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The 4th estate & its pretenders

Written By: - Date published: 10:59 am, October 19th, 2014 - 63 comments
Categories: Abuse of power, brand key, democracy under attack, journalism, newspapers, same old national, telecommunications, uk politics - Tags:

The ideal of the news media as fourth estate is to provide a means for democratic debate about issues of social and political importance.  It is a means through which journalists can hold those with power to account.  Some journalists continue to try to fulfill such an aim as much as they are able.  However, the transnational corporate media, and those with links to political power, these days work more often to stifle democratic debate.

newscorp harmful if swallowed

Among those aiming to practice journalism in a way that contributes to, and enables democratic debate, while also very often speaking truth to power, are the following journalists: Nicky Hager, author of The Hollow Men: A study in the politics of deception (2006) and its sequel, Dirty Politics: How attack politics is poisoning New Zealand’s political environment (2014) ; Nick Davies of the Guardian newspaper, who broke the story of illegal hacking by Murdoch journalists in the UK, as outlined in his book Hack Attack: The inside story of how the truth caught up with Rupert Murdoch; and, as indicated in today’s Sunday Star Times, economic journalist, Rod Oram.

As the investigation into the Murdoch “hacking scandal” unfolded, we learned of the complicity between many powerful people working in Rupert Murdoch’s organisation, some members of the police force, and people in successive UK governments.

Hack Attack Nick Davies

A Guardian review of Davies’ book says this:

This book is important … because it is, … the best account we have of the phone-hacking scandal and the attendant police corruption and cover-ups. It is, as well, the story of modern Britain and how its standards and politics have been degraded by one man’s ruthless acquisition of power.

However, the aftermath to the Davies brilliant fourth estate investigation, is sobering.  As stated in the New York Times:

Still, Mr. Davies did not get the Hollywood ending he clearly wanted. … But despite his best efforts, Mr. Davies was unable to prove complicity within the highest echelons of Mr. Murdoch’s empire. Mr. Coulson was convicted, along with reporters and midlevel editors, but Rebekah Brooks, the most senior member of News International to be charged, was acquitted. Mr. Murdoch’s son James once at the center of the scandal, was never charged.

This is pretty much what Davies says in his interview in the latest Listening Post programme on Al Jazeera.  Davies says that while the phone hacking has stopped, Murdoch and his style of news journalism, along with the abuse of power, and corruption of the democratic ideal, has not been defeated.

Davies also explains why the police were initially reluctant to investigate the alleged phone hacking.  He says that is was lower level police officers who took bribes from the Murdoch journalists.  The top brass in the police did not take money bribes not to investigate.  However, their failure to investigate was quite often due to,

a desire not to get into a nasty fight with this very very powerful news organisation. And if you look at that fear – it’s the same where government is concerned, as where the police is concerned – part of it is individual fear, that this newspaper might come in and expose the sex lives of the senior officers.  And then apart from that there’s is an organisational fear, that if these newspapers turn against us they can make every day a crisis, they can just destabilise us…

Davies calls the combination of this fear mongering results in “passive power”, whereby people don’t need to say to the police to back off.  The police preempt this, and don’t attempt to take on such power.

Something like such “passive power” could explain why police have been relatively quick to do an extensive search of Nicky Hager’s home, while failing to do anything like that in response to Cameron Slater’s use of the illegally obtained hard drive of Blomfield (see Russell Brown’s post on this).  As outlined in Dirty Politics, the Slater-Lusk-Ede smear machine used threats of disclosures of people’s private activities and sexual lives to get them to do their bidding.

Key-Slater-Farrar

Rod Oram, in today’s Sunday Star Times explains how such “Dirty Politics” adds to the already suppressive nature of reporting in a small society like that of NZ. Oram begins:

Is free and rigorous debate increasingly suppressed in New Zealand?

No, says, John Roughan, John Key’s biographer and a New Zealand Herald editorial writer, in his article available at http://bit.ly/Roughan

Yes, says, Nicky Hager, investigative journalist. He laid out chapter and verse in a recent article in the UK’s Guardian (http://bit.ly/Hager), as he did in his book Dirty Politics. His piece triggered Roughan’s blistering response.

I say yes.  Suppression of evidence, ideas and debate, in ways subtle and now increasingly brutal, is my experience as a business journalist in New Zealand. It is no consolation we are just a micro example of an accelerating trend worldwide.

Oram gives to examples from his work last week, in which, what was in the past, the

 ruthless exercise of power by a few to create a self-serving orthodoxy, has mutated into a virulent attack on trust, respect and social cohesion – for even greater self-benefit.

The examples have to do with health professionals being viciously attacked by the likes of Cameron Slater and Carrick Graham.  Oram ends his column with a refusal to be deterred from critical journalism by those who would undermine democratic debate and honest investigations:

Rod-Oram

 I’m not giving up on any of that…ever.

I say to the Slaters, Grahams, Odgers, Farrars, Edes, Lusks, Williamses, Collinses and all their ilk, you are destroying some good people and good society.

 

63 comments on “The 4th estate & its pretenders ”

  1. Tautoko Mangō Mata 1

    Excellent post, Karol. Decisions which are good for NZ and NZers need to be made using ALL of the evidence available. We have excellent scientists and academics doing research. We have, unfortunately, a government which has an agenda to enrich its voting base immediately regardless of the future environmental or social damage caused by its policies. Because of the short term thinking, future generations are going to be left with the costs of dealing with the environmental, health and social problems.
    This is robbing the kids piggybank. Since much of the research inconveniently points out these future pitfalls, National deliberately uses their second tier henchmen to close down debate.
    We must fight tooth and nail against this.
    National Government- short term asset strippers, long term disaster

  2. blue leopard 2

    This really shows the problem with basing the entire society on the drive of self interest and the drive for profit.

    So many important issues are falling through the large and gaping holes created by this erroneous principle.

    Nothing matters anymore other than profit.

    Out of profit being the only thing that is important, there is so much moral hazard occurring, being unethical has become the norm.

  3. cogito 3

    Latest re Jason Ede: http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/10634251/Political-influence-denied-in-Edes-work

    Quote:
    National’s former “black ops” specialist Jason Ede has resurfaced working for a listed telecommunications company with strong personal links to senior National Party figures.
    Teamtalk managing director David Ware confirmed Ede, a central figure in Nicky Hager’s book Dirty Politics, had been hired as a contractor, but denied any political influence in the move.

    “We don’t do politics. We sell telecommunications services,” Ware said. “I am perfectly comfortable using him. I think he’s a great guy.”

    Ware’s wife Belinda Milnes is an adviser to Social Housing Minister Paula Bennett, having quit this week as Families Commissioner, and her sister is Communications Minister Amy Adams.

    Former National deputy leader Roger Sowry is the independent chair of Teamtalk. Prime Minister John Key’s Official Information Act gatekeeper Sarah Boyle, who worked alongside Ede, is listed as holding shares in Teamtalk worth about $300,000. Ware said she was trustee of his family trust and also godmother to Ware and Milne’s daughters.
    …………
    Ware said the move to hire Ede was not political. “The decision to hire him was mine and mine alone – or to contract him I should say. I can 100 per cent tell you it was not a political decision.”
    End quote.

    Pull the other one!

  4. Alternatively you could visit sites such as mine and Ben Vidgen’s Postman facebook page for some much needed counterweight to the MSM crap.

    • Manuka - Ancient Order of Rawsharks 4.1

      Thanks! 2014 – the year I find that we in NZ have our own homegrown news & discussion sites. Used to think we had to look o/s to such as Common Dreams, AlterNet, and The Guardian’s cif.

  5. The Dirty Politics Hager exposed was to do with using social media back channels to the fuel attacks on the opposition via the Corporate Media Monopoly.
    It, like the other examples you refer to have exposed the CMM as beyond redemption.
    Those who suppress freedom of speech will not change. They can be exposed and condemned but they will not stop. And we certainly shouldn’t expect nor invite the state to stop them, or that the CMM can be reformed. They all have a stake in perpetuating the rotten capitalist system.
    The CMM is the reflex of capitalis in crisis to suppress all political opposition as its inequality and oppression becomes indefensible. What some US writers call ‘full spectrum dominance’.
    The Left has to outflank the right and boycott the CMM (which doesn’t stop us congratulating it when justified) and build an alternative, independent media.
    The Corporate Media Monopoly has to be broken.
    The voices of people like Oram and de Boni in the local media are effectively tokenised unless backed up by a healthy independent media.
    Its obvious that the political site that carries most weight with political activists today is the internet (indynet) as the platform for social media.
    This is why the Left was fooled by Key into accepting his narrative that Dirty Politics was a ‘left conspiracy led by Dotcom’ as a diversion from the election.
    It should have made that THE election issue.
    I would like to see our positive energy going into building and defending freedom of speech in an alternate, independent media.

  6. Tracey 6

    Thanks for this Karol.

    It is a modern world form of propaganda. Too many people think propaganda is just used by evil regimes, likening it to the iron curtain soviet union and Hitler etc. By its nature it is a secret action and so hard to pin down and easier to veil.

    The Institute for Propaganda Analysis, inspired by Harold Lasswell” defined propaganda as “the expression of opinions or actions carried out deliberately by individuals or groups with a view to influencing the opinions or actions of other individuals or groups for predetermined ends and through psychological manipulations”

    In fact propaganda is a strategy used extensively in the business world and its more overt personna is “marketing” where the “hot buttons” etc are used to create a want for something not needed and never before desired with a certain end in mind (increased consumption and profit). So demand is created.

    The West, and the USA in particular, have been proponents of slick propaganda for some time. McCartyism was an example but there have become more subtle ways to use this device inmore recent decades.

    Jaques Ellul wrote in the 60’s, in his Formation of Men’s Attitudes” of the way it is used and works. The book contains Ellul’s theories about the nature of propaganda to adapt the individual to a society, to a living standard and to an activity aiming to make the individual serve and conform. The work concerns propaganda as an inner control over an individual by a social force.

    ” The aim of modern propaganda is no longer to modify ideas, but to provoke action. It is no longer to change adherence to a doctrine, but to make the individual cling irrationally to a process of action. It is no longer to transform an opinion but to arouse an active and mythical belief.” j Ellul

    And for those who say the boardroom stays out of the editorial room consider this (below) and ask yourself why anything would have changed?

    “Rupert Murdoch reportedly instructed his editors to “kill Whitlam” before the fall of the Labor government in 1975.

    Fairfax media has reported that the News Corporation chief’s directive regarding former Labor leader Gough Whitlam is revealed in a 1975 diplomatic report from the US.

    The telegram from the US consul-general in Melbourne, Robert Brand, reported to the state department that “Rupert Murdoch has issued [a] confidential instruction to editors of newspapers he controls to ‘Kill Whitlam’ “.

    Brand made it clear that the words “kill Whitlam” were used in a political context and not as a physical threat, Fairfax says.

    Brand noted that Murdoch had previously supported Whitlam’s election but his publishing empire turned against the leader.

    “If Murdoch attack directed against Whitlam personally this could presage hard times for prime minister; but if against Labor government would be dire news for party,” the telegram reportedly said.

    The directive came 10 months before Whitlam’s dismissal by the governor general.

    Comment was being sought from News Corp Australia.”

    Jaques Ellulmakes many observations which I believe hold equally true today, including

    “”Differences in political regimes matter little; differences in social levels are more important; and most important is national self-awareness. Propaganda is a good deal less the political weapon of a regime (it is that also) than the effect of a technological society that embraces the entire man and tends to be a completely integrated society. Propaganda stops man from feeling that things in society are oppressive and persuades him to submit with good grace.

    “Political Propaganda involves techniques of influence employed by a government, a party, an administration, or a pressure group with the intention of changing the behavior of the public. The themes and objectives of this type of propaganda are of a political nature. The goals are determined by the government, party, administration, or pressure group. The methods of political propaganda are calculated in a precise manner and its main criteria is to disseminate an ideology for the very purpose of making various political acts acceptable to the people.[12] There are two forms of political propaganda, tactical and strategic. Tactical political propaganda seeks to obtain immediate results within a given framework. Strategic political propaganda is not concerned with speed but rather it establishes the general line, the array of arguments, and the staging of campaigns.”

    • karol 6.1

      Thanks for these reports, Tracey.

      I’m not sure why you don’t put in links to the articles you quote.

      This is the one for the Whitlam article, which is indeed, food for thought.

    • Colonial Rawshark 6.2

      Thank you very much for this Tracey. The simple truth is – anglosaxon countries are amongst the most propagandised in the world. And western liberal intellectuals are a prime target for propaganda. Buying into wars, buying into neoliberalism, buying into financialisation, etc. And indeed, often arguing for all of these things eloquently and persuasively.

      And this process has been going on for a very long time.

      Consider the book “Public Opinion” by Walter Lippmann, source of the famous phrase “manufacturing consent”:

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Public_Opinion_(book)#The_manufacture_of_consent

      The political élite are members of the class of people who are incapable of accurately understanding, by themselves, the complex “unseen environment” wherein the public affairs of the modern state occur; thus, Lippmann proposes that a professional, “specialized class” collect and analyze data, and present their conclusions to the society’s decision makers, who, in their turn, use the “art of persuasion” to inform the public about the decisions and circumstances affecting them.[1]

      • Tracey 6.2.1

        cv

        ellul makes the comment that academics and well educated are great for propaganda cos they hoover up info and then cant wait to share it…

        readin ritin rithmetic very important in propaganda.

        I have read a bit of chomsky too… thanks to you and sword for the reference.

        • karol 6.2.1.1

          The academic world have been subjected to “neoliberal” forces like everywhere else. It’s a highly competitive arena, with its ‘publish or perish’ ethos.

          However, some within that world do remain highly critical in their approach – Chomsky, for instance.

          The corporate ethos has captured politics and the media. It’s seen in their use of propaganda techniques in both business and political marketing – and in the tie up between the Slaters and Carrick Grahams of this world.

          • greywarshark 6.2.1.1.1

            Wayne Brittenden Counterpoint 17 min this morning on Radionz on academics and being muzzled – academic freedom.
            http://www.radionz.co.nz/audio/player/20153947

            • Rodel 6.2.1.1.1.1

              greywarshark- Wayne Brittenden this morning was brilliant.
              I’m getting a bit edgy about John Keys scientific advisory puppy Gluckman…
              Is he part of a plan to restrict academic freedom?
              All power to Canterbury uni’s Professor Hineman (not sure of the spelling) for his stance.

              People who would have been stifled if academic freedom had been curtailed as it seems it may be in NZ if Peter Gluckman has his way include Einstein, Linus Pauling and Noam Chomsky and last but not least Mike joy in NZ.
              The sloganistic “Scientific excellence “ is a nonsense .
              John Key in some interview somewhere cheerfully claiming that he could find plenty of scientists who disagreed with Mike Joy showed a pitiful misunderstanding of the concept of science and academic freedom. I suspect the 47%ers who voted National wouldn’t grasp the concept either.

              Mind you I think NZ university academics have been wimps for the last decade or so, afraid to speak out because they effectively have CEO corporate types managing their budgets and their futures.

              • greywarshark

                Rodel
                It’s an effective way of silencing people, if they think their jobs and lives are likely to be compromised. One might be staunch, but two or more with combined interests means reluctance to risk that.

            • Ergo Robertina 6.2.1.1.1.2

              The Brittenden package was excellent, and complements what Oram said about NZ’s lack of a contest of ideas. The code of conduct for scientists is a dodgy concept in itself, but particularly dangerous in NZ because of the size of the academic community and vulnerability to ideological thuggery.

          • Tracey 6.2.1.1.2

            the point was that academics gobble up information and disseminate it. being highly literate enables propaganda.

            national use blogs like slater and farrars to manipulate the reader… to spread their disinformation … and to deliberately deceive.

            red alert seemed to be set up to provide a bridge between lp and readers.

            quite different MO

            once the media buy into the illegitimate strategy of slater et al… wittingly or unwittingly they become the master disseminators. circle complete.

    • swordfish 7.1

      Yep, what the dear old NZ MSM do best: (1) Mindless Infotainment, (2) Selling readers/viewers to advertisers and (3) holding the Opposition to account.

      One detects just a slight whiff of One Party State now and then.

    • karol 7.2

      I think it’s no coincidence that those guys have risen in prominence under Key’s watch, while the last remnants of public service broadcasting have been gradually whittled away.

  7. swordfish 8

    Here are the basics of the Manufacturing Consent thesis put forward by Noam Chomsky and Edward Herman (just the Wikipedia overview):

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Propaganda_model

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Manufacturing_Consent

  8. small thing 9

    “I say to the Slaters, Grahams, Odgers, Farrars, Edes, Lusks, Williamses, Collinses and all their ilk, you are destroying some good people and good society”. quote-Rod Oram

    You could add our PM to that as well
    Sad to realize that this PM is making sure that those who have any age on him become as powerless as possible to affect his position of arrogant self entitlement and being no.1 and if they try they will have his jackals and hyenas on their tail
    Thankfully he will not be able to escape the inevitable that all who indulge absolute power get in the end -exposed-
    The thing is for all good people be prepared to do what will have to be done
    Get a moral compass that works and like all partnerships recognise when a divorce is the only way out and get some laws that stop politicians being able to do what has been done this year
    Money does not save everyone
    We all DIE eventually and the destruction of the values that many good people have fought and worked to uphold have been shockingly abused and destroyed by this useless govt that has only served the privileged in the last six years and fooled us into thinking that we are progressing
    Have a really good look at what we have lost, theres fuckin heaps
    that will never get back
    Key is a treasonist arsehole like Douglas Prebble Banks Bolger Shipley Brash and the mother of all mutha fuckers Richardson and thats just in the last 30yrs
    Fives EYES or 50 thousands lies their both the same

    • whateva next? 9.1

      “Money does not save everyone” and is the root of all evil. Hear Hear to all of the posts above and reassured we can keep raising people’s consciousness, so they know we do not have to live like this.
      Cheers Karol and Rod Oram today, and all the others who are raising these questions for all of us.

      • Tracey 9.1.1

        the LOVE of money is the root of all evil

        • whateva next? 9.1.1.1

          stand corrected

        • Extract from 1 Timothy 6 (ESV):

          But godliness with contentment is great gain, for we brought nothing into the world, and we cannot take anything out of the world. But if we have food and clothing, with these we will be content. But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation, into a snare, into many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils.

          • Colonial Rawshark 9.1.1.2.1

            yep the love of money instead of the love of people.

            • JonL 9.1.1.2.1.1

              “I say to the Slaters, Grahams, Odgers, Farrars, Edes, Lusks, Williamses, Collinses and all their ilk, you are destroying some good people and good society.”
              The worrying thing is – they don’t care. I would say they get a perverse pleasure out of the whole exercise, running crap for their masters.

    • Paul 9.2

      I think Oram wrote ‘and their ilk’ to cover Key.

  9. OK Karol.

    Let’s say that everything you have said is true and that the institutions by which regular people are supposed to hold power to account no longer do so.

    Now what?

    There’s no use complaining, since complaints do nothing. What are people supposed to do when the institutions that hold power to account have been subordinated by those in power?

    • Colonial Rawshark 10.1

      It is very difficult. However there are plenty of examples overseas of what can be done, from both historical and very recent examples.

      • Tom Jackson 10.1.1

        OK. Can you point some out?

        • Colonial Rawshark 10.1.1.1

          Just look at Occupy HK. Look at the protestors who have been arrested in Pennsylvania Avenue last few years. Look at the the whistleblowers who are being persecuted.

          I mean, just open your eyes and look.

    • karol 10.2

      We keep pointing it out. We also keep trying to provide alternative analysis and critiques where and when we can. We highlight when journalists or media organisations do fulfill the fourth estate ideal.

      And we keep asking politicians for a renewed public service media.

      It’s in the policies for Labour and the Greens.

      • Tom Jackson 10.2.1

        We keep pointing it out. We also keep trying to provide alternative analysis and critiques where and when we can. We highlight when journalists or media organisations do fulfill the fourth estate ideal.

        And given that the means of disseminating such information to the public (i.e. the popular media) are entirely controlled by the opposition, this is supposed to work how?

        Look Karol, I like reading your posts and you seem like a really nice and smart person, but what you suggest appears to me to be flogging a dead horse. Can you think of any other alternatives?

        • karol 10.2.1.1

          The options are limited. Why not you come up with some ideas? Why leave it to everyone else?

          The Campaign for Better Broadcasting has been campaigning, The Daily Blog has tried to cross over to get more visibility. Scoop aims to present more info etc.

          There were community TV and radio options but they have been gradually taken away from us.

          So what do you want? That we just give up because there is no brilliant option readily available?

        • Occupy HK, Occupy Wall St, Arab Spring are all about giving a voice to the voiceless and downtrodden.

          Some formerly homeless blokes have started an inner city radio station for the homeless.

          Many churches continue to speak for the poor and weak, in the face of relentless prejudice and vilification.

          There is a huge global shift away from monolithic MSM media sources into more fragmented online and community based services.

          Most people ignore political news and avoid advertising. Eventually all lies will be exposed. The truth will set us free.

          • karol 10.2.1.2.1

            Some good points there, ropata.

            Getting cut through into the MSM in any concerted and regular way would take financial backing and a team with diverse skills time to commit to it full time.

            And even then, the corporate media will not allow any treat to its infotainment dominance.

            The MSM are also stretched these days to enable the kind of in-depth research and presentation required of a truly critical media.

            For us amateurs, there may be some gain in diverse small initiatives supporting and promoting each other – the strength in the collective.

            • ropata mako shark 10.2.1.2.1.1

              Agreed Karol. I think most Kiwis are good people, but have been suckered by Key (the wall street wolf in sheep’s clothing) and his chummy persona.

              It can’t last forever.

          • Tom Jackson 10.2.1.2.2

            There is a huge global shift away from monolithic MSM media sources into more fragmented online and community based services.

            Yes there is, but the right seem way ahead of everyone else when it comes to utilising such media.

          • Tom Jackson 10.2.1.2.3

            Occupy Wall St is an example of uselessness. It didn’t really go anywhere because the protestors had no leverage. A large union winning a strike does infinitely more to increase the power of the left than pitching tents in a public park.

            Example: National seems hell bent on going after the teachers, who have the most powerful union in NZ (after all, they are responsible for the majority of childcare, without which many people could not work). If the teachers can not only win the dispute but humiliate the government, it would be a start.

            • ropata mako shark 10.2.1.2.3.1

              I am beginning to think that the only “example of uselessness” around here is your defeatist attitude.

              • One Anonymous Bloke

                There’s nothing defeatist about calling for a demonstration of people power, and let’s face it, unions have a track record and Occupy has a mumble mumble what’s that smell?

                • whateva next?

                  “It’s easy to become cynical, he says: “But I have identified cynicism as our greatest enemy, so I do my best to curb it . . . we all get bitter and angry about what happens. But you’ve got to guard against it, because that’s what Rupert Murdoch wants . . . [he] wants us to think badly of everyone else.”
                  As Billy Bragg reminds us

        • Colonial Rawshark 10.2.1.3

          You’re sounding like a merchant of hopelessness. Mate, perhaps you should just rejoin the ranks of the establishment, maybe you’re not really cut out to be operating outside the corporate power structure.

  10. Saarbo 11

    Thanks Karol.

    Oram is in a class of his own in NZ print journalism…

  11. nogodsnomasters 12

    Tom Jackson raises perfectly reasonable points around ‘our’ failures.

    The media in NZ is clearly sycophantic, but is that really as much of a problem as you think it is? Everyone who has ever had a job understands the hierarchical class divided nature of society because it is reflected perfectly at work. The tone ’round here’ borders on elitist a little too often imo. The working class dont need preaching to about who to vote for – we’ve been doing it for a hundred years – didnt get fuck all done. Any and all gains workers have been won at the front lines of the class struggle. The ballot box just handed away our power to others to write down our wins so they can start taking them back off of us. Remember Lange?

    Also what makes all you leftists (antagonism intended) think the state has a choice in what it does? e.g. ‘a government which has an agenda to enrich its voting base ‘ – Karol. Everyone round here are clearly good people great intentions. But I feel you fail to understand what the state is, it first and foremost exists to facilitate capitalism, it will defend the system to its death (or ours – as evidenced by countless workers lives lost struggling for freedom). Even if we elected the most radical progressive green whatever party – it would still have to put the needs of the economy ahead of human life, and as capital struggles to find sources of profit your super party would sell out the working class and environment to find an injection of value to keep the system alive exactly the same as any far right party you would.

    Dirty politics is just a symptom of the disease not the disease its self. The state will never set us free because it was created to maintain our slavery – this is where the media/propaganda comes in. If or when this fails, the more heavy handed repressive apparatus of the ruling class comes out, with guns if need be. There is nothing the state wont do, it’s the most violent institution in history.

    So what is the alternative? A class based movement to re-organise society to meet the needs of all sounds good, also sounds crazy and maybe it will never happen. In which case maybe there is no alternative? Maybe capital will bury us all.

  12. greywarshark 13

    Great analysis, but the downside becomes more of a possibility the more that possible positive outcomes could talked down. So think about ways to get people voting and get people educating themselves on the problems and taking the country’s economic and social health to their hearts.

    There is more than one version of capitalism. It could work for us, but we need to make change in our political workers, and make sure that they accept they are workers for the polity. Government have to steer the capitalist vehicle the way it wants it to go, not just let the world take over. The route we are taking is away from our comfort zone to a totally unsatisfactory place.

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    3 days ago
  • Government marks International Day of Persons with Disabilities
    The Government joins the disabled community of Aotearoa New Zealand in marking and celebrating the International Day of Persons with Disabilities, Minister for Disabilty Issues Carmel Sepuloni said. The theme for this year’s International Day of Persons with Disabilities is “Leadership and participation of persons with disabilities toward an inclusive, ...
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    3 days ago
  • Deputy Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security, and Advisory panel member appointed
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has announced the appointments of Graeme Speden as the Deputy Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security, and Ben Bateman as a member of the Inspector-General’s Advisory Panel.  “These are significant roles that assist the Inspector-General with independent oversight of New Zealand’s intelligence agencies,” Jacinda Ardern said. “While ...
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    3 days ago
  • Five million COVID-19 tests processed
    Associate Minister of Health, Dr Ayesha Verrall has congratulated testing teams right around New Zealand for reaching the five million tests milestone. Today, an additional 31,780 tests were processed, taking the total since the beginning of the pandemic in 2020 to 5,005,959. “This really is an incredible and sustained team ...
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    4 days ago
  • Funding for extra ICU capacity
    Care for the sickest New Zealanders is getting a major boost from the Government, with plans to spend hundreds of millions of dollars on expanding intensive care-type services, Health Minister Andrew Little announced today. “Through good planning, we have avoided what the COVID-19 pandemic has done in some countries, where ...
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    4 days ago
  • “THE LEGAL AND CONSTITUTIONAL IMPLICATIONS OF NEW ZEALAND’S FIGHT AGAINST COVID.”
    Speech to the New Zealand Centre for Public Law Tēnā koutou katoa Thank you for providing this opportunity to speak with you today as Attorney General. I’m here to talk about the constitutional consequences of Covid -19. I love the law. The way it exists with the consent of the ...
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    4 days ago
  • The legal and constitutional implications of New Zealand’s fight against COVID
    Speech to the New Zealand Centre for Public Law Tēnā koutou katoa Thank you for providing this opportunity to speak with you today as Attorney General. I’m here to talk about the constitutional consequences of Covid -19. I love the law. The way it exists with the consent of the ...
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    4 days ago
  • Pharmac Review interim report released
    Health Minister Andrew Little has released an interim report by an independent panel reviewing the national pharmaceuticals-buying agency Pharmac. Pharmac was established in 1993 and is responsible for purchasing publicly funded medicines for New Zealanders, including those prescribed by GPs or administered in hospitals. The review, chaired by former Consumer ...
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    4 days ago
  • Appointment to Network for Learning board
    Former MP Clare Curran has been appointed to the board of Crown company Network for Learning (N4L), Education Minister Chris Hipkins says. Hon Clare Curran served as a Member of Parliament for Dunedin South from 2008-2010. During this time, she held a number of ministerial portfolios including Broadcasting, Communications and ...
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    5 days ago
  • Putting home ownership within reach of Pacific Aotearoa
    Pacific community groups and organisations will get tools to help them achieve home ownership with the implementation of the Ministry for Pacific Peoples (MPP) Pacific Housing Initiative, said Pacific Peoples Minister Aupito William Sio. In July 2021, MPP launched the Pacific Community Housing Provider Registration Support programme and the Pacific ...
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    5 days ago
  • Coastal shipping will help keep New Zealand’s supply chain buoyant
    Transport Minister Michael Wood today welcomed the release of the Coastal Shipping Investment Approach State-of-Play report as an important step towards a more sustainable coastal shipping sector, which will further diversify New Zealand’s supply chain. “This Government is committed to strengthening our domestic supply chain by making coastal shipping a ...
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    5 days ago
  • Response to Human Rights Commission's reports into violence towards disable people
    Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā tātou katoa.   Thank you for that introduction Hemi and thank you for inviting me to respond on behalf of Government to the release of these two important reports (Whakamanahia Te Tiriti, Whakahaumarutia te Tangata -Honour the Treaty, Protect the Person and Whakamahia te Tūkino kore ...
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    5 days ago
  • Law change strengthens petroleum decommissioning regulation
    Petroleum permit and licence holders operating in New Zealand will now have an explicit statutory requirement to carry out and fund the decommissioning of oil and gas fields after a new law was given Royal assent today, says Energy and Resources Minister Dr Megan Woods. Once in effect The Crown ...
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    5 days ago
  • New Zealand Response to assist peace and stability in Solomon Islands
    The New Zealand government has announced that it will deploy Defence Force and Police personnel to Honiara to help restore peace and stability. “New Zealand is committed to its responsibilities and playing its part in upholding regional security,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said.  “We are deeply concerned by the recent ...
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    5 days ago
  • Continued growth in volume of new home consents
    In the year ended October 2021, 47,715 new homes were consented, up 26 per cent from the October 2020 year. In October 2021, 4,043 new dwellings were consented Canterbury’s new homes consented numbers rose 31% to higher than post-earthquake peak. New home consents continue to reach remarkable levels of growth, ...
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    5 days ago
  • Saddle up for summer with cycle trail funding
    New investment will keep the best of New Zealand’s cycle trails in top condition as regions prepare to welcome back Kiwi visitors over summer and international tourists from next year. “Cycle tourism is one of the most popular ways to see the country ‘off the beaten track’ but the trails ...
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    5 days ago
  • New Zealand provides additional funding to COVAX for vaccine delivery
    Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta today announced additional funding will be provided to COVAX to support vaccine delivery in developing countries. “New Zealand remains cognisant of the dangers of COVID-19, especially as new variants continue to emerge. No one is safe from this virus until we all are and this ...
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    5 days ago
  • COVID-19 Community fund providing support for 160 organisations focused on women and girls
    Minister for Women Jan Tinetti today announced financial support will be allocated to the 160 successful applicants for the COVID-19 Community Fund, to support organisations helping women/wāhine and girls/kōtiro in Aotearoa New Zealand affected by the pandemic. “COVID-19 has had a disproportionate effect on women around the world including in ...
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    6 days ago
  • Government delivers reactivation package as Aucklanders reconnect for summer
    A new support package will help revive economic, social and cultural activities in our largest city over summer, and ensure those in hardship also get relief. The Social Development and Employment Minister Carmel Sepuloni and the Economic and Regional Development Minister Stuart Nash have announced a Reactivating Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland ...
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    6 days ago
  • Mobile services and broadband come to Chatham Islands for first time
    World class mobile and broadband services have been switched on for the 663 residents of the Chatham Islands, Minister for the Digital Economy and Communications, David Clark and Minister for Economic and Regional Development, Stuart Nash announced today. “This eagerly awaited network will provide fast broadband and mobile services to ...
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    6 days ago
  • Crown accounts reflect strong economy amid pandemic
    The Government’s financial accounts continue to reflect an economy that has performed better than expected, despite the latest Delta COVID-19 outbreak. The Crown accounts for the four months to the end of October factors in the improved starting position for the new financial year. Core Crown tax revenue was $2.5 ...
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    6 days ago
  • Applications open for new 2021 Resident Visa
    The first round of applications for New Zealand’s new 2021 Resident visa open today (6am). “This one-off pathway provides certainty for a great many migrant families who have faced disruption because of COVID-19 and it will help retain the skills New Zealand businesses need to support the economic recovery,” Minister ...
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    6 days ago
  • More Vietnam Veterans to receive compensation for Agent Orange Exposure
    Minister for Veterans, the Hon Meka Whaitiri announced today that two new conditions associated with Agent Orange exposure have been added to the Prescribed Conditions List. Under the 2006 Memorandum of Understanding signed between the Crown and representatives of Vietnam veterans and the Royal New Zealand RSA. Vietnam veterans in ...
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    6 days ago
  • Government commits to international effort to ban and regulate killer robots
    Minister of Disarmament and Arms Control Phil Twyford announced today that New Zealand will push for new international law to ban and regulate autonomous weapons systems (AWS), which once activated can select and engage targets without further human intervention. “While the evidence suggests fully autonomous weapons systems are not yet ...
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    6 days ago
  • New freedom camping rules – right vehicle, right place
    Tougher freedom camping laws will be introduced to prevent abuse which has placed an unfair burden on small communities and damaged our reputation as a high quality visitor destination. Tourism Minister Stuart Nash has confirmed that new legislation will be introduced to Parliament following an extensive round of public consultation ...
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    7 days ago
  • Government invests to support a classic Kiwi summer
    Vaccinated New Zealanders can look forward to Kiwi summer events with confidence, while artists and crew will have more certainty, following the launch of details of the Arts and Culture Event Support Scheme, Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage Carmel Sepuloni announced today. “The Government recognises that the arts and ...
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    7 days ago
  • Grace period for expired driver licences cruises into 2022
    Due to the ongoing Delta outbreak and extended lockdowns, all New Zealand driver licences and licence endorsements that expired on or after 21 July 2021 will now be valid until 31 May 2022, Transport Minister Michael Wood announced today. “This further extension to the validity of driver licenses recognises that ...
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    7 days ago
  • Delivered: 1,000 extra transitional homes
    A further 1,000 transitional homes delivered  New housing development starts in Flaxmere, Hastings  The Government has delivered the next 1,000 transitional housing places it promised, as part of its work to reduce homelessness. Housing Minister Dr Megan Woods is marking the milestone in Hastings at a new development that includes ...
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    7 days ago
  • Traffic light levels announced
    The levels at which different parts of New Zealand will move forward into the COVID-19 Protection Framework this Friday have been announced. Northland, Auckland, Taupō and Rotorua Lakes Districts, Kawerau, Whakatane, Ōpōtiki Districts, Gisborne District, Wairoa District, Rangitikei, Whanganui and Ruapehu Districts will move in at Red The rest of ...
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    1 week ago
  • Financial support to move to traffic light system
    A new transition payment will be made available particularly for affected businesses in Auckland, Waikato and Northland to acknowledge the restrictions they have faced under the higher Alert Levels. Transition payment of up to $24,000 as businesses move into traffic light system Leave Support Scheme and Short Term Absence Payment ...
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    1 week ago
  • New Ambassador to Russia announced
    Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta today announced the appointment of Sarah Walsh as New Zealand’s next Ambassador to Russia. “Aotearoa New Zealand and Russia have a long-standing relationship, engaging on a range of regional and global interests including disarmament and Antarctica issues. We also work together as members of the East ...
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    1 week ago
  • New Permanent Representative to the UN announced
    Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta today announced the appointment of Carolyn Schwalger as Permanent Representative to the New Zealand Permanent Mission to the United Nations in New York. “Aotearoa New Zealand is a founding member of the UN and we have worked hard to ensure our stance on human rights, ...
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    1 week ago
  • Further COVID-19 economic support for Cook Islands and Fiji announced
    Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta today announced a further package of support for the Cook Islands and Fiji for COVID-19 economic support and recovery. “Aotearoa New Zealand remains committed to supporting our Pacific fanau and vuvale to respond to the impacts of COVID-19 on their economies, and move towards long-term ...
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    1 week ago
  • New law will clear the air for tamariki in vehicles
    From today, it’s illegal to smoke or vape in most vehicles carrying children aged under 18 years old - whether the vehicle is moving or not. “Second-hand smoke poses an unacceptable risk to our tamariki and rangatahi,” Associate Minister of Health Dr Ayesha Verrall said. “We know children in vehicles ...
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    1 week ago
  • Nine countries designated very high risk
    Nine southern African countries are being added to the very high risk countries list following public health advice around the newly discovered COVID-19 variant Omicron, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said. This afternoon, a public health risk assessment was carried out to assess the emerging evidence and any risk to ...
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    1 week ago