...
    1 week ago
  • Landlords are NOT an essential service
    If you’ve ever had the misfortune of having to rent a property on the open market in New Zealand, which is one of the most expensive in the entire world, you’ll likely be keenly aware of just how arrogant and entitled landlords and their real estate agents can be.Unfortunately for ...
    1 week ago
  • A “new Society” post-COVID19 will definitely emerge. The question is: on what path?
    Society-wise, aside from the specific morbidity shall we say of the medically-oriented aspects of this COVID-19 crisis, what is unfolding before the world is in more than one way an instructive study of humanity and reactions to a high intensity, high stress environment in real time. Friends, we are at ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    1 week ago
  • Raise the Bar: Everything you need to know about the wage subsidy
    Right now low waged and insecure workers are feeling the economic brunt of the looming #Covid19 Recession. In response legal advocate Toby Cooper* and hospitality and worker’s rights advocate Chloe Ann-King, are putting together a series of legal blogs about your employment rights: In this legal blog we outline some ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    1 week ago
  • The massacre of prisoners in Modelo jail, Bogota, March 21
    by Equipo Jurídico Pueblos and Gearóid Ó Loingsigh (25/03/2020) An escape plan in question On the night of March 21st and the early morning of the 22nd, the forces of the Colombian state stormed into the Modelo prison in Bogotá, murdering 23 prisoners and injuring 83, in response to the ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • We are not America
    When the government banned semi-automatic weapons in response to a terrorist atrocity, gun-nuts were outraged. Mired in toxic American gun culture, they thought owning weapons whose sole purpose was killing people was some sort of "constitutional right", a necessity for "defending themselves" against the government. Now, the Court of Appeal ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • When will we know the lockdown is working?
    Just before midnight on Wednesday March 25, Aotearoa New Zealand entered a countrywide alert level four lockdown. For at least the next four weeks, everyone who isn’t an essential worker is confined to their bubble. We are doing this to stop the explosive growth in people contracting and dying from ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    1 week ago
  • Lock Down: Day 1
    . . Lock Down: Day 1 – A photo essay with observations . Day one of the Level 4 nationwide lock-down (or, DefCon 4 as I sometimes cheekily call it) started at 11.59PM on 25 March. For a moment, most of the nation held it’s collective breath. In that brief ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • A Compelling Recollection.
    Broad, Sunlit Uplands: How those words fired my young imagination! Or, perhaps, it is more accurate to say: how those words fused, in my young mind, with the image printed on every packet of Fielder’s Cornflour. Always fascinated by history, especially modern history, I cannot hear Churchill’s wonderfully evocative words, even ...
    1 week ago
  • The Warehouse – where everyone gets a virus
    . . 24 March 2020 9.46AM Number of covid19 cases in Aotearoa New Zealand: 102 . As of 11.59 on Thursday, most of New Zealand will go into “lock down”. People will be expected not to travel to work; not to socialise; and to stay home. I will not be ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • Aggressive action to address climate change could save the world $145 trillion
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections A respected research group, Project Drawdown, finds that deploying solutions consistent with meeting the Paris climate targets would cost tens of trillions of dollars globally. But crucially, those outlays would also yield long-term savings many times larger than the up-front costs. The new 2020 Drawdown ...
    1 week ago
  • After the Pandemic
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    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    1 week ago
  • Coronavirus – Cuba shows the way
    We’ve been meaning t write something on Cuba and the coronavirus but have just discovered a very good article on the subject in the US left publication Jacobin.  The article looks at how Cuba, a poor country but one where capitalism has been done away with, is leading the way ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Using privacy law to prevent the death penalty
    In 2018, El Shafee Elsheikh and Alexanda Kotey - two British citizens who had purportedly been stripped of their citizenship by the British government - were captured while fighting for Isis in Syria. The British government then conspired to hand them over to the US, and agreed to provide evidence ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • It’s Time For Disaster Socialism.
    Transformers: The disaster of the Great Depression was transformed into a new and fairer society by the democratic socialism of the First Labour Government. The disaster of the Covid-19 Pandemic offers a similar transformative possibility to the Labour-NZ First-Green Government. Seize the time, Jacinda! You will never have a better ...
    1 week ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #12, 2020
    Tamper with The System? Well, we already are. But there's a difference between accidentally trickling sand into a precision gearbox versus formulating a plan to alter it on the fly with improvements in mind. One action is more or less innocently unscrupulous, the other amenable to earning an easy ...
    1 week ago
  • Avoidable hospitalisations: Helping our health system get through COVID-19
    Associate Prof George Thomson, Louise Delany, Prof Nick Wilson While it is possible that New Zealand can use intense public health controls to eradicate COVID-19 from the country – we must also plan for other scenarios where thousands of New Zealanders are sick – including many urgently hospitalised.1 Better resilience ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • Raise the Bar: 10 questions to ask your employer proposing redundancy
    Kia ora my name is Chloe Ann-King* and I am the founder of Raise the Bar, a campaign and non-profit that gives free legal aid, advocacy and tautoko to hospitality workers in Aotearoa. Right now all over our country hospo workers are being fired at will, having shifts cut or being ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    1 week ago
  • An equitable way to support business
    The Herald reports that the government is planning to lend billions of dollars to large businesses to keep them operating during the pandemic. As with mortgage relief, this is necessary: we need companies to stay in business, to reduce the economic damage and help things get restarted again when this ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Hard News: Together Alone
    We're about to do something unprecedented as a nation. We hope that by taking this extraordinary action before a single life in New Zealand has been lost to the deadly novel virus we will save tens of thousands of lives. Our  lives. We'll do it together, in households, in isolation ...
    1 week ago
  • Why timing is everything: ‘A time to refrain from embracing’ starts today
    “There is a time for everything,    and a season for every activity under the heavens.”So writes the author of Ecclesiastes, a book in the Old Testament that’s counted as a ‘wisdom’ book and written as if by an unnamed king of Jerusalem. But who would have thought there would be a time ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    1 week ago

  • Further measures to support businesses
    The Government will be introducing legislation to make changes to the Companies Act to help companies facing insolvency due to COVID-19 to remain viable and keep New Zealanders in jobs. The temporary changes include: Giving directors of companies facing significant liquidity problems because of COVID-19 a ‘safe harbour’ from insolvency ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    24 hours ago
  • Govt’s COVID plan, economic strength recognised
    The Government’s plan to cushion the blow of COVID-19 by supporting incomes, jobs and businesses, and position the economy to recover has been backed by another international report. International credit rating agency Moody’s today reaffirmed its highest Aaa credit rating on New Zealand, saying the economy is expected to remain ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Funding certainty for sports through COVID-19
    National sports organisations have been given certainty of funding to ensure they can remain viable through the COVID-19 pandemic, Sport and Recreation Minister Grant Robertson announced today. “The global spread of COVID-19 has had a significant impact on sport and recreation in New Zealand, including the cancellation or postponement of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Butchers now allowed to process pork
    Changes have been made to allow butchers to process pork, only for supply to supermarkets or other processors or retailers that are open, Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor has announced. “We carefully weighed the risk of allowing butchers to open their shops for retail customers, but the risk of spreading COVID-19 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Essential workers leave scheme established
    Essential workers who take leave from work to comply with public health guidance are being supported with a leave scheme to ensure they will continue to receive income, say the Minister of Workplace Relations and Safety Iain Lees-Galloway and Minister for Social Development, Carmel Sepuloni. A number of essential businesses ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Govt WhatsApp helps share COVID-19 information
    A Government WhatsApp channel has been launched to help make information more easily accessible and shareable in the fight against COVID-19. Govt.NZ, which is free to use on any mobile device, will carry information and news for the public, businesses, healthcare providers, not for profits and local government. It can ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Managed departure plan for stranded foreign nationals enables safe, orderly exit
    The Government has announced a plan to enable the safe, orderly exit of tens of thousands of stranded foreign nationals from New Zealand during the current COVID-19 Alert Level 4 restrictions, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Winston Peters has said. “When we moved into lockdown a week ago, the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government delivers COVID-19 support to GPs and Pharmacies
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says the Government is delivering on its commitment to support general practice doctors and nurses, and pharmacies on the front-line of our fight against COVID-19. "For us to overcome COVID-19, we need community health services such as general practice and community pharmacy to step up ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Susan Thomas the new Chief High Court Judge
    Justice Susan Thomas has been appointed Chief High Court Judge, Attorney-General David Parker announced today.  She replaces Justice Geoffrey Venning who has resigned from the position.   David Parker paid tribute to Justice Venning, who he said had stewarded the High Court very capably over the last five years.   “On behalf ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Business Finance Guarantee – applications open
    Businesses can start applying to their banks for loans under the Business Finance Guarantee Scheme set up to support the New Zealand economy during the COVID-19 pandemic. “We’re moving quickly to protect New Zealand businesses, jobs and the economy during this unprecedented global economic shock,” Finance Minister Grant Robertson said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Work starts on ways to fast-track consents to boost recovery from Covid-19 downturn
    Work is underway looking at measures to speed up consents for development and infrastructure projects during the recovery from COVID 19, to provide jobs and stimulate our economy.  Environment Minister David Parker said the COVID-19 pandemic is a serious global crisis that will have a wide ranging and lasting impact ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Advance payments to support contractors
    Advance payments will be made to transport construction industry contractors to retain the workforce and ensure it is ready to quickly gear up to build projects which will be vital to New Zealand’s COVID-19 economic recovery, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. He said keeping the workforce required to build ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government seeks infrastructure projects
    The Government has tasked a group of industry leaders to seek out infrastructure projects that are ready to start as soon as the construction industry returns to normal to reduce the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford and Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones say. The Infrastructure ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Health system scaled up to prepare for COVID-19
    Work to scale up the health system in preparation for COVID-19 was today outlined by Health Minister David Clark, as he reported back to the new Epidemic Response Committee. “We are well placed to contain the spread of COVID-19. We have taken early and decisive action at our borders, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Essential media COVID-19 guidelines refined
    The Government is refining its COVID-19 essential business guidance to include the distribution of news publications for communities which are hard to reach. The Minister of Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media, Kris Faafoi, said the move was in recognition of the importance for New Zealanders who might be harder to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Supermarkets able to open on Easter Sunday
    The Government is ensuring supermarkets can open on Easter Sunday so we can buy groceries, but stay closed on Good Friday allowing workers to take a break. This provides a balanced approach and ensures we avoid large queues that two days closure may cause. “Supermarkets will be able to open ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New Zealand defence personnel conclude mission at Taji
    Following the successful conclusion of the Building Partner Capacity (BPC) mission at Taji, New Zealand defence personnel are returning to New Zealand from Iraq, in accordance with the Cabinet decision made in June 2019, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters and Defence Minister Ron Mark announced today. “New Zealand is very ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • State of National Emergency extended
    The State of National Emergency to help stop the spread of COVID-19 has been extended for a further seven days, Minister of Civil Defence Peeni Henare said. The initial declaration on March 25 lasted seven days and can be extended as many times as necessary. “Since we went into isolation ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Strong Govt books support ‘go hard, go early’ response
    New Zealand’s ability to go hard and go early in the fight against COVID-19 has been underpinned by strong Government finances and the growing economy heading into this global pandemic, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. The Treasury today released the Crown financial statements for the eight months to the end ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Christchurch Hospital Hagley ICU to open to support COVID-19 response
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says 36 new intensive care beds at Christchurch Hospital’s new Hagley building are being fast tracked so they are available for treatment of COVID-19 patients.   The Ministry of Health is working with contractor CPB and Canterbury DHB to enable access to the hospital’s ICU, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government supports Air NZ freight flights
    The Government has fast-tracked up to $1 million to help Air New Zealand move urgent freight to and from New Zealand, with the first flight to Shanghai leaving tonight, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. Phil Twyford says it’s crucial that trade in vital goods such as medical supplies and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Tariff concessions on COVID-19 related products
    New Zealand will temporarily remove tariffs on all medical and hygiene imports needed for the COVID-19 response. Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker and Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Kris Faafoi said today that the New Zealand Customs Service will apply tariff concessions to all diagnostic reagents and testing ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Clarification of modification to wage subsidy scheme
    Minister of Finance Grant Robertson has clarified that the changes to the wage subsidy scheme announced yesterday mean that employers should be passing on the full subsidy to workers, except in the case where the person’s normal income is less than the level of the subsidy. “We still want employers ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Face masks flowing to DHBs
    Medical face masks from the national reserve supply are now being distributed to District Health Boards, while at the same time local production is being ramped up. Yesterday more than 640,000 masks were sent to DHBS – that is an immediate two week supply, with more to follow in coming ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • COVID-19: Further steps to protect New Zealanders’ jobs
    The Government has made modifications to the wage subsidy scheme to ensure people don’t lose their jobs during the national lockdown. These changes will soften the impact of COVID-19 on workers, families and businesses, and position them to exit the lockdown and look to recovery, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Tax relief for Mycoplasma Bovis farmers
    Farmers whose herds were culled in response to the outbreak of Mycoplasma bovis will be able to minimise the tax treatment of their income in some circumstances. Revenue Minister Stuart Nash says Cabinet has agreed to change the law. It means farmers may be eligible to spread their income over ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • $27 million for NGOs and community groups to continue providing essential services
    A $27 million dollar package, effective immediately, is being provided to social sector services and community groups to ensure they can continue to provide essential support to communities as we stay at home as a nation to stop the spread of COVID-19, Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni announced. “At ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Statement on guilty plea of March 15 terrorist
    “The guilty plea today will provide some relief to the many people whose lives were shattered by what happened on March 15,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said. “These guilty pleas and conviction bring accountability for what happened and also save the families who lost loved ones, those who were injured, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • COVID-19 updates
    The Prime Minister is holding daily press conferences to update New Zealanders on the Government's response to COVID-19. Links to videos and transcripts of these updates below. These transcripts also include All of Government press conferences led by Director Ministry of Health's Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield. 25 March: Live update from the Prime ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Police numbers break through 10,000 mark
    Frontline Police numbers have broken through the 10,000 mark for the first time in history as officers step forward to keep the community safe during the COVID19 lockdown. “Two Police graduations in Auckland and Wellington in the past week have been conducted in unprecedented circumstances,” Police Minister Stuart Nash said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Urgent tax measures for economic recovery
    Urgent legislation has been passed to support the package of economic and social measures needed to recover from the impact of the coronavirus outbreak. “The COVID-19 Response (Taxation and Social Assistance Urgent Measures) Bill will cushion New Zealanders from the worst economic impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak,” said Revenue Minister ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Further support for farmers and growers as drought persists
    From tomorrow, Government support for farmers and growers affected by drought will be expanded and extended across the country, with access to Rural Assistance Payments (RAPS) available throughout the North Island, parts of the South Island and the Chatham Islands, Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni announced. “These challenging conditions have ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • COVID-19: Temporary changes to Education Act
    Parliament has passed amendments to legislation that give the Secretary of Education stronger powers to act in the fight to limit the spread of COVID-19, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “They are part of a suite of changes passed under the COVID-19 Response (Urgent Management Measures) Legislation Bill,” Chris ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Canada, Australia, Chile, Brunei and Myanmar join NZ and Singapore in committing to keeping supply a...
    Canada, Australia, Chile, Brunei and Myanmar have joined forces with New Zealand and Singapore by committing to keep supply chains open and remove any existing trade restrictive measures on essential goods, especially medical supplies, in the face of the Covid-19 crisis.  Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker today welcomed ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • COVID-19: Rent increase freeze and more protection for tenants
    Immediate freeze on rent increases Tenancies will not be terminated during the lock-down period, unless the parties agree, or in limited circumstances Tenants who had previously given notice can stay in their if they need to stay in the tenancy during the lock-down period Tenants will still be able to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Working together to protect businesses and workers
    As New Zealand unites to lock-down in the fight against COVID-19, the Finance Minister is urging all businesses and workers to stay connected over the next four weeks. “We understand the extreme pressure many businesses are under right now. I know most business owners think of their workers as family ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • State of National Emergency declared to fight COVID-19
    A State of National Emergency has been declared across the country as the Government pulls out all the stops to curtail the spread of COVID-19. “Today we put in place our country’s second ever State of National Emergency as we fight a global pandemic, save New Zealanders’ lives and prevent ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Prime Minister’s statement on State of National Emergency and Epidemic Notice
    Mr Speaker I wish to make a Ministerial Statement under Standing Order 347 in relation to the recent declaration of a State of National Emergency. Having considered the advice of the Director Civil Defence Emergency Management, the Minister of Civil Defence declared a State of National Emergency for the whole of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Deadline for domestic travel extended
    People needing to travel on domestic flights, trains and Cook Strait ferries to get home before the country moves into level 4 lock-down tomorrow night will be able to continue using the passenger services until midnight on Friday, Transport Minister Phil Twyford said today. Domestic passenger services, particularly ferries, have ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Mortgage holiday and business finance support schemes to cushion COVID impacts
    The Government, retail banks and the Reserve Bank are today announcing a major financial support package for home owners and businesses affected by the economic impacts of COVID-19. The package will include a six month principal and interest payment holiday for mortgage holders and SME customers whose incomes have been ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago