Tax cuts and the wage gap

Written By: - Date published: 10:15 am, February 5th, 2008 - 56 comments
Categories: tax, workers' rights - Tags: ,

News that 28,000 New Zealanders left for Australia last year has Business NZ, the Chamber of Commerce and the National Party predictably calling for tax cuts as the solution to New Zealand’s wage gap with Australia.

Of course, they know very well that tax cuts are not the answer. Workers in Australia currently earn 30% more than workers in New Zealand, which means unless John and his business mates are willing to reduce taxes by 30 cents in the dollar they’re not going to close the gap. And as keen as they might secretly be on such a plan, it’s clearly not a plausible option.

Because the real issue, as always, is wages, and it’s the elephant in the room that National and its allied business lobby groups would rather ignore. New Zealand’s low wage economy can be traced directly back to the Employment Contracts Act of 1991, which was deliberately designed to reduce the ability of workers to bargain for better wages through their unions.

Since then New Zealanders’ pay packets have fallen behind Australia, our productivity has failed to keep up and even Labour’s Employment Relations Act has done little to repair the damage. As few as one in five New Zealanders now belong to a union, pass-on is rife, and enterprise bargaining is heavily favoured by legislation.

If we want to raise New Zealanders’ living standards to Australian levels then we need to seriously lift wages and restore industry-wide collective bargaining, and that’s something National knows it has a shameful record on.

It’s no wonder they’d rather talk about tax cuts.

nominal-small-revised.jpg

56 comments on “Tax cuts and the wage gap”

  1. Wayne 1

    Is there any social ill that National doesn’t think can be solved by tax cuts?

  2. Ausy Mosy Kiwi 2

    Forget tax cuts this country is a case study in madness.

    [lprent – junk warning – this is probably dad4justice under yet another alias. It is in his usual IP range and with the usual comment type.]

  3. Daveo 3

    I’ve had a lot of my family go to Australia but I’ve never once heard any of them talk about tax cuts as a reason for leaving. Every single one has said something along the lines of “Working here I get $12 an hour but in over in Aussie I’ll get $18.50”. It’s wages every time. How National continues to get away with limiting the argument to tax cuts I don’t know.

  4. Matthew Pilott 4

    Yeah probably Wayne, the ones that are cured by privatisation 😉

    Now what’s the y-axis indicating on the graph? My guess would be hundreds of dollars (i.e. so it starts at $20,000, and finishes at $50,000), but it’s not all that apparent.

  5. Tane 5

    Sorry Matt, should have made it clearer. It’s hundreds of dollars per week – was explained better in its original context:

    National: it’s not worth the pay cut

  6. Camryn 6

    Sorry to be pedantic, but the title of the graph is still a little misleading. It’s labeled a graph of “Median Wage Growth”. It’s actually a graph of the Median Wage (in $/week) that, when you look at it, shows growth. A map of growth itself would have the rate of change on the y-axis, not the median wage itself.

  7. East Wellington Superhero 7

    Australians not only get paid more – they are taxed less. Then, to add insult to injury on NZ Labour’s performance, the Australian Family Tax Benefit (FTB) is more generous than Working for Families (WFF). That must certainly be embarrasing for Dr. Cullen.

    Of course, unlike WFF, the Aussie FTB isn’t given to a huge portion of the population. After all, it makes no sense to tax families and then give them their money back because a) it’s inefficient and b) it opens up that money to politican manipulation (by any politician, Left or Right).

    Seriously, how could anyone who believes in freedom and fairness vote for NZ Labour?

    The Aussie’s have good wages, low taxes, and look after low-income families.

    NZ Labour just seeks control.

  8. Brownie 8

    Well said, EWS.

  9. Phil 9

    In summary;
    Nationals answer is the ‘carrot’ of tax cuts, and Labours is the ‘stick’ of legislation…

    Conclusion;
    I think it’s time we all got a new mule.

  10. Tane 10

    Australians not only get paid more – they are taxed less.

    Well, that depends which tax bracket you’re looking at, and it also excludes state taxes etc as well as WFF tax credits. It’d be interesting to see a proper comparison of the average NZ and Australian family, taking into account all extra taxes and tax credits. I imagine it would be quite difficult, which is probably why people tend to resort to slogans instead.

    unlike WFF, the Aussie FTB isn’t given to a huge portion of the population

    So that kind of undermines your argument. WFF is a broad but targeted tax credit that goes to a large number of working families. It’s not my preferred mechanism but it seems to work.

    The Aussie’s have good wages

    They do. But you still haven’t addressed how National will raise wages to Australian levels. The point of this post was simple – tax cuts aren’t the answer, wage increases are. So when is National going to address wages? Or are they going to continue to avoid the issue in the hope that no one notices?

  11. BeShakey 11

    “Australians not only get paid more – they are taxed less. ”

    Given the problems that various people have identified with making these comparisons (federal taxes, taxes on buying property etc) it might be an idea to offer some evidence in support of this. Or is it simply another case of ‘if I say it often enough maybe someone will think its true’?

  12. Rocket Boy 12

    I totally agree. The real difference between us and Australia is the wage and salary levels. I would like to think I am doing my bit to push up wages in NZ, I am an employer and we have increased our salaries this year by between 6% and 10%. In New Zealand we should be aiming for a high value and high wage economy and I don’t see that happening with National in charge.

  13. Seamonkey Madness 13

    Rocket Boy,

    As I’m sure you’ll agree, wage increases aren’t anything without the matched productivity increase. Out of curiosity, have you – as an employer – seen that from your workers?

    And Tane, I agree with your argument: Key is talking up tax cuts at every available opportunity, but isn’t tackling the real issue of wage growth.

    Well said EWS.

  14. Phil 14

    It’s all well and good to talk about collective bargaining increasing salary and wages, but this extra cash for the plebs like you and I isn’t just conjoured up out of thin air – it has to come from somewhere else.

    If we’re going to suck it up from business profits, that means there is less to be rolled back into capital-investment and, hence, improved productivity down the track.
    By the way; contrary to the popular belief of thestandard, not all buiness profit gets used by greedy slave-masters to buy another BMW – another case of “if you say it enough it becomes true”?

    Another aspect of this is the argument that “increased wages improve productivity”
    I accept that there is a correlation, but yet again we cannot assume causality in the direction that you’re all implying. I contend that the causality is the other way around – that is; “more productive workers are rewarded today for being more productive yesterday”, not; “the reward you get today encourages you to be more productive tomorrow”.

    Shameless plug; StatsNZ’s “IBULDD” database is provisionally showing some really fascinating stuff in this space – watch out for more from people like the RBNZ, MOTU, and other researchers over the next couple of years)

  15. chris 15

    I have a friend, a mining engineer working in the Northern Territory, and every year he raids NZ and the UK looking for geology and earth science graduates, electricians, diesel mechanics, fitters, welders, mobile drill rig operators, heavy machine operators, truck drivers and pretty much anyone with good references prepared to start at the bottom of the ladder as rig hands and labourers.Last year in NZ he recruited 16 graduates and 60 or so assorted trades people and well over 100 graduates and tradesmen from the UK. All well and good during boom times but if or when the bubble bursts I think you’ll see things going the other way. The Australian housing industry is the other big attraction but when it slows things are going to get very
    uncomfortable for an awful lot of Kiwis who bet the house on the move across the Tasman.
    As for EWSs assertion that Australians are better paid and have lower taxation levels, I accept that wages are higher but so are the costs of living and because he’s not telling the whole story, state taxes, capital gains, death duties, medicare, stamp duties, vehicle registration and compulsory super I’m calling bullshit on the lower taxes mantra

  16. Phil 16

    “All well and good during boom times but if or when the bubble bursts I think you’ll see things going the other way. The Australian housing industry is the other big attraction but when it slows things are going to get very uncomfortable for an awful lot of Kiwis who bet the house on the move across the Tasman.”

    What, you mean kind of like how we had a mini-exodus of tradespeople prior to the Sydney Olympics, when the Aussies were building like mad?
    How many of them came ‘home’? Sweet… F… A…

  17. TomS 17

    Our business leaders are generally very poor comparative to overseas countries. They are basically an unimaginative managerial elite dedicated to a tribal new right ideology that allows them to masquerade as capitalists in lieu of any actual risk taking or real entrepreneurial spirit. The primary focus of our managerial class is the efficient running of a branch office economy dedicated to the generation of maximum profits for their (usually offshore) shareholders. This class demands tax cuts not for reasons of entrepreneurial advantage but rather as a simple wage subsidy from the government. In short, they expect the government (that is, you and me via reduced public services) to make up for their unwillingness to lift wages, they’re under investment in training and technology (hence the low productivity) and a blinkered short-termism in planning.

    Of course, given the neo-colonial role and the globalised loyalties of most of our business class they always bitterly oppose any measures that would raise wages and productivity. The irony of their blathering about tax cuts and the need to be competitive would be comical if it wasn’t so tragic.

    There is an old saying – “there is not such thing as good or bad soldiers, just good or bad generals”. I would paraphrase that for our business leaders – “There is no such thing as a good or bad workforce, just good or bad managers”.

  18. Rocket Boy 18

    Seamonkey: Yes we have been working hard to increase productivity and are about 20% ahead of where we were last year. I agree that productivity and reward go hand in hand and that is where business should be putting its efforts.

  19. Draco TB 19

    It’s all well and good to talk about collective bargaining increasing salary and wages, but this extra cash for the plebs like you and I isn’t just conjoured up out of thin air – it has to come from somewhere else.

    And most righties go round telling us that it’s not a zero sum game…

    If we’re going to suck it up from business profits, that means there is less to be rolled back into capital-investment and, hence, improved productivity down the track.

    Not that there’s a lot of investment in NZ into the productive sectors anyway – most of it seems to go into housing which is why we need foreign investment to keep the economy going. Foreign investment just sucks the profits out of the economy and keeps it stagnant because there’s very little left to reinvest.

    Another aspect of this is the argument that “increased wages improve productivity’
    I accept that there is a correlation, but yet again we cannot assume causality in the direction that you’re all implying. I contend that the causality is the other way around – that is; “more productive workers are rewarded today for being more productive yesterday’, not; “the reward you get today encourages you to be more productive tomorrow’.

    Productivity has increased as shown by the increase in business profits but wages have not risen at the same rate. This would, according to you, prove that being more productive isn’t actually being rewarded in NZ. This may be why people are leaving.

    Correlations a wonderful thing isn’t it.

  20. East Wellington Superhero 20

    Tane,

    “WFF is a broad but targeted tax credit that goes to a large number of working families.”

    Whilst not really wanting to go off on a tangent on WFF, I think it’s important to highlight something. I once heard WFF described and “spending money to make our economy less productive”. I’ve heard dozens of stories in my personal circles (so I can only assume this is repeated all over NZ) of people chosing to refuse offers of pay increases and job promotions because they’ll lose their WFF benefit.

    This has a terrible impact in an individual’s career and the fortunes of their dependents, and a terrible impact on the economy as a whole. One example was of an analyst who refused to be promoted to a manager (a significant opportunity to develope an important skill set) and another of a person who was asked if they wanted to be promoted to a position where he would be teaching apprentice welders. So, in the later case multiple working Kiwis are disadvantaged.
    (I mean it’s nuts – on one hand you have the govt talking about a knowledge economy and the govt funding on the job education to make us more skilled – and then on the other hand the govt throws a billion into WFF which discourages on the job skills improvement – this is the Party of the workers – if it wasn’t so worrying it’d be funny.)

    There is also the fact that people don’t work longer hours. Now, you can complain that in a modern economy people should be able to enjoy a 40 hour week. However, some NZers want to get ahead (in fact you’ll find that most wealthy people are those in business who do at least 60 hour weeks) but WFF prevents them from doing so.

    Money is being spent to make NZ less productive. In a terrible irony, WFF hurts Kiwi workers – the very people Labour claims to be the campions of.

    Then of course there’s the fact that WFF was largely and election bribe anyway. But I think the points I raised above are more concerning.

  21. East Wellington Superhero 21

    Oh, and regarding the so-called “extra” taxes Australia pays – not once have I seen any analysis of how big they are and what they add to the Aussie tax burden.

    Do you have the numbers? If so please share them with the class.

    It’s a silly one-liner that Dr. Cullen uses (and I suspect that you’re just repeating) because he’s knows that no one will actually go and do the analysis. And even if you did it wouldn’t be applicable and it’s probably not that much anyway. For example, stamp taxes are a red-herring as they’re generally on property sales which most Aussies would only do a handful of times in their lives.

    Taxes are lower in Australia. Everyone from the OECD to the RBA, to the RBNZ, to Boy’s Brigade knows they are lower – the numbers are there – you can’t just ignore them.

  22. Gooner 22

    Why should National or any government for that matter be tasked with the job of lifting wages? It’s got nothing to do with a government. It’s a private matter between the employer and employee. I just signed a new employment contract and at 3.5% unemployment could virtually name my price. I didn’t ask Helen Clark or John Key what to do!

    What governments can do is set an economic framework that allows for productivity increases that will allow wage growth. It is dangerous to talk about wage growth in isolation, it goes hand in hand with productivity increases.

  23. It’s all well and good to talk about collective bargaining increasing salary and wages, but this extra cash for the plebs like you and I isn’t just conjoured up out of thin air – it has to come from somewhere else.

    If we’re going to suck it up from business profits, that means there is less to be rolled back into capital-investment and, hence, improved productivity down the track.

    Increasing wages can have the reverse effect. Often an increase in wages results in an increase in productivity as firms recognise the need for capital investment in order to make the most of their labour. Cheap labour is often an incentive to avoid capital investment (and investment in training/upskilling etc).

    And there’s plenty of profit available to do this. Last year alone the NZX increased it’s value by 22% and there’s are more than one Australian shipping billion dollar plus profits out of NZ.

  24. there’s are

    Should read “there’s”

  25. Tane 25

    it’s value doesn’t need an apostrophe either. You’re slipping ‘sod…

  26. schrodigerscat 26

    Nice to know the lawyer market is so buoyant Gooner.

  27. Tane,

    1. Apart from its lack of units on the vertical axis, your graph doesn’t indicate whether it’s measuring income before tax or after tax. Given that you’re saying taxes have had no effect over the years shown, don’t you think that’s somewhat important? Don’t you think you should also show on the same graph the rise in tax levels over the years shown? Or would that confound the point you’re trying to make?

    2. Given that you’re using the graph to indicate the difference between NZ and Australian wages, perhaps you’d care to track Australian take-home pay against NZ on the same graph, and then perhaps you’ll see why NZers have been heading to the ticket office in their droves.

    3. Quite incredibly, you seem to imagine that there is no connection between tax levels and wage levels. Quite apart from the obvious connection between take-home pay and gross pay (a relationship your graph carefully skates over) you appear entirely unaware of the all too obvious connection between productivity — which is what grows wages — and taxes.

    Excessive taxes and regulations tend to strangle productivity and wage rises that come from greater productivity. Minimal taxes and regulations tend to the opposite effect.

    It would be ignorant to ignore that all too obvious point, don’t you think, and also to ignore the other all too obvious fact: that Australia has been the fortunate beneficiary of lower taxes on productivity than NZ, and as a consequence they enjoy higher wages than we do in this small authoritarian backwater.A s Paul Walker points out, the ratio of NZ tax to GDP has been increasing over the last 30 year: “In 1975 New Zealand’s ratio was 28.5%, in 2005 it was 37.8%. … What is more worrying is that the gap between New Zealand and Australia in terms of this ratio is increasing. In 1975 New Zealanders paid a bit less than 3% more of GDP in tax than Australians, while by 2005 the gap had risen to about 7%. Not a good look.”

    Not a good look either to ignore all this in the hope you can distract attention by some graphic sleight of hand.

  28. burt 28

    Tane

    That graph again…. Is this the third time it’s been trotted out on this blog to make an attempt to prove Labour good – National bad”. The other thing your “logic” misses is that salaries and wages have been higher in Aussie for about 30 years, not just since National were required to rescue the economy from the train wreck Labour got it into during the late 80’s.

    Peter Cresswell makes some very valid points, will you address them?

    Another interesting thing about this graph is it shows how much Labour have shafted students in NZ. In 1992 the student allowance was set under the failed policies of the past at $150/Week. According to your graph that was probably about $50/week below the median wage. Now in 2008 it must be close to $350/week below the median wage.

  29. Draco TB 29

    Taxes are lower in Australia. Everyone from the OECD to the RBA, to the RBNZ, to Boy’s Brigade knows they are lower – the numbers are there – you can’t just ignore them.

    The OECD disagrees with your statement that Australia pays less tax.
    http://www.oecd.org/vgn/images/portal/cit_731/52/32/36366632TaxingWages_Chart_1_1.jpg
    http://www.oecd.org/vgn/images/portal/cit_731/51/55/36366659TaxingWages_Chart_1_2.jpg

    Excessive taxes and regulations tend to strangle productivity and wage rises that come from greater productivity. Minimal taxes and regulations tend to the opposite effect.

    This is supposedly correct but NZ, which pays less tax and is easier to do business in, seems to be the exception to the rule.

  30. Pascal's bookie 30

    burt, what actual policies do you think have caused the divergence between us and Aus?

    Remembering back to the eighties and early nineties I recall articles in the economist saying that NZ had gone about the reforms a little rashly but had done so very purely. That is to say that we applied the economic theories better than places like say, Australia. We privatised more, we deregulated more, we leveled playing fields with atom bombs as it were. We floated and desubsidised, detariffed and let a thousand foodbanks bloom. They predicted this would serve us very well.

    Unfortunatly we had a share market crash like everyone else, but it hit us a lot harder for some reason. Our market was sometimes described as a wildwest, though looking back it was more of a turkey shoot. Kiwis lost faith in the stock market and it has taken untill very recently for that faith to start creeping back. Somehow Australia who took a more measured and pragmatic approach has fared much better.

    Talk to me burt. Particularly, talk to me abnout labour law and how Australia has differed in their approach over the last 20 yrs.

  31. lprent 31

    I’ve been collating dad4justice’s various accounts and IP addresses.

    His persistent trolling with little content is starting to annoy me (and by the looks of it – everyone else).

    So I’ve put a temporary moderation block on factors that identify him. This will remain in effect while I find or code a better solution, or he starts writing in a better style and with more sense.

    Unfortunately this will lead to some other comments going into moderation. I will clear them as fast as they get notified.

    I thank you for your patience over the next few days.

    Lynn

  32. burt 32

    Pascal’s bookie

    One of the most noticeable differences between Aussie and NZ is attitude. In Aussie not everybody is equal. They are not all the same, participated is what is expected and achieved is a bonus, like we are in NZ.

    Aussies still test their primary school children, something that is now optional in NZ. Aussie kids sports teams are still coached to win. Wealthy people are not denigrated as rich pricks and success is not sinful. Aussie rich pricks are taxed higher than rich pricks here and Aussie battlers are taxed less than Kiwi battlers. Go figure that Labour call themselves left wing!

    Aussies still reward success and don’t praise failure.

    I can talk at length about the differences between NZ and Aussie in the late 80’s. I was working there when Hawk was crying on TV about his fling and when Howard came to power. It was an interesting comparison between NZ then and Aussie and it still is interesting today. It’s not all about tax, it’s about opportunity and attitude as well.

  33. r0b 33

    Burt – why did you move to Australia? Why did you come back? Genuine enquiry (I’m not trolling here). I’m just interested if the decision was a purely economic one?

  34. Pascal's bookie 34

    burt, thanks. What about policy?

    Funny thing is I’ve spent a bit of time in Aus myself, and I study their media a lot in my work environment over here (I work for a transnational so I am in daily contact with many ockers as well) and the same complaints about political correctness are raised over there. Usually they compare themselves to the States in ways that we compare ourselves to them.

    Do you think that what you consider to be Australia’s more left wing policies have contributed to their sucess? (I guess that was what my questions really were getting at). If not, why not? And if so, then why do you often criticise Labour for being more left wing than National?

    The stuff about attitude seems like handwaving to me, unless you believe that economic policy does not matter. And if it does not matter, why oppose or support differrent policies?

    Thanks again for the non troll response.

  35. burt 35

    rOb

    The decision to move was certainly a financial/economic one. The pay for the same role was substantially better and in the late 80’s the cost of living was very similar. Rents were comparable (10% more in Aussie at that time), public transport was much cheaper and oh so modern!. The decision to come back was inevitable family reasons in NZ.

    Tax rebates for private education and private health care (both of which are available in Aussie – neither in NZ) are a significant policy difference between NZ & Aussie tax wise. The 0% income tax threshold in Aussie ($10K?) must also be a big draw card to minimum wage workers. It’s not just high earning National voter scum leaving the country for ‘take home pay’ reasons.

  36. burt 36

    Pascal’s bookie

    It’s flipping obvious that Aussies more progressive taxation system is what allows them to have such low taxation at the bottom end of the income scale and provide more livable welfare.

    However it’s not just taxation rates, it’s thresholds and it’s also fairness of the taxation that is important. Few people would argue that earning circa $200K makes you a high earner in Aussie. Many many people would argue that earning $60K in NZ makes you a rich prick. Australia (a little bit like Norway) have actively managed their taxation rates. In NZ rates and thresholds have been static and targeted benefits have been the order of the day while the govt gets richer and people get poorer.

  37. r0b 37

    Interesting Burt. Pay is at the top of your list, and taxes way down the bottom. Your individual case certainly supports the point of the original post, that if we are concerned about the numbers leaving for Australia, it is higher NZ wages that we need.

    And family reasons always bring us home. Thank goodness there is room in life for motivations that are not economic. ‘Night.

  38. Pascal's bookie 38

    Thanks again burt.

    I’m a bit confused about a few points, given other things you’ve written. But I’m tired. So there you go 🙂

    I agree with you completely that thresholds should be indexed and taxation more progressive. I think National are worse on this issue.

    I agree that people on 60k are not rich pricks. Some of them are poor pricks, some are comfortable pricks and most are not pricks at all.

    I don’t agree that ‘Many many people would argue that earning $60K in NZ makes you a rich prick.’ I think that’s a straw man. Cullen was talking about Key, and Cullen is but one man in any case.

    I think that when the govt runs a surplus ‘the people’ don’t necessarily get poorer. In fact, (leaving election year bribes from all sides to the side for a moment*), I fear that we may end up very glad that Cullen has been such a scrooge, given global economic trends.

    *Aussie pollies are worse than ours at this as well IMHO. (do they have a Fiscal Responsibility Act?)

    g’night

  39. AncientGeek 39

    The pingbacks on here are getting interesting. For instance this debate over at The visible hand in economics – Migrant outflows to Australia, etc.

    I had to engage my brain at a rather higher level than I usually do around here. Apart from anything else I had to leave a bookmark so I can find it again when I’m not quite so tired

    captcha: scored repro
    ??

  40. outofbed 40

    Ancient Greek i followed you link and now my brain is fucked
    I blame you

    captcha data antithesis

  41. AG – bro that link’s just bullshit. Let’s talk about something serious. Like whether Insolent Prick fucks pigs or like how our democracy’s under threat. Burt? Are you out there Burty-boy?

  42. outofbed 42

    Robinsod Some bastard is using your handle

  43. What the fuck??? Where? I’ll rip ’em a new one…

  44. AncientGeek 44

    Careful Robinsod, I think that the education is showing.

    I must say it is more fun cutting loose occassionally.

    Has anyone seen Michele recently…..

  45. Billy 45

    Care to comment on this allegation?:

    http://www.kiwiblog.co.nz/2008/02/labour_promises_years_and_years_of_tax_cuts.html#comment-405209

    [lprent – sure.

    It means that some pathetic person didn’t read the post and probably doesn’t understand how wordpress and google operate.

    The post argued that the higher wage level in aussie were more important than the differences in tax rates in aussie.
    Either title would have expressed that. Tane obviously changed his mind after he pressed Publish, and changed the working title. Google scanned in the intervening period.

    Since google is scanning this site almost continuously (measured in minutes between sweeps), it is hardly surprising that it might have a copy pre-update.

    So would you like me to comment on my opinion of someone who finds this important?

    Lynn]

  46. Billy 46

    Iprent/Lynn,

    Do you enjoy drinking? Can I advocate that you do more of it? Your every comment bristles with an angry energy that cannot make you pleasant to live with.

    I am uncertain of the chronolgy, but the following events occurred:

    1. Post made under heading “Tax cuts not the answer”
    2. Labour announces tax cuts
    3. Heading changed

    Surely you can see why that is of interest.

    [lprent – I was answering the question that was implied in the link. How is it possible to change the title]

  47. Tane 47

    Hi Billy, as Lynn rightly suspected I changed the title immediately after pressing publish as I realised the second title – “Tax cuts and the wage gap” – was a better reflection of what I was saying in the post. If you read the post again you’ll see I said explicity said that “tax cuts are not the answer”.

    It’s amazing what absurd and desperate lengths some people will go to to try and attack this blog.

  48. Billy 48

    What about my other point? Lynn/Iprent has turned into the angry little man of the Standard. Every thread you read lately, there he is, shouting at us in his angry black text, all defensive about the slightest thing. He sounds like a humourless bore.

    [lprent – yes. I run the backend of the site – why would I need a sense of humour to do that? Just at present I’m looking at trolling.]

  49. Tane 49

    Billy that’s a question for Lynn, not me, but if you’d had to put up with the kind of personal attacks he has over the last few weeks I suspect you’d be a little annoyed too.

  50. Oh Billy quick! I noticed at the visible hand they changed a title after I pointed out a spelling mistake. Goddamn lackeys. Go geddim tiger!

  51. Billy 51

    Yeah, ‘sod. Let’s pretend it’s about changing the title, rather thatn how and why the title was changed. Fuck me, I only asked the question. I am unprepared to die in a ditchover it. As it happened, Tane’s answer is a damn good one: the article says tax cuts are bad. I’m fine with that, so there’s no need for all the advanced ‘soddiness.

    And as for Lynn/Iprent. I fear he’s taking himself too seriously. That last little ominous “just at present I’m looking at trolling” thing was creepily officious. He doesn’t get an invite to my fantasy bloggers’ dinner party. Despite his last hurtful comment, ‘sod does. He’s seated next to IP: I think there’d be a whole opposites attract thing happening.

    [lprent – thats ok, I’ll pass. I’m known as being anti-social. For instance, as far as I’m aware I’ve only ever met one editor on this site, and that was over 6 months ago]

  52. Billy 52

    “For instance, as far as I’m aware I’ve only ever met one editor on this site, and that was over 6 months ago”

    Fascinating.

  53. He’s seated next to IP.

    Oh yes please! Will there be steak?

  54. Billy 54

    I thought pork.

  55. It’s ok to think it Billy.

  56. r0b 56

    Billy, Every sysadmin I’ve ever known has been somewhat grumpy (in their professional context). It’s something to do with dealing with lusers all day…

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

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